Wednesday, May 3, 2023 Cool New Music Playlist: Almost Summer 2023 

Cool New Music Playlist: Almost Summer 2023


BEST NEW ALBUM: Dropkick MurphysOkemah Rising. Follow-up to last year's This Machine Still Kills Fascists, this also uses archival Woody Guthrie lyrics matched with contemporary tunes by Dropkicks Murphys. Besides the killer single "Gotta Get To Peekskill" (feat. The Violent Femmes), there's a re-working (the "Tulsa Version") of Dropkick Murphys' original "collaboration" with Woody Guthrie's archives, "I'm Shipping Up To Boston", as first seen in Martin Scorsese's 2002 film "Gangs Of New York".

Ian Hunter. Defiance Part 1. Mott The Hoople frontman Ian Hunter has still got it!

The Mars Volta. Que Dios Te Maldiga Mi CorazonAcoustic versions of songs from last year's The Mars Volta album. 

Marty Stuart And His Fabulous Superlatives. Altitude. He played on the recent tour of The Byrds' Sweetheart Of The Rodeo and this album seems to be a reflection on The Byrds' legacy.

Y La Bamba. Lucha. Gorgeous soundscapes, mostly en Espanol.

Garbage. Witness To Your Love (EP). A Record Store Day release feat the single "Witness To Your Love", "Cities in Dust" (a Siouxsie cover), and two out-takes from No Gods No Masters (2021).

Kanaan. Downpour. Norwegian psychedelia at its best.

Robyn Hitchcock. Life After Infinity. Another instant classic.

Son Volt. Day Of The Doug (The Songs Of Doug Sahm). Record Store Day release of Jay Farrar's (Uncle Tupelo, Son Volt) tribute to Doug Sahm of The Sir Douglas Quintet and The Texas Tornadoes.

Various Artists. I Am a Pilgrim: Doc Watson at 100. Guests paying tribute to the late great master include Valerie June, Steve Earle, Jerry Douglas, Dolly Parton, and Rosanne Cash.


PJ Harvey. "A Child's Question, August" New album out in July, Here's the first single.

Tinariwen. "Kek Alghalm" New album at the end of May. This is the 2nd single.

Grian Chatten. "Fairlies". Fontaine D.C. frontman has a solo album coming out. This cool new song is the second single from the forthcoming album. The first single was "The Score".

Bush Tetras. "Things I Put Together". Punk vets reunite for cool new album. Here's the first single.

Queens Of The Stone Age. "Emotion Sickness". New album out soon.

Rob Moose feat Phoebe Bridgers. "Wasted". Phoebe's been performing this song in concert, but this is the first recorded version of it.

Sparks. "Nothing Is As Good As They Say It Is" follows the first two singles,  "The Girl Is Crying In Her Latte" (feat Cate Blanchett) and "Veronica Lake" taken from the forthcoming album by everyone's favorite demented genius brothers.

Peter Gabriel. "Four Kinds of Horses (Bright-Side Mix)" feat Brian Eno.


Soft Machine. The Dutch Lesson.

Faces. Sit Down, Get Up, Get Out (Live 1971) feat Rod Stewart, Ron Wood, Ronnie Laine, Kenney Jones, and Ian McLagan.

                                                                Mance Lipscomb

Highly Anticipated Summer Releases

Tinariwen. Amatssou. [Wedge] May 19

Various Artists. A Small Light: Songs From the Limited Series. [ABC Signature] May 23. Soundtrack feat. interpretations of standards by Angel Olsen, who does "My Reverie", Weyes Blood singing "When You're Smiling", and Sharon Van Etten performing "I Don't Want To Set The World On Fire", with actor Michael Imperioli contributing a spoken word segment.

Kevin Morby. More Photographs: A Continuum. [Dead Oceans] May 26

Sparks. The Girl Is Crying In Her Latte. [Island] May 26. Pure Pop Classic!

Bully. Lucky For You. [Sub Pop] June 2

Ben Harper. Wide Open Light [Chrysalis] June 2

Bob DylanShadow Kingdom [Columbia] June 2. The soundtrack of last year's concert film of the same name. Dylan reworks some of his all-time classics.

Queens Of The Stone Age. In Times New Roman... [Matador] June 16

Grian Chatten. Chaos For The Fly. [Partisan] June 30. Fontaines D.C. frontman's debut solo album.

PJ Harvey. I Inside The Old Year Dying. [Partisan] July 7

Bush Tetras. They Live In My Head. [Wharf Cat] July 28

Various Artists. Playing For The Man At The Door: Field Recordings From Mack McCormick, 1958-1971. Feat. Lightnin' HopkinsMance Lipscomb, and other classic recordings. [Smithsonian Folkways] August 4


You may also be interested in:

"Gotta Get To Peekskill": Woody Guthrie's 1949 Confrontation with the KKK at a Paul Robeson Concert Becomes a 2023 Dropkick Murphys Song

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Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Why Do Some "Leftists" Align With The Far-Right To Support Putin's Invasion of Ukraine?

We all saw it at the Pro-Putin Anti-Ukraine Rally in February in DC.

It is a weird coalition, fans of people like Scott Ritter & Tara Reade - the far-right, some Libertarians, Ron Paul fans, LaRouche cultists... & some confused doctrinaire (tankie) members of the authoritarian left to form a great Red/Brown alliance of far-right & far-left. This has always been Dugin's Dream.

Code Pink, Roger Waters, Robert Kennedy Jr., etc still think they are 'leftists", even when they support autocrats, reactionaries, and fascists.

Sidney Blumenthal was a Clinton insider who was an early spreader of the racist birther conspiracy theory against Barrack Obama (on behalf of Hillary Clinton) in 2008. Interesting that he spread lies for money, just like his son Max Blumenthal, who lies professionally on behalf of Putin. Armchair psychologists will have to examine how the son of a Clinton insider lands up working for Putin, but, there it is. Max was at the famed RT banquet in Moscow featuring Putin, the stars of RT, Michael Flynn, and Jill Stein.

Max Blumenthal & Aaron Mate (who just got a "journalism" award from Ben Cohen of Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream) think they are leftists, but they support Assad, deny his gas attacks & support Putin's invasion of Ukraine. Their Syria position is simply to support Putin. Same as cheering for anti-Macron rioters in France - it's really support for Le Pen & Putin.

It's a real mystery why anyone who considers themselves left, progressive, or radical would support Putin's invasion of Ukraine. Some of them simply support whoever is opposed to the US, UK, and Europe. Others seem to think Putin and Assad are somehow "progressive", "populist", socialist, or anti-(((Globalist))). And there are some, like Matt Taibbi & Glenn Greenwald. It seems certain that one day we'll learn they had compromising material on them, and/or they got paid millions of dollars.

Scott Ritter has a problem he can't control which makes him untrustworthy, especially around minors. He also says the quiet part out loud. He's blatantly pro-war and pro-Putin. He didn't get the memo that the Red/Brown team is supposed to be anti-war and Russia is supposed to want a ceasefire & peace. But "Peace" to them means Ukrainian surrender. Supporting Ukraine to them means you court WWIII and nuclear war. They forget that Putin started this war & can end it tomorrow by withdrawing his troops & stopping the bombing.

But these confused "leftists" land up supporting some really fringe characters like Gonzalo Lira aka Coach Red Pill (misogynist, anti-semite, supporter of Pinochet, Putin & Trump) & fascists like Jackson Hinkle & Chuck Johnson.

But we've been here before...

The more you hear about the 1930s Holodomor, the show trials, and the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, etc., the more you have to wonder why and how The Allies thought Stalin would make a trustworthy ally in the fight against Nazism.

Of course, in the 1930s and 40s, they had their "tankie" defenders of Russia, just like we do today. New York Times Moscow bureau chief Walter Duranty whitewashed the Holodomor famine and Stalin's show trials time and time again, clearing the path for Stalin to be our ally instead of our rival. Those tankies back then could at least claim to be supporting would socialism. What do today's tankies support?

Some of it seems to be pro-Russian muscle memory from the old days (see Roger Waters) but the rest seems like "Blame America First" and an obsession with not having a "unipolar" world dominated by the United States. As Anarchists, we can easily criticize imperialism, whether its origin is U.S., UK, Russian, Chinese, or other. These tankies seem to only criticize Western imperialism.

But Russia is no longer officially communist or socialist. China is, but in practice is more like state capitalism. For the tankies, maybe a country just being a dictatorship is good enough for them. Of course Putin & Crew all started off as members of the CP in good standing... Putin was even KGB...

Yeah, what do Putin and Co. call themselves these days? Neo-liberals? State Capitalists?Orthodox Christian Ethno-nationalists? Anti-woke (Anti-LGBTQ)/Anti-(((Globalist))) Populists? Or maybe just good old fashioned Kleptocrats..

Monday, April 17, 2023

Cool "New" Beatles Song: "Now & Then"

"Now & Then" is a John Lennon solo demo he recorded in 1978 that the three (at the time) surviving Beatles worked on in 1995 for possible inclusion on Beatles Anthology series along with the other "new" songs, "Free As A Bird" and "Real Love". Reportedly work was scrapped in 1995 after two days in the studio with producer Jeff Lynne, largely because George Harrison didn't think there was enough to work with from the demo. It sounds fine now though, and the video is cool too. Many fans have heard of this song but never heard it. Until now.

Sunday, April 2, 2023

"Gotta Get To Peekskill": Woody Guthrie's 1949 Confrontation with the KKK at a Paul Robeson Concert Becomes a 2023 Dropkick Murphys Song

From the forthcoming album from Dropkick MurphysOkemah Rising [Dummy Luck Music] out May 12, 2023. Follow-up to last year's This Machine Still Kills Fascists, this also uses archival Woody Guthrie lyrics matched with contemporary tunes by Dropkicks Murphys. "Shipping Up To Boston" (used in "Gangs of New York" and last week as President Biden's walk-on musical at an event in Co. Mayo, Ireland) was the first time Dropkick Murphys drank from the Guthrie well. Famously, Billy Bragg and Wilco previously mined Guthrie's lyrics for Mermaid Avenue (1998) and New Multitudes (2006) (feat Jim James & Jay Farrar) did the same. Indeed, Woody lives, well into the 21st century. May the gods be praised!

Gotta Get To Peekskill

Big boat, little boat, whistle and pound
Little wheel, big wheel, roll on the ground
I'll have to ride like the bald eagle flies
I gotta get to Peekskill, break a leg or die

Break a leg or die, boys
Break a leg or die
Take a sled and slide, gals
Take a wing and fly
Walk in that gate when the daylight breaks
I gotta get to Peekskill, break a leg or die

Eight days ago those 'Klookluxers' come
Beatin' folks around and drink a sip of blood
When Paul sings tomorrow
Those Goon Thugs will try
I gotta get to Peekskill, break a leg or die

Break a leg or die, boys
Break a leg or die
Take a sled and slide, gals
Take a wing and fly
Walk in that gate when the daylight breaks
I gotta get to Peekskill, break a leg or die

I'll follow the new trail of blood on the ground
In through the gate, and mill with the crowd
I just got a feelin' that blood's gonna fly
I gotta get to Peekskill, bread a leg or die

Break a leg or die, boys
Break a leg or die
Take a sled and slide, gals
Take a wing and fly
Walk in that gate when the daylight breaks
I've gotta get to Peekskill, break a leg or die

Break a leg or die, boys
Break a leg or die
Take a sled and slide, gals
Take a wing and fly
Walk in that gate when the daylight breaks
I've gotta get to Peekskill, break a leg or die

Eight days ago those 'Klookluxers' come
Beatin' folks around and drink a sip of blood
When Paul sings tomorrow
Those Goon Thugs will try
I gotta get to Peekskill, break a leg or die

Break a leg or die, boys
Break a leg or die
Take a sled and slide, gals
Take a wing and fly
Walk in that gate when the daylight breaks
I gotta get to Peekskill, break a leg or die

Paul Robeson

Cool, New Music: ThisSmallPlanet Spring 2023 Music Playlist

Peekskill riots (Wikipedia)

The Peekskill riots took place at Cortlandt Manor, New York in 1949. The catalyst for the rioting was an announced concert by black singer Paul Robeson, who was well known for his strong pro-trade union stance, civil rights activism, communist affiliations, and anti-colonialism. The concert, organized as a benefit for the Civil Rights Congress, was scheduled to take place on August 27 in Lakeland Acres, just north of Peekskill.

Robeson had given three earlier concerts in Peekskill without incident, but in recent years Robeson had been increasingly vocal against the Ku Klux Klanand other forces of white supremacy, both domestically and internationally. Robeson specifically made a transformation from someone who was primarily a singer into a political persona who vocally supported, what were at the time considered, "communist" causes, including the decolonization of Africa, anti-Jim Crow legislation, and peace with the USSR. Robeson had also appeared before the House Committee on Un-American Activities to oppose a bill that would require communists to register as foreign agents and, just months before the concerts in 1949, he had appeared at the Soviet-sponsored World Peace Conference in Paris. Referring to the growing tensions between the USA and the USSR, he stated:

We in America do not forget that it was the backs of white workers from Europe and on the backs of millions of blacks that the wealth of America was built. And we are resolved to share it equally. We reject any hysterical raving that urges us to make war on anyone. Our will to fight for peace is strong...We shall support peace and friendship among all nations, with Soviet Russia and the People's Republics.

What came over the wires to news agencies via the AP in the United States was as follows,

We colonial peoples have contributed to the building of the United States and are determined to share its wealth. We denounce the policy of the United States government which is similar to Hitler and Goebbels.... It is unthinkable that American Negros would go to war on behalf of those who have oppressed us for generations against the Soviet Union which in one generation has lifted our people to full human dignity.

Later examination of time records showed that the AP dispatched this fabricated version on its wires as Robeson began speaking.The comment was not investigated by the American press for its veracity and there was nationwide condemnation of Robeson. In the early stages of the Cold War and its accompanying wide anti-communist sentiments in the West, this statement was seen by many as very anti-American. The local paper, the Peekskill Evening Star, condemned the concert and encouraged people to make their position on communism felt, but did not directly espouse violence. The riots were explicitly racist, with the rioters shouting racist terms for African Americans and Jews, burning crosses, and lynching effigies of Robeson both in Peekskill and in other areas of the United States

The concert, organized as a benefit for the Civil Rights Congress, was scheduled to take place on August 27 in Lakeland Acres, just north of Peekskill. Before Robeson arrived, a mob of locals attacked concert-goers with baseball bats and rocks. The local police arrived hours later and did little to intervene. Thirteen people were seriously injured, Robeson was lynched in effigy, and a cross was seen burning on an adjacent hillside. The concert was then postponed until September 4. Following the concert, request for Klan memberships from the Peekskill area numbered 748 persons.

Robeson's longtime friend and Peekskill resident, Helen Rosen, who had agreed to collect Robeson at the train station, had heard on the radio that protesters were massing at the concert grounds. Robeson drove with Rosen and two others to the concert site and saw marauding groups of youngsters, a burning cross on a nearby hill and a jeering crowd throwing rocks]and chanting "Dirty Commie" and "Dirty Kikes." Robeson made more than one attempt to get out of the car and confront the mob but was restrained by his friends.

The media were flooded with reactions and charges. The Joint Veterans Council of Peekskill refused to admit any involvement, describing its activities as a "protest parade...held without disorder and...perfectly disbanded." Peekskill police officials said the picnic grounds had been outside their jurisdiction; a state police spokesman said there had never been a request for state troopers. The commander of Peekskill Post 274 of the American Legion stated: "Our objective was to prevent the Paul Robeson concert and I think our objective was reached."

Following a meeting of local citizens, union members, and Robeson supporters who formed The Westchester Committee for Law and Order, it unanimously was determined that Robeson should be invited back to perform at Peekskill. Representatives from various left wing unions - the Fur and Leather Workers, the Longshoremen and the United Electrical Workers - all agreed to converge and serve as a wall of defense around the concert grounds. Ten union men slept on the property of the Rosens, effectively guarding it. A call was put out by the Emergency Committee to Protest the Peekskill Riot. On Tuesday, August 30, an overflow crowd of 3,000 people assembled peacefully and without incident at the Golden Gate Ballroom in Harlem to hear Robeson speak,

I will be loyal to America of true traditions; to the America of the abolitionists, of Harriet Tubman, of Thaddeus Stevens, of those who fought for my people's freedom, not of those who tried to enslave them. And I will have no loyalty to the Forrestals, to the Harrimans, to the WallStreeters... the surest way to get police protection is to have it very clear that we'll protect ourselves, and good!... I'll be back with my friends in Peekskill...

The rescheduled September 4, 1949 concert was free from violence, but marred by the presence of a police helicopter overhead and the flushing out of at least one sniper's nest. The concert was located on the grounds of the old Hollow Brook Golf Course in Cortlandt Manor, near the site of the original concert. 20,000 people showed up. Security was organized by the Communist Party and Communist-dominated labor unions. The men were directed by the Communist Party and some unions to form a line around the outer edge of the concert area and were sitting with Robeson on the stage. They were there to fight any protestors who objected to Robeson's presence. They effectively kept the local police from the concert area. The musicians performed without incident.

Robeson's accompaniment was provided by Larry Brown.

The aftermath of the concert, however, was far from peaceful. After some violence to south-going buses near the intersection of Locust Avenue and Hillside Avenue,[25] Hillside Avenue having since been renamed Oregon Road,[26] concertgoers were diverted to head northward to Oregon Corners and forced to run a gauntlet miles long of veterans and their families, who threw rocks through windshields of the cars and buses. Much of the violence was also caused by anti-Communist members of local Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion chapters. Standing off the angry mob of rioters chanting "go on back to Russia, you niggers" and "white niggers", some of the concertgoers and union members, along with writer Howard Fast and others assembled a non-violent line of resistance, locked arms, and sang the song "We Shall Not Be Moved." Some people were reportedly dragged from their vehicles and beaten. Over 140 people were injured and numerous vehicles were severely damaged as police stood by.

Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie

One car carried Woody GuthrieLee HaysPete Seeger, Seeger's wife Toshi, and his infant children. Guthrie pinned a shirt to the inside of the window to stop it shattering. "Wouldn't you know it, Woody pinned up a red shirt," Hays was to remember.[29] Seeger used some of the thrown rocks to build the chimney of his cabin in the Town of Fishkill, New York, to stand as a reminder of the incident.[30]

Eugene Bullard

Eugene Bullard, the first black combat pilot and decorated World War I veteran, was knocked to the ground and beaten by the mob, which included white members of state and local law enforcement. The beating was captured on film and can be seen in the 1970s documentary The Tallest Tree in Our Forestand the Oscar-winning, Sidney Poitier-narrated documentary Paul Robeson: Tribute to an Artist. Despite recorded evidence of the beating, no one was prosecuted for the assault. Graphic photos of Eugene Bullard being beaten by two policemen, a state trooper and concert-goer, were published in The Whole World in His Hands: A Pictorial Biography of Paul Robeson, by Susan Robeson.

Protests afterward

Following the riots, more than 300 people went to Albany, New York to express their indignation to Governor Thomas Dewey, who refused to meet with them, blaming communists for provoking the violence. Twenty-seven plaintiffs filed a civil suit against Westchester County and two veterans' groups. The charges were dismissed three years later.

Reactions in the U.S. House of Representatives

Following the Peekskill riots, Democratic House Representative John E. Rankin of Mississippi condemned Robeson on the house floor. When Republican New York Congressman Jacob Javits spoke to the United States House of Representatives, deploring the Peekskill riots as a violation of constitutional guarantees of freedom of speech and free assembly,[33] Rankin replied angrily: "It was not surprising to hear the gentlemen from New York defend the Communist enclave." Rankin said that he wanted it known that the American people are not in sympathy "with that Nigger Communist and that bunch of Reds who went up there." On a point of order, American Labor Party House Representative Vito Marcantonio protested to House Speaker Sam Rayburn that "the gentlemen from Mississippi used the word 'nigger.' I ask that the word be taken down and stricken from the RECORD inasmuch as there are two members in this house of Negro race." Rayburn claimed that Rankin had not said "nigger" but "Negro" but Rankin yelled over him saying "I said Niggra! Just as I have said since I have been able to talk and shall continue to say." Speaker Rayburn then defended Rankin, ruling that "the gentlemen from Mississippi is not subject to a point of order...referred to the Negro race and they should not be afraid of that designation." Then Democratic Representative Edward E. Cox of Georgia denounced Robeson on the House floor as a "Communist agent provocateur."


Within a few days, hundreds of editorials and letters appeared in newspapers across the nation and abroad by prominent individuals, organizations, trade unions, churches and others. They condemned the attacks and the failure of Governor Dewey and the State Police to protect the lives and property of citizens as well as called for a full investigation of the violence and prosecution of the perpetrators. Despite condemnation from progressives and civil rights activists, the mainstream press and local officials overwhelmingly blamed Robeson and his fans for "provoking" the violence. Following the Peekskill riots, other cities became fearful of similar incidents, and over 80 scheduled concert dates of Robeson's were canceled.

On September 12, 1949, in response to Robeson's controversial status in the press and leftist affiliations, the National Maritime Union convention considered a motion that Robeson's name be removed from the union's honorary membership list. The motion was withdrawn for lack of support among members. Later that month, the All-China Art and Literature Workers' Association and All-China Association of Musicians of Liberated China protested the Peekskill attack on Robeson. On October 2, 1949, Robeson spoke at a luncheon for the National Labor Conference for Peace, Ashland Auditorium, Chicago, and referred to the riots.

Legacy and reconciliation ceremonies

In recent years, Westchester County has gone to great lengths to make amends to the survivors of the riots by holding a commemorative ceremony, at which an apology was made for their treatment. In September 1999, county officials held a "Remembrance and Reconciliation Ceremony, 50th anniversary commemoration of the 1949 Peekskill riots." It included speakers Paul Robeson, Jr., folk singer Peter Seeger and several local elected officials.

The Peekskill riots in fiction

  • The Peekskill riots appear in E. L. Doctorow's novel The Book of Daniel. Paul Isaacson (a fictionalized version of Julius Rosenberg) leaves the bus to reason with the mob, and is beaten up by them.
  • The riots figure prominently in T.C. Boyle's World's End. The protagonist's adoptive parents serve as local, assistant organizers of the concert (alias of "Peterskill" riots within the book).
  • In George Mandel's Flee the Angry Strangers, published in 1952, there is brief mention of the riots.
  • In Ring Lardner Jr.'s The Ecstasy of Owen Muir (1954), there is an extensive segment concerning the incidents at Peekskill.

Peekskill in Recordings & On Film