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Congress Rocks Spotify

Members' choices on music service show some surprises

Rep. Darrell Issa mixes in the occasional Beyonce track with his classic rock playlist. (Matt Cowan/Getty Images)
Rep. Darrell Issa mixes in the occasional Beyonce track with his classic rock playlist. (Matt Cowan/Getty Images)

So, Sen. Mike Lee , the conservative Utahn, likes ’80s punk band The Violent Femmes? And Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., mixes in the occasional Beyonce track with his classic rock?  

Those are just a few of the notable selections now that Spotify is featuring playlists from 20 members of Congress, including power players like Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., and House Republican Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington.  

It has become tradition for leading presidential candidates to release a playlist of their favorite music during the campaign. Many political playlists are heavily manicured and full of safe choices, so part of the fun is finding deep cuts and against-type tracks, like Lee’s and Issa’s.  

Some of the playlists go regional. Democratic Sen. Maria Cantwell’s is titled “A Musical History of Washington State” and features Jimi Hendrix and Nirvana, while Democratic Rep. John Conyers Jr.’s is heavy on Motown and classic soul.  

Ryan’s musical taste is well-known. The Gen-Xer revealed during the 2012 campaign his fondness for Rage Against the Machine, and he includes such X-er favorites as Metallica and the Beastie Boys on his playlist. Similarly, Sen. Orrin G. Hatch’s musical preferences are well known and his playlist has many standards and spirituals (The Utah Republican is a prolific songwriter and has released a Christmas album).  

However, one artist (this author’s favorite) seems to be a favorite on the left and right: Bruce Springsteen. Democratic Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. , who represents Springsteen’s Asbury Park, has two tracks (“Thunder Road” and “4th of July, Asbury Park”), while Rep. Joseph Crowley, D-N.Y., has “Incident on 57th Street” and “Rosalita.”  

Michigan GOP Rep. Fred Upton’s playlist is about half Springsteen, and Reps. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, and Suzan DelBene, D-Wash., are fans as well.  

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