The independent Stand With Hillary PAC assembled a “contemporary country” video on behalf of their desired presidential candidate. According to a Dec. 5 Washington Post story, “Stand For Hillary” has run on Youtube since November.
“Country?” My eyes became slits. I sensed a game afoot.
Antiseptic when a song should be authentic, reeking of prefabrication in the manner characteristic of irritating mainstream pop country, the sales-device/song was written by media consultant Miguel Orozco. (In 2008, he’d written two songs about candidate Barack Obama: “Viva Obama” and “Obama Reggaeton.”
The video stars actor Jason Tobias, who does not actually sing the song. (That is reportedly done by one “T. Wilson.”) Backing musicians are uncredited.
MACK STEVENS (rockabilly) “Crap. Just another fake country pop thing. Total fake ayukcent (accent) and that horrific sensitive pop c&w vibe. Like all pop country from the 80s on up.”
GRANT LANGSTON (traditional country, California roots) “Lord help us. Where do I start? The song is bad. But the idea is far worse. Taking a song and making it an ode to a politician is so cringe-worthy that I can barely watch. It wouldn’t matter who the subject is right wing, left wing. If you wrote a song about Lincoln it would likely stink. This isn’t what music is for IMO. It’s propaganda and that triggers an instinctive negative reaction in most people. Finally this need politicians have to be folksy astounds me. I want my president to be exceptional not some beer drinking good ole boy. (Btw. I consider myself a beer drinking good ole boy!)”
JOHNNY FALSTAFF (honky tonk) “This goes beyond any uncomplimentary adjective that I can think of….I don’t normally limit my slamming to a particular party (they all suck the corporate wang), but this is even worse than a Chevy truck commercial…”
MIK HOMER (rockabilly) “A HORRIBLE misuse of a Telecaster!”
CARL SONNY LEYLAND (rockabilly, western swing, jazz) “It’s daft & the singer/musicians look pretty uncomfortable…The more it sinks in, the dafter & more awkward it seems to me…Of course, I’m no expert on contemporary country & no fan either. (I acknowledge the right of the contemporary country crowd to say it their own way. I don’t want a fleet of muddy pick up trucks & folks in boot cut jeans protesting outside my house!)”
SCOTT KEMPNER (rock’n’roll, Dictators, Del Lords, solo) “I can’t really critique this as a song any more than i could critique a jingle for a tv commercial. It is too pointed in the same direction in which a jingle would be directed. it has no real use as a stand-alone song, and without the accompanying video the song would have almost zero meaning. It is 100% for the purpose of selling a product.
“Melody is memorable, although not great, or even special. Mediocre, actually. And again, more of an advertising campaign than a stand-alone song written out of inspiration of the heart, mind and soul.The song’s only power will be if the imagery in the video (family person, other good deeds, etc) takes hold, and will have the staying power to inform the listener even without those visuals, so that listeners can put the images and music back together when they hear the song by itself. Then it will have completed its function as a commercial jingle – associative imagery and concepts to hopefully stick in the heads of those at which it is aimed.
“I will say that whoever produced this thing has some awareness of contemporary Country sonic values and song motifs. It sounds plausibly like something one might hear on Country radio. This of course lets you know exactly at whom this is aimed – does anybody except rural white folk, people who hear but don’t necessary like music, and middle-class (and higher) white folk, like contemporary Country music. Obviously this is not aimed at Latinos or Black Americans, who are not really known as major Country fans (at least none i have ever met), or actual music fans (to whom this song will, i would think, probably come off as one big piece of shit. A piece of shit is exactly how it sounds to me, as well…(If i come off like someone who just pretty much loathes most contemporary Country that he’s heard, that would be a spot-on assessment!)”
Clinton Country Breakdown
by DC Larson