Music in the News

 We tip our Hi-hats to you, sir

If you’ve ever come into contact with a drum kit, the name Sabian should be familiar to you, as it was probably on the cymbals you melodically thrashed on. If this indeed is your case, take a minute to thank Robert Zildjian, the company’s founder, who passed away last Thursday at 89. Reports suggest he was battling cancer. The only official word as of yet is a statement posted on the Sabian website detailing his life. “His professional story is well known. Having been dealt a major career setback at an age where most men would have opted for retirement, RZ instead chose to re-invent the cymbal business with his own hand-crafted brand, a brand that would forever change the face and sound of popular music. With his bare hands he shaped the Sabian cymbal brand into his life’s story — and by extension we became his family. We mourn his passing, and he will be forever in our hearts. But we are better people for having known RZ, and we are richer for having worked alongside him. We draw comfort from the knowledge that his spirit will live on in the music made by drummers the world over.”


That’s quite an earful

In an interview with XFM radio, 30 Seconds to Mars singer Jared Leto spoke about their fans’ baffling devotion to the band. On the topic of gifts they’d received over the years, Leto said, “The fans are an incredibly committed and passionate group of people. Going to a show is kind of like visiting Japan, you expect gifts on your arrival. You get all kinds of wonderful things.” So passionate in fact, one fan decided to literally give him a little piece of themselves. “Someone cut their ear off once and sent it to me, that was very strange. A whole ear. The Van Gogh move. The note just said, ‘Are you listening?’ I never knew who it was, who’s missing their ear out there.” Asked what he did with the gift, Leto joked, “I poked a hole in it and wore it as a necklace.” He then cautioned others against doing something similar: “Just don’t put your entire body in a case and send it to us.”


A lead up to The Appeal pt. II?

Rapper Gucci Mane turned himself in to Atlanta police last week on charges of aggravated assault with a weapon. Mane allegedly hit a fan, James Lettley, with a champagne bottle in an Atlanta nightclub’s VIP area on March 16, resulting in Lettley needing ten stitches. “I was speaking to the security guard, and Gucci Mane hit me in the head with a bottle,” said Lettley. “That is dangerous because if there was to be any other fan trying to approach him, ain’t no telling what else he might do to them.“ This is far from Mane’s first run-in with the law: in 2005, he was charged with murder, though the case was dropped for lack of evidence, in 2006 he was jailed for assault and in 2011 he was charged on two separate accounts of battery and aggravated assault.






MUSIC IN THE NEWS: DIIV, Napalm Death, Michelle Shocked


DIIV played SXSW last week, and guitarist Zachary Cole Smith decide to share his feelings about the festival on Tumblr: “Hi Austin. Fuck SXSW. There… I said it,” wrote Smith, whose band had only played one of their four scheduled shows at the time. “Here, the music comes last. 5 minute set-up, no sound check, 15 minute set. The ‘music’ element is all a front, it’s the first thing to be compromised. Corporate money everywhere but in the hands of the artists, at what is really just a glorified corporate networking party. Drunk corporate goons and other industry vampires and cocaine. Everyone is drunk, being cool. ‘Official’ bureaucracy and all their mindless rules. Branding, branding, branding. It’s bullshit… sorry.” Despite what you may think, Smith was “actually having a blast at SXSW” according to a tweet he made a few hours later, leaving the rest of us to scratch our heads in bewilderment.


Enemy of the museum business

Napalm Death was scheduled to play in a museum last week. Metal? Maybe, maybe not. The gig getting canceled due to fears the music would be loud enough to destroy their exhibits? Definitely metal. “It is with regret that we have taken the decision to cancel the one-off Napalm Death performance,” museum officials wrote. “This was due to take place in the Europe Galleries which are currently being refurbished and a further safety inspection has revealed concerns that the high level of decibels generated by the concert would damage the historic fabric of the building.” Vocalist Mark “Barney” Greenway took the cancellation in stride, attributing it to the band’s “crippling sound” and saying there had been a lot of hesitation from the museum. “[The Victoria and Albert Museum] had been making noises. They started asking the sound guy fairly nervously: ‘What will the volume be like?’ He was like, ‘What can I tell you? They make a lot of noise,’” said Greenway. The group was to perform last Friday in collaboration with the museum’s resident ceramic artist, Keith Harrison, who was to build them a custom clay PA system that would “explode” during the show, which still might see the light of day, as the V&A are thought to be working with the band to find a more suitable venue for their performance.


Short sharp shocking

Folk–rock singer Michelle Shocked surprised everyone last week when she began proselytizing about the evils of gay marriage in the middle of a set at a San Francisco venue. The singer went on a rant about overturning California’s Prop 8 and citing passages from the bible condemning homosexuality, much to the confusion of her left-leaning fans; this was, after all, someone who’d been arrested at an Occupy protest and had spoken out against Bush-era republicans. One fan who’d been picked to live tweet the show from onstage said that after the singer had mentioned her support of Prop 8, “People got a little riled up; then there started to be some call and response from the crowd about what she meant. She started exhorting the crowd very specifically to go ahead and tweet or write and say that Michelle Shocked says God hates f–s, and some other references to the Bible denouncing homosexuality as sinful and abhorrent.” Shocked has since apologized, stating her comments were taken out of context, and that she was “damn sorry.”



Music In The News – Stevie Nicks, Azealia Banks, Iron Maiden

The landslide bring that down too?

Stevie Nicks’ NPR interview last week at SXSW touched on a number of topics, including Nicks’ influences, her new solo album, tour, and her time with Dave Grohl’s Sound City Players. The most striking topic broached, however, was the state of modern feminism, which Nicks believes to be losing ground. “We fought very hard for feminism, for women’s rights,” Nicks said during a Q&A with the audience. “What I’m seeing today is a very opposite thing. I don’t know why, but I see women being put back in their place. And I hate it. We’re losing all we worked so hard for, and it really bums me out.” Nicks recalled the atmosphere that her and band mate Christine McVie dealt with in their Fleetwood Mac heyday, saying that they had strived to alter the perception of women in rock & roll at the time. “I said to [Christine], we can never be treated like second-class citizens. When we walk into a room we have to float in like goddesses, because that’s how we wanted to be treated. We demanded that from the beginning.


She tweets the dumb

If you’re at all familiar with Azealia Banks, you know that she waxes vulgar on a near constant basis and has a knack for getting into feuds with pretty much anybody from Perez Hilton to Baauer a.k.a the “Harlem Shake” guy, but her latest Twitter rant is one for the books. “Fuck those old saggy white niggas stone roses. I wish them nothing but excrement and death. Wow! I must really fucking be a superstar… You’ve got an established band trying to sabotage my lil rap bitch shine. Wow a bunch of old white men trying to bully a young black girl…. What the fuck else is new in this world ???” The cause of all the animosity? Both played at Australia’s Future Music Festival, where Banks claims the Stone Roses started their equipment check during her set to purposefully sabotage her at the behest of her ex-tour manager. She has since removed the tweets, claiming the Stone Roses had apologized, though no official statement was made on the band’s part.


The number of the yeast

Metal has a long and storied history, much of it appropriately soaked in booze, so it is only fitting that one of the biggest monsters of metal have sunk their flag into the brewing business. Iron Maiden, in collaboration with England’s Robinson Brewery, have announced that they’ll be coming out with their very own ‘Trooper’ ale, a 4.7% beer with “Malt flavours and citric notes from a unique blend of Bobec, Goldings and Cascade hops.” The video announcing the new brew features lead singer Bruce Dickinson offering a tour of the Robinsons Unicorn brewery and explaining how the project came about. “As a fan of traditional English cask beer, I thought this could actually be something really exciting,” said the singer. “We could actually develop a proper, real, long-term beer.” Though the band had approached many receptive brewers with the idea, they eventually went with Robinsons due to their standards. “When we got in touch with Robinsons the great thing about [them] was what they wanted to know was were we serious about really brewing a long term beer, having a long-term relationship with the brewery and us,” said Dickinson in the video. “It was almost like we were on trial, it was like going on a job interview.” Though there’s no announced release date, fans can sign up for news at






Music in the News

Canadian music icon Stompin’ Tom Connors, known for quirky, Canadian-themed songs like “Bud the Spud” and “Sudbury Saturday Night” died last Wednesday of natural causes at his home in Ontario. Knowing he was in ill health he penned a letter to his fans thanking them for their devotion over the years. It was published on his website soon after his passing: “Hello friends, I want all my fans, past, present or future, to know that without you, there would have not been any Stompin’ Tom. It was a long hard bumpy road, but this great country kept me inspired with its beauty, character, and spirit, driving me to keep marching on and devoted to sing about its people and places that make Canada the greatest country in the world. I must now pass the torch, to all of you, to help keep the MapAll stomped out

le Leaf flying high, and be the Patriot Canada needs now and in the future. I humbly thank you all, one last time, for allowing me in your homes, I hope I continue to bring a little bit of cheer into your lives form the work I have done. Sincerely, your friend always, Stompin’ Tom Connors.”


Indie fates n’ dire straits

A new study from the Canadian Independent Music Association has turned up some interesting, disheartening statistics about our music industry. The study found that music company employees earn an average of $22,250 a year, which may not sound like a lot to people outside the business, but it’s nearly 300 per cent more than the average indie musician makes in a year, a whopping $7,228. The study does point out that the musicians work about 29 hours a week, whereas the industry folks 33 hours per week. All in all everyone seems to be getting a raw deal, since roughly 60 per cent of the Canadian music industry earns $50,000 or less in gross income. Other stats of note are that nearly half of the music companies in Canada are run by a single individual, the average age of Canadian indie musicians is 39.5 and 73 per cent of them are male. If Canadian music studies are your bag, you can check out the whole 50 page document at CIMA’s website,



W.K. wipes klean

In what is either the most appropriate or inappropriate celebrity endorsement of a product ever, Andrew W.K. has been tapped to be the face of Playtex’s new “Fresh + Sexy Wipes,” a wipe intended explicitly for folks “before and after they engage in sexual activity.” Playtex explained the logic behind their latest spokesman in a statement: “This exciting new product required the help of someone who could embody the brand’s playful yet bold campaign; someone who could party hard, but still be clean when it counted. Andrew W.K. is that someone and we are thrilled to have him on board with us.” In celebration of the union between Playtex and the prince of “Party Hard” the feminine hygiene company will be giving out 100 Andrew W.K. Sensory Kits, which will hit “all five of the recipients’ senses from the packaging to the content inside,” according to the press release.





Music in the News

Berettas for Beyoncé

Music manager Michael “Blue” Williams has proposed a new initiative to help clean up New York’s streets, and he’s hoping people are willing to go from NRA to Beyoncé in order to make it work. The Guns for Greatness program seeks to offer people a chance to trade in their guns for concert tickets in the city’s first private sector gun buyback program. Though it is currently only under consideration, NYPD commissioner Raymond Kelly has said they’re not against the idea: “We want to get as many guns off the streets, and if this works, we’d like to support it.” If the program is given the go-ahead, Williams, who’s managed acts like Outkast and Cee-Lo Green in the past, says he’ll reach out to top stars like Jay-Z and Beyoncé for help. “The Beyoncé show is coming to Brooklyn; the Jay-Z show is coming to Yankee Stadium. Our goal is to reach out to individuals who are in my industry, in my world and who I have an association with and get their support,” Williams said. “I think we should all work together to help get guns off the streets.”


Pilot: Ejected

1990s rockers Stone Temple Pilots have decided that they’re better off without their frontman, as announced in their one-line press release early last week: “Stone Temple Pilots have announced they have officially terminated Scott Weiland.” The termination comes after the rumour mill started a couple of months ago, when Weiland’s ex-Velvet Revolver bandmate Slash said in an interview that STP had given him the boot. This comes as news to the frontman, however, who released a statement to Rolling Stone not long after STP’s announcement: “I learned of my supposed ‘termination’ from Stone Temple Pilots this morning by reading about it in the press.  Not sure how I can be ‘terminated’ from a band that I founded, fronted and co-wrote many of its biggest hits, but that’s something for the lawyers to figure out.”


A beautiful dark twisted rantasy

Rapper-producer Kanye West is known for both his talent and for going a little crazy on a regular basis. It’s the latter part of his infamy that’s put him back in the spotlight, after a series of rants he went on during shows in Paris and London, blasting “corporations” and the music industry, among other things. At one point in his Paris show, Yeezy compares himself to Picasso, Michelangelo, Basquiat, Walt Disney and Steve Jobs, telling the concertgoers he’ll return to the music world in two months, bringing “that real shit” with him. As inexplicable as that is, the real crazy came out during the London show, where West went on for nearly ten minutes rapping stuff like “Can I sell your drink for you, please? So you can help me put on a better show, please? Corporations? Can you please support me, please? Me, Kanye West? I swear I’m a nice nigga now. I swear I’ll put the pink Polo back on. I swear to you! Please. Just for three million dollars. I need it so bad, I need a new pool in my backyard! I’ll tell all my fans that your shit is cool. And if they believe in me, then they should also believe in you.”



Music in the News

 As he’s inked, crying

As I Lay Dying’s frontman Tim Lambesis is the kind of man who starts a side project loosely inspired by an ex-governor action-star called “Austrian Death Machine.” So it’s not difficult to comprehend where he gets his ideas on crowdsourcing incentives to fund said band’s third album Triple Brutal. For a mere $5,000 you can have your initials tattooed on Tim’s butt followed by a celebratory dinner and “maybe you can hold Tim’s hand while he’s under the needle.” Though that’s the top prize to be had on his funding page, there are a number of other rewards up for grabs, including a gym workout with Tim for $99, having your face on his shirt at a concert for 250$ and having the singer be your personal trainer for a month for $500. As of this writing, the campaign has collected $16,000 of the $63,000 required by April 5, but no one’s coughed up the five grand yet, so you may still have your chance at cheeky immortality!


Battle of the B-listers

 A while back troubled actress Lindsay Lohan decided to sue rapper Pitbull over some lyrics he spouted in his song “Give Me Everything”: “So I’m tiptoein’ to keep flowin’/I got it locked up like Lindsay Lohan.’” Apparently Lohan believed that the lines constituted an “unwarranted, unauthorized and unfavorable mention of [her] name and personality, and allusions to [her] physical and mental character.” Lohan’s lawyer argued that the song was created for commercial and not artistic reasons. Incredibly the judge disagreed, saying the song constituted “a work of art” (legally speaking) and that it was protected against publicity and privacy-related claims under the first amendment. “The fact that the song was presumably created and distributed for the purpose of making a profit does not mean that plaintiff’s name was used for ‘advertising’ or ‘purposes of trade’ within the meaning of the New York Civil Rights Law.” In addition to losing the case, Lohan’s lawyer was fined for “an affront to the court” for allegedly plagiarizing her legal briefs from educational websites and other law firms.


Better branding through bodyslams

In case you didn’t hear the Smashing Pumpkins’ Billy Corgan started his own professional wrestling company, Resistance Pro, back in 2011. Now he’s taken the next logical step in his progression from alt-rock icon to guy who does weird things for a living by using said wrestling company to make a T.V. commercial to sell furniture. The company in question, Walter E. Smithe Furniture, is a local Chicago store known for its ridiculous advertising. If you’re curious, Pitchfork summed up the ad pretty well: “Corgan and one of the Smithe brothers are playing musical chairs in a wrestling ring. Then they get in a fight. Naturally, Corgan calls in his goons from Resistance Pro Wrestling.  When one of the dudes tries to hit another guy with a chair, Corgan stops him: ‘That’s a Walter E. Smithe chair!’” As for Corgan’s reasoning, “Branding anything these days is a real challenge,” he told the Chicagoist. “We have to build credibility in the wrestling community. It’s based on visibility and name recognition.” As to how that translates into wrestlers selling furniture, your guess is as good as mine.



Music in the News – ‘Lil Wayne, the Black Keys, Metallica

It’s a Lil’ offensive

Lil’ Wayne hasn’t been known to shy away from bad lyrics, but his most recent contribution, some lines on an unofficial remix of Future’s “Karate Chop”, certainly takes the cake for offensiveness: “Pop a lot of pain pills / ‘Bout to put rims on my skateboard wheels / Beat that pussy up like Emmett Till.” For those who may not get the reference, Emmet Till was an African-American 14-year-old who was murdered in 1955, allegedly for flirting with a white woman. So you can understand how comparing him to beaten pussy may not be the most sensitive thing in the world. Epic records has already apologized for the offending lyric, saying they “regret the unauthorized remix version of Future’s “Karate Chop”, which was leaked online and contained hurtful lyrics,” and that they are making every effort to take down the song out of respect for Till’s memory. Future has said he believes Wayne, who often free-associates his raps, meant no harm by the lyric. “The record it was done from a good place, good art, he ain’t have no bad intentions when he was thinking about it like that.” Till’s cousin, Airicka Gordon-Taylor, has requested the line be removed from the song, and that Wayne issue an apology to the Till family, a request that has as of yet remained unfulfilled.



The new frontrunner for the “most ridiculous music feud of 2013” award goes to Black Keys drummer Patrick Carney and his new arch nemesis, Justin Bieber. It all started when a TMZ reporter interviewed Carney after the Grammys on Feb. 10. when asked what he thought of Bieber not being nominated for anything this year. “He’s rich, right?” Carney replied, adding, “Grammys are for music, not for money, and he’s making a lot of money. I don’t know. He should be happy, I guess.” Evidently, Bieber caught wind of this, and two days later tweeted the meanest thing a Canadian teen idol could possibly say: “the black keys drummer should be slapped around haha.” Still, the sharp sting of a tweeted slap, even one that’s been retweeted over 30 000 times, will most likely be softened by the Black Keys’ three Grammy wins.


Well why else would you play Metallica?

In a lengthy piece in Esquire magazine, the man who shot Bin Laden revealed an interesting intimidation tactic his group used: playing Metallica’s music to “soften up” people before the interrogation. Even more interesting is the band’s reaction once they found out. “Metallica got wind of this and they said, ‘Hey, please don’t use our music because we don’t want to promote violence’,” Said the Navy Seal, adding what we’re all thinking at this point: “I thought, Dude, you have an album called Kill ‘Em All.” Luckily for the Seals, a Christian metal band called Demon Hunter was more than willing to help them out, sending CDs and patches to the team. “I wore my Demon Hunter patch on every mission,” the Seal said. “I wore it when I blasted Bin Laden.” Now what could be more metal than that?


Music In The News: Flaming Lips, Jack White, Cirque du Soleil

Eat yer heart out

If you’ve ever seen a video of open-heart surgery being performed and thought “you know, that would look pretty good encased in chocolate…” You are incredibly weird. Luckily for you, so are The Flaming Lips. In honor of Valentine’s Day, the group is releasing its new Songs of Love mix on a USB key housed inside an anatomically-correct chocolate heart. The group partnered with Dallas-based company Dude, Sweet Chocolate to make the cardio confections, which are “72% South American dark chocolate studded with hazelnut mini whoppers and waffle cone crunch,” and sell for $60 apiece. Before you go rushing to their website to pick one up for that special someone in your life, you should know that the hearts have already sold out.

American History / X-rays

Jack White’s obsession with all things vinyl is only deepening, having announced plans to re-issue more than 25,000 old blues records through his own label for no profit. “It’s very important to American history and also to the history of the world,” White told BBC 6. He also explained how he first fell in love with the recordings when he encountered them at a young age. “I had been looking for Blues records when I was a teenager and the older ones seemed to have been kinda swallowed up,” he said. “At one point in Detroit a whole Blues collection was dropped off at this vintage record store, so that’s when I first bought a whole batch of Document records—Tommy Johnson, Ishman Bracey, Roosevelt Sykes … I’d never seen those records on vinyl before.”
One of White’s other projects will also dig up the past and put it on vinyl, though in a much more literal sense. For the next installment of Third Man Records’ ‘Blue’ series, some of the 7” records will be printed on old medical x-rays. If that’s something you’re interested in, best buy your tickets to SXSW now; the limited pressing “Flex-Ray discs” will only be available at the Austin festival in March.

Scary Monsters and Clown Tights

Cirque du Soleil has turned many an artist’s catalogue into a successful enterprise. To date, they’ve covered Elvis, the Beatles and Michael Jackson. So it might come as a bit of a surprise to hear that the next iconic musician to be welcomed under the proverbial big top is none other than Dubstep artist Skrillex. The DJ is one of several to have signed residency deals with the Cirque’s new Vegas club LIGHT. As part of the deal, each DJ will be able to use Cirque du Soleil’s resources to create their own distinct show. “The LIGHT Skrillex show is gonna be only in Vegas,” he said. “I want it be distinct to the LIGHT club because the configuration is so customizable, it’s fucking crazy. That’s the thing about the club, too: they can do anything, so it’s how you maximize the dynamic of a great show with all their fucking bells and whistles and all of their budgets and resources to do anything.” LIGHT opens on April 26th, though the start date for each DJ’s residency has yet to be announced.


Music in the News

Fishing the seas of cheese

Anytime there’s news about members of Primus or Ween doing anything, you know it’s bound to be weird, but put them together and what do you get? A fishing show, apparently. That’s right, Les Claypool and Mickey Melchiondo, better known as Dean Ween, have decided to put together their own reality show that will meld sport fishing with music and comedy and be produced by South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone. Ween says the show will be “personality driven” and you won’t need to know a mackerel from a marlin to get a kick out of it. “The idea is to get the show on after Anthony Bourdain or Tosh.O. It’s a fishing show that you do not have to be into fishing to enjoy,” said Melchiondo.The show, which begins shooting in February, will feature celebrity guests and will have its own soundtrack composed partially of music played on the show. Ween’s angling credentials include 30 years of amateur fishing experience and boating, as well as earning his coast guard license five years ago. Claypool’s, as far as we know, consists of writing songs like “John The Fisherman,” which is good enough for us.


The defamation monster

Last week, Lady Gaga found herself giving a six-hour testimony at a midtown Manhattan law office in regards to a lawsuit from a former assistant, a fact she was none too pleased about. “Listen, listen, sir, if you’re going to ask me questions for the next five hours, I am going to tell you exactly what fucking happened,” Gaga told one of the plaintiff’s lawyers, “so that the judge can read on this transcript exactly what’s going on.” The lawsuit in question was filed in 2011 by former aide Jennifer O’Neill, who alleges that the singer owes her more than $393,000 in overtime pay for her around-the-clock work between 2009 and 2011. Gaga claims that O’Neill knew that there would be no overtime pay from the beginning and claims that she benefitted from living a rock star lifestyle through her. “She slept in Egyptian cotton sheets every night, in five-star hotels, on private planes, eating caviar, partying with [photographer] Terry Richardson all night, wearing my clothes, asking YSL [Yves Saint Laurent] to send her free shoes without my permission, using my YSL discount without my permission.” The singer added that O’Neill’s job, which paid $75,000, “was essentially a favor, and Jennifer was majorly unqualified for it.”


Baby got payback

In case you’ve been living under a rock without Wi-Fi access, there’s been a bit of a squabble as of late over the Fox show Glee stealing artist Jonathan Coulton’s reworking of “Baby Got Back” and using it on the show without any kind of attribution. Luckily for Coulton, his fans took to the Twittersphere and made the media stand up and notice, leaving Fox with some considerable egg on their face. Last week, Coulton, who is perhaps best known as the writer of the Portal end-game song “Still Alive,” put his version of the rap track on iTunes, and it has since outsold any Glee song on the music distribution service. As if to counteract all the despicableness that’s come from the incident, Coulton has arranged for all proceeds from the track to be split between the VH1 Save The Music Foundation and the It Gets Better Project.



Music in the News – January 29, 2013

The Mars Coda

The Mars Volta singer Cedric Bixler-Zavala announced that the band’s prog-rocking days are over via twitter last Wednesday, citing a lack of interest from guitarist Omar Rodríguez-López. “For the record I tried my hardest to get a full scale North American tour going for Noctourniquet but Omar did not want to.” The singer said that he wasn’t angry about Rodríguez-López’s unwillingness to tour, but asked of his fans, “What am I suppose to do be some progressive house wife that’s cool with watching their partner go fuck other bands? We owe it 2 fans to tour.” Bixler promised that he would be releasing new music soon, and expressed his deep gratitude to The Mars Volta’s fans. “To all our fans all over the world thank you for giving a fuck. You all ruled!”


Lupe by name, Fiasco by reputation

Despite being a known critic of Barack Obama’s policies, rapper Lupe Fiasco was asked to perform at the president’s inauguration celebration on Jan. 20. In his set at the StartUp RockOn event at Washington’s Hamilton Live, the rapper took to the mic with a vengeance, playing the same anti-war song for over 30 minutes and speaking out about why he disliked the current administration. When he refused to switch songs, organizers had a team of security personnel remove him from the stage. “Lupe Fiasco was not ‘kicked off stage’ for an anti-Obama rant,” wrote the show’s organizers in a statement. “We are staunch supporters of free speech, and free political speech. This was not about his opinions. Instead, after a bizarrely repetitive, jarring performance that left the crowd vocally dissatisfied, organizers decided to move on to the next act.”


Snoop Lyin’

Reggae icon Bunny Wailer, one of the founding members of Bob Marley & The Wailers, has called out Snoop Lion for what he sees as an appropriation of Rastafarianism in order to sell his music. Wailer says that Snoop’s “outright fraudulent use of Rastafari Community’s personalities and symbolism” is an insult to the culture and is all a gimmick to promote work, including the rapper’s upcoming docu-film Reincarnated, which details the artist formerly known as Dogg’s transformation into Snoop Lion. Equally outraged are the head of the Ethio-Africa Diaspora Union Millennium Council, who wrote a 7-page demand letter, saying “smoking weed and loving Bob Marley and reggae music is not what defines the Rastafari Indigenous Culture!” In the letter, the council have asked him to stop using “Lion” in his name and issue a public apology, or they will pursue legal action against him.


Which neighborhood is it in?

If you’ve got $325,000 to spare and are looking for a way to cement your title as the most die-hard Arcade Fire fan ever, why not buy the church the band recorded The Suburbs and Neon Bible in? The band had to leave the church when the roof collapsed and they must have found a better deal somewhere else, because the band posted the real estate listing on their twitter page with the caption “Anybody want to buy a church?” The listing describes the space as a “charming church which housed a small concert hall, followed by a recording studio also offering accommodation. Its architecture makes it a perfect location for an artist’s studio, a place of worship, a cultural, community or other organization. Offer here a unique setting to your project!” Oh, and the roof repairs should only run you about $24,300-$44,200, in case you were wondering.



Music in the News: Skrillex, Metallica Concert Movie, Megadeth soup kitchen

Drop the heat

Celebrating his 25th birthday last week, Skrillex accidentally lit his hair on fire trying to blow out the candles on his turntable-shaped cake. In a moment reminiscent of Michael Jackson’s hair-burning Pepsi incident, the Wizard of Wub was recorded unknowingly lowering his signature half shaved head of hair into the lit candles on the cake, only for them to catch within a few moments, after which they were immediately extinguished. Skrillex has emerged unscathed from the incident and the overall feel of the TMZ exclusive video is one of amusement rather than anxiety, as partygoers and the man himself both laugh it off.


… And plastic black glasses for all.

In case you’ve remained blissfully unaware of its presence, there is a 3D Metallica Concert movie in the works, and it has enough of a plot that it requires an actor. Through the Never will not only feature concert footage of the band playing a set of their hits, but will also feature the story of “a young band crew member who is sent out on an urgent mission while the band is playing a rousing live set in front of a sold-out crowd and unexpectedly finds his world turned completely upside down.” In case you’re the kind of person who wonders about these things, the actor who will somehow have to rival Metallica’s onscreen charisma is Dane DeHaan, who most famously starred in 2012’s Chronicle. Also on board for the film is Predators director Nimród Antal, presumably due to his experience working with freakish humanoid life forms on film.


Peace sells, but who’s frying?

Perhaps in an effort to counteract “being vilified and having my character assassinated,” Megadeth’s Dave Mustaine, who you might remember as the guy who railed on Men’s Wearhouse about a gift card last week, has decided to put his money where people’s mouths are by opening a soup kitchen in Haiti. He took to Facebook to announce his new charity work, and explain how the kitchen came about. “I was approached with an opportunity, and thanks to your unwavering support, my family and I have been able to fund a soup kitchen in Haiti with a ministry called, ‘Outside The Bowl,’ and you will be proud to know that when it is started (which will be very soon), we will be feeding up to 8,000 meals a day to the less fortunate.”


Mr. Montreux est Mort

The world of jazz lost one of its foremost impresarios last week when 76-year-old Claude Nobs, founder of the Montreux jazz festival, died after spending several weeks in a coma. Nobs started the summer festival in 1967 while working with the resort’s tourism department and since then the festival has attracted a variety of famous musicians, including Miles Davis, Ray Charles, B.B. King and Marvin Gaye. The classic rock aficionados amongst you may recognize him as the man monikered “Funky Claude” in Deep Purple’s “Smoke on the Water.” The festival founder was injured while cross-country skiing on Christmas Eve near his home in Caux, and had been in a coma ever since.




Music in the News

Good Guy Gibson

Zambonis guitarist Dave Schneider experienced every musician’s worst nightmare last month when Delta Airlines baggage handlers destroyed his prized 1965 Gibson ES-335 guitar. Upon arriving at his Buffalo destination, Schneider took a video of his guitar case wedged between a service elevator and a rail on the loading dock and posted it online. Now Gibson has stepped up and offered to repair the guitar free of charge, in addition to gifting him an anniversary re-release of a Gibson 1963 ES-335 on the house. “We all know Gibson guitars rock,” Schneider wrote in an email to Yahoo! news, who first broke the story last week. “But at this moment, the Gibson company is rocking even harder than Pete Townshend’s Les Paul.” The Zambonis front man called the guitar company’s offer “the cherry on top of the best musical nightmare ever.”


The Twitter of Mr. Rager

In a follow-up to his blasting of Universal last year, in which he claimed the label treated his album WZRD “like some indie side project tax write off,” Kid Cudi has attacked Republic, his current label, for not getting his songs enough radio airplay. Cudi let loose in a series of tweets last Tuesday, pointing out that his two latest singles, ‘King Wizard’ and ‘Just What I Am’ had each received more than 3 million views on YouTube and blamed the fact that this was not translating into radio on Republic. The choicest tweets of Cudi’s rant are presented to you now without any further commentary or correction:

“To my label, I swear to all that is fuckin holy in this world, if things dont change soon, theres gonna be some problems”

“I worked too hard on all this shit. Producing, writing, directing AND executing the shit proper. I did my part, I put in work. Wtf”

“Yall kno I cuts no slack. Not w my music. Every song is my life. A piece of my fuckin tormented soul. It matters to me. I give a fuck”

“Trinidad James got 4.1 million views on his hit (rightfully so), and I hear that jam EVERYWHERE. Wheres my fuckin spins???”


Motorheadphones, ‘nuff said

This week’s prize for cleverest branding goes to British rockers Motorhead, who’ve partnered up with techie entrepreneurs Anders Nicklassen and Ulf Sandberg to bring you their new line of ‘Motorheadphones’. “People say we’ve never sold out,” joked frontman Lemmy Kilmister. “No one ever approached us.” The new line of audio gear consists of two headphones and six in-ear models, which are already being monikered ‘anti-Beats’ due to their focus on enhancing mid-range sounds over the traditional emphasis on bass that was such a prominent feature of Dr. Dre’s headgear. The reason behind the decision, as Kilmister puts it, is that an overemphasis on bass is “like you’re listening through a towel.” The legendary rocker also expressed hope that his more tech-savvy associates do a good job on the project, joking, “It sucks killing people.”


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