Country music doesn’t deserve its right-wing reputation — its roots lie with the hopes and travails of working people.
Alexander Billet is a writer, artist, and cultural critic living in Los Angeles. His writing has appeared in Jacobin, In These Times, Chicago Review, and other outlets. He is an editor at Locust Review and blogs at To Whom It May Concern.
From Lebanon to Haiti to Chile, the world is in revolt. And the music that makes up the soundtracks to those revolts can point to a radically democratic, egalitarian, and joyful world.
A recent viral video of a homeless opera singer in Los Angeles led to a happy ending. But it’s a reminder that capitalism prevents millions of our greatest talents (and everyone else too) from reaching their immense creative potential.
Joe Biden hasn’t changed much over the years. So it’s safe to assume that the version of him that you see in a recently surfaced video threatening to jail rave promoters and destroy our right to culture is the version of him we would get in a Biden White House.
Though their time as a band was brief, the Monks represent a “what if” of the convergence between GI resistance and the 1960s counterculture.
On his life, work, and existential longing in late capitalism.
Underneath all the kitsch and marketing pomp, the Clash still have something to teach us about art as a site of struggle.
Rock concerts can’t stop the ice sheets from melting.
Ja Rule’s Fyre Festival gave us a chance to laugh at rich kids. It also told us something about modern culture.
Inappropriate campaign music is the only good campaign music.
The murder of Alton Sterling attacked the idea that public space and culture should belong to those who produce them.
Independence Day: Resurgence reflects how little vision Hollywood — and neoliberalism — have left.
The Chinese Communist Party put out a hip-hop track praising Karl Marx. It's as bad as you would expect.
Socialism will be the first absolute unleashing of creativity in human history.
It may be trite to say that Prince broke down boundaries, but that's what made his music such a revelation.
Heavy metal should not be ceded to its racist elements.
David Bowie showed that even if artists can dream, they can never fully remove themselves from the world.
Though he became a Reaganite, Frank Sinatra's early career was shaped by the Popular Front's experiments in left-wing culture.
Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis speaks to the banality of terror in a world dominated by capital.
Bono’s mission isn’t simply to provide capitalism with a human face. It’s to ruin music in the process.