Music in the news

It’s hard to Stand! when you’re living in a van 

Four years ago, music legend Sly Stone lived in an impressively sized house in Napa Valley, complete with a plethora of cars and its very own backyard vineyard. Today, the funk pioneer known for such hits as “Dance to the Music” and “Everyday People” is homeless and living in a white camper van in L.A. Stone sued his manager for fraud in 2009 and blames his current woes on financial mismanagement and poor life decisions. “That’s why I got so much money, that there are so many people around, and that’s why I am in court. Millions of dollars!” Stone told the New York Post. “But now please tell everybody, please, to give me a job, play my music. I’m tired of all this shit, man.”

Betty White Hot 

Golden Girl Betty White, 89, has recorded a rap video and vocals for a remixed version of British singer/songwriter Luciana’s “I’m Still Hot.” The octogenarian’s unusual foray into the music world was all done for a good cause: to raise money for the Los Angeles Zoo. “Music videos are not necessarily close to my heart, but animals always are, I’m always comfortable with them,” says White. In the video, White is seen atop a golden throne sporting a boa constrictor and surrounded by, in her own words, “nice young men […] that are built like little brick houses.” For those interested in hearing White rock the mic and helping out L.A.’s animals, the track is available for download on iTunes.

Stop hinting―smash the damn pumpkins already

Billy Corgan has rather obliquely stated that he may disband the Smashing Pumpkins if their next record does not make an impact in the music market. Corgan, who has been releasing songs digitally one at a time as part of the Pumpkins’ Teargarden By Kaleidyscope project, said the lack of response to Teargarden compelled him to go back to a traditional album format. Corgan hopes that Oceania, the band’s first studio release in four years, will revive interest in the Pumpkins. If not, he said “We’re going to have to step back and really evaluate where we’re going, because it’s a tremendous amount of energy to put out to just feel like you’re throwing a pebble in the ocean.”

Pumped up to kill?

A 14-year-old Phoenix, Arizona boy was arrested last week for threatening to go on a killing spree at his former middle school after the teenager commented on the YouTube video for Foster the People’s controversial radio hit “Pumped Up Kicks.” The song’s lyrics describe a “cowboy kid” who finds a gun in his father’s closet and whose chorus consists of a warning to the “other kids” to “outrun my gun.” According to Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Jessie Spurgin, “He gave out a specific place and time for when it would happen, that made [the threat] a little more credible in our eyes.” A sawed off shotgun was later found during a search of the teen’s home, where he lives with his grandfather.

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DEAN & BRITTA: Partners in Crime

For better or for worse; Dean and Britta side by side like Bonnie and Clyde. He is the former front man of the bands Galaxie 500 and Luna. She is the singing voice behind animated sensation JEM & the Holograms. Guitarist/vocalist Dean Wareham and bassist/vocalist Britta Phillips are husband and wife and psych-folk duo Dean & Britta.