Ordinarily, a primary election happening after presidential nominations are set would be a low-key affair. But that's not the case in North Carolina this year, thanks to Amendment 1 -- which would write into the state constitution that the only valid legal domestic union is marriage between one man and one woman.
While numerous business and political leaders have weighed in against it, Amendment 1 still appears headed for passage with a solid double-digit lead in most opinion polls. And in a move reminescent of past campaigns against the late Sen. Jesse A. Helms, North Carolina's music community has taken up the cause of trying to rally voters against it.
One such event is Thursday night at Durham's Motorco Music Hall, a benefit for Protect NC Families. Superchunk's Mac McCaughan, Mountain Goats' John Darnielle and Reigning Sound's Greg Cartwright will all play, with comedian Tara Defrancisco serving as host. Cover is $20; but if you want to shell out for the $100 VIP ticket, you get to request a song they'll play.
On April 27, Stu McLamb from The Love Language, John Howie and others will play at Carrboro Town Hall from noon to 4 p.m. This one is to raise awareness about early voting (which begins Thursday).
The biggest local anti-Amendment 1 show so far is the Concert to Defeat Amendment One May 6 at Haw River Ballroom, with Bob Mould, David Cross, Stu McLamb, comedian Tig Notaro, Superchunk in acoustic-duo format (!) and Amber Tamblyn. Tickets are $80 and include a silkscreened event poster.
There's also been at least one very fine new song inspired by this, "Vote Against Amendment One." Composed by Greensboro's Laurelyn Dossett (of "The Gathering" fame), it features Molly McGinn, Carolina Chocolate Drop Rhiannon Giddens Laffan and others.
Read more about the campaigns for and against the amendment here.