It seems that more and more the world is a dark and unforgiving place that just doesn’t reward empathy, charity, or decency, but Carrie Neumayer and company are hustling to change her corner of it however she can. Neumayer is one of the brilliant minds behind Girls Rock Louisville, one of my favorite things to happen in our city ever. The folks at GRL are dedicated to making sure that (in their own words) “girls and gender¬ non-conforming youth from all backgrounds by exploring music creation in a supportive, inclusive environment.” Now in their second year, the camp is an awesome opportunity for folks looking to create a little joy in the world for the people around them. You can sign up today if you want to volunteer to help this year and go here if you want to sign up to be a teen intern (ages 16-18), but note that there are only four spots and you have to sign up by March 28th. We caught up with some of the badass ladies at GRL to ask them what songs get them fired up to fight the power.
Carrie Neumayer (Second Story Man, Julie of the Wolves)
My current favorite protest song is Downtown Boys, “Monstro”. The lyrics to the chorus of this song shouldn’t be so damn revolutionary: “She’s BROWN! She’s SMART!” But it is, and that’s the point. “Monstro”, sung in both Spanish and English, calls on the listener to confront our society’s dehumanization and disrespect for black and brown women. The Downtown Boys make me want to dance, to cry, to smile, and to smash the fascist-capitalist-white supremacist-cis- hetero-patriarchy all at the same time.
Terri Whitehouse (Opposable Thumbs)
There are so many outstanding protest songs (and it’s every song a love song or a protest song?), but ultimately decided that “Fortunate Son” by CCR is my favorite because I closely associate it with my dad, who served in Vietnam to escape a life of poverty. Its lyrics are timeless and confrontational, and it’s super catchy despite the subject matter. I like how the song is framed as “us” and “them,” and that it’s growled vernacular, not sung. I love the camaraderie it brings when it comes on – everybody knows the words, and everybody feels it when they sing along.