Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Hallelujah the Hills Occupy Boston

Since last I checked in with Occupy Boston, the movement faced some serious trials and tribulations. I stopped by again on Saturday, October 15 and caught a moving performance from Hallelujah the Hills. The people at the occupation were as jubilant as ever and seemed to have only become stronger and more organized. What better way to keep spirits high than a riveting performance from one of Boston’s finest? Hallelujah the Hills were the perfect accompaniment to the breezy autumn night and the kindred spirits fighting tirelessly for a more equitable future. Music and important societal movements have always gone hand in hand and I couldn’t be more grateful that artists like Jeff Mangum, Amanda Palmer, and Hallelujah the Hills have performed in solidarity with the Occupy protesters. It is shaping up to be one of the most important movements of my lifetime with a chance to establish real progressive change.

The quartet blended acoustic guitars, cello, double bass, and trumpet into soothing, thought-provoking ballads. Old favorites such as “The House is All Lit Up” from Collective Psychosis Begone sat comfortably next to new songs like “Hungry Ghost Extraordinaire” which is set to appear on their upcoming third album. They also performed an excellent and very appropriate cover of John Lennon’s “Bring on the Lucie (Freda Peeple)” with the crowd joining the calls of “Free the people now / Do it, do it, do it, do it, do it now.” I thought it funny that people kept asking where they were from after thoroughly enjoying the set. I wanted to shout “They are from Boston, dummy!” but refrained. This is why you get to know your local music scene. At the bottom of this post are videos I shot from the performance of “Hungry Ghost Extraordinaire” and “Bring on the Lucie.” The video for “Bring on the Lucie” was also featured in this Boston Phoenix article alongside some excellent pictures from the weekend.

I can’t wait to see what musicians play in solidary with Occupy moving forward. Hopefully, they are all as compassionate as Hallelujah the Hills who signed off saying, “Thank you very much. This was a real honor for us. You guys are doing something really important.” I’ll apologize to the people who are reading this and thinking, “I thought this guy was some kind of hipster but he’s another one of those godless, dirty hippies!” It comes down to whether you want to acknowledge empirical evidence of injustice or you would rather accept corruption and blame yourself and your hardworking neighbor. It’s getting clearer why the majority of Americans stand in solidarity with this movement. I don’t want to be a part of a future where people are asking “Why didn’t we make the necessary changes when we knew what the problem was?”

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