"SHAKE YOUR PEACE! is a Chicanx/ Punjabi artist howling out of Goshute, Ute, and Eastern Shoshone land (otherwise known as Salt Lake City, Utah) who's created a new music style called "whup." Whup is a rock & roll hybridization of: Afro-Latin and Caribbean rhythms, bluegrass fiddling, gospel choir, marching band percussion, and ecotopian perspectives. Simply put: it's social/eco-justice music you can dance to; a defiant celebration of human cultural diversity and the wilderness.
"...and every tree's our country's flag,
air - water - earth - we give rights to 'em,
so you can open your stores, and throw your wars,
my people won't shop or fight for you!"
(SHAKE YOUR PEACE!, 2019, track 6 "Whenever You're Ready")
photo credit: Rachel Znerold
SHAKE YOUR PEACE!'s new full length album, seven years in the making, is entitled "Whup Music." It sounds like what you'd get if Paul Simon, Michael Jackson, Hector Lavoe, The Mississippi Mass Choir, and eco-anarchist/author Edward Abbey had a baby, and that baby was raised by LA hippies amongst the cowboys of Utah.
"Tie-dye shirt in a country bar,
I was looking 'round the room,
this girl said: "what you lookin' for hippie?"
and I said: "guess I'm looking for you?"
she said: "I'm lookin' backatchoobaby!"
(SHAKE YOUR PEACE!, 2019, track 2 "Backatchoobaby")
Beyond the music, SHAKE YOUR PEACE! is known for incorporating environmental activism into both tours and live shows (a principle he refers to as "harmony onstage/ harmony offstage"). This passion for "harmony offstage" is best exemplified by SHAKE YOUR PEACE!'s many experiments with touring by bicycle, and by foot (hauling drums, amplifiers, and guitars all without the help of a tour van), and amplifying concerts with a bicycle-powered sound system (pedaled by volunteers from the audience). In 2007, these experiments inspired SHAKE YOUR PEACE! to co-found the award-winning Bicycle Music Festival in San Francisco, heralded by the press as: "the greenest music festival ever conceived." The festival, as an open-source idea, has since inspired BMF-style events around the world, from South Korea, to Uruguay, to Canada, all produced by autonomous groups of volunteers.
"...with one foot behind us, and one ahead,
who's the leader? who's the led?
freedom's ours in every breath now,
and every step!"
(SHAKE YOUR PEACE!, 2019, track 8 "The Walking People")
SHAKE YOUR PEACE! states that his primary goal with "Whup Music" is to "contribute the music to those who are marching - at home, at work, at school, and in the streets - toward what some of us like to call "ecotopia," a culture of ecological and social justice." And it's clear that this "revolution in-motion" as SHAKE YOUR PEACE! envisions it, is ultimately a movement of inclusion, not division: between hippies and cowboys, between anarchist sons and their realtor mothers, and between every "walking person" who's willing to celebrate a common ground of love, and move forward on that basis.
Every kind of body!
any way you move is praise,
any way you move is walking!
Stand up friends (let's walk together!)
On our common ground (let's walk together!)"
(SHAKE YOUR PEACE!, 2019, track 8 "The Walking People")
"...now as we ride, in her Lexus SUV...to Costco,
you can bet I still keep a place reserved for her in the revolution anyways!
Cause what I'm trying to say is - is I love my mother, anyways!
I love my mother anyways!
And she loves me...anyways!"
(SHAKE YOUR PEACE!, 2019, track 7 "My Mom the Realtor")
SHAKE YOUR PEACE! was created in 2004 in Lenape territory on the island of little hills (otherwise known as Manhattan), and since then has been primarily based out of Chochenyo, and Oholone land (areas otherwise known as The San Francisco Bay Area), and Goshute, Ute, and Eastern Shoshone land (otherwise known as Salt Lake City).
The first album "Sing It As You Please" was released in 2006 to universal critical acclaim from the 3 people who played on it.
13 years later, the second album "Whup Music" has been finished and is posted on this website, as well as on SYP!'s Bandcamp page. Although the album hasn't yet been "officially released," you can, um, still listen to it, buy it, and share it right now. Umm... after it's officially released, you can return to the places where you first listened to, bought, and shared it, and do all these things again for old times sake, because then it will be far more official of course.
The live band:
Over the years SHAKE YOUR PEACE! has performed in a variety of iterations, from solo act to 14-piece band, and with many different musicians. In all years, and in every iteration of the project, the name has always been written in the same loud-ass way: all-caps with an exclamation point at the end. Because - HEY!
"The Whupestra," is an immersive, pounding, sweaty, defiant, experimental musical theater production featuring music from SHAKE YOUR PEACE!'s "Whup Music." The musical will feature a 30-person cast of gregarious rogues, outlaw cheerleaders, and fun-loving misfits - assembled into a dancing and singing marching band - joyfully swarming the audience on the floor of the theater. Volunteers from the audience will take turns pedaling the world's largest bicycle-power generator to create all the electricity for both the sound system and the stage lighting. Through this endorphin-releasing physical ordeal, along with a mix of politically radical messaging, dreamlike clowning, devastating spoken word, and thunderous drumming, audience and cast attempt to make-believe themselves into an altered state called "getting whup" (a feeling of being possessed by one's own wild self/ life-force). Merrily "puttin' some whup on it" (dancing and singing in one's own eccentric way) audience and cast together begin to ritually enact what a party in "ecotopia" might be like: filled as one might be with wilderness-possessed revelers. Soon, the line between the pretend world and the real world grows blurry. By the time these make-believe ecotopians go heroically charging together into the mythical concrete walls of The Glen Canyon Dam, yelling at the top of their lungs, amidst blinding blasts of theatrical dynamite, while pretend pieces of the dam rain down on them like confetti, the emotions of kick-ass liberation - the whoops, and tears, and team spirit - are all real. Hopefully - at the very least - the wild, thespian, orgasmic, hippie fervor that saturates the theater makes Fascism, homophobia, and supremacy run for its life. At the very best, in this liberated zone of the theater, as audience and cast shout together: "all walls are imaginary walls!"; the real walls that oppress the wild world tremble more on their foundations: from borders, to the walls of the capitol building, to the Glen Canyon Dam. Dancing amidst the theatrical rubble, the audience and cast build momentum for acting out their dreams on the world stage. When the cast leads the audience dancing out of the theater and into the actual streets of the city, why should the acting and imagining ever end? What more beautiful worlds can our whup spirits dream up - now that the way up, is down?
SHAKE YOUR PEACE! is a project of Studio Ecotopia