“Obama: First Indie Rock President?” Protest Article Tackles Musicians’ Support of Obama | Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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“Obama: First Indie Rock President?” Protest Article Tackles Musicians’ Support of Obama

Kevin Barnes, Jello Biafra, Andrew Bird, Carl Newman, Will Sheff, and Tom Morello Discuss Obama's First Term and Musician Involvement in the Election

Sep 26, 2012 of Montreal Bookmark and Share

In Under the Radar’s Protest Issue, which is on newsstands now, we examine the intersection of music and politics. The issue includes an article titled “Barack Obama: The First Indie Rock President?” in which we talk to of Montreal’s Kevin Barnes, Dead Kennedys’ Jello Biafra, Andrew Bird, The New Pornographers’ Carl Newman, Okkervil River’s Will Sheff, and Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello about President Barack Obama’s first term, and the erosion in support from musicians versus the 2008 election.

When Obama campaigned in 2008 there was a surge of support from indie musicians around the country who were eager to see an exciting progressive candidate move into The White House. Now, four years later, the excitement has dissipated as Obama faces criticism for failing to meet high expectations during his first term.

Does Obama deserve a second term? Will musicians campaign for him as actively and forcefully as they did in 2008? If not, then why not? Why are some musicians disappointed by Obama’s first term? Why are some still ardent supporters of the president? Is Obama the first indie rock president? All of these questions and more are addressed in the article.

Here are select quotes from the article:

“When they announced that Obama had won, it was crazy. There was euphoria like I had never seen before, people walking home and high-fiving people on the street.” - The New Pornographers’ Carl Newman

“If we had kept pushing [Obama] in the right direction, maybe we wouldn’t have such a Clintonoid in the White House right now.” - Dead Kennedys’ Jello Biafra

“I don’t think of [Obama] like this Gandhi figure or Mandela figure, but I think we’re better off with him.” - of Montreal’s Kevin Barnes

“I think we have to make sure that Mr. Obama’s opponent doesn’t win the election. I know everyone’s a little disappointed with Obama, but, personally, I think he’s done all right.” - Andrew Bird

“The thing with Obama is that I liked the figure of him, I guess, but I’m more just terrified of the alternative.” - Okkervil River’s Will Sheff

“I think people were pretty naïve if they thought that he was honestly going to save the world, because obviously he was a force for good. Obviously, we needed him instead of McCain-Palin, but obviously he wasn’t going to be able to fix this country, which when he came into power, was so broken.” - The New Pornographer’s Carl Newman

“I’ve emphasized since I started voting again decades ago that the reason to vote is not to choose between Corporate Cartoon Character #1 versus Corporate Cartoon Character #2 based on who you’re the least uncomfortable having to see on television every night.” - Dead Kennedys’ Jello Biafra

“I’ve heard people, far-left writers, criticizing Obama saying that he’s actually worse, because he gives us this false hope.” - of Montreal’s Kevin Barnes

“I could picture my shitty-ass generation just being too lazy to rally for Obama this time.” - Okkervil River’s Will Sheff

“The thought of rallying for Obama the way we did before is just a tiring thought, because it seems like the presidential campaign has been happening for four years.” - Okkervil River’s Will Sheff

To read this article you need to pick up a copy of the issue. It is available on newsstands and at record stores and bookstores nationwide and can be purchased directly from us. You can also download the digital version (for iPads, Androids, Macs, PCs) right now.

Click here to buy the digital version of the issue (for the iPad, Macs, PCs, and Android devices).

Click here to subscribe to the digital version of Under the Radar (for the iPad, Macs, PCs, and Android devices).

Click here for a list of U.S. stores that carry Under the Radar.

U.S. residents: click here to buy the Tegan and Sara cover of The Protest Issue.

U.S. residents: click here to buy the Dan Deacon cover of The Protest Issue.


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