Conor Oberst's Desaparecidos Release Track Calling Out Sheriff Joe Arpaio

Recently reunited post-hardcore act takes aim at Arizona lawman known for tough anti-immigration stance

Conor Oberst
Jeffrey Ufberg/WireImage
August 2, 2012 5:20 PM ET

Desaparecidos, the recently reunited post-hardcore act fronted by Bright Eyes' Conor Oberst, have a new protest song out titled "MariKKKopa," which calls out controversial Maricopa County, Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio. The track will be available to purchase August 2nd and will be accompanied by another song, "Backsell."

"Joe Arpaio needs no help from me getting attention," Oberst told the Huffington Post. "For years he has been a beacon of bigotry and intolerance for all the world to see. The list of human and civil rights abuses he's committed in Maricopa County is long and well-documented. His many 'crime suppression sweeps' are some of the most egregious affronts to American values and human dignity perpetrated in this century."

In the chorus of "MariKKKopa" Oberst wails, "We got to round 'em up/ Door to door tonight we're ready/ Knock knock knock/ Drag them from their beds /They've got some nerve to say they were here first."

Later he calls out Arpaio by name while viciously parodying his supporters: "They're sweating in Sun City 'cause they just got off the course/ Saying, 'Sheriff Joe it's awful and it's only getting worse.'" The track ends with a soundbite from an interview in which Arpaio welcomes a comparison to the KKK because "it means we're doing something."

Oberst also spoke about immigration reform, saying: "I think we should be pushing for amnesty and a path to citizenship for every undocumented person residing in the United States who has not committed a violent crime, with a special emphasis on keeping families together. This isn't just the only practical solution – it's also the only moral one."

Be sure to check out our new profile on Arpaio for an up-close look at America's self-proclaimed "toughest sheriff" and his exploits of questionable legality, which you can read online or in the new issue of Rolling Stone. Listen to Desaparecidos' "MariKKKopa" below.

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

Music Main Next

blog comments powered by Disqus
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“American Girl”

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers | 1976

It turns out that a single with "American" in its title--recorded on the Fourth of July during the nation's Bicentennial, no less--can actually sell better in Britain. Coupled with the Heartbreakers' flair for Byrds jangle and Animals hooks, though, is Tom Petty's native-Florida drawl that keeps this classic grounded at home. Petty dispelled rumors that the song was about a suicidal student, explaining that the inspiration came from when he was 25 and used to salute the highway traffic outside his apartment window. "It sounded like the ocean to me," he recalled. "That was my ocean. My Malibu. Where I heard the waves crash, but it was just the cars going by."

More Song Stories entries »