Does your musical taste reflect your political views?

SLC Flyfishing

Suspended
Original poster
Nov 19, 2007
1,486
1,639
Portland, OR
It's an interesting thought, Music is often quite politically charged. At least the music I often listen to.

I'm in my early 30's and tend to notice that many of my more conservative friends listen to Country Music. I think the political themes in Country (when present) are generally more conservative in nature.

My more left leaning friends, they are generally fans of more Alternative Rock/Indie rock. That music generally has a more liberal political slant (again, when there's a political slant at all).

Of course these are only my observations, with the genres people my age are generally listening to.

Me, I don't fit into either mold to be honest. But the music I do enjoy most leans pretty hard to the left.

how about you?
 

tunerX

Suspended
Nov 5, 2009
355
825
I only listen to the music my kids play. I have never cared for listening to the same thing over and over.
 

Moyank24

macrumors 601
Aug 31, 2009
4,334
2,421
in a New York State of mind
Eh....I think there's also some geographical influence as well. My girlfriend is a native Texan and she loves country music. Most of the current stars are a bit more liberal than those of the previous generation. Remember Keith Urban crying during Same Love at the Grammy's?

That said, I mostly listen to punk and pop punk which has historically bit extremely "liberal" - the fact that most of the guys in my favorite bands share my values is a bonus. I just love the music.

Also, the Mo in my name here is for Madonna - her music and her message definitely spoke to me when I was a kid. She was one of a few back in the day who were vocal about things like AIDS and homosexuality - her support for the community definitely helped during some confusing times when I was a kid. I'm not into the music she makes any more, but I'll definitely always support her.
 

SLC Flyfishing

Suspended
Original poster
Nov 19, 2007
1,486
1,639
Portland, OR
That said, I mostly listen to punk and pop punk which has historically bit extremely "liberal" - the fact that most of the guys in my favorite bands share my values is a bonus. I just love the music.
Nice, that's exactly my taste as well. Less with the pop-punk; but I really like Street-Punk. Stuff like US Bombs, One Man Army, older Distillers, Swingin' Utters etc.

Bonus points for you if you can name the tune the second quote in my sig comes from...

I certainly don't fit the mold I think I observe. But you're probably right about the geographic element. Where I'm from there's a good mix of small town, and metropolitan in close proximity and that may be what unifies the observation of political leanings and musical tastes I've made. i.e. small town folks tend to be more conservative, while people from the city are less conservative in general.
 
Last edited:

jnpy!$4g3cwk

macrumors 65816
Feb 11, 2010
1,100
1,293
Of course these are only my observations, with the genres people my age are generally listening to.

Me, I don't fit into either mold to be honest. But the music I do enjoy most leans pretty hard to the left.

how about you?
I listen mostly to classical and jazz. In earlier years, classical music listeners were all over the political spectrum, but, I have noticed in recent years the (shrinking) audience seems more liberal. Jazz is not very popular now, although a small number of rock bands still play jazz and blues derived rock.
 

skottichan

macrumors 6502a
Oct 23, 2007
879
901
Columbus, OH
I listen to a bit of a range. My iTunes looks like a record store exploded all over it. There's a bit of;

classic and modern ProgRock (Zappa, Captain Beefheart, King Diamond, Mastodon, Coheed & Cambria)

classic and modern Hip-Hop (NWA, Beastie Boys, Kendrick Lamar)

Triphop/Dubstep/Electronica (Watch the Duck, Daft Punk, Madeon, Throttle)

J-Pop/K-Pop (even a little Enka)

Old country (Johnny Cash, Stadtler Brothers, Waylon Jennings)

All and all, I have an eclectic mix, politically, I'm pretty far Left.
 

SLC Flyfishing

Suspended
Original poster
Nov 19, 2007
1,486
1,639
Portland, OR
I listen to a bit of a range. My iTunes looks like a record store exploded all over it. There's a bit of;

classic and modern ProgRock (Zappa, Captain Beefheart, King Diamond, Mastodon, Coheed & Cambria)

classic and modern Hip-Hop (NWA, Beastie Boys, Kendrick Lamar)

Triphop/Dubstep/Electronica (Watch the Duck, Daft Punk, Madeon, Throttle)

J-Pop/K-Pop (even a little Enka)

Old country (Johnny Cash, Stadtler Brothers, Waylon Jennings)

All and all, I have an eclectic mix, politically, I'm pretty far Left.
My collection is pretty diverse too, but surely there's got to be one particular genre you're more attached to than the rest?
 

dec.

Suspended
Apr 15, 2012
1,322
747
Toronto
Most of the music I listen to probably does have a liberal background, although I know that quite a few artists that I enjoy have controversial views, especially in the Black Metal/Death Metal/Neofolk/Dark Ambient/Industrial area.

Besides that I mostly listen to Prog Rock/Prog Metal*, SynthPop, Dark/Electro Wave, Goth, Power Noise (it's a genre! lol), Classical (preferably the dark stuff like Mussorgsky or Mahler, John Dowland and others), flashy guitar music like Jason Becker/Steve Vai/Yngwie Malmsteen, Fusion (Allan Holdsworth!), old school ambient - Tangerine Dream & Jean Michel Jarre.

(and King Diamond is god, my favorite artist for most of my teen years)

(*profile pic reference)

Edit: I agree with Moyank24 on the geographical influence. When I moved from Germany to Canada I was surprised about the cultural differences - so many Canadian bands that were far more successful in Germany (Voivod, Skinny Puppy, Annihilator, Saga, Frontline Assembly) while over here the scene for those bands seems to be far smaller. The only exception I found so far was Rush - in Germany they weren't present in the media at all while during the first night that my hubby took me out to a bar in Toronto they played Rush twice or more within the first hour)
 
Last edited:

MacNut

macrumors Core
Jan 4, 2002
21,542
7,801
CT
I listen to what I like, who cares what their views are. IMO bands should keep their political views out of it. The same with movie stars. You get paid to entertain not give a opinion on the war.
 

dec.

Suspended
Apr 15, 2012
1,322
747
Toronto
I listen to what I like, who cares what their views are. IMO bands should keep their political views out of it. The same with movie stars. You get paid to entertain not give a opinion on the war.
I prefer Musicians that are open about their political and social views, I don't need to agree with them, not at all, but to me music is a way to express yourself as a person, that automatically includes political views as well. If I wouldn't care about someone's political views, why would I care about any other things s/he sings about? I know that a lot of lyrics are set up for convenience in shallow popular music, but it can be pretty intriguing to enjoy politically engaging lyrics.

The comparison with Movie Stars is not accurate IMO as they don't transport their own agenda, they perform a task or job that they've been given. In most cases. Referring strictly to their media output.
 

MacNut

macrumors Core
Jan 4, 2002
21,542
7,801
CT
I prefer Musicians that are open about their political and social views, I don't need to agree with them, not at all, but to me music is a way to express yourself as a person, that automatically includes political views as well. If I wouldn't care about someone's political views, why would I care about any other things s/he sings about? I know that a lot of lyrics are set up for convenience in shallow popular music, but it can be pretty intriguing to enjoy politically engaging lyrics.

The comparison with Movie Stars is not accurate IMO as they don't transport their own agenda, they perform a task or job that they've been given. In most cases.
But movie stars will push their agenda when they promote movies or in their down time. When is the last time Alec Baldwin was quite on anything.:p
 

vrDrew

macrumors 65816
Jan 31, 2010
1,317
11,830
Midlife, Midwest
It's an interesting thought, Music is often quite politically charged.
I personally find it quite fascinating when political figures - and they are almost always Republicans - choose rock songs as their campaign song, or for use in a political ad - and end up getting sued, or receiving cease-and-desist letters from the artists who created them.

But it seems that planners for campaigns (most of which seem to be for Republican candidates), just can’t get the word. Sarah Palin and Heart; John McCain and the Foo Fighters; John McCain and Jackson Browne; Charlie Crist and David Byrne. The list goes on and on.
Its interesting on a couple of fronts.

First of all, these supposed champions of capitalism, law-and-order, and property rights seem to take a decidedly communist approach to other people's intellectual property.

But more interesting is the way so many politicians seem to fundamentally misunderstand a song's meaning. Like the newlyweds choosing "Every Breath You Take" for their wedding song, the politician choosing "Born In the USA" as his campaign song either didn't listen very closely to the lyrics, or is just an idiot.
 

Technarchy

macrumors 604
May 21, 2012
6,747
4,885
Nope

My music tastes varies and is all over the map.

This is only a fraction of my current playlists in Google Play Music...

70's (Queen, Doobie Brothers, Rush, Ramones, Sex Pistols)
80's New Wave or 80's period (Depeche Mode, Cure, Smiths, MJ, Duran Duran)
90's (Stone Temple, Pearl Jam, Nirvana, NIN, Marilyn Manson)
Industrial (KMFDM, Front 242, Skinny Puppy)
Brit Pop (Stone Roses, Oasis, RadioHead)
Hip Hop (Biggy, Wu-Tang, Drake, Kanye, plus the classics like Stetsasonic, Run DMC, Whodini)
English Drum and Bass (Workout Music)
Ambient (Enya, Enigma, Pitch Black, Deep Forest, Dead Can Dance)

About the only thing I don't have a playlist for is country, and even then once and awhile I'll fire up David Allen Coe, Leann Rhimes, Rascall Flats, Trisha Yearwood, Eddie Rabbit, Charlie Rich...

Music is universal and damn near mystical. Things you think on paper that you should hate can sometimes reach in and touch your soul, and change you no matter what your religion, race, nationality, wealth, height, weight, whatever.

I knew an old Sergeant in another unit. He was pushing 60. I was his OIC on an AT and learned he absolutely loved Britney Spears. Had every album on his phone, would sing along, knew the lyrics. It wasn't a piss take either. He was a real fan. Music will do that to a person.
 

dec.

Suspended
Apr 15, 2012
1,322
747
Toronto
But movie stars will push their agenda when they promote movies or in their down time. When is the last time Alec Baldwin was quite on anything.:p
Yes that's true, I was referring more to the artistic performance itself - assuming that the musician is performing his/her own material while actors play roles.

Alec Baldwin is a difficult topic..... :cool:
 

MacNut

macrumors Core
Jan 4, 2002
21,542
7,801
CT
Yes that's true, I was referring more to the artistic performance itself - assuming that the musician is performing his/her own material while actors play roles.

Alec Baldwin is a difficult topic..... :cool:
Fair point, most folk music was a protest against the war.

I do wonder how many people that listen to music actually listen to it. Or do they just enjoy the melody.
 

Ugg

macrumors 68000
Apr 7, 2003
1,985
15
Penryn
Nice, that's exactly my taste as well. Less with the pop-punk; but I really like Street-Punk. Stuff like US Bombs, One Man Army, older Distillers, Swingin' Utters etc.

Bonus points for you if you can name the tune the second quote in my sig comes from...

I certainly don't fit the mold I think I observe. But you're probably right about the geographic element. Where I'm from there's a good mix of small town, and metropolitan in close proximity and that may be what unifies the observation of political leanings and musical tastes I've made. i.e. small town folks tend to be more conservative, while people from the city are less conservative in general.
TBH, my profound and worsening hearing loss means that music is just one more "noise" that needs to be tolerated. However, I like pop, always have, hate punk, rap is incomprehensible, enjoy Bach, don't like jazz, I like some country (I grew up in Montana), I don't like christian contemporary or extreme country.

I believe that Music can be a reflection of our inner political leanings, but also believe that what we enjoy to listen to is also a reflection of our youth and how we were raised.
 

Peace

macrumors Core
Apr 1, 2005
19,466
3,831
Space--The ONLY Frontier
Might want to let Ted Nugent know about this.

Generally I listen to old rock and roll ( 1960-1975'ish ),Celtic music,real country music,Classical music..A broad spectrum of stuff and I'm pretty much a leftie..
 

Technarchy

macrumors 604
May 21, 2012
6,747
4,885
My collection is pretty diverse too, but surely there's got to be one particular genre you're more attached to than the rest?
Not at all. I can go from Mozart to The Doors to Prince to Linkin Park to Jay Z to Hans Zimmer all in one day depending on my mood and activity.

I'm a true blue music fan. Always have been. There is so much good music out there.
 

boast

macrumors 65816
Nov 12, 2007
1,369
739
Phoenix, USA
A bit for me I think.

I like melodic death metal, electronic dance music, third wave ska-punk, ambient experimental post rock, piano rock, alternative, metalcore, popcore, acoustic rock, pop with strong vocals

And I am more of a right-leaning centrist.
 

MacNut

macrumors Core
Jan 4, 2002
21,542
7,801
CT
Not at all. I can go from Mozart to The Doors to Prince to Linkin Park to Jay Z to Hans Zimmer all in one day depending on my mood and activity.

I'm a true blue music fan. Always have been. There is so much good music out there.
I agree, I will hit just about all sides of the spectrum. A lot of it might be my musical background that I appreciate just about everything. I do tent to center around the late 60's to 90's. I wish I was around for the 70's rock. That was maybe the best decade ever for music.
 

hulugu

macrumors 68000
Aug 13, 2003
1,819
10,192
quae tangit perit Trump
I listen to what I like, who cares what their views are. IMO bands should keep their political views out of it. The same with movie stars. You get paid to entertain not give a opinion on the war.
I totally disagree. Artists (and for some bands, I'm using this term very loosely) are paid to use their musical skills to express their own viewpoint, whether that becomes a great piece of music like "Fortunate Son" by CCR and "Gimmie Shelter" by the Rolling Stones or something terrible like Toby Keith's "Courtesy of the Red White and Blue."
 

MacNut

macrumors Core
Jan 4, 2002
21,542
7,801
CT
I totally disagree. Artists (and for some bands, I'm using this term very loosely) are paid to use their musical skills to express their own viewpoint, whether that becomes a great piece of music like "Fortunate Son" by CCR and "Gimmie Shelter" by the Rolling Stones or something terrible like Toby Keith's "Courtesy of the Red White and Blue."
For the most part bands are signed to make the labels money. Expressing their viewpoints come secondary. And really that only happens once they hit it big.

You only hear about the well known names expressing their views. Everyone else is just noise that you might listen too when they talk about politics.
 

Technarchy

macrumors 604
May 21, 2012
6,747
4,885
I totally disagree. Artists (and for some bands, I'm using this term very loosely) are paid to use their musical skills to express their own viewpoint, whether that becomes a great piece of music like "Fortunate Son" by CCR and "Gimmie Shelter" by the Rolling Stones or something terrible like Toby Keith's "Courtesy of the Red White and Blue."
Pfft.

Hell, if I met TK today I'd buy the man a beer and tell him some damn good deployment stories. That song is awesome.