Arizona Passes Pro-Discrimination Bill, So Pizzeria Refuses Service to Legislators

On February 20, 2014, the Arizona House passed a bill that would essentially make it legal for people and businesses to discriminate against LGBT people in Arizona if they claim they’re doing it in the name of religion.

So, to give legislators a taste of their own medicine, Rocco’s Little Chicago Pizzeria in Tucson, Arizona, sent a message to bigoted state lawmakers. Shortly after the vote, the restaurant took a stand for equality by posting the photo (below) to their Facebook page.

Rocco's Pizza in Tucson

The caption: “Funny how just being decent is starting to seem radical these days.”

(via Bilrico)

Watch: Pussy Riot “Putin Will Teach You How to Love”

Pussy Riot being whipped by Cossacks in Russia

As you likely saw, members of the Russian punk rock/activisit collective Pussy Riot tried to stage a protest in Sochi near the site of the Olympics and were whipped, pepper-sprayed, and beaten by Cossacks almost immediately. Now, the group has released a music video for the song “Putin Will Teach You How to Love,” getting the message across with footage from the recent incident.

Watch the video below. Beneath the video are the translated lyrics.

50 billion and a gay-driven rainbow,
Rodnina and Kabaeva will pass you those flames
In prison they will teach you how to obey
Salut to all bosses, hail, duce!

Putin will teach you how to love the motherland

Sochi is blocked – Olympic surveillance
Special forces, weapons, crowds of cops
FSB is an argument, the police is an argumentState tv will run your applause.

Putin will teach you how to love the motherland

Spring to Russia comes suddenly
Hello to the messiah as a shot from Avrora
The prosecutor will put you down
Give him some reaction and not those pretty eyes

A cage for the protests, vodka, matrioshka
Prison for May 6, more vodka and caviar
The Constitution is lynched, Vitishko’s in prison
Stability, the prison meal, the fence and the watchtower

For TV Rain they’ve shut down the airwaves
They took gay pride down the washroom
A two-ass toilet – a priority
Sentence to Russia, medium security, 6 years

Putin will teach you how to love the motherland

The motherland
The motherland
The motherland

Watch: Pre-”SNL” Chris Farley and Bob Odenkirk Perform the Matt Foley Sketch During a 1990 Second City Performance

Chicago’s comedy troupe Second City recently unearthed a VHS cassette that includes a 1990 performance of the late Chris Farley’s “Matt Foley, Motivational Speaker” sketch. The sketch features co-writers Bob Odenkirk (who would later go on to create “Mr. Show” with David Cross) and a 26-year-old Chris Farley, who had just been announced as one of the newest cast members of “Saturday Night Live.”

The sketch also features “SNL” veteran performer Tim Meadows, as well as Jill Talley.

Chris Farley would have turned 50 years old on February 15, 2014.

Henry Rollins Receives the 2014 Ray Bradbury Creativity Award

Henry Rollins

Musician, author, poet, speaker, and DJ Henry Rollins has been named the recipient of the 2014 Ray Bradbury Creativity Award. Rollins receives this award in recognition for his lifelong contribution to the arts, his passion for social activism, his intelligent conversations regarding how cultural preservation and common sense will save the world, as well as his intense praise for the importance of maintaining books and libraries.

The official ceremony took place on February 8, 2014 with Rollins in attendance to receive the award.

In the press release, Rollins stated, “It is an honor and quite a shot in the arm to be acknowledged by Woodbury University for creativity. To create from a mere thought into something that could inspire others and unleash their imagination — this is what I live for.”

Photos and other coverage of the event is available here.

Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes Sues Rape Accuser for Defamation, Issues Statement

Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes

In December 2013, an individual left a series of posts in the comments section of an XOJane article suggesting that she had been raped by Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes 10 years ago. Oberst’s publicist called the accusations ”absolutely, unequivocally false,” and now, Oberst is suing for defamation.

The woman claimed to have been 16 years old at the time and allegedly wrote, “Conor took a lot from me including my virginity, my dignity, and self-esteem.”

Oberst says he has never met her, and that she had written positive things online about Oberst and Bright Eyes as recently as January 2013. He’s reportedly suing for more than $1 million and claims his reputation has been damaged by her accusations.

The statement from Oberst’s camp is below:

Today Conor Oberst filed a libel lawsuit in a New York federal court against Joanie Faircloth, a resident of North Carolina, who falsely accused him of rape in the comments section of the xoJane website in December of 2013 and again, some days later, on her Tumblr page. The suit counters Faircloth’s baseless allegations and states that Oberst never had any physical contact with her, either at the concert in Durham, NC at which she claims the attack took place, or at any other time. The only connection between Oberst and Faircloth was one of artist and fan – a fan who has posted laudatory comments about Oberst elsewhere online, including describing attending his band’s concert as the “Best memory ever!”

The lawsuit filed today outlines Faircloth’s history of inventing stories and personalities online in order to gain attention. Although her false statements about Oberst have since been deleted from the locations where they were initially posted online, Oberst’s suit alleges that her malicious lies spread across the Internet and are archived by multiple blogs. Through his attorneys, Oberst requested that Faircloth recant her false accusations, but she ignored the requests. Oberst has thus been forced to proceed with this libel suit in order to set the record straight and to clear his name.

Oberst is seeking to promote the truth and repair the distress this has brought upon him and his family. Oberst intends to donate the proceeds of this suit to charities benefitting the victims of violence against women.

(via TMZ, P4k)

Devo Guitarist/Keyboard Player and Founding Member Bob Casale Dies at Age 61

Bob Casale of Devo performing at Punk Rock Bowling 2013 - photo by Shahab Zargari

Bob Casale of Devo performing at Punk Rock Bowling 2013 – photo by Shahab Zargari

Devo has posted some sad news on their Facebook page today: founding member Bob Casale died on February 17, 2014 at the age of 61. Here is the news as it appears on the band’s announcement:

As an original member of Devo, Bob Casale was there in the trenches with me from the beginning. He was my level-headed brother, a solid performer and talented audio engineer, always giving more than he got. He was excited about the possibility of Mark Mothersbaugh allowing Devo to play shows again. His sudden death from conditions that lead to heart failure came as a total shock to us all.

In 2013, a former drummer of Devo, Alan Myers, passed away due to cancer.

Robert Galbraith (AKA J.K. Rowling) to Release New Novel “The Silkwork” on June 24, 2014

"The Silkworm" by Robert Galbraith (JK Rowling)

The Cuckoo’s Calling, the novel released by Harry Potter author JK Rowling under the pseudonym of Robert Galbraith, is getting a sequel. According to the publisher, the next novel in the Cormoran Strike mystery series will be released on June 24, 2014. The description released by the publisher gives a summary of the newest mystery:

Private investigator Cormoran Strike returns in a new mystery from Robert Galbraith, author of the #1 international bestseller The Cuckoo’s Calling.

When novelist Owen Quine goes missing, his wife calls in private detective Cormoran Strike. At first, Mrs. Quine just thinks her husband has gone off by himself for a few days–as he has done before–and she wants Strike to find him and bring him home.

But as Strike investigates, it becomes clear that there is more to Quine’s disappearance than his wife realizes. The novelist has just completed a manuscript featuring poisonous pen-portraits of almost everyone he knows. If the novel were to be published, it would ruin lives–meaning that there are a lot of people who might want him silenced.

When Quine is found brutally murdered under bizarre circumstances, it becomes a race against time to understand the motivation of a ruthless killer, a killer unlike any Strike has encountered before…
A compulsively readable crime novel with twists at every turn, THE SILKWORM is the second in the highly acclaimed series featuring Cormoran Strike and his determined young assistant, Robin Ellacott.

Cover art is below:

"The Silkworm" by Robert Galbraith (JK Rowling)

(via Leaky News)

Puppeteer John Henson, Son of Muppets Creator Jim Henson, Dies at Age 48


John Henson, right, in Sweetums costume

John Henson, right, in Sweetums costume

Puppeteer John Henson, son of the late Muppets creator Jim Henson, has died at his home in Saugerties, New York at the age of 48. Cheryl Henson says her brother died of a “massive heart attack” on Friday, February 14, 2014 after he had been building an igloo in the snow with his daughter.

Henson followed in his father’s footsteps as a puppeteer, performing as Sweetums in several films, including Muppet Treasure Island and It’s a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie. Henson was a shareholder and board member of The Jim Henson Company.

His mother, Jane Henson, died in April 2013 at the age of 78. Jim Henson died in 1990 after a sudden illness.

John Henson is survived by his wife Gyongyi and two daughters, ages 10 and 15. (via ABC, AP)

Top 10 Punk Rock Love Songs

Heroin Bob <3's Trish

Do kids still make mix tapes today? No? Well, that’s too bad. Because if you did, I’d have suggested that you include these 10 songs on your next tape to impress that girl with the Ramones shirt who sits in the back of your English class and is really cute but you’re too shy to talk to. But if you don’t make mix tapes anymore, well, you’re on your own, pal.

Green Day “At the Library”

Twenty-plus years ago, Green Day played amazing music and sang odes to high school love. Now they play horrible music and dress like high schoolers. Ah well. We’ll always have the memories (and the old records).

The Soviettes “Love Song”

That’s one hell of a love triangle they’re singing about here.

Dead Boys “What Love Is”

My definition of “love” is slightly less violent and stabby than the Dead Boys‘. But hey, to each his own.

7 Seconds “Best Friend”

If you want a relationship to work, your spouse or partner should not just be your lover, but also your best friend. Take it from Kevin Seconds. The guy has been touring and recording since the dawn of punk rock, and he’s been married to his wife Allyson for almost the entire time.

The Clash “Lover’s Rock”

The 15th track on The Clash’s epic London Calling encourages safe sex and self-control, and is one of their all-time best tunes.

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Former Avail Hype Man “Beau Beau” Butler Announces Candidacy for Mayor of Richmond, Virginia

Beau Beau Butler - past member of Avail, future mayor of Richmond

Beau Butler (aka “Beau Beau”), the former hype man for hardcore punk band Avail, has announced his candidacy for mayor of his hometown, Richmond, Virginia. He may be a bartender with no past political experience, but his platform sounds rather appealing — and I have a feeling he’s a politician who could live up to his promises:

Well now it’s official I guess? Clay Aiken is running for Congress!!! Cause where else should a quasi famous singer (I use the word singer lightly) who also happens to be gay have the best chance of winning? The South of course, where else!? I mean he’s following a long line of great people like Ronald Reagan, Sonny Bono, Ben Jones aka Cooter from the Dukes of Hazard, Jesse Ventura and Arnold into politics. With all that being said, I’m going to announce that I’m officially running the the Mayor of Richmond!!! Who wants to start the petition??? 2016 is gonna be my year I can feel it.

As part of my platform, I submit the following things that I may or may not do. It will be legal for women to be able to bare their chest the same way men do. Whenever/wherever they want because I believe in equal rights.

I would make it a priority to harass people who make it their business to fuck with restaurants with frivolous lawsuits about whatever they can think of, such as the recent article on the RVA Mag website and people that are Yelpers, cause no one likes a Yelper. Also, I will have a website to post pictures of shitty tippers and their tips to be able to reference them, sorta like the sex offender website.

I will continue $2 highballs… and a DJ.

Other things I might ban or not: wearing crocs or flip flops in public, tiny women in huge SUVs driving in The Fan, and I will make Carytown a no car area. All students will have to pay an annoyance tax cause they are annoying as shit and their dumb ass parents dropping them off will also be assessed a dips hit tax. I will outlaw sports bras and flannel shirts will be banned if you live in The Fan. I will open the GRTC back to the public. All gastropubs will have to remove that word from their signage.

(via RVA Magazine)

Maggie Estep, Slam Poetry Performer, Dies at Age 50

Maggie Estep

The New York Times reports that Maggie Estep, a novelist and spoken-word poet who helped popularize slam poetry in the 1990s, died on Wednesday in Albany at the age of 50.

Estep died two days after having a heart attack at her home in Hudson, New York.

In the ’90s, Estep became a regular at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, a center of the slam poetry movement. Estep’s poetry was characterized by “gritty honesty, black humor and a post-punk brand of feminism.” She became one of the form’s breakout stars, performing in showcases like MTV’s “Unplugged,” the “Free Your Mind” spoken-word tour in 1993 and, at Lollapalooza and Woodstock ’94.

She is survived by her mother, Nancy Murray; two half-brothers, Jon and Chris Murray; and a half-sister, Ellen Murray.

For more information, visit The New York Times. Estep’s blog can be viewed here.

15 Crazy Reactions to Stories From “The Onion” That Facebook Users Think Are Real


There are multitudes of shitty, quasi-satire fake news websites popping up all over the internet. Sites such as The Daily Currant, The National Report, and ChristWire constantly post bogus news stories that are, occasionally, almost believable. At least, they’re believable enough to stoke the outrage of gullible social media users.

And that’s what they’re designed for — I mean, they’re certainly not going for laughs with titles like “Man Responsible For Olympic Ring Mishap Found Dead In Sochi.” Satire is pointed, humorous, and makes us examine our follies and inherent ridiculousness — hoaxes, on the other hand, do little more than further blur the lines between fact and fiction, and I think that line is already obscure enough.

But then there are those people who fall for the most obvious, most ridiculous satirical news. And when it comes courtesy of the most world-renowned satire publication on the planet — The Onion, which has been publishing for more than a quarter-century now — it is especially hilarious.

The website Literally Unbelievable has picked up on this, and compiles screen caps of people who have taken the most absurd, most unbelievable stories from The Onion to be real. Here are 15 of the best:

Literally Unbelievable - Reactions to "The Onion" Stories

Literally Unbelievable - Reactions to "The Onion" Stories

Literally Unbelievable - Reactions to "The Onion" Stories

Literally Unbelievable - Reactions to "The Onion" Stories

Literally Unbelievable - Reactions to "The Onion" Stories

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Shirley Temple’s Daughter, Lori “Lorax” Black, Was in the Melvins

Melvins with Kurt Cobain

Melvins with Kurt Cobain – Lori Black in foreground

On February 11, 2014, famed child actor Shirley Temple Black died at the age of 85. Somewhere amid the swirl of online media coverage, someone unearthed an interesting factoid: Shirley Temple’s daughter, Lori (aka “Lorax”) Black, was a bass play for the Melvins.

According to Metal Insider, Black began dating Buzz Osborne and joined the Melvins in 1987, shortly after they relocated to San Francisco from Seattle. Black remained in the band until 1991, appearing on the band’s albums Ozma and Bullhead. She briefly rejoined the band in 1993, and is credited on that year’s Melvins album Houdini, though Osborne has claimed that she actually didn’t play on it.

Above is a photo of the band in the late ’80s, with Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain.

Government Issue to Play Reunion Show in April 2014 Featuring Songs From “Legless Bull”

Government Issue

John Stabb of the Washington, DC punk band Government Issue has announced via Facebook that members of the original 1980 lineup of GI will be reuniting for a show. The show will take place at the Damaged City Festival on April 11, 2014, and the lineup (featuring original members Stabb, John Barry, and Brian Gay, joined by Karl Hill) will be performing material from their debut EP, 1981′s Legless Bull, and original 1980 demo songs.

Stabb was the only constant member throughout GI’s 10-year run, which stretched from 1980 to 1989. The band last reunited in December 2012 for a show to celebrate the release of the documentary film Salad Days: The Birth of Punk in the Nation’s CapitalPrevious to that, the band’s final 1989-era line (Stabb, Tom Lyle, J. Robbins, and Peter Moffett) played a benefit show in 2010, and a lineup of Stabb, Lyle, Brian Baker, and drummer William Knapp performed in 2007 to help Stabb pay for medical expenses.

Listen to the Legless Bull EP below.