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Tag: Rock n' Roll Politics (11-20 of 37)

Lady Gaga's Born This Way Foundation to launch this month, with the support of Oprah

Lady Gaga is taking the next step in her ongoing efforts to put an end to youth bullying: On Feb. 29, the chart-topping singer, alongside her mother Cynthia Germanotta, is launching the Born This Way Foundation at The Berkman Center at Harvard.

Through education, research, and advocacy efforts, the nonprofit foundation — which is in partnership with the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, The California Endowment, and The Berkman Center — is aimed at teaching anti-bullying and mentoring youths in building self-confidence. (The mission statement on the foundation’s website reads, “This way, towards bravery, where youth are empowered. This way, towards a acceptance where humanity is embraced. This way, towards love where individuality is encouraged.”)
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Who's afraid of M.I.A.'s middle finger? Thoughts on a Super Bowl 'scandal'

Hey, remember Nicki Minaj’s performance with Madonna at the Super Bowl last night? It was pretty good — great, even.

Of course, no one wants to talk about that, thanks to M.I.A. So congrats, Maya! And since she wants us to, let’s talk about it.

M.I.A.’s decision to flip the bird during her short time in the Super Bowl spotlight was a lot of things. It was juvenile, and maybe even bratty. It was a lazy bit of shock imagery from the woman who gave the Grammys a very pregnant, very awesome, middle-finger-free performance back in 2009. And it was, according to some sources, “a case of adrenaline.”

It was also the game’s biggest fumble: The singer was riding a steady stream of positive buzz from both her performance in the “Gimme All Your Luvin’” video and her own “Bad Girls” video, which was released the same day and is, at least to this viewer, a better, more inventive clip.

M.I.A. has already proven to us that she can put on an engrossing show without resorting to cheap tricks.

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Occupy Wall Street is getting an album featuring Yoko Ono, Willie Nelson, Devo, and more

occupythisalbum

What do Willie Nelson, Devo, and Third Eye Blind have in common?

Other than being giants of their respective musical eras (yeah, we said it; just try not to sing along to this), they all support the Occupy Wall Street movement.

They and many other artists will be contributing music to the benefit compilation Occupy This Album: A Compilation of Music by, for and Inspired by the Occupy Wall Street Movement and the 99%. Proceeds from the wordily titled record will go “directly towards the needs of sustaining this growing movement,” The Wrap reports.

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Neil Young on music today: 'I don't like it'

Neil Young is not happy.

While at Utah’s Slamdance, where he’s promoting the upcoming concert film Neil Young Journeys, the 66-year-old got to talking about what he believes is the problem with modern music: sound quality.

“I’m finding that I have a little bit of trouble with the quality of the sound of music today,” Young said. “I don’t like it. It just makes me angry. Not the quality of the music, but we’re in the 21st century and we have the worst sound that we’ve ever had. It’s worse than a 78 [rpm record].”

“Where are our geniuses?” he asked. “What happened?”

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Daniel Radcliffe swoops in to Lana Del Rey's 'SNL' defense

Call it Harry Potter and the Cold-Blooded Critics.

After hosting last weekend’s Saturday Night Live, Daniel Radcliffe is publicly coming to the defense of the episode’s musical guest Lana Del Rey, whose performance has inspired the first Great Music Debate of 2012.

“It was unfortunate that people seemed to turn on her so quickly,” Radcliffe said to the British press of Del Rey, who sang “Video Games” and “Blue Jeans” on that fateful night.

“I also think people are making it about things other than the performance,” the actor continued. “If you read what people are saying about her online, it’s all about her past and her family and stuff that’s nobody else’s business.”

Added Radcliffe, “I don’t think it warranted anywhere near that reaction.”

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Obama's wish-list of celebrity endorsements leaks, but Lady Antebellum says no thanks

With all the election talk about debates, rallies, caucuses, and surprise late-night candidates constantly permeating the news, it can be easy to forget that President Obama has an election — or rather, re-relection — campaign to run as well.

And where does Mr. Obama start? Being the hip president that he is, with the celebrities, of course! (Alright, to be fair, the list has a lot of political figures on it, too, but there sure are a lot of tabloid regulars.)

The Tennesseean has obtained a list of 194 public figures — potential presidential surrogates — that was reportedly distributed last month by the Obama campaign to a group of campaign donors in Washington as a “wish-list” of endorsers.

The collection, Dated Dec. 5, includes expected names like Oprah, Chelsea Clinton, and will.i.am, who, along with his bandmate Fergie, is one of the many musicians listed. But there are a few unexpected names there as well, such as country acts The Band Perry and Lady Antebellum, both of whom have already claimed that they will not be making any political endorsements.

“The members of Lady Antebellum did not submit their name for inclusion on the surrogate list for Obama’s campaign,” the band’s publicist Mary Hilliard Harrington said in a statement, adding, “The band has never commented on their political affiliations nor do they plan to in the future.” Probably a smart move considering all the ruckus an endorsement can cause — just ask Kelly Clarkson.

Only time will tell whether acts like Wilco, the Counting Crows, the Jonas Brothers (someone was trying to get a little cred with Sasha and Malia!), Jay-Z, Josh Groban, and Ricky Martin will actually take Obama up on this offer, so for now, just enjoy perusing this rare inside-look at the lineup of musicians that the Obama camp is  hoping to court: READ FULL STORY

No Doubt, Nicole Scherzinger Twitter accounts hacked by Ron Paul supporters

Is Kelly Clarkson a trendsetter?

Eyebrows were raised when No Doubt, X Factor judge Nicole Scherzinger, and political punks Rise Against all expressed their support for Ron Paul via Twitter yesterday.

But it didn’t take long for said eyebrows to return to their proper positions, as it was revealed that the artists’ feeds had actually been hacked by Ron Paul supporters.

“Today We Officially Endorse Ron Paul 2012,” said a tweet from No Doubt’s verified account early in the day. “If you actually read what Ron Paul is saying, you will discover that for the first time in your life a politician is not lying to you.”

The band later issued a correction, writing, “Our Twitter account was hacked last night. No political endorsements at this time. Love, No Doubt.”

“We were hacked,” echoed Rise Against’s Twitter account, whose apparent endorsement tweet included a link to a Ron Paul donation page. “As you would all assume, We DO NOT support Ron Paul.”

Scherzinger, rather than clarify that she was duped, simply deleted the planted tweet.

Yet it’s time to re-raise those tired eyebrows, because the techno-political plot thickens: All of the hacked artists in question are signed to Interscope.

Could there be something more sinister going on, or does the label just assign the same password (probably “password”) to all of its artists?

Either way, our eyebrows are getting a serious workout today. Readers, what are your conspiracy theories? Leave them in the comments below.

Read more on EW.com:
No Doubt says first album in 10 years will now be their first album in 11 years
Kelly Clarkson gets into extended Twitter war over endorsement of Ron Paul
Kelly Clarkson isn’t the only celeb showing support for a presidential hopeful

Black Keys dismiss Nickelback as 'watered-down, post-grunge crap'

So, Nickelback or a pickle? It’s an age-old question, but Patrick Carney of the Black Keys thinks he’s got the answer.

It’s the pickle.

“Rock & roll is dying because people became OK with Nickelback being the biggest band in the world,” the “Lonely Boy” drummer told Rolling Stone. “So they became OK with the idea that the biggest rock band in the world is always going to be s—.”

But Carney wants you to know that he is not one of those people:

You should never try to be the biggest rock band in the world. F— that! Rock & roll is the music I feel the most passionately about, and I don’t like to see it f—ing ruined and spoon-fed down our throats in this watered-down, post-grunge crap, horrendous s—. When people start lumping us into that kind of s—, it’s like, ‘F— you,’ honestly.

Tell us how you really feel, Patrick!

Yet despite this rock-on-rock violence, the Black Keys and Nickelback do have something in common: the two bands’ most recent albums – El Camino and Here and Now, respectively – both debuted at No. 2 behind Michael Buble’s incessant chart-topper, Christmas. Maybe the two parties should come together over their common enemy?

More on EW.com:
Here and Now (2011) Nickelback
Michael Buble continues to dominate; The Black Keys enter at No. 2 — this week in charts
The Black Keys premiere new single ‘Lonely Boy,’ release hypnotic dancing video

Kelly Clarkson sees sales pick up following Ron Paul endorsement

When former American Idol champ Kelly Clarkson threw her support behind Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul last week, she did it out of genuine enthusiasm for Paul’s Libertarian-leaning ideas.

Strangely, the shout-out, which sparked a minor but intense flame war amongst her Twitter followers, may have ended up actually being lucrative for her.

In the wake of the Paul dust-up, Clarkson appears to have gotten a sales bump. Her 2011 album Stronger crept up to number 11 on the iTunes albums chart, and it is currently clocking in at number 14 on Amazon after spending most of the past month in the 40s. While we won’t have hard numbers until the SoundScan figures are released on Wednesday, it’s safe to say that Clarkson has sold more copies of Stronger than she did last week.

But before everybody jumps to the conclusion that there’s some sort of grassroots campaign by Paul’s followers to elevate Clarkson’s chart status, there are a number of issues that could be at play here. As stated before, it’s uncertain exactly how much of a sales increase is necessary to make the jumps that Stronger did, so the actual figures could be relatively insignificant all told.

And those sales might not be from Paul supporters looking to hitch their wagons to a star; rather, it could simply be people cashing in the gift cards in their Christmas stockings or finding replacement albums for all the duplicate copies of Adele’s 21 that their aunts gave them.

Besides, if Paul’s supporters were really mobilizing to throw their weight behind musicians who endorse their boy, then shouldn’t Michelle Branch‘s latest album rank higher than 3,854 on Amazon?

Clarkson certainly got some headlines, which maybe led to some awareness and thus increased sales, but it’s hard to judge on such limited information. Just in case, maybe Adam Lambert should give Newt Gingrich a shout-out to test our theory? Your move, Glambert.

Read more on EW.com:
Kelly Clarkson gets into extended Twitter war over endorsement of Ron Paul
Kelly Clarkson isn’t the only celeb showing support for a presidential hopeful
Kelly Clarkson rocks out with flash mobs in new video ‘Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)’

Kelly Clarkson gets into extended Twitter war over endorsement of Ron Paul

Last night, Kelly Clarkson got an impromptu lesson on the impact of Twitter and the secret past of Ron Paul. The “Stronger” singer’s evening took a pretty intense left-hand turn when, only an hour after letting the world know that she was enjoying making cinnamon rolls with her niece, she decided to sound off on her love for Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul.

“I love Ron Paul. I liked him a lot during the last republican nomination and no one gave him a chance,” she wrote of the oft-lampooned Libertarian. “If he wins the nomination for the Republican party in 2012 he’s got my vote. Too bad he probably won’t.”

That particular expression of appreciation did not sit well with Clarkson’s 925,000 followers, many of whom began to take Clarkson to task for her endorsement. It began with relative civility, but as most things on the Internet (and especially on Twitter) tend to do, it got out of hand with alarming speed. READ FULL STORY

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