Carrie Brownstein on the Bush years in music

As part of a great post on her part:

7. Bright Eyes’ performance of “When the President Talks to God” on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno marked one of the gutsiest moments I’d seen on network television in a long time. In my mind, in terms of ballsiness, it was second only to Kanye West’s famous remark — “George Bush doesn’t care about black people” — during a live Hurricane Katrina telethon. (West’s song “Crack Music” was his musical version.) Both moments felt raw and unrehearsed, in contrast with the polished precision of the Bush administration.

8. Many other songs during the last eight years used their own sonic lexicon to either subtly or pointedly reference a sense of dissatisfaction, powerlessness and rising vitriol. Wilco’s “Ashes of American Flags,” from Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, is particularly powerful, though the band’s entire body of work evokes much of the last eight years for me. Perhaps it’s the sadness in the songs, which tell tales of division, crumbling and something always just shy of reconciliation.

I can relate to her comments on Bright Eyes and Wilco here, especially the latter. Yankee Hotel Foxtrot was such a fucking downer, but wonderful at the same time.  For me, I think it observes with a quiet sadness the post-September 11th descent into a political insanity that wouldn’t let up until, basically, the 2008 Presidential campaign.  That album welcomed me to into the dark, like closing the fallout door and descending into the shelter.  Katrina brought glimpses, but I think there was/is some sort of national mojo going on in regards to political climate that really didn’t go away until Barack Obama showed up.  Odd, that.

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