Saturday, November 8, 2008

Obama Inauguration Pre-Pre-Preview

By marty

Still unable to wipe the smile off my face since Election Day, it is not too early to start planning for the really, big party - the Inauguration.  For the weary, but happy staff, at After Hours World Headquarters, the Inauguration's music is of particular interest.  

Not in recent history has music played an important and integral part of a political campaign. While musicians were filing suit against the McCain campaign to prevent the use of their music, rockers were lining up behind the Obama campaign.'s music video mash-up of Obama's primary concession speech in New Hampshire drew more than 13 million views on YouTube and hundreds of new supporters on the campaign.

Simply because of that, count in for the Inaugural activities.  Another lock for the festivities is Stevie Wonder.  Not only did Wonder's "Signed, Sealed, Delivered" end most of Obama's rallies for the past two years,  Barack is a major fan. 

As he told Rolling Stone, "If I had one musical hero, it would have to be Stevie Wonder.  When I was at that point where you start getting involved in music, Stevie had that run with Music of My Mind, Talking Book, Fulfillingness' First Finale and Innervisions, and then Songs in the Key of Life.  Those are as brilliant a set of five albums as we've ever seen."

Alright!  The man is a music geek.  

Bruce Springsteen, who played several rallies with Obama down the stretch, is another strong possibility.  Bruce debuted a new song, "Workin' on a Dream," during a Cleveland rally.  There are also rumors of a new album being released to coincide with the Inauguration.   The early money is on for a large rally on the mall featuring the Boss.

Also, expect some Chicago love in the selection of Inaugural performers.  One can imagine Mavis Staples singing during the swearing-in ceremony.  Another Obama favorite from Chicago is Wilco, who would be perfect for opening up for Springsteen during a mall concert.  I wouldn't be surprise to see Chicago blues legend Buddy Guy trading licks in front of the Lincoln Memorial. 

Beyonce has already offered her services for the event.  I would pencil her in for one of the Inaugural ball.  Also, look for Jay-Z and maybe Kanye West to make an appearance during the festivities. 

Other musicians likely to make the short list is Sheryl Crow, John Mayer, Earth, Wind & Fire, John Legend and Bebe Winans.  

Despite the somber tone of Obama's election night speech,  don't underestimate the size of the Inauguration party.  As evidenced by his convention speech and the Grant Park rally,  Obama likes to play to a very large room.  He is going to need a large room to accommodate all the folks celebrating their new found hope and the end of eight years lost in the wilderness. 

Download: Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours by Stevie Wonder (mp3)(ITunes)(Amazon)     

Download: Workin’ On A Dream (Live) by Bruce Springsteen (mp3)                           

Download: We Shall Not Be Moved by Mavis Staples (mp3)(iTunes)(Amazon)

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