You know this meme:
1. Reply to this post and I'll assign you a letter.
2. List 5 songs that start with that letter.
3. Post them to your journal with these instructions.

[personal profile] curgoth gave me the letter "T"

I delayed a bit on posting this, given that apparently at least one of the people I didn't realize was still reading my journal(s) thinks I yammer about politics (or particular political issues) far too much. I am willing to have that conversation but not here and not now (yes, passive-aggressive statement is passive-aggressive). For now, this is my journal and I will post what I want and given the situation that I am living just blocks west of, I feel this is plenty appropriate. Here's the Three Times Too Long, Too Political playlist:

1. Trouble with Normal by Bruce Cockburn, the only appropriate place to start and not least because so much of it is still relevant. Also the title of at least two books that I know of, including this one by Michael Warner, which is very good (been a few years since I read it so I can't say much more now) and introduced me to Gayle Rubin's "Thinking Sex" article.
strikes across the frontier and strikes for higher wage
planet lurches to the right as ideologies engage
suddenly it's repression, moratorium on rights
what did they think the politics of panic would invite?
person in the street shrugs, "security comes first"
but the trouble with normal is it always gets worse

Youtube link to a 2008 acoustic performance (sound goes wonky in a few places)

2. Too Stupid for Democracy by Eileen McGann, another older-musical-generation Canadian folksinger, a more solidly satirical track. I don't love her voice, but she's got some clever songs. (This might be a fun one for the next Community Sing?)
think of the majority of people that you meet
do you think their opinions should be law?
if you're like the majority you think the rest are nuts
thus democracy reveals a fatal flaw

3. The Traveller's Curse by Geoff Berner, working with what I think is his second or third favourite theme (after alcohol and perhaps sex): exiles, nomads, refugees and outcasts. Some listeners may be offended by his reference to birth as "cunt-fall" (others may be elated). This one's for No One Is Illegal.
I have been libelled as a wanderer, this is not the case
I have a home, it's just that it's an inconvenient place right now

4. Turned Out Lies by Spirit of the West, draws analogies between the responsibilities of an elected leader to their constituents and those of domestic partners. My favourite thing about this song is that the second verse, the domestic relationship bit, is from the POV of the wronging partner, rather than the wronged. I don't know why, I just love that it's all "I remember that I said this, that I promised that, I screwed you over", without really sounding either gloating or apologetic.
I made you a promise for a new tomorrow
I made you a promise to share our youth
I promised you security through our aging
but when I made the pudding, love, I left out all the proof

5. Tender Comrade by Billy Bragg. It's a soldier song, but it's not what you might expect. I won't spoil the "twist" (okay, I will, obliquely: this is sorta where 'Old Guard' Leather came from, maybe), but it's definitely worth a close listen.
what will you do when the war is over, tender comrade?
when we lay down our weary guns
when we return home to our wives and families
and look into the eyes of our sons

6. Time to Go Home by Michael Franti and Spearhead. Keeping up the theme, this is an anti-war song. It's not subtle. It is catchy. The Winnipeg Folk Festival audience luuuuuurved Franti when he played there two of the last five years, and that should not come as any kind of surprise.
and those who dam streams can build fountains, yes they can
but those of us who just let them run free? we can move mountains

Oh look this one actually has a music video!

7. TiVo the Revolution by the Metasciences (you can download the whole album free at this website). Lots of protest songs take themselves very seriously. This has the passion of a politically-driven pseudo-historical ballad but it's over the top, quirky and totally tongue in cheek (sums up most of their tunes, actually).
and this is the shield that protects their machinery
and these are the halls where their juggernauts bait
and these are the blades that will shred us to vapour
and if that were all, then right now we'd be storming the gate!

8. Teeth In The Grass by Iron & Wine. Still quirky, still mildly unsettling (teeth have that effect?). I'm mostly a pacifist but I recognize that sometimes violence is the price of getting the change you need, which I think might be some of what this song is getting at? I'm honestly not certain.
and when you give me your house
and when we're all brothers at last
there will be food in our mouths
there will be teeth in the grass

9. Take Me In Your Hand by the Rheostatics. Okay yeah, while I do believe that the personal is political/politics is praxis etc. and some of the preceding tracks have been kinda about the personal in the political, the next few are definitely sliding towards the personal end of that spectrum. They're just too good not to share (and if you push me I will think up reasons for them to be political).
take me in you hand and put me back into the nest
make me feel like a little bird
cuz everything I hear and everything I see ma-a-akes me squeak

10. Things I Miss by Kim Barlow. For all the feelings that are left over. Barlow is an amazing songwriter and I wish she was more widely known. This song especially . . . it's pretty, it's poignant, it's honest and it's unique. I can feel it in my heart-places, which is always neat.
I miss the way you held me at night
I miss the animals we became sometimes
I miss your voice and I miss your fine face
I miss your crinkly eyes when you smile
and I'm crying for you and I'm crying for me too
and I know it's too little and it's too late

11. Twist The Knife by Neko Case and her Boyfriends (and if you like barefooted redheads with swords crouching in the hoods of classic cars, you will want to click that link). This one touches my heart-places too but in more of a squirmy crawly way; I do not want to talk about why right now. I still love the song and definitely feel that it belongs here. Yes, it's very twangy country-sounding, but it's also poetry.
carefully, quietly, you took what's young from me
I didn't deserve it, I gave it away
cowardly, thoughtlessly, you walk away from me
and I'll tear my heart out to save you the day

12. 26 Years by Veda Hille, because it is always the right time for Veda Hille. Now I feel like we're sliding, in an oblique way, back towards that activist energy. Mostly I just think this song is amazing.
this is, I am, so beautiful and fierce
this is violence and holy words
and I swear fealty to smile beyond dignity
to be kissed and salted by a love extreme

13. Thistle & Weeds by Mumford & Sons. I discovered these folks this winter via an episode of Being Human (and they led me to Laura Marling, who is also very good). There's something really promising here. I expect more good stuff.
plant your hope with good seeds
don't cover yourself with thistle and weeds
rain down, rain down on me

Here's a live video featuring both this song and "Dust Bowl Dance".

14. True Revolutionaries by Dan Bern. Back to more explicit political messages. A good illustration of the cost of using lots of specific references to make yourself topical, this song in some ways feels more dated than the older "Trouble with Normal". There's also some stuff in here that bugs me, weird privilege and that verse about inheritance of acquired traits (Lamarck was wrong, that's not 'evolution', stop confusing people), but some other bits I kinda like.
true revolutionaries never bomb buildings
it attracts too much attention

15.Tomorrow by Mark Berube. I can't say anything about this song that it doesn't say for itself.
The train gathers speed, the hands hold the bars
the papers talk of Africa and sending a man to Mars
there's a backpack that's sitting in the corner by the door
there's a young man facing upwards with his back on the floor
and then the smoke began
he had tomorrow in his hands

I can figure out how to upload all files in a .zip, if there's a desire. zips ahoy! I hope. Somebody lemme know if that worked?
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