We haven't had a contest in a while. This one's at the nexus of music and politics. It's easy to play but less easy to explain. Let me try. You can win an autographed copy of a new book coming out next week, Disturbing The Peace-- 415 Records And The Rise Of New Wave, along with a sealed companion CD, 415 Records-- Still Disturbing The Peace, with songs by many of the groups author Bill Kopp wrote about in the book. And, on top of that, the candidate of your choice will get a $1,000 check from Blue America for their campaign. There are two books and two CDs, doubling your chance to win. The contest ends next Monday at noon (your time), Valentine's Day-- that's February 14.
So, here's how to enter. Just contribute to the campaign of the candidate you like best on this page. Any amount is fine. The candidate who gets the most contributions wins the $1,000 check with a note saying it came to them because of you. Meanwhile, your name gets entered in a drawing and next Monday we'll pick two people to win the two packs of a book and a CD.
And here's the... quirk. Since every candidate on the page supports the Green New Deal, Medicare for All, racial justice reform, women's choice and the other issues Blue America stands for, the way we're asking you to pick a candidate is based on... their favorite musical artist! I know that sounds different, but... since they are already all excellent candidates politically, why not pick one based on what you can glean about their choice of music. I asked each of these candidates to tell me who their favorite band or musician is:
Shervin Aazami (CA)- New Order
Sergio Alcubilla (HI)- The Temptations
Jason Call (WA)- Pink Floyd
Ally Dalsimer (VA)- Carol King
Melanie D'Arrigo (NY)- Smashing Pumpkins
Chris Deluzio (PA)- Lady Gaga
Cristina Garcia (CA)- Cyndi Lauper
Alan Grayson (FL)- Joni Mitchell
Morgan Harper (OH)- Lauryn Hill
Steve Holden (NY)- U2
Lourin Hubbard- Kendrick Lamar
Alexandra Hunt (PA)- Imagine Dragons
Daniel Lee (CA)- Prince
Tom Nelson (WI)- AC/DC
Christine Olivo (FL)- Janet Jackson
Mike Ortega (CA)- Pink Floyd
Chris Preece (IN)- Iron Maiden
Kylie Taitano (CA)- the Postal Service
Neal Walia (CO)- Mos Def
Some of these candidates are active fans of these artists. Florida Senate candidate Alan Grayson, for example, basically knows every word of every Joni Mitchell song! He's been talking about her to me for almost 2 decades! When I asked him why he picked her as his favorite artist, he said "I’ve looked at life from both sides, now-- Joni Mitchell gave me an early warning. Also, life really is for learning, as Joni said in Woodstock."
If there's one candidate who talks to me more about musical performers than Grayson, it's another Senate candidate, Tom Nelson in Wisconsin, a huge AC/DC fan. "The good lord made the world with four elements and AC/DC made rock'n'roll with three chords. Both were masterpieces." You can see, he's serious.
One more thing, if you want to enter the contest but you're short of cash, just send a postcard and say you want tone entered in the 415 contest to:
PO Box 27201
Los Angeles, CA 90027
You'll have the same chance as anyone else to win. But send it right away. It needs to get to us by Monday, Feb. 14. You can find a copy of our general contest rules here (just ignore the specifics of that particular contest). Morgan Harper told me why Lauryn Hill is her favorite musical artist: "Hearing Lauryn Hill's unapologetic determination to chart her own path in her seminal The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill album has been a source of strength for me since I was a teenager. In a world telling us to conform in order to succeed, she gave us permission to boldly be ourselves."
OK, so one more time: here's the page where you enter the contest. And here's the song that launched 415 Records into national prominence: