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Name: Madison Rising
Occupation: dumbassed rock band
Last Seen: Daytona Beach, FL
Bee-otched For: destroying the National Anthem
In its 202-year history, the "Star-Spangled Banner" has had its great singers and performers, but it's also been screwed-up a lot as well.
We all remember in 1969 when Jimi Hendrix performed it on his electric guitar at Woodstock, giving it a then-unconventional edge and sound. In 1983 - just one year before he was shot to death by his own father - Marvin Gaye gave it soul at the NBA Championship game. Last but not least, who could ever forget Whitney Houston's powerful rendition at the 1991 Super Bowl in the midst of the first Iraq war? Her rendition actually peaked at #6 on the Billboard Pop Charts and sold over a million copies.
But while Jimi, Whitney and Marvin have all left us, we're still stuck with those who've wrecked it one way or another. In the 1998 Super Bowl, Jewel was caught lip-synching it. Olympian Carl Lewis f'd it up before an NBA game (some referred to him as "Francis Scott Off-Key") and yes, Roseanne.
But now, we can add one more name to those who have caused Mr. Key and its composer John Stafford Smith to spin in their graves, and that's Madison Rising.
Madison Rising dubs themselves as "America's Most Patriotic Rock Band". They were named after the fourth president of the United States, James Madison, who was a champion of having a smaller government. The band is known for their Republican leanings, and their songs reflect that. "Right to Bear" is about gun rights, "In the Days Reagan Ruled" is about Ronald Reagan, "Where Was the Media Then?" attacks the media for bashing right-wingers and several songs about war.
Now, Madison Rising has been given the distinction of performing what many in the news media have all claimed as the worst performance of the National Anthem ever. At a NASCAR event on Saturday, the band performed the SSB, which they actually released as a single off of their debut album in 2011. (Here in Michigan, I think the only radio station that even played it was WKLT in Traverse City, whose listeners are all drunk hicks as-is.) Lead singer Dave Bray was holding a folded American flag like Paul Bearer holding an urn for The Undertaker while wailing the tune in front of thousands of spectators. Even NASCAR favorite Brad Keslowski (fact: my father was once pals with his father, Rick) trashed MR's performance of the anthem stating "I wish they would just sing the damn song".
Well, there you have it. Madison Rising sucks, and they're an embarrassment to America. No wonder why the rest of the world hates us. They are just a bunch of Nickelback wannabes, except that Nickelback actually has some good songs. Sometimes, I watch an NHL game from Canada and the guy singing "O, Canada" will stop and allow the crowd to sing the song for a few verses. That's how patriotic Canadians are, in my humble opine.
But also in my humble opine, the best way for Madison Rising to honor this great country is to shut up altogether.
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