Dem Convention Music, Day 3: Hits and Misses

I suppose anything that had to follow the excitement of the first nomination of an African American for president by a major political party (What, you mean you didn’t tune in for the state-by-state roll call voting that transmogrified into a genius bit of political theater, and I mean that in a good way — ?) was bound to be a bit of a letdown, but the song selection last night was pretty haphazard and uninspiring for the most part — though I can’t fault the band’s performances. For the first two nights, I’d been staunchly defending the distinct tilt towards “oldies” to those who complained, but I’m ready for some songs from this century now. I’m not real optimistic that we’ll see much of a change tonight, but I’ll document as much as I can, anyway. What can I say? I’m a glutton for musical punishment. 😉

Having said that, I was perfectly happy that the band broke into The O’Jays’ “Love Train” as soon as the nomination was official.

People All Over the World — Join Hands… and Click Mr. Readmore!

I think that was a bit from “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You)” right before Tom Udall spoke — that’s a repeat from Monday night, tsk tsk!

And was that really Toto’s “Rosanna” as the intro for Maine Congressman (and future Senator) Tom Allen? Anyone know why? His wife’s name is Diana…

Taylor Swift: “Change”
This was the exit music for a group of Women from the House of Representatives: Speaker Nancy Pelosi (hold your rotten tomatoes, troops!), Rosa DeLauro (CT), Nita Lowey (NY), Hilda Solis (CA). Louise Slaughter (NY), Maxine Waters (CA), Kathy Castor (FL), Lois Capps (CA).

Anyway, I’d much rather watch them than the video for that song — we get it, Taylor Swift, you’re pretty, okay? Jeez!

Rolling Stones: “Start Me Up”
Intro for Maryland Congressman Elijah Cummings.

Ashford and Simpson: “Solid”
Intro for Mark Docherty, firefighter from Sterling Heights, Michigan (just up the road from McVirgo Manor!)

I can’t decide whether I love or hate this song. It’s a momentous choice, I know. 😛

The Monkees (written by Neil Diamond, of course) – “I’m a Believer”
Intro for South Carolina Congressman James Clyburn.

Being a good American, I was raised in front of the TV, so I love this song — the Monkees version, of course (Peter Tork was always my favorite — I dig the quiet types). As for Neil Diamond, though — I know it’s hip and ironic to like geeky retro stuff, in this case, I just can’t go there.

Gloria Estefan – “Turn The Beat Around”
Obvious choice for Miami mayor Manny Diaz — which is why I linked the Miami Sound Machine version, though of course the original recording was by Vicki Sue Robinson and her feather boa. (BTW, I’ve gotta give props to having the word ‘syncopated’ actually fit smoothly into a lyric.)

Live on stage: Melissa Etheridge: Medley of “God Bless America,” “The Times, They Are A-Changin’,” “Give Peace A Chance,” and “Born in the USA.”
Brava, is all I have to say.

I must’ve been distracted by something shiny, b/c I missed whatever happened around Harry Reid‘s appearance. Oh, wait, it was McDoc arriving home. He’s not shiny, but he’s one of my favorite distractions!

Jackie Wilson: “(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher”
Intro for Michele Jones, first female Command Sergeant Major of the U.S. Army Reserves. I’m a peacenik DFH, so I didn’t get the significance there, but former marine McDoc clued me in that it’s a big deal.

Oh, and that song is another one that, if you don’t feel the urge to tap your feet to it, check your pulse!

Survivor: “Eye of the Tiger”
Intro for Pennsylvania Congressman and Iraq War veteran Patrick Murphy, accompanied by a group of veterans. Great choice for this group, but — ah, the 80’s! Ah, the earnestness! (Check the serious facial expressions, not to mention the haircuts, on those young men in the video!)

Dolly Parton: “I Will Always Love You”
Intro for former Secretary of State Madeline Albright.

Yeah, that’s right, Dolly Parton. Whitney Houston is talented and all, but I blame her, partly, for the current trend in singing where high value is placed on inserting oodles of extra notes and syllables into the melody line, thus transforming a beautifully simple song into a festival of tortured ululation. You have to really know what you’re doing to pull that off, and while Whitney does, many others who try it, and then think that what they really oughta do is audition for American Idol, do not. Sorry!

I think that was The Romantics’ “That’s What I Like About You” introducing Indiana senator Evan Bayh. And it was fitting, because in spite of the conventional wisdom that he’s bland, I thought he gave a cracklin’ good speech.

Aretha Franklin: “Chain of Fools”
A little musical break while we waited for Big Dog — let’s hope we’re referring to the current administration here, rather than anyone in attendance!

I linked the version from The Commitments, just for the heck of it… no disrespect to the Queen, of course!

Fleetwood Mac: “Don’t Stop”
Good intro for Big Dog, since it was used in his 1992 campaign. The video is from his inaugural party.

U2: “Beautiful Day”
Big Dog’s outro is another repeat. C’mon, people, there are enough songs in the world not to have to do that!

Robert Palmer: “Addicted to Love”
Intro for John Kerry. Perhaps not the best choice with Big Dog still in the vicinity, but oh well. I linked Tina Turner’s cover, because, may Robert Palmer rest in peace, but I absolutely loathe his video for this song.

Eric Clapton and Babyface: “Change the World”
Intro for Claudia Kennedy, first female three-star general in the U.S. Army. Call me a cheeseball, but I really like this song.

The Beatles: “A Hard Day’s Night”
Intro for Rear Admiral John Hutson (Ret.), Dean of the Franklin Pierce Law Center. If you’ve never watched the movie, it’s worthwhile — quirky and funny, and of course, filled with great songs.

Bill Conti: “Gonna Fly Now”
Intro for Quincy Lucas, Delaware teacher whose sister was a victim of domestic violence. Before she officially nominated Joe Biden for Vice President, she thanked him for his key role in passing the 1994 Violence Against Women Act. Does anyone else find that a song associated with a movie about boxing is an odd choice here?

Three Dog Night: “Joy To The World”
Intro for Nancy Pelosi, because she’s a high night flier and a rainbow rider
(though maybe not such a straight-shootin’ son of a gun).

Gary Wright: “Dream Weaver”
Intro for Beau Biden, Delaware Attorney General and soon-to-be-deployed-to-Iraq National Guardsman. But for tonight, it’s party time — excellent!

John Mellencamp: “Pink Houses”
Intro for Joe Biden. I think this song would have been a more appropriate choice, given the spanking he proceeded to lay on McCain in his speech. Oh well, that’s okay — I think the working class angle is important to emphasize too, especially since Obama is such an elitist! 😉

Outros for the evening:

Bruce Springsteen: “The Rising”
I didn’t recognize this one, because I live under a rock, but some helpful Daily Kos commenters hipped me — thanks for that!

Sister Sledge: “We Are Family”
Feh, another retread.

Tina Turner: “Simply the Best”
Why, yes — yes we are, thank you! And Yes We Can! 😀


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    Dem Convention Music, Day 3: Hits and Misses — 6 Comments

    1. I have so enjoyed your music coverage this week. I come here daily to ID the songs I’ve missed. Oh, to be the DJ at the convention!!

    2. @ Mel:

      Thank you so much! It has been a big undertaking, but a fun little bit of historical documentation. Maybe I should send it to the Dem party honchos? 😉

    3. I’m listening to some wonderful music right now (just after Hojo’s talk) which has me bouncing at my desk here at work. Overall it’s been a lot of fun and I love the round ups you’ve been posting!

    4. Oops! I left my earlier comment too soon. That’s what I get for catching up on blog reading en masse. I thought having “Chain of Fools” precede Bill Clinton was a bad choice.