Election song of the week #2: Sonic Youth, Youth Against Fascism
In which I try to process my dread over the upcoming election into something useful. Two of five.
This song was released in 1992, some 24 years ago. How fucked is it that a song attacking Nazis and fascism is more relevant in 2016 than it was when it was recorded? Back then, the target was the Bush I Administration, and while Bush (and Reagan, and Nixon, and the Republicans in general) have been engaging in coded race-bating and appeals to white supremacy for decades, it’s only now, in the Era of Trump, that it’s 100% unarguably clear that Republican politics have descended into uncoded, straight-up white nationalism/white supremacy. White supremacy’s gone mainstream, and Youth Against Fascism is no longer a call to deal with the racist remnant of America, but a battle call to deal head-on with the existential threat of American fascism in full bloom.
Anyway, it’s also notable because Ian MacKaye plays guitar on it – it was the first time he’d appeared on a major-label project. Dude sure can pick his moments, can’t he? It’s a fierce barely contained guitar assault that does sound like Sonic Youth jamming with Fugazi, as it should. A battle song for wartime.
Damn, I hope Hillary wins on Tuesday.