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Dead Heads For Obama

Kim Hart

Tonight a last-minute fund-raising concert for Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama reunites three members of The Grateful Dead for the first time in four years. And it gives two online video companies a chance to appeal to a wider audience.

At San Francisco's Warfield Theatre at 7:30 tonight--that's 10:30 EST for all you Washingtonians--Phil Lesh, Bob Weir and Mickey Hart are performing to show their support for Obama. All proceeds from the concert will go directly to his campaign.

For the two companies streaming the video to Web audiences, it's an opportunity to broadcast a high-profile political event around the world. Swarmcast, based in Minneapolis, will use its infrastructure technology to deliver the live stream, while, based in neighboring St. Paul, will broadcast the concert on it's site. If you aren't up late enough to catch the live version, you can replay the concert on the web site's archives.

The concert was just put together on Friday night, showing how quickly things can happen on online video, said Nate Parienti, co-founder and chief strategy officer of He told me tonight that iClips typically focuses on music-related events. The fact that the Grateful Dead is playing is quite appealing to the firm. Justin Chapweske, founder and CEO of Swarmcast, said the concert is an example of how online video is moving away from the quick clips you see on YouTube to live broadcasts that take much more bandwidth to produce.

Other video firms are getting in on the political action. Last week, Ustream.TV, which hosts a variety of user-generated video and live broadcasts, announced it has partnered with the Republican National Convention to broadcast the entire event in real time. Republican officials will be part of live web chats and other online interviews at the convention, which will take place Sept. 1-4 in St. Paul.

Other candidates have already used Ustream's platform to reach voters. Obama, Hillary Clinton, Mitt Romney, and John McCain have broadcast live speeches and held question-and-answer sessions on Ustream's video site, founder John Ham told me two weeks ago when I dropped by Ustream's Palo Alto offices.

We all know that the Internet has a huge role in this campaign, and I wonder how big the audiences will be for these events. The conventions get lots of traditional media coverage already, but an online platform makes a lot of sense for an impromptu benefit concert that will attract both Dead Heads and Obama fans.

You can tune into the concert at

By Kim Hart  |  February 4, 2008; 5:48 PM ET  | Category:  Kim Hart
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well it looks like the iclips site is already /.ed
i hope they can get it together by 7:30

Posted by: bob shade | February 4, 2008 8:34 PM

After all these years living in drug, sex and political scadals, African American have finally discovered and delievered to the Kenedy family their NEW JFK, the KENEDY'S HEIR. How sad and ridiculous!!!!!

Posted by: Jerry Chui | February 5, 2008 12:31 AM

How can the Greatful Dead MISLEAD their fans this way! Obama is controlled by the cFR. His wife is a member! The most important issue of the Election is, which candidates are involved with the CFR(Council on Foreign Relations) and which are not. The CFR , in their founding charter 0f 1921, dedicated themselves to the DESTRUCTION OF US NATIONAL SOVERIGNTY! Thats why you are hearing about the North american Union. If they impose a NAU on us they will immediately write a Constittution for the NAU that will OVERRIDE the US Constitution. this will essentially VOID our Constitution. And belive me it will NOT include free speech or guns or ANY of the liberties Americans cherish. For 86 years, The CFR has slowly and incrementally infiltrated the highest postitions in the Govt. and media to enact legislation and impose public opinion on us all. Sad to say that the former chairman of a group dedicated to destroying us is no other than DICK Cheney, our sitting vice president. Some believe the Coup is already complete. Look at how theye are acting,hwmany senators and congressman are in the CFR. We have been asleep and we must wake up. The only choice you can possibly make to save our country and probably even our lives is RON PAUL. Also a huge thing to know is that the Federal reserve and IRS are TOTALLY ILLEGAL and were never approved to be created by our Constitution. The fed is no more federal than Federal Express. And they have been stealing our money for 94 years to be used to kill and enslave the entire world inour name ,including us. Please research the CFR and the New World Order and the Federal Reserve. Then you can make an informed vote. Thank you. Ron Paul '08

Posted by: David | February 5, 2008 6:40 AM

David hysterically wrote: How can the Greatful Dead MISLEAD their fans this way! Obama is controlled by the cFR. His wife is a member!
And you evidence is.......?

Posted by: suekzoo | February 5, 2008 5:04 PM

David hysterically wrote: How can the Greatful Dead MISLEAD their fans this way! Obama is controlled by the cFR. His wife is a member!
And your evidence is.......?

Posted by: suekzoo | February 5, 2008 5:06 PM


If you can believe that a presidential candidate, a sitting vice president and many Senators and Congressmen are "members" of this great conspiricy, why can't you believe the Grateful Dead are too? Selective Conspiricy Theory?

Posted by: Dean Stevens | February 7, 2008 7:23 PM

Kim: If the "Dead" concert is 7:30 local time in San Fran (PT) it would be 4:30 Wash. DC time (ET)

Otherwise to the Dead members, GO 4 IT!

Posted by: theo | February 8, 2008 9:39 AM

A mediocre has-band support an empty suit. Not worth the price of admission, which in this instance is free.

Posted by: Robert17 | February 13, 2008 5:10 AM

Unfortunately, David is right. Sadly Obama will change absolutely nothing. More wars, more spying, less civil liberties and the continuation of watching our country become a police state. As a big dead fan, this is very dissapointing to see them support someone who flat out said he would go into Pakistan witout Musharraf's permission and is slowly molding to the demands of the higher ups. The sheep in this country think Obama is change and hope because he running against a Clinton and Insane McCain, but they will see he is a False Hope.

Posted by: Jerry | February 13, 2008 9:08 AM

WHY DID BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMAS WIFE SAY THIS IS THE FIRST TIME SHES EVER BEEN PROUD OF THE UNITED STATES? HMMM...Sound a little racist to you? AND DID ANYONE WATCH THE "BLACK STATE OF THE UNION" ON C-SPAN? It was extremely racist against whites! Dick Gregory, an outspoken black supremist spokesman, was on there accusing "the white man" of spraying manganese in the black ghettos at night! Tavis Smiley, the host of the show, said even if OBAMA wins the presidential election, the black community should not be satisfied and should still hold WHITE AMERICA responsible for what it's done to "them"(BLACK AMERICA)! HEELLLOOO....With all this crap on and on about how RACIST white people are, I think its BS. Flip the script. Black people are the ones holding on to all this hatred and discrimination. WHY IS IT OK THAT THERE IS A UNITED NEGRO COLLEGE FUND BUT NOT A UNITED CAUCASION COLLEGE FUND? So if there's a black kid who gets bad grades, and a white kid who may be living in JUST AS MUCH POVERTY but getting GOOD grades, the black kid would be the one that gets the chance at a college education because the color of his skin? THAT IS RACIST, MY FRIENDS. White people are not allowed to be discriminatory towards anyone. ESPECIALLY not black people. BUT it IS a double standard and THEY are allowed to do it to us- with black history month, black entertainment tv, negro college funds, and black award shows etc etc and STILL complain that the scales are tipped against THEM... Anyways, Most people can't even name ONE good thing OBAMA has done for this country. LOOK IN HIS PAST- Most everything he's done and laws he's passed is for BLACKS- His wife seems racist as heck, as well as his church and spiritual leaders (Who are Black Supremists and think the white man is less than human)... But ULTIMATELY, the decision is yours to make... Do you RESEACH the individual you are putting in our white house- Or just go with the majority trend?

Posted by: sarah | March 4, 2008 3:01 PM

Mr. Obama

Why would you use the term "typical white person"? I do not feel that it is right for me to say "typical black person." Why has your wife never been proud of the United States before? It seems that this country has afforded her (and you) more opportunities than most countries would have.

I wanted to vote for you because I think you're honest. I do not think the Clinton's are honest and I feel that McCain is too old.

I'm disappointed and confused by your remarks.

Posted by: Mr. Whitie Cracker | March 24, 2008 9:43 PM

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