Pop culture and all that.






Other News And Pop Cult Based Sites I Visit:

Meme Pool
Pop Culture Junk Mail
Sharpe World
The Excitement Machine
The Onion
Gray Scale
Lying Media Bastards
In Passing...
The Morning News
Arts & Letters Daily
Obscure Store
Romenesko's Media News
Happy Robot
The Freep
The New York Times
The L.A. Times


    Friday, September 13, 2002

    • Shortlist Finalists Announced
      Aphex Twin, Drukqs
      The Avalanches , Since I Left You
      Bjork, Vespertine
      Cee-Lo, Cee-Lo Green and His Perfect Imperfections
      DJ Shadow, The Private Press
      Doves, Last Broadcast
      The Flaming Lips , Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots
      The Hives", Veni Vidi Vicious
      N*E*R*D , In Search Of
      Zero 7 Simple Things

      The Shortlist Music Prize was created by founders Greg Spotts and Tom Sarig to expose and illuminate the most creative and adventurous albums of the year. Going by those requirements alone, I'd have to tip the hat to The Avalances, DJ Shadow, Aphex Twin or Cee-Lo. As much as I love the N*E*R*D* album, The Neptunes sound is so popular now that I can't really consider it "creative and adventurous."

    • Warren Zevon Has Untreatable Cancer
      Damn. He's one of the good ones, too. "Send lawyers, guns and money/the shit has hit the fan." "I'm OK with it," Zevon, 55, said in a statement. "But it'll be a drag if I don't make it until the next James Bond movie comes out." Please note that the new James Bond movie is called "Die Another Day."

    • Manzarek Says Copeland & Astbury Are Permanent Members Of The Doors
      "Here's the new Doors lineup. This is the permanent new Doors lineup: Ray Manzarek on keyboards, Robby Krieger on guitar, Stewart Copeland of The Police on drums, and Ian Astbury of The Cult on lead vocals. That's the permanent lineup." Ugh.

    • Pearl Jam Names November 12 Release Riot Act
      Produced by Adam Kasper and mixed by longtime Pearl Jam favorite Brendan O'Brien, it will feature songs like "I Am Mine," "Bushleaguer," "Love Boat Captain," and "Thumbing My Way."

    • UK's 'Top of the Pops' Celebrates 2,000th Show
      That's simply an amazing number of shows, don'tjathink? Kudos to TOTP for being able to stay on the air for 38 years. Although having Status Quo as the act that has appeared most on your show (106 times!) isn't something I'd want to crow about.

    • Porn Outfit Bids for Napster
      Somehow, it just seems right that if Napster has to go down it might as well end up as a porn service

    • Cobain's House Garners $210,000
      There were fake bids in the $40 million neigborhood, but the couple who sold the hose still did pretty well for themselves. They bought the 2,313-square-foot home, 70 miles southwest of Seattle, for $42,500 last month. Nice profit margin there, eh?

    posted by Randy on 10:39 AM | permanent link to this entry

    Thursday, September 12, 2002

    • Recording Industry Faces Music: CD Prices May Need To Fall
      Pretty good piece in USA Today about the ins-and-outs of lowering CD prices. "So price cuts mean ''they'll have to fire people, renegotiate artist contracts, make fewer videos and sign fewer bands,'' says Sanford C. Bernstein analyst Michael Nathanson." He makes this sound like a bad thing. And he doesn't extrapolate that this may open the doors for more players to sign those dropped artists with more realistic expectations and/or allow artists to strike out on their own.

    • Morrissey Scene Cut From "24 Hour Party People"
      In the deleted scene, Morrissey reportedly tells Factory Records kingpin Tony Wilson he wants to be in a band, after which Wilson tells Morrissey he'll never make it because he's too well-read and self-aware to be a rock star. Look for it on the DVD, most likely. But don't wait, go see "24 Hour Party People"-- it's among the better rock n' roll-rags-to-rices-to-rags flicks I've ever seen.

    • Jazzy Jeff Finds Success on His Own
      It's very refreshing to read that Jazzy Jeff never felt outshined by former partner-in-rhyme Will "Fresh Prince" Smith and followed his musical bliss as a producer and DJ.

    • Marsalis Family Jazzed to Tour
      The five-date tour featuring Wynton, Branford, Delfeayo, Jason and Ellis Marsalis will include stops at Proctor's Theater in Schenectady, N.Y., on Feb. 27; New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark, N.J. (March 1); Verizon Hall at Kimmel Center in Philadelphia (March 2); and Symphony Hall in Boston (March 3). The story also notes that Wynton is currently unsigned as a jazz artist, but records for Sony as a classical artist.

    • 'Motown' Puts Funk Brothers in Spotlight, Finally
      "Standing In The Shadows of Motown" is a documentary coming about about The Funk Brothers-- the musicians who work on the bulk of Motown's recordings without ever getting too much credit for their contributions. It's on the film festival circuit right now, but will be out Real Soon Now.

    • Adversity Doesn't Dim Rapper Khujo's Outlook
      This is the first interview I've seen with Khujo of Goodie Mob since his part of his right leg was severed as the result of June 25 auto accident. The story does break some news: Goodie Mob are currently without a record deal.

    • Sad, Sad Monday: Foreigner Fan Banned For Life
      Jason Sanderson thought it would be a good idea jto jump on stage at Naperville, Indiana's July 4th Ribfest and attempt to steal a $6,000 guitar from Foreigner. He didn't get away with it and for his troubles he got five days of community service, probabtion and he is forever banned from going to Foreigner concerts. I'll go for the obvious joke here: if you didn't plead the case out, he would've been sentenced to attending Foreigner concerts for the rest of his life.

    posted by Randy on 10:55 AM | permanent link to this entry

    Wednesday, September 11, 2002

    ROCKTOBER.COM IS IN 9/11 MEDIA BLACK-OUT MODE: I'm watching movvies and silly tv all week. No inspiring stories about survival. No introspective looks at the American spirit. No patrotic flag waving. No profiles of victims with swelling strings in the background. None of that. All week long. the music and Big Media news, however, goes on. . .

    • Cool on Britannia?
      The British government is trying to set up an U.S, office to promote English music acts in the huge U.S. market. According to the article linked above, Brit acts aren't exactly stampeding the yet=to-open doors looking for the help.

    • Rapper's Kin Offer Alibi for Death
      More of the same-- The Notorious B.I.G.'s family and friends continue to state they have proof that Biggie was in NY and NJ the night Tupac was killed, which makes Chuck Phillips of the L.A. Times look kinda silly. Future triva buffs take note-- The Notorious B.I.G. was recording "Nasty Girls" the night Tupac was killed. Also-- In the less-than-believable dept., the family of alleged shooter Orlando Anderson says he had nothing to do with it, either.

    • Hooker Estate Pitching Blues Tracks and More
      And the death-as-a-career-move wheels begin turning in motion. John Lee Hooker estate manager Eugene Skuratowicz has been pitching a 30-song collection of unreleased tracks from Hooker as the basis of a two-volume set titled End of the World Blues, with the plan being to remove backing tracks from the recordings and have the acts that worked with him in the 1990s do duets. Tthe estate also hopes to partner with a restaurant/nightclub concern to open a John Lee Hooker blues club in San Francisco. Hooker had licensed his name for the S.F. Boom Boom Room but never took an ownership stake; his name is off the bar's marquee.

    • Rage Against The Machine, Chris Cornell Raging Again In The Studio
      Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello, bassist Tim Commerford and drummer Brad Wilk are back in a Los Angeles studio with former Soundgarden vocalist Chris Cornell working on material for an upcoming album. They may change their name from Civillian to Audioslave. Sony has launched, which features obscured pictures of the band and a place to sign-up for e-mail updates.

    • The Old Days Never Looked So Good
      My old SonicNet co-worker Chris Nelson has a very interesting piece in the New York Times about why many media outlets devote space to reviewing old material instead of focusing entirely what's new. Is it just nostalgia by lazy critics or is it because there isn't much quality today? You be the judge.

    • MP3s Are Big Music's Savior, Not Slayer
      And that's coming from <a href="" target="NEW">Fortune magazine, none-the-less.

    • Vivendi Chief to Discuss Options for U.S. Divisions
      Jean-René Fourtou, the chief executive of Vivendi Universal, plans to discuss a range of options for the American entertainment divisions when he meets with executives in New York and Los Angeles this week, including a possible stock offering. Other options-- sell off the theme parks, sell off some entertainment assessts to NBC (the only network not currently associated with a major studio) and sell off the music assessets piecemeal. Gezzum crow, what a mess. In a semi-related story, the French stock market regulator has seized e-mails sent between Jean-Marie Messier, ousted chief executive of Vivendi Universal, and the media group's auditors related to its off-balance-sheet activities.

    • Short of Cash, Media Giants Are Selling Assets
      Vivendi Universal isn't the only one in trouble. AOL Time Warner has started preliminary talks to sell its stake in the cable channel Comedy Central to its partner Viacom and will next talk about selling its stake in Court TV to its partner in that venture, Liberty Media. Disney's sports teams, the California Angels and the Mighty Ducks are probably up for sale, as is ; Cablevision's theater chain, Clearview Cinemas; the bankrupt cable company Adelphia's many systems, the film company MGM, and Bertelsmann's online retailer

    • Bertelsmann CEO Thielen Reiterates Expansion Plans
      Make small purchases. Streamline operations. Grow the company via expanded market share. That just makes too much sense-- he'll never last.

    • F.C.C. Weighs a Sharp Easing of Size Limits on Big Media
      Write. Your. Representatives. This. Cannot. Happen.

    posted by Randy on 1:06 PM | permanent link to this entry

    Tuesday, September 10, 2002

    • Clash, Police, Sabbath, AC/DC, Chic, ABBA, & Costello On Rock Hall Ballot
      The complete list of nominees: The Clash, The Police, Black Sabbath, AC/DC, Chic, ABBA, Elvis Costello & the Attractions, Lynyrd Skynyrd, the MC5, Kraftwerk, The Sex Pistols, Patti Smith Group, The Righteous Brothers, Steve Winwood, and The Dells. Out of those, six will be inducted. I'd vote for The Sex Pistols, The Police, Black Sabbath, Chic, ABBA and Kraftwerk.

    • Marketers Explore Product Placement In Music
      A story so horrifying, you'll only find it in Advertising Age. Rappers have long shouted-out products they admire ("My Adidas" by Run D.M.C. perhaps being the most famous example), but now there is a move to get advertisers for such product placement. Island Def Jam Music Group is in formal talks with Hewlett-Packard Co to have their artists name check their products while the label gets paid for it. *Sigh* Everything is for sale, I guess.

    • Clear Channel's Radio Pacts Irk Labels
      Clear Channel has notified record labels that it has signed new pacts with three independent music promoters and granted them the exclusive right to pitch songs to Clear Channel program directors at its top black music, or "urban," radio stations. Those promoters, in turn, have dramatically raised the prices they charge record labels for new songs added to a station's weekly playlist.

    • South Park Mexican Hit With Lawsuit
      Carlos "South Park Mexican" Coy, currently doing a 45-year child molestation bid, was sued by the victim's family to get a piece of whatever royalties he has coming in. Maybe R. Kelly will do a benefit concert, with backing from Gary Glitter.

    • Staind's 'Unplugged' DVD and Album Due In November
      It's been a colossal effort to get this to the marketplace. They recorded it once, but scrapped it becuase lead singer Aaron Lewis was sick through out the recording. Then they recorded again-- a year ago. It'll still sell, sure, but just the effort to get it out has been perhaps more work than it is worth. Then again, I am not a huge Staind fan at all.

    • Late-Night TV Has No Use For Old Troupers Anymore
      Hearbreaking-- for lack of a better word-- story about how people who are famous for being famous can no longer get booked on talks shows since they don't have anything to promote and aren't cute little actor/actress chippies. Someone, please, give Charles Nelson Riley a gig! There's thousands of jokes about Fang that Phyllis Diller has yet to tell!

    • Audiogalaxy Swaps Music Services
      Audiogalaxy has signed up to distribute's Rhapsody /a> music service. Another one bites the dust, for real.

    • Disney Channel Putting Classics Back in the Vault
      If there ever was an argument for letting stuff fall into the public domain, this would be it. The Disney Channel is no longer running older shows such as "Spin and Marty" and "Davy Crockett" late at night and has now changed over to all pre-teen programs. Boomers are outraged. If only Disney didn't have a stranglehold on their material, an enterprising spirit could take those shows and broadcast 'em 'till the cows come home, since Disney doesn't seem to want to.

    • Sleater-Kinney Is Taking Requests
      The above link takes you to a web site where you can cast your vote as to what songs you want to hear on the next Sleater-Kinney tour-- including a write-in space for covers! Rock on!

    • How Deadheads Ruined the Grateful Dead.
      Very interesting point in Slate: The cult surrounding the Grateful Dead worshiped old shows and never challenged them to evolve and try new things, so the band eventually ended up going through the motions.

    posted by Randy on 11:26 AM | permanent link to this entry

    Monday, September 09, 2002

    posted by Randy on 11:24 AM | permanent link to this entry

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