On May 24, 2014 at the anti-Monsanto Rally in Union Square, I provided disco music on the accordion for Elliot Crown and company’s exciting street theatre presentation in front of hundreds of activists. “Disco on the accordion” sounds a bit weird, but it actually worked and was a lot of fun. I will post a video as soon as it is available. Thanks to Kenny Vena for another great photo!
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!
The Occuponics’ Paul Stein was on hand this past Tuesday to provide musical accompaniment for The Tax Dodgers as they strolled around town in support of the May Day protests in New York City. At Union Square, the Dodgers were approached by Amy Goodman, of Democracy Now, and had a chance to be interviewed and perform their original song, “Take Me Out to the Tax Game.” This is the complete (slightly edited) interview of the Tax Dodgers (and of The Occuponics briefly at the end) with a transcript. Part of this interview and the complete “Take Me Out to the Tax Game” found here was a segment of the national broadcast of Democracy Now on May 2, 2012.
Also, you can find the complete May 2nd Democracy Now news broadcast on Democracy Now’s servers, along with a transcript:
I’m happy to say that the GUITARMY’s first major action this past Tuesday, May First, 2012, was a success.
GUITARMY’s seven Squad Leaders were able to deliver participating musicians safely from our point of departure (Bryant Park) to our destination (Union Square). This was a big challenge because yesterday’s march was “unpermitted,” which meant that everyone had to stay on the sidewalk and carefully heed directions issued by the NYPD, but everything went smoothly. Nobody was arrested, the music was sweet, our Guitar Medic kept people supplied with strings and picks as they broke or disintegrated, the playing was timely and tuneful, and the singing was soulful and on-key.
I can say that everybody who was a part of this felt great at the end of the day: they had mastered some classic protest songs (including Florence Reece’s iconic “Which Side Are You On”), felt more confident as players, and had experienced first hand the joy and excitement of playing music within the meaningful context of a significant protest march. It was especially important that Tom Morello was able to there supporting GUITARMY. The vast majority of musicians who’ve supported Occupy Wall Street over the winter aren’t famous and never will be, and it’s a big boost when a celebrity like Tom is there because the media pays more careful attention.
GUITARMY will be out and about again. If you’d like training as a Squad Leader, please get in touch with the group and someone will show you the ropes. You can reach GUITARMY via e-mail by sending mail to the Occupy Wall Street Music Group (firstname.lastname@example.org) and also by following them on Twitter: @owsmusicgroup. Guitarmy’s Tumbler site (which contains our set list, lyrics, chords, and other resources) is here: http://occupyguitarmy.tumblr.com/
A nice story was written on the Guitarmy’s Rehearsal Section here:
The following video from GlobalPost is very well produced and discusses Guitarmy within the context of the evolution of the Occupy Wall Street movement. The only real complaint is that one must endure a 30-second spot commercial before viewing the content.
Thanks to Vivian Cherry for creating this video and taking these photographs of The Occuponics, in Union Square, performing “Ain’t Going To Let Nobody Turn Us Around,” an old song from the Civil Rights era that we actively adapt for the era of the 99 Percent Spring. The band learned how powerful this song can be while marching with Pete Seeger back in October of 2011.
Our friend and fellow musician Carlos Mandelbaum expounds on Occupy Wall Street in this video, recorded by Allegra Culpepper, at Union Square on Saturday, March 24. You can avail yourself of more of Carlos’ thought-provoking views at his site, http://www.carnivalofideas.com.