Somewhere in the U.S., there is a landing strip that has recently welcomed the Russian punk rock group Pussy Riot. For those of you who tuned out the Sochi Olympics where the politically charged group made their most recent stand, let me get you up to speed. The all-female and mostly anonymous musicians tried to put on a performance of their song “Putin Will Teach You How to Love the Motherland” at the Games, ending with the masked ladies being suppressed with horsewhips. Why? Because Russia has banned public protests, and that’s exactly what their song represented.
But it feels strange that lately it seems we need to import that kind of attitude. Gone are the heydays of bands like Anti-Flag and Rage Against the Machine and in are the waves of EDM challenging what we define as alternative music. Maybe it’s the lack of lyrics driving in an artist’s message, cultivating a distinctive sound now being what draws the biggest crowd.
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Though that doesn’t mean artists are content with the state of politics in the country. And they never will be since there’s no such thing as a perfect political state. It’s just that it seems easier to spread a message nowadays by becoming popular and then letting your mind free in 140 characters or less. Take Denis Jasarevic, more popularly known as Gramatik, for example. His music may be of ambiguous meaning, which isn’t a knock, after all George Clinton produced funk for the sake of funk, but he takes regularly to Facebook to explore his views on digital freedom. And among his fan base, it’s received very well.
Only a trained ear could hear the political undertones in this track
So it’s not necessarily a case of apathy spreading around the youth of this nation. It might just be that with the age of information upon us, it’s not an artist’s social responsibility to spread their “think for yourself” messages. At our fingertips, and seemingly always in our pockets, is access to a well of different ideas and philosophies infinitely deep. So maybe we just don’t need the politically charged bands anymore. It’s possible that our consciousnesses has taken the bands of yesteryear’s messages to heart, and are truly thinking for themselves