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The National, politics, and ‘Bloodbuzz Ohio’

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“Foreclosure signs lining the front lawns” of his neighborhood in Cincinnati, Ohio, was one of the reasons Matt Berninger and his band, The National, wanted to enter this election year’s political conversation. Though Berninger said he does not want to use his songs or the stage to preach about politics, he believes that Americans can’t just sit back and let the fight happen.

So when Marketplace went looking for music that had something to say about this election year and the issues that affect regular Americans, The National volunteered its song, “Bloodbuzz Ohio.” Berninger insists the song is really a love song, but with lines like, “I owe money to the money to the money I owe, the floors are falling out from everybody I know,” the song has a recession-themed backdrop that laments the economic pain that many Americans have experienced since 2008.

“Bloodbuzz” is a made up term, explains Berninger, “like a wine buzz or a vodka buzz.” But a bloodbuzz is what happens when something that’s in your blood — being from Ohio for instance — rushes around your head.

Set in Ohio, the song nods to one of the very critical swing states in this year’s presidential race and happens to be the state that Berninger and his band of “liberal white guys” is from.

Read the Marketplace interview with Berninger here and watch a video excerpt from the interview.

And, in the last days before the election, keep your ears peeled to another song by The National, “Fake Empire.” The song’s become a favorite of the Obama campaign.

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