Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Playlists to Soundtrack the Emotional Arc of Election Day

Posted By and on Tue, Nov 6, 2012 at 1:02 PM

Election Day Emotions
  • Election Day Emotions
Whether you're a liberal, conservative or somewhere in the middle, Election Day is a wild ride of emotional highs and lows. To soundtrack the trip, we've put together a suite of playlists, each one fitted to a certain emotion you'll likely be feeling at some point in the next 24 hours. (And we're going to go ahead and assume you are rooting for an Obama victory or are otherwise wholly confused as to how you came upon TheLMagazine.com.) Below, then, is a "choose your own adventure" of listening experiences. Select the path that best aligns with whatever Anderson Cooper and Co. are currently reporting:

If things seem to be going well for Obama, see page 2.
If things suddenly don't seem to be going all that well for Obama, see page 3.
If it's looking as though there will be no clear winner tonight, see page 4.

For an entirely different route, go here.


You've been hoping for weeks that Nate Silver's near mathematical certainty is real science and not just statistical Valium, and with early returns rolling in, East Coast battlegrounds turning blue up and down the coast, things are looking GOOD. From nervous anticipation to sneaking smugness, these songs will match your triumphant emotional arc...

Ellie Goulding - "Anything Could Happen"

It's early in the evening. Things are starting to feel, kinda, sorta, like they might turn out ok. You're looking for a song that allows for a certain degree of uncertainty, but also caters to the bright, positive feelings that are starting to flood in. Ellie Goulding has you covered with one of the year's very best pop singles.

Prince - "Little Red Corvette"

Ohio is called for Obama, and the TV talking heads are unanimously attributing the win to the President's support of the American auto industry. Why not pay tribute to GM's sexiest saved product, maybe have a glass of wine about it?

Daft Punk - "One More Time"

While it's probably true that this year's election has been a lot more depressing than four years ago, when the end of the Bush administration was finally in front of us. Tonight on the town probably won't match the all-time great NYC bar night that election night 2008 turned out to be. But the flashing, hologrammed election graphics proclaiming "Obama Re-Elected President" do bring a bit of that old magic back for a minute. Might as well pop down to your local to slap a couple fives, one more time.

Cee-Lo Green - "Fuck You"

You know it doesn't make you a good person, but you can't help that channel flip over to Fox News to take in the blubbering of some sad, incredulous dicks. Despite their feigned outrage for the last week (and you know, four solid years) voting really can be the best revenge. Go ahead and gloat for a second.

Orange Juice - "Three Cheers for Our Side"

That pettiness is fleeting, though, overcome by a waft of pride and relief that things actually went the way they were supposed to. You will soon fall into a sound sleep, feeling at least a little bit more optimistic about tomorrow than you did about yesterday, looking forward to things getting a little bit better, in the slow, tedious, and often painful way of American politics. But first, a final toast.


Oh, wait, what's this about Romney possibly closing the gap in Florida? Feeling a bit anxious? Worried? Suddenly don't like George Stephanopoulos' tone when discussing which way Ohio may go? And to top it off, how is it even possible that every time Romney's face flashes across your television screen, he looks even smugger? Bask in the bitterness of these songs below...

R.E.M. - "It's the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)"

Maybe this really is the end of the free world as we know it, and maybe you don't feel fine quite yet, but hope to. It just so happens a group of 20-something Southerners wrote a song about that in 1987.

Titus Andronicus - "Ecce Homo"

You know, on second thought, whatever. Nothing matters:

"Ok, I think by now we've already established that everything is inherently worthless, and there's nothing in the universe with any kind of objective purpose."

Sex Pistols - "God Save the Queen

Now getting back to being pissed off... The British monarchy may be a punching bag for displaced anger right now, sure, but there are few punk anthems as politically enraged and charged as this one here.

Plastic Bertrand - "Ca Plane Pour Moi"

You've been having lots of conversations with people—family members, bartenders, the guy sitting next to you on the plane—involving lots of animated hand motions, at the end of which you declare that if Romney wins the election, you're done. You're packing your bags and moving to France. Seems like it might be a good time to brush up on your French?

Guided by Voices - "Hold on Hope"

Before we jump to conclusions or make any drastic moves involving French citizenship tests, let's remember that the election isn't over until the end of the night. And even then, maybe not...


With an election this close, hurricane damage likely causing more than a few unexpected complications, and a patchwork of state-to-state election rules that make little to no coherent sense (and don't get us started on The Electoral College) we have to at least consider the fact that Election 2012 may not be done with us yet...

Genesis - "Land of Confusion"

If this happens, we will, literally, be living in a land of confusion. Terrifying puppets of confusion (including a reincarnated Ronald Reagan, which might actually cheer up grumpy conservatives may defiantly walk the blood-soaked streets.

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young - "Ohio"

Did you guys know that if the Ohio vote ends up as crazy close as some folks expect (a vote within 0.25 percent, to be exact) it triggers an automatic recount, which, by design, will take at least 10 more days. Yiiiiikes. Four dead and Nixon coming might seem like a golden age.

The Mountain Goats - "Tallahassee"

Or it could be good old Florida that screws us again. There might not be hanging chads, exactly, but you know they didn't get that shit straightened out in the last eight years. Let's hope these John Darnielle lyrics are not some sort of horrible prophecy...

There is no deadline
There is no schedule
There is no plan we can fall back on
The road this far can't be retraced
There is no punch line anybody can tack on
There are loose ends by the score

Paul McCartney - "Big Boys Bickering"

The level of rancorous squabbling will be so great that even gentle souls such as Sir Paul McCartney will be moved to drop multiple f-bombs in public. This once-banned song from 1990 actually sums it up quite neatly.

Modest Mouse - "Polar Opposites"

So, how to cope if this drags on for another couple weeks or, gasp, months? Isaac Brock suggests drinking away the part of the day that you cannot sleep away. As sound a plan as any.

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