Thank you for taking the time before tonight’s show to talk with me! Amendment 64 in your home state of Colorado just passed, officially legalizing the recreational use of marijuana. What do you think about this and what this means for drug policy reform at large?
I think it’s very exciting! Locally in Colorado it seems it hasn’t really changed the mentality towards marijuana because it was decriminalized already in some localities here, and basically decriminalized state-wide before. It’s a big move for the country though, and I’m hoping the federal government doesn’t interfere with the laws here or in Washington; they should listen to what the people want. I have a feeling a lot of people will end up moving to Colorado, and I can understand why; I grew up in VA where marijuana use was really heavily penalized. I mean, I want people to know about this new law and how great Colorado is overall, but it’s peaceful and quiet here so I don’t want that to get ruined either. (Laughs)
What would you say to student volunteers and activists who helped work on this initiative or to others who are working on legalization in other parts in of the country?
Thank you all SO much for your hard work. Any kind of ground support and grassroots organizing is great, and word of mouth is best way to get information out there and to build a solid following. It’s so important for voters to not just see advertisements but to hear from real people who care and know about the issues. People become much more committed to a cause when they see the battle being fought on the ground. It’s so inspiring to see what people can do when they put their minds to it. And this kind of commitment doesn’t stop with just the issue of legalizing marijuana. There are many important issues out there that we need to work together on, and to stop being afraid to rise up against corporations and the mainstream propaganda. I think this shows we are making steps in the right direction though.
How do you think the music community can influence youth to get involved in the political process?
There are many organizations out there like the AMPLIFY Project, Conscious Alliance, Rock the Vote, Head Count, and Massive Exposure for example that encourage people within the music community to get involved in the political process and I think a lot of youth are already actively working with these organizations. I encourage everyone involved in these types of organizations to keep it up, and for those not yet involved to get active. Becoming actively involved in the music community you care about encourages youth to not only look at the music that’s there but at the larger community surrounding the music, which in turn helps them to understand what it’s like to be a part of the larger global community.
I’m 31 now, and when I was 16-my early 20′s I loved jam music and wanted to get in to a million shows. So I used to actually volunteer for Conscious Alliance to get to see my favorite bands for free, and it was great; I became a part of the jam community and really loved to help out however I could and it became important for me to continue the community building process. For me and for many others in the music community now, it was that you’re a fan first and then you start thinking about making it your life and career, and how you can be a part of the bigger picture.
Many of these organizations based around music communities encouraging involvement in the political process have been strong in the jam scene for a while, but I’d really like to see more involvement from the youth in the EDM scene. The EDM scene often attracts a much younger crowd and I encourage those younger kids to realize there’s more than just the music, but that there’s this thriving community as well and they can help make it stronger.
Experimenting with drugs seems to be pretty prevalent within the EDM scene. Honestly though, the reality is that people in general do drugs, just as they have for a long time. I just want people who make that decision to be as safe as they can. That’s why I think AMPLIFY is so awesome. Not only do the volunteers make people aware of what’s going on in drug policy and offer ways to push for policy change, but during shows and at festivals your table offers people a safe place to go to have open discussions about drug use as well as information and materials to help make safer choices. AMPLIFY volunteers help people in a very direct way by offering a place to talk and cool down; of course if there’s a medical emergency you want to get someone to the hospital, but many times people who are too spun are not experiencing a life-threatening emergency and really just need a place to get grounded and for someone to tell them it’ll be ok. So really, thank you to all of the volunteers who help create this space.
We are all just as thankful to have welcomed Big Gigantic as a part of the AMPLIFY project this year, and have really enjoyed being a part of Big Gigantic’s current Uprising Tour. How has the tour been going? What have been your favorite stops so far?
The double tour has been really great. We’ve been able to hit entire country, and I can’t believe there’s only a week and a half left. One of my favorites was the sold out show at the National, in my home town of Richmond, Virginia. Others that really stick out are Kalamazoo, Michigan, being out west in Los Angeles, and Little Rock. I did have a blast getting to many smaller towns too this tour.
Well thank you so much for taking the time to talk with me today Jeremy, and have a great show tonight!
Thank you, and I look forward to seeing AMPLIFY at our shows.
Please check out the entire Peace Revolution episode 060: The Invisible Empire of The New World Order / You Can Hear It, If You Listen. This clip only highlights intraspecific kleptoparasitic Rockefellers, rational decisions, and more!
John Reynolds and Morgan Lesko record our first discussion really getting to know each others’ perspectives. This was a casual late night chat on July 25, 2012, but perhaps you’ll find value in this too.
Video and editing by Morgan Lesko for the artists, Occupy Sacramento, Wiki World Order, We Are Change, Peace Revolution, and peaceful Occupations everywhere.
Description by Brian McNally and Kimberly Sloan of Occupy Sacramento…
Occupy Sacramento invites you to an unusual night of diverse musical acts expressing in many unique ways our individuality within one unified community of many minds. See below for descriptions, bios, and links to the work of featured performers and show details. Please help us Occupy Coffee Garden and see for yourself without media filter who we are. People new to Occupy (in person) are most welcome). We promise you won’t get arrested.
FREE to ALL, but $5 Suggested Donation (no pressure!) will be solicited from the audience between acts to pay the artists.
Show starts promptly at 7:00 pm, and ends at 9:30 pm, Coffee Garden closes at 10 pm. Show will be in the outside back garden. Seating is limited and we may exceed capacity, so please arrive early. Volunteers wishing to help out with onsite arrangements – please message either one of the admins of this page.
MORE DETAILS on our PERFORMERS:
FREEDOM MOVEMENT featuring KNEEL and the STRAWMEN is a local Sacramento post hip hop group dedicated to personal freedom and financial liberation of the economically oppressed. They have performed for many community events in Sacramento focused on social justice. Influences include T-Reazy, DUC, Benner, and William Hung. Although several members are dedicated Occupy Sacramento organizers this will be their first performance at an Occupy Event. Much credit goes to Kim Sloan, Co-Producer and one of two lead organizers on the April 22nd Project for recommending and obtaining their participation. Like all our guest performers they prove that showcasing talent and an entertaining program are best achieved through a truly diverse offering of music styles. Our youngest performers on stage also invite you to check out their music tracks on FB: http://www.facebook.com/kneelandthestrawmen/app_178091127385
JOE STEVENS, SPECIAL GUEST OF THE OCCUPY
Joe Stevens, performing solo on April 22nd, is a Sacramento local now taking a break from his band of many years, Coyote Grace. He has toured from coast to coast and recorded an impressive number of CDs, mixing bluegrass, blues, soul, and southern twang into a unique sound that hovers just beyond the edge of familiar. His touring schedule is very generous to small audiences in small towns. Whether solo for Occupy Sac or with his band on tour, he combines virtuoso craft as a musician, inspirational and introspective song writing, with a humble, warm, charming and humorous stage presence. Mr. Stevens is also seriously funny on stage in between songs and knows how to break the ice with some gentle, humble humor.
“Talented and devoted musicians, Joe and Ingrid move forward into the mainstream public eye with personal integrity and a musical sound all their own. In honoring who they are, they refuse to be told who or what they should be as people. It is that candor, combined with impressive musical craftsmanship, that transcends boundaries and speaks to a wide audience.”
–Performer Magazine http://performermag.blogspot.com/2009/08/coyote-grace.html
“There’s a yearning, freight-train-hopping, propulsive energy to many of (Coyote Grace)’s songs that suggests not only an indie-band road tour, but the road to one’s true identity, a destination on a map still being written. These youthful travelers depend on the kindness of strangers and of lovers, and on their journey they’ve experienced enough joy and heartbreak to last a lifetime (…) If wholeness and grace are forms of political power, Stevens and Elizabeth are wielding it with quiet intensity, in a growing community of kindred spirits. An army of lovers cannot fail.”
– Sylvia Sukop, Huffington Post. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sylvia-sukop/transamericana-from-folk_b_424035.html
Sounds like my time in the Occupy, but you decide.
EVAN GREER (Of Riot Folk, Now on tour with Bonfire Madigan):
Evan Greer, taking time out of a busy schedule to perform for Occupy Sac, is a radical gender queer singer/songwriter, parent, and community organizer based in Boston. (S)he writes and performs high-energy acoustic songs that inspire hope, build community, and incite resistance. At 25 years old, Evan tours internationally as a musician and facilitates interactive workshops to support movements for justice and liberation. Wielding an arsenal of fiercely radical songs that vary in style from pop-punk poetry to foot-stompin’ bluegrass singalongs, Evan has been honored to collaborate, tour, and share stages with artists as musically diverse as Pete Seeger, Immortal Technique, Billy Bragg, Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine, Pamela Means, Boots Riley of The Coup, Anne Feeney, Oi Polloi, State Radio, Leftover Crack, Emma’s Revolution, The Mammals, Defiance Ohio, Holly Near, Chumbawamba, and Vicci Martinez (featured on NBC’s “The Voice”.)
Reviews: Evan Greer
“Evan Greer is an eloquent and energetic writer. (S)he reminds me of Phil Ochs.” –Howard Zinn, historian and author of A People’s History of the United States
“Evan Greer continues to write inspiring folk music in the tradition of the great protest singers. ‘Never Surrender’ contains an urgency and earnestness that is uniquely her’s…and (s)he’s a heck of a guitar player. I suspect that songs like ‘Ya Basta!’ and ‘Picketline Song’ will be heard at the barricades for years to come.”–Tom Morello, guitarist of Rage Against the Machine
“Evan feeds off the energy of the crowd, putting some of the punk back into the sound with a raw and passionate performance. Being in the crowd at an acoustic show where the kids genuinely care about the message and dance and sing along with fists in the air in a crowded basement or open performance space, is a whole different type of folk show from the typical coffee house style. It’s refreshingly alive and a striking contrast to sitting down and listening to someone singing about their feelings.”–Urban Folk, NYC
“Current folk is sometimes stereotyped as sappy, weak, and boring. Despite this contemporary betrayal, the Riot Folk collective champions the genre’s radical roots … Behind all the exclamation points and proclamations of anarchy, lies a genuine sense of revolution. The Riot Folk Collective may just re-establish folk music as a revolutionary staple.” –VenusZine
“Phenomenal activist folk!” –Pacifica Radio KPFA-FM
“Examples of modern day singers who use their music to make political points.” –MSNBC, Today.com
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