MORE ON PROTEST...

MORE ON PROTEST MUSIC. Fellow haters of Neil Young's thuddingly literal-minded and reductive new Bush-bashing album might appreciate this SNL sketch plugging Young's follow-up record, I Do Not Agree With Many of This Administration's Policies (Andy Samberg, as Conor Oberst, makes a guest appearance.) I should note that, contrary to the thrust of the spoof, lack of subtlety isn't really the core problem with Young's album as a piece of political art; of course totally unsubtle protest music can be terrific.

Meanwhile, given the continued flood of protest music-related media pieces that lump the Dixie Chicks in with Young, Oberst, Green Day, Pink, and others, it's sort of worth at least noting that the Chicks (who are great, I hasten to say!) have, I believe, never recorded a political protest song, either related to this administration or anything else, ever, in their entire careers, including for the new album that's just earned them the cover of Time under the headline "Radical Chicks." (Their new single's a self-referential riposte to country music fans pissed about Natalie Maines' "Texas" remark, not any kind of message to the prez.) That even people who've never in fact recorded any protest music can become "controversial protest singers" in the eyes of the media and the public is surely a troubling sign o' the times.

--Sam Rosenfeld

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