We first got wind of Occupy This Album, a compilation and tribute to the Occupy movement, in November of last year, but now the full list of participating musicians has been released, and wow, jaw-dropping is a fucking understatement. The album lists 53 bands and musicians, including Yo La Tengo, Mogwai, Crosby & Nash, Devo, Thee Oh Sees, Tom Morello, Joan Baez and Debbie Harry. According to Rolling Stone, Occupy This Album is to be released sometime in the coming spring.
It’s no surprise that the old guard of protest songwriting would come out in support of the album—after all, contributors David Crosby and Graham Nash had already performed for protesters last year, as did Jackson Browne and Arlo Guthrie. Willie Nelson and his wife even wrote a poem for the protesters. But to see the full range of artists, from venerable, veteran anti-war crowd to the folks who have recently picked up the protest torch, lends a whole new kind of credence to a movement many have tried to shrug off and dismiss.
Also worth noting are the musicians who, though not present on the album, have supported the movement elsewhere. Neutral Milk Hotel’s Jeff Mangum performed at Zuccotti Park in October, and in December, at the final performance of his opera Satyagraha, composer Philip Glass gave a speech to Occupy protesters who had gathered in Lincoln Center (New Yorker music critic Alex Ross spotted Lou Reed and Laurie Anderson in the crowd). A 92 year-old Pete Seeger even marched down Broadway to Columbus Circle to lead protesters in a rendition of “This Little Light of Mine” with Arlo Guthrie, which you can watch below, courtesy of YouTube.