OUR BLOG FEED: RDF | RSS .92 | RSS 2.0 | ATOM 0.3

Go To Current Downhill Battle Posts

Bright Eyes on Leno

This is the kind of thing that can happen when real people with real ideas can become rock stars without taking on crushing debt to the system. As usual these days, the evidence is in video form:

Bright Eyes playing “When the President Talks to God” on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Easy Downloader .torrent

You should really watch it, and if you’re at one of these no-Bittorrent colleges, here’s the secret link to get it the old fashioned way.

Setting aside how we feel about Bush, do we think it’s a good thing for savants in cowboy hats to be taking apart the President on national TV? Hell yes. And would he have done it if just one pissed-off record exec could decide to let his next album rot in a vault somewhere (along with his legal ability to record new music) ’till his contract ran out when he turned 30?

Well Conor Oberst seems a more than averagely principled or stubborn guy, so maybe he would have. But maybe not.

And the point stands, I think, that the more musicians can get popular on their own terms (without owing powerful people anything) the more popular music can bleed into politics and political philosophy, like anything worth being called “art”, and put power in its place.

So all you Vote Rockers who want to use music to engage people in politics, listen up! Focus your economic and social analysis and your desire to change things on music itself, just for a couple years. Work on weakening the major labels’ grip in any way you can, and build better systems for getting independent music to a huge audience. Then watch what happens. Pop stars will be more helpful political allies, and musicians who share your politics will have a better shot at being pop stars.

Permanent Link

Comments are closed.