Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Sorry, it's hard not to be somewhat political this week... and trust me I'll either get back to the music or start an opinion blog...

...but here's a story on all the musicians playing in and around Boston including Burma so it kinda fits with theme, huh?

The ideal was embodied on Sunday by one Rock the Vote volunteer who was dancing wildly to the politically charged art-punk band Mission of Burma while holding a sign above his head that read "I'm Young, I'm a Democrat, I'm Voting."

What's clear at this year's DNC is that music's role in the political process has come a long way since the liberal protest songs of the '60s. MTV's Rock the Vote and rap impresario Russell Simmons's Hip-Hop Summit are rolling out unprecedented campaigns this year to register 18-to-30-year-old voters, and both have been enormously successful. Some 8,000 people registered to vote on Monday at the Hip-Hop Summit in Boston, and Rock the Vote has registered 400,000 new voters nationwide this year.

"They don't trust politicians, they trust us," said Art Alexakis, frontman for the grunge band Everclear and a delegate from Oregon. "We're telling people who don't feel empowered that they are."

Even though Rock the Vote blahblahblahs that they are non-partisan, it's pretty clear that most of the people involved are batting for the Anti-Bush Party (Burma for instance is stridently anti-Bush whose administration they liken to McCartheyism)... and Russell Simmons doesn't even go through the charade, he's clearly parked right in the middle of the Democratic camp... that said, it's interesting that a recent Florida polls suggest that younger people favor Bush although the support is arguably shaky. As for whether people will "trust" Art Alexakis (and his "grunge band Everclear") we'll see... but *I* trust you just like I trust Ticketmaster, RIAA and Warner Bros, uh-huh.

So, with respect to Rock the Vote and their "nonpartisan" backers, be careful what you wish for you just might get it is all I'm saying.

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