Garrett Harris 4 p.m., Feb. 12
Sound description: Lyric-centered and folky music with a mission.
RIYL: Neil Young, Rogers Waters, Louden Wainwright III, Don McLean
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- Blurt: "I Just Want to Bang on This Drum All Day" · Aug. 25, 2010
- Musician Interviews: "Daily Rant" · Dec. 13, 2007
Current Status: Bill's latest project is Under the Radar Productions, a voice-over company formed with veteran Hollywood voice-over legend, Gary Elliot. Look forward to hearing Bill's deep, rich voice (and big mouth) on TV, radio, and films.
Influences: John Lennon, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, David Gilmour, Roger Waters, Jackson Browne, Alice in Chains, Joe Satriano, Rage Against the Machine, Robert Johnson, Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Warren Zevon, Led Zepplin, Louden Wainwright III, Travelin' Wilburys, Wallflowers, the Doors, Dire Straits, Leonard Cohen
Bill Farkas has been called everything from the “The Radical Rocker” (Music Connection magazine) to "Rage against the Machine on Valium" by leading progressive talk show host Annie Armen. This ex-Heartlander is an artist on a mission. Dedicating his art to provocative songwriting, his music presents a unique blend of edgy rock, acoustic melodies, and thought-provoking lyrics.
Railing against social injustice, corporate greed, and a political environment that is inequitable, Farkas elicits protest, but it would be wrong to simply call him a protest singer. He grew up sharing the stage in Cleveland with such "young unknowns" as Joe Walsh (Eagles), Chrissie Hynde (Pretenders), Benjamin Orr (Cars), the Dazz Band, Devo, and Mitch Ryder. His electric guitar playing, dynamic stage presence, powerful baritone voice, and inspiring messages make his live shows nights to remember.
After a long hiatus as a "white-collar criminal," he returned to music and moved to San Diego in 2001. After paying his dues on the open-mic and songwriter circuit, he got his first break as the host of NSAI (Nashville Songwriter Association International) Showcases throughout Southern California.
Without a doubt, this is an artist whose songs incite passion –- whether you agree with him or not. He’ll reach even more people when his latest album is released. Sea of Mass Confusion includes 11 songs, produced by Dito Godwin (Mötley Crüe, No Doubt, Peter Criss) at the Aykroyd mansion in the Hollywood Hills.
The record is a compelling testament to Farkas’s need to get the word out. Pulling no punches, it is an epic endeavor that covers politics as well as social issues. The success of the 'Daily Rant" and "Bill's Activist Forum," now with over 4.4 million readers, evolved into an audio book in 2006 called The Weekly Rant which aired on www.bzoo.org.
Bill appeared as the musical soundtrack for change on behalf of 41 candidates in the 2006 midterm elections; 37 of them, including some major upsets, won their election. Lately, with his audiences becoming increasingly vocal and opinionated, his songs are causing reactions that are more intense than ever before, with themes that are becoming increasingly relevant. Yes, Bill Farkas is on a mission -- He wants to make the world a better place.
"Hometown CD," 5-11-06
Album Title: Sea of Mass Confusion
As far as the music behind the lyrics is concerned, it's forgettable. It's basic rock with a hint of country and folk. Now, let's talk about the lyrics. This is protest rock, very literal protest rock. Sea of Mass Confusion is about as straightforward as a kick to the shins. In most songs, Bill takes the position of any 22-year-old college student and sets it to standard music.
"Our vote is all you need/ but power is like a cancer/ and it's growing like a weed." Little bit of a mixed metaphor here. Not really a big deal except for two things: 1) protest rock is all about its words (the music is nothing special), and 2) this sort of mistake is pervasive throughout the CD.
"Orphans often sleep alone/ their tears are always dry/ and who would care to lay beside the anguish of an orphan's cry." Orphans sleep alone because they cry and they cry because they sleep alone. Oh, and they cry dry tears. (?) But, don't worry about that. Just agree with him. Who can argue with orphans?
And who can argue with "Let's take the guns and gas/ and stick them up the ass/ of these thieves, politicians, generals and bigots." This is the same sentiment that won Toby Keith awards from the pro-war crowd and cries of "Idiot!" from the opposition.
So, if you want affirmation that white-collar criminals are bad, war and gas are bad, and orphans are good, then I'll leave you with this last expression from Bill: "But if you could turn back a page on the wall/ you may see a smile through the tears of it all/ you dream of tomorrow, you waste your today/ your skies remain cloudy, your ship sails away." The tears and smiles and clouds and ships of a page on the wall. Got it.