After over a year when they were absent from the political scene, pop artists are adding their voices and their populist clout to speak out against Donald Trump. Last week saw the announcement of a giant free concert promoting unity and tolerance with a who's who of Latin music stars who'll play on the U.S.-Mexico border this Saturday. Bruce Springsteen has dissed Trump from the stage, and a video of U2's Bono mocking the Republican candidate in concert is making the rounds on Youtube.
On Monday came news of "30 Days, 30 Songs," a daily dose of new and unheard activist tracks from top independent artists. The project kicked off with a video from Death Cab for Cutie, "Million Dollar Loan," and continues this week with songs from Jim James, Aimee Mann, Thao Nguyen, clipping., Bhi Bhiman, and R.E.M.
"Million Dollar Loan" was inspired by Trump's insensitive (and untrue) statement that he was a self-made man because he built his fortune with a "small loan" of a million dollars from his father.
"He was so flippant about it," said DCfC frontman Ben Gibbard in an email statement. "It truly disgusted me. Donald Trump... in no way, shape or form represents what this country truly stands for. He is beneath us."
"It occurred to me that this election would benefit from the timely resurrection of the political protest song," Eggers says. "From Woody Guthrie to Public Enemy, we know that songs can change minds, and particularly now, we need to motivate voters to stand against bigotry, sexism, hatred and ignorance."
A new song will be released at 9 a.m. Pacific time every day on 30days30songs.com, and will be on sale at Apple Music and available on Spotify with a subscription; proceeds will go to the Center for Popular Democracy, a universal voter registration group. The group, who also call themselves “Artists Against Trump,” urges people to vote for Hilary Clinton.
When you speak out, you shape our democracy and when you remain silent, you shape it as well. Do not let your voice go unheard.
Artists Against Donald Trump statement
Political protest songs have been in short supply this election season, and for a number of years. Youth and pop culture commentary this year has come mostly from talk show hosts like John Oliver and comedians like Randy Rainbow, whose hilarious "Braggadocious" video satire went viral. But just like the Republican politicians abandoning Trump in droves since the Washington Post released the now infamous "grab them by the p---y" video, pop musicians have decided that Trump has gone too far.
“As artists, we are united in our desire to speak out against the ignorant, divisive, and hateful campaign of Donald Trump,” says an artist statement on the “30 Days, 30 Songs” website. “It’s not enough to sit on the sidelines on this one... We ask that you register to vote and volunteer and share these songs of protest. You are a steward of this democracy and your actions shape it at every turn. When you speak out, you shape our democracy and when you remain silent, you shape it as well. Do not let your voice go unheard.”