President-Elect Barack Obama

I know the election has taken over Frederick Foxtrott, but this is just a final thought as we approach a new era in American politics, something very relevant to the trajectory of indie music.

Obama Hope

The course of the last two years has been extraordinary. President-Elect Obama says it often, but not without reason, that his candidacy is a highly unlikely story. How he came to be elected to the highest office in America is nothing short of astonishing (I knew it would happen all along). On election night I spent the evening with great friends. As soon as Pennsylvania was called after only a few short minutes, I knew that the election was over. As we waited patiently each hour, state after state closed their polls. It became clearer and clearer that this would not even be close (although I would say I always knew that too). When California, Oregon, and Washington closed we rushed to the streets of Harlem to dance and celebrate. On 125th and Adam Clayton Powell, young black and white hipsters, old sticky men and women, Arabs and Jews danced together. We all hugged each other, and recognized the immense meaning in what had just taken place. The affection came as an encouraging sign of the enthusiasm that men and women across this country will have as they engage one of the most challenging times America has faced.


Last week I spent time with my family in Nebraska. My aunt’s husband, born, raised, and living in California said to me when speaking of Obama and the election, that “…if the blacks get their way, they’d turn over cars and loot stores, saying all the while this is our house now.” That is not what happened that transformative night. That is not the state of our nation. We are better than that. I am not necessarily angry because many voters are reluctant to back Obama. I understand that ideology is ideology. But many of McCain’s choices during the campaign were despicable, often to the detriment of his own chances for victory.

McCain’s choice of Palin was unbelievable. He didn’t shoot himself in the foot with the pistol; he took a shotgun to his knees. McCain, when confronted with the reality of his suicidal choice, chose revert to the Bush tactics that have come to represent the worst in politics.

McCain often said that the American public deserved to know the full extent of Obama’s association with Bill Ayers, when we already did. He remarked that ACORN had perhaps committed the most egregious voter fraud in history that threatened to tear apart the very fabric of American democracy. Give me a fucking break! ACORN is a great organization fighting the good fight! They register the under-represented to vote. Guess who turned ACORN in for submitting invalid registration forms? Who blew the whistle on these democracy killers…GASP…ACORN did! If some dip-shit canvasser hands in a bogus registration form to the main office of ACORN, they are required by law to hand in the form to election officials. They flag the form so that its validity can be assessed. Zero cases have been documented that implicate ACORN in aiding a fraudulent vote. The hyperbole used to describe ACORN is slander.

John McCain’s attempt to “Other” Barack Obama was deliberate and disgusting. While he himself had the good conscience to leave Jeremiah Wright out of his campaign ads, others associated with the campaign did not. He had no problem with the RNC mailing out fliers that said “Terrorists” on the outside with a picture of Obama on the inside.

To try and convince people that not only is Obama too inexperience to run the country but that he is a secret Al Qaeda operative is ridiculous. Although let’s be fair, all of his terrorist charges were vocalized by implication. McCain never called him a terrorist, but he agreed with his VP that Obama pals around with them. They are his friends. He sees this country as so imperfect that he is friends with people that seek to destroy it. Will McCain ever be forgiven….Palin certainly will not. In a way I feel sorry for her. Was she supposed to say no to the VP slot? She had her ideology and her Alaskan charm/personality defect. The moment things headed south for McCain, was there any doubt in the minds of most Americans whose fault it was? Hers…Or his for recruiting her in the first place? Certainly then it was the economy, as if a great VP choice is predicated on the most static of conditions. The economic turn only highlighted McCain’s poor judgment.But lets be clear, any objective (yes I can be that) analysis of the polls show that Obama’s recovery from his post GOP Convention slump occurred long before the economic crisis came to the attention of the mainstream media. In fact McCain was celebrated as overtaking Obama when he achieved a stunning lead in the polls…of an average of about 2.8 points…in 10 polls…over 4…days…stunning…really. In contrast, in the last 205 polls, Obama has tied 9 times, lost 12 times, and won 184 times, spanning over 3 months. Was there ever a question of dominance? As the old political saying goes:

Even A Dead Cat Bounces

The miscalculation of camp McCain is exemplary of our need for a transformative figure like Obama. McCain’s scurrilous ads acted in fact as an illustration of Obama’s promise. Through McCain’s dark and brooding accusations, it turns out he wasn’t campaigning for himself at all; he was campaigning for hope by spewing hopelessness. It is kind of like when you see a street proselytizer, your chances of converting to Christianity go down. Who wants to be with the crazies?


As much as Obama won this election, and he did that beautifully, McCain lost it. He sullied the word Maverick. He became a caricature of cynicism and obsolescence. He became the epitome of a broken Washington. But what happens now? One thing that Obama has always said, something that we as a country must listen to now that he leads us, is that we as a people must come together, work together to create the country we want. It is up to us to create a sense of common purpose and direction. This election belongs to the people. It even belongs to those who would have preferred a different outcome. Obama is not a magic pill that will fix everything, but I believe he will move enough people to change the way we look at each other, and interact with one another. We have as much responsibility for America’s success as does President-Elect Obama.

Give A Shit


Obamawick- See Obama Mural Here

Who is He? Penguin McCain Asks…

For those of you who have been preoccupied with this year’s election cycle, research has uncovered the true inspiration of the McCain/Palin campaign strategy. Yikes!

…The prescience is disturbing…

Obamawick Street Art

Bill Madden- Child of the Same God

Bill Madden
Child of the Same God
October 14th 2008
Mad Muse

I’ve developed a bit of a complex from listening to Bill Madden’s soon to be released record Child of the Same God 100 times. You see I am a particularly political guy. It is all I really think about other than music and sex, but this album wears all of Bill’s organs on its sleeve. It is a unapologetic populist anti-war diatribe that seeks company in the hallowed halls of history with Neil Young, Eddie Vedder, and Steve Earl; not that he reminds me of any of these folks, other than his explicit use of political tropes. I totally respect that project…I really, really do. For what ever criticisms I may levy now, know that Bill Madden has talent and his protests are on the right side of history. He has the production sensibilities of Linda Perry post 4 Non Blondes. I mean that in the best way. The elements from which each musician draws are nearly identical. The song Shut It Off is a perfect example of this affinity. Madden’s voice is drenched in tremolo effect as if water were spilling from his mouth as he sings. However, for all his pop rock appeal, the rebelistic lyrics reveal a somewhat trite or at best contrived persona that seeks to embody the symbol of activism and revolution rather than simply exist as an instrument of experimentation and provocation.

“Throughout history, we’ve seen his ilk. Intoxicated by the power he wields in his grandiose imperial dream. The end always justifies the means.”

Madden’s instrumentation is solid, blending brushed snares, trumpet, and jazzed piano melody. His style shuttles between mock reggae to that nebulous genre that formulated when record execs came to terms with that hot new Seattle rock some called “grunge” in the mid 90’s. You know…Bush and Tonic…idol contestants with the depth of a candy dish. As a matter of taste, no amount of social awareness and melodic platitude will erase the laughter I felt somewhere inside when a friend turned to me as I listened to the record and said, “This music makes me feel like crashing a car into my face.” He went on to compliment Madden’s voice by exclaiming, “He sounds like Nancy Kerrigan getting fucked by a goat.” To be honest I would disagree. His voice is pleasant enough or at least has potential. But this visceral reaction to Child of the Same God underscores the disconnect that many will feel. This was not an easy record to review; perhaps because his subject matter is so particular and preachy toward a specific fan base. The music is polished and well produced. It is this combination that exposes the record as essentially a bourgeois exercise in protest.

“The emperor has no clothes. He’s alone in a crowd of peers. The palace has no mirrors.”



Other Music
Gone- 2006

…75,000 People…

Some people say they want a President not a rock star…
We say we want both…

Decemberists and Obama
Obama with the Decemberists

Click to See Obama Mural Graffiti in Bushwick Brooklyn

…75,000 People Strong…

Obama ’08

Obamawick- Neighborhood Sheds Association

A local graffiti artist has tagged this awesome portrait of Senator Obama on the side of a brick wall on Grattan between Morgan and Bogart. If you want to check it out take the L train to the Morgan stop. It was evidently done in reference to one of Obama’s latest speeches titled “A More Perfect Union.”

No more Bushwick.

It’s Obamawick.



Barack Obama in Philadelphia

Check out the website Jump Because