Navajo Times: New solo album a soundtrack for indigenous activism

By Shondiin Silversmith
Navajo Times

WINDOW ROCK, Oct. 17, 2013

There are a lot of ways people choose to take action for what they believe in.

Musician Klee Benally shouts out his beliefs in his first solo acoustic album called “Respect Existence or Expect Resistance.”
When one thinks of an acoustic album it’s usually soft and sweet, but don’t let the soft tones of an acoustic guitar fool you.
With Benally’s deep rugged voice and strong lyrics, his album is out to prove a point.

Read the full article here: http://www.navajotimes.com/entertainment/music/2013/1013/101713klee.php#.UmTwDSQmz2g

Greetings from Prague

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At CICP in Paris

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Crew of CSIA folks, Fa fa, Li, and Eric!

Greetings,
Here are a few pics from tour. I haven’t had as much time to do any updates as email access has been a bit sporadic.
The first show was at a small infoshop called “Le Remouleur.” They are fighting against gentrification in their neighborhood. The next day I played two sets at a small club that was packed out to the sidewalk. It’s always nice to be face to face with an audience. Then we went quickly to a squat for another set. Good fun on tour! Many thanks to Eric for setting up these fun shows. Princess & I did have some time to enjoy the city (not too many tourist sites except Montmartre). We grabbed some great tea and ate a few pastries.
Then two shows at CICP – an awesome building that houses many social justice orgs based in Paris including CSIA, an org established in the 1970’s to support Indigenous struggles. The first show was a festival celebrating Indigenous People’s solidarity & resistance day. Many presenters from Idle No More KKKanada to Zapatista struggles shared their stories of resistance and liberation. The next day was a show with La Fraction (awesome French punk!) and Gerk.

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Princess & I in Prague – view from Charles Bridge

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On stage w/ Misha

Then it was off to Prague at 4am. The show was intimate, didn’t seem to be much promotion but the theater was beautiful. The sound tech recorded it so I will try to make some of the songs available as soon as I get the files. Misha (ex-Gaia Messiah) joined me on stage

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Tea is awesome in Prague. 🙂

with some awesome shaker action. It was great to connect with some old friends who drove all the way from Germany too. 🙂 Earlier in the day as Princess & I walked the streets of old town I found a cheap guitar… I even got a discount ’cause one of the frets was buzzing a bit too much (a simple fix with a file or hammer).

Oh yeah, a person at the Prague show mentioned that the digital download on this site was still in test mode so it wasnt charging folks, so if you still wish to contribute to my musical endeavors (which by the way also directly funds/supports Peaks resistance and purchase of infoshop/oybm building) you can do so via paypal using this email address: info@indigenousaction.org or through the digital download page.

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New guitar! …is that horse upside down?

Another early morning flight (6:30am) and I am in an airport in Munich finishing typing this. Looking forward to the next part of the tour starting in Rennes tonight!

Ahe’ hee’,

Klee

CD & Digital Download out now!

Ya’a’teeh!

Celebrating Indigenous People’s Liberation & Resistance Day (everyday).

Check out the new CD via digital download (pay what you want) here. Digital download comes with 20 page digital booklet w/ lyrics.
You can buy the hardcopy here, at shows, or at Táala Hooghan Infoshop in the occupied territories of Flagstaff, AZ.

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on our way…

From the dust bowl known as Shiprock Fair working the Dibé Biccino Coffee booth to Phoenix, AZ in a whirlwind (literally)… we’re on our way to Europe. It was great keeping all the chi’zhi faces caffeinated this past weekend.

Look forward to seeing new and old faces on tour. Also just added a show in Flagstaff, AZ at Táala Hooghan Infoshop for “A Fire at the Mountain” anarchist & anti-colonial bookfair on Nov. 16th.

 

Last Day to Pre-Order + A Note About Album Digital Download

 

respect-existence-expect-resistance-buttons Ya’a’teeh,
Just a reminder that today is the last day for pre-orders for the hard-copy CD. Pre-orders include a couple of these lovely buttons and this patch screen-printed by yours truly.respect-existence-expect-resistance-patch

You can still purchase the CD here for $8 until midnight (goes up to $10 for the release after).
At this point I have no plans of making too much “merch” so the only way to get the patch and buttons (for now) is to pre-order.

Regarding the digital download of the album…

I will be releasing the digital version of “Respect Existence or Expect Resistance” on a “pay what you want/trade” basis. The digital download will include a 20 page digital booklet which will include all the lyrics and art/photos by myself and some accomplices. Read more here.
Of course the album won’t be available until the 12th of Oct. In the meantime, please sign my email list for updates.

Hopefully this doesn’t dissuade you too much from acquiring the hard copy CD though, as there is something to be said about the entire artistic project of making an album… from song list selection, to art, etc. Plus, if I happen to disseminate enough albums or get enough contributions I would like to press a vinyl version… but may also do a micro-crowdfunding campaign for that one. Maybe t-shirts as a “reward”? Who’s down to support vinyl?… add your voice in the comments section below!

Thanks for listening…

Off to Shiprock and then Europe soon.

Ahe’ hee’,
Klee

 

 

New Song Posted: An Act of Liberation + Lyrics

*Photo of Human Rights March in Flagstaff, AZ by Shelby Ray

This is track 13 from my upcoming album “Respect Existence or Expect Resistance.
You can pre-order CDs here for a discounted price and get some patches, buttons, and info!

Check out the lyrics with links to the issues addressed:

AN ACT OF LIBERATION

Peabody‘s drag lines across the landscape
like militarized borders that carve this police state
1974 government pens wrote, “relocate
divide and conquer, 14,000 and today?

We know this nightmare because it repeats
’till something breaks
An act of liberation

Yes we all know it’s the rich against the poor
class, race, gender, and mother earth just a resource
globalization is colonization and colonization is always war

We know this nightmare because it repeats
’till something breaks
An act of liberation!

Industrial capitalist hetero-patriarchy
We know the story of so many manifested destinies
From the broken bones of broken homes and violated boarding school dreams

We know this nightmare because it repeats
’till something breaks
An act of liberation!

From Big Mountain to Palestine, relocation is genocide.
We stand against all wars and occupation
Against nationalism, against state sponsored terrorism

the free market non-profit industry
accountable to foundations no not community
paychecks for activism, for justice or just them?
But this ain’t no revolutionary commodity…
It’s an act of liberation

An act of liberation!

Benefit Speaking Tour/Film Screening/Acoustic Shows

I will be doing a speaking tour with discussion, short films, and, acoustic concerts in Europe in October. This is a benefit tour for purchase of a community center in Flagstaff, Indigenous Action Media, and Protect the Peaks work.
I will also be doing a select few dates in the Southwest in November.

I’ll be traveling to raise funds for a couple of important causes: Silei Community Empowerment Project is working on raising the remaining funds for down-payment costs to buy a community center (which currently houses Taala Hooghan Infoshop & OYBMedia Center) in Flagstaff, AZ. I am also working on getting donations to support folks who were part of direct actions to stop Snowbowl back in 2011. The state is attempting to extort thousands of dollars for “restitution” from a few individuals.
(you can donate at any of the above sites, you can also contribute here: www.indigenousaction.org.)

Tour info:

klee-poster-EUROPE2013

Respect Existence or Expect Resistance
Indigenous resistance and liberation struggles in the US.
Short films, discussion, & acoustic concert.

This presentation will address current efforts to protect the San Francisco Peaks in Arizona, relocation and resistance to resource colonization on Black Mesa, border militarization, and community based resistance.

 

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Printable for shows.

 

A new site, a new focus…

Ya’a’teeh,

This site is established as an outlet for some new projects that I’ve been working on for some years now.
I’ve also found it a bit challenging keeping all the work I do spread all over the place, so this is also an attempt to bring it all together.
As many of you know me through my former work with Blackfire, music has always been a tool/tactic for me to intervene in the dominant social order’s established narrative. So, for the moment, this site will primarily focus on my new (really old as I’ve never stopped playing music since I was 10…) project of acoustic songs.
I’ve never been too fond of celebrating individually focused projects or personalities, so part of my intention with this site is to ensure that resistance & liberation struggles are always at the forefront.

www.IndigenousAction.org is where you can stay updated about most of the issues I work on. I will mostly post my coverage of issues to that site and have more commentary here. You can stay more updated by following me on twitter too @eelk.

In struggle,

Klee

p.s. I was never on “hiatus”…

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