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Anthems For The Angry And Underpaid


Just because the rotten economy has created an increasingly labor-unfriendly environment, that doesn't mean you can't whip up a heap of righteous, entitled indignation. Maybe you have to work swing shift at the broom factory, dipping bundles of straw in a vat of boiling tar until it's time to stagger home and collapse in exhaustion. Or maybe some sticklers on the campaign trail are making a federal case out of your $100 million executive bonus. Either way, you deserve more than The Man is doling out, right? So ask for more, dammit!

What? You need more than a 90-word pep talk to ask for a raise while the stock market is tanking, unemployment is spiking, the housing market is in a state of collapse, your access to healthcare is precarious, and a weekly paycheck is the only thing standing between you and meals of Top Ramen and generic cat food? What are you, chicken? Bock bock bock! Bock bock bock bock bock bock!

Fine. If you need more motivation to demand a raise, here are five songs to get those palms pointed upward and outward.

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Stephen Thompson
Stephen Thompson is a host, writer and reviewer for NPR Music, where he speaks into any microphone that will have him and appears as a frequent panelist and guest host on All Songs Considered. Thompson also co-hosts the daily NPR roundtable podcast Pop Culture Happy Hour, which he created with NPR's Linda Holmes in 2010. In 2008, he and Bob Boilen created the NPR Music video series Tiny Desk concerts, in which musicians perform at Boilen's desk. (To be more specific, Thompson had the idea, which took seconds, while Boilen created the series, which took years. Thompson will insist upon equal billing until the day he dies.)