By Kevin Basl

In collaboration with Interference Archive in Brooklyn, NY, I recently compiled a mixtape for their If a Song Could be Freedom series, organized by Justseeds member and artist Kevin Caplicki.

The music on this mixtape was inspired by those antiwar dissenters who know the inner-workings of the U.S. military best. Most of the songs were written and/or performed by veterans or service members. Vietnam Veterans Against the War, Iraq Veterans Against the War (now “About Face”) and the G.I. resistance movements of the past half-century produced the countercultures from which this music emerged. Not surprisingly, most can be categorized as punk, folk, blues or rap–the music of the People–with lyrical content ranging from remorseful warnings to potential enlistees, to revolutionary convictions, to gallows humor. This mixtape also includes clips from interviews, public testimonies, street actions and other media, providing context for the songs. This is just a sampling of a well-stocked, but under-appreciated, subgenre of antiwar music.

Track list:
1. “Stupid’s Pledge” by Utah Phillips
2. “7.62mm” by Article 15
3. Excerpt from Radio First-Termer by Dave Rabbit
4. Excerpt from IVAW testimony by Kelly Dougherty
5. Excerpt from Winter Soldier (1971)
6. “Draft Board Blues” by Watermelon Slim (Bill Homans)
7. Excerpt from Interview with Camilo Mejia
8. “188th” by Jacob George
9. Excerpt from Radio First-Termer by Dave Rabbit
10. Excerpt from 3/27/18 Democracy NOW!: Lady Gaga/Chelsea Manning
11. “Hill Billy Armor” excerpt: Thomas Wilson confronts Donald Rumsfeld, 2004
12. “Foreign Policy Folk Songs” by Emily Yates
13. “Foreign Policy Blues” by Country Joe McDonald
14. “Hanging on the Old Barbed Wire” by Chumbawamba
15. “Letter from Iraq” by Bouncing Souls
16. Excerpt from “Cadence” by Antiwar Comedy Skits
17. Excerpt from FTA (1972)
18. Okinawan musicians performance at FTA show
19. “General, Your Tank” by Utah Phillips
20. “Yellow Ribbon” by Utah Phillips
21. “Monk Time” by the Monks
22. “We Say No to Your War” by Covered Wagon Musicians
23. “Desert Blues” by Kevin Basl
24. “Criminal Anarchy” by Forty Theives (Eddie Falcon)
25. Excerpt from FTA (1972)
26. “Soldier, We Love You” by Rita Martinson
27. Tomas Young and Eddie Vedder conversation from Body of War (2007)
28. “No More” by Eddie Vedder
29. David Solnit interview at IVAW & Rage Against the Machine direct action at DNC 2008, Denver, CO
30. “Resistance Hymn” by Barbara Dane (with active duty soldiers)