I like to mix my politics and music. I enjoy loud heavy music that often has a message that makes you think, rather than dumbed down hip hop or pop music. One thing I have noticed is the lack of mainstream Canadian music that is smart and Political. Yes, Sum 41 put a song on the anti-bush cd called moron, but they have about as much intelligence in their songs as a high school kid. But then again their music is loved by high school kids.
The best music that has positive and angry messages comes from our neighbor to the south. The toxic political atmosphere there also tends to provide a reason for bands to fight the system with their views. Here is a list of bands that I like in no particular order that are poetic, enraged, and smart in their lyrics and music.
System of a down These guys are huge, and mainstream in the metal scene. They have a sound like no other in their scene. They play at a frantic place, with songs dealing with apathy of the middle class, capitalism, and the war in Iraq. They are the band that took up the torch the Rage Against the Machine dropped when they broke up in terms of activism. I suggest you listen to Bring your own bombs as well as Hypnotise, songs that laments on the average rich, middle class, American kid, not worrying about anything except partying and having a good time, while American society is descending into a fascist state as well as a giant prison. Or Toxicity, calling for disorder and the end of the capitalist system. System are very active in social causes around the world, and their website is almost a site for political activism as it is a site about one awesome band. Being of Armenian descent, they have tirelessly worked for the increased recognition of the Armenian Genocide. And have proven to be effective ambassadors in their case.
Rise Against Rise Against are coming on strong. I have been a fan of these guys since they were on fat wreck records. Their songs are incredibly poetic, and seriously loud and aggressive in a punk sort of way. They have passion in their music unmatched in their genre, and songs like Blood, red, white and blue lament the state of affairs in the US. One their last album the sufferer and the witness. Their first single on the album (ready to fall) had an accompanying video that was a propaganda video about climate change and cruelty towards animals. These guys also walk the walk and talk the talk driving hybrid cars and being totally straight edge. The one cool thing about this band, is that their lyrics are extremely smart and not as blunt or goofy as say Green Day's American idiot. Their 2004 release Siren songs of the Counter culture was 10x's more intelligent than American Idiot, in terms of slamming the neo-cons with one song, State of the Union address. They then address the American fear mongering with the poetic "life less frightening" talking about living in a world where its not nearly as dangerous as they want you to think it is "there no war outside our head, why are we losing." I could go on and on about these guys for hours ( they are all over my ipod playlist) . But I should really let their music do the talking.
Pennywise Pennywise have been around for almost 20 years. They are the kings of the California punk scene. They are also the band that came out with songs protesting the WTO before it became the cool thing to do. Their songs are full of anger and rage, and speak through a strong voice. Their post 9/11 album from the ashes pulled no punches, and hit hard issues like dissent, media control, and overthrowing the American government. These guys are legends in the punk scene, just listen to bro hymn, waiting, WTO, and Wouldn't it be nice....
Bad Religion Bad Religion are the godfathers of modern punk music. They also have a potential theme song for the Liberal party. Everyone should listen to Kyoto now! Thats a song that talks about climate change and the oil influence. Their lead singer Greg Graffin has a PHD in Evolutionary Biology, he has even been on The Hour. Seriously, Dr Graffin is one smart guy. Their comback cd in late 2001, The process of Belief really hit home, with songs like "Sorrow", Kyoto now, and the Defence, taking a sober view in a post 9/11 period of war mongering and cheerleading. Also check out 21st century digital boy, parodying drugged up soccer moms, and lazy suburban teenage life. So good, yet so smart.
There you have it, a small list of some of my favorite political bands. I didn't include Rage because they aren't actively recording music. Here is a couple of Youtube videos, of some songs I like. Check em out.
Rise against Prayer of the Refugee
System of a Down - BYOB Bring your Own bombs
Bad Religion 21st Century digital boy