My son interviewed me the other day for a school project. The subject was 'what have you done in your life that you would consider the most meaningful' and my answer was getting active for political change, instead of merely talking about it. He wanted to articulate some of the differences between anti-war activism in the 60's and today. Of course there are a lot of differences; the social and political climate is completely different, as is the fact that the draft is not in effect. But one difference that I noted was the fact that there is not a definite 'protest music' movement like there was in the 60s. There is protest music being made, to be sure, but not a lot of people are hearing it, and many of the big-name artists that are doing protest music are the same ones who were doing it in the 60s, like Neil Young.
I think that we still haven't found our way as far as real protest is concerned - we are mostly falling back on what we did in the 60s - marches, sit-ins and other forms of civil disobedience. But I have a feeling that the public response to it is not what it was 40 years ago. It is still looked upon as something from the past, an outmoded and dated echo of the 'hippie days'. Something else needs to happen to engage the public, and I don't know what it is yet.
Be that as it may, I'm still hoping for a stronger presence for protest music. When I have time for a break from regular writing, I want to do some more protest music myself. Someone who has been doing wonderful protest songs for a few years now is my best girlfriend Paula Sorcé. She is someone who started doing this in the 60s and has never looked back, and she's my hero. The core of her band Just-Truckin' originated in the 60s and has re-formed again, and they are a classic Bay Area horn band a la Cold Blood. She has always written about what's important to her in a way that draws you in, with her strong, fierce, soulful vocals, burning horns and driving rhythm section.
I invite you to check out her latest, 'Trust You'. The video along with it is very cool also.
Her band's website is here if you'd like to hear more of Paula. My girl rocks!