#Resist: 10 Anti-Trump Anthems Selected By Journalists Across the Nation

by

trump.jpg
The only good thing about Donald Trump is that he has made time slow down. As we get older, every year seems to pass more quickly than the last in the rush toward death. But the Trump regime has slowed all of that down and the year since that dark night when he was elected has felt as long as any since high school.

As in high school, this slow-moving but insanely intense sense of time has seemed to heighten the emotional impact of music. When a song rings right and seems to express the horror and angst that emanates from the world around you, it feels glorious.

This collection of songs comes from the music editors of papers across the nation. As I was writing a column about the Trump regime for a number of alt-weeklies — and trying to find ways to take “alt” back from the Nazis — I ended up talking to a lot of editors and writers around the country and we thought if we could bring together the best protest songs from as many cities as possible, we might learn something about the state of dissent — while also finding some relief. — Baynard Woods

COURTESY
  • Courtesy
Lonely Horse: “Devil in the White House”
San Antonio, Texas

Shots fired! Lonely Horse come out guns-a-blazing with the track “Devil in the White House.” Opening with a sludgy cadence that crescendos into a tumultuous rock ‘n’ roll explosion, the “desert rock” duo of Nick Long and Travis Hild make very clear their feelings about the 45th POTUS. — Chris Conde

COURTESY
  • Courtesy
Thunderfist: “Suck It”
Salt Lake City, Utah

Sure, there are more articulate ways to denounce Trump. And revolution by example — countering blustery, bigoted bullshit with artfully composed, well-reasoned takedowns — is how we’ll effect change. That doesn’t mean we can’t occasionally vent our rage by strapping on Les Pauls, cranking up Marshalls, raising middle fingers and offering a blues-based, punk-rock invitation to fellatio. And maybe also, as the final, snarling chord slides into silence, calling him a “fat baby fuckface.” — Randy Harward

Trombone Shorty and Dumpstaphunk: “Justice”
New Orleans, Louisiana

Trombone Shorty and Dumpstaphunk teamed up on a song called “Justice,” which they released on the day Donald Trump was inaugurated president. A melange of funk, jazz and New Orleans brass band sounds, the video for “Justice” slyly marries video footage of Trump against pointed lyrics. “Inauguration Day seemed to be an appropriate time to voice the need for equal say and opportunity for all people,” said Dumpstaphunk’s Ivan Neville. “We entered a New Year with a lot of unanswered questions on the subject of ‘justice’ that we all felt a little uneasy about. But there’s only so much we can do and this track is our way of expressing our worries.” The song is available on most streaming services. — Gambit Weekly

COURTESY
  • Courtesy
DBL DRGN: “Trim the Bushes”
Charleston, South Carolina

There were several election-reflection songs that came out of Charleston following November 8, 2016. One of those that stood out for us is by a local hip-hop duo — Damn Skippy and Bad Mojo — dubbed DBL DRGN. Before releasing the audio, the guys filmed the video for the song “Trim the Bushes” on Election Day. With Bad Mojo dressed as a dragon, high-fiving passersby, the silly aspect of the visuals was meant to complement the circus-like atmosphere of the 2016 election — it also brought a smile to the faces of voters on an otherwise stressful day. The video was released on Inauguration Day, another attempt to lift the spirits of those who felt the doom and gloom all too well that January morning. In the single, the duo rather brilliantly mash up George Bush (“Fool me once ... can’t get fooled again”) with Bob Marley (“You can fool some people sometimes but you can’t fool all the people all of the time”), while the video shows footage of Donald Trump’s remarks on everything from immigration and Mexicans to birtherism, Putin, John McCain and women. The acknowledgment of all the things we as progressives find disturbing about the current administration, coupled with the sense that folks should keep their heads up (and alert) and stick together for the duration of the hand we’ve been dealt, was the perfect combo. Check out the video for yourself. — Kelly Rae Smith

COURTESY
  • Courtesy
OG Swaggerdick: “Fuck Donald Trump”
Boston, Massachusetts

Among diehard hip-hop heads as well as artists, Boston’s underground rap scene is renowned as one of the most lyrically elaborate and intellectual anywhere. To that end, over the past year, such acts as STL GLD (Moe Pope + The Arcitype) and more recently The Perceptionists (Mr. Lif + Akrobatik) have released their most compelling works to date, largely inspired by the mess that Donald Trump has made (though not always name-checking Dolt 45 directly). But when it comes to straight-up protesting and verbally impaling the potty-mouthed POTUS, there’s something undeniably satisfying, even admirable, about the Hub’s own OG Swaggerdick’s simple and straightforward election anthem, “Fuck Donald Trump.” From the fittingly filthy rhymes — “Never give props to a punk-ass trick / Motherfuck Donald Trump; he can suck my dick” — to the strangers on the street who gladly join along in rapping in the video, they’re protest lyrics that you’ll still be able to remember and perhaps even rap for relief on occasions when the president leaves you otherwise speechless. — Chris Faraone


COURTESY
  • Courtesy
The After Lashes: “We the Sheeple”
Coachella Valley, California

The After Lashes is a new, all-female punk band from the Coachella Valley that features Ali Saenz, the wife of former Dwarves and Excel drummer Greg Saenz. Frontwoman Esther Sanchez explained the inspiration behind the band’s song “We the Sheeple.” “‘We the Sheeple’ was an easy song to write, because it came from a place of frustration and growing resentment toward the current powers that be, and, of course, more specifically, Donald Trump,” she said. “We have a president who calls anything he doesn’t like ‘fake news’ while simultaneously spending an insane amount of time tweeting nonsense and lies like a crazy person. The policies he intends to establish are harmful to pretty much everyone who is not wealthy; unfortunately, so many who voted for him were unknowingly voting against their own best interests. The song is very much about uniting against a tyrant, because that is precisely what we believe Trump to be.” — Brian Blueskye

COURTESY
  • Courtesy
Rmllw2llz: “So Amerikkkan”
Louisville, Kentucky

Nationwide, when you think of the Louisville music scene, your mind probably bounces to My Morning Jacket, Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy or maybe even White Reaper — who are all great — but the city’s hip-hop scene is packed with poignant hip-hop artists, and if you’re looking for a pure protest song, look no further than Rmllw2llz’s “So Amerikkkan,” where he says “Fuck Trump; he’s a bum and Hillary trash, too.” The song was released a few months ago, but, if you give it a listen, you can hear a lot of the country’s past, present and future angst packed into a few powerful minutes. — Scott Recker

COURTESY
  • Courtesy
Dais: “Atrocity”
Rochester, New York

Dais tells you exactly where it stands on “Atrocity,” the first track off its self-titled debut EP. The post-hardcore band makes a racing, pounding apology to the Earth before (sort of) slowing down to confront the powers that be. “Show us a tyrant / And we’ll show you our grievance / Fuck that, we will fight this” vocalist Travis Rankin yells and strains in defiance. “The person who the States had elected was talking about withdrawing us from The Paris Climate Accord,” Rankin says. “We felt betrayed and began writing this song. It’s an apology to the Earth for us not being as good to it as it has been to us.” — Jake Clapp

COURTESY
  • Courtesy
Iris DeMent: “We Won’t Keep Quiet”
Iowa City, Iowa

Back in February, Iowa City held a Solidarity Rally Against the Ban, proclaiming support for immigrant populations and refugees in the wake of Trump’s first and most ridiculous attempted travel ban. In between the community leaders, local politicians and youth speakers, a variety of area musicians performed, including the brilliant Iris DeMent (who’ll perform in San Antonio at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts on November 9). She debuted a song, “We Won’t Keep Quiet,” that captured the feeling in the crowd that day in a really powerful way. — Little Village

Joshua Asante: “No Time For Despair”
Little Rock, Arkansas

Asante, best known for fronting the bands Amasa Hines and Velvet Kente, is also a photographer — someone who delights in the tangible process of making art. It’s in his latest work as a solo artist that this becomes most evident, Asante hunching down over a briefcase stuffed with loop stations and processors. Of “No Time For Despair,” Asante says: “In times of distress and turmoil, it’s easy to get kinda caught up in the collective despair, so the lyrics are very much about, like, ‘Yeah, times are tumultuous, but there’s also a lot of really wonderful, magical things that are going on in your life. ... That is probably the supreme act of defiance — to be joyful, to be loving.’” — Stephanie Smittle


comment