Former Iowa Citian Matthew Grimm drops new song with Get Out the Vote vid

  • 164

Musician Matthew Grimm, a longtime Iowa City fixture now based in Madison, Wisconsin, recently released a video intended to assist in Get Out the Vote efforts. “The Whirlwind” is a no-holds-barred indictment of the current administration. It condemns its actions, landing hard on ICE raids and the treatment of immigrants.

“Did you think we’d take your hand and just go gently into a new dark age?” the song asks, calling on all Americans to rise up and become a whirlwind to sweep away injustice.

“I did this GOTV/Bring It Home anthem called ‘The Whirlwind’ to light a few fires under what asses I was able,” Grimm wrote in an email. “Figure a bit of fire might help in the stretch-run.”

Video still from “The Whirlwind.”

For the video, Grimm cobbled together some of the most potent images coming out of the news in the past months — shots of ICE in action, for example, juxtaposed against Nazi-era photos snuck into the mix — along with pics of the “enemy within,” as the song names the administration heavyweights that Grimm calls a “rogues gallery” in his email (Chuck Grassley and Steve King make the cut).

As he roll-calls the diversity of America in the song’s second half, he shows images of rabblerousers and heroes of the progressive movement, including many current candidates for office. J.D. Scholten and Abby Finkenauer have cameos here.

The PAC Blue America picked up on the song and had Grimm put together some shorter versions of the song as ads for some of their target candidates, including Scholten.

When he first shared the song online, Grimm wrote: “I did a new song and packed a solid two years of rage into it. Alternate alternate title: The Machine That Kills Fascists. The latter is [the general] you, by the way.”

Grimm, who was raised in Stanwood, Iowa, spent seven years in Iowa City honing his credentials as what he calls “a musical ‘activist’ of sorts.” He still plays in the area on occasion and has connections in the labor community here.

  • 164

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


A collaboration between The Englert Theatre and FilmScene


Help us build the greatest small city for the arts in America—right here in Iowa City. Learn more »

Donate Today

Strengthen • Grow • Evolve is a collaborative campaign led by two Iowa City-based arts nonprofits, The Englert Theatre and FilmScene that seeks a major reinvestment to strengthen the arts through modern and historic venues, innovative programming, and new models of collaboration.

For 18 years...

Little Village has been telling the truth and changing our little corner of the world.

If you can, help us head into the next 18 years even stronger with a one-time or monthly contribution of $18, or any amount you choose.

Little Village
2019 Give Guide

Get to know some of the nonprofits helping to make the CRANDIC a better place to live.