Jesus: He's Hot, He's Sexy, He's Dead
With the mainstream media currently pandering to the religious right as much as your average, corrupt Republican politician, we thought we'd join the fray with a little "Jesus in the News: The Music Edition" update. Ex-Korn guitarist Brian "Head" Welch has teamed up with fellow God squad recruit and bad actor Stephen Baldwin (OK, he was great in Encino Man) to form Livin' It Records, an offshoot of Baldwin's youth- and extreme sports-oriented Livin' It ministry (the imprint will release Welch's debut solo album). Progressive Hard Rock group Tool had a little fun with The Big Guy for April Fool's Day, when a post on the band's Web site stated that singer Maynard James Keenan had found Jesus. Many were immediately skeptical, given Keenan's outspokenness against organized religion (the man once sang, "Fuck your god," for crying out loud), and it seems they were right to be: A few days later, Keenan revealed it was all a prank and he was surprised so many people actually bought it. Finally, former Superdrag singer John Davis, who became "born again" toward the end of his tenure with the Pop/Rock cult legends, has released his amazing, self-titled debut, which reflects his reignited faith, proving that music inspired by the Man Upstairs doesn't have to be second-rate (unless you're that guy from Creed).
Raising the Flag
Rock music might not be able to change the world any more, but politically-minded Punk band Anti-Flag is hoping to at least warn it. The band created militaryfreezone.org as a way to raise awareness about (and perhaps change) a "hidden" provision in George W.'s ballyhooed (and fatally flawed) No Child Left Behind Act. The Act (which has been critically and criminally under-funded) is considered by many to be an effort to gut and demonize public schools in an effort to kick-start voucher programs. Anti-Flag's site is specifically targeting the evil NCLB provision that requires public high schools to turn over students' names, phone numbers and addresses to military recruiters.
The site has a petition and further info about the Act, as well as the forms students can use to opt out of the program. If politicians aren't going to look out for your best interest, it's good to see an old-fashioned Punk band picking up the slack.
Taking Care of The Roots
With things like MTV's Cribs and the constant whining about how file-sharing is unequivocally grand larceny, it's easy to forget sometimes that musical artists haven't always been so sweetly rewarded for their efforts. Many groundbreaking Blues musicians who are responsible for shaping the music you hear on the radio today die penniless and usually lack proper health care options. Formed in 1985, Bluesaid set out to help remedy that tragic situation. The organization's current fund drive is requesting only a penny, operating under the assumption that if every music fan donated 1 cent, there would be enough to properly care for our aging, ailing musicians. To give to the "Donate-a-Penny" campaign, go to kingbiscuitfest.org to find out how to help.
Guess a few minutes with Dr. Phil is all you need to convince people you are good parents (hear that, Michael Jackson?). We'll leave the judgments on unconventional parenting techniques to the "holier-than-thou-unless-we-fuck-up" neo-cons, but is there anyone who would call Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne great parents? A survey by England's Sky News found that the demonic duo -- who can be easily forgiven for past problems, but who should be ashamed of themselves for dragging their kids into the reality show fray -- are Britain's "favourite parents." Keeping with the utterly disgraceful and sexist degradation of newlywed Camilla Parker-Bowles, she and the Prince of Wales were voted least favorite.