The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. . . As our case is new, so we must think anew, and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves. – Abraham Lincoln, Dec. 1, 1862
Hey gang,
I happened to catch a bit of the Live Earth concert a few weeks ago, and it got me thinking.
I know that there are people who think that no one makes potent cultural music anymore, and that we lost music as a cultural weapon when the 60s ended. I usually hear this notion expressed when one of the old great lions produces a new album, and it usually says something about the supposed absence of political or social voices from any generation after the late 60s.
I thought it would be cool to officially “disenthrall” ourselves / debunk this notion by mentioning the bands, living or dead, that have made socially crucial and politically relevant records since the protest era. Were I to curate my ultimate concert to save the world, these bands would be on the bill for sure.
I’ll start with my top 36 (in no particular order). Please help me make the full list…
Minor Threat
Silver Jews
Black Sabbath
Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings
Elliott Smith
Casey Dienel
Caetano Veloso

Nellie McKay
Public Enemy
Joanna Newsom
Brian Eno
Lee Scratch Perry
Fiery Furnaces
Soft Boys
Robyn Hitchcock
Townes Van Zandt
Bad Brains
Gang Starr
Os Mutantes
Gillian Welch
The National
John Fahey
Diane Cluck
Talking Heads
Mark Hollis
Nina Nastasia
Gang of Four
Billy Bragg
The Clash
that’s a start, anyway.
onward and upward,


  1. Tim C
    August 08, 2007 at 7:31am
    where's U2?????
  2. Alex
    August 11, 2007 at 2:57am
    I think people are missing one of the most politicaly influenced man of the music scene, his name is Manu Chao, either solo or with Mano Negra

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