Antony Blinken has a band, and people are reviewing his 'wonk rock'

"Honestly it's pretty good," one Twitter user says of music by the nominee for secretary of state.

Gael Cooper
CNET editor Gael Fashingbauer Cooper, a journalist and pop-culture junkie, is co-author of "Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops? The Lost Toys, Tastes and Trends of the '70s and '80s," as well as "The Totally Sweet '90s." She's been a journalist since 1989, working at Mpls.St.Paul Magazine, Twin Cities Sidewalk, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and NBC News Digital. She's Gen X in birthdate, word and deed. If Marathon candy bars ever come back, she'll be first in line.
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Gael Cooper

Antony Blinken, President-elect Joe Biden's pick for secretary of state, has a band and is friends with Grover the puppet. 


Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Antony Blinken, who was nominated for secretary of state Monday by President-elect Joe Biden, has an interesting side project. Blinken, who was deputy secretary of state under former President Barack Obama, has a band called Ablinken, with original songs called Lip Service and Patience available on Spotify.

In a 2018 tweet, Blinken, 58, called his music "wonk rock," and in a tweet from October, he revealed his guitar choice, a Martin. 

Curious music fans were quick to check out Ablinken's tunes and offer reviews on social media.

"Biden's secretary of state nominee has a band that he founded that's based off Steely Dan and the Doobie Brothers," wrote one Twitter user. "Honestly it's pretty good. The song Lip Service is like a weird mix of Alan Parsons and Blue Oyster Cult."

Want another fun pop culture fact about Blinken? In 2016, back when he was deputy secretary of state under Obama, he chatted with Sesame Street Muppet Grover about welcoming refugee children. (Grover, in typical Grover form, confused "refugees" with "referees" and thought the UN building was the "un-building.")

Blinken also has a place in photographic history. He appears fourth from left in the back row of the famous photo showing Obama, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton  and then-Vice President Joe Biden watching the development of the mission that killed Osama bin Laden.