Where is the generation of singer/songwriters singing about the service economy the way artists like Bruce Springsteen nostalgically covered the blue collar worker or Woody Guthrie on Americana?

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Chris Aldrich

I'm a biomedical and electrical engineer with interests in information theory, complexity, evolution, genetics, signal processing, IndieWeb, theoretical mathematics, and big history. I'm also a talent manager-producer-publisher in the entertainment industry with expertise in representation, distribution, finance, production, content delivery, and new media.

13 thoughts on “”

  1. @chrisaldrich I’m with you, I’d love to hear some more political songs in general – it’s surprising that with union support on the rise and social justice being so central to the cultural conversation they don’t seem to have made it into the songwriters’ repertoire (at least in the genres I listen to 🤷‍♀️) I’ve heard some Bruce covers I liked recently – so maybe his work’s resonating – but not original material. A friend was just texting me Peter Paul and Mary union songs 😂 Newest I could come up with was a Colin Meloy side project that covered an 1800s union song Blackleg Miner in 2017 🤷‍♀️ And Depeche Mode’s 2016 Where’s the Revolution 😂 🤦‍♀️

    I recently saw someone positing that music is less culturally important and shared today than the seventies – that people now listen to music on their own mostly, and don’t talk about it with their friends the same way they do TV shows. That does match with my experience post college – shared music only seems connected to live shows and mixtape culture has died out. My impression is that a lot of listening now is background for work or workouts. Could be some connection between what music people are writing and how people are listening / what they’re interested in listening to 🤷‍♀️

  2. @tracydurnell No question that music has less social force now. In my teen years in the late 1960s it was a central part of our lives. On the other hand, most of the message, such as it was, was in support of sexual liberation and content-free nonconformity. I can remember when a new Jefferson Airplane album came out, and a group of us got together at someone’s house to sit and listen to the whole album together. I can’t imagine that happening now.

  3. @tracydurnell @chrisaldrich I think there’s likely more out there than is readily apparent. Back in May I found this folksy labor music by Memphis-based musician Pink Willams: Country Songs for a Broken Country. Not really recent but Utah Phillips and Ani DiFranco did 2 amazing albums together about labor, history, IWW, anarchism. All of the albumbs by Chumbawamba were fantastic on political/labor content. Rage Against the Machine back in the 90s.

  4. @Denny the track titles on that album are amazing 😂

    I’ve been listening to a bunch of Rage Against the Machine lately, but it is 30 years old at this point 😉

    I’m sure there is protest and labor music being written now, it’s just not making it to me. Could be I’m not paying enough attention to the lyrics, or the genres I listen to most are less interested 🤷‍♀️

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