Wednesday, February 20, 2008

MUSIC: Record Label Gives Iraq War Vets a Musical Voice

This is from Rolling Stone. I found it through my NetVibes page. I edited down for space. But here's a link to the complete article. - OlderMusicGeek

To The Fallen Records is a unique record label in that it puts out compilations of songs written and recorded by veterans of the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan – some even recorded in the field. On the occasion of the release of the new compilation To The Fallen Records Presents: Rock Vol. 1, Rolling Stone’s Evan Serpick took a look at the origins of the label. To read the full, in-depth exploration, click here.

In 2005, Army Sgt. First Class John Freeman III's platoon was drawn into a firefight with local insurgents in Iraq's Al-Anbar province, killing twenty-three Iraqis and suffering one casualty. Afterward, Freeman was approached by the platoon's chaplain, who encouraged him to attend church services. "I explained to him that it's kind of hard for me to go to church," says Freeman, 37. "It's hard to forgive myself when, tomorrow, I'm going to go out and do the exact same thing." Instead, Freeman sat down and wrote a song, "Don't Try and Save Me": "It's going to take more than time to wash away the pain," he sings over reverb-heavy electric guitars. "The bloodstains on my soul could never, ever come clean."

The messages range from patriotic anthems to Bush-bashing tirades. In "Sleeping Giant," metal band 10 Fold — fronted by Army Spc. Eric Conley, a Humvee gunner who patrolled the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad — lashes out at the terrorists who invoked American wrath: "Your God can't save you. . . . You'll be gone soon." Backed by the sounds of gunfire, Dirty Boi Vets — Marine Sgts. Tendaji Akil-Milele and Sugarray Henry — question their mission on "Combat Zone": "CO telling us we won't be that long/I still think we killing them for no reason."

A link to the complete article in Rolling Stone

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This is a fairly good sampling of some of the music I listen to. It's missing a few genres I like - such as cajun. I'll work on that later. But it does contain most of my favorite artists. I tried to steer away from the better known songs to give you a better idea of what kind of music the artists play, but I was limited by the songs the website - Project Playlist - had available. But if you want to get an idea of what I listen to, just hit the play or arrow button. - OlderMusicGeek

The internet station that does the best of playing my music is Last.fm. Here's my station if you're interested.

This website, OlderMusicGeek Radio on Pandora.com, does a fairly decent job of playing what I like, although they do occasionally play stuff I don't care for, but overall they're pretty good.