War on the Workers benefit LP

Happy New Year! Let’s start the year off right with a proper celebration of the music of a true Pittsburgh icon in Anne Feeney. Anne’s daughter helped to orchestrate this benefit record of Anne Feeney covers named for her song “War on the Workers”. Anne has been successfully fighting off cancer for a few years now. Here is your chance to show your support!

David Rovics – Song the Songbird Sings

A song about a life lost for no good reason. Something that is all too normal in the world today. Too bad too few lack the political courage to do something about it.

Guts Club – Whale Legs

Matt turned me on to the fine folks of Guts Club. It’s some Be Good Tanyas with an edge shit and it’s great. So keep those Whale Legs beneath you and listen. You can read more via Tiny Mix Tapes.

EP Highlight: Boyfriend Material – Self-Titled EP

Cross posted at Interstellar Radio Shower

Now this is catchy. Boyfriend Material has a new EP out on Community Records.

This first song “Small Talk” is absolutely promising. It’s a sort of indie pop/singer songwriter without being too poppy. “Two Steps Back” starts out like a Rainer Maria tune. In fact, this song could be a Rainer Maria song both lyrically and instrumentally. It’s really quite enjoyable.

“Good Graces” tones things down a bit. It’s pretty in a navel-gazing kind of way. Navelgaze should be a recognized genre. Whereas emo has become a certain brand of pop punk which sometimes is great, sometimes really sucks, navelgaze would focus on a certain brand of songwriters like Shauna Healey and Lou Barlow.

Anyhow, the last track is “Absentminded” which features the ukUlele. This calls back more to her earlier stuff (see below). This EP is a very worthwhile listen. The EP in it’s entirety was released on Friday. Here is another review worth checking out.

This is more of a full band sound. The core of Boyfriend Material is singer-songwriter Shauna Healey. On her first LP “Far From Home”, also on Community Records, her music is very stripped down. It’s that bare acoustic ukulele combined with raw honest vocals that is popular in certain circles these days. I just love this stripped down sound. In any case, there is much to love here.

Richard Thompson – Blackleg Miner (trad.)

I have a general fondness for the roots of music as a tool for political education and organization. And I naturally support the right of workers to organize for better wages and working conditions. Some complain about unions while ignoring how the institutions themselves organize into manufacturing associations (and other organizations) and use their collective wealth to leverage the laws and power over their workers. It’s completely fair for workers to have the right to organize in return, to leverage their strength in concert with one another. Anyhow, here is a traditional English folk song on scab (aka “blackleg”) miners. Performed by Richard Thompson, the song probably dates to the 19th or possibly early 20th century.

David Rovics – We Are Everywhere

Last night’s post about the radical political board game Bloc by Bloc got me to thinking I should post some thematically fitting music this morning. So why not something from political singer-songwriter David Rovics. I will do a more detailed post on David in the future. Enjoy the music.

Holypalms – Nath Family Tribute/King Cobra Bride

Good morning. Welcome to a new week! Let’s launch this with something inspiring and just plain awesome. Holypalms is the effort of Pavel Eremeev. Eremeev is from Moscow and describes his work as “electro-noise-raga.” Which is helpful since I wasn’t sure how to describe it.

“Tribute to Snake Charmers Music” is my own vision of traditional melodies of the music performed by the caste of snake charmers from India and Nepal. I have imbued these sounds and it somehow entered into my guitar improvisation, and then I developed them, inventing rhythms and background sounds.” – Pavel Eremeev 2015

There isn’t much more to say. This, I believe, is his second release. Listen in via Tenzenmen’s bandcamp page below.

Casey Neill – Mayday (Jig: The Connaughtman’s Rambles)

This morning, we are off to watch Jen run the half-marathon. It’s impressive how hard she has worked to make this happen. I’m not much into jogging myself. Short sprints on grass are more my thing. So I recognize just how awesome an achievement this is. Way to go Jen!

To celebrate, let’s do this up with a proper May Day anthem.