• Who Says Indie Rockers Don't Appreciate Rutherford B. Hayes?

    How many times have you told yourself, "I'd gladly learn about all 43 of our nation's presidents — even duds like Millard Fillmore and George H.W. Bush — if only someone would write indie rock songs about them?"

    Well get cracking, hipster, because a trio of songwriters have done just that– in the form of their new triple CD "Of Great and Mortal Men"…

    While some of the first 43 [presidents] have become larger-than-life figures, others are all but forgotten. But songwriters Christian Kiefer, Jefferson Pitcher and Matthew Gerken, with the help of many stalwarts of indie rock, look to shed light on the lives and quirks of these men. They've composed original songs and music in a new collection called Of Great and Mortal Men, which features 43 songs spanning three CDs and more than 220 years of American history.

    Kiefer, Pitcher and Gerken — largely unknown even in indie rock circles– have enlisted the help of slightly more famous musicians to bring their songs to life.

    So if you've always wanted to hear Smog's Bill Callahan sing about John Quincy Adams, the band Califone rock out for Andrew Jackson and Jimmy Carter, or Sun Kil Moon's Mark Kozelek croon over Harry Truman… Well now you can. (You'll have to buy the album if you want to know who plays on the Rutherford B. Hayes song.)

    That's 43 songs to honor 42 presidents. (Grover Cleveland gets two, one for each useless term he served.) And then don't forget there's one more song to come after Election Day…

    As for the 44th, the songwriters say they'll write one more song and post an MP3 sometime after Nov. 4.

    Depending on who wins, that might not be necessary. If it's Ron Paul via write-in, his passionate supporters will no doubt be happy to contribute 2 to 400 dozen rousing paeans of their own.

    And if John McCain wins, he could make history as the first president on the compilation to personally perform his own theme song.

    Tags: Andrew Jackson, Barack Obama, George H.W. Bush, Grover Cleveland, Harry Truman, Jimmy Carter, John McCain, John Quincy Adams, Millard Fillmore, Rutherford B. Hayes


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