A Critical Manifesto

Welcome to Sing The Nation Electric 2019. Feel free to enjoy the previous posts from January-July 2017. Those reviews and interviews were the first stage of this project. This second stage will continue to provide features and interviews of lesser-known musical projects from all genres, with a few stylistic changes and a renewed welcome to writers looking for a place to write about the music they love.

From now on, “We” will be used when referring to the writer and any writers who may call Sing The Nation Electric home in the future.

No more “I”.

As much “you” as possible.

In as few words as possible, allow us to describe some guiding principles.

MUSIC

Music always has a story to tell. Music shakes with the bones of history and runs with the spirits of its players. Music is no (G)od but it sure has a funny way of talking like one.

Music always tells stories, no exceptions. It may or may not be well-done, but it will always tell a story. Fred Durst has a story to tell and Yoko Ono has a story to tell and Kendrick Lamar has a story to tell. A punk band has a story to tell. A classically-trained violinist has a story to tell. Your kid sister at a 6th-grade talent show has a story to tell.

Some stories are better told than other stories. Sometimes certain stories just don’t stick with you. And that’s okay. Maybe there’s some stories that you didn’t even know could be stories. Maybe you didn’t know that this pretentious-looking button-down-shirt man playing guitar at your local bar traveled 1,000 miles to get there in a decrepit van just so he could play songs like his grandma used to play at night. That’s a story.

Keeping an open mind about music isn’t about accepting stupidity. It’s about knowing how many different kinds of stories are out there, even if they don’t speak to you personally.

MUSIC (1)

At Sing The Nation Electric, we value stories. We are here to celebrate and not to criticize. We will not provide number scores or letter grades in our reviews. We will not provide an album-of-the-year list and we will not rank our favorite records. We will tell you about the things we have heard and what we love about them. We hope you’ll listen to the bands and support their art by streaming/buying/sharing what they create.

If you are looking for detailed discussions of genre and who is cutting the proverbial edge, we have a blogroll full of excellent curators devoted to that topic. Those blogs are amazing and you should read them! It just won’t be a subject that will be heavily featured in Sing The Nation Electric, if at all.

This is not to say that we won’t point out things we don’t like, or share our thoughts. It’s definitely not to say that genre discussion is fruitless, or searching for “the next big thing” is a fruitless exercise. Those discussions are exciting and they challenge artists to push themselves. However, these discussions can also get snobby. They can get vicious and misinformed. They can make listeners forget what made them fall in love with music in the first place: music.

Sing The Nation Electric is a safe space for music lovers. It is a counterculture in an online world that focuses sometimes on ranks and numbers to a degree that eclipses the joy of experiencing sounds. It’s nice to have a change of pace sometimes, isn’t it?

 

MUSIC (2)

We welcome most music from all genres, with some exceptions.

At Sing The Nation Electric, we censor. We exercise no tolerance for hate speech, including but not limited to racism, homophobia, transphobia, anti-Semitism, white supremacy, National Socialist ideology, and all rhetoric aimed at “otherizing” humans based on their circumstances and not their actions. Do not send us music founded on these principles. We will remember who you are. We will not say, “We welcome all ideas,” because not all ideas are good. Nazis should be feared more than censorship.

To that degree, we are a political blog. People are people are people. Black lives matter. Gay lives matter. Trans lives matter. Homeless lives matter. Low-income lives matter. Migrant lives matter. Indigenous lives matter. White lives may matter but white privilege sure as hell doesn’t. We act according to our conscience. We ask that you answer yours.

MUSIC (3)

Whoever you are, welcome. Whether you are a music nerd looking for new jams, an artist looking for new spaces to share art, a writer looking for a forum to express their love of music, or simply a curious bystander, welcome. Do you have questions? Do you have criticisms? Do you want to contribute? Can we do better?

Comment below. Message us. Follow us. Engage us. Join us. Over time, we hope to sift through the currents of our hyperconnected countries and foster a nation of respect, humility, and discovery.

We leave you with the words of Walt Whitman, whose poetry inspired this project in the first place.

I sing the body electric,
The armies of those I love engirth me and I engirth them,
They will not let me off till I go with them, respond to them,
And discorrupt them, and charge them full with the charge of the soul.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.