Michelle Shocked Sings “Anchorage”

Listen to this track by East Texas punk-folk singer-songwriter Michelle Shocked. It’s her perhaps unlikely hit song “Anchorage” as taken from her 1988 record Short Sharp Shocked.

Besides the title of the record, the cover indicates that the content therein would be pretty politically strident, depicting Shocked in the literal clutches of a seemingly enormous, mustachioed police officer during a 1984 protest of the Democratic Convention she attended that year. The picture was originally shown as a part of a story that appeared in the San Francisco Examiner and re-used, with credit, for the cover.

All the while, this is the song off of the record that made an impact on the mainstream, scoring heavy airplay on MTV and Muchmusic up here in Canada, as well as on college radio all over North America.┬áThe song was ┬áthe centerpiece on an album that dealt with a number of political issues, from the decline of blue collar jobs in America, to police brutality and the miscarriage of justice for the poor. Yet, without being at all strident or polemical, “Anchorage” is equally political, with its subtlety making it the strongest statement on the album.

And what was that statement, exactly?

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