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Clarkson, Spin and Death Metal

By Mike Breen · January 18th, 2012 · Minimum Gauge


A Real Political Hack

Pop star Kelly Clarkson got an unexpected sales bump when she announced her support for cult fave Republican Ron Paul and it looked like her successful (if inadvertent) publicity stunt had given some of her celebrity peers the bright idea to also endorse Paul. The Twitters of No Doubt and Punk band Rise Against (as well as Nicole Scherzinger), according to Billboard, lavished praise on the GOP hopeful (and instructed fans to donate to his campaign). The performers quickly made it very clear they were not endorsing Paul. It’s believed supporters hacked the accounts, but don’t discount the possibility of “endorsing Ron Paul” being a newly discovered side effect of Ambien. 


Spin Goes Short

Spin magazine, one of the last big guys standing in the major print music journalism world, has finally realized that most people nowadays don’t so much “read” as “skim.” The magazine announced the end of medium-sized reviews of new releases in favor of a 140-character blurb format.

In a note at spin.com, Senior Editor Christopher R. Weingarten wrote that Spin writers will review more than 1,500 releases this calendar year, all of which will be tweeted (@SPINreviews). Weingarten also called modern music criticism just a “downloader’s handbook” whose value has “plummeted” because people can use Google. The magazine will also run “longform reviews” online, where visitors will notice they are longer than two paragraphs and start looking at porn again. Within the next decade, all “critical writing” will be limited to one of two words — “Cool” or “Sucks." And that sucks.


A Fatwa Waiting to Happen

Following in the footsteps of that Dutch cartoonist and those guys who make South Park, a band from Norway has dared to enter the “mock Islam, risk death” fray.  The group — called Taake — plays Death Metal, a sound so ingrained in Norwegian culture that Death/Doom artists are genuine pop stars. According to The Guardian, it’s Taake’s lyrics that have left some confused and others picking up their fatwa outfits at the dry cleaners. Taake didn’t simply dare to draw a visual representation of Muhammad; instead, they scream their intolerance out loud with lines like “To hell with Muhammad and the Muhammadans!” At least in America, only certain politicians and pundits publicly express such anti-Islamic sentiments so unabashedly. 



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