Don't Look Back in Anger

Bowling alley politics at ACL 2008

By Audra Schroeder, 12:11PM, Tue. Sep. 30, 2008

Erykah Badu's hair had its own solar system
Erykah Badu's hair had its own solar system
photo by Gary Miller

"In 2008, get a new president is like, 'Here's the new manager of a bowling alley.' It's still a bowling alley."

I stood and listened as Erykah Badu spoke truth to power Saturday afternoon, sun burning my back, and watched the resulting mass exodus away from the AT&T stage as she talked about changing the whole game, the election, reclaiming our voice, Obama. Yeah, I know it's a festival and I shouldn't be so surprised at that reaction, but this being one of the most important election years in my lifetime, I'm glad Badu seized the moment and said something real. She wasn't preaching. She wasn't pointing fingers. Still, so many people just immediately closed off their minds. "She's not playing music anymore ... uh ... uh ... let's get a beer." If, say, John Fogerty had said the same thing onstage, no doubt there would have been a different reaction.

Also: Props to Bavu Blakes jumping onstage in an Obama mask, Manu Chao's big middle finger to Dubya, and the voter registration tables set up by the entrances. Register to vote if you haven't already, the deadline is Oct. 6.

write a letter