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Band in DC? Get Bad Brains to play the Obama inauguration!



Which musical acts will perform at Barack Obama’s watershed inauguration on January 20? Many names have been bandied about: a civil rights-era icon like Mavis Staples? Fellow Chicagoans like Wilco and Kanye?

Maybe the soon-to-be Commander-in-Chief can commandeer some of the artists from his iPod — or make that his Zune? — which is said to contain everyone from Dylan to Stevie Wonder to “Howlin’ Wolf to Yo-Yo Ma to Sheryl Crow.” Or perhaps the Boss will offer an encore of the Barack blowout he played in October? Then again Arcade Fire and Superchunk also staged a benefit show, and I’d put the chances of seeing thos bands play the Mall at somewhere less than 1 percent.

Which is still slightly better, in other words than the chances of seeing Bad Brains tearing into “How Low Can a Punk Get” in front of their hometown crowd (augmented by four million or so visitors from across the country).

Which hasn’t stopped the Facebook group
300 million strong to get Bad Brains to play Obama's inauguration from putting forth the proclamation:

We want — no, we DEMAND that — every single person in the U.S., whether they're here legally or not, and even if they're way too young to vote or frankly not cool enough to appreciate buck-wild hardcore rasta-punk, support our idiotic call to have Bad Brains play President-elect Obama's inaugural bash.

Bad Brains, the baddest of badasses, were famously "Banned in DC" almost 30 years ago! So, it's high time (if you'll pardon the expression) that the most DC of all the DC bands was not only officially unbanned, but received the honor that President Clinton saw fit to bestow on Fleetwood Mac. (No offense.)


They’re saying that economic exigencies mean the celebrations should be toned down, so why not Bad Brains, who’ll almost certainly work for cheap? After all, they played D.C. on election night, why not on inauguration night? And, put simply, shouldn’t the first black president deserve the best black hardcore band?

One can only dream. In the meantime, whether they get the invite to Barack’s “Big Takeover” or not — and you can bet those corporate fat cats are dreading the ascension of “The Regulator” — you can show your support by purchasing the t-shirt design seen above at BarackBrains.com.

(NB: The shirt’s designer takes pains to point out it should not be construed to imply that an Obama presidency will lead to the destruction of the US Capitol by a bolt of righteous lightning: “This shirt illustrates the change that Obama will bring to Washington DC. It in no way is meant to imply that Obama being in office will be detrimental to this county.”)

WATCH: Bad Brains, “Big Takeover” - CBGB 1982


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