'The Bridge Sessions' To Feature Bob Weir, The National, & Political Leaders

Article Contributed by HeadCount | Published on Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Bob Weir, a founding member of the Grateful Dead, will perform with members of Brooklyn, NY-based The National in “The Bridge Session,” a free live concert to be broadcast on Yahoo! Music originating from Weir’s TRI Studios on Saturday, March 24th.

A video preview of the event was released today. Saturday’s event will be broadcast live on Yahoo! Music and can be viewed here.

In between sets of the musical performance, political figures and activists will weigh in on topics such as getting money out of politics, protecting the First Amendment and the 2012 Presidential election. Panelists will include independent Presidential candidate Buddy Roemer, No Labels cofounder Mark McKinnon (a former media advisor to George W. Bush, John McCain, Bono and Lance Armstrong), climate change activist Jessy Tolkan, and Grateful Dead lyricist and Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) cofounder John Perry Barlow.

“We’re trying to sort of stir the pot,” said Weir, who is a board member of HeadCount.org, the non-profit organization producing the event. “There are going to be some, shall we say, effervescent personalities involved in these discussions and we’re going to make it as entertaining as possible.”

Fans watching The Bridge Session from home will be able to ask questions to Weir and the featured guests via Twitter.

HeadCount, a non-partisan voter registration and civic engagement organization, put together the event in an attempt to “bridge the gaps” between different political perspectives as well as musical genres, sparking conversation that extends well beyond the three-hour webcast. The name “The Bridge Session” also references TRI Studios’ location 15 minutes north of the Golden Gate Bridge and The National’s home base near the Brooklyn Bridge.

“This live stream performance is sure to be historic not just for music, but also for the discourse it will ignite amongst Yahoo! Music’s 34 million monthly visitors,” said Dave DiMartino, Executive Editor of Yahoo! Music. “‘The Bridge Session’ will add to the growing list of successful live events broadcasted on Yahoo!, such as the ‘Decade of Difference’ concert celebrating Bill Clinton’s 65th birthday, Bill Maher’s live comedy stand up performance, ‘The Hunger Games’ and ‘Twilight’ red-carpet events and more.”

Weir will be backed by an ensemble that includes The National’s Scott and Bryan Devendorf and their bandmate Aaron Dessner, along with many longtime friends from Brooklyn’s vibrant independent music scene: Thomas “Doveman” Bartlett and Kyle Resnick, both frequent collaborators of The National, Walt Martin of The Walkmen, Conrad Doucette of Takka Takka, and Sam Cohen and Josh Kaufman of the Yellowbirds. Kaufman is also the event’s musical director. HeadCount founder Marc Brownstein, a member of the electronic rock band The Disco Biscuits and a Brooklyn native, will serve as emcee.

About HeadCount:

HeadCount is a non-partisan grassroots organization that uses the power of music to register voters and raise social consciousness. Since 2004, HeadCount has staged voter registration drives at over 2,000 concerts and signed up over 175,000 voters. Headcount reaches young music fans where they already are – at concerts and online – to inform and empower. The message is not about what party one supports -- it’s that you must speak to be heard.

About TRI Studios:

Tamalpais Research Institute is the vision of Bob Weir, a founding member of the Grateful Dead. Weir and his team have built a state-of-the-art performance studio for broadcasting live HD video and audio streams directly to the Internet. Each show is directed, filmed, and mixed live in real time. Every care will be taken to provide the highest possible upstream bandwidth to transmit high quality HD video and audio. The musicians and panelists may be playing and speaking in the domain of Mount Tamalpais, but their music and thoughts will be streaming to the entire free world.