One of the most talked-about tracks from Algiers’ sophomore album The Underside of Power, “Cleveland” commemorates the black lives lost to police violence and the lack of public interest surrounding their deaths. Sandra Bland is specifically mentioned in the song, along with Kindra Chapman, Alfred Wright and other victims of police brutality whose cases were less publicized.
Algiers often assert confronting injustice as a theme in their music, and the tensions between optimism and despair, innocence and penalty. We recently spoke to the band about their personal beliefs on fighting for justice and how they interpret them in their music.
Interlaced with the principles of the Black Panthers’ Ten-Point Program, the “Cleveland” video sees frontman and lyricist Franklin James Fisher in both Staten Island and the Pink Houses project in East New York, where Eric Garner and Akai Gurley were killed at the hands of New York City Police Department. The lyrics make for a powerful and uncompromising message of resistance and defiance, as well as a life-affirming tribute to those lost to an unjust system.
You can watch the “Cleveland” video above and find Algiers’ North American tour dates below. Also, revisit their “The Underside of Power” video here.
Algiers Tour Dates:
13 – Vancouver, B.C. @ Cobalt
14 – Portland, Ore. @ Mississippi Studios
15 – Seattle, Wash. @ The Crocodile
17 – Oakland, Calif. @ Starline Social Club
18 – Los Angeles, Calif @ The Echo
21 – Brooklyn, N.Y. @ Brooklyn Steel
22 – Brooklyn, N.Y. @ Baby’s All Right
23 – Philadelphia, Pa. @ Johnny Brenda’s
24 – Washington, DC @ Black Cat
13 – Albany, N.Y. @ The Hollow
14 – Buffalo, N.Y. @ Waiting Room
15 – Pittsburgh, Pa. @ Spirit Hall
16 – Cleveland, Ohio @ Grog Shop
18 – Nashville, Tenn. @ Mercury Ballroom
21 – Birmingham, Ala. @ Saturn
22 – New Orleans, La. @ Hi-Ho Lounge
23 – Houston Texas @ White Oak Music Hall
24 – Dallas, Texas @ Dada
25 – Austin, Texas @ Empire Garage
26 – San Antonio, Texas @ Paper Tiger
28 – Santa Fe, N.M. @ Meow Wolf
29 – Phoenix, Ariz. @ Crescent Ballroom
30 – Santa Barbara, Calif. @ SoHo Club
01 – San Diego, Calif. @ Soda Bar
15 – Atlanta, Ga. @ Afropunk Festival