The Work of the People

films for discovery & transformation

Jay Beck

Jay Beck is a founding member of the band The Psalters. The Psalters are a genre unto themselves, defying easy categorization. A Philadelphia Weekly writer describes them thus:

I’m…watching the Psalters celebrate rootlessness and internationalism, mixing radical Christian propaganda with multiethnic polyrhythms and neo-Dickensian refugee ragamuffin chic. The woman next to me wears a full-on Middle Eastern burka, from which protrude long, electric green dreadlocks…The tall dude at the sound desk in the leather pants and the crazy pirate-looking mother in the front row are all members of the…Psalters–the crusty-punk, multiethnic, radical Christian equivalent of the anarchist Chumbawamba: part traveling circus, part live-by-example anti-patriotic slap in the face to the ticky-tacky Christianity peddled by millionaire preachers obsessed with their congregation’s genitalia.

The Atlantic says “Psalters mounts an ululating, multi-drum offensive against the capitalist hegemony. They dress the part, too—if you saw this lot coming on a dark night, you’d run.” Listen (and see) for yourself:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aGEurmG6AwE[/youtube]

All we know is that we like them and their untamed sounds. They practice what they preach, too. They’re a communal NGO, partnering with refugee populations and indigenous groups in the work of radical justice through the art of worship. Hear their passion in this interview from a few years back with fellow Wild Goose co-conspirator Shane Claiborne:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SSkuADrb2xk[/youtube]

Tired of status quo politics and religion? Like a soundtrack for exodus, Psalters’ aggressive blend of afro/arab/gypsy punk resists definition, demands attention, and pounds convention with a raised fist. Come to the Wild Goose Festival and witness the award-winning group the Chicago Tribune calls, “flaring, daring, and wholly original…a voice impossible to ignore.”

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