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Some new art and music suggestions in addition to “Rock ‘n’ Revolution”

Top on MTV News reporter Farai Chideya’s list of recommendations is one artist you won’t hear on MTV:

Brett Cook-Dizney, whose artwork is being shown in New York City and in street exhibitions across the U.S. Cook-Dizney uses spray paint to render the faces of children, politicians, and homeless Americans, often layering them over billboards to provide ironic counterpoint to the advertising. In one image, a black child and a white child share a slice of watermelon. In another, he uses the nursery rhyme “Ashes, ashes, we all fall down” with portraits of the Republican elite.

“[Cook-Dizney’s work] is the visual equivalent of rap songs that layer biting lyrics over a soothing, familiar backbeat,” says Chideya. “Some listeners will hear nothing but sound and fury; others, conversely, will be content to bob their heads, barely cognizant of the controversial message within. The lucky ones of us will be able to listen to–or in the case of Cook-Dizney’s work, see–both layers at once, the aesthetic and the message, the bitter and the sweet.”

Chideya also recommends:

Noise Addict’s “Meet the Real You” (Grand Royal): Ben Lee, Noise Addict’s 17-year-old front man, is an angst-ridden Australian teenager. Take the song “16.” “I’m so maaaad,” Lee screams. Pause. “I thought my life would be like a John Hughes film.” Didn’t we all?

“Rude Hieroglyphics” (Rykodisc): Singer/screamer/performance artist Lydia Lunch joins Exene Cervenka of the group “X” on this wide-ranging, topical, spoken-word recording. They riff on the O.J. Simpson trial and slash at societal pressures on women–some sample lyrics: “You think you’re gonna kick a hole in the glass ceiling with glass slippers? Throw away those magazines.”

(See also the MoJo Wire’s own top 20 political songs.)


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