Sire Records to Release “Body of War: Songs that Inspired an Iraq War Veteran”
BURBANK, CA, Feb 06 (MARKET WIRE) —
“Body of War: Songs that Inspired an Iraq War Veteran,” a double-CD compilation of songs curated by Iraq war veteran Tomas Young, will be released by Sire Records on March 18, 2008 — two days before the fifth anniversary of the United States invasion of Iraq. Young, a 26-year-old veteran, was shot and paralyzed from the chest down after serving in Iraq for less than a week. His heart-wrenching and inspiring story is told in the critically acclaimed feature
documentary “Body of War,” produced and directed by Phil Donahue and Ellen Spiro (www.bodyofwar.com).
Young enlisted in the U.S. Army just two days after 9/11 with the intention of fighting those responsible for the attack on our country. He has transformed his personal suffering into political activism. His powerful story and authentic voice serve to question the war in Iraq that cost him his mobility, and convey the moving journey of a young veteran’s survival and adaptation to his new life as paraplegic.
Young personally selected each of the tracks that appear on “Body of War: Songs that Inspired an Iraq War Veteran,” including Eddie Vedder’s previously unreleased, live version of “No More” — which was specially written for the “Body of War” documentary and performed with Ben Harper at Lollapalooza 2007 in Chicago’s Grant Park. A collection of several additional incisive songs will make up the double-CD set, including Bright Eyes, Neil Young, Bad Religion, Serj
Tankian, Laura Cantrell and The Nightwatchman (Tom Morello). (Track listing forthcoming)
This music, Young says, serves as his personal ‘soundtrack for Iraq.’ “The compilation record was an idea that grew out of my love of music and my reliance on it before, during and after the war. The songs I selected for the record were tracks that inspired, motivated, and at times, literally saved me over the past few years.”
Vedder adds, “Tomas has taught me a great deal, and our friendship has become one of depth and sincerity. It has been a mind-expanding experience. I see how he relies on the strength of the songs to help him through each day. It is a true living example of the power of music.”
Acclaimed political artist Shepard Fairey designed and donated original cover art for the album. Fairey has long been haunting consumer culture with an ambitious mocking street campaign featuring an omnipresent Andre the Giant. An astute student in the arts of persuasion, Fairey began his epic satire on the science of celebrity endorsements and the alchemy of suggesting desire back in 1989, while he was still a student at The Rhode Island School of Design.
Since then, his propaganda has been proliferated through stickers, clothing, skateboards, posters, stencil-based graffiti and even a documentary film, to spread over the United States and the unsuspecting world at large.
All proceeds from “Body of War: Songs that Inspired an Iraq War Veteran” goto benefit the non-profit organization Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW), as chosen by Young.
Founded in 2004 by Iraq war veterans, IVAW’s goal is to give voice to the large number of active-duty service people and veterans who are against the war, but are under various pressures to remain silent. In September, Sire Records donated $100,000 to IVAW in the name of Young, who is a spokesperson for the organization.
Garrett Reppenhagen of IVAW explains, “The ‘Body of War’ soundtrack is an inspiring collection of music that will awaken listeners to the challenges of returning war veterans, the failings of our political leadership and the catastrophe of the occupation of Iraq.
The creator, wounded veteran Tomas Young, skillfully selected songs that offer a profound prospective of his disposition which is shared by many veterans.”
“Body of War,” which was produced by legendary talk show host Phil Donahue and Ellen Spiro, premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 11th, 2007, to unanimous critical acclaim. Richard Corliss of Time magazine called it “a superb documentary … almost unbearably moving,” while Fox News raved that the film is “riveting.” The New York Times website praised the film as a “heart-wrenching and yet deeply affirming story, both a testament to one man’s enduring inner strength and a towering condemnation of a localized conflict.”
“Body of War” was named “Best Documentary of 2007” by the National Board of Review (previous winners include “An Inconvenient Truth” and “Bowling for Columbine”), won the Audience Award for Best Documentary at the Hamptons’ International Film Festival, and was runner-up for the People’s Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival.
“Body of War” begins a nationwide theatrical release in March, opening in Austin and Kansas City, with April and May dates to include New York, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Berkeley, San Diego, Seattle, Chicago, Minneapolis and St. Louis.
For specific dates, visit www.bodyofwar.com.
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