Music in the News – Week of September 10, 2013

No more “Wonderwall”?

Contestants on the British version of The X Factor have supposedly been banned from covering Oasis songs during auditions and throughout the competition. The newest addition to the judges’ panel will be Canadian pop star Nicole Appleton who is rumoured to be separating from husband Liam Gallagher, a member of the British rock band. The couple have supposedly ended their five year marriage after rumours circulated that Gallagher had fathered a child with an American journalist. Current judge Louis Walsh has asked contestants not to perform any Oasis songs in order to appease Appleton, who joined the panel after Kelly Osbourne backed out at the last minute.

Tupac: The Musical

Soon fans of Tupac Shakur might be able to see the late rapper’s life unfold on stage in the form of a Broadway musical. The Wall Street Journal reported that the task is being undertaken by stage director Kenny Leon. Instead of solely focusing on the rapper’s short life, the musical will have a strong “anti-violence message,” according to the Journal. Shakur was gunned down in Las Vegas in May of 1996, an event that unwittingly changed the face of rap and hip hop.

Kanye criticized for performing in Kazakhstan

Kanye West gave an exclusive and intimate wedding performance in Kazakhstan for the grandson of the nation’s authoritarian president, Nursultan Nazarbayev, at the end of August. West has since been criticized by human rights organizations for performing in the Central Asian country because its authoritarian leader has been accused of perpetuating human rights violations throughout his rule. Previously in 2011, Sting cancelled a performance in Kazakhstan after discovering that several people had died in an oil strike crackdown. West has made no comment on the matter thus far.


Daft Punk interview dance off

Would-be employees at a local Welsh branch of Currys were forced to compete in a dance off with each other as part of the interview process. The interviewees danced to Daft Punk’s classic tune “Around The World.” Upset and humiliated, a university graduate who took part in the dance off spoke out against the UK electronics chain saying that  “it was like a scene out of The Office,” according to The Mirror. A spokesperson from Currys has since released a statement apologizing to the applicants and has offered them another shot at an interview, this time without any dancing.



Music in the News – September 3, 2013

Oh, Canada… New fees implemented for bringing international musicians to the Great White North

Booking agents and promoters are now looking at increased fees for bringing non-Canadian musicians to venues across Canada, where music is not the primary focus, such as bars and coffee shops. As the Calgary Herald reported, Canada’s Ministry of Employment, Social Development & Multiculturalism have come up with a legislation that will force owners or promoters to submit a $275 application fee, per band and crew member. In addition, there will be a $150 charge for each approved musician and crew member’s work permit. Should the application be rejected, the fees are non-refundable and will be charged with another application.  Having taken effect on July 31, the new rules are supposed to “ensure that owners and managers of those types of establishments look to hire Canadians first before hiring temporary foreign workers,” according to the government agencies involved in the changes.

Timbaland and Michael Jackson to collaborate

Timbaland isn’t about to let death be a factor in his music production. In an interview with Revolt TV, the super-producer mentioned a project in the works to blend his music with Michael Jackson’s vocals. The project was reportedly initiated by Epic Records CEO, L.A. Reid.

Previously this summer, the LA Times reported Timbaland also spoke about producing music featuring the late Aaliyah’s vocals, while saying that he wasn’t a fan of the work made by other musicians. “Chris Brown got a record, it won’t work. Drake can go do a record with Aaliyah, it ain’t gonna work. ’Cause Aaliyah music only work with its soulmate, which is me,” he said.


Sean Kingston on trial for rape

The “Beautiful Girls” singer has been accused of raping an inebriated teenager in his Seattle hotel room in July 2010, following a Justin Bieber concert. TMZ is reporting the now 22-year-old woman says she was forced into sex with Kingston, a member of his band and his bodyguard.  The girl was allegedly under the influence of drugs and alcohol before she was invited back to the hotel room for a meet-and-greet, where she says Kingston was lying naked on his bed as she entered the room. The woman is said to have been rescued by a friend and then taken to the hospital where she was treated for injuries “consistent with rape.” Kingston has denied the allegations of rape but has said that the sex was consensual. The woman is asking for $5 million.

Justin Timberlake is seeing green

Superstar Justin Timberlake might soon be adding super-villain to his resumé. In a radio interview with New York station Fresh 102.7, the singer/actor said he has no interest in playing a superhero, but wants to play a villain in Batman vs. Superman, with Ben Affleck in the lead role. Timberlake has ruled out playing Robin, but says he would love to play his childhood favourite villain, the Riddler. “The Riddler is my favorite villain. The Riddler was like a sociopath. He was proper crazy. So if I’m gonna play crazy, I wanna play proper crazy,” he said in the interview.  The Riddler was last played by Jim Carrey in Batman Forever.



Music in the News – August 27, 2013

Music industry comes together for a good cause

A benefit concert was held Aug. 22 in honour of School of Seven Bells’ guitarist, Benjamin Curtis. Curtis was recently diagnosed with T-cell lymphoblastic lymphoma. The “Put Your Sad Down” concert was organized by Strokes’ manager Ryan Gentles who was able to get dozens of big names from the industry to help out. Strokes guitarist Albert Hammond Jr. headlined the fundraiser with the help of his solo band. Gentles also enlisted help from Strokes band members Fabrizio Moretti and Julian Casablancas. Moretti, along with friend and musician Devendra Banhart, played the part of DJs for the night while Casablancas donated the infamous velvet blazer he donned for the cover of his solo album, Phrazes for the Young. Other attendees included Joe Jonas from the Jonas Brothers, British model Alexa Chung, Paul Banks from Interpol, along with hundreds of friends, family and fans alike.

Canadian dentist hopes to clone John Lennon

Two years ago Canadian dentist Michael Zuk bought John Lennon’s molar at an auction for over $30,000. Zuk announced in a recent press release that he intends to extract the late Beatles’ DNA in the hopes of someday cloning him. Lennon originally gave his housekeeper the molar in the mid-1960s with the intention of having it disposed, but instead she kept it and later passed it on to her daughter. The legendary Liverpudlian’s tooth was kept in the family until it was purchased by Zuk at an auction in 2011.

Rapper 2 Chainz arrested while on tour

American rapper 2 Chainz was arrested in Oklahoma on Aug.22 while on the road with his crew. The rapper’s tour bus was pulled over after police noticed a busted headlight. Officers were suspicious of drug use and attempted to enter but were locked out and denied access by the driver who claimed they needed a search warrant first. Nine hours later, the bus was towed and brought to the Oklahoma County Jail where 11 passengers were arrested on account of “interfering with police process”, according to Billboard. No statements were released commenting on any additional drug charges. This is his third arrest this year, the previous two being related to possession of marijuana.

Mötley Crüe announce farewell tour

After nearly three decades of touring and making music, Mötley Crüe has decided that its 2014 world tour will most likely be its last. “We’ll do one more time around the world and kinda call it quits,” said the band’s frontman Vince Neil in an interview with Rolling Stone. Neil also hints at the possibility of new music being released before the rock veterans say their goodbyes. The band also plans to release the film version of their autobiography The Dirt, which will most likely feature their new material in the documentary itself.


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

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 – ‘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

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: 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.”



Music in the news

Bitching is my business…

 Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine found another target for his ire last week when Men’s Wearhouse didn’t ship a gift certificate he’d bought for his tour manager. Mustaine says the store had guaranteed him 2-day shipping, but had kept the order on hold without notifying him, which prompted him to blast them on his band’s Facebook wall. “I really think that it sucks when people make false claims, that they don’t care to make good on a problem that is clearly their fault, and with all of the ‘ABSOLUTELY GUARANTEE IT’ crap I just had to say something.” Wrote the metal head, adding “I for one, will never set foot in a Men’s Warehouse, even for shelter from a blizzard.”  It’s a step down in crazy from his rant last August about Obama staging the Aurora shooting as well as the Colorado shooting at the Dark Knight premiere, but it’s just strange enough to get our attention. 


Writing a better birthday

In case you didn’t know, the song “Happy Birthday” is actually copyrighted by Time Warner Music Group, and they’ve made a good chunk of money off the song: they rake in an estimated $2 million a year in royalties and the like (technically, their copyright should have been voided long ago given that nobody even knows who wrote the lyrics anymore, but that’s big business for you). Well, the folks at the Free Music Archive are hoping to chip away at that figure by challenging songwriters to write a better birthday song that they could license under a creative commons license. “The Birthday Song Contest seeks a few new Happy Birthday songs that are simple and catchy, with great earworm potential that can be sung in restaurants, bowling alleys, and even in TV shows and movies,” reads the contest announcement on the FMA’s website. If you’re interested in trying your hand at song smithing, the deadline for submissions is Jan. 13, so get writing!


For he’s a jolly bad felon

Thirty-five-year-old Lostprophets lead singer Ian Watkins appeared at Cardiff Crown Court via webcam on Dec. 31 on alleged child sex offense charges, including conspiracy to rape a one-year-old girl. In addition, he faces five other charges, including conspiring to engage in sexual activity with two young children as well as making, downloading and distributing child pornography. He is also accused of accessing and possessing “extreme pornography,” in this case relating to beastiality. The rest of the band released a statement earlier last month after learning of the charges: “[W]e find ourselves in a state of shock. We are learning about the details of the investigation along with you. It is a difficult time for us and our families, and we want to thank our fans for their support as we seek answers.” Watkins was remanded and has a case management hearing scheduled for March 11.



Music in the News

Tunes on ice

In what is surely one of the most peculiar yet apt combinations of subject and medium, Swedish indie band Shout Out Louds have released their newest single, “Blue Ice,” on a 7” record made entirely of the titular substance. To clarify, it’s more of a DIY project than an actual record, as the only way to get one of these records is to get your hands on one of ten “ice boxes” given out to select fans. According to the instructional video included with the press release: “In order to be the first to hear ‘Shout Out Louds’ first track from their forthcoming album, [those who got a box] were required to make a record, out of ice.” The “ice boxes” include nothing more than a mold for the record and a bottle of water, which, when left in the freezer for 6 hours, combine to make a very scratchy sounding recording. The song itself, their first single in three years, is about “fading devotion” according to the press video, and it will be available on their next album in less-prone-to-melting mp3, CD and vinyl formats early next year. Those of you interested in ruining your record players can enter to win one of the kits by sending an email to with your postal code.


Just a matter of time before they settled them

The Black Keys obviously have no problem with their music appearing in ads for anything from Molson beer to Zales’ diamonds…as long as you pay them, that is. Home Depot and Pizza Hut both presumably found this out the hard way last week after the duo’s copyright infringement lawsuits against the companies were settled out of court for undisclosed amounts. The group alleged that “significant portions” of their song “Gold on the Ceiling” had been used by a Pizza Hut ad to sell ‘cheesy bites’ pizza, whereas Home Depot had used “Lonely Boy”, a single off the band’s latest album, El Camino, to sell Ryobi brand power tools. Both claims were filed back in June, when the band’s lawyers claimed the appropriation of the band’s music was “a brazen and improper effort to capitalize on plaintiffs’ hard-earned success.” Formal dismissals of the lawsuits are expected to be filed sometime in Jan. 2013.


Unfinished Clothing No. 1

When John Lennon married Yoko Ono back in 1969, she gave him a series of sketches for clothing inspired by Lennon’s body. Now, for some reason, Ono has turned those sketches into a full-fledged clothing line, entitled ‘Fashions for Men: 1969-2012’. The clothing line includes such mind-boggling items as bottomless pants, a mesh shirt with no shoulders, pants with a hand imprint on the crotch and a 400 bell bra for men. “I was inspired to create ‘Fashions for Men,’ amazed at how my man was looking so great. I felt it was a pity if we could not make clothes emphasizing his very sexy bod,” said Ono of her creations. “So, I made this whole series with love for his hot bod and gave it to him as a wedding present. You can imagine how he went wild and fell in love with me even more.” Each piece has limited run of 52 items and the whole lineup can be seen and purchased at clothing retailer Opening Ceremony’s website. (


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