Occupy Wall Street! Top Five Moments of Musical Protest From Hippies to Beasties
Jeff Magnum occupied Wall Street with an endless rendition of Kumbaya
Since erupting in New York City's Zuccotti Park on September 17, the #occupywallstreet movement has been taking the nation by storm with it's populist rage and youthful vigor.
One sure sign OWS is a youth movement is the increasing number of musicians and performers who have been dropping by unannounced. Rumors of a Radiohead concert proved to be untrue, but in the past few weeks occupiers have been treated to impromptu performances by rapper Talib Kweli and Neutral Milk Hotel frontman Jeff Magnum.
As Emma Goldman said: "If I can't dance to it, it's not my revolution." And so, without further ado, check the jump for some of Crossfade's favorite moments of musical protest.
5. Phil Ochs
Self-described "topical" folk singer Phil Ochs was way closer to the spirit of Woody Guthrie than that poser Bob Dylan. While the counterculture provided many an insta-demographic for whatever flower power groove tunes they were shilling, Ochs was, seriously and laboriously, always about the message. "I Ain't Marching Anymore" is one of the guitarist-singer's most beloved protest anthems, detailing the US's long history of international intervention, and how unwilling '60s youth were to be a part of that history. Shortly after the clip ends, check out the draft card BBQ.
In a five point list, the 1968 Democratic National Convention has got to occupy at least two slots. Youth culture had begun to bubble with the Civil Rights Movement and the anti-Vietnam protest circuit was also starting to heat up. But the damn kettle nearly boiled over and shot up like a geyser during the now-infamous DNC in Chicago. Among the rioting, the high-profile Left arrests, and Dan Rather getting punched in the stomach by a cop, the MC5 stopped by to kick out some jams and get the ball rolling on hippies turning into punks.
3. Dead Kennedys
Here is some excellent footage of Dead Kennedys performing at a 1984 Rock Against Reagan concert. Highlights include: a drum circle (:30), Klan masks (1:02), mohawk dude can't believe the Klan masks (1:14), and a pretty decent circle pit (3:20).
2. Fugazi and Bikini Kill
After the hippies dropped out of the cause with a tub of Cherry Garcia in-hand, punks and anarchists slowly became society's standard-bearers for civil disobedience. This footage was from a Supreme Court protest that D.C. post-punkers Fugazi performed alongside Riot Grrrl trailblazers, Bikini Kill. Punks and hippies may smell the same. But we'll take moshing to prancing any day of the week.
1. Beastie Boys
The '90s were a confusing time, one where aging millionaire Jewish rappers donned body suits and urge suburban America to somehow help them "free Tibet" from Communist China.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene with music features, additional online music listings and show picks. We'll also send special ticket offers and music promotions available only to our Music Newsletter subscribers.
More MUSIC News
- Arcade Fire’s Win Butler, AKA DJ Windows 98, Coming to Bardot Miami
- Miami Beach’s Centennial Concert: Gloria Estefan, Celeb Cameos, and Conga Lines
- Rat Bastard on the Evolution of Noise: “We Are Always Trying to Come Up with Something...
- Telekinetic Walrus Talks The Spaceship With the Heavy Bass Bump