Sleater-Kinney, Bad Brains, Black Flag — Rachel Maddow’s Midterm Playlist

The stress of midterm elections have you pulling out your hair? Don’t worry! The ingenious Rachel Maddow has curated a playlist of angry punk songs to help relieve some of that pent up midterm aggression. Courtesy of the Late Night With Seth Meyers show, Maddow has provided spot-on music selections, with each song dedicated to various aspects of the upcoming elections. From Sleater-Kinney to Bad Brains, she has provided the essential soundtrack to help you get through the November midterms.

1. Fugazi—”Bad Mouth”: Starting off with a bang! Maddow says Fugazi is a “must have” addition for any political playlist, but this one is particularly apt since there has been a lot of bad mouthing going on in this election. Get it?

2. Bad Brains—”I Against I”: Besides the obvious song title, Maddow points out “amusing and interesting tempo changes” that reflect the bipolar stances of politicians. She gives an example of  Colorado congressman and senatorial candidate Cory Gardner, who has based his political career on supporting “personhood” legislation that bans all contraceptive and abortions access even in cases of rape or incest. But Gardner has decided to un-endorse such legislation on the state level, remaining a co-sponsor of the Life Begins At Conception Act in Washington, D.C. Now he is the “Anti-personhood Guy?” asks Maddow, as she dedicates this song to Gardner and all the politicians running against their old political positions.

3. Black Flag—”I’ve Heard it Before”: “BLAH BLAH BLAH we’ve heard it before!” That might be how some people feel during this midterm election. In that spirit, Maddow dedicates “I’ve Heard it Before” to the familiarity and recurring themes of elections, as well as conservative tendencies to want to solve world crises by closing U.S. borders while ignoring more significant core issues.

4. Sleater-Kinney—”Youth Decay”: Maddow explains how “Youth Decay” is really about tooth decay, and that “relating our larger problems … to needing dental work” is a perfect metaphor. More seriously, Maddow points out that “There is a big problem with youth decay—young people don’t turn out in term elections.” (But all you millenials should vote if you want your voices heard!)

5. Hüsker Dü—”Books About UFO’s”: Although she says this song is happy rather than angry, Maddow picked it to highlight, “this refrain in the midterms that ‘I’m not a scientist’ as a way to avoid questions about global warming.” Perhaps if lawmakers listen to Hüsker Dü, they’ll stop beating around the bush about climate change and take action!

Photo courtesy of Flickr user evegophotos licensed under Creative Commons 2.0






Abeni Moreno graduated from Cal State Long Beach with a BA in Women Gender Sexuality Studies in 2013. She is a volunteer radio co-host at KPFK, Kbeach and is a Ms. intern. Follow her on Twitter @abenimoreno8.