It seems our new President-elect is having some difficulties booking musical acts for his January inauguration in Washington, D.C. It’s been reported that Elton John has denied the spot, and, while we’re not surprised, a slew of other performers have also been unkind to the new commander-in-chief. Looks like our new leader doesn’t have too many friends in the music industry, and that got us to thinking about exactly who should perform for the historic event.
Some musicians seem to be an obvious choice — Ted Nugent, the Moscow City Symphony — but that’s not exactly what we had in mind. We're thinking something more subversive yet pleasantly surprising, as when Third Eye Blind performed "Jumper" at this year’s Republican Convention, to the boos of a hyper-conservative, anti-LGBTQ audience. Who better to play your anarcho-punk, riot-inciting, social-critique message to than a captive — if entirely hostile — audience? So, here are our top choices for bands that could pull a Black-Pantheresque Beyoncé move on this unsuspecting Super Bowl of alt-rights:
Perhaps performing under the blissfully ignorant guise of simple, corn-fed, home-raised, farmhand women, the all-female death-metal band Castrator would be the hard-lined, penis-punishing presence long missing from the Right. If Pussy Riot, L7 and the Dixie Chicks won’t touch an inaugural invitation, I’m sure these feminist-metal subversives can be won over. What other genre has lyrics about lining up pussy-grabbers and extracting their genitals into bloody heaps on the floor? Enough said.
4. WAR ON WOMEN
Not only have they volunteered for the part on Twitter, but as they point out themselves, “[we] often dedicate songs to him.” These Baltimore-based feminist punk rockers have much to say about destroying the patriarchy, and we can’t think of a more appropriate place to deliver their sermon than pontificating to the Führer, ahem, Father of the deplorables himself.
3. NEIL YOUNG
Bernie Sanders aside, while the rest of Washington actively ignores the Sioux-size elephant in our country in North (and South, respectively) Dakota, we still have artists who are committed to important causes. As he has for years, Neil Young writes the kind of protest songs that actually inspire action, participation and change because they frame blues riffs around poignant lyrics that speak to the nation's collective conscience. If there's anyone who can melt the ice that inhabits the penthouse of Trump Tower, it's Neil.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to the mission of the Houston Press. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Houston’s stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
2. ICE CUBE
In his later years, Ice Cube has become much like Snoop Dogg: a once feared and edgy rapper who has moved on to cooking shows and pothead-comedy trilogies. No longer just the angry voice of disenfranchised and alienated African-American youth, today Cube is also a consummate performer. The idea of his making a pleasant and innocuous approach to the stage to knock out lyrics like “Black police showin’ out for the white cop” will be worth the cringe as cameras close in on the faces of President Trump and David Duke. Don’t act like you didn’t know Duke is going to be there.
1. HENRY ROLLINS
Is there a performer with more anger toward father figures? Doubt it. Is there a performer with a more intense and direct rebuke of said figures? No. Take "Family Man" and replace it with Trump. Rollins, do your worst. During his spoken-word stop at House of Blues Monday night, it supposedly took Rollins all of ten minutes to lay into our new President.