Friday, September 30, 2005

Mike Myers Is Keith Moon

From the Movie Hole:

"Mike Myers has finally signed on the straight line to play drummer Keith Moon in a biopic based on 'The Who' band-member, best known as the finest 'drum kit' destroyer in history - and also, a dude with a gift for playing with the sticks. According to Variety, the film has been in the works for about ten years - I've never heard anyone else mentioned for the part of Moon but Wayne Campbell himself - with Roger Daltrey and Nigel Sinclair finally getting it off the pavement. "

Shouldn't Dana Carvey be playing Moon, not Mike Myers?

What About Genesis?


Genesis sold 21.5 million albums in America during a thirty-year career, before quietly calling it quits in 1998, not long after frontman Phil Collins' departure. With the release of the new three-CD compilation, The Platinum Collection, Genesis trace their extensive journey from art rockers to hitmakers.

The Platinum Collection moves backwards in time -- starting with the 1991 single "No Son of Mine" and ending with "The Knife," off of 1970's Trespass, the second album by the Peter Gabriel-fronted Genesis. "Originally, it went from beginning to end," says guitarist Mike Rutherford. "But, with the early albums' sound quality, it was a little tough for the listener. So we start with the better-sounding stuff and end with the earlier stuff." The band plans to dust off some early live recordings for release as a bootleg series, possibly through its Web site. "These are raw recordings, and I like that," Rutherford says. "If someone makes a mistake or messes up, it's just part of the evening."

...While the Collins-helmed Genesis have not toured in thirteen years, they have performed together -- in more intimate settings. "We played Peter's wedding and his fiftieth birthday party, and Phil's wedding," Rutherford says with a laugh. "We did a very bad version of that 'Tequila' song." Rutherford remains optimistic that Genesis may one day follow Cream and the Pixies, as a long-dormant band that suddenly comes bursting back to life. "We talk about it," he says. (In 2000, Collins said of Genesis in an interview, "I would definitely see us doing something together again.") But Collins, currently on break from his First Final Farewell Tour, is now busy adapting his soundtrack to Disney's animated film Tarzan into a Broadway play.
I'm not sure about Genesis. The problem is, I guess, is that it is hard for someone of my age to appreciate the band's place in the art-rock world because I first became aware of them with "Abacab" and all that. I didn't come into contact with the mask-wearing Peter Gabriel until I had formed an opinion of both the band and Gabriel. My point is that I don't know how influential and important they really were in the beginning, so I have trouble giving them the (hard-won and very rare) carte blanche given to the Advanced artitst. If you are convinced they were up to the standard, then I guess you could have a pretty convincing case that Gabriel, Collins and Rutherford were Advanced, with maybe Rutherford being the most Advanced. It doesn't get much more Advanced than Mike and the Mechanics (if, in fact, Rutherford is Advanced). But Phil Collins has had some pretty Advanced moments himself, this recent Broadway project being a good example. Anyway, I'd love to hear anyone's thoughts about whether early Genesis was good enough to be considered for Advanced status.

Burt Bacharach and Protest Songs


Legendary songwriter Burt Bacharach has "things he needs to say"; this time around though it seems love wont do, with a salvo aimed directly at the Bush administration with his new protest album "At This Time". Set for release through Columbia Records on November 1, the new set features a host of major guest stars, as well as a 25-piece backing orchestra. It's also the first time Bacharach has written lyrics to his music.

"People ask why a man who has been known for writing love songs all of his life is suddenly rocking the boat," Bacharach says. "I had to do it. This is very personal to me, and this is the most passionate album I have ever made.

Joining the Grammy winning artist is Dr. Dre, with whom Bacharach began working with several years ago. The hip-hop producer drops beats on three of the album's tracks. Costello performs "Who Are These People," describes as one of the album's most adventurous tracks; "Who are these people that keep telling us lies?/And how did these people get control of our lives?/And who'll stop the violence 'cause it's out of control/Make 'em stop," Costello sings. Meanwhile, Rufus Wainwright pops up to add vocals on "Go Ask Shakespeare," which includes the lyrics, "I've been hoping for a better day/It's a long time coming but I wait anyway/Life's a miracle or a foolish tale/I don't know/Go ask Shakespeare."

"I had to express myself, not only musically but lyrically. It was time for me to ask, 'who are these people who are taking control of our lives and how do we stop the violence?," adds Bacharach. "I've got two little kids and a 19-year-old son and I wonder what they're going to do with their lives. It's so personal to me that I even decided to do some of the singing. This is dedicated to my kids and your kids."
This has high Advancement potential, especially the collaboration with Dr. Dre. By the way, I saw a show on PBS about the history of protest music, with Dr. Dre serving as host and narrator. I enjoyed the incongruity of hearing him talking about Peter, Paul, and Mary, as they sang some old song while sitting on a couch. It made me think that Dr. Dre might discourage some of his friends from watching the show. Though if he is Advanced, as I suspect he is, he probably would tell you that he loves Peter, Paul, and Mary.

You Can't Kill These Germs


Seminal Los Angeles punk act the Germs will perform for the first time in nearly 25 years next month, with actor Shane West assuming the lead singer role previously filled by the late Darby Crash. As previously reported, West is portraying Crash in the biopic "What We Do Is Secret," which is due for release next year.

The Germs will be joined at the Oct. 29 show at Los Angeles' Grand Olympic Ballroom by Suicidal Tendencies, the Dead Kennedys, Marky Ramone and Flipper. The venue was a haven for formative punk shows in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

..."[West] got so close to being Darby that it actually freaked out a lot of the scenesters that came by the set," director Rodger Grossman recently told "He committed to doing this role in a way that I've never seen an actor commit to do anything. He read all the books that Darby read. He got blue contacts and prosthetic teeth permanently affixed to his, which had to be 'chipped out' so his teeth were more like Darby's."

According to a statement, the Germs plan to tour the United States and Europe in the months ahead. Already confirmed is a performance during Riot Fest 2005, scheduled for Nov. 4-5 in Chicago, as well as a Nov. 25 date at the House of Blues in Anaheim, Calif.
Germs of the 21st Century, anyone?

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Queen Are the Champions


A worldwide poll of 70,000 people has chosen Queen's We Are the Champions as the best song of all time. The survey taken by Sony Ericsson found Britney Spears' Toxic in the No. 2 spot, followed by Michael Jackson's Billie Jean, the BBC reported Wednesday. Sony Ericsson Vice President Dee Dutta praised music fans for choosing We Are the Champions. It conveys the passion music brings to our lives and proves a classic rock song is truly timeless, she said.
Okay, okay, I admit it: I was the one who bought Freddie Mercury's catsuit. And Shirley Bassey's furniture.

Shirley Bassey: The Auction for the Diva' Divan

From the BBC:

Furniture and art from the Monaco apartment of diva Dame Shirley Bassey have been sold for £62,000 at auction in London. The 18 lots went under the hammer at Sotheby's on Wednesday, with only two lots failing to sell. Among the highlights was a faux leopard-skin Louis XVI style salon suite which sold for £3,300. The singer decided to sell the items as she plans to redecorate her apartment, her manager Beaudoin Mills said.
Let this be a lesson to you: If you want to make money at auction, don't sell handwritten lyrics by John Lennon, sell Shirley Bassey's furniture. And speaking of which, how much do you want to bet that her furniture was bought by the same guy who bought Freddie Mercury's catsuit?

Johnny Cash Musical: Update


Johnny Cash is the latest musician to have his back catalogue turned into a stage musical. Songs by Cash, who died in 2003 aged 71, will be the basis for Ring Of Fire: The Johnny Cash Musical Show, due to to open on Broadway. But Cash himself will not be portrayed in the show, which will instead take the form of a 'jukebox musical' like the Abba production, Mamma Mia, according to the BBC.

Director Richard Maltby explained the decision: "The persona, the voice, are unduplicatable, and the very best we could achieve would be a poor imitation." The show, plans for which were approved by Cash before his death, received rave reviews during a short preview run in Buffalo, New York.
And you know what they say, "As Buffalo goes, so goes Broadway."

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Lennon at Auction: I'm Only Not Selling

From the BBC:

John Lennon's handwritten lyrics for the Beatles song I'm Only Sleeping have failed to sell at auction. They were tipped to fetch more than £200,000 when they were offered for sale in London on Wednesday. The first draft, written on the back of a phone bill, was part of a memorabilia auction at Christie's, in Kensington. A spokeswoman for Christie's said the auction house was "surprised and disappointed" that bids failed to reach the reserve price.

...Written in blue felt pen on the reverse of a final demand from the Post Office, the working draft for I'm Only Sleeping is briefer than the final recorded version. It also shows considerable deletions, alterations and variations to the text as Lennon worked out the song's wording and title.

The track would eventually feature on the Beatles' 1966 Revolver album alongside such classics as Eleanor Rigby, Yellow Submarine and Good Day Sunshine. Fans could also bid for a George Harrison banjo, a catsuit once worn by Queen singer Freddie Mercury, and an acoustic guitar given to Noel Gallagher by Sony Records in 1995 to mark the success of Oasis' second album.
No wonder the lyrics didn't sell. If it's between handwritten lyrics and Freddie Mercury's catsuit, obviously the catsuit wins.

Curt Kirkwood's Solo Record


Since 2000, singer/guitarist Curt Kirkwood has been spotted in three different bands: a new version of the Meat Puppets, Eyes Adrift (which also included ex-Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic and ex-Sublime drummer Bug Gaugh) and Volcano (another project with Gaugh). With all three groups now removed from his daily planner, Kirkwood will on Tuesday (Oct. 4) release his first solo outing, "Snow."

Kirkwood's relationship with "Snow" producer Pete Anderson stretches back to 1991, when Anderson worked with the Pups on their major-label debut, "Forbidden Places." "I went to see Pete play live with Moot Davis," Kirkwood tells "Afterwards, we went out, had a bite to eat, and started talking. He brought up doing an album, and it just kind of went from there. It sounded like a good idea because I've been trying to do a solo thing for a couple of years now." In addition to producing "Snow," Anderson also issued the album via his own label, Little Dog.

Kirkwood admits the almost entirely acoustic "Snow" was unlike his work with the Meat Puppets. "It was pretty significantly different," he says. "I cut all the tracks by myself -- the guitar and vocals -- and then we would go and add stuff around it. With the Meat Puppets, we always had stuff worked out. We'd come in and do a 'band track' all the way through, catch a good one and then work from that. This was more just working off what I would do solo acoustic."

...Kirkwood offers a brief update on his troubled brother/ex-Meat Puppets bassist Cris, who was sentenced to 21 months in prison in August 2004 for assaulting a Phoenix security guard. "I know he's out -- he's been out for a while," he says. "From what I understand, he's doing good."
Let's hope so. I've always pulled for the Meat Puppets. If they would have come around a few years later, they could have been huge, sort of like the Pixies. I'm not sure a reunion would garner as much excitement. Anyway, maybe the album will be good and Cris Kirkwood will get his life together and then who knows?

Everything Went Black

For some reason, I can't see my blog, though other people can. I hope this will be fixed soon.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Born to Rerun: Meet the New Boss


In celebration of the 30th anniversary of Bruce Springsteen's breakthrough 1975 album "Born To Run," Columbia is prepping a box set that will include two DVDs along with a version of the album newly remastered by Bob Ludwig. One DVD will feature a performance at London's Hammersmith Odeon during a tour in support of the album, while the other will house a 90-minute documentary, "Wings For Wheels: The Making of 'Born To Run.'"

Due Nov. 15, the package will be rounded out by a 48-page book with previously unpublished photographs and an introduction by Springsteen.

The Nov. 18, 1975, Hammersmith show spans 16 songs over more than two hours, with Springsteen backed by his faithful E Street Band. The concert is presented in its entirety, with "Born To Run" represented by six of its eight songs: "Thunder Road," "Tenth Avenue Freeze Out," "Jungleland," "She's the One," "Backstreets" and the title track.

The original film was restored by Thom Zimny (who has worked on the live Springsteen videos "Live in New York," "Live in Barcelona" and "VH1 Storytellers"), with the audio remastered and remixed by Bob Clearmountain in stereo and 5.1 surround sound.

The documentary "Wings for Wheels" is rife with never-before-publicly released archival footage of Springsteen and his band in the studio and on stage. Among the clips are Springsteen's solo piano and guitar versions of "Born To Run" and performances of "Spirit in the Night," "Wild Billy's Circus Story" and "Thundercrack" captured during a 1973 concert at Los Angeles' Ahmanson Theater.

Newly conducted interviews with Springsteen and past and present E Street Band members Roy Bittan, Ernest "Boom" Carter, Clarence Clemons, Danny Federici, Nils Lofgren, David Sancious, Patti Scialfa, Garry Tallent, Steven Van Zandt and Max Weinberg reflect on the legendary album. Springsteen's longtime manager/"Born To Run" co-producer Jon Landau is also interviewed, as are former manager Mike Appel, "Born To Run" engineer/future Interscope president Jimmy Iovine and photographer Eric Meola, who took the album's memorable cover shot of Springsteen and saxophonist Clemons.

"I believe that the combination of the great 1975 concert footage, the brilliant documentary of the making of the album and the dazzling remastering of 'Born to Run' add up to a nearly perfect storm of Bruce's music," says Landau.
I don't know if I'd be throwing around the expression "perfect storm" these days, but this does seem like the rare "celebration" of a classic album that actually gives you your money's worth.

Lennon Musical, Take Two: Just Add Bono


"U2 rocker Bono and transvestite funnyman Eddie Izzard are set to star alongside Evan Rachel Wood in new musical 'Across The Universe' - a movie plotted around songs by the Beatles. The film will chart the adventures of a young British man who heads to America during the Vietnam war in search of his father."

A musical based on songs by John Lennon? It's a sure-fire hit!

Chuck Klosterman's Death Trip: A Review


Pop-culture essayist Klosterman was about to take the death-trip of his life. The author, who deconstructed coolness in 2003's Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs and recently released Killing Yourself to Live: 85% of a True Story, embarked on a three-week, cross-country ride to all those places where rock 'n' roll had died -- among them, the site of the Iowa plane crash that claimed Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper in 1959; the intersection in Macon, Ga., where two motorcycling members of The Allman Brothers Band perished, roughly a year apart in the early 1970s; and the Rhode Island club where a Great White concert ended in a monstrous life-taking inferno in 2003.

...Originally, Klosterman's journey was intended to be in service of a single article for Spin magazine. The idea was to travel to rock-music death sites in hopes of solving a nagging, bizarre truth: Why is it that the greatest move any musician can make is to stop breathing?

Klosterman talks in a swift, thin voice that has the prospects of turning severely whiny, depending on his mood. He's very good at answering his own questions -- you get the feeling he does it a lot. As to dying as a means of career advancement, Klosterman points out that it applies solely to those types whose goal is to become a static, iconic figure -- one whose artistic reputation would expand after their timely demise. "Their audience will then inject the knowledge of their death back into the music."

Conversely, according to Klosterman, death is not the best move if you want to do things such as "read, go bowling or see moose."

"Would David Bowie be better off if he had died in 1976?" Klosterman asks himself. "Well, there's a lot of bad records he would have never made, but it looks like David Bowie has a pretty good life. And I'm sure Lou Reed is very happy he's alive, even though if he had died in 1974, he would be seen as an almost unassailable genius."
It says here that Lou Reed is an unassailable genius, but at any rate, I saw Chuck read (actually talk about) in a book store, and the book sounds interesting. For the record, dying young is Overt.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Biggie and Marley: Unforgettable


Even in death, rapper Notorious B.I.G. continues to surprise. The artist, who died in a March 1997 shooting, "duets" with fellow deceased music legend Bob Marley on a new single, "Hold Ya Hand," which is available today (Sept. 26) from AOL Music. It will also appear on "The Notorious B.I.G. Duets: The Final Chapter," due Nov. 29 via Bad Boy.

"Hold Ya Hand" was produced by Clinton Sparks and includes a sample of Marley's "Johnny Was." The rest of the album is still coming together, although Bad Boy promises participation from "some of music's greatest vocalists and MCs" and "the industry's top producers."

The project will also include a DVD with previously unreleased Biggie performance footage, interviews and music videos.
What a touching tribute to making money off dead people. Congratulations and Godspeed to all involved in this essential project.

Today's Guiltless Pleasure

As you may remember, there really should not be such a thing as a guilty pleasure if no one gets hurt. After all, if you honestly like something, why should you feel guilty or embarrassed to admit it? Today's guiltless pleasure is "What It Takes" by Aerosmith. I'm proud to say that I love it.

Eurythmics: Would I Lou to You?

From Gigwise:

All Eurythmics studio albums are set to be re-released with extra bonus tracks. Each album will feature 4-7 bonus tracks including a previously unreleased cover version. Special cover versions set to feature include a version of Lou Reed’s ‘Satellites of Love’ on the 1983 album ‘Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)’, the ‘Touch’ album comes with a cover of David Bowie’s ‘Fame’, while 1988’s ‘Savage’ includes a version of The Beatles’ ‘Come Together’.
Dave Stewart isn't exactly Advanced, I don't think, but he's definitely worth thinking about. I'm also very sure that he would understand the theory completely.

Patsy Cline's House

Here's the latest in my ongoing series "What Happens to the Homes of Stars Who Are Dead or Old?" from the BBC:

The family home of late country singer Patsy Cline in Winchester, Virginia, has been listed as a landmark. The house has long been a stop-off point for fans but has now been listed on the Virginia Landmarks Register. There is now also a proposal for it to be included on the National Register of Historic Places. The Department of Historic Resources said the house was "a springboard for Patsy's ambitious dreams of becoming a country music star".

Cline, who was born in 1932, lived at 608 South Kent Street between the ages of 16 and 21, and again in 1957. The dining room where Cline's mother made the star's stage costumes remains largely unchanged from the 1950s. Fans have been trying to raise money to buy the house and hope to create a Patsy Cline museum.
It's sort of funny to think of the house itself being a springboard for her dreams. I'm thinking that it really wasn't that much of a factor. Although she did write a song called "My House, the One I Lived in for About Five Years Then Moved Back In a Few Years Later, Is a Springboard for My Ambitious Dreams," so maybe I'm wrong.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

My Tunes

I posted a bunch of songs of mine at under the name the Latin Transmitters. You might have to register or something to hear them, but it shouldn't cost anything.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Bob Dylan: What a Sasshole

Excited about "No Direction Home: Bob Dylan"? Here's a preview, from Yahoo!:

Martin Scorsese's "No Direction Home: Bob Dylan" starts off in Ken Burns territory, using a rich and exquisite mix of vintage sounds and images to track Robert Zimmerman of Hibbing, Minn., as he moves to New York and becomes folk singer Bob Dylan.

The documentary ends a half-decade later, with a speed-jacked-hollow-eyed Dylan rocking back and forth on a couch repetitively, as if he'd been dusted with autism. "Traitor!" they had yelled at him one too many nights. "I just want to go home," the shellshocked rock star moans.

Dylan's long search for a place to be looms large in Scorsese's compelling two-part film, which airs Monday and Tuesday on PBS stations. "No Direction Home" also has been released as a double-DVD set.

"I was born very far from where I'm supposed to be," Dylan says today, as the 3 1/2-hour documentary opens. "So maybe I'm on my way home."

Dylan acts as his own witness throughout -- at ease, clear, sometimes funny and seemingly pleased to take control of his legend, much as he was last year on "60 Minutes."

Other key interviewees include musicians Joan Baez, Pete Seeger, Maria Muldaur and Al Kooper, as well as one-time ladyfriend Suze Rotolo and the folk-music promoter Harold Leventhal. Dylan's mentor Dave Van Ronk and the beat poet Allen Ginsberg were interviewed before their deaths.

The film's subtitle should be something like "Bob Dylan, 1960-65." The recorded output during the period stretches from the walkthrough debut album "Bob Dylan" (1962) to the titanic "Highway 61 Revisited" (1965).

"I don't feel like I had a past," Dylan says, but the assembled evidence proves otherwise. Part 1 unspools much like a video companion to Dylan's vastly entertaining biography "Chronicles, Volume One," which covers his years on the Greenwich Village folk scene, the epicenter of American hip in the early 1960s.

...Part 1 goes on to chronicle Dylan's rise to international stardom after signing with Columbia. The documentary's gentle rhythms turn propulsive as his early recordings annex the soundtrack. At first, industry wags dismissed Dylan as producer "John Hammond's folly," but most everyone got it, especially the college kids coming out of the 1950s looking for someone to follow.

"It's almost enough to make you believe in Jung's notion of collective unconscious," Van Ronk said. "If there is an American collective unconscious, Bobby had somehow tapped into it."

"No Direction Home" becomes a film by Martin Scorsese in its dark concluding act. Like the director's "Mean Streets" and "GoodFellas," it captures the paranoia and disintegration as the central character's life implodes.

As Scorsese and his collaborators spin the tale, Dylan's torments come solely as punishment for artistic metamorphosis -- the treasonous act of going electric after finding fame as a dutiful folk singer. "No Direction Home" sidesteps Dylan's chaotic personal life and drug use.

The artist faced a far-flung confederacy of dunces, Scorsese maintains: moronic reporters, abusive audiences, uncomprehending music lovers, petulant folkies, teenagers who shrieked, fawned and grabbed. No one seems to have any sense except for Dylan and his in-crowd.

...Part 2 leans on footage from the films "Don't Look Back," about Dylan's 1965 tour of Britain, and "Festival," which captured the shootout at Newport. Included are famous scenes such as the "Mr. Jones" confrontation with a British reporter and the seminal cue-card video for "Subterranean Homesick Blues."

...In the remarkable footage from Newport '65, Dylan jolts the folkies by enlisting Kooper and members of the Paul Butterfield Blues Band for a quick set of rock songs. The boos and catcalls compete with the amplified din. Dylan's freaked-out friend Seeger calls for an ax with which to cut the power cables, reports of which wound Dylan "like a dagger."

"I had no idea why they were booing," Dylan says today with a straight face. "Whatever it was about it wasn't about anything they were hearing." Accounts of that night don't add up, but it was hardly an ambush by Dylan: The rock album "Bringing It All Back Home" had been out for four months.

Booing Dylan became sport and populist performance art when he next toured, finishing the show with rock musicians. Sometimes Dylan would sass them back, playfully. Sometimes he would snarl. Of the backup band that became the Band, he says, "They were gallant knights for standing behind me."
And so on. I've got the ol' DVR set to record this one. When I'm done watching, I'll be sure to sass back.

Chris Martin Threatens Country Hip-Hop Record

From Yahoo!:

Coldplay frontman Chris Martin is planning to put stadium rock to one side and work on a country album with a hip-hop flavour. The hitmaker is so keen to expand his musical boundaries; he is planning a collaboration with retired country singer Garth Brooks, Kanye West and legendary hip-hop producer Timbland. The 28-year-old says, "Country is a very sleeping beast within us. We have two things we're not allowed to do - country and rap - just because of where we're from. "So I think they'll rear their heads at some point in the future. In fact, I think the only future for music is if you bring together the most disparate worlds. "That would be an album between Garth Brooks, Coldplay and Kanye West and produced by Timbaland."
I thought Coldplay was already big and rich. Oh, and you alarmed Coldplay fans out there don't need to worry, the country/hip-hop record will never happen.

Lost Bob Marley: Clapton Is God-Awful


"The track was recorded shortly before the reggae legend's death A 'lost' Bob Marley song, recorded shortly before his death, is set to be released. The previously unreleased track, called 'Slogans', was found last year by the reggae legend's son Ziggy on an un-catalogued tape in the family's possession. It is believed that the song was recorded by Marley in a bedroom in Miami in 1979. Following in the footsteps of the 'lost' Beatles record 'Free As A Bird', the original acoustic demo of 'Slogans' has been overdubbed by other instruments and includes Eric Clapton on guitar."


Wednesday, September 21, 2005

A Break

I've had to take a break today, and I won't be able to write tomorrow either. I'll be back on Friday.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

John Lennon: What Do I Have to Do to Put You in a Car Today?

From Yahoo!:

John Lennon's 1956 Austin Princess, the modified hearse featured in his 1973 documentary, "Imagine," is among items to be auctioned starting Oct. 2 at The car, complete with Lennon-signed registration, is valued at $200,000 to $300,000, Julien's Auctions said Tuesday. Other items in the auction, which will conclude live Oct. 29 in Las Vegas, include the white suit Lennon wore for the Beatles' "Abbey Road" crosswalk album cover, the embroidered jacket he wore in "Imagine," Marilyn Monroe's 1961 daily appointment book (from the estate of her secretary May Reis), Monroe's personal phone and address book and Charlie Chaplin's grandfather clock, used in his 1918 short film, "How to Make Movies."
I got $250 for the Tercel I used to haul amps from the Spigot practice space to our shows.

Record Labels: If It Ain't Broke, Charge More for It

Here's a little something from engadget:

We know he’s been feeling the pressure lately, but Steve Jobs lashed out against “greedy” record labels at the Apple Expo today, warning them that any increase in the price Apple charges for downloads from the iTunes Music Store would result in more piracy and fewer profits. [T]he record labels...think that they should be able to charge more money for newer hits than they charge for back catalog.
If Jobs is right, the labels aren't only being greedy, they're being stupid. In other words, he's right.

Paul McCartney: Fixing a Hole


Paul McCartney has fallen down a trapdoor while performing in the US.

The former Beatles star was performing at the Tampa St Pete Times Forum as part of his current world tour in support of new solo album 'Chaos And Creation In The Back Yard'.

Witnesses say that McCartney was walking across the stage to where a piano was supposed to appear from a hole, when the accident happened. He fell, slightly hurting his arm and back, before being assisted by stage crew.

McCartney said: "There's a big hole in the stage and I just fell into it. A word to the stage crew, I want a big fence around here tomorrow. Think we ought to put a picket fence around it? A little picket fence! It will look nice."
Does that guy ever get mad about anything? He must take saw palmetto or some other herb.

Monday, September 19, 2005

New Kids on the Bloc Party


British band BLOC PARTY have hit out at music 'snobs' for sneering at boybands and girl bands. The outspoken group, whose indie-punk album SILENT ALARM has earned them critical acclaim, insist they show respect for all bands of all genres. MATT TONG, the band's drummer, is also encouraging of Boyband McFLY for covering THE WHO's hit MY GENERATION. He says, "They can cover what they want. Why do you have to have this crap indie elitism just because a pop band wants to cover as Who song?"
I know you're thinking that this is sort of an Advanced viewpoint. However, you have to be careful. It could be that Tong is just being contrary in an Overt way. (People expect Bloc Party to hate boybands, so they say they don't hate them.) Here's hoping he really means it.

Charlie Watts: The Real Slim Shady

From Yahoo!:

Mick Jagger has exposed his Rolling Stones band mate Charlie Watts as a huge Eminem fan. British rocker Jagger, 62, has revealed that Watts adores the musical works of the controversial rapper - and he's particularly fond of his latest album Encore. Jagger tells Maxim magazine, "You know who likes the new Eminem record? Charlie Watts. I haven't even heard it, but Charlie keeps telling me I have to listen to it."

How can you not love Charlie Watts? Sometimes I think he's the most Advanced member of the band, and other times I think he's the least Advanced. Both would be good.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Frank Black Covers Iggy Pop

From some website:

...Frank Black will cover IGGY POP's 'REPO MAN' for their upcoming tribute CD, HIGH SCHOOL REUNION. The tribute will also feature artists Matthew Sweet, John P. Strohm (Blake Babies, Lemonheads), Kristin Hersh (Throwing Muses), The Caulfield Sisters, and many more covering songs from some of the 80's most popular teen films. The release date, which was originally scheduled for mid-October, has been pushed back to November 23rd to accommodate some of the artist's busy schedules.
REPO MAN was the title track from the 1984 cult film of the same name which was written and directed by Alex Cox (Sid and Nancy), and starred a young Emilio Estevez as a punk-slacker who is apprenticed in the ways of repo men. The film had a heavily punk-influenced soundtrack, and because of its dark comedy and quirky characters, quickly earned a loyal cult following. The theme song ‘REPO MAN' was written and performed by legendary rock ‘n' roll wildman, Iggy Pop (The Stooges), who is widely accepted as the ‘Godfather of Punk'.

...'I'm a huge fan of the film Repo Man, and Frank Black was the only possible choice to cover the title track. I said early on that if he couldn't do it, I'd cut the track from the record altogether. No one else would approach it with the same reverence the song deserves. I knew he was an Iggy Pop fan and I suspected he was a Repo Man fan like myself. Thankfully he loved the record concept and wanted to cover the song. I wasn't sure how he was going to fit it in with his busy schedule, but he committed to make it work, and finished recording it this August at a friend's studio in Connecticut.' Joe Spadaro, ALR founder & president.
Lots of straight guys like to watch their buddies covering their songs.

Nick Cave's "The Proposition"


With shooting complete for the forthcoming feature film "The Proposition," directed by John Hillcoat from a script written by Nick Cave, the Australian singer/songwriter turned his attention to the film's musical elements.

Collaborating with Bad Seeds musician and Dirty Three frontman Warren Ellis, the original score for the film will be release on November 14, and as Cave reveals, will be an emphatically different work to a Bad Seeds record:

"I always heard it musically, and I guess it's written rhythmically as well" he said. "It's very similar to the way my band operates. There are moments of intense violence and there are also moments of long, lyrical, quiet sadness."

"I didn't want to have songs in it," he explains, "or Nick Cave songs, certainly. For me it was delicately balanced thing. On the one hand you don't want a historical movie with a real contemporary soundtrack, but nor did we want wall-to-wall Irish jigs. I didn't want songs to act as distraction."

..."The Proposition" is described as a powerful western drama set in the savage Eden of 1880s Australia, an elemental story of family conflict and primal violence, destructive love and divided loyalties. It features acting by Guy Pearce, Ray Winstone, Emily Watson and Danny Huston "Because of Nick's narrative songwriting, the characters are so vivid," adds Hillcoat. "I knew something really good would come out of it."
Next on Nick Cave's to-do list is punching up the script of "Garfield 2" and scoring "John Madden Australian Rules Football '06." Should be good.

David Bowie and Arcade Fire: Black Tie, White Noise

From Yahoo!:

David Bowie made a surprise appearance with the indie rock sensation Arcade Fire during their concert Thursday night. The 58-year-old Bowie joined the band at the end of their concert in Central Park, and the audience roared at the sight of the rock icon.

In town for New York Fashion Week, Bowie took the stage in a white jacket and pants — which stood in stark contrast to Arcade Fire's all-black attire. After performing a song of his own with the group, Bowie strapped on an acoustic guitar and joined Arcade Fire's Win Butler in singing the band's "Wake Up."
I have written before that it is Advanced to embrace the cool band of the moment, but I should add here that it is also Advanced to perform with them. Of course, black is the Advanced color normally, but if you are performing with a bunch of Overt people who are wearing black, white is the more Advanced choice.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

"Lennon" Closes

From Yahoo!:

"Lennon," the musical about the life and music of former Beatle John Lennon that earned dismal reviews, will close just six weeks after it opened on Broadway, the show's producers said on Thursday. Created with the help of Lennon's widow, Yoko Ono, the musical had a troubled road to Broadway that involved major rewrites after it was first produced in San Francisco.

Critics slammed it for what The New York Times called its "Ono-centric" view of Lennon's life, and audiences have dwindled since opening night on August 15, falling to around 40 percent capacity in recent weeks.
I think the problem wasn't so much that it was "Ono-centric" as it was just a bad idea badly executed. I don't think we've seen the end of the jukebox musical, though. There was just no camp in John Lennon, unlike Abba or Queen. If Yoko Ono wanted to do a musical, she would have been much better off setting it to the music of the Bay City Rollers. Which, come to think of it, isn't a bad idea.

Pink Floyd: Shine on You Crazy Possible Reunion

From Yahoo!:

Pink Floyd star Roger Waters is keen for his band mates to perform together once more, despite reports of the rockers' continuing animosity towards each other. The veterans have shared a famously stormy relationship since first rocking the charts in the 1970s but Waters is convinced their celebrated Live 8 appearance will not be their last reunion. He says, "I really loved it. I hope we do it again. "If some other opportunity arose, I could even imagine us doing 'Dark Side Of The Moon' again - you know, if there was a special occasion. Something with a political or charitable connection. "It would be good to hear it again. Live 8 was so great."
I'm guessing that the charity will be something like the Roger Waters Gold-Plated Gold Bars Fund.

Tom Waits Goes to Court Over Opelganger

Here's something from

Tom Waits is taking General Motors to court over a series of car commercials that perfectly mimic his singing style, soundgenerator can report.

Airing from late winter 2004 to early 2005 in Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Norway, the suit in question names both General Motors' Opel and the ad agency McCann Erickson in Frankfurt, Germany. Waits is known for his policy of refusing to allow his music to be licensed commercially, and, according to the suit, turned down big-money offers several times from Opel. After the defendants were informed of Waits long-standing policy against doing commercials, their agents hired a sound-alike singer to imitate Waits, according to the lawsuit.

"Apparently," Waits says in a statement, "the highest compliment our culture grants artists nowadays is to be in an ad -- ideally naked and purring on the hood of a new car. I have adamantly and repeatedly refused this dubious honour. Currently accepting in my absence is my German doppelganger. While the court can't make me active in radio, I am asking it to make me radioactive to advertisers."
Is Tom Waits so compelling to car buyers that Opel felt that it was necessary to get itself in this kind of legal trouble? And, more important, is it true that in Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Norway they have commercials with naked celebrities lying on cars and purring?

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Van Halen 101

Here's something I found at goldenfiddle, but it actuall lives at

Abel Sanchez's VAN HALEN book, "Van Halen 101" is now available for purchase from Author House. After two years of research and a lifetime of being a VAN HALEN fan, Sanchez has meticulously crafted a most excellent comprehensive guide to the amazing history, music, impact and influence of the mighty VH. Clocking in at 400 pages (in a handy 6x9 format), this book, which includes a foreword by Brian May of QUEEN and a tribute to Edward Van Halen by over 100 of the world's greatest musicians, covers it all — from the birth of the VH brothers and their days payin' dues on the Sunset Strip, through their three distinct eras and all the way up to the recent 2004 tour. If you're a fan of VAN HALEN and of guitar, this book is a must-own. If you're someone who's looking to learn all about VAN HALEN, there's absolutely no better place to start than right here.
The theory's cofounder, Britt, thinks that Michael Anthony is one of the luckiest men in rock'n'roll history. Adam Clayton, too. But, Britt is a bassist, so I don't think we can trust him on that one. Plus, Michael Anthony can singer higher than Geddy Lee.

Ramones Museum, Movie


The Ramones continue to garner increasing popularity and accolades in their afterlife. Not many museums in the world are dedicated entirely to a single rock band, but the Ramones can now add that to their list of accomplishments, as such a facility will open Friday (Sept. 16) in Berlin.

Drummer Marky Ramone tells this may not be the last such museum dedicated to the punk legends, either. "That could be the first of many," he says. "Just because it's in Berlin, it doesn't mean there can't be one in New York, L.A. or London. It's wonderful -- I'm flattered."

"The guy who started the museum in Berlin is a huge Ramones fan," Marky continues. "His name is Florian. In fact, every time I would come there, he would be at the shows, and he must have attended every show we played in Germany."

...Following in the footsteps of Buddy Holly and the Doors, it looks like the Ramones will be the subject of a feature film. Although a few different companies are currently vying for the project, research has already begun. "They're calling me [and] talking to me about it to see if I can help them with certain things, pertaining to certain times of the era," Marky says. "[They're] writing a whole formula for it, and I guess everyone is going to sign on eventually. It looks really good."
Glad to see that the hardrockcafeification of the Ramones continues. By the way, I watched "Sid and Nancy" not to long ago, and I was struck by how much it seemed like an after-school special about punk rockers. I can't remember if I posted something about it at the time, so if I've already said that, forgive me.

Today's Advanced Song

"Animal Language" from the highly Advanced "Sally Can't Dance" by Lou Reed, which includes some wailing guitar solos, saxophone playing, and female backup singers. Here are the lyrics:

Miss Riley had a dog
she used to keep it in her backyard
And when the dog began to bark
all the neighbors began to shout
Then came a stormy night
Miss Riley let her dog out
And when the neighbors found him 'round
they put a gun down his mouth and shot him down
and he went

Ooohhh-wow, bow-wow
Ooohhh-wow, bow-wow

Miss Murphy had a cat
on her lap it sat
And once in a great big while
it looked like that Cheshire cat did smile
But often it used to chase
anything that crossed its face
But one day it got so hot
that Cheshire cat had a blood clot
and she said

Ooohhh-meow, me-meow
Ooohhh-meow, me-meow


And then the dog met the cat
the dog was hot and the cat was wet
Then came some sweaty dude
he put a board between the two
Then they couldn't get at it
got frustrated all about it
So they did the only thing you could do
they took the dude's sweat and shot it up between the two
and they said

Ooohhh-wow, bow-wow
Ooohhh-wow, bow, me, wow
That is Advanced. Oh, and the cover of the album is very Advanced as well, though instead of having a black leather jacket, dark sunglasses, and long hair in the back, he has a black leather jacket, dark sunglasses, and dyed-blond hair.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

More Nico Movie

Here's a little something from

While Tilda [Swinton] plays a mother in Thumbsucker and has a prominent role as the White Witch in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe coming out in December, she also has been talking to Nico in a biopic of the same name."At the moment, we're talking about making a film about the last tour, the very end," she told, but when asked about the singing, she laughed quite gregariously. "The Nico singing? Not quite yet, although I was just thinking about that at 4:00 in the morning. No, I'm really looking forward to that. It's really going to be an interesting role, the has-been that never was vibe and of course, the whole smacked-out state at the end." She said that they may not have to cast someone as Lou Reed, because he may not even be in it.
If he isn't in it, I call for all Advancement fans to boycott and picket this movie like Christians did "The Last Tempation of Christ." Just kidding, of course. But speaking of which, maybe Willem Defoe should play Lou Reed. Tobey Maquire looks sort of like him, plus he can probably pull off the tai chi because of his Spiderman training. But would he be able to handle the singing?

Jimi Hendrix: There's a Newly Located House Over Yonder

From the BBC:

The childhood home of Jimi Hendrix has been saved from demolition after a new location was agreed at the last minute. The house in Seattle will be moved to a site opposite the cemetery where the late singer was buried in 1970s. The dilapidated house had already been moved to a temporary site and a four-year court battle with authorities began to save it.

James Marshall Hendrix Foundation and the City of Seattle plan to renovate the building into a community centre. The foundation, which was set up by Hendrix's younger brother Leon, plans to reconstruct the house on a three-acre site they bought for £980,000 ($1.8m). Plans for the property include a facility that will offer music lessons, practice rooms and a library of musical instruments.
If it were up to me, I would have moved the house to the site of Ringo Starr's birthplace.

Hear Chaos and Creation in the Backyard (Updated)

Go here if you care to. I'm listening to the first song. So far, so good...

Update: I've heard it all now, and I have to say that it really is surprisingly good, even though I knew that most people found it surprisingly good. It had its slow moments, but only a few. It lagged a bit toward the end (and the last song sounds too much like "People Get Ready" though you should listen to it until the end for some surprise weirdness), but I think that might be because I rarely listen to a record all the way through anymore.

Harry Shearer's Record Label

From Yahoo!:

Harry Shearer has put his stamp on such iconic roles as Spinal Tap bass player Derek Smalls and "The Simpsons" nosy neighbor Ned Flanders, but he's about to add record label owner to his resume.

Along with his singer/pianist wife Judith Owen and her manager Bambi Moe, Shearer has founded Courgette Records, whose first release is Owen's latest album, "Lost and Found."

(Courgette is an English term for zucchini -- a wink to the infamous airport scene from "This Is Spinal Tap.")

The label, which will be distributed by Warner Music Group's Alternative Distribution Alliance, was the result of the couple's frustration with the major record companies.

"It came from me already being on major (labels) and having less than a joyful experience," Owen told

"One of the situations where 'new prez' comes in, the whole thing falls apart. After a situation like that, when you've lost your main guy, and you spend your life jumping through hoops trying to please people, it leaves you with the sensation of, 'God, wouldn't it be amazing just to be an artist?' It was a sense of Harry and I both being 'outside of the box artists' in our own fields."

...Shearer said there will be no shortage of projects for the new label. "What we hope is to break Judith as a major artist," he said. "Secondly, I'm going to put my television stuff, both from 'Saturday Night Live' and HBO, on DVD for the first time, and package it with a CD of comedy material -- mainly from my radio show ('Le Show') about the era of anchors who are leaving or have left: Brokaw, Rather, Koppel. And then to go down the line, Judith has a lot more material."

Courgette will also handle the original cast recording of a Broadway-bound musical comedy called "J. Edgar!," which stars Kelsey Grammer and John Goodman.

"There are a couple of fairly interesting soundtrack situations that we can't yet announce, because we're still in negotiation. And beyond that, we'll start looking at other artists," Shearer said.

Other projects for Shearer include Christopher Guest's new film, "For Your Consideration," which starts shooting in October.
They're had better be mimes at Courgette parties, that's all I know.

Monday, September 12, 2005

HMV: You Have to Draw the Line Somewhere

Here's some news from Apparently, Bob Dylan and Columbia Records have hurt the feelings of HMV Canada:

HMV Canada has removed all Bob Dylan products from its shelves in retaliation for a North American retail exclusivity deal given to the Starbucks coffee chain for Dylan's Columbia album "Live at the Gaslight 1962."

The action is similar to previous removals by the 108-store chain of product by the Rolling Stones, Elton John and Alanis Morissette over exclusivity deals with other retailers.

"This is no different from our position with the Stones, Elton and Alanis," HMV Canada president Humphrey Kadaner tells "Our research says the large majority of our consumers support this action."
I wonder if their consumers support the destruction of the independent record store by large corporations run by guys with funny-sounding names? And I wonder if their customers support the destruction of the independent book shop?

New Paul McCartney: Not Silly

Here's a review of the latest Paul McCartney record, from

Chaos and Creation in the Backyard is the freshest-sounding McCartney album in years. It is as spare, in its way, as Driving Rain (2001), his most recent studio effort, but it's more daring, more assured and more surprising. For starters, Driving Rain was a band album, while this is a genuine solo album in that McCartney plays nearly all the instruments on it -- four of the album's thirteen tracks credit no other musicians. It's an approach that recalls McCartney, the homemade 1970 release that launched the singer's post-Beatles career. And as on that record, the tingling sense of a new beginning is palpable.

Though it's clearly the product of a true partnership between the artist and his producer, Chaos is instantly recognizable as a McCartney album. For one thing, that voice is front and center, as wistful and full of yearning as ever, effortlessly lending these songs a rich sense of emotional conviction. And that grounding frees Godrich to roughen up McCartney's innate melodic smoothness. "Jenny Wren" is an acoustic ballad in the manner of "Mother Nature's Son." But a solo on duduk -- a haunting, hollow-sounding Armenian woodwind -- transports the song into an unsettled, dreamlike realm and darkens its mood. Similarly, the string arrangements that permeate the album rigorously avoid the romantic lushness typical of McCartney in the past. Instead, they slither in and out of the mix, providing eerie atmospherics to songs like "Riding to Vanity Fair." Instruments such as melodica, harmonium, harpsichord and spinet introduce distinctly non-rock elements into McCartney's sound and contribute to an overall feel of delicate, stately surrealism.

All of the above means, alas, that, with a couple of exceptions, Chaos doesn't rock -- its most significant drawback. (When McCartney tears off a guitar solo on "Promise to You Girl," the effect is jolting.) But without feeling showy, Chaos seduces the listener into a playful world of musical ideas that shimmer and disappear. The sound bears a complex relationship to the album's theme, an autumnal assessment of the things that fade and the things that last. What fades are the enervating distractions of daily life, every ego-charged detail that seems critical at the moment but that causes us to lose "sight of life day by day."

And, for McCartney, of course, what lasts is love -- the engine of the creation mentioned in the title, the ultimate weapon against chaos. This is not the silly love of "Silly Love Songs." It's the challenge of one of his most famous lyrics: "And in the end, the love you take/Is equal to the love you make." It's a call to a better self, in other words, and a promise that, as he sings in "Anyway," this album's closing track, "If a love is strong enough, it may never end."
Is it possible not to mention "Silly Love Songs" in a review of Paul McCartney's work? Apparently not. For the record, I like that song, especially the extended version.

Wait a Minute Mr. Post Man

I'm so crazed this morning, but later I should have a minute to write.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Terry Howard: Doing the Mess Around

Here's something from the BBC:

An audio engineer accused of stealing recordings belonging to late soul singer Ray Charles has been cleared in a Los Angeles court. Terry Howard, 48, was arrested in February and dozens of recordings belonging to Ray Charles Enterprises were seized from his home. He worked for Charles for 20 years until the singer's death in 2004. Los Angeles Superior Court did not find that Mr Howard "intended to permanently deprive the victims of the property". ...Mr Howard said his recording studio at his home was messy because he had worked constantly with Charles during the last two years of his life.
Sure, blame the mess on the dead guy.

Pete Townshend Just Keeps Cranking Them Out

Here's some news about the "upcoming" Who record, from

Who fans anxiously awaiting a new album may have to wait indefinitely, according to Pete Townshend. Though the guitarist had hoped he and Roger Daltrey would begin recording a disc tentatively called Who2 in 2006, Townshend now says that the process of writing songs worthy of the Who could take another five years or more.

In a recent post on his Web site,, he compares his songwriting to reproduction, saying that for every ten songs he writes, just one is "right for fertilization by Roger"; and for every ten they record, "four sadly die at birth."

According to Townshend's calculus, he is required to demo more than fifty songs just to get one finished Who track, and each demo costs him close to $900 to produce. "If I keep at it," he writes, "with luck we should see a great new Who record before I drop dead."
The best thing about this is that I guarantee there is no discernible difference between any two of the fifty songs. Advanced artists—and I'm not totally convinced that Pete Townsend is one—usually talk about their current project in grandiose terms, even though it typically sounds like the same old stuff. Of course, it only sounds the same because we aren't Advanced enough to hear the differences.

Ringo Starr Home

Ringo Starr's birthplace looks like it may go the way of Jim Hendrix's childhood home. NME has the story:

The house was granted a reprieve two months ago whilst a public consultation was carried out, but now the terraced house in Madryn Street will join a further 459 properties which are to be knocked down for a regeneration project.

Executive member for housing Flo Clucas told BBC News: “Ringo Starr lived in the Madryn Street house for about three months before he moved to Admiral Grove, where he lived for about 20 years.” "John Lennon and Paul McCartney’s childhood homes were preserved because they spent a significant part of their lives in them. The house on Madryn Street has no historical significance."

Outkast Movie: Let's Go Crazy or Anotherloverholenyohead?

Here's the latest on the Outkast movie, from NME:

OUTKAST have revealed details of their upcoming movie musical. Universal Pictures have bought the worldwide rights to the project, which is set in a 1930’s speakeasy, and follows two characters -Percival, the club’s piano player played by Andre 3000, and Rooster, the club’s lead performer and manager, played by Big Boi.

OutKast’s longtime music video collaborator Bryan Barber is set to make his feature film directing debut with the movie – produced by HBO Films - and has been working on his own screenplay.

...According to Reuters, HBO Films president Colin Callender said: “This is not just another musical that happens to be starring OutKast and happens to be directed by Bryan Barber.”

He added: “It's more akin to a 'Purple Rain' or 'A Hard Day's Night’. It's very much a collaboration of Andre and Big Boi and Bryan Barber, and grew out of their musical and cinematic explorations. It's not like we found a musical and said, 'Let's go cast OutKast, and maybe Bryan Barber might be interested in directing it.' What we were really doing was giving OutKast and Bryan a platform to creatively invent their own musical."
As you may remember, I've been waiting for the Outkast backlash for some time. I wonder if this musical will what turns the tide. In other words, instead of "Purple Rain," it will be "Under the Cherry Moon." But I wish them no ill will, so let's hope it works out for them.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Someone's Knocking at the Door

My last post reminded me of something that I find funny: singing something like "he said," then, instead of singing words, playing a guitar riff. One thing I don't like is when someone sings about someone knocking on a door and then the drummer imitates the sound of knocking. But I think that is Overt of me, so from now on I will try to love it when that happens. (To become an Advanced listener, you have to embrace things that you hate arbitrarily. It's a sort of mind-freeing exercise.)

Spokesmacca: Listen to What the Man Says

From yahoo!:

At the rate he's going, Paul McCartney's fans will definitely still need him when he's 64. The former Beatle, who turned 63 in June, is showing no signs of slowing down as he prepares to release a new album and supporting tour. He's working on his first children's book. He's among the A-list artists signed on to play MTV's hurricane benefit concert on Friday.

And on Thursday night, he makes his debut as pitchman for Fidelity Investments, which is underwriting his tour. The ad, titled "This Is Paul," will air during the first half of the NFL season opener between the New England Patriots and Oakland Raiders on ABC. The spot "takes viewers on a chronological tour of McCartney's life and notable accomplishments" using archival photos and footage, per a press release. "I'm really pleased to be working with Fidelity Investments," says McCartney. "We have a lot in common--a commitment to helping people, a dedication to the arts, and a belief that you should never stop doing what you love."
That's what's known in the business as a stretch. But still, if he thinks they do a good job with money, it might be wise to take his advice.

Malkmus for Sears?

Goldenfiddle asks, "Has anyone else seen the new Sears commercial with Stephen Malkmus’s post bong-meditation soliloquy on Belarus slaves and ice fishing Phantasies bopping along in the background? Awkward! (He’s a got a kid now ya know, so it’s all about the benjamins.)" I haven't seen it, but it sounds great!

Nick Cave: Brother My Cup Is Empty

Not much going on in the Advanced world, but there is this one interesting little nugget from

"Veteran Australian rocker NICK CAVE spectacularly threatened to walk out of a London gig last month (25AUG05) after a security guard banned him from taking beer on stage. The edgy FROM HER TO ETERNITY hitmaker was so furious at Alexandra Palace's strict rules, he stormed back to his dressing room and informer promoters he would not appear without his customary beer. A furious Cave insisted, 'If I can't take a beer on with me, I'm going back to my dressing room. You can go out there and tell some jokes to entertain the crowd for three hours.' Special allowance was eventually granted for the band to perform with alcoholic beverages onstage."

Ah, rock stars, those little devils.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Elijah Wood as Iggy Pop?

From ain't it cool news:

"[L]ooks like [Wood's] building up his street cred as it were and now the rumor is he's playing Iggy Pop! This rumor started at The Sun, not the most reliable of sources, however in a recent interview that Elijah Wood did with the good folks over at Rope of Silicon he dropped this hint:

E: There's a couple of things kinda on the horizon, nothing's properly set up yet.

Q: Anything you can talk about?

E: There may be a music biography coming up, something that scares the shit out of me. It's someone I am extremely passionate about, and yeah... That's coming up, but that's way in the future.
It would probably be better to have an unknown play Iggy Pop because it's too distracting watching a famous person portray another famous person. Unless it's Gary Oldman, of course. I wonder who will play Lou Reed? My vote is Wallace Shawn.

Rod Gave Casino the Shaft, Says Judge

From the AP, via the NY Times:

A federal jury decided Wednesday that Rod Stewart should pay a Las Vegas casino $2 million plus interest for a canceled show in December 2000. The seven-member jury found unanimously that Stewart should not have kept an advance he was paid for the show at the Rio Hotel Casino.

The 60-year-old Stewart, who was not in U.S. District Court when the verdict was reached, had said he was unable to perform because of throat surgery several months earlier. One of his lawyers, Kerry Garvis Wright, said the rock star will appeal. Steve Morris, a lawyer for the Rio Hotel Casino and its parent company, Harrah's Entertainment, said he was ''delighted and relieved'' by the verdict.
It's good to see that rich people still have to live by the rules. At least when they have contracts with richer people.

Apple's New Nano iPod

I think it should be nicknamed the Shazbot.

Antony: I Am a Mercury Prize Winner Now

News about Lou Reed collaborator Antony, from

Antony & the Johnsons have won the 2005 Nationwide Mercury Prize, the "album of the year" award for British and Irish acts. Antony's Rough Trade/Secretly Canadian set "I Am a Bird Now" was named the winner at a ceremony held tonight (Sept. 6) at London's Grosvenor House Hotel. While accepting the award, Chichester, England-born frontman Antony Hegarty told the audience, "I thought they must have made a mistake." He described the event as a "crazy contest" and suggested it was like comparing an "orange and a spaceship and a potted plant and a spoon."
I want to know what he has against potted plants and spoons. I guess now that he's a Mecury Award winner, he's too uppity for them. Speaking of which, or wench, at least once a month I say to myself, "You'd side with an uppity wench?" which is a quote from the Patrick Swayze/Kirstie Alley miniseries "North and South." It ruled.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Sednaoui's Walk on the Wild Side

At Lou Reed's website, there is an excerpt of a short film based on "Walk on the Wild Side." Here is an excerpt of the introduction:

"Paris native St├ęphane Sednaoui turned his creative eye to film in 1991 through directing music videos and commercials. His first major breakthrough was...'Give It Away' by the Red Hot Chili Peppers in 1992.... In 2005, he turned his artistic vision to a brand-new short film based on and inspired by...'Walk on the Wild Side,' with cameo by the author. This is the first time this song has been documented on film, with the approval of Lou Reed. The video in its entirety has a XXX rating."

I haven't seen it yet, but I plan to in the privacy of my home.

First Act Guitars: Chiu's or Lose

The Advanced celebrate rock'n'roll, rock'n'roll requires guitars, guitars require makers, so here's something from

New guitar companies crop up roughly as frequently as world wars. There are two industry giants, Gibson and Fender, and they've dominated the market since the invention of guitar amplification in the 1930s.

Bernard Chiu, chairman of the Boston-based First Act, believes his company's name will someday be just as familiar to music enthusiasts.

...[T]the company's most notable contribution to the guitar world doesn't boast a high-grade maple top or detailed inlay, and isn't presented under museum lights. First Act's secret weapon is a line of small guitars in cardboard boxes with see-through plastic fronts. They're sold in the toy departments at Target and Wal-Mart. And they're revolutionizing the market for musical instruments.

...''The concept is no novelty," says Chiu, 49. ''Time after time people have tried and failed. I think it's because people didn't really understand how to marry music and mass merchandising. What's unique about our company is we have people who know about moving products and people who know about music. These aren't toys. They're real instruments."

Chiu, who in the late '80s founded the Southborough-based Duracraft company, decided early on that First Act needed to ally itself with prominent musicians.... So First Act lured two key figures away from the Gibson company. In 2002 it recruited a top luthier, Kelly Butler, to start a First Act custom shop in Boston. The following year First Act hired artist relations whiz Jimmy Archey, whose Rolodex of rock guitarists' phone numbers has helped get First Acts into the hands of Franz Ferdinand's Nick McCarthy, Rick Nielsen of Cheap Trick, Brad Whitford of Aerosmith, David Hidalgo of Los Lobos, and Nick Zinner of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

''Last fall I was talking to Jimmy and mentioned that I was going to be doing 'Saturday Night Live,' and the next day this beautiful handmade instrument arrived," says Jimmy Messer, Kelly Clarkson's guitarist. ''I loved it and used it on the show. When we were in Boston, I stopped by the shop and Jimmy let me take another guitar, something a little more rock 'n' roll, to play at the VMAs last Sunday."

Paul Westerberg prefers his crimson ME501, purchased for $179.98 at Wal-Mart and used nightly on the rock musician's spring tour.

... As a child, Chiu, who grew up in Hong Kong, loved the guitar, but his parents couldn't afford lessons. At 13, he began working in his family's plastics shop. He never attended college and describes himself as a self-taught innovator with more than 100 patents in the United States.

Chiu moved to Somerset, Mass., in 1982 and gave himself a business education through a series of office jobs. He married, started a family, and in 1987 founded the Duracraft company, maker of heaters, fans, humidifiers, and other appliances. The company grew quickly, the Chius moved to Wellesley, and after selling the company to Honeywell in 1996, Chiu began an early retirement: playing golf and spending time with his family. A year later he received a call from former Duracraft colleague Ronald Izen and his brother Mark.

''They wanted to talk to me about bringing musical instruments to the mass market," says Chiu, ''and from a business standpoint it sounded like a good idea. People buy what they see. How many people are getting up in the morning and going to a music store? But they completely missed the point. The better idea is getting more people to play more music. I got very excited thinking about placing instruments in front of consumers every day."
I get very excited about that too. I'm also excited by the prospect that someone could come up to me and ask: Is that a Chiu? And I could say: Gesundheit.

Elton John's Many Projects

Not enough Elton John in your life? Never fear (from

With deference to James Brown, Elton John may be the hardest-working man in show business. In addition to his ongoing touring schedule and his "The Red Piano" engagement in Las Vegas, John is working on a number of projects, highlighted by a new studio album to be released in 2007.

For that project, he and longtime songwriting partner Bernie Taupin are writing a sequel to "Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy" called "Captain Fantastic and the Kid." The first edition, released in 1975, covered the pair's first 30 years; the second will cover the subsequent 30 years and will come out March 20, 2007, five days before John's 60th birthday.

"I'm starting writing and recording it in Atlanta in January," John tells Billboard. "It was [Sanctuary Group CEO Merck Mercuriadis'] idea, because he said, 'You're always saying how Bernie has become the Brown Dirt Cowboy' -- he lives on a ranch in Santa Ynez [Calif.] -- and I'm this guy who plays concert after concert, buying art, buying photographs, living a very lavish lifestyle. I've become Captain Fantastic."

"We would have been together then about 40 years by the time it comes out," John continues. "One of the things I'm most proud of in my life is the relationship I've had with Bernie."

Beforehand, John will on Nov. 8 release "Elton's Christmas Party" exclusively through Starbucks. ...And while "Billy Elliot," a musical written by John and Lee Hall, continues playing on London's West End (a Broadway opening is planned for 2006), the John/Taupin-penned musical "Lestat" is scheduled to debut in December at San Francisco's Curran Theater. The project is based on Anne Rice's "Vampire Lestat" series.

As previously reported, John has a development deal with Touchstone Television for a sitcom about a rock star and his entourage. "Sex & the City" scribe Cindy Chupack is writing the pilot.

Meanwhile, last March, John wrote nine songs with Scissor Sisters for possible inclusion on their next album, marking the first time he had ever written in the same room with someone.
I'm sure I'm not the first person to be creeped out by Bernie Taupin's being a brown-dirt cowboy. By the way, I'd rather hear a sequel to "Nikita."

Friday, September 02, 2005

Labor Day: Hush Hush

I'm trying to get ready for my trip down to South Carolina, so I guess you won't be hearing from me 'til Tuesday. Have a good weekend.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Reed and Bowie on New Kashmir Record

From Kashmir's Kashmir:

During the mixing session in New York, Kashmir and Visconti played around with an instrumental track, and then decided it would be intriguing to add a spoken role to complete it. Kasper had written a poem, “Black Building”, but the dark, atmospheric track asked for a special kind of voice. They came up with the idea of asking Lou Reed if he would do the part, and he soon returned having decided to join in. His voice truly completes the track “Black Building”, which is found on the new album.

Another track, “The Cynic”, is a duet featuring David Bowie. While recording in Copenhagen, Kashmir had a vision of having David Bowie singing part of the track. Mr. Bowie already knew of Kashmir, and was delighted to participate. The new album "No Balance Palace" is released 10th October.
Gosh, I'm jealous. When I did my last record all I could get was Josh Brolin.

Hair Update

There is an article about the chumpification of the mohawk in the New York Times. The mohawk, especially when tall and green, is the most Overt (the opposite of Advanced for those of you who don't know) haircut there is, unless an Advanced person is wearing one because he or she sincerely likes it. That might be frustrating to someone new to the Advanced theory, but it will make sense eventually.

New Kate Bush: "Aerial"

Here's the news about the could-be-Advanced-if-she-wanted Kate Bush's new record, from the BBC:

"Singer Kate Bush will release her first album in 12 years in November - a double album entitled Aerial. It will follow a single, King of the Mountain, released on 24 October, with both the single and album produced by Bush herself.

...Bush's new album will be released in the UK on 7 November and in the US one day later."

So now you won't be able to say that I didn't warn you.