Let me begin: I am all for people getting riled up and angry about Arizona's dangerous SB 1070 law, and regular Popthomology readers know that because I keep hammering away at it in print and music and however I can. I'm very glad other people with voices far louder and stronger than mine are speaking up, too. But some of them are dead wrong about how they are mobilizing their protest efforts.

Zach de la Rocha of Rage Against the Machine is organizing a musical blockade of Arizona called The Sound Strike. So far, these artists have officially joined with him in pledging not to play in Arizona until SB 1070 is no more:

Cypress Hill
Conor Oberst
Los Tigres del Norte
Rage Against the Machine
Cafe Tacvba
Micheal Moore
Kanye West
Calle 13
Joe Satriani
Serj Tankian
Rise Against
Sabertooth Tiger
Massive Attack
One Day as a Lion
Street Sweeper Social Club
Spank Rock
Sonic Youth
Tenacious D

I understand the intent, completely. These artists don't want the state of Arizona to get a single cent of their money -- not a dime to the any of the local businesses that artists use when they come into town to play. They don't want to visit a place where the rights of some are less than the rights of others. The last big musical boycott push I can think of was Little Steven's "Sun City," when South African apartheid was still in full-force, and his song did focus a lot of attention on a terrible thing and many artists did pledge to stop playing there. I am sure those musicians joining The Sound Strike sincerely feel that they are standing by their principles, and hope to shake Arizonans against SB 1070 out of their apathy to use their political muscles to vote in different kinds of leaders. It's a noble effort but is, in this case, weak.

Why? Let's be honest. You could get Lady Gaga or Bono or whomever -- the biggest, most-powerful musicians, say -- to join a boycott of Arizona. So then say nobody but pro-SB 1070 artists play in Arizona. Whose message is heard louder, the artist who through distance and inactivity speaks or the one who has the crowd's ears and is face-to-face? Why punish those Arizona fans that are already on your side and who may be doing all they can to change SB 1070? What do you want your fans to do, move to another state so they can hear live music again? The reality is that SB 1070 is going into a long and nasty court fight, and your boycott won't do a damn thing to change that or to help. Arizona Joe Concertgoer is simply left with Right-Wing Tea Party Artists to see while the lawyers duke it out.

Zach, just saying you are going all Rosa Parks on Arizona isn't thinking the issue through in this particular case. Your frustration and anger will ultimately achieve little, and I am sorry to say it. However, I have a suggestion. Change your site to "The Sound SLAM" and convince musicians to PLAY IN ARIZONA AS OFTEN AS THEY CAN if you want to make a real difference. Here's how:

1. Your message -- that SB 1070 is wrong -- can be heard in person by the people whom you wish to mobilize to action. Nothing is stronger than real-time, real-life action if you want to use your fame effectively.

2. Invite anti-SB 1070 organizations to set up their information next to your merch table.

3. DONATE part of your show's ticket sales to anti-SB 1070 organizations or the Arizona ACLU -- people who are in the actual process of trying to getting rid of the law. They NEED your support, and DON'T need to feel abandoned in the process.

Music is powerful, healing, inspiring. DON'T WASTE THE OPPORTUNITY to turn this around. USE YOUR TALENTS WISELY. Don't turn your back on the good people in Arizona by starving them. Feed them, inform them, entertain them, and support real change by having the courage to stand with them, instead of sit on a tall equine over in another state.