Makers of the mostly-great Showtime original comedy Weeds not only came up with a great idea for a series (widowed suburban mom sells pot to make ends meet), but they've gotten clever with the "theme song" concept this year as well. Those who tuned into the recent Season 2 opener probably noticed the title tune, "Little Boxes" (a song about the monotony and uniformity of suburbia), sounded a little different. That's because Elvis Costello, not late folksinger Malvina Reynolds (who wrote the song in 1962 and whose version led each episode last season) sang it. But EC doesn't get the whole season; in a novel move, producers have enlisted different singers to handle the duties for each episode. Death Cab For Cutie did the second episode, and future guest performers include Jenny Lewis of Rilo Kiley, The Submarines, Ozomatli and possibly even Engelbert Humperdinck, who reportedly performs the song in concert. We'll smoke to that!
It seems like a simple enough formula: Get three barely relevant musicians from other well-known bands, rip off the American Idol format to find a lead singer, record album, watch album end up in the 99-cent bin six months after its released.
Oh, and come up with a good band name, preferably one not already in use. It is being reported that producers of the CBS show Rock Star: Supernova knew there were a gazillion other Supernovas in existence, but went ahead and approved it for the name of its new "supergroup." After failing to reach a settlement on an initial lawsuit, a Californian trio, which has used the Supernova name for 17 years, has filed for an injunction against the show and "band," asking a judge to forbid them from using their name. The original Supernova has had an album on Atlantic Records, as well as CDs on established indie labels like Amphetamine Reptile and Sympathy for the Record Industry. The trio has released some hilarious press statements defending their honor, saying, "It's kind of like if that 1980s Top 40 nightmare Rick Astley was performing around town under the name The Jimi Hendrix Experience." Peacemakers that we are, we offer these new band name suggestions for the TV band, which features Tommy Lee, one-time Guns 'N Roses temp Gilby Clarke, ex-Metallica bassist Jason Newsted and whoever wins the talent show: Supernova.tv, 3 Sidemen and a Nobody, 14-Inch Penis and Friends, Career CPR, Axl No's, Embarrassca or Led Zeppelin (hey, we know they're not using it).
The Bad Taste of Victory
Despite reportedly owing the label two more albums, Dayton rockers Hawthorne Heights have announced that they are leaving Victory Records. The split is far from amicable. Hawthorne Heights is suing the label and its owner, Tony Brummel, saying that their reputation has been damaged by Brummel's "overly-aggressive, unethical and illegal schemes and tactics," according to Billboard magazine. The tipping point appears to be a letter sent to Victory's street team, which urged helpers to put HH CDs in better positions at record stores and hide copies of the new CD by R&B singer Ne-Yo, one of the band's biggest first-week competitors for the top chart spot when their If Only You Were Lonely CD came out. The band claims the label signed their names to the marching orders and indicated that they were at "war" with Hip Hop. On the group's Web site, HH lays out their "manifesto," saying that Brummel was more upset that the band had made the letter public than with the ethical lapse. The band also notes that their experiences with Brummel are reflective of what many other Victory artists have dealt with.