These are truly the times that try men's souls. Civil-rights violations in the name of homeland security so concern Mike Christopher that the one-man band has dropped his weed-and-Jesus shtick and reinvented himself as a protest singer. But while he hasn't abandoned the Bible completely, his MySpace blog now features writings on the Illuminati. What's more, the singer-songwriter has joined the surprisingly thin ranks of rockers condemning the New World Order.
Slathered in distortion, Protest: One-Man-Jam features lo-fi electric songs about mass marketing, consumer economy, toxic waste, and alienable rights. Alongside a few jangly originals, Christopher serves up a cardboard-box beat for a version of Public Enemy's classic -- though incredibly vague -- "Fight the Power," rewriting the verses in busking-hippie voice. The sentiment's admirable, but the clunky disc won't send angry mobs to the streets. Even if the weather's nice.