Forget about the aeons old battle between Heat Miser and Snow Miser, the really interesting war this Christmas involves – ready for this? – Rage Against the Machine and Simon Cowell.
No I haven’t had too much eggnog. Apparently, landing the top spot on the singles chart in the U.K. at Christmas is a really huge deal. And, as MTV News points out, “typically, the song that wins out is a sappy, cloying ballad full of warm fuzzies.”
That’s where Cowell and his current
product protégé, Joe McElderry, winner of the music mogul’s British talent battle “The X Factor” come in.
McElderry’s version of Miley Cyrus’ “The Climb” (really?) looked like a shoo-in to capture the top Christmas spot this year, especially with all the plugging it was getting from the resident Scrooge of “American Idol.”
Enter Rage Against the Machine, whose members decided that they would claim the title this year with their 1992 hit “Killing in the Name” because “too many people are sick of the talent shows Simon is producing to monopolize the airwaves with such a heavy influence on the music industry and its consumers.”
“[Cowell] seems to have profited greatly off humiliating people on television and has a unique position of capturing the attention of people on television, but also the airwaves,” RATM frontman Zach de la Rocha told NME News. “We see this [campaign] as a necessary break of that control.”
The band also decided they would use the opportunity to raise money and awareness for homelessness and said they will donate all profits from sales of their single to charity.
Despite the power wielded by Cowell, de la Rocha and company have managed to gain support from some heavyweights in the business, including the Foo Fighters and Sir Paul McCartney, who told Sky News it would “prove a point” if the band won.
To ramp up publicity for their crusade, RATM arranged to reunite briefly and give a live performance from Los Angeles that was to air on BBC’s “5Live” show yesterday.
Although the band had promised BBC that they would edit out the f-word in the lyrics of “Killing in the Name,” de la Rocha cut loose with it four times before the plug was pulled and the station began apologizing profusely to listeners.
Fortunately for RATM fans, the group, anticipating just such an occurance, had arranged for their performance to be recorded by live concert producer-director Daniel E. Catullo III. That means the band’s entire set can be viewed at Rockpit.com.
MTV News reports that as of yesterday, “Killing in the Name” was ahead of “The Climb” by 9,000 units.
Friday, December 18
Craig Ferguson – “The Ellen DeGeneres Show”
Foreigner – “The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien”
Mary J. Blige – “Jimmy Kimmel Live!”
Ronnie Spector – “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon”
Ryan Stout, Whitney Cummings, Jo Koy – “Chelsea Lately”
Snoop Dogg – “Last Call with Carson Daly”
Saturday, December 19
Kings of Leon, Roky Erickson – “Austin City Limits” - rerun
Muse – “Saturday Night Live”