Friday, September 5, 2008

It Ain't Me: Music and Politics

Posted By on Fri, Sep 5, 2008 at 10:14 AM

I somehow missed the fact that Sarah Palin's nickname is "barracuda," so when Heart's song of the same name followed that awful John Rich song last night at the RNC, I was kinda confused. As you may have heard, Heart have joined Van Halen and Jackson Browne in not wanting to be associated with the Good Ol' Party:

Sarah Palin's views and values in NO WAY represent us as American women. We ask that our song 'Barracuda' no longer be used to promote her image. The song 'Barracuda' was written in the late ’70s as a scathing rant against the soulless, corporate nature of the music business, particularly for women. (The 'barracuda' represented the business.) While Heart did not and would not authorize the use of their song at the RNC, there's irony in Republican strategists' choice to make use of it there.

Speaking of irony, remember that Wrangler commercial with "Fortunate Son" as the music? They just played the part where Fogerty sings, "some folks are born, made to wave the flag, ooh that red white and blue," then cut off the part about pointing the cannon at you. Anyway, since you're reading this blog, I imagine there was some point at which your identity was largely defined by what music you listened to, and by who listened to the same music. If people you thought were lame started liking music you liked, you may have backed away, or stopped wearing the T-shirt. (Hipster.) It just speaks to music's associative power that musicians are actually saying, "No, don't play our song. We don't like you."

Related: The band Portugal. The Man hail from Wassilla, Ala., where Sarah Palin was mayor, and have posted about why they don't want Palin in the White House. "She has billed her self as this overly average 'hockey mom' and it is just not what I see. I see the sport hunter, the censor, choice taker, the revelations reader, and the high school cheerleader. It is endlessly embarrassing to watch people fall all over this idea. This is not my Alaska. The Alaska I know."

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