I hate Paul Ryan’s iPod. No, not Paul Ryan, although I don’t necessarily agree with his stance on women’s rights and gay rights, his association with the Tea Party, or his allegiance to Ayn Rand’s belief in rational egoism. My hatred lies solely with Ryan’s iPod. In some kind of misguided political talking point, Ryan and the Republican Party have made it a point that we all know that Mr. P90X owns an iPod (and somehow, this means he’s the young/hip counter balance to straight man Mitt Romney).
Over the past couple weeks, both political parties gave us their vision for Amerca’s future at their respective conventions, and the difference couldn’t have been starker. At the Republican National Convention, conservatives took to the stage to wax ecstatic about the America that once existed before the evil Obama came along and ruined it all. Jon Stewart said it best, “The message of this convention is that apparently up until about November of 2008, Americans lived in a utopian ideal born of our own gumption and individual hard work.” The Democrats, on the other hand, presented a vision for the future, begging Americans to give Barrack Obama another four years to make it happen. Basically, one party looks to the past while another aims for the future.
In Dan Deacon’s latest opus “America,” this same clash of views can be found in his blend of classic orchestration and in your face futuristic electronic blips and hisses. But this dichotomy of sound goes beyond the political landscape – it forces these two beasts to face off – an audio battle royale where the grand American landscape goes nine rounds with the technological progress that dares to spit into the wind. It’s Cowboys vs. Indians, North vs. South, Hulk Hogan vs. Andre the Giant, all wrapped into one ambitiously, epic album.
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?