Roy Zimmerman wsg Steve Deasy at A2 Friends Wed Oct 10, 2012 7PM
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
7:00pm - All Ages
Ann Arbor Friend’s Meeting House (map)
1420 Hill St.
Ann Arbor, MI, USA 48104
I hope this finds you well. It's election season again and my friend Roy Zimmerman is crossing the country again with his special brand of humor, which really is like the Daily Show Guitar Tour. Truth be told, in these crazy time Roy and the Daily Show are among the things that keep me sane and at least able to laugh at the insanity. I know this is short notice, but it always is with me and Roy, and I hope you will come, or at least tolerate the nagging calls I will be making to many of you to make sure that you do.
Roy Zimmerman has driven 25,000 miles this year, fulfilling a “campaign promise” to perform his satirical songs in all fifty states. He brings his live show, “Roy Zimmerman: Hope, Struggle and Change” to Ann Arbor Wednesday, October 10 at 7 pm for a performance at the Friends Meeting House, 1420 Hill Street. Admission is $15 or pay what you can.
Also performing is Steve Deasy.
“Hope, Struggle and Change” is a ninety minute juggernaut of funny songs and comic commentary on presidential politics, the Occupy Movement, the Tea Party, abstinence, Creationism and same sex marriage with a healthy dose of Lefty rabble rousing thrown in. Think “Daily Show with a guitar.”
Sing Out! Magazine sums it up nicely: “Zimmerman is a guy on the left skewering folks on the right with rapier-sharp lyrics ... underneath the caustic satire is a man who is surprisingly optimistic.”
In thirteen albums over twenty years, Roy has brought the sting of satire to the struggle for Peace and Social Justice. His songs have been heard on HBO and Showtime. He has recorded for Warner/Reprise Records. He’s been profiled on NPR’s “All Things Considered.” Zimmerman’s YouTube videos have amassed over seven million views, and he’s a featured blogger for the Huffington Post.
Zimmerman traveled this year with his wife and co-writer Melanie Harby. Did they make good on his fifty-state pledge? “Mission Accomplished," he says. "We made it to the Contiguous 48 and the Continental 49." What about Hawaii? "Omission Accomplished," he winks.
Roy’s songs take aim at politics, of course; there’s a post-hypnotic suggestion to “ Vote Republican,” an exuberant paean to “Real America,” a tone deaf “Song of Mitt Romney.” There are social targets as well; a lesson in “Creation Science 101,” a lambasting of the “Defenders of Marriage” who oppose same-sex unions, a "Sing-Along Second Amendment."
In the show’s title song, Roy wears his heart on his Left sleeve. “Hope and Change is what you voted for,” he sings, “...but you know the slogan always needed just one more word: Hope, Struggle and Change.”
In every state Roy and Melanie have visited they’ve written a new verse to their song, “Vote Republican” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ege_RBhh37A), each one taking a different satirical slant on the GOP agenda. In the version recorded in Hyde Park, NV, for instance, Roy sits down with the statues of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt and teaches them how to save a faltering economy in words taken directly from Mitt Romney’s website (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jyJ0ORtLlfs).
“Satire’s harder to write now than it used to be,” Zimmerman maintains. “Absurdity has lapped Reality. Ann Romney tells us to unzip her husband and let out the ‘real Mitt’ and I wonder, how do you write something funnier than that?”
The Los Angeles Times says, “Zimmerman displays a lacerating wit and keen awareness of society’s foibles that bring to mind a latter-day Tom Lehrer.”
Tom Lehrer himself says, “I congratulate Roy Zimmerman on reintroducing literacy to comedy songs. And the rhymes actually rhyme, they don't just ‘rhyne.’”
Joni Mitchell says, “Roy’s lyrics move beyond poetry and achieve perfection.”
Steve Deasy grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and now lives in Detroit, Michigan. He comes from a family of Irish musicians, actors and rabble rousers, including cousin Matt Malloy who plays flute for The Chieftains, and great-grandfather Cornelius Crossen who they ran out of Johnstown, Pa. for organizing mine workers. An award winning songwriter, Steve’s songs have been recognized by the Public Domain Foundation and the Great Lakes Songwriting Contest. His song, “People Once Were Welcome Here” was named a top ten song for social change for 2010-2011 by music2life.org. Says activist musician Si Kahn, “Steve, thank you for your truly wonderful craft as a songwriter and for your fine spirit in friendship and solidarity.”
The best thing to do this election year, is cancel your cable, disconnect, and try to stay as far away from media as you can. Right now I am getting no newspapers – no Detroit Free Press, no Detroit News, no Wall Street Journal, no New York Times; no magazines – no Time, Newsweek, US News and World Report – or other useless drivel. I only watch the Daily Show on the internet, and I am finding life and politics to be a lot easier to take. I got a car last year. The car came with a free year of XM satellite radio, which proved to be useless, and even maddening at times. I have not had cable tv for years. Cable and XM seem to share a common malady – hundreds of channels and nothing worth seeing or hearing. Now I have no TV. I have not missed it. And radio has turned into Tea Party Disneyland. You got Rush Limbaugh, giving voice to the desires of the bigoted and unintelligent, which is good I guess, because even the bigoted and unintelligent need a champion. Lord knows the billionaire class needs them to keep working class people complaining and venting about other working class people. In Detroit we have Mitch Albom, who is Rush Limbaugh, but eloquent and with a college degree, and who scabs when unions strike and writes crappy, sappy books. There are other local blowhards on AM 1270 here, but I did not stick around long enough to find out the call letters nor the blowhards names (apologies to said blowhards for not having the courtesy to note their names).
So I am unplugging. And you know what? Birds still sing. Grass still grows. The sun still shines, although not often enough in Michigan. Life is good.