Watch Bassnectar Get Pensive About Politics, Power, and Music

Watch Bassnectar Get Pensive About Politics, Power, and Music
David Bevan WRITTEN BY
David Bevan

Electronic dance music doesn't have many Ian MacKaye-like figures, to which you'd probably say, "Well, duh." But Lorin Ashton — the breaks-and-bass agitator best known as Bassnectar — has long done his part to serve as the scene's left-wing conscience. In 2011, he donated one dollar of every ticket sold to non-profits like AlterNet, the media watchdog Free Press and Reach Out, which supports people with disabilities in the LGBT community.

In a segment of its Neighborhood Series, the San Francisco creative agency Yours Truly talks to Ashton about political involvement, personal responsibility and finding balance. "For a while, I thoughtit was almost fucked up to spend your time partying when other people were suffering," he admits, surveying a particularly desolate patch of the East Bay. Then, as he describes his epiphany that music is an essential element of the human experience, he hops a fence and leads the cameras into an abandoned building. From the look on his face, you know he's thinking that it would make an awesome space for an illegal rave.

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