|1. Can’t Turn Back||lyrics / download|
|2. The Farmer and the Dishwasher||lyrics / download|
|3. Today And Tomorrow||lyrics / download|
|4. Heroin Wars||lyrics / download|
|5. My Grandfather Fought Fascists||lyrics / download|
|6. Man I Look For||lyrics / download|
|7. Wisconsin||lyrics / download|
|8. Fulfill It||lyrics / download|
|9. See It Throughoo||lyrics / download|
|10. See It Through (Live at OWS/Zuccotti Park)oooo||lyrics / download|
I have been working for a few months now on my next album, which I hope to release by the Fall of this year. While I work on this, I have taken some demo tracks from the album and a special live at Zuccotti Park recording of See It Through and put them on a little release I’m calling Can’t Turn Back.
Below also are some videos and photos from the process of recording the new album, Today And Tomorrow. This album will be my most ambitious yet, and will include a double-CD (one studio, one live, recorded mostly in New York at Bluestockings Books), a full lyrics/liner notes booklet which will be getting translated into many languages for release in various places, artwork to include posters, and an interactive web-release that is still being developed.
[A new song called Emboldened that will appear on the album. This was filmed in the studio in Albany, NY]
I am recording the album in Albany, NY with my good friend Jory Leanza-Carey of the anarchist hiphop group Broadcast Live engineering/co-producing it. We have spent time considering places to go with the music, trying to push some of musical boundaries while maintaing a concise sound and feel. We have also brought guest artists onto it, which I will announce as the release approaches more, but be ready for some really cool stuff from them! I will also be launching a Kickstarter campaign in the coming months to help me pay for the recording time, the translations, the production of the album, and a new website that will accompany its release.
Today And Tomorrow is very much a collection of songs for the moment that we are in. My last album, Ordinary Heroes, ended with a song called Spreading Spirit, that I recorded long after the album was recorded (hence it has no fiddle on it). This was my first Arab Spring song, and I named the essay I wrote for the liner notes after it because it was essentially an expansion of that theme. Today And Tomorrow starts there, in the songs that followed, songs inspired by the spreading spirit of the Arab Spring and by a year of unbelievable protest and resistance movements erupting globally.
I knew after writing the title track this summer in Sweden, the day before Occupy Wall Street started, that I wanted to name the album after it. The song, inspired largely by George Kastiaficas’ book The Subversion of Politics, seemed to sum up some major lessons I learned recently, and the perspectives I have taken on them. “What we do today matters both today and tomorrow” sounds pretty simple, but the context behind it is huge. We may never see the results of some of the work we have done in the world, and those who fell long before our time will never know the impact they had on the world around them. But the impacts are there.
I spent a lot of time this last year confronting emotional challenges in my life and dealing with the daily stresses of work, activism, music, friends, family, and more. I then went on a long series of tours, performing over 100 shows in 15 countries since July! I experienced, learned, and thought about a lot of things on my 2-month tour of Europe and the 1-month tour of the U.S. that preceded it. I wrote many songs on this trip crammed on busses with my notebook or up-late on borrowed computers. I wrote about the Arab Spring and the global moment it has catalyzed, about feminism and patriarchy, about friends, about economics and survival, about burning out and taking care of yourself, about the Iraq war’s bitter and strange “ending,” and more. After returning home, straight to Zuccotti Park, I wrote some songs about Occupy and the explosion of protest in the U.S.
[A video of my performing Toss And Turn in New York. This performance will be the live album of Today And Tomorrow]
Today And Tomorrow will also be an attempt to pass on some hard lessons I learned in my 13 years or activism and organizing to the world. A main theme there is self-care and self-awareness, about knowing why you are taking the actions you are taking, what motivates you, what hurts you, what causes stress and struggle, and learning to figure out ways to understand those things better to better understand yourself. It’s about being where you are and knowing why, knowing that you cannot change who you were yesterday, only who you are today and who you can be tomorrow.