It pays to be circumspect about naming your band these days. If you aren’t, there’s always the chance that some pack of jealous old fogies still clinging to faded glory is going to show up on your doorstep and wave a summons in your face.
So it was that The Mission, a California-by-way-of-Boston crew of Berklee-educated hip-hop musicians, changed their name to Crown City Rockers at the request of British goth-rockers Mission UK. Undeterred, the West Coast transplants marched into the studio and didn’t come out again until they had Earthtones, an album of whiplash beats, fat funk grooves and laid-back old-school rhymes on a stylistic—if not quite commercial—par with the Roots, the Coup or A Tribe Called Quest.
Just the right sugar, you could say, to send political medicine down in a most delightful way. The Crown City Rockers will headline this weekend’s Votestock 2004 at Caras Park, a collaborative effort between Hungis Productions and nonprofit organization MontPIRG aimed at rounding up unregistered youth voters for the upcoming elections. The Crown City Rockers will be joined by a crazy core sample of local talent, including Ever Since the Accident, the Hermans, Jazzfill, Ass-End Offend and DJs Locke and Nasty. The goal of the event is to register 500 new voters.
“We would like to see this election year as a catalyst for the change of voting demographics,” explains Hungis’ Alex “JACo” Kast, who says he sees a lot of debate in the dueling campaign platforms, but very little of it concerning America’s youth. “The theme of the event will be that not only is it important to vote in the presidential election, but to also remember that most change happens through local politics.”
“The 18- to 25-year-old bracket of the population has the lowest voting presence,” Kast explains in a personal letter accompanying the Votestock press release. “Hence, politicians don’t talk about or take action on the issues we see as important—one, for instance, being the ever-rising costs of a college education, and another being the continuing lack of income for our age bracket.
“I see this presidential election year as the surprise election,” he continues. “Young men and women will go out and vote in a fashion never seen in American politics before. I, however, don’t want to see this as being just a one-time deal. We need to reach out and show people, the young and the older, the importance of local politics.”
Amen to that, brother. Votestock runs from 2 to 10 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 25, at Caras Park. It’s FREE. Please register to vote!