March 11, 2004

The Sound Barrier

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I want to thank my good friend, and fellow music aficionado, Alexander D. Talcott of Dartmouth College for opining via electronic mail with some terrific suggestions for a new name for this column. As regular readers will recall, over the past two weeks I have beseeched my many fans to write in with an alternative name for the “Sound Barrier” — a truly awful name that has been imposed upon this writer by editorial fiat. Mr. Talcott suggests that the name be changed (“in honor of your musical talent and sense of humor”) to “Rimshot.” Not bad. He also suggests, “Where’s Gewolbo?” This takes a bit more in the way of explanation. Suffice it to say that it’s inspired by my lovely surname and the wonderful Where’s Waldo? books of yore. Now, I’m very fond of both these suggestions but, alas, Mr. Talcott is an active Republican. And as the old saying goes “don’t ever allow a Republican to rename a music column in a college daily — especially if you’ve enticed them with money and/or AA batteries.” Speaking of politics, virtually all major 2004 campaigns utilize a “theme song.” Indeed, as MSNBC reported this week, “candidates swear by [the theme song] as a way to connect with the electorate and inspire the beleaguered campaign worker.” Now, although Senator John F. Kerry (D-MA) has virtually locked up the Democratic nomination, we here at the (ughh) Sound Barrier thought it might be fun to take a look at some of our favorite candidates from this Democratic primary season and their theme songs:

The Reverend Al Sharpton: “Talking Loud, Saying Nothing” by James Brown (for whom Sharpton was once business manager). The Reverend calls it a song that describes the Republican Party: “Huh!/ Like a dull knife,/ it just ain’t cuttin’,/ Just talkin loud then sayin nothing.” A great theme song and killer one-liners to boot!

Sen. John Kerry: “No Surrender” by Bruce Springsteen. This self-described “huge Boss fan” has used a number of Springsteen anthems over the course of the primary season and has also begun to use some U2 songs at recent campaign stops.

Sen. John Edwards: “Small Town” by John Mellencamp. “All my friends are so small town. My parents live in the same small town. My job is so small town provides little opportunity.” And guess what? His father was a mill worker! Who would have guessed?

Rep. Dennis Kucinich: “Imagine” by John Lennon. “Imagine there’s no countries,/ It isn’t hard to do./ Nothing to kill or die for./ And no religion too.” Also, “imagine” you’re getting your proverbial ass kicked on the campaign trail. But they still love you in Ithaca!

Next week we’ll begin a month-long exploration of America’s foremost porno soundtrack composers! Just kidding. That series doesn’t start until the week after next.

Archived article by Mathew Gewolb