Playlists

Sound of Our Revolution | October 2020: The US Election

Contributed by Jonny Collins


Well this was always going to be the theme for this month. Possibly one of the most important elections in history where a literal fascist is openly trying to sabotage the election in his favour, and those who are able to vote are given the choice between the human equivalent of being stabbed in your left buttock, or the human equivalent of being stabbed in your right buttock, and your left buttock, your anus, and also the world is on fire. There is a clear lesser of two evils here, but my god the alternative doesn’t do a lot to inspire hope for the future of America and indeed the world.

Despite a seemingly obvious choice, and arguments that both not voting and voting for Biden are signs of privilege, this is a hugely tough election for everyone. Whether it’s Trump’s very blatant racism, refusal to condemn white supremacist groups, and comments against anyone who isn’t a rich white man – or Biden trying to win Hispanic voters over by playing Despacito on his mobile phone, whilst claiming that any black person not voting for Biden “isn’t black”.

If you are anyone other than a liberal white man or a racist white man, this is not an easy election for anyone. For the majority of people in America, a system overhaul is needed to even give them a chance of having their best interests represented.

But, like in the UK, they have been brainwashed into thinking this is the only way, and any other way is communism and therefore bad.

I won’t lie, the future looks fucking bleak right now – and it’s hard to make jokes about. But damn we’re gonna try, and we’re gonna have a kickass soundtrack to keep us going along the way.

The shortlist for this month’s playlist was nearly double what they usually are, and for the sake of keeping the playlists a reasonable length I did have to cut out some absolute bangers.

But, that being said, here are the songs that personally spur me on in the political mess we are currently in. A nice balance of depression, anger and rebellious spirit:

#1: Take The Power Back – Rage Against The Machine

“‘cause the circle of hatred continues unless we react
We gotta take the power back”

What better way to kick off an election? Admittedly the shit choices presented to American citizens makes this song much more of an hypothetical taking back of power than literal, but this is my go to song at any opportunity to take at least some power away from the far right. As terrible as Biden is – he is at least a few tiptoes closer to the centre than Trump and his supporters – and we really need to latch on to what little opportunity we have to make things even marginally better.

Or we could just revolt and eat all the politicians and billionaires for lunch, but that seems unlikely to happen successfully.

#2: The Guillotine – The Coup

They got the TV, we got the truth
They own the judges and we got the proof
We got hella people, they got helicopters
They got the bombs and we got the, we got the
We got the guillotine”

This is a fuckin’ tune and I will play this at any given opportunity. Again, a rebel song not about outvoting or out debating the oppressors – but just keeping it nice and simple and revolting with the aid of the guillotine. Something of an icon to us on the far left these days – symbolic of a time and event where the working class successfully stood up to oppressors and took back some control and rights from those who either didn’t care, didn’t know, or actively suppressed our livelihoods and quality of life. Newer technology and powers make the prospect of this less viable than before – but we can innovate I’m sure.

#3: Bash The Fash – Oi Polloi

Adolf Hitler himself said that the only way the rise of the German Nazi party could have been prevented was if its
Enemies had recognised it for what it was right at the start and had smashed it in its infancy with utmost force.”

Admittedly we’re a bit past nipping fascism in the bud at the start – but hopefully it is still possible to prevent more of the same by relentlessly fighting it now.

And I don’t just mean by voting. Call out bigotry and fascist apologists. Protect the marginalized against those who will do them harm. Use your white/cis/male/non-disabled privilege to protect those who need it most.

And most importantly, punch Nazis in the fucking face.

Don’t wait until they have the power and resources to inflict even more damage. Stop them now. It might already be too late, but one thing is for sure – if we leave it any longer it will definitely be too late.

#4: Electioneering – Radiohead

Riot shields
Voodoo economics
It’s life, it’s life
It’s just business
Cattle prods and the I.M.F.
I trust I can rely on your vote”

This might be a Radiohead debut on these playlists. A band who I always like more than I think I do. This track here is definitely one of their punkier and more impactful songs. Light on the lyrics, but putting across a clear satire of politicians playing the game of electioneering to get the power, whatever it takes.

They lie, they deceive, they undermine, and they kill. Promises mean nothing to them. Their only goal is to convince enough of us that they’ll do things better than someone else, and then spend the next 4-5 years engineering things to benefit themselves in the short term and setting things up to benefit them in the long term – before starting the process from scratch again.

I feel like I should end this section on a less morbid sentence. That’ll do.

#5: Make America Hate Again – Grace Petrie

Oh say, can you see
The same horrorshow as me?
In the land of liberty
For straight white men
Bring your tired, bring your poor
Huddled masses here no more
We put a fascist on the door
And made America hate again,”

832 years ago in 2016 when Trump first gained power, we were all surprised. Everyone from your everyday voter to career satirists could not predict this. It was the Brexit vote all over again.

I vowed pretty much then on to never assume we were safe in any vote. And true to that I struggle to think of an election I’ve been invested in since then that has gone my way. The closest would be when May’s majority was decimated in 2017 – but even then we hadn’t won enough to actually make an impact. We got some funny deadlocks in parliament which May had no way to override, but that’s about it.

But I digress – this song was released by the excellent Grace Petrie in 2017, and it encapsulates the sense of despair of this election better than anything except maybe Charlie Brooker’s 2016 Wipe and by extension the Casetteboy remix of Trump and Ms. Jackson by Outkast.

I try to keep these playlists upbeat, but I also recognize that pretending that negative feelings aren’t there is not the way to fight back. So here is the obligatory “Everything sucks” track on our playlist, just to keep us grounded and not lose sight of the gravity of everything right now.

#6: Uprising – Muse

Another promise, another scene, another
Packaged lie to keep us trapped in greed with all the
Green belts wrapped around our minds and endless
Red tape to keep the truth confined”

The Resistance is seen by many people as the beginning of Muse’s decline. This is because it was the beginning of Muse’s decline. Muse are an interesting band that cross genres and subcultures pretty intensely, to the point that if you’re into any kind of music at all – Muse probably has at least one track you’ll enjoy.

That being said – this song might be my favourite of all time. It’s no Knights of Cydonia, Stockholm Syndrome or Plug In Baby – but it is by far the best song in that era of Muse, and it has only gotten more relevant since its release. This song is from 2009 – just after the recession (I say ‘the’, because there’s very little chance we’ll see another one in our lifetime, right everyone? Ahahahahaahahhahaahahahah cry).

Since then all we’ve had is more lies from politicians, a culture of fake news exacerbated by the prevalence of social media, and a public rejection of “experts”. We need an uprising. Probably not brought about by Muse, as they’ve always seemed very politically vague and indecisive – but we can nick this song for our own use. I’m sure they won’t mind.

#7: Watch The Right – Anti-Flag

It’s on the radio, it’s on the TV news
Conservatives and liberals with ever clashing views
But as the days go by, I can’t tell which side is talking
Their left is in the centre and labelled “liberal doctrine””

Anti-Flag have a song for everything – and this one is perfect for an election. Your classic “They don’t care about you – liberals and conservatives are more or less the same in any given practical use – capitalism is bad”. Next.

#8: Dystopia – Megadeth

Dictatorship ends starting with tyrannicide
You must destroy the cancer at its root”

Title speaks for itself tbh. I never really know where Mustaine stands on socio-political issues. But he has some fucking bangers up his sleeves, so I’ll take it.

#9: Post Ironic Sinkhole – We Are the Union

Been starin’ at my phone for weeks
The future never seemed so bleak”

This is a song that’s just full of our internal monologues right now. Never know whether to laugh or cry at the state of things, everything is terrible, everything is ironic so nothing else, it’s an absolute headfuck and we just wanna scream into the void because whilst it doesn’t help it allows you to cling onto the sound of your own screams to ground yourself into some sense of reality.

#10: America (You’re Freaking Me Out) – The Menzingers

Oh, ain’t it a shame what we choose to ignore
What kind of monsters did our parents vote for?”

Do I need to explain this one?

#11: Change – Black Stone Cherry

We are, we are
Waiting, waiting
We keep hearin’ that a change is gonna come
It’s been too long
If it’s comin’
I wanna know where the change is coming from”

For at least the past 12 years we’ve been waiting for an actual change. Probably longer. It’s hard to keep going, and even as I’m writing this, I am overcome with a sense of dread that we’ll be stuck in this hellscape forever. It’s hard to envision things actually getting better any time soon. In fact they’ll probably get a whole lot worse. Brb, gonna scream into the void some more.

#12: Dictator – Daron Malakian and Scars On Broadway

Your politics will never corrupt me”

#13: That One Percent – The Human Project

That one percent that live above us all,
kept in power ‘til the blues do fall.
As the rich get richer, and leave the rest to rot,
itʼs the working class that foot the bill regardless if they can or not.”

Now I’m just angry at how little the richest people contribute towards society and the wellbeing of others.

#14: No More Sorrow – Linkin Park

No, No more sorrow
I’ve paid for your mistakes
Your time is borrowed
Your time has come to be replaced”

Literally don’t even know if Trump being replaced will change anything now – but I want Trump to lose purely because it’ll be really funny to have him evicted from the White House.

Remember Graham Linehan’s fall from grace? I want that to happen to Trump. I want him to fade into obscurity before dying alone. That almost certainly won’t happen – but it’s the only thought that gets me hard these days tbh, so lemme have it.

#15: Fight The Power – Public Enemy

It’s a start, a work of art
To revolutionize make a change nothing’s strange
People, people we are the same
No we’re not the same
‘Cause we don’t know the game
What we need is awareness, we can’t get careless”

I feel like if we all listened to Rappers and Punk Bands in the 80s – particularly the non-white ones – maybe we’d be in a much better place today.

#16: Gandhi Mate, Gandhi – Enter Shikari

“ I don’t think we’re supposed to sit by idle while we continue to use a long outdated system that produces war, poverty, collusion, corruption, ruins our environment and threatens every aspect of our health and does nothing but divide and segregate us.”

I relate to this song because 50% of it is just Roy Reynolds losing it and having a meltdown over trying to explain very simple concepts to right wing pricks, and honestly, it’s a fucking mood right now.

#17: A Report To The Shareholders/Kill Your Masters – Run The Jewels

Choose the lesser of the evil people, and the devil still gon’ win
It could all be over tomorrow, kill our masters and start again”

I’ll be honest, I’ve lost all will to write this blog post as the more I write the more I hate the world. This is a good song though, and our show will be good, dw. Please watch and donate if you can.

#18: Unfuck The World – Prophets of Rage

I’m the straw that broke the camel’s back
The gun in the car jack
The night stick that keeps crackin’ down
The resistance never backing down”

Okay – let’s go with something cautiously optimistic. Unfuck the World is a banger which I’ve included before, you should all know it by now. Let’s bring down the government.

#19: There’s Going To Be A Revolution – The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing

Brothers and sisters, here I call to arms
Take back this land, for the common man
All men equal, we’ll stand as one
We’ve got the numbers, we shall overcome
Let them send the army, only said we’re right
Turn on the generals and join our fight
Storm the gates, let the people power
Victory will soon be ours”

End it off with a Blizzard favourite.

Might be a fantasy – but with more and more people getting pissed off with power and specifically the Tories, the more likely a revolution attempt is, and the more likely change is to occur. Change rarely happens solely by voting. True, you do want the best person in power who will listen and respond appropriately, which Trump definitely isn’t.

But getting Biden in, in and of itself, will change very little. This is a chance for us to get the upper hand – but our job doesn’t finish in the polling booths. Spread the truth, demonstrate, protest, make your voices heard.

Blizzard Comedy commits to platforming voices that often get drowned out amongst outraged gammon and well meaning but useless liberals missing the point. If you have a platform, or privilege – use it to support those who don’t.

Most importantly, listen – some of these songs on this list are over 3 decades old. The message hasn’t changed that much. It’s about time we fucking listened to it.

Love and solidarity to you all, especially our non-white American friends right now. These are the scariest times I’ve ever had to live through, so I can’t imagine how hard it must be for you. We’ve got your back, we’re listening, we’re platforming, and we’re not going to let them win without a fight.

Tune into our next stream live at 7:30PM on the 26th October, where myself, Andrea Hubert, Jamie D’Souza, Ryan Kenny, Sam Serrano, Kirstie Summers & Thom Bee will be dissecting the news of the month and attempting to boost morale in the shittest timeline we find ourselves stuck in.

%d bloggers like this: