My new record Love Under Fire was made so that people could have modern fight songs during these trying political times. I have always been a person who enjoyed 1960s and 70s rock. From that era, there are plenty of iconic protest songs that radiate relevantly today. Songs like Buffalo Springfield’s “For What It’s Worth” and Edwin Starr’s “War” were influential and inspired me while writing and recording this new EP. However, this playlist is not about the past. This playlist features only songs from Love Under Fire and protest songs that are from the twenty-first century. Rock musicians still write songs that reflect the current climate. Although the genre may not seem as popular as it once was, it is still very much alive and able to deliver powerful social commentary. Here’s what I’ve included:
Green Day “American Idiot” – Written during the George W. Bush years, this 2004 classic was immediately a relevant rallying cry post-election. I still don’t want to be an American idiot.
Foo Fighters “La Dee Da” - This track came out this September and it is an inspired critique of Trump’s divisive rhetoric, calling it the “American ruse” and following it with a chorus: “Hate – if I want to. Love – who I like.”
John Mark McMillan “No Country” – My friend John Mark released this as a single shortly after the election. Overall the song is a powerful reflection on disillusionment, values and a quest for understanding where he fits in this modern American setting.
Drive By Truckers “What It Means” – This subdued Americana track has a voice of an outsider validating the message of the Black Lives Matter movement. It is a thoughtful and poignant ballad and gets right down to what many people feel whenever there is another unjust killing by the police.
Prophets of Rage “Unfuck the World” – This super group is made up of members of Rage Against the Machine, Cypress Hill and Public Enemy. The political angst is there in the chorus of: “No hatred. Fuck racists. Blank faces. Time's hangin'
one nation unification the vibration unfuck the world!” This blunt anthem of truth pulls no punches.
Lenny Kravitz “Love Revolution” – Lenny Kravitz was definitely channeling 1960s and 70s protest music when he penned this rocker. He released the track in 2008 during the George W. Bush years, but the songs call for a “love revolution” during war torn times is always valid.
Blink-182 “Anthem Part 2” – This song came out in 2001 before 9/11. However, I heard a band play it this past January following the Trump inauguration and the lyrics felt incredibly relevant. It warns of political agendas of corporations and politicians and carries of a message of not being silent.