Unlikely 2.0


   I seek the safety of my room to pray for everlasting peace, knowing that prayers are of no use. —Padma Devkota


Unlikley Stories mourns the loss Kurtice Kucheman, who was so instrumental in the development of this site. Please consider his work on this site, his obituary, or our editor's tribute to him.

Unlikely Books celebrates our two new releases, Beautiful Rush by Marc Vincenz and #specialcharacters by Larissa Shmailo!

Recent Articles:

Ethan has nowhere to go, an exhibit of a missing story by Jeremy Hight:
a movie by Aaron Avila
a game by Johansen Quijano
a game by Anastasia Salter
an audiovisual experience by Alan Bigelow
an audiovisual experience by Brian Vann
a textual-visual experience by Jason Nelson
a textual-visual experience by Anonymous
a poem by Alexandra Naughton
a poem by Keith Higginbotham
a poem by Vera Lucia Pinto
a poem by Matthew Sherling
a visual piece by Scott Davis

Love Has Been Liquidated, Vol. 3: the sprawling choose-your-own-adventure longpoem by John Bryan now involves despair and dinosaurs!
Tom Bradley reads from We'll See Who Seduces Whom at the book's Boulder, Colorado launch party
j/j hastain and Marthe Reed perform pleth at the book's aforementioned launch party
&UNLIKELY: a group show in Denver, Colorado featuring Yuriy Tarnawsky, j/j hastain, Tom Bradley, Frankie Metro, Lindsey Thomas, and Jeffrey Spahr-Summers
"890 Words in Favor of Sodomy" by Willis Gordon
"LAPD Traps Anti-war Marchers, Two Arrested" by Dan Bluemel
"Mad Dogs and Englishmen" by Rich Wink
An Interview with Joe Davis by Jeremy Hight
An Introduction to Laura Beloff with questions by Jeremy Hight
An Introduction to Kim Asendorf with questions by Jeremy Hight
An Introduction to Steve Roggenbuck with questions by Jeremy Hight
Four Images by Casey Reas
Four Images by Andrew Bucksbarg
Seven Images by Kim Asendorf
Seven Images by Joe Davis
Four Videos by Jeremy Bailey
"A Case of Public Indecency", a one-act by Stephenson Muret
Four Visual Poems by John M. Bennett
Four Visual Poems by Reed Altemus
Four Visual Poems by Spencer Selby
Three Visual Poems by Jukka-Pekka Kervinen
Three Poems by Vernon Frazer
Three Poems by David McLean
Three Poems by Hanna Elson
Three Poems by Alban Fischer
Three Poems by Peter Marra
Three Edie Sedgwicks by Kyle Hemmings
Three Poems by Dan Raphael
Three Poems by Mark Cunningham
Three Poems by Billy Cancel
Three Poems by Win Harms
Three Poems by Felino A. Soriano
Three Poems by Jason Alan Wilkinson
Three Poems by Jay Sizemore
Three Poems by Marc Thompson
Three Poems by Donal Mahoney
Three Poems by Theron Kennedy
Two Poems by Patricia Gomes
Two Poems by Jim Berhle
Two Poems by Larry Goodell
Two Poems by Kelley Jean White
Two Poems by Jim Lineberger
Two Poems by Sean J Mahoney
Four Postcards from New Yorkshire: Poetry by Anthony Murphy
Was I a Rape Victim?: Poetry by Michael H. Brownstein
Last Chance: Poetry by John Grey
Deck: Poetry by Dennis Weiser
Ampersand Sutra: Visual Poetry by mIEKAL aND
Three Poems by Sheila E. Murphy
Texas Casino: Fiction by Misti Rainwater-Lites
The Insect Ecologies of Death, or, Amateur Hour (Towards a new order of the phylum): Fiction by R.V. Branham
Exit the Heroes, or, in Praise of Cowardice: Fiction by Elmore Snoody
a family vacation: Fiction by JBMulligan
Willis Gordon on George Zimmerman and our other favorite killers
Fred Russell discovers Fox News
How Our Leaders Are Elected by Michael Ceraolo
Nicholas C. Arguimbau on Obama's climate change plan
Global Autonomy: Coporate Central Versus Local Resilience by Dennis Weiser


Join our mailing list!



David Rovics

David RovicsThere are two things I tend to keep in mind when considering the work of someone who falls under the broad headline of protest artist. First, I think the best songs are the quiet ones. It's good to have a point. It's also obviously good to be passionate about that point. What doesn't work is when that passion overrides musical common sense. Screaming, ranting and any delusions of persecution that cross the line from "passionate" to "troubling and vaguely disconcerting" generally keep me away.

The other thing I often look for is the storytelling. Anyone can bitch about the government or the desperate times we manage to live in, put it to an acoustic guitar and call it a song. It takes an artist with talent and loftier goals than seething to create something with a compelling narrative wrapped around whatever issue happens to mean the world to them.

David Rovics doesn't have a problem with either one of those two points. You can find that in the steady, strong voice and lyrics of his newest song, "In The Name of God," written in response to the recent murder of abortionist Dr. George Tiller. The song never loses its main purpose of educating and informing. It also never loses sight of how important it is to present the facts in a tightly written narrative. Rovics infuses the emotion of the song with a sense of longevity. Long after the public has forgotten the name of Dr. Tiller, the song still has a chance of reaching people on its overall message alone.

David RovicsRovics applies this philosophy to all of his music. You can find evidence of his power as a storyteller all throughout his latest album, The Commons. Breathlessly dedicated, intelligent songs like "New Orleans" and "Falluja" clearly paint the brutal social and political pictures. The imagery in both tunes is blunt and unforgettable. This remains true even while his voice and gifted guitar work rise in perfect sync to the ups and downs of the story he's putting forth. Really, every song in his extensive catalogue represents everything a good protest song should be. It's no surprise that he's one of the leaders of the genre. His music retains that essential contradiction of being timeless and relevant at the same time, but it also points to the possibility of something even bigger. If anyone can take the art of the protest song to wherever it needs to go next, he's very likely at the top of the list of possible candidates. He's certainly been in this line of work long enough. A veteran act who hasn't changed his point of view or approach too much over the course of his career, it's just a matter of when he can grab everyone else's attention.

Interestingly enough, Rovics also writes and records children's music. It may not be everyone's thing, but I enjoyed it. Like the rest of his work, it's clever, engaging and if nothing else, makes Rovics that much more well-rounded. His line of work could use more artists like him. —GR

David Rovics has been called the musical voice of the progressive movement in the US. Amy Goodman has called him "the musical version of Democracy Now!" Since the mid-90's Rovics has spent most of his time on the road, playing hundreds of shows every year throughout North America, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and Japan. He and his songs have been featured on national radio programs in the US, Canada, Britain, Ireland, Italy, Sweden, Denmark and elsewhere. He has shared the stage regularly with leading intellectuals (Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn), activists (Medea Benjamin, Ralph Nader), politicians (Dennis Kucinich, George Galloway), musicians (Billy Bragg, the Indigo Girls), and celebrities (Martin Sheen, Susan Sarandon). He has performed at dozens of massive rallies throughout North America and Europe and at thousands of conferences, college campuses and folk clubs throughout the world. He has loads of MP3's available for free download on his website, DavidRovics.com, along with CDs, links, etc. More importantly, he's really good. He will make you laugh, he will make you cry, and he will make the revolution irresistible.

David Says: "I'm doing my best to be an effective cheerleader for the left. If I can do that well, I will have accomplished my humble goal. To foment resistance in my own small way."


We are proud to present three songs by David Rovics:

In the Name of God: 1.8 megs
New Orleans (live at The Commons): 10.0 megs
Falluja (live at The Commons): 9.5 megs

E-mail this article