Rockers pile on to the presidential campaign
Devo, Silversun Pickups and more take some shots
By Mark C. Brown Aug 15, 2012 4:58PM
It turns out Bruce Springsteen's "Wrecking Ball," with its heavily political songs about the economy, workers and wealth, was just the warning shot. As the lead-up to the November election interminably drags on, others are now jumping in.
Today Devo released its new song, "Don't Roof Rack Me, Bro," a commentary on Mitt Romney's dog which was strapped to the roof of the car for a family vacation long ago. That's not the only musical tribute the dog is going to get. Ry Cooder's new album, "Election Special," is another album full of political songs, along with the lead-off track, "Mutt Romney Blues." Aimee Mann’s new album, “Charmers,” isn't necessarily political but it is about the type of narcissistic personality it takes to do things like, um, run for president.
The oddest shot, however, comes from Silversun Pickups, who sent the Romney campaign a cease-and-desist order for allegedly playing its song "Panic Switch" at some official events. Given that it's a completely apolitical song, it doesn't seem to make any sense, and the band's publicist was unable to provide any further details. Silversuns' Brian Aubert did release a statement, however, saying the campaign had no regard for intellectual property and it was a stupid song choice at that:
“We don’t like people going behind our backs, using our music without asking, and we don’t like the Romney campaign. We’re nice, approachable people. We won’t bite. Unless you’re Mitt Romney! We were very close to just letting this go because the irony was too good. While he is inadvertently playing a song that describes his whole campaign, we doubt that ‘Panic Switch’ really sends the message he intends.”
With Jackson Browne successfully suing the John McCain campaign for using "Running On Empty," you'd think people would be more careful these days. We'll see how it plays out. Enjoy the songs. It's a long, long time till November.