ROCKTOBER 2004 : : VOTING ON THE MIND

STEVE MOLITZ
Particle

Why is it important to vote?


By Casy Flanigan
A singer's goal is for their voice to be heard, and for the message of their lyrics to resonate with the listener. This election is no different. On November 2nd, your vote is your voice and you've got the mic. Participation has always been the foundation of the jam scene. Our culture is devoted and involved, and we actively support the bands we love. We are not a passive audience. We dance and sweat together at shows... we share opinions on message boards... we trade tapes in a constant effort to share our passion with others, and now we have the opportunity to transfer that passion to the masses. If you're reading this then you clearly give a shit about this election on some level. You're so close, now give it that extra push our favorite bands give us when they're on stage singing their hearts out. Participate. Use your voice... VOTE.

Is this election any different than elections past?

I got an e-mail yesterday from one of my good friends who lives in Cannes. He was born and raised in France, yet he was writing to make sure that I had registered and was voting for Kerry. If I'm getting e-mails from people in Europe begging me to get rid of Bush, then yes, this is a different election. Most of us don't even know who the current President of France is, let alone what he stands for. I think it's pretty obvious how most people in our community feel about the candidates, so I won't bother bashing Bush. You're educated...you know what's up.

Do politics have a place in music?
Why or why not?

Our freedom of speech gives politics a place in music, but it's important that audiences think for themselves. I support the political agenda of a band like Ozomatli that use their stage to influence positive social change through educated activism. But I've also seen a lot of audiences herded into the dark by the words of confused artists who mistake emotion for information. Chanting "Fuck George Bush" from the stage is not deep. I dig what you're going for, but it just ain't deep. On the other hand, responding to an unwanted war by urging your leaders to "Give Peace A Chance"... that's real. As for Particle, we've all registered with absentee ballots and we'll be voting from the road. Hats off to JamBase and Headcount and everyone else who's getting involved as a part of the solution. Go See Live Music... Get Up, Stand Up... GO VOTE!

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JamBase | San Francisco
Get Out and Vote!


SCOTT METZGER
Rana

Why is it important to vote?


By Ellen Diebolt
An election in a democracy gives the power to the people. I think that it is our obligation as Americans to vote since so much of the world is still denied the right to democratically vote for its leaders. By voting each of us define who we are by making a decision for what we stand for and who we support, so it offers us a chance to find out who we are.

Is this election any different than elections past?

It's not any more or less important than any other election, but this one will determine which direction the war goes and whether or not America will continue to invade more countries than we have so far (which is already too many.)

Do politics have a place in music?

Definitely.

Why or why not?

Why not? Obviously politics is something on everyone's mind at one time or another and it's our job as musicians to address the issues facing all of us in day to day life and political issues are no exception. Politics offer a lot of inspiration. The Clash, John Lennon, Camper Van Beethoven, Bob Marley, Rage against the Machine, Pearl Jam, James Brown, R.E.M., Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, John Prine, and The Sex Pistols (just to name a few) have all touched on political issues.

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JamBase | San Francisco
Get Out and Vote!


LUKE OMALLEY
Antibalas

Why is it important to vote?


By Chris Gasper
It is the foundation of our flawed democracy. If we don't maintain that foundation our country will sink even deeper than it already has. The 2000 election and the behavior of our current administration are a direct result of our lack of maintenance.

Is this election any different than elections past?

Of course it is. We have to keep a very close eye on this election. Especially after what happened in 2000. This is a stolen administration. Are they going to steal it again? The machine is already working in Florida to once again purge and intimidate voters...

Do politics have a place in music?
Why or why not?

Politics are important in any art form. Art is one of the few public forums available to the poor. The artist have a responsibility to the disenfranchised and neglected; it serves as the first and loudest voice of the oppressed.

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JamBase | San Francisco
Get Out and Vote!


CHUCK GARVEY
moe.

Why is it important to vote?


By Tony Stack
You can NEVER rely on any other person to get the job of "stating or voting your opinion" done. YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE OUTCOME - even if (or because of the fact that) you did not vote.

Is this election any different than elections past?

No. The issues have changed, but the electoral process is the same. Sorry, I'm being a wiseass... I think that there is more on the line this time... more so than other elections I can remember.

Do politics have a place in music?

Absolutely. Music is a form of communication. A GREAT one. There is a place... just like humor, joy, sadness, and every other part of the human condition belongs in music, somehow.

Why or why not?

Why not get your ideas out in a form that will reach people who are similar-minded?

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JamBase | San Francisco
Get Out and Vote!


JAMIE JANOVER
Jamie Janover

Why is it important to vote?

Voting is not a right – it's an obligation. You owe it to yourself and to the rest of humanity to be a part of the solution, not the problem.

Is this election any different than elections past?

This election is the most important single vote in the history of the human race. We have the choice of continuing to head into the worst administration in world history, or change direction and begin the healing of our planet.

Do politics have a place in music?
Why or why not?

Dissent in politics has always come from the artists in society. That is our job. If we don't say what we think, then who will? How many people are in a position of being put up on a stage or on a screen and have the opportunity to say how they feel and how they imagine a better world for all of us to live in? Politics doesn't HAVE TO have a place in music, but it certainly CAN if the musician chooses to put it there. It is our right to have the freedom of expression to put our political beliefs into music as often as we like.

I am truly grateful to be a free musician in the USA.
Jam on – FREEstyle!

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JamBase | San Francisco
Get Out and Vote!

[Published on: 10/24/04]

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