The Grip Weeds encourage voting with ‘Casual Observer (to a Crime)’ video

grip weeds casual observer

The Grip Weeds (from left, Dave DeSantis, Kristin Pinell, Rick Reil and Kurt Reil).

Kurt Reil of The Grip Weeds wrote the fast-and-catchy psychedelic-rock song “Casual Observer (to a Crime)” in early 2017 and it was included on the band’s 2018 album Trip Around the Sun, released by the Jem label. The band has also made a new video for it, underscoring its pro-voting message during the Election Day season. You can watch the video below.

Reil sings in the chorus:

I’m watching scenes unravel in a movie of my mind
Only this one’s happening in real time
Gotta get up of the sidelines, I can’t sit idly by
Like a casual observer to a crime

The song itself does not have an explicitly anti-Trump message, but the video does, showing a comically distorted image of the president and footage of Black Lives Matter protesters, among other things.

In the recently posted first episode of “Vibrations From the House of Vibes,” a new podcast devoted to the band’s music and other projects they work on in their Highland Park studio House of Vibes, Reil said that he has gotten some complaints from fans who think they shouldn’t have delved into politics, but feels that writing and recording the song was simply a matter of artistic expression.

“We as songwriters and as musicians can’t help but mirror the society that we live in,” he said. ” ‘Oh yeah, there’s this crazy thing going on in our country.’ Well, yeah, I’m going to write about it.”

“We are not here to preach to anyone who they should vote for and what they should do,” said Kurt’s brother and bandmate, Rick Reil. “If I can summarize what our core philosophy is, to the extent that we have one, I’ve always felt that we’re a band that is about being positive and optimistic in the face of difficult times.”

For more about the band and their podcast, visit

Here is the video for “Casual Observer (to a Crime)” and, below it, a video released by Rick Reil’s other band, The Wylde Olde Souls, during the Election Day season: a cover of the classic Buffalo Springfield protest song “For What It’s Worth” (which is also mentioned in the podcast).


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