WASHINGTON -- Patrick Gavin writes in Politico about the right-leaning band that received a surprisingly warm reception when they played at the Occupy Congress demonstration in front of the Capitol earlier this week.
"Madison Rising" -- named after James Madison, one of the "Top Ten Founding Fathers" according to About.com -- was in town to play a counter-Occupy "Take Back Congress" show at the Capitol Hill Club.
Gavin reports that "on a whim," the band, that had previously been denied a permit to play for Occupy Wall Street protesters in New York City's Zuccotti Park, decided to play a short show for Occupy Congress as well:
Lead singer Dave Bray said that to his shock, "we were met with a warm welcome" during the band's five-song set before several hundred Occupy demonstrators.
"It was surprising to see their eyes light up when we played our songs," said Bray. "It was probably the highlight of my day." Madison Rising performed five songs as the sun set and Bray says that, by the time their set was over, their audience had swelled to well more than 100 people.
Madison Rising released its first album in October. There's a sampling of their songs and lyrics on their website (the website also notes that the band "promotes the principles of liberty, independence, smaller government and personal responsibility").
The music has the sort of anthemic country/rock sound that could be appropriate in a beer commercial. The lyrics have a message that is, by and large, decidedly anti-Occupy. One song is a tribute to the Second Amendment -- "Right to Bear" -- another, "In The Days That Reagan Ruled," is a paean to Ronald Reagan.
Another song, "Honk If You Want Peace," mocks protesters:
Summers on the campus
Not a lot to do
The smog hangs low and the boredoms grow
Among the jaded youth
Idle hands breed righteous plans
They miss the anarchy
'Let's find a way to rule today
and fix society'
'The war machine must stop
Life can't go on this way'
We'll scream of greed and all our needs
We know just what to say
Honk if you want peace
Honk if you care
Honk if you're human
And you're aware
Madison Rising told conservative Front Page magazine that "Honk" is, in fact, specifically directed at Occupy protesters:
Honk is a dark, epic, song about the pretentiousness of "peace" protesters and the damage they do. It was something we wrote and recorded last summer, but when all the Occupy protests started a couple of months ago, it was the perfect vehicle for us to use to say hey, take a look -- this is what these people are really about.
Apparently they are really about the Constitution. In an interview with Pajamas Media, Dave Bray said that when he approached an Occupy Congress organizers about playing for them, he was told "You know what? Ordinarily I'd say no, but freedom of speech is freedom of speech."
RELATED COVERAGE: The video for Madison Rising's "Honk If You Want Peace"