Leave it to the combined brainpower of FOX and NASCAR to use the Daytona 500 as an opportunity to introduce me to "America's Most Patriotic Band" - Madison Rising. When I first heard them introduced as such performing the Star Spangled Banner before the race, I just assumed some TV executive was throwing a little red meat to the crowd. After I endured Madison Rising's jaw-droppingly crap-tastic rendition of the National Anthem I was compelled to do a little digging. Turns out they actually bill themselves, on purpose, as "America's Most Patriotic Band." I suppose Ted Nugent is a solo act....... (editor's note: Ted Nugent is "America's Most Fascistic Band.")
The band claims to have named themselves after founding father James Madison, because he co-wrote the Federalist Papers. And their discography shows they have released exactly two singles: "The Star Spangled Banner" and "God Bless America" from their full length release, American Hero. Pondering this information, I sat back in my chair for a moment and said out loud to nobody, "God Damn, I think Madison Rising might be the most patriotic rock band in America."
Look, I loves me some USA and I hated to see our Olympic hockey team go down to those polar bear-buggering, universal health care-loving Canucks from the Great White North as much as the next red-blooded American, but what exactly does being patriotic have to do with being a good rock n roll band? It's sort of like billing yourself as "America's Most Jealous Rock Band" or "America's Best-Read Blues Band."
While their version of the Star Spangled Banner was truly horrible, I think most people were offended not because it has bad, but because they dared to try to do something different. I actually give kudos to them for mixing it up with a different approach. Turns out I just hate bands who aspire to sound like Limp Bizkit. Needless to say, ever since the performance, Comment sections have been ablaze like a paper bag full of dogshit condemning the band. The only defense offered is, "Some of the guys in the band are veterans. Show some respect."
An elected official might be able to throw down the veteran card when facing criticism to keep the haters at bay, but this isn't something as trivial as politics, this is rock n roll. That isn't going to fly. Obviously, all-right minded Americans should honor and respect what Military Service means to this country,* but last I checked, getting a buzz cut and taking marching orders isn't exactly near the top of the rock n roll handbook. After being exposed to Madison Rising, I think it might be best to keep the patriotism on the battlefields and the hallways of Washington and off my television & turntable. Though I have to admit, the clip below is pretty hypnotizing. "You will watch the bass player. You will watch the bass player. You will watch the bass player."
Colin Gawel writes stuff like this on slow days at Colin's Coffee. Too much coffee + too much time = random musings. Learn more about him and other Pencilstorm contributors by clicking here.
*In fact, I once wrote an article calling for a ten cents a gallon gas tax called the "Patriot Tax" that goes strictly to funding better health care for our veterans, but everybody called me a dirty commie for wanting to raise taxes. Go figure.