There’s plenty of real stuff going on this week — you’ve already heard about R. Kelly’s acquittal and Lil Wayne’s million-selling chart coup — but if you were looking for important, well-reported, or even marginally interesting music news, you probably wouldn’t be reading my column. Let’s skip straight to the sweet stuff: the week’s goofiest press releases.
Teamsters Urge Singer Kenny Chesney: Speak Out Against Corona's Pension Cuts
Just a month after enduring the first shred of controversy in his career — his comments upon winning the Academy of Country Music’s Entertainer of the Year award were interpreted by some as ungrateful — blameless Knoxville pinhead Kenny Chesney is being pulled into a scuffle between Teamsters and beer:
“Chesney’s lyrics speak of down-to-earth themes such as tractor driving, barefoot walking, and hardworking, family-loving folks,” said Chuck Mack, President of Teamsters Joint Council 7 and International Vice President. “America's working families identify with him and vice-versa. We urge him to encourage Corona’s San Francisco distributor not to take away the dignified retirement employees worked hard to earn.”
A hundred teamsters showed up at his Corona-sponsored concert to pass out leaflets decrying a local Corona distributor’s attempt to eliminate employee pensions in a proposed new contract. Chesney, who has a major promotional (and esophageal) relationship with Corona, has skipped his cellphone into the crystal-clear sea and is currently too laid back to comment.
I have to say I resent the ugly tactic of using a country singer’s love of heavy farm equipment to guilt-trip him into joining a political fight. The relationship between Kenny Chesney and tractors is a sacred thing, and using it to drive a wedge between him and the Mexican beer he so dearly loves (see his 2007 hit “Beer in Mexico”) is downright reprehensible.
Using Music To Ease the Pain of Labor; New CD Featuring Celine Dion, Norah Jones, Provides Soothing Songs for Delivery
As if childbirth weren’t painful enough:
Doctors and midwives are increasingly embracing the notion that music can help improve the birth experience for mothers. From this need to soothe sprang the CD Stork Tunes: Songs for a Happy Birth Day, a compilation of songs focused on mothers and children by top artists. Among the artists on the CD are Celine Dion (“A Mother’s Prayer”); Katrina Carlson (“Mother”); and the Dixie Chicks (“Godspeed (Sweet Dreams)”).
I know in my heart that any child of mine would sooner claw its way back into the womb than enter a world in which Norah Jones dominates its infant senses. Furthermore, if I ever knock up a girl who would enjoy listening to Celine Dion and the Dixie Chicks during the birth of our child, I hope to be thousands of miles away from the delivery room, preferably in a nation with relaxed attitudes toward deadbeatism.
There can be only one circumstance under which my screaming, blood-slick offspring should have any interaction with Celine Dion, and it certainly won’t be the miracle of childbirth. So committed am I to ridding the world of terrible music that I plan to train my brood from birth to succeed in action where my words have failed.
Speaking as a non-parent, I can only assume that the fun part about having a child is imposing your tastes upon it, so the music played during the birth of my baby should be a very personal and emotionally significant album chosen with the utmost care. I’m thinking Big Black’s Songs About Fucking.
On the bright side, all sales of this abomination benefit the March of Dimes, a charity that’s been cited for its bureaucratic bloat. You’re probably better off just visiting a maternity ward and handing 16 bucks to the most jaundiced baby you see.
iXoundWear (Hats for iPod®) Announces Caps for iPod® Nano 3rd Generation Available for Sale
iXoundWear products target an active audience, people who love to exercise with their iPod®, but hate the hassle of wires. All of the latest caps feature: patent-pending wire management system, player pocket, earphone loops and internal sweatband.
Now that those white earbud cords are too ubiquitous to function as a signifier of yuppie dorkness, Florida company iXoundWear has created a novel way to listen to music while looking like an incredible tit. The iXoundWear folks have been marketing a line of hats with built-in iPod pockets, meaning that (a) an electronic device is protruding awkwardly from your hat; (b) you have to reach up and tap on your skull to switch tracks; (c) muggers can just grab the bill of your hat and yoink!; (d) the earbuds hang down from your patent-pending headgear in a manner reminiscent of those party-animal beer hats with the built-in straws.
I urge you to visit iXoundwear.com/gallery and bear witness to one of the most tragic cranial fiascos ever thrust upon mankind.