Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Ink and Dagger Drummer Sues Microsoft


A member of a defunct Goth-punk outfit, Ink and Dagger, is suing Microsoft for alleged copyright infringement. Drummer Ryan McLaughlin filed suit against the software giant in Philadelphia last month, alleging that it appropriated three Ink and Dagger tracks for its Xbox game Amped without securing the proper licensing. Microsoft won’t comment on pending litigation.

In an interview with the Philadelphia Weekly, McLaughlin surmised that the band’s label, the now defunct Initial Records sold the rights to the songs, taken from 1998’s The Fine Art of Original Sin, to the software company for the game, released in 2001. McLaughlin claims the label had no authority to sell rights to his songs.
This is, of course, just sour grapes because Bill Gates' Goth-punk outift, Point and Click, once beat Ink and Dagger in a battle of the bands. Something tells me Gates will come out on top in this battle as well.

Grateful Dead Auction: We Bought Jerry's Toilet


Jerry Garcia's dishwasher, toilets and other home appliances will be auctioned by a nonprofit group hoping to raise more than $100,000. The items, which also include stereo cabinets, cupboards and a freezer, will be available for bidding on the online auction site eBay from Dec. 18-24. Revenue will benefit the Sophia Foundation, a San Francisco Bay area nonprofit that aids children and families during marital separations and divorces, said the group's chairman, Henry Koltys.

..."There's a lot of Deadheads out there with money, and they want a piece of Jerry somehow," [Koltys] said.
Finally, his actual toilet is available! I've bought a lot of inferior bootlegs of Jerry's toilet over the years, so it will be nice to get the real one. I've also heard that some Deadheads are going to be boycotting his toilet because the Dead have disallowed toilet file sharing, but I think that's just silly.

Avril Lavigne Sings Lennon: I'll See You in Hell My Friend


Avril Lavigne, Black Eyed Peas, Sum 41, the Deftones and Duran Duran are among the artists recording John Lennon songs to raise funds for human rights organization Amnesty International. The recordings, which will be released as downloads through, will be part of Amnesty's new youth-oriented music campaign that begins in January.

Three years ago, Yoko Ono donated the rights to her late husband's solo tracks to Amnesty for use in its Imagine campaign, which asked children around the world to sing the 1971 peace anthem. (December 8th is the twenty-fifth anniversary of Lennon's death.) For the new campaign, Lavigne recorded "Imagine," with accompaniment by pianist Chantal Kreviazuk and production by Butch Walker. Lavigne stayed faithful to the original. "I did a mellow version," she says.
I'm reminded of the old SNL sketch where Paul Simon sells his soul to the devil so he can write great songs (and get rid of the oboe), then is trapped for eternity in an elevator that plays muzak versions of his songs. I'm just saying.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Music Genome Project: Pandora

From slashdot:

"The Music Genome Project, an attempt to define music by it's traits in a way similar to DNA defines traits in humans has led to the development of Pandora. Pandora uses the song choices you make to see what traits appeal to you and present you with custom radio station. While limiting you to thumbs up or thumbs down, the 'gene' heuristics allows for a very quick adaptation to your musical tastes."
I like this project because, as I've said before, all the custom radio stations I've had in the past have been convinced that I totally love Depeche Mode. I don't!

Rolling Stones Play the Super Bowl Halftime Show

From AP:

The Rolling Stones will take a brief break from touring to perform at the Super Bowl halftime show. The rock 'n' roll legends will perform during the Feb. 5 game at Ford Field, the NFL announced Tuesday. "We are thrilled to perform for millions of fans at one of the most exciting and highly anticipated sporting events of the year," the band, which earlier in the day announced its European tour dates, said in a statement.
Needless to say, it's Advanced to play the Super Bowl halftime show. As many of you know, I'm not convinced that Sting is Advanced (he might have been lucky to be in a band that made him seem better than he was and therefore he is just terrible now, not Advanced), but his performance with No Doubt in the Super Bowl a few years ago was potentially the most Advanced of them all. Though, I think one year they had Stevie Wonder driving a car, which is pretty great too.

More Morrissey and Morricone


Morrissey says his new album, "Ringleaders of the Tormentors," has "no link to the past" and that it is "not a continuation" of his 2004 comeback, "You are the Quarry." Answering questions from fans on the authoritative fan site True to You, the former Smiths frontman credited producer Tony Visconti and engineer Marco Martin for pushing him creatively.

"Tony has been a very uplifting influence," Morrissey said. "[He] has done a great job as producer and I'm honored to have worked with him. Marco Martin, who engineered, also played such a big part in the overall sound."

...Expected in March, the 12-track "Ringleaders" will feature the song "Dear God Please Help Me," which boasts string arrangements by legendary Italian composer Ennio Morricone. "[It] was very flattering because he'd turned so many multi-million selling pop acts down (I won't mention their names -- U2, David Bowie, etc.), so I was delighted that he said yes to scruffy old me," Morrissey said. "He was very shy, and he was heavily surrounded and shielded, and there was no way that he and I would end up at the local pub playing darts," he continued. "But that's OK."
If Morricone were to play Morrissey in darts, I would suggest that Morrissey yell "Ennio face!" every time he made a good shot.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Donovan's Autobiography

The choice bits, from the New York Times:

Donovan has spent decades hiding in plain sight. He never entirely stopped performing or recording, but he has not been part of the 1960's-nostalgia boom. Only now, with a memoir, a reissued collection of his music and a big hit ("Catch the Wind") used in a car commercial, has he come back into view.

...The overall language of this book is...peculiar. It starts in the heavy Scottish dialect of his early years ("I used to sleep wi' ma mammy"). It can take a lofty, didactic tone, even when explicating the effects of marijuana ("Giggles and uncontrolled laughter are often signs of the natural relief that comes from letting go of the conditioning society forces on us"). It adopts the kinds of romantic euphemisms used in his song lyrics; "My Lady of the Lemon Tree" is Donovanese for hostile. And at times it even grasps for the hype that he once disdained. There's something desperate about a memoir that quotes ad copy about its subject's exciting talents.

...Donovan has indicated that the "The Hurdy Gurdy Man" describes the Maharishi. So why is "The Hurdy Gurdy Man" the subtitle of this book? His autobiography is similarly cavalier about a number of things, not least of them spelling. "Jennifer Juniper," written to woo the sister-in-law of George Harrison, qualifies as one of the most successful musical seductions on record, but Donovan changes the spelling of his own song's title. Mr. Dylan becomes "Bobbie." But he also becomes "the Hebrew shaman with the Celtic name." And Donovan, in gloves-off mode, contends that while Mr. Dylan is the better lyricist, "musically I am more creative and influential."
Donovan doesn't quite qualify as Advanced, but I like that statement (about being more influential). The thing is, because Bob Dylan is Advanced, he might say today that Donovan is correct. Advanced artists usually say that their latest work is amazing but they also compare themselves unfavorably with lesser (according to most) artists. They especially like to say another band's version of their music is better than their original recording. Anyway, I hope new generations will get to appreciate the glories of "Atlantis."

travel problems

I had a little trouble getting back, so I might not be able to post today. But maybe...

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Aynsley Dunbar: Drummer for the Advanced

In honor of Thanksgiving, I'd like to give thanks for Aynsley Dunbar, who played drums on Lou Reed's "Berlin." I was listening to "Lady Day" this morning, and I was blown away by the drums. Dunbar has also played with John Lennon, David Bowie, Nils Lofgren, Journey, Whitesnake, Frank Zappa, Shuggie Otis, Ian Hunter, and on and on. Learn all about him at his website.

This is my last post until next Monday because I'm going down south for the holiday. See you then...

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Patti Smith Slams U2


As U2 wound down its seventh show of the year at New York's Madison Square Garden last night (Nov. 21), the band was joined by punk icon Patti Smith for a rendition of the John Lennon classic "Instant Karma." Smith was tapped to open these final nights in New York, and Bono wasted no time praising her and guitarist Tom Verlaine as "idols" at the opening of U2's set. Bono and Smith traded off verses and harmonized during the chorus. In staying true to Smith's roots, the band slowed things down near the end and let her take over with a slam-style poetry bit.
I wonder if embracing the ultra-Overt poetry slam could be the newest frontier in Advancement. That would be difficult to accept, even for me.

Ray Davies: Thanksgiving for Great Britain?

Here's what Ray Davies has to say about his new EP, "Thanksgiving Day" (some of this you've heard before I think), from

"Thanksgiving is a time for sharing and even though they throw up their eyes as though it were a chore, family members traditionally gather for a reunion at the house of the oldest relative. In the song 'Papa looks over at the small gathering' and wonders how many of the children are going to make it for the dinner. During the story, we see how one by one, they try to make it home. The Thanksgiving Day holiday was originally 'a day of unity' and it occurred to me that it might be an idea for Great Britain to adopt a similar day.”
The EP released today, and his new LP, "Other Peoples’ Lives," comes out Feb. 7 from V2.

Warner to Pay for Payola in New York

From Yahoo!:

Warner Music Group Corp., one of the largest U.S. record companies, will pay $5 million to settle a New York state probe into how it influenced which songs are played on the radio, New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer said on Tuesday. The probe involved "pay-for-play" practices, commonly known as "payola," in which companies are accused of paying radio stations or promoters to secure air time for songs.

...The $5 million will be used to fund music education and appreciation programs, Spitzer said.
If I were the CEO of Warner Music Corp., I would pay the fine in pennies.

Auction: Bob Dylan Sells, Lizard King Doesn't

Here's another installment in my ongoing feature "Advanced Auctions," from BBC:

Poems written by Bob Dylan in his college days have fetched $78,000 (£45,000) in a New York auction.

The 16 pages of poems are the first known time Robert Zimmerman used the Dylan name and come from his stint at the University of Minnesota in 1959-60. The selling price was the highest auction price to date for the acclaimed songwriter, according to Christie's. The European buyer was not identified.

...The title page to Dylan's work was inscribed in blue ink with Poems Without Titles, while the poems were written in pencil and signed "Dylan" or "Dylanism". Many poems show the folk singer's "witty and sometimes coarse sense of humour", his desire to stop smoking and his relationships with various women, according to Christie's.

...A medallion worn by Jimi Hendrix at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967, when he famously set his guitar on fire, found no buyer.

...The words to the song Not To Touch the Earth written by The Doors lead singer Jim Morrison also went unsold.
I love the scene in the movie "The Doors" (which really should have been called "Jim Morrison" because it focuses almost exclusively on him) that features "Not to Touch the Earth." Advanced Actor Val Kilmer does an amazing job on that song. So why don't we take a look at those lyrics:

Not to touch the earth
Not to see the sun
Nothing left to do, but
Run, run, run
Let's run
Let's run

House upon the hill
Moon is lying still
Shadows of the trees
Witnessing the wild breeze
C'mon baby run with me
Let's run
Run with me

The mansion is warm, at the top of the hill
Rich are the rooms and the comforts there
Red are the arms of luxuriant chairs
And you won't know a thing till you get inside
Dead president's corpse in the driver's car
The engine runs on glue and tar
Come on along, not goin' very far
To the East to meet the Czar

Some outlaws lived by the side of a lake
The minister's daughter's in love with the snake
Who lives in a well by the side of the road
Wake up, girl, we're almost home
Ya, c'mon!
We should see the gates by mornin'
We should be inside the evenin'
Sun, sun, sun
Burn, burn, burn
Soon, soon, soon
Moon, moon, moon
I will get you
I am the Lizard King
I can do anything

Anything but sell lyrics at a celebrity auction. Oh well.

Monday, November 21, 2005

MC5 Legal Battle: Kick Out the Copyright Infringements

From the Velvet Rope:

...Some of you have inquired about the status of the MC5 legal fracas, which is slowly but steadily evolving in Detroit. Believe the court is pondering jurisdictional issues, whether the case should be heard in Federal or State court; a decision is expected within the next several weeks. Once that's settled, the outcome seems destined to turn on several major issues: trademark, dilution of trademark and copyright infringement.

The Derminer plaintiffs (singer and songwriter Rob Tyner's family) claim there has been, at best, sub-minimal accounting for some five dozen 'bootleg' MC5 recordings issued by a dizzying number of labels, a mountain of MC5 merchandise, and an MC5 "tribute" DVD financed by Levis and issued on Muscletone Records.

Defendants include Wayne and Margaret Saadi Kramer, Muscletone, Michael and Angela Davis, Svengirly Music and Dennis Thompson. Kramer, Thompson and M Davis are former members of the MC5. A Davis is the wife of M Davis, who together own Svengirly Music.

...The spark that seemed to ignite this firestorm was a so-called tribute concert in London; those of you who've been around the Velvet Rope for awhile should recall some heated exchanges which took place here.

The resultant DVD was titled 'Sonic Revolution ' but frequently tagged by detractors as "Saadi Revolution", largely due to a statement by Wayne Kramer in the Cleveland Free Times: "To be honest, Margaret came up with all this," [Kramer] says. "She's just a genius. Had it been up to me, I probably would have said, `It's a big mess, I don't want to bother with it.'"
And, of course, it was Margaret's idea to have the band wear costumes based on their signs of the zodiac.

The Cars Reform With Todd Rundgren


The Cars are getting back together, but it'll be a vastly different band than the '80s synth-pop pioneers used to have. The band will reunite for a 2005 tour with Todd Rundgren serving as its new front man, Billboard revealed. Former Cars members Greg Hawkes and Elliott Easton will round out the band. Original front man Ric Ocasek won’t participate in the reunion.
I can't think of many things more Advanced than this.

Bowie to Play Tesla?


Rock legend David Bowie is in talks to play inventor Nikola Tesla in "The Prestige," a thriller from "Batman Begins" director Christopher Nolan. The cast also includes Hugh Jackman, Christian Bale and Michael Caine in a tale of rival magicians in early 20th century London.

...The script, on which Nolan is working, is based on Christopher Priest's 1996 novel and was adapted by Nolan's brother, Jonathan, who also wrote the short story on which Nolan's breakout movie, "Memento," was based.
Most, if not all, Advanced musicians act in a movie from time to time.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Huey Lewis on Broadway (Update)

From Yahoo!:

Huey Lewis has the look of someone who has found a new drug.

...What's got Lewis feeling this is his latest, seemingly unlikely endeavor: The coveted role of sleazy lawyer Billy Flynn in the multiple Tony Award-winning "Chicago: The Musical."

"Never in my wildest dreams did I think I'd end up on Broadway," he says over coffee at Bond 45, a Times Square restaurant near the show's Ambassador Theatre home. "I never would have solicited it or even thought about it. I watched the movie 'Chicago' and really loved it, but never for the life of me thought, 'Oh, man, I could do that role.' Never, ever."

...Bernard Dotson, the show's dance captain who trained Lewis, says he's been impressed by his student's zeal to master the Bob Fosse material without a Bob Fosse background. "He's in it to win it," Dotson says. "He really wants to have a great time with it. He really respects the show a great deal and he sees how hard everyone else is working. He wants to be a part of it."

..."Musical theater is absolutely the jazz of show business. You have to sing, dance and act all at the same time. And it's live — there's no messing around. That's very appealing to me. Difficult, scary, but stimulating."
Now, I'm not going to sit here and tell you that Huey Lewis is Advanced (though "Sports" is a pretty Advanced album title), but I sure do like him. I've told this story before, but I saw him (Stevie Ray Vaughn opened) when I was 12, I think, and the show was pretty great. Even then I appreciated the fact that his band really knew what they were doing and were dedicated to giving us our money's worth. I'm not ashamed to say that I'd rather go see Huey Lewis than, say, Depeche Mode.

Jello Biafra and the Melvins

From yahoo!:

Billed as Jello Biafra with the Melvins (fans refer to the union as "the Jelvins"), the coupling of the former Dead Kennedys frontman and one of heavy music's most enigmatic forces proved as manic and combustible as anything in either band's history at the Henry Fonda Theater on Wednesday night.

A solo set from the Melvins transitioned seamlessly into the night's marquee billing, as Melvins guitarist-frontman King Buzzo (wearing a gray camouflage house dress and black combat boots) and bassist David Scott Stone (in a "Psycho"-inspired smock) donned black ski masks amidst their metallic din, and Biafra took the stage in a blood-smeared surgeon's jacket.

The frontman played the mad scientist at the helm of a fabulously frightening musical experiment. For Biafra, the songs seem secondary to the political pulpit they provide. The Melvins, who delivered the music with fiendish intensity, take a seemingly opposite approach, as any messages in their molten missives are an afterthought to the sonic mayhem erupting from their instruments.

Combine those forces -- melding one of punk rock's historic voices with the Melvins' doom metal soundscapes -- and the results are as evolutionary as they are revolutionary.

...The highlights... came in the form of the timeless DK classics "When Ya Get Drafted," "I Am the Owl," "Chemical Warfare" and "Holiday in Cambodia," which closed a two-song encore that also featured underground icon Wesley Willis' "Rock 'n' Roll McDonald's." Biafra's delivery was a schizophrenic blend of prancing and performance art, as torn from the pages of a graphic novel. But the manic delivery always subsided when the songs took their frequent back seats to Biafra's revolutionary rants.
I admire Jello Biafra's tenacious hold on his Overtness. Though maybe he's Advanced and I just don't know it. In either case, I'm a fan.

The Breeders Play a Surprise Show

From NME:

The Breeders played a surprise 45-minute set at The Scala in London last night, at the first of series of shows celebrating 25 years of record label 4AD. The band were the last minute replacements for TV On The Radio, who were forced to cancel their performance due to the sudden death of singer Tunde Adebimpe's father.

The group played eight songs from throughout their career, including 'No Aloha', the 1995 classic Amps song 'Tipp City' and 'Oh!' - which featured guest backing vocalist Michael Allen. He originally sang on the studio version song, which appears on the band's 1990 debut album 'Pod'. The evening also saw the return of bassist Josephine Wiggs, who hasn't played in the band since the 1990s.
They should make a podcast out of that show. Eep.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Mario Batali and Michael Stipe on "Iconoclasts"

There's an aricle at Slate about the show "Iconoclasts" in which one celebrity interviews another celebrity. The reviewer isn't that wild about the show, but I am interested in the December 15th show, which will feature chef Mario Batali talking to Michael Stipe. Now that's a show I'll be recording (then forgetting about and watching six weeks after it airs).

The Cure Heading to the Studio


The Cure plans to hit the studio in January to record its next album, according to a post from frontman Robert Smith on the group's Web site. "We are still on course for a summer release, as it's all in the preparation," he said.

...Smith also said that he is close to completing the next phase of the band's expanded reissue series, which will include 1984's "The Top," 1985's "The Head on the Door" and 1987's "Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me, as well as "The Blue Sunshine," a 1983 album Smith and Siouxsie and the Banshees bassist Steve Severin created under the name the Glove. The sets should be out by next spring.
It's impressive that the Cure is still going on after all this time. Huzzah, Robert Smith!

Which Ministry Album Are You?

Find out which Ministry album you are, by taking this quiz at I'm the "Jesus Built My Hotrod" CD single. I know that without having to take the quiz.

Pink Floyd: Shine on You Crazy Diminished Hopes for a Reunion


Warring PINK FLOYD rockers ROGER WATERS and DAVE GILMOUR dismissed reunion suggestions at last night's (17NOV05) UK Music Hall Of Fame event - barely managing to conceal the tensions which tore the band apart. Waters, who is in Rome, Italy, promoting his opera CA IRA, joined the London ceremony via satellite link, while Gilmour and drummer NICK MASON went onstage to claim the award.

...[Gilmour] dismissed rumours Pink Floyd would reform, as they did for July (05) supergig Live 8, saying, "The Live 8 moment was a wonderful moment. But we've all moved on and there are lots of other things to be thrilled about these days. "(Thank you to) all the passengers on this fabulous ride we've been on." Waters, who walked out of Pink Floyd in 1983, retorted: "I confess I've never felt like a passenger."
It's nice to know that it's possible to be petty well into your golden years.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Elvis Costello Hits the Road With "Il Sogno"


Elvis Costello's "Il Sogno" is to be performed by some of the USA's finest symphony orchestras in 2006 when the UK singer/songwriter and composer embarks on a short tour. "Il Sogno" released on the Deutsche Grammophon label is an impressionistic work tinged with jazz and was recorded with conductor Michael Tilson Thomas and the London Symphony Orchestra at Abbey Road Studios in 2004. The first part of Elvis Costello's performance will feature this full-length orchestral work with a selection of his songs from his illustrious career performed after the intermission.
Sounds Il Advancedo.

MyTunes: Norway

My little "save my music from obsurity" project, the Latin Transmitters, was awarded another "Track of the Day" at for the song "Norway," which I recorded with a band called Thank You Super. My bandmate Jeff wrote the song, and I played lead guitar and did some backup singing. You can hear it here. It isn't Advanced, but it does have horns.

Snoop Dogg Hot Dogs

From Yahoo!:

Snoop Dogg is so hungry for notoriety he has launched his own brand of hot dog, with a rapper wrapper. The 'Foot Long Snoop Doggs' will feature packaging bearing the music mogul's likeness and are set to hit supermarkets in January. Celebrity sausages are the brainchild of Dogg's business partners Franco Petrucci and Jeff Earp - who owns a fast food business in Massachusetts where Snoop Doggs will be manufactured.
"Brainchild" sure doesn't mean what it used to. I'm about ready to call Snoop Dogg officially Advanced. My only hesitation is I don't know how innovative his music and rapping style was because I just don't know enough about hip-hop. I like what I've heard, but it's hard for me to judge whether he was so good that I have no right to question his instincts. Plus, he seems to be beloved by all, which is rare for someone who is Advanced.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Ozzy Osbourne's Rasputin Musical


Rocker OZZY OSBOURNE has fulfilled a lifelong ambition and written a musical - about the Russian mystic RASPUTIN. The BLACK SABBATH frontman was inspired to write the unlikely script after watching a BBC documentary about the womanising Romanov hellraiser, whom Osbourne considers a spiritual ancestor.

He says, "It's a major achievement for me, because I've always wanted to do it. "He's like the original rock star, you know? I said to myself, 'What better thing to write about?' "I always wanted to do a musical for the West End or Broadway. If it gets picked up it gets picked up, but it was a lot of fun to do anyway. "Being Ozzy Osbourne is great, but if I don't sing about the f**king devil or bats or whatever, people don't really want to know."
It really is a crime that Ozzy has pigeonholed, but he doesn't have to bite our heads off about it.

Steve Earle's "Karla": The Play Just Might Not Be His Thing

From Yahoo!:

Texas-born country singer Steve Earle is known for his passionate music, his addiction to heroin and cocaine and for kicking his drug habit and finding more creative outlets for his energy (notably the story collection "Doghouse Roses").

Perhaps Earle's own renewal led him to the tale of Karla Faye Tucker, a drug-addicted Texas prostitute who murdered two people with a pickaxe and in 1998 became the first woman executed by the Lone Star State since the Civil War. While in prison, Tucker supposedly discovered the redemptive power of Christianity and became a rallying point for opponents of the death penalty. In his one-act "Karla," Earle, an anti-death-penalty activist, has written 95 cliche-ridden minutes about her journey from sin to salvation.

...Karla's narration allows Earle to re-create and describe events from her past (the trial, the gruesome killings). Even more self-consciously, Earle arranges for Karla to confront the significant players in her life: her brassy prostitute mother...her boyfriend and fellow murderer...their victims, Jerry and Deborah.... These one-dimensional characters, long dead, tell Karla what they think of her.

...Forgiveness, Earle blatantly indicates, comes even to the worst of sinners. Despite the torrent of words and facts, Karla remains little more than a bland, weeping figure. Until the very end, that is. In the production's one truly theatrical moment, Karla plays a tape on which she describes the sexual thrill of hacking her victims to death, and there's a raw ugliness in her voice that no conversion can undo.
Too bad. I'm always pulling for Steve Earle to do well, though I can't really say why.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Laurie Anderson of the Third Kind

I've seen a few news items about Paul McCartney's providing a wake-up call to the folks in the space station. Seems like a pretty good gig and fits in (sort of) with what I was thinking after watching "Close Encounters of the Third Kind." My thought was, when Laurie Anderson was the official artist-in-residence for NASA, would she have been the one who played the keyboard if an alien race came to visit us and expected to have a musical conversation? In other words, very little going on in the Advanced world today...

"Q" Magazine Gets It All Wrong


"Leave it to the cheeky English music magazine Q to poke fun at music royalty who don't exactly live up to the sex/drugs/rock 'n' roll image. The November issue administers spankings to pop stars who indulge their inner nerd, such as: Brandon Flowers, frontman for the Killers; Beck; Moby ('I read The New Yorker and The Economist cover to cover every week. I swim, play tennis and go canoeing on occasions'); Chris Martin of Coldplay; and the No. 1 dud, Lou Reed, former walk-on-the-wild-side hellion now into tai chi, designing his own line of eyewear and grumbling about the lousy quality of file-share music."

Obviously "Q" doesn't realize that if you continue being a "wild-side hellion" into your fifties, you're usually pathetic or dead. In case you're wondering, being fit and having a stable life (being a "dud," I guess) is Advanced.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Elvis Costello and Allen Toussaint


Elvis Costello is slated to head into the studio the week of Thanksgiving to begin a collaboration with songwriter/arranger/pianist Allen Toussaint. Joe Henry will produce the album for Verve Records. Henry likens the project to Costello's 1998 pairing with Burt Bacharach, "Painted from Memory" (Mercury/Universal). "That project was a very legitimate collaboration between the two artists, and this will feature Elvis as a singer doing both classic songs that Allen has written as well as new material [the two are writing]," Henry tells

New Orleans veteran Toussaint recently performed with Costello at a number of New York benefits for the victims of hurricane Katrina. Toussaint, who has written such songs as Dr. John's "Right Place, Wrong Time" and Lee Dorsey's "Workin' in a Coal Mine," appeared as a pianist on some of Costello's early 1980s albums.

"Elvis, like a lot of people, re-committed himself to the importance of the legacy of [New Orleans] music," Henry says. "I was talking to Allen about doing a solo record, and Elvis had appeared with Allen on stage at various benefits in New York, and the wheels were turning."
The wheels are always turning for the Advanced. But let me tell you, I'm really glad Elvis Costello is committed to the importance of New Orleans music. If he weren't, who would be?

Chuck Berry's Karaoke Lawsuit


Rock'n'roll pioneer Chuck Berry has sued three leading karaoke music distributors, claiming they sold sing-along versions of his most popular hits without paying royalties or obtaining licenses.

If he prevails in court, Berry stands to gain several hundred thousand dollars for each of his songs, including such hits as "Johnny B. Goode," "Maybellene" and "My Ding-A-Ling," his lawyer, Peter Haviland, told Reuters earlier this week.

His lawsuit filed on Monday in Los Angeles names three leading karaoke distributors in North America -- UAV Corp. of Fort Mill, South Carolina, Madacy Entertainment of Montreal and Top Tunes Inc. of Hilliard, Ohio. Representatives from the three companies could not immediately be reached for comment.

...Unlike many recording stars of his era, Berry owns all the publishing rights to his songs through his Isalee Music Co., his attorneys said.
This news is tailor-made for me. I love Chuck Berry, lawsuits, and karaoke! I'm quite upset that Top Tunes might be in the wrong. I've had a lot of good times with Top Tunes, and I would hate to see those memories sullied. In case you hadn't heard before or were wondering, Chuck Berry is Advanced. His Advancement is part of why he owns the publishing rights to his songs (he can see the future before it happens).

Paul McCartney Wants to Make Your Child Cry

As you may remember, Paul McCartney has written a children's book. Here's an amusing little bit from an article about it at Yahoo!:

In the first six pages of McCartney's book, about an industrious squirrel named Wirral (named after McCartney's hometown), Wirral's mother is crushed to death by a tree knocked down by nature-hating developers. From there, he sets off for the mythic animal-loving land of Animalia.

"Why did the author make such sad stories for children?" asked one perplexed little boy. Caught off-guard, McCartney wrapped his arm around the boy and joked, "To make children cry."
I like that answer.

Bob Dylan on the DL


Bob Dylan is set to release a download only single. Having seen his song 'Love Sick' recently find its way into the White Stripes' Hammersmith Apollo set (November 6), the influential troubadour is making three previously unreleased recordings available. The new versions were considered for inclusion for the soundtrack of the recent Martin Scorsese documentary 'No Direction Home', and will now be released via legal download services from November 14.

The three tracks are:

'Baby Please Don't Go' - Recorded on 25th April, 1962
'Mr. Tambourine Man' - Recorded on 26th July-64
'Outlaw Blues' - recorded on 16th January 1965
My favorite version of "Baby Please Don't Go" is by Mississippi Fred McDowell, even though he has decidedly non-Advanced stance: He does not play no rock and roll. Still, it's worth a listen.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Kraftwerk DVD: Minimum-Maximum Awesimum


Kraftwerk's recent run of live shows will he chronicled on the DVD "Minimum-Maximum," which shares its name with a double-disc live album released earlier this year via Astralwerks. Due Dec. 6, the DVD replicates that project's set list and tacks on a live performance of "Aero Dynamik" at the 2003 MTV European Music Awards in Edinburgh. On the same day, Astralwerks will unveil the "Notebook" boxed set in the shape of a laptop computer. It will house both the "Minimum-Maximum" CD and DVD as well an 88-page hardback book with rare photos and artwork.
In the shape of a laptop computer! You've got to love it. And I have to add that a DVD of Kraftwerk playing live is practically perverse.

Are You a Paul, Gene, Ace, or Peter?


Paul nearing completion on his first non-Kiss release since his self-titled 1978 album, issued in tandem with solo projects from the other three original Kiss members.

"So far everybody that's heard [the album] thinks it's great, so I'm real pleased with it," Stanley tells of the as-yet-untitled set. "Again, at this point, if it sells 100 copies or 100,000 copies or 10,000,000 copies, it won't change my life either way. All it's about is doing what I want to do and what I have the freedom to do. That being said, it's a very mainstream album. I don't think I'm going to surprise anybody being mistaken for somebody else. It was important to me to do the album I wanted to do, without any regard for anybody else's opinion or direction."

Stanley did not reveal specifics about the sonic direction of the project, but says time has only sharpened his skills. "It's not 1978 anymore," he says. "It's certainly the same mentality, and certainly I'm a better singer today. My perspective and where I'm at in my life at this point, and what I've experienced and seen, brings something else to the table that wasn't there then. But I still look back on that album as a really great snapshot of who I was and what I was doing then."
I really like Paul Stanley, and not just because I dressed up like him for Halloween when I was a kid. And I didn't dress up like him because his makeup was the easiest to do. That reminds me: You always hear the question "Which Beatle are you?" but no one ever asks which Kiss member you are. I would say that your choice of Kiss member is more revealing because their characters (the members of Kiss) were pretty unambiguous. Something to think about.

ZZ Top: Tres Advanced Hombres

A little something about the Advaced Blues Band ZZ Top, from the New York Times:

"It's just the same three guys, playing the same three chords, and we've been doing this for 35 years." That's the explanation Billy F. Gibbons, ZZ Top's lead guitarist, offers onstage to explain his band's success. When asked about this bare-bones description of the bewhiskered, blues-powered "Little Ol' Band from Texas," Mr. Gibbons chuckled. "As trite as that is, it's the tried-and-true formula for us," he said over the phone from Phoenix, before heading to a gig at the Arizona State Fair.

"I've seen our fair drummer, Mr. Beard - the man with no beard - madly tapping into his calculator, and each time he ends up with the same figures. We've been in this band longer than school, longer than marriage, longer than anything else we've ever done."

...Tonight and tomorrow night the band will wrap up its latest six-month jaunt at the Beacon Theater, its first appearance in New York City in a decade. "We're seeing the end of a lengthy, successful tour," Mr. Gibbons said, "and we decided we'd land it right smack dab at the center of the universe."

,,,According to Mr. Gibbons, continually experimenting with equipment keeps the band's juices flowing. "The novelty of new gear helps to lubricate those pitfalls," he said. "Frequently, a new setting on an amplifier, a new guitar - that's enough to keep things energetic. Just tonight, I got a call from Dusty, and he's all excited, he's got a new bass. I asked, 'What have you got?' and he said, 'I don't know, but it's red!' "

...In addition to the hundreds of guitars he has acquired, Mr. Gibbons has a celebrated stable of hot rods and custom cars, the most famous being the red 1933 Ford "Eliminator Coupe," the true star of those unforgettable videos. Both collections are chronicled in the just-published "Rock & Roll Gearhead" (Motorbooks). It's a combination memoir, band scrapbook and catalog of his favorite autos (including the "CadZZilla" and the "Slampala") and six-strings (like the cowhide-covered Fender and the Gibson in the shape of Texas).

"Rock 'n' roll and automobiles have always had this synergistic connection," Mr. Gibbons said. (He will be signing copies of the book on Monday from 1 to 2:30 p.m. at the Barnes & Noble store at 555 Fifth Avenue, at 47th Street.) "You get a guitar, you learn how to play music, and then you've got to have a car to get to the show!" he said. "It all boils down to just that."
I think Billy Gibbons would have been successful at just about any career he might have chosen. But I'm glad he chose to found a blues-boogie band with the most ironically named drummer in the history of music.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

k.d. lang Lays Suit on Lapp

From Yahoo!:

Singer k.d. lang is suing her former business manager, alleging that hundreds of thousands, or possibly millions, of dollars in excessive fees were fraudulently drawn from the musician's account.

The Grammy-winning Canadian vocalist filed suit Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court against Annabel Lapp, her company the Annabel Lapp Group and Lapp Group employee Dina Correale. The action seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.

The suit claims that the total amount of allegedly misappropriated money could not be determined because Lapp has failed to turn over the vast majority of lang's financial and business records.

...According to lang's suit, Lapp represented lang and her touring entities from 1990 until September 2 of this year, when the musician terminated the business manager.

Lapp allegedly wrote checks on lang's business accounts without disclosing the amount of the fees or seeking or obtaining lang's approval for the payment of such fees.

The suit also alleges that during the week of September 6 -- following Lapp's termination by lang -- the one-time business manager wrote five checks totaling $22,000 on lang's accounts without her knowledge or consent.
Another of her grievances was that Lapp didn't stop the workday to mark lang's 100th career touchdown. Also, k.d. can prove that it wasn't she who authorized the checks because the signature had capital letters. Finally, Lapp couldn't explain why she became Miss Chatelaine, which was the final straw.

Man at Work

I'm just trying something a little new, so the site might be ugly. Hope the banners won't end up being "overkill."

Robert Pollard: What Else You Got?


Having recently signed a solo deal with Merge that will be inaugurated with the Jan. 26 release of "From a Compound Eye," former Guided By Voices frontman Robert Pollard has already recorded its follow-up, tentatively dubbed "Normal Happiness." That set is expected in October.

"I have actually fulfilled my contract with Merge already," Pollard tells with a laugh from his Dayton, Ohio, home base. Actually, the 26-track "From a Compound Eye" has been finished since 2004, and while assembling music earlier this year for the Steven Soderbergh film "Bubble," Pollard got the itch to record the songs Soderbergh didn't opt to include.

"It's a pop album," Pollard says of "Normal Happiness." "It has 16 two-minute pop songs. I wanted to make a record like that." One track confirmed to appear is a newly fleshed out version of "Boxing About," which appeared as an instrumental on the recent "Bubble" EP.

...[Pollard] plans to hit the road a little less hard than in GBV's heyday, predicting that he will "stick to the states and just hit the big cities. It will be more of an every other weekend thing, like three shows, for probably three months or so, to make it as painless as possible."

... Pollard will be on hand for three book signings next week in Dayton, Chicago and New York to celebrate the release of the GBV biography "A Brief History -- Twenty-one Years of Hunting Accidents in the Forests of Rock and Roll," released this week by Grove/Atlantic. A DVD of GBV's final show, "The Electrifying Conclusion," is due Nov. 15 via Plexfilm.
While I was pasting this link and article into my blog, Pollard wrote and recorded a double album and finished up the second volume of his three-volume work about the Cultural Revolution. While I typed that last sentence he recorded an EP that will be available in CD/DVD format and will feature cover art he painted himself.

Kiss DVD: "Rock the Nation Live!"


Make-up clad rock icons Kiss will on Dec. 13 release a double-disc concert DVD, "Rock the Nation Live!," via Image Entertainment. Although there are countless Kiss home videos and DVDs on the market, "Nation" sets itself apart with an abundance of rare songs, the "Kiss Powervision/Select-A-Kiss" option to hone in on an individual member and candid behind-the-scenes vignettes.

...Stanley admits he was thrilled to air out such Kiss oldies as "Christine Sixteen," "She" and "Parasite" during the tour. "To be able to go out and play every and any Kiss song was very freeing," he enthuses. "We reached a point where a lot of the tours after the reunion tour were virtually the same set list, and it wasn't because we didn't want to play other songs. Once Tommy and Eric came in, on any given night, we could change the show, and really dig deep into our catalog. A band that's been together this long not only should be able to play 'Rock and Roll All Nite' and 'Love Gun,' but [also] 'Two Timer' or 'Got To Choose.'"

...Still, fans continue to await a vault-clearing visual release, a project that Stanley acknowledges is closer to reality than ever before. "Yesterday was the beginning of planning really the ultimate Kiss experience," he says. "That Scorsese/Dylan piece ['No Direction Home: Bob Dylan'] was eye opening, at least to me, in terms of how you can be immersed in a time capsule, and not only see the music and be part of the crowd, but also get a sense of who Dylan was then. There are times when I'm much more interested in actual footage of somebody in the moment than somebody reminiscing 20 or 30 years later. It's fascinating to see where somebody was at, and what their mindset was in the midst of storm, as opposed to looking back on it. That set a really high bar, and I think that is more likely our approach at this point."
One of the things I love about Kiss is that they see nothing off about comparing themselves to Bob Dylan or at least suggesting that their documentary would be evaluated with Dylan's in mind. I think it's great. By the way, Paul Stanley added that he wants to hit the road, but he had unsuccessful hip-replacement surgery that had to be redone.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

"High School Reunion: A Tribute to Those Great 80s Films"


Originally planned for a September release, the compilation "High School Reunion: A Tribute to Those Great 80s Films" will now arrive Dec. 1 via American Laundromat and Face Down Records. As previously reported, the set features artists covering tracks that first appeared in such classics as "Fast Times at Ridgemont High," "Pretty in Pink," "Say Anything" and "Ferris Bueller's Day Off."

..."I think it came out good except for one line," Black tells of his contribution [Iggy Pop's "Repo Man," from "Repo Man"]. "I couldn't find an actual copy, so in the middle of a [Pixies] tour I got the lyrics on the Internet, which I in turn was correcting from memory [laughs]. There's one line where I couldn't remember how Iggy did the timing. It's like an extra line, so I just inserted it my own way, so it might sound dumb."

"My fiancée, Violet Clark, sings on it and some kid from Connecticut plays all the instruments," Black continues. "Our lighting guy, Miles, has a studio in Hartford so this was a kid who does work with him sometimes. I called him and said, 'Do it up! I'll be in to sing it in a couple of weeks!' It's like a keyboard/film soundtrack soundscape. We didn't do it like Iggy and Steve Jones."
I was kind of disappointed when I read this article because the headline said, "Sweet covers Petty," and I had hoped that was the band Sweet, but it turns out that it is Matthew Sweet. Anyway, you can get the tracklist here. Could be fun.

Public Enemy: Plus ca change...

From Yahoo!:

Public Enemy exploded onto the scene in the late 1980s and, for the band and the world that inspires their lyrics, much remains the same. Another Bush is in the White House; the nation is at war; and P.E. once again is on the outside of what is considered mainstream rap. One thing remains central — the group's vocal and artistic leader, Chuck D. "New Whirl Odor," P.E.'s first full studio album in six years, carries much of the punch that makes Chuck D. one of the strongest rappers out there. His style is full frontal, holding nothing back. He wields his rich tenor voice like an Uzi. Chuck D. is back, and he's mad as hell.

...The collection's strongest moments are those built on P.E.'s core identity. It may not be fresh, but it's heavy in a way that makes the listener relieved to get a break from the less-substantive ideology that marks much of what is happening in hip-hop today. When you listen to Chuck D., it still feels as though it matters.
My favorite song on the new record has to be "On the Frontline," a jam about Chuck D.'s not getting the voiceover job for a PBS documentary.

Arcade Fire and David Bowie Live: Download Available


Arcade Fire are to release their recent live peformance of 'Wake Up' with David Bowie as a download. The Montreal band will make the track available for one week only on iTunes from November 14. The live download features singer Win Butler and Bowie trading verses during their recent performance at the Fashion Rocks event in New York during September.

Of the performance Win told NME.COM: "It was very special to have the opportunity because our record only came out less than a year or so ago at the time and we were remembering playing to about 20 people in a club. Then there we were playing with David Bowie. It just goes to show what an unbelievable year we've had."
That would be an understatement. It's going to take me a few years to like them because of my raging jealousy.

Roxy Music Picture Show

As I sit here listening to "Country Life" by Roxy Music, I can't help thinking that Bryan Ferry would have made a good Frank-N-Furter in "The Rocky Horror Picture Show."

David Bowie Releases "Serious Moolight" DVD


David Bowie will release a refurbished edition of his "Serious Moonlight" concert DVD March 13 via EMI, according to his Web site. The DVD spotlights a September 1983 show in Vancouver filmed and directed by David Mallet and features such favorites as "Fashion," "Rebel Rebel," "Young Americans," "Ahses to Ashes" and "China Girl." "Moonlight" is rounded out with a 78-minute cut of the tour documentary "Ricochet," filmed in such locales as Singapore, Bangkok and Hong Kong. In addition, a four-song, digital only EP will be released Feb. 13, encompassing the audio from the DVD tracks "Space Oddity," "Breaking Glass," "China Girl" and "Young Americans."
No "Blue Jean"?

Lennon Goes Digital: Do You Don't You Want Me to Pay You?


John Lennon's solo catalog will be made available digitally for the first time beginning this week with the release of the retrospective "Working Class Hero." The balance of Lennon's solo work will arrive digitally via as-yet-unannounced services on Dec. 5 in the United Kingdom and a day later in North America. A handful of unspecified tracks will also be available for download on mobile devices. "I am very happy that John's music is now available to a new generation of music fans," says Lennon's widow, Yoko Ono. "New technology is something he always embraced and this is something he would have loved. I always say that he would have been very excited by all the opportunities offered by the development of new means of communication."

However, the artist's music will not be sold via Apple's iTunes Music Store, which is embroiled in a lawsuit with Apple Corps Ltd., the Beatles' former record label. The latter company sued the computer giant earlier this year, claiming the iTunes store breaches a 1991 agreement involving the use of the Apple trademark for any works "whose principal content is music and, or performances."
It must be nice to be able to say no to zillions of dollars. Why on earth would Apple and Apple not come to an agreement on this? Seems like someone would figure out that there are no losers in the deal, but I guess I don't know anything about it. One thing I do know is that I want to be able to download legally the twenty-seven minute version of "Helter Skelter."

Monday, November 07, 2005

Jack White: Quid Pro Quovert


White Stripes frontman Jack White has declared he's changing his name for the duration of his band's British dates. Kicking off their tour in London last night (November 5) at the Hammersmith Apollo, the singer told fans he wants to be known as "Three Quid" while he's in the UK. Arriving on stage in a top hat and carrying a large stuffed bird, White described London as the band's "home from home" before announcing his name change. White gave no reason for the switch, but repeated his new identity again during the middle of the gig.
He is still in his Overt phase, but I've got some theoretical high hopes for Three Quid.

Lou Reed's Good-Time Happy Smile Hour


There's no question that Lou Reed is a rock icon with enduring appeal, from the '60s allure of his leading man status in the Velvet Underground to the solo punk edge of 1972's "Transformer" to 2000's "Ecstasy," hailed as a breakthrough hit by critics and fans alike.

But as a performer, he's hit and miss, and such is the case on the DVD "Lou Reed: Live at Montreux 2000." [W]hile Reed may look like a rocker, encased in black leather pants and vest, he's as stiff as board. Hardly cracking a smile, he plows through tune after tune off "Ecstasy," yet ecstatic is definitely not how he appears.

"Paranoid Key of E" starts off the DVD with bursting chords, and Reed's guitar playing is still darkly alluring with a distorted blues panache. But his face and voice, both deathly serious, rarely waver.

Only on "Ecstasy" does Reed close his eyes and act out the song's quietly intense words, awash in imagery, by grabbing his own arms. "Future Farmers of America" also picks up some speed, with Reed preaching "kill your master with one cut of your knife" over a driving theme.

...Reed's voice, always known for its "cool" flatness, here sifts sadly into warbling disillusion. "Oh, it's such a perfect day, I'm glad I spend it with you," Reed sings, deadpanning. But you get the feeling that he wasn't.
I'm not sure how familiar the reviewer is with Lou Reed's work, but I wonder how he could be surprised that Reed would hardly crack a smile and be "deathly serious." I don't know about you, but that's how I like my Lou Reed. The grimmer the better, in fact. Of course, it might be Advanced if all the sudden he started making jokes on stage, taking requests, and dancing around. But I don't see it happening, but then, that's why it would be Advanced.

Genesis Regenerating?

From Yahoo!:

Phil Collins says he's open to the idea of a Genesis reunion.

Nothing has been announced, but the 54-year-old British singer, who is touring the Middle East, says: "There's a possibility. I'm open for it."

"If it doesn't happen, it won't be because we don't want to. It will just be because there are too many things in the way," he said Sunday. "I'm happy to sit behind the drum kit and let Peter (Gabriel) be the singer, but if it happens, I'll be there."

...."We're all still good friends. We spent like 30 or 25 years of our life in the same office," Collins said. "Just because we don't play in the same band anymore doesn't mean we don't see each other and enjoy each other's company."
That is so Phil Collins comparing being in a band and going to an office. As you may remember, I'm not sure if Genesis qualifies for Advancement because I'm more familiar with the claymation Peter Gabriel than the mask-wearing version. But I can say for certain that this morning I heard "Easy Lover" by Phil Collins and Philip Bailey in my exercise mix, and it rocked me as always.

Zeppelin, Gergiev Score Big-Time Kronor

From Yahoo!:

The surviving members of legendary rock band Led Zeppelin have been invited to the land of ice and snow to collect Sweden's most prestigious music award and a check for 1 million kronor. The British band and Russian conductor Valery Gergiev on Monday were named winners of the 2006 Polar Music Prize. The award was founded in 1989 by Stig Anderson, manager of Swedish pop group ABBA, through a donation to The Royal Swedish Academy of Music.

Calling Led Zeppelin "one of the great pioneers of rock," the academy said the group's "playful and experimental music combined with highly eclectic elements has two essential themes: Mysticism and primal energy." Those features have come to define hard rock, the academy said.

Gergiev, a globe-trotting conductor, was cited "for the way his unique electrifying musical skills have deepened and renewed our relationship with the grand tradition; and for how he has managed to develop and amplify the importance of artistic music in these modern changing times."
If the prize is split, shouldn't it be known as the Bi-Polar Music Prize?

Friday, November 04, 2005

Critics' Word That Needs to Be Abolished

"Irrelevant." I could explain why it needs to be abolished, but I don't think I need to.

Mike Love Sues Brian Wilson

From ABC:

Mike Love is suing his cousin and former Beach Boys bandmate Brian Wilson.... Love filed the lawsuit in federal court Thursday accusing Wilson of promoting his 2004 album, "Smile," in a manner that "shamelessly misappropriated Mike Love's songs, likeness and the Beach Boys trademark, as well as the `Smile' album itself." Love's lawyer says it's nothing personal.

"Mike has a lot of affection for Brian and they have a good relationship and cordial relations," said Phil Stillman, who has represented Love since 1992. "There's obviously some problem with the way Brian's (associates) have promoted the albums."

...Love objected to a promotion in which 2.6 million copies of a Beach Boys compilation CD were given away to readers of Britain's The Daily Mail on Sunday newspaper. The lawsuit said the giveaway undercut the band's sales. The lawsuit seeks damages, including "millions of dollars in illicit profits," and seeks at least $1 million for international advertising "to correct the effects of … unfair competition and infringing uses."
I think they should settle all their disputes the old-fashioned way: Battle of the Bands. Whoever wins, gets all the royalties and can do whatever they want with the name "Beach Boys." My money's on Mike Love.

Paul and Yoko or Sam and Diane?

From Yahoo!:

Yoko Ono has apologized to Paul McCartney for insinuating that his songs are trite. Accepting an award on behalf of John Lennon last month, Ono said Lennon had sometimes felt insecure about his songs, asking "why they always cover Paul's songs and never mine.... I said, `You're a good songwriter, it's not June with spoon that you write.'"

After reports of the apparent slight circulated, Ono apologized in the latest issue of Rolling Stone magazine, now on newsstands. "I certainly did not mean to hurt Paul, and if I did, I am very sorry," she says.
Oh, why won't these two just go ahead and admit that they are in love with each other?

"Chapter 27": How to Encourage Murder

From the BBC:

Lindsay Lohan and Jared Leto are to star in an independent film set around the murder of John Lennon 25 years ago. Chapter 27, which will be shot in New York in January, is being described as a "psychological study" of the former Beatle's killer Mark Chapman. Lohan, last seen in Herbie: Fully Loaded, will take on a fictional role of a Lennon fan who befriends Chapman, played by Lord of War actor Leto. The parts of Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono have not yet been cast.

....The film is the first project from director Jarrett Schaeffer, who also wrote the script. It is being co-produced by Toronto-based Peace Arch Entertainment and 21 Grams film-maker Robert Salerno's company Artina Films.

"It's a psychological study," said Peace Arch's John Flock. "I wouldn't call it a sympathetic portrayal of him, but you do kind of get into Chapman's head." The film's title is said to be a reference to the 26 chapters in the JD Salinger novel The Catcher in the Rye, which Chapman said was an inspiration for the murder.
Well, this is offensive in about a million ways, but I'll settle for one of my pet causes: YOU SHOULDN'T GIVE ATTENTION TO PEOPLE WHO KILL CELBRITIES FOR ATTENTION! But I'm glad Lindsay is in the movie, poor girl.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

David Byrne Is Not Afraid of Missy Elliot

From David Byrne radio:

"Last month was Bobby Zimmerman. This month, all month, is all Missy. Missy Elliot (born Melissa Arnette Elliott on July 1, 1971 in Portsmouth, Virginia) — formerly known as Missy 'Misdemeanor' Elliott. She is one of my role models. Not afraid of anything. Not afraid of wearing a ridiculous balloon costume in a music video. Not afraid of her own or Timbaland's radical beats. Not afraid of singing backwards ('Work It'). Not afraid of not being model skinny. Rumor has it that she works 3 instant message accounts simultaneously — one for friends, one for business, and one for porn."

I hope she never forgets which one she's using! (No I don't.)

R. Kelly: Authentic Weirdo

From Yahoo!:

Parts one through twelve of the dramatic, over-the-top cheating story ["Trapped in the Closet"] were released on DVD this week. Kelly says he actually had 22 chapters completed — "and (it's) still going."

"Other characters are being introduced into the whole situation, and it's just this big whirlwind, a circle of just drama, of things that really do happen on the earth," he told The Associated Press. "It's gonna flip people out because some people are going to see themselves in these chapters, and that's what keeps the excitement going — I think that's what keeps people going, 'I've got the get the next one!'"

It's not Kelly's only project: He's working on Michael Jackson's all-star charity record to aid victims of Hurricane Katrina, which he called "unbelievable." He says his own hurricane relief album will be released in the next few months.

...Kelly faces trial on three-year-old charges of child pornography stemming from allegations he videotaped sexual acts with a teenage girl. The singer has denied the allegations, and no trial date has been set.

"I'm going through my own struggle, my own hurricane in a way, we all do, and you're either gonna fold or you're going to stand, and I believe in standing," Kelly said. "I believe in overcoming, and if I can do it, I wanna be that light so people can see me and feel they can inspired and say, you know, R. Kelly can get through this, I can get through this, so we can actually go through this together."
R. Kelly shows us all what it is to be a true weirdo, which is helpful when talking about the Advanced Theory (which started out as the Advanced Weirdo Theory). People who are Advanced are weird in a totally unrecognizable and unpredictable way, whereas the Overt are weird in obvious ways. Now if you were to ask who is weirder, Radiohead or R. Kelly, the average person would say Radiohead. But, I think it is clear that while Radiohead embrace standard-issue weirdness (and are therefore not truly weird), R. Kelly embraces a personal and unique weirdness (and is therefore very weird). In other words, Overt people look like weirdos and Advanced people are weirdos. I guess you could even say that the Advanced keep their weirdness on the DL.

Beastie Boys Fans Make "Awesome" Film


ThinkFilm has nabbed worldwide rights to "Awesome: I F***in' Shot That," a kaleidoscopic Beastie Boys concert documentary shot mainly by 50 fans on hand-held Hi8 cameras at New York's Madison Square Garden, according to president and CEO Jeff Sackman.

The film was directed by Beasties rapper Adam "MCA" Yauch, using his favorite alter-ego, Nathaniel Hornblower. "Frantic" is the word Yauch used to describe the footage, which he assembled from material recorded Oct. 9, 2004, by fans, six Beasties friends using DV cameras and two high-quality tour video cameras offering bird's-eye and long-distance views.

..."Pre-production was like three days," said Yauch, who was inspired by logging on to message boards where his young fans posted. "Some kid put up video from his phone at eight frames a second," he said, and that inspired his low-res video/high-quality audio vision. None of the 50 cameras was lost to fans, Yauch said, "but granted, we took their driver's licenses."
I wonder what kind of a camera requires a driver's license to operate it.

Kate Bush Cheats Death


Kate Bush will speak in her first broadcast interview for more than 12 years this Friday (November 4). The singer, who has been absent from the music scene in recent years, will break her silence in a special interview on BBC Radio 4's Front Row at 7.15pm. She talks openly about avoiding the media, her frustration at completing her first album - Aerial - in more than 10 years and motherhood.

Bush tells John Wilson: "I'm very opinionated. I'm horrible to work with; I'm so fussy and picky. What's good is that I know what I want. It's when you don't know what you want that you're in trouble. "There were so many times I thought I wasn't going to have the energy to see it (the album) through. I knew I couldn't go on any longer or it would have killed me. I was so fed up making it."
I love when a successful musician says that making an album nearly caused them to die. A typical day in the studio for someone like Kate Bush probably starts around noon, all her needs would be provided for, someone else would make sure that everything is working properly, she'd go home if she wasn't "feeling it," she would probably do as many takes as she likes to get just the right one, and everyone would tell her how great she is. I'm sure she was stressed about making a good record and all, but there was no need to call the medics. Anyone who has the privilege of making an album should thank their lucky stars and never say that they didn't have the energy to complete it. If she wants to try something grueling, she should try being a blogger who posts up to five times in a single day!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Neil Diamond: A Guided Tour

There is a list of the best songs/performances by Neil Diamond at Of course, it's beyond their ability not to be snarky about him, even though he has written who knows how many hit songs and has millions of fans. However, there are some nice choices. Here are some, with RS comments:

"I Am...I Said" (Live) (1972)
The 1971 studio version of Neil's existential anthem was the big hit, but the fantastically overwrought live rendition from 1972's Hot August Night is even better. "I need, I want, I care, I weep, I ache, I am, I said, I am, I said," offers our denim-clad philosopher, and it's so true.

"The Pot Smoker's Song" (1968)
"La Bamba" meets "Revolution No. 9" on this utterly bizarre anti-drug sound collage, also from Velvet Gloves and Spit. You simply haven't lived until you've heard Neil bawling "Pot, pot, gimme some pot!" backed by a kiddie chorus, while former addicts testify how they went from smoking weed to "shooting acid into my spine."

"Solitary Man" (1966)
Neil's first hit single, "Solitary Man" remains the most brilliantly efficient song in the Diamond collection. There's not a wasted word or chord in this two-and-a-half minute anthem of heartbreak and self-affirmation, which introduced the melancholy loner persona that he's repeatedly returned to throughout his career.
I heard some of the new record. I like the "Hell Yeah" song.

Morrissey and Morricone: Ennio Face

A Tommy-guy toting Morrisey has announced some details about his upcoming album. Here's the story from

Morrissey is mixing his next studio album in Rome with producer Tony Visconti, according to a post from the artist on the fan site True to You. Dubbed "Ringleader of the Tormentors," the set is expected for release in mid-March via Attack, with a single to precede it during the second week February.

"Not only is this a departure in his writing (my opinion) but he has extended his vocal range and has written extended melodies," Visconti recently said of the album on his own Web site. "I am two-thirds of the way through one of the best albums I've ever worked on, with not only Morrissey at his best, but the plot has twists and turns which somehow involve film composer Ennio Morricone and an Italian children's choir."
How do you say "Advanced" in Italian?

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Advancement and the Expiration of Inspiration

A big part of the Advanced Theory is the idea that genius is not something that is visited upon an artist and suddenly disappears after a few years. If it disappears in a few years, it wasn't genius. I think the key is to separate genius from inspiration. Inspiration can raise the level of someone's art for a while and make it seem like someone is a genius, but the inspiration is external, so if things change--the artist falls in love, leaves his band, gets rich--the "genius" goes away too. I remember reading something to the effect that John Lennon wrote on inspiration while Paul McCartney was more of a craftsman. I don't really believe that (they both relied on both), but I do think that is the difference between the pretenders and the real-deal Advanced: the former rely on something magical, whereas the latter rely on their talent. It's like Charles Schultz said: Writer's block is for amateurs.

Radiohead Record in "Haunted" House

From Yahoo!:

British rockers Radiohead are being inspired by the paranormal as they record their next album in a haunted house. The band members all claim to have heard strange noises in the ancient country house, but are using their fear driven adrenalin to power their music. Frontman Thom Yorke added, "We're in a house that may be haunted. It is a very old house. The rooms move. There are noises. "Actually the house is haunted. You feel like you are being watched." A friend of the band says, "There's definitely something spectral in that house, but the studio is great so they put up with it."It's even inspired them to write a song called Burn The Witch."
This is scarily Overt.

Neil Diamond and Rick Rubin: Hear It Now

You can preview Neil Diamond's new Rick Rubin-produced record at myspace. I think I'll go do that right now...

David Bowie Talks to William Burroughs About Lou Reed

For some reason, this website reprinted a William Burroughs (Overt) interview with David Bowie (Advanced) from "Rolling Stone" (a magazine). Here's my favorite part:

Burroughs: It is rather surprising that such complicated lyrics can go down with a mass audience. The content of most pop lyrics is practically zero, like 'Power to the people'.

Bowie: I'm quite certain that the audience that I've got for my stuff listen to the lyrics.

Burroughs: That's what I'm interested in hearing about.... do they understand them?

Bowie: Well, it comes over more as a media thing and it's only after they sit down and bother to look. On the level they are reading them, they do understand them, because they will send me back their own kind of write-ups of what I'm talking about, which is great for me because sometimes I don't know. There have been times when I've written something and it goes out and it comes back in a letter from some kid as to what they think about it and I've taken their analysis to heart so much that I have taken up his thing. Writing what my audience is telling me to write.

Lou Reed is the most important writer in modern rock. Not because of the stuff that he does, but the direction that he will take it. Half the new bands would not be around if it were not for Lou. The movement that Lou's stuff has created is amazing. New York City is Lou Reed. Lou writes in the street-gut level and the English tend to intellectualize more.
I like how enigmatic the "[n]ot because of the stuff that he does, but the direction that he will take it" line is. I wonder what the distinction is between the stuff and the stuff's direction. And if the stuff were different wouldn't the direction matter?