December 28, 2018
Former U.S. President Barack Obama released his favorite pop culture moments of 2018 on Friday, as a reminder to the Internet that he was "The Cool President." He does it every year.
This year, Obama included a song by Philadelphia chill-rock mastermind Kurt Vile: “One Trick Ponies,” from Vile’s new record, “Bottle It In,” which feels extremely left-field for Obama’s list.
The 44th President’s lists are always expertly curated to hit the right cultural touchstones of the moment, sometimes to a fault, so choosing Vile isn’t exactly a no-brainer.
If he (or his communications staff) was looking for a zeitgeist-approved indie jam, I would’ve guessed he’d opt for something from Mitski’s new record, or maybe a Kacey Musgraves single.
Instead, he chose this mid-album cut by a fairly under-the-radar, 38-year-old rocker from his seventh record:
At the very least, it's a great choice to showcase the Philly accent. Vile's "wooder" pronunciation late in the song is extremely on-brand for the city.
And who knows: Maybe Obama has actually been a huge Vile fan all along!