New Song About the Employee Free Choice Act

This is our first new song in ages. Thanks for sticking with us. We hope the mandolin part was worth the wait.

We wrote “My Heart Belongs to Cleveland” as a response to Republicans in Congress who pledge support for working people but oppose the Employee Free Choice Act.

If card check is good enough to decertify a union, it should be good enough to certify one. When union employees are more likely to have healthcare, pensions and better wages, how anyone can claim to be a friend to the worker while insisting on making the process of joining a union more difficult than breaking away from one is beyond us.

This song is sung from the perspective of one of those opponents telling residents of a hardscrabble town (in this case, Cleveland) that he supports them, while undermining their ability to better their station in life at every turn. Enjoy.

My Heart Belongs to Cleveland
(Mouseover the link, player appears. You know how it goes.)

A tourist’s welcome echoes off the promenade
The well-hid statistics padded down
So as you watch your shrinking ledger
I can try to explain to you
Why it has to be hard to get a union together
When breaking up is so easy to do

But tonight my heart belongs to Cleveland
Never mind the cobwebs and dust
‘Cause I never stopped believing
When your stainless steel turned to rust
And I’ll sell your hopes down to hell
We’ve made this a shell of the beautiful place it once was
My heart belongs to Cleveland
I swear, I swear that it does
I swear, I swear that it does

I’m not much for number, don’t draw me no diagrams
I’m a skyline believer, the rest is detail
So as I stand here at this lectern
I can rave and rhapsodize
As long as I can cast my ballot in secret I can drain your piss filled river dry
And why should I rob you of that right?

So tonight, my heart belongs to Cleveland
Never mind the cobwebs and dust
‘Cause I never stopped believing
When your stainless steel turned to rust
And I’ll sell your dreams down to hell
We’ve made this a shell of the beautiful place that it was
My heart belongs to Cleveland
I swear, I swear that it does
I swear, I swear that it does

Sure fine to meet you, what is it you did again?
I know the last thing you need is to take another hit again
And I’m only pretending like I give a shit again, my friend
So Cleveland if you ever get wise, that’s the end

Tonight my heart belongs to Cleveland
or Pittsburgh or wherever else
I can talk you into believing that you’re better off by yourself
With lies for the unorganized
So pull up hard on your bootstraps and tighten your belts
My heart belongs to Cleveland
So long suckers, I wish you well
I wish you well

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New blog where I will write more stuff not related to my band

The Mannequin Shop: mannequinshop.blogspot.com

Seats Open in Supreme Court, Smashing Pumpkins

They’ve both lost key members. It’s up to two of Chicago’s finest to replace them. Nearly everyone with an opinion and an internet connection has an idea of who the replacement should be. Yes, the Supreme Court and the Smashing Pumpkins have a lot in common right now.

On the heels of Billy Corgan’s announcement that longtime Pumpkins drummer Jimmy Chamberlain, provider of the steady backbeat to such classics as “Cherub Rock” and “Bullet With Butterfly Wings” was leaving the band, news broke that David Souter, whose steady, centrist hand was the driving force behind early-nineties landmarks like Planned Parenthood v. Casey and Lee v. Weisman would be leaving the Supreme Court. All right, I’ve taken this joke about as far as I can take it, but both of these events are pretty huge deals if you’re into 90’s alternative rock or the third branch of government.

I remember when David Souter was nominated to the Supreme Court by Bush 41 in 1990, when I was ten years old. Many on both sides were certain that the quiet patrician from New Hampshire would quietly stick a fork in Roe vs. Wade. My mother, actively pro-choice to say the least, wrote a limerick about Souter to share at an event opposing his nomination, and all I remember is that it rhymed his name with “neuter” – I think that was also the occasion where I learned the meaning of the word. Her concern proved unfounded, as Souter ruled with the majority against any slashing of Roe v. Wade when he joined the majority in Casey, dealing abortion opponents a bitter disappointment similar to the one felt by Smashing Pumpkins fans while hearing their misguided 2000 release Machina/Machines of God for the first time.

Suggestions abound for who should fill each seat. Safe consensus choices like Illinois favorite son Dax Nielsen and Circuit Judge Sonia Sotomayor? Some say the best move is to please the base: former System of a Down drummer John Dolmayan and Chicago labor lawyer/movement progressive Tom Geoghegan would be “red meat” for hard rock nerds and left-leaning Dems. There’s also a rumor of 19 year old Mike Byrne being Chamberlain’s replacement, but some worry this may be Corgan’s Harriet Miers moment. All we can say with certainty is that the chatter will tap on endlessly until the moment these two seats are filled.