Have you guys been watching the news lately? Word on the street is, there’s a presidential election going on? And a weird one, at that. In the words of The Onion, “the normal bounds of reason and logic do not apply in this election cycle.” On one end, the Republican front-runner is a billionaire cartoon garbage-monster who’s party is scrambling to overthrow his influence using, among others, the reincarnation of the Zodiac Killer. As would be expected, the Op-Ed community is frothing at the mouth with hot takes, some even suggesting that this situation is something we really should have seen coming.
On the other end, we have Senator Bernie Sanders, whose history of representing social justice has ignited a fury of support behind him. The Burlington, Vermont Mayor-turned-Senator is running on a platform of battling wealth inequality via finance reform, which has resonated very strongly with a lot of the country’s lower and middle-class citizens. With hashtags like #feelthebern, #bernnotice, and #whentheresnothinglefttobernyoullhavetosetyourselfonfire, the internet has become awash with virulent supporters of the ideals Sanders has promised. Throughout his career, Sanders has a admirable track record of being on the right side of history, and it’s concerning that the reforms he proposes are being labeled as “progressive” instead of just “the way things are, normally.” Most importantly, Bernie’s grassroots campaign is reliant solely on donations from voters, which has already reached heights never before seen in the history of the United States.
Bernie’s movement has attracted the attention of the nation’s youth in a big way, with a fair amount of his financial support coming from music and arts-related fundraisers. Last month, for instance, Worcester’s Noise Floor Radio put together a compilation of artists from Massachusetts and New York titled Bern The System Vol. 1. The compilation is a solid mix of punk, ska, hardcore and folk, with most artists coming from the Boston area. Readers of this site will notice a good amount of familiar faces, including Boston ska-punks Stray Bullets, who contributed “Public Enemy #1” off of their latest album Ghost Town Rockers, and Slackers side-project Crazy Baldhead’s “Do They Owe Us A Living?” off the upcoming The Stereo Prophecy & Electric Hymns. Additionally, Boston’s own Hobo Chili and Andrew “F-word” Lowrey (of Meracula and Fort! The Band) each bring a track to the compilation, representing the Allston scene those bands are known for occupying. The compilation rocks from start to finish, and all proceeds go to Senator Sanders’ campaign . Given the grassroots nature of his campaign, Bernie is counting on us to make his candidacy a possibility. Check out the full compilation at the end of this post; the minimum donation is $3, and every dollar counts.
Looking for even more Bernie Bandcamp comps? We’ve got you covered: Boston For Bernie was put together by Bradford Krieger of Big Nice and features a large assortment of Boston’s alternative artists. From Bernie’s home state of Vermont, The Future’s So Bright It Berns! sports a “Bernie Sanders Went To Comic-Con As Elton John This Year” style cover and a tracklist with an impressively diverse array of genres. Going south, Virginia’s Running Around Records organized #BernACopy, a mix of punk and indie tracks that includes up-and-coming bands like Beach Slang and Boston’s own Trophy Lungs. Finally, Bernie supporters down in Durham, North Carolina have released bernie., another interesting mix of tracks that is worthy of the compilation scoring the coveted and easy-to-Google “bernie2016.bandcamp.com.”
Those who wish to donate to Bernie Sanders’ campaign directly can do so at his official website.