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, December 20, 2002

    Time has basically run out, but you last minute shoppers can still use The Gift Guide if you don't mind picking up product at your local Borders Books & Music or paying crazy shipping charges.

    DJ MC Hesher @ The Low Rent Holiday Super Sale 12/23 6-10pm!
    Come hear me spin the platters that matter while looking for last minute art gifts made by El Rey, Deviant Goods, Richard Kadrey and Dyche Mullins. The event will take place from 6-10p.m. on Monday, Dec. 23 @ BUILD (483 Guererro Street, near 17th street) in San Francisco. Peep the flyer, tell all your friends and support the arts!

    • Concert Lineup Swells
      Artists including Coldplay, Ludacris, Jimmy Cliff, Femi Kuti, Queen, Deborah Cox, Bono, Macy Gray, Shaggy, Joe Strummer, Nelly Furtado and Yusuf Islam (formerly known as Cat Stevens) are scheduled to play participating in Nelson Mandela's SOS Concert to Eradicate AIDS on Feb. 2. There's no word yet as to who will replace thelate, great Freddie Mercury for Queen's appearance. The main concert will be staged within the walls of the former maximum security prison (now a museum) on Robben Island for approximately 3,000 invited guests, while another "peoples concert" will be concurrently held at Cape Town's Green Point Stadium. Streaming higlights will be available at

    • Guns N' Roses Intact, Putting Finishing Touches On 'Chinese Democracy'
      Rumors that guitarist Robin Finck and bassist Tommy Stinson have left the band after their aborted fall tour are false, sez a GN'R spokesperson. The group is currently on vacation and will finish up Chinese Democracy in January. Suuuuuuurrre thing, Axl. Whatever you say.

    • MSN Taking On AOL With Web Premiere Service
      Following the lead of AOL, MSN has added a music preview section. Their first song-- Jennifer Lopez's "Baby I Love You"-- generated more than 1 million downloads of the song between Nov. 21 and Dec. 15.

    • TMBG's 'Gigantic' Film Finds U.S. Distribution
      "Gigantic," a documentary about indie-nerd-rockers They Might Be Giants will be distributed to theatres next year by the same folk who pushed the Wilco documentary "I Am Trying To Break Your Heart." "Gigantic" features the band in the studio and on tour in support of Mink Car and features interviews with and/or lyric readings Frank Black, Blink-182 member Mark Hoppus, former U.S. senator Paul Simon, Michael McKean, Andy Richter, Harry Shearer, and Janeane Garafalo.

    • Macy Gray's New Album Due In March
      The exact date in March is a mystery, though. The album will be titled The Trouble With Being Myself. If you're one of those suckers who picked up On How Life Is but neglected to pick up The ID, do yourself a favor and fill in that hole in your collection. The ID was a sexy, fun album released in the shadow of Sept. 11. Not great timing. Correct your mistake by clicking here.

    • Music Industry May Be Tanking, But Local Indie Labels Doing Well
      The music industry may be tanking, but smaller labels (this story focuses on a few in Seattle) are still doing okay. Sometimes, it pays to stay small.

    • So You Wanna Be a Rock 'N' Roll Star
      "It pays to stay small" is a lesson that three-siblings-playing-power-pop act justincase seem to be learning, now that they're touring Wall-Marts and high school assemblies after their Maverick deal didn't turn out to give them the success they desired. If you like pop rock in that Michelle Branch/Matthew Sweet power pop vein and you wanna help out, you can pick up their self-titled debut album by clicking here.

    posted by Randy on 12:15 PM | permanent link to this entry

    Thursday, December 19, 2002

    Time is running out, but The Gift Guide is still here for you!

    DJ MC Hesher @ The Low Rent Holiday Super Sale 12/23 6-10pm!
    Come hear me spin the platters that matter while looking for last minute art gifts made by El Rey, Deviant Goods, Richard Kadrey and Dyche Mullins. The event will take place from 6-10p.m. on Monday, Dec. 23 @ BUILD (483 Guererro Street, near 17th street) in San Francisco. Peep the flyer, tell all your friends and support the arts!

    • U2 Going For Harder Sound On Next Album
      Finally!! At least in my point of view. To me, All That You Can't Leave Behind was a little too whispy. I'd like to see 'em get back to the rugged stuff. More Best of 1980-1990, less Best of 1990-2000.

    • Sprint to Offer Rhapsody Music Service
      Our dear friends (and my former employers) at Listen.comscore again, as Sprint announced it would offer's Rhapsody music subscription services to its broadband customers and offer offer its PCS wireless customers Rhapsody 411, a music information service, including album reviews, artist recommendations, album art and full-color artist photos directly from their phones.

    • D12's Proof Readying Solo LP With 'Kurt Cobain' On It
      Although I disliked D12's Devil's Night album, I think Proof has an intreaguing concept behind his first solo album, He's calling it Searching For Jerry Garcia because "if you study the life of Jerry Garcia, his demise was due to a combination of stress, drugs and poor diet," explained Proof. "Every individual on this earth has to touch one of those. I feel we're all searching for Jerry Garcia. Either you're doing drugs, you're stressed about something one day, and we all have poor diets. On Searching 4 Jerry Garcia, it's a more personal Proof." Song titles on the album include "Janis Joplin," Kurt Cobain" and "Neil Armstrong." I don't know if the hip-hop headz will rally around a concept album about searching for your inner drugged out hippie, but I guess we'll see.

    • The Most Spectacular Flop of 2002
      Pretty interesting discussion on The Velvet Rope about which of this year's albums didn't meet expectations. The over all consensus seems to be that Kelly Osbourne's Shut Up and Andrew W.K.'s I Get Wet were flops when compared with the hype and marketing muscle put into their promotions.

    posted by Randy on 11:14 AM | permanent link to this entry

    Wednesday, December 18, 2002

    Time is running out, but The Gift Guide is still here for you!

    • Performers, Schedule Set For South By Southwest
      Producer/artist Daniel Lanois will give the keynote address during the next edition of annual music-industry festival South By Southwest, which will be held March 12-17 in Austin, Texas. Among the acts scheduled to play this year: Camper Van Beethoven, John Doe, Grandaddy, Willie Nelson, Joe Jackson, Lucinda Williams, Lee Ann Womack, The Apples in Stereo, Clem Snide, The Jayhawks and the infamous Trachtenberg Family Slide Show Players.

    • Cable Claims First TV Title
      For the first time ever, Nielsen Media Research projects that ad-supported basic cable networks grabbed 48% of the viewership compared with 45% for all seven broadcasters (including Pax). Broadcast dropped from 49% in 2001. Go, cable, go!

    • "Spinal Tap" joins National Film Registry
      It's official: heavy metal "mockumentary" is an American classic. It joins 350 other films selected for preservation by the Library of Congress- meaning that future generations will forever be able to laugh at turning it up to 11, "none more black" and Boston not being a big college town. You, however, shouldn't wait-- pick up your copy of "This Is Spinal Tap" and become a more complete human.

    • Videos Unplugged
      In response to the flood of songs and videos that are often little more than advertisements for a product the artist is assoicated with, MTV has issued new internal guidelines that could make it difficult for musicians to air videos in which products take center stage - particularly products the artist has financial ties to. What this means for you the viewer-- more blurring in the videos and silent parts in the lyrics, unless the artist pays, of course.

    • The Year in Music
      Gerald Marzorati, editorial director of The New York Times Magazine and Ann Powers, senior curator at the Experience Music Project talk all week long in Slate about the year in music. Day oine has some good insights, I look forward to the rest.

    • The Latest Rap Disses In RealAudio
      Courtsey of

      -Foxy Brown dissing Eve on "Get Off Me"
      -Lil' Kim dissing Eve on "I Came Back For You"
      -Benzino dissing Eminem (again) on "Lose Ya Self

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

    Tuesday, December 17, 2002

    Thanks to the miracle of expediated shipping, there's still time to use The Gift Guide for your xmas shopping needs!

    • Jane's Addiction Go 'Hypersonic'
      Jane's Addiction is putting the finishing touches on Hypersonic, an album of all new material due in summer 2003. The band has also added a new bassist, with Chris Chaney(Alanis Morissette, Andrew W.K.) taking over for the recently departed Martyn LeNoble, who had also previously played with frontman Perry Farrell in Porno For Pyros. I pray to the powers that be that they do a summer U.S. tour and build a decent Lollapalooza tour around it.

    • Hollywood Union to Extend Reach to Music Videos
      So, people working on music vides will get union benefits. Balh blah blah. The really interesting part of the story is buried at the end: "According to the Entertainment Industry Development Corp., the agency that coordinates permits for filming in Los Angeles, there were 1,258 production days for music videos in the region through November of this year, down from 1,530 days in the same period in 2001 and below 1,958 days in 2000." I'd be interested in seeing this developed further. Is that becuase there are less videos being shot or because they've become more efficent in filming them?

    • Cranberries Singer Dolores O'Riordan Plans To Quit Band
      It seems to be over for The Cranberries. Dolores O'Riordan told Hot Press magazine that she'll leave the band once she's done promoting Stars--The Best Of The Cranberries 1992-2002 . She wants interested in exploring world music for a solo project influenced by Middle Eastern or African sounds-- which I think sounds pretty tasty. I can just imagine her Irish-wailing over some dope African or Middle Eastern beats. In the meantime, pick up Stars--The Best Of The Cranberries 1992-2002 on CD or Stars - The Best Videos 1992-2002 on DVD. The DVD includes 17 videos, 4 alternative take videos, 45 minutes of live material and a 26 minute documentary on the band.

    • Cash Readies Traveling Album
      Rosanne Cash, that is. Rules of Travel will hit store shelves on March 25 and will feature the first recorded duet between the artist and her father, country music legend Johnny Cash, as well as guest vocal appearances by Sheryl Crow, Steve Earle, and Teddy Thompson. It has been seven years since 10 Song Demo, her last abum of all new material. Where has she been this whole time? Well, she lost her voice from 1998-2000, so that has taken some time to bounce back from.

    posted by Randy on 12:31 PM | permanent link to this entry

    Monday, December 16, 2002

    Thanks to the miracle of expediated shipping, there's still time to use The Gift Guide! for your xmas shopping needs!

    • Filing a Claim In The Compact Disc Minimum Advertised Price Antitrust Litigation Settlement
      The above linked page tells you how to do it. If you bought a CD between January 1, 1995 and December 22, 2000. The amount you will be paid will be based on the total number of claims filed, up to a maximum of $20 per claimant. Please note, however, that if the number of claims filed result in awards of less than $5, the Settlement Fund will revert to Cy Pres distribution. Cy Pres distribution means all Settlement Funds would be distributed to not-for-profit corporations and/or charitable organizations and/or governmental or public entities within your state, to be used for music-related purposes or programs.

    • Jam Master Jay Murder Suspect Arrested After Botched Holdup
      Ronald "Tinard" Washington, who was wanted for questioning regarding the murder of Run-DMC's Jam Master Jay, was arrested Monday (December 9) after he a man named Ernest Williams allegedly robbed a clerk at a Floral Park, New York, motel and then led police on a high speed chase. Washington was seen outside the studio where Jay was shot, apparently acting as a look-out man. The above linked story also mentions that the police have cleared Randy Allen--Jam Master Jay's business partner and member of the rap act Rusty Watersas a susect in the case.

    • Ten Big Questions For Tom Calderone
      If this interview doesn't geot your blood boiling as a music fan, then you must be dead. MTV wants to score better ratings with its video programming, and playing more hits more often is the way they’re going about it. The initiative, referred to internally as The Big Ten, involves tightening the video playlist overall and concentrating on 10 videos that will receive 30-plus spins per week.

      The following quote just drove me mad: "We looked at not only our spins, but also the day parts on MTV, and realized that sometimes a B-level alternative clip was having close to the same impressions as an artist as big as Eminem. So, we decided that the TV superstars that our audience cares about should be put at a higher level than the others." What? How does that make sense. All the videos were giving the same impression, so you play more big name acts and cut the smaller acts down? Doesn't the fact that the bigger artists and smaller artists were generating the same response indicate that the audience cares only about good music, not who has more marketing muscle behind them? Very weird.

    • A Music Man's New Mantra: Let's Make a Deal
      This New York Times piece about Sony Music honcho Thomas D. Mottola is scary from an artist's perspective. Following the pace set by EMI and BMG, Mottola wants to work with artists in new ways-- getting a piece of their profits from touring, endorsements and merchandising. "This is the very beginning of a whole strategy to completely transform the company," Mr. Mottola, 53, said between bites of a Krispy Kreme doughnut and sips of espresso. "We are going to go into the management business.". Very scary. Artists, DO NOT SIGN THIS DEAL. And you thought the labels fucked you over when they were responsible for paying you royalties!?! Do you think they'll be upfront with you about what your share of a Pepsi sponsorship deal should be?

    • Lovin' Spoonful Guitarist Yanovsky Dies
      Zal Yanovsky, a guitar player with The Lovin' Spoonful has died at age 57 of a probable heart attack. He died Dec. 13 in Kingston, Ontario 150 miles east of Toronto, where he had lived since leaving the band in 1967. The Lovin' Spoonful are responsible for some of the sweetest (as in "aww, how cute"-- not as in "dude, sweet!") rock n' roll of the 1960s-- including "Do You Believe In Magic?", "Did You Ever Have To Make Up Your Mind?" and "Summer in the City." R.I.P. from all of us here at Cop their Greatest Hits by clicking here.

    • Lightfoot Recovering From Bleeding
      Singer-songwriter Gordon Lightfoot is back home in Toronto and recovering more than three months after being hospitalized for serious abdominal bleeding. All of us here at wish him a speedy recovery. Help out with the medical bills and get your copy of his Greatest Hits disc by clicking here. You know your music collection isn't complete until you have 24/7 access to "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald."

    • Ice Cube Puts Chill On Dr. Dre's Supposed Final Album
      Dr. Dre's Detox is being put on the back burner as he works on new discs with Ice Cube and 50 Cent. He expects it come out in the end of 2003.

    • Used and Abused: The Hassle of Selling Used CDs In Chicago
      In Chicago, Municipal Code 4-264 requires stores that buy and sell used merchandise to obtain a special license (currently $500 annually); to qualify, applicants must pass a criminal-background check. Stores must also keep a log that lists used goods purchased and collect personal information to verify the seller's identity: name, address, phone number, height, weight, date of birth, and social security number. If the seller cannot present a picture ID the store must snap a photo or record the sale on video. Only stuff thought to be high-risk for being stolen is covered-- and as of May, Alderman Gene Schulter made sure the ordinance included CDs and DVDs. That's a lot of hassle just to unload some CDs you bought and grew tired of.

    posted by Randy on 2:15 PM | permanent link to this entry

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