You Know You Make Me Wanna (Shout!)

Anne Martens

One thing I love more than politics is music. It speaks directly to your soul, is a true unifying force, and just feels so good. My theory is that whatever type of music moves you most is vibrating at the same frequency as those little quantum strings that form you. A totally uneducated theory, but it makes me happy so humor me.

Here's my problem. Whoever's in charge of Fleet Center commercial break and get-up-and-stretch musical interludes has the same three songs on repeat. For seven hours every day. For four days. And while I enjoy throwing my hands up and shouting every once in awhile, and I do belive that we are, in fact, both family and everyday people, I just can't muster the same amount of enthusiasm after hearing those songs over and over and over again.

John Mellencamp was on stage last night, playing "Small Town." Circa 1985. You could just see Art Alexakis drooling - if John (remember when it used to be Cougar) Mellencamp can be on stage, why not Art? Look for a special Alexakis patriotic song recording sometime in the next four years.

In a brief moment of hipness and appeal to the youngsters, the Black Eyed Peas got on stage, and it looked to me like the crowd was more whipped up and energized by their hip-hop than by any of the other songs. And then, lest we get too excited, they were follwed by piped in "Shout." Now, most of the Democratic staffers are young people, there's a ridiculous number of organizations focusing on young people, everybody agrees that we ought to attract young people, my guess is that music is a favored form of expression for most young people, and yet we continue to force the crowds to listen to the same tired old music. Rock the Vote has done a great job of holding concerts and getting artists to show at their private parties (Maroon 5 and LL Cool J tonight), but it would be nice to bring the artists and the young people that follow them into the main event.

The piped music gods do switch it up for the presenters - Edwards' post-speech background ditty was Stevie Wonder's "Sir Duke," except that they looped the "you can feel it all over" lyric and just played that bit over and over. Here's what I would like to see: each speaker, each candidate and wife and other person of import has to choose their own theme song to play every time they come on stage. Boxers do it, why not candidates. It's like messaging, but with a beat behind it. And it would reveal something more of their personalities. I won't make suggestions as to what those theme songs ought to be, but I will make one dedication - here's a very special song from the Democratic Party to George W. Bush: Fighter. (Forgive me, Christina Aguilera is a guilty pleasure - she has a really good voice!)

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    You had me with string theory, but you lost me on Aguilera. That said, speakers definitely should choose their own songs. Well, unless one of them wants to choose Aguilera, that is.

  • John F. Bradach,Sr. (unverified)

    Paul Allen has diminished the experience with his business of canned music and sound effects at sporting events. Is he behind this problem.

    The Fox panel was yukking it up about the Black Eyed Peas performance. Brit Hume made some smart ass observation about the extensive polling that had gone into showing that that music would draw a particular voter. I guess he was right and I didn't know it. I would take some CSNY.

  • Randy (unverified)

    Anne -- great story. Underscored by the great link to the lyrics.

    I am a drop-out Democrat. Got complacent during the Clinton years, got battered and burned in my local government service. I voted in 2000 -- but not very often after that.

    I am back in this election -- and even to my local politics again.

    Was it Bush? Was it Dean? Was it Edwards? I don't know, but this election I'm back.

    Thanks for the great stories.

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    So the campaign theme song is U2's "Beautiful Day." Not a bad choice. Nobody hates U2, they span generations, they're not unusual or innovative or offensive. They're not American either, but we can call it a global affair and look at all the good causes they've stood for over the years. Who's more American than the Irish, after all. And the lyrics sound like their probably about hope and optimism (unless you actually read the lyrics and then they sound a little depressed and desperate).

    As for songs drawing votes, the campaign theme is all purpose, and that's probably why they chose it. As for the post-parties, over the week I've gone to a salsa party with India, and latin pop party with Paulina Rubio, two mainstream pop/hip hop (are they the same thing now?) parties with LL Cool J, Maroon 5, Mission of Burma, Biz Markie, the Executioners (who's website I can't find), and Lauryn Hill, and a few parties with no music at all!

    The highlight of my week was (sorry politicos, but I'm a music fan) being five inches away from LL Cool J. I've loved that man since I was 10 years old.

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    Well then,'s a special treat for you: Irish folkster Luka Bloom doing LL Cool J's "I Need Love". Truly one of my favorite musical obscurities.

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