B major, suspended

[…]
So, however rude and annoying Obama got in his repeated insistence that
he would not dislodge the earbuds from his senatorial ears, I felt the
strong urge to make him comfortable, happy, and part of the party.
"Tell me what kind of music you like." I said, "Maybe we have a CD
you'd prefer to the one that's playing." Obama obliged, listing six or
eight band names I'd never heard of. If only I could recall some of
them, but all I can say is that 1. they sounded like indie rock bands
and 2. they were totally unknown to me. I felt foiled.

Then I got another idea. "Let me listen to a couple of songs on your iPod, and I'll see if I have some music that I think
you would like, based on what you're listening to." Reluctantly, Obama
obliged, handing his earbuds over to me. At this point a surreal,
only-in-your-dreams moment occurred and I realized that Obama's iPod
was somehow connected to a heavy cable that trailed off into the other
room, which made it awkward to manipulate. I managed to get the earbuds
in and, to my great astonishment, I recognized the song that was
playing. Quite improbably, it was "Race for the Prize," the first track
off the Flaming Lips' CD The Soft Bulletin. I got inordinately
excited, all of the frustration and anxiety that had built up over
Obama's musical intransigence and my inability to please him melting
away in a wash of excitement. "The Flaming Lips! We listen to that
band! We have this CD!" As I disentangled myself from Obama's iPod and rushed off to put The Soft Bulletin on the CD player, my dream melted into some other scene…

"Barack Obama's iPod,"
Oral Hygiene Queen,
May 5, 2007

[…] Barack Obama said his last purchase was "probably" "Ray," the score
from the Oscar-winning movie on the life of R&B crooner Ray Charles. […]

"Prez pols' sound of music,"
Neil Graves,
New York Post,
May 10, 2007
(via stereogum)

At first listen, the Indigo Girls
don't make any sense, not for the hyper-macho world of a presidential
campaign, much less a summertime rally for a superstar like Barack Obama.
But his sound people are piping in the feminist folk duo's music anyway
to pump up a crowd of hundreds at this small-town coffee shop on the
Fourth of July. They play "Hammer and a Nail," a 1990 declaration of
female empowerment and emancipation. "You've got to tend the earth,"
the Girls sing, "if you want a rose."

Then Obama comes out, looking lithe and dashing, with his
6-year-old daughter, Sasha, in his arms. The soundtrack starts to make
sense. "I'm a sucker for girls," says the man who wants to be president.
"There is nothing more difficult than me being on the phone hearing
about their soccer game, hearing about what happened to them in school
and knowing that I am not there in the evenings to share a lot of their
life." He turns to his wife, Michelle, who is sitting nearby on a
stool. "She is smarter," he says. "She is tougher." […]

"Hillary is from Mars, Obama is from Venus,"
Michael Scherer,
Salon.com,
July 12, 2007

[…] "I'm old school, so generally, generally, I'm more of a jazz
guy, a Miles Davis, a John Coltrane guy, more of a Marvin Gaye, Stevie
Wonder kind of guy," Obama said in the interview. "But having said
that, I'm current enough that on my iPod I've got a little bit of
Jay-Z. I've got a little Beyonce." […]
 

<

p style=”text-align: right”>
"Barack Obama gets name-dropped in hip-hop,"

Peter Hamby,
CNN,
August 17, 2007
"You've been in a room once in a while with a rock star. He walks into
the world, and he takes your breath away. I'd love him to be president,
quite honestly. […]"

"Clooney: Obama's Like a Rock Star,"
Colleen Barry,
Associated Press (via Washington Post),
Sept. 1, 2007

[…] Rock stars may hide behind all sorts of masks — be it makeup, a
thuggish image or an alter ego named Sasha — but when they perform,
the best of them give the audience the sense that it's witnessing a
very real part of their personality.

There's something charmingly old school about the notion of a rock
star, a larger than life character that at once seems untouchable but
also like an intimate friend. The Internet can't make a rock star — at
least not yet. Sites like YouTube
celebrate accessibility and the notion that everyone should be equally
seen and heard. Rock stars still benefit from the quaint notion that
they are more subversive, more audacious, more fearless, more sensitive
than everyone else. They speak truth to power. They speak for the
disenfranchised. They are poets. It doesn't matter that some of the
biggest stars are akin to private corporations with all the
hierarchies, for-profit motives and mainstream popularity that implies.
The myth of the rock star endures. And at some point, everyone turns into a groupie.


"For Those Who Rock, We Salute You,"

Robin Givhan,
Washington Post,
Sept. 2, 2007

Songs I’m not listening to on the radio

If Everyone Cared

With her bangles and her spangles and her stars

the making of "beauty and crime"

[…] “I met Philip Glass as I was walking
down the street,” she explains over the phone from, of course,
Manhattan. “I run into him fairly often. And he said, ‘How’s it going?’
I said that I was without a record deal, and he looked really happy and
said, ‘Congratulations. That means you can do what you really want and
finally have freedom.’

“I wasn’t clear how I felt about it at the time.
I wasn’t seeing it from that point of view. Two weeks after 9/11, I
found out my deal with A&M was up and asked them for another year
on the label, and they didn’t pick up the option, so I quietly went
away.”

But she began thinking about Glass’s reaction.
“I decided to hire an engineer to work with, Brit Myers, and we just
played music into the computer. I riffed around and made loops and
things, without lyrics. It was a new way for me to work, and part of
the sleekness of these songs may be that I was working on a computer,
which compresses everything and allows you to edit and alter your work
in really interesting ways. It becomes like a collage."
[…]

That's from Ted Drozdowski's "Village Folk" in The Phoenix

Music exists partly to challenge those authorities (i)

Sinead O'Connor Rivers of Babylon (live)
Sinead O'Connor - Fire On Babylon
Sinead O'Connor - Downpressor Man / None a Jah Jah Children
Sinead O'Connor - War

[…] In order to understand the
dynamics of reggae, however, a clear understanding of Rastafari must be
grasped. Reggae is an auditory representation of the experience of
Rastafari which is based on the mystical union of the human and the
divine. Rastafari, like many syncretized religions of the African
diaspora seeks a unity (
inity) of the personal, social, and intrapersonal aspects of being. This inity is expressed in the concept of InI,
which depending on the context, could refer to the individual, the
community, or divinity located in the personage of His Imperial
Majesty, Haile Selassie I, Jah Ras Tafari. Everything begins and ends
with
InI.
As Dawes explains, “Rastafarianism represents a fundamental break with
traditional and conventional Judaeo-Christianity. It redefines the
meaning of deity and recasts the figure of God in terms that are
antithetical to colonial representations of the Christian godhead. By
establishing a god in Haile Selassie, Rastafarianism breaks away from
the patterns of conventional Christianity that operate in Jamaica and
brings into being a new and very elaborate series of modern myths”
(98). Rastafari’s insistence on the validity of individual experience,
the indwelling god, “I,” whose union with the ever living God, “I”,
provided an
intellectual and experiential basis
to its claims. There was no difference between “I” and “I”. The
Cartesian mind/body split and the “I” and “Thou” of Buber were
obliterated. As Dawes further states, “This lends to reggae a defiant
but complex mythology and offers the reggae influenced artist an
approach to art that allows for a dialogue between the political and
the spiritual. Essentially, this quality in reggae defies much of the
binarism that characterises much of western discourse” (99). In other
words, the
legitimacy of a reggae influenced artist’s work would be based on her depiction of the experiences of the landscape, peoples, religions and cultures of the Caribbean or Plantation America […]

That's from Geoffrey Philp's "Reggae, Rastafari and Aesthetics" (via Planet Grenada) and it went well for me this evening with Spinner's "Sinead O'Connor Gives a Lesson in 'Theology'"