Posts Tagged ‘turn it down

25
Jun
09

listen to an interview with TURN IT DOWN…

Just got word the good folks at TURN IT DOWN: A CAMPAIGN AGAINST WHITE POWER MUSIC will be interviewed on KPFK Radio, between 5PM and 6PM. You can listen live by going here.

If you can’t listen to the interview today, no problem, just head on over to the Audio Archives and listen to it anytime! Look for the radio show entitled “Beneath the Surface with Hamid Khan” – 6/25/09 5-6pm.

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27
Dec
08

“RACIST MUSIC GOES DIGITAL” – SPIN MAGAZINE

From the January 2009 issue of Spin Magazine:

Noise

Racist Music Goes Digital

Where can one find the latest white-power band? iTunes, Amazon, and other online retailers.
Oliver Kugler
Illustration: Oliver Kugler

Like any musician, Brutal Attack’s Ken McLellan wants to be heard. Only, what he wants people to hear are self-described “white power” anthems with lines like “This is the Final Solution / Our turn / They’ll burn.”

Unsurprisingly, McLellan, whose group has been labeled by the Anti-Defamation League as “one of the oldest hate bands in continuous existence,” has run into some obstacles. Most record stores don’t sell his music. Ones that do risk protest by activist groups like Turn It Down and the ARA (Anti-Racist Action), both of which target retailers that distribute white-power music. “Because stores wouldn’t carry us, selling records used to be laborious,” says McLellan, 44. “We relied on mail order. We relied on concerts.” Not anymore.

For $9.99, you can download Brutal Attack’s anti-immigrant, pro-white Tales of Glory from iTunes. It’s a buck cheaper on Amazon. A physical copy is yours for $16 on CD Baby. For McLellan and others like him, white-power music’s availability through mainstream online retailers holds the promise of a success immeasurable in money. “We’re far more interested in spreading our point of view,” explains Jeff Schoep, manager of NSM88 Records, which sells music online by bands like Grinded Nig and Inborn Hate. (Schoep is also the leader of the National Socialist Movement.) “If people can hear communist sympathizers like Rage Against the Machine on iTunes, then they should have the right to hear music that celebrates white culture. The Beastie Boys and other Jewish artists might support banning ideas, but we don’t. We support the American way.”

According to University of Dayton sociologist Paul Becker, who’s written about white-power music, the presence of bands like Brutal Attack, Skrewdriver, and Final War on high-profile music sites is no surprise. “White power follows societal trends,” he says. The real concern is accessibility. “In the past, someone interested in the music may not have wanted to go into a store looking for it.” Now it’s a click away.

A legal click. “The United States isn’t as strict about censoring hate speech as some other countries,” explains New York University law professor Amy Adler. “Unless a song says, ‘We are going to hurt these people, at this time, on this day,’ it’s probably going to be okay.”

But for Turn It Down’s Nora Flanagan, morality, not legality, is the issue. “Companies could choose not to sell this stuff ,” she says. “Instead, they hide behind the First Amendment. Refusing to make money from racism isn’t censorship; it’s the right thing.” Flanagan points to MySpace, which removes racially off ensive pages from the site, as an example of commendable behavior.

While CD Baby has donated to charities and nonprofits portions of its proceeds from albums it calls “troubling,” neither the company nor Amazon plans to limit its sales of possibly offensive music. (iTunes, which often stocks this music via third-party digital distribution, declined comment.) According to spokesperson Patti Smyth, Amazon “doesn’t feel it should be deciding what’s right for consumers. That’s a slippery slope that we don’t want to be on.” Similarly, CD Baby president Brian Felsen cautions against overreaction: “This is still a micro-niche we’re talking about. It’s competing against a huge diversity of voices.”

McLellan, though, thinks his music’s subculture status is due to change. “Being sold in mainstream places shows that white power isn’t so taboo anymore,” he says. “Attitudes are changing.” Of course, recent election results suggest being taboo isn’t nearly as much a problem for McLellan as is being, well, wrong.

12
Dec
08

TURN IT DOWN!! CAMPAIGN AGAINST WHITE POWER MUSIC

From the TURN IT DOWN: A CAMPAIGN AGAINST WHITE POWER MUSIC MYSPACE:

Back in 2004, now-defunct Panzerfaust Records came out with a marketing tool that demonstrated the organizational potential of the racist right: Project Schoolyard USA. The project focused on distributing a compilation CD of white power music to as many American youth as possible, both via internet sharing and physical distribution at schools, malls, and other locations with large concentrations of kids and young adults. Project Schoolyard saw a distribution as high as 50,000 copies. We ran into incidents of distribution in schools here in Chicago.

The motto for Project Schoolyard didn’t mince words: “We don’t just entertain racist kids. We create them.”

Check out more details, including sample lyrics from songs on the compilation, at TOLERANCE.ORG.

We wish the story ended there.

It seems a second installment of the compilation now exists. As reported by the Southern Poverty Law Center and confirmed by our research, Bryant Cecchini, one of the two original architects of Project Schoolyard is behind the new 25-track CD, being distributed as we write this to kids all over the country by white power associates of Cecchini, a.k.a. Byron Calvert. According to an interview for SPLC’s Intelligence Report, Cecchini is also sending the disc out with all orders on his Tightrope Records website, as well as using seemingly benign fake MySpace pages to lure possible new recruits.

Check out the SPLC’s coverage of the story – including Cecchini’s complete comfort with the potential for his project inciting violence against minorities – at SOUTHERN POVERTY LAW CENTER.

This is huge, and not in a good way whatsoever, to say the least. The white power factions in the US have been disorganized and relatively ineffective in recent years. This CD represents a renewed effort.

But both the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Turn It Down Campaign, among a number of other organizations, were there to fight back against the distribution of the first Project Schoolyard disc. We’re already working on responding to Volume II. We’re in talks about a couple of different options for a counter-compilation, possibly aligned with Insurgence Records, who put out the fantastic Project Boneyard compilation in 2004. We know a lot of our supporting bands and industry friends have expressed excitement about a project like this; we’ll definitely keep you updated as we go forward.

For now, know that this is out there. Know that the racist right is targeting the places you or the young people in your life hang out, hoping to use music as a vehicle to recruit and instigate hate crimes. Know that they plan to crash our concerts, skate parks, and other hangouts. Know that they’re specifically targeting youth in areas that have experienced racially-charged incidents recently.

DEFINITELY let us know of any distribution in your area.

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Insurgence Records responded to the original Project Schoolyard with a free compilation of it’s own called Project Boneyard. You can download the Project Boneyard CD for free as well as read about the campaign, HERE.




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