The backlash to North Carolina’s anti-LGBT religious freedom law continues as Nickelback, One Direction, Insane Clown Posse, and several other bands not on tour say they refuse to play in the state until it repeals its controversial law.
“If we were on tour right now, we would not play in the state in solidarity with fellow bands that are touring and taking a financial hit by not playing in the state,” says Chad Kroeger, lead singer and guitarist with Nickelback, which last put out an album in 2014.
Insane Clown Posse, a rap duo that isn’t on tour, has also announced a boycott of the state. “No way are we playing in North Carolina,” says Joseph Bruce, also known as Violent J. “Should we ever get a chance to play there, count us out. We’re not coming. We know it hurts our fans, but you gotta fight the man, whether it’s the FBI or the other haters.”
The once-popular British boy band, One Direction, which lost its main singer, Zayn Malik, in 2014, says it would take North Carolina off its schedule if it had a schedule, because bigotry is wrong. “If we were working right now, we would show our support for LGBT rights by not playing in the state,” says Liam Payne. “You could ask us to play, even without Zayn, and we wouldn’t do it, although if you wanted us to play in a different state, we would do that.”
Several bands that haven’t been active for years have also announced plans not to get back together and play in the state. “No, if we got back together we would not play in North Carolina,” says Derek Whibley of My Chemical Romance. “We need to send a message to bigoted lawmakers everywhere, that we’re not playing in your state if we get back together.”
James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem, the New York dance-punk group, says he wouldn’t play in North Carolina if he got his band back together. “It’s wrong to play there right now,” he says. “So, we’re telling the gay-haters there that we won’t be reuniting and we won’t be playing in your state.”
Jann Wenner, founder and editor of Rolling Stone magazine, says it’s a testament to the power of rock that even bands not touring or no longer together refuse to play in the state. “Think of the economic impact they would have if they were canceling shows,” he says. “Millions of dollars would not be coming into the state. That would hurt. That would send a message to bigots around the country: if you pass a law that tramples on people’s rights, you would be hurt financially if bands not touring or no longer active were in fact touring and active and declined to play in your state. In other words, think twice before you do something stupid, because there could be consequences if things were a little different with many bands.”
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Kid Rock, the Grammy-winning hip-hop, rock, and country artist, has announced his intention to run for a seat in the United States Senate for the state of Michigan as a famous Republican. “We need more famous people in office,” Rock said at a press announcement today. “We need people who know how to get their name out there, steal the limelight, and command the press attention, because these are the people who are ready to dig into the details of policy, understand the nuances, try to see things from all sides, and find a solution that gets the country moving forward for all Americans and not just some Americans. That’s something famous people can do.” Rock, whose given name is Robert James Ritchie, said people with experience governing aren’t going to know what it’s like to have a five-month marriage to a former Playboy playmate, nor are they going to know what it’s like to be caught on video with another famous person getting a head job from some women. More.
President Donald Trump announced that John Miller, his spokesperson going back to his days as a New York real estate developer, is replacing Sean Spicer as press secretary. “I’ve known John all my life and no one has my back the way he does,” Trump told reporters at the announcement today. “When John talks, you know what he says is coming directly from me. He knows me like no one else.” MIller, 70, who also goes by the name John Barron or John Baron, served as spokesperson for Trump in the 1980s and 1990s, when Trump was trying to make a name for himself as both an astute businessman and a man-about-town. “It’s a good choice,” says Sue Carswell, a reporter for People magazine. More.
President Donald Trump introduced his latest picks for national security advisor, deputy secretary of state, and director of the secret service, but none of the appointees allowed themselves to be publicly identified. “I am ‘honored’ to be chosen to help keep our country safe as national security advisor,” said the person named to that post, whose face was kept hidden by a bag. “I have worked in national security for decades and have dedicated my life to our country’s safety. I guess you’ll just have to take my word for it.” The appointee, who stands about 6′ 1″ and looks to be between 195 and 210 pounds, said he accepted this “very important position” out of love of country. More.
NEW YORK CITY—Dan Peeker, publisher of the National Midnight Star, said at a journalism conference here yesterday he won’t let his friendship with Donald Trump bias his coverage of the general election between Trump and Hillary Clinton. “Hillary’s dishonesty makes her a tempting target, but I can assure you all the stories we’ve pre-written about her flaws are objective,” says Peeker, 63. Peeker has been chairman and CEO of U.S. A. Publications, which owns the National Midnight Star, since 1990, and critics say he’s using his publication as a tool to help his golf buddy win the presidency. It was his tabloid that broke the April 3 story of Ted Cruz’s affairs with five prominent Republican political women, which hurt the Texas senator in Wisconsin, and it broke the April 19 piece about . . . More.
In an exclusive Q&A, Tim Peters, the man selected to patrol public bathrooms in North Carolina under the state’s new anti-LGBT bathroom law, sits down with The Nattering Nabobs to talk about why he’s the man for the job. The Nattering Nabobs: You’ve been a policeman since 1992. Why did you throw your hat into the ring when the state was looking for a bathroom monitor? Not only is the law controversial, but you have to spend your days in bathrooms. Tim Peters: I’m doing it for the girls. When they go to the bathroom, they should be able to pull up their dresses and pull down their panties without any other man being in the bathroom. More.
SACRAMENTO, Calif.–Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton today named California Gov. Jerry Brown her vice presidential running mate, saying the four-term governor has the experience and stature to take over as the presidential nominee after the FBI indicts her for using a personal email account to send and receive classified information while she was the U.S. secretary of state. “No one in the Democratic party today has the breadth and depth of experience that Jerry Brown has,” said Clinton, who spoke in a joint news conference with Brown after the two met for several hours in the state house here. “That will be important, because I’m expected to be indicted in about four weeks. More.
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said yesterday on CNN that the death threats some delegates have received from supporters of Donald Trump are just “part of the fun” of this year’s rollicking nomination process. “No one’s really going to stick a gun barrel down your throat,” Priebus told CNN Correspondent Jamie Gangel on her news program. “When people tell delegates they ‘know where they live,’ that doesn’t mean they’re going to show up at their door while they’re eating their cereal. It just means they care passionately about the democratic process and love their country.” More.
Robert Plant, the golden haired and golden voiced singer for the legendary hard rock band Led Zeppelin, says in an interview on National Public Radio’s “Morning Edition” that he should have listened to his dad and become an accountant rather than leave home when he was 16 to live the rock-and-roll lifestyle. “If I were to live my life again, would I have that nasty break with my family and sing for various bands before finally joining Pagey and the others to form Led Zeppelin? I think on balance what I did was a mistake and, in retrospect, I should have listened to my dad.” More.
Saying their favorite band has become too commercial since it was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame last April, fans of Canadian power trio Rush say it’s time to make a push for their removal. “We were instrumental in getting the band inducted into the Hall of Fame in the first place, thanks to our years of persistence, but now we see we made a mistake,” says Randy Powers, a fan from Pittsburgh who has launched a petition drive calling for Rush’s removal from the Cleveland institution. “Bobbleheads, T-shirts, refrigerators—it’s just all too much. We don’t mind the band trying to make a buck. It’s hard to do that now with people so easily downloading or streaming music on the Internet. But enough is enough.” More.
Cowed by the recent success and outpouring of affection for the Canadian rock trio Rush, music critics have largely refrained from laying a glove on the band, which first hit the music scene in 1974 and today is enjoying something of a renaissance as it basks in the success of its most recent album Clockwork Angels. But several music critics, including most prominently Adam Carter of Rolling Stone, are bucking the trend and slamming the band for its pretentious lyrics, over-wrought drumming, and, most of all, the screeching vocals of bass player and lead singer Geddy Lee. “I know it’s fashionable for one to pay one’s respects to ‘legendary’ progressive rockers Rush, but I just can’t hop onto this bandwagon,” Carter says in his blog, Rock in/Site. “No one can tell me Geddy Lee has somehow learned how to sing. In fact, I would venture to say More.
Acknowledging some of his tattoos are a bit rough and edgy, Greg Stent of Hell’s Vapors says he’s increasingly concerned he’ll have trouble getting a job once his music career winds down and he’s ready to get on with the work-a-day world. “I always thought I would play my music and nothing else, but that never stopped me from getting my B.A. in accounting in case things fell through in the music scene,” says Stent, who launched Hell’s Vapors with his Canton, Ohio, neighborhood buddy Alex Greel six years ago. Today, their band has a strong following in much of northwest Ohio, Iowa, and has even played shows in Michigan and Wisconsin. The band last year self-produced a CD, When Death Awaits You, which it makes available at its shows. More.
Jason Creel of Deth Knell says he had an epiphany three years ago in a Little Rock motel and since then his relationship with Satan, the embodiment of all evil in the world, has never been the same. “Let me put it this way,” he said while sitting down for a coffee outside the Orbit Room in Toronto, where his band will be shaking the rafters tonight. “Whereas before Satan was just kind of an idea to me, an abstraction, maybe a bit of a marketing ploy, now he’s quite real and, frankly, gunning for me. I’m in His sights.” Creel says his awakening to the torments of Hell that await him after this life came after he and some fans trashed his motel room. Police were called, but luckily one of the two officers that showed up was familiar with the band and the other was a big Metallica fan, although he hadn’t heard of Creel’s band. But, in any case, they told the motel manager to work it out among themselves. More.
You might have thought nothing but a trip down memory lane awaits legendary pop-rock band Journey, whose radio staples like “Lights” and “Wheel in the Sky” provided the soundtrack to today’s forty- and fifty-somethings’ early adult years. But if you thought that you would be wrong. Because WBIG in Cleveland has just released the results of its listener poll and found that Journey is the “It” band for 2015, proving that time isn’t a factor for bands that are forever cool. “It was a ‘rock-us’ competition, but our listeners left little doubt who rocks their world,” says WBIG Program Director Rex Bartlett. “Our winner got quite a bit of heat from ABBA, Styx, and Kansas, but when the dust settled, it was Journey all the way!” The band released its 14th studio album, in 2011, which rocketed to 13th on the Billboard charts. More.
The pot’s legal in Colorado but they’re smoking crack in Kansas. Embarrassed by its state’s awkward turn to the right in recent years, beloved 1970s rock band Kansas changed its name to Colorado and announced the release of its newest studio album, Thematterwithkansas, and the opening of its 2015 tour. “As much as we love our state and have always been proud to bear its name,” the band said in a statement, “we had to ask ourselves, ‘What’s the matter with Kansas?’ and our answer was, ‘Who the hell knows?!” So we moved to Colorado and now we’re a bit to the left of our old state, geographically and politically, but we think our fans will understand.” In its mid-1970s heyday, Kansas was on the top of the charts with its mix of progressive rock and virtuosic violin playing. More.
Saying it shouldn’t just be straight couples who lead lives of bonded servitude and imprisonment, Dave Turner of Indianapolis has come out in support of the right of gays to marry. “Taking out the garbage, withholding sex for some petty reason—sure, if gays want to institutionalize their misery, let them go for it,” says Turner, 42, manager at an auto parts distribution center. Turner says he recognizes that gay couples already have good relationships or bad relationships, just as married straight couples do, but the difference is that married straight coupes have institutionalized their misery, while gay couples are still free, at least in the eyes of the community, or the law, to split whenever they want. “So, if they want to tie their hands in the same way my hands are tied to my wife, they should be free to do that,” he says. More.
After seven years of investigation, a United Nations team of researchers has concluded that Iran does not have homosexuals, as former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad asserted at Columbia University in 2007. In his statement seven years ago, while he was speaking in New York City, Ahmadinejad told his audience of mostly students and faculty that “In Iran we don’t have homosexuals like in your country. We do not have this phenomenon. I do not know who has told you we have it.” At the time, the comment elicited laughter and some boos among the 700 people in the audience. But according to the U.N. team that has just delivered its comprehensive report to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Iran in fact has no homosexuals. More.