Saturday, May 07, 2011

Tom Morello's New Song "Union Town" Roars in Solidarity With Workers Across the Globe

"Performing in Madison, Wisconsin and seeing 100,000 people in the streets demanding justice inspired me to record an album of union fighting songs. I've been a proud union man for 22 years and my mom was a union public high school teacher, so for me this fight is very personal. Unions are a crucial counterweight to the raw corporate greed that torpedoed our economy, threatens our environment and wants to strip away decades of social progress. From Cairo to Madison, workers are pushing back and tyrants are falling. Here's a soundtrack for our fight."
-Tom Morello


The full length UNION TOWN EP will be released digitally
May 17th with all proceeds going towards pro-union struggles.




On February 21st of this year, Tom Morello performed at the Capitol Square in Madison, Wisconsin in protest to an anti-union bill put forward by Governor Scott Walker. Morello explains in his editorial about the experience, “Frostbite and Freedom: Tom Morello on the Battle of Madison,” at RollingStone.com:

For days I had been following the exciting events in Cairo and across the Middle East. But when I turned on the television and saw 100,000 people marching through the streets of MADISON, WISCONSIN to protest an anti-union bill put forward by some schmuck named Governor Walker it caught my attention. I turned to my wife and said, "Honey, our boys are gonna grow up to be union men." She sighed and replied, "The Nightwatchman is needed. You should go."

And so The Nightwatchman went.

A nice lady at the airport looked at my guitar and politely asked, "Why are you going to Madison, young man?" I replied, "Because they're making history in Madison, ma'am. And I don't want to miss it."


The title track from the Union Town EP (full track listing below) is available now at SaveWorkers.org. On the heels of Union Town, Tom Morello, as The Nightwatchman, will release his third full length solo album, World Wide Rebel Songs, late Summer via New West Records.

Engine Company
Gregg Chadwick
Engine Company
48" x 36" oil on canvas 2011

The America Votes Labor Unity Fund supports the unified efforts of a broad coalition of national labor organizations to defend workers and their unions against state legislation, ballot measures and executive orders that will undermine or destroy their rights. The America Votes Labor Unity Fund accepts donations from labor organizations and individuals who donate on their own behalf. Please visit www.saveworkers.org for more details and to make a donation.

Tom is set to release Union Town via New West Records digitally on May 17th with a physical CD and Vinyl release to follow on July 19th. All profits from Union Town will benefit The America Votes Labor Unity Fund via SaveWorkers.org.

The studio recording consists of 8 pro-union songs featuring three Tom Morello originals, as well as the Woody Guthrie classic “This Land Is Your Land” (including the more radical, often censored verses).




Tom Morello : The Nightwatchman Union Town Track Listing:
1. Union Town
2. Solidarity Forever
3. Which Side Are You On?
4. A Wall Against The Wind
5. 16 Tons
6. This Land Is Your Land
7. I Dreamed I Saw Joe Hill Last Night
8. Union Song (Live - Capitol Square, Madison, Wisconsin Feb. 21st, 2011)



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Sunday, May 01, 2011

International Concern for the Plight of Chinese Artist Ai Weiwei


A Berlin Museum Calls for China to Free Ai Weiwei

Last week, Salman Rushdie in the New York Times, wrote an important piece on the plight of Chinese artist Ai Weiwei. Excerpts below:

"The great Turbine Hall at London’s Tate Modern, a former power station, is a notoriously difficult space for an artist to fill with authority. Its immensity can dwarf the imaginations of all but a select tribe of modern artists who understand the mysteries of scale, of how to say something interesting when you also have to say something really big. Louise Bourgeois’s giant spider once stood menacingly in this hall; Anish Kapoor’s “Marsyas,” a huge, hollow trumpet-like shape made of a stretched substance that hinted at flayed skin, triumphed over it majestically."


Chinese Artist Ai Weiwei at the Tate Modern in London - October 2010

"Last October the Chinese artist Ai Weiwei covered the floor with his “Sunflower Seeds”: 100 million tiny porcelain objects, each handmade by a master craftsman, no two identical. The installation was a carpet of life, multitudinous, inexplicable and, in the best Surrealist sense, strange. The seeds were intended to be walked on, but further strangeness followed. It was discovered that when trampled they gave off a fine dust that could damage the lungs. These symbolic representations of life could, it appeared, be dangerous to the living. The exhibition was cordoned off and visitors had to walk carefully around the perimeter."




"Art can be dangerous. Very often artistic fame has proved dangerous to artists themselves. Mr. Ai’s work is not polemical — it tends towards the mysterious. But his immense prominence as an artist (he was a design consultant on the “bird’s nest” stadium for the Beijing Olympics and was recently ranked No. 13 in Art Review magazine’s list of the 100 most powerful figures in art) has allowed him to take up human rights cases and to draw attention to China’s often inadequate responses to disasters (like the plight of the child victims of the 2008 earthquake in Sichuan Province or those afflicted by deadly apartment fires in Shanghai last November). The authorities have embarrassed and harassed him before, but now they have gone on a dangerous new offensive.On April 4, Mr. Ai was arrested by the Chinese authorities as he tried to board a plane to Hong Kong. His studio was raided and computers and other items were removed."
-Salman Rushdie in the New York Times.


Continue reading the entire piece at:
Dangerous Arts

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