Despite (or because of??) the crazy popularity of him & the Pharmacists with most white people in the last decade, I never got into Ted Leo. But with his unerring support for WFMU & Tom Scharpling’s Best Show (which I love because Jon Wurster is so fucking perfect & hilarious on the show), I’ve been exposed to Ted Leo a lot more in the last year. Can’t deny dude has a boatload of talent, and comes off as an extremely nice, thoughtful guy. So I was inspirited to see he recorded this unfinished Woody Guthrie song in his parents’ basement in solidarity with the Wisconsin resistance movement & people resisting nationwide.
”I live in an apartment right now where it’s not easy for me to make noise, so after an awesome afternoon of answering phones at WFMU in Jersey City during The Cherry Blossom Clinic (DJ Terre-T, Saturdays 3-6 PM EST, 91.1 FM NJ/NYC, wfmu.org), I ran over to my parents’ place, where I can use the basement to make music. Why can I usually use that basement uninterrupted? Because they both still work. My mother is a teacher in the Union County School system (though if it comes down to it, we bleed Essex County blood). She doesn’t make a ton of money doing it, and her benefits are generally fair, when she takes advantage of them. (… .) halfway through the recording, I realized I was sitting in front of a blanket someone gave her that I tacked to the wall to tamp down echo (it’s a weird room). The blanket has books and pencils, etc., and says “the future is knowledge.” … .
Please enjoy, and whether you’re union or not, join me in thinking about the significance of the moment and why this is so important, and send some of those thoughts to the people protesting in Wisconsin.”
He also has an electric version he uploaded onto SoundCloud, and more thoughts on the workers’ struggle and what it means for all of us across the nation at the bottom of his post. Talking about how unions always have to fight and struggle for every bit they’ve gained for all of us:
” Anyone who has fought for anything he or she feels he or she deserves will tell you that he or she deserved it to begin with and would rather have not had to fight for it. If the Captains of Industry and Finance cared one whit for the people on the lower rungs of their ladders, the majority of these “wars,” throughout history, would never have had to be fought.
The fact that every scrap, every little consideration given to working people is still NEVER given, but only ever “won,” should make it evident that the nihilist philosophies (or lack of any thought at all for anything other than increasing personal wealth and expanding markets to do so) that long ago set up the accumulation of (these representations of what was traded and came to be seen as) “wealth” as the only goal in life worth pursuing, and Capital as the supreme guiding hand behind world affairs, that has set up and toppled empires for eons and seen fellow humans as cattle to be worked to death or chattel to be traded, themselves, are still controlling the vast majority of our lives. “