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Music: Politics and the Local State

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Calum Paterson

on 26 March 2015

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Transcript of Music: Politics and the Local State

Music: Politics and the Local State

Early Years
1930s
The 1980's: Political music's golden age
The 1980's:
Right-Wing Governments (Margaret Thatcher & Ronald Reagan).
Cold War Tensions or "Second Cold War"
Faklands War
Anti-Apartheid Movement.
MTV
Rise of the Pop Star
Live-Aid/ Hands Across America
Exploitation of Pop
Music has been used by the state in order to gain youth interest.
Harold Wilson awards The Beatles MBE's in 1965 on the run up to 1966 General Election.
Wilson wins '66 election, imposes supertax, Beatles respond with "Taxman" on Revolver.
Non-existant during Thatcher's Britain.
In 1990's New Labours campaign uses D:Ream's "Things can Only Get Better" for their campaign.
New Labour has considerable power over Music Press
New Labour wins, Noel Gallagher invited to Downing Street.
In 2013 David Cameron appears in One Direction video.
By Calum Paterson & Claire Todd
Question:
What do you think about Politics in music?
Today we shall explore:
Music vs The State
Parents Music Resource Center
Formed in 1985 by wives of politicians.
Wanted to rate music similar to film ratings.
Artist such as Frank Zappa, John Denver, Dee Snider addresses to the senate in protest.
Record labels agreed to place sticker's warning of explicit content on records.
Banned by the BBC
Gulf War Blacklist
Gulf War 1990-1991
Certain songs banned from airplay due to sensitivity of the conflict
Most notable track "Killing an Arab" by the Cure
Electronic group "Massive Attack" forced to change their name to "Massive" in order to release single.
BBC bans songs for a number of reasons.
References to drugs and sex
Advertising
Political views
Sensitive Content
Banned in respect
Musicians boycott the state
U.N initiates boycott on bands performing in Sun City, South Africa.
In protest to Apartheid regime in S.A at the time
Recently Israel has suffered boycott.
Thatcher's Britain
Reagan's America
Signature Events:
The Falklands War
Miners Strike
High Unemployment Rate
Recession
Privatization of British Industries
Brighton Bombing
Anti- Apartheid/ Nelson Mandela
Media Outlet's
Television:
Top of the Pops (1964-2006)
Old Grey Whistle Test (1971-1988)
The Tube (1982-1987)
Snub TV (1987-1989)
Rapido (1988-1992)
Radio Personalities:
John Peel
Musical movements:
Hardcore Punk
College Rock
Alternative Rock
Bibliography
Shuker, Roy (1994) Understanding Popular Music London:
Routledge, 53-71, 251-281


http://flavorwire.com/143568/the-10-most-powerful-protest-songs-of-the-21st-century

http://www.rockthevote.com/
https://twitter.com/RockTheVote

http://www.rockagainstracism.net/

http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/music/features/rock-against-racism-remembering-that-gig-that-started-it-all-815054.html

Harker, Dave (1980) One for the Money: Politics and Popular Song London: Hutchinson

http://www.rocksound.tv/features/read/track-by-track-twin-atlantic-free

Denselow, Robin. When The Music's Over. London: Faber, 1990. Print.


Apartheid South Africa
Meaning "The state of being apart"
Racial segregation in South Africa during the white minority rule.
British Anti-Apartheid movement formed late 1950s.
Nelson Mandela
Born 1918
Sentenced to life imprisonment in 1964.
Released from prison in 1990
1st President of South Africa 1994-1999
Died 2013
Music
The Specials - Nelson Mandela (1984)
Robert Wyatt & the SWAPO singers - The Winds of Change (1985)
Sun City - United Against Apartheid (1985)
Public Image Ltd - Rise (1986)
Gill-Scott Heron - Johannesburg
Nelson Mandela 70th Birthday Concert
Concert held at Wembley Stadium June 11th 1988.
Artists such as Stevie Wonder, Sting, Simple Minds, Jessye Norman and Whitney Houston performed.
Broadcast all over the world, viewed by 600 million
1990, a follow up concert with Nelson Mandela in attendance, noted 1988 concert and music to be a great help to the campaign.
Falklands War
(2nd April- 14th June 1982)
Victory created surge of patriotism across country.
Also gained some cynicism among people.
Music inspired by the event
Elvis Costello & Clive Langer release "Shipbuilding" with Robert Wyatt in 1983.
Dire Straits release "Brothers in Arms" in 1982
Billy Bragg - Island of No Return (1984)
The Clash - This is England (1985)
Robert Wyatt - Shipbuilding
Opposing Forces:
Communist Party of Great Britain (1920-1991)
Red Wedge (1985-1990)
National Union of Mineworkers (1945-)
Provisional IRA (1969-1997)
Magazines:
NME
Melody Maker
Sounds
Red Wedge
Founded 1985
Led by Billy Bragg, Jimmy Somerville & Paul Weller.
Wanted to engage younger people in politics.
Wanted to steer youth towards labour in hopes of beating the conservatives in the 1987 General Election.
Conservatives win 1987 election.
Dissolved 1990.
Signature Events
Assassination Attempt
Iran-Contra Affair
Cold War Tensions
Invasion of Grenada
War on Drugs
Hardcore Punk
History of political music
The 1930s
The 1970s, the introduction of Punk music
The 1980's "Golden age"
The 1990's
Music vs the State
Exploitaion of Pop
Political music of the 21st Century

DRI - Reaganomics Killing Me
Dead Kennedy's - Bleed For Me
Reagan Youth - Reagan Youth
The Music of Thatcher's Britain
The Specials
Billy Bragg
Robert Wyatt
The Clash
Public Image Ltd
The Smiths
Morrissey
Madness
Young Marble Giants
The Jam

The Specials - Ghost Town
The Clash - Know Your Rights
Morrissey - Margaret on the Guillotine
9/11 Blacklist
AC/DC -Shoot to Thrill
The Clash - Rock the Casbah
The Doors - The End
Foo Fighters - Learn to Fly
Phil Collins - In the Air Tonight
Jimi Hendrix Experience - Hey Joe
Elton John - Rocket Man
Smashing Pumpkins - Bullet with Butterly Wings
U2 - Sunday, Bloody Sunday
R.E.M - It's the End of the World As We Know It.
Rage Against The Machine
Conclusion
Do you think musicians still protest in their songs today?
"South Africa was still not free, but the man who had become one of the great symbols of the age was out of prison, and musicians had been partly responsible." - Denselow, Robin. When The Music's Over. 1990.

"Until Mrs Thatcher, there was a general assumption that common sense would always solve all problems, but she changed Britain by bringing back ideology, and in doing that she raised everyones level of consciousness." - Peter Jenner, When The Music's Over, Robin Denslow, 1990.
Pop music and government never seen eye to eye.
Music prevented from airplay.
Attempt to censor music
Music takes on the state.
Folk and African American Blues musicians
Aunt Molly Jackson
Woody Guthrie
The 1970s

Soul Music and anti-war songs

The Sex Pistols
Rock Against Racism
The 1990s and Where We Are Now
Noel Gallagher at Downing Street
"Since 1990, Rock the Vote has revolutionized the use of pop culture, music, art and technology to inspire political activity. Now, for almost 25 years, Rock the Vote has pioneered ways to make voting easier by simplifying and demystifying voter registration and elections for young adults."
http://www.rockthevote.com/about-us

Musicians still protest through music however their messages are more hidden through their lyrics and their music videos.

A look at where we are now
"The 30 bus in Hackney, which is just around the corner from where I live, was blown up. [That song was] written when I was just observing the reactions of the mainstream press in [the UK] and I was just amazed at how easy it'd been to whip them up into a fury. ... I guess the point about the song for me is post-September 11th, the media has really traded on fear and the use of fear in controlling people."
The Specials - Nelson Mandela
Musicians still protest through song, although it is in a hidden way.
Political music no longer the most accessible outlet for getting political/protest statements across:

Social Media
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