BCO never took off here in the US, and we soon forgot about them. (They kept releasing studio albums in their homeland for another decade, and after a lengthy hiatus are said to be back.) But we've been recently dusting off some old issues of "5" from its email newsletter days and came across a mention of this particular album--What would a hard-rockin’ Duran Duran have sounded like?--which is sadly out of print. Prompted by this, we did a little research and were quite pleased with what we found.
While it wasn't their biggest hit, "City Flat" was our fave track off the record and quite representative of BCO and the engaging attributes we mentioned before. So, we thought we'd take you on an '80s Fixx/INXS/Tears for Fears-type nostalgia ride:
Even with the numerous and startling advances in recording technology available these days to musicians--and their bogus counterparts--it’s still quite an impressive feat for an artist to write, arrange and produce his/her own material. It’s a whole new ballgame however, when in addition to this they can actually play every instrument and sing every note on a given album.
This time out we’re going to focus on some favorites of ours that fall into this interesting category: the real solo album. By the way, all these artists were in their 20s when they recorded the albums we’re highlighting here. Fuckers.
Here they are (in chronological order):
Paul may have been the first to officially leave the band--effectively breaking them up in the process--but he was the last of the Beatles to officially branch out and go solo. And as many guessed at the time, he would be the one to achieve the most commercial success among them. (He also happens to be the richest artist of any kind on the planet).
McCartney’s first post-Beatles solo album may not be his biggest seller but it is quite possibly his most influential. Many have been inspired to try to approximate the breezy, laid back feel and intimacy McCartney so ably captured here. (The Modfather himself, Paul Weller, is a big fan.) This is due in no small part to the fact that he recorded this one at home by himself--with very incidental contributions from wife Linda--seemingly wanting to get away both literally and figuratively from the Beatles recording habits in starting anew. Oh, and Paul is a much better drummer than Ringo, by the way.
Highlights: "That Would Be Something", "Every Night", "Junk", "Oo You", and of course "Maybe I’m Amazed".
If you’ve listened to FM radio sometime in the last 30+ years you are undoubtedly familiar with the Top 5 single included herein: the unforgettable "Hello It’s Me". But the album of which it is a part of is considered both Mr. Rundgren’s artistic and commercial peak. Not bad considering this is the man who produced Meat Loaf’s Bat Out Of Hell [Epic-1975] and XTC’s Skylarking [Geffen-1986], respectively.
Originally released as a double vinyl album--it was re-released as a 2 CD set--Rundgren played every note and sang every word over three sides, while side 4 was an operetta of sorts and features a stellar cast of musicians that includes legendary guitarist Rick Derringer; sax/trumpet playing siblings the and Peter Frampton drummer John Siomos. Breathtaking and highly influential. Just ask Prince. [See below]
Highlights: the aforementioned "Hello It’s Me", the Carole King tribute "I Saw The Light" and "Dust in the Wind". (No, not that cheesy Kansas song).
While most of the recorded studio output of Minneapolis’ pint-sized monarch has been a one-man show to begin with, we chose his sophomore album simply because it was the first we ever heard from him and has over the years remained very near and dear to our hearts.
If you don’t own this one, do yourself a favor and get it. If you haven’t heard it in a while then reacquaint yourself with a cool album made long before the hype, the hieroglyphics and the heartbreaking artistic downward spiral took hold.
Highlights: "I Want To Be Your Lover", the original version of "I Feel For You" (a sizeable hit for Chaka Khan in the mid ‘80s) and "Why You Want To Hurt Me So Bad".
It may sound like the work of a really tight unit and there may be a band photo inside the CD booklet, but don’t be fooled: with the exception of a guitar part recorded by Afghan Whigs vocalist (on "X-Static"), this is Dave Grohl all the way. Recorded in a Seattle studio in little over a week by the former Nirvana drummer, this debut album is the most raw and punk rock of the band’s releases and a logical musical extension of his old band.
At the time of its release the album’s lyrics were closely scrutinized and analyzed for clues to Grohl’s state of mind following Kurt Cobain’s death a year earlier--"I’ll Stick Around" and "Black Widow" are said to be jabs at Cobain widow and Hole frontwoman Courtney Love--but these days it just sounds like the loud, fun and even a bit naïve record we’re sure Grohl set out to make in the first place.
Highlights: "This Is A Call", "I’ll Stick Around", "Big Me".
...presents Author Unknown
Frustrated with the lack of creative input he was afforded in the late, great Jellyfish, Falkner left the San Francisco power poppers to hook up with fellow producer/multi-instrumentalist Jon Brion (Fiona Apple, Aimee Mann) to form The Grays, whose sole release was the underrated and out of print album Ro Sham Bo [Epic-1994]. Falkner still needed a wider outlet for his output so he decided to go solo. This album was the end result.
While ’s Something/Anything? is an obvious influence on various levels--the early ‘70s AM radio vibe; Falkner playing everything but strings--this is the work of an artist who finally has the opportunity to not only demonstrate that he’s got the goods but that he also know how to use these gifts wisely. A wonderful pop album.
Highlights: "I Live", "Don’t Show Me Heaven", "Before My Heart Attacks".
[All album covers courtesy of Wikipedia]
John Martyn, a Scottish singer and guitarist whose gentle mix of folk and jazz and innovative use of electronic effects have influenced a broad range of musicians since the 1970s, died on Thursday in Kilkenny, Ireland. He was 60.
The cause was complications of pneumonia, said Jim Tullio, his longtime record producer.
We were lucky to have our good friend, DJ/journalist and occasional "5" contributor, Greg Casseus turn us on to the magic of Mr. Martyn many years ago. From the very first time it graced our ears we were never able to forget the subtle majesty of "Bless the Weather", the title track from Martyn's 1971 Island Records release. We'd like to share it with you, in the form of a live rendition circa 1978.
As part of their Classic Gear series, retro music site The Rising Storm goes over a few of examples of classic guitar amps--including audio samples--that should be of interest to those curious about their basic workings, the particular brand of sonic magic they've helped achieve as an integral part of your favorite guitar-based tunes, or both. While guitar players are sure to learn something from the post, it's probably more useful to non-playing fans of guitar rock. Dig in!
The cast has yet to be announced.
Here are five that deserve a new lease on life (in alphabetical order by artist):
Live at the Hollywood Bowl
Probably the only under-represented aspect of the most celebrated popular music group of the 20th century is its recorded live output. We have all heard--and in a few instances, seen--how dynamic and incredible the Fabs were as a live unit during the first half of their career but there is scarcely any proper--and legal--documentation available, relatively speaking.
Jumping on the first big wave of nostalgic Beatlemania in the late '70s, the band's label had producer George Martin clean up tapes of the group's '64 and '65 performances at the legendary Hollywood Bowl. Sonically iffy, despite Martin's best efforts (which many assume is the main reason it has yet to be re-released) Live at the Hollywood Bowl is, if nothing less, the actual sound of Beatlemania and a piece of history, to boot.
Trivia: Capitol wanted to originally record the band's February 1964 Carnegie Hall concert but couldn't get the necessary music union permits. Instead, they went with these shows which were put on by a young promoter named Bob Eubanks. (Yes, the same guy from The Newlywed Game.)
[Cover courtesy of Wikipedia]
A rowdy live act from Atlanta, GA that never got the break it deserved, The Brains are best-known for "Money Changes Everything", which became a Top 40 hit for Cyndi Lauper four years after the release of the band's Steve Lillywhite-produced debut album. But there's more than "Money" to recommend from this self-titled record, which is considered a sadly overlooked gem.
With a few of the songs herein making an appearance later on in Fleetwood Mac's repertoire, this record is highly recommended for fans of both the Mac's blockbuster commercial phase and devotees of '70s Southern California singer/songwriter fare. The long lost album is the only joint release by Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks, and turned out to be their ticket into the band that brought them fame and fortune.
[Cover courtesy of audiography.com]
Its commercial failure and critical drubbing presumably a catalyst for the band's decade-long break-up, the third album by the much-maligned Los Angeles power pop quartet has been the recipient of positive re-evaluation in the years since its release, and is ranked as their best in quite a few circles these days. (The albums that preceded it, Get The Knack and ...But The Little Girls Understand [both Capitol-1979] are pretty cool, too.)
What goes around comes around, then. Guess the album's title inadvertently figured that one out, huh?
[Cover courtesy of ILoveThe80s.com]
The Concerts for the People of Kampuchea
We'll wrap up this tiny list with another Beatles-related live album. This time, it's a 2 LP set documenting a series of concerts put together in late 1979, to benefit disaster-torn Kampuchea (formerly Cambodia) by Paul McCartney.
Featuring performances by many of his famous friends--among them, Elvis Costello, The Who, and The Specials--highlights include Led Zeppelin's Robert Plant backed by Rockpile performing the Elvis Presley classic "Little Sister"; The Clash's cover of Willie Williams' "Armagideon Time"; and Queen's "Now I'm Here".
But the main reason to seek this one out is The Pretenders' blistering set, which is represented here by kick-ass versions of "The Wait", "Precious" and "Tattooed Love Boys", all from their legendary debut album.
[Cover courtesy of Wikipedia]
Just dunno these days...
Please, someone, make it stop...
John Updike, the Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist, prolific man of letters and erudite chronicler of sex, divorce and other adventures in the postwar prime of the American empire, died Tuesday at age 76.
Updike, best known for his four "Rabbit" novels, died of lung cancer at a hospice near his home in Beverly Farms, Mass., according to his longtime publisher, Alfred A. Knopf.
Anyway, here are the dates:
Apr 1 San Jose, CA
Apr 3 Glendale, AZ
Apr 5 Austin, TX
Apr 7 Tulsa, OK
Apr 8 Houston, TX
Apr 10 Denver, CO
Apr 15 Los Angeles, CA
Apr 21, 22 Boston, MA
Apr 24 Hartford, CT
Apr 26 Atlanta, GA
Apr 28, 29 Philadelphia, PA
May 2 Greensboro, NC
May 4 Hempstead, NY
May 5 Charlottesville, VA
May 7 Toronto, ONT
May 8 University Park, PA
May 11 St. Paul, MN
May 12 Chicago, IL
May 14 Albany, NY
May 15 Hershey, PA
May 18 Washington, DC
May 19 Pittsburgh, PA
May 21, 23 E. Rutherford, NJ
May 30 Landgraaf, Holland
June 2 Tampere, Finland
June 4, 5, 7 Stockholm, Sweden
June 9, 10 Bergen, Norway
July 2 Munich, Germany
July 3 Frankfurt, Germany
July 5 Vienna, Austria
July 8 Herning, Denmark
July 11 Dublin, Ireland
July 16 Carhaix, France
July 19 Rome, Italy
July 21 Turino, Italy
July 23 Udine, Italy
July 26 Bilbao, Spain
July 28 Benidorm, Spain
July 30 Sevilla, Spain
Aug 1 Valladolid, Spain
Aug 2 Santiago, Spain
That Thing You Do! is a nice slice of early '60s nostalgia; of a more innocent time when a catchy tune was enough to make a bunch of Beatles-loving kids fleeting stars. (The Wonders themselves are said to be loosely based, stylistically speaking, on The Dave Clark Five of which Hanks is a big fan.) As a general rule, we trust actors who are big music fans when they choose a music-related project to direct and/or produce. With its attention to detail succeeding in capturing the essence of what it must've been like for those that in real life traveled in The Wonders' footsteps, it's easy to see how this small film was a labor of love for Hanks (who also wrote its script). He certainly does not disappoint in his first trip behind the camera.
As for the song itself--written by Fountains of Wayne bassist Adam Schlesinger and sung by Mike Viola of The Candy Butchers--it was a Top 40 hit in 1996, and received nominations for both an Academy Award and a Golden Globe, respectively. Not bad for a make believe band, huh?
Paul McCartney, Radiohead, Justin Timberlake and the quadruple threat of Jay-Z, Lil Wayne, T.I. and Kanye West have been added to the performance lineup for the 51st annual Grammy Awards, to be held Feb. 8 at Los Angeles' Staples Center.
McCartney will be backed by Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl on drums, while Radiohead will be making its first live U.S. television performance in nearly nine years.
Fuckin' Dave Grohl has the life...
"...Clap Your Hands Say Yeah have pushed back recording to work on other projects and don't have any plans to tour at this time."
Sweet. How 'bout you, Vampire Weekend? Have you contemplated writing a tome-length dissertation on the proper usage of oxford commas? Please, go ahead, take as many years as you like.
Roddenberry passed away in 1991, right before the release of, arguably, the best of the Star Trek movies, The Undiscovered Country. Barrett, who played Nurse Christine Chapel on the original TV series and in two of the feature films--as well as voicing the starship Enterprise's computer--died this past December.
Newman, who played on such Charles hits as "I Got a Woman," and "What'd I Say", had a small part in the 2004 biopic Ray. He was 75 years old.
“It’s like blackface to me … it’s a continuing Hollywood minstrel show, co-opting queer stories and perversely building up the careers of these heterosexual bastards with the plumage of effeminacies, that they can wear this plumage of effeminacies without having to really be accountable”
Really, dude? Penn and the rest of 'em co-opting your "plumage of effeminacies"? Is that the problem? Give us a fucking break. Make some decent music and then get back on the soapbox if you like, but please. Ugh.
VH1 briefly hosted a few episodes of a half-hour comedy show called--what else?--John Mayer Has a TV Show in 2004. (It was actually funny.) No air date has been assigned for Mayer's new show.
[Cover art courtesy of Punk News]
Give A Monkey Half A Brain And He’ll Swear He’s The Center Of The Universe
Long derided as Fishbone’s so-called “metal record” Give A Monkey may not be an overlooked masterpiece but it is not the unmitigated disaster it was labeled as upon its 1993 release. Coming off the highly-acclaimed The Reality Of My Surroundings [Columbia-1991], itself preceded by the much beloved Truth and Soul [Columbia-1988]—one of the best albums of the ‘80s—much was riding on the record that was to bring Fishbone to the mainstream in grand style.
It didn’t happen: critics lambasted the album, sales were poor, and the band lost their major-label deal.
So, what happened?
For starters, Fishbone’s social commentary was much more somber (“Servitude”, “Black Flowers”, “End The Reign”) than on past albums, which may have been partially due to the hard-edged production courtesy of Terry Date (Pantera, Soundgarden); their trademark ska/funk (the excellent “Unyielding Conditioning”) and elastic grooves (“Lemon Meringue”) were in shorter supply; and the major internal struggles that may or may not have been caused by these changes culminated with the departure of key members.
But a decade and a half later, with the dust having long settled and the purported demise of the band brought on by this album by now a faint memory, Give A Monkey’s shining moments may not be the mass sing-a-longs some thought they could become but are, nonetheless, up there with some of Fishbone’s finest work.
Highlights: See above.
Look at something like Of Montreal, for instance, which is a glorified eighth-generation Spiders From Mars. I'm fine with there being an eighth-generation Spiders From Mars, but I've got a better idea—why don't you listen to the Spiders From Mars and learn where they're cribbing every last one of their stage antics from? Go and buy some records from the '70s and late '60s, and watch some DVDs, and you'll see where they stole everything. It might be some of the least imaginative shit that I could imagine. I have nothing against their success, but give me a fucking break.- Henry Owings, Chunklet founder, interviewed last year by The Onion's AV Club.
We're not gonna go full-on into discrepancies--JamsBio lump Abbey Road's "The End" with the "Golden Slumbers"/"Carry That Weight" medley which gives them 185 original songs by the Fabs, while in his esteemed tome Revolution in the Head, the late Beatles scholar Ian MacDonald does not follow suit, thus arriving at 186; we're going with the latter, thank you, very much--or dissenting opinions we may have--"I Am the Walrus" #2? She Loves You #24? "Oh! Darling #78? "Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da" #90? "Long, Long, Long" #179? "Honey Pie" #184? Really?--so check out the list for yourself and see where your favorites ended up.
(Maybe this will get God I Hate Your Band off his lazy ass and give us that McCartney/Wings list he owes us since forever...)
Avant-metal act Isis will also have a new release on April 21st--on vinyl; the digital versions on May 5th--via Mike Patton's Ipecac label. Speaking to Billboard, vocalist/guitarist Aaron Turner called the upcoming Wavering Radiant "a little more orchestral in feel" than their previous albums. Tool guitarist Adam Jones guests on two tracks.
"I will go on record just so every lesbian in America will hate me," King says. "I don't think The L Word has ever been a very good show. I don't think the writing is all that good and I surely don't think the directing has been all that good. And sometimes I think the acting has just sucked. ... It's a soap opera about lesbians and a lot of times it's flat out terrible."
Um, how does she really feel? Let the games begin...
Serenata de Plastico EP
After a series of self-released EPs and singles, Madrid-based Alex Ferreira has attracted the attention of the majors and so, with the 5-track EP Serenata de Plástico, we have the young Dominican singer/songwriter's opening salvo in his foray into the big leagues.
First single "Sonrisa Valiente" [see video clip below] might not be Ferreira's strongest composition to date but it's a nice tune and it kicks off the festivities in an ideal manner, creating a fluid vibe extended throughout the rest of the record, thanks to its deft sequencing. "Pixel", like "Sonrisa", is a decent but unremarkable song that would be a highlight for many of the lesser young songwriters we're confronted with on a daily basis; however, "Real", with its sense of optimism and renewal, and "Zigzag" in its cheery, abstract depiction of confusion, clearly demonstrate what Ferreira is capable of when he takes up residence with the muse. But he left the best for last.
For those already familiar with him or anyone looking for a snapshot of the man's talent, "A Ciencia Cierta" is pure Alex Ferreira: well-crafted lyrics, melody, arrangement...ah, yes. Short and sweet, with the right dose of each of its elements, "Ciencia" is quite simply a great song. It also performs the nifty trick of closing out the EP on a high note and leaving one desiring of more.
Since Serenata Plástica is a Warner Bros release, it'll surely get Ferreira more exposure than he's managed on his own. (Unfortunately, it's only available here in the US as an import.) And what better calling card than an EP that clearly and decisively announces the arrival of a new talent; a sensitive singer/songwriter, perhaps, but one far from being precious, pretentious or blindly ironic. If you are a fan of modern, well-crafted guitar pop you could do a whole lot worse than Ferreira and his Serenata Plástica. Actually, it's very likely to be one of the best things of its kind you'll hear all year.
Morgan further believes the measure "has minimal impact on megastars and corporate labels. But it’s devaluing and disastrous for emerging artists and independent labels."
Interesting point, indeed.
D.R.M.-free downloads are excused as “promoting” music that consumers eventually purchase. But most digital music is never purchased at all. This doesn’t mean that artists or indie labels are choosing to give work away as promotional tools. It means that the music is being copied without the artist’s consent.
Those applauding actions that will hasten music’s economic collapse are often well-meaning folks who also decry pop music’s Wal-Martification. But rock ’n’ roll and hip-hop are art forms created by the disenfranchised, before franchisers even notice them.Apple’s decision makes it harder for those of us more interested in the high note than the bottom line.
We'd link to this nonsense and have you witness it firsthand, but we respect you way too much to subject you to this musical atrocity. However, if you come across or have already heard "I'm In Miami, Bitch" then you'll understand our resistance to inflicting this crap upon you. Bleech!
Now, our loyalty to the machines and products developed by Apple is not one driven by worship at The Church of Steve Jobs, but a preference for useful tools--primarily in the creative field--and common sense, despite the mostly higher price tag ultimately involved. (Sometimes the good stuff just don't come cheap.)
As musicians we have been raving for a while now about the music and podcast creating application known as GarageBand. (Which is bundled in the multimedia iLife package that comes with the purchase of a new Mac or obtained on its own for less than a C-note.) Simply put, we find it to be the ultimate tool for professionals and hobbyists alike to flesh out musical ideas--demos, in trade speak--with reasonably impressive results.
So, half a decade after Apple introduces GarageBand, what does Microsoft counteract with? Songsmith, a glorified karaoke application that elevates the drunken sing-a-long to high art in comparison. Here's proof, from the Windows people themselves:
Now, if that wasn't bad enough, the application has unleashed a rash of song-butchering in the most unfunny of ways; something akin to William Hung's wildest wet dream:
OK, so let's clarify a bit: we're not advocating for a ban on developing potentially funny and/or goofy applications. Of course not. To each his own. But the point is, while Apple is trying to reward your imagination and self-expression with GarageBand's potential to make satisfying musical statements--or silly ones if you are so inclined--Bill Gates and co. respond with a novelty item whose usefulness is literally a joke, with a comedic shelf life that is sure to be short lived.
Songsmith is simply one more slip up in a recent line of continuous missteps on the part of Microsoft that reminds us of that You know, the one that goes "No, you're never gonna get it." How lame can you go, Microsoft?
Here's Powell talking about the book and the firm's work:
For the Love of Vinyl sells for $45 but can be obtained on sale for $20--for a limited time only--here.
IRKA & TADEO "Sol Explosivo"/"Mar Caribe" [single]
LED ZEPPELIN How the West Was Won (Atlantic)
THE POSIES Frosting on the Beater (DGC)
MIKE STERN Upside Downside (Atlantic Jazz)
MATTHEW SWEET Kimi Ga Suki (RCAM)
What are YOU listening to?
Obviously, it would be very inaccurate and irresponsible to judge an album based on one song. But if this first single is any indication, No Line on the Horizon might be a revisiting of U2's '90s albums. This would be an interesting development since the ones they've released in this decade have been indebted to their "classic" sound, which many of the band's hardcore fans--and drummer Larry Mullen Jr, too--were quite vocal about being more than ready for the band to return to, after Zooropa and especially Pop. We'll find out soon enough.
Oh, and our take on "Get On Your Boots"? Not bad. Nothing special, but pretty good, actually.
The effect this new direction and attitude will have on The Source's readership and/or editorial content remains to be seen.
Not well known during his lifetime, Drake's profile has grown immeasurably in the years since his 1974 death at the age of 26. Mainstream audiences are most familiar with the title track of his final studio album Pink Moon, which was prominently featured in a Volkswagen ad almost a decade ago.
Working on a Dream, which includes 12 songs plus Golden Globe-winning bonus track "The Wrestler" from the 2008 movie of the same name, will be released on Jan. 27th.
Ballard, whose songs became hits in the '60s for Frankie Avalon, The Hollies, Ricky Nelson, The Zombies, and many others, was 77 years old.
[Eagles Greatest Hits 1971-1975 courtesy of All Music.]
Ah, it was a different time...In case you were having this discussion at some point--or just happened to be curious--here are, according to the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America), the top 10 selling albums of all time in the US. We're sure you'll be surprised by some of the following titles on the list (millions of copies sold in brackets):
EAGLES Greatest Hits 1971 - 1975 (Elektra/Asylum-1976) 
MICHAEL JACKSON Thriller (Epic-1982) 
LED ZEPPELIN IV (Atlantic-1971) 
PINK FLOYD The Wall (Columbia-1976) 
AC/DC Back In Black (Atlantic-1980) 
GARTH BROOKS Double Live (Capitol Nashville-1998) 
BILLY JOEL Greatest Hits Volume I & Volume II (Columbia-1985) 
SHANIA TWAIN Come On Over (Mercury Nashville-1995) 
FLEETWOOD MAC Rumours (Warner Bros-1977) 
THE BEATLES [self-titled aka The White Album] (Apple-1968) 
Bubbling underneath are two debut albums: Guns 'N' Roses' Appetite for Destruction (Geffen-1987) with 18 million copies sold; and Boston's self-titled disc (Epic-1975) with 17 million. (The latter has doubled in sales figures in the last 30+ years from its initial 8 million when released.)
Also, The Beatles' 1967-1970 compilation [aka The Blue Album], Hootie and the Blowfish's Cracked Rear View, Zeppelin's Physical Graffiti, The Eagles' Hotel California, Elton John's Greatest Hits, and Alanis Morrissette's Jagged Little Pill are all tied with 16 million copies each. At 15 million units apiece are The Beatles' 1962-1966 comp [aka The Red Album], Journey's Greatest Hits, Pink Floyd's Dark Side of The Moon, the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack, Bruce Springsteen's Born in the USA, and Santana's Supernatural.
We never would've guessed The Wall has outsold Dark Side of The Moon by a more than 30% margin (especially after the latter had that seemingly never-ending stay on the charts), nor that The White Album is the Fab Four's best seller by far. (Sgt Pepper's and Abbey Road come in at 12 and 11 million, respectively, while Rubber Soul and Magical Mystery Tour are both tied at 6 million copies, followed by Meet the Beatles and Revolver with 5 million each.)
Oh, and the once greatest selling live album of all time, 1976's Frampton Comes Alive--which has long been dethroned by the likes of Garth Brooks, Bruce Springsteen, and the Eagles--has sales of 6 million.
In addition, there are almost 40 albums which the RIAA credit with having hit the 10 million plateau--known as diamond level sales--with the overall list of the top 100 concluding at 5 million sold. And meanwhile, in 2008 we couldn't get ONE to hit the three million mark, for the first time since 1991. To quote John Lennon's posthumous single "Nobody Told Me", Strange days, indeed. Most peculiar, Momma.
The Airborne Toxic Event
Buraka Son Sistema
Drop The Lime
The Hold Steady
Noah And The Whale
Late Of The Pier
Peanut Butter Wolf
Not much goin' on there, huh? This year's Coachella will take place on April 17-19.
Wanda Jackson will be inducted in the Early Influence category, while Bill Black, DJ Fontana, and Spooner Oldham will join the hall as legendary sidemen.
For the first time since 1997 the induction ceremony will take place not in New York, but in Cleveland Ohio, home of the Hall of Fame itself. The festivities are scheduled for April 4th.
Novoselic's column is updated every Tuesday.
The New York Times calls it "a messy, lively melodrama, reasonably faithful to the facts of Biggie’s life and wholeheartedly devoted to burnishing his myth...half pop fable, half naturalistic docudrama.
Not a bad movie, but nowhere near as strong as its soundtrack. It does not explain its hero so much as revel in the memory of his many selves, teasing the audience with a promise of intimacy and understanding much as Biggie himself did, but without the same seductive payoff. The film’s tag line could be one of Biggie Smalls’s riddling, irresistible refrains: If you don’t know, now you know."
Biggie's mom, Voletta Wallace and Sean "Diddy" Combs are credited as producers.
We're not making this up. Seriously.
Singer Boy George was sentenced to 15 months in jail on Friday after being convicted of falsely imprisoning a male escort by handcuffing him to a wall in a London apartment.
British Judge David Radford said the 47-year-old former Culture Club frontman, whose real name is George O'Dowd, was guilty of "gratuitous violence."
O'Dowd's lawyer said his client and the escort had both behaved like "drug-crazed idiots" and that O'Dowd's substance abuse problems were a contributing factor.
White Birds EP
After a four-year hiatus singer/songwriter Sara Fimm returns with a fourth release, a decidedly adult-contemporary affair, whose most predominant characteristic is laid bare after a few spins. Each song on White Birds is awash in practically unavoidable cinematic flourishes, making them seem at times more suitable for soundtrack placement than actual listening. Fortunately for Fimm the songwriting and overall production—as well as her voice—are solid if not remarkable, and help draw in the interested listener’s attention.
A few irksome traits pop up here and there —lead off track “Counting Waves” has a chorus a bit too reminiscent of Tears for Fears’ “Everybody Wants to Rule the World”; “Afraid” bears the stamp of Portishead’s influence before delving into more mainstream waters—but the record’s shining moment is its closing title track, which utilizes some of the electronic treatments found elsewhere on the EP to much better effect, wrapping things up on a positive vibe.
There is evidently much effort and ambition at work on White Birds. That alone, renders it a step above the much-maligned, so-called brunch pop to which it may be compared. But fans of Sarah McLaughlin, the aforementioned Portishead, and Bjork may find themselves enjoying Fimm’s latest, and that’s pretty good company to keep.
Because of changes in the radio industry and the way radio audiences are measured, stations in this market are being forced to play too much Britney, Puffy and alternative music that is neither new nor cutting edge. Due to these challenges, Indie 103.1 was recently faced with only one option --- to play the corporate radio game.
We have decided not to play that game any longer. Rather than changing the sound, spirit, and soul of what has made Indie 103.1 great Indie 103.1 will bid farewell to the terrestrial airwaves and take an alternative course.
If you're not familiar with Indie 103, it's not too late to acquaint yourself with their great programming. The station streams live here.
When You're Strange, a documentary about The Doors, by Tom DiCillo (Living in Oblivion, The Real Blonde);
It Might Get Loud, with guitarists Jimmy Page, The Edge, and Jack White discussing the history of their chosen instrument;
Passing Strange, a musical documentary of the Tony award-winning show, directed by Spike Lee and featuring the music of The Negro Problem's Stew and Heidi Rodewald.
Their final show together is scheduled for Jan 20th.
Last night's premiere of Season 8 had quite a few of the above, as well as the usual decent-level talent moving on "to Hollywood". The latter bunch includes one quite attractive finalist--from here on in to be referred to as "Bikini Girl"--whose blatant pandering via her physical attributes led Idolator's Maura Johnston to consider her "a less classy version" of any one of what we deem bargain basement strippers and pseudo strippers populating the VH1 reality shows starring "Mascara Boy" aka Poison frontman Brett Michaels. Ouch!
That "Bikini Girl", with her OK voice and dissing of new judge Kara DioGuardi, managed to get the nod from the panel, speaks for itself.
If you missed it, see here for yourself.
It's bad enough the "100 Greatest" has a bunch of lame hair farmer tunes on there--in addition to the aformentioned songs the cheese factor is upped courtesy of Ratt, Lita Ford, Skid Row, etc--but the inclusion of Survivor's "Eye of the Tiger" is just plain ridiculous.
(Also, is it not much of a coincidence that the hair merchants and/or old-timers rarely have anything positive to say about the '90s entries on the list? Still some bad blood there, huh?)
We're guessing VH1 wants to create a bit of suspense by not announcing on their site which songs made the list, so Stereogum (!) has the rundown of the 100 Greatest here.
- Emmy award-winning actor , star and creator of the cult classic TV show , died in Los Angeles on Jan 14th. He was 80.
"If you didn't see them in 2007...you missed them. It's done. I can't be any clearer than that...They tried out a few singers, but no one worked out...That was it. The whole thing is completely over now."And how exactly did this turnaround come about? It was practically a done deal and now it's a figment of our collective imagination, is that what Mensch is implying?
Part of us are sighing in relief over the possibility of the reunion turning into a travesty but Mensch's whole stance on this is quite weird, to say the least.