A TRIBUTE TO TOMAS YOUNG” FEATURING TOM MORELLO: THE NIGHTWATCHMAN AND PHIL DONAHUE

An evening celebrating the life of Tomas Young featuring Tom Morello and Phil Donahue has been announced for May 19th at the Alamo Drafthouse Mainstreet in Kansas City, Missouri (Young’s hometown).  The evening will feature a concert by Tom Morello as well as a screening of Body of War, which will be introduced in person by co-director and executive producer Phil Donahue.  Tomas Young is also expected to be in attendance.   Of Tom Morello’s solo alter ego, Tomas Young stated “The Nightwatchman is an amazing folk musician in the tradition of Bob Dylan with the same energy and master of the guitar he first showed in Rage Against The Machine.  The Nightwatchman is a must see.”  Of Young, Morello stated “Paralyzed veteran and anti-war crusader Tomas Young is an inspiration – a war hero turned peace hero.  From his wheelchair his voice thunders louder for peace and justice than 1,000 exploding drones.”

Tomas Young is a 33-year-old Iraq War veteran who was shot above the collarbone and paralyzed from the chest down less than a week into his deployment in 2004.  He is the subject of the award-winning 2007 documentary, Body Of War, from executive producer and directors Phil Donahue and Ellen Spiro.   The film documents Young’s years following Iraq and is a story about coming home as he evolves into a new person coming to terms with his disability and finding his own unique and passionate voice against the war.  It is an intimate and transformative documentary about the true face of war today.

Read the full article at Drafthouse.

TOM MORELLO OFFERS SELECTIONS FROM HIS UNION TOWN EP FOR FREE TODAY VIA TEAMSTER.ORG IN CELEBRATION OF MAY DAY/INTERNATONAL WORKER’S DAY

May 1st, 2013 – New York, New York – Tom Morello is offering selections from his Union Town EP as a free download via Teamster.org TODAY in celebration of May Day/International Worker’s Day.   The Union Town EP was originally released via New West Records in 2011.  The songs “Union Town,” “A Wall Against The Wind,” “I Dreamed I Saw Joe Hill Last Night,” and “Union Song – Live In Madison, WI” will be available for free starting now.  Morello and the Teamsters have been fighting the same fight across the country for many years and he has previously performed at their 2011 convention and their Stop The War On Workers rally in Los Angeles in 2012.

A lifelong advocate for Unions, Union Town was initially released after Morello performed at the Capital Square in Madison, WI in February of 2011 in protest to an anti-union bill put forward by Governor Scott Walker.   Morello stated at the time “I’ve been a proud union man for 22 years and my mom was a union public high school teacher.  Unions are a crucial counterweight to the raw corporate greed that torpedoed our economy, threatens our environment and wants to strip away decades of social progress.  Here’s a soundtrack to our fight.”

 

Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.  Visit www.teamster.org for more information.  Follow them on Twitter @Teamsters and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teamsters.

 

Tom Morello is an original member of the rock bands Rage Against The Machine and Audioslave, two artists responsible for multiple Grammy Awards and a combined 30 million albums sold worldwide. In 2007, he released his first solo album, One Man Revolution, as The Nightwatchman.  His most recent solo album, 2011′s World Wide Rebel Songs was met with critical acclaim with Rolling Stone naming it one of the 50 Albums of the Year.  Morello has also been recognized by the magazine as one of the “100 Greatest Guitar Players of All-Time (#26).”

Morello graduated from Harvard University with honors as a Political Science major and has been a widely recognized political activist throughout his career.  In 2006, he was the recipient of the Eleanor Roosevelt Human Rights Award.  In 2011 he was named The Nation Magazine’s “Musician of the Year,” received the 2011 Worker’s Voice Award, a 2011 Reed Award, and an MTV “O” Award for “Best Occupy Wall Street Performance.”  Morello was also the recipient of the Hillman Prize Officers’ Award for his advocacy for and support of working people across the world.  Previous Officers’ Awards have been awarded to such figures as Eleanor Roosevelt, Martin Luther King Jr., Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Harry Belafonte, and others.

Extremely active in the Occupy Movement, Morello performed at Occupy Wall Street and also made appearances at Occupy sites in London, Los Angeles, Vancouver, Seattle and San Francisco, distributing free tickets to his live performances.  He is also featured on Wrecking Ball, the 2012 studio album from Bruce Springsteen and during early spring of this year toured Australia with Springsteen as a member of the E-Street Band.

Morello’s family has been a constant source of political and social inspiration as his great-uncle, Jomo Kenyatta, was the first President of Kenya, and his mother, Mary Morello, founded Parents for Rock and Rap, an anti-censorship counterweight to Tipper Gore’s PMRC (Parents Music Resource Center).  With System of A Down’s Serj Tankian, Morello formed Axis of Justice, an organization whose purpose is to bring together musicians, music fans, and grassroots political organizations to fight for social justice.

Selections from Union Town available for free download May 1st:

  1. Union Town
  2. A Wall Against The Wind
  3. I Dreamed I Saw Joe Hill Last Night
  4. Union Song – Live In Madison, WI

Tom Morello on Dying Veteran Tomas Young’s Letter: ‘There’s Nothing More Courageous’

Guitarist calls the emotional statement ‘the most effective piece of anti-war literature written in 50 years’

To mark the 10th anniversary of the Iraq War this week, U.S. veteran Tomas Young – who was shot and paralyzed after serving only five days in Iraq in 2004 – posted an emotional letter addressed to former president George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. “The Iraq War is the largest strategic blunder in U.S. history,” wrote Young, adding, “On every level – moral, strategic, military and economic – Iraq was a failure. And it was you, Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney, who started this war. It is you who should pay the consequences.”

Read the full article at Rolling Stone.

 

A Long Way From Zuccotti Park

Listening to “House Gone Up in Flames” with me before The Nightwatchman’s recent mostly acoustic concert at Jazz at Lincoln Center, my eight-year-old daughter remarked, “It’s this, it’s that. What is it?”

When you’re eight, you expect riddles to have answers, which is why an eight-year-old has no business in the blasted landscape that is The Nightwatchman’s home turf. He creates as vivid a sense of place as any songwriter I know, and it’s a lonely, God-forsaken wasteland, criss-crossed by lonely stretches of blacktop where junked cars serve in a pinch as confession booths.

“Are there any hopeful Nightwatchman songs?” Tom Morello, the Fifth Horseman’s alter ego, asked me after the February 16 show. “Sometimes you’re hopeful that you’ll take a lot of them along with you to Hell,” I offered.

But of course there is hope in The Nightwatchman’s world–there’s a faith in world-wide rebel songs, that one swallow flying away will make the other 99 fly too, that the lightning will in fact come. But what you base that faith on is the riddle that can’t be answered, can only be enacted. As The Nightwatchman sings: “There’s a sign along the highway–but it’s too dark now to read.” You find the road by driving it.

Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Allen Room is an architectural and acoustical jewel with a 50-foot floor-to-ceiling window looking out over the urban splendor of Columbus Circle and Central Park South, with the towers that house billionaires on Fifth Avenue in the background.

Jazz at Lincoln Center is not, in fact, at Lincoln Center, but instead is up in the Time Warner Center, the most valuable building in the most expensive city in the richest country in the world. “Allen” is Allen & Company, a secretive investment bank that helps the likes of Rupert Murdoch gobble up more media outlets.

As The Nightwatchman remarked at the beginning of the show, it’s a long way from Zuccotti Park.

Can you really speak and make lightning when you’re singing about Union Town in what amounts to the Fabled City’s living room? One of the beauty things about The Nightwatchman is that he really is unco-optable.

The song “Stray Bullets”–which he played to devastating effect after explaining the circumstances under which it was written–is about a group of GIs in Iraq deciding to stop fighting the insurgents and hunt down their commanding general instead. They are never, ever going to use that as the soundtrack for an ad for SUVs.

Meanwhile, at the actual Lincoln Center, three blocks away, there’s a David H. Koch Theater, where the New York City Ballet performs. So when The Nightwatchman ad-libs, “And when we put the Koch brothers on trial, I’ll be in the front row”–I thought, well, these would be the right venues for that.

This is music, indeed, that saves the hammer for The Man–and hammers hard and true. But The Nightwatchman is not the proverbial guy who’s only got a hammer–or a branding iron. His opening number, “Saint Isabelle,” is a tribute to Tom’s late aunt and a promise to all fallen comrades; it had me in tears by the second chorus. “The Garden of Gethsemane,” as The Nightwatchman noted, is a song that acknowledges that for every moment of certainty we get a thousand moments of doubt.

Any Australians in the audience got a sneak preview of Bruce Springsteen’s upcoming tour of Down Under, with Morello backing him on guitar. The Nightwatchman’s cover of “Ghost of Tom Joad”–featuring I believe the only electric guitaring of the evening–didn’t sound like anything you would have heard the E Street Band play, or Rage Against The Machine for that matter. It struck me in its spacey beauty like something Steve Miller would be proud to play.

Of course, no Nightwatchman concert would be complete without the performance of what he calls the alternative national anthem, “This Land Is Your Land.” If there were members of the 1 Percent in attendance at the show, they maintained their cover, since as far as I could tell there was 100 percent compliance with the Nightwatchman’s injunction to jump the f*** around.

The singing of the censored verses isn’t much of a revelation to me at this point–my daughter goes to a New York City public school where they sing those lines proudly–but I was struck for the first time that I live on the New York Island, one of the parts of the country specifically singled out by Woody Guthrie as having been made for you and me.

Take that, Allen Room.

By Jim Naureckas

In case you missed it

Tom Morello, LL Cool J, Chuck D Ask ‘Whaddup’ in All-Star Grammys Closer
‘We’re gonna take a career’s worth of fury and put it into four minutes,’ Morello promises before set

Tonight’s Grammy telecast closed with an all-star mixing of rock, rap and turntablism as Tom Morello, LL Cool J, Travis Barker, Public Enemy’s Chuck D and Z-Trip assembled to perform a song called “Whaddup.”

Z-Trip put the group together after working with LL Cool J. “LL and I have been working on some tracks, and this song in particular, he was like, ‘We’re gonna perform this on the Grammys, but let’s get the right people together; I want to have live musicians,’” Z-Trip told Rolling Stone. “So I reached out to Tom, Travis, Chuck as well, and everyone came in. It’s like the A-Team; we put out the call, everyone’s in here. It’s like putting together a magnitude, a supernova that’s gonna burn this whole place down.”

Read the full article at Rolling Stone.

TOM MORELLO ON “ORCHID’S” FINALE, POLITICS & POSSIBLE FUTURE

Millions of music fans know the signature sound of Tom Morello’s guitar from his time with “Rage Against the Machine” and “Audioslave,” but its his words that take center stage in the Dark Horse Comics published “Orchid,” which wraps its twelve issue run this week.

An epic look at a sunken, ransacked Earth where most of the population lives in fear, “Orchid” allowed the politically expressive Morello to blend monsters and messages with a tale of heroism and sacrifice. And while the focus was certainly on Morello’s writing, the book also tied to his music career thanks to free, downloadable original compositions that served to score each issue.

In speaking with CBR News, Morello describes his experience creating the world of “Orchid” with artist Scott Hepburn, the chances of him returning to comics and if he ever worried about being perceived as preachy.

BUY Orchid #12 TODAY!

Read the full article at Comic Book Resources.

Orchid With Tom Morello and Scott Hepburn!

One of our favorite series of the year has been ORCHID from rock superstar TOM MORELLO, And while we’re sad to see it end, we’re going to send it off in a BIG way, with a full-blown Signing and Wrap Party! The full details of this event cannot be released just yet, but we can tell you now… You WANT to be here for this. Stay tuned!

Where: Beach Ball Comics - 3024 W Ball Rd Ste G – Anaheim, California 928

Click here for more information and to RSVP.