Listening to “Mtn Tune,” the new track from Oakland-based Trails And Ways, it’s easy to get lost in the dueling male/female vocals and the dreamy guitar line.
But as I was listening, a plea on their Soundcloud page to “Help bail out our friend defending mountains from coal mining” caught my eye. Keith from the band explained further:
Three out of four members of the band have studied and worked on clean energy and sustainable architecture. Some of us have done activism against dirty energy, and our songs have touched on these politics before (“Chills”, “No Wisdom”, our Spanish verse in “Miracle”). It’s clear that the vast amounts of coal still in the ground are a potential death sentence, via climate crime, for society and the planet as we know it. Mountaintop removal is the most disgusting way imaginable to get at that coal; brutalizing poor Appalachian communities and wooded mountains with cancer, dynamite, bulldozers, and jobs that evaporate. Monday morning, we were about to release Mtn Tune, and got word that our old friend/housemate Clark had been thrown in jail for taking part in a brave direct action with RAMPS to halt a mountaintop removal site. It was obvious right away that we should use Mtn Tune as a call to rally support our friend and the other rad folks fighting for mountain justice in Appalachia.
If you want to learn more about mountaintop removal, you can check out the RAMPS Campaign. Once you’re thoroughly disgusted with the practice, you can donate to a legal fund for activists arrested while protesting the largest mountaintop removal site in Appalachia.
In the meantime, listen to “Mtn Tune” to remind yourself how badass mountains are, and how we should not destroy them (and the communities surrounding them) with this dangerous method.
Listen for: the burst of sound at 0:15.