Tag Archives: censorship


Asterisks, as Kurt Vonnegut suggested, might very well be more visually disturbing than the letters that conjoin as “a-s-s-h-o-l-e.” But our concern today is with what asterisks obscure, the choices they blot out, not what they themselves resemble. At first blush, it seems that Fucked Up’s unprintable name is doing its own excellent music a disservice. The pragmatist wonders: Does a band with this profane a name even hope to be successful?

Freak Out

Gnarls Barkley’s new single ‘Run’ has been banned by MTV (as if they fucking play videos anyway…) because it fails the Harding Test, and may cause epileptic seizures.

The video is trippy sweet near the end!  As my student worker, who watched the video with me, reacted, “That’s censorship!  Even if it might kill people!”  I’ve taught her so well.

Also, to Justin Timberlake: you’re annoying as fuck, go back to slaving for Disney where you belong.

Sex Sells Out

A couple posts ago local Cincy music blogger Each Note Secure directed readers to commercial advertisements featuring music from current lesser-known bands. One of them was an Axe ad featuring a favorite band of mine, Brazilian Girls.

If anyone has some information regarding the ‘uncensored’ tag at the YouTube clip, pass it along; I can’t seem to confirm any information about it being censored in regions of the world (Although I wouldn’t be surprised if networks chose not to pick it up because of its Jesus-hating rompiness).

I know bands need to make money, but I tend to die a little when the music I experience and discover is later used to move a few crates of, say, overpriced soap. The most disheartening, personally, is the double-whammy my lover Bob Dylan did after his famous Victoria’s Secret commercial, selling SUVs and anorexic downloads. (Actually, I find the strangely juxtaposed lingerie incident, set to ‘Love Sick’, pretty hilarious. Why? Aside from the timbre and salty reverb of the actual song, it makes absolutely no sense to hear it in the context of the commercial. What shoppers is Les Wexner eager to attract–aging hipsters expecting a sea of boobs? Dylan did it for the shooting of the commercial, not the money). The Torygraph had a take on it back when.

For the Brazilian Girls, an MTV News (ugh…) article may have some insights into their decision to sell out to Axe (Sabina Sciubba is the band’s frontwoman and singer/songwriter):

“I hope through my words that I am not coming across as vulgar,” said the Italian-born Sciubba, who was raised in Munich, Germany; Nice, France; and Rome. “Sex is being used to sell everything. It’s part of the joke of being called the Brazilian Girls.”

Sciubba says she doesn’t watch television, but she doesn’t seem to mind capitalizing on it. “If I would make lots of money that would be great,” she said, evidently not worried about going mainstream.

Cheeky?  I think I might have bought her words if she were actually involved in the commercial.

I’m going home to listen to Pete Townshend.


Reuters reports today that iTunes surpassed Target and Best Buy to officially become Number Two in US music sales, second only to Wal-Mart.  What does it reflect about American consumerism when the most often-sought sellers of music notoriously censor both the content and playability of that music?  Apple remains steadfastly married to its low-fidelity downloads crippled by digital regulations, forcing the buyer to play songs only on Apple products and blurring the line between what is means to ‘purchase’ a product versus ‘renting’ it (the latter more accurately reflects iTunes in my opinion).  In addition, Wal-Mart continuously panders to social lobbyists, forcing artists and labels to alter the content of an album in order to meet its moral standards or risk having it removed from the shelves completely.

Never thought I’d say this about a box-box retailer, but thank you Amazon.com.  As an avid music acquirer, if I cannot locate a song I want through other nefarious sources (Russian pay-per sites, or P2P networks), I have no qualms purchasing the song through Amazon’s incredibly easy (and totally high-fidelity; sometimes nearly CD-quality) MP3 store.  It’s less expensive than iTunes, free of digital restrictions, allows nearly all of its songs available a-la-carte, and hosts the largest library of songs (over 3 million) available anywhere on planet Earth.  I’m sold, are you?