industry responds to terrorism
Jeremy Dutton and William
Posted on October
has rereleased its single "Bleed" under the new name
"Thirteen in response to the September 11 terrorist attacks.
The music industry
is still reeling from the September
11 attacks on America, encouraging artists and their labels to reconsider
some themes in songs and lyrics.
With a heightened
sensitivity now prevalent, radio stations and music video outlets have
tempered their playlists, opting to not play songs with references and
themes to violence, murder, suicide and terrorism.
The questions that
many are asking is where does one draw the line and how far is too far?
In the weeks following
the attacks, alternative radio stations across the nation didn't play
songs such as Sugarcult's "Stuck In America" and Jimmy Eat World's "Bleed
"Stuck in America"
included the lyrics "Everyone's talking about blowing up the neighborhood."
Sugarcult, who are scheduled to play Reno Oct. 27, modified the song's
lyrics to "Everyone's talking about waking up the neighborhood."
Jimmy Eat World
has decided to re-release their song as simply "Bleed." That title was
also the name of Cold's new single, which has now been changed to "Thirteen."
new CD originally featured artwork of a burning plane.
Bush' s new "Golden
State" CD, due to be released next week was originally to contain artwork
showing a silhouette of a plane on fire. However, the band has chosen
to change the artwork.
Bush is also making
changes to the content of its new CD as well. Their new single "Speed
Kills," will be changed to "The People That We Love." Another change
under consideration are the lyrics to a track called "Head Full Of Ghosts,"
which features the line "I'm at my best when I'm terrorist inside."
The Crystal Method--who
played in Reno this summer--will release their new single originally
named "Murder" as "Its Hard."
Programming on MTV
and VH1 has changed with several videos being pulled in the aftermath
of the attack. According to MTV News, Videos that were pulled included
Staind's "Fade," Dido's "Thank You," U2's "Elevation," Gorillaz's "Clint
Eastwood" and Creed's "With Arms Wide Open" reportedly because the clips
contain explosions or crumbling buildings.
for "I Wish You Were Here" had originally contained a clip of the band
jumping off a bridge. That clip has been changed to the band being chased
by teenage girls.
Both networks' programming
directors said that they wanted to "be sensitive to content and images
in videos that after September 11 had new, unintended meaning."
Many in the media
and the music industry say they understand the changes that have been
Local KRZQ disc
jockey Sean McCoy, University of Nevada broadcast journalism major,
said he agreed with some of the decisions made by the industry.
"You have to respect
their decision, they didn't do it to make money," he said. "If they're
not playing songs then they are not making money."
However, he said
there should be limits on sensitivity.
"Say we can't play
this song because of an attack that happened 10 years ago, he said.
"Eventually you have to move on."
While McCoy says
he respects some of the decisions made, he said that sensitivity can
go too far.
Channel Communications, owners of the largest share of the nation's
radio stations, has come under fire for reportedly distributing a list
of more than 150 songs that might be considered questionable following
the attacks and distributed it to the company's nearly 1,200 stations.
included some of the above-mentioned songs but also included such famous
benign standards as Louis Armstrong's "What A Wonderful World," Simon
And Garfunkel's "Bridge Over Troubled Water," Cat Stevens' "Peace Train,"
Elton John's Rocket Man" and John Lennon's "Imagine."
The list, which
was distributed on the company's newsletter Hits
Daily Double, was intended as an advisory for its programming heads
to consider, however became construed as "a list of banned songs."
One week after the
terrorist attacks, Clear Channel released a statement denying the list
was a corporate mandate and indicated that programming decisions are
at the local level on a station by station basis.
"In the wake of
this terrible tragedy, the nation's business community is responding
with a degree of hypersensitivity," said Clear Channel CEO Mark P. Mays
in a Sept.
18 statement. "Clear Channel strongly believes in the First Amendment.
We value and support the artist community."
Raggiero, a Washoe County School Board trustee, said the heightened
sensitivity might lead to some positive changes she would like to see
in the entertainment industry.
"If a song promotes
murder, violence or mayhem it just doesn't make sense to play that right
now," she said. "One would hope that this would lead to a change in
the industry. But when dollars are involved sometimes it doesn't happen.
Unfortunately that's what makes America work...It's sad that it would
take something like this to finally make the industry realize the responsibility
Before joining the
school board, Raggiero founded People
Against Violence in Entertainment and Media (PAVEM), dedicated to
monitoring and discouraging violent and inappropriate themes in the
Her group successfully
lobbied Nevada Gov. Kenny Guinn and University of Nevada administrators
to cancel a Marilyn Manson concert at the Lawlor Events Center two years
ago in the wake of the Columbine massacre in Colorado.
to young people when people like me are holding up a red flag," she
said. "What they think is censorship is just others exercising their
right to free speech."
Raggiero said the
First Amendment is not an absolute statement of rights--referring only
to laws and government action and not what private entities do.
"If someone is shouting
obscenities on my street I have the perfect right to yell shut up. That's
not censorship," she said.
be used as a scapegoat
McCoy said music
should not be held responsible for recent tragedies. While he said believes
that it is good to be sensitive to others feelings in the face of a
tragedies, fingers should not be pointed to an artist's expression.
"Music didn't cause
the planes to go into the World Trade Center and didn't cause the shootings
at Columbine," he said. "You can't blame music for what people do."