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The (John) Legend Of Barack Obama

Stop The Presses!

I don't know how much wristbands in Denver are going for, but I'm here to tell you that if you missed Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo, Coachella, Warped, or any of the other 2008 music festivals and have the next few days free, you still have a chance to head for Colorado to get in on the action before the unofficial summer-ending Labor Day weekend.

I refer, of course, to the big music bash happening in the Mile-High city right now. The list of performers appearing at various venues in town this week is not only star-studded, but reaches across virtually all stylistic and demographic lines imaginable. From Bono to Bennett (Tony), Moby to Mos Def, Bon Jovi to Black Eyed Peas, JT (James Taylor) to J.Lo, Daughtry to DiFranco (Ani), and West (Kanye) to Willie (Nelson), there seems to be something for just about every age and taste.

All in all, it's a pretty democratic approach to organizing a festival, I'd say. No wonder the Democratic Party is throwing its 2008 Presidential Convention there this week.

Oh, wait a minute — you mean, it's the other way around?

Seriously, you know the times they are a-changin' when people appear more juiced about who's playing at a political convention than who's speaking. (At least one Dylan — Jakob — was slated to show up, as apparently was Bruce Springsteen, long as he didn't have to get his photo taken with John Kerry.)

True, many of the musicians in Denver this week are there for events not technically related to one party or the other. For example, Rage Against The Machine headlines the Tent State Music Festival To End The War both here and at the Republican convention in Minneapolis next month, while Daughtry will also be showing up in both cities, taking part in non-partisan performances sponsored by, respectively, the Grammy Foundation and the Recording Industry Association.

Still, in what certainly was a precedent-setting first of some sort, Monday night's Democratic Convention floor activity included a very much sanctioned musical appearance by Barack Obama supporter John Legend. The singer-songwriter played his new song "If You're Out There" — which, according to a released statement, is an "anthemic call to action and evocation of human potential." 

The tune, which Legend performed at the DNC Monday (see clip below), is available at my.barackobama.com/johnlegend. I should also note that it is already available for purchase on iTunes.

Now that's what I call product placement.

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