travelling ills
Photo: Shayna Hahn

Billy Bragg once lamented the near impossibility of mixing “pop with politics” over twenty years ago, but Santa Cruz-based rockers The Traveling Ills seemingly have no problem tackling the very serious issue of the California drought in their latest music video “Rain On My Parade.” It’s an acerbic depiction of society’s wasteful ways, comparing an inebriated night out on the town with our often careless consumption of the resources around us. After all, the patrons of this bar aren’t getting plastered off booze: they’re downing water like there’s no tomorrow.

The song itself is a straight-up hip-shaker filled with bluesy horns and a funky beat, luring the listener into the party and then hitting them with the deeper message. It was written as an attempt to make environmental issues more visible through the local arts scene, a term that’s been dubbed “ecocore” within the community. For more information on the movement, as well as performance artists Beth Stephens and Annie Sprinkle who helped the group land a grant to film the video, check out the Ecosexual website.

In the meantime, enjoy the music!