The life, times, and legacy of Joe Hill, American labour icon
I haven't started reading this book yet, but it's part of what I've been working on recently. Although it still scares me to think it, I've been working on writing a book about the intersection of labour, populism, and music. Author's like Thomas Frank ("What's The Matter With Kansas" , "The People, No") inspired me to synthesize, aggregate and compile what I'm learning into a digestible book for the uninitiated.
I had never heard of James Petrillo, the AFM president who in the mid-20th-century won victories for the compensation and labour practices of musicians. I had never heard of Woody Gutherie, or Joe Hill in my childhood music lessons like I would hear about Beethoven or Bach.
But, musicians that organize communities and create positive change outside of their musical careers are extremely rare and extremely important. I intend to explore them, expose them, and learn from them to better organize myself and my fellow artists at this unprecedented time in the history of the music industry.
I have months of work ahead, but I'll be sharing some snippets here. And who knows, maybe you know something about this history! I hope it leads to some interesting conversations.
It's also killing me that ikea isn't shipping right now. We've been wanting to buy this large book case. We have so many books in our house in bins, closets, boxes, that need a proper home. We'll be making a library room when we can, and the chances of you seeing it as a backdrop in a video or photo are very high. Could you fill that bookcase? Are you a reader? Send me a message any time at firstname.lastname@example.org