Legend Dies, No Other News Happens
It’s been a tough week here at Minimum Gauge. The world lost one of its giants of culture and we’ve barely been able to get out of bed, let alone troll for news headlines to make fun of (largely because all the news was focused on our beloved lost icon). But Billy Mays’ untimely passing wasn’t the only important thing that happened this week.
The ever-precocious Michael Jackson also left this sphere after one of the more troubled, tragic lives in celebrity dom. He’s moonwalking with God now (were God to actually exist). R.I.P., you talented little weirdo. Jackson’s death has resulted in a huge boost in sales of his music — the iTunes charts were dominated by him the days after his death and Billboard reports that several of Jackson’s CDs are likely to be in the Top 10 of Pop Catalog albums in its next round of charts.
Billboard says the previous No. 1 on the catalog charts was TobyMac’s Portable Sounds, which sold around 9,000 copies. Sources say Jackson’s albums sold twice that number on last Thursday alone. A cottage industry is born.
Everyone knows sex sells. But does “safe sex” sell just as much? That’s what condom-maker Trojan is betting on after it bought the rights to have the new “Trojan 2Go” rubbers (because who has time to put on a regular condom in today’s go-go-go lifestyle?) featured in the new video from Rock band Cobra Starship. It’s a smart move for Trojan; the company has reportedly become frustrated with network TV’s restrictions on ads for rubbers. Now if it could just get Charlie Gibson to show how to put one on during his nightly news broadcasts…
Men at Work … Stealing Kids’ Songs?
When a band finds success, there is usually no shortage of folks coming out of the woodwork to claim that one or more of their songs was stolen by said artists. Coldplay was sued (or accused of stealing) by a few different musicians, including guitarist Joe Satriani, who claimed the band ripped him off on the Coldplay hit, “Viva La Vida.” Most of the time, this type of activity is more indicative of a lack of imagination and lazy melody writing than anything.
Now the ’80s hitmakers of Men At Work have been sued for a song they wrote more than 20 years ago (“Down Under”), with the accusers claiming the band took the song from a 75-year-old Australian children’s song. Publisher Larrikin Music acquired the rights to the kids’ song after the original writer — school teacher Marion Sinclair — passed away in 1988. So, 20 years later, they decided to file suit. Justice might be blind, but in this case it’s also slow as hell.