by sarahnade on Oct.19, 2012, under Daytime
Speakers thumped out bass-heavy remixes while flashing neon lights danced through a fog machine. Blue banners hung behind the make-shift stage and from the third floor balcony of Witherspoon Student Center, matching the rectangular area on Harris Field bound by Obama yard signs. This was all part of Wolfpack for Obama’s event featuring Rock the Vote with Passion Pit. Two members of the band took turns playing a DJ set, featuring remixes of popular songs and random assortments of beats. The crowd awkwardly toe-tapped during the 6:00 p.m. set. They did take the time out, however, to say, “I don’t care who you vote for. Obama, Gary Johnson, whatever. Just don’t say Romney, because you’re educated. You know better.”
Musicians have been using their celebrity to try to persuade fans’ political opinions for ages, but with the upcoming presidential election and accessibility to every kind of social media platform, we’re seeing more of it than ever before: email blasts, tweets, Facebook posts, Tumblr reposts, stage banter and of course, the sharing of infamous memes. Some artists just want to end the apathy of voting by teaming up with nonpartisan voter registration organizations like HeadCount and Rock the Vote. Wilco, for example, took a team of volunteers with them for every American tour date this year to canvas the audience.
Others want to voice their opinions about politics not so subtly. Many local artists during the spring Shakori discussed voting against Amendment One and what that vote would mean to them — informational calls to action without any sugarcoating. Like Passion Pit, other artists have participated in rallies, forums and concerts supporting a particular candidate or party. President Obama’s reelection campaign has been supported by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Pearl Jam, Jay-Z, Beyonce (and probably Blue Ivy, too), Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Wonder, Katy Perry, Jon Bon Jovi, Kanye West, Dave Matthews, The National, Pete Wentz, Mariah Carey, Lady Gaga, Joel Madden, Jason Mraz, Gwen Stefani, David Grohl, Cyndi Lauper, Adam Levine and more. In 2008, Durham-based Merge Records hosted Obama rallies featuring their artists, including Grammy-winner Arcade Fire. Superchunk, Baobab and Future Kings of Nowhere have more or less live tweeted the recent debates, not being shy whatsoever about their thoughts.
It’s harder to find the same allegiance among musicians on the conservative side. This year’s Republican National Convention’s lineup included Oak Ridge Boys, Conrad Oberg, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Philip Alongi, Neal E. Boyd, Lane Turner, Randy Owen, Jack Blades, 3 Doors Down, Ayla Brown, Beau Davidson, The Kantinas, Danny Gokey, Taylor Hicks and BeBe Winans. Nicki Minaj, despite having Obama’s endorsement in her fight against Mariah Carey, favors Romney on Lil Wayne’s newest mixtape. The Killers, who Romney allegedly enjoys, would “be open” to performing in support of the candidate.
Now, it’s not all that surprising that musicians tend to lean towards more liberal views. The imbalance is interesting though. Why do so few indie bands (that aren’t offered to play big gigs) publicly support conservative ideas and candidates? And if there were a “Wolfpack for Romney” group on campus, who would they get to perform? Even in the 2008 election, there was a significant difference in musicians’ support between parties. Hank Williams Jr. and Gretchen Wilson were among the most prominent McCain supporters.
Is this just a genre division? If you’re trying to reach younger voters through music, what’s the best way to accomplish this?
by sarahnade on Oct.16, 2012, under Uncategorized
As the second presidential debate is on the brink of beginning, America is watching the pre-show coverage on their preferred news channels and prepping their last-minute rules for drinking games. Meanwhile, the candidates are likely getting a locker-room style pep talk and listening to songs to get them pumped.
WKNC DJs took some guesses at what those songs may be (other than Nicki Minaj):
- Three Six Mafia “Good Googly Moogly”
- The Shaggs “My Pal Foot Foot”
- Rage Against the Machine “Sleep Now in the Fire”
- Kate Nash “Pumpkin Soup”
- Generationals “When They Fight, They Fight”
- Harlem Shakes “Sunlight”
- DMX “Ruff Ryder’s Anthem”
- The Hives “Walk, Idiot, Walk”
- Survivor “Eye of the Tiger”
- “99 Problems but the Mitt ain’t One”
The economic recession is definitely still on people’s minds, especially graduating students. But what about students who wanted to go into a sector that already had a reputation for not providing the best-paying job market out there — the nonprofit sector to be exact? We tried to answer some of those questions for you in our VIP segment. In Hear This, we brought you a special interview about a highly-anticipated music festival that will be host to so many bands, it’s literally impossible to go to hear all of them in the three days of performances. And in our Wolfpacker of the Week, we literally bring you “news from the Brickyard to your backyard,” where a student explains his group’s attempt at raising money from all different kinds of avenues for a memorial of the beloved late women’s basketball coach Kay Yow.
This week, Evan and I gave listeners the weekly news update.
Information for the newscast was taken from the following articles:
Obama warns Karzai to focus on tackling corruption
U.S. backs Israel on preconditions
The Hague judges adjourn Karadzic trial to review boycott
Majority in N.C. favors public option
N.C. State students engineer electric car to inspire, win
To hear the full newscast:
Our weekly Wolfpack football update from our sports afficionados Tyler Everrett and Sean Klemm:
For more on stats referenced, check out this story.
This week’s VIP focused on the nonprofit sector during an economic recession and what students looking to go into that sector after graduation should keep in mind. Jacob spoke to Kelly Beck from 1304 Bikes, a Raleigh-based 501(c)3 to talk about her organization’s activities since the Bike co-op was shut down in June. And he also spoke to Woody Catoe from the University Career Center about counselors advice to students looking for jobs within nonprofit organizations.
For the full VIP segment:
In honor of the Troika Music Festival Nov. 5 – 7, we produced an extended Hear This segment for you this week. Mike Alston sat down with Kyle Miller, co-owner of Churchkey Records in Durham, to discuss what attendees can expect this year. The music festival was first started in 2002 as a one-day Durham musicians’ festival, put on by the Durham Association for Downtown Arts, Inc, and has since expanded to a three-day music festival for all Triangle musicians. Make sure the check out the festival line up, featuring many different bands from Bowerbirds to Caltrop to the ExMonkeys and many more!
To hear Mike’s interview:
WOLFPACKER OF THE WEEK:
And finally, I sat down with our Wolfpacker of the Week, Jeffrey Johnson. Johnson is Student Senate’s Athletics Commission Chair and talked to us about the fundraising campaign for the Coach Kay Yow Memorial.
Listen to the segment to find out more about it and how you can help:
E-mail us with thoughts, suggestions and complaints to firstname.lastname@example.org!