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A Stripe nursing a grudge?

April 30, 2006|Chris Lee | Special to The Times

HELL hath no fury like a White Stripe scorned.

To wit: the group's frontman, Jack White, pleaded guilty in 2004 to assault and battery after an argument with Von Bondies' singer Jason Stollsteimer escalated into a bar punch-up that left White's fellow Detroit rocker with facial bruises and a torn retina.

Now White may be involved in a war of words -- or more specifically, awards -- with an unlikely nemesis from outside the rock-star universe: the Center for Nursing Advocacy.

The dispute began last year when the Baltimore, Md.-based center gave the Grammy-winning garage rocker its Golden Lamp Award -- celebrating 2005's "Worst Portrayals of Nursing in the Media" -- for the White Stripes song "The Nurse."

"The song uses an unholy mix of nursing imagery, complete with maid and mother references, to make a seemingly banal complaint about betrayal," a citation on the center's website reads.

Earlier this month, however, Sandy Summers, the center's executive director, received a "Metaphorical Ignorance Award" in the mail, saluting "the outstanding inability to recognize metaphor, and ridiculous ownership of the word 'Nurse.' "

White's name appears on the Metaphorical Ignorance Award as president of the Center for Lyrical Advocacy and Summers is convinced it came from White himself. The rocker, through his spokeswoman, declined to comment.

"It's hilarious," Summers says. "But it's sad that he didn't get it. For him to give us the award means he didn't get [his Golden Lamp Award] or didn't read it."

Not that Summers holds White responsible for all negative media images of nurses -- furthering what the center has characterized as a "crisis-level" nursing shortage. Nonetheless, she says the White Stripes aren't winning any candy stripers over with "The Nurse."

"He has a nurse rubbing salt in his wounds," she says. "She's a maid, a mother, here are all the stereotypes about nurses folded into one."

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With Stickam, you are there

IT was one of those Information Age ideas that probably seemed so simple on paper: take one part YouTube.com, a streaming video website; add another part iChat video web conferencing technology, throw in free bandwidth and hundreds of megabytes of free storage and, voila! -- Stickam.com, the Internet's latest social networking website/video communications player.

Of course, as soon as generation MySpace got ahold of Stickam, which launched in Feburary, its uses began proliferating quickly. First came streaming karaoke from a Glendale bar -- and the gateway realization that rock bands could use the site to host their shows.

Then last month, radio station KLOS-FM (95.5) used Stickam to stream its Mark & Brian morning show from the South by Southwest music festival in Austin, Texas, to 13,000 viewers.

And now a small but growing segment of the site's 40,000 registrants are using the platform to beam live music, often from concert venues, out to a potentially vast audience -- a first.

"There's a growing population of bands using this to show their shows," says Aaron Novak, a marketing director for L.A.-based Stickam. "You sign up for an account, put the Stickam player on your webpage or blog or myspace.com page. And as long as you have a working webcam and your computer supports a Flash player, any number of people can tune in to the stream."

The site is free, although paid premium accounts will become available later. "We're trying to get new users," Novak explains.

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Bush bashers vary approach

What do Neil Young and electroclash provocateur Peaches have in common? Both have recently recorded music that calls for President Bush's impeachment.

But while Young's new song, "Let's Impeach the President," makes its argument on mostly political terms, Peaches adds dark, sexual topspin to the issue.

Known for her sleazy sexual persona and innuendo-laden song craft, she's named her July album "Impeach ... Bush" (the full title taking, shall we say, a possessive attitude toward the president's surname).

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