Nationals – May 2021

By: Eric Hoffman

Greetings Rockers ’N’ Rollers! For a second straight year, Harrisburg will close several downtown streets to traffic to allow dining in the city’s streets. “We are pleased to bring back this summer initiative,” said Mayor Eric Papenfuse. “I encourage residents to come support their favorite restaurants.” “Saturday Nights in the City” re-launches on May 1st and is slated to run each Saturday throughout the summer, from 5pm to 10pm. Bands will also return to Key West on 2nd Street for “Saturday Nights in the City,” featuring The Swisher Sweets on May 1st, Smooth Like Clyde on May 8th and Emily’s Toybox on May 15th. The idea began last year in response to the pandemic-mandated shutdown of indoor dining.

NATIONAL NEWS: Grammy award nominated rock & soul duo Black Pumas and Cleveland’s own Machine Gun Kelly will perform at the NFL draft. A massive stage has been constructed near FirstEnergy Stadium and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame to host the three-day event from April 29th to May 1st. Black Pumas self-titled debut album was nominated as Album of the Year at the 2021 Grammy Awards. And the group is slated to play XL Live in Harrisburg on October 12th. Machine Gun Kelly, who graduated from Shaker Heights High School on Cleveland’s east side, will close the festivities. Kings of Leon kicked off the draft on April 29th.

Rapper DMX died on April 9th at the age of 50. The raspy-voiced hip-hop artist who produced the songs “Ruff Ryders’ Anthem” and “Party Up (Up in Here)” and who rapped with a trademark delivery that was often paired with growls, barks and “What!” as an ad-lib. The Grammy-nominated performer died after suffering “catastrophic cardiac arrest,” according to the hospital in White Plains, New York, where he died. DMX built a multiplatinum career as one of rap’s stars in the 1990s and early 2000s, but he also struggled with drug addiction and legal problems that repeatedly put him behind bars. His addiction first took hold at age 14 when he smoked a marijuana cigarette that was laced with cocaine. The rapper, whose birth name was Earl Simmons, died with relatives by his side after several days on life support. Survivors include his 15 children and his mother.

Mick Jagger and Dave Grohl collaborated for a new song titled, “Eazy Sleazy.” The Rolling Stones frontman stated, “I wanted to share this song that I wrote about eventually coming out of lockdown, with some much needed optimism.” The Nirvana drummer / Foo Fighters said, “It’s hard to put into words what recording this song with Sir Mick Jagger means to me. It’s beyond a dream come true.” The song’s inspiration includes the past year’s Covid-19 pandemic, lockdowns, variety of opinions and conspiracy theories. In a Rolling Stone interview, Mick Jagger also talked about his personal friends opposed to vaccinations, “It just seems to be that even people you know that are relatively sensible about a lot of things have one thing that they just don’t kind of get. They’re just irrational. Of course, there’s no point in speaking to people about it. They don’t get it. They got what they believe in and they believe in that. And it doesn’t matter what you say, they’re gonna believe in it. And rational thought doesn’t work”

Dee Snider (Twisted Sister), Alex Skolnick (Testament), Sebastian Bach (Skid Row) and Tracii Guns (L.A. Guns) are among the musicians who have reacted to the news that Ted Nugent, who once dismissed Covid-19, tested positive for it and “can hardly crawl out of bed” due to aches and pains. In a Facebook Live stream the outspoken conservative rocker said, “I’ve got an announcement to make. I have had flu symptoms for the last ten days. I thought I was dying. Just a clusterf*ck. I was tested positive today. I got the Chinese sh*t.” Nugent went on to say that he is “homebound, i.e. quarantined” and going “to counterpunch Covid-19 thru willpower.” Nugent has expressed skepticism that coronavirus even existed, calling it a “scamming pandemic” and vowing not to take any vaccine. Dee Snider reacted, “I have zero sympathy for loud mouth naysayers who get the thing they’ve been naysaying! People have suffered and died while Ted literally called Covid bullsh*t. #karmasabitch” And Sebastian Bach stated, “Zero sympathy for Asian hate. You want to dish out hate you’re going to get hate right back no problem. Zero sympathy for anyone I meet that uses the N word. For every musician like this there is a guy like me or Dee who is not going to take it. Plus we are bigger than them.” Earlier this month, Nugent made headlines when he suggested the novel coronavirus is referred to as Covid-19 because there have been 18 other coronaviruses and also mocked people who wear face masks.

English singer, Morrissey, was recently mocked on the television series, The Simpsons. Morrissey’s manager criticized the show’s mockery as “insulting.” The former Smiths frontman weighed in with a lengthy statement on his website “The hatred shown towards me from the creators of The Simpsons is obviously a taunting lawsuit but one that requires more funding than I could possibly muster in order to make a challenge.” The Simpsons episode in question features a vegan British musician named Quilloughby, who formerly fronted a band called the Snuffs. The singer isn’t currently planning legal action but will “surely be looking at options.” Morrissey concluded, “In a world obsessed with Hate Laws, there are none that protect me.”

Slipknot, Rob Zombie and Mudvayne will headline Inkcarceration Music & Tattoo Festival this September, as the event returns to the Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield, Ohio, for its third edition. The gig will be the first in more than a decade for Mudvayne, which announced its reformation after a 12-year hiatus. Other musical acts descending on Mansfield September 10th-12th include A Day To Remember, Mastodon, Halestorm, Chevelle, Killswitch Engage, Beartooth, Motionless In White, Asking Alexandria, Steel Panther, Fever 333, The Hu and Pop Evil. Inkcarceration will also gather more than 75 tattoo artists for the event. In 2019, its most recent year of operation, Inkcarceration grossed $2.48 million with a lineup including Shinedown, Godsmack and Five Finger Death Punch.