Consolidated: Fighting The Evil System
“This is no rock n’ roll band. It’s a democratically executed forum of social and political transformation.”
“This is no consumer product. Help us win the war against inequality; racist, sexist and economic—before it’s too late!”
(From “Consolidated”, on The Myth of Rock by Consolidated)
From our government’s geopolitically unsound and environmentally unsustainable policy of dependence on petrochemical products, to our nation’s meat-based diet, which is not only unhealthy as a source of food but which promotes worldwide starvation and resource depletion, Consolidated presents information, “appealing to question the authority of its parents, its educators and its mass media,” and “to unite to defend the future of world peace.”
“Don’t let them deceive you with the legitimation of their myth,” Consolidated tells an audience on The Myth of Rock (1990). “‘America #1’ is a lie; a propaganda tool injected into the psyche of the ‘SuperAmerica,’ legitimized over a hundred years of imperialist aggression and coercive intervention. Number one—Don’t believe the hype!”
Bringing their “message to the people,” Consolidated attacks such entrenched beliefs in our society as human species centrism, white racism, male sexism, Christian bigotry and capitalist greed, indicting the U.S. government as an authoritarian, patriarchal fascist who manipulates and deceives the public to achieve their self-serving agenda.
On their 1991 Friendly Fa$cism, Consolidated relates their interpretation of America in the nineties, which is essentially a “kinder, gentler slaughterhouse,” where the controlling interests retain dominance by keeping the masses divided, distracted, selfish and sedated. “Big business and big government distract us with entertainment. They manufacture our consent while we destroy the environment.” As a result, “America is based out of its mind,” stoned on everything from militarism, to MTV, to the Lord Jesus Christ, himself.
“Curious” George Bush is mentioned on Friendly Fa$cism in the Gulf War protest song, “We Gotta Have Peace,” which is a remake of Edwin Starr’s ‘60s anthem “War.” Bush even “performs” (via voice sampling) in “Our Leader,” a tribute to the president.
Drawing on such sources as The Sexual Politics of Meat by Carol J. Adams; Diet for a New America by John Robbins; and Friendly Fascism by Bertram Gross, as well as Karl Marx and Adam Smith, Consolidated presents a mixture of ideas, including libertarianism, humanitarianism, humanism, feminism, vegetarianism and animal rights, but also states explicitly that “this is neither law, religion, philosophy or fashion and should never be represented as such.” Fusing elements of rap, hip-hop, industrial and pop/rock music (though they warn of “latching onto meaningless labels”), Consolidated advocates for cooperation, responsibility, intelligence, compassion, humility and respect for all life through thoughtful and powerful lyrics, oratorio, sampling and dialogue, including open discourse with their audiences on tour.
Assessing the hypocritical and contradictory nature of the music business, Consolidated declares, “We are disgusted by the oppression of women and minorities, but our ability to impact the situation has been subverted by a neutralized media—Pop Music!—Man, that shit is weak,” “Josephine the Singer,” on The Myth of Rock “illustrates the final stage of the Capital Amusement industry’s expropriation and manipulation of the role of a musician in society; a role that, due to the inevitable commodification and fetishism of the sacred art form, has within the last two hundred years undergone a dramatic transformation.” Because the music industry is “controlled by child-molesters and mafia ‘Nazis,’” reasons Consolidated, “The nature of music itself becomes twisted, altered, distorted, to suit the needs of the capital.”
Deception and indoctrination through entertainment and mass media, as well as intimate government ties to Corporate America, are central to the theme of Friendly Fa$cism. In describing contemporary music as being “just a measure of forced consumption” due to the Culture Industry’s monopolistic control over our expressive domain,” Consolidated states that “until we change the social conditions under which music is made, the music has no meaning.”
This is the most culturally significant band in America today, inspiring and entertaining in their enthusiasm and willingness to use the traditionally exploitive, misogynistic and shallow medium of pop music in an attempt to inform, educate and motivate in the name of freedom, equality and social justice.
Consolidated is a Nettwerk Production of I.R.S. Records, 3939 Lankershim Blvd. Universal City, Ca. 91604.
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