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We have fed you all for a thousand years

  Here's an old labor anthem, addressed to the idle rich who claim the fruit of other men's labor. To whom belongs the wealth generated by work? We have fed you all for a thousand years We have fed you all for a thousand years And you hail us still unfed, Though there's never a dollar of all your wealth But marks the workers' dead. We have yielded our best to give you rest And you lie on crimson wool. Then if blood be the price of all your wealth, Good God! We have paid it in full! There is never a mine blown skyward now But we're buried alive for you. There's never a wreck drifts shoreward now But we are its ghastly crew. Go reckon our dead by the forges red And the factories where we spin. If blood be the price of your cursed wealth, Good God! We have paid it in! We have fed you all a thousand years- For that was our doom, you know, From the days when you chained us in your fields To the strike a week ago. You have taken our lives, and our babies and wives, And we're told it's your legal share, But if blood be the price of your lawful wealth, Good God! We bought it fair! And for good measure, from Finian's Rainbow: When the Idle Poor Become the Idle Rich When the idle poor become the idle rich. You'll never know just who is who, or who is which. Won't it be rich? When everyone's poor relative becomes a 'Rockefellative', And palms no longer itch. What a switch! When we all wear ermine and plastic teeth How will we determine who's who underneath? And when all your neighbors are upper class, You won't know your 'Joneses' from your 'Ass-tors' Let's toast the day The day we drink that drinky up, but with a little pinkie up. The day on which the idle poor become the idle rich When a rich man doesn't want to work He's a bon vivant. Yes, he's a bon vivant. But when a poor man doesn't want to work, He's a loafer, he's a lounger, He's a lazy good for nothing, he's a jerk! When a rich man loses on a horse Isn't he a sport, oh isn't he a sport? When a poor man looses on a horse He's a gambler, he's a spender, He's a low life, he's a reason for divorce! When a rich man chases after dames He's a man about town, a man about town. But when a poor man chases after dames He's a bounder, he's a rounder, He's a rotter, and a lot of dirty names! When the idle poor become the idle rich You'll never know just who is who or who is which. No one will see the Irish or the Slav in you 'Cause when you're on Park Avenue, Cornelius and Mike, look alike When poor Tweedle Dum is rich Tweedle Dee This discrimination will no longer be. When we're in the dough and off of the nut You won't know your banker from your but...ler. Let's make the switch. With just a few annuities, we'll hide these incongruities With clothes from Abercrombie-Fitch When the idle poor become the idle rich!

David Rovics on death of Utah Phillips

Utah Phillips died Friday. Friends have circulated a May 14th letter he'd sent. The Salt Lake Tribune reprinted a great interview from 2005. And fellow performer David Rovics forwarded this remembrance: I was watching my baby daughter sleep in her carseat outside of the Sacramento airport about ten hours ago when I noticed a missed call from Brendan Phillips. He's in a band called Fast Rattler with several friends of mine, two of whom live in my new hometown of Portland, Oregon, one of whom needed a ride home from the Greyhound station. I called back, and soon thereafter heard the news from Brendan that his father had died the night before in his sleep, when his heart stopped beating. I wouldn't want to elevate anybody to inappropriately high heights, but for me, Utah Phillips was a legend. I first became familiar with the Utah Phillips phenomenon in the late 80's, when I was in my early twenties, working part-time as a prep cook at Morningtown in Seattle. I had recently read Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States, and had been particularly enthralled by the early 20th Century section, the stories of the Industrial Workers of the World. So it was with great interest that I first discovered a greasy cassette there in the kitchen by the stereo, Utah Phillips Sings the Songs and Tells the Stories of the Industrial Workers of the World. As a young radical, I had heard lots about the 1960's. There were (and are) plenty of veterans of the struggles of the 60's alive and well today. But the wildly tumultuous era of the first two decades of the 20th century is now (and pretty well was then) a thing entirely of history, with no one living anymore to tell the stories. And while long after the 60's there will be millions of hours of audio and video recorded for posterity, of the massive turn-of-the-century movement of the industrial working class there will be virtually none of that. To hear Utah tell the stories of the strikes and the free speech fights, recounting hilariously the day-to-day tribulations of life in the hobo jungles and logging camps, singing about the humanity of historical figures such as Big Bill Haywood, Joe Hill or Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, was to bring alive an era that at that point only seemed to exist on paper, not in the reality of the senses. But Utah didn't feel like someone who was just telling stories from a bygone era -- it was more like he was a bridge to that era. Hearing these songs and stories brought to life by him, I became infected by the idea that if people just knew this history in all its beauty and grandeur, they would find the same hope for humanity and for the possibility for radical social change that I had just found through Utah. Thus, I became a Wobbly singer, too. I began to stand on a

The Beatles were counter-revolutionary

Much as the world adores The Beatles, would it not be instructive to note that they led the forces of passivism, and lost, thankfully, to the urgent demands of passionate youth ignited by the imperative to upturn the old world order.

The Decembrists & The Bagman’s Gambit

I ran across an atrocious attempt to do Godard, post-Weekend. It was a David Spade infomercial for the pitiful AXE campaign, parading as an indie contest to make The Dirtiest Film in the World. Spade played a Salvador Dali impressario with the contrived posture of a Tanqueray ad. In any case, then on the radio I chanced to hear a musical piece with all the film imagery, sans images, with the melodious nakedness of Major Tom Coming Home. It's by the Decemberists, (where have I been?) and the song is called The Bagman's Gambit. The lyrics are below, but you've got to hear it. The Bagman's Gambit   On the lam from the law On the steps of the capitol You shot a plainclothes cop on the ten o'clock. And I saw momentarily, They flashed a photograph, it couldn't be you. You'd been abused so horribly But you were there in some anonymous room.   And I recall that Fall I was working for the government. And in a bathroom stall off the National Mall How we kissed so sweetly. How could I refuse a favor or two? For a tryst in the greenery I gave you documents and microfilm too.       And from my ten floor tenement     Where once our bodies lay,     How I long to hear you say     No, they'll never catch me now     No, they'll never catch me     No, they cannot catch me now     We will escape somehow     Somehow.   It was late one night I was awoken by the telephone I heard a strangled cry on the end of the line. Purloined in Petrograd They were suspicious of where your loyalties lay So I paid off a bureaucrat To convince your captors they're to secret you away.       And at the gate of the embassy     Our hands met through the bars     As your whisper stilled my heart     No, they'll never catch me now     No, they'll never catch me     No, they cannot catch me now     We will escape somehow     Somehow.   And I dreamt one night You were there in fours Head held high In uniform.   It was ten years on When you resurfaced in a motorcar. With the wave of an arm You were there and gone.

Hallelujah once again

Hallelujah was written by Leonard Cohen and first recorded on his 1984 album Various Positions. Since then the song has been recorded or sung by dozens of artists including Willie Nelson, k.d. Lang, Sheryl Crow, Bon Jovi and Bob Dylan to name a few. Bono even did a horrendous spoken version of it to honor American artist Jeff Buckley, a fan of the spoken word, shortly after his drowning death. Of course, Cohen's version is untouchable, but a few of the other efforts are noteworthy. I've already posted Rufus Wainwright's beautiful rendition of Hallelujah from the Shrek soundtrack. But this version, sung by a regular-Joe Norwegian Idol winner and a couple friends, apparently on a coffee break, has got to be my favorite. Kurt Nilsen, a gap-toothed former plumber with a beautiful voice, was told by an Idol judge, "You sing like an angel, but you look like a Hobbit." Well, perhaps, a talented Hobbit about to go off into the blue for a mad adventure. These four Norwegian lads, casually called the New Guitar Buddies by the local press, embarked on what was to be a low key six-show gig. Their unexpected popularity led to an amended schedule, a 30-show tour for more than 100,000 concert goers. The Buddies then released a live album, not part of the original plan, which became the fastest-selling recording of all time in Norway. What the hell is it about this song?

A couple Sundance programs, The Kitchen, and other fine things

I have a bunch of cool things in the works for the next couple of months- I'm excited about them and wanted to let you folks know: On Jan. 11th I'll be screening all of my films with live narrations and soundtracks at DiverseWorks in Houston. The band will be Jim Becker (Califone), Andy Coppinger and myself. It'll be frenetic and beautiful. The show is to celebrate the opening of DiverseWorks' animation show Flicker Fusion, which includes Hadacol Christmas. Jan. 18th, 19th and 21st I'll be screening all of my films with live narrations and improvised soundtracks by myself and Califone at Sundance. It's part of their New Frontiers program. I love Califone. These shows will be unreal. The shows will be around an hour long with a little Q&A at the end- all of them at 6PM at the New Frontiers on Main MicroCinema building. It's called "God Builds Like Frank Lloyd Wright: Califone and the animated films of Brent Green." "Carlin" is screening at Sundance, too! As part of their Documentary Spotlight program. There's a film Isabella Rossilini made about the sex life of bugs screening in there, too. Sundance runs from Jan. 17th- Jan. 28th- the Documentary Spotlight runs five times in there somewhere. On Feb. 8th, Tim Rutili (Califone) and I will be performing live soundtracks and narrations to all of my films and a couple of films Tim has cooked up recently at Montalvo Artspace in Califone- somewhere outside of San Francisco. On Feb. 13th, The Kitchen will be hauling Jim Becker (Califone), Fred Lonberg-Holm (Valentine Trio, Lightbox Orchestra, cellist for Wilco, Califone, Freakwater, Ken Vandermark and all kinds of other folks) and Brendan Canty (Fugazi) to New York City. Cello, violin, musical saw, guitars, piano and drums- this is going to be a beautiful show. My first solo museum show, at the Sculpture Center in Cleveland will be running through Jan. 5th, too. If you're around Cleveland, that's a pretty rad show- all of my film sets and hand-made wooden props. I also made a woodcut-print of Virginia Woolf for the Sculpture Center, which is available on their website somewhere, I think.

Counterpoint duets in American musicals

A now Christmas classic has breathed new life into Frank Loesser's "Baby it's cold outside / I really must go." After burning out the household listening to all available recordings, I yearned for other counterpoint duets. Neither Broadway, nor the internet was very forthcoming, hence this post. For a duet with a similar whimsical wolf vs. mouse dynamic, there's "Small Talk" from Frank Loesser's Pajama Game. (Preferred duo Doris Day and John Raitt). "An old fashion wedding" from the 1966 revival of Irving Berlin's Annie Get Your Gun. (Ethel Merman and Bruce Yarnell). "I wonder why / You're just in love" from Irving Berlin's 1950 musical Call Me Madam. (Ethel Merman and Russel Nype or Donald O'Connor). Irving Berlin's earlier "Pack up your sins and go to the Devil" features syncopation on both parts. There's the "Will I Ever Tell You" counterpoint to "Lida Rose" in Meredith Wilson's The Music Man. And the combo of "Goodnight my someone" with "Seventy-six trombones" (Shirley Jones and Robert Preston). There's the infamous "Tonight Quintet" from West Side Story. (Best remake: South Park). The 1959 musical Little Mary Sunshine lampoons counterpoint with three parts: Playing Croquet, Swinging, and How Do You Do? Stephen Soundheim repeated the feat in A Little Night Music with "Now," "Later" and "Soon." Less romantic counterpoint could include "All for the best" from Godspell. Can you think of any other? (The best pairing for "Baby it's cold outside"? Physical performance: Esther Williams and Ricardo Montalban, best repartee: Margaret Whiting and Johnny Mercer, best contemporary match: Zooey Deschanel and Leon Redbone.)

Arabic Christmas Songs

Lest any of our local Christians forget, Jesus was kind of an Arab. So in honor of that, here are some Arabic Christmas Songs brought to you courtesy of The Coptic Church.

Ofra Haza- Jerusalem

Jerusalem, Jerusalem Jerusalem, Jerusalem He was born the King Solomon He was a wise and had a thousand wives He was a righteous and feeling judge He was the king and the father of the people Jerusalem, Jerusalem Jerusalem, Jerusalem Two young women came with a child Claiming I'm the mother of this child He said: Bring me a sword, Divide the baby in two Oh, in two! Jerusalem, Jerusalem Jerusalem, Jerusalem The real mother cried: Don't! The other one said: Divide! Everybody knew who was really true Jerusalem, Jerusalem Jerusalem, Jerusalem How can the people divide a little child ? How can the people divide such a little heart ? Jerusalem, Jerusalem Jerusalem, Jerusalem Ofra Haza, one of the world's greatest musicians ever... Unfortunately, she had a tragic relationship that ended in her death. Wikipedia has more info about this great Middle Eastern singer.

I’m comin’ home I’ve done my time

Before it became the Neocon Swastika, bumper sticker peer pressure to show unquestioning support for the troops, i.e. their mission of US military aggression, the "yellow ribbon" was a musical high concept of the 70s via Tony Orlando and his Dawns. Tie a Yellow Ribbon was sung from the POV of a felon, rehabilitated we presume, being released and hoping for a signal from his old lady, in advance of having to ask her face to face, to know if he was welcome to come back home. Perhaps he had no idea because she had not visited him in prison or perhaps there was a restraining order which forbid him from approaching without her prior consent. Is it some Freudian admission that today's military suggests its soldiers show the same trepidation? Are soldiers returning from doing time in this war, having had to commit the requisite war crimes, concerned that they would not be welcome to show their faces back home? Is the Defense Department implying our troops are less heroes than they are criminals? Who needs affirmation of our unconditional support more than soldiers with guilty consciences? I'm comin' home, I've done my time Now I've got to know what is and isn't mine If you received my letter telling you I'd soon be free Then you'll know just what to do If you still want me If you still want me Whoa, tie a yellow ribbon 'round the old oak tree It's been three long years Do ya still want me? If I don't see a ribbon round the old oak tree I'll stay on the bus Forget about us Put the blame on me If I don't see a yellow ribbon round the old oak tree Bus driver, please look for me 'cause I couldn't bear to see what I might see I'm really still in prison And my love, she holds the key A simple yellow ribbon's what I need to set me free I wrote and told her please-

Eisenstein at the Colo Springs symphony

I'm really impressed that the Colorado Springs Philharmonic was able to attract a nearly full house for a screening of Sergei Eisenstein's BATTLESHIP POTEMKIN, the 1925 Soviet revolutionary call to arms that became even too subversive for Stalin's taste.   The newly restored version adds more graphic pieces to the Odessa steps sequence, but my favorite scene remains aboard the battleship deck, when the rebellious sailors cower under a tarpaulin, awaiting the bullets of the firing squad. It reminds me of my favorite story about the few proud Marines. The Marine Corps, now its own branch of the Defense Department, evolved from a very particular function in every nation's navy. (Like MARINE biologists, their function has obviously to do with the sea.) On warships since the Napoleonic Wars, marines were the only enlisted men entrusted with guns. Their role, beside serving as landing parties, was to protect the officers from mutiny by the sailors; a function they were prepared to serve on the Potemkin until thankfully the revolutionary rhetoric held sway. I wonder if our few proud US Marines will have brains enough to side with their families and comrades when Bush orders them to fire on his insurgents. In promoting the Toons film collection, I've made a preoccupation with data mining for every poster incarnation of our diverse films. Since the Toons website has been down for a bit, I thought I'd represent here our gathering of Potemkin posters. Kudos to the Pikes Peak Center team for delivering Eisenstein to the Rocky Mountain art Bourgeois. We showed up three generations deep, each age this evening running into others they knew. And everyone loved it. A highlight of the event for me occurred when the battleship fired its salvo into the city. After the sailors had rebelled, the city populace had risen in support. To subdue the masses, Tsarist Cossacks marched down the Odessa steps, shooting into the crowd. In angry response, the crew of the Potemkin aimed its big guns at the headquarters of their Tsarist oppressors, or so explained the inter-title cards, further specified in the text as the Opera House! We were Colorado Springs symphony-goers, at the town's premiere performing arts center, rooting for the Russian workers as they united against their ruling class.

Musical interlude

A Few Words in Defense of Our Country -Randy Newman Hear an hour long benefit concert recorded Seattle, March 30, 2007. Bobby McFerrin improvisation, Montreaux Jazz Festival Baaaaaaaach Mamady Keita, Famoudou Konate & Soungalo Coulibaly on djembe Leonard Cohen -Hallelujah Randy Newman -God's Song

Fall film music tour schedule

Brent's going to be taking all of his animated films on tour this fall! Here are the dates- more are being added- but this is the idea. We hope you can get out to one of these shows:   August 11- Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum August 15- LA- The Silent Movie Theatre August 16- Las Vegas August 17- Phoenix- Modified Arts Sept. 7- NYC- Rooftop Films (with The Quavers) These are all with Sin Ropas playing a set of their songs and helping out on Brent's films: Sept. 18- Baltimore- Metro Gallery Sept. 19- DC- Warehouse Next Door Sept. 20- NYC- Knitting Factory Sept. 21- Philadelphia Sept. 22- Pittsburgh- SPACE Gallery Sept. 24- Cleveland- Beachland Ballroom Sept. 26- Athens, OH- Union Arts Sept. 27- Columbus, OH- Sept. 28- Indianapolis- Big Car Sept. 29- Chicago- Gene Siskel Center- as part of the Empty Bottle and the UK music periodical the Wire's Adventures in Modern Music Festival Oct. 3- Memphis- Memphis Media Co-op Oct. 5- Birmingham- The Bottle Tree Oct. 6- Mobile, AL- Satori Sound Oct. 8- Tallahassee, FL- The Atlantic Oct. 10- Brooklyn, NY- BAM's "Next Wave Festival" (just Brent solo performing Carlin live) Oct. 11- Gainesville, FL- San Marco Theatre Oct. 13- Knoxville, TN- The Pilot Light Oct. 14- Asheville, NC- The Grey Eagle Nov. 2- Charlottesville, VA- VA Film Festival


How does the world see us? Maybe a little bit like this... We all live in Amerika by Rammstein

Vacation en Nicaragua

This post is dedicated to a good friend who got me thinking of Central America once again. It is about a vacation to Nicaragua and more. Let's start with a beautiful concert at the height of Hope in the early '80s, before the US government crushed that hope by its horrible imperialist military interventionism. Nicaragua Nicaraguita sung by the great Left folk singer of Nicaragua, Carlos Mejia Godoy. Then let's cut almost 1/4 century later, to see a beautiful vacation film in a visit back home to his country and family made by a Nicaraguan in exile far North. The beautiful music of the Colombian salseros, Grupo Niche, is followed in the second half of the film with more music by Carlos Mejia Godoy once again. A beautifully made film that shows Nicaragua at its best. The music is great and worth listening to on its own merits.

Los Temerarios- Mexico versus Peru

When I first met my wife, she was curious to know which Mexican group I liked the most. The surprise answer (to her) was 'Los Temerarios'. Since then, we have travelled together from Matamoros de Tamaulipas to Matamoros de Coahuila, or the city without law, as my wife once heard it called by a bus driver. And like those 2 cities of the same name, as it turns out there are also 2 groups called 'Los Temerarios, one from Zacatecas, Mexico and the other from Huarochiri, Peru. You decide which group is best! Select videos with music by both groups follows. You got to get really drunk in cantinas to appreciate the music of Los Temerarios de Mexico though. Best cantina music ever made IMO! Unfortunately, the 2 videos selected hardly do justice to their music. You got to be in the working side of town on a Friday or Saturday night to get the sound down just right. Temerarios de Peru and more of their music at Go Ear Temerarios de Mexico- Tu Ultima Cancion and Te Hice Mal.

Mas cumbia colombiana

Why more cumbia colombiana? Simply because I like the style of music and dance and it has given me a lot of pleasure through the years. La mujer que me gusta, Para Mi, Loquito por ti, and several medleys of songs by Orquestrsa Numero Uno de Colombia Part 1 Part 2, and legendary Aniceto Molina's El Condor Legendario and en concierto. Sonora Dinamita- Cosquillitas en Monterrey. Ay Laylita!

Que Viva Colombia!

Pastor Lopez is my favorite religious leader. He was born in Venezuela, but has lived for years in Colombia, too. His religious teachings have inspired millions around the world! Here he is at his best in 'La Tracionera'. We need a more spicier religion than we currently have dominating in the US. If interested more in his teachings, check out Discos Fuentes. I wish that KRCC carry his sermons on air, too. He's hot! And sad to say, KRCC is so not. Too much National Public Radio and BBC, I believe. Colombian music is the best in the world, and the price is right at Discos Fuentes. KRCC, if you got some music from this label then play it? If not, then in=vest$$$ a little and liven your music scene up some. Discos Fuentes. Also, El Indio Pastor Lopez does rap. Pastor Lopez with Dancers in Black. The Absent Son is good, too. Pastor Lopez is defintely the grandfather of Colombian cumbia, and it's too bad he almost can't ever be heard on radio in the US. Some other Colombian hits played by other musicians are Tus Besos son como caramelo, La Burrita, and an older version of La Pendeja with great dancing, Sonora Dinamita with Que Bello. Also, No me toques mi cucu, La Zenaida, and Amor Carnal. Que Viva Colombia! Let's hope that the US doesn't totally mess the country up as it has done with Afghanistan, Lebanon, and Iraq.

El Pueblo Unido, Jamas Sera Vencido

El Pueblo Unido, Jamas Sera Vencido- How many times have peace activists heard that chant at rallies? Quilapayun does it even better as the youtube video shows. More musica andina at their website, too. Quilapayun is Nueva Cancion at its best.

Gracias a la vida

Gracias a la vida I have just relocated an album by Mercedes Sosa I had lost away in a box. 'Gracias a la vida' is one of her most popular songs. Here is a little bit about the composer, Violeta Parra. The wiki article has some great links, too, to yet more info about this great composer.

Jesus take the wheel

I was late coming to this country anthem. The chorus hit me today as I heard a succession of barefooted kids sing Jesus Take the Wheel solos at an elementary school talent show. Believe me the nuance was courtesy of cute soft voices timidly waivering off key. Last year it was Proud to be an American. JTTW must be the current theme of our Christian nation, and could it be more horrifying? A bunch of Christians, driving too fast, in trouble, about to kill themselves and their babies and what do they want to do, shut their eyes, throw their hands up in the air and ask Jesus to step in. A touching show of faith to be sure, but as regards our nation's deep trouble, the rest of us are in the bathwater. It was hands in the air that got us here; do you want to trust their crusader god to get us out? Taking your hands off the wheel would be just fine if it meant scooting over and having a qualified driver take the wheel. Otherwise it simply means abrogating responsibility for dooming everyone because of your inattentive judgment, including a tragic misreading of spiritual guidance. It means burying your Master's Talents instead of making something of them. Jesus take the wheel from these dumbfos and take their licenses too. And their voter registrations.

An effort to lighten up and artistically improve this site

We don't get enough Arab culture here in Colorado Springs in my opnion, so in an effort to lighten up and improve this site I am linking to youtube once again. I hope that all of Not My Tribe's large viewing public will be able to enjoy this brief concert! The opening act is by the beautiful and very talented Amar Kamel! She really gets going towards the end.... and she can really shake her booty! And for the ladies, and all those that might have been less than totally satisfied with the opening act, check out Asi Haskal! He is guaranteed to not disappoint. Be sure to stay for the whole show, Ladies!

It’s a man’s world

Today's participation in the Manitou carnivalesque charades left me in a profoundly depressed mood until I saw the video, 'It's a man's world', on youtube tonite. Here, James Brown performs with Gerald Ford (just kidding) in a rendition of Brown's famous lament about how men really 'rule' basically nothing. The concert was performed with Pavarroti and James Brown together, and CP'.com linked to it this weekend, so that's how I got to watch it. Makes one feel good to know that these 2 opposites, Brown and Pavarroti, were able to respect each other and perform so well together. It gives one hope for man/womankind, unity in action. Wave the Peace flag, Brothers and Sisters! Just not in Carnival never again.

Stick that stupid ribbon up your SUV

I like this group from Austin, The Asylum Street Spankers, and the lyrics to this song. All of their music is great, but this song and dance on the theme of Iraq makes The Dixie Chicks look like the Mary Poppins Trio in comparison. Check out 'Hick Hop', also, and the German stuff they do. Stick that stupid ribbon up your SUV... about the real reasons our government got us into Iraq.