When it comes to music, the Mitt Romney campaign has had a rough go of it. Artists like Silversun Pickups, Twisted Sister, K’Naan, and Al Green have already prohibited the Republican ticket from using their songs based on various reasons, mostly ideological. But Romney isn’t the only musical pariah in politics. Over the course of his two successful campaigns, George W. Bush faced lawsuits from artists such as Tom Petty, John Hall, and Sting while John McCain received backlash from the likes of John Cougar Mellenkamp, ABBA, Jackson Browne, and The Foo Fighters. In fact, the only Democrat to ever be asked not to use a song was Barrack Obama in 2008 when Sam Moore asked him to not use his song “Hold On, I’m Coming,” but even in that instance, Moore insisted he was excited about Obama’s campaign. The recent request made by Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider to Paul Ryan had me asking a simple question: why do musicians hate the GOP?
This summer, during a stop over in Omaha, Nebraska, my friend Paul offered me three moving boxes worth of vinyl, free of charge. I’m not sure what prompted such a generous offering, but before he could change his mind I was on my knees, fingering my way through the boxes, picking out the choicest bits. In that one moment, my vinyl collection tripled in size. As you can imagine, I was in heaven.
In this episode we take a listen to the latest from Passion Pit, Twin Shadow, Wymond Miles, Peaking Lights, Fiona Apple, HEALTH, and of course, we look at another classic track from Bob Dylan. Either go here to listen to it, or look up BDWPS on iTunes and subscribe to it.
[Fat Possum / Bella Union; 2012]
Despite what NBC’s Olympic coverage would like you to believe, some of the most amazing feats performed during the 30th Olympiad have been in the Skeet Shooting competitions. Vincent Hancock’s super human performance, hitting 148 out of 150, was only challenged by Kim Rhodes eliminating 99 of her 100 clay pigeons on the female side. Both were record-setting and unprecedented, yet I can’t help but wonder what it would be like to be so close to perfection, with only one or two mis-steps in the way. You can’t blame them – as humans we are far from infallible. Even the greatest of athletes can have a moment of weakness (take the once indomitable Michael Phelps for example).
The same can be said for great musicians. Even the best artists have had their failed albums – Neil Young had “Everybody’s Rockin,” The Ramones had “Halfway to Sanity,” and Bob Dylan had “Down in the Groove.” So when I first listened to The Walkmen’s latest “Heaven,” I decided it must be the band’s first mediocre album. After an extraordinary series of five excellent albums (some may argue against “A Hundred Miles Off,” but they’ve probably never listened to it), I was okay with “Heaven” not continuing in the long line of instant classics.