The Decemberists, the Indie rock band that opened for Barack Obama's
“The band's use of the National Anthem of the Soviet Union  as an introduction at many concerts has sparked controversy as it is seen by some as an endorsement of the repressive Soviet system. The name Decembrist refers to an 1825 revolt over the Imperial Russian succession, and is not related to the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917.”
There is no indication as yet whether the band opened the Obama rally with the Soviet anthem.
Here are the lyrics, courtesy of Wikipedia:
Through tempests the sunrays of freedom have cheered us,
Along the new path where great Lenin  did lead.
To a righteous cause  he raised up the peoples,
Inspired them to labour and valourous deed.
From the networks to the New York Times, the media hyped Obama's
Unmentioned in national reporting was the fact that Obama was preceded by a rare, 45-minute free concert by The Decemberists. The band, which is very big in Portland, has drawn rave reviews from Rolling Stone magazine, which gave their 2005 album Picaresque  four and a half stars (out of five) and another four and a half stars for 2007's The Crane Wife . While it is safe to assume that most people came out for the Obama rally, the media should have reported the presence of one of the city's biggest entertainment draws.
“Obama was the biggest star at Sunday's gathering -- though a popular
The New York Times , which ran a color photo of the crowd, estimated the throng at 75,000, noting that it was “the largest crowd of his campaign so far.” There was no mention of The Decemberists, and the Times described the weather as “an unseasonably hot day.”
“Indie rock's #1 candidate crush Barack Obama  is sittin' quite a bit prettier than he was a few weeks ago when the Arcade  Fire  and Bruce Springsteen  went to bat for him, but the dashing junior Senator hasn't quite clinched the Democratic party nomination yet. Next up on the primary agenda are
And look who's arrived to give Obama the extra push he needs to get on the ballot in November. Why, it's none other than those kings and queens of the month after, the Decemberists !”
“By land and by sea , they came to see the great man speak. An estimated 75,000 in all turned out to see presidential hopeful Barack Obama  at Portland's Waterfront Park yesterday afternoon-- a record crowd for Obama's own campaign, according to The New York Times , and a record crowd for Oregon political events, according to The Oregonian . Just look at them all !
“And hey, they got to see a pretty sweet opening act too. Calling themselves the Decemberists  and led by lovably literate Steve Novick endorser  Colin Meloy, this feisty fivepiece charmed the gathered for a good 45 minutes before Senator Obama took the stump. They even closed out with a sing-along entitled "Sons & Daughters", which had the masses joining the band to declare "Here all the bombs fade away..." Something tells me this Decemberists band is going places. Just like Senator Obama.”
There's nothing wrong with a candidate using celebrity power to draw a crowd, but the media have a responsibility to report their presence. By ignoring the free concert, the Times and other outlets made it appear that 75,000 people were drawn only by Sen. Obama's considerable charisma.