Friday, October 14, 2011

Occupy Wall Street Needs Musicians!

This is a formal invitation - no, more of a call to arms - for any and all recording artists who are passionate about social justice, on behalf of the protestors at Occupy Wall Street. My name is Jason Feldstein (a.k.a. DJ Tikkun Olam), and I'm a DJ from Pittsburgh who specializes in playing music about racism, feminism, self esteem and sociopolitical issues. I'm organizing a benefit concert to support and inspire the protesters, and also to bring greater awareness of what the message is (and how widespread support it has).

If I sent you this page via Twitter, it means I love your music and respect your integrity as an artist, for telling the truth in your music even when it might have cost you flak from your fans or the media. Please join me - especially the folk singers among you - in standing with the protesters until we see real change in this country and the world. Now is the time; the revolution is here. Please don't miss it.

I've written the following on behalf of Occupy Wall Street. My parents raised me on the Beatles and Peter, Paul & Mary, and I believe in peace and equality as passionately as any of you. While I'm not physically in New York, I'm with the protesters in spirit, and I know they will support my words:

As avid fans of your music, we call upon artists who support social justice such as Lady Gaga, the Dixie Chicks, Peter Yarrow, Paul Stookey, Yusuf Islam, Ani Difranco, Dar Williams, Chumbawamba, Immortal Technique, Beyonce, Melissa Etheridge, Sheryl Crow, En Vogue, Aretha Franklin, the Indigo Girls, Eric Clapton, Bette Midler, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Annie Lennox, Joan Baez, Nick Cave, Joni Mitchell, Kula Shaker, Eminem, Enya, U2, The Dandy Warhols, David Bowie, Depeche Mode, System of a Down, Too Much Joy, They Might Be Giants, Janet Jackson, Ferron, Elton John, Barbra Streisand, Jian Ghomeshi, and Jedi Mind Tricks to publicly stand with us to support positive sociopolitical change. We mourn the recent passing of such pioneers as Michael Jackson, Mary Travers and George Harrison, who should have lived to see this movement; you were true artists who helped to show society its dark side (as any good artist should). We miss you, but we'll carry on your work for as long as it takes.

All of you, living or not, are the ones who inspired us to do what we're doing. We love you. We need you to use your fame to help our message reach the whole world.

Please help by coming to perform for us in New York.
Please help by releasing your music under Creative Commons licenses, so that money is never a barrier to everyone hearing your message.
Please help us by refusing to play anywhere else until our collective voice is heard.

We promise to keep paying to come to your concerts, both because we love your music and we support your message. Many if not most of us wouldn't be involved if not for your inspirational music, and we want history to remember you for the courage and generosity it would take to support us as we've supported you. Your example will help other artists and other wealthy people to understand why social justice is so essential for a working democracy.

Until you're here, we're forced to assume you stand with the 1%... but we know that isn't true, so please come. The civil rights movement is long over - this is the economic rights movement - but we need you to lend us your voices just as much as our parents did. Record companies have tried to enslave you in the past, just as numerous corporations have tried to enslave us all; please join us in fighting back with the most potent weapon we possess: the truth.

Please have your management contact me (or contact me yourself if you have time) if you'd like to be involved in organizing this concert. Twitter has apparently decided I used their service inappropriately by inviting you, so please contact me through this blog. If you need my phone number, email me and I'll give it to you... I'd just rather not post it for the whole Internet to see.

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