During last week's WTO meetings and the ensuing street battles among residents, protesters, and cops, I received countless requests for protest songs, but none of that "Stop the War" hippie '60s protest music. Those days are over, and there is a new fight—a global fight. It's a new day and a new look at protest, and the music goes along with it. Most of it involved anger over the treatment from the police, and a lot of it involved guns. . . .
The most-requested artists and songs during WTO week:
*The Clash: "Guns of Brixton," "London Calling," "Spanish Bombs," "White Riot," "Clampdown." Pick a Clash song, and it was requested.
*Rage Against the Machine: A very popular request, and there were plenty of machines in town to rage against.
*Mission of Burma: "That's When I Reach for My Revolver." I'm not sure if this was requested as a response to the police or as a call to action.
*Fred Eaglesmith: "Time to Get a Gun." Ditto.
*King Missile: "To Walk Among the Pigs." This request came in from quite a few frustrated Capitol Hill residents. I didn't have the heart to tell them that this song really is about pigs.
*Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine: "Bloodsport For All." At least for those who have giant sticks and bullets at their disposal.
*Billy Bragg: All kinds of requests for Mr. Bragg. And in the back of my mind, I expected to see him on the steps of the Convention Center singing one of his songs.
*No. 2: "Critical Mass." Sure, it's about a protest group, but the WTO protesters make the bicycling folks look like angels.
*The Smiths: "Sweet and Tender Hooligan." It's about English football hooligans, but trust me: They'd be here if they could!
*The Specials: "Ghost Town." A song about all the clubs being closed and people running wild in the streets—a song about Belltown.
*Luna: "US Out of My Pants." As granted in the Bill of Rights.
*Joan Baez: Just because something is requested doesn't mean I have to play it. . . .*
You can hear protest songs, protests, and the occasional burst of apathy from John in the Morning on 90.3 KCMU, weekdays 6-10am.