Rocking the Casbah

The hawks and doves of the local music scene

"People just go crazy at the shows, responding to the individual lines," he says of the reaction he gets. He also gets some negative feedback, and that makes Pokafase contemplative, since he doesn't necessarily oppose the war, but he doesn't necessarily support it, either.

"There's a tendency for people to tend to say, Oh my God, I can't believe you just said that,'" he says. "You should be supporting the troops.' But I do."

Besides, Pokafase (born Alafia Long) says he has family stationed in the region amid the fighting, so that personalizes matters for him more than for others on the mike.

Marianino also says he's gotten grief from the more traditional anarchic punk rockers in town about his hawk jones. He hastily dismisses them.

"If you don't like this country, then leave," says Marianino. "All these punk-rock kids, they're all kind of trendy. They say, George W. Bush is not my president.' Then get the fuck out of here."

These folks all say the ongoing struggle in Iraq has their creative hamster wheels spinning once again, and that they're working on new real-time volleys (coincidentally, only one new war-related song of any note, Roger Clyne & the Peacemakers' scathing "God Gave Me a Gun," has surfaced so far; more on that in the coming weeks). For now, they're leaning on older stuff. But even that is too much for some audiences.

"To some extent, people are so inundated and CNN-ed out, when they go out to a bar, they just want to have a good time," says Logan, a self-described ripple in the pond. "People are sort of talked out on it, so there's an escapism there. But that's where musicians can step in."

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