Monday, November 12, 2007



The Norman Lear Center teamed up with Zogby to conduct an extensive national survey examining political beliefs and entertainment preferences this past summer. I don't watch enough TV to relate to it beyond agreeing that only someone with a reptilian brain would watch Fox but I was very interested in the musical findings. The short version: "liberals enjoy a broad range of music, while conservatives dislike most music genres."
• Out of 15 musical genres, conservatives were more likely than the rest of the respondents to listen to only two of them: country and gospel. What genre are they least likely to listen to, compared to the rest of the respondents? Not punk or hip-hop, as you might expect, but world music. World music is also the music genre where we see the greatest difference between conservatives and liberals.

• Conservatives are the least likely group to listen to jazz (34% vs. 44% vs. 53%) and reggae (8% vs. 20% vs. 26%).

• Over 90% of conservatives said they never enjoy reggae, electronic music or Latin music. Over 95% said they never enjoy world music and punk music.

• Liberals, on the other hand, are more likely than other respondents to enjoy almost every music genre, including world, punk, Latin, hip-hop and rap, blues, reggae, electronica, R&B and soul, jazz, folk and traditional music. Rock was the most popular genre among liberals (67%).

• Although all political types claimed they enjoy classical music, moderates were the least enamored with it (55.5% listen to it compared to almost 62% of the rest of respondents). Moderates also showed their distaste for folk & traditional music (72.5% said they don’t listen to it, compared to 62.4% of the rest of the respondents), and they joined conservatives in their distaste for world music (90% said they don’t listen to it, compared to 71% of liberals.)

• Moderates’ favorite music is rock (58%). Conservatives’ favorite music is classical (60%) followed by country (56%) and rock (55%).

In 1940 Woody Guthrie wrote "This Land is Your Land" as an antidote to Irving Berlin's grating and overexposed "God Bless America." Essentially it is a very patriotic song, but one with a progressive message of love for our country, not an empty, static, frosty and detached anthem like Berlin's. Guthrie's lyrics, in fact, changed over time. Although the ultimate change came not from Woody himself but from Mojo Nixon & Skid Roper who covered it on Root Hog Or Die in 1989, with a little less reverence than Dylan, Peter Paul & Mary, Counting Crows or Bruce Springsteen. If wingnuts were uncomfortable with Woody's original-- or the warning on his guitar, aimed their way-- they will positively hate Mojo Nixon's take:

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At 7:06 PM, Blogger Jimmy the Saint said...

Tom Morello has covered it in concert too. There are a few different performances up on YouTube.

At 7:29 PM, Blogger Zappatero said...

I remember how Clinton had Wynton Marsalis at the White House probably once a month.......

At 8:17 AM, Blogger seenos said...

Mojo Nixon is an American classic! I remember seeing him live shortly after he released Otis, with "Don Henley Must Die" on it. He claimed he was being stalked by a crazed Don Henley fan as he roused the audience to get up close to the stage before he started singing "because he needed some human shields!"


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