From the archives: Power to the people – John Lennon and Yoko Ono interview
Lenin or Lennon? Red Pepper reprints John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s interview with Robin Blackburn and Tariq Ali (published in issue 21, February 1996)

Grace Petrie: Singing for change
Grace Petrie talks to Elly Badcock about apathy, love and why she’s not a ‘protest singer’

The Knife shake it to the left
The haunting and abrasive new album from The Knife challenges common assumptions about political music, says James Taylor

Singing our stories
Socialist singer-songwriter Dave Boardman reviews Union Made, the new album by radical folk supergroup Union of Folk

The Afrikan Hip Hop Caravan: an alternative vision of hip hop
Kaspar Loftin says a caravan across Africa is a revitalisation of the genre’s original political power

Chumbawamba: One last time
Chumbawamba, the anarchist band that topped the charts and tipped an ice bucket over John Prescott, have decided to call it a day. Founder member Boff Whalley explains why

Bring on your wrecking ball: the politics of Bruce Springsteen
Huw Beynon and Steve Davies consider the significance of an artist whose new album targets the bankers’ crisis

Shedcasting in Surbiton
Michael Calderbank visits the suburban garden of radio broadcaster and DJ Mark Coles, an unlikely location for an internet-based radio show

Fence Records: ‘We’re not trendy, we’re not competing, we just do our thing’
Johnny Lynch (aka The Pictish Trail) tells Emma Hughes that artist-run record label Fence is staying true to its roots

Venezuela’s hip-hop revolutionaries
Jody McIntyre and Pablo Navarrete report on Venezuela’s Hip Hop Revolución movement

Beyond bling-bling: rap in Cuba
Cuba’s isolation has seen hip hop develop in a different direction, discovers Sujatha Fernandes

Gil Scott-Heron: Speakin’ for a whole generation
Steve Pretty looks at the musical and political life of the poet

Illegal Art: Recreating records
Red Pepper talks to Illegal Art founder Philo T Farnsworth

Craft work
Music producer Matthew Herbert's inventive methods are informed by a critical perspective on the wider politics of production and consumption under contemporary capitalism, finds Brendan Montague

Rhyme and reason
Pablo Navarrete meets the British-Iraqi rapper Lowkey, a rising star whose growing popularity is tapping into a mood of rebellion

One night in the north
John Robb celebrates the 20th anniversary of an event that captured the cultural and political moment, and a band whose anthemic, euphoric music for a brief time perfectly matched the sense of possibility and change

Anything but background music
It's often said that flamenco is not political because it dwells exclusively on the individual. That seems to imply a narrow definition of both the political and the personal, writes Mike Marqusee

Singing to a different tune
Pop stars are swapping guitars for banners to take the power back from the record companies, writes Paul Campbell

It was 40 years ago today, John and Yoko taught the world to play
John Lennon and Yoko Ono's 'Bed-In' at the Amsterdam Hilton in 1969 was only a part of their broad-ranging commitment to peace campaigning. Colin Robinson looks back at one of the most famous - and media-savvy - protests of all time

Something special
Laurie Penny speaks to Mary Wilson, the longest-standing member of Motown's most successful group, the Supremes

Radical Motown
The pioneering black music label, Tamla Motown, marks its 50th anniversary in 2009. Fiona Osler assesses its impact

Led Zeppelin needs to come back in black
Mark LeVine says at their core Led Zeppelin were a black band and need to look outside the 'white rock 'n' roll box' if they change their mind about not reforming

Manu Chao, the neighbourhood singer
Manu Chao could be the most famous singer that many English speakers have never heard of. Yet he is to the alter-globalisation movement what Bob Dylan was to peace and civil rights in the 1960s. Oscar Reyes caught up with him by a campfire at Glastonbury, where he created a little 'neighbourhood of hope'

Making music matter
The organisers claimed it as a huge success. But the BNP continued its advance in local elections and won a seat on the London Assembly a few days later anyway. So what did the Love Music Hate Racism carnival in east London in April achieve, and what is the importance of such events for the left in the future? Lena De Casparis and Alex Nunns report

Babes without spice
Laurie Penny explains what it means to have hopes dashed twice, first by the Spice Girls and second by Blair's Babes

Who takes the rap?
Hip-hop star Chuck D says black artists must fight for control of their own music and the money it earns. Donald Harding talked to him