Please release me

The Big Hurt: The week in awful press releases
By DAVID THORPE  |  June 24, 2008

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There’s plenty of real stuff going on this week — you’ve already heard about R. Kelly’s acquittal and Lil Wayne’s million-selling chart coup — but if you were looking for important, well-reported, or even marginally interesting music news, you probably wouldn’t be reading my column. Let’s skip straight to the sweet stuff: the week’s goofiest press releases.

Teamsters Urge Singer Kenny Chesney: Speak Out Against Corona's Pension Cuts
Just a month after enduring the first shred of controversy in his career — his comments upon winning the Academy of Country Music’s Entertainer of the Year award were interpreted by some as ungrateful — blameless Knoxville pinhead Kenny Chesney is being pulled into a scuffle between Teamsters and beer:

“Chesney’s lyrics speak of down-to-earth themes such as tractor driving, barefoot walking, and hardworking, family-loving folks,” said Chuck Mack, President of Teamsters Joint Council 7 and International Vice President. “America's working families identify with him and vice-versa. We urge him to encourage Corona’s San Francisco distributor not to take away the dignified retirement employees worked hard to earn.”

A hundred teamsters showed up at his Corona-sponsored concert to pass out leaflets decrying a local Corona distributor’s attempt to eliminate employee pensions in a proposed new contract. Chesney, who has a major promotional (and esophageal) relationship with Corona, has skipped his cellphone into the crystal-clear sea and is currently too laid back to comment.

I have to say I resent the ugly tactic of using a country singer’s love of heavy farm equipment to guilt-trip him into joining a political fight. The relationship between Kenny Chesney and tractors is a sacred thing, and using it to drive a wedge between him and the Mexican beer he so dearly loves (see his 2007 hit “Beer in Mexico”) is downright reprehensible.

Using Music To Ease the Pain of Labor; New CD Featuring Celine Dion, Norah Jones, Provides Soothing Songs for Delivery
As if childbirth weren’t painful enough:

Doctors and midwives are increasingly embracing the notion that music can help improve the birth experience for mothers. From this need to soothe sprang the CD Stork Tunes: Songs for a Happy Birth Day, a compilation of songs focused on mothers and children by top artists. Among the artists on the CD are Celine Dion (“A Mother’s Prayer”); Katrina Carlson (“Mother”); and the Dixie Chicks (“Godspeed (Sweet Dreams)”).

I know in my heart that any child of mine would sooner claw its way back into the womb than enter a world in which Norah Jones dominates its infant senses. Furthermore, if I ever knock up a girl who would enjoy listening to Celine Dion and the Dixie Chicks during the birth of our child, I hope to be thousands of miles away from the delivery room, preferably in a nation with relaxed attitudes toward deadbeatism.

There can be only one circumstance under which my screaming, blood-slick offspring should have any interaction with Celine Dion, and it certainly won’t be the miracle of childbirth. So committed am I to ridding the world of terrible music that I plan to train my brood from birth to succeed in action where my words have failed.

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