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, February 21, 2003

    • At Least 65 Dead At Rock Show Fire
      What a terrible tragedy. You've all heard the news by now, so I'm not gonna recap. I will just mention that mysecond thought upon hearing about this (right after "How terrible!") was "There are nearly 400 people who want to see Great White in this day and age?"

      Sorry. It just popped in my head and I have to be honest about it. I truly send out my condoloences to the victims and victims families.

      One more thing: The year was 1989. The concert was Ratt, Great White and Warrant at Pine Knob (which is now the DTE Energy Music Theatre). Who was there? Me. And thousands of other folks-- but I'll fess up. I was there. It was the last night of the tour and at the end they tried to do an all-band jam on "Walk This Way," but it seemed like only one or two of the guys on stage were into it, so it just fell apart. Good times, good times.

    • Train To Offer Fans Custom CDs
      For just $15, plus shipping and any applicable taxes, you can make your very own Train's Greatest Hits CD and even include filler like live covers and b-sides, just like the major labels do! This would've been a neat idea in, like, 1999, when all this couldn't just be done at home using a file trading system and a CD burner. If you're a fan though, Isuppose it is important to show your love. Do so by clicking here and making your own Train CD. You can also do the same thing for Bob Dylan.

    • Billboard Bits: J. Lo/LL, Roxio/Napster, Queensryche
      Point One: Debra Laws alleges in a lawsuit that her name, voice, "signature lyrics," and melody from her 1980 album "Very Special" appear without her consent on the Jennifer Lopez/LL Cool J duet "All I Have" from J-Lo's This Is Me...Then. There's no denying that Laws' R&B song is sampled in the song-- I'm just surpriused it wasn't cleared.

      Point Two: Roxio CEO Chris Gorog says the company plans to relaunch Napster as a label-licensed, for-pay subscription service later this year.

      Point Three (since it is in the headline): Guitarist Chris DeGarmo, a founding member of Queensryche, has rejoined the group.

      (More metal shame in my past-- I saw Queensryche open up for Def Leppard on Def Lep's Hysteria tour. Queensryche were supporting their Operation: Mindcrime rock opera and me and my geeky friends were like the only ones in the whole arena who were rocking out to the opening act.)

    posted by Randy on 1:18 PM | permanent link to this entry

    Thursday, February 20, 2003

    • Country singer Johnny PayCheck dead at 64
      R.I.P. from all of us here at For you youngstas out there, his "Take This Job and Shove It" was the slowly-dying-rust-belt-worker's anthem in 1977 and deserves to be cranked up and sang along with every time you leave a job. He had a gaggle of other great country songs as well-- pick up The Soul & the Edge: The Best of Johnny Paycheck for a history lesson.

    • P.O.D. Splits With Guitarist Marcos Curiel
      Read the above link-- for a group that gives shout-outs to the big man upstairs a lot, there sure isn't a lot of love being expressed here. Who knew you could be kicked out of a rock group becasue you weren't religious enough. These are strange times.

    • Is Pay-for-Play Finally Finished?
      It seems to finally be generating some heat in Congress, sez the above linked Salon and some radio stations are stopping their dealings with indie-middle-men becuase the practice isn't worth all the headaches it has generated.

    • Sound of Silence to End
      If they can get all the financials worked out, it looks like legendary singer-songwriter duo Simon and Garfunkel may tour this summer. As it is now, they are likely to perform "Bridge Over Troubled Water" at the Grammys this Sunday night, where they are also scheduled to recieve a lifetime achievement award.

    • The Trouble With Corporate Radio: The Day the Protest Music Died (NYTimes registration required)
      This editorial in the New York Times would carry more weight if the author could actually cite an instance in which a current anti-war song was refused air play, but it still is worth a read.

    • Compromise Copyright Bill In Works
      Speaking at the Digital Rights Summit in Silicon Valley, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore) said he was close to introducing a bill that would likely require consumer-electronics devices or media (such as CDs to be clearly labeled with explanations of any anticopying restrictions. Several other legislators are preparing, or have already introduced, bills that contain labeling provisions that apply to specific devices or media such as digital televisions or audio CDs.

      This Wired News article has more info about what confrence partcipants had to say about the chilling effect of the Digital Millinium Copyright Act in Sillicon Valley. And for more scary reading, peep this column in Business Week about how companies are gearing up to use the DCMA against their competitors in ways Congress didn't envision.

    • Piracy Battle Shifts to Bertelsmann (LA Times registration required)
      Songwriters Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller (as "Jailhouse Rock," "Hound Dog" "Stand by Me") and music publishers Frank Music Corp and Peer International Corp are now suing Bertelsmann for $17 billion. Their suit alleges that the money the Greman media giant investged in Napster did not go towards making a legal version of the system but instged went to operating expenses in keeping the file-trading system alive.

    • Manson's 'Grotesque' Emerges In May
      Marilyn Manson's The Golden Age of Grotesque is scheduled to hit stores on May 13 (once again, no pre-order link). Click the above link for a full-track list. How does one put out a song called "Doll-Dagga Buzz-Buzz Ziggety-Zag" with a straight face? Other song titels include "mOBSCENE," "(s)AINT," and "Better of Two Evils."

    • Harper, Johnson Make Touring Tag Team
      I'm not a huge fan of either Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals or Jack Johnson, but this is a killer double bill for their fans. The 40-date tour will kick off in June. Harper will be touring to support Diamonds on the Inside (which is due in stores on March 11 but you can pre-order here) while Johnson will be pimping On and On (which hits stores May 6 and Amazon doesn't have a pre-order link for).

    • Pre-movie ads rip off theatergoers, suits claim
      Two lawsuits filed in Cook County Circuit Court against Classic Cinemas and Loews Cineplex Entertainment argue that the practice of showing ads before movies at the advertised starting time of the film constitutes fraud, false advertising and breach of contract. Both suits ask for damages of no more than $75 per person. More important, the attorneys who filed them say, is that their clients want the commercials dropped--or they want ads to state the time a movie actually begins, not just when the commercials begin to roll.

    posted by Randy on 1:52 PM | permanent link to this entry

    Wednesday, February 19, 2003

    posted by Randy on 3:16 PM | permanent link to this entry

    Tuesday, February 18, 2003

    • Beastie Boys, Red Hot Chili Peppers To Headline Coachella
      I hate huge festival shows, but this line-up sounds pretty tempting. Over two days: Beastie Boys, Queens of the Stone Age, N.E.R.D., The Donnas, Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, The White Stripes, Jack Johnson, Black Eyed Peas, Soundtrack of Our Lives, Deep Dish, Hot Hot Heat, Johnny Marr, Tortoise, Polyphonic Spree, Ben Kweller, Cat Power, Kinky, Thievery Corporation, Café Tacuba, Fischerspooner, Ladytron, Blue Man Group, Stereo Total, Joseph Arthur an bunch of Def Jux artists, Dirty Vegas, Underworld, Groove Armada, Darren Emerson, Timo Maas, Richie Hawtin, Felix da Housecat and DJ Z-Trip. And more, allegedly. Tickets go on sale on Saturday at Ticketmaster outlets. They haven't posted the complete official line-up at the Coachella site yet, but they probably will soon.

    • Smithsonian Folkways Dusts Off Titles With New Technology
      Very nice piece in The New York Times about how the Smithsonian Folkways label is doing a (relatively) booming business selling burned CD-R's on demand. Since the volume is so small, it isn't that big a deal for them to do it-- a possible model for upcoming artists who don't want to spend a lot on getting CDs made or signing with a major label.

    • 2002 Pazz & Jop Critical Alignment Ratings
      Click the above link to see how the close the participants in the 2002 Village Voice Pazz & Jop Critics' Poll came to selecting the final over-all top 10 with their own individual ballots.

    • 'Making The Band II' Featuring P. Diddy To Return
      I still think that Mysterious was robbed and Rodney "Chopper" Hill is weak as hell, but I'll probably tune in again. This next set of episodes will follow last season's winners as they "live together, sign their first record deal, make an album, and prepare for their debut performance." Hey, anything beats O-Town

    • Allman Bros. Lawsuit Over Lost Tapes Dismissed
      A bunch of of live performances, demos and rehearsals made between 1969 and 1979 while The Allman Bros. were under contract with Capricorn Records will remain the property of Universal Music. The Allman's claimed the tapes were for personal use, but the judge ruled they waited to long to try and get the tapes back-- essentially saying "Finders Keepers, Losers Weepers."

    • Bono named for Nobel Peace Prize
      This is not a headline from The Onion. He's one of 150 nominees thus far.

    • Excellent Video Alert!! DJ Format & Jurassic 5 "We Know Something You Don't Know"
      It's has the trappings of a lot of rap videos (breakdancing, basketball, syncronized dancing, rapping real close to the camera while walking around a city-scape), but everyone is dressed up in "plushie" animal outfits. Very well done, plus the song is dope! Also, peep the Gold Chains video "I Come From San Francisco" while you're over there. High comedy. DJ Format's Music for the Mature B-Boy won't be released until April 28, 2003 but you can pre-order it here.

    • Google Buys Blog Tool Developer
      Of all the companies that probably wanted to buy Pyra Labs (makers of the Blogger software), I'm very happy to see that Google won out. They seem least likely out of any company out there to ruin a good thing.

    posted by Randy on 12:29 PM | permanent link to this entry

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