The Occuponics is a musical collaboration inspired by the energy, experience and values of the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement. Founded by musicians Paul Stein on accordion, melodica, claviola, and vocals and Stephen Carl Baldwin on guitar, percussion, and vocals, The Occuponics is inclusive, eclectic, and participatory. Paul currently anchors The Occuponics and is joined by other musical agitators.
This video captures our spirited sing out on April 22, 2012, a rainy Earth Day in Brooklyn, when people gathered around the country (and abroad) to sing This Land Is Your Land at the same time as part of Sing Out for Earth Day (organized by Hali Hammer of Occupella). Our intrepid group from Occupy/Ocupemos Sunset Park joyously sings in Mandarin, Spanish, and English in our beautiful park. Both The Occuponics and The Filthy Rotten System (the Catholic Worker band) braved the wind and rain along with Sunset Park occupiers.
This second video is the wonderful Sing Out for Earth Day compilation that captures groups of people singing This Land Is Your Land in dozens of locations throughout the US and overseas. It was exciting and uplifting to be part of it!
The Occuponics had the pleasure of providing music for Occupy’s first National Gathering, AKA #NatGat, which happened this past week in Philadelphia.
Thanks to vidographer kgosztola for recording this free form performance of the song called “#Natgat: In the City of Brotherly and Sisterly Love.” This performance was recorded the night of July 3rd, in Franklin Square. Featuring Stephen C. Baldwin on guitar and vocal, Paul Stein on melodica, and Carlos Mandelbaum (AKA David Intrator) on saxophone.
#NATGAT (City of Brotherly and Sisterly Love)
They call it NatGat In the City of Brotherly and Sisterly Love NatGat In the City of Brotherly and Sisterly Love
Down at Franklin Square In the City of Brotherly and Sisterly Love
We’re gathering there In the City of Brotherly and Sisterly Love
You need a good spot In the Quaker Friends parking lot Down at NatGat Is in the City of Brotherly and Sisterly Love Cause every hep cat Is in the City of Brotherly and Sisterly Love Down at NatGat In the City of Brotherly and Sisterly Love
It’s a vision thing In the City of Brotherly and Sisterly Love It’s imagining In the City of Brotherly and Sisterly Love Another world’s way In the City of Brotherly and Sisterly Love And a better day In the City of Brotherly and Sisterly Love
It’s not for fat cats In the City of Brotherly and Sisterly Love But it’s where it’s at In the City of Brotherly and Sisterly Love National gathering, it’s a happening In the City of Brotherly and Sisterly Love Weird weather, all together In the City of Brotherly and Sisterly Love
Yeah, it’s NatGat In the City of Brotherly and Sisterly Love It’s where it’s at, in the City of Brotherly and Sisterly Love
City of Brotherly and Sisterly Love City of Brotherly and Sisterly Love City of Love/City of Love City of Love/City of Love
Lyrics c. 2012 Stephen C. Baldwin
The Occuponics – along with The OWS Sax Man, Guitarmy and the OWS Pulse Drum Circle – provided musical support to the second annual Animal Rights Day ceremony in Union Square Park this past Sunday, June 3rd. Toward the end of our concert, it began to rain, but folks kept right on dancing, and this short video captures of the magic of dancing in the rain!
Master song parodist Dave Lippman tops himself with “Bank The Knife,” a scintillating update of the classic Kurt Weill/Bertolt Brecht song. Incidentally, Dave will be playing in Brooklyn, Friday, June 1, at the Good Coffeehouse Music Parlor, 53 Prospect Park West, Brooklyn, NY 11215. Show time is 8pm.
This past Earth Day, West Coast musicians including Occupella, Hali Hammer, Country Joe McDonald, the Freedom Song Network, and many others joined to sing Woody Guthrie’s classic “This Land is Your Land.” This song is also featured prominently in the repertoire of The Occuponics and The Guitarmy.
Hali Hammer is also working on editing a video that will capture the nationwide performance of this song on that day. The Occuponics took part in that outdoor event and successfully played even while being buffeted by a Major Northeaster, and we’ll post video of this performance (the Occupy/Ocupemos Sunset Park Sing Out for Earth Day) soon.
Braced by its success on May Day, Occupy Guitarmy made its way to Federal Hall this past Saturday to jam on the steps of the building where the Bill of Rights is housed, guarded by General George Washington. One-half of these steps has been designated by federal authorities as a “First Amendment Area,” and this small space, ringed by barricades, has been dubbed “the Freedom Cage” by demonstrators.
Here, the GUITARMY jams on a chant-oriented song loosely based on the Pointer Sisters’ 1972 hit, “I’ll Take You There.” The Guitarmy version simplifies the song to a C-F chord progression, accompanied by whatever lyrics are on protesters’ minds at the moment.
NOTE: THIS IS A FIELD VIDEO RECORDING AND WAS UPLOADED WITHOUT EDITING. The music begins about 25 minutes in.
The really cool part is when that gang of high-schoolers comes through and cheers. That truly made everyone’s day.
Occupella formed in late 2011 to add musical support to the Occupy Wall Street movement in the greater Bay Area. The Occuponics salute them and include this video showing the band in action. We fully agree with co-founder Bonnie Lockhart’s comment that the purpose of a musical group in a social movement context “isn’t going to be performing, it’s going to be about getting people to sing.”