Regardless of your voting decisions, it’s a wild time to be an American. The outcome of this election is uncertain and we don’t even know when we’ll have a definitive result.
As always, KJHK staff members are here to bring you the best tunes for any mood, thus we present our “Election Day blues” playlist. But more importantly if you haven’t voted, close out this tab and get to the polls!
Audio Content Editor
“6 Summers” – Anderson .Paak
This song is the perfect anthem for the political situation of today. It talks about the different struggles we’re currently dealing with in the United States, hitting on topics of racism, gun violence, foreign affairs and corruption, among other things. It also focuses heavily on how these issues have affected Americans both physically and mentally. The song is definitely not subtle, but that’s what makes it so great. If you’re frustrated with our country and want a slow jam from one of the best artists making music right now to reflect that, give this one a listen.
“Bored in the USA” – Father John Misty
Every now and then, some honest self reflection is necessary. On “Bored in the USA” Father John Misty offers us this important introspection, attempting to answer a question we all grapple with: How the hell did we get here? His sardonic, merciless undressing of the American Dream, sung atop somber piano, is even more pertinent today than it was at the time of its release in 2014. The song is a helpful reminder that everyone is just as hopeless and confused as you are, a comfort we all deserve. Clearly, voting in this election won’t magically bring an end to prescription addiction, make your subprime loan disappear, or deliver us a “President Jesus,” but, hey – it’s at least worth some of your time, right?
“Recognizing the Enemy” – Yves Tumor
This track is more self-reflective, but I chose it because the title should be a call-to-action this election season. We need to begin to recognize that as everyday people, our enemy is the ultra-rich ruling class, who have their arms in the puppets that are the two mainstream candidates. Until we truly recognize the enemy, marginalized and oppressed communities will continue to suffer and die at the hands of the white colonialist-state, and we will continue to vote for the lesser of two evils (who happens to be our enemy as well) until we all lie in ashes and rubble wondering where we went wrong.
Song: “Candidate” Joy Division
Joy Division, to me, is fueled equally by depression and angst. That’s pretty much how I feel approaching this election. Aside from the sound of this track, the lyric, “It’s creeping up slowly, the last fatal hour,” seems particularly pertinent for the final day of this long election season.
John V. Wood (DJ Vintage)
DJ/Show Host, “Alternative Flashback”
Song: “If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next” – Manic Street Preachers (1998)
When I started thinking about this election, this song just popped right into my head. The song was inspired by George Orwell’s “Homage To Catalonia” and a phrase written on a poster calling for recruits to fight in the Spanish Civil War, and the opening lyrical phrase is so powerful to me: “The future teaches you to be alone/The present to be afraid and cold/So if I can shoot rabbits then I can shoot fascists?: I mean, how prophetic was that phrase? It was released in 1998 but could very easily be the anthem for 2020. POP CULTURE TIDBIT: This song is in the Guinness World Records as the number one single with the longest title without brackets. Très cool, eh?
Multimedia Audio Engineer
Song: “You Could Be President”- Theo Katzman (2020)
This election has created a suffocating air of cynicism around any discussion of pragmatic change. The consensus seems to be that the democratic process has crashed and burned, and that no candidate intends to make life meaningfully better for anyone, with the exception of their wealthy donors. But, the bright side is…….. there is no “But”, no matter the winner, 2020 will continue to be only the largest of night sweats in the coming fever dream that is the dismantling of democracy, autonomy and our perception of political reality. I can only hope that Theo Katzman’s sardonic track about the benefits of “bend(ing) the truth until you can’t make sense of it” grants a little serotonin to the Election Day Blues, and makes you feel that, with enough deception, you, too, could be president.
Song: “Mortal Man” – Kendrick Lamar (2014)
Shit is hitting the fan. Kendrick Lamar grapples with the doubt and insecurities that are inherent to big changes and is trying to figure out how to move forward. As we all wait for the election results to roll in over the next few weeks, there will be a lot of anxiety and societal tension boiling over. Through his faux-interview with Tupac at the end of the track, Kendrick reminds us that having a strong connection with history will help us to take the necessary steps to move forward in creating a better world. But for now, all we can do is wait to see what happens tonight and over the ensuing weeks.