AZ boycott, bullet points

Lots going on today. I'm going to tackle this as lazily as possible. 



  • I've been trying to track some sort of music-based response to this Arizona immigration reform, but it's a whole different world over there. Pitchfork posted a short article today on Rage Against the Machine's Zack De La Rocha's organizing efforts, and he seems convinced that he and others—Kanye West, Sonic Youth, Conor Oberst, etc.—are taking on the role of Rosa Parks. He wants the Montgomery Bus Boycott, but I don't know if I see this going the way he wants. I've already mentioned the discrepancy as represented by two canadian acts, and the more this develops the more I see things the same way as Pink Eyes. Arizona's government gets little-to-no benefit from touring bands, and even De La Rocha seemed to admit that Montgomery-level action will arise only through sufficient levels of public discontent. Bands can boycott, but the relative gains of putting rust on an already bleak economy versus the relative loss of abandoning fans is no contest. Unless a boycott can sufficiently cripple a government, it's plagued by poor aim. Gig promoters and venues will lose their livelihoods long before the government ever feels the effects. By definition, boycott is an inaction, and that's the opposite of what Arizona needs right now. I'll follow this up better once more shit hits the fan, but so long as the movement is confined to petitions I don't see much moving or shaking. Unless they air a telethon. Arizona doesn't care about Mexican people.

  • One of my favorite jams of the year—and straight-up masher of April's Like a Hole in the Head mixtape— is getting a proper 7" release from gorillavs.bear's exceptional Forest Family records. "I Was Thinking..." adds an abrasive punch to a lot of the shimmering guitars that have been floating around lately. Where most of the blissful summer songs coming out are too waxed-down to gain traction, "I Was Thinking..." rips up the road and drags you as far as it can in its five-minute runtime. The B-Side, "Our Scenery," is a more humbled affair, but engrossing nonetheless. They do a lot to try to cover themselves up, but the result is best received in the wide open, pasted with heat. Thus far, it is exactly what Summer 2010 has sounded like. You can listen to both of the songs here, and you can (should) order the vinyl here.


  • I try my best not to talk about movies. I like them, I just know nothing about them. But I did write a blurb in anticipation of "The Lottery" at the Wisconsin Film Festival. The documentary was a chilling portrayal of what exactly "less fortunate" can mean, and what kinds of obstacles our institutions face. It's more than just a matter of money, it's an outright paradigmatic failure that cheapens the educations—and thus the futures—of America's less fortunate. But here I go talking about movies. My write-up is (probably) nowhere to be found online, but Pitchfork did just mention it today because the soundtrack was written and performed by TV on the Radio's Tunde Adebimpe and Gerald A. Smith. It's about what you would expect from them—delicate plucks from heart-wrought strings—and it's not exactly timely, but the documentary's website has some interesting asides that you can see here.

  • Freddie Gibbs has a new song up at The Fader.

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