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Tag: Rock n' Roll Politics (31-37 of 37)

Bob Dylan to play his first-ever concert in China

For the first time ever, Chinese officials are permitting legendary folk singer Bob Dylan to play the People’s Republic of China. The 69-year-old icon will be playing Beijing between March 30 and April 12, with a Shanghai date to follow, according to the Chinese Ministry of Culture.

Dylan was reportedly going to folk-rock Beijing and Shanghai last year until difficulties with the Ministry (perhaps too much red tape? HA!) and financial disputes with promoters led to a cancellation.

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Is Dire Straits' 'Money for Nothing' homophobic?

mark-knopflerImage Credit: Graham Wiltshire/RedfernsBritish rockers Dire Straits are not among rock’s natural controversy magnets. But a brouhaha has erupted in the past few days over their 1985 track “Money For Nothing,” which private broadcasters in Canada are no longer allowed to play because it features the word “faggot.”

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Kid Rock on Steven Tyler's 'American Idol' judgeship: 'I think it's the stupidest thing he's ever done'

KID-ROCK-AMERICAN-IDOLImage Credit: PRN/PR Photos; Frank Micelotta/PictureGroup for FoxLove the player, hate the game? In an interview with EW this week, Aerosmith fan Kid Rock — whose Born Free will be released November 16 — expressed his profound disappointment with Steven Tyler’s much-hyped move to the judge’s table on American Idol:

“I think it’s the stupidest thing he’s ever done in his life,” he told the magazine, in an conversation to be published next week. “He’s a sacred American institution of rock ‘n’ roll, and he just threw it all out the window. Just stomped on it and set it on fire.”

“I think whoever’s advising him,” he continued, “we should bring back the guillotine, or whatever they call that thing. And if it was himself, he needs some serious counseling. I love him to death, but I gotta speak the truth.”

Do you agree with Rock that Tyler has tarnished his legacy? Or should he step away from the decapitating blade?

More on the Music Mix:
Sugarland leads this week’s Billboard 200 albums chart
Taylor Swift’s ‘Speak Now’ on track for year’s biggest sales week
Kanye West and Jay-Z are making a full album together

Lady Gaga at 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' rally in Maine: Watch her speech here

lady-gaga-rallyImage Credit: David Gabber/PR PhotosThe larger-than-life pop star who routinely plays to thousands in stadiums and sports arenas spoke from a much more modest stage today: a small podium in Portland, Maine.

As promised, Lady Gaga (pictured left at last week’s VMAs, with discharged gay soldiers) took her message of equality to the Pine Tree State this afternoon, speaking out against the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy to a crowd of several hundred at Deerings Oak Park. And unsurprisingly, she had a meat-centered metaphor for it all:

“I spent 48 hours trying to find the perfect thing to say,” she told the gathered attendees. “My address to you today is called ‘The prime rib of America.'” Click through to the jump to watch Gaga’s entire 18-minute speech (clips via Idolator).

According to a transcript posted on the local Morning Sentinel, she continued: “I do solemnly swear or affirm that I will defend the Constitution of the U.S, bear true faith and allegiance … I will obey the order of president of the United States and officers appointed over me, so help me God …Unless there is a gay solider in my unit, sir. That is the oath taken every day.”

“Equality is the prime rib of America, but because I’m gay I don’t get to enjoy the greatest cut of meat my country has to offer.”

Addressing the infamous Matthew Shepard case, she continued: “Doesn’t ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ seem to be backwards? Doesn’t it seem to you we should send home the prejudice? The straight soldier who hates the gay soldier, whose performance is affected because he is homophobic? He holds and harbors hate and he gets to stay and fight for our country. We gay soldiers, who harbor no hate, no phobia, are sent home … I’d like to propose a new law, a law that sends home the soldier that has the problem. Our new law is called ‘If you don’t like it, go home.'”

“Send home straight soldiers who fight for some equalities, but not for the equality of the gay… If you are not committed to perform in excellence because you don’t believe in equality —go home! I thought equality was non-negotiable.”

“If the Senate and the President are not going to repeal ‘don’t ask, don’t tell,’ perhaps they should be more clear with us about who the military is fighting for, who our tax dollars are supporting and ultimately, how much does the prime rib cost? Because I thought this was an all you can eat buffet. I have to pay extra, because I’m gay. I’m allowed to stand in line, get shot at, shoot a gun. But when it’s time to order my meal, to benefit from the freedoms of the Constitution, I have to pay extra. I shouldn’t have to pay extra.”

“My name is Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta. I am an American citizen,” she reportedly concluded, before leading a chant of “Go home!” and exiting the stage. READ FULL STORY

Lady Gaga asks the Senate to end 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell': Watch her political advocacy clip here

lady-gaga-trailerLady Gaga is speaking out again in support of equal rights for all. The pop megastar has just released a video message asking the U.S. Senate to repeal the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, which bans gay and lesbian Americans from serving openly in the military. (Legislation that could repeal the policy has already been passed in the House of Representatives.)

In the seven-minute black-and-white clip, which Gaga made for the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, she wears a suit and tie in front of an American flag and explains why “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” violates the rights of men and women who want to serve their country. “Not only is the law unconsitutional, but it’s not even being properly or fairly enforced by the government,” Gaga says. “I am here to be a voice for my generation. Not the generation of the senators who are voting, but for the youth of this country. The generation that is affected by this law, and whose children will be affected. We are not asking you to agree with or approve the moral implications of homosexuality. We are asking you to do your job — to protect the Constitution.”

Click through to the jump to see Lady Gaga’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” clip. READ FULL STORY

Paul McCartney 'In Performance at the White House': An all-star presidential rock show

Obama-Paul-MccarteneyImage Credit: Samantha Appleton/White House/PBS“I’ve done a lot of things in my life, but never this,” Paul McCartney said on PBS tonight. “This” was traveling to the White House, which he did last month to accept the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. A properly all-star concert was convened to befit the occasion, and while bits and pieces of the event have leaked out on YouTube since then, tonight the whole thing (or most of it) aired as part of PBS’ “In Performance at the White House” series.

The show opened with some stirring words from President Obama. “It’s hard to believe that it’s been nearly half a century since four lads from Liverpool landed on our shores and changed everything overnight,” he reflected. Then it was time for a cavalcade of stars old and young to pay homage to the voluminous back catalog that earned McCartney this honor. READ FULL STORY

Rage Against the Machine boycott Arizona over immigration law; other bands indifferent. Which side are you on?

rage-against-the-machineImage Credit: Jeff Chiu/AP ImagesNoted wallflowers (is joke) Rage Against the Machine are playing their first L.A. gig in 10 years this Friday, as part of a protest against Arizona law SB 1070, which requires police to investigate anyone they suspect of being an illegal immigrant. Rage will team up with Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band for the show, hoping to raise money for organizations challenging the bill, which goes into effect at the end of the month. The show is also part of the SoundStrike boycott of the state, putting Rage and Oberst in a league of artists including Nine Inch Nails, Chris Rock, Maroon 5, Kanye West, My Morning Jacket, Steve Earle, and Sonic Youth, all of whom refuse to play shows within the Arizona borders.

Meanwhile, according to Reuters, other acts like Lady Gaga, Stone Temple Pilots, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Brad Paisley and KISS are ignoring the boycott, and going ahead with planned shows in the now-controversial state.

It’s no surprise that Rage Against the Machine are protesting something; this is a band that would boycott the opening of an envelope, if the envelope happened to have particularly oppressive capitalistic leanings. (We don’t need a letter opener, we’ll break in!) But given the general outcry over the Arizona law — and the fact that the Justice Department and others have already launched lawsuits to block its enforcement — is it surprising that more bands aren’t following suit? In this summer’s soft touring economy, can they not afford it? Or do they just not want to get involved?

Which side are you on, Mixers? Is it the responsibility of a band to let their political leanings inform their musical choices? Or would you prefer the separation of art and state? Sound off!

(Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)

More from EW.com’s Music Mix:
‘American Idol’ Season 9 tour: Newark, we have a problem
Eminem doesn’t budge from Billboard 200′s No. 1 spot
Taio Cruz’s fiery “Dynamite” video
Nicki Minaj goes samurai in “Your Love” video
Taylor Swift announces new album, Speak Now, will drop Oct. 25
‘Nothin’ on You’ and ‘Billionaire’ producer Bruno Mars releases debut solo single: Hear it here
Radiohead drummer Philip Selway preps a surprising solo debut: The Music Mix Q&A

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