I am what I play…

As I mentioned last week, I had the honor of being a guest programmer for about 20 minutes worth of “FutureMixtape“. (Thanks again to Matt May and Jess Havens for the invitation and the long-distance hospitality). Technical difficulties got in the way of the plan for me to say a few brief words on air about my selections, but here’s the blurb I sent Matt and Jess to read on my behalf … and the setlist.

Think of these songs as a historical musical backdrop to what’s been going on in Ferguson, MO for the past several weeks. What’s happening there — and elsewhere too, but Ferguson is where the biggest spotlight is right now — isn’t something new. Institutional violence against black communities has a long, ugly history … and one of the many ways that people have given voice to their rage and frustration over the years is through music. This set could have been a lot longer than just five songs. A lot longer. But I didn’t want to take over Matt and Jess’s show completely. Enjoy the music … even if the real world events it speaks to aren’t anything to enjoy at all.

  • Billie Holiday, “Strange Fruit”
  • Marvin Gaye, “Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler)”
  • Stevie Wonder, “You Haven’t Done Nothin'”
  • Isley Brothers, “Fight the Power (Part 1)”
  • Solomon Burke, “None of Us Are Free”

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