Thursday, February 28, 2008
I had a chance to see this great Austin band at the 2007 Lollapalooza music festival and they were so great. After that weekend I rushed out to my local indie music store and picked up their debut album Trying To Never Catch Up. It’s a real shame they never seem to make it to Houston, but I know one of these days I’ll be seeing this great Texas band again. For now you can check out their first single "Sultan" below, but on March 4th you can pick up their second album What Doesn’t Kill Us. The band is going out on tour starting tonight, so keep an eye out for WMMF in your town!
So last month after my first post on Barack Obama I had a long discussion with Sam, a faithful reader of The Blot Says…, on whether or not Barack Obama or anything political could be considered pop culture. My viewpoint on the subject is of course. Everything and anything can be pop culture, especially the leader of the free world. I think Saturday Night Live alone makes politics a part of pop culture week in and week out.
The most classic examples of Presidents defining the pop culture of their time are John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan. Obviously Kennedy was way before my time, but just by listening to baby boomers talk about him today shows what a huge impact he’s had on a generation and its culture. As for Reagan I think it’s a chicken or the egg situation. Was it Reagan and his ideology that made the 80’s decade what it was or did the culture and ideals of the “Me era” just happen to find their perfect President?
An even better example is President Bill Clinton who completely changed how politicians would be viewed and elections would be fought. The minute he stepped onto the set of The Arsenio Hall Show in June of 1992 and played his saxophone there was no turning back. Combine that with Clinton’s 1994 appearance on MTV’s Rock the Vote where a sitting President was asked the infamous “Boxers vs. Briefs” question and it is easy to see that a new era of pop culture was born in the 90’s. It was the start of the internet and really a whole new world where anything goes and the age of “no information is too much information” was born.
I bring this up because every day I see Senator Obama becoming more and more ingrained in the pop culture of today. And really he’s doing it in a very unique way that many, if not most, elected officials would kill to be able to. It started with OBEY Giant’s campaign posters, but now his reach is expanding into new and uncharted pop culture territory. Sneaker Obsession brought to my attention last week these amazing custom Obama for President Air Force One Sneakers. I think once you start seeing your influence reach the sneaker community then you’ve really entrenched yourself into every possible avenue of American pop culture. (link)
The shoes were designed by a Cincinnati, Ohio artist named Van who does some amazing work with shoes. These sneakers really incorporate all of the major symbols of Obama’s Presidential campaign including his catchphrases “Change” and “Yes We Can,” his campaign’s logo and two completely different picture perfect portraits of the Illinois Senator. You can check out more pictures of the Obama Air Force Ones and a ton of other crazy designs at Van’s MySpace page. I really can’t decide which kicks I like better, his 2Pac inspired sneakers or his 2 different styles of Spider-Man Air Force Ones.
So now I want to hear from all of you, what do you think? Do Presidents, Elected Officials and Political Candidates fall under the realm of pop culture?