On April 29, Barack Obama turns 100. Presidents sure do grow up fast. In many ways, the first 100 days are the most important time in a president’s career, perhaps due to the lopsided attention and arbitrary, question-begging importance bestowed upon them.
If you’re looking for 100-days coverage, you’re in the wrong place. Maybe Maury Povich is covering it, along with CNN, Fox, and Time. We at Owl and Bear would like to remember Obama in his double digits. 100 represents pre-millennial, base-ten, pre-hope/change thinking and is therefore hogwash. 99 is a progressive base-eleven-in-intervals-of-nine thought system, which is very now.
Plus, who knows what tomorrow may bring? Continue reading
In anticipation of his surprise new album Together Through Life (out April 21), smart-crazy (crazy-smart?) coot Bob Dylan talks to the TimesOnline. In the interview, he touches upon Barack Obama, U.S. Grant, and Civil War ghosts, among other things.
Well, a number of things [have struck me about Obama]. He’s got an interesting background. He’s like a fictional character, but he’s real. First off, his mother was a Kansas girl. Never lived in Kansas though, but with deep roots. You know, like Kansas bloody Kansas. John Brown the insurrectionist. Jesse James and Quantrill. Bushwhackers, Guerillas. Wizard of Oz Kansas. I think Barack has Jefferson Davis back there in his ancestry someplace. And then his father. An African intellectual. Bantu, Masai, Griot type heritage–cattle raiders, lion killers. I mean it’s just so incongruous that these two people would meet and fall in love. You kind of get past that though. And then you’re into his story. Like an odyssey except in reverse.
Let’s think back to the primaries and recall how historic they were turning out to be. Democratic front runners Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama were neck and neck in the primaries. Though it wasn’t clear who would take the nomination, we knew that we were in for an historic campaign either way.
Obama would of course overtake Clinton and became the first black Democratic presidential candidate, and by August we knew it was either McCain-Palin or Obama-Biden that would triumph. Perhaps there was a sense of relief, too, in what those two tickets had in common: neither had a Bush or a Clinton anywhere in sight.
Yesterday, I sat down with Dan Murphy, Golden Smog’s affable guitarist, to talk about Barack Obama, Brian Wilson, the band’s early days, Soul Asylum, The Jayhawks, Jeff Tweedy, nonexistent Swedish brides, and the music industry.
Murphy’s Midwestern supergroup will release Stay Golden, Smog on September 23. The record is made up of tracks from the band’s early years, but also features two unreleased tracks: a demo version of “Until You Came Along” and an unearthed cover of Brian Wilson’s “Love and Mercy.”