« Home | Photo Update 4: The WTF Update » | This morning: **** » | Atlanta's "Bridge and Tunnel": OTP » | Photo Update 3: DON'T CALL IT A COMEBACK!!! » | Hammertime in Vegas » | Fear and Loathing: The Vegas Project » | This weekend... » | Freddy » | Atlanta Scratch-itti » | Photo Update II » 

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Editorial: How music today is isolating the twenty-something liberatarian...

The Dixie Chicks in 2002 said in a London Concert how they were ashamed of their President. Bruce Springsteen, Pearl Jam, REM, Bright Eyes, Death Cab for Cutie have all spoken out in shows (aside from their Moveon.org tour) discussing the political scene. The list goes on and on... Countless other political movements within rock shows have happened within the last few years, and to be quite honest, it's pissing me off.

Here's the thing-- I don't go to church expecting to hear a rock song. I don't go to shout at the top of my lungs as the preacher goes knee-deep into (to borrow Jack Black's term) a face-melting guitar solo. I don't go to church expecting to crowd surf or have too many beers.

But I don't go to a rock show expecting to hear a sermon either.

I don't disagree with people's political beliefs for the most part. Quite the opposite-- as a liberatarian, I believe that everyone is entitled to their opinions (as well as they believe them because they've done research, considered the options, and they feel that their's fits best). If you believe something that may differ from my beliefs and have thought about both sides of the argument and read up on the facts, I think that's great. I think that's one of the most beautiful things about the country, and as an idealist, believe that when everyone does their duty and votes, the greater good should prevail (in theory). It's a wonderful framework that the founders of our country believed in and has carried on strong for hundreds of years.

What I don't appreciate is going to a rock show and having someone on stage bitching about the US political situation. It straight-up sucks. If I want to hear about how people agree or disagree with the President, I'll watch C-Span or Meet the Press. But I don't want to go to a show and hear about how the band has a beef with Dubya or the Dubya-haters and endure crowd-popping banter about how we're right and the other group is wrong.

The sixties encapsulated some of the greatest music ever written. Dylan, Hendrix, the Dead, the Beatles, the Stones-- I mean these guys wrote some of the most politcally charged stuff that you'd ever hear. Maybe I'm just disassociating myself from the politics of the time and have grown up numb to the message behind some of the music. But man, politics played a big part in that music and I love the stuff that came out of that period. Did I agree with many of the policies the US had at the time? Probably not. Vietnam was an interesting time for this country. Thousands of people were in the Vietnam war against their will, drafted into a war they did not believe in. They didn't have a choice. And frankly, that scenario sucks.

But being a fan of music now is hard. I spent years when I was a kid listening to REM albums, thinking they were the best band on the planet. I spent countless hours trying to make my voice sound like Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder and trying to figure out the guitar solo on "Alive". I spent months and threw away countless drafts of lyrics trying to emulate the same vivid storytelling of Bruce Springsteen. But I don't know if I could ever go see anyone of them again. Why? Because I feel isolated.

Do I think Bush is the best President we've ever had? No. Do I agree with the war in Iraq? Not entirely. Do I feel safer knowing Saddam's out of power? I dunno... that's a tough one. But I'd rather sing along with the songs of the band that I'm there to see than to have a political diatribe thrust upon me, whether or not I agree with it.

And it sucks. I don't disagree with people writing songs about how the situation sucks right now, and I don't disagree with people believing whatever they want to. And writing about it, sure. Write about whatever you want. I'll probably sing along if you write a damn catchy song.

But I do disagree with bands getting cheap pops from the crowd talking about politics when they should be working for applause and accolades by performing well and playing up to the crowd. I'm not saying that I'm against artists getting involved in the political arena or other social issues. I mean, hell, look at what Bono's done in the last ten years for people.

But do me a favor-- keep politics outside of the rock arena, please.

I'm there to enjoy the music.

E-mail this post

Remember me (?)

All personal information that you provide here will be governed by the Privacy Policy of Blogger.com. More...

Add a comment