Super Lawyers
William C. Altreuter
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Monday, August 20, 2012

Although it was released last August I'm declaring Tom Morello's "Black Spartacus Heart Attack Machine" my personal hit single of the summer. The album is hit-or miss, but mostly pretty good, and unlike some fans of Morello's work with Rage Against the Machine Outside Counsel is totally down with the Morello's politics.
 Honorable Mention: Pussy Riot, Putin Lights Up the Fires. You wonder sometimes if music -- particularly, for me, the American music that I love so much, still has the power to speak to the political realities we see every day, but then something like "Black Spartacus" comes along and I feel better. I think about someone like Tomaz Stanko living in communist Poland, for whom the sound of freedom was American jazz, or how Václav Havel heard the same thing in the music of the Velvet Underground. Naturally Mitt Romney wants to cut arts funding: Mitt Romney, unfortunately, represents just about everything that I find despicable about America-- his belief in American exceptionalism, his confidence that his favored station in life has been earned somehow, his contempt for everyone who isn't him, or at least as rich as he is. Pussy Riot and the Velvets and the Plastic People of the Universe and Bruce Springsteen and Neil Young and countless others stand in ferocious opposition to those ideas, and use their work to express the importance of the freedoms we tend to take advantage of, starting with freedom of expression.

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