Bobby Conn | Music | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Bobby Conn 

The Homeland
Thrill Jockey

Bobby Conn and the Glass Gypsies aren't the first to sing about good old George Dubya, and they certainly won't be the last. While the controversial PATRIOT Act hasn't restricted the lambasting of the President or his foreign policy, that could change, especially when you include Conn on the ever-growing list of pissed-off liberal-minded indie-rock musicians who aren't afraid to sing about their political discontent. What is unconventional, though, is that Conn has decided to do this clad in pastel pleather and eye makeup.


Conn, who carved out a distinctive niche for himself as the theoretical lovechild between '70s glam-rock-era Bowie and '80s pop-funk visionary Prince, has always chosen to create a statement about American values to accompany his music. While in the past his favorite topic of commentary was the excessiveness of consumerism as a culture, this time around that takes a backseat to the hypocrisy and dissatisfaction he sees in the U.S. government and, more importantly, in the American president's handling of the Iraqi War.


Not surprisingly, The Homeland was recorded in the summer of 2003 and it plays like a vitriolic letter to the president. Still maintaining all the trappings of the glam-rock-meets-funk aesthetic even on his new political tangent, when he sings of the Iraq conflict he pulls it off as just another verse of a song working to serve his dual purpose to entertain and enlighten.


There's something to be said for Conn's ability to hide political discontent under synthesized disco-tinged tracks without a hint of irony. Like the sugar coating on a tough pill to swallow, at least he's considerate enough to artificially sweeten his message under some incredibly danceable music.



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