Like many Americans, artists such as Pete Wentz, Big Boi, Kenna, Bun B, Murs, Ryan Leslie, Matt White and others are glued to the TV tonight, watching as Barack Obama officially accepts his historic selection as the Democratic Party's nominee for president of the United States. Read their thoughts in real time throughout tonight's speech:
Kenna, 9:27 p.m. ET: Some people have given Obama flak for picking Biden because he is Obama's mentor ... I think flak for that is retarded. Why wouldn't you want someone you consider wise next to you as you take on the massive job of president?
Kenna, 9:45 p.m. ET: Go Barney, Go Barney, Go Barney. Who doesn't love Barney Smith? WOW. "I need a president who puts Barney Smith before Smith Barney"??!!! HA - Bumper sticker companies are hard at work right now.
Bun B, 10:12 p.m. ET: The video intro is very moving. Candid shots of Barack Obama throughout his life really gives a better look at how his character was built. It gives him an even stronger connection to the people by showing his struggle, and how parallel it is to ours.
David Kravitz has no beef with the DNC. In fact, the rangy opera singer from Massachusetts was only in the officially designated protest zone (dubbed the “freedom cage” by protesters) on Tuesday afternoon to check it out and snap a few photos.
Luckily for him, like at the Tent State University site across town, there was plenty of space. In fact, the soccer-field-size, heavily fortified parking lot with barely a glimpse of the Pepsi Center in the distance was empty except for a fellow blogger from Kravitz’s bluemassgroup.com site and a local Denver college couple who were also hoping to see some real live protestation.
So Kravitz did what any opera singer worth his salt with an open stage and a public address system at his disposal would do — he belted out a powerful rendition of “God Bless America” as one of the shock-troop-looking cops took some personal video and gave him a round of applause. The dozen heavily fortified officers on the other side of the impenetrable fence near the cop joined in on the applause, happy to have any action in the zone, which they said has been a virtual ghost town since it opened two days earlier.
Organizers predicted tens of thousands would flood Cuernavaca Park in downtown Denver as part of the Tent State University anti-war protests going on all this week during the Democratic National Convention.
Maybe they were taking a walk when we stopped by today, but just a day before Rage Against the Machine are scheduled to headline a show in support of the protest, the scene at the far-flung park — several miles from the Pepsi Center — was more like a Sunday picnic with your mellowed-out buds than a 1960s-style revolutionary effort to disrupt the Dems' party. Local media had reported some clashes between anti-war protesters and other anarchist groups since Sunday, including an intense clash just blocks from the Pepsi Center last night, during which police used their pepper-ball rifles to disperse crowds near the 16th Street mall and later arrested 90 protesters.
More on the Tent State University protest plus photos after the jump.
It looks like Rage Against the Machine picked the perfect time to reunite. Not only will the rebel rockers throw down during the Republican National Convention in Minnesota next month, now they've signed on to headline a gig during the Democratic National Convention in Denver at the end of this month as well.
Rage will play along with the Flobots, the Coup, State Radio and former MC5 guitarist Wayne Kramer at the "Tent State Music Festival to End the War," as part of a four-day protest series planned for the city.
Check out more on this story.
Just in case those convention speeches get boring — and who are we kidding, they'll get real boring — Democrats and Republicans will have plenty of rocking options during their respective gatherings to anoint their presidential candidates. The latest artists to sign up for gigs during the conventions are Daughtry, the Flobots and Everclear, who will play a Grammy Foundation-sponsored gig during the Democratic convention. The Republicans, however, will get acoustic sets from some up-and-coming singer/songwriters.
Read the full story here.