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"No Secret Ballot: Local Musicians Weigh In On The Role Of Politics In Music"
October 27, 2004

Over the past four years, a number of national artists have upped the political content of their music. Pearl Jam sported Halloween masks. R.E.M. and Bright Eyes asked people to vote for change. Toby Keith sang about boots and asses. The Dixie Chicks lost airplay after criticizing President Bush. Many people in audiences grumbled that they came for music, not preaching. But what's wrong with a little politics in your music? The personal's political, right? Flagpole asked a number of local musicians three questions each. Presented below is a sampling of their responses. Though opinions differed, everyone who responded exhibited a clear passion for the subject.


Jefferson Taffet, Lionz

Flagpole: Is it appropriate for politics to play a role in music?

Jefferson Taffet: Music describes life. Because it is an individual's point of view, music is by nature political, and therefore, it is very appropriate and impossible not to have politics in music.

FP: Should anyone care what a musician has to say?

JT: Certain musicians, like Garcia, Ben Harper, Marley and Bono have had major impacts on me. When you trust someone, you usually care about what they have to say, and I find nothing wrong with being influenced by a musician I trust.

FP: Are you planning to vote in this election?

JT: Absolutely.

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