In tumultuous and confusing times, optimism and activism are the powerful antidotes for cynicism and fear. Two Bills share songs to assist in making this point.
First B/William Lenker plays a spontaneous Squatters in Zion from his Steamboat Island woodshop, then Dave spiels about courageous – and sadly deceased Olympian – Rachel Corrie, followed by Billy Bragg vehemently spieling on stage before a rollicking snippet of his Great Leap Forward from Vancouver’s Vogue Theatre.
Heading out to vote in his riding in BC, Uncle Weed rallies to a secondary voting location at the last minute while spieling about the election process, political parties and vast timezones. After filling out his Canadian ballot, he returns home to drink hot toddies, get baked and fill out his USA ballot while riffing about the left vote split resulting in the Canadian Conservative minority government, and expressing hope for good times ahead. Folk singer (and personal hero) Billy Bragg provides poignant music to inspire keeping faith in democracy.
In a couple joint sessions on the balcony at SXSW, Uncle Weed recaps seeing (and meeting) folk-hero Billy Bragg at Cedar Street Courtyard documentary film about Dr. Hunter S. Thompson called Gonzo, plus seeing Athens rockers The Whigs at Stubbs, New Zealand experiential phenom Liam Finn at the Alehouse, and Canadian legends Blue Rodeo and friends (including Tom Cochran) at the Smokehouse – before fading from party exhaustion and happiness. Plus expresses concerns about expensive water, cigarette marketing, “unofficial” festivals and extreme douche bags.