This month, outspoken dissections of the status quo. Solid albums from musician/activists, for your favorite political animal:
HIMALAYAN PROJECT: The Middle Passage
Next level hip hop from a global perspective. Touching on political topics like immigration, religion, capitalism and global imperialism while still managing to rip the mic with the same fury that made them an underground classic in the first place. Intelligent trip-hop -- hard to pass up. Other albums by this artist: "Wince at the Sun"
ALIX OLSON: Built Like That
A feminist spoken word folk-hop extravaganza, backed by musical talents Catie Curtis and Pamela Means. Outspoken poet/activist Alix Olson spends at least 300 days out of the year on the road. Related: "Independence Meal" is Olson's latest CD.
R-THREE: Perceptual Distortion
Applied synesthesia - a melange of acoustic and electronic instrumentation.
Conceptually, "Perceptual Distortion" might be a distant relative of Chuck Palahniuk's "Fight Club" and Roger Waters' "Amused to Death"; but while it explores many of the same themes - quest for clarity, spiritual cohesion and the end of distorted perception -- this album takes the listener on a very different kind of journey.
Activist/performing group combines industrial beats with heavy funk and rock influences to deliver a hard dose of political/human reality. The issues don’t go away, so the beat goes on.
MAGDALEN HSU-LI: Fire
Acoustic/pop/alternative poetry. Hsu writes universal, personal, and political songs that resonate; an outspoken but quietly compelling musician and singer. Easygoing, breezy pop with sharp lyrics: “I've seen kinder eyes than yours behind the barrel of a gun.” Other albums by this artist: "Evolution"
ERIN SITTON: Gone by Noon
“Gone by Noon” starts off like an offbeat collection of poetry set to music – which isn’t a bad thing. Clever, twisted lyrics (“...and your house might be just a stone’s throw away/but c’mon now/when’s the last time we threw rocks?”), commenting on social connections, changing relationships, and loss. Commentary on the interpersonal, set to upbeat folky-pop riffs. Mellow post-rally musique. With bongos.
[Reviews courtesy of: CD Baby]
Find more indie artists in the July 2004 issue of "Arte Six".