Playlist: HELLection Season

After a year’s worth of campaigning, mudslinging, and celebrity keynotes directed at party members and actual chairs alike, it’s finally here: Election season 2012.

As someone working for a campaign and two nonprofits, I’ve accrued a lot of papercuts from voter registration forms in the past eight months. That number is second only to the number of migraines I’ve experienced after yelling about reproductive rights, voter IDs and immigration reform. Whether you’re a voter, an organizer or a staffer, you’re probably feeling the burnout, too.  Just taking a peek at the hundreds of millions spent on this year’s presidential campaigns is exhausting.

At the same time, there have been fulfilling moments this election year. Remember when Obama came out in support of gay marriage in May? Of course you do. What about when he schooled Todd Akin on rape last month? Yep. And when he developed a penchant for holding mohawked babies? Mhm.

Presidential fangirling aside, it’s the little things we do in the days leading up to an election that are often the most worthwhile. Volunteering, registering someone to vote or just explaining the issues to a curious bystander; that’s the powerful stuff. And in a re-election year, they could not be more important.

If you also find yourself shifting between states of “Fuck this, I’m moving to Canada and I’m taking all of the undocumented folks with me! ” and “I fucking love ‘Merica and apple pie,”  this playlist is for you.

Gird your loins. It’s Hellection season.

HELLection Season


Talkin ‘Bout A Revolution – Tracy Chapman
Hollywood – Marina and The Diamonds
Washington Bullets – The Clash
Zombie – The Cranberries
America – K’Naan (Featuring Mos Def and Chali 2NA)
Keep On Livin’ – Le Tigre
Words I Never Said – Lupe Fiasco (Featuring Skylar Grey)
Dear Mr. President – P!nk (Featuring the Indigo Girls)
Eve of Destruction – Barry McGuire
They Don’t Care About Us – Michael Jackson
Truth No. 2 – The Dixie Chicks
Why – Jadakiss
All These Things I’ve Done – The Killers
Fortunate Son – Pearl Jam (Creedance Clearwater Revival)
People Have The Power – Patti Smith
Beautiful Struggle – Talib Kweli
Succexy – Metric
Forgive Them Father – Lauryn Hill
Respect – Aretha Franklin
My Generation– The Who

HELLection Season from Autostraddle on 8tracks Radio.


Tell me your favorite election related tracks below.

Want to suggest a playlist theme? Hit Crystal up on Formspring and someone on the team will make it for you.

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Sarah Fonseca’s essays, book reviews, and film writing have appeared in Black Warrior Review, cléo: a journal of film and feminism, Posture Magazine, and them. Catch her obsessing over Eartha Kitt at

sarah has written 57 articles for us.


    • Yesss! I was actually digging around everywhere for an .mp3 of it to no avail. Sleater-Kinney > Peal Jam.

      • It’s much better than Creedence’s too (damn those appropriative, privileged wankbastards).

      • Oh, gawd, missed “Fortunate Son” on the list until now. I didn’t see that there was any version of it there, and suggested the Sleater-Kinney one because it’s a personal favorite. Sorry to sound like some dumbass trying to tell you how to do your job, I certainly didn’t intend it.

  1. Fave election related track: Magic. I will be listening to a lot of Bruce Springsteen this fall. Seeger Sessions on repeat.

  2. Love this playlist. Succexy is such a freaking good song. “It’s A Hit” by Rilo Kiley is one of my favs in this category, too.

  3. I love all of these songs. I want to leave my desk and go protest something. Also, “Succexy” makes me think of how kate calls you Fonsexy. haha.

  4. Oh my god, I totally forgot about “Truth No. 2” until right now. “Eve of Destruction” and “Zombie” are also near and dear to my heart. Love, love, love.

  5. I was just thinking about “Fortunate Son” the other day and how, wow, I used to think Dubya was the perfect example of the type of person they’re describing in that song but Mitt might fit it even better…

  6. Nothing riles me up about US foreign policy more than listening to State Radio’s entire discography.

    Also the song Mr. Larkin by them which isn’t about foreign policy but whatever.

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