It's not quite the Cold War, but the current relationship between the U.S. and Russia is especially frosty these days.
From Syria to Snowden, we can't seem to see eye to eye across the globe, or even the Bering Strait, as Vladimir Putin's return to the presidency seems like regression to authoritarian rule. No one is threatening to bury anyone, but a lot of Russian vodka is being boycotted on our shores.
Now comes word that Russian leaders have imposed a lifetime ban on the Bloodhound Gang.
In case you get your foreign-affairs news from CNN and not a music blog, here's a recap: late last month, the band was playing in Kiev in advance of a spot on Russia's Kubana Open Air Festival. A Russian flag was tossed onto the stage during the band's set and bassist "Evil" Jared Hasselhoff stuffed it down his pants and wiped his buttocks with it. Some reports indicate he also peed on the flag like, well, like a bloodhound (no word on whether Hasselhoff lifted a leg to do so).
Admittedly, this is boorish behavior. But considering the source, should it have caused an international incident that had Putin reaching for the nuke button?
If only the Russian leaders who immediately termed the band "idiots" -- something Americans have all known for almost two decades -- had listened to a few BHG songs, maybe the outrage would have been tempered. Songs like:
"The Ballad of Chasey Lain" The most vocal defender of the Russian flag in this recent fiasco may be Russian Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky. He ensured the band wouldn't get to rub elbows with Flogging Molly, Wu-Tang Clan or System of a Down, who were all also booked for the weeklong Kubana festival.
"Bloodhound Gand is packing their suitcases," he tweeted. "These idiots will not perform in Kuban."
Medinsky is probably unaware the Bloodhounds are willing to write scathing songs about real-life people. He may have had his moment on Twitter, but I assure you, Jimmy Pop and friends are already trying to rhyme words with "Vladimir." If this song is any indication, Medinsky is going to be outlandishly skewered on record.
Finally, what is a "Culture Minister?" Can't we have one of these? I nominate Perez Hilton.
"The Bad Touch" Arguably the band's biggest hit, it's filled with misogynism or ridiculous, over-the-top sexual satire. Whatever you believe, you have to believe this is the song Putin might enjoy, right? After all, Vlad ended a 30-year marriage to "do it like mammals" with a Russian gymnast half his age (allegedly).
"I Hope You Die" In which the intended target has the following things wished upon him or her: swerving into The Beatles' tour bus; being the unintended manslaughterer of a Nobel winner, a rabbi and all of Jerry's Kids; and sharing a cell with an inmate who masturbates to livestock photos and "forces you to play a game called 'Balls on Chin.'"
If only one person in the Kremlin had listened to this song ahead of time, they'd have deemed these guys incredibly silly or too dangerous to allow into the country. Either way, crisis averted.
"Along Comes Mary" The actions of one bratty musician had the entire Russian Federation "bugging out like Tori Spelling's eyes." Maybe instead of knocking back all that extra vodka they can't get rid of they should have followed the band's advice and hung out with "Mary" a bit. She could "set them free" so they could "see reality." The reality of it all is there are bigger issues to address.
In other words, gents, please smoke some ganja. Maybe it'll change your positions on gay rights, separation of church and state and freeing Pussy Riot.
"Foxtrot Uniform Charlie Kilo" Who would admit to a favorite Bloodhound Gang song? Okay, I'll go first. This one.
I'm on the fence about these guys. On one hand, as someone who tries to string interesting words together to amuse others, I appreciate the wordplay and the satire. Listening to a Bloodhound Gang song is a bit like watching the violence in a Quentin Tarantino movie. It's supposed to be exaggerated and absurd.
On the other, it's troubling to know their record company has had to squash at least one song ("Yellow Fever") bordering on racism and filled with disrespectful notions about women.
All of this really begs the question: who exactly do Russian authorities like? They don't want to hear women, are banning gays from their approaching Olympic Games and apparently don't even care for like-minded dudebros like Bloodhound Gang.
"No Hard Feelings" Maybe that Russian Culture Minister should have been alerted that Bloodhound Gang's career was "deader than the parents on Party of Five."
By reacting so vehemently to these juvenile antics, you've shown your judgment must be viewed with great caution on truly critical international matters. And you've given renewed life to a band that was just dead weeds on the musical landscape. What a favor you've done them. Bloodhound Gang will have a new record out by the end of the year, I guarantee.
What's next, the Offspring vs. Pakistan?
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