Draw an equivalency between the two major American political parties all you want; only one of those two seems to have a serious immunity to cool. Why, it was just last week when Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello issued a scathing criticism of Republican Vice Presidential Candidate Paul Ryan, writing in Rolling Stone, “Don’t mistake me, I clearly see that Ryan has a whole lotta ‘rage’ in him: A rage against women, a rage against immigrants, a rage against workers, a rage against gays, a rage against the poor, a rage against the environment. Basically the only thing he’s not raging against is the privileged elite he’s groveling in front of for campaign contributions.” RATM is supposedly one of Ryan’s favorite bands too — or, maybe I should say, was one of his favorite bands. I can’t imagine recovery comes easy from that sort of verbal flogging.
Also last week (on Wednesday, to be exact), Silversun Pickups requested that the campaign of Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney discontinue use of the song “Panic Switch” during campaign stops around the country. The attorney for Silversun Pickups sent a cease and desist letter, while the band itself issued a statement that reads, in part, “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.”
Romney spokesperson Andrea Saul responded thusly via The Huffington Post: “The song was inadvertently played during event set-up before Gov. Romney arrived at the location. As anyone who attends Gov. Romney’s events knows, this is not a song we would have played intentionally. That said, it was covered under the campaign’s regular blanket license, but we will not play it again.”
Is there a band out there that actually wants Republicans to use their music at campaign events? Maybe I should be more specific. Is there a non-country-or-bluegrass band, whose members don’t have mullets and wear shirts of American flag, that actually wants Republicans to use their music at campaign events?
• Silversun Pickups: http://silversunpickups.com