Pop culture and all that.






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The Excitement Machine
The Onion
Gray Scale
Lying Media Bastards
In Passing...
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Obscure Store
Romenesko's Media News
Happy Robot
The Freep
The New York Times
The L.A. Times


    Friday, May 17, 2002

    Beck will be releasing the follow-up to Midnight Vultures on Sept. 24., sez this Billboard article. If you can't wait that long for your Beck fix, peep Marianne Faithfull's Kissin' Time (available now as an import, due in the U.S. Aug. 13) which features Beck on three tracks, including a new interpretation of "Nobody's Fault But My Own."

    Ryan Adams is looking to detrone Prince as the world-champion-too-prolific-for-his-own-good-recording-artist. According to this NME article, he's set to release a four CD box-set later this summer containing previously unreleased recordings and demos plucked from his immense store of material. Read the story for more details-- even if it contains only half of what is rumored to be out there, it will be pretty cool.

    Speaking of clearing out the vaults, an album of demos by The Pixies will be released on SpinArt Records on July 9th. Titled simply Pixies, the demos are one half of what Pixies fans know as the "Purple Tape," with the other half becoming the group's debut album, Come On Pilgrim. Peep this story for details from the inimitable Frank Black.

    R.E.M. have placed ten remixes of songs from Reveal on their Web site,, for fans to download. No huge names involved, though.

    Did you steal the offical tape of the May 9, 1999 Love and Rockets show at the Roxy in Los Angeles, CA? If so, please return it. There's $500 bucks in it for you, no questions asked.

    KRS-One penned a long-ass rant about why he's engaged in a battle with Nelly. It makes for interesting, if slightly paranoid, reading. Not quite content with that, he gave an interview to MTV. I just don't understand this battle. It is based on a series of misunderstandings. Even an old battle dog like KRS-One must understand this is perhaps the slimmist reason for a battle since the genesis of the Everlast vs. Eminem battle of last year (though that one did eventually grow into something worth fighting about-- Everlast going after Eminem's family vs. Eminem making fun of everlast's heart attack and conversion to a country/hip-hop/rock mix.)

    Jurassic 5 has announced plans for their sophomore LP. Power In Numbers is expected to drop in September and boasts appearances by JuJu from the Beatnuts and Big Daddy Kane.

    Citing, Howie Epstein's "ongoing personal problems," Tom Petty's Heartbreakers have split with their bass player.. He's the one who was arrested last year driving a stolen car which contained found nearly three grams of black tar heroin, drug paraphernalia and Carlene Carter, daughter of country music icon June Carter Cash. His space in the Heartbreakers wil be filled by Ron Blair, the original member Epstein subbed for starting in 1982.

    John Mellencamp is leaving Columbia Records, but is continuing work on a career-spanning boxed set and DVD, Nothing Like We Planned (due by the end of the year on Universal) and his stage musical in collaboration with author Stephen King..

    "Freak dancing" is freaking out parents from coast to coast. To these parents, i offer two quotes: "And while the rhythm swings, what lovely things I'll be sayin',/For what is dancing but making love set to music, playin'."-- Frank Sinatra, "Come Dance With Me and "To all you other kid all across the land/There's no need to argue/Parents just don't understand"-- DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, "Parents Just Don't Understand".

    Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have created the first realistic videos of people uttering words they never said -- a scientific leap that raises unsettling questions about falsifying the moving image. The article explains that it will be good for dubbing movies and TV shows into other languages, but does not point out that it robs future generations of the chance to make jokes about bad dubbing in the Godzilla moviesand wack subtitle translations.

    Creative Commons is now open. What is Creative Commons? Why it's "...a non-profit organization founded on the notion that some people would prefer to share their creative works (and the power to copy, modify, and distribute their works) instead of exercising all of the restrictions of copyright law. If you're a creative person and not afraid top expose your work to a lot of people and let them play with it a bit, you should check 'em out.

    Janelle Brown has a nice rememberence of Napster in today's Salon. Although NEWS FLASH-- Bertelsmann to Acquire Napster in an $8 million deal that would keep founder Shawn Fanning on board. The cash goes to Napster's creditors. Still, it'll never be what it was.

    posted by Randy on 1:03 PM | permanent link to this entry

    Thursday, May 16, 2002

    If there's a compilation worse put together than the upcoming The Osbourne Family Album, I certainly haven't heard about it. Read the story and check out the line-up. In no universe do I ever want to hear "Crazy Train," "Wonderful Tonight" "Imagine" and a cover of "Papa Don't Preach" within the same half-hour.

    Ja Rule To Retire From Music So He Can Focus On Films. I'm sure I've said it here before: Never Believe A Musician Who Say They Are Going To Retire. It never happens. They always come back. In Ja Rule's case, he says he'll do two more albums-- but I bet he's on the soundtrack of every album he does after his "retirement."

    Radiohead are in the studio, working on new music. In a recent chat, Thom Yorke said that he's recently been listening to electronic artists including Squarepusher and Autechre as well as Bob Marley & The Wailers' Uprising. I don't know what to make of that, but Kid A-type Radiohead covering gritty and soulful stuff like Uprising sounds scary to me-- and not in a good way, either.

    Five new songs by Bruce Springsteen were previewed to Sony excecutives on Tuesday night.The five songs were: "Mary's Place", "Nothing Man", "The Rising", "Lonesome Day", and "Into The Fire".

    And speaking of Sony Music-- Dixie Chicks' Negotiations With Sony Hit A Snag . Keep up the good fight, ladies! Don't Sell Out To The Man! (full disclousure-- I've sold out to the man and work for Sony, though in a different division.)

    posted by Randy on 2:58 PM | permanent link to this entry

    Wednesday, May 15, 2002

    Well, you had to know this was coming: Aaliyah's Parents Accuse Virgin Of Negligence In Crash Suit.

    Lord knows why this kind of stuff still makes the headlines: Pirates Steal The Eminem Show and System Of A Down Frazzled Over Leaked Outtakes. It happened before, it happens now, it will happen again and again in the future. Thes stories, however, are helpful becuase they give all the titles of the songs that are out there. Read the stories, fire up your faveorite file sharing program and feel the power of information!

    Jim Rose Circus: The Next 'Osbournes'? A reality show based on circus side-show freaks? It's amazing it wasn't thought of earlier. has an article entitled Courtney on Unheard Cobain Songs, which basically is just the writer cutting and pasting e-mails and her posts to The Velvet Rope. But that's just me being nit-picky. The article is chock full of info about what songs are sitting in the vault, waiting for the resolution of a nasty lawsuit before they can be released.

    Mr. Big have broken up. Yes, they were still together. But no longer.

    Web Royalties Topic of Debate on Capitol Hill . Fax, write or call your representatives, please!

    In semi related news, Napster is dying -- for real, this time.

    Double Dose of Frank Black in August? Perhaps. Two albums? A double album? Time will tell.

    posted by Randy on 11:06 AM | permanent link to this entry

    Tuesday, May 14, 2002

    'Sun' Shines On Lips, De La, Modest Mouse, Cake is a story about The Unlimited Sunshine Tour, which seems like it will be kind of cool-- but I doubt a huge seller. The official line-up:

    De La Soul
    The Flaming Lips
    Modest Mouse
    and The Hanckensaw Boys playing bluegrass between sets.

    In other news, Dave Gahn of Depeche Mode is working on a solo album.

    The headline says it all: Bat-Eating Ozzy Osbourne to Play for the Queen

    Bizzy Bone of gangsta-rappers Bone Thugs-N-Harmony apparently was kidnapped for a year at the age of 8.. My fave quote in the article: "When we were in school," he continued, "they called me and my sisters down and were interrogating us, asking us our last names. I ain't never been a snitch, even as a baby, so I kept telling them the fake name, 'Jones, Jones, Jones.' And eventually my sister broke it like, 'You can tell.'

    The Detroit Free Pressran a great article about people from England coming to Detroit to uncover the history of Motwon era labels that were not Motown. These guys are hardcore fans-- check out their Soulful Detroit & Northern Soul site. These guys are obsessive in the best way possible..

    Why Media Competition Kicks Ass: The success of HBO's original programming has all networks looking at each other as competition and lining up the best programming possible, says this New York Times article.

    Why Media Consolidation Sucks: So many reasons, but you business types only respond to one line of reasoning-- there's no money in it, according to The Wall Street Journal. They are not alone-- The Washington Post agrees.

    This, of course, doesn't stop companies from trying. Clear Channel, for example. Thankfully, the gov't seems to be wising up.

    Check out The Top 25 Media Companies for a rundown of who is who in the big media game.

    posted by Randy on 4:40 PM | permanent link to this entry

    Monday, May 13, 2002

    Sorry there was no update on Friday. I had a lo tof work to do.

    I'm also sorry there will probably be no update today, as the work continues.

    I would like to take a moment today to say hello to my family. My mom finally discovered this site and sent the URL out to all the relatives with e-mail addresses. Hi family! If, like my mother, you are not sure what a blog is, check out this article explaining the whole shee-bang.

    The long and short of it is that a blog is annotated links to media Web sites as well as to other blogs. Somepeople use them as journals, some people use them to focus on one particluar topic. The Blog strives to find interesting stories about music, media consolidation and other bits of pop culture debris. When I see fit, I drop in little tid bits about my personal life. Such as today's entry, where I am giving no links but am explaining this blog to you.

    posted by Randy on 9:30 AM | permanent link to this entry

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