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    Friday, January 10, 2003

    • Bee Gees' Maurice Gibb Undergoes Surgery in Miami
      Singer Maurice Gibb of the Bee Gees, 53, underwent emergency intestinal surgery in Florida and was initially listed in critical condition. He was stricken at his home in Miami with intense stomach pains on Thursday and was rushed to the hospital. Doctors determined he was suffering from an intestinal blockage. everyone here at wishes Gibb a speedy recovery.

    • Raids Recover Original Beatles Tapes
      Police raids in England and the Netherlands on Friday recovered what could be about 500 original Beatles tapes that were stolen in the 1970s, including some never-released tracks. The tapes contain what are known as the "Get Back" sessions, which were to become an album in 1969 before the project was shelved. Some of the songs, including "Get Back" itself, became part of the Let It Bealbum. Dollars to donuts this means we're due another Anthology collection-- which is good for competists since Vol. 3 was pretty disapointing compared to Vol. 1 and Vol. 2.

    • Sony Names Lack to Head Music Division
      Well, that was quick. Andrew Lack, NBC's (now ex-) president and chief operating officer, will step in to fill the slot at Sony Music left empty by Tommy Mattola. The rumor mill has it that Tommy was shown a press release and given a few hours to clear out his stuff-- but that sounds just like too fantastic a tale to be true. (full disclosure-- I work for BSC Engineering, a division of Sony Broadband. I am many, many time removed from the comings and goings of the music dept.)

    • Eve Lands Deal With UPN For New Comedy Series
      Eve will star in her own sit-com on UPN. She'll play a fashion designer. I thought she was pretty good in "Barbershop," so we'll have to see how this goes. Given the history (LL Cool J''s sit-com, anyone?), I'm not too hopeful.

    • The Only Thing The Neptunes Can't Produce Is A Grammy
      Why weren't The Neptunes nominated for a Grammy? Turns out no one nominated them to be nominated. Whoops.

    • Joe Strummer's Final Album Due In May
      The album Joe Strummer was working on before he died will be released in May. Strummer's bandmates in The Mescaleros are slated to enter a studio within the week to start sifting through the tracks with completed vocals and mixing the album. In addition to the Mescaleros material, Epitaph is considering including songs Strummer recorded without the band, including "Long Shadow," written and recorded with Beck guitarist Smokey Hormel.

    • New Limp Bizkit Album Nearly Finished
    • Less Is More is due in April-- though the band is still without a permament replacement for departed guitarist Wes Borland. The first single ischeduled to be "Crack Addict." Meanwhile, on the official Limp Bizkit site, Fred Durst denies recording with Britney Spears.

    • Ipanema'Girl' Poses at 55 with Daughter
      Helo Pinheiro, a.k.a. "The Girl From Ipanema," will pose with her daughter in the Brazilliam edition of Playboy Magazine. Playboy initally wanted only her daughter, but her daughter wouldn't do it without mom by her side.

    posted by Randy on 2:11 PM | permanent link to this entry

    Thursday, January 09, 2003

    • Sony Music Head Quits to Form Own Label.
      Perhaps that whole "we no longer in the recording business, we're in the making-money-off-the-talent-in-everything-they-do" motto didn't fly so well with Sony. Who knows. But Tommy Mattola, now the former chief of Sony Music is going to make a go of it with his own label. In the long wrong, one of the majors will buy his label and industry expertiese-- that's my prediction. Interestingly enough, his replacement is expoected to come from outside the industry. (full disclosure-- I work for BSC Engineering, a division of Sony Broadband. I am many, many time removed from the comings and goings of the music dept.)

    • Mag Hags: What's Wrong With The State of Music Journalism -- And How To Fix It
      The usual suspects get the usual bashing they deserve from Rob Harvilla in The Houston Press. He takes a long while to get to his conclusion, but he is pretty on point: "Stop sounding like publicists. Ditch the "celebrity rockers and the cars" brand-name-a-thons. Call windbag interview subjects on their bullshit. Piss people off. Innovate. Dig. Write coherently but critically. And have a fucking opinion. Readers sure do, and for now, the reviews truly read like obituaries." I do disagree with one of his points, though-- the "new" Rolling Stone is good for what it is. I'm digging the shorter articles/reviews about a wider variety of artists. Early nominee for Rock Critic Quote of the Year: "Everyone's still riding the Neptunes' nuts like they're the teacups at Disney World."

    • Saddiq Has No Contract, but a Grammy Nod
      Raphael Saddiq tied with Eminem, Norah Jones, Avril Lavigne, Bruce Springsteen for the most number of Grammy nominations. His Instant Vintage has sold just less than 200,000 copies since it's February 26, 2002 release, so Universal Musichas dropped him. His "Be Here" is nominated for Urban/Alternative Performance, R&B Song and R&B Album while his work on "Love of My Life An Ode to Hip Hop" from the Brown Sugar Soundtrack is nominated for Song Written for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media and R&B Song. If by some chance he wins any awards, it will be a very strange day in the offices of Universal Music, don'tjathink?

    • Sharon Osbourne Battles Talent Agent
      Renee Tab of the Hollywood talent agency ICM won a $15,000 necklace at Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne's New Year's Eve party/wedding vow renewal. on eproblem-- she wasn't an invited guest. Sharon wants the neclace back and has filed a stolen property report with the police. Talk about crashing the wrong gate.

    • Britney Calls Cops To Escape L.A. Deli
      Britney Spears and a few friends needed to be escorted out of a deli by police because her fans were making a huge scene. The above linked story buries the lead, though: "Spears was very visible all weekend in Los Angeles--she was spotted with actor Vin Diesel on Saturday night (January 4) at the Polo Lounge in the Beverly Hills Hotel, after recording earlier in the day with Limp Bizkit's Fred Durst." Hello!?!?!?! Britney Spears recording with Fred Durst?!?!?! There's your story, kids!

    posted by Randy on 2:25 PM | permanent link to this entry

    Wednesday, January 08, 2003

    • Music Biz Hails Frist
      Be afraid. Be very afraid. Hillary Rosen on incoming Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist: "He has a lot of friends in the industry in Nashville. It has really informed his thinking."

    • Senator Moves Ahead With Bill To Probe Radio Giants
      But then again, there may be reason to hope. Sen. Russ Feingold(D-Wisc.) told attendees of the Future of Music Coalition policy summit yesterday that he is moving forward with his legislation -- introduced last year -- that would investigate alleged anti-competitive behavior by radio/concert giants, including Clear Channel Communications. This time, his legislation has a chance in hell for passage, as it looks like Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, will sign on as a co-sponsor of his bill. Say a prayer and write your representatives, kids!

    • New FCC Commissioner Against Media Consolidation
      Another small reason to hope, even though he is facing an uphill battle. In his first public speech, New Democratic FCC commissioner Jonathan Adelstein took the opportunity to attack the agenda set by FCC chairman Michael Powell. He said the agency is charged with protecting a variety of voices on the airwaves and that ownership regulations are a key component. "In practice, that means we must promote competition, diversity and localism so that the marketplace of ideas can flourish. A great thing about my new job is that I am passionate about this mission, and it is my sworn duty to carry it out," Adelstein said during his address at the Future of Music Policy Summit in Washington.

    • HBO Swears Off 'Sex'
      This will be the last season for Sex and the City and allegedly the last seaon of The Sopranos. To me, the real story here is buriend in the story. The Wire is coming back for a second season!

    • Jermaine Dupri & Janet Jackson An Item?
      Apparently, yes. At least that's what Jermaine Dupri told Honey magazine. Maybe she can hook a brotha up with a few mill to help settle his debt with the I.R.S.

    • Tupelo Honey: Seminal Alt-Country Act Reissued
      Lots more info is coming out about the Uncle Tupelo re-issues. The reissue of Uncle Tupelo's 1990 debut No Depression will include six bonus tracks and liner notes by music scribe Jason Fine. Still Feel Gone will come with five additional tracks and liner notes by journalist Holly George Warren. March 16-20, 1992 will come with with six extra tracks liner notes from rock critic/Ramones look-a-like David Fricke. Read the above linked article for full details-- there is a lot to chew over.

    • Issac Hayes' "Shaft" Tour Costume-- Yours For Only 1 Million Dollars
      Lime green cape. Lime green overalls. 2 lime green arm bands. One lime green tie. So much history. Yours for a cool million on eBay.

    • Stakes Is High
      Very nice piece in The Nation by Jeff Chang about the state of politcal and "concious" music in the worlds of rap and R&B/neo-soul. Thoughtful, well-written and well worth reading.

    posted by Randy on 12:26 PM | permanent link to this entry

    Tuesday, January 07, 2003

    • Eminem, Avril Lavigne, Nelly, Norah Jones Nab Most Grammy Noms
      So, it is a music fan's second-most-annoying timeof the year-- the day The Grammy nominees are announced. The most annoying day for a music fan, of course, is the day of the awards ceremony-- where the-least-deserving-yet-most-popular usually triumph over the most-deserving-yet-lesser-known. But that's a complaint for later. Here's a link to a complete list of all the nominees in all the catagories. My prediction is that Bruce Spingsteen's The Rising and it's single with the same title will sweep the awards that Norah Jones' Come Away With Me and "Don't Know Why" don't win. A guide to who is gonna win what award on award show night: the artist who performs just before an award is announced will usually walk away with the trophy.

      My complaints looking over the nominees:

      - Beck's Sea Change deserved an Album of the Year nom, not just an Best Alternative Music Album (Vocal or Instrumental.) nomination.

      -Producer Of The Year, Non-Classical: Dr. Dre, Nellee Hooper, Jimmy Jam, Arif Mardin or Rick Rubin. Where are The Neptunes? This was definetly their year.

      -No nominations anywhere for DJ Shadow's The Private Press, Weezer's Maladroit and Tweet's "Ooops! (Oh My)"

      - Cee-Lo Green and His Perfect Imperfections deserved an album nomination somewhere, but I'll have to make due with an Urban/Alternative Performance nom for "Gettin' Grown."

      And lastly, we gotta gve a shout-out to my fave Grammy catagory: Polka Album of The Year. The nominees are: Let the Good Times Roll, Jerry Darlak and The Touch; The Polka Record, LynnMarie; Good Time Polkas & Waltzes, Walter Ostanek and His Band and Top of the World, Jimmy Sturr. This race is obviously too close to call, but I'm gonna go with LynnMarie becuase she's kind of a hottie in a field dominated by fat old men. Also, she sells a "Polkaerobics" exercise video on her website, so that pushes her over the edge in my book.

    • Neptunes' Pharrell Williams Goes Over 2003 To-Do List
      Some kind of surprising artists The Neptunes plan to work with this year: blink-182, Papa Roach and Limp Bizkit. That sort of gives me The Fear. On the other hand, they're working on another N.E.R.D. album, so that's good news. Why is it again that you don't own In Search Of...? Oh yeah, that's right-- you have no excuse!

    • New Service Offers Made-to-Order CD's From TV Show
      If you pop over to, you can make a custom CD of songs that have appeared on "Dawson's Creek"-- a show which actively uses songs from little-known artists in the background. They also let you choose CD covers and images to be burned on the front of the CD. It's nicely done, kudos to the good folks at for putting it together so well.

    • Put the Compact Disc Out of Its Misery
      Very interesting article in Slate about how CDs are on their way to being obsolete-- or at least they would be if the industry and equpipment makers would get their heads out of their asses. It points out that most music recorded today is recorded at higher fideltiy than a CD can handle and that the next generation of formats (SACD/DVD Audio) currently sport players that only uses analog inputs/outputs, thus erasing a lot of the fidelity achieved by going digital. Grumble grumble grumble.

    • Microsoft Moves to Strengthen Its Position in Digital Media
      Microsoft said yesterday that it would license its Windows Media technology to consumer electronics makers at lower prices and better terms than its main competitors (MPEG 4 video, for example do. If all for healthy competition in the market driving down prices-- but when Microsoft is leading the charge, you know you need to be scared.

    • Bertelsmann Admits Nazi Past
      Media-giant Bertelsmann had always claimed that were closed down during World War II because of resistance to the Nazis. Not true, it turns out. The Nazis shut down the company in 1944, but probably because of war shortages rather and not because of subversive texts, said the Independent Historical Commission commission set up by the firm. In addition, The IHC found Bertelsmann had targeted the youth market with its "Exciting Stories" series and the "The Christmas Book of the Hitler Youth" annual which pushed its sales up 20 fold. The company had close ties to the Nazi regime, particularly the Propaganda Ministry, and printed 19 million books during World War II, making it the largest publisher for the German army. Not surprisingly, Bertelsmann immediately issued a statement apologising for its wartime activities and false corporate history.

    • Rikki Rockett Goes Glam With New Album
      Poison drummer Rikki Rockett is releasing a solo album entitled Glitter 4 Your Soul. It's an album of glam rock covers-- on which he plays drums (though he does sing on "Life's A Gas," originally done by T. Rex. I do rekon this is probably the first contender for this year's edition of The Onion's Least Essential Albums of The Year.

    • Cutting Crew Guitarist MacMichael Dies
      Kevin MacMichael, a guitarist and founding member of Cutting Crew, has died of lung cancer at age 51. Can you name their other hit aside from "(I Just) Died in Your Arms"? If you said "I've Been In Love Before," you are as big a music geek as me. Congrats. With two hits, you might think it'd be hard for them to put out a greatest hits album. You obviously don't work in the music industry.

    • Slipknot To Break Up Before Becoming Gwar, Corey Taylor Says
      A GWAR vs. Slipknot dis war?!?!?! GWAR rules, now and forever. Believe that. See them in concert before you die.

    posted by Randy on 1:09 PM | permanent link to this entry

    Monday, January 06, 2003

    • Report: Murder Inc. N.Y. Office Raided
      A report from the Chickens Coming Home To Roost/You Get What Put In Dept., Federal authorities raided the New York City offices of the record label Murder Inc. as part of an investigation into music mogul Irv Gotti. A year long investigation into an alleged financial link between Gotti and a New York drug gang called the "Supreme Team" led to the raid. Authorities are reportedly investigating whether or not money from drug tafficking helped Gotti break into the music business. Specifically, authorities are reportedly investigating an alleged link between Gotti and Kenneth McGriff, the convicted head of "The Supreme Team," a crack dealing gang that made a fortune and apparently needed somewhere to stash the cash. Though Gotti's music mostly isn't to my liking, I'll still a hook a brotha up with a link to his Irv Gotti Presents The Inc. in case any fasn out there want to buy the CD to help with the legal fund. This story says the cops may also be investigating a link between McGriff and the non-fatal shooting of 2Pac in New York on Nov. 30, 1995.

    • Music Tours Take in Record $2.1B in 2002
      Baby boomer acts like Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stonesand Cher lured more people to concerts in 2002 and helped the industry make a record $2.1 billion in ticket sales, according to figures released Friday. This is actually an increase in sales and profits, unlike last year's results that found increased profits only due to price increases since ticket sales were down. One thing that is notable, however, is that almost all of the top drawing acts skew older. Once the baby boomers die out, it'll will be interesting to see who can draw that kind of audience.

    • Nelly, Nas, N.O.R.E., & Others To Kick Off Big Pun Tribute Tour
      Nas, N.O.R.E., Nelly, Missy Elliott, Cuban Link and Fabolous will partcipate in a Big PunT ribute Tour, set to launch in New York on February 6 at the Manhattan Center. Before y'all get all crazy, please note that not all those artists will appear on every date. Pick thee a up a copy of Big Pun's Capital Punishment, which is still the hotness after all these years.

    • RCA Records to Honor Waylon Jennings
      Brooks & Dunn, Kenny Chesney with Kid Rock, Sara Evans with Deana Carter, Andy Griggs, Travis Tritt, Hank Williams Jr. and Dwight Yoakam are among the artists who will contribute material to I've Always Been Crazy: A Tribute to Waylon Jennings. Due in April, the set will feature the artists covering Jennings' songs and a "Storms Never Last," a new song his wife Jessi Colter wrote and recorded with Jennings. If you can't wait that long for your Waylon Jennings fix, be sure to pick up Waylon: An Autobiography and/or The Essential Waylon Jennings.

    • Shania Set For Super Bowl
      Okay, I admit it-- I liked the Aerosmith/Britney Spears/'N Sync/Nelly/Mary J. Blige one from two years ago. Last year's U2 thing seemed a bit pandering to me. Shania Twaindoesn't bode well for the future.

    • Meri Wilson Edgemon Dead at 53
      Meri Wilson, the composer and singer of the super-silly, allegedly sexy, double entendre 70s tune "Telephone Man," died on 12.28.02 in an SUV crash near her Americus, Georgia home. I couldn't remeber the song at all, so I downloaded it. It is worth a listen just to scratch your head and wonder how it could've been a hit. The 70s were a very difficult time for everyone. Sadly, all her stuff is only available as import and doesn't even include her biggest hit.

    • HipHopSite 2002 Best and Worst List
      Lots of lists to chew on here, with many on point choices and comments. Highly reccommended reading.

    • 365 Days Of Music
      Each day this year, this site will post a new MP3, mianly of the thrift-store rarities/outsider music variety. The selections thus far have been choice. Good link for outsider music fans and for those looking for rare material to sample.

    posted by Randy on 2:17 PM | permanent link to this entry

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