ALL PFA ALBUMS AVAILABLE AT www.tinyurl.com/PrayersForAtheists
Latest Blog Posts
6/24 – thu Brooklyn @ Bushwick Studios w/ Metermaids & People With Teeth – 8p/$5
6/26 – sat Pittsburgh @ The Fallout Shelter w/ The Fuzz – 8p/$5
6/28 – mon Toledo @ Black Cherry Info Shop w/ Am Rev – EARLY SHOW! 7p/$5
6/29 – tue Detroit @ Division Gallery w/ Bike Tuff – EARLY SHOW! 6:30-9:30p/$5)
6/30 -wed Coumbus @ Thunderpussy Record Shop – EARLY SHOW! 6p/$5
7/1 – thu Bloomington @ Rachael’s Cafe w/ Jet1 – 8p/$5
7/2 – fri St. Louis @ 10 Mile House w/ Phamily Business & Agents of Change
7/3 – sat Chicago @ Locked Out Collective with Agents of Change
7/5 – mon Iowa City @ Public Space 1 with Rolling Blackout
7/6 – tue Minneapolis @ 7th Street w/ Building Better Bombs
7/7 – wed Omaha @ The Hole w/ Idle Minds, Youth & Tear Gas, and Eastern Turkish
7/8 – thu Colorado Springs @ Black Sheep w/ TBA – Early Show! 7:30pm/$5
7/9 – fri Denver @ Summit Music Hall w/ The Pirate Signal
7/10 – sat Salt Lake City @ Utah Arts Alliance w/ Babble Rabbit
7/11 – sun Salt Lake City @ the Green House Effect – Jared Paul Poetry Set!
7/13 – tue Boise @ Red Room
7/14 – wed Spokane @ The Empyrean
7/15 – thu Bellingham, WA @ Plan B w/ Sisturn Moth
7/16 – fri Bainbridge Island @ TBA
7/17 – sat Portland @ Union Hall w/ The Eiger Sanction, Lung Collapser, & Start Fires
7/18 – sun Tacoma @ The New Frontier w/ Revengers
7/20 – tue Bend @ TBA w/ Target For Tomorrow & The Horns of Destruction
7/21 – wed Sacramento @ The Den w/ Aquifer
7/22 – thu South Lake Tahoe @ Whiskey Dicks w/ Aquifer & Fair Weather Sky
7/23 – fri Reno @ Studio On 4th w/ Aquifer & Fair Weather Sky
7/24 – sat Ione @ Clark’s Corner w/ Aquifer
7/25 – sun Stockton @ Plea For Peace Center w/Final Summation & Aquifer
7/27 – tue San Francisco @ Thee Parkside w/ George Watsky & Aquifer
7/28 – wed Santa Cruz @ TBA
7/29 – thu Cuppertino @ Britannia Arms w/ Lucky Loosh & Aquifer
7/30 – fri Long Beach @ Open Books with Aquifer
7/31 – sat Pomona @ TBA
8/1 – sun San Diego @ Kava Lounge w/Aquifer, After School Special & Concrete Project
8/3 – tue Phoenix @ TBA
8/4 – wed Tucson @ Dry River Collective
8/5 – thu El Paso @ Hideaway Lounge with Push Back
8/6 – fri Austin @ Red 7 w/ Blacklisted Individuals
8/7 – sat San Antonio @ TBA
8/8 – sun New Orleans @ TBA
8/10 – tue Gainesville @ TBA
8/11 – wed Orlando @ TBA
8/12 – thu Jacksonville @ TBA
8/13 – fri Charlotte @ The Milestone Club w/ Thought Criminals
More dates added soon!
Full info for all shows available at:
Strange Famous Records CEO Sage Francis wisely scooped up ardent political and human rights activist Jared Paul and his Prayers for Atheists crew, who stormed the scene last summer behind their outstanding self-titled debut EP and its leadoff single “Psalm for St. Paul,” documenting Paul’s arrest in Minnesota outside the Republican National Convention (a grass roots fundraising effort eventually led to all charges getting dropped). Edutainment is in effect when catching Prayers for Atheists in action; in July, the foursome embark on yet another cross-country tour, and Paul will pounce on the opportunity to drop some knowledge nationwide (think Chuck D. disguised as a 5’5″ bike messenger). Guitarist Alan Hague’s chugging, neck-snapping riffs complement Paul’s fiery, slam-poet insight. PFA’s live show is not to be missed, as evidenced by sold-out gigs at Firehouse 13 and AS220.
2. Big Tall Buildings
3. The diePods
*PFA’s “Psalm for St. Paul” & B Dolan’s “Border Crossing” were also nominated for “Song of the Year,” both made solid showings behind the eventual winner:
1. Deer Tick, “Easy”
2. Prayers for Atheists, “Psalm for St. Paul”
3. B Dolan, “Border Crossing”
4. Six Star General, “One-Sided Walkie Talkie”
We accepted the award last Wednesday at the RI Music Award Show and gave the longest acceptance speech of the night. In our speech PFA denounced the wars in Iraq & Afghanistan, plugged RI community action groups (including the RI Mobilization Committee), encouraged participants to check out the independent news program “Democracy Now!” and then led the audience in anti-BP/Big Oil protest chants.
It was the kind of speech we felt those who voted for us deserved to have representing them.
We are putting the finishing touches on our new album now and will be taking off on a 40-city, nation-wide tour starting June 24th. Winning a 2010 RI Music Award is the perfect way to start off the trip and we thank you for taking the time to vote.
We’re dedicating this award to Sage Francis, Strange Famous Records, and Dan Sawyer Studios for their unwavering support and advocacy. We wouldn’t be able to do what we do without them.
Brand new album soon!
Alan, Jared, Marco, and Cousin Tom
“[b]AN OPEN LETTER OF RECONCILIATION & RESPONSIBILITY TO THE IRAQI PEOPLE
A newly released Wikileaks “Collateral Murder” video has made international headlines showing a July 2007 shooting incident outside of Baghdad in which U.S. forces wounded two children and killed over a dozen people, including the father of those children and two Reuters employees. Two soldiers from Bravo Company 2-16, the company depicted in the video, have written an open letter of apology to the Iraqis who were injured or lost loved ones during the attack that, these former soldiers say, is a regular occurrence in this war. You can view the Wikileaks video here: http://wikileaks.org/ and you can view the Press Release here:[/b]
AN OPEN LETTER OF RECONCILIATION & RESPONSIBILITY TO THE IRAQI PEOPLE
From Current and Former Members of the U.S. Military
Peace be with you.
To all of those who were injured or lost loved ones during the July 2007 Baghdad shootings depicted in the “Collateral Murder” Wikileaks video:
We write to you, your family, and your community with awareness that our words and actions can never restore your losses.
We are both soldiers who occupied your neighborhood for 14 months. Ethan McCord pulled your daughter and son from the van, and when doing so, saw the faces of his own children back home. Josh Stieber was in the same company but was not there that day, though he contributed to your pain, and the pain of your community on many other occasions.
There is no bringing back all that was lost. What we seek is to learn from our mistakes and do everything we can to tell others of our experiences and how the people of the United States need to realize what we have done and are doing to you and the people of your country. We humbly ask you what we can do to begin to repair the damage we caused.
We have been speaking to whoever will listen, telling them that what was shown in the Wikileaks video only begins to depict the suffering we have created. From our own experiences, and the experiences of other veterans we have talked to, we know that the acts depicted in this video are everyday occurrences of this war: this is the nature of how U.S.-led wars are carried out in this region.
We acknowledge our part in the deaths and injuries of your loved ones as we tell Americans what we were trained to do and what we carried out in the name of “god and country”. The soldier in the video said that your husband shouldn’t have brought your children to battle, but we are acknowledging our responsibility for bringing the battle to your neighborhood, and to your family. We did unto you what we would not want done to us.
More and more Americans are taking responsibility for what was done in our name. Though we have acted with cold hearts far too many times, we have not forgotten our actions towards you. Our heavy hearts still hold hope that we can restore inside our country the acknowledgment of your humanity, that we were taught to deny.
Our government may ignore you, concerned more with its public image. It has also ignored many veterans who have returned physically injured or mentally troubled by what they saw and did in your country. But the time is long overdue that we say that the value of our nation’s leaders no longer represent us. Our secretary of defense may say the U.S. won’t lose its reputation over this, but we stand and say that our reputation’s importance pales in comparison to our common humanity.
We have asked our fellow veterans and service-members, as well as civilians both in the United States and abroad, to sign in support of this letter, and to offer their names as a testimony to our common humanity, to distance ourselves from the destructive policies of our nation’s leaders, and to extend our hands to you.
With such pain, friendship might be too much to ask. Please accept our apology, our sorrow, our care, and our dedication to change from the inside out. We are doing what we can to speak out against the wars and military policies responsible for what happened to you and your loved ones. Our hearts are open to hearing how we can take any steps to support you through the pain that we have caused.
Solemnly and Sincerely,
Josh Stieber, former specialist, U.S. Army
Ethan McCord, former specialist, U.S. Army”
*To cosign letter:
Zinn’s ‘People’s History’ Masterwork Hits the History Channel
By Dave Zirin, AlterNet
Posted/Printed on December 11, 2009
“On December 13th, a date I’ve basically had tattooed on my arm like the
guy from Memento, The People Speak finally makes its debut on the
History Channel. This is more than just must-see-TV. It is nothing less
than the life’s work of “people’s historian” Howard Zinn brought to
life by some of the most talented actors, musicians, and poets in the
country. Howard Zinn and his partner Anthony Arnove chose the most
stirring political passages in Zinn’s classic A People’s History of the
United States, creating a written anthology called Voices of a People’s
History of the United States. Those “voices” have now been fully
resurrected by a collection of performers ranging from Matt Damon to
hip hop artist Lupe Fiasco to poet Staceyann Chin.
The People Speak also showcases John Legend reading the words of
Muhammad Ali, Kerry Washington as Sojourner Truth, David Strathairn’s
take on the soaring oratory of Eugene Debs, and Morgan Freeman as
Frederick Douglass asking, “What is the 4th of July to the American
Slave?” There are also the words of women factory workers read by
Marisa Tomei, rebellious farmers personified by Viggo Mortensen, and
escaped slaves voiced by Benjamin Bratt.
Certainly the lunatic right will howl to the heavens after seeing
“liberal Hollywood” perform the words of labor radicals, anti-racists,
feminists, and socialists. In fact, aided by the craven Matt Drudge,
they are already in full froth, campaigning online to get the History
Channel to drop The People Speak before its air-date. If it weren’t so
contemptible, their actions would be almost quaint, like a virtual book
But beneath the bombast, their hostile aversion to “a people’s history”
speaks volumes about why we need to support this project. This is a
country dedicated to historical amnesia. Our radical past holds dangers
for both those in power and those threatened by progressive change. We
need to rescue the great battles for social justice from becoming
either co-opted or simply erased from the history books. Our children
don’t learn about the people who made the Civil Rights movement.
Instead we get Dr. Martin Luther King on a McDonald’s commemorative
cup. Because of our country’s organized ignorance, endless hours are
wasted in every generation reinventing the wheel and relearning lessons
One reason Barack Obama made so many of us feel “hopey”
during the 2008 election season is that he seemed to understand and
even take inspiration from our “people’s history.” Candidate Obama
would invoke the odysseys of abolitionists, suffragettes, freedom riders,
and Stonewall rioters. He linked his campaign to this history with a slogan
from today’s immigrant rights and union struggles: Si Se Puede, Yes We
And yet this Presidency in practice has been like watching George W.
Bush with a working cerebellum. Send 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan?
Say nothing in the face of racist rallies held outside the capitol?
Tell LGBT people to shut up and wait for their civil rights? All in a
year’s work. The Obama administration is now counting upon the American
people, to once again, quietly go with the flow all while pretending we
never saw this movie before. This is why The People Speak matters. It’s
aimed at reclaiming our hallowed history from all who would profane it:
to resurrect our past as a guide to fight for the future.
There are those who will wrongly see The People Speak as a kind of
“spoonful of sugar” approach to education. Get a celebrity to recite
the words of Susan B. Anthony and all of a sudden, we’ll all want to be
history buffs. But this isn’t Hollywood “slumming” in the land of
radical chic. It is instead a bracing spectacle where our sacred
history is reimagined by performance artists of tremendous craft.
Consider the dramatic task at hand: they are attempting nothing less
than turning politics into art. If Zinn and co-producers Arnove, Damon,
Josh Brolin and Chris Moore pull this off, it holds the potential to
introduce a new generation to Sojourner Truth, Eugene Debs, and perhaps most importantly of all, to the works of Howard Zinn.
As Zinn himself once said, “Knowing history is less about understanding
the past than changing the future.” This is the grand adventure of
Howard Zinn’s life. I encourage everyone to come along for the ride.
Get your friends and family together on Sunday night and experience The
People Speak. Then take them by the hand and pledge to be heard.”
Dave Zirin is the author of “What’s My Name Fool? Sports and Resistance
in the United States.” Read more of his work at Edgeofsports.com.
PFA Austin tour date MOVED to Aug 19th!
The folks putting on our Austin show have a large event going on the day before and have asked us to join the two. We will now be kicking the PFA set at the official Grand Opening of the Austin Poetry Slam at its new home: The Independent@501 Studios (same place we were already booked just a day earlier). There will local bands, emcees, and multi-voice performance pieces from four Texas national poetry slam teams. The Independent is a kick ass Rock venue and the organizers of the event are expecting a packed house; they’ll also be filming our entire set in HD for live webcast! We apologize for the last minute switch but this really feels like the right move in terms of having the best show possible and we’re excited by the opportunity. Hope to see you there!
Prayers For Atheists in Austin!!
Wednesday, August 19th
The Independent@501 Studios
8pm/$5 – E. 5th & Brushy
The record release show in Providence was off the chain! Approximately 200 people showed up, all the bands on the bill kicked ass, and the crowd grew in intensity as the night went on. By the time we hit the stage they were all riled up and ready for the Victory Riot thrashing and singing that followed. Folks danced and screamed along the words and Alan and I actually had to step back from the front of the stage as people from the pit spilled over the monitors and passed the mic stands! We couldn’t have asked for a more perfect night. Thank you to everyone who came, and everyone who helped make it such an amazing show.
Since then we’ve played Manhattan, the New London Punk Festival, Oswego-NY, Lansing-MI, Chicago, and back to back shows in Minneapolis! Sage paid us a surprise visit in Chicago at the Weiser House, he grabbed the mic during Patriarchy Presents and Hard Core wind mills/floor punching ensued. In Minneap we got to play at the legendary 7th Street Entry and webcasted live from the St. Paul Opera Collective. It’s a great feeling to finally take these songs on the road and sharpen the set; the overall sound feels tighter and more powerful with each passing show.
Salt Lake City, Boise, Seattle, and Portland are up next! Then down the west coast to Eureka, Sacramento, San Fran, and L.A. Thanks for stickin’ with us, and if you’re anywhere near a city we’re hitting up – for the love of Pete, come on out and dance with us!!
(Here are a few pics from the Providence show! It’s been hard to compile stuff from the road, so unfortunately, these are just of me but we’ve got full band pics from all the shows on the way!)
Psalms For The Deaf
Jared Paul Unleashes Prayers For Atheists
By CHRIS CONTI | July 21, 2009
Sage Francis addressed the densely-populated crowd at Rock the Bells at Comcast Center last weekend: “This song helped get a friend of mine out of jail. Thank you to all who donated. This song is called ‘Conspiracy to Riot.’ Strange Famous fucking Records, Providence.”
The crowd erupted when the beat dropped, as Sage and fellow Providence emcee B.Dolan saluted their friend and labelmate Jared Paul, a vicious spoken-word specialist who was arrested in St. Paul, Minneapolis, last summer for protesting outside the Republican National Convention. Paul was initially charged with felony riot, which got knocked down to a misdemeanor, but Paul refused to plead guilty and ConspiracyToRiot.com, a Web page to raise funds to fight the charge, was born.
“I’m thankful to Sage and Slug [from the hip-hop group Atmosphere] for posting my bond and getting it all rolling,” he said. “Folks heeded the call from all across the US, Canada, Europe, and Australia. It was fantastic.”
The story is now captured on wax as Jared Paul and Alan Hague have teamed up to form Prayers For Atheists, and just released a politically-charged self-titled EP ($10 at StrangeFamousRecords.com) they call their “25-minute victory chant.” The leadoff single “Psalm for St. Paul” deftly documents Paul’s experience, powered by Hague’s chugging guitar riff. Sage Francis sent an email the day before his set at Rock the Bells:
“If you read Jared’s account of what took place at the RNC with all the arrests and his time in jail, then you know he was put through hell. The amount of coverage it received was incredible, and the donations were helpful. When Jared told me he was doing a song called ‘Psalm for St. Paul,’ I was expecting a shitstorm of vitriol. Instead, Alan and Jared deliver a dancey and positive anthem. That song made me realize that this material was going to be well-beyond what anyone was expecting.”
There’s plenty of raging against the machine on Prayers for Atheists, but Paul and Hague subtly fill your gullet with knowledge while crafting straight-up indie rock as opposed to maniacal rap-rock stuff. Paul tips his hat to Chuck D. on the outstanding “Coathangar 18” and keeps his cool on the slow-burner “Lot’s Wife,” but makes his opinion abundantly clear on the 80-second thrasher “Tom Delay.” PFA added a drummer and bassist for their nationwide tour, which starts today (the 23rd) in New York and ends on August 26 at Firehouse 13. Paul recently returned from an inspiring performance art tour with B. Dolan.
“I’ve never seen people as hopeful and motivated as they are right now,” Paul said. “President Obama has an unprecedented popularity with the American people, but we really need to keep the fire to his feet and hold him accountable just as we would any other politician.”
A mention of our governor gets Paul going.
“Don Carcieri is probably the most destructive and anti-worker governor in Rhode Island history,” he said. “I worked as a direct care counselor in group homes for many years — I was there when he managed to pull off the $10 million budget cut to the RI DCYF. That move put over 100 18- and 19-year-old group home graduates out on the street with nowhere to go. He is a despicable person.
“We’re due for a big shakeup. I gotta believe it’s coming soon.”
I asked what he would say to those who may believe protesting, particularly here in our corrupt little vacuum, is an effort in futility. “First of all, protesting is a good time. Everybody’s pissed about the way things are going down with the war and a million other things, so why not come out and give the Man a little hell for a couple hours and then go out for coffee after?”