Occupy Wall Street gets a benefit album
Those cynics who told the incessant drummers of Occupy Wall Street in New York not to quit their day jobs might be reconsidering -- they just got a record deal (of sorts).
Acts including Third Eye Blind, Lucinda Williams, Ladytron and a smattering of the Zuccotti Park drum circle regulars have all contributed tracks to "Occupy This Album," a full-length compilation to benefit the Occupy Wall Street group recently evicted from its base camp in lower Manhattan. Crosby, Stills & Nash, Toots & the Maytals, Yo La Tengo and director Michael Moore also contributed tracks to the effort, including new singles inspired by the movement (such as Third Eye Blind's "If There Ever Was a Time"), live cuts and unreleased songs. Offerings from more obscure musicians participating in the occupation are also on the effort.
Proceeds will be split between the main New York group (which has a war chest of several hundred thousand dollars' worth of donations) and other OWS-affiliated groups that apply for grants. Musician Jason Samel, who curated the effort, said a digital-only release is set to launch first this winter, with plans for a physical product still up in the air.
Music has been a fundamental part of the OWS campaign, with artists such as Tom Morello, Pete Seeger, David Crosby & Graham Nash and Neutral Milk Hotel's Jeff Mangum performing at the Zuccotti Park campsite in weeks past. Occupy Musicians, a new online resource for artists and producers to volunteer their skills in support, has received contributions from Lou Reed, Thurston Moore, Ian MacKaye and Laurie Anderson, among many others.
-- August Brown
Photo: An Occupy Wall Street drum circle in New York's Zuccotti Park. Credit: Andrew Burton / Associated Press