In an otherwise nondescript time for music (and hey, Christmas music is just days away) comes "Jena," a song/video from John Mellencamp that speaks out on the racial strife around that small Louisiana town. Produced by T-Bone Burnett, "Jena" is powerful and makes a statement that music still has the power to make.
It's hard to remember that there was once a category of music called "Protest Rock." And we've heard "For What It's Worth" so many thousands of times that it's easy to forget what that song was once all about. Except for the occasional Springsteen or Neil Young efforts, music, topicality, and a cause rarely come together anymore.