Calif. Contest Leads to Battle of the Bands
By Garance Franke-Ruta
California Democrats go to the polls on Tuesday and that can only mean one thing: a sudden surge in campaign efforts to trot out the brightest cultural stars in the Left Coast firmament, and by those stars in support of their favored candidates.
Today, a new independently-produced video by will.i.am of The Black Eyed Peas and director Jesse Dylan (son of Bob) was released on DipDive.com. The video is a sung version of Obama's pre-Nevada caucuses "Yes We Can" stump speech -- itself a riff on the rallying cry of the United Farm Workers, "Si Se Puede!" -- and features a star-studded cast ranging from bow-lipped ingenue Scarlett Johansson to Nicole Scherzinger of the Pussycat Dolls, as well as musicians John Legend and Herbie Hancock. The video, which first appeared Friday on ABCNewsNow's "What's the Buzz," quickly hopped to YouTube, where it's sure to become a hit with the young voters whose turnout has been essential to Obama's success to date.
Hillary Clinton today countered by announcing the support of Grammy-award winning R & B singer Mya Harrison -- an endorsement that might actually carry more weight in the D.C.-Maryland region, from whence Mya hails. Mya will serve as national co-chair of Clinton's HillBlazers, the campaign's youth outreach program. "It is with great passion and absolute certainty that I am proud to announce my support for Hillary Clinton for President," Mya said in a statement released by the campaign. "As President, Hillary will inspire young people and all Americans to make their voices heard."
And on Monday night comes the Obama campaign's boldest cultural outreach effort to date: the first ever Deadheads for Obama concert, sure to draw attention from a slightly older audience than the will.i.am video. According to PhilLesh.net, "Members of the Grateful Dead will host a get out the vote concert in support of...Obama on Monday, February 4th at The Warfield Theatre in San Francisco."
Mickey Hart, Phil Lesh and Bob Weir will be joined by Jackie Greene, John Molo and Steve Molitz at the concert, which will be simulcast live onto the internet on iclips.net. This will be the first time that the members of the band have performed together since 2004, Lesh says on his web site, adding, "They have agreed to reunite for this one-time-only event in order to lend support to Senator Obama leading into the crucial "Super-Tuesday" series of primaries."
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