In case you missed it, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is running for President of the United States. The former Milwaukee County Executive officially announced his candidacy last week at the Waukesha County Fairgrounds, leading his supporters to chant things like “Walker-shaw! Walker-shaw!” while enjoying the musical stylings of Rascal Flatts covering “Life Is A Highway.” You can relive the magic (complete with a blustery cameo from Sean Hannity!) by checking out our exclusive photo essay. Fun!
Oh, and in case you missed this, a lot of people dislike Walker. Whether it’s because of his dismantling of unions, his dismantling of collective bargaining, his dismantling of education, his dismantling of reproductive rights, his dismantling of state parks, or his hair, roughly half the state has it out for the guy. And if a group of likeminded Wisconsin musicians have their way, that anti-Walker crowd will have a loud, noisy rallying point to vent their frustrations.
Today, IfIHadAHiFi and Body Futures drummer (and occasional Milwaukee Record contributor) DJ Hostettler announced the formation of Unintimidated, a multimedia project that will detail “exactly how Scott Walker has been bad for Wisconsin, and how he would be a disaster as President.” The project will take the form of a CD and DVD compilation of anti-Walker protest songs performed by 14 Wisconsin bands live at Howl Street Recordings. As of July, those bands are Body Futures, IfIHadAHiFi, Heavy Hand, Volunteer, Soup Moat, Holy Shit!, Tyranny Is Tyranny, FowlMouth, Drillers, Midwest Death Rattle, Haunted Heads, Donoma, Damsel Trash, and Lady Cannon. An “old-school, xeroxed fanzine” will accompany the music, which is scheduled to be recorded at Howl Street the weekend of August 28.
In a post on the Unintimidated site entitled “Why We Fight,” Hostettler explains the simple—and realistic—reasons behind the project:
Don’t get it twisted—we realize that a few angry protest songs won’t change the state by themselves. This record isn’t going to force Walker out of office or convince anyone in Waukesha to rethink their alliances. But hopefully our project is one of several that spring up across the state to spread information & awareness, fire people up, and encourage people to DO SOMETHING. Volunteer for a progressive candidate for local office, fundraise for progressive causes—hell, even just start a civil dialog with someone across the aisle politically. As artists and musicians, we feel like we have to do something to let people know that Wisconsin isn’t just rolling over and staying quiet while the Republican party destroys transparent government and makes the lives of working-class Wisconsinites more difficult while lining the pockets of special interests and power-hungry millionaires and billionaires.
We’re humble, working-class punk rockers. We all have day jobs. We pay taxes and we contribute to society. But because we have to work for a living, we don’t have a lot of extra time to devote to the fight. It’s hard to work for something bigger than yourself when you have a responsibility to provide for yourself or your family. But we’re musicians, and we can at least do this, and hopefully inspire more activism in Wisconsin. Isn’t that what all the best protest music does—inspire?
Proceeds for the project—which is expected to be released at the beginning of 2016, just in time for primary season—will go to a “worthy cause” to be named at a later date. (Hostettler assures readers that the cause will not be the Democratic Party of Wisconsin.) Until then, enjoy Hostettler and company’s first crack at an anti-Walker protest song, 2011’s “Imperial Walker.”