Feeling Gezelligheid on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, December 2012

With the exception of maybe Bruce Springsteen, there is no musician I enjoy seeing live more than Andrew Bird, whom I’ve been fortunate enough to see play at least a half-dozen times over the past ten years throughout New York City. Each performance is a real show for the senses— attendees are not only treated … Continue reading Feeling Gezelligheid on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, December 2012

Politics and Protest in Springsteen’s “Born in the U.S.A.”

By: Joanna Smolko (Athens, Georgia) // “I liked Springsteen before he became political,” a friend of mine commented on Springsteen’s performance at the 2009 Super Bowl. But in actuality, Springsteen has always been political. From the outset, he infused his music with elements of working class identity: unions and families, steel and rust, coal and … Continue reading Politics and Protest in Springsteen’s “Born in the U.S.A.”

Bruce Springsteen, Woody Guthrie, and Pete Seeger: “This Land Is Your Land”

By: Joanna Smolko (Athens, Georgia) // On January 18, 2009, Pete Seeger and Bruce Springsteen sang together at We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial, accompanied by Seeger’s grandson Tao Rodríquez-Seeger and a choir. Seeger invited the crowd to sing along, reflecting his lifelong commitment to group singing; even in staid … Continue reading Bruce Springsteen, Woody Guthrie, and Pete Seeger: “This Land Is Your Land”

Joe Hill Returns: Labor Movements and Protest Music

In 2011, singer Joan Baez performed the song “Joe Hill” for a Veteran’s Day rally sponsored by Occupy Wall Street, a movement that began in New York City that same year in response to widespread financial corruption at banks and corporations. Baez has long been known for her work as an activist; although she might be new to younger generations, her voice is still respected at protests.