Hill-Dawg and YouTube

Music News, Tid-Bits and Other Morsels

High on the Hill-Dawg?

The next Mr. or Mrs. President of the United States will be inaugurated in approximately 606 days, 17 hours, 22 minutes and 48 seconds (yeah, we're keeping track), and the campaigns are well on their way. Some of the candidates have been using these new-fangled Internets things (your YouTubeys, your Googles) the kids are going crazy over these days, as a means to speak directly to a younger generation. Last week on her Web site's blog, Hillary Clinton posted a sarcastic, self-depreciating ('cause the kids love that kind of stuff, too) YouTube clip asking supporters to help her with "one of the most important questions of this campaign." No, she doesn't want to hear your ideas on health care reform — she wants to know what you think her campaign's theme song should be. (Just as the people of New York elected her to do.) The selections offered to vote on are your usual, safe, run-of-the-mill uplifting songs that innumerable campaigners (from senators-to-be to dog-catchers-in-waiting) have relied on in the past, like U2's "Beautiful Day" and Jesus Jones' "Right Here, Right Now." There are a couple of less-expected selections, including Smash Mouth's version of The Monkees' "I'm a Believer" (bet Peter Tork is pissed) and The Dixie Chicks' "Ready to Run," which seems a fairly controversial choice if Clinton is trying to nab swing voters who burned their copies of Wide Open Spaces, but have since come to realize that Bush is, indeed, a fuck-up. But what really caught our eye was the option to pick a "write-in candidate." If we had more than 17 readers, we would call for a mass uprising of votes for some of our favorite musical "calls to action." Perhaps the best would be "Getting Better" by The Beatles, if only for the line, "It can't get no worse" (maybe Dangermouse could do a remix and just loop that phrase over and over).

Borat's No Queen

Sacha Baron Cohen will not play Freddie Mercury in an upcoming movie about the late, legendary singer for the Rock band Queen, despite a report from the Web site ARTISTdirect, which erroneously posted the information. The site apologized for the error (and removed the report from its Web site). We understand the confusion — he's got the moustache, what else does he need? Don't worry about Baron Cohen, though. He is still up for several other roles, including "The Cop" from The Village People in Where the FUCK is My Cocaine?!: The Story of Disco, Ang Lee's live-action adaptation, Yosemite Sam, and, of course, the role of Ned Flanders in the live-action version of The Simpsons. (Disclaimer: We are still awaiting confirmation on these three projects but, again, with that 'stache ... how can it NOT be true.)

Putting the "Evil" in "UnbelEVILble"

Like "Weird Al" with a nasty case of Tourette's and severe brain damage, an infamous "church" group known for its messages of hate has gotten into the song parody business. The group has held up the First Amendment in defense of their previous actions (like picketing the funerals of soldiers and sharing their motto — "God Hates Fags" — with anyone who dares to look/listen) and they'll surely do it as they drop their new joint, "God Hates the World" (set to the tune of "We Are the World"). It's a most profound example of "free speech includes deplorable speech." Warner/Chappell Music Inc. says the parody violates their copyright of the original song (not to mention good taste, the very essence of humanity, every moral and ethical standard, etc.). But, just as holding a sign that says "God Hates Fags" is legally protected speech, the "church" might have a solid defense for their new jam. Satire is protected speech, whether someone finds it amusing or not. But, oh, if there ever was a time for Lady Justice to take a peak out from under that blindfold, this is it.

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