But cutting a line between music and politics is tough, seeing as how the relationship originated long before rock and roll. It seems the reality is that the intersection of music and politics is a busy street corner, full of fender benders and jaywalkers - especially in the weeks leading up to a presidential election.
The local music community is jumping right into the intersection of Music Street and Political Avenue on Wednesday the 29th at the Silver Moon with the Bend installment of "Singin' About a Revolution," an event presented by former Bendite Cris Kelly, which is also taking place in Portland and Ashland. Kelly is a musician who plays in the Ashland-based band One Horse Shy and says politics has certainly played a role in his musical career.
"Five years ago all I was able to write was political stuff. After the election of '04 I felt shot down and I thought this was too much for me, so I had to stop paying attention," Kelly says.
But then Kelly says he came across ontheissues.org, a non-partisan website that provides in-depth and refreshingly unbiased information on not only the presidential candidates, but also every senatorial and congressional candidate. The three Singin' About a Revolution shows all benefit the website.
Kelly is bringing in local musicians like David Bowers, Jenni Peskin and Mosley Wotta with Mud to perform. Mosley Wotta (aka Jason Graham) says that there's merit in talking about politics in music...as long as the message is genuine.
"It's important that when an artist reflects or expresses social and political messages in their work that they're honest with themselves, based on their views at that time. You know when you're being honest with yourself, and when you ain't. I mean, if you don't believe yourself, why should anyone else believe you?" says Mosley Wotta.
While music is definitely the center of this event, Kelly has also lined up a discussion about the importance of independent music in working toward social change by local labor activist and KPOV DJ Michael Funke. For about three years Funke hosted KPOV's "Working Bend" program that focused on labor issues in Bend, among other aspects of the community and Funke says that he's always viewed music as a vehicle for change since first hearing rock and roll in the 1950s.
"All sorts of music have potential to create social change. Various genres over the last few decades have had very pointed lyrics," says Funke, adding that there's also a point in enjoying music for the sake of music.
"It's really important for community, political activists, or however you want to describe us to remember that it's OK to have fun. You have to smell the roses and music is part of that," Funke says.
Funke won't be the only one talking from the mic at Singin' About a Revolution. Kelly says one of the highlights of the show should be T-Poe, a Vietnam War veteran and Ashland-based spoken word artist known for holding audiences captive with his incendiary narrative style even when it's just him onstage.
While the Springsteens and Vedders of the country have reunited music and political/social causes in the past decade, it's refreshing to see that the synergy between these two arenas has trickled down to even our local music scene. The revolution might not be televised, but it will be sung about.Singin' About a Revolution
8pm, Wednesday, October 29. Silver Moon Brewing Co. 24 NW Greenwood Ave.