Earthwise announces 2nd ‘Cutting Contest for Candidates’

Hey candidates can you sing or dance?

In 2018, Earthwise ranked the Palo Alto City Council candidates based on a music contest: Rebecca Eisenberg tied for first; Greer Stone, tied for first; Stephen Lee, third; Cari Templeton, fourth; Burt, Kou, Tanaka, Lauing tied for eighth. (Of those top four, only Greer also won the election per se).

Four years later, I am at it again: hey, candidates? Can you sing, play or dance? Can you make a video, from 30 seconds to 2 minutes, where you match Pat Monahan and Train and their hit “Hey, Soul Sister”?

The candidates are: Alex Comsa, Lisa Forssell, Brian Hamachek, Ed Lauing; Julie Lythcott-Haims; Doria Summa and Vicki Veenker

As someone who has been involved in the arts for 28 years and “civic engagement” for 13 years, its only natural that I would get involved in this manner this cycle.

All you have to do is find a quiet room, turn on your smart phone and repeat the words “hey soul sister, ain’t that mister mister, on the radio, stereo/The way you move ain’t fair you know” and that gets you about a four on a ten point scale. The future leader of the free world, were she first a local politician, would run thru all three verses and two choruses, from your “lipstick stains” to “blowing our mind like Madonna”, et cetera, plus make us all swoon. Bonus points for style such as being able to accompany self on a uke, or adding a bridge or interlude where you move and shake your thing. You can also add a spouse or kid as side-people, but don’t add a ringer. (Unless its Pat Monahan himself, or Steve Jenkins of 3EB, or Tommy Jordan of Geggy Tah or Maya Ford of The Donnas*, which implies an endorsement, which illustrates how networking and delegating is part of being a politician. My default belief is that Palo Alto like a lot of places in the US that are poorly led, or struggle to self-govern, the leaders are stiff, and stifled, and too often mere puppets of special interests. They look stuck in a grimace and clench, like resisting a medical procedure.)

Try to have fun with this. Try to have fun in the Democratic process. (I ran three times and had a ball each time, even if I only got 8,000 votes and not 20,000 cumulative).

I will announce the judges in a minute. (I’m hoping to enlist M—, and A—). 

Submissions are due by noon on Friday, September 16, with winners announced the following Monday. The election is not until November 8. [contest extended to September 23– editor]

By the way, Train played Earthwise Productions music series at the former Cubberley High on January 28, 1998 the week they signed with Sony Records. Pat actually sang “happy birthday to me” backstage, and added the word “you mother fucker” to the normal, popular lyrics. 


Here is the official scoring from 2018, quoting my own blog:

So I would say the results are

Eisenberg: 80

Stone: 80 (tie for first — pending a review by the judges)

Lee: 50

Templeton: 10

Raven Malone: 5 (she posed for a photo, and danced a bit while I was talking to Cari, and her partner Reggie Williams — not the NFL star — knows the song[“When You Were Mine” by Prince] but she did not).

Lauing, Burt, Varma, Kuo: 0 (Thanks for listening: NOT)

Tanaka: -(-10) minus 10 – -he pays a media company to monitor my activity and interject with his bullshit propaganda.

I actually have a 40 second version of this where I improvise a couplet about the contest but I will spare you, for now:


*or Cory Lerios, Paly class of 1970, who is playing with Pablo Cruise here at Mitchell Park Bowl on September 3. Here is Bo Crane, the local history buff, posing with the flyer:

About markweiss86

Mark Weiss, founder of Plastic Alto blog, is a concert promoter and artist manager in Palo Alto, as Earthwise Productions, with background as journalist, advertising copywriter, book store returns desk, college radio producer, city council and commissions candidate, high school basketball player, and blogger; he also sang in local choir, fronts an Allen Ginsberg tribute Beat Hotel Rm 32 Reads 'Howl' and owns a couple musical instruments he cannot play
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