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The State Of American Music Is ___.

Complete this sentence before our State of the Union warm-up special.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

US President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress on January 24, 2012 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. US President Barack Obama delivering the 2012 State of the Union address. (Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

Before President Obama gives his State of the Union address this Tuesday, join Soundcheck at 8 p.m. Eastern for a live call-in special about "the state of American music." That's a big category, but we think you and our special guests are up to the task. There's a lot to talk about: Kickstarter, orchestra strikes, Auto-tune, music education funding and, of course, the Kimye baby. Think big!

Here’s what we want you to do: Imagine YOU are the President of American Music and you must give your state of the union.

1. In SOTU speeches, presidents often describe the state of the union in a single word or a short phrase. How would you complete the phrase "The State of American Music is ___________." Tell us why you picked it?

2. Presidents also typically announce new policies in the SOTU. Give us one policy for American music -- proposed legislation, funding, executive orders, commitments for the future -- that you want to announce. (Make it as serious or absurd as you desire. You're the president!)

3. Presidents invite guests of honor to sit in the balcony. Whom do you invite to the presidential box?

Tell us here in the comments section, on Twitter at @Soundcheck, by email at, or leave us a voicemail us at 866.939.1612.



Steve Almond, Danny Goldberg, Amanda Palmer and Chris Richards

Comments [11]

Angela from Philadelphia

The state of American music is as richly diverse and innovative as ever, that is if you seek it out for yourself whether online or from within your community. To consider Beyonce to be anything more than popular culture would be like calling McDonalds cuisine. Music, the term is too broadly used, it does not take into consideration what brands or sponsorship. Listen again.

Feb. 13 2013 09:32 AM
BG Dilworth from NYC

...banjo deprived. Banjo virtuoso #CynthiaSayer is out to change that!

Feb. 12 2013 08:46 PM
cynyc from Rowing Offshore

No fairsies. I don't twit or tweet or whatever. I put thought into it.

Luddite discrimination? Oh no! Not you guys too! :-(

Feb. 12 2013 08:40 PM
Julie from Brooklyn

The state of American music is ... individualistic.

Pop radio is no longer as ubiquitous as it used to be. What was considered niche in the 80s and 90s (World, Dance, Metal) can be accessed just as easily as Bieber or Katy Perry. That access allows people to truly branch out of a pop bubble that's been created by record labels, and mix genres in ways they may never have been able to before. You don't have to like ONE type of music anymore, because you can get your hands on so much more in a single day. This enables us to have musical collections that are perfectly tailored to every kind of music we love, or didn't know we loved until we listened to it.

I think I'm just hoping for the day that "what type of music do you like?" just can't be answered with a single word.

Feb. 12 2013 08:40 PM
cynyc from Manhattan

Gee. Where's my comment--the very first from last week?

Feb. 12 2013 08:29 PM
Ben from Brooklyn, NY

The state of American music is 90s. We seem to have picked up where we left off and replaced the political with the personal. My policy proposal: put your cell phones down at shows.

Feb. 12 2013 08:08 PM
Damian from New York City

The catchphrase is Zeitgeist. Modern popular music is just plain. Towns and cities don't seem to promote local musical talent on professional scales and what is popular is generally recycled loops. Vocalists like Beyonce shamefully lip synch their auto-tuned over produced music. Jack White plays his one sound that once was great for a minute but became an echo of his first record. As the rich get richer and the middle class sinks deeper into debt and work harder to make their rent the big guys laugh all the way to the unregulated banking system of America. Art and Music are at a cultural standstill as we like Jack White and Beyonce ride the echoes of what was and should no longer be.

Although getting music out into the world has become easier with the home digital audio workstation and the Internet. The ability for artists to make a living even with a professional day job has become less accessible due to stifling high rents and massive student loan debts.

Feb. 12 2013 04:14 PM
LJC from Brooklyn

The state of American music is in the hands of Carla Kihlstedt.

Feb. 11 2013 08:18 PM
toussaintl from Staten Island

The current state of popular music in the USA is horrific.
Drum machines, computer-generated sound and effects, and all discordant sound effects are banned from any public performance for which an admiision of more than $25 is charged, or transmitted through public airways prior to midnight or after 4 am. The guest of honor at the SOTU shall be Aretha Franklin.

Feb. 11 2013 06:16 PM
Leila Zogby from Long Island

The State of American music is excellent. The variety is astounding and the increasing mixing of genres and ethnic styles gives American music richness.

From the moment forward, the Congress will fund music education k-12.

Guest of honor would be the woman who runs the program in Harlem that teaches underprivileged children to play string instruments and the fellow who heads up the NYC Children's Chorus.

Feb. 08 2013 02:25 PM
Cynthia from Manhattan, NY

1) A "Red Alert" Why? listen to Beck's "Time Bomb." Music is the message and the is angry ala Bertold Brecht. Besides anyone who is not a full-blooded real "republican" is a commie. And so on.

2)I also will attempt to sign into legislation special funding to bring glockenspiels (sp) back into the schools! That's right. That's right! The children of this great country should have a guarantee that they'll their ABC's!

3)A random diner waitress. Because do random diner waitresses ever get invited to anything?

edit as you see fit


Feb. 07 2013 10:15 PM

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