Tom Morello: The Nightwatchman

Tom Morello: The Nightwatchman

Tom Morello: The Nightwatchman

World Wide Rebel Songs

New West

Tom Morello’s music, be it with Rage Against The Machine or his alter image The Nightwatchman, never strays too far from politics. On World Wide Rebel Songs he goes all out and makes an album full of protest songs. Hell, you could hear Pete Seeger performing these on banjo in Washington Square in the 1940s.

Only thing different would be, somebody would notice.

This is a great album full of Morello’s frantic guitar style — unlike the other Nightwatchman records, it’s pretty much full electric. It features rousing anthems a la Rage, such as “Black Spartacus Heart Attack Machine” or “Save the Hammer For The Man,” which features Ben Harper, so the problem isn’t the message, it’s the medium (kids, go ask your parents or Google about Marshall McLuhan).

As I write this review, a protest is going on in the financial center of New York called “Occupy Wall Street.” Heard of it? Seen any coverage — other than negative — in your cable news or newspapers? Probably not. Nope, you’re sending Tweets about the Facebook redesign or, if you’re political at all, forwarding Palin gossip. By and large our national discourse is solely trivial, by design. It’s called misdirection, and magicians, media, and sleazy hucksters, aka big business, have been doing it so long it now looks commonplace.

Tom Morello should put on a blonde wig and claim someone stole his kids, maybe then he’d get some time on CNN. Nope, protest music doesn’t sell in this country. Let someone else have Arab Spring. We’ve got Dancing with the Stars.

Tom Morello: nightwatchmanmusic.com

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