Our long electoral nightmare is almost over, and this final weekend of the 2016 Election Apocalypse is the perfect time to vent nearly two years’ worth of frustration, heartbreak, and anxiety. Sure, you could do that in a myriad of indulgent, poorly planned and self-destructive ways. But if you do that, 2016 wins. And we can’t let 2016 win. It’s best just to crank your preferred music player to 11 and jam.
As a couple of happy warriors of the Right who also happen to host an alternative rock and roll radio show, we spent the last few weeks coming up with the ultimate 2016 Election Apocalypse playlist. We post it here as a therapeutic aid for all stressed-out political junkies, regardless of ideology.
As with any topical music list, this one is not comprehensive. There are just too many songs with titles or lyrics that might fit. Our editing process included these simple criteria: First, our concentration is alternative rock and roll, so we excluded most of the obvious big hits as well as music outside the genre (there is no rap, country, or jazz). Second, the list is radio-friendly, so your perfectly appropriate death metal song didn’t make the cut. Third, we went for a mix of styles and tempos so every terrible emotion we felt throughout this cursed election year would be expressed.
We chose songs that would help vent anger, disappointment, and frustration about every 2016 presidential nominee, the parties, the political process, the voters, the likely outcome, the friendships strained or lost, and the future of our great nation.
We then pulled a selection from the list for our 2016 Election Apocalypse show and podcast, which you can find here in two separate one-hour downloads if you want to really lose yourself in the music instead of sampling individual YouTube links.
Now, to the music. It helps if you crank it loud enough to be heard over a Hillary Clinton cackle or a Donald Trump boastplosion. Most of the songs should be self-explanatory by title. For those that are not, we added a note.
The Vandals, “Let The Bad Times Roll”
Devo, “Race of Doom”
Alkaline Trio, “She Lied to the FBI”
999, “Nasty, Nasty”
The Sex Pistols, “Liar”
The Rolling Stones, “Lies”
The Smiths, “Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now”
The Marmozets, “Is It Horrible?”
Courtney Barnett, “Pedestrian At Best”
So many of this song’s lyrics are fitting, and the video is almost a perfect artist’s rendering of this election year.
Maximo Park, “The National Health”
Ultravox, “Fear in the Western World”
The Vaccines, “Panic Attack”
They Might Be Giants, “Your Racist Friend”
Soul Coughing, “Misinformed”
OK GO, “It’s A Disaster”
Aimee Mann, “You’re With Stupid Now”
Airborne Toxic Event, “This is Nowhere”
Erin McKeown, “The Politician”
Iggy Pop, “Corruption”
Metric, “Speed the Collapse”
American Music Club, “Wish the World Away”
Aimee Mann, “Build That Wall”
The Jam, “So Sad About Us”
A Who cover; we like The Jam’s version.
The Stooges, “Raw Power”
Rush, “Malignant Narcissism”
Stiff Little Fingers, “My Ever Changing Moral Stance”
The English Beat, “End of the Party”
Blur, “Death of a Party”
Semisonic, “Down In Flames”
1990s, “Cult Status”
Living Colour, “Cult of Personality”
The White Stripes, “Icky Thump”
Jack White injected this song into the political conversation by making an obvious lyric change after the Trump campaign played “Seven Nation Army” at a rally.
Foo Fighters, “Long Road to Ruin”
The Rolling Stones, “What a Shame”