As much as it pains me to admit this, on November 2nd we need to vote. Considering I live in Illinois and the past two governors have been caught committing some kind of fraud, it is pretty hard to have faith in anything political. And the choices for US Senate are pretty bleak too. I previously tweet that I would write in Mickey Mouse for governor and Bambi for Senate, that’s how bad I think my choice is. But the reality is our political thrives only with our participation, so I will make a choice and decide in the next few days. So I urge you to make a pledge and vote. Otherwise, we might end up with John Boehner as Speaker of the House? I just got the chills…
To help get the word out and generate some momentum heading into the election, some of the biggest names in music will be hitting the phones over the next week to help get the vote out, calling randomly-selected fans to chat about the upcoming election.
Willie Nelson, ?uestlove of the Roots, and Wayne Coyne of the Flaming Lips are among the dozen musicians involved with the “Pledge to Vote” campaign staged by HeadCount, a nonpartisan nonprofit organization that promotes electoral participation. Each artist recorded reminders that will be sent to fans before Election Day via automated phone calls. But most artist participants will be making live calls – surprising fans who expect to only hear a pre-recorded message.
Adam Gardner, guitarist in the band Guster and founder of the environmental music-industry nonprofit organization Reverb, said that until recently he didn’t realize that voter turnout for midterm elections is so much smaller than presidential elections. “I was surprised by it and definitely motivated to change those stats,” he said.
“Let’s get some folks cranked up about this,” said The Grateful Dead’s Bob Weir, a HeadCount board member who will also be personally calling dozens of voters. “It’s so important that people, particularly young people, are paying attention and voting so a bunch of cranky old folks don’t steal their future. Hopefully getting a call from a familiar voice will be motivation.” Weir is currently touring with his former Grateful Dead bandmate Phil Lesh under the name Furthur.
Close to 25,000 music enthusiasts have already made a “Pledge to Vote” at concerts or on HeadCount’s website, www.headcount.org, requesting a reminder phone call from one of their favorite artists and affirming that they will vote in November. The full list of artist choices include: ?uestlove, Adam Gardner (Guster), Matt Berninger (The National), Warren Haynes (The Allman Bros., Gov’t Mule), Marc Wayne Coyne (The Flaming Lips), Brownstein (The Disco Biscuits), Willie Nelson, Grace Potter, Jon Fishman (Phish), Bob Weir (Grateful Dead, Furthur), Yim Yames (My Morning Jacket) Brett Dennen.
Reverb’s Green Music Group, a project that aims to build a community committed to environmental action, has made HeadCount’s “Pledge to Vote” its primary call to action this month.
Fans can still sign up for the calls by visiting www.HeadCount.org/pledge. Video cameras will be rolling and all the calls will be streamed live on the Web at www.HeadCount.org/Blog and www.Relix.com starting at 9 PM ET.
The live phone calls follow HeadCount’s release two weeks ago of the “Vote Again 2010” public service announcement starring Jay-Z. It is airing on CBS, Fuse, Gospel Music Channel and SNY.
- MESSAGE SENT: Jay-Z wants you to vote (politico.com)
- Jay-Z: Please Vote, Young Men and Women (thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com)
- The Caucus: Motivating Music Fans to Vote (thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com)
- MAKING CALLS: A ‘grateful’ vote (politico.com)