Mayor Pete Buttigieg is appealing to the polar opposite representative core of our sitting president. Where Trump is a blustering windbag with a cloddish grasp on language who invites Kid Rock golfing, Buttigieg is seen as an erudite polyglot who wants Phish to play his inauguration. Like Beto O’Rourke before him, the young Mayor’s taste in music is serving to boost his liberal hipster cred, something he solidified with a music-focused Q&A for the Los Angeles Times.
Centered around his love for Phish, his talent at playing Spoon, and his now-infamous essay about Radiohead and Dave Matthews Band, the interview revealed some bits of musical trivia about the South Bend politician. For one, he seems to have flipped his opinion about Hail to the Thief, the Radiohead album he said represented how “we, too, are nationally unwell.” Now, he considers it the band’s best record, saying, “I know it’s not as canonical as OK Computer or even Kid A, but it holds together better than almost any of the others.”
The flip-flop might seem extreme, but it turns out Buttigieg doesn’t even remember comparing Thom Yorke to DMB. “Oh, God. I don’t even remember that. What did I say?” he asked when the college newspaper essay was brought up. Reminded how he linked Radiohead’s popularity to post-9/11 depression, he said, “Oh, interesting. We all evolve.”
In fact, he’s come around so much on the recent Rock and Roll Hall of Famers that he’d love to see them join Phish at his inauguration. “A lot of my favorite music is too dystopian for an inaugural,” he noted. “But if I could see one performer live again, it’d be Thom Yorke and Radiohead. I’m not sure that’s inauguration kind of stuff, y’know?” For peppier choices, he pointed at Lin-Manuel Miranda and DMB.
Elsewhere in the interview, Buttigieg picked out his favorite Spoon album (Gimme Fiction) and made some tough preferential calls. He took JAY-Z over Nas, Cardi B over Nicki Minaj, and The Beatles over The Rolling Stones; he chose to abstain, however, when asked to pick between Backstreet Boys and *NSync. He also revealed his high school walls featured posters of Rage Against the Machine (“Hardly because of the band, largely because the posters were so good”) and Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock, and that Alison Krauss’ “When You Say Nothing at All” was his wedding song.
Read more at the LA Times.