Big shout out to Hurray For The Riff Raff. Musically, the band has been a tasteful, well schooled, and smooth ride. This specific batch of words is to thank them, or perhaps their lead singer, for not shying away from speaking her/their mind when it comes to politics and the disgraceful and embarrassing situation my country is in with Donald Trump. Most of you youngsters and musos are hip to this band. Many think they are New Orleans based. The facts are that the front woman Alynda Lee Segarra was raised in the Bronx(of Puerto Rican descent) and today the band itself is based out of my home town of Nashville, Tennessee-a place where hardly anybody in the entertainment establishment dares to speak their mind about politics. Some may prefer it that way. I think that art and entertainment and politics are part of everyday life, so one informs the other, and so on.
HFRR moved to Tennessee right about the time that one female singer-songwriter character on HBO’s Treme had some sassed up, ridiculous lines about Nashville cheesing up this or that when in fact Nashville is full of amazingly talented and loving, liberal people who are extremely creative. More of us arrive each day. Sure, this town produces some forgettable fluff, but it will forever be a great place to make and listen to records due to the stellar citizens who call it home, not to mention all the great engineers and tech folk who keep those old tape machines working. If you had a listening party and just played records made in Nashville, the party would go on a lot longer than most.
Thanks also to Jack White/Dan Auerbach (I know how much you love being linked together) for living here too. The pulse of Rock & Roll, perhaps the most ass-shaking and liberating of the sonic arts, has a vibrant and healthy scene based right here in Music City. Anyway, I just wanted to say a few words about Hurray For The Riff Raff and applaud them for telling it like it is when it comes to Donald Trump’s brand of hypocrisy and hateful attitudes. He and his kind will never represent our country on the world’s stage- and perhaps you should ponder the fact that a Republican nominee will NEVER be President again unless they start coming around to the reality of today’s planet and that immigrants are the past, present, and future of the USA.
Trump's VP choice believes in “coversion therapy” for gay people. That is literally insane and also says a lot more about Mike Pence than I care to discuss right now. What I wish for is that more people of note in my town would speak their minds about Trump. If you support him, then tell us why? If you disagree with him, tell the world why. Some of you might say “that’s not part of my job description” and I say to you: don’t be a pussy. Live in the real world. Steve Earle once told me that folks in Nashville will never come around to talking about how they feel-that it’s just bad for business. I understand if you agree, but we’ve arrived at a fairly serious fork in the road and it’s time to speak your mind and to encourage others to participate and vote. It’s been great to witness Nashville going through one of it's periodic sea changes, and I’m not saying it needs to go full Greenwich Village 1969 or anything-but I enjoy knowing a band like Hurray For The Riff Raff lives here during this boomtown era. It’s really sweet to see the Love Trumps Hate banners around my neighborhood. Keep up the good work. Speak your mind, and encourage any apathetic friends to participate in the election process.
Kick out the jams, Nashville.
ps...check out and support our new radio station, WXNA, 101.5 on the dial. It's run by some dedicated Nashville music freaks and aficionados.
The schedule is amazing.