Thursday, March 20, 2008

Body of War

"The songs collected here are the sounds that have helped me and keep me going as I struggle to find the strength to deal with my new physical limitations, while trying to find the energy to fight when many parts of my body and brain are telling me to stop and let the uninjured vets do the work, which I have to admit I have done at times."

-Tomas Young

Tomas Young is the young man in the picture in the wheelchair. He's also an Iraq war veteran who at age 22, joined the U.S. military a few days after 9/11 in the surge of patriotism that swept over the country, hoping to help bring justice to those responsible for that horrendous act. Two years after enlisting, Tomas was deployed to Iraq where, only five days after arriving, was shot and paralyzed from the waist down. By now hopefully it doesn't need to be pointed out that Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11.

Now entering its fifth year, the war has claimed close to 4,000 American lives and has wounded somewhere near 30,000, one of whom being Tomas Young (check here for the statistics). Released last year, the documentary Body of War tells Tomas' story: what it has been like for him coming home and dealing with the seemingly inexhaustible challenges, both mental and physical, that he faces as a result of what has happened to him in Iraq. Released in tandem with the movie is the soundtrack of the same name. It contains thirty tracks picked by Tomas himself, gathered from diverse artists, from diverse genres, from diverse record labels, all coming together to take a stand on an issue they feel strongly about.

There are some big name artists here such as Eddie Vedder, Rage Against the Machine, Bruce Springsteen, and Neil Young lending tracks and their clout. There are also some indie darlings like Bright Eyes, Kimya Dawson, Lupe Fiasco. There might even be a few artists that you're not familiar with represented: Brendan James, Blow Up Hollywood, John Lennon (OK, maybe not the last one). Some are inspirational, some tragic, many political. As can be expected in a collection of thirty tracks, there will be a few that you will skip past, but as a whole, there's a whole lot to enjoy here. Check out the track listing for the 2 CDs below.

CD 1
“Hero's Song” - Brendan James
“American Terrorist” - Lupe Fiasco
“Light Up Ya Lighter” - Michael Franti & Spearhead
“Guerilla Radio” - Rage Against The Machine
“Son Of A Bush” - Public Enemy
“Empty Walls” - Serj Tankian
“Let Them Eat War” - Bad Religion
“White People For Peace” - Against Me!
“Letter From Iraq” - Bouncing Souls
“War” - Dilated Peoples
“Overcome (The Recapitulation)” - RX Bandits
“Fields Of Agony” - No Use For A Name
“Bushonomics” - Talib Kweli & Cornel West
“The 4th Branch - Immortal Technique
“B.Y.O.B.” - System Of A Down
“No More” (Live) - Eddie Vedder & Ben Harper

CD 2
“Devils & Dust” - Bruce Springsteen
"Masters Of War” (Live) - Pearl Jam
“When The President Talks To God” - Bright Eyes
“Gimme Some Truth” - John Lennon
“The Restless Consumer” - Neil Young
“Battle Hymns” - The Nightwatchman
“Anthrax” - Kimya Dawson
“WMD” - Blow Up Hollywood
“State Of The Union” - David Ford
“Yo George” - Tori Amos
“Love Vigilantes” - Laura Cantrell
“Black Rain” - Ben Harper
“To Kill The Child” - Roger Waters
“Day After Tomorrow” - Tom Waits

What might be the best thing about the album is that all proceeds benefit the non-profit organization Iraq Veterans Against the War. Buy it now to support these veterans that have given so much yet now are ignored by the government they served. And if nothing else, it's the largest collection of songs that contain the lyrics "weapons of mass destruction" I'm sure you'll ever find assembled!

Visit the official site for the movie and the music.
Go to the Official YouTube Channel page to see video.

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