Artist of the Week: Fall Out Boy

The men of Fall Out Boy hail from comfie Chicago suburbs and built an emo empire on wittily wordplayed rock anthems, zip-up hoodies, and bringing up baby bands (and, in the case of Hollywood power couple Pete Wentz and wife Ashlee Simpson, an actual baby in a matter of days). But while they're not necessarily a political band per se, mall rats these boys are not; despite their clothing line affiliations and various forays into retail and side projects, do not expect to find them spending all of their downtime at Northbrook Court or The Grove OMGing over distressed denim. Fall Out Boy is a band that's done the math, does their homework, and keeps up with the world beyond Soundscan and Perez Hilton and encourages their fans to do the same.

Fall Out Boy's pro-social history goes a little like this: the band shot their video for "I'm Like a Lawyer With the Way I'm Always Trying to Get You Off (Me & You)," in northern Uganda, raising awareness of that war-torn country's displaced children (and the non-profit group Invisible Children, which the band has championed for years) instead of stroking their own egos in the glammy, flashy video many perhaps expected.

Pete Wentz has been an outspoken advocate for young adults suffering from mental health issues, and he's made no secret of his support of gay rights, posing on the July cover of Out magazine.

And the band's made no secret of their endorsement of hometown hero Barack Obama for U.S. president, speaking out about the candidate in interviews, holding fundraisers and performing at Rock the Vote at the Democratic National Convention.

And while Fall Out Boy is about to release their highly anticipated new album, Folie à Deux -- their fifth studio album and the follow-up to 2007's Infinity on High, which debuted at #1 -- and while their lead single, "I Don't Care," is a tongue-in-cheek faceplant into megalomania and narcissism, their MTV Artist of the Week run is not a blatant big-guys-in-business-suits-and-board-meetings-inspired dog-and-pony album push. Instead, Fall Out Boy's using their airtime as an end-of-the-line, last-ditch, no-seriously-we-really-mean-it opportunity to inspire young Americans to vote on November 4th.

Watch the first of Fall Out Boy's election-themed Artist of the Week spots (watch them all here and below, watch Patrick give Pete an up-close-and-personal view of body politics, and see the guys O.D. on wind power -- the sexiest drug of all!), check out photos here, and find out more about the 2008 election at