Toronto, ON folk-punk rockers Ron Hawkins & The Do Good Assassins (DGA) follow their recent single, “Teenage Insurrection” with another teaser from their upcoming “246” album here today. “Heartbreak In Hopper Street” continues where the previous single left off, once again providing a raw and pulsating focus on socio-cultural issues being faced across North America at this time.
From Black Lives Matter to Police Brutality, and Anti-Capitalism to Martial Law, Ron and the DGA leave no stone unturned in this short, yet potent 3:09 burst of rock & roll social commentary. And while some may have heard this tune performed during Ron’s recent “The Rooftop Session” broadcast with bandmate Jody Brumell, the live and animated visuals from this latest music video shall heighten all of your senses even more. “Heartbreak In Hopper Street is about collective power. All power to the people,” Ron shares. “The kind of grassroots uprising that we need to get some real change in this world and to topple a status quo that is only interested in dehumanizing us and maximizing profits.”
‘YOUR STORY IS WRITTEN IN THE FACE OF THE STARS.’ Bold words that greet you in all caps as the “Heartbreak In Hopper Street” music video starts to roll. “People, out in the street / Pounding the pavement / They’re dead on their feet / People, rinse and repeat / Caught in the crossfire / Of divide and defeat,” Hawkins recites, as flickering images bounce between the screen and your retina. “When every day’s a grind and you find / That you’re tired as tired can be / About to lose your mind, it’s a crime, suicidal society / Ah, it’s heartbreak in Hopper Street.”
‘WORK CONSUME DIE.’ Bold words that greet you, and serve to remind you of your insignificant purposes in a capitalist fueled economy, accentuated by people being tossed into an animated ‘mincer,’ and spat out as dollar signs. Cue the media images of BLM, riots, and heavily armed police playing against renderings of gas masks, tear gas grenades and hand cuffs. And if it all gets too much, Hawkins tosses a basket of cute kittens in there for a brief second to momentarily ease the blood pressure.
Keen eyes may observe a newspaper headline that appears on occasion – ‘Baseball Bat Beating Kills Man, Kin Accused’ – a lack of civility in the supposedly civilized first world. And not unlike the proverbial call to action that we experienced during “Teenage Insurrection,” it is time for our voices to be finally be heard, for fists to be raised into the air once more, and to rally around Hawkins in this crusade to raise awareness, to protest, and to reform the unequal balances of power within our culture.
“Cause don’t you know they tried and they tried / Until finally the dogs retreat / Cause all they got are spies and reprisals / And sirens and riot police / Ah, there’s tear gas in Hopper Street.” Those wielding power and societal reigns cannot silence us, Hawkins tells us. You cannot usurp the right to peaceful protest, to right the wrongs of social injustices, and toss up barricades to suppress our rights of free speech and assembly. “And if you ever wonder why we relied on a lie that was incomplete / Just shine a little light in the night hold it tight so the blind can see / Hey and take a little time, raise a cry, make it chime like a symphony / Cause it only takes a ‘why?’ to defy / Draw the line from the ‘me’ to ‘we’ / And it all starts in Hopper Street.”
Thirsty for more? Ron Hawkins and the DGA release their new album, “246” on August 28th, so go ahead and reserve your copy right now, or pre-save on your streaming platform of choice. Yes, now, lest you forget those valuable words from Ron during “Teenage Insurrection” – that “every idle minute is a murdered one!” Correct me if I am wrong, but the last time I checked, effective social reform and procrastination do not ride on the same bus.
Photo Credit: Robert Ciolfi