Aug 312012

I paid very little attention to the 2012 GOP Convention. I plan on paying about as little attention to the Democrats’ upcoming pep rally as well. In the little bit I’ve watched, however, I have been attuned to the event’s musical references.

The first night I only watched my adopted homeboy, New Jersey’s Chris Christie. He made a reference to The Boss within his opening sentence or two. Mad props—and respect—to the new Big Man for citing Darkness on the Edge of Town rather than a popular choice like either of the Born… albums. Man of the People and would-be popular guy Christie sure as hell wasn’t going to cite some loner critical darling like Nebraska. Good opening move by the Republicans, if you ask me: +8 points.

Tonight I watched Clint Eastwood make threats against our President. I didn’t notice any music associated with his speech. The Clint of Play Misty for Me seemed long gone: -2 points.

Next I watched way too much of Mitt Romney‘s speech. Politics aside, that guy bores me. It’s as if John Kerry came back to life a Republican. During the 40 minutes of fluff and 4th-rate SNL jokes I heard Mitt made some reference to his iPod playlist being better than running mate Paul Ryan‘s. Something tells me a comparison of their playlists would not be a Clash of the Titans, nor even include a lame Clash song like “Should I Stay (or Should I Go).” The whole “playlist” thing gets on my nerves too: -7 points.

I did hear Michael Jackson‘s “Man in the Mirror” playing while Mitt took the stage. I kind of like that song when the chorus kicks in, the way I kind of like “Kokomo.” I felt good for Michael. In the afterlife he has achieved acceptance as a white person: +4 points.

A friend on Facebook said that Romney also played James Brown‘s “Living in America.” Supposedly Al Sharpton was pissed about that. I’ve always thought Sharpton was an opportunistic fraud, and I always thought “Living in America” was an opportunistic, fraudulant JB record, so much so that it’s not worth worrying over: 0 points.

What did I miss (musically)? Please rate the GOP Convention’s musical moments on a +/-10-point scale. We will hold the Democrats to the same degree of scrutiny.


  21 Responses to “Conventional Music: Rate the GOP’s Playlist”

  1. patrock

    So Paul Ryan said his iPod playlist started with AC/DC and ended with Zeppelin…. so, it only got A to L?

  2. My wife caught that as well. But who else could he use? ZZTop – no, that’s a drug reference. Zappa – no way.

  3. I understand that opinions calcify from initial impressions, but I think Al Sharpton is an insightful, intelligent, and interesting political analyst and commentator now. He’s rehabilitated his image and adds a lot of value to the discourse today. The track suit blowhard is gone, he’s a strong and brave liberal voice that I appreciate among all the palaver.

    “Living in America” is a fraud song. The Repubs can have it.

  4. Christie’s choice of Darkness is political cowardice. That album has become what Exile is for the Stones or Revolver is for the Beatles: the go-to “cool” choice if you are going to reference a Springsteen album. Don’t get me wrong, it’s good and all, but I look forward to the day when candidates for both sides can put aside their differences, reach across the aisle and have the courage to acknowledge that the Wild, the Innocent, and the E Street Shuffle is the greatest Bruce album. Only then, will we, as a nation, be able to move forward towards a brighter more prosperous future.

  5. He may have appealed to hip mallrats with Zwan. He may have appealed to people here with The Zombies. He may have appealed to people here on an even deeper level had his playlist ended with Zwol!

  6. Yeah, I do acknowledge and welcome the kinder, gentler Sharpton. Fair enough.

  7. Much has been made of Paul Ryan’s fondness for Rage Against the Machine…which just seems bizarre. Tom Morello must be rolling over in his grave. Thought he wasn’t dead? This killed him.

    Ayn Rand Rox!

  8. 2000 Man

    That’s a good trade. Living in America for Al Sharpton? I’ll make that trade every day.

  9. 2000 Man

    That’s the first and only Bruce album I had for decades. My kid listened to it one day and said, “I may have to rethink Bruce Springsteen. That album you have is really kick ass.” I kind of hated to tell him it was as good as it gets.

  10. ohmstead

    I guess we at least have to give Christie credit for being an ardent fan (129 concerts!)… especially since his fanatical Boss-love is utterly unrequited.

    “…At concerts, even concerts in club-size venues—the Stone Pony, in Asbury Park, most recently—Springsteen won’t acknowledge the governor…”

  11. bostonhistorian

    That’s how I know Ryan is a music fraud. Anyone who has spent time thumbing the racks at a record store would never think Zeppelin was in the Zs.

  12. bostonhistorian

    Early Rush strikes me as very Ayn Randian.

  13. patrock

    “we have assumed control”

  14. ladymisskirroyale

    I think tonyola expounded on this connection in previous threads.

  15. Morello – before he passed – did comment:

    “the embodiment of the machine our music rages against.”

    In painting Ryan as antithetical to progress, Morello compares the Congressman’s appreciation of RATM to Charles Manson’s love for The Beatles and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s liking for Bruce Springsteen.

    Morello goes on to say Ryan has plenty of “rage,” but claims its “A rage against women, a rage against immigrants, a rage against workers, a rage against gays, a rage against the poor, a rage against the environment.”

  16. I’m on board for this. My constant comment on every Springsteen album since Born To Run has been “it’s no Wild, Innocent, & E Street Shuffle.”

  17. If only I could like Morello’s music…

    What do you mean by “before he passed?” Did Tom Morello just die?

  18. Happiness Stan

    Can’t comment on the convention as it’s not covered widely over here, although some of the speakers have been getting attention for being just a bit scary.

    This came out just after the last election over here:

  19. No. I was just following up on Geo’s joking reference that “this killed him”.

  20. alexmagic

    If Ryan had dropped a Zwan reference, I am positive that Twitter would have had a meltdown and brought most of the internet down with it for at least a week. That would have been amazing.

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