Tom Morello Rages Against Disney

[Mental Notes] Also, two decidedly different takes on ALO's visit to Long Beach

Tom Morello, wielding an acoustic guitar and harmonica, performed for free Feb. 13, near the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim to show his support for the hospitality workers who started fasting Feb. 9 in an effort to receive better health care. Morello dipped into the Rage Against the Machine songbook for “Guerrilla Radio, the fiery protest track off his band’s 1999 album, The Battle of Los Angeles. The LA-based Harvard graduate also gave a speech about the “wheel of history” being in the hands of the people, joking that “the revolution will not be Twittered.” On a somber note, Morello declared, “I’m directing this at the people in the corporate offices of Disney because they have children, too, and you know what? The friendliest place on Earth should also be friendly to the children of the employees who work at the hotel.” The performer also known as the Nightwatchman then played a variation of a controversial, thought-to-be-lost verse of Woody Guthrie’s American working-class anthem “This Land is Your Land” before leading the crowd through an exuberant sing-along of the better-known chorus. From a Feb. 14 Heard Mentality post.

 

LIBERATE THE JAMS!
ALO (Animal Liberation Orchestra) released their third full-length, Man of the World, on buddy Jack Johnson’s Brushfire Records Feb. 9. The disc features laid-back washes, hook-laden rockers and plenty of sunshine. Leading the way to this blissed-out vacation spot are the soothing keyboards and summery vocals of Zach Gill. ALO performed material from the album Feb. 10 at Fingerprints record store in Long Beach (see below), the first show of a national tour with ample Southern California dates. “Fingerprints is one of the last great record stores,” Gill said. “For us, Fingerprints is like a tradition. We played it the last time around on the release of both of our previous albums. The Fingerprints show will be the first time we play [songs from Man of the World] in public.”

And yes, Gill still gets nervous before debuting new material.

“Of course,” he said. “But what’s fun is overcoming the nervousness.” From a Feb. 9 post.

 

WAIT, I HATE JAMS!
We sent contributor Brandon Ferguson to review the ALO show at Fingerprints, and, well, let’s just say he wasn’t feeling the laid-back vibes. “These four guys seemed like the most mellow people on the planet, and it was unclear if they were trying to put the audience to sleep or cure their own insomnia,” he wrote. “For nearly an hour, ALO produced low-key, groovy, warm, keyboard-helmed jam rock that called to mind the safety of the womb. It was, in a word, pedestrian.” From a Feb. 11 post.

wtatangelo@ocweekly.com

This column appeared in print as "Nightwatchman Watching Disney."

 

 
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