Obama's iPod: Analyzing the presidential playlist
Man, yesterday was fun. Inaugural poem! Inaugural balls! Inaugural inauguration! But Barack Obama has asked us to “set aside childish things,” and he is totally the president of the United States now, so let’s get serious. First on the very serious agenda: figuring out what’s on our new POTUS’ iPod. Yes, he has one, and he’s even hinted as to some of the music he has on it. So we decided that on this, the first full day under the new Obama Administration, we’d take a look at his picks and share our best guesses as to why he’s digging them.
- Stevie Wonder. President Obama name-checked a whole slew of Wonder albums in a Rolling Stone interview last July,but we’ll assume that his most-played tune is campaign theme “Signed,Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours.” Hopefully that bright future ofinternational cooperation and peace he keeps talking about will verysoon be signed, sealed, delivered, ours.
- Bob Dylan, “Maggie’s Farm.” He also told RS that his iPod contained about 30 Dylan songs, including the entirety of Blood on the Tracksand this ’65 barnburner. I guess Obama didn’t wanna work on Maggie’sfarm no more — because he wanted to work in the White House, duh! Andnow he does. Sweet.
- Bruce Springsteen, “The Rising.” Somber yet uplifting, just like an Obama speech. Something tells me the president will continue to ask us to “come on up for the rising” and redeem the American dream over the next four years.
- The Rolling Stones, “Gimme Shelter.” Two possibilities here: Either President Obama is seeking “shelter” for the American people from the “war” that’s “just a shot away”…or he’s just a big Scorsese fan.
- “A lot ofColtrane, a lot of Miles Davis, a lot of Charlie Parker.” I like the idea of a jazz president, improvising, innovating, and always cool. Though personally I think I would prefer to imagine some crazy dissonant Ornette Coleman jams bouncing off the Oval Office walls.
- The Grateful Dead. “I’m not sure I fully qualify as a Deadhead,” he told RS.”I don’t weartie-dye and I’ve never followed them around anywhere. But I enjoythe songs.” Methinks somebody protests too much! Look for President BarackObama in the crowd the next time Phil Lesh and Friends pass through your town.He’ll be the guy in the full tie-dye ensemble, singing along to “ChinaCat Sunflower” at the top of his lungs, and possibly swaying hand-in-hand with Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. Anyway, I consider it a sign ofgreat national maturity that we finally have a chief executive who canadmit he digs the Dead.
- Frank Sinatra. Obama shouted out Ol’ Blue Eyes in an EW interview last August. Maybe he was trying to send a subtle signal that he wants Congress to pass an economic stimulus package “My (er, His) Way.”
- Sheryl Crow. Because he thinks “A Change Would Do [The United States of America] Good,” obviously.
- “Javanese flute music.” Well, sure, Mr. President, I have tons of Javanese flute music on my iPod too, like, uh, that one album Javanese Flute… Music? Okay, damn, you got me. The president of the United States knows more about certain genres of music than I, a professional music journalist. I bet he mentioned this just to show off.
But I’m just guessing here. What do you make of the new president’s iPod picks? Remember, this is a matter of utmost importance to our nation’s future.
- More on politics as entertainment:
- EW Gallery: The Great Presidential Pop-Culture Debate ’08
- ‘DWTS’ recap: Barack and Michelle attempt the foxtrot
- Freedom rings! (From the pores of Aretha Franklin’s enormous bow/hat)
- President George W. Bush: Thanks for the (pop culture) memories!
- Oprah brings show to D.C., eyes Cabinet position?
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