Monday, January 7, 2008
Music and Politics? Wait, Huckabee and, uhm, Bono?!
Hat tip to Carrie Brownstein over at NPR's Monitor Mix, one of my favorite bloggers.
Carrie has a fantastic piece today on politicians' use of music. The following snippet is the best thing I read today:
'There is nothing like politics and politicians employing songs as a force for musical atrophy. Even though politicians might inspire some great tunes (imagine 1980's hardcore without Reagan or recent Springsteen, Steve Earle, or Arcade Fire albums minus Bush II et al as inspiration), they are less successful at marrying music with their own image or agenda. It's a tricky process indeed. We're not talking about a benign Celebrity Playlist on i-Tunes, wherein people can admire the esoteric tastes of Nicholas Cage, or confirm their instinct that they and Michael Cera were meant for each other based on a mutual fondness for The Microphones. And it is more serious than the song one chooses as a cell phone ring, that 15 second personal ad broadcast ed a few times a day. Instead, a candidate's theme song is a little bit more like a tattoo; some people won't care or even notice it at all, others will think it really sums up who they are and what they stand for, and the final category of people will be slightly offended by their lack of taste.'
Music, after all, precedes much else. The soundtrack we pick for ourselves reveals much about us. Employing music for the purpose of making strong political statements makes plain sense to me. Obama's choice of music, U2's City of Blinding Lights sounds like a well-informed choice to me. Bono's voice echoes a sense of possibility, novelty, and optimism, the things Obama seems to want to be remembered for.
Ah, yes, and even Mike Huckabee is playing bass on the Tonight Show outing his love of classic rock. The PR folk must have picked up on something here, right?
I will ask the same question here that Carrie asked over at her blog, i.e., why are the candidates spending trying to pick the 'right' song for their respective campaigns?
And didn't Hillary pick a Celine Dion track at some point?
In the words of a favorite person, 'what kind of blip was that? Seriously, Celine?!'
Read more here.