Phoenix New Times puts out call for protest songs


We’re quickly finding that the effects of the heinous SB 1070 immigration law aren’t limited to the political arena. Whether it’s sports protests or bands deciding to bypass Arizona, this law is going to touch each of us in one way or another.

As someone who is a bit embarrassed to claim Arizona these days, I understand the reaction of bands to reconsider playing shows in the state. But I don’t necessarily agree with it. I’m sorry, Stars, but all you’re doing is punishing and alienating your fans, most of whom probably have political beliefs that align with yours. Why don’t you actually come to Arizona and try to affect change? Better yet, why not reach out to fans to have conversation about it before making your decision, like some artists. (Thank you, Jonah Matranga and Damian Abraham.)

While I appreciate their desire to do something, I think it’s presumptuous for Stars to assume their absence would somehow have more of an influence on a government that’s never heard of the band than speaking directly to fans they can call on for action. Their heart’s in the right place, but it’s not like their decision would have the same economic impact on our state as possibly losing the 2011 MLB All-Star Game. Hey, if Shakira can make an appearance in Arizona, why can’t Stars?

Anyway, how about a more functional and direct approach to making a statement? Phoenix New Times music editor Martin Cizmar is asking local bands to put their music where their mouth is and write protest songs that he will make available for download.

Says Cizmar: “Arizona’s music community needs to battle against SB1070 in earnest. We need to tell our elected officials how absurd we think this law is, and how much harm it’s doing our state. There’s no better way to do that than by writing and recording a few good old fashioned protest songs.”

From what I can tell, he’s already got possible commitments from Source Victoria, Kinch and Dfactor, who also keeps a blog at Waved Rumor.

So if any local bands are reading this, I encourage you to join the effort.

(Image from Boing Boing.)

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