Listen: Your founding fathers, indie folk-ified

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Taking a cue from Sufjan Steven's arguably innocuous vow to release an album for every state in the Union, Christian Kiefer, Matthew Gerken and Jefferson Pitcher have collaborated with a handful of indie stars for a three-disc project that devotes a track to all 43 U.S. presidents. The track circulating right now has Marla Hansen singing about the Monroe Doctrine as it might have been viewed by hopeful Americans in 1823, when it intended to prevent future European colonization of the New World. No mention of its 20th century ability to justify the toppling of Central American democracies or the bolstering of Banana Republics in the name of anti-Communism. But hey, let's keep it dreamy. This is the Era of Goodfeeling we're talking about.

Fun fact: Monroe died so poor his relatives had to fork over the bills. Guess the lecture circuit wasn't for him.

See what a blast indie folk can be?

Kiefer, Gerken, Pitcher, “James Monroe, The Last Cocked Hat” (feat. Marla Hansen)


Expect the release of Of Great and Mortal Men: 43 Songs for 43 U.S. Presidencies September 9 on Standard Co.

Disc One
01 George Washington: Washington Dreams of the Hippopotamus (Feat. Vince DiFiore of Cake)
02 John Adams: Armed with Only Wit and Vigor and the U.S. Navy (Feat. These United States)
03 Thomas Jefferson: The Mouldboard of Least Resistance
04 James Madison: Zinger
05 James Monroe: The Last Cocked Hat (Feat. Marla Hansen)
06 John Quincy Adams: Death In The Speaker's Room
07 Andrew Jackson: Benevolence (Feat. Califone)
08 Martin Van Buren: The Little Magician (Feat. Tom Brosseau)
09 William Henry Harrison: So You Don't Have To
10 John Tyler: Hindsight Falls On Deaf Ears (Feat. Bill Callahan)
11 James Polk: The Other is Better / The Landscape to Transform (Feat. Monahans)
12 Zachary Taylor: Rough and Ready
13 Millard Fillmore: The Proof Is In The Pudding
14 Franklin Pierce: My Only Enemy Is Myself

Disc Two
01 James Buchanan: God Will Strike You Down (Feat. Marla Hansen)
02 Abraham Lincoln: Malice, Charity, And The Oath of God (Feat. James Jackson Toth)
03 Andrew Johnson: Was Ever Alone?
04 Ulysses S. Grant: Helicopters Above Oakland
05 Rutherford B. Hayes: The Beard of God
06 James Garfield: Seven Months
07 Chester Arthur: The Epitome of Dignity
08 Grover Cleveland: Bees And Honey
09 Benjamin Harrison: Kid Gloves Hands Surplus to Big Sugar
10 Grover Cleveland: Rubbermouth
11 William McKinley: Czolgosz's Dream (Feat. Magnolia Summer)
12 Theodore Roosevelt: The Sherman Act Does Not Care
13 William Howard Taft: There Was No Longer Use To Hide The Fact That It Was Gout (Feat. Marla Hansen)
14 Woodrow Wilson: A Life Among Men (Feat. Jamie Stewart of Xiu Xiu)

Disc Three
01 Warren Harding: An Army Of Pompous Phrases
02 Calvin Coolidge: On Silence (Feat. Radar Bros.)
03 Herbert Hoover: Woe Is A Spoon-Shaped Heart (Feat. Marla Hansen)
04 Franklin D. Roosevelt: Illuminating The Bright Lines
05 Harry S. Truman: Suits And Fine Trousers Vs. Hiroshima (Feat. Denison Witmer)
06 Dwight D. Eisenhower: When Ike Walked The Land (Feat. Alan Sparhawk & Mark Kozelek)
07 John F. Kennedy: There Is No Plan
08 Lyndon B. Johnson: Ladybird Take Me Home (Feat. Steve Dawson)
09 Richard Nixon: 2 Under Par Off The Coast of Africa (Feat. Tom Carter)
10 Gerald Ford: Now You See It, Now You Don't See It (Feat. Vince DiFiore)
11 Jimmy Carter: A Great Beam of Light (Feat. Rosie Thomas)
12 Ronald Reagan: Such A Marvelous Dream (Feat. Califone)
13 George H.W. Bush: It Was Foreshadowed Here: The Beginning of The End
14 William J. Clinton: The Mighty Lion Will Not Roar Again
15 George W. Bush: Though The Night