Portugal. The Man teamed up with “Weird Al” Yankovic and fellow Portland artist The Last Artful, Dodgr for “Who’s Gonna Stop Me.” The song arrived on Indigenous People Day (Oct. 12) to raise awareness about Indigenous culture and rights. Released via Atlantic records, “Who’s Gonna Stop Me” comes with an accompanying video directed by Aaron Brown and Josué Rivas, featuring Indigenous stars.
“I’ve jammed with them at Bonnaroo, I’ve produced remixes for two of their songs, and now I’m doing vocals on ‘Who’s Gonna Stop Me,’” Yankovic says. “Portugal. The Man are not only my friends, but they’re one of my favorite bands in the world, and I’m thrilled to be featured on their new single.”
Portugal. The Man adds:
They say barbwire was the death knell of the cowboy. It was the end of the open range and the end of open pastures. Before the cowboys, for time immemorial, the indigenous peoples of the Americas looked to the earth as their spiritual authority. They did not parcel the earth any more than Christians, Muslims, or the Jewish faith would parcel out God. That would be sacrilege. But along came the colonists and they did just that. After the genocide of the indigenous peoples, once our white picket fences and barbwire and border walls were erected, the ancestors of the colonists made a lot of technological progress. We invented cars, skyscrapers, cheeseburgers, and smartphones! And yet now, at the dawn of the 21st century, mother earth is reacting to the past few hundred years of neglect. The earth is sending out pandemics, fires, hurricanes, and so on. The indigenous say that it’s the earth’s immune system calibrating itself. The indigenous people of the Americas, and the rest of the world, have stewarded their sacred planet for tens of thousands of years of recorded history—likely more. The PTM Foundation turns a conscious heart to the ancestral youth of the indigenous elders to shepherd our sacred planet and peoples through this time of difficulty.
The PTM Foundation is a platform for artistic collaboration between materialist culture, the arts, and indigenous paradigms. For the video for “Who’s Gonna Stop Me” we created a collaboration between indigenous artists, friends, artistic collaborators, “Weird Al” Yankovic, and Indigenous organizations to explore the possibilities of collaboration in this new time. To us ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic has always been a figure of playful boundary-breaking. His work makes us take less seriously, the things that we take so seriously, like what’s cool, or what’s trendy. ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic has been an inspiration for Portugal The Man since their inception until now. In the tradition of the indigenous cultures of the western North American territories, the Coyote represents the trickster and the maker of new worlds. The trickster is an archetype that can be found in nearly all indigenous and ancient cultures; the trickster not only is playful and a comedian but through their playfulness, they connect people. PTM Foundation sees music and art as a similar tool to make new connections and we consider this video to be the beginning of a campaign of many collaborations to come. PTM Foundation strives to forge bridges between the materialist contemporary culture in which we are immersed and the indigenous stewards to whom we strive to give a larger voice.
Watch the “Who’s Gonna Stop Me” video below. Keep scrolling to revisit Portugal. The Man’s 2009 concert at Cafe Du Nord.