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Are the new Protest Songs any good?

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Monday, February 18, 2008

The Iraq War, terrorism, and Katrina have all inspired plenty of political music. But many protest songs are purposefully vague, avoiding preachy messages or obvious slogans. Today, we look at the new breed of protest songs with singer and activist Steve Earle and Pitchfork Media writer Chris Dahlen. Also: Bossa Nova has its roots in early 60's Brazil. On her new album, "The New Bossa Nova," Brazilian singer Luciana Souza gives the genre an update as she covers material by Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen, Sting, Elliott Smith, Steely Dan and others. This is a repeat edition of Soundcheck.

Songs of Change

If the purpose of political songs are to rouse people into action, then today's breed of political musicians aren't doing a very good job, says writer Chris Dahlen in a recent column for Pitchfork Media. Dahlen joins us today to talk about how political music is changing and what's needed ...

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Steve Earle on Musical Activism

Singer-songwriter and activist Steve Earle has made several albums of in-your-face songs about the Bush administration and other political issues. But on his latest, "Washington Square Serenade," he's less the political provocateur than a sociological observer. He explains why.


Luciana Souza

If you thought there wasn't much new to say about bossa nova, consider Brazilian singer and composer Luciana Souza. She unveils fresh angles on the genre with "The New Bossa Nova," an album featuring songs by Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen, Sting, Elliott Smith, Steely Dan and others. She joins us ...