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Image result for america flag black

Compared to other election years – notably 2004 – the last couple political seasons have seemed rather dry musically.  Maybe it’s because we were all more or less in agreement that Obama was better than McCain and Romney, I don’t know.  But as we find ourselves approaching the final weeks of quite possibly the most divisive election in a while [at least in my lifetime], I’m still surprised by the overall lack of outcry from the thousands of prominent artists you’d expect to be protesting the shit out of this insulting excuse for an election.  I was honestly expecting the musical world to blow the fuck up; American Idiot’s and What’s Going On‘s springing out of the ground left and right.   But that didn’t happen, which did two things: (1) It made me appreciate those types of era-defining albums more and (2) forced me to search harder to find what I was looking for.

I’ve always felt like music has the power to change things.  At the very least, it is critical to helping us cope with the world around us.  It’s far from inclusive, but I’ve compiled a short playlist of what I feel are some of the more telling songs of this U.S. presidential election and where the nation stands in 2016.  Feel free to make recommendations in the comments section and, if deemed worthy, I’ll add them to the playlist.  Let’s rock this the hell out of this 2016 election.

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Image result for police shooting

(1) Drive-by Truckers: “What It Means”

This track is particularly moving with regards to the racial tensions sparked by police shootings and skewed media coverage.

He was running down the street / When they shot him in his tracks / About the only thing agreed upon / Is he ain’t coming back

Image result for poverty detroit

(2) PJ Harvey: “The Community of Hope”

A sarcasm-riddled commentary on the internal state of our urban neighborhoods.

now this is just drug town, just zombies…but that’s just life

 

Image result for fascist regime

(3) Radiohead: “Burn The Witch”

More veiled, but this is Radiohead.  The song is about unquestioningly obeying commands, painting a dystopian image of a fascist regime.  The term “burn the witch” references settlement-era America, when people were burned alive out of blind allegiance to their faith and total scientific ignorance.

Abandon all reason, avoid all eye contact / Do not react, shoot the messengers…this is a low flying panic attack

 

political polarization in america

(4) Alter Bridge: “The Writing On The Wall”

A hard rock track that pleads for urgent change and warns against apathy, while also taking a few apparent shots at each candidate.

So selfish and immoral, you’re to blame…’cause you’re the great disrupter, so crass and out of line – now tell me who will suffer for all your crimes? / And the writing’s on the wall, that the end will begin…still you do nothing at all.

 

Image result for income inequality

(5) Paul Simon: “Wristband”

A song about income inequality and corruption amongst the nation’s wealthiest.  The latter half of the song depicts an uprising of the nation’s working class and poorest inhabitants.

The riots started slowly with the homeless and the lowly, then they spread into the heartland towns that never get a wristband /Kids that can’t afford the cool brand whose anger is a short-hand for “you’ll never get a wristband” 

 

Image result for rise up fist

(6) Sixx:A.M.: “Rise”

It doesn’t take much analysis to hear the political impetus behind this.  It’s a great rallying cry no matter what side of the spectrum you’re on.

Speak out, don’t let the status quo define you / This is your world, just put the fear back in their eyes…there comes a time when you know there’s a problem

Image result for capitol hill creepy

(7) Thrice: “Blood On The Sand”

Like the album it comes from, this song seems divided between protesting closed-door dealings in politics and overbearing violence.  Both make an appearance here and the “gun in my hands” line references us – as a people – accepting responsibility for the actions of those we elect.

We wave our flags, we swallow fear like medicine…we kiss the hands of profiteers and their congressmen / There’s blood on the sand, there’s blood in the street…and there’s a there’s a gun in my hand, or there might as well be

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Got a great political track to recommend?  Is it from 2016?  Comment below with the Artist name, song name, and a link.  Best suggestions may get added to the playlist.

Also, feel free to civilly discuss politics here keeping in mind that at the first sign of inappropriateness and/or offensiveness I’m instituting a minimum 3 week ban.

Join the Sputnik revolution!





SowingSeason
10.18.16
Basically this was a roundabout way of trying to get political rec's from this year. Thanks and don't get out of hand - I'll be watching and I'm not afraid to throw down the banhammer if needed.

JohnnyOnTheSpot
10.18.16
sowing devilishly baiting y'all hard

Sinternet
10.18.16
'feel free to civally discuss politics'

SandwichBubble
10.18.16
Don't do this, please.

MH18
10.18.16
Curious whether or not RTJ3 will drop before the elections. Could be interesting

VaxXi
10.18.16
lets feature a list about the history of black music next.

VaxXi
10.18.16
and i meant the future. shit.

Sinternet
10.18.16
m.i.a. - borders should be here

Impervious
10.18.16
Thread's already going great

SowingSeason
10.18.16
This is less about debating/arguing and more about finding music.

I said you can discuss, but it needs to stay reasonable.

brainmelter
10.18.16
coool

Sinternet
10.18.16
why did you delete my comment

Sinternet
10.18.16
stop censoring me

BlackTaxi2d
10.18.16
[Redacted]

BlackTaxi2d
10.18.16
all joking aside, i think the older and further in my career i get the more my musical taste and politics change. also, i tend to avoid politically motivated music now; there's plenty of Youtubers that have much more informed things to say on the topic than most musicians.

Sinternet
10.18.16
'Youtubers'
'informed'

Spec
10.18.16
Yeah my Anti-Flag days ended years ago.

AngryJohnny
10.18.16
I'm not convinced that YouTube is the place for nuanced political commentary tbh
Maybe its just that artists haven't had that much time since it became clear who was gonna be contesting your shitshow of an election, and haven't been able to write songs about it and get into the studio with them yet. Maybe expect more next year or something

ScuroFantasma
10.19.16
Cool blog, I'll jam these

SowingSeason
10.19.16
Added an obvious one that I planned on listing but totally forgot - Thrice's "Blood On The Sand."

If anyone else has suggestions/recs let me know!

RikRoach7
10.19.16
The song Fairytale from the new Sonata Arctica is about the election, but it's super cringey.

ArsMoriendi
10.19.16
Wooo PJ rules

AmericanFlagAsh
10.19.16
In before shirtstorm

SowingSeason
10.19.16
Checking out the Sonata Arctica song now, thanks RikRoach

ZippaThaRippa
10.19.16
This was, by and large, a terrible idea. Loving that distressed American flag graphic. For a second I thought I was inside a Zumiez.

SowingSeason
10.19.16
I'm aware it's a terrible idea but I have faith that sputnik has enough common sense and decency to be a part of recommending political songs without having it devolve into name-calling and childishness

ZippaThaRippa
10.19.16
Also it's pretty obvious why the big names in music are keeping their mouths shut this election. Who in their right fucking mind would want to throw their lot in with either of these candidates?

DisdainfulChemist
10.19.16
trunp is a dunp

ZippaThaRippa
10.19.16
"I have faith that sputnik has enough common sense and decency"
If you really think that, you should actually leave once and for all.

DisdainfulChemist
10.19.16
i kid. i do not sink to those levels...

i won't be voting

SowingSeason
10.19.16
"Also it's pretty obvious why the big names in music are keeping their mouths shut this election. Who in their right fucking mind would want to throw their lot in with either of these candidates?"

Well that's precisely my point, the whole thing is such an outrage that I'm shocked more musicians haven't been vocal.

Sinternet
10.19.16
anyone got some songs about killing fascists

ZippaThaRippa
10.19.16
And I'm saying it isn't surprising at all. Nobody wants to commit career suicide by associating with one of these reptiles. I see a whole lot more people bashing Trump than I see people supporting Hillary.

It's a lesser of two evils situation except neither is less evil.

Left wrist or right wrist, you'll still bleed out and die.

kascetcadettt
10.19.16
@sinnn check against me! - osama bin laden as the crucified christ

Storm In A Teacup
10.19.16
Thank you, Sowing.

Ignimbrite
10.19.16
YG - Fuck Donald Trump

Sinternet
10.19.16
yeah against me fucking rule

Sinternet
10.19.16
times like these you need a new woody guthrie

ScuroFantasma
10.19.16
Really like that Sixx Am song

Maniac!
10.19.16
Add this to the playlist

https://youtu.be/ZvqYabGI6HQ

MH18
10.20.16
''Left wrist or right wrist, you'll still bleed out and die.''

Damn, well said

ashcrash9
10.20.16
nearly anything from Feelin' Kinda Free by The Drones fits the bill as 2016 political stuff, but most of it's super Australian
Boredom discusses issues of immigration, suburban complacency, and ISIS though, so I guess that more broadly fits: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2xgFy5SWl1Y

Impervious
10.20.16
This was, by and large, a terrible idea. Loving that distressed American flag graphic. For a second I thought I was inside a Zumiez. [2]

Maybe check out that new eight minute Eminem track that mentions his dislike for Trump like twice lmfao.

BlackTaxi2d
10.23.16
"Youtubers"
"Informed"
https://youtu.be/0coKNVmGEks
Check, mate.

Snide
10.26.16
"Feel free to civilly discuss politics."

musicallychallenged
10.26.16
seconding "borders" by MIA

MyCarandMyGuitar
10.26.16
"Loving that distressed American flag graphic. For a second I thought I was inside a Zumiez"

Fucking lol

Arcade
10.29.16
YG - "FDT"

MutnikSpusic92
10.30.16
"The term “burn the witch” references settlement-era America, when people were burned alive out of blind allegiance to their faith and total scientific ignorance."

Let's be careful to criticize those who came before us. We have more scientific knowledge than ever before, yet we butcher human beings in the womb; we spend money on ourselves and ignore the poor around us; we still fight wars; we rationalize the wrong we do (just like those who came before us). The problem is human nature and sin, and no amount of scientific "knowledge" will ever change that.

Arcade
10.30.16
"we butcher human beings in the womb"

we don't do that

GhostOfSarcasticBtrd
10.30.16
Not usually.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kermit_Gosnell

Storm In A Teacup
10.30.16
Needs some North Dakota Access Pipeline songs.

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