posted at 11:06 am by mary
This is so interesting. If I tried to appropriate, say, Paula Abdul’s “Cold Hearted Snake” as the theme song* for this website, I would have ASCAP lawyers breaking down my door in a matter of seconds, and I’d probably have to fork over tens of thousands of dollars in fines. Heck, when you folks quote song lyrics in your essay submissions, we’ve started editing them out before we publish them – because you just can’t be too careful these days, at least not when you don’t have tens of thousands of dollars to spare. (Which we don’t.)
But when presidential candidates appropriate songs – broadcasting them to far more people than I ever could – all they get are sternly-worded statements from the artists themselves.
Remember when ladyrockers Heart laid the smackdown on ladypol Sarah Palin for using their song “Barracuda”? Well, John McCain’s campaign has run afoul of yet another band: the Foo Fighers are mad as hell that the GOP candidate is using their 1997 single “My Hero” as his new theme song, and they’re not going to take it any more. (Mmm, but what are the odds McCain will pay a dime in fines?) From the Guardian:
The band said that permission to use the song was not sought from them, their management, their label or their publisher.
“The saddest thing about this is that My Hero was written as a celebration of the common man and his extraordinary potential,” the statement reads, although many fans have speculated that the song, written by Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl, refers to his admiration for former Nirvana bandmate Kurt Cobain.
“To have it appropriated without our knowledge and used in a manner that perverts the original sentiment of the lyric just tarnishes the song. We hope that the McCain campaign will do the right thing and stop using our song — and start asking artists’ permission in general.”
Okay. John McCain’s music programming people? Even if you can’t figure out how to get permission for the songs you use, you could at least do a Google and doublecheck an artist’s political leanings, or his past response to having his songs appropriated by your party:
Were you crushed after the election?
Fuck, yes. I wanted to riot. But rather than write an angry Rage Against the Machine record, I wanted to give a sense of hope and release and faith. One of the reasons I did that with the Kerry campaign was because I was personally offended that George Bush was using [the Foo Fighters'] “Times Like These” at his campaign rallies. We were trying to think of a way to get him to stop. “Fuck, man, I’m gonna send the president a cease and desist order.”
Think this’ll be enough to get Grohl to revive his own political aspirations?
*I’m not saying I would pick “Cold Hearted Snake” as the theme song for Ruined Music. For one thing, it reminds me too much of junior high dances.
posted at 11:56 am by mary
Here is the track listing for Barack Obama’s official mix CD, Yes We Can Has Adult Contemporary. Want some of that sweet, sweet love hope America action? It’s yours for just $30 or more!
1. Eternity – Lionel Richie
2. Signed Sealed Delivered – Stevie Wonder
3. Waiting On The World To Change – John Mayer
4. American Prayer – Dave Stewart
5. Battle Cry – Shontelle
6. Make It Better – Los Lonely Boys
7. Pride In The Name Of Love – John Legend
8. I Have A Dream – BeBe Winans
9. Am I All Alone – Suai
10. One Is The Magic # – Jill Scott
11. Love & Hope – Ozomatli
12. Looking East – Jackson Browne
13. Out of Our heads – Sheryl Crow
14. Promised Land – Malik Yusef with Kanye West and Adam Levine of Maroon 5
15. Hold On – Yolanda Adams
16. America The Beautiful – Keb’ Mo’
17. America – Ken Stacey
18. Wide River – Buddy Miller
I don’t have confirmation yet, but I’m pretty sure the John McCain mix CD – which should be coming out any day now – will look something like this:
1. Raisin’ McCain – John Rich
2. Raisin’ McCain – John Rich
3. Raisin’ McCain – John Rich
4. Raisin’ McCain – John Rich
5. Raisin’ McCain – John Rich
6. Raisin’ McCain – John Rich
7. Raisin’ McCain – John Rich
8. Raisin’ McCain – John Rich
9. Raisin’ McCain – John Rich
10. Raisin’ McCain – John Rich
11. Raisin’ McCain – John Rich
12. Raisin’ McCain – John Rich
13. Raisin’ McCain – John Rich
14. Raisin’ McCain – John Rich
15. Raisin’ McCain – John Rich
16. Raisin’ McCain – John Rich
17. Raisin’ McCain – John Rich
18. She’s A Hottie – Toby Keith
posted at 4:07 pm by mary
posted at 8:44 pm by mary
I just caught an egregious example of song ruination live at the Republican National Convention: A few minutes ago Kansas Senator Sam Brownback went on, at uncomfortable length, about how stiff and creaky John McCain is, on account of injuries he suffered as a POW. (I don’t know if you’ve heard, but John McCain was a POW.) Senator Brownback even made a sort of awkward approximation of how John McCain wouldn’t be able to lift his arm very high if he were being sworn in as president, which was weird and creepy, and then Senator Brownback strutted off the stage as the PA system played “Footloose,” as if to drive home the point that John McCain will never be able to slide across a floor in his socks or dance in his underwear or get, well, footloose.
If I were John McCain right now I’d be all, Screw my big speech! I’m writing an essay for Ruined Music about how Sam Brownback just ruined “Footloose” for me for EVER, thanks a lot, Sam Brownback.
posted at 9:06 pm by mary
Exhibit A: “Isn’t She Lovely” for Michelle Obama’s speech last night. Really? Really, DNC? That was the best you could come up with? I almost expected someone to run out and put a rhinestone tiara on Prom Queen Michelle’s lovely head.
Exhibit B: “Sisters Are Doin’ It for Themselves,” just an hour or so ago. “Hey, Hillary supporters! Listen, we get it. We really do. We know how you love your girls’ nights and your chick lit and your sassy traveling pants. Let’s all boogie together to the Eurythmics! You go, girl!”
Conclusion: The Democrats are terrible music programmers.
Hypothesis: The Republicans will be even worse.
posted at 4:42 pm by mary
A few notes of interest from Ruined Music world headquarters, which is now located in Portland, Maine (that’s one of the notes of interest). Yes, we – and the feline muses – made the trip from Brooklyn in one piece, despite some pitiful howling along the way. Portland is beautiful and friendly; we live a few blocks from the ocean and we’ve met (or re-met) some swell people. Curious about the music scene here? Check out Bryan’s new website, Hilly Town. It’s just show listings for now, but he says he’s going to add band profiles and venue information, and I have no reason not to believe him.
Also of interest, maybe: Ruined Music has a Facebook page. Go become a fan. You can also follow the Ruined Music Twitter feed, which – if I didn’t screw up – will let you know when there’s something new to read here.
Speaking of new things to read, look for more stories, interviews and features in the coming months. If you haven’t sent us your ruined music story yet, what are you waiting for? We’re trying to make up for the recent lull, and the submission guidelines are right here.
Now get off the computer and get outside, already!
posted at 11:07 pm by mary
It’s official: Ruined Music HQ is relocating from Brooklyn to Portland, Maine in three short days. It’s also official: moving is tiring. I am looking forward to having everything settled.
We’ll be taking a little break next week for unpacking/internet-getting/recovering purposes. Enjoy the 4th of July holiday, and we’ll be back the following week, assuming we’re not crushed under boxes of our own CDs. Most of our music collection is feeling sort of ruined to me right now, if only because it is so heavy.
posted at 1:31 pm by mary
So check it out, we have our first-ever Ruined Music band interview up right now. What do you think? Are there any bands or musicians you’d like us to interrogate? Our feeling is, if someone loves music enough to play in a band, he or she has to have some ruined songs lurking in the past. Let’s air ‘em out in public, on the internet!
Suggestions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org with BAND SUGGESTION in the subject line. No promises, but we’ll see what we can do.
posted at 9:21 pm by mary
So it’s been a while since we updated. I know. I’m sorry. Life off the internet has gotten busy and stolen lots of time from life on the internet. I’m not kidding:
So, your patience and understanding is humbly requested, dear Ruined Music readers. Thank you!
posted at 4:30 pm by mary
*Make a New Year’s resolution to write your ruined music story. Look at the guidelines. Send to submit -at- ruinedmusic.com with SUBMISSION in the subject line.
*Travel safely if you’re traveling over the holidays.
*Give someone you love the gift of an item with a broken record on it: head over to the Ruined Music store. Thus far the mug, tote bag, and 3/4 sleeve shirts have been our most popular items. I kind of want one of the notebooks, myself (hint hint, Bryan).
*Send us a smallish, good quality .jpg picture of your cat for the Random Cat Photo. Why not? Mail to info -at- ruinedmusic.com with RANDOM CAT in the subject line.
*Make a gift mix for that special someone. Scenario A: you live happily ever after. Scenario B: you have a good story for this site. Either way, you win.
Happy holidays! See you in the new year!
Read this before you submit!
This is how we know, this is how we go
story by Bryan & Mary
While everyone’s lost, the battle is won
story by Mary Phillips-Sandy
Just say the word
story by Liza Kearney