In Jonathan Franzen's novel Freedom, Richard Katz, the post-punk, Grammy-nominated has-been who pays the bills repairing roofs rather than going mainstream, is possibly the character most free to express himself. When asked, "Do you think successful musicians have a responsibility to be role models?" Richard replies, "Me me me, buy buy buy, party party party... What I've been trying to say is that we already are perfect Republican role models."

Michael Stipe and Jeff Tweedy may have admitted to being longtime closet fans of Richard's music, but if asked to list some of his favorite songs, the rebel rocker may might have reluctantly offered up this playlist.

Iggy Pop
Album: Lust for Life (1977)

"Armalite Rifle"
Gang of Four
Non-album single (1978)
Album: Entertainment! (1995)

"People Say"
The Go-Betweens
Non-album single (1979)
Album: 78 'til 79: The Lost Album (1999)

"You Can't Be Too Strong"
Graham Parker and the Rumour
Album: Squeezing Out Sparks (1979)

"Pablo Picasso"
Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers
Album: The Modern Lovers (1976)

"Stephanie Says"
Velvet Underground
Album: VU (1985)

"(Sometimes I Feel Like) Fletcher Christian"
Album: So Good It Hurts (1988)

Au Pairs
Album: Equal But Different: BBC Sessions 1979-83 (1994)

Mission of Burma
Album: Vs. (1982)

"She Sells"
Roxy Music
Album: Siren (1975)

The Kinks
Album: Give the People What They Want (1981)

"Only Loved at Night"
The Raincoats
Album: Odyshape (1981)

"Big River"
Johnny Cash
Released as a single (1958)

Sonic Youth
Album: Dirty (1992)

What songs make you think of Freedom? Leave your comments below!

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