J. Lo's Marilyn Monroe moment may not have gone as well as she planned.
You see, when Monroe sang the words "Happy Birthday, Mr. President" to John F. Kennedy, the controversy arose by murmurs of an affair. When J. Lo sang those words, scandal came by means of scathing headlines about human-rights violations and violent dictatorships. Not all press is good press, folks.
But in case you haven't seen all of the press about her recent dictatorial faux pas, here's what happened. The Chinese National Petroleum Corporation paid Jenny From the Block to perform at birthday party for Turkmenistani president Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov, taking place at a resort in the Caspian Sea. Thing is, according to Human Rights Watch (and nearly every other watchdog group), he happens to be one hell of a nasty dude.
There are times when snarky blogs about the state of the music industry seem wildly out of touch. This would be one of those times.
Another special session convenes today in Austin, with the Texas Legislature's agenda scheduled to address Senate Bill 5, which would virtually eliminate access to abortion facilities across the state. Updates on the state of Amanda Bynes' rap album and what Kanye named his baby can take a back seat for now.
Given that SB 5, if passed, will have a massive impact on the rights of women in this state, it seems far more appropriate to note the supporters of the movement to stop it. In honor of last week's filibuster superwoman, District 10 Texas Sen. Wendy Davis (D-Ft. Worth), and the push for the preservation of women's rights in general, here are dozens of musicians, DJs, music-industry insiders and other artists -- some from far beyond Texas -- who #standwithwendy.
This meme has been infecting my Facebook newsfeed lately, and I thought I'd reply. The facts are these...
Nakoula Basseley Nakoula spent a lot of his life making drugs, evading taxes, and commiting bank fraud, all acts that landed him in various institutions over the years. Because of the last fraud conviction the terms of his probation included no using alias or Internet usage without his probation officer's approval.
He violated both when he made Innocence of the Muslims, in addition to sparking protests where more than 70 people wound up dead. Nakoula ended up with a year in prison, and four years probation. As far as I can tell, he has never expressed any remorse or apologized for the trouble he has caused.
That's a bit more than simply "upsetting Muslims."
I love Election Day. Sure, early voting is great if you absolutely can't make it to the voting booth the day of, but given the choice I will always vote on Election Day. There may be lines, it may be out of the way, and it may even involve casting a ballot for someone I don't necessarily like, but voting makes me feel more American, and I like that feeling.
I also like making playlists, and I make them for everything. Seriously, I can't even make a 30-minute trip out of town without two hours of music to listen to, just in case.
What I'm getting at is that like anything else good in life, your Election Day drive needs a playlist. Struggling for ideas? Don't fret -- here are five songs to help you get in the voting spirit, no matter your political persuasion.
Imagine this: You go to a concert to see one of your favorite artists. Suddenly, mid-show, he or she starts spewing political rhetoric. You disagree with his or her ideas, so you and many others leave.
Free speech is something we claim to value in this country, but we are biased against opposing viewpoints. Rarely do we show favor towards those who hold a different point of view.
This happens often with artists regarding their fans: Should they speak their political opinions and risk losing their audience? Is the potential backlash worth their right to free speech?
This week Republicans from around the country gather in Florida to celebrate all things conservative and curse Issac for stealing the national spotlight. For me the 2012 Republican National Convention marks the true start of the presidential campaign season, the playoffs to the primaries' regular season.
Hard to believe that there have already been two musical controversies for the Romney campaign this year, one concerning the use of a Silversun Pickups' track and the other dealing with Paul Ryan's favorite band.
As a Republican it can be real confusing trying to figure out which bands like you and which bands don't. Here are some clues I've come up with to help any right wing Rocks Off loving candidates avoid the dreaded cease and desist order.
Free speech is a valued thing in this country. It's why journalists, writers, musicians and artists exist and are able to do what they do. However, in Russia, it seems to be under attack.
One case that has really gotten the international music world's attention is the Pussy Riot case. In March, the Russian punk band performed their song "Virgin Mary, Redeem Us of Putin" outside Moscow's main Russian Orthodox Cathedral. All three burka-clad alleged members were subsequently arrested and charged with hooliganism on grounds of religious hatred.
If convicted, the ladies face up to seven years in prison.
Mitt Romney had a troublesome time during his recent trip abroad, pissing off politicians and citizens in England, Palestine, and Poland (although to be fair, that last one was simply a guy who worked for Romney, not Romney himself).
Besides providing a potential future Ted Nugent album name -- "Kiss My Ass, This Is Holy Ground" -- Romney and his entourage have reminded us of just how difficult it can be to adjust to foreign cultures and their customs. Although some gaffes seem obvious in retrospect, such as immediately shitting on a country's ability to handle the Olympics, maybe Romney, his advisers, and yes, the rest of us could learn something from the mistakes of those who have gone before: The rock stars.
Few people travel more than they, and few people get into embarrassing situations more often. Let's have a look at some rock stars' faux pas abroad.
Above: Video of the performance that got three Moscow punk rockers arrested
If he were still alive, Frank Zappa would have a field day with this one.
Just when we thought the Montgomery County sheriff's department was setting the standard for dodgy tactics and thought control with Friday's suspicious preemptive arrest of local activist Aaron Brown prior to the Sarah Palin/Ted Cruz event in The Woodlands, we were reminded once again of what thought suppression looks like.
If you didn't see it in the headlines, back in March three alleged members of Russian female punk band Pussy Riot were arrested for performing a protest song against Vladimir Putin and the Russian Orthodox Church in Moscow's main cathedral. The performance has divided Russia, with some supporting the women and demanding wider freedom while the Orthodox establishment has called for severe punishment as an example of the limits on individual expression.