Musicians speaking out against "illegal" downloading might want to take a look at their contracts regarding legal ones. That is, if we are to believe Weird Al Yankovic (and why wouldn't we?). As CD sales go down and digital sales go way up, it appears that Al is going to be on the short end of the return rate. On his Web site, Al says he makes less from download sales than CD sales, despite the relative lack of "middleman" costs (distribution, packaging, etc.). That's nothing, for every Ringtone download, artists only receive a 15-second phone card from Sprint. The generous Al doesn't seem bitter, though. His latest single, "You're Pitiful," was made available for free download. The song parodies that awful James Blunt hit, "You're Beautiful." Get it? "Beautiful" rhymes with "Pitiful"? He's still got it.
Smoke on the Football Pitch
Athletes have been known to do crazy things to shake themselves out of a slump. In his book, Duh, I Took Steroids (or whatever it was called), Jose Canseco said his solution was to have sex with the ugliest girl he could find (what a guy). The Croatian World Cup soccer team went a classier route, getting Deep Purple to perform a concert outside of its hotel before its big match against Japan, after losing to defending champs, Brazil.
Now He'll Have to Drink Coors Light!
"Retired" rapper and Def Jam Records head-honcho Jay-Z is heading up a boycott of Hip Hop's favorite bubbly status symbol, Cristal. After a rep for the champagne company was quoted as saying he was perplexed by the Rap world's patronage and inferred that it was unwelcome attention, Mr. Z pulled Cristal from his nightclub chain, the 40/40 Club. In a statement, Jay-Z said he found the comments "racist" and announced he would also not be drinking the expensive swill in his "personal life." He might need to resort to Cubic Zirconium, as well. Renowned NYC jeweler Jacob Arabove, known as "Jacob the Jeweler" and a favorite of Hip Hop artists like Jay-Z, Nas and Diddy, is a part of a federal indictment alleging money-laundering and drug-ring activities.
Hypocrisy in Action
We here at CityBeat love nothing more than to point out the hypocrisy of conservatives and Republicans. It gives us journalism boners. But we're also big enough to tell you when our liberal pals slip up. It pains us, but we're all about the truth here. For example, we think The Dixie Chicks kind of suck. And Neil Young's new album? Stinkeroo. It's especially ouchy to report that Bruce Springsteen -- whose new album is a tribute to the songs of pro-labor Folk icon Pete Seeger -- apparently overlooked an important detail when he played Milwaukee recently. Springsteen performed at the non-union Bradley Center, a move Paul Friday, spokesperson for a union of musicians, actors and stagehands, told the Associated Press was "bafflingly ironic and somewhat infuriating." To be fair, he might have just been talking about the fact that The Boss didn't play "Thunder Road." Meanwhile, Sting -- who over the years has been Al Gore-ian when it comes to environmental protection issues -- is being criticized for scheduling a concert to raise awareness about "endangered landscapes" on some of the very sacred acreage he claims to want to protect. Eco-groups are outraged that the Stingster's show at a pristine national park in Spain is expected to draw 12,000 fans, no doubt tantricly fucking with the space's eco-sphere. The groups are asking the show to be moved. We hear the Bradley Center is nice.