A black American making his way in a music business that seems to have a fawning adoration of Barack Obama, and the Chicago rapper gets himself booted off stage for ranting against the US president at an inauguration celebration at a Washington concert venue. Fiasco drew the ire of the crowd and organisers by continually repeating lines such as “Gaza strip was getting bombed, Obama didn’t say shit”. Another vocalist about to get dragged into a debate outside of music is Justin Beiber. Apparently his mother is producing a new anti-abortion documentary that she hopes will raise $10m for centres that try to deter women from having terminations. Pattie Mallette had previously said she was pressured to have an abortion while pregnant as a teenager with Bieber.
GIG WISE: Former Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr is touring to support his first solo album, and will play in the Academy, Dublin, on Mar 27. Sting’s appearance at the Marquee on Jul 1 has added to an incredible summer of gigs in Cork that already includes Elton John, Bruce Springsteen and Elvis Costello. Along with those old fogeys, boyband, The Wanted — featuring Dubliner Siva Kaneswaran — were also added to the Marquee lineup for Jun 16. Tickets for both of the recently-announced concerts go on sale next Thursday. Also in Cork, the line-up for the Pavilion’s third Dirty Weekender (May 15-17) features an array of Irish talent that will be headlined by Jack Colleran and his Mmoths. For those whose tastes are at the harder end of the scale, British post-hardcore outfit Enter Shikari are at the Pav on May 2, followed by the Academy in Dublin on May 3. Bounce Back in Cork Opera House tonight is a charity gig in memory of Erbie Underwood, the young son of Cork-based singer Karen Underwood who passed away last year. The Roaring 40s and Stevie G are among the acts on the bill, while actor Cillian Murphy will DJ at the after-party. Two-Tone legends the Beat might not have a full original line-up, but they do feature Ranking Roger fronting a version excursion to Ireland in March. They’ll be at Tramore Ska Fest on Mar 29, Workmans Club in Dublin on Mar 30 and Crane Lane, Cork, on Mar 31. In Dublin, the Sugar Club hosts Ebo Taylor on Feb 23.
COMEDY CAPERS: While many of us can’t plan beyond tomorrow, Australian-based Irish comic Jimeoin has announced a gig for Vicar Street in Dublin on Dec 6. Savage Eye star Patrick McDonnell (right) is at City Limits in Cork tomorrow, while there are still tickets for Jack Dee at Cork Opera House on Mar 25-26.
FILM TIPS: Kristin Scott Thomas continues her excursion into French cinema with Love Crime (Crime d’amour) at Triskel Christchurch from today, while Danish tale, The Hunt, starring Mads Mikkelsen, is also showing at the Cork venue. Cork Cine Club at St John’s College next Thursday has innovative visual offering Samsara, from Ron Fricke and Mark Magidson. The IFI is at Castlebar on Feb 5 for a series of Mayo-related films, including 1947 footage from Foxford Woollen Mills in 1908 and the Whaling Station at Iniskea.
VISUAL ART: The exhibition of Terry O’Neill’s celebrity photographs continues at the CIT Wandesford Quay gallery and Cork City Hall until Feb 22. At Limerick City Gallery of Art, Christine Mackey’s ecologically-tinged exhibition, Seed Matter, opens tomorrow, as does Strike, an exhibition exploring industrial disputes and workers resistance. The latter event includes such works as Declan O’Connell’s film on the Vita Cortex strike, and a selection of pieces related to the extraordinary soviet created in Limerick in 1919.