'When it comes to politics, sometimes I get a bit carried away," says singer/songwriter and activist Bill Farkas. "I started 'The Daily Rant,' my political blog, in September 2004. I added the Activists' Forum soon after. This is where all social and political causes can cross-pollinate their calls to action, like petition signing and fundraising."
Since November 2006, Farkas has provided message boards for political candidates to spread their message online. "We support things like global-warming awareness, campaigns for animal and human rights, and Juveniles for Justice, which is about kids in prison for life without parole."
Though billfarkas.com has been visited by four million people around the globe, he says political music can be a tough sell in his own back yard. "It's especially hard being a protest and antiwar singer-songwriter in a town that houses Camp Pendleton, Miramar, and one of the largest naval bases in the country," he says. "My commute to L.A. for gigs is getting old. And expensive!"
WHAT'S IN YOUR CD PLAYER?
1. Jason Farnham, Barriers ("He's a keyboardist and the hit of the techno dance crowd on Sunset in L.A., but his piano compositions are some of the best chill music you could ever hope to hear.")
2. The Cathryn Beeks Ordeal, Desert Music ("I'm glad it's getting airplay in San Diego, because no one has worked harder in promoting our local music scene than Cathryn.")
3. Pink Floyd, Dark Side of the Moon ("Best album ever recorded...I could listen to David Gilmour's sweet Strat wailing away for another 30 years.")
4. Rage Against the Machine, Live at the Grand Olympic Auditorium ("Outside of introducing the world to rock-and-rap crossover, they're one of the few true political bands to succeed in the last 15 years.")
5. Jimi Hendrix, "Hendrix Scratch Trax" ("This is a rare studio outtake with Buddy Miles, where they just let the tape roll.")
1. Caddyshack ("The only movie I've seen a hundred times, and I still laugh my ass off every time.")
2. V for Vendetta ("If I ever feel restricted by my boundaries on that island and out of touch with what's going on in the civilized world, V will remind me that I'm the lucky one.")
3) Sicko ("If I start feeling sorry for myself that there's no doctor or hospital on the island, Sicko will remind me that a hundred million other people are in the same boat, if on a different island.")
1. Rolling Stone ("More of an industry trade rag, but I find their political journalism to be well done.")
2. Premier Guitar ("I got hooked on their focus of abstract soloing techniques.")
BEATLES OR STONES?
"The Beatles. John Lennon was the single greatest influence on both my songwriting and my view of the world through peaceful eyes. Lennon and McCartney were arguably the best songwriting tandem in music history. They changed the face of rock as the first stadium rock band, set fashion trends, ushered in the psychedelic era with Sgt. Pepper, and in one way or another influenced every musician that followed."
IF YOU COULD SPEND ONE HOUR WITH ANYONE?
"It'd be George Bush. I hope it's a long lunch, 'cause I have a long list of things to cover with Dubya. Mainly, I want to know if there are lights on in there...I'd love to find out if there's really anybody home."
LAST BOOK READ?
"The Stranger by Albert Camus. I've read it a number of times, but one can never get too much existentialism in one's life...I'd like to think that the world has finally caught up to authors like Camus and Jean-Paul Sartre. We are indeed living in the theater of the absurd and in a time where logic seems to have no place."
BIGGEST POLITICAL CONCERN?
"I see our civil liberties becoming fewer every day, and I wonder how long people will continue to say, 'But it's the greatest nation in the world' and then go back to their own priorities, assuming others will do whatever it takes to keep that true."
"I LIVE IN SAN DIEGO BECAUSE..."
"...my return ticket to Cleveland expired after my 20th day in a row of surfing in 72-degree sunshine."