It’s true. Fox News, and in particular radio pundit John Gibson, has a spiffy new bump for Gibson’s ultraconservative radio show, the, um, “John Gibson Show.” The 15-second spot features a booming radio voice claiming, “He’s sassy,” over a meandering organ line and jangly bubblegum-pop guitar. And then, a chorus of gleeful voices singing, “I just want something sassy to do right now / to do-do do-do.” Familiar voices. Strangely familiar, little elfin voices…
Holy crap, it’s the Smittens! John-effing-Gibson used “Something Sassy” by — of all friggin’ bands — the Smittens to pimp his radio show! If I may … what the fuck?!
If you’re unfamiliar with Gibson, well, consider yourself lucky. The immaculately coifed talking douche bag, er, head is something close to public enemy number one in LGBT circles. He even ranks among the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation’s “Worst Anti-Gay Voices” list in 2008, most notably for making Brokeback Mountain jokes about actor Heath Ledger … the day after he died.
If you missed that pleasant little story, Gibson played a clip of the film’s famous “I just can’t quit you” line and then remarked over funereal music, “Well, he found out how to quit you.” In fairness, Gibson later apologized. Sort of. In the same breath he also defended his comments by pointing out, “There’s no point in passing up a good joke.” How sassy!
The Smittens had no idea their music had fallen into the evil clutches of Rupert Murdoch and Fox News. In a deliciously smarmy statement released shortly after discovering the bump, the band writes that Gibson chose their song “to emphasize just how ‘sassy’ racist and homophobic sentiments are.”
Point, Smittens. But wait, there’s more!
Says guitarist Dana Kaplan in the same release, “The Smittens were pretty shocked to hear our song … being used as bumper music for John Gibson’s radio show.” She adds, “We find it pretty ironic that someone in his team has not done their research properly — two members of the band are gay and one [Kaplan] legally married her spouse in Vermont!”
Point, Smittens, again!
The release closes with yet another well-placed barb:
“As you can imagine, we’re not big fans of John Gibson and don’t want our music associated with his offensive views. I guess it just goes to show you, John: We are Everywhere.”
Indeed. Including even at Fox News, apparently.
No word yet as to just how the news station unwittingly used one of the twee-est songs the Smittens have ever written as a bumper for one of its most virulently antigay personalities. But maybe it’s best to simply enjoy the delicious irony and bask in the glory hole, erm, glory that is Fox News and John Gibson.
Stay sassy, John. Stay sassy.
- Don’t know if you’ve noticed, but local rockabilly rascals Starline Rhythm Boys have been kinda quiet of late — well, except for a slew of benefit shows not in nightclubs. But they’re back in action this week, in a big way. Thursday at the Higher Ground Showcase Lounge, SRB host a boys’ night out of sorts with Texas-based rockabilly giants the Stone River Boys. Savvy Americana patrons should recognize that name, or at least the names of a few gents in the band. In particular, the group is fronted by guitarist Dave Gonzalez, of the late, great 1980s San Diego rockabilly band the Paladins and, more recently, a personal favorite of yours truly, the Hacienda Brothers. The Texas SRB recently became labelmates with the VT SRB on Cow Island Records and are touring throughout the Northeast. The following night, Starline invites the ladies in on the fun with the Honky Tonk Hoedown 3 at the Hartford Legion in White River Junction along with boot-scootin’ Northampton-based quintet Girl Howdy. What’s more, Friday is VT SRB front man Danny Coane’s 25th — or so — birthday. Cheers, Danny C!
- Haven’t heard from free-improv ensemble the le duo in a while, either. But if I’m mentioning them here, guess what? It probably means they’re back on the horse — though theirs is truly a horse of a different color. JB Ledoux’s heady outfit splits a bill this Sunday at Radio Bean with Burlington’s Nuda Veritas — who have been threatening a new album for months now … we’re waiting — and a curious Canadian experimental duo, Not the Wind, Not the Flag.
- Band Name of the Week: The Just Desserts. This globe-trotting world-fusion group has — count ’em! — four VT gigs this week: Wednesday, October 20, at Montpelier’s Langdon Street Café; the Bee’s Knees in Morrisville on Thursday; Burlington’s Radio Bean on Friday; and then back to the capital city for a VT farewell at the Black Door Bar and Bistro. And I’d recommend trying to catch at least one.
- I have missed Nashville’s Jeff the Brotherhood each of the last two times the psych-punk duo has visited Burlington. I’m afraid I’ll make it a clean hat trick, as I’ll be “working” at the CMJ Music Marathon in NYC when they tear The Monkey House a new one this Saturday. Poor me, right? Actually, kinda. An old friend with reliable ears still talks about JTB’s last Monkey Show as the best she ever saw in Greater Burlington. I’d trust her. You should, too.
- Yet another reason to catch JTB this Saturday: to check out the Jason Cooley-led local rock supergroup Blue Button, who’ll open the show alongside the Sheeps and DJ Disco Phantom. Word on the street is that Cooley and the gang recently completed recording their debut album and — here’s the kicker — did so in a single day. Rock.
- Our old pal, former 7D music editor, dark lord and current communications director for D.C.-based muscians’ rights advocacy group Future of Music Coalition, Casey Rae-Hunter, will darken the Queen City’s doorstep this week as part of a panel discussion on open Internet — or, in Beltway lingo, “net neutrality” — this Sunday at the Palace 9 in South Burlington. The panel, which also includes BTV expat, one-time Fags bassist and current employee of FMC sister organization Free Press, Josh Levy, follows a Vermont International Film Festival screening of Barbershop Punk. The film is a rowdy, star-studded exploration of the important issues surrounding open Internet and features the outspoken likes of Henry Rollins, Ian MacKaye and Janeane Garofalo. And also, barbershop music.
- Speaking of VTIFF, there will be a special screening of Alison Segar’s biopic of local jazz luminary James Harvey, James Harvey: A Master at Play at the Palace 9 this Sunday, as well.
- I love, love, love the recent explosion of independent concert promoters making waves in the local scene. The latest entrant, a collaboration between Husbands AKA bassist Chris “Not Dan Bolles” Valyou and dummer Alex Pond, While We Can Booking, offers its first official show this Thursday at The Monkey House. The lineup features Valyou’s punk side project with the Static Age’s Adam Meilleur, Folk Heroes, Operation Ivy acolytes Tricky Monks and the Ding Dings and Fat Wreck Chords signees Dead to Me.
- Last but not least, I’d be remiss — and maybe beat up … kidding! — to not mention King of VT: The Rap Battle at Club Metronome on Wednesday, October 27. The lineup features some premier local MC talent, including Learic of the Aztext — cool news on them soon! — Colby Stiltz, Mecca, Habit, NYT and a host of others.
And once again, this week’s totally self-indulgent column segment, in which I share a random sampling of what was on my iPod, turntable, CD player, 8-track player, etc., this week.