President Barack Obama Likes Arcade Fire and the Black Eyed Peas. Yes, Really.
Yesterday, we found out from a British music news website that, like Santa Claus, Barack Obama keeps a "Nice" list -- or rather a list of people he wants to have supporting him in his re-election campaign. We've seen the list, and alongside all of the alphabetized politicians, business and sports people, and actors, there is a frankly startling array of musicians, including -- yes -- Arcade Fire, The Roots, and -- we could barely believe our eyes -- Vampire bloody Weekend.
Images are immediately conjured of the Obamas sitting down to dinner with the gentle moan of Arcade Fire's "Black Mirror" crooning away in the background... And then that glorious image is immediately shattered when you scroll down to see Eric Robertson & The Boston Boys. If the "Job Title" column didn't specify "band" next to that one, we would be forced to assume they were a pub landlord and a gang. At least they got a job title, though -- the job title of Bobby Ray Simmons is listed merely as "B.O.B." (we're pretty sure that's just saying his name twice in a different way, not an actual profession).
On and on the list goes, confusing us at every turn. Are the Obamas cool or not? Do they have good taste in music or not? It's genuinely hard to tell -- for every Jay-Z, there's a Jason Mraz. For every Alicia Keys, there's a Jack Johnson. And, oh yes, look who's over here! Only Chris Cornell! Chris Cornell: the dude who made a name for himself running around like a wildman, screaming at the top of his lungs, hair blowing in the wind, practically perma-shirtless. Do the Obamas know about Soundgarden and all of the half-naked abandon of it all? It makes us wonder.
And then there are some surprises. Lady Gaga -- who's practically got a room at the White House -- doesn't make the list, yet all three of The Jonas Brothers do. And the trio is, bafflingly, listed separately from one another, rather than as a band. What's that about? We don't see Counting Crows listed as individuals, Mr. President. Or Lady Antebellum. What's so special about the bastard Jonas Brothers that they get to be listed as individual humans? (Aside from anything else, it's terribly ironic, given that the Jonas Brothers are clearly a single entity with a single perspective. If we found out they shared a brain, we wouldn't be the least bit surprised.)
Will.i.am and Fergie from Black Eyed Peas also made the list as individuals. That actually makes some sense though -- clearly, even Barack Obama doesn't want to acknowledge the existence of those other two doofuses Fergie and Will share a band with. We're sure Barack certainly doesn't want to share air with them at any point in future.
Neither, then, should he be any more comfortable with a bunch of other people who made the list. There's ol' nasal noggin herself, Gwen Stefani. There's some girl from Glee (we don't know who Lea Michele is, but if she's on that show, she's bound to be annoying). There's -- goddammit, Barack, you just had to push this button didn't you? -- motherpoopin' Train. And not even the knowledge that Jewel's actual last name is Kilcher can make up for her presence here.
Thank the lord then, that Janelle Monae is on the list. She's a little ray of hope in a confusing landscape. We would give anything to see her James Brown-dancing her way up to the White House in a little black and white suit and pompadour. We can only hope, now the list has been leaked, that we get to see that before the year is out.
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