Monte Belmonte’s Election Day playlist 

  • Radio host Christopher “Monte” Belmonte emcees “Suffrage Succotash,” an event held Saturday at Mike’s Maze aimed at encouraging residents to register and vote. Staff Photo/Mary Byrne

Staff Writer 
Published: 11/3/2020 12:26:32 PM

When morning show deejay Monte Belmonte started his four-hour Election Day music marathon at 6 a.m. today on WRSI 93.9 The River, he’d only chosen about 10% of the songs ahead of time. The rest were curated on the fly, and while they ranged in genre from punk to country, funk and soul, most had some connection to the 2020 presidential election.  

Belmonte, who’s program director at WRSI, spoke with the Gazette soon after getting off the air, sharing insights about some of the songs he chose and the listener-suggested tunes that also made the cut.

 

“Vote ’Em Out” by Willie Nelson: “If you listen to the song, it sounds pretty bipartisan,” Belmonte says. “It basically says, ‘If you don’t like what’s going on, vote ’em out. He’s not specifically saying, ‘Vote Donald Trump out’ in that one, but knowing Willie … ”

“Electioneering” by Radiohead: “This is a great song, and I wanted to play that in advance.” 

“Here It Goes Again” by OK Go: “That was the first song in a contest that I do every morning at 7:15 [a.m.]. ‘Here it Goes Again,’ ‘Too Close Together’ and ‘Mainline Florida’ are all three peas in a pod there where people try to guess what my theme is. My theme was the hyper importance of Florida, once again, in our presidential election.” 

“Human Fly” by The Cramps: “Yeah, what do you think?” (Laughs.)

“New Speedway Boogie” by The Grateful Dead: “That was absolutely a request by a regular listener who goes by Emily from Plainfield. While that one does not really fit into my punk and soul dance party theme on Tuesdays, she thought that the opening lyrics of ‘Please don’t dominate the rap, Jack,’ was very poignant when it came to Donald Trump’s behavior. And I thought that, ‘One way or another, this darkness got to give,’ which is the last line of the song, is also very poignant. I allowed it on this one occasion.” 

“Government Flu” by Dead Kennedys: “That also happens to double as my theme music for my regular feature with Congressman [Jim] McGovern every Thursday, ‘Mcgoverning with McGovern.’ I thought that might be fun for people who only hear that as intro music to get to hear the whole song.”

“Star Spangled Banner” by Jimi Hendrix: “There’s a whole patriotic, four-song set in there with Billy Preston, Jimi Hendrix, Sharon Jones and Prince. I think — especially the Billy Preston and the Hendrix and Sharon Jones — those are traditionally patriotic songs, but the fact that they’re being performed by powerful Black voices gives them a new context both in their time and our time. 

“Make America Great Again” by Frank Turner: “Yeah, that was also a request and I didn’t know that one, either. I loaded it in on the fly. Holly in Greenfield recommended it, and when I heard it, I thought it was fantastic.” 

“Antifa Dance” by Ana Tijoux: “She’s incredible, and we as a radio station have really embraced her music. To shamelessly plug another radio station, I was listening to ‘The World’ (BBC), they have an international music segment, and I heard one of her songs … that’s when I came across her, years and years ago. She played a show at the Iron Horse that went really well. And because that went really well, she played the Green River Festival. I’ve just been keeping tabs on her music since then and got to meet her a couple of times. She escaped Chile and moved to France. She has an incredible personal story. That falls into the category of ones that I knew I wanted to play in advance.” 

“Miss K” by Deer Tick: “That one falls into the category of when I had basically given up [laughs]. I like that song, but the theme is over. The last one that could be considered the theme was ‘Redemption Song’ by Bob Marley, which was also something that somebody requested because I had been saying that all day I’d been feeling filled with a constant agita. He said, ‘It was an antidote for agita and nausea,’ from Dan from Belchertown.” 

Chris Goudreau can be reached at cgoudreau@gazettenet.com. 


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