Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann is easily one of the most mainstream anti-gay politicians in America. She believes legalized gay marriage will result in the indoctrination of homosexuality in children (because that’s how it works, duh!), and lead the charge to pass a constitutional amendment in Minnesota, which she represents in the U.S. Congress, banning gay marriage. Bachmann has said teaching children that being gay is OK is akin to child abuse and that being gay is “part of Satan.” She also said, “If you're involved in the gay and lesbian lifestyle, it's bondage. It is personal bondage, personal despair and personal enslavement.”
So it’s pretty odd that she is using Katy Perry’s smash “Firework” as a campaign anthem. Over the weekend, she entered the conservative RightOnline conference (where she was “glitter bombed”) in Minneapolis to the song.
Which begs the question: Does Michele Bachmann know what “Firework” is about? Is she aware it is a pro-tolerance anthem, with a video that includes a storyline about a young man coming to terms with his sexuality and kissing another man? Perry dedicated the video to the It Gets Better campaign, which was started last fall to encourage LGBT teens to stay strong following the bullying-related suicides of several gay teens.
At the Nassau Coliseum on Friday night, we were there when Perry told the audience what inspired the song. "I wrote this song for anyone who ever needed a song,” Perry said. “To help them, to lift them up.”
We suspect Perry wouldn’t be pleased that her song about lifting people up is being used by a politician best known for her attempts to keep people down. Read More...
Celebrating almost doing something is always a little unusual (it's doubtful the Boston Celtics will commemorate the day they lost the NBA Championship to the Los Angeles Lakers, and it seems impossible that John McCain throws a party to remember the day he nearly won an election), but then again, how many opportunities does life really give us to talk about Jesus Jones? On this day in 1991, Jesus Jones' "Right Here, Right Now" climbed into the number two position on the Billboard Hot 100. It seemed primed to crash the top level of the chart, but it was boxed out by Bryan Adams' "(Everything I Do) I Do It For You" (which was an absolute juggernaut of a tune, staying in the top spot for seven weeks).
Jesus Jones formed in 1986 in England and are still active today. They were part of a wave of post-Madchester bands who were experimenting with rock, hip-hop and various dance styles (not unlike EMF, who was recently celebrated in this section). Their debut album Liquidizer earned them a lot of buzz, but their crossover success came with 1991's Doubt. It contained some of the band's biggest singles. Doubt made them superstars in both their native England and in the United States. Though they haven't released any new material since 2004, they occasionally get together to play shows.
But of course, their legacy hinges on "Right Here, Right Now," a hit that has had incredible legs thanks to its involvement with a number of advertising campaigns. It sounds super-dated today, but it also sounds awesome.
In one of the stranger stories to come over the wire in a long time, it turns out that former Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney got into an altercation with Sky Blu of LMFAO on an airplane on Monday (February 15). Before the flight from Vancouver (where the group was hanging out at the Winter Olympics) to Los Angeles could even get off the ground, Romney asked Blu to put his seat up. When the artist didn't comply, the altercation became physical, and Blu was escorted off the plane by air marshals.
While this is probably the most direct confrontation between a musician and a politician, there have been no shortage of head-to-heads between the two worlds.
John McCain vs. John Mellencamp
At rallies during his 2008 presidential run, McCain's camp often played the rootsy midwestern rocker's "Our Country." One problem: Mellencamp is a staunch Democrat and at the time was endorsing the campaign of John Edwards (who was also using "Our Country" at rallies). Read More...
Muse really, really want to make it big in America. I mean, this a group whose singer/guitarist Matthew Bellamy recently told Spin magazine, "We'd like to be remembered amongst the best bands in the history of rock. It's necessary to have sustained success in this country for that to happen."
But the British band doesn't want it bad enough to cozy up to an endorsement from Fox News weeping head Glenn Beck, who was singing Muse's praises last month for what he saw as their apocalyptic, one-world order warning on their new album, The Resistance. No sooner had Beck big-upped his paranoid android buddies in the prog trio than he reported that their people called him and asked that he rescind his endorsement. Or did they? On Monday, we found out that Beck was just kidding when he claimed that Muse had put the kibosh on his kudos.
While a Beck endorsement might not put them over the top, popularity-wise, in the U.S., if their retraction request had been real, it would have put them in some impressive company in terms of bands who've asked conservative powerhouses to lay off using or praising their music. There was a flood of these no-thank-yous in last year's presidential election, most of them aimed at failed Republican nominee Senator John McCain.
The Vietnam war hero got pwned by no less than half a dozen acts during his presidential bid, from the Foo Fighters, Van Halen and Heart to John Mellencamp and Jackson Browne.
Classic rockers Boston also fired off an angry missive to Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, asking the former Baptist minister to stop using their 1975 hit "More Than a Feeling" during his rallies.
Then again, maybe if Hillary Clinton had gotten the smackdown from Celine Dion, things would have been different.
Foo Fighters have been on hiatus since their last tour wrapped, but they'll play one show this weekend out of civic duty. Rolling Stone reports that the band will play a short set this Saturday, July 4, on the South Lawn of the White House. Foos frontman Dave Grohl, who grew up in the Washington D.C. area and got his start playing in local hardcore band Scream, is no stranger to the political realm: He and his band played voting drives for the Obama campaign and expressed his ire over John McCain's use of "My Hero" during tour stops.
There are plenty of Foo Fighters songs that can act as inspiration tunes for President Obama ("My Hero" and "Best of You" among them), but there are a handful of tunes in the Foos catalog that they should probably avoid.
"Long Road to Ruin"
In the age of hope, this sentiment would probably be a little too pessimistic.
By Eric Ditzian
After much hype — most of it joyfully, shamelessly self-created — Stephen Colbert touched down inside Iraq for the start of a week's worth of shows live from one Saddam Hussein's former palaces.
Monday night's pre-taped episode of "The Colbert Report" showcased the host at his bloviating best, heartily congratulating himself for his bravery one minute and aiming his satirical arrows at the usual political targets the next. Starting off with a cold open sketch that had Stephen kidnapped and secreted away to an undisclosed location, he arrived in Iraq only to be pelted — à la former President Bush — with shoes and to learn, much to his chagrin, that no alcohol is served in the country.
The show itself took place in a large auditorium in front of an all-soldier audience. As is usually the case when late night shows travel away from their home studios and to larger venues, this airing of the "Report" suffered somewhat from a lack of intimacy. Forced to project his voice and play to the crowd rather than to the camera, Stephen's opening jokes came off less like a late night monologue than some massive graduation speech.
By Sohyung Kang
Like many of you, I spent much of the week eagerly anticipating last night's "American Idol" performance finale. A battle of opposites. A larger-than-life, flamboyant rocker pitted against a pocket-sized, understated boy-next-door. Two talented men, facing off in what appears to be a very close competition, maybe the closest since season two's Ruben Studdard vs. Clay Aiken matchup. It's got to be appointment television, right? Wrong. The show could not have been more boring.
Things more exciting than last night's show: C-SPAN. Watching a mouse trying to free itself from a trap. A romantic evening with John McCain. The most climactic part of the night was when the fembot Carrie Underwood stopped singing and the series premiere of "Glee" began.
In any case, here's how the finale breaks down:
Round 1: Adam's "Mad World" vs. Kris' "Ain't No Sunshine"
I was disheartened to find that the contestants had to perform songs they had already done during the season. If I wanted to sit through repeat performances of "Mad World" and "Ain't No Sunshine," I'd visit YouTube. There were only a few subtle changes to each respective performance. The most noticeable was Adam's wardrobe. I did a double take as he appeared onstage, initially believing him to be wearing a dress. That would have made the show infinitely more amusing. But no, it was just a giant cape. How disappointing. Read More...
During his address to Congress last night, President Barack Obama focused on the state of the economy, bringing a young and energetic voice to an otherwise grim situation. While he came off stern and concerned, the president offered uplifting statements as well, saying, "We will rebuild," and arguing the potential success of the $787 billion stimulus package, which has gone from a bill to a reality in recent weeks.
Any overarching presidential speech of this decade would be remiss if it didn't include a plan for Iraq, Afghanistan and our troops. Beyond the overwhelming youth involvement and enthusiasm, there are a few things that stuck out as major promises in President Obama's campaign, like the planned 16-month troop pullout from Iraq. Democrats and young people across the nation applauded Obama for his plan, which was in strict opposition to that of former President Bush and, of course, opponent John McCain.
So when Obama gave the time frame of 19 months last night in his speech, there were a few furrowed brows. While the campaign promised 16 months, apparently the Pentagon and military officials argued for 23 months — and so, through a "meeting of the minds," as Obama called it, they arrived at a compromise of 19 months. Compromise? In Washington? Fresh. And certainly a departure from the more ... didactic and unilateral decision-making of our 43rd president. I think we can forgive the three-month difference in place of the bigger promise kept, which was to bring compromise, and a president who listens to his entire Cabinet before making a fair and balanced decision.
By Garth Bardsley
If you just can't bear to wait any longer for Bono's "Spider-Man" musical — and who can, really? — maybe this will have to do: A small theater in London is currently rehearsing a brand-new show about the man John McCain called "the biggest celebrity in the world."
"Obama on My Mind" will begin performances at the small Hen and Chickens Theatre (yes, that's really what it's called) in London next month, and despite its lack of big-name stars, the creators feel confident it will attract legions of British Barack fans.
"I think Obama, because he's so huge and [because of] the fever around him, I think lots of people are going to come and see it," Tim McArthur, the musical's director, told The Associated Press. The show's U.S.-born creator, Teddy Hayes, describes it as a "humorous romp" that mixes several different types of music, including pop, gospel, jazz, tango and, uh, "some Motownish stuff."
By Jayson Rodriguez
Battle lines were drawn between rappers this weekend. Diddy (along with Snoop Dogg) is a hard-core Pittsburgh Steelers fan, as he said on a video blog last week (which we can't link to, owing to his provocative language) before he headed down to Tampa, Florida, for all the festivities surrounding Super Bowl weekend.
We're guessing former G-Unit rapper Hot Rod rides for the Arizona Cardinals, since he is from Phoenix. But after Super Bowl XLIII, where the Steelers defeated the Cards 27-23, Hot Rod didn't return a text asking for a comment on the game. After all, this hasn't been a good year for Arizona: John McCain took an L in the presidential election, then Kurt Warner and company caught one on Sunday night.