Why we all hate celebrities right now.
Alexander Billet is a writer, artist, and cultural critic living in Los Angeles. He is an editor at Locust Review and blogs at To Whom It May Concern.
Legendary singer-songwriter John Prine loved people and hated cruelty. It is a simple but beautiful motivation for music, and the world is poorer for his no longer being in it.
On a forgotten back-and-forth between Nina Simone and John Lennon.
In cities across America, housing has played a key role in maintaining and deepening inequality. Nowhere is this more so than in Los Angeles, with its homelessness crisis, soaring rents, and luxury condos. Nithya Raman’s grassroots campaign for city council is pushing back against the developers, boosters, and lobbyists that keep it this way.
What does Marxism in music look and sound like? Andy Gill, the guitarist and primary mover behind Gang of Four who died on Saturday, gave us a very good example.
Ballet and classical music shouldn’t belong to the elite. The Paris Opera’s free, outdoor performances for striking French workers point to a radical redefinition of what work, play, and the arts could be under socialism.
Country music doesn’t deserve its right-wing reputation — its roots lie with the hopes and travails of working people.
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.