Saturday, October 19, 2013

Shutdown: Don’t Shut ‘em Down

Flogging Molly: Don’t Shut ‘em Down

So, of course, the government shutdown is over, and we here at Star Maker Machine take credit for the ending, only a few days after we created this theme. It is sort of like why some baseball announcers won’t mention that a pitcher has a no-hitter, as if the announcer affects the game. Which is something that my father insists on, despite being quite well educated and intelligent. But if that is true, then why can’t a little music blog cause the reopening of the entire United States government?

I’ve previously written about my attendance at two Warped Tours, and why that demonstrates my credentials as a great father, but it also exposed me to some incredible music. Maybe my favorite discovery at Warped Tour was Flogging Molly, who combine Celtic music with punk in a way that I find incredibly fun. It is surprising that there is a whole slew of bands like this, like the Pogues and Dropkick Murphys, but of all of them, Flogging Molly is my fave. I will never forget the mosh pit that afternoon on Randall’s Island—I only watched because, hey, I’m a grownup—but it was a like a maniacal Irish dance in the dirt and mud. We bought some of their CDs at the merch tent that day, and I’ve been a fan ever since.

“Don’t Shut ‘em Down,” from the band’s latest release of new material, 2011’s Speed of Darkness, was written about the economic situation, primarily in Detroit where the band is based and in leader Dave King’s native Ireland. It is a plea not to shut down the factories that gave so many people work, the ability to support their families, and allowed cities to thrive. The title is taken from graffiti that King saw painted on a boarded up building in Detroit.

This song is, actually, one of the least Celtic sounding Flogging Molly songs that I can think of—it is more of a straight ahead rocker, with a poignant, important message.

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