Well, the Iowa Caucus has cocked up the 2008 Election conventional wisdom. This will certainly give the pundits plenty to talk about. I imagine Wolf Blitzer's whiskers will be in full Viagra mode during The Situation Room today.
I have to say I was surprised by the results. On the Republican side, Huckabee seems to be turning into the GOP Jimmy Carter, the outsider who shakes things up. He has a long way to go and I think he'll fade eventually, but stranger things have happened (see "Primates, election of 2000 and"). I wish The Colbert Report was back on TV because you know Colbert would be taking credit for Huckabee's "Colbert bump."
Obama winning the Democratic caucus isn't as surprising to me. He's had a lot of supporters doing grass roots work in Iowa, and he has arguably the most charisma of any candidate from either side. But Clinton finishing behind Edwards, even if it was by just a small amount, did surprise me. It's going to be an interesting few days before the New Hampshire primary.
I'm Brando and I approved this message. I also approve of the following songs:
1) "Relative Ways," …And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead. The sun is making a cameo appearance today after being overcast since, I don't know, November, and this song is a perfect fit. Chiming guitars and a sunny beat with some throaty vocals to add a little conflict. Everything's always more interesting with conflict.
2) "Radar Gun," Bottle Rockets. You Can Write a Rock Song About Anything I. This is a catchy little ditty about a cop with his new radar gun. Seriously, that's all there is to it. The b-side would probably be "Stop Yer Jaywalkin' (All Over My Heart)."
3) "Ohio (Live)," Neil Young. From the amazing Live at Massey Hall album. Ol' Neil Young delivers an absolutely chilling, stripped-down version of this on an acoustic guitar. One of the best political songs ever written, so good I have no snark.
4) "Amerika V. 6.0," Steve Earle. You want to catch my attention, start off a song with a huge drum beat like this song does. This is pretty standard Steve Earle, with a dirty guitar lick escorting lyrics about being broke, being mad, and being screwed over. I even dig the retro America with a K, even if that is so 1992.
5) "Accidental Babies," Damien Rice. I do a cover version of this called "Totally on Purpose Babies."
6) "Allure," Jay-Z. Welcome to Yo, CJSD Raps! I'm your host, Beaty B. Seriously, here's what gets me about Jay-Z: he makes me feel out of touch. I
7) "Satan Gave Me a Taco," Beck. You Can Write a Rock Song About Anything II. Beck singing a Soggy Bottom Boys-style song about getting a crappy taco before dissolving into what seems to be a food-poisoning inspired rock fantasy of going on tour. It's actually inspiring me to get back to my concept album, In the Blog of the Comment King. The album tells the story of a pale, proscrastinating, and sarcastic boy who sets out on a mystical adventure to leave the greatest blog comment EVAR!
8) "Little Fat Baby," Sparklehorse. Just a really nice, mellow song. Since I have nothing else to say about it, I'll mention that the birth weight of my youngest brother, Snake Anthony, came up in an e-mail today. He was 11½ pounds when he was born, and he had the melon of a six-year old. He was so big and mature-looking that when my mother brought him home, he was smoking and in dire need of a shave.
9) "It's a Curse," Wolf Parade. Now that I'm hopelessly addicted to playing toy drums in my living room, I'm hearing/seeing beats when I hear songs that would be a perfect fit for Rock Band. Wolf Parade are great Rock Band candidates. This song has a big meaty beat that I could probably manage to thwack out, with a few fills to keep things interesting without me kicking over the kit in frustration.
10) "Since U Been Gone," Kelly Clarkson. I get in arguments all the time about this song. TLB makes fun of me because I actually purchased this on iTunes. When I met Adorable Girlfriend, the Uncanny Canadian, Chuckles, and Officer Gleason in Chicago over the summer, we actually got into a spirited discussion of whether this song sucked, with OG and I forming a "this song rocks" bloc. So here's my theory: This song is Hillary Clinton. Because it's Kelly Clarkson and American Idol, people will hate it no matter what. But take the same song and give it to Dave Grohl or Ted Leo and people go, "Wow, that's a pretty good song."
11) "So It Goes," Nick Lowe. What Annoys Me About America, Part MCMXXVI. When this album came out in the UK in the late 70s, it was called Jesus of Cool. But You-Know-Who forbid we crucify our Lord again by putting his name on a rock and/or roll record. So in the US the name was changed to Pure Pop for Now People. The plus side is that the name change didn't dilute this absolute pure pop gem of a song, and it also gave us a pretty awesome album cover. The truth is, though, that I think our nation is still so uptight that 30 years later, this album would still get a name change. If anything comes of the 2008 election, I hope it results in the pole at least being tugged a little bit out of our national ass. Can't we all just relax and rock out together?
Have a good weekend.