vote me in
As it does every four years, the US political circus is reaching fever pitch. In 1992, another election year — one that seems almost cuddly in retrospect — Myself a Living Torch was hard at work in San Francisco experimenting with guitar samples and recording a set of bitter-tinged indie rock symphonies. Given the present climate of world affairs, one song from the MaLT oeuvre in particular begs to be dusted off and broadcast through the bullhorn.
Now remastered and re-envisioned, and the second track on the Instant Karma Cannot Get Me LP found elsewhere on this site, “I‘d Print Lots More Money” was a satirical take on the race for president between incumbent George W. Bush and Arkansas governor Bill Clinton. The election revolved primarily around economic issues and the constant media chatter during the buildup inspired the song, the recording of which was finished in 1993. Oddly enough, at the time I was living on Bush Street.
Granted, economics has never been my strong suit — I mostly slept through the class in college. But still, and perhaps because of my deficient attention to the subject, I’ve always wondered: How much money is there? Does anybody really know? Is it finite? Who decides how much there is at any given moment? Is there actually enough to support a continually ballooning population? Or because of the inherent nature of market capitalism do the pieces of the percentage pie tend by default to grow ever larger for those who already have the largest shares? I think I know the answer to the last one.
As silly as the song’s premise may seem, or as playful as “IPLMM” may project, I think there is a valid query beneath the bubbling pop music surface. Plus it has a cool beat, probably inspired by the Basehead Play with Toys CD the band was listening to at the time. Listen to formulate your own take on my party platform.
Continuing on the ripe subject of political satire, and looking further back in time, in 1987, coinciding with the lead up to Bush v Dukakis in 1988, The Pleasures Pale recorded a demo for a curious reggae-meets-glam exercise titled “Champion My Cause.” Included on The Pale’s just unearthed Half Bad LP, the song found us at our irreverent but rhythmic best poking pins at the two-headed monster of accidental celebrity and cult of personality, as well as the willingness of an electorate to fall in line behind a leader for no other reason than his or her populist appeal. Or, heck, maybe it was nothing more than an obtuse invitation for listeners to rabidly consume the image cultivated and the music created by our little assembly of Dayton, Ohio misfits. Listen and decide for yourself.