“Bohemian Grove” – State Radio
In 2002, two full years before Dispatch played what was, at the time, their last show and the largest independent music gathering (they never signed to a big label) in history, Chad Stokes Urmston, Dispatch’s creative driver, was in the process of forming his next project with bassist Chuck Faye, and reggae drummer Brian Sayers. They called themselves State Radio, and with wildly entertaining shows and extremely well articulated and clever political lyricism, they quickly gathered an enormous following.
I remember seeing them in 2004 as a high schooler. Balls deep in the Bush era, their energetic music and extremely well informed and powerful words drew me in.
In 2005, Mike Najarian replaced Sayers and helped morph the bands sound farther from reggae and closer to rock.
Since forming, the band has released 5 Eps, 4 Live Albums, and 3 studio albums. While most of the songs are political in nature, they are not repetitive, and each album has a definitively unique feel. These guys are more than musicians; they are activists, history buffs, and current-event-ophiles.
Wikipedia has this to say about the Bohemian Grove:
Bohemian Grove refers to a 2,700-acre (1,100 ha) campground located at 20601 Bohemian Avenue, in Monte Rio, California, belonging to a private San Francisco based men’s art club known as theBohemian Club. In mid-July each year, Bohemian Grove hosts a two-week, three-weekend encampment of some of the most powerful men in the world. With its combination of wealth and power, Bohemian Grove’s secrecy has been a target for protest for many years. The Bohemian Grove Action Network of Occidental, California organizes protests and has aided journalists who wish to penetrate the secrecy surrounding the encampment. Over the years, individuals have infiltrated the Grove then later published video and claimed accounts of the activities at Bohemian Grove.
Opening with references to civil right’s activist Aung San Suu Kyi’s house arrest, another Bhutto assasination, Sarajevo, and US invasion, this song wastes no time addressing injustice, indifference, hypocrisy and exploitation.
The music itself is a great reggae groove–a throwback to the band’s original sound.