By Mike Pearl
"You gotta see this real quick. You're gonna shit," Mimi Soltysik tells me. It's an afternoon in late February, and Soltysik, the presidential nominee for the Socialist Party USA, is leaning over his laptop in the living room of his cramped, cat-dominated Los Angeles apartment, showing me a YouTube video of a legendarily awkward performance by a seemingly deranged Chicago pop singer named Bobby Conn."It almost makes you uncomfortable, which is great," he says.
No matter who he's talking to, anytime there's air in the conversation, Emidio "Mimi" Soltysik (pronounced "saul-TISS-ick") tends to ask the other people what kind of music they're into, or what they listened to when they were younger.
When he first met his vice presidential candidate, Angela Walker, he picked her brain about music too, but his reasons were political. "What's one of the songs that shaped you politically? What were you listening to that pushed you to be who you are?" Walker recalls Soltysik asking. Music was important to Walker as well—her identity, she says, was shaped by "being a black metalhead." Her reply to Soltysik included Rage Against the Machine and Public Enemy....