13 songs for Egypt


This is not an ideal time to work, live, or even to be within a stone's throw of Egypt.

Why? It's complicated.

[jump] The people want the current government out, like now, but then the government's all "fuck no, but we won't seek re-election," and the people going "oh Hell's no," and Obama's hinting that maybe the government would do well to just comply with the will of the people already, and it's just an unstable situation, with the government supposedly paying people to be its stand-in supporters out on the street, unflappable protesters rising up against years of oppression and you can imagine the resulting street violence, etc.

You can read a more nuanced, cogent, and adult breakdown of all of this stuff and why it has broad implications for pretty much everybody on Earth here. But first, check out our accompanying soundtrack to CNN's balls-to-the-walls coverage of this nail-biter of an overseas fracas, which you'll find useful if Wolf Blitzer's voice annoys you as much as it annoys us.

(On a side note: relax. Anderson Cooper is alive! And unrattled, I'm sure: remember, he's been doing this crazy warzone/frontline shit since Gimme Noise was watching him zigzag through mortar fire on Channel One, back when Gimme Noise was in high school, when The View's Lisa Ling was one of his colleagues. Damn, I'm old.)

Propagandhi, "Resisting Tyrannical Government"

Think this epileptic 90s hardcore gem sounds gnarly via crap B&W camcorder recording? It'll sound positively bitchin' through iPod ear buds as riot-gear equipped Egyptian soldiers beat you about the head and face in rhythm with Jord Samolesky's patriarchy-slammin', authority-defyin' stickwork.

Twisted Sister, "We're Not Gonna Take It"

Telling your parents/principal/coach to get bent is one thing. Standing up to the brute force of a imperial regime is something else entirely, especially if the toughs carrying out the regime's will are Twisted Sister fans.

The Doobie Brothers, "Takin' It To The Streets"

Michael McDonald = weapon of mass destruction. Seriously, anti-government protesters? Fly this guy in and have him stage a free concert in the middle of Cairo. Forget the city, you'll have the entire fucking country to yourselves in three hours flat.

The Rolling Stones, "Street Fighting Man"

Paradoxically, a Rolling Stones concert in Cairo would likely bring everybody together.

Fela Kuti, "Sorrow, Tears, and Blood"

Miles Davis, "Helen Butte/Mr. Freedom X"

L7, "Wargasm"

Edwin Star, "War"

Pat Benatar, "Love Is A Battlefield"

Jordan Sparks, "Battlefield"

Okay, yeah, what's happening in Egypt isn't war, but it may lead to war in the near or not-too-distant future. And it's happening because Egyptians love their country, and I don't mean that in a fascist Hail Hitler sort of way or a Republican with-us-or-against-us kind of way, but in a more wholesome patriotic sense. The less empathetic/more sonically-debauched among you might consider playing the Kuti and Davis tracks simultaneously at high volumes: trippy.

Muse, "Uprising"

I have no way of knowing whether what I'm about to say is true, so I'm counting on unemployed readers to verify this for me: at this time there are at least 57 videos featuring bloodied protesters grappling with soldiers as Matthew Bellamy snarls "the paranoia is in bloom" over industrial-pop firecrackers.

Blur, "We've Got A File On You"

More like, "we've got a sniper sight trained on you," am I right? The file thing is more for covert operations than street-insurrection situations, where as a law official you just want to keep things from getting out of hand, so you strike the loudmouths and rabble-rousers and suicidal crazies who take it upon themselves to stoke and feed and fan the flames of populist, populous resistance, all those peasants and peons and paupers whose passions, all of a blessed sudden, demand release and will no longer be ignored, categorically denied, or laughed off.

Eminem feat. D-12, "Fight Music"

You know?