News and Views on Tibet

Tibet Freedom Concert

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The fall of Baghdad happened so quickly that no one had time to come up with an antiwar song that spoke to our doubts and fears and resentments of the military-industrial complex. No “Masters of War,” not even a “Fixin’ to Die Rag.”

Well, there is that Beastie Boys thing, “In a World Gone Mad,” which MCA, Ad-Rock and Mike D threw together a couple of weeks ago. An awkward meeting of hip-hop attitude and pacifist sentiment, the rhymes are interesting, to say the least. It’s not entirely clear what the Boys are getting at when they advise both Bush and Hussein to “kick it like back in the day/with the cocaine and the Courvosier,” and while one could make a good case that hubris and blinkered self-interest now rules in Washington, supposing that such an attitude was the result of “smoking crack” sort of lets Rummy & Co. off the hook, doesn’t it?

Still, no one doubts the Beasties’ commitment to their views, especially since they’re one of the very few major pop groups who incorporate their nonviolent agenda into their business model. The Milarepa Fund, which was begun in 1994 by Adam “MCA” Yauch as a means for supporting the Tibetan people’s struggle to regain independence, has since become an all-purpose nonprofit organization dedicated to nonviolence. According to Yauch, the fund sponsors “realistic, reasonable ideas” for solving problems in a world “where war is so frequently touted as the only solution. The Tibet struggle embodies this message wholeheartedly. So by working to help Tibet regain its freedom we are working toward world peace.”

The Milarepa Fund will hold the ninth Tibetan Freedom Concert at Tokyo Bay NK Hall on April 19. In addition to the Beasties themselves, musical guests will include veteran folk rocker Kiyoshiro Imawano, the ear-searing guitar work of Mo’some Tonebender, the nu-metal band Rize and Tibetan musician Nawang Khechog.

Tibet Freedom Concert: April 19, 5 p.m., Tokyo Bay NK Hall. Tickets 6,500 yen. For more information, call Smash at (03) 3444-6751.

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