The Occupation Will Not Be Televised

The Occupy Wall Street organization is one of the most unusual political movements in American history. While many political parties and organizations grew out of strictly social or legislative causes, Occupy Wall Street is primarily economic. This is a powerful and highly controversial group.

The group has drawn strong support from the world of music. Many major musical artists have performed at Wall Street rallies. It’s no surprise to find the music community coming together to create an ambitious project to help support the cause. Occupy This Album: A Benefit Album for The Occupy Wall Street Movement (Razor & Tie), released in May, is a four-CD set. The set includes 99 tracks (plus a hidden track) from a wide array of musicians.

It’s a wonderful collection of music accurately reflecting the frustration, hope and anger of the movement. The project is spearheaded by Long Island resident Jason Samel, the executive producer of Music for Occupy. There is also a strong New York flavor to the musical artists who participated, with many artists who either make their home in New York or who once did. Also prevalent, are artists who support progressive political causes such as Jackson Browne, Patti Smith, Willie Nelson, Ani DiFranco, Yoko Ono, Pete Seeger, Joan Baez, Steve Earle, David Crosby and Graham Nash.

Some of the highlights include Patti Smith’s live version of “People Have the Power,” The Mammals, featuring Pete Seeger on “Industrial Park,” Joan Baez with James McMurtry and Steve Earle on “We Can’t Make It Here” and Dylan Chambers with Lester Chambers on “Make A Stand.”

From a musical point of view, this is a fantastic collection of music. Economically, it’s four CDs for roughly the price of one and will raise awareness about our economy in general.