This saxophone kills fascists
This saxophone growls like a panther
This saxophone screams like an eagle
This saxophone creates in the face of destruction
Evoking the spirit of Woody Guthrie, these lines open Arrington de Dionyso’s “manifesto” for his latest musical project, This Saxophone Kills Fascists. Last March, he bellowed them out to a small but enthralled crowd at Comet Ping Pong, a pizza restaurant and concert venue on an otherwise mellow stretch of Connecticut Avenue in Washington, D.C. What followed was a storm of sound, wordlessly expressing frustration and hope, resisting conventions and boundaries—a kind of piercing, percussive protest song.
Listen below for excerpts from the concert and an interview with de Dionyso about his early inspirations from Folkways Records, the merits of explicit versus implicit political art, and his motivations to create collaborative and challenging music.
The concert was recorded live at Comet Ping Pong on March 27, 2017, and featured Luke Stewart on bass and Nate Scheible and Ben Bennett on drums. Download a transcript of the audio story.
Elisa Hough is the editor at the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage. She first met Arrington de Dionyso in his living room in Olympia, Washington, in front of a mountain of synchronized television screens.