Yo, drum majors, are you ready for a challenge? Alt band Cake wants to see your wild streak — your "controlled rage" and your defiance — in a bid for Washington's attention. What's at stake? You know, just the future of music education in America. Oh ... and the chance to rock out in a new Cake video.
The Cake Federal Funding March Video Contest, a collaboration between the band and the US Scholastic Band Association (USSBA), is calling on marching bands across the country to perform their own rendition of the Cake song, aptly called, "Federal Funding." (You can listen to a little of the song on RollingStone.com.)
"We want to hear exuberance, and maybe even a good amount of controlled rage," Cake trumpeter Vince DiFiore tells Act. "There is something sinister about the arrangement. Bringing that darkness to light will make for some brilliant performances."
Likewise, there's something sinister about the threat of public schools losing their music and arts education programs. Being a part of this contest is one way of showing The Man that students want and need these curricula in place, and that the government had better make financing them a top priority. "If there is a demand, the funding will follow. It has to be important to the local community," says DeFiore.
And what's not to demand, given the rock star training at students' fingertips? After all, Trent Reznor was a marching band percussionist long before he was a Nine Inch Nail or an Oscar winning composer; Steven Tyler rocked out on the trumpet way before "American Idol" was a twinkle in Simon Fuller's eye; and Gwen Stefani got her start as a flutist (flautist? Tomato, tomahto) — as if "Hollaback Girl" wasn't a dead giveaway.
To register your school's band, fill out this form ASAP. Then you'll be able to download the score and parts. Once you're game-day ready, record a video of the performance and submit. Cake will choose 9 top finalists; a wild card finalist will be picked by the public (you, us, them). The winners, "chosen for the creativity and quality of their performance," will get to star in Cake's "Federal Funding" music video — on the school's home turf, no less.
See details below — but hurry! Videos will be accepted from October 1 - 31 and voting opens soon. Knock 'em dead, rock stars.