Some new art and music suggestions in addition to “Rock ‘n’ Revolution”

Top on MTV News reporter Farai Chideya’s list of recommendations is one artist you won’t hear on MTV:

Brett Cook-Dizney, whose artwork is being shown in New York City and in street exhibitions across the U.S. Cook-Dizney uses spray paint to render the faces of children, politicians, and homeless Americans, often layering them over billboards to provide ironic counterpoint to the advertising. In one image, a black child and a white child share a slice of watermelon. In another, he uses the nursery rhyme “Ashes, ashes, we all fall down” with portraits of the Republican elite.

“[Cook-Dizney’s work] is the visual equivalent of rap songs that layer biting lyrics over a soothing, familiar backbeat,” says Chideya. “Some listeners will hear nothing but sound and fury; others, conversely, will be content to bob their heads, barely cognizant of the controversial message within. The lucky ones of us will be able to listen to–or in the case of Cook-Dizney’s work, see–both layers at once, the aesthetic and the message, the bitter and the sweet.”

Chideya also recommends:

Noise Addict’s “Meet the Real You” (Grand Royal): Ben Lee, Noise Addict’s 17-year-old front man, is an angst-ridden Australian teenager. Take the song “16.” “I’m so maaaad,” Lee screams. Pause. “I thought my life would be like a John Hughes film.” Didn’t we all?

“Rude Hieroglyphics” (Rykodisc): Singer/screamer/performance artist Lydia Lunch joins Exene Cervenka of the group “X” on this wide-ranging, topical, spoken-word recording. They riff on the O.J. Simpson trial and slash at societal pressures on women–some sample lyrics: “You think you’re gonna kick a hole in the glass ceiling with glass slippers? Throw away those magazines.”

(See also the MoJo Wire’s own top 20 political songs.)

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

Share your feedback: We’re planning to launch a new version of the comments section. Help us test it.