Classics and some curiosities in the history of music.
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The Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy was an American industrial hip-hop band, active during the early 1990s.The band was formed in 1990 by Michael Franti (vocals, production, misc. instruments) and Rono Tse (drums, percussion, programming), who had been in the Beatnigs. The band's name was derived in part from the phrase "The Disposable Heroes of Hypocrisy", used in some Socialist literature.The group was associated with contemporary bands by genre, including House of Pain and Pop Will Eat Itself. They also were somewhat reminiscent of Gil Scott-Heron due to the half-spoken vocal styles of Franti and the up-front political messages in the music. The Disposable Heroes played many concerts, sometimes opening the bill for more well-known acts such as U2 (on their landmark Zoo TV Tour), Rage Against the Machine, Nirvana and Arrested Development. Guitarist Charlie Hunter made his recording debut with the Disposable Heroes before earning fame in jazz.Their debut album, Hypocrisy Is the Greatest Luxury, received critical and underground acclaim upon its release in 1992, but was never commercially successful. Franti's lyrics address a wide range of social issues, from Mass Media bias and abuse ("Television, the Drug of the Nation") to racial equality ("Socio-Genetic Experiment", in large part inspired by Franti's childhood as a biracial child adopted by a white family), and Homophobia (in "Language of Violence"). The album also included a cover of the Dead Kennedys track "California Über Alles" (with updated lyrics about Governor Pete Wilson). "Television," which received wide airplay on college and alternative radio stations, had previously been recorded by Michael Franti's first band, The Beatnigs. In common with other bands of the time on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, the Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy used sampling and scratching as a primary tool of music recording, and mixed rock, hip hop and jazz. The album was listed in the book "1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die".Among their contemporaries, the band had strong artistic, political, and personal ties to both Meat Beat Manifesto and Consolidated. The recording of Hypocrisy is the Greatest Luxury was co-produced by Consolidated's Mark Pistel, and prolific Meat Beat Manifesto frontman Jack Dangers assisted with mixing.In 1993 the duo worked with William S. Burroughs, recording music for a collaborative album entitled Spare Ass Annie and Other Tales. This album diverged greatly from the style of the band's previous work, as they were largely providing musical background and accompaniment to Burroughs' spoken readings from several of his books. The Disposable Heroes split up shortly after. Michael Franti formed Spearhead, who (to date) have released seven albums, while Tse worked with the Mystik Journeymen.
One nationUnder GodHas turned into One nation under the influenceOf one drug[chorus:]Television, the drug of the NationBreeding ignorance and feeding radiation(2x)T.V., itSatellite linksOur United States of UnconsciousnessApathetic therapeutic and extremely addictiveThe methadone metronome pumping out150 channels 24 hours a dayYou can flip through all of themAnd still there's nothing worth watchingT.V. is the reason why less than 10 per cent of ourNation reads books dailyWhy most people think Central AmerikaMeans KansasSocialism means unamericanAnd Apartheid is a new headache remedyAbsorbed in it's world it's so hard to find usIt shapes our mind the mostMaybe the mother of our NationShould remind usThat we're sitting too close to...[Chorus:]Television, the drug of the NationBreeding ignorance and feeding radiation(2x)T.V. is The stomping ground for political candidatesWhere bears in the woodsAre chased by Grecian Formula'dBald eaglesT.V. is mechanized politic'sRemote control over the massesCo-sponsored by environmentally safe gasesWatch for the PBS specialIt's the perpetuation of the two party systemWhere image takes precedence over wisdomWhere sound bite politics are served to The fastfood cultureWhere straight teeth in your mouthAre more important than the words That come out of itRace baiting is the way to get selectedWillie Horton orWill he not get elected on...[Chorus:]Television, the drug of the NationBreeding ignorance and feeding radiation(2x)T.V., is it the reflector or the director ?Does it imitate usOr do we imitate it Because a child watches 1500 murders before he'sTwelve years old and we wonder why we've createdA Jason generation that learns to laughRather than to abhor the horrorT.V. is the place whereArmchair generals and quarterbacks canExperience first handThe excitement of warfareAs the theme song is sung in the backgroundSugar sweet sitcomsThat leave us with a bad actor taste whilePop stars metamorphosize into soda pop starsYou saw the videoYou heard the soundtrackWell now go buy the soft drink Well, the onla cola that I supportWould be a union C.O.L.A.(Cost Of Living Allowance)On television[Chorus:]Television, the drug of the NationBreeding ignorance and feeding radiation(2x)Back again, "New and improved"We return to our irregularly programmed scheduleHidden cleverly between heavy breastedBeer and car commercialsCNNESPNABCTNT but mostly B.S.Where oxymoronic language like"virtually spotless", "fresh frozen""light yet filling" and "military intelligence"Have become standardT.V. is the place where phrases are redefinedLike "recession" to "necessary downturn""Crude oil" on a beach to "mousse""Civilian death" to "collateral damages"And being killed by your own ArmyIs now called "friendly fire"T.V. is the place where the pursuitOf happiness has become the pursuit ofTriviaWhere toothpaste and cars have becomeSex objectsWhere imagination is sucked out of childrenBy a cathode ray nippleT.V. is the only wet nurseThat would create a cripple[Chorus:]Television, the drug of the NationBreeding ignorance and feeding radiation(4x)