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Saturday, December 10, 2011


    This originally appeared as the # 3 Feature Story in the November 18, 2011 edition of the Acoustic Americana Guide, at  
It is reprinted here as an individual piece, in its entirety.
    Red House Records, the St. Paul, Minnesota “new folk” label, just released a newly remixed version of ELIZA GILKYSON's song "Beautiful World." It's been out there in its original mix as the title track to her 2008 album, the CD acclaimed as “her masterpiece” by “All Music.”
    The press statement from Red House notes, “The album and song are still timely today, especially in light of the protests going on around the world.”
    Music in support of the “Occupy” protests has already come from other Red House artists, with support from the label's PR office. A recent press release began with the words, “In solidarity with the 'Occupy Wall Street' protestors, Americana songwriter PIETA BROWN is offering her song 'I Want It Back'...”
    Now Gilkyson is stepping up to the plate. She says, "I originally wrote the song as a means of staying inspired and engaged in the struggle to defend our beautiful world against the ravages of humankind."
    But this time around, Eliza adds, "I am excited to release this provocative new remix, in solidarity with a struggle that is more crucial than ever. My son, CISCO RYDER, worked up a very cool reinterpretation of 'Beautiful World.' Utilizing drum loops and an old school Moog synthesizer he creates a whole new electronica perspective while still retaining aspects of the original folk elements."
    Coming hot on the heels of Eliza's hit folk album “Roses at the End of Time,” released in May, this newly remixed single became available digitally on November 1. The single was immediately highlighted on iTunes as one of the "New & Noteworthy" singer-songwriter releases.
    In support of her newest album and this newly remixed single, Eliza is touring across the country. She's playing solo shows and dates with the Billboard-charting folk supergroup RED HORSE, the trio she shares with fellow Red House Records recording artists JOHN GORKA & LUCY KAPLANSKY.
    Meanwhile, proclamations of the movements' death are, as Mark Twain once observed, greatly exaggerated. This past Thursday brought a “National Day of Action” with marches on L.A.'s Financial District and similar concentrations of the empire of wealth in other cities. The original Occupy Wall Street protestors having just been evicted from the genesis site of Zucate Park in New York City, they marched to Wall Street itself. Unfortunately, the demonstrations in other cities have not been free of injuries and violent confrontation with law enforcement, as they have been in L.A., where the movement works closely with LAPD Chief Charlie Beck.
    Protestors in L.A. who wanted to be arrested even wore special armbands to make it easy for everyone to differentiate them – marchers and police alike. The TV coverage spanned both cable news and local stations. As the protestors sat in a circle in the middle of the street awaiting arrest, one wondered why no one had taught them the old Civil Rights anthem, “We Shall Not Be Moved.” Music is still conspicuously absent from most situations that otherwise parallel past, large-scale protest / social change movements.
    But, as we observed in last week's major special feature, (available at this movement is different in a great many ways. To wit, a group organized as “Patriotic Millionaires” – really comprised of millionaires – lobbied Congress on Thursday to get their taxes raised, and to make it clear to Republicans on the 12-member Super Committee that they would oppose any effort for another extension of the Bush Administration's temporary tax cuts for the wealthy. The group's millionaire spokesman Charlie Fink said, “People are rioting in the streets because we're spending money we don't have and shifting the burden for that onto the 99 percent who don't have it.” He expressed empathy with the 99 percenters of the Occupy movement.
    Strange that a group of millionaires gets it, but Congress doesn't. Of course, this Congress can't do anything else, either – except declare this week, that, for the purposes of school lunches, pizza is a vegetable – sulfides, sodium, high fructose corn syrup in the tomato sauce, et al, and that greasy french fries are vegetables, too. (Hey, at least they didn't call them Freedom Fries.)
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