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Beastie Boys Announce Swing State Tour

October 10, 2008 9:00 AM ET

The Beastie Boys have announced their "Get Out and Vote" tour. In an e-mail blast this morning, the activist rappers said, "This election is too important to stay at home. We hope that you can come out, have a nice night, dance, sing, get your freak on, and then wake up the next morning and get everyone that you possibly can to get out and vote." Mike D told Rolling Stone, "Looking at musicians when they take on serious social issues with some degree of cynicism is probably healthy, because you don't really ever know what people's intentions are. But everybody is like, 'What could I possibly do to weigh in here?' You know we can try and make phone calls, and that's good, but we could also probably reach a lot more people by doing this."

Diamond added, ""This is the first election in my lifetime that seems so crucial ... Barack Obama is somebody who has really got me excited about the Presidential race," though the tour itself is technically non-partisan and is partnering with Rock the Vote. So far, only the first three dates of the tour have been announced, and the band promises to bring special guests like Sheryl Crow, Jack Johnson, Tenacious D and Santogold with them to various shows. Stay tuned to their official site for more tour dates and ticket information.

Beastie Boys Get Out and Vote Tour October 28 - Richmond, VA @ Richmond Coliseum (With Sheryl Crow, Norah Jones, Jack Johnson and Santogold)
November 1 - St. Paul, MN @ Roy Wilkins Auditorium (With Ben Harper and Tenacious D)
November 2 - Milwaukee, WI @ U.S. Cellular Arena (With Ben Harper, Crosby & Nash and Tenacious D)

Related Stories:
Campaign '08: Artists Prep Protest Albums
The Immortals: Beastie Boys
Bruce Springsteen Inspires Voters In Philadelphia

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Song Stories

“Bird on a Wire”

Leonard Cohen | 1969

While living on the Greek island of Hydra, Cohen was battling a lingering depression when his girlfriend handed him a guitar and suggested he play something. After spotting a bird on a telephone wire, Cohen wrote this prayer-like song of guilt. First recorded by Judy Collins, it would be performed numerous times by artists incuding Johnny Cash, Joe Cocker and Rita Coolidge. "I'm always knocked out when I hear my songs covered or used in some situation," Cohen told Rolling Stone. "I've never gotten over the fact that people out there like my music."

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