Ed. note: As long as humans have been making music, it’s been used as a form of protest. As part of KQED Arts’ 100 Days project, documenting artists’ responses to our new administration in its earliest days, I’ve asked Bay Area musicians to get in touch with songs they’ve written or recorded that serve as reactions to our current political climate. A new one is posted each week.
In the months leading up to the 2016 presidential election, you'd have had to be in either a cave or a coma to not let the chatter of around-the-clock campaign coverage get under your skin. Most of us weren't so lucky (though not for lack of trying!).
For San Francisco native Sam Chase, bandleader of The Sam Chase and the Untraditional, putting pen to paper was the only thing that helped. He began writing "Great White Noise," the song that became a single and anchor for the band's 2016 album of the same name, "around the beginning of the election cycle madness," says Chase -- even before Trump threw his hat into the ring.
"It's sort of like when the Christmas decorations are up in stores a week before Thanksgiving... the realization that the next year and a half of your life is going to be filled up with empty political platitudes, plastic smiles, false equivalencies, and jaw-droppingly transparent insincerity."