Thursday, May 24, 2007

The Music Of Politics

Watching the above video (shamelessly nicked from Tondee's Tavern) reminded me of a question I have long pondered.

Do people gloss over the extreme leftist politics of a group like Rage Against The Machine because the music is such high quality whereas you can't ignore the politics of any extreme rightist rock bands because they are all such utter crap?

It's a wonder I can actually fall asleep at night.


Sara said...

What about the very popular "we're gonna stick a boot up your Ay-rab ass" country musicians? In that case I think people like them because of, not in spite of, their politics. Certainly it's not because their songs are such high quality.

Grayson: Atlanta, GA said...

Oh gawd... why did I click that on and watch? It's HIDEOUS! Righty bands are so ludicrously unskilled and uncreative "artists", all cranking-out that same Today's Taco Bell, made-for-extreme-mediocrity guitar-headache thing, that no one can possibly take them seriously... 'cept all their steeped-in-righteous-mediocrity followers I suppse.

Oh Gawd and Baby Jesus, that was just bad bad bad. As a liberal, I blame you and Jon for exposing me to this kinda shit.

Sara said...

So that's a NO vote on clicking on the video, then. Good to know.

Richard Campbell said...

Really, the song isn't that bad[1]. The lyrics suck, but the music is that same generic pop-rock junk prevalent today.

[1] If you don't like today's generic pop-rock, you won't like the song.

But I need more examples of extreme-rightist rock bands (I assume the skinheads Prussian Blue don't count for this) so that I can see if there's anything I ignore.

I mean, there are plenty of Republican-supporting bands I enjoy (Ted Nugent, the Ramones - at least Joey, Bonzo Goes to Bitburg not withstanding, and ZZ Top come immediately to mind), but I can't think of the rightist equivalent of RATM.

Fearless Leader said...

I don't believe that Ted Nugent was necessarily Republican back in his Motor City Madman prime. In fact, I'm pretty sure that Mr Wango-Tango gave far less than a rat's ass about politics period.

The problem with songs that appear to be right-wing (or that are embraced by the Republican party) is that most of them are taken at surface/chorus-only value and are therefore misinterpreted. Case in point? Ronald Reagan's adoration of Springsteen's "Born In The USA." Or better yet, Nixon's love of Merle Haggard's "Okie From Muskogee."

Anonymous said...

Nugent was a right-wing whack job going way back. In 1979 he was a gun-toting misogynist, known for holing up in his rural Michigan house and playing with guns.

I lived not far from when I lived in Michigan. He definitely gave more than a rats ass about politics. He's been outspoken about his conservative views since the late 70's.

But, you gotta love the Amboy Dukes. Of course, they're not the MC5 or the Stooges.

griftdrift said...

Is there a right wing equivalent of RATM? I'm not sure. My inclination is to point to racist bands like Prussian Blue. Is that a stretch?

An extension of the original question. Do you give certain bands a pass on their craziest positions because you are more sympathetic to their side?

Richard Campbell said...

Well, first difference...I've never heard Prussian Blue, or any similar band, played on the radio. Nor have any of my friends ever said "hey, you have to check out band X," where X [not the actual band X] is a possible right-wing equivalent of RATM.

If I had, I might be able to answer the original question better.

Re: your extension: if a song rocks, I listen to it. I might make an exception if somebody took the lyrics from the originally posted song and combined it with music that wasn't generic.

I concede that I'm probably giving Billy Bragg a pass, but I haven't exhaustively explored the man's politics to find the crazier views.

Jmac said...

I'm just partially shocked that supporters of Bush would know what punk music is ... if it that video is an uber-poor version of poppy punk rock.

I mean, why not get The Gaitlin Brothers to sing that little ditty?

griftdrift said...

Or Lee Greenwood.

Sara said...

Toby Keith!