A few years ago when we lived in Oakland I wrote a collection of songs that were never completed.
This year, I decided to self-publish what I had, knowing that I do not live in a world where I can afford the time or the money to put together the live show required to support a ‘proper’ release. I know its not going to get lot of plays but I’m glad I did it. Maybe this was my way of killing the project so I could move on. Whatever the case, it feels cathartic.
The collection is called “Progress”, and in it four fictional characters tell of their experience watching helplessly—and in some cases, willfully tuning out—as their country descends into martial law and militarized stupidity. Originally written and produced in 2014 during the height of the Ferguson and Black Lives Matter protests, these songs characterize a level of hyperbolic dystopia only slightly out of sync with what was real at the time. Now that its 2017, and we find ourselves standing at the precipice of a massive consolidation of power by far-right wing forces intent on deportation, destruction of services & legal protections, and a general reversal of civil rights progress we’d taken for granted, I could say the stories in these songs weren’t necessarily wrong or ill-conceived. They were just early.
The song “Get Up From The South” features supporting vocals by Jeremy & Alex of The Company, who, if you listen, can be heard chanting the first names of men charged with causing the deaths of people they were supposed to protect, or otherwise violating public trust: “Dan”, “George”, “John”, “Al”.
“Progress” is the last EP collection I will distribute under the moniker Ten Dollar Terrors. So give it a whirl! And feel free to add these songs to a playlist or share them with people you think might like them.
Also, if you are interested in hearing more, you might want to check out the two collections that preceded it: “What’s Right and What It’s All about”, and “A Place to Bury Haters”.