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Today we finally get to know what a crowd of people doing a cappella versions of Zack de la Rocha’s protest songs sounds like. It goes something like “bow-bow-bow-bow-chikka-chikka-chikka.” RATM turned up in St. Paul to perform a short set at 6:30PM yesterday as part of the Ripple Effect music festival, set on the lawn of the Minnesota State Capitol building. As the Star Tribune reports, though, “the band arrived close to the 7 p.m. curfew time and without a proper permit, so police would not let it perform.” (The Tribune goes on to quote an event logistics manager: “A state patrolman held the band and wouldn’t let them enter [backstage] until it was too late.”) At that time the inevitable “Fuck you I won’t do what you tell me”s broke out, followed by Zack and Tom addressing the crowd, explaining their intention of “peaceful protest,” and offering an a cappella “Bulls On Parade” and “Killing In The Name,” passing a megaphone back and forth for raps and guitars. Most of it was caught on film, so click on for what will probably be the only video from the RNC that won’t recapitulate John McCain’s prisoner-of-war stories.

That one was filmed by above-thefold.com, via BV. If you want straight to the a cappella Morello, try this one (via RS):

Comments (60)
  1. G  |   Posted on Sep 3rd, 2008 -1

    God Almighty,I hate rage against the machine. Just go away already!!!!!

    • Agreed! Shit like this makes me want to rescind my opposition to the death penalty and have Rage’s “innocent” hero Mumia executed as a form of counter-protest. But that would just give them 2-CDs worth of new material, so scratch that. Uh, how about an Audioslave reunion instead to make them go away?!

      • way to be a dick.

        • Hey, I know Audioslave were terrible and all, but at least no one took them seriously (least of all the members of the band–judging by their musical output). RATM are a nuisance who attract misguided lollygaggers who think that Che is someone to admire, all the while giving young, left-leaning non-fans a bad name (i.e. whenever Zack makes completely idiotic, non-satirical statements, like the one about burning down the offices of every Senator if Obama doesn’t pull out of Iraq).

        • Kelly  |   Posted on Sep 3rd, 2008 -1

          Rage crashed the RNC to yell profanities, and you’re calling an anonymous poster a dick?

          • crashing the RNC? What’s wrong with them standing in a parking lot and peacefully demonstrating? I don’t care if you like their music or statements or whatever but they’re simply excercizing the rights that are given to all of us just for being American.

          • Kelly  |   Posted on Sep 5th, 2008 -1

            Obviously they have every right to speak their mind. They don’t however have every right to demonstrate in a public place without a permit.

            And don’t mistake me. I actually am a fan of the band. I just don’t let their views impact mine. When I want political information I rarely go straight to a band.

          • well, maybe they’re both in the wrong… but the Radiohead fan is clearly being a dick.

          • Kelly  |   Posted on Sep 5th, 2008 0

            Fair enough.

  2. josh  |   Posted on Sep 3rd, 2008 0

    st. paul, not minneapolis.

  3. SZA  |   Posted on Sep 3rd, 2008 0

    Hmm, Still love em! Hope they stay for a while.

  4. Brilliant.

  5. CISCO ONE  |   Posted on Sep 3rd, 2008 0

    Rage Against the Machine being there and the activities of the Black Bloc and other protesters restores my faith in humanity! We are alive after all! The cops and politicians can now go home and sit in their living rooms and watch TV like everyone else in America. … And Obama fans… this is what hope really looks like! Los Angeles to Minneapolis!

    • TC  |   Posted on Sep 3rd, 2008 -1

      By the way, the corrupt cops that Rage loves to bitch about were the exact people pulling kids over the rails and keeping them from getting seriously hurt at the Lollapalooza mess. Just food for thought.

  6. Nitestik  |   Posted on Sep 3rd, 2008 0

    Isn’t it “Bulls on Parade” and “Killing in the Name of”?

    • it actually is just “killing in the name”

      and to the haters commenting, you dont have to agree with a band’s idealism OR take a band seriously to like their music and enjoy their concerts.

      • Kelly  |   Posted on Sep 3rd, 2008 0

        That’s true. You’d be surprised at how many conservatives listen to indie bands and just brush off the things they say. It can be hard, especially when their politics are deeply entrenched into their songs, but music is music.

        Of course it’s also hard to take any of them seriously. The big protest is over the war, but no matter what people say, at this point Obama’s plan won’t have the troops out any quicker than Bush’s plan or McCain’s plan or Clinton’s plan. And don’t buy that 100 years smear unless you believe we’re at war with Germany, Korea, Japan and hundreds of other countries where we still have troops stationed.

        • Obama would have then out before Bush, who would have them out before McCain.

          True, Obama isn’t far off from Bush on this anymore but McCain is still off in his own world away from everyone.

          • Kelly  |   Posted on Sep 5th, 2008 0

            If you want to be technical, Bush won’t even be in office long enough to have them out by his time line, one that’s maybe a month or so off of Obama’s, so it won’t be possible for him to have them out as quickly as Obama possibly will.

  7. boo  |   Posted on Sep 3rd, 2008 -1

    Idealistic, Imature, & Ignorant—-my opnion Rage. Cool guitar work, but otherwise, just a bunch of slanted, uninformed brats who never grew up.!!!

  8. Superb.

  9. way to make idealism sound like it’s childish; someone clearly had theirs ripped from their hands

  10. Get a haircut, Zach. You look like your mother fucked a monkey.

    • kessk  |   Posted on Sep 3rd, 2008 0

      A monkey? Because his hair isn’t swinging like the limp spaghetti hanging from YOUR scalp? You obviously haven’t seen many monkeys in your time. Dickman is the right name for you, you racist fuck.

  11. whistle  |   Posted on Sep 3rd, 2008 -1

    Clever tactic to not get the proper permits. Now they can act like they were ‘silenced’ by the evil RNC.

  12. i love rage. and the band is good to, hey oh!

  13. skratch  |   Posted on Sep 3rd, 2008 0

    coolest thing i’ve seen in a while. eff you silly webhaters.

  14. assasin  |   Posted on Sep 3rd, 2008 +1

    rage is one of the most influential bands of our time and they kick so much ass. to be able to respect that shows musical intelligence but to hate on that shows your musical stupidity.

  15. Adam  |   Posted on Sep 3rd, 2008 0

    yo, the people at lolla who were pulling kids out over the railing were security guards- probably uninsured, underpaid and who probably don’t have a union like the police do.

    and second, whether or not i agree with all of RATM’s tactics or their supposed nonviolent stance amongst some pretty violent statements, there needs to be a voice like theirs out in the mainstream, representing those views.

    • drab  |   Posted on Sep 3rd, 2008 -1

      “fuck you i won’t do what you tell me.” yeah, that’s really a voice that i want representing my views.

      • peace  |   Posted on Sep 3rd, 2008 0

        Yeah it is actually. RATM is speaking for me because the fed is not always right An unchallenged government will take advantage that?s a fact. These protests are at the heart of rock. That?s why it’s rock because it is meant to rock the foundation and fuck with the status quo. Fuck yeah we need bands like this. We need more bands like this there are too many ignorant people in this country who have no direction and no idea of what is happening around them.
        The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions that I wish it to be always kept alive. It will often be exercised when wrong, but better so than not to be exercised at all.
        Thomas Jefferson

      • Adam F  |   Posted on Sep 4th, 2008 -1

        Brother, then obviously your views aren’t those being represented by Rage. find a new outlet?

        and yeah, fellow Adam, I would 100% support Rage’s view more if they really were non-violent.

  16. cucumber  |   Posted on Sep 3rd, 2008 0

    Holy shit!
    People wonder why the majority of the world is fucking terrified of America.
    If you keep voting in rich pricks who insist on running around the world taking other peoples rights away, you get what you deserve I guess.

    It’s just too bad that the rest of us have to put up with a dumbed down, head up the ass society that forgets how they actually won any of the rights they’ve got left.(too bad about how your constitution being gutted eh?)

    Good thing it wasn’t up to you kids to fight for civil rights, or to end slavery.

    • Kelly  |   Posted on Sep 5th, 2008 -1

      Yeah, it’s such a great thing that we can vote for a normal person this election, someone who isn’t rich… Oh, wait… Never mind.

  17. I am shocked at the insensitive, racist, and flat out stupid remarks I have read here. I thought Stereogum readers were better than this.

  18. They sounded better on Guitar Hero

  19. Greg  |   Posted on Sep 3rd, 2008 0

    It’s just really easy to say a band’s performance was “brilliant” when they did something unplanned and intimate. I think they sounded pretty goddamn awkward singing the guitar parts.

  20. drab  |   Posted on Sep 3rd, 2008 0

    yeah, especially since they handle things in such a mature and educated manner.

  21. Nightwatchman  |   Posted on Sep 4th, 2008 0

    So, Tom morello did do a radio station tour and didn’t talk any corperate mess at Clear Channel. He came in, did his thing aand left. I just wonder if he looks at it as a support of his art and using it as a vehicle to get his word out, or to promote his album. I understand, everyone needs to make a buck, but everyone comprimises their morals at sometime for a price. Now, Rage likes to take that misguided anger through their music and try to say they have followers for their cause. Then they get the people that are too young to vote or don’t care and don’t know about the issues at hand to come out and cheer for something they may not believe. Where are Rage’s new songs? And, will Zach’s pet project really go anywhere? Basically, Zach is a voice and like sto be in the forefront, irreverance is his worst nightmare, and with these songs he will always be in the forefront. And is that revolutionary?

  22. I’m all for zach and the boys doing whatever the fuck they want, if it raises awareness. He might come off with more credibility if he wasn’t doing the coke wipe/pinch every twenty seconds though….

  23. Dr Ivory Love  |   Posted on Sep 4th, 2008 0

    I love how rage pushes the limits of free speach and the right to protest. Truly patriotic. The garbage and lies that are being spoken inside the RNC may sound civil but they are as mean spirited as anything zach says.

    • Kelly  |   Posted on Sep 8th, 2008 -1

      Then wouldn’t it be smarter to allow RNC unrestricted access to as many media outlets as possible so that the American people can actually hear how awful they are instead of turning them into the victims of a rock band?

  24. tennessee  |   Posted on Sep 4th, 2008 0

    Zach looks/acts like 60′s era Bobby D.

  25. Adam  |   Posted on Sep 4th, 2008 -1

    I only wonder how de la Rocha can say with a straight face that his band never advocated violence. Does he have selective amnesia? Or has it just been a while since he’s listened to any Rage records? Oh…is has? Yeah, me too.

  26. daver  |   Posted on Sep 4th, 2008 +1

    people like larry dickman are whats wrong with america.
    and i fully agree with the comment from buns, stereogum is being over run with assholes and douchbags.

  27. JustMe  |   Posted on Sep 5th, 2008 -1

    1 Zach claims to be a communist. Anyone who would believe in a discredited 19th century economic theory is intellectually dishonest or uneducated.

    2 I didn’t see any racist views here. Mumia is an asshole who does deserve to die.

    3 No one is against free speech these assholes didn’t obtain a proper permit to protest.

    4 They make true progressives look stupid.

    • OpenEyez  |   Posted on Sep 5th, 2008 +1

      1. Zach is trying to portray the true, pure communism. Not the bullshit that had existed mid 20th century. True, Marxist, communism has not yet existed in our world. Read a book. Yes, it is a theory that may never be actualized, but it is an ideology which is admirable and desirable by many, but that all is dependent on opinion.

      2. Mumia’s actions are not necessarily what is being questioned, rather, the processes of his litigation. Face it,t he judicial system is flawed at best, that is what they are raising the attentions of.

      3. Read a book. First Amendment was created without intentions of required permits to organize.

      4. There are, like all things, different variances of things. Yes, they may lean to more extremes. But, noting them as “stupid” is both (a) opinionated and (b) generalizing. Do all Islamic extremists make Islamic relgion look violent? Yes, to the ignorant. And, moreso, how do you even define “true progressives”? Maybe I am reading too much into it, or maybe I am just educated.

      • Kelly  |   Posted on Sep 8th, 2008 -1

        There’s a reason “pure Communism” has never existed despite the best intentions of its most ardent followers. Not to borrow too much of your own argument, but there are several books that can spell that out for you if you’d like more information. If you’d like, I’d be more than happy to recommend a few.

    • Caruut  |   Posted on Sep 7th, 2008 +1

      Disagreeing with somebody else’s views doesn’t make them an idiot. You have every right to mindlessly accuse them of that, but to me, it just makes you look foolish.

      1. Your use of language in making this point is as childish as the point itself. Believing in a free market does not mean that communism has been discredited. For example, forms of communism are alive and well today.

      Cuba and Venezuela survive today even under extreme political, economic and even violent pressure from the US. A country that fights wars in the name of democracy and then pours billions into ousting the democratically elected Hugo Chavez from ruling Venezuela.

      The US’s bullish actions have prevented communism from being given a fair run-out. Soviet Russia was never true communism. In many ways claiming to be a communist is showing hope that an economic model thwarted by human greed and elitistism might some day work.

      2. Mumia’s conviction is based on shakey evidence. From reading about it, I’d say for me it’s about 70% certain he did it. But that is not sufficient to say he deserves death. Who in this world can claim that another man or woman deserves death. Mumia debatably killed one man. The actions of the US government, and US corporations have killed far, far more than that.

      3. They didn’t obtain a permit, and I’d support them more if they did. It’s quite clear they permit or not you’d hate them, though. Although why should any authority restrict the right of a group or individual to protest? Is it right to let an authority control protests against it or group and/or organisations affiliated with it? Had they applied for a permit, would they have been granted one? Or would it have been declined and alerted police to the possibility of their presence anyway, stopping them from doing any kind of protest.

      4. They constantly spark debate in societies where extreme right views are often aired by the news media, but the left is looked over. Mainstream news is controlled by the rich – the capitalists. This means that left wing, socialist or communist ideals are rarely seen in the mainstream. RATM are one of the very few groups who can really create mainstream debate about these issues. Whether or not you agree with them, for democracy to be fair, views from all ranges of the political spectrum must be heard. And Rage make sure this happens.

      • Luke  |   Posted on Sep 10th, 2008 -1

        1. I have read plenty about Communism, including large volumes of Marx’s work. I would’ve once claimed to be one of his followers [something he hated people claiming]. Now I call myself a pragmatist. Political theorists [at least the ones I consider best of them] pretty much came to the agreement a few decades ago that no single, ideologically system of economy and bureaucracy would function properly, because of the unpredictable constraints of reality.

        For example, Marx did not understand resources were finite in the depth required. How does Communism solve an energy crisis? It can’t. Marx envisioned an industrial world, one which is dying, because of the great progress since his time. Marx’s theory is useful for insight, but practically [meaning, when put into complete practice] worthless. It would also mean the absolute death of the environment, at least if implemented before innovations in the energy industry can be devised [something a flexible form of regulated capitalism can accomplish, but "real" Communism certainly could not, since Marx never envisioned our post-industrial society].

        It is also important to remember, Marx imagined his system coming to exist naturally. However, I believe it is clear given how much economies have diversified since that time, from services to technology to entertainment to forms of capital to credit to corporations [shared profit was not on Marx's plate] to tons else, Marx’s predictions will not come to fruition in a natural way and will likely never come true in any way.

        2. I agree Mumia doesn’t deserve death. No one does. However, Mumia or a relative/associate of Mumia is certainly responsible for the crime, regardless of the police’s less-than-stellar work there. Serious study of the evidence is fairly damning. The political implications are a shame, but what can be done? Sometimes, a leader is a murderer. Sometimes, a hero is a villain.

        3. Agreed. That other guy seems to just be mad at them. But I don’t think they’re a very good band. I prefer music that’s less obvious/easy to decode [read: This Heat are my favorite band]. However, Zach does serve a function, which is to open young people’s minds to out-of-the-box notions they may not be aware of. A lot of 14 year olds don’t know who Marx is and although I’d find it comical for 30-somethings to seriously consider implementing a Marxist system in the modern world [a system I do believe would devolve into the despotic regimes of the past, probably because of the economic collapse such a switch would provoke], I believe everyone should know Marx, just as I believe everyone should know his foils, Neitszche, Rand and the neoliberal economists. I also believe leftists should look into Ricardo and other more balanced views of our trading system, rather than stop at Marx.

  28. May sounds stupid to the haters, but at one point there was nothing more meaningful to me than shouting “fuck you I won’t do what you tell me” right along with Zach.

    Just a more direct way of saying the same thing as every protest song ever…

  29. boo  |   Posted on Sep 5th, 2008 -1

    I guess being 30 something, and at this point in my life, “F*ck you I won’t do what you tell me” does nothing for me, but turm me off.

  30. One Day As a Lion is pretty cool..

    ..but Rage seems to lose favor with me more and more every day. I’m just not down with Zack constantly ordering me to do shit.. plus, he’s in no way “Calm Like a Bomb” .. why lie to your fans like that? What a sellout.

  31. nick  |   Posted on Sep 8th, 2008 +1

    love it

  32. jonathan  |   Posted on Sep 9th, 2008 0

    so, obama isn’t experienced enough, and mcain feels like dejavu. honestly. i liked ron paul. i dont think obama being black/socially appealing is really making a change when words like pc(politically correct) exist. labeled ideals are the only biased truths that will reach the masses. there is no real truth. only facts in this dream that we perceive as right. if it feels right, it is. those same people protesting will have to go home and face the debt we are in as a nation, and try to put hope in a bigger democratic gov’t; or try to trust a screwed up republican party. there are no more dreams of true ideals, only celebrities. my girfriend can tell me what happened on a tv show about people she never met. offer her opinion, and where they should go. when it comes to figuring out her path, she’s lost. we are lost. we will follow what feels good because society is living on a whim. laughing, loving, and experiences are what matter. Living in this country, the dollar matters. only the dollar. sadly, we are better off than our grandkids, if we don’t make some idealistic and social changes ourselves we will fail. A band, or president, or government will not be the ones leading the way. We can preach all we want, but inaction due to fear of the future keeps us all locked in chains. obama will not change stereotypes. people are still as barbaric as they were in ancient times. we have filled that need with stuff. get a job. you’re gonna need the money to have an opinion. Radiohead refused to tour big venues mostly due to clear channel during the hail to the thief tour, and ratm has built a career on free speech. rights are established through order, not ideals. humans are still developing. we have a right to secure the future. watch less tv, read more, and read between the lines. beyond that, row your boat gently down the stream, because life is simply a dream. see ya when we wake up….

  33. Melissa   |   Posted on Nov 17th, 2009 0

    It seems like a niche that 4 men, have found in the music industry, that they have managed to make a living out of. I don’t know if there is any one clear direction or ideology that can solve the problems the world faces today. I wish there were.

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