Thursday, June 24, 2010

Bright Eyes doing an Arizona protest song

Awhile back, I mentioned that Conor Oberst had joined other artists (including Rage Against the Machine's Zach de la Rocha, Kanye West and others) in boycotting performances in Arizona.

The organization is called Sound Strike and their goal is the repeal of Arizona's law SB1070, which is aimed at curbing illegal immigration

Well, artists are going to be donating songs to benefit the cause. The first artist with a new tune? Bright Eyes.

Conor and the boys created "Coyote Song," which he said is "a love song about two lovers separated by conditions that are out of their control, namely this right here," as he gestured to the USA-Mexico border behind him.

"In my view, it's state-sanctioned racism. If we let it slide in one place in the country, it's like dominoes. That way of thinking will start to erode everywhere, and I think it's important that we take a stand now," Oberst said.

One of the places he's thinking of is Fremont, Neb., which passed a law aimed at curbing illegal immigration last week in a special election. Today, I was contacted by Oberst's publicist and sent an op-ed. If everything goes according to plan, you can read that opinion piece in The World-Herald next week.

[Update: No go on the op-ed by Oberst. Our editorial page declined, not because it was Oberst and not because it wasn't well written (it was), but because it basically made broad assertions on what people think. They were pretty excited at the prospect of getting Oberst's opinion into the paper.

Sadly, Obert's publicist told me I couldn't publish it here after I asked. It was quite well-written and I was hoping to include it. In summary, Oberst stated that he was ashamed to be a Nebraskan and that Fremont is right up there with Arizona in its display of "intolerance and bigotry." The law is racist and Fremont voters want an all-white town, he wrote. "The new law is a black eye on their town and our state. It is embarrassing. It is wrong," Oberst said.]

You can watch the interview with Oberst, containing some behind-the-scenes footage from the music video they filmed in El Paso, Texas.

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