Making Music Political Again: 30 Days, 30 Songs
Musicians hate when politicians use their music to promote their cause without permission, and as we get closer to election day this sentiment has become more and more prevalent. A few examples worth mentioning include Dropkick Murphys' tweet directed at Wisconsin governor Scott Walker, a short and sweet "We literally hate you" in retort to him using one of their songs during a forum. But no one has received more backlash for unapproved use of music than the "huge-er" than life republican nominee, Donald Trump.
Neil Young was pretty direct when he said “f*ck you” to the candidate for using “Rockin’ in the Free World" during his campaign. And in a rare show of recent solidarity, The White Stripes denounced the use of “Seven Nation Army” in a Trump campaign video, following up their aversion by selling "Icky Trump" themed t-shirts (that you can purchase here). Now that we're less than a month away from the chaos-calloused-circus that is the 2016 election, frustration over candidates are at an all time high, and some artists are using their musical chops to push the masses in their favor.
Last week, the same artist that created 90 Days, 90 Reasons, which sought to motivate voters to give President Obama a second term, announced 30 days, 30 songs, an independent website that will release one song per day from October 10 until Election Day in support of a Trump-free America. Some of the bands in the project include Death Cab for Cutie, Bhi Bhiman, R.E.M., and My Morning Jacket's Jim James. The idea for 30 Days, 30 Songs was sparked after author and McSweeney’s founder, Dave Eggers, had a moment of revelation while attending a Trump rally in Sacramento for The Guardian.
"While the audience was waiting for Trump to appear, I was pretty surprised to hear music by Bruce Springsteen, Elton John and Queen," says Eggers. "None of these musicians supports Trump, of course, so it occurred to me that this election would benefit from the timely resurrection of the political protest song. From Woody Guthrie to Public Enemy, we know that songs can change minds, and particularly now, we need to motivate voters to stand against bigotry, sexism, hatred and ignorance."
The project kicked off with "Million Dollar Loan," an original song by Death Cab for Cutie. All proceeds generated by 30 Days, 30 Songs will be donated to the Center for Popular Democracy (CPD) and their efforts to achieve Universal Voter Registration for all Americans. You can hear a new song each day leading to election day at 9 a.m. PST via 30 days, 30 songs' main site and via the 30 Days, 30 Songs spotify playlist.