Music News

 2013: April-June



  Fined Ten Grand...

Ofcom throw the book at Scuzz TV for pre-watershed music video unsuitable for kids


Link Here 29th June 2013

hollywood undead videoRock All Stars Scuzz TV,
19 August 2012, 20:40

Scuzz TV is a UK digital satellite television channel that broadcasts rock and pop- punk music videos and music related entertainment programming on Sky and Freesat. The licence for this channel is held by CSC Media Group.

During a block of music video programming called Rock All Stars, Scuzz TV broadcast a music video by the American rap-rock band Hollywood Undead performing a track called Undead ( the video ) at 20:40. The video, which was set in a motel room, intercut footage of the band performing the track to camera with footage of the male band members partying with female performers and fans in various locations including a motel bedroom, a bathroom and by a swimming pool.

The video, which lasted for just over three minutes and 30 seconds, included over 25 uses of language such as fuck , motherfuckers , fucking and faggots. Ofcom was also concerned by the imagery included in this video. We noted in particular: over 35 brief but close-up shots of naked or near naked breasts; around 20 close-up shots of women's buttocks in bikinis or underwear; frequent close-up shots of women climbing onto or simulating sexual actions with men and other women; scenes in which male band members fondled the breasts of female performers; footage in which two semi-naked female performers simulated sex acts together in a shower cubicle while a male band member vomited into a toilet; shots of illegal drug paraphernalia; and a sequence in which a female performer appeared to take illegal drugs and then perform sex acts on herself and with others. The video concluded with shots of the band members violently smashing up the contents of the motel room, and then throwing the broken items into the swimming pool.

Ofcom considered rules:

  • Rule 1.3: Children must...be protected by appropriate scheduling from material that is unsuitable for them.
  • Rule 1.10: The use of illegal drugs, the abuse of drugs, smoking, solvent abuse and the misuse of alcohol:...must generally be avoided and in any case must not be condoned, encouraged or glamorised in...programmes broadcast before the watershed (in the case of television)...unless there is editorial justification.
  • Rule 1.14: The most offensive language must not be broadcast before the watershed (in the case of television)[.]
  • Rule 1.16: Offensive language must not be broadcast before the watershed (in the case of television)...unless it is justified by the context.
  • Rule 1.21: Nudity before the watershed must be justified by the context.
  • Rule 2.3: In applying generally accepted standards broadcasters must ensure that material which may cause offence is justified by the context...Such material may include, but is not limited to, offensive language, violence, sex, sexual violence, [and] violation of human dignity[.]

This case involved the broadcast of material that was extremely unsuitable for children and had the potential to be highly offensive to the audience. Ofcom therefore considers the breaches of Rules 1.3, 1.10, 1.14, 1.16, 1.21 and 2.3 in this case to be serious. Ofcom was particularly concerned that the Licensee described the broadcast of this video before the watershed and during the school summer holidays as having occurred as a result of a loophole and staff error.

Ofcom have now decided that it was appropriate and proportionate in the circumstances to impose a financial penalty of £10,000 on the Licensee in respect of the Code Breaches (payable to HM Paymaster General) and to direct the Licensee to broadcast a statement of Ofcom's findings, on a date and in a form to be determined by Ofcom.

 

  Sacrificial Lamb...

Tunisian rapper jailed for 2 years for anti-police song


Link Here 25th June 2013

free weld 15Tunisian rapper Alaa Yacoub has been sent two prison for two years for an anti-police song.

The rapper, who performs under the name Weld 15, has been accused of threatening police officers with a song he posted online called Boulicia Kleb (the police are dogs).

In the video, Yacoub sings that he would like to slaughter a police officer instead of sheep at Eid al-Adha .

Update: Suspended

3rd July 2013. See  article from  indexoncensorship.org

Tunisian rapper Weld El 15 (real name Alaa Yaacoubi) walked free from Tunis's Court of Appeal today after his jail sentence for insulting police was reduced from two years to a six month suspended sentence, Padraig Reidy writes

According to AFP, the rapper's lawyer Ghazi Mrabet hailed the court decision as a victory for liberty, for democracy, and for Weld el 15, who did nothing but create a work of art.

Update: Sentenced to jail again

5th September 2013. See  article from  indexoncensorship.org

Two Tunisian rappers Aladine Yacoubi (aka Weld EL 15) and Ahmed Ben Ahmed (aka Klay BBJ) have been sentenced in absentia to 21 months in jail. A court in Hammamet issued the verdict on 29 August without summoning the two rappers to appear for trial, their lawyer Ghazi Mrabet said yesterday.

We are surprised by this verdict...Our clients have not been summoned for trial as it is stipulated by law, Mrabet told the privately-owned radio station Mosaique FM. They were found guilty of insulting civil servants , undermining public decency and defamation.

On 22 August, police arrested the two rappers as they were on stage performing a rap concert at a music festival in Hammamet and physically assaulted them. They were detained, for targeting police' in their songs, the local chief police officer told the collective blog Nawaat.

Update: Reduced to 6 months

27th September 2013. See  article from  theguardian.com

A Tunisian court has sentenced a rapper to six months in prison for singing excerpts of an anti-police song at a concert, his lawyer said on Thursday.

Ahmed and fellow rapper Alaa Yacoub were convicted in absentia last month and sentenced to 21 months in prison. Ahmed sought a retrial resulting in the 6 month sentence, whilst Yacoub remains in hiding.

 

  Yeezus...

Hype for Kanye West's new CD


Link Here 20th June 2013

kanye west yeezusRapper Kanye West may have the US number one album next week, but may have lost a few customers after offending the American Parkinson Disease Association.

The album Yeezus contains the track On Sight with the lyric:

A monster about to come alive again.
Soon as I pull up and park the Benz,
We get this bitch shaking like Parkinson's.

Gossip site TMZ reports that the American Parkinson Disease Association VP, Kathryn Whitford, said:  We find these lyrics distasteful and the product of obvious ignorance.

 

  Unapologetic Censorship...

Modesty vigilantes staple clothes to Rihanna poster to cover her up


Link Here 13th June 2013  full story: Rihanna...Winding up the moralists

Unapologetic RihannaRihanna's topless but unrevealing posters for her Diamonds world tour have offended the insensibilities of some Dublin residents, who took it upon themselves to cover her up by stapling clothes to the images.

The posters feature the image from her Unapologetic album and depict the singer apparently naked from the waist up but covered by her elbow and the album title.

She will be performing at the Aviva Stadium on June 21, and hopefully the modesty vigilantes will not be present at her show.

 

  The Sin of Vandalism...

Saudi horse sculptures smashed after claims that they are sinful


Link Here 13th June 2013

smashed sculptureExtremist muslims in Saudi Arabia has smashed sculptures of horses erected on a roundabout in the town of Abu Arish after the kingdom's top cleric denounced them as supposedly sinful.

The decision came after Grand Mufti Abdulaziz al-Shaikh sent a letter to the governor of Jazan demanding that the sculptures be removed because they are a great sin and are prohibited under sharia .

Statues of people and animals are prohibited under Islam as they are said to represent a form of idolatry.

 

 Update: So how much does he expect society to change because of this decision...

Government announces that slightly sexy pop videos will have to be vetted by the BBFC


Link Here 25th May 2013  full story: VRA Exempt...Video Recordings (Exemption from Classification) Bill

Ed Vaizey The government announces that more DVDs are to carry an age rating, more is to be done on online age ratings and WiFi will be family friendly. placeholder

Age ratings will be given to a range of video content that is currently exempt - such as some music and sports DVDs - so that those unsuitable for younger children will have to carry a British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) age rating in future.

Video Recordings Act

The government is publishing the response to its recent consultation on the Video Recordings Act which addresses concerns about the exemptions from age rating that are currently given to a range of music, sports, religious and educational DVDs and Blu-Ray discs.

The Video Recordings Act will now be changed so that any of these products that are unsuitable for younger children will have to carry the familiar 12 , 15 and 18 BBFC age ratings in future. The changes are expected to come into force in 2014.

Communications Minister Ed Vaizey said:

Government realises that the world has moved on since these exemptions were written into the Video Recordings Act some 30 years ago.

The changes we've announced today will help ensure children are better protected, and that parents are provided with the information necessary for them to make informed choices about what their children view.

In order to help ensure parents can make more informed decisions about the material their children watch online, ministers are also calling on industry to develop solutions so that more online videos - particularly those that are likely to be sought out by children and young people - carry advice about their age suitability in future.

 

 Extract: Everything Is Offensive (Including David Bowie)...

David Bowie's The Next Day and Nine Inch Nails' Broken both censored


Link Here 20th May 2013

Broken EP Nine Inch Nails David Bowie's rather brilliant promo video for The Next Day was briefly pulled from YouTube a few days ago.

...

Funnily enough, in that very same week another offensive music video finally surfaced after 20 years underground. A notoriously tough-to-watch short made by Nine Inch Nails (along with Peter Christopherson) to accompany their Broken EP in the early 90s popped up on Vimeo after 20 years of incomplete versions being traded on the black market. Despite the official sanction of the band, it lasted mere hours before Vimeo removed it on the grounds of it being really really horrible and yucky and nasty and putting them right off their tea (well, violating guidelines , but I'm pretty sure that was the gist).

...Read the full article

 

 Updated: Back the Next Day...

David Bowie's interesting knock at priests gets temporarily banned for YouTube


Link Here 10th May 2013

david bowie next day video David Bowie's latest music video featuring him as a Christ-like figure surrounded by women in skimpy outfits and priests in a bar has been pulled from YouTube.

The video for the single The Next Day was temporarily removed from the video-sharing website with a screenshot saying it had been taken down because its content violated YouTube's terms of service, the singer's publicist said.

A spokeswoman for Google-owned YouTube said:

With the massive volume of videos on our site, sometimes we make the wrong call, she said. When it's brought to our attention that a video has been removed mistakenly, we act quickly to reinstate it. [albeit with a deserved 18 rating].

Update: Christian's recommend The Next Day by David Bowie

10th May 2013. See  article from  telegraph.co.uk . See also article from  contactmusic.com

The Next Day David Bowie David Bowie has incurred the wrath of America's Catholic League over his religious-themed new video.

Bowie appears in the video dressed in Christ-like robes, while Gary Oldman plays a beer-swilling priest and Marion Cotillard is a hooker who transforms into a saint.

The video has riled Catholic League president Bill Donohue, who claims the clip is a mess :

The switch-hitting, bisexual, senior citizen from London has resurfaced, this time playing a Jesus-like character who hangs out in a nightclub dump frequented by priests, cardinals and half-naked women.

The video is strewn with characteristic excess: one priest bashes a homeless man, while others are busy hitting on women; self-flagellation is depicted; a dancing gal with bleeding hands makes a stigmata statement; and a customer is served eyeballs on a plate... In short, the video reflects the artist - it is a mess.

Meanwhile ex-archbishop of Canterbury, George Carey said:

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery perhaps Christians should not worry too much at such an exploitation of religious imagery.

I doubt that Bowie would have the courage to use Islamic imagery - I very much doubt it.

Frankly, I don't get offended by such juvenilia - Christians should have the courage to rise above offensive language although I hope Bowie will recognise that he may be upsetting some people.

Jack Valero of the Catholic Voices group said:

I wouldn't give him the time of day, it is just desperate. He used to be famous, why does he need to do this?

Andrea Williams, director of Christian Concern, added:

 It is actually just a bit sad -- what is he seeking to achieve?

Strangely none of the Christians seem to recognise that that the amount of abusive priests may be something to do with the justified criticism of the church.

 

  Heads Will Roll...

Ten pin bowling with decapitated heads too much for MTV


Link Here 27th April 2013

handshake bowling videoNorthern Ireland rockers Two Door Cinema Club have had their new video banned by MTV.

The video for their latest single Handshake was filmed at a bowling alley in London and features the decapitated heads of the band rolling down the bowling lane.

It was directed by Sam Piling and first aired on the music channel on Tuesday night. However it has now been unsurprisingly removed from the broadcast playlist.

 

  Eyeing Easy Offence...

Rajan Zed whinges at Selena Gomez for wearing a Hindu forehead decoration


Link Here 17th April 2013

selena gomez videoPerennial Hindu whinger, Rajan Zed, has had a knock at Selena Gomez for donning a Bindi on her forehead during her performance of Come and Get It at Sunday's MTV Movie Awards.

Traditionally, the area between the eyebrows (where the bindi is placed) is said to be the sixth chakra, ajna, the seat of concealed wisdom . According to followers of Hinduism, this chakra is the exit point for kundalini energy. The bindi is said to retain energy and strengthen concentration. It is also said to protect against demons or bad luck. The bindi also represents the third eye. In modern times, bindis are worn by women of many religious dispositions in South Asia and Southeast Asia, and is not restricted to Hindus.

Officials at the Universal Society of Hinduism have referred to Selena's use of the religious symbol as insensitive, with spokesman Rajan Zed telling WENN:

The bindi on the forehead is an ancient tradition in Hinduism and has religious significance... It is not meant to be thrown around loosely for seductive effects or as a fashion accessory aiming at mercantile greed.

Selena should apologize and then she should get acquainted with the basics of world religions.

 

 Update: Denigrating Free Speech...

Turkish pianist given a suspended jail sentence for tweets that supposedly denigrate islam


Link Here 16th April 2013

Fazil Say 1001 Nights HaremThe conviction of a renowned Turkish pianist for denigrating Islam on Twitter sends a chilling message to social media users in the country, Amnesty International said.

Fazil Say, who has played in some of the world's leading orchestras, was given a 10-month suspended sentence for posting tweets mocking religious individuals and Islamic conceptions of heaven in April 2012.

Andrew Gardner, Amnesty International's expert on Turkey said:

The conviction of Fazil Say is a flagrant violation of his freedom of expression, made possible by one of Turkey's most draconian laws.

This case sends a chilling warning to anyone using Twitter or other social media in Turkey. Namely, that if you express an opinion the authorities don't like, you could be next.

An example re-tweet from the 9 cited in charges was:

I am not sure if you have noticed, but where there's a louse, a non-entity, a lowlife, a thief or a fool, they are all Islamists. Is this a paradox?

Update: Retrial

27th April 2013. See article from bloomberg.com

A Turkish court has canceled the conviction of Fazil Say, ordering a retrial. The court ruled that Say, who was given a suspended sentence of 10 months in prison on April 15 by a lower court, was not fully informed of his rights regarding the verdict and there were procedural errors. The decision was taken in response to an appeal by Say's lawyer Meltem Akyol.

Update: Re-sentenced to 10 months jail, hopefully suspended

21st September 2013. See  article from  commentarymagazine.com

World-renowned Turkish pianist Fazil Say, who was sentenced to 10 months in prison for blasphemy in April, was again sentenced to 10 months by an Istanbul court in a retrial. Say had received a suspended 10-month prison sentence on charges of insulting religious beliefs held by a section of the society, for re-tweeting several lines, which are attributed to poet Omar Khayyam... Say was convicted after tweeting the following lines:

You say its rivers will flow in wine. Is the Garden of Eden a drinking house?

You say you will give two houris to each Muslim. Is the Garden of Eden a whorehouse?

Update: Acquitted

7th December 2016.

An Istanbul court acquitted pianist Fazil Say on 7 September 2016 of blasphemy charges after a four-year legal battle stemming from a 2012 post he re-tweeted consisting of lines written by 11th century Persian poet Omar Khayyam.

The pianist went to trial in October 2012 after three people filed a criminal complaint against him. Blasphemy charges carry a potential 18-month prison sentence, but Say was later handed a suspended ten-month sentence in 2013 since he had no previous criminal record and was ordered to be monitored.

In late 2015 Turkey's Supreme Court of Appeals overturned the sentence saying his social media posts should be regarded as freedom of expression and thought. The recent court decision upheld the appellate court's decision, thus ending the pianist's lengthy legal ordeal.

 

  Getting Noticed...

Spanish band Mei Ming have sex on video to show what artists need to do to get noticed


Link Here 12th April 2013

mei ming videoSpanish music group Mei Ming has sparked unspecified outrage with an explicit sex scene in a music video T

The music video for the song Take Me As I Am shows two of the musicians engaged in sex. The video shows the musicians stripping off their clothes, painting their bodies with the group's name and then two of the trio open a condom and have sex.

Band member Juan Ramos, who directs the collaborative project featuring various musicians, told Publico the footage intended to highlight the difficulties faced by artists during a recession. He said the sex scene was a symbol and criticism of what an artist nowadays needs to do to become known. He revealed the artists only decided to perform actual sex on the condition the reason for why they were doing so was visible and explicit.

Mei Ming's website states the collaborative group was formed in 2008, and performs mainly at venues in Valencia.

 

 Updated: Losing the Gift of the Gab...

US song lyric has prompted an call to action by the Parents TV Council


Link Here 12th April 2013

U O E N O feat Future Rick ExplicitUS moralists of the Parents TV Council have issues a call to action against the lyrics of song being played on US radio stations:

Radio stations across the country are playing a song called U.O.E.N.O. that talks about drugging a woman and taking her home to rape her. Millions of teenage boys and young men are hearing---and absorbing---this message condoning date rape.

Take action below to call on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to investigate every radio station that chooses to promote date rape by airing this song.

Put molly all in her champagne
She ain't even know it I took her home and I enjoyed that
She ain't even know it.

The song is released from a selection of Rocko's Gift of Gab 2 mixtape , featuring Future and Rick Ross. Ross is claiming the controversy to be a misinterpretation of the lyric.

One radio station, WUVS-103.7 in Muskegon, Michigan, has pulled all Rick Ross songs.

Update: Rick Ross Given a Kicking by Reebok

12th April 2013. See  article from  reuters.com

Reebok Pro Rage Football BootSports shoe retailer Reebok has terminated its relationship with rapper Rick Ross, whose song lyrics have kicked off a little 'outrage'. Ross had been promoting Reebok shoes in print and TV adverts. The company said in a statement:

While we do not believe that Rick Ross condones sexual assault, we are very disappointed he has yet to display an understanding of the seriousness of this issue or an appropriate level of remorse.

At this time, it is in everyone's best interest for Reebok to end its partnership with Mr. Ross.