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MP3 The Flames Of Discontent - Revenge Of The Atom Spies

Protest Song for today''s dangerous times: topical music that unites folk with vintage pop, rockabilly, punk, and world music.

14 MP3 Songs
FOLK: Political, ROCK: Roots Rock



Details:
THE FLAMES OF DISCONTENT...

''REVENGE OF THE ATOM SPIES'' was recorded in the cold reality of upstate New York in January, 2007. Even with the peripheral knowledge of a new Congress in place, our immediate view was confronted by an endless, illegal war waged by an illegitimate president. The promise of the New Year—one without a Right-wing stranglehold of Washington—continues, yet both the butcher’s bill and the deficit continue to swell. Civil liberties, labor laws, women’s rights, environmental protections, and immigrants’ rights have been strip-mined. Suspicion of other continues, even as our loyalty is questioned. Today, we live in a frightening reflection of the infamous Red Scare periods in US history: the first one was in 1919, the second in the 1930s, and the third, which began in 1947, boiled over in the 50s, only seemed to fade by the 70s.

This compact disc is a collection of topical song and prose informed by past and current events. Cold War-style sounds and imagery speak in real time and in metaphor. Strains of folk, vintage pop, punk and world music suggest a Protest Song for today’s dangerous times…
…when listening to this album, please do so with eyes facing straight ahead as well as within range of your rear-view mirror.

* * * * * * * * * * *

"John Pietaro, Laurie Towers and company have recreated the mood of the 1950s Witchhunt...and just in time for the newest waves of intended repression. While a large swath of liberal opinion, a half century or so ago, joined the Cold War crusade, eager to grab a share of the swag that would be handed out to cooperative intellectuals and artists, a larger number of dedicated artistic activists held to their positions and took the blows, determined not to give the McCarthyites the satisfaction of wiping out dissent entirely. Pietaro and Towers recall the fight-back that looked ahead to the revival of social movements during the 1960s. Likewise now, with musical verve and lively lyrics, the Flames of Discontent call us to the colors of the future...in hopes that they will be Red."

-Paul Buhle, historian/author, January 2007


The Flames of Discontent are John Pietaro (vocals, electric and acoustic 5-string banjo, percussion) and Laurie Towers (lead electric bass guitar). The Flames frequent percussionist is Rafael Figueroa who offers not only powerful drumming but vocals as well.

Their repertoire combines daring reconstructions of classic protest music along with original topical songs, spoken word pieces and improvisation. Their sound fuses strains of rockabilly, jazz, punk and ‘60s pop to the folk/protest genre, producing a mix that is simultaneously edgy and familiar. With the September 2005 release of their first CD, I Dreamed I Heard Joe Hill Last Night…A Century of IWW Songs (credited to “John Pietaro & The Flames of Discontent”), the Flames have been regularly performing their brand of radical song throughout New York State’s Hudson Valley area and in New York City. The CD, described by Chronogram magazine as, “kick-ass music for the masses…noble and timely”, was recorded in honor of the Industrial Workers of the World’s centenary and produced in accordance with historian/author Paul Buhle. Pulse magazine described the Flames sound as “radicalism through song”.

In March of 2007, they released their second album, ''Revenge of the Atom Spies'', a collection that metaphorically comments on contemporary struggles for social justice and civil liberties through the imagery and some of the sounds of the Cold War years. In contrast to the first disc, this one is largely comprised of originals but vintage songs are included as well, albeit treated to the Flames unique arrangements and irony. Liner notes were written by Buhle.

The Flames’ music has been heard live on the air in recent times on WDST-FM "Radio Woodstock" (Woodstock NY) as well as college station WVKR-FM (Poughkeepsie NY). Their CDs have been broadcast on many radio stations including the aforementioned, and WBAI-FM (New York City), KAOS-FM (Olympia, Washington), Radio Labourstart (internet radio from London, UK), and Oscar Brand’s esteemed folk music program on WNYC (New York City).

Hudson Valley performances included those at Joshua’s and the Byrdcliffe Theatre (Woodstock NY), B.S.P., Mezzanine Café and Alternative Bookstore (Kingston NY), the Howland Cultural Center and Chthonic Clash (Beacon, NY), Rosendale Café (Rosendale NY), High Falls Café (High Falls NY), the Cubbyhole (Poughkeepsie) and the Wave Farm (Cairo NY). They have also performed in New York City’s CUNY Graduate Center, Brecht Forum and Sidewalk Café, among other sites. The Flames performed for New York area IWW centenary celebrations and also for May Day, Labor Day and social justice events in the Hudson Valley and NYC. They were also performers at the 2005 fundraiser for the Working Families Party (Nyack, NY), 2006 New Paltz Peace Rally, and a 2006 Music for Peace Project concert (Poughkeepsie) coordinated by The Musicians Alliance for Peace and organized Phil Ochs Tributes in Beacon, NY (2005) and Woodstock (2006). The Flames were also featured performers at The Woodstock Fringe Festival (July and September, 2006) and organized the annual protest song spectacular, The Dissident Folk Festival in Beacon in 2006. The second Festival will occur in October of 2007. Other features of 2007 include ''Solidarity: A May Day/Cinco De Mayo Benefit Concert'', which the Flames have organized for April 28 at BSP.

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John Pietaro works professionally as a Labor organizer in the Hudson Valley of New York, where he splits his time between work and music. Outside of his Flames duties, he has performed with Alan Ginsberg, Pete Seeger, Fred Ho, Amina Baraka, Matt Jones and many others. He has performed for numerous Labor rallies including The Million Worker March (2004, Washington DC) and The Solidarity Rally for TWU Local 100 (2002, NYC)and numerous others. He has also organized many events including those commemorating Hanns Eisler (1998, NYC), Woody Guthrie (2001, NYC) and May Day (multiple years, NYC, Beacon, Kingston NY). Pietaro is a contributing writer of “Z” Magazine; his articles on arts and activism have also been published in Portside, Fifth Estate, Groundscore, People’s Weekly World and others. He holds degrees in music and certification in Organizing.

Laurie Towers is the Flames’ lead instrumentalist. In addition to her extensive music career, she is an alternative health practitioner and independent businesswoman in addition to being a writer and artist. She is an active feminist and has been a guest speaker at programs for women in “safe houses” and other locations and has acted as a mentor for girls who have been deemed “at risk”.

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