A steadfast comrade to legions of fellow musicians including Elvis Costello and Tom Waits, avant-garde guitarist and composer Marc Ribot is now lending his support to the Occupy Wall Street movement, which marks its first anniversary today.
For a limited time, Ribot and his band Ceramic Dog are offering a free download of their new single, "Bread and Roses," which will be out on Ceramic Dog's sophomore release this spring.
Framed by an opening jagged guitar line and laced with what appear to be actual recordings of Occupy demonstrators' voices, the power ballad is an update of a traditional labor song that dates back to the International Workers of the World-backed textile worker's strike of 1912 in Lawrence, Mass., according to Ribot's website.
"The lyrics are based on a poem written by James Oppenheimer," Ribot writes. "We changed the music, and a few of the lyrics (we figured anarcho/syndicalists wouldn't mind), but the sentiments are the same. When I went to the big demonstration in Foley Square last fall, I saw something different. On TV, labor union people are supposed to hate the kind of young smart-[alecks] who started Occupy, yet here they seemed to be getting along just fine. I felt, for a moment, 'wow, something could actually happen.' I hadn't felt that in quite some time."