10 October 2007

Musical Revolution

Imagine a place where the state owns all the record companies.

No Bruce Springsteen, no Dixie Chicks, no..well, I haven’t got all day. There would probably be only country music. I’m used to that in Davie, but most folks might not like that.

That’s obviously what it’s like in Cuba. Castro owns the recording studio, the factory that makes the CD, the plastic used to make the CD…everything…including the artist. There’s only one listener that counts and you play what he wants or you don’t eat. End of story.

But technology has caught up to despotism. Control and censorship are not as cut and dry as it used to be. Anyone with a computer and a few hundred bucks can record and put out an album. No help form Fidel.

And that is what is happening. Artists in Cuba are taking advantage of the technology to express their dissatisfaction with the regime. A musical revolution is blossoming. And with today’s computers and digital cameras everyone is getting the message.

Of course there’s Gorky-poet of the counter-totalitarian culture. Along with his band, Porno Para Ricardo, he fuels the dissatisfied youth of Cuba with hope for a future full of free expression-even if its slightly explicit!

There’s a new controversial video by Moneda Dura pointing out the challenges of communist Cuba. Produced, recorded and now banned by the regime (Hey, isn’t that what Raul wants? Ideas, debate with bravery? ….like that’s going stop anyone from seeing it nowadays.

Then, there’s what some are calling “El Grito de Varela”. Carlos Varela, a Dylanesque troubadour whose lyrics have always been subject to interpretation-if not blantantly anti-Castro, during a concert in the central Cuban city of Santa Clara on October 3rd, stunned a crowd of 50,000 by dedicating a song to exiled Cuban baseball players Duque Hernandez and Kendry Morales. Varela then stated “at the top of his lungs” “Human freedom can never be half-way. Freedom is unique, and you either have it or you don’t. Because if its only halfway, then you really don’t have it.” Not much left to interpretation there.

The new revolution-it’s on youtube, on pirate satellite dishes, on computers, on CD’s, on DVD’s, on blogs. It’s information. Join it. It’s easy. Just pass it along.

1 comment:

Charlie Bravo said...

Thanks Gusano, this is a great post!