Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The music you are hearing right now.

This is David Rovics. I first heard David on Saturday at the Black Bear Bakery in St. Louis, and I have the indigenous people's of the southern Mexican village of Chiapas to thank for this meeting. You see, I am a coffee whore.

I realize that most of the people in the U.S. are also, and I know that wherever I may roam, within these great states, I will be able to find a ridiculously priced cup of exploitation brimming with third world rape and ecologically damaging goodness. It is a concession most of us make daily, to not allow the truth we demand in our lives from big government and big business to be reckoned in the coffee houses we all adore. However, there are exceptions to this rule of pillage, and Zapatista coffee is a great one. Black Bear Bakery, a worker ran, wage free wobbly cafe serves up Marcos Mocha daily, at an affordable price. So I set off to get coffee on my way to a poetry reading on Saturday.

Usually, the shop closes at 5, but that night there was a musician on tour, a man I had never heard of, named David Rovics. You should be half-way into one of his songs, supposing you didn't turn off the sound in fear of losing your job for stealing from the boss your precious time to read my blog....you crazy anarchist you. At any rate, you are hearing what I heard and compelled Angela and I to collectively offer up our cash to cover the door charge, okay, part of the door charge. We were not aware that there was going to be an $8 cover to get in, and we really just wanted to get some zapatista coffee and be on our way to the poetry reading, but the door guy insisted we stay for no cover and I felt blessed and knew then that it was of our ilk and plopped my last $11 bucks on the table. Angela had some cash and ordered us coffee and we took our seats. David took to the stage, ( a rug laid out in front of the bread case) and armed only with guitar, sans microphone, took us on journey's through Palestine, Columbia, Iraq, New Orleans, into the depths of an ego driven anarchist's mind on his daily bike ride, and even into the thoughts of a suicide bomber the moment before they pulled the chord. I was laughing and tearing up at nearly every song.

After David finished, I approached the door guy and tried to give him more money that Angela had, and he declined. I wanted some of the music for myself and David told me I could download everything for free from his website. Finally, people who live the way they talk. I bought a cd anyways, as a gift for someone I love that will really appreciate his music, and picked up a 7" by Bad Folk, a local group that opened for David that we missed. It is a great record as well. It just made me really happy to find people like this here. In Tucson I had many people around me who were fighting for the same things as I was, but in the last few years, I have given much suspicion to anyone who dares speak of revolution. I have doubted sincerity, probably because I daily doubt my own. But I think maybe we all doubt our dedication. It is hard not to when so many people are dying daily from causes that are directly linked to MY consumerist habits.

I drive more than I should because I want to get a cup of coffee at a more interesting cafe than the one I can walk to in ten minutes or less. Sure I recycle, but if I ever take time to look at my recycling bin, there are cans from shit I don't need and bags from stores that sell shit I don't need, and overall, waste from a life lived using what I DON'T NEED.

But again, I must know that I am not the answer, I am merely a smaller part of the question, and together we can find solutions to help each other out. So I am not perfect yet, and neither are you, but maybe tomorrow we can do a little better.

So I missed the poetry reading, but had a great cup of coffee and made a friend in David Rovics. Not a bad day for the revolution, if you ask me.

8 comments:

Big Dan said...

Maybe now that absinthe is legal again the ubiquitous coffee shops will slowly transition over and start serving that instead. Then there would be a perfect artist hangout since you wouldn't have to exploit the third world to enjoy a beverage and network with other artists. And think of the influx of new artists who don't drink coffee......... I have been joking lately about opening an absinthe bar/ art gallery/ artist studio space lately, pehaps there is more to that idea.......

AMEN said...

actually, we were introducing absinthe at picasso's on main street, before they took the booze off the shelves.
our old art colletive had a great studio space in saint charles and wwe had absinthe there many a night.
throw in a hooka and some group sex and you got yourself a winning idea.

Big Dan said...

The next time you have sex with a hooka, make sure that it isn't lit....

AMEN said...

it helps though if you are lit.

Jean said...

Hey, a fellow Rovics fan! I really dig what you've got to say, man. Keep writing and I'll keep reading.

Sean said...

you missed some hispanic poet lady making wonderful strange noises man. but sounds worth it.

Jeeberman said...

I thought you might want to put some useful widgets on your blog.

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