Thursday, March 31, 2005

Alice Cooper: Freedom Rocks

According to, Alice Cooper has been working on a new album, "Dirty Diamonds":

This isn't a concept album, like recent outings Brutal Planet and Dragontown. Instead, Cooper says, he took a suggestion from his old producer Bob Ezrin, who helmed such Cooper classics as Killer and School's Out. "One of the things Bob said was, 'If you're just gonna do twelve songs, how about twelve great songs -- no filler? If I hear filler on your album, I'll personally come beat you to death with a hammer,'" explains a chuckling Cooper, who says he's bounced ideas off Ezrin throughout his career.

...Dirty Diamonds was actually overseen by Steve Lindsey, who co-produced Cooper's 2004 duet with rapper Xzibit "Stand" (off the official Olympics Games album, Unity) and has worked with Elton John, Luther Vandross and Leonard Cohen. [I'm really going to have look into this Steve Lindsey guy.] Cooper describes the title track of Dirty Diamonds as an "epic" similar to his multilayered 1971 song "Halo of Flies."

...While he made headlines last year by calling artists who campaigned for Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry "morons," Cooper says he doesn't begrudge activist rockers their say. "You're American, you get to do that," he says. "And now if you live in Baghdad, you get to do that, too."
I'm pretty sure it's always been okay for Iraqis to call Americans morons.

To the Advanced-Mobile!

I think "Batdance" is probably Prince's most Advanced song. And the video is Advanced too. You can read the lyrics here. I've never understood the line about the electric chair.

Billy Corgan: You Don't Know What It's Like to Be Advanced

According to, Billy Corgan teamed up with Robert Smith on his new solo record. Here's some more:

"'It's guitar-driven and loud, but not aggressive,' Corgan tells Rolling Stone. 'The videos, music and tour will be really new and different. No one will accuse me of sitting on my past." Recorded in Chicago, Future was co-produced by Corgan and features eleven new songs, including the first single, 'Walking Shade,' as well as an unlikely cover of the Bee Gees' 'To Love Somebody,' with the Cure's Robert Smith on backing vocals."

Billy Corgan would love to be Advanced, but he just isn't. Recording a Bee Gees song is great, but somehow it seems a little desperate. I guess you could say that his attempts to be Advanced are a little too Overt.

I'm Shocked, Shocked, Shocked!

According to, Michelle Shocked has three albums coming out:

"Don't Ask Don't Tell," is a bluesy rock album, produced by Dusty Wakeman (Dwight Yoakam) with his Mad Dog studio house band -- guitarist Doug Pettibone, keyboardist Skip Edwards and drummer Dave Raven -- backing Shocked.

"Got No Strings," meanwhile, is a campy, Western swing interpretation of 10 Disney film favorites that will earn the singer comparisons to k.d. lang. ETown's Nick Forster produced the set, which boasts everything from "The Jungle Book" number "Bare Necessities" to the "Dumbo" classic "Baby Mine."

The last of the three is "Mexican Standoff," described as a tribute to Shocked's Texas roots and the Latin aspect of her adopted home of Los Angeles, produced by Wakeman with help on one half from Los Lobos' Steve Berlin and Mark Howard (Lucinda Williams, Vic Chesnutt) on the other. Vocally recalling Bonnie Raitt on this one, Shocked is backed by a cast that includes Attractions/Imposters drummer Pete Thomas and Los Super Seven's Max Baca on Bajo Sexto, a traditional 12-string conjunto instrument.
Hey, girl, what's it like to release three albums? Three albums, imagine that!

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Gang of Four Reissue

According to, Gang of Four's "Entertainment!" is being reissued, with extra stuff added. Here's the story:

"Out of print since 1997, Gang of Four's seminal 1979 debut album 'Entertainment!' will be reissued on May 17 via Rhino. The original 12-song track list has been bolstered with the four-track 'Yellow' EP and four additional previously unreleased recordings. 'Entertainment!' has also been re-pressed on 180-gram vinyl for a May 10 release. Among the new additions, perhaps of most interest are alternate versions of album tracks 'Contract' and 'Guns Before Butter' and live versions of the unrecorded 'Blood Free' and a cover of the Velvet Underground's 'Sweet Jane.'"

Reissue, live recordings, Velvet Underground cover. Sounds like Gang of Four are starting to see the light. I hope they'll put out a trip-hop record next.

Nothing Compares 2 I and I

More Sinead news from Yahoo!:

"Irish pop singer Sinead O'Connor is in Jamaica recording a reggae album with some of Jamaica's leading musicians, her producer said Wednesday. The Dublin-born O'Connor has been in the capital Kingston since last week working on tracks for the album, scheduled for release this summer by the British-based Sanctuary Records, said Sly Dunbar. The untitled album will include covers of some of reggae's most famous protest songs — Bob Marley's 'War,' Peter Tosh's 'Downpressor Man,' and Burning Spear's 'Marcus Garvey' — Dunbar said."

What, no Eek-A-Mouse?

GG and Iggy

There are some pretty good reviews of GG Allin and Iggy Pop DVDs at Here's a bit:

The new DVD, GG Allin: Savage South—Best of 1992 Tour, gives us no answers. Here is GG naked, toothless, on the last tour of his life (he would die of an overdose in 1993) with his band the Murder Junkies, giving everyone hell. The tattoos on his body—“Life Sucks,” “Vomitose,” cartoon gravestones—look like the work of a talented but vengeful six-year old.

As for the music—forget the music. The shaved, slobbering blues-punk is merely a means to an end. The first song (“I Live To Be Hated”) has barely begun before GG starts whacking the mike testily against his bald, dented skull—within five minutes he is wearing his trademark inverted crown of blood. And soon enough the shit literally starts to fly: He squats, rolls in it, then scoops it up and flings it at the crowd with lavish painterly gestures. Is this what the French call “nostalgie de la boue”—a reveling in the organic? Savage South records the memorable image of a man behind a speaker—some bouncer or stagehand—stolidly putting on a raincoat while the Murder Junkies are tuning up. When GG starts to eat the Bible—and a night in which he didn’t get himself arrested, give someone a ketchup enema or eat a few pages of the Bible was a slow night for GG—we are re-assured: This is not insanity, this is only blasphemy.

...This month’s other notable new DVD, Iggy Pop—Live in San Fran 1981 captures the Ig at a strange moment in his career. The Stooges are a memory, and his comeback on the arm of David Bowie is fading too. Still with tremendous bad-boy cachet, but no longer interested in tearing himself to pieces, he is on the road promoting the most flimsily hedonistic of his albums, “Party.”

Unbelievably, it sounds pretty good. Brainless numbers like “Bang Bang” and “Rock ’n’ Roll Party,” and even the tottering “I’m a Conservative” (“I passed out on many floors/ I don’t do that anymore”), when played by a crack band that includes ex-Blondie drummer Clem Burke and future Bowie guitarist Carlos Alomar, achieve a kind of dark clubland rush, with Iggy’s lizard baritone loitering and glittering beneath.

This is 1981. The bassist is wearing a Star Trek-style jumpsuit and an earring that hangs from his ear like a string of golden drool; one of the guitarists has a skinny tie. Iggy himself is tastefully arrayed in leather jacket, miniskirt, garters, nylons and heels; dipping and thrusting, hunching and high-kicking, he seems to be in peak condition. When he comes out for the encore, still in his lady-gear but now wearing a nice oxford shirt, he looks like someone’s rather racy personal assistant.
Sounds like both are worth watching, though GG Allin makes me a little sad, what with the mental illness and all. I considered going to see him long ago, but I couldn't find my raincoat. And I think Iggy Pop would look exactly the same if he didn't have any skin.

Mon 'Sters of Rock

More Supreme Court file-sharing news, this time from the New York Times:

Justice David H. Souter asked Donald B. Verrilli Jr., the lawyer arguing for the Hollywood studios and the recording industry, to envision "a guy sitting in his garage inventing the iPod." "I know perfectly well that I can buy a CD and put it on my iPod," Justice Souter said. "But I also know if I can get music without buying it, I'm going to do so."

[B]y the end of the lively argument pitting Grokster and its allies on the electronic frontier against the entertainment community's stalwart defense of intellectual property rights, any prediction about what the court will actually decide appeared perilous. The justices themselves seemed taken aback by the procedural complexities of the case, Metro Goldwyn Mayer Studios v. Grokster Ltd., No. 04-480, which moved through the lower federal courts on summary judgment, without a trial.

...In briefs filed as friends of the court, allies of the file-sharing networks in various technology industries and civil liberties organizations have depicted file sharing as a useful, if not vital, means of expanding knowledge through the inexpensive transmission and Internet archiving of lawful material in the public domain. As long as the noninfringing uses were not "far-fetched," Mr. Taranto said, the defense that applied to videocassette recorders should be available for his clients' "autonomous communication tool," as he described file sharing.

...Paul D. Clement, the acting solicitor general, told the justices that while the Ninth Circuit had used as its test "the mere theoretical capability of noninfringing uses," the Supreme Court should look at the actual "business model" used by the defendants. It was an "extreme case," Mr. Clement said, a model built on "copyright infringement without liability, with the full knowledge that the draw is unlawful copying."

...Justice Antonin Scalia said he was concerned that legitimate uses of a new technology might need some time to become established; in the meantime, the developer would be defenseless against a copyright infringement suit. "What I worry about is a suit right out of the box," he said. "Do you give a company a couple of years to show 'substantial' noninfringement?"

Mr. Clement replied that in the government's view, there should be "a lot of leeway at the beginning." But that was "not this case," he said, asserting that Grokster and StreamCast had "a business plan from Day 1 to capitalize on Napster."
Duh. Anyway, the article goes on and on (and on). But it's interesting, and it is pretty important, I think.

Lollapalooza Lite

According to Reuters, Lollapalooza is moving:

Lollapalooza '05 will run July 23-24 in Chicago's Grant Park. The band lineup will not be announced until the third week in April. The festival Web site ( will go live Friday.

...Some of the festival's founding participants are involved in this year's Windy City event. William Morris Agency veteran Marc Geiger booked Lollapalooza before leaving the agency to head the ill-fated Web-based label ArtistDirect; he returned to the agency in 2003, booked the '04 festival and is working on the Chicago shows. Jane's Addiction lead vocalist Perry Farrell also is on board in a creative capacity.
They're just not letting this thing die, are they? This isn't a bad idea, really, but it just seems that now it's just another outdoor show. I will say that seeing music at Grant Park is a nice experience, especially if you are seeing it from a balcony.

Frank Black Works Just Like a Beehive

I am extremely excited about Frank Black's upcoming solo record, "Honeycomb." Read all about it (from

Recorded at legendary songwriter/producer Dan Penn’s Better Songs and Gardens studio in Nashville over a four day period in April 2004 – just a few days before Pixies kicked off their reunion tour – the album features some of the most celebrated players in music. Guitarists Steve Cropper, Buddy Miller and Reggie Young, drummers Chester Thompson, Anton Fig, Billy Block and Akil Thompson join bassist David Hood and keyboard player Spooner Oldham amongst others for the Americana flavoured LP.

”It was wonderful to have these incredible musicians poking fun at my non-Nashville chord progressions,” said Black, “and then give me a wink after a take to let me know that they approved and enjoyed it. I was so lucky to have them playing on this album.” Produced by John Tiven, ’Honeycomb’ will feature tracks including ’I Burn Today’, ’My Life Is In Storage’, ’Atom In My Heart’, ’Another Velvet Nightmare’, ’Go Find Your Saint’ and ’Violet’ as well as covers of ’Dark End Of The Street’, ’Sunday Sunny Mill Valley Groove’ and ’Songs Of The Shrimp’ from the Elvis Presley film ’Girls, Girls, Girls’.

”This was the only time that I have ever been in a studio and had the strange feeling that I was witnessing something spiritual,” Black said. “When we were recording, those guys didn’t even look at each other, they closed their eyes and they meant it. I have never recorded with people who meant what they played so much.” He added: “I can say without a doubt that the ’Honeycomb’ session was the most moving and mind-blowing experience I¹ve ever had in my musical career. Steve Cropper co-wrote the first rock ‘n’ roll song that I ever sang in front of an audience (’In The Midnight Hour’). It was a pure pleasure to come full circle with Mr. Cropper.”
This has to be great.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

'Ster Stir

More file-sharing stuff from Slate:

The genius of Napster, Grokster, Aimster, and other free file-sharing services is the ease with which they turn law-abiders into law-breakers. Some of the credit (or blame) goes to the open-source movement—represented outside the Supreme Court today by a group waving "Don't Stop Innovation" signs. But file sharing also owes its success to those of us who have just stopped noticing copyright warnings. According to one congressional study, most people think that copying for money is wrong, but that copying for friends is OK. In other words, who really stops to think before photocopying a magazine article or burning a copy of a CD? Swapping files with thousands of other people over a server, it turns out, doesn't feel that different. It doesn't feel like stealing.

American copyright law, however, would probably beg to differ. In 2001, the 9th Circuit federal court of appeals shut down Napster, and in 2003 the 7th Circuit did the same to Aimster. Though they weren't downloading copyrighted material themselves, these companies knew they were helping their users to help themselves, and didn't take the steps they could have to stop them. That made the companies aiders and abettors, under a legal doctrine called contributory liability. Then Grokster and StreamCast came along and tried to complicate matters. The newer companies still allow users to share music and movies (and they also sell a lot of ads). But they don't help find or transfer the files, and they don't control any network—in their view, terms like "network" and "service" are misleading.

Last year, a different 9th Circuit panel bought the idea that the difference in technology between Grokster and Napster is the difference between legal and illegal. The appeals court let Grokster and StreamCast off the hook, because neither company controls or regulates access to an index of files. The ruling relied heavily on Sony v. Universal City Studios, the 1984 Supreme Court decision that saved the VCR and (thank goodness!) the Betamax. In Sony, the movie studios wanted to stop the production and sale of videotape recorders because they were being used to copy TV shows. A five-member majority of the court was about to do as asked. Then, at the last minute, Justice Sandra Day O'Connor switched sides, averting embarrassment and allowing the studios to go on to reap large profits from the video market. But the resulting opinion in Sony wasn't a model of clarity. At one point the court seemed to say that a product need only be "capable" of legitimate commercially significant use. At another, it implied that some actual use had to be legitimate and commercially significant, without saying how much.
The article goes on to describe the arguments heard in the Supreme Court. Don't worry, it's pretty breezy.

Dr. Strange Love

According to, Chuck D is not so excited about Flavor Flav's reality show:

Public Enemy made their name by protesting social injustice, but lately they have turned their attention to the actions of one of their own members. Last week, on behalf of the veteran hip-hop group, frontman Chuck D penned an apology to fans saying that he was "deeply bothered" by the portrayal of Flavor Flav in the VH1 reality show Strange Love, which chronicles the rapper's romantic relationship with actress Brigitte Nielsen....

"Together, [Public Enemy] make music and are dedicated to spreading the good word around the planet," Chuck D, who first protested the show in a January Web post, writes in the apology. "I would be lying if I said that the side of Flav shown on Strange Love doesn't affect what I've wanted our collective to stand for because it does, and many have told us how deeply they are bothered by this."

The rapper goes on to say that his bandmate has been a victim of what he calls "Flavploitation" by the show's producers. "His character and private issues are being trashed in front of millions for the mere sake of profit and ratings," Chuck D continues. "To showcase the troubling conflict between his kids and ex is uncalled for, and we can't stand by it." Several fans' postings on Public Enemy's official site have called for Flav to be kicked out of the group.

According to Flav, no apology is needed, and the show is an accurate depiction of his complicated life. "What you see on the show definitely is Flav," he tells Rolling Stone. "It's just that you're seeing certain sides of Flav that Flav didn't want people to see." He has no plans to exit Public Enemy. "Everywhere I go I get so much love from my fans," he says.

...And, despite what viewers see onscreen, Flav says he also loves his family. "Right now, I eat, sleep, and breathe my kids -- all six of them," he says. "I want Strange Love to be a mirror for them. I want them to see themselves, because they did disrespect me also. But that's their mother. When children grow up without both parents, there's an imbalance -- and what you see on the show with my kids is an imbalance . . . But I love my kids."
I wish my father could have a reality TV show so I could know how much he loves me.

(The blog is having technical problems, so if posts are sporadic or there are multiple copies of a post, that is why.)

Sinead O'Connor: Retirement Is Hard Work

Here's the latest Sinead O'Connor news from

Musical pairings from throughout Irish vocalist Sinead O'Connor's career have been compiled for "Collaborations," due June 21 via Capitol/EMI. The 17-track collection is highlighted by tracks with Peter Gabriel ("Blood of Eden"), U2's Bono ("I'm Not Your Baby") and the Edge ("Heroine," from his unheralded 1986 soundtrack "Captive") and Massive Attack ("Special Cases").... In the spring of 2003, O'Connor announced she was retiring from the music business. But in an interview last month Ireland's Hot Press, she revealed she had signed a new record deal with Sanctuary and is working on three distinct new albums.
One of those albums, as you may remember, is a reggae project.

Monday, March 28, 2005 What a Steal!

There is an article at Slate about the latest file-sharing service that everyone's talking about, Here's a brief description:

" is Russian, and its self-proclaimed quasi-legality stems from its claimed ownership of Russian music distribution rights. As their Web site puts it: 'All the materials in the MediaServices projects are available for distribution through Internet according to license # LS-3М-05-03 of the Russian Multimedia and Internet Society. …'s Administration does not keep up with the laws of different countries and is not responsible the actions of non-Russian users.' This site isn't free, but at about 5 cents a song, it sure beats iTunes."

Of course, another way to say "quasi-legal" is "illegal." I hope that the positive effect of all this file stealing, I mean, sharing, will be that Apple and other legal downloading sites will be more flexible in their pricing. I'm not sure why Apple won't allow bands to sell their songs for a nickel if they want to, but I'm guessing it has something to do with the licensing agreement they have with the labels that says Apple won't allow different prices. After all, if you can get "Love Is Like Oxygen" for a nickel, you might be less likely to buy "Too Much Time on My Hands" for a dollar. But that's just a guess.

Lisa Marie Presley: Kick 'em When They're Up

According to Lisa Marie Presley is setting up a spring tour to promote her second album, "Now What," which features "10 original songs and a cover of Don Henley's 1983 hit "'Dirty Laundry" and guest appearances by pop singer Pink and Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones." If I were still capable of feeling shame, I would be embarrassed to admit that I have a weak spot for Don Henley's solo material. I have enjoyed his greatest-hits record, "Actual Miles," on many occasions. Of course, everyone loves "Boys of Summer," but I even love "Heart of the Matter." Strangely, I'm not that fond of Glen Frey's solo material. I blame "Miami Vice."

I'm Steppin' Out

I'm not going to have access to a computer much this morning, so I had hoped to have a juicy bit of Advanced news to report before I leave. Sadly, the best I could get was Alice Cooper's confession that he likes Kylie Minogue's music. Not very exciting. So anyway, hopefully there will tons to say later today.

Friday, March 25, 2005

db's Reunion

According to, the db's are getting back together:

After a hiatus of nearly two decades, power-pop pioneers the dB's have reunited and are recording a new album for release next year. For the first time since 1982, the group will feature its original lineup -- including former frontman Chris Stamey, who left the dB's for a solo career.

"The whole world's gone reunion mad," Stamey admits, noting the glut of reanimated Eighties acts. "But this project is driven by the music we're writing, and not by the desire for a high school reunion."

...Reassembling the band was complicated by the live and session work of Rigby, who drums for Steve Earle, and Holsapple, a touring member of Hootie and the Blowfish. But schedules permitted a week's worth of sessions in January, at Water Music Recorders in Hoboken, New Jersey. Seven new tracks were recorded, as well as a somber, piano-based version of the Motown standard "What Becomes of the Broken Hearted" and a cover of Canned Heat's "On the Road Again."
I like the sound of that, I can tell you. I love Canned Heat, but not "Canned Wheat."

Elvis Musical Starring Wayne Gretzky

Here is part of a review of "All Shook Up" from Yahoo!:

There may be life in the jukebox musical after all. The much-maligned genre that produced the highs of "Mamma Mia!" and the lows of "Good Vibrations" has strengthened the case for pop-song musical theater with a surprising "All Shook Up."

This genial, thoroughly ingratiating show, which opened Thursday at Broadway's Palace Theatre, features songs made famous by that icon of rock 'n' roll, Elvis Presley. And it also celebrates Presley himself, using his persona as the model for the musical's lead character, a guitar-strumming, motorcycle-driving, hip-swiveling roustabout named Chad.

What makes "All Shook Up" work so well is the show's cheerful, tongue-in-cheek sense of self. Book writer Joe DiPietro, one of the creators of the long-running off-Broadway revue "I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change," has concocted a goofy, often funny and sweet-tempered story that is an affectionate send-up not only of Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night," but all those cheesy movies Presley made during his mediocre film career. Remember such cinematic clinkers as "Harum Scarum," "Clambake" and "Speedway"? They make "All Shook Up" seem like "Long Day's Journey Into Night."
The best send-up of the Elvis movies was on SNL. Wayne Gretzky played a busboy in Hawaii who clears tables with a stick, which happens to be in the shape of a hockey stick. As it happened, the local hockey team was missing one of its key players, so the busboy fills in and wins the game. Then he sings a song called "Waikiki Hockey" that goes something like this:

"Mona luckahiki means hockey
Mona luckawiki means love
A moonlit ice rink means romance
with my baby and the stars above."

"Kiki Hockey, Waikiki Hockey!
Kiki Hockey, Waikiki Hockey!"

"I slipped the puck across the goal line
the crowd went crazy and roared.
But when my baby kissed me and held me in my arms
I knew that I had finally scored."

"Kiki Hockey, Waikiki Hockey!
Kiki Hockey, Waikiki Hockey!"

"I know why hockey is rockin'
Ice melts, and no one can play!
So we clean up the rinks
and put the ice in our drinks
and say, 'Mona laki hui ani hey!'"

"I say hockey!
Waikiki Hockey
Our way!"

The transcript can be found here.

Funny, He Doesn't Look Lou-ish

Here's an update about the Jewish Rock and Roll Hall of Fame from

Located on the Lake Erie shore is the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, an $84 million, 150,000-square-foot building; located in cyberspace is a proposed Jewish Rock and Roll Hall of Fame website dedicated exclusively to Jewish rockers.

However, the website is currently on hold, pending a hearing for copyright infringement initiated by the Cleveland Rock Hall.

Apparently, says Art Kaufman, the Cleveland attorney representing the three journalists who hope to launch the website, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum is concerned that "people could be confused" by the two. But, he notes, there are numerous baseball halls of fame, as well as other halls of fame. "Our case is that both "rock and roll" and "hall of fame" are generic terms," he says.

That's true, says Todd Mesek, senior director of marketing and communication of the Cleveland Rock Hall. "The terms ‘rock and roll' and ‘hall of fame' are not protected. However, "Rock and Roll Hall of Fame' is. (The lawsuit) is not about confusion, as much as it is about protecting our trademark. If you don't protect it, you risk losing it."

Mesek adds that the institution he represents is a not-for-profit organization, and the purpose of the museum is to explain why the art form of rock and roll is so important. "We support others who also want to share this message, but when someone infringes on our trademark, we are obligated to protect it." will feature Jewish stars such as Bob Dylan, Lou Reed, and Aerosmith drummer Joey Kramer. But, because the field is so limited, says Kaufman, they'll probably also include people like Elvis's tailor. "My co-counsel says the Jewish Rock and Roll Hall of Fame should have one more panel than the Jewish Sports Hall of Fame," he laughs. "There's really not a lot."
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is being pretty silly. Seems like they could have a free licensing agreement that would protect the name but also solve this problem.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Abbey No Longer Cloistered

According to CNN, "Abbey Road is opening its doors to the public for the first time in more than 20 years -- and one of the extremely rare times it's been open to the public at all." It's funny, I was also considering having an open house so people could see where I did my Apple recordings.

New Ringtone: Get Yo' Fabolous

Here's something from Yahoo!:

The new CD single "Baby" from rapper Fabolous allows UK consumers to choose which part of the song they want to use as a mobile phone ringtone, a feature that Warner Music said on Thursday was a first for the industry. Until now, the 30-second ringtone clips packaged with singles have been pre-determined by record companies.

The Fabolous single from Warner's Atlantic Records, which includes built-in software that lets listeners isolate any part of the song and load it onto their phones, retails for 3.99 pounds ($7.51), the same price as other CD singles. "It's the next step for music lovers," said Crispin Futrille, whose company Bounce supplied Warner with the technology.
It's also the next step for money lovers.

No Who for Now

According to, the Who's new album has been delayed. Here's the story:

"The new Who album has been delayed, not cancelled," [Pete Townshend] said in a diary posting on his official Web site. "The release date I had hoped for in the late spring or very early summer was whipped from under my nose after three years of writing." The Who will also not tour this summer, as drummer Zak Starkey has committed to playing with Oasis until next January.

...The guitarist said lead singer Roger Daltrey has done "sketch vocals' on several tracks, "and the results are very exciting." But for the time being, he will focus his attentions on writing for his own project, "The Boy Who Heard Music," as well as completing his autobiography.
I guess we can wait a little while longer.

Advanced Dance: Stephen Petronio

There is an interesting review of the Stephen Petronio Company here. A little bit from the article:

The newest piece... Misfit Toys (2003), billed as "a series of adult gothic nursery rhymes," was performed to Lou Reed songs taken variously from his iconic work in the Velvets and from his critically unpopular records Metal Machine Music and The Raven. Cindy Sherman's smoky, dimly lit set featured a totem of smugly grinning doll heads and two enormous discarded doll bodies. Dancers costumed in little gingham dresses (for the women) and pajamas (for the men) looked innocent in contrast to their sexual movements and suggestive, intricate pairings. During the climactic "I'm Waiting for the Man," the dancers portrayed addiction and obsession but salvation was found through physical contact by the last strains of Antony's beatific rendition of "Perfect Day."
I'll keep an eye on Stephen Petronio. Also, I like the potential double meaning of "critically unpopular."

Lou Reed's Biting Comments

From the London Free Press:


1973 Rock singer Lou Reed was bitten on the rear end during a Buffalo concert. A fan leaped onto the stage, screamed "Leather!" and bit Reed through his leather pants. Commented Reed, "America seems to breed real animals."

I love that the fan yelled "leather." I would have yelled "sunglasses!"

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Nothing From Nothing Leaves Nothing

It's been a bit of a slow day today for Advancement. The Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp is being televised by VH1 and will feature Roger Daltrey, Nils Lofgren and Bret Michaels. The La's are back in business. Could "There She Goes '06" be far behind? Weezer is in the news for doing something and the White Stripes are in for something else. I haven't seen much of David Bowie these days. I wonder how his health is. Lou Reed has a section on his website where he complains about people who have interviewed him. Bob Dylan, touring with Merle Haggard, played a Merle Haggard song as an encore but didn't have Merle join him. That's a pretty funny thing to do. Everyone is sorting out what they learned at SxSW. Turing Machine's performance there made an impression on the New York Times. American Idol had a voting snafu, so it's in the news even more than usual. I think Donald Trump wants Michael Jackson to perform in Vegas and his partner Jack Wishna has assured us that here would be no morals clause in Jackson's contract. Trump's too, presumably. I'll keep my eyes on the skies and hope some Advancement will reign o'er me soon. See you at Fantasy Camp...

File Sharing: Lost in Space

Here's some file-sharing news from

"A week from today, the Supreme Court will hear the case of MGM Studios vs. Grokster to decide the future of file-sharing.

...Recording Industry Association of America president Cary Sherman told Rolling Stone, 'Any business that is based entirely on copyright infringement should be held accountable.'

Grokster will argue that there are legal uses for the application: Some indie artists encourage fans to share their music freely, and NASA uses the technology to distribute bulky files."

Bulky files like Pearl Jam bootlegs, Fiona Apple's unreleased album, and the 26-minute acoustic version of "Helter Skelter." It saddens me to say that I think the RIAA is completely in the right on this issue. Grokster can pretend that they didn't intend for their customers to swap copyrighted material, but we all know that if they didn't have the copyrighted stuff, most people wouldn't be using their service. I have some advice for anyone who wants to get into the file-sharing business: The name of your company should not end with "ster."

Straight Outta Sharpton

According to USA Today, Advanced Irritant Politician Al Sharpton wants to help clean up the hip-hop industry by buying "stock in record companies that produce hip-hop and then become vocal as a stockholder." I think this is a fine idea, and, like most fine ideas, it will have no impact.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Bob Dylan: Beyonce or Venus?

As you may remember, Todd Haynes is planning a movie about Bob Dylan that would feature a number of different actors playing him. Here's an update from

"In the film called 'I'm not there: Suppositions On A Film Concerning Dylan,' Oscar winner Haynes is casting six men and one woman - all black - to portray the enigmatic star at different stages of his life and the choice for the female role may be between Beyoncé Knowles and tennis star Venus Williams. "

Either way, this is the best idea I've ever heard.

Just Fiona Being Fiona

Salon is providing a link to a site that has the imprisoned Fiona Apple record available for download. (Go to for the story.) I listened to some of it, and my conclusion is this: It sounds like Fiona Apple. I don't know what the wonderful people at Sony are worried about.

Rerun to the Hills

Iron Maiden news from

The CARLING WEEKEND: READING AND LEEDS FESTIVALS headliners IRON MAIDEN have announced they are playing classic set at this year’s bash.

Talking last night (March 21) at the launch to the event, singer Bruce Dickinson declared The Carling Weekend “just genius” before announcing his band’s plans.

“We’re going to be doing a set from just our first four albums, so they’ll be songs we haven’t played in 15 or 20 years,” he explained. “Many of our young fans won’t have heard this songs been played live - it’s great.”

...The Carling Weekend: Reading and Leeds takes place between August 26 and 28 and features the Pixies and Foo Fighters along with Iron Maiden as headliners.
Wow, the Pixies AND Iron Maiden! I wish I could go. Maybe I'll sell some candy bars to fund my trip.

CBGB: I Want Candy


Among the efforts to save landmark New York punk venue CBGB is a collection of limited-edition treats from Gotham candy store Chocolate Bar. The confectioner is introducing the $25 CBGBs Punk Rock Box, a 16-piece truffle collection that includes a postage-paid petition to save CBGB, a steel logo keychain and a collection of CBGB stickers.

For the budget-minded yet concerned punk, there are $3 CBGB Retro Bars wrapped in a limited-edition CBGB keepsake package that includes the postage-paid petition. Both items will be available in May, but can be pre-ordered through the store's Web site or by calling 800-481-2462. All proceeds will benefit the club's campaign to keep its doors open.
Mark Cuban, Advanced Irritant Sports Owner, has also offered to help out the club. As you may remember, I don't really think it would be a big deal if the club had to close, especially since the owner of the building is an organization that helps homeless people. But I do like truffles...

Monday, March 21, 2005

Roxy Music Ready to Suit Up Again

According to, Roxy Music is getting back in gear:

[They] are to play their first UK show in almost five years with a headline slot at this year's Isle Of Wight Festival. The seminal British 80's act, fronted by Brian Ferry, join previously confirmed acts including R.E.M, Razorlight and Faithless to play three-day June event.

...Original band members Bryan Ferry, Phil Manzanera, Andy Mackay and Paul Thompson will all feature in the festival performance. In other news, the band have announced plans for a new studio album, their first since the number one bestseller 'Avalon'. More details are to be
Announced soon.
I wonder how Bryan Ferry and Morrissey get along. I would imagine they could share a lot of grooming tips. Also, I find it strange that you can't find "More Than This" for karaoke anywhere. You would think there would be a "Lost in Translation" disc, but there doesn't appear to be. Maybe it's for the best.

Satellite Radio: The Future Is in the Past

Here's the latest from the world of satellite radio, from

[As] FM radio turns away from rock, satellite is picking up some of the slack. "The decline of rock on FM radio is of huge interest to us," says Lee Abrams, chief programming officer for XM. "We play tapes of rock radio from the Fifties, Sixties and Seventies and think about how we can bring that back in 2005."

XM's thirteen rock channels include Deep Tracks, a classic-rock station that goes beyond the limited playlist of its FM counterparts. Listeners tune in for shows such as Then Again Live, which invites artists to re-create classic albums in the studio -- the Allman Brothers Band tore through its 1972 Eat a Peach recently. And Tom Petty DJs a free-form show, Buried Treasure, on which he plays everything from Ella Fitzgerald to Jimi Hendrix.

...Traditional-radio execs say they're unconcerned by satellite's comparatively tiny numbers. "It's a blip," says David Field, CEO of Entercom, the fourth-largest radio conglomerate.
After reading that last quote, I have never wanted satellite radio more. What a jackass. I'm guessing it's that kind of visionary leadership that has Mr. Field's company in fourth place. Oh, and "Entercom" is a really stupid name for a radio conglomerate. So there!

Boy George: Choppin' Broccoli

According to, Bill Gates loves Boy George's health-food shop in Kensington, London. Says George, "Bill comes in and buys lots of organic veg. The floor staff are always joking that he probably turns all his potatoes into chips - they're a witty bunch." Why am I sharing this with you? Well, I have written a lot about musicians and food, but really I just wanted to use that headline. Forgive me.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Where's That Meowing Coming From?

As some of you know, I've been keeping an eye on the closing (and burning) of famous studios. This morning, there is an article in the New York Times about the emergence of home studios. The article is about a year too late, but it is still worth a read. Recording at home is wonderful, but it won't replace recording at a studio. I think it's much better for rock records to be done in a studio with a band than just a guy, a Mac, a cat, and whatever toys he happens to have lying around (that would be me). The main thing about recording at home is that it is liberating to be able to make music without a meter running. However, it's not such a bad thing to know you have to get something done quickly. It's also a good thing to have someone around to tell you that the chorus shouldn't be done in French. Anyway, what will probably happen is that people will get bored doing the home stuff and go back to the studio, which will probably inspire them creatively just as home recording it inspiring now.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Spielberg Interested in Baywatch

More movie news from "Legendary movie-maker STEVEN SPIELBERG is being linked to a forthcoming movie version of cult TV show BAYWATCH. Plans for a big screen version have been discussed in the past, with the show's star DAVID HASSELHOFF keen to be involved. But now Spielberg...has reportedly secured the movie rights from 'Baywatch' co-creator GREG BONANN and has put the project in his diary for 2006." I don't know what to say about this.

George Lucas: My Heart Will Go On

Here's an interesting "Star Wars" update from

The final STAR WARS movie will be an emotional "TITANIC in space", according to director GEORGE LUCAS. He says, "It's a real tearjerker, and it will be received in a way that none of us can expect. "I feel that I've made the movie the best I can and it turned out the way I wanted it to be, so I'm happy."

And he insists he isn't concerned about fans' response to Episode III: "I never try to anticipate what the world's going to think or even worry about whether they're going to like it or not. "That's not my job, to make people like my movies. They either like them or they don't. That's completely out of my hands."
I think George Lucas might be Advanced.

This Just In: Music Industry Is Sleazy

Music-biz news from Lou Reed's website:

It’s not easy to get your ducks lined up when they’re taking pot shots at you. That’s the situation the brass at Warner Music Group are facing as they prepare for an impending IPO, the filing for which was sent to the SEC on Friday (3/11). Much of the recent criticism from the media and industry gadflies has been directed at the $21 million in salary and bonuses collectively paid to its top dogs, including Chairman Edgar Bronfman Jr. ($6.25m), U.S. head Lyor Cohen $6.24m), International chief Paul Rene Albertini ($4.4m) and outgoing Warner/Chappell CEO Les Bider ($2.44m). The above figures were first published Feb. 21 in the respected Financial Times, which further pointed out that last year's total executive remuneration was more than three times higher than WMG's $7 million operating income for the 10-month period ending last Sept. 30.

These revelations prompted Ritch Esra, Co-Publisher of The Music Business Registry, to fire off an impassioned editorial to his industry mailing list.

“What is so truly disturbing here,” Esra wrote, “is that it speaks volumes about the value system of an owner of a company that would pay its top-five record executives more than three times the amount of operating income for a 10-month period while dismissing 1,600 employees…. In addition to the employee layoffs, Warner Music Group also dropped 93 of the 193 artists signed to Warner labels in the U.S., approximately 47% of the artist roster, during this same period. If the financial health of a company is truly so dire that it calls for these kind of dramatic and severe cuts for the financial well being of the company, how does one justify the kind of staggering bonus payouts to the top five executives in the company? Don't get us wrong, we have no problem with executive compensation when it's tied to actually rewarding performance, but in this case, one is truly hard-pressed to grasp or to understand what is actually being rewarded….

“Ultimately, this just illustrates how Warner Music (and the other labels who subscribe to this mentality in this day age) still have a real commitment to maintaining a broken, malfunctioning business in place rather than seeing what can be done to creatively re-invent it in a new way….”
When I "ran" a "record company" with friends (no quotations necessary), one of our innovative practices was not cashing checks and not renewing our post-office box. That didn't work so well, but we were definitely doing business in a new way.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Moby v. Beyonce

According to, Moby isn't happy with Beyoncé:

[Moby], who has been feuding with rapper EMINEM for years, accuses Knowles of "gratuitously" lending her name to Hilfiger's new fragrance TRUE STAR. He rants, "I see so many public figures just gratuitously lending their names to products that I really don't understand. "I just wonder why, like, Beyonce's doing this Tommy Hilfiger thing, and isn't it enough to have $50 million? Do you need $51 million?"

But Moby insists he doesn't mean to single out Beyoncé in his rant about greedy stars and fears an ongoing feud with her. He adds, "It wouldn't be good, because then all of a sudden JAY-Z (Beyoncé's boyfriend) and DAMON DASH (Jay-Z's business partner) would be involved. "I'd find myself at the bottom of the Hudson River."
Well that last statement ought to smooth things out for them. I'm sure Jay-Z loves being reduced to a stereotype.

Elvis Costello at SxSW


In the somewhat strange setting of an enormous Austin Convention Center ballroom, Elvis Costello sat yesterday (March 16) for a public interview that marked the beginning of Texas' annual South By Southwest (SXSW) music festival. For nearly 90 minutes, the veteran artist discussed his career with MTV Networks executive Bill Flanagan, engrossing and entertaining the crowded room.

...Costello defended his prolificacy and the wide-ranging experimentation he has indulged over time, which has seen him record everything from punk-era new wave classics to opera, simply saying it was a case of "not allowing critics to write your records for you."

...When it was brought up that he has reissued catalog titles in differing deluxe editions on two different labels, Costello said he was not trying to milk money out of die-hard fans. He sees reissues as being "for those who missed it the first time around," not for "those obsessed with having everything."

Saying "radio is my enemy," Costello admitted not expecting widespread support from traditional music business channels when he releases a new work, such as his latest rock album, "The Delivery Man" (Lost Highway). "I just want to get the music visible," he said. And to do that, the tenaciously touring artist said hitting the road is the way to get that done. "It's always been about playing," he said. "It's not about records. Live work is where it's at."
I like him.

Lou Reed and the Timeless Constriction of the Working Man

There is a mention at the TimesOnline of Lou Reed's upcoming performance in Scotland. Here's a bit of it:

LOU REED, the drug-abusing 1970s glam rock icon and father figure to a thousand teenage punk bands, is becoming respectable in his old age. Reed, 63, is the star turn at a gala concert billed as Scotland’s answer to Glyndebourne. The musical legend is to perform alongside the Orchestra of Scottish Opera at Culzean Castle, which has superb views across the sea to the mountains of the Isle of Arran.

...This is the same Reed who used to pretend to shoot up on stage, whose career has spanned almost 40 years in which time he has seen off heroin and alcohol, outlived his mentor Andy Warhol, and created many of the greatest albums and songs of all time, including Walk on the Wild Side and Perfect Day.

...“It’s an honour to be invited” to such a festival, Reed said. Then he added: “ ‘A man’s a man for a’ that’ is a line of timeless history and pertinence reflecting the timeless optimism and reflection of the modern constriction of the working man.” Whatever that means.
I think he just enjoys messing with people, which all Advanced artists do.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Sum 41/Ludacris: Sweet Mash

According to Yahoo!, Sum 41 might be recording a full-length mash-up with Ludacris. The drummer, Steve Jocz, "admitted that 'discussions' are underway for an entire album's worth of collaborations, although he added, 'I don't know anything else. I'm a little low on the totem pole to be involved in any discussions.'" They were pretty darn good on SNL, so even though I have no idea what Sum 41's music is like normally, the Advanced Theory Blog officially endorses this project. It isn't Advanced or anything, but I'd like to hear it.

Head to Save 50 Cent's Soul

According to, Brian "Head" Welch wants 50 Cent to be saved:

On Friday, Welch e-mailed MTV News detailing his trip to Israel, where he began working on solo material to be released under the moniker Head. One of the songs he discussed in detail was — as he described it — "a personal letter to 50 from God," which he may or may not release, depending on 50's reaction to it.

"The Big Guy speaks through me a lot when I write, and I have a song for 50 Cent I wrote in the Holy Land. I feel like it's a personal letter to 50 from God, so I'm going to give it to him personally and see what his reaction is," Welch wrote. "If it's a positive reaction and he's willing to talk to me, then I'm not gonna release it, but if the reaction is not positive, I'm going to share it with the world."

Welch said he doesn't fear retribution from 50; rather, he feels protected by the fact that he's merely acting as an emissary between God and the former Curtis Jackson.

"It's not a mean song, but it is like a loving father disciplining his son and telling him how it is — kind of like Tré's dad in the movie 'Boyz N the Hood,' " Welch continued. "There is really no way he can come back at me through music because it's not from me ... it's from the Big Guy. Even 50 respects the Big Guy."
What I can't figure out is what Mr. Carlson has to do with any of this. Oh yeah, I almost forgot: Booger!

Bono, Zeta-Jones and Elton John

There two items of interest at

One: "[U2] were inducted into the prestigious Hall of Fame, and [Bono] caused a stir by sidling up to Chicago beauty Zeta-Jones during the band's celebratory performance. The sexy brunette, married to screen star Michael Douglas, appeared mesmerized by the charismatic singer." It must be awesome to be Bono.

Two: Elton John fired his publicist, which made me wonder: How do you get out the news that you've fired your publicist? Would that be the fired publicist's last job?

Nirvana Had Joy, Fun

There's a nice little article about "Seasons in the Sun" at Slate. He starts off talking about Nirvana:

With its outtakes, rarities, and B sides, the long-awaited Nirvana boxed set turned out to be the table scraps of a once-bountiful buffet. There is one moment, however, that's well worth seeking out: a ghostly rendition of the infamous pop hit "Seasons in the Sun." Fittingly, it comes at the end. A video clip from 1993 shows the trio struggling grimly with the song in a studio in Rio de Janeiro. Having switched roles—Kurt Cobain on drums, Dave Grohl on bass, Krist Novoselic on guitar—their funereal seriousness might reflect their lack of skills on unfamiliar instruments. It's more tempting, though, to believe that impossibly maudlin tune is hitting them right in the gut.

For those of a certain age, Terry Jacks' 1974 chart-topper "Seasons in the Sun" remains an unsurpassed nadir of pop music. There was, to be sure, stiff competition at the time—Gilbert O'Sullivan's "Alone Again (Naturally)," Bo Donaldson and the Heywoods' "Billy, Don't Be a Hero." During those mid-Watergate weeks and months, the whole country seemed eager to wallow in tuneful misery. "We had joy, we had fun, we had seasons in the sun/ But the hills that we climbed were just seasons out of time," sings Jacks, puckering up on every syllable. The singer addresses his friend, his father, and his lover as he prepares to die of unspecified causes—assuming, that is, that "too much wine and too much song" isn't a diagnosis. In his epic bad-song survey, Dave Barry put "Seasons in the Sun" in a class of its own, and voters emphatically agreed. Yet Nirvana is hardly the only band to cover the tune—there's been a recent revival of sorts. If it's so universally despised, then why does this song refuse to die?
The writer goes on to talk about the history of the song, which is pretty interesting, and he mentions all the covers of the song, some straight (John Doe), some ironic (Blink-182). I don't have anything interesting to add, so read the article!

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Dial "M" for Mordor

According to Yahoo!, there is going to be a musical based on "Lord of the Rings":

The show, based on the fantasy classic by J.R.R. Tolkien, is to open in March 2006 in Toronto and come to London six months later. But the producers have promised to go back to the original tale of Middle Earth and not try to reproduce the dazzling special effects from the movie trilogy, which earned $3 billion worldwide and garnered a string of Oscars. "We are ultimately dependent on 50 actors and musicians to tell the story rather than technology," producer Kevin Wallace said as he announced details of the 27 million Canadian dollar (11.5 million pound) musical. "We are going to have to break new ground. It is a hybrid of text, music, spectacle and physical theater," he added. Eager to quell the fears of devoted Tolkien purists who dreaded the classic being transformed into a showbiz extravaganza, he said: "There will be no singing and dancing Hobbits. The music will be in a very traditional mold and draw on ethnic traditions."

My advice to the producers: Keep it secret, keep it safe.

Bono's Edun: Respect Yourself

Bono and his wife have their own line of clothing. Here's the story from

As if being an international rock star, a recognized crusader for human rights, a husband and father of four weren't enough, Bono has now declared he is a garmento. Say what? At New York's Saks Fifth Avenue on Friday night, Bono unveiled an "ethical" line called Edun.

...When Bono emerged from the elevator with wife Ali Hewson and Gregory Rogan, the designer of the clothing, a blaze of flashbulbs incited the murmuring crowd to surge in their direction. Even the models lifted their gazes to watch them enter. As Bono moved toward the stage, the crowd — which included Jay-Z, Christy Turlington and even Robert De Niro — crushed in the same direction.

Bono joked with the crowd that his only other contribution to fashion thus far has been the mullet he sported in the early days of U2. "You all know what a mullet is: Party in the back and business up front," he said, laughing. [This is why Bono isn't truly Advanced: He makes fun of the long-hair-in-the-back hairstyle.]

Though it may at first seem like just another musician's side project, the Edun line is made from environmentally friendly materials, including chiffon, knit jersey and organic denim. Each piece is made in a developing country that desperately needs the introduction of sustainable commerce.

... "Look, the world doesn't need another fashion brand; we understand that. But we don't think that this is just another one," Bono said. "It's different. At the very heart of it we have the idea of four respects: respect for what your clothes are made of, respect for who is making them, respect for where they are made and respect for the people who are going to put them on."
Unlike Sean John, where they're all about dissing everybody.

Roger Daltrey: Brilliant but Canceled

Here's some interesting news from Yahoo!: "The Who's Roger Daltrey has come aboard the WB Network's untitled mermaid drama pilot. The pilot stars Nathalie Kelley as a mermaid who tries life on land in Miami. Daltrey will play the antagonist on the show." I just can't see this show lasting more than three episodes, but I hope I'm wrong.

Lou Reed Salutes Mr. Burns

According to the Sunday Herald, Lou Reed is going to play at the annual celebration of Robert Burns in Ayrshire. Here's the scoop:

This summer Lou Reed will pay tribute to Robert Burns at the annual celebration of the Scottish bard’s life and work in Ayrshire.

Reed, one of the most influential figures in contemporary music, will play alongside the orchestra of Scottish Opera in a performance featuring a line-up of special guests at the Burns And A’ That festival’s showpiece gala concert at Culzean Castle on May 20.

According to festival programmer, Stuart Nisbett of Unique Events, the combination of Reed and Burns is a perfect marriage. “Like Burns, Lou Reed is a rebel, a writer, a poet, a lyricist and an artist,” Nisbett told the Sunday Herald. “He is much more than just a pop singer – he epitomises a movement reflecting all aspects of the arts and is visible in every single person with a guitar round his neck in a band in Scotland today. We are delighted that he is coming to take part in our celebration of Burns.”

Purists may have difficulty with the idea, but, according to Nisbett, the contradictions in the line-up are planned: organisers want people to question their own attitudes to the bard.

“Burns is everything to all men, but he has been on the shortbread tin too long. He doesn’t just belong to Scotland – he is an international icon revered the world over, and we are always happy to have people from outside Scotland show how he has influenced them.”

Festival director Pete Irvine said: “What we are trying to do – put on a festival in a rural part of the country in celebration of a poet – is not normal; it’s something really different and special. Only certain people understand and relate to that and we are so pleased that Lou Reed is one of them.

Lou Reed’s career has spanned 40 years, during which he has authored many of the greatest songs of our time.... His performances have often confounded audiences, and during a 1973 debut at the Apollo Theatre in Glasgow he was reportedly “carried on the stage and then carried back off”.

Hall of Tame

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame had its induction ceremony last night, and the New York Times was there:

Electric guitars reigned at the 20th annual induction ceremony for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, held last night at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York. From the ringing chords of the inductees U2 to slashing blues solos from another new member, Buddy Guy, to Bo Diddley playing "Bo Diddley," the event reveled in untamed guitars.

With the addition of U2 - which entered the hall in its first year of eligibility, 25 years after releasing its first album, "Boy" - the hall plunged into 1980's rock. The other new inductees are the new wave band the Pretenders, the soul singer and songwriter Percy Sledge and the vocal group the O'Jays. An edited version of the ceremony is to be broadcast Saturday at 9 p.m. on the cable channel VH1.

...A decade after the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum opened in Cleveland, groups with Ohio roots were among the night's headliners. The Pretenders' songwriter and singer, Chrissie Hynde, grew up in Akron before starting the group in England. The O'Jays began in Canton. They had their major hits, including "Back Stabbers" and "Love Train," in the 1970's.

... Neil Young introduced the Pretenders and then played with the band. Bruce Springsteen inducted U2.

To celebrate the hall's 20th ceremony, two of its first members, Bo Diddley and Jerry Lee Lewis, returned to perform. Mr. Lewis played his last piano notes with his rump.
I can't believe they seriously used "rump."

Monday, March 14, 2005

You Were the Everything

There is an article at Pitchfork that deals with the reissues of R.E.M.'s albums for Warners. Here's the most significant part:

"Ultimately, however, I'm not sure I trust my judgment on some of these albums: Maybe I would have obsessed over Reveal and Up if I'd heard them at 15 or 18 or 20 years old, and maybe I would have completely panned Green or Out of Time if I'd reviewed them a few months ago. So I wish I could hear these albums again for the first time, just as I wish I could hear any album the way I first heard Green and Out of Time and New Adventures-- full of hope and empty of cynicism. I wish I could devote as much time and imagination to pore over the lyrics, parse out the sounds, consider their meanings, hold the album covers up to the light to find hidden messages. There is still meaningful music being made today, so I'm not necessarily nostalgic for an idealized past. Music didn't change; R.E.M. changed, and I changed along with them."

I think we all know exactly what he's talking about. But the Advancement Theory addresses the problem: If you thought R.E.M. was great in 1988, then they are great now, too, but you've lost your ability to judge them. But this only applies to the great bands and solo artists. The theory isn't much more complicated than that.

Green Day Coma Cure

This doesn't have much to do with Advancement, but it's a slow day, so here's a story from Yahoo!:

A Welsh Green Day fan emerged from a coma after listening to the band's Grammy-winning American Idiot album, according to the BBC. Nine-year-old Corey George of Aberaman, Wales, had been in a coma and on life support for two weeks before his family played the "punk rock opera" for him. Within an hour of hearing the disc, George reportedly woke up and began moving his fingers and toes.
I'm no doctor, but I have a feeling his waking up might have been just a coincidence.

Just Saying Hello

After going over this morning's news, I'm sad to report that there's not much to report. Angelina Jolie disapproves of Bono as head of the World Bank and favors Colin Powell. I'm not sure how much say she has in the matter, but I'm sure Bono is terribly disappointed. Angelina Jolie is about as Overt as it gets, in case you're wondering. Yoko Ono is busily working on the musical that "celebrates" John Lennon's life. I wonder if she and Priscilla Pressley ever get together and count the money they've made off their dead husbands. Lennon's first wife, Cynthia, is writing a book about him, and I hope she makes a nice bit of money from it. I've always felt bad for her and Julian. I saw Jack Johnson on SNL this weekend. I'd never heard him before and don't expect to again. His songs are harmless, but I can't get behind a guy wearing flip-flops on stage, especially if he has a professional harmonica playing with him. I realize that the harmonica can be difficult to play, but the professional harmonica player has to be the lowest of the low in the hierarchy of musician. I especially dislike that "Leave a Tender Moment Alone" guy. I got tickets to the Lou Reed show on April 5, so that should be pretty exciting. The show is scheduled to start at 7, which is really wonderful. I would imagine he'll go on a bit later than that, but it's really wonderful to go to a show and be home before 11. Anyway, let's hope there will be some good news from the World of Advancement later this morning.

Friday, March 11, 2005

d. boon and the drum circle

d. boon news from

With classic punk trio the Minutemen back in the spotlight thanks to a new documentary, a former roommate of late singer/guitarist D. Boon has expanded a CD of previously unreleased recordings, "D. Boon & Friends," which was originally released in 2003. The set is now available with a bonus disc when ordered via project head Richard Derrick's Web site.

...The 33-track CD sports everything from jams with Boon and Derrick (and another friend) from Nov. 1984-85, a performance by the Boon-led side project Hammerdown, a Boon solo gig, a Minutemen gig from 1985 when Derrick replaced an absent George Hurley and a home-recorded solo acoustic track.

...Derrick says the Hammerdown performance is one his favorite Boon memories. "It was a benefit for a man known as 'English Frank,' which also featured Spinal Tap and a hair-metal-with-chick-singer-type band called Bitch," he says. "Instead of showing up with an acoustic guitar, [Boon] asked everyone he knew to loan him a guitar amp, and he ended up with maybe a dozen amps all plugged into each other, along with three friends to play tom-toms."
I'm really enjoying this Minutemen renaissance. I thought they were in danger of disappearing, but it looks like a whole new generation of kids will get to enjoy first-rate punk rock with some jazzy solos thrown in.

Users are Losers (and Overt)

If you want to read the world's most inane discussion about the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, go to msnbc. Here's a representative sample:

Helen: If the Pretenders never did anything past their first album, the band would still belong. The self-titled debut includes an obscure Kinks song, “Stop your Sobbing,” produced by Nick Lowe. Plus, Chrissie Hynde is hot, loudmouthed and opinionated. And two of the original members are dead. Guitarist James Honeyman-Scott died of a heroin overdose in 1982 — two days after they kicked bassist Pete Farndon out of the group for doing drugs. Then Farndon died of an overdose the next year. You don’t get more rock and roll than that.
I really hate that there are people who think that killing yourself with drugs is "rock and roll." Besides being irresponsible, it's also not very accurate. Letting drugs take over your life is definitely not "rock and roll," it's just tragic. That's why most Advanced musicians stop using drugs.

Update: I hope you'll pardon the high horse. I just believe it's ghoulish to think it's cool for someone to die young.

Bob Dylan: I Was Born a Poor Black Child

There is a story at about all the rock and country biopics that are being made in the wake of the sucess of "Ray." In the works are movies about Johnny Cash, Brian Jones, and Janis Joplin. The most promising project, though, is about Bob Dylan. Here's a note about the casting:

Filmmaker Todd Haynes, who's directing the Dylan-themed I'm Not There, solved his casting conundrum by splitting Dylan into seven different characters, played by multiple actors -- among them a woman and an African-American boy. "It kind of explodes the idea that anybody could be depicted in a single self," Haynes says of the experimental film, due by early next year.

Can't wait.

Bono Twists and Turns Away From Bank Job

Looks like Bono won't head the World Bank after all. Here's the story from Yahoo!:

The lobby group co-founded by the Irish band U2's lead singer on Thursday knocked down media reports that he was a serious contender to head the global institution that provides billions of dollars annually to help the world's poorest countries.

"I can't believe I need to say this, but there are no circumstances in which Bono would be nominated or accept the World Bank job," said Jamie Drummond, executive director of DATA -- or Debt, AIDS (news - web sites), Trade, Africa -- for which Bono campaigns to raise awareness of Africa's problems.

"Bono is flattered to be mentioned for such an important job but DATA does its best work from the outside."
Oh well. Maybe Jim Kerr is available.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Great Lou Reed Pics

Go to to see some amazing pictures of Lou Reed. You'll have to scroll down, but that's not so hard. Plus, Kittytext is supremely wonderful, so your journey down to the pictures will be pleasant.

Lou Reed: That's Italian!

Here's something of interest from Lou Reed's website:

On March 19th will held a tribute night dedicate to Lou Reed, entitled “Rock’n’Roll Heart”, in Milan. The night is the annual meeting of Italian Lou Reed fans that gather together to celebrate and enjoy Lou’s music with a special concert that will span through four decades of his career, from “The Velvet Underground and Nico” to “The Raven”. The concert will feature the Italian Tribute Band, The Vicious Underground, with several guests. This will take place at Via Monte Grappa, 27 - Cusano Milanino (MI).

When you're at, you're family.

Loretta Lynn Honored, I Guess

According to Yahoo!, Loretta Lynn is going to be presented with the Johnny Cash Visionary Award, which "recognizes an artist's musical vision, innovative music videos and pioneering initiatives." It must be weird to win an award named after someone who was a peer. It's kind of like they're saying Loretta Lynn is the Johnny Cash of country music.

Pavarotti on the Water

According to, Pavarotti is going to sing "Smoke on the Water" on a tribute album to Ian Gillan. Apparently, Pavarotti has sung with Deep Purple in the past and is friends with Gillan. Who knew? On a related note, I highly recommend your getting "Sister Sarajevo," the song Pavarotti did with U2 and Brian Eno. It kills me.

Lemmy's Take on History, SpongeBob

Here's the story of Lemmy, as told by Yahoo!:

Ian Kilmister, a.k.a. Lemmy, the frontman for Grammy-winning English rock trio Motorhead, could have made a stimulating history professor, sharing his begrudging admiration for Goering and disdain for "bastards" like Hitler and Roosevelt with eager students. Instead, the 59-year-old achieved cult fame with generations of headbangers by singing and writing furious anthems like "Killed By Death" and "Orgasmatron."

But he remains fascinated by World War II and he spends his money collecting Nazi memorabilia, which is piled high in his two-bedroom apartment off the Sunset Strip. "I was born in '45, the year it all ended," Kilmister said in a recent interview over Jack Daniels and Cokes at his local watering hole, the Rainbow Bar and Grill. "It's not ancient history to me, and I don't see it as all the good English and Americans and all the bad Germans."

...Coincidentally Motorhead, which Kilmister founded 30 years ago, is biggest in Germany, and he never misses an opportunity to tour historic sites across Europe -- though not the concentration camps. "You've got to draw the line between what you like to collect and what they actually did," he said.

[Update: I took out a part of the interview where he talks admiringly of Goehring. It was wrong of me to include it in the first place, and I apologize for doing so.]

...He says his interest in history and current events has taught him about hypocrisy and people's refusal to learn from the past, and that it also inspires his songwriting. "Sex, war, murder and death," he said. "And injustice, and there's plenty of that around. I don't foresee being short of subject matter in the foreseeable future." Yet, many of the songs are laced with humor, such as 1984's "Killed By Death," and the band somehow landed a song on the soundtrack for the children's movie "SpongeBob SquarePants."
I wonder if the interviewer recorded the conversation with the mike looming over Lemmy's head.

Morrissey Is a Light That Never Goes Out

Morrissey has a new record coming out, and has the details:

MORRISSEY is to release his cover of PATTI SMITH’s ’REDONDO BEACH’ as a single. The track, a live favourite last year, will be released on March 28. 'Redondo Beach' will be accompanied by a version of The Smiths’ classic ’There Is A Light That Never Goes Out’ and new song ’Noise Is The Best Revenge’.

A DVD single will also be released featuring footage of Morrissey performing ’There Is A Light That Never Goes Out’ from his upcoming ’Who Put The M in Manchester’ DVD and ’It's Hard To Walk Tall When You're Small’ from a recent session on BBC Radio 2's Janice Long programme. Seven-inch and maxi singles are also planned.
I didn't know they were making DVD singles. As many of you know, releasing a solo version of your old band's music is Advanced, especially if the new version is dramatically different and violates the spirit of the original.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

George Bush Mash-Up: Lou Reed and John Lennon

Want to hear George Bush sing "Imagine/Take a Walk on the Wild Side"? Well, you can at 3hive/The Party Party. It's the greatest thing ever, unless you're an evil-doer. There's also a great version of "Sunday, Bloody Sunday."

*Thanks to goldenfiddle for the link.

The Onion's Edge

Here's some Advancement-related comedy from the Onion:

U2 guitarist The Edge, born David Evans, introduces himself by his stage name, sources reported Monday. "He showed up at parent-teacher conferences, extended his hand, and said, 'Hi, I'm Sian's father The Edge,'" said Dory Beckman, a second-grade teacher at Malibu Heights Elementary. "I didn't quite understand, so he said, 'U2's The Edge.' Well, I guess with all the records he's sold, he's entitled to call himself whatever he wants."

Densmore, More, More

What's John Densmore up to these days? According to he has partnered with Iranian singer Reza Derakshani "to record a new album full of ancient sounds." Here's a little more: "The two friends collected ancient instruments from all over the world to play on new album RAY OF THE WINE. Featured instruments include the Tar, Sehtar, the bowed Tarmanche and Kamanche, as well as a bamboo flute, known as the Ney." That's going to be a big, big hit. Tapping into the World Beat is a very Advanced thing to do, by the way.

This Just In: Radio Stinks

According to, rock radio is in trouble:

Ratings for rock radio have been in decline for at least six years, with audiences shrinking by nearly twenty percent. With urban and Hispanic formats increasing nationwide, rock is getting squeezed out.

...Mainstream rock has been hit the hardest: Album-oriented rock stations that rely on staples like Three Doors Down have seen listenership fall seventy percent since 1998. Meanwhile, stations that play harder bands like Godsmack and Alter Bridge haven't developed a larger audience. The poor numbers have left programmers complaining about the quality of recent music. "Some good new bands are getting airplay," says Dave Wellington, program director at Boston's WBCN, a station that plays a mix of modern and classic rock. "But nothing has really emerged as the new grunge, a single style that creates a massive radio movement."

Rock radio's larger struggle may have more to do with America's shifting demographics. Baby boomers, who fueled FM radio's rise in the 1970s, are aging beyond the twenty-four-to-fifty-five-year-old demographic that advertisers pay premium rates to reach. Rock listenership has fallen close to twenty percent in that demographic since 1998, according to Arbitron, which measures radio play.

Meanwhile, the Hispanic population became the county's largest minority population in 2003, and a February Arbitron report says Hispanic buying power is increasing at twice the rate of other demographics. Spanish-language radio ratings are up thirty percent since 1998. In September, Clear Channel -- which owns more than 1,200 radio stations -- announced plans to convert up to twenty-five stations to Spanish language by mid-2006. "The number-one TV station in most Hispanic markets is the Hispanic station," says Phil Quartararo, president of music marketing at EMI. "Radio broadcasters are applying the same theory. It's 'I've got three rock stations slicing up a ten percent market share, while forty-five percent of the population is Hispanic.'"

Finally, hip-hop and R&B have a stronghold on teens and young adults. Only six percent of teenagers are listening to rock at any given time, compared with nearly twenty percent listening to urban radio and forty percent listening to Top Forty radio stations, which are dominated by hip-hop and R&B.

...Rock radio stations might be changing formats just as the music is beginning a renaissance. A new wave of bands including the Killers, Modest Mouse and Franz Ferdinand are gaining play on stations across the country. "Five years ago, I stopped listening to radio completely," says Franz Ferdinand bassist Bob Hardy. "Now there's dozens of new bands I'm keen to hear. It's all just part of the natural cycle of music."
It seems like I've read the same "rock'n'roll is disappearing" article every five years or so. Some times it's up, sometimes it's down, but it's always around (like pollution). It's worth mentioning that MTV2 has just changed its format to feature more rock, some say because Fuse has been successful with a rock and hip-hop format. So I think the problem isn't that there aren't people out there who like rock, it's just that they don't listen to the radio.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Late-Night Update

According to the New York Times, Jay Leno has taken my advice about how to handle the gag order:

Jay Leno had just told a joke on Monday night that imagined a phone conversation between Michael Jackson and Martha Stewart - "He wanted to know what it was like to be a white woman in prison" - when he suddenly put up his hands and ground his monologue to a halt.

He informed the audience at that night's taping for the "Tonight" show on NBC that because he had been listed as a possible witness in Mr. Jackson's trial on child molesting charges, he, like all potential witnesses in the case, was prevented from discussing it publicly. "I am under a gag order," he said.

Then, like a starting pitcher calling for relief from the bullpen, he motioned backstage and brought on the comedian Dennis Miller - who also has a talk show, on CNBC, the NBC cable network - to tell a sequence of Michael Jackson jokes in his stead. On Friday, Mr. Leno had engineered a similar handoff to Brad Garrett, a star of the CBS show "Everybody Loves Raymond."

First Sting, then Brian Wilson, now Jay Leno. Unfortunately, even though Leno has followed my advice, his jokes are still terrible.

"Smile" DVD

According to, the movie "Beautiful Dreamer: Brian Wilson and the Story of Smile," which I've written about in the past, is coming out on DVD. On one disc is the movie, on the other is "a full performance of the album mixed in 5.1 Surround Sound, outtakes from the documentary, footage from the recording of the album and Wilson performing five songs at his piano both solo and in collaboration with band members." There's more: "Wilson is already writing songs for his next work. 'I think it will be a rock'n'roll album,' he told Billboard last month. 'Wouldn't that be great? "Smile" was a pop album. We need rock'n'roll for sure.'" First Sting, now Brian Wilson. If I didn't know any better, I'd think they have been reading this blog. For those of you who don't know, embracing rock'n'roll is one of the hallmarks of Advancement. If Wilson tours in a black leather jacket, I won't know what to do with myself.

Dee Snider Cuts Footloose

From Yahoo!:

[Dee] Snider, frontman for Twisted Sister, whose 1984 hit "We're Not Gonna Take It" salutes teen rebellion, says he'll attend Hamburg Area High School's annual talent show next month when students plug in their amplifiers and let loose.

School administrators had threatened to bar rock bands from the show because of potential injuries caused by moshing [and because the students were all worthless and weak].

Snider, now a disc jockey at Philadelphia rock station WMMR-FM, heard about the controversy and ranted on air about it. School officials eventually backed down, and Snider helped arrange for a security company to work the show.

"For me, it was like freakin' `Footloose.' We're banning dancing?" Snider told The Associated Press Monday.
John Lithgow will also attend the show and plans to be outraged.

Mötley Crüe Reanimated

Here's something from

Mötley Crüe will become clay-animated stars of the movie 'Disaster! The Movie'.

The Crüe were already fans of the movie makers Ehud Bleiberg and Yitzhak Ginsberg when Nikki Sixx saw an early concept for the film.

..."These guys are f***ing brilliant," said Sixx. "With their help, the Crüe is out to save the world from imminent disaster. "Disaster! The Movie" just adds to the circus atmosphere surrounding this tour."

The members of Mötley Crüe have voiced their own characters in the movie.

Mötley Crüe are also currently working with MTV/Paramount in a film based on the best-seller "Dirt."
What is the deal with the Mötley Crüe renaissance? I'm all for it, but I would have never imagined they would come back like this. They must have the best publicist in the world.

Elvis Will Sell No Wine Before Its Time

According to this press release at Yahoo!, Elvis is doing well in wine business:

According to a leading wine industry magazine, Elvis Presley, the King of Rock and Roll®, is fast becoming a monarch of the grape. In its latest issue, Wine Business Monthly magazine named Graceland® Cellars one of the hottest small wine brands of the year. The winery launched the first-ever vintages of Jailhouse Red Merlot, The King Cabernet Sauvignon and Blue Suede Chardonnay in 2004 and quickly established retail distribution in 40 states. A special 4,000 case holiday release of Blue Christmas Cabernet Sauvignon sold out within days last November.
So there, France!

Easley McCain Fire

More bad studio news, from

The Easley McCain recording studio in Memphis suffered considerable damage after an electrical fire broke out on Wednesday last week (March 2).

"The (fire) inspector said that two fires broke out at the same time at opposite ends of the building, due to some electrical reason," engineer Kevin Cubbins told Rolling Stone. "Within 15, 20 seconds, the whole place was engulfed."

The studio has witnessed sessions by Sonic Youth, The White Stripes, Guided By Voices, Wilco and Loretta Lynn among others.

...The studio’s future is now uncertain while the insurance is being examined, however Wilco bassist John Stirratt insisted it would a great loss.

“It's unbelievable. Really, really sad," he explained. "If you tried to record in Memphis before Easley, you had to work with, well, born-agains. Easley was the first place to reflect how hip and weird and diverse Memphis really is -- the great, weird underbelly.
I'd say Memphis has a fairly great, weird overbelly as well, but I've only read the travel guides.

Monday, March 07, 2005

You Might Think It's Foolish

Reunion news from

Rock supergroup THE CARS are negotiating a comeback tour almost 20 years after they split. The existing members of the American band, which recorded LIVE AID anthem DRIVE, last toured together in the late 1980s but now lead guitarist ELLIOT EASTON has confessed there are plans to return to the live circuit.

He says, "We're in the process of trying to put The Cars back together... I think GREG (HAWKES), DAVID (ROBINSON) and myself would consider it if RIC (OCASEK) wanted to." One bandmate who wouldn't return for the reunion is singer BENJAMIN ORR, who died in 2005.
This is a great idea, of course, but I worry that they might not be able to re-create their high-energy live show.

Alice Cooper to Meet a Strange Lady, Become Nervous

Good news from

The original (and best) shock rocker, Alice Cooper will be heading to Australia for the first time in four years for a run of shows in "intimate mode". The father of the theatrical rock show will begin his tour at the Newcastle Civic Theatre on June 21st and head to all the major cities across Australia.

The last time Cooper was here he brought with him his theatrical performance, and if you're worried about seeing him in a theatre so he won't bring it (think back to that tour mid-nineties), be at ease. You'll see the man kill babies, get put in a straight jacket and of course be beheaded.
Intimate beheadings. I love Alice Cooper.

I Like Chinese, or Welcome to the Bungle

The New York Times is running the eight-millionth piece about the saga that is "Chinese Democracy." It's a lot of the same old stuff, but I thought perhaps some of you might be interested.

CBGB Not Going to Pay Rent

According to the New York Times, CBGB is having a problem with a charity group:

In a scrappy Bowery real-estate battle, CBGB has been in and out of court for much of the last four years with its landlord, the Bowery Residents' Committee, a nonprofit organization that helps the homeless. The dispute concerns enough unpaid rent to finance dozens of punk bands as well as numerous building violations that leave a paper trail as thick as the layers of fliers stapled to the club's walls.

In an arrangement known to few of the club's patrons, CBGB subleases its spaces at 313 and 315 Bowery from the organization, which shelters 175 homeless people in the floors above the club. In 2001, the organization began efforts to collect more than $300,000 in back rent from the club. Although much of that has now been paid, the club faces eviction over remaining debts of about $75,000, both parties say.

Both organizations have dug in their heels and claim a moral right to the property.

"We're an institution," said Hilly Kristal, the grandfatherly 73-year-old who started CBGB - with plans to stage "country, bluegrass and blues," not punk - in late 1973. "I think we're an important part of this community. The city uses us in their Olympics ad, along with the Statue of Liberty."

In the opposite corner is Muzzy Rosenblatt, the executive director of the Bowery Residents' Committee, who resents diverting the organization's money to legal expenses to get what he says is due from an uncooperative tenant.

"I am not going to subsidize CBGB at the expense of homeless people," Mr. Rosenblatt said.
I think the city's using CBGB in their Olympics ad shows that it is no longer relevant. Losing the old club would probably be good for music in New York because it's been a long time since it has been anything but a glorified House of Blues. And why should they get out of paying rent just because they are an "institution"? I say that's all the more reason they should pay their rent. After all, shouldn't an institution be able to cover its expenses? It has so many advantages over other clubs, they must be mismanaging the place if they can't meet their rent. And if people aren't coming to the bar often enough, it sounds like there isn't enough demand for it to stay open, so what's the big deal? If I sound bitter, it's because I bought a bottle of Dos Equis there about seven years ago for $6.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

The New Beck Times

There is an incredibly long article about Beck in the New York Times. It's so long, I won't even bother "sampling" from it. But I will recommend choosing the "Single Page Format."

Update: Now that I've read more of it, I'm surprised that he talks more or less openly about his involvement with Scientology. His answer about it fits in rather nicely with Advancement, especially when he talks about modern R&B.

The Crüe York Times

There is an amusing review of Mötley Crüe's live show in the New York Times. Here's my favorite part: "Wordsworth described poetry as 'emotion recollected in tranquility'; for Mötley Crüe, rock has become excess recollected in sobriety." I've always associated them with Pablo Neruda, but I guess I can see where the writer is coming from.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Matlock Is for Old People

According to, Glen Matlock has taken an interesting stance:

[He] has called on British TV and radio bosses to stop broadcasting foul language - even though his band launched to notoriety in 1976 by swearing on an early evening live UK television show.

...Matlock - now a father of two - is disgusted by contemporary television's use of offensive words, and is urging TV and radio watchdogs to raise their standards and impose some much-needed guidelines. He says, "It's pathetic when people just swear for the sake of it. Something ought to be done about it."
Glen Matlock might just be the most Advanced member of Sex Pistols. He's sort of in the John Paul Jones school of Advancement.

Stupid Man

I was sitting here wondering if something can actually be "barely legal" (I'm pretty sure that there are no degrees of legality and things can be either legal or illegal, not barely legal) when I realized that the "barely" was a double entendre ("barely" as in "bare" as in "naked). I rate this revelation a little below my finally figuring out that "If I said you have a beautiful body, would you hold it against me?" has two meanings. I never go that the guy wants the woman with the beautiful body to press her body against his. I wish I could say stupidity is Advanced.

Jagged Little Pill Redux

Interesting news from

As she neared the 10th anniversary of her landmark album "Jagged Little Pill," Alanis Morissette began pondering how to commemorate the occasion. She ultimately decided to do it all again. Billboard has learned that Morissette and the album's producer/co-writer, Glen Ballard, are in the middle of recording an acoustic version of the career-defining set.

"It just sounded much more appealing than creating my own awards show," she says with a laugh. "There's no better way to honor things than through music."

Morissette estimates that she's acoustically worked up 75% of the songs from "Jagged Little Pill" over the years in concert, but she still looks forward to what she can bring to them now.

...Ballard stresses that the songs will definitely be recognizable, "they'll just express their DNA slightly differently." He adds, "We're limiting our palate to more acoustic instruments, but there's a great wealth of instruments to try. I have a hurdy gurdy in there. It's fun to explore. My goal is, we make an album that's interesting so that even if someone had never heard the original, they'd still dig it."
This would be Advanced if the original music wasn't so annoying (though I kind of like the Cocteau Twins part of the song whose video is shot inside a car). As it is, the project is just a bad idea. Also, why do they feel like they have to "honor" the anniversary at all? I've never heard of a musician "honoring" their own work before. I like the idea of her creating her own awards show, though. She should do that.

The Lovers, The Dreamers, and Willie

There is a blurb about Willie Nelson at Slate: In the article, the writer says that Willie Nelson is a master of all songs, proved by his version of "Rainbow Connection:

"a ridiculous piece of doggerel originally performed by Kermit the Frog, which Nelson turns into a ballad for the ages. Like just a few other master vocal stylists—Charles, Sinatra, Billie Holiday—Nelson is capable of redeeming the worst schlock, locating the kernel of real feeling in the most absurd material. Listen to him lagging teasingly behind the beat in 'Rainbow Connection,' and to the truly lovely succession of notes he hits singing the lines, "I know they're wrong, wait and see."

It is true that his version is lovely, but I don't know how you can call that song doggerel. First of all, the version sung by Kermit the Frog is just as well done as Nelson's. Second, when Kermit sang it, he did it in a movie made for children, and I don't know a single person who saw it as a child who doesn't love that song. Just because a kids' movie appeals to adults doesn't mean it was intended for them. So there! On a somewhat-related note, I saw Jon Stewart interview Kermit a while back, and Kermit just destroyed him (in a good way). Also, I think the Muppets might be Advanced.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

The Year of the Cat

According to, Peter Criss is working on a solo album. Here's the scoop:

"I started writing this stuff a couple of years back, actually," Criss tells "I was procrastinating, that's the big thing with me. So I buckled down, we started building this studio, it's here, and we've been working on it. It's exciting -- I've got a whole bunch of new material. It's going to be really good."

Criss is best known for singing Kiss' more tender material ("Beth," "Hard Luck Woman"), and the upcoming album appears to be cut from the same musical cloth. "It's kind of like a ballad album," he says, "but that doesn't mean it's Frank Sinatra meets Nat King Cole. It's kind of like maybe Led Zeppelin meets Nat King Cole. It's like 'Rubber Soul' -- the Beatles are a big influence to me. There's some of Clapton, some of Hendrix."


More, More, Morrissey

Here's the latest from

MORRISSEY will combine the release of his forthcoming live album with the issue a DVD of the show on the same day. As previously reported here, the legendary star follows his victorious comeback year with 'Morrissey Live At Earl's Court' on April 4. Recorded on his December UK tour, the set comprises never-before-performed B-sides as well as solo and Smiths hits.

He will also release a DVD of the gig on the same day, called ’Who Put The ‘M’ In Manchester?’.
That is a really great title. I would expect Lou Reed to start putting out thousands of live DVDs in the near future now that he is signed to Sanctuary. Something to look forward to...

Late-Night Advancement

Legal news from

Jay Leno, who has been subpoenaed for Michael Jackson's child molestation trial, wants the judge to lift or clarify a gag order that could keep the comedian from one of his most vital sources of punch lines. Attorneys for the star of NBC's "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" said Judge Rodney S. Melville's sweeping order barring anyone involved in the case from discussing it outside court "could be interpreted to limit Mr. Leno's ability to publicly speak about the trial."
In the late-night world, Letterman is Advanced, Conan is Overt, and Leno is no good. Leno is sort of like the Sting of late night in that he used to be really funny a long time ago, but he is so unrecognizable now that I guess he must have just had good writers working for him. Imagine how much comedy Letterman or Conan would get out of the gag order if it were they who were testifying. It would be so much funnier than making more stupid Michael Jackson jokes. But Leno doesn't have the imagination to think that the gag order could actually produce something interesting, and so he sues.

By the way, Michael Jackson is Advanced, but I believe he has crossed over into mental illness.