Tag Archives: Music

And They Wonder Why We Laugh At Them

The CPAC rap, starring Fox News’ Steve Crowder and Chris Loesch, husband of Dana Loesch. I bet parties are really un-fun at their house:

Dudes. The jogging suits and Federalist-era wigs? Really? Seriously? And the granny trying lamely to rock out? This is the kind of stuff that requires brain bleach after viewing.

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Filed under conservatives, CPAC, music and politics

Gingrich Campaign Steals From Songwriters

Newt Gingrich’s campaign has repeatedly violated copyright law by improperly using “Eye Of The Tiger” at campaign events, says the song’s co-writer and publisher, who is now suing the campaign:

After months of attempting to deal with Gingrich’s campaign, a Palatine-based music publishing company owned by Survivor lead guitarist Frankie Sullivan has filed suit seeking damages and an injunction to block the Republican contender from using the song at appearances and in campaign videos.

“This has nothing to do with politics. This is a copyright issue,” said Annette McGarry, Sullivan’s lawyer. “We’ve tried to deal with them for months, and they’ve been trying to ignore it.”

Since at least 2009, Gingrich has entered rallies to the pulsing guitar riffs of the song, which was the background track to Rocky’s training montages in the 1982 film “Rocky III.”

Despite complaints from Sullivan, Gingrich still was using the song at events in South Carolina this month, and the song is featured in several campaign videos posted on the Internet, McGarry said. Polls show Gingrich trails rival Mitt Romney by double digits in the Florida primary.

This is so typical of assholes like Newt Gingrich. Is it so hard to ask a songwriter for permission to use their copyrighted material to sell your campaign? Apparently it is. Especially if you’re too cheap to pay to use licensed material. C’mon, Newt: ask Sheldon Adelson to cough up a few thousand more so the songwriters you’re stealing from don’t get ripped off.

Here’s the money quote:

“He likes to walk in like a fighter entering the ring,” she said. “He should have to pay for it.”

That’s exactly right. Gingrich selected this song for marketing reasons, the same way a beer brand picks a classic pop song to burnish its brand’s image. The same way Sarah Palin chose Heart’s “Barracuda” to be her theme song. Music is a cultural touchstone and it’s as crucial for branding a politician as it is a box of detergent. For Newt, “Eye Of The Tiger” evokes images of a fighter, the guy who won’t back down against all odds, the come-from-behind winner. But if Anheuser-Bush has to pay to use a song like that in its advertising, Newt does, too.

But nooo, God forbid he should pay for something when he can just steal use it for free. This is so indicative of how the Gingrich’s of the world operate. Like bullies and thugs, offering nothing but an “Oh yeah? Make me!” to people whose work they’re happy to use but not pay for. And the audacity to do this at campaign events where he spews crap about how poor black kids don’t want work, “unless it’s illegal” — when you’re effectively stealing!

Here’s a thought: roll up your sleeves and go to work, Newtie. Write your own damn theme song, asshole.

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Filed under 2012 presidential election, music and politics, Newt Gingrich, pop culture

Farewell Etta James

One of my biggest regrets is that I never got to see Etta James perform live. She played Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium five years ago, played Arrington Vineyards outside of Nashville two years ago, and I didn’t see either show.

I have a bunch of Etta James CDs, I think I loved every single song she did. Yes, Mr. Beale and I played “At Last” at our wedding. I don’t care if it’s cliche, it’s an amazing song and an amazing performance.

A lot of folks don’t know that James recorded a country album back in the 90s. It was, in my view, one of the finest recordings of her career. It’s called Love’s Been Rough On Me, and it contains one of my all-time favorite Etta James songs: “Cry Like A Rainy Day.” Oh, man. That song slays me every time. And I do mean every time.

That said, in this Rolling Stone interview from 1997, James didn’t seem to have the same high regard for her foray into Nashville as I did. She said:

Well … I’d been dying to make a country record. I love the women in country ‑ Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn, Kitty Wells ‑ and I wanted to be the first black woman to do the Grand Ole Opry, if just to say it’s the same fucking thing as rhythm & blues! So I did Love’s Been Rough on Me with Barry Beckett [James’ longtime producer], and when it was done, the label heard it and said, “You gotta pizazz this up or it won’t get played. [Growls) Needs some of that ass‑kicking shit.” Uh, OK. So they put all these horns on it and remixed it. Even the cover photo ‑ they wouldn’t use the one I wanted. That record has nothing to do with me ‑ looking like some old woman with a leopard scarf around my neck, getting ready to go make some spaghetti!

But I wasn’t gonna fight it, ’cause I wasn’t gonna win. Nowadays, when you get past 35, it seems like you can’t get a record going. I never hear my stuff played on the air, unless it’s an oldies station and somebody goes [mock DJ voice], “Now we’re gonna go waaaay back.” But I’ll make that country record yet. I’ll be on the cover standing by an old wagon wheel, with my foot propped up on a cactus or something, with a cowboy hat on and one of those shingle leather jackets. Etta Goes Country

God love her! RIP, Miss Etta. The world will miss your talent. I know I will, for sure.

Here’s “Cry Like A Rainy Day,” pulled off the YouTube. Don’t arrest me, internet police; I’m just sharing something I found on the internet. Go buy the record, peeps:

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Filed under music, Nashville, pop culture

Things That Amuse Me

I’m about to get busy again over the next couple of weeks, and also I’m thinking about NaNo-ing again this year, which ideally means long days of productive enterprise, not procrastinating on the internet. But you know me, I don’t know how to quit you.

If I were a good writer, I’d spend my mornings meditating, eating whole grain porridge and doing yoga, priming myself for a day of composing Deep Thoughts into emotionally resonant and relevant prose. Instead I choke down coffee and get pissed off about the latest outrage du jour, which I promptly vomit into blog rants. This is not the recipe for a happy, well adjusted life.

We shall see.

In the meantime, here are a couple of things which caught my attention:

A new program in Bay Minette, Alabama will let non-violent offenders choose between going to church every Sunday for a year, or spending time in jail and paying a fine. The police chief says the program does not violate separation of church and state because,

it allows the offender to choose church or jail…and the church of their choice.

Attending church is the same as going to jail? I know some 12-year-olds who agree with that. Snort.

Clearly this doesn’t pass Constitutional muster. For one thing, the article explains that 56 churches have signed up for the program. If you have to attend a church which has signed up for the program then you really can’t attend the church of your choice, can you? There’s also the question of whether mosques, covens, synagogues, atheists’ discussion groups, drumming circles, Pastafarian meetings, etc. qualify as “churches.”

What I’m curious about is this belief that attending church somehow inoculates a person against committing crime. It’s not as though church-going folk are any less likely to cheat, steal, do drugs, etc. than the rest of the population. I think it’s kind of sad that anyone is deluded enough to think otherwise.

• Toby Keith is in favor of raising taxes on millionaires and views it as one’s patriotic duty, which I think is exactly right:

“I don’t know, but I expect the wealthy to write a check ’cause it’s as bad as it’s ever been,” the Oklahoma-born Keith said. “It would be unpatriotic not to try to save the country. I’m sure people will bitch about it, but if it meant we get to operate in this country and live here another day, then so be it.

“One way or another, before it’s over they’re gonna have to come and take big money from the earners and big corporations to save the country. I’m sure that everybody that has a patriotic cell in their system will say, ‘If it’s gotta be done, it’s gotta be done.’ I’d rather live here and not have as much money than live anywhere else and have twice as much.”

Amen to that, Toby Keith. And I have to say, Republicans: if you’ve lost Toby Keith then you’ve lost America. Quit yer bitchin’ and moanin’ about paying taxes, just shut up and do it. Shit needs to be paid for.

• The “terminally paranoid, crackpot head ogre at the NRA” Wayne LaPierre says even though it may not look like Obama is trying to steal your guns, he’s just trying to lull everyone into a false sense of security before swooping down and stealing your guns!

“Obama himself is no fool. So when he got elected, they concocted a scheme to stay away from the gun issue, lull gun owners to sleep and play us for fools in 2012. Well, gun owners are not fools and we are not fooled,” La Pierre declared.

Really! They’re not fools so stop laughing, you guys! It’s all a huge plot by that crafty Obama! Also, the U.N. and shut up, that’s why!

• What do the people want? Legalization of marijuana! When do they want it? Now!

I’m not holding my breath on this one. Umm … no pun intended.

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Filed under gun control, marijuana, music and politics, religion, taxes