Presidential Rock

Presidential Rock & Opinions on Franz Ferdinand

As the nation awaits its new president, Jim and Greg host their own inaugural celebration featuring the best in "Presidential Rock."

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The nail has just gone in the record store coffin. The Times Square Virgin Megastore, which is the highest volume music store in America, is closing this spring. $55 million in annual revenue was not enough to keep the doors to this landmark retail outfit open. Jim and Greg agree that the Virgin store on Broadway was an institution for any music fan who visited New York City, and hope that people continue to support what record stores are still out there.

Rocker, poet, fashion designer, activist…now Bono can add columnist to that ever-growing list. The U2 frontman just published his first official column for The New York Times. It was written about music's other great ego: Frank Sinatra. Jim doesn't see why anyone would be interested in the writings of Bono, except for the fact that he is a celebrity. But Greg is a little more hopeful. He admits that Bono is not a great scribe, but thinks that if the singer sticks to what he knows– music– we may be in for some interesting stories.

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Presidential Rock

On January 20th, thousands will celebrate the Inauguration of President-Elect Barack Obama. But before that Jim and Greg wanted to host their own celebration by playing the best songs ever written about the office of Commander-in-Chief.

Here's a collection of songs to kick off this new administration:

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Franz Ferdinand Tonight: Franz Ferdinand

Scottish indie rockers Franz Ferdinand have a new album out called Tonight: Franz Ferdinand. It's the third release for the New-New Wave band, and after a terrific debut, and a so-so follow-up, Jim and Greg were eager to see what the quartet had to offer. Greg hears a reconfiguration of their original sound. The dance element is more up front, making the rhythm section the most important one. Greg keeps waiting for lead singer Alex Kapranos to step up to the Bryan Ferry level, and until he does Greg gives Tonight: Franz Ferdinand a Try It. Jim doesn‘t think it’s fair to compare any mere mortal to Bryan Ferry and thinks Kapranos does a terrific job. He calls the group's routine“winning”and gives this album a Buy It.

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Featured Songs

  1. Plasticland, Gloria Night, Wonder Wonderful Wonderland, Pink Dust, 1985
  2. The Drifters, On Broadway, Under the Boardwalk, Atlantic, 1964
  3. Neil Young, Campaigner, Decade, Reprise, 1977
  4. J.B. Lenoir, Eisenhower Blues, Natural Man, MCA/Chess, 1968
  5. Christian Kiefer, Matthew Gerken, Jefferson Pitcher, Ronald Reagan, Such A Marvelous Dream, Of Great and Mortal Men: 43 Songs for 43 US Presidencies, Standard, 2008
  6. The Ramones, My Brain Is Hanging Upside Down (Bonzo Goes to Bitburg), Animal Boy, Sire, 1986
  7. XTC, Here Comes the President Kill Again, Oranges and Lemons, Virgin Records Canada, 1989
  8. They Might Be Giants, James K. Polk, Istanbul (Not Constantinople), Elektra, 1990
  9. Wyclef Jean, President, Welcome to Haiti: Creole 101, Sak Pasé, 2004
  10. Common, Changes, Universal Mind Control, Geffen, 2008
  11. Lou Reed, The Day John Kennedy Died, The Blue Mask, RCA, 1982
  12. George Clinton, Paint the White House Black, Paint the White House Black EP, Warner Bros., 1993
  13. Franz Ferdinand, Ulysses, Tonight: Franz Ferdinand, Domino, 2009
  14. Franz Ferdinand, That's What She Came For, Tonight: Franz Ferdinand, Domino, 2009
  15. CSS, Move, Donkey, KSR, 2008
  16. Johnny Thunders & the Heartbreakers, Get off the Phone, LAMF Revisted, Beggars Banquet, 1979
  17. Radiohead, Everything In Its Right Place, Kid A, Capitol, 2000
  18. Animal Collective, Summertime Clothes, Merriweather Post Pavillion, Domino, 2009
  19. Dead Kennedys, California "Uber Alles, Give Me Convenience or Give Me Death, Alternative Tentacles, 1987

Footnotes

nytimes.com Bono's writing in The New York Times nytimes.com Virgin's Time Square Megastore Closes franzferdinand.com Franz Ferdinand's Website last.fm Listen to Tonight: Franz Ferdinand