Minimum Gauge: Taylor Swift Makes Political Statement, Internet Loses Collective Mind

Plus, Dave Grohl plays career-retrospective live set, including six Nirvana tunes, and Conan O'Brien says goodbye to music

click to enlarge "You mad, bro?" - Photo:
"You mad, bro?"

HOT: Swift Endorsements
Pop superstar Taylor Swift has always shied away from making overt political statements, but in an Oct. 7 Instagram post, Swift endorsed Tennessee Democratic candidates Phil Bredesen (running for Senate) and Jim Cooper (for House of Representatives) and people were, as they say, shook. She also had some words for Bredesen’s opponent, Marsha Blackburn, pointing out the GOP candidate’s voting record (the Congresswoman voted against things like equal pay for women and hasn’t supported reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act). Swift said she decided to make a statement because of events “in my life and in the world in the past two years” (like her being sexually assaulted and Trump becoming president). She seemed to confuse people on both sides of the aisle by speaking out — some said she “picked the wrong side” and her career was over, while others appeared baffled by the perceived incongruence of her thoughtful statement (read it below) vs. Kanye West ranting for Trump in a MAGA hat.

View this post on Instagram

I’m writing this post about the upcoming midterm elections on November 6th, in which I’ll be voting in the state of Tennessee. In the past I’ve been reluctant to publicly voice my political opinions, but due to several events in my life and in the world in the past two years, I feel very differently about that now. I always have and always will cast my vote based on which candidate will protect and fight for the human rights I believe we all deserve in this country. I believe in the fight for LGBTQ rights, and that any form of discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender is WRONG. I believe that the systemic racism we still see in this country towards people of color is terrifying, sickening and prevalent. I cannot vote for someone who will not be willing to fight for dignity for ALL Americans, no matter their skin color, gender or who they love. Running for Senate in the state of Tennessee is a woman named Marsha Blackburn. As much as I have in the past and would like to continue voting for women in office, I cannot support Marsha Blackburn. Her voting record in Congress appalls and terrifies me. She voted against equal pay for women. She voted against the Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, which attempts to protect women from domestic violence, stalking, and date rape. She believes businesses have a right to refuse service to gay couples. She also believes they should not have the right to marry. These are not MY Tennessee values. I will be voting for Phil Bredesen for Senate and Jim Cooper for House of Representatives. Please, please educate yourself on the candidates running in your state and vote based on who most closely represents your values. For a lot of us, we may never find a candidate or party with whom we agree 100% on every issue, but we have to vote anyway. So many intelligent, thoughtful, self-possessed people have turned 18 in the past two years and now have the right and privilege to make their vote count. But first you need to register, which is quick and easy to do. October 9th is the LAST DAY to register to vote in the state of TN. Go to and you can find all the info. Happy Voting! 🗳😃🌈

A post shared by Taylor Swift (@taylorswift) on Oct 7, 2018 at 4:33pm PDT

UPDATE: Since this first posted, Trump joked that he likes Taylor Swift's music 25 percent less now and Kanye West is having dinner with the prez at The White House Thursday. Also, voter registration has spiked since Swift's post, though some of that could be due to a last push before this year's registration deadline (which in Ohio is TODAY).

WARM: GrohlFest
Dave Grohl offered an interesting career retrospective during Foo Fighters’ headlining set at the band’s second annual music festival, Cal Jam. After performances throughout the weekend by friends (Tenacious D) and idols (Iggy Pop), Foo Fighters performed their music chronologically, in reverse order, beginning with last year’s single “Run” and culminating with “This is a Call” from the Foos’ 1995 debut (on which Grohl was the sole “band member”). The rocker didn’t stop there though — Grohl moved back to the drums as he and fellow Foo Pat Smear welcomed bassist Krist Novoselic to the stage to burn through six Nirvana songs with singer/guitarists John McCauley (Deer Tick) and Joan Jett.

COLD: Hole in Late Night
Musicians lost a longtime late-night supporter when Conan O’Brien hosted the final hour-long episode of his TBS chat show Conan on Oct. 5. When it returns in January, it will be 30 minutes and no longer have musical performances. O’Brien’s shows, going back to his stint on NBC’s Late Night that began 25 years ago, had long provided a stage to up-and-coming artists. O’Brien also toasted his longtime swingin’ (and departing) house band, which had been a pivotal part of O’Brien’s programs.

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