As both political conventions are about to take over the airwaves and the web — first the Democrats in Denver and then the Republicans (minus Larry Craig, presumably) in Minneapolis — the soundtrack won’t just be talking heads and voter-on-the-street interviews. Music will also be a big part of the brouhaha coming out of both conventions. Although music has always been a powerful tool in the fight for the hearts of American voters, this year’s campaigns will be more tune-drenched than normal — largely because of the Obama campaign’s emphasis on youth, change, and activism. Hey, isn’t that Rock ‘n Roll’s triple play?
Archive for James Taylor
It’s a romantic image — the troubador. Haven’t we all been captivated by the lonely, achingly beautiful voice of a young artist? It happens again and again for me. Having my ear always cocked for this soulful serenade remains my best compass for discovering beauty and truth in the overproduced, fad-driven, and group-think traditions that propel pop music from one decade to the next. The rare artist’s unadulterated voice remains the strength that underlies pop music. The arrangements, the outfits, the concert shenanigans, and such are all decoration — important sometimes — but decoration, nonetheless.