Monday, January 19, 2009

Some Music to Go with the Day

I have been avoiding the political posts for a while. There has been no need. The presidential election ended the way I wanted and I am sort of burnt out.

But today is an important day. Martin Luther King Day lands this year just before our country swears in our first African-American president. This is significant. I don't know to what degree Dr. King's dream has come to fruition, but Barack Obama's success certainly helps.

I considered posting something prophetic or just really smart, but I've got nothing. Then I considered that most people read my blog for the music. So, I thought I'd make a few suggestions for your listening pleasure on this MLK Day/Obama Inauguration Eve.

Barack Obama is/was the senator from Illinois. So, I thought a great album to revisit would be Sufjan Steven's Illinois. The album features an uplifting and joyous sound with some ominous subliminal messages, a perfect metaphor for our time. Not only that, but Steven's dabbles into the unique state of the Illinois politic. Had Blagovich been apart of such scandal when four+ years ago, Stevens would have surely included a song about the unscrupulous Illinois governor. Stevens did write songs about Superman and Lincoln, both figures often used in comparison with Obama.

The folks over at The Onion's AV Club created a list of 70 songs about presidents. Of course, they cheated along the way, using Of Great and Mortal Men for numbers 7-49. The list begins with Devo ("Whip It" - I had no idea.) and ends with Nas ("Black President"). Some of the tracks are suspect, but overall, the list is a good read.

Another album I happened to put on today that encapsulates my feelings toward this specific time in history is
José González's In Our Nature. This album is chilling. Sometimes I feel like he's calling out Bush for all the crap he pulled for eight years. The album then leaves me with a feeling of "Now we have some work to do." It's very serious and very urgent. (The song below is not off this album, but you get the idea.)

Whatever you listen to on Tuesday, know that it's marking a historical event. I will most likely watch the event on Hulu. Some people will be there in-person, but we'll all know where we were and was going on the day Barack Obama was sworn in.

1 comment:

ks said...

Excellent list!