Dave’s Politi-punk Song-a-da-Week goes Hip-Hop

by on April 21, 2011 · 9 comments

in American Empire, Culture, Media, Popular

Well hello again. It seems my first attempt to bring political pop punk to the masses worked out okay…or at least well enough that I’m going to try it again. But after just one week of staying true to my theme and posting a punk rock video, I’m going to switch it up and dive into some hip-hop.

Flobots is a rock/rap group out of Denver, Colorado. Please, throw out whatever you know about this genre (because if you know much it’s probably bad) and stay with me here. ‘Handlebars’ was the main single off their first mainstream record, 2007’s ‘Fight With Tools.’ Listening to the lyrics alone, I thought about the process of growing up, how our childish innocence so easily gives way to capitalist arrogance. And I thought the song was great.

But then I saw the video, and now I only like the song more. It follows two childhood friends who, on growing up, choose different paths – American community, or ‘Main Street,’ vs. corporate American ‘Wall Street.’ The imagery here is really powerful, even though it’s depressing in the end when one of our characters inadvertently orders his best friend…well, enough spoiler. Take a peek and lemme know what you think:

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Shane Finneran April 21, 2011 at 9:22 am

Nice, I love the different-roads-we-choose theme. And the caution about where we end up when we put paychecks before principles.

The corporate logo in the video seems like a reference to the logo for Omni Consumer Products, the GE-inspired evil corporation in Robocop, a movie that looks more and more sage as time goes by: http://mutantreviewers.files.wordpress.com/2009/11/ocp_logo.jpg


avatar annagrace April 21, 2011 at 9:59 am

I loved the visuals in this as well as the lyrics.
“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”

Despite the dark ending, I still believe that the less traveled road, the one that needs no metronome to keep the beat, does make all the difference.


avatar Dickie April 21, 2011 at 12:49 pm

amen, Anna, please no metronome . . . Robert Frost a real american poet.
and dave this is remarkable stuff . . . I’d never seen nor heard of them. Keep it up. Both your choices so far have inspired me.


avatar dave rice April 21, 2011 at 1:20 pm

Thanks folks – and thanks to everyone else for the kind words! It sounds like this feature is going exactly where I wanted – putting new-to-them music in front of people!


avatar Patty Jones April 21, 2011 at 11:24 am

Thanks, Dave, for expanding my horizons.


avatar Andy Cohen April 21, 2011 at 12:21 pm

Next week how ’bout some Green Day? There might be some politically oriented stuff to choose from there…….”American Idiot” anyone?


avatar dave rice April 21, 2011 at 1:17 pm

Green Day is definitely in the mix – not sure if I’m going to use ‘American Idiot’ or if I’ll go for something a little lesser-known…but it’ll be fun sorting through their catalog to figure that out!


avatar Andy Cohen April 21, 2011 at 5:45 pm

Depends on what you’re looking for…….I think their more recent stuff was more social commentary than their earlier work (early to mid 90’s). I would categorize their earlier stuff as more existentialist.


avatar dave rice April 21, 2011 at 6:47 pm

True, true…I think I’ve got something in mind off ‘Warning,’ when they really started to politicize their music around the turn of the last decade.


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