Pimps of Protest: My 1st Podcast
When I was deciding how I wanted to use this silly little music blog I maintain here, one of the things I had an internal debate on was whether to speak out on topical issues. I saw a few positives in that idea, but the part of me that wanted this blog to exist outside of current events won out. I saw it as a way of separating church and state, so to speak. No one is coming here to get their news or editorial opinions, nor should they.
Because of that, I've always tried to stay away from using the songs I post on Pimps of Gore as commentary on current events. It's a fun little game to play with your friends, but it's kind of an easy way out when it comes to writing about music. Songs can certainly highlight themes in times of conflict or tragedy, but they should also be able to exist outside of those events. Plus, if you don't really understand the song, you run the danger of assigning it a totally inappropriate meaning. Remember when Ronald Reagan tried to use Bruce Springsteen's "Born in the U.S.A." as a campaign theme song? Hell, I just saw a Jack Daniel's ad on TV that used Jane's Addiction's "Jane Says." Nothing says "I'll have a double" like a song about a junkie.
Some time last week, after watching hours of depressing Katrina coverage and anticipating the worst from Rita (thanks, news media!), I started throwing together a mix of songs that seemed to echo the way I felt (there I go, assigning inappropriate meaning). A blogger out there had posted KANSAS JOE's "When the Levee Breaks," and the dread of that song kind of kickstarted my search.
I didn't want to just slap a few songs up here and make some sort of a storm-themed post, but I did want to share the idea with a few people. The first person I shared it with was my long time friend Matt, who helms This is a Pocket Protest. He started TiaPP a few months back, originally as a music blog and then eventually as a place to house his phenomenal podcasts (and I'm not just saying that because half of the music on his computer is mine). I know he puts a lot of thought into his mixes, so I basically sent him a half dozen songs and the instructions that I wanted this collaboration to have a sort of "after the storm" feel, with just a hint of New Orleans as a tribute to a city that may never fully recover from that storm. I wanted to make a concept album about disaster, recovery and the politics of tragedy.
Later that night, Matt sent me a link to our first collaborative podcast. All credit for the sequencing goes to him. It's about 43 minutes long, in one continuous file, so dial-up users just walk away now.
PIMPS OF PROTEST present:
The Story of the Hurricane
1. Oceans in the Hall (THE LADYBUG TRANSISTOR)
2. When the Levee Breaks (KANSAS JOE)
3. Drowning Spider (BARRY BLACK)
4. Back Water Blues (BESSIE SMITH)
5. Big Chief (PROFESSOR LONGHAIR)
6. High Water (BOB DYLAN)
7. New Orleans (SILVER JEWS)
8. New Orleans Instrumental No. 1 (R.E.M.)
9. Hurricane Warning (Ignored) (PORTASTATIC)
10. I Walk on Guilded Splinters (JOHNNY JENKINS)
11. The Word 'Hurricane' (AIR)
12. Wish Someone Would Care (IRMA THOMAS)
13. Sea Above, Sky Below (DIRTY THREE)