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New York Band Puts Quinn's Educational Ideas Into Song

Music is dying. The NíSyncs and O-Towns of the world have taken over, and with Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears getting together, it looks like these pop bands are going to start multiplying. Whatever happened to politically provoked music that actually inspired revolutionary thinking? Well, with Daniel Quinnís philosophies as a major influence, Jason Motell and Phil Iannon of Owego, New York intend to revive musicís ability to incite change.

Iannon (22, drummer, lead and rhythm guitarist, keyboardist, bassist, pharmacist) and Motell (23, lead singer, lyricist, history teacher) have just completed a concept album entitled "Muckrake". The album is a critique of government and its role in schools and religion. Its lyrics and music blend forgotten contemporary issues, such as the struggle of imprisoned Native American activist Leonard Peltier, with historical harbingers, including Teddy Rooseveltís muckrakers.

The basic plot of the album follows a young teacher, Peter Stevens, through his college years and his first job. Stevens has a unique teaching style in that he instructs his students in song and teaches them lessons that were left out of their textbooks. This approach, however, is not accepted by the students or the administration, who care only about tests and grades. Stevens is promptly fired, but not before he teaches all of his doubters one final lesson.

The idea of developing a school system based on people instead of business was directly influenced by both My Ishmael and Beyond Civilization by Daniel Quinn. Ishmael helped shape the last song on the album, "You Must Have An Earnest Desire To Save The World", and Daniel Quinn's ideas have motivated Iannon and Motell to write most of their lyrics, which in turn helped to inspire some of their music.

If you are interested in hearing the album, or would like a copy of the lyrics, contact the band.

Learn more about music inspired by Ishmael and Daniel Quinn.

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