Artists Speak Out with “Signs of the Times”

If a picture is worth a thousand words, than what do you get when mixing pictures, words and musicians?

How 'bout a virtual imprint of the American psyche,  straight from the minds of James Murphy, Questlove, Wayne Coyne, Bob Weir and more than 50 other artists?

Take a look.

HeadCount’s “Signs of the Times” project features a series of photos where musicians and their fans hold up simple and personal signs.  More than 3,000 fans have participated, getting their photos taken at HeadCount booths at festivals, and then competing for prizes based on who gets the most “likes” on Facebook. Their photos appear alongside those taken by artists, many of which have a poignant – while sometimes comical – message.

Coyne of the Flaming Lips commented on his generation’s waist size. Weir, a HeadCount board member, got philosophical about voting. So did Jim James of My Morning Jacket, as did James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem and Tegan and SaraQuestlove of the Roots honors the legacy of a friend and influential producer.  Aussie John Butler railed against corporate power. All these photos and more can be viewed in the Signs of the Times artist album.

Meanwhile, the fan photos have generated over 10,000 likes and comments on Facebook. For each festival, a different prize was awarded for the photo with the most likes. The leading vote-getter to date read: "We are a military family" (775 likes). The most popular themes have been same-sex marriage, ending corporate influence in politics, and how much people love festivals!

The Signs of the Times photo series has been a catalyst for positive dialogue within the music community.  With barely a year to go before the presidential election, that’s exactly what we hoped to achieve.

Special thanks to everyone who has participated or contributed to the Signs of the Times series, especially our volunteers, photographers Allison Murphy, Dino Perucci, Michael Martin and Dave Vann, and everyone who has “liked” or taken a photo.

Look for the next installment of the Signs of the Times at the Dave Matthews Band Caravans, Hip-Hop Caucus MLK Memorial Dedication Party, North Coast Festival, moe.down and Virgin Mobile Freefest.