WTF Community

WTF is... The Emperor's New Clothes

Welcome to Who The Fuck Is The Resistance, an interview series highlighting what the WTFJHT community is doing to resist and exist.

The Emperor’s New Clothes

Who are you?
I’m Rob St. Mary - founder of the Hold Fast record label in Detroit.

We have just released “The Emperor’s New Clothes” single featuring David J. (of Bauhaus & Love and Rockets) on vocals with Detroit jazz group, the Aston Neighborhood Pleasure Club.

What are you doing?
The single is a special #resist release highlighting the absurdity of this administration through the use of the old myth of “The Emperor’s New Clothes” as a way to support a charity his party has been working to defund: Planned Parenthood.

Where can people can find you?
The record can be found here:

When did you start?
This project has been several months in the making. The lyrics and music were written by the great Detroit composer/musician Joshua James, who is the bandleader of the Aston Neighborhood Pleasure Club. He called up his friend David J. in California and asked him to put down the vocals. It was just released in mid-July.

Why are you doing this?
At the end of 2016, Joshua had his first child - a girl, “Maggie” (Magnolia). As he was holding her one day, thinking about the election, and what this administration might mean for her, her rights, her life as well as his family. He put pen to paper and “The Emperor’s New Clothes” came out in a flash. It’s been a great to see it evolve. I’m honored to put out the project and look forward to being able to help Planned Parenthood through sales from the record.

How did you get started?
I started the Hold Fast record label in the Summer of 2016. But, I’ve always been interested in finding a way to help causes that matter to me. So, this release just seemed like a natural fit - a way to do both. Plus, both songs - one written to satire this administration and one written in 1931 - are amazing jazz tunes. I seem to have an interest in working in forms not usually supported by the popular charts, but that’s OK - great art is great art.

How do you fight political fatigue?
Big help for me has been spending time with my fiancee, talking to her about the day-to-day, and enjoying the life we are building. I also take time with friends, enjoying music, reading graphic novels as part of a book club here in Detroit, as well as getting out of the house and away from technology from time-to-time.

What are your three favorite books or websites you use to stay informed?


Thanks for the Twitter suggestions. Might I add Sarah Kendzior? She has been studying authoritarian regimes for many years and has a particular take on this president–Amy Suskind also has been making a weekly list of the ways this administration is Not Normal to help us all remember what democracy is supposed to look like. I follow both.

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I passed by the video for the first time on social media last month but didn’t realize what I skipped. Funny song! Well done, Rob! :joy: :clap:

@spriestman - you should check out our “Trump/Russia” thread. There’s a bunch of sources and Twitter recommendations! (Amy & Sarah both included!)

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