I’d like to say this is true. It hasn’t looked that way for quite a while. The only way to make it true is to organize.
Click here to watch Boots Riley’s extended interview on Democracy Now! I’m glad he was interviewed and given time on DN!, but it’s a shame most people will miss seeing this second part, because it wasn’t aired. It’s only available on the DN! website as an extended interview.
The first part was important because it got the story out about his cousin and introduced Boots to people who had had never heard of him. Unfortunately, it was rushed and it didn’t give people a chance to fully see what he has to offer politically or musically. He didn’t choose one of his best rhymes (which, even more unfortunately, he flubbed) and the interview just didn’t communicate enough about Riley’s knowledge and experience.
In this extended piece, he has time to relax and tell his story – and surprisingly, he ends-up giving a great analysis of the left that many on the left don’t want to hear. It’s not a total analysis, but it gets to crux of the problem. He also gives a much better performance of a much better song. And there’s even more good stuff in there. So, as they say, watch and learn…
“This is what I really would love to have in my music: presence. You know, as long as I can live. I mean I don’t care about nothing I played yesterday if I can go home right now and write some music that, is a presence. You know? That’s why they have machines, you know, so, if you want the past, there’s a machine that’s got the past. Right there, you know…which I think is very good, you know; so therefore, that means we as human beings can be in the present.”
Randy is often a satirical songwriter. This one doesn’t contain much at all.
I don’t want to pick apart the song too much, but he does skip right over the genocide of millions of native peoples, and then there’s that slavery thing – and that was just for starters; so, you know, add it all up and it kind of undermines the argument. That being said, I think you will see, by the end of the song, he knows what time it is…
Also, when you add it up, the guy is a gifted artist. I can’t post it, but find the big playlist and have a listen.
And I ask you, how many pop artists have written a Faust musical?
This was the cast on the CD:
Devil: Randy Newman
Lord: James Taylor
Henry Faust: Don Henley
Angel Rick: Elton John
Margaret: Linda Ronstadt
Martha: Bonnie Raitt