Lake Street Dive on music, activism, and bravery

Lake Street Dive on music, activism, and bravery

When we think about climate change and what we and others can do to make a difference, most of us don’t think of musicians and artists. But lead singer Rachael Price and songwriter/drummer Mike Calabrese of the hit band Lake Street Dive are actively fighting climate change, on tour and off. We talk to them about the challenges of being a green band, banning plastic water bottles from shows, the complicated intersection of art and activism—and who our theme song “Shame, Shame, Shame” is really about. 

Lake Street Dive strives to make a difference. Drummer Mike Calabrese, a passionate environmentalist, has taken the lead in educating his fellow band members about climate change and inspiring them to take action. At their shows, they’ve created a culture of environmentalism by allowing only reusable water bottles and utensils—and of course by recycling. They have also partnered with Cool Effect, a carbon offsetting non-profit, to support environmental efforts that help underserved communities around the world. One beneficiary is the Los Santos Wind Power Project, which intends to provide clean energy to 50,000 people in the Los Santos region of Costa Rica. Their latest album, Obviously, includes the song “Making Do” about the effects of global warming on the lives of young people. 

Calabrese and lead singer Rachael Price discuss their experiences as an eco-conscious touring band, including their politics in their art, and how people can overcome their fears about our changing world in order to make it better for everyone. 

Guests: 

Mike Calabrese, Drummer and songwriter, Lake Street Dive

Rachael Price, lead singer, Lake Street Dive

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Show Notes

Brooklyn-based Lake Street Dive is Yesh’s favorite band ever! She was so excited to talk to them about her most passionate subject, climate change, and to find out that they care about saving the world (especially for future generations) as much as she does.

Most people don’t think about how their favorite bands contribute to healing our planet. According to a study published in the academic journal Popular Music in 2019, five Scottish touring bands collectively created 19,314 kg (approx. 21 tons) of carbon emissions between the months of April and September. The average yearly carbon emissions per person globally, according to The Nature Conservancy, is four tons.

Lake Street Dive strives to make a difference. Drummer Mike Calabrese, a passionate environmentalist, has taken the lead in educating his fellow band members about climate change and inspiring them to take action. At their shows, they’ve created a culture of environmentalism by allowing only reusable water bottles and utensils—and of course by recycling. They have also partnered with Cool Effect, a carbon offsetting non-profit, to support environmental efforts that help underserved communities around the world. One beneficiary is the Los Santos Wind Power Project, which intends to provide clean energy to 50,000 people in the Los Santos region of Costa Rica. Their latest album, Obviously, includes the song “Making Do” about the effects of global warming on the lives of young people.

Calabrese and lead singer Rachael Price discuss their experiences as an eco-conscious touring band, including their politics in their art, and how people can overcome their fears about our changing world in order to make it better for everyone.

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