Watching the Democratic National Convention on C-SPAN has many benefits, not the least of which is this: You can clearly hear the snippets of songs chosen to usher each speaker onto the stage.
I'm sure these bits have specific names -- anyone? The politics of music has long been a campaign subplot. Every four years, it seems, some upset artist sues or threatens a candidate using a song without permission. This year, the most discordant story involves Republican Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan's unlikely obsession with angry rap-rockers Rage Against the Machine, and the band's horrified response to the superfan.
I know some professional athletes choose which songs are blasted in stadiums when they take the bat or come back in the game. Does the same hold true for the president of Planned Parenthood or Governor of Colorado? And if the speakers don't have any say, what should viewers read-in to the tunes imposed by the campaigns?
To wit: Tuesday night, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper -- a Narberth native -- strolled onto the stage above the oddly pulsing beat of Maroon 5's "This Love." This puzzled me, especially when he started talking about his days struggling to open a microbrewery. (Given Hickenlooper's sudsy, local roots, G. Love's "Cold Beverages" might have been a more apt theme song.)