Pop culture and all that.






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The Onion
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The Freep
The New York Times
The L.A. Times


    Friday, December 06, 2002

    Great ideas for the music obsessive on your gift list can be found at The Rocktober.Com Gift Guide

    • Cuban Singer Cruz in Stable Condition
      Legendary Cuban-salsa singer Celia Cruz had emergency surgery yesterday morning for a yet-to-be-disclosed ailment and is recovering at New York Presbyterian Hospital. Her agent said the reason for the surgery would be disclosed when the singer returns home. wishes her a speedy recovery. If you don't know Celia Cruz from a hole in the ground, pick up 100% Azucar: The Best of Celia Cruz & La Sonora Matancera to get an edication that wil keep your hips swinging for days.

    • Naughty By Nature's Treach Working On Solo Record
      There will be no Naughty By Nature-like party jams on Treach's solo album. Instead, he's getting hard and personal, making songs about tpics like his divorce from Sandy "Pepa" Denton of Salt-N-Pepa, the reasons Kay Gee left Naughty By Nature. No release date set announced. If you can't wait, Naughty By Nature's Greatest Hits can be yours by clicking here.

    • Gateway Delivers Pressplay Service on PCs
      Computer maker Gateway on Friday announced a deal with online music provider Pressplay to preload its PCs with 2,000 songs for consumers to stream and download. The PCs will come with free 90 day trials, after which consumers can get the Pressplay service, with pricing options starting from $9.95 a month. In a not entirely unrelated story, Liquid Audio is finally calling it a day. Shareholders will receive $2.50 per share on Dec. 20, while Microsoft picked up their digital encoding patents for $ 7 million back in September.

    • Mixtape Awards Cut Short After DJ Kay Slay, Pudgee P Get In Fight
      While Easy Mo Beeand Chuck Chillout were reading the nominees for Best Artist on a Mixtape 2K2, mixtape DJs Kay Slay and Pudgee P got into a confrontation that spilled out on stage and lead to the cancellation of the rest of the event. It's just another very public black eye on live hip-hop events, which have a hard enough time being staged as it is. Save the drama for your mama, that's what I always say.

    • Is File-Sharing A Good Thing For LP Sales? Tech N9ne Counting On It
      Rapper Tech N9ne is offering most of his latest album Aboslute Power for download on his web site (in both clean and dirty versions!) in hopes that you'll shell out the cash for some more tracks and a DVD when you pick up the album in stores. The bummer part is that each track is prefaced with the same anti-industry announcement, but I suppose that is part of what will spur you on to buy the album. I listend to a few tracks. i kinda liked it-- parts of it are very reminicent of Eminem's work with Dr. Dre. If you wanna buy Absolute Power after listening to the downlaods, why not do so by clicking here?

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

    Thursday, December 05, 2002

    The Rocktober.Com Gift Guide-- The perfect place to look for gift ideas for the musical obsessive on your gift list! Shop early and shop often!

  • Senator Kevin Murray's Recording Industry Practices Hearing Summary
    All of you out there who were waiting for someone to kick the R.I.A.A.'s ass in an official capacity should read the above linked findings from The California Senate Select Committee on the Entertainment Industry. After three hearings on the recording industry's practices, Murray has laid it all on the table in simple language. My fave quote: "When confronted by the accusations from auditors that all royalty statements under reported royalties due to the artists, representatives from all five major record conglomerates denied any wrongdoing. I was reminded of the tobacco executives standing in front of Congress and swearing that they did not believe tobacco was harmful to ones health." The above linked summary is long, but well worth taking the time to read. In a related story, California and New York lawmakers may seek a united front on passing legislation to ensure that recording artists are not tied to label contracts for more than seven years.

  • New Cracker Demos
    Some nice sounding new work from Cracker can be found at the above link, Nice version of "Okie From Muskogee," but they're all pretty good. Hook yourself up with Garage d'Or, their greatest hits collection, if you aren't already a devoted fan.

  • MTV's Real World
    Alternately painful and interesting profile of the folks behind MTV these days from New York magazine. I like that they're always willing to take chances (no full frontal nudity seems to be the only rule), but it breaks my heart to see that they've come so far away from presenting music videos that all the execs in the article cliam that "nobody would watch 'em if we played 'em." Um, what about the MTV revolution? How could that havbe happened if no one was watching? Oh wait, not enough to satisfy the advertisers. I get it. Bummer.

  • Musicians Settle For $8.4M With Union
    Musicans who filed suit against The American Federation of Television and Radios Artists, the union representing singers and musicians, for failing to provide benefits to artists who had faded from the music industry but had reaped millions of dollars for record companies, have settled with the union. 15 named plantiffs, including soul legend Sam Moore, will get $25,000 a piece. Furthermore, the AFTRA will streamline its claims process and establish a fund to cover the cost of successful benefit claims in the future. The settlement comes on the heels a three-year deal that is likely to be announced next week that will provide full health-care coverage for all artists on major labels. The proposal also would require labels to increase contributions to artist pensions by about 10 percent.

  • Rapper Nas Moves Up Album Release, Citing Piracy
    Nas' God's Son, originally slated to come out on Tuesday, Dec. 17 will now be street legal on Friday, Dec. 13 due to alleged rampant bootlegging. Pre-order your copy from Amazon by clicking here

  • Robbie Shows Off His New Tattoo
    Robbie Williams had the score to The Beatles' "All You Need Is Love" tattooed on his lower back. JUst the beginning of the chorus, actually. Peep the above link for a pic. His Swing When You're Winning, an album of big band covers, features a duet with Nicole Kidman (!!) on "Somethin' Stupid" and can be yours by clicking here, thouh you'll be paying import prices becuase it hasn't been oficially released in the U.S.

  • To The Teen Beat Of His Own Drummer
    A sort of interesting profile of Ilan Mitchell-Smith, the guy who wasn't Anthony Michael Hallin the 80s teen-sex-comedy "Weird Science" These days, he's a Ph.D. candidate in Medieval Studies at Texas A&M University, which is a lot better than most child stars end up doing with their lives.

    posted by Randy on 11:04 AM | permanent link to this entry

    Wednesday, December 04, 2002

    The Rocktober.Com Gift Guide -- The perfect place to look for gift ideas for the musical obsessive on your gift list! Shop early and shop often!

    • INS Rules To Deport Slick Rick
      The Immigration and Naturalization Services (INS) issued a ruling last week to deport legendary rapper Slick Rick back to England. Rick's lawyers filed a motion to stay the deportation, but the judge has not ruled, which means he could be sent back at any moment. Slick Rick is being held in a federal prison in Bradenton, Florida, where he has been held for 6 months after he left the U.S. to perform on a cruise ship and tried to return. Early in 1990, Slick Rick was arrested after shooting at his cousin and leading police on a high-speed chase. Rick served 5 years and 12 days in prison and according to United States law any non-citizen who serves more than 5 years in prison must be deported. Slick Rick has been a resident of the United States since 1976, but never became a citizen. Pay your tribute to thius fallen old school great by picking up a copy of his classic The Great Adventures of Slick Rick.

    • Billie Holiday's Pianist Waldron Dies
      Mal Waldron, who played piano for jazz giants like Billie Holiday, Charles Mingus and John Coltrane, died of complications caused by cancer. He was 77.Waldron frequently worked with Charles Mingus from 1954-56 and was Billie Holiday's regular accompanist during her last two years (1957-59). He also wrote the jazz standard "Soul Eyes," his version of which is available on his One-Upmanship album. His work with Billie Holiday is probably best represented on the 2 CD set Anthology 1944-1959.

    • Will Smith Eyeing 'I, Robot' Adaptation
      I offer this with no comment: Will Smith is in negotiations to star in 20th Century Fox's "I, Robot," a big-screen adaptation of Isaac Asimov's classic science fiction book. Smith will play a police officer who uncocers a conspiracy during the course of investigating a murder he suspects was commited by a robot. If they skew it towards another "Men In Black" the sci-fi geeks may take to the streets in rebellion.

    • DJ Quik Conducting Orchestra For Chris Rock Comedy
      And not some Wyclef standing in front of an orchestra waving his arms around shit, either! Go, DJ Quik, go! The above linked article also has lots of info about his upcoming production work, yet nary a plug for the awesome Da Finale: The Best of Dj Quik, which you should pick up if you at all like West Coast gangsta rap.

    • Oasis Reschedules Shows for Surgery
      Looks like Liam Gallagher isn't going to go the Shane McGowan route and indeed will get his teeth fixed up. Aloght the following quote makes it seem like he considered it: "Concerts scheduled this week in Dusseldorf and Bremen have been 'reluctantly' postponed, the band said Tuesday on its Web site. Oasis had canceled concerts in Munich on Sunday and Hamburg on Monday. 'The damage to Liam's teeth is worse than it first appeared and he will have to return to the United Kingdom for surgery before he will be able to perform again,' the statement said."

    • Where The Heck Has Everlast Been?
      Working on a new album, getting even more into country-- that's where. He's label-less at the moment, after declining to hop onto Warner Bros. once Tommy Boy folded.

    posted by Randy on 11:55 AM | permanent link to this entry

    Tuesday, December 03, 2002

    The Rocktober.Com Gift Guide -- The perfect place to look for gift ideas for the musical obsessive on your gift list! Shop early and shop often!

    • Oasis Wild-Man Gallagher Loses Teeth in Club Brawl
      Here's the best part of this story-- the dust up started as and inter-band row but grew to include some other lads when one of the musicians fell on a table at which a group of five to six Italians were sitting. This is why you save those kind of things for backstage or the tour bus. Will Liam Gallagher get the teeth replaced or will he go get Shane McGowan route and just leave his missing teeth be? Only the shadow knows. Oasis' latest album, Heathen Chemistry, can be bought by clicking here. Me thinks they are overdue for a greatest hits compilation-- don't you agree?

    • Lead Singer Quits Rock Band Midnight Oil
      Peter Garrett is leaving Midnight Oil to concentrate on his political passions-- campaigns against genetic engineering, coastal development and the nuclear industry. You've got to admit-- 25 years of playing with the same band has got to be some kind of record. Okay, so they've had a few different bassists-- but it still is a remarkable run. You can pick up 20,000 Watts R.S.L.: Greatest Hits by clicking here. You know that "Beds Are Burning" is still an awesome song with an on point message, right?

    • Universal Music To Redo Royalties
      Now this is good news for artists, as oposed to that obvious shell game proposed by BMG where they give artists higher royalty rates and less deductions in exchange for a piece of an artist's touring and merchandising profits. Universal Music will now give auditors for artists access to manufacturing documents in response to criticisms/suspicions of selling albums manufactured overseas but not accounting for them in royalty statements. Universal will also double their auditing staff, hold royalty workshops for artists twice a year and waive contract restrictions that hamper an artist's ability to audit a label's books and records. Good for Universal Music, but artists should still stay on their toes. A snake in a new suit is still a snake.

    • Copeland's Broken Arm Forces Doors Postponement
      God has spoken! The Doors reunion, with Ian Astbury and Stewart Copeland taking the place of Jim Morrison and John Densmore will be delayed becuase Copeland broke his arm over the Thanksgiving holiday. To me, this is a very clear sign. If it's The Doors you want-- peep the book No One Here Gets Out Alive (still a classic rock bio after all these years) or their Greatest Hits CD.

    • Lyricists Lounge Tour Back On Track
      Erick Sermon, Scarface, Poverty, Blest e Nation, Killah Priest, and Grafh will hit the road this month as part of the Lyricist Lounge tour. Established in New York more than a decade ago as an open mic event, Lyricists' Lounge became a tour in 1998 and has showcased the likes of Eminem, Xzibit, Mos Def, and Talib Kweli, among many others. The brand has also spawned three various artists albums-- Lyricist Lounge Vol. 1 (which was good), Lyricist Lounge Vol. 2 (which was okay) and Underground Airplay Version 1.0 (which I've never heard but I understand is a good "mixtape" compilation). Anyway, I went to the 1998 version and it was off the chain. Check it out if you can.

    posted by Randy on 11:57 AM | permanent link to this entry

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