NSA Listening Party started with the writing of charity case’s song “the only one,” and with these lyrics:
they’ve got my calls and letters recorded since i was born
sometimes i say ‘hello’ or write them but they never write back
they’ve got all kinds of ways to make you think you’re the only one
and i won’t be the only one
We wondered: who else would join us in a musical reaction to the Snowden leaks and the beginning of the unmasking of the surveillance state?
With Brooklyn For Peace, we found 14 artists, all but 2 Brooklyn-based.
We wanted the content and attitude and perspective of the album to be true to Roger Waters’ promise: “If I’m in I’ll tell you / What’s behind the wall.” If you find out even an inkling of what’s happening, let everyone know.
Giosafari affirms the role of the artist in his song “Sing At the Top of Your Lungs”:
What’s the reason in the schools the arts are first to go?
Well, you know, it’s we the artists’ job always to show
the way things are; we artists must choose never to ignore
the violence, incompetence, injustice, endless war.
John Munnelly sings of the mental madness of being held back from knowledge:
Life today has too much dis-information
distract and distort from the ills in our nation
feel dis-empowered, have a sense of frustration
‘bout things they don’t want us to know
Dave Lippman seems confident and hopefully not quixotic in his tribute “The Interdictedcalle”:
Arise ye pris’ners of surveillance
Arise phone callers of the earth
For Google swipes your information
Of privacy there is a dearth
And Spiritchild is on lyrical fire with “Surveillance Society (Free Tarek)”:
Beyond tap phones and emails.
Coded text red flags And details.
They don’t need that.
They’ll take your grandma if she utters the fact “something wrong” Handcuffs slap clap.
. . . . .
We good at letter writing we good at freedom fighting.
This song is my post card stamped delivered.
We can’t say how many musical genres are on this compilation: jazz, rock, pop, raram, folk, rap, hip-hop, balkan folk, traditional, antifolk, indie, psychedelic . . .
Hey Kids, what do you say?
We don’t want to live – in a surveillance state.
Limited Edition CD available
suggested donation $2 – $5
to obtain a copy of the CD please email
artists [at] brooklynpeace dot org
if you cannot make a donation but want a copy
please contact us or you can stream here
not all album tracks are available online
but the webpage has non-album:
outtakes music video links &.!
Newsletter – Arts & Culture News September 2014
Some excerpts from our monthly newsletter! Read the entire newsletter here and subscribe to keep up to date on all that’s happening with our Arts & Culture Committee.
what arts & culture is up to
Emily Mendelsohn an A&C member who is currently working on a new project in her own words: “I’m pleased to announce the launch of my Hatchfund fundraising campaign in support of upcoming US/Ugandan exchange and theater performance, Maria Kizito. We will be partnering with ArtSpot Productions to finish developing Erik Ehn’s play in New Orleans, performing November 14-16 and 21-23.
‘She’s a Palestinian’ is a collaboration between A&C member Charity Case and a myriad of photographers who made a music video for the song possible. Hundreds of pictures of protests and demonstrations in solidarity with Palestine.
Scheduled to be released in October, our compilation album is called NSA Listening Party and was conceived of and some of the songs composed in response to the Edward Snowden leaks and the culture of surveillance.
A&C favorite Gio Safari has just released Gio Safari Does NYC, self-described as being ‘the product of his struggle to make a name for himself and his work in the heart of empire.’ GS has a song on A&C upcoming compilation NSA Listening Party.
Another contributor to the A&C compilation, Irka Mateo, has released Vamo A Goza, a new single from her upcoming album. So good.
a&c news and beyond
Organic for the People is Al-Jazeera’s article about the farming project at United Community Centers, which A&C and BFP have worked with in the past. Good reading.