Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Politicians' Open Mic!

I posted not too long ago on John Ashcroft's beautiful patriotic crooning, so I decided to put together a U.S. politicians' virtual concert and review! Recently, the conservatives seem to have the edge on the music scene, though my knowledge of performing politicians is about as extensive as my knowledge of molecular biology. Perhaps this is a decent metaphor, though, because right-wingers tend to have more cash, as do the most visible musicians.

Up first is Governor Mike Huckabee. While campaigning over the past year, he's played with lots of rock and blues bands, and a surprising number of high school bands. I only wish he's had his now best bud Chuck Norris choreograph some of his stage acts. He's got a taste for the classic rock hits and the down home blues. In this clip, he exposes his chops by playing some blues basslines in one of those many stores that line the walls and floors with electric guitars and amps, and nothing else. His rhythm's a little vague at times, and his fingering's a little sloppy, but he's not bad on the whole.

Unfortunately, I can't find much footage of Condaleezza Rice playing piano. Apparently, she's kind of a bad ass. She played a Mozart piano concerto with the Denver Symphony when she was 15. (She graduated from college at age 19 Phi Beta Kappa - some people just get shit done early, I guess.) Now she plays with a chamber group in D.C. It's probably easy to guess she's more partial to Schubert and Brahms than Sciarrino or Rakowski. In fact, here are her picks for the "Ten Best Musical Works" of all time. If you're patient enough, you can watch/hear her rehearse with her quintet in the middle of this video, below.

Everybody's heard of Bill Clinton's sax chops. Let's see him in action.

He's pretty rusty, with a pretty loose embouchure and an old school style, but you can tell that if he wasn't running the country, he might have been pretty decent.
Now, check out this version. He seems to span two totally different styles in almost identical settings!

We can thank Zamzar Bob for this wonderful overdub; perhaps he's a Santeri Ojala fan? The Clapton video on that panopticist post is hilarious. This one, also from Zamzar, is too great not to post. Ladies and gentlemen, Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony:

Check out this Jimmy Kimmell show, in which the Finnish prankster Ojala interviews and then plays live over a Slash video. (Alternatively, see Slash's 1993 fan site. I think that was the year I first went online, where I used Altavista and Webcrawler.) The real live Slash then joins him on stage.

With Obama's margin against McCain slimming down to 0.2% in the last couple weeks, he should probably start thinking about pulling out a middle school band instrument or something. "B-Rock" has some good stuff to say about current hip hop (below). Despite his criticism of much of hip hop's content, he's definitely well-liked among major hip hop artists. Hilary Clinton also scored some support from Timbaland last year, when the star hosted a controversial fundraiser at his Miami home, netting 800 grand for the candidate.

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