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    Tuesday, November 12, 2002

    • Motown Funk Brothers Keyboardist Dead At 68
      Keyboardist Johnny Griffith of the legendary Motown studio musicians known as The Funk Brothers was found dead of a heart attack in his downtown Detroit hotel room on Sunday (November 10). He was discovered just a few hours before the red-carpet premiere of the film about the Funk Brothers, "Standing In The Shadows Of Motown," in the Detroit suburb of Birmingham, Michigan (my home town, trivia buffs). Griffith, 68, had been in bad health recently. He joins fellow Funk Brothers bassist James Jamerson; drummer Benny Benjamin; keyboardist Earl Van Dyke; and drummer Richard "Pistol" Allen in rock n' roll heaven. The Funk Brothers were the Motown sound-- performing on classics by artists like Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, The Contours, The Temptations and many others. By the end of their phenomenal run, this group of musicians had played on more number ones hits than The Beach Boys, The Rolling Stones, Elvis and The Beatles combined - which makes them the greatest hit machine in the history of popular music. Get your Funk Brothers fill at The Motown Store and be sure to check out "Standing In The Shadows Of Motown" (soundtrack link) (movie's web page).

    • Kurupt Hits Big Screen, Talks Lisa Lopes Album, Tha Row
      Surprise, surprise-- Suge Knight and friends at Tha Row are going to release the N.I.N.A. album-- a.k.a. the album Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes was working on before she died in a car accident. According to Kurupt (who is now a Senior Vice President at the label), the album will feature appearnces by 2Pac, Missy Elliott and 'N Sync. Two things-- how creepy is a 2Pac and Left-Eye colab from beyond the grave? And 'N Sync on Tha Row?!? I guess Justin Timberlaker eally does have a ghetto pass. Release date and album title aren't set in stone yet, but you can pick up Left-Eye's first solo album (as yet unreleased in the U.S.) as an import, if you can't wait for the N.I.N.A. album.

    • Heart Singer Loses 55 Pounds
      Ann Wilson of Heart (the non-blonde, chunky one) has dropped 55 pounds after having stomach surgery in January. At her biggest, she was 100 pounds heavier than was healthy for a woman of her height. Big ups to her for trying to get healthy. Much more than you probably ever want to know about the surgery she went through can be found at Spotlight Health's Morbid Obesity Page. The Essential Heart, a 2 CD collection of the band's greatest hits, is due in stores on Nov. 26. Pre-order it from by clicking here.

    • Van Halen Bassist Says He Hasn't Left The Band
      Despite the fact that he's been playing out in public with Sammy Hagar and is working on a group called Planet Us that features Hagar and Journey's Neal Schon and Deen Castronovo, Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony says he's still devoted to playing with the Van Halen brothers and whomever they can get to sing with them.

    • Buy Luke/2 Live Crew's MPC 3000!
      Hello, memorbillia collectors!! Now on Ebay, your chance to own an MPC 3000 owned by Luke of 2 Live Crew! How can you pass it up? If I had the spare dough, I'd make a bid.

    • Prince Paul Addresses 'Politics':
      A new Prince Paul album, Politics of the Business, is due in the first quarter of 2003. Guests will include Wordsworth, Chubb Rock, MF Doom, Gang Starr, Chuck D, Kardinal Official, Dave Chapelle and Chris Rock.

    • HBO Bids for Emmy Telecast
      How weird would that be? The Emmys on HBO. The networks are threatening to withold their programming for consideration if this goes through. So the The Emmys essentially become the Cable ACE Awards, which hasn't been around in ages. Very strange happenings.

    posted by Randy on 12:57 PM | permanent link to this entry

    Monday, November 11, 2002

    I first want to send a big shout out and thank you to all of you who came out to El Rey's Fiesta Plana! @ National Product on Friday night. A good time was had by all and I, DJ MC Hesher, rocked the house as usual.

    • Hip-Hop History in HBO Hopper
      HBO is developing a six-hour miniseries that tells the history of hip-hop through the lives of three fictional characters. Their lives will intersect much like the those of the characters in "Traffic," said Keri L. Selig, who will executive produce with Tracey Edmonds and her husband, Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds. It's going to be based on the Alan Light-edited Vibe History of Hip-Hop. I'd much rather see an actual six part documentary about hip-hop history, but I suppose this will do in the meantime.

    • Early Red Hot Chili Peppers LPs Get Reheated
      Jan. 28 will find re-issued version of The Red Hot Chili Peppers' first four albums hitting store shelves. Many of the extras on the earlier albums have previously surfaced on the odds-and-sods collection Out In L.A. , but the truly unreleased stuff will be on the re-issues of The Uplift Mofo Party Plan (instrumental demo versions of "Behind the Sun" and "Me & My Friends.") and Mother's Milk (A dub mix of "Higher Ground. a live, previously unreleased cover of "Crosstown Traffic" and a demo of "Salute To Kareem," a live version of "Castles In The Sand" and the original long version of "Knock Me Down').

    • Movie Studios Provide Link for Internet Downloading
      So, is open for business. It is the major studios' attemprt to get people to pay for legally downloaded movies-- except you have 30 days to view it and you can only view it once and you can't save it or transifer it to other devices. This Slate article points out pretty well why this is doomed to failure-- and why it is probably designed that way. Good on Slate for giving props to, where you can watch indie and public domain films until your eyes pop out of your head.

    • Playing by the Rules?
      The #1 song on Radio Disney is Hilary Duff's "I Can't Wait" (From the "Lizze McGuire" Soundtrack) even though the song has tanked on stations all around the country. Why so popular on Radio Disney? Could it be becuase Duff is under contract with Buena Vista Records, which is a sister company of Radio Disney, which is affiliated with the Disney Channel, which telecasts "Lizzie McGuire," which stars Duff? Ladies and gents, this is what media consolidation leads to. (By the way, check out the reviews of the Lizzie McGuire Soundtrack on These kids are harsh! I love how no one likes Smash Mouth's version of "Why Can't We Be Friends." "I really didn't like this song it just says the title over and over and over."

    posted by Randy on 12:49 PM | permanent link to this entry

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