A variety of record albums related to the Occupy Movement are set for release including "Occupy This Album" from Music For Occupy with a star-studded list of participants, "Folk the Banks" from the newly formed Occupation Records in London and media claims that Bruce Springsteen's newest work is the voice of the movement though the songs were mostly written before it existed.
These releases could bring renewed attention to a movement which has lost much of its early hold on the press and public though it has continued with local actions nationally and internationally that indicate Occupy has, at the very least, revitalized the left.
Though a wide range of music inspired by the Occupy Movement has already been shared with the world, songs and projects featuring famous people always grabs the mic. Which is why the second wave of publicity for Music For Occupy's compilation record Occupy This Album, due sometime in the spring, is getting attention in media outlets like Rolling Stone and Forbes. It's quite a list:
Crosby & Nash, Yoko Ono, Debbie Harry, Devo, Wilie Nelson, Jackson Browne, Tom Morello, Michael Moore, Thievery Corporation, Immortal Technique, Joan Baez & James McMurtry & Steve Earle, MOGWAI, Warren Haynes, DJ Logic, Ladytron, Lucinda Williams, The Guthrie Family, Third Eye Blind, Toots and the Maytals, Yo La Tengo, Rain Phoenix, Our Lady Peace, Aeroplane Pageant, Chroma, Cosmonaut, Global Block, Harry Hayward, Jay Samel, Jennie Arnau, Joel Rafael, Lloyd Cole, Matt Pless, Mike + Ruthy, Mike Rimbaud, My Pet Dragon, Mystic Bowie, Stephan Said, Tao Seeger, Taj Weekes, Thee Oh Sees, Julie B. Bonnie, Ace Reporter, Black Dragon, Joseph Arthur, Loudon Wainwright III, Danger Field, Richard Barone, Ronny Elliot, Los Cintron, The Middle Eight, Dylan Chambers, Alex Emanuel, Junkyard Empire.
Funds from the record are intended to benefit Occupy Wall Street though they already seem to have more money than any other sector of the movement. Music For Occupy is an automonous project put together by New York-based Workhouse Publicity and includes people with varying levels of involvement in Occupy Wall Street without official endorsement.
Occupation Records: The 99 per cent to launch a record label
Across the pond, Occupation Records has a crowdfunding campaign in motion to support multiple planned album releases including "Folk the Banks" which is due in February. Album artwork is by Jaime Reid, perhaps best known for the cover of the Sex Pistols' single "God Save the Queen," with music by numerous artists including Ani DiFranco, Tom Morello, Billy Bragg and Sam Duckworth of Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly.
Funds will benefit "Occupy London, occupations across the UK and Ireland, and the global Occupy movement." Occupation Records is a project of The 45 Revolutions Per Minute Collective composed of members of Occupy London.
In an odd twist, Bruce Springsteen's upcoming March release of "Wrecking Ball" is being used to introduce discussions of the Occupy Movement and described with such phrases as "The Boss embraces Occupy."
Though the majority of the album is said to have been written and recorded before all this started, it addresses "economic justice" and is the "angriest album he's ever made," which seems to be the hook for writers who now use Occupy to corral almost any left/lib manifestation of popular rage against the economic betrayal of the majority of American citizens.
Given that many of us concerned about economic justice are not involved with Occupy, that Springsteen has not made a statement connecting this album to any particular movement and that the first single, "We Take Care Of Our Own" is a pretty general statement that he could have just as easily shown up on "Born in the U.S.A.," such claims are a serious overreach.
Nevertheless, renewed attention on economic concerns via the Occupy Movement still looks like a very good thing and, despite some media outlets' claims that Occupy is dead, both the movement and the impetus behind it seem very much alive with more music to follow.
Hypebot Features Writer Clyde Smith maintains his freelance writing hub at Flux Research and music industry resources at Music Biz Blogs. To suggest topics for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.