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5 New Protest Songs from Bay Area Bands to Fuel the Revolution

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Well, it’s time for the most divisive, tumultuous, and significant presidential election in modern American history, we’re in the midst of a massively destructive global pandemic, fires are still burning across the state, and we still can’t get smoke-free air in the Bay. So, needless to say, you’re stressed out of your gourd! And who could blame you? Luckily, there’s rock n roll for that!

Here, we’ve put together a quick list of protest songs from 5 local Bay-Area bands to help you get through this week (and/or the impending coup). Whether you need a positive pick-me-up to sing along to, or to dance out your rage and frustration, we’ve got you covered.

“Fump Truck” singer Devin Walker of Northern Waste. Photo by Genie Cartier

First up is “Fump Truck” from SF alt rock outfit Northern Waste. It’s a 50’s rock number with positive energy to spare (and a not-so-hidden meaning) that’ll get you dancing and chanting along in no time. “The fascists go fast, but it ain’t gonna last,” sings frontman Devin Walker, as he rides around California in the Fump Truck. The video showcases a wide coalition of folks from across the Bay Area giving the orange shitgibbon a piece of their mind. They even got District 5 Supervisor Dean Preston in there!

First written in the aftermath of the 2016 election, Resonance’s revolutionary single “#TheResistance,” was inspired by the gathering momentum of the anti-fascist and social justice movements. “What we’re living through is a result of specific choices made by people working to destabilize the country to their ends,” notes Resonance frontperson, Radhika. “Self-government means if we the people don’t stand up, no one else is going to do it for us.” Watch the new music video, featuring footage from journalists at the frontlines, and a cameo appearance by the President.

Next up is “Hey Don” by The Sam Chase. Sam Chase, American Citizen and employer of the US President, invites 45 into his office to give him a performance review. This energetic track is a ripping thrashy punk stomp with a message no employee wants to hear. “What’s that two-word phrase that you’re known for…?”

Want a little change of pace? Check out “Justice,” the R&B anthem by CLP. CLP, a Bay Area singer-songwriter melding music and movement, opens her track with a sultry ‘check, one two’, against a backdrop of hypnotic bass and drums. You start to unwind, and then her words ring out clear: “I need some justice… How do we get some justice?”

Last is “American Something” from blue hard-rockers Alvie & the Breakfast Pigs. The last presidential election caused an earth-shattering crisis of identity for many. Alvie & the Breakfast Pigs wrote “American Something” because they “didn’t know what else to do with those feelings” that 2016 elicited. “Though the song might have hints of resignation, we are far from giving up hope,” states frontman Alvie Adams. “We will continue to share our morals and values in our art, and will speak out against the bad behavior of our so-called ‘leaders.’”

And if you’re more into listening to podcasts than music, check out the San Francisco Mime Troupe’s radio serial “Tales of the Resistance!” The entire series is now available to hear on their website and wherever you get your podcasts.

Enjoy the music, rock out, and get out there and VOTE!

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Genie

Genie

Genie Cartier is a San Francisco native. She graduated from UCLA with a BA in English/ Creative Writing and earned an MFA in Creative Writing/ Poetry from SFSU. Check out her novella Fog City Summer on this website. When not writing, she is also a professional circus performer of 24 years and will be directing Dark Side of the Circus, a circus choreographed to Pink Floyd, in April 2020. Find out more at http://cartiersisters.weebly.com/.

1 Comment

  1. November 5, 2020 at 1:48 pm — Reply

    Hey Genie! Thanks for sharing this post! Just wanted to share a protest song we released earlier in October. It’s called “Voices Up” by Keyozah, which you can find on all streaming platforms including Youtube. Check it out sometime 😀

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