Occupy Musicians Just Launched

Sonic Youth, tUnE-yArDs, Fugazi, Lou Reed, Talib Kweli Join Occupy Musicians

Dan Deacon, Laurie Anderson, Sharon Van Etten, Tom Morello, DJ /rupture, Tyondai Braxton, Xiu Xiu, Mirah, Parts and Labor, many more also join online resource in support of Occupy Wall Street

By Jenn Pelly, November 22, 2011 11:26 a.m. CT
Sonic Youth, tUnE-yArDs, Fugazi, Lou Reed, Talib Kweli Join Occupy Musicians

Photos by Lee Ranaldo

Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore, Lee Ranaldo, and Steve Shelley, Merrill Garbus (tUnE-yArDs), Lou Reed, Laurie Anderson, Fugazi’s Ian MacKaye and Guy Picciotto, and Talib Kweli are among a long roster of artists who have signed on with Occupy Musicians, a newly launched online tool for “sound engineers, sound artists, producers, DJs, instrumentalists, composers, and lyricists” who support Occupy Wall Street and its affiliated protests.

The site serves as a public statement of solidarity with the movement, and will help put on musical performances at Occupy protest sites. It will also serve as a hub for documentation of audio, video, and writings from artists who support the 99 percent.

Other artists who have pledged their support include Tom Morello, Amanda Palmer, DJ /rupture, Dan Deacon, Parts and Labor, Kimya Dawson, Jamie Stewart (Xiu Xiu), Sharon Van Etten, Marc Ribot, Tyondai Braxton, Jello Biafra, Mirah, Saul Williams, Drew Daniel (Matmos), John Zorn, Dave Allen (Gang of Four), Amy Klein (ex-Titus Andronicus), Rhys Chatham, and many more.

(Full disclosure: One of the organizers of Occupy Musicians is a very good friend. – Ed)

As previously reported, Titus Andronicus and Ted Leo performed at an OWS benefit for the National Lawyer’s Guild last night in New York. And artists from Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy to Lil B have spoken in support of the movement. Jeff Mangum delivered a performance at Occupy Wall Street last month, which you can watch below.

350 Launches RADIOWAVES Project – Join!

350 just launched our Radio Waves Project!

And we want you to join and create a Wave!

Check it out: radiowave.350.org and see how you can help share this 350 song on your local radio station.

Every revolution has a song.  Songs during the South African anti-apartheid movement were phenomenal at rallying the people of South Africa and the world, to unite to transform South Africa into a more just nation.  Today, Africa is facing another challenge: climate change. Africa is the most climate vulnerable continent in the world. People are being forced off their homelands due to drought, increased desertification and a wide array of other human induced climate threats.  And this crazy weather is impacting us all.

Respecting the power of song and radio to reach people far and wide, 350.org collaborated with musicians like Talib Kweli, Zap Mama, Angelique Kidjo, Ahmed Soultan and amazing South African artists like Jabba from Hip Hop Pantsula and Zolani from Freshly Ground to create “People Power” a song about the climate crisis.  Radio stations throughout Africa and the world will be playing this song and connecting people to resources and solutions to the crisis. This sound will be amplified by DJs and musicians throughout the world who are remixing the song to share in their own countries and radio stations. Because we’re all in this together – we need a global movement to tackle a global crisis!

JOIN the Wave and have the song played on your local radio station!


African Youth are Caravanning to Durban for Climate Justice!

Reposted from 350 Blog Post by Sam


Youth Climate Justice Caravan crosses the EquatorDar es Salaam is about to rock with a climate concert put on by 160 youth in the hot and humid capital of Tanzania!  These youth are part of the caravan heading to Durban for COP 17 – with the message of “We Have Faith – Act Now for Climate Justice”.

They come from many different countries in Africa and have been joined by youth from the EU. On Monday, their convoy of buses left Nairobi, Kenya to travel through Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia and Botswana to South Africa and Durban to coincide with the upcoming climate summit. Along the way, they’ll be camping overnight in different locations and spreading awareness with the locals they meet.

They’ll also be hosting more concerts in the big cities they pass through, and they particularly want to sensitize other youth to the impacts from climate chaos and the need for youth to bring their voices to their leaders to ensure a just and sustainable future.

One of these intrepid youth is Winnie Asiti, a long-time organiser with 350.org, who is also part of our Sauti campaign. Click here to read more of Winnie’s own story, and we’ll keep you posted as she sends us news from the caravan!

The We Have Faith campaign is calling on the leaders attending COP 17 to treat the Earth with respect, resist disorder and live in peace with each other, including embracing a legally binding climate treaty.

You can find out more on the campaign and follow the progress of the caravan here: http://www.wehavefaithactnow.org 59 Have Faith, Act for Justice!

Dr. Dirt: Street artist scrubs images into the urban landscape

by Greg Hanscom from GRIST

4 Nov 2011 3:24 PM

Artist Moose Benjamin Curtis was having some difficulty with the police. The officers had just arrested him for creating designs on a wall in South London. But it was complicated — as things often are when Moose is involved.

You see, Moose doesn’t use spray paint or wallpaper paste — the usual tools of this trade. Instead, he wields scrub brushes, old socks, cleaning fluid, and, when he’s living large, a high-pressure hose. He creates images by cleaning shapes into filthy urban surfaces such as retaining walls, signs, and tunnels.

People have called it “reverse graffiti,” “clean graffiti,” and “negative space.” Moose prefers “grime writing.” He has called himself “a professor of dirt.”

He is not the only one working in this medium: Brazillian artist Alexandre Orion scrubbed a gallery of skulls onto the wall of a tunnel in Sao Paolo a few years back; street artist Banksy has also used the technique. But Moose is a pioneer — and a bit of a character to boot.

On that day in South London, when Moose asked the officers what crime he was being charged with, confusion ensued.

“We’re arresting you for criminal damage,” Moose recalls one of the officers telling him.

“The only thing I’ve damaged is dirt,” the artist replied.

“They took that on board,” Moose says. “They were really fumbling around.”

Then the police told him that he had made marks on the wall. “I explained that the marks were made by pollution. If they wanted to arrest the perpetrators of this crime, they should get with the people who had created this pollution.”

The bobbies were probably about to lock Moose up just for being a smartass, but he was saved by the bell. “At about that time, I had to go to the bathroom,” he explains. “So they took me to this pub, and the police officer followed me into the bathroom and stood outside the stall like I was some clean terrorist, randomly going around cleaning things.”

Art.”Thank you for not breeding”: Leeds, U.K., Oct. 1999.Photo: Moose

Fortunately for our wise-cracking hero, he keeps good company, and while he was taking care of business, his friend and fellow dirt monger (who was apparently aiding in the crime in order to win the heart of a young lady) convinced the police to just let the duo scrub the entire wall — thus eliminating the images they’d created — and call it a day.

“Which is a little like stealing a car and then taking it back to where you got it,” Moose says. But who was he to ask questions?

While Moose’s innovative artistic techniques have won him worldwide recognition — one of his best known pieces was in the Broadway Tunnel in San Francisco — they were inspired by simple poverty. He was working for a record label, he says, and they wanted to promote a new album. Lacking the money for signs or advertising, they scrubbed their message into the walls of tunnels around his hometown of Leeds, England.

Art.The United Nations Plaza in San Francisco, Oct. 2011.Photo: Moose

Moose has since done projects for corporations, local causes, and simply for the fun of it. But he says he gets the most satisfaction out of working with environmental organizations — with which he has an obvious affinity, though he doesn’t consider himself a model of green citizenship.

“The environmental message [in my art] is unavoidable,” he says. “I’m writing in grime.”

A while back, Moose teamed up with a pack of eco-warriors with Greenpeace. They piled into a zodiac raft, armed with pressure washers, and buzzed across the Thames River to a blackened retaining wall near the House of Parliament. When they’d finished their work, the wall was emblazoned with the message:


“I love working for Greenpeace. It’s the one time I feel that this art form is put to its best use,” Moose says. “I feel like I’m in the good army when I work with them.”

Still, much of his art takes a more subtle tack. He is fond of carving the forms of flowers and trees onto dirty surfaces, adding organic forms, as delicate as paper cutouts, to the hard edges of the urban landscape.

Art.Broadway Tunnel in San Francisco, April 2009.Photo: Moose

“I could stand around all day long telling people how what we’re doing is ruining the planet,” Moose says. “But if I can intrigue them enough to look closer, and then shock them with the contrast between where the wall was cleaned and where it was dirty … It’s just a quirky little way of getting the point out to people.”

And if that occasionally puts him at odds with the authorities, it has also won him many fans — including inside the art establishment. He is currently working (with a slew of other artists) on an exhibition called Ghosts of Gone Birds , which uses art, music, and poetry to re-animate extinct bird species.

“I’m cleaning [bird] shadows into the floor around the gallery,” he says. “And you know what it’s like when a bunch of birds take off all at once — I’m trying to create a chaos of little shapes on the side of the wall.”

That is, if he can get permission to work on the wall in the first place. “I have so much trouble getting permission to clean walls, it’s just unbelievable,” Moose says. “It’s just a little bit over people’s heads.”

Grist special projects editor Greg Hanscom has been editor of the award-winning environmental magazine High Country News and the Baltimore-based city mag, Urbanite. He tweets about cities and the environment at @ghanscom.

VIDEO: Occupy Wall Street Connects the Dots

by Jennifer Prediger for GRIST

1 Nov 2011 4:54 PM

Occupy Wall Street (OWS) protesters linked climate and the environment to their movement this past Sunday, Oct. 30.

OWS’s environmental working group put the Climate Justice Day event together in five days, hosting workshops at New York City’s Zuccotti Park on topics such as fracking and sustainable economics.

Throughout the day, speakers drew connections between the economy and the environment. “Every bank which you are down here protesting finances extreme energy — fracking, tar sands development, mountaintop removal, deep water drilling,” said Gasland documentary director Josh Fox after a “mic check” to the crowd.

He encouraged listeners to join the protest against fracking in the Delaware River basin planned for Nov. 21 in Trenton, N.J., to protect New York City’s drinking supply. “Right now,” he said, “50 percent of New York State, including the New York City watershed, the aquifers and the aqueducts that bring the water to the city are in jeopardy of this massive natural gas drilling campaign.”

You can see Fox’s speech to the crowd here:

An animated Joshua Kahn Russell spoke about the plan to encircle the White House on Sunday, Nov. 6 to stop the Keystone XL pipeline. Here’s Russell’s speech at OWS:

Also urging the OWS crowd to join the Keystone protest was incarcerated climate activist Tim DeChristopher, who sent OWS a letter from jail, which was read by Russell and Ashley Anderson from Peaceful Uprising. “The message should be clear,” DeChristopher wrote. “We’re not giving up on our future even if it’s difficult. And we need a president with similar courage.”

You can read the entire letter here, or watch the reading at OWS:

Jennifer Prediger is a writer and producer who channels Umbra Fisk for Grist in the world of online video. She recently joined a CSA and is learning how to live with less take-out.

Banksy Shows Support for Occupy London Protests

Banksy Shows Support for Occupy London Protests with Custom Monopoly Sculpture
Originally Posted October 25th 11:08am by HVculture

Beloved street artist Banksy decided to show his support for the worldwide Occupy Movement by doing what he does best: He created a sculpture for the London protesters. His latest work of art and cultural criticism features a panhandling Rich “Uncle” Pennybags sitting atop a customized Monopoly board.

If you look closely at the red Monopoly house, you’ll see Banksy even included the tiny detail of a Tox shoutout, which he’s been known to do before. The board also features trans-national corporations listed on the property spaces in place of the famous Atlantic City streets.

For the uninitiated, Tox is one of London’s most notorious taggers who was recently convicted of criminal damage. The photo above comes courtesy of Jason Reeves. Demotix has a full gallery of images of Banksy’s sculpture. The famous street artist delivered it Monday night as a gift to lift the spirits of the Occupy London protesters.

Music for the Occupy Earth Movement

Because the movement needs music…

Reposted from Rebuild the Dream Website
October 28, 2011 by Sandra

Introducing a project by Wyatt Closs/PopWork USA and Rebuild the Dream called OCCUPY SOUND. This soundtrack features a custom mash-up of Noam Chomsky and Pharrell and includes hits from Aloe Blacc, Talking Heads, Public Enemy and Chemical Brothers. Based on your feedback and suggestions, Wyatt will make Volume 2 – so share far and wide.

Who belongs on Volume 2? Send your suggestions. Email song titles and artists to occupysound@rebuildthedream.com NOW for Volume 2 of Occupy Sound.

Click through the image to listen on PopWork USA, or listen to the embedded podcast below