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Rage Against the Machine hold event to fight homelessness ... and Simon Cowell

December 18, 2009 |  4:18 pm

Rage-against-the-machineIf Rage Against the Machine's live show on Wednesday is to be believed, the only societal plague as bad as homelessness is Simon Cowell.

The "American Idol" host was the villain of a rare get-together for the Los Angeles rock group. The audio was broadcast live on BBC "Radio 5 Live." A camera crew was also present, so expect footage to eventually show up online along with a possible DVD release.

The concert was to promote the band's single, "Killing in the Name" -- which is actually a song from 1992. In a good ol' British romp, Rage Against the Machine is pitting the 17-year-old track against a single by Joe McElderry, the Cowell-backed pop singer, for the title of Britain's No. 1 Christmas single.

Rage Against the Machine's merry battleground has mostly been on Facebook, where fans are rallying for "Killing in the Name." Bad news for McElderry, who won Cowell's "X Factor" British reality TV show -- his cutesy song is trailing.

Now, we get the whole benefiting homeless thing, and sure, Cowell is a twit, but what's the big deal?

Rage guitarist Tom Morello is publicly expressing his sickness of all the manufactured ballads and the dumbing down of popular music. Yeah, we get that junk in the States, too, old chap.

Venting about Cowell, the band's frontman Zach de la Rocha told NME, "He 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."

Paul McCartney, one of the biggest pop stars of all time and one who has appeared on that "X Factor" program, chimed in, saying, "It would be kind of funny if Rage Against the Machine got it, because it would prove a point."

Funny is right. We're going to grab a cup of tea, and watch merrily as the machine gets raged against.

-- Mark Milian

Photo: Kiko Huesca / EPA