Yesterday’s New York Times featured an article on the AccoLade, an all-girl band that could possibly be the most reckless, punk-rock group of bad-asses making music today. These four female college students have managed to form a band and cut a single, "Pinocchio" (available at their MySpace page), which has become an underground sensation in the ultraconservative kingdom of Saudi Arabia. For the AccoLade to rock, they have to exist in the shadows, rehearsing in secret, shrouding their face-piercings under traditional garb, and shying away from being photographed because they live in a country where women aren’t allowed to drive cars or walk outside withouttheir faces covered, let alone play the Devil’s Music from the West.
It’s amazing to see how powerful music can be in helping break down barriers and bring people together. But real change also takes heroically courageous people, and the ladies of the AccoLade are willing to stick their necks out and flip-off the establishment — in this case, an extremely oppressive, authoritarian establishment. Hopefully, the Times article doesn’t set Saudi’s religious authorities out on a (wo)manhunt to find and punish the ladies who flaunted their strict laws in the Western media. Rock-loving PopWatchers can lend a hand, though, by going to the AccoLade’s MySpace page, checking out the song, and leaving a comment pledging support.
Certainly, the AccoLade aren’t alone, so let us know if you’re a fan of any other artists trying to exist under oppressive regimes who are also risking their very well-being for their right to rock (or rap…or write…or whatever).