Monday, February 19, 2018

President's Day 2018


We’re having a holiday weekend here in the United States.  President’s Day is a day that originally started after the death of our first president, George Washington. His birthday is February 22.  Later, the holiday included Abraham Lincoln’s birthday, which is February 12.

If you haven't already, can you take a moment to vote in the latest Battle of the Bands? It's a super tight race, and every vote matters.  Don't worry, the link will open a fresh tab so you won't lose your place here.

In honor of the holiday, I thought it would be fun to talk about a different group of presidents.

The Presidents of the United States of America


Formed in 1993 by Chris Ballew and Dave Dederer in Seattle, they have released six studio albums. They have been twice nominated for a Grammy, and they play alternative rock. Their lineup also includes Jason Finn on drums, and for about 10 years included Andrew McKeag on vocals.









So how does a band end up with a name such as The Presidents of the United States of America?

To answer that question, we have to go back to 1993 when Chris Ballew and Dave Dederer were attending a private K-12 school in Seattle called 'The Bush School'.  Ballew had previously been in a punk band called Egg, and wrote many of the songs that would later become PUSA songs.  Ballew and Dederer performed as a drummerless duo under the band names 'The Lo-Fis', 'The Dynamic Duo', and 'Pure Frosting'.  It was Ballew who eventually came upon the name of 'The Presidents of the United States of America'.  After they settled on this name, they added Jason Finn as their drummer.



Instead of being signed right away, they recorded a 10 song cassette, called 'Froggystyle'. They sold this cassette at their shows and Finn also sold them from the bar where he was a bartender. It wasn't until 1994 that they caught the the attention of a tiny Seattle label and released their self-titled debut album.  In 1995, they signed with Columbia Records and re-released their album. It went triple-platinum.

With a name such as theirs, you must be wondering if they are involved in politics.

According to wikipedia, they did perform for President Bill Clinton at a 1994 Democratic Party fundraiser in Seattle. They also supported John Kerry in the 2004 US Presidential election.  On Jan 17, 2009, they released a single on National Public Radio called 'Moving In', detailing the journey of Barack Obama in celebration of his inauguration as president.  The former Governor of Washington State, Gary Locke, is featured on the backing vocals of 'Volcano', and the band endorsed Bernie Sanders in the 2016 presidential election.

I tried to locate a video of 'Moving In', but was unsuccessful.  Instead, I’ve put together a short playlist of a handful of their other tunes.  Please note: the last song comes with a language warning. Listen to that one at your own discretion.





Have you heard of these guys before?  What do you think of their musical style and sound?  Did you do anything to celebrate the holiday? There are no right or wrong answers here. Talk to me in the comments below.










18 comments:

  1. Hey Mary.
    Very clever tie-in to our holiday today! I heard of the Presidents of the United States before but totally forgot about them.
    They are an interesting band with an interesting sound. I'm still unclear on how they came up with their band name...
    Their lyrics are curious as well -- "I'm moving to the country and going to eat a lot of peaches". Lol.
    "Kitty" is a trip.
    Of the songs you showcased here, I think I like "Lump" the best.
    As for would I go out of my way to listen to them? No, probably not. But I wouldn't turn off "Lump" if it came on the radio while I'm cruisin' around town...
    In fact, I'm listening to it for a second time right now.

    Happy President's Day! Do you have the day off??
    Have a good week...

    Michele at Angels Bark

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    1. Hi Michele!

      If I'm being 100% completely honest, this was a recycled post from a year or so ago. Dumped the old post and gave it new life here today.

      I tend to agree with you about the songs. I learned about Lump from playing RockBand. It's one of those songs that after you hear it enough times, it's a bit of an earworm.

      When you blog, do you really ever have a day off? I do plan on just being minimal today, though.

      Catch ya next week!

      ~Mary

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  2. The Bush School? This band name was a natural. The only song I knew by them was Lump, but you know what? I enjoyed them as a group I would listen to if I was in the exact right mood. This was the perfect band for today, though.

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    1. You are spot on, Alana!

      This is definitely one of those groups you need to be in the right mood for.

      ~Mary

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  3. The sound reminds me of the kind of music you'd hear at cvlubs around Chicago in the 80's and 90's. Great stuff!

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    1. Hi John!

      The punk sound is perfect for the late 80s and early 90s. It makes sense to me that it would be heard at a club in those days.

      ~Mary

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  4. Personally, I think these songs are very close to Saturday Night Live! ~snicker~ This kind of humor is right up my hubby's alley too! He loved it. Thanks for sharing! Have a rockin' week my friend and thanks for rockin' out with us! hugs

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    1. Hi Marie!

      I like that they have a good time and know how to enjoy what they do.

      ~Mary

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  5. Interesting band. I've always loved the peaches song and have posted it on my blog before. Actually, that's the backside of Mt. Rushmore, but I don't think Canada sees it. That's okay because they already have a beautiful ass to look at (with Justin Trudeau and his hotness), as opposed to the ass we have leading our office.

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  6. Very cool. I like their music but didn't know the history of them. Thanks for sharing it.

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    1. Hi Patrick.

      These guys are a pretty good punk band for their time. Glad that you enjoyed them.

      ~Mary

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  7. Mary,

    I appreciated the introduction to the Presidents of the United States band. They have an interesting sound. I can't see myself ever owning anything by them. "Hand In Hand" has a great beat to it. The Mt. Rushmore meme put a smile on my face, which is always a fabulous way to start the morning. ;) Thanks for joining us on the dance floor, my dear. Have a good day!

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    1. No, I don't see myself owning anything by them, either, but they are fun to listen to every once in a while.

      ~Mary

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  8. Oh, my gosh. I know the song "Lump" only from Weird Al's "Lump" parody! How funny yet sad is that? I was into talk radio in the nineties, believe it or not. That was my yuppie phase. Heh... Thanks for the intro. Now I'll go check out the battle.

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    1. That is hilarious! I don't even recall a parody of the song, but it doesn't surprise me much. Thanks for stopping by!

      ~Mary

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  9. I've heard of the band and actually heard their music--I have one of their CDs in the house somewhere. Never listen to them though. Don't listen to very much music these days except when I'm doing Battle of the Bands.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

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