Dem Convention Music, Day 2: Tuesday Night Grab-Bag

The music for Tuesday night was kind of a grab-bag — a bit of a let down from Monday night’s funk-fest, if you ask me. There were many fills that I didn’t recognize, and most of the ones I did know didn’t really seem thematically related to the speaker they introduced (or to the one who was exiting… unless I’m totally unclear on the concept. Which is quite possible!) Some seemed vaguely familiar, but they didn’t last long enough for me to place. It also seemed to me that in many cases there was a melody or other identifying element left out — I kept thinking things like, “I know that bassline!” or, “that drumbeat sounds so familiar!”

It was basically like playing ‘Name That Tune’ in hell!

Click Mr. Readmore to see me how I did!

I tuned in around 6:30 EDT, while Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy was speaking.

Bon Jovi: “Livin’ On A Prayer”
Intro for Maryland Congressman Chris Van Hollen.

Maybe it’s goofy, but I actually really like this song. The melody of the chorus does soar, doesn’t it?

When I was in high school, I was what they called a ‘New Waver,’ and therefore a natural enemy of my fellow students who were Bon Jovi fans. (We called them ‘fluffs’. Kids can be so cruel! 😛 ) So I think it’s a testament to the unifying power of music, not to mention my maturity level, that I have nothing bad to say about Bon Jovi — or their fans — now. Yes We Can! 😀

Louis Armstrong: “What a Wonderful World”
Intro for Cecile Richards, daughter of the late Ann Richards and president of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund. Protecting women’s access to reproductive health care does contribute to it being a wonderful world, but it seems to me that some kind of girl-power anthem would’ve been more apropos.

Ohio Players: “Love Rollercoaster”
Intro for Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich (who proceeded to blow the roof off the place! I want this speech as my alarm clock!)

The intro for California State Controller John Chiang sounded a little bit like “She’s Got Legs” by ZZ Top. First thing I thought was, is that referring to Elizabeth Kucinich? Let’s hope I’m very, very wrong about that!

I’m also not sure about the lead-in to West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin, but it used the same chord progression as the chorus to Queen’s “We Are the Champions.”

The Eurhythmics and Aretha Franklin: “Sisters Are Doin’ It for Themselves”
Here’s the girl-power I was looking for above! This song played out eight women senators who spoke in turn, then exited as a group: Barbara Mikulski, Barbara Boxer, Mary Landrieu, Blanche Lambert Lincoln, Debbie Stabenow, Maria Cantwell, Claire McCaskill, Amy Klobuchar.

The Kinks: “You Really Got Me”
Intro for Wisconsin Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin.

Was that really Irene Cara’s “Fame” leading into Robin Golden, autoworker from Michigan? Well, I guess it fits better than the David Bowie song of the same title!

I have no idea what the lead-in to Rahm Emmanuel was, because McDoc finally arrived home from work at that moment, and I was eager to greet him. 🙂

On-Stage performance: Alejandro Escovedo: “People (We’re Only Gonna Live So Long)”
Link goes to a photo — I couldn’t find a video anywhere. If anyone has a video link, let me know!

Irene Cara: “Flashdance (What a Feeling)”
Intro for Anna Burger, SEIU Secretary-Treasurer
I think its some kind of package deal — you have to use this song if you use “Fame,” and vice-versa. Makes sense I guess — both sung by Irene Cara, both won Academy Awards®!

Sly & The Family Stone: “Everyday People”
Intro for Nancy Floyd, founder of Nth Power. Now, wouldn’t this have been a better choice for Robin Golden? Somebody was asleep at the wheel last night.

Anyway… I confess that I’ve always found this song slightly irritating, in spite of its unimpeachable message. The litany of intolerance in the chorus — ” There is a blue one who can’t accept the green one,” etc. — is set to a melody that sounds like “NAH nah nah NAH nah” to me. Which fits with what the lyrics are saying, but that doesn’t make it something I want to listen to. Oh, and then there’s the timeless, unifying refrain, “scooby dooby doo-bee,” that makes me want to rise up and… beat my head against the wall so I can hear something that sounds better.

Hmmph, there’s just no pleasing some people! 😉

Huey Lewis and the News: “The Power of Love”
Intro for New York Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez. You can’t really argue with this song. Wait, scratch that, I’m sure somebody could work something up. 😛

U2: “Beautiful Day”
Intro for Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey. Wow, is this the first song so far that was written in this century? 😛 I have to say, I really love this song. I’ve been a big U2 fan since… well, back in the last century!

Madonna: “Borderline”
Intro for Lily Ledbetter, whose employment discrimination case against Goodyear Tire inspired the Fair Pay Restoration Act.

Madonna had some good songs back in the day… now I think of her more as a dancer than a musician. Though I was impressed when I saw her neophyte acoustic guitar-playing on David Letterman several years back — not because the playing was anything special, but because it showed a vulnerability and willingness to get up and do something she was a beginner at. It’s a pretty good song, too.

Pointer Sisters: “I’m So Excited”
Intro for Virginia Governor Mark Warner, who wasn’t so exciting. Oh well, they can’t all be home runs!

Santana with Rob Thomas: “Smooth”
Intro for Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick. Good choice, finally! Call me a cheeseball, but I love this song. I think the lyrics are pretty well-enunciated (Rob Thomas does his high school choir director proud!), but evidently it has spawned a treasure trove of Mondegreens. My favorite, by far:

Gimme, a hot naked eel, or just forget about it.

Are you listening, candidates? The voters will hold you accountable!

Moment of Truth: Hill’s Up!

You know, I really can’t tell you what the music before Hillary came on was, if there was any, besides the soundtrack of the video tribute. I was too busy being impressed with the poised and beautiful young woman that Chelsea Clinton has become. Plus, I was reading online comments with the voracity of an internet addict (me? I can quit anytime!). Plus, yeah, I admit, when the camera kept cutting to Big Dog with tears in his eyes, my lower lip started to quiver, too.

Anyhoo, many others have aptly covered the speech itself, so let’s get to the outro music.

Big Head Todd: “Blue Sky”
Note: The vid linked above is a Hillary campaign video with the song as soundtrack. It’s the only video I could find of the song, and it’s for documentation purposes only!

Sly & The Family Stone: “I Wanna Take You Higher”
That’s right, baby! End the evening on a funky note!

The Trammps: “Disco Inferno”
Well, okay, maybe that’s enough already. 😉 Oh, the cheesy glory! Is this a great country, or what?


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    Dem Convention Music, Day 2: Tuesday Night Grab-Bag — 4 Comments

    1. I therefore nominate Miss Music Nerd
      as Secretary of Musical Introductions and Interludes.
      I noticed that Al Gore wasn’t speaking. Would he have been introduced with that Melisa Etheridge song she wrote for “An Inconvienent Truth” ?
      Here are 5 picks If I was speaking.
      1) “Elected” – Alice Cooper
      2) “Ball of Confusion” – The Temptations
      3) “The Shape of things to Come” – Theme song to the movie “Wild in the streets”

      And for a classical selection the triumphal March from Aida

    2. I’m not an american but i’ve been keeping track of the US elections since January from my small country here in south east asia. Do you happen to know what the title of the music during the last part of the tribute video for hillary is?

    3. @ marvin: I didn’t recognize that music — I’m assuming that it was written for the video. And search as I might, I can’t find any references for it online. 🙂