N.W.A., KISS, Nirvana Among Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Nominees

WARNING LYRICS NSFW!

N.W.A., the revolutionary rap group which famously sang “Fuck tha Police,”  has been nominated for a second time to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. N.W.A.’s album Straight Outta Compton had the distinction of being one of the early adopters of  the Parental Advisory label

WARNING: Moderate impact coarse language and/or themes.

N.W.A., their record label, Ruthless, and distributor Priority also received a letter from the FBI, raising Congressional and free speech advocates’ eyebrows. N.W.A’s  lyrics, which laid out life in Compton, including sex, drugs and violence, enraged ninny-brained sandy-pantied busybodies Focus on the Family. In 1989, the uber-uptight  conservative group pressured  FBI assistant director of the FBI office of public affairs, Milt Ahlerich, into sending a letter advising the rappers that

advocating violence and assault is wrong and we in the law enforcement community take exception to such action…I wanted you to be aware of the FBI’s position relative to this song and its message. I believe my views reflect the opinion of the entire law enforcement community.

When informed of the letter from Ahlerich, Rep. Don Edwards (D-CA, San Jose), chair of the House Judiciary Committee’s subcommittee on civil and constitutional rights, charged with monitoring FBI actions regarding U.S. citizens, responded:

The FBI should stay out of the business of censorship…We’re going to try to find out more about this letter.

According to Rolling Stone “Fuck tha Police”

became subject of an intense fax campaign among local police departments, with the lyrics transmitted to cops in cities where NWA toured. The number was deliberately excluded from the tour’s regular set list.

In some cities, police refused to provide security at venues hosting the group, affecting N.W.A.’s ability to tour. But the controversy only helped N.W.A. which went on score platinum success with Straight Outta Compton. Their influence, lyrically and musically, has influenced music over the past three decades.

KISS, one of the world’s best selling rock bands, and also up for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, saw controversy in the late 1970s and 80s. Some parents freaked out that the band’s name was an acronym for “Knights in Satan’s Service,” KISS, who performed in full face makeup and leather and sang phallocentric songs about  “love gun” and the notorious “Plaster Caster” groupies, probably did freak out a few folks when they added a vial of band members’ blood to the ink used to print the first edition of their comic book. But seriously, how scary is a band who recorded “Beth“ and whose faces are on lunch boxes?   On Hello Kitty lunchboxes, to boot!  In Germany, where the lightning bolt double S is banned because it evokes Nazism, KISS uses a double Z. Like N.W.A., KISS has been nominated before.

A band is eligible for induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 25 years after the commercial release of their first single. Credited with popularizing grunge music and the slacker lifestyle (now known as “hipster” and practiced by many who were not even in elementary school let alone born during the band’s formative years), Nirvana released “Love Buzz” on Seattle’s SubPop Records in 1988. Nirvana’s success on Geffen Records, coupled Cobain’s turbulent life with wife Courtney Love and subsequent suicide have made him a rock and roll an-hero.

Other nominees include The Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Chic, Deep Purple, Peter Gabriel, Hall and Oates, LL Cool J, The Meters, The Replacements, Linda Ronstadt, Cat Stevens, Link Wray, Yes, and The Zombies.

A group of more than 600 music industry members, including all living Hall of Fame members, other musicians, executives, journalists and critics vote. Fan votes are also included; the top five bands on the public’s vote will constitute a “fan’s ballot” that will be included in the final vote count. You can vote through December 10 here: rockhall.com/vote.  The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony will be in April 2014 and broadcast at a later date on HBO.

Hurricane Sandy Benefit: Paul McCartney Fronts Nirvana

Oh this is just so many levels of wrong and before this even airs, my eyes are bleeding and brain is screaming

CANNOT UNSEE!

I am sure musicologists can cite all sort of reasons about parallel complex harmonies in the Beatles and Nirvana, and critics can reel off both bands’  influences on society. But that doesn’t stop that fact that Paul McCartney, who dyes his hair a really ugly shade of Arnuld Schwarzenegger brown (which used to be called Ronald Reagan auburn–can’t these rich dudes afford a decent colorist?), and is like, not really that angry a guy (unless he can channel his Heather Mills divorce rage) will be fronting Nirvana. I mean it’s cool that he’s 70 and still wants to like be in a band. But NIRVANA?!

Except it’s not Nirvana, really, it’s some thrown together jam, and they will be playing a new song, if you can believe UK tabloid, The Sun. (Numerous news reports have confirmed that McCartney will be joining Nirvana)

Granted it will get us to watch. But still, really…WTF was anybody thinking?

How about SNOOP DOGG. Singing “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” Or  “About a Girl.” Or “Clean Up Before She Comes.” Or “Come As You Are.” Now that would have been bad ass.  But no, according to The Sun, it will be a new song.

Sir Paul said he rang Dave Grohl [now Foo Fighter, formerly Nirvana's drummer]who asked him to come along to “jam with some mates”. Macca had suggested they “just make something up”

Make something up?! WTF?

He jammed with Grohl on drums, bassist Krist [Novoselic] and guitarist member Pat Smear and then, The Sun reports, Paul said:

I didn’t really know who they were. They are saying how good it is to be back together. I said ‘Whoa? You guys haven’t played together for all that time?’ And somebody whispered to me ‘That’s Nirvana. You’re Kurt.’ I couldn’t believe it.

Yo, Paul. Kurt’s dead. And according to some rumors, so are you.Billboard, which will be live streaming the event beginning at 7:30 ET, says:

The Hurricane Sandy Benefit  will feature performances by Bon Jovi, Billy Joel, Eric Clapton, Dave Grohl, Alicia Keys, Kanye West, The Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band, Eddie Vedder, The Who, Roger Waters and Paul McCartney. For over four hours, music’s brightest stars will scorch the stage to benefit the Robin Hood Foundation, which will aid disaster victims following this fall’s super-storm.

Frances Bean Cobain Debuts Her Art at La Luz de Jesus

Frances Bean Cobain–the daughter of the late Kurt Cobain and comeback queen/Meghan McCain bestie Courtney Love–stepped out on her own as an artist Friday at La Luz de Jesus Gallery in East Hollywood for the debut show of her drawings.

For the opening Frances’ drawings were shown under the pseudonym Fiddle Tim, allowing the art to stand on its own. The pieces–several of which sold during preview–are fiendish and disturbing, reminiscent of Georg Grosz. The only drawing to reference fame is Scumfuck, the exhibit’s centerpiece portrait of G.G. Allin;  others display angst, anger and power struggles. The show is hanging through July.

In December 2009 17 year-old Frances filed a restraining order against her mother after placing herself under the temporary guardianship of her paternal grandmother and aunt. Permanent guardianship was granted earlier this year and will last until Frances turns 18 in August.


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