Thick Line Between 'Love' and 'Hate'
If you haven't heard it, the soundtrack to the Beatles' Cirque du Soleil show, Love, is like producer George Martin taking a snow globe of Beatles songs and shaking it up, as die-hard fans go, "ooooh" and "ahhh." Amazingly, the record has made a ton of "Best Albums of 2006" lists; it's only slightly less overrated than those CDs by The Hold Steady and Joanna Newsom. Last year in CityBeat's review of the album, we said you can easily find more interesting and creative Beatles mash-ups on the Internet. A recent remix project proves our point and plays off the Love concept. Hate was put online late last year and, miraculously, it hasn't been chopped down by a restraining order yet (hurry, real quick-like, to thebeatleshate.com, for a listen). The mash-up album comes from two U.K. artists known, according to the site, as Sir George Master Five and Pete Best Zarustica. The site says the project for "the first time in the fab-four history, expresses HATE for the war, for the USA, and for everyone that supports this stupid act." The actual mixes are less political (despite song titles like "War Fields Forever," "Bomb Together" and "I'm Nuking Through You"), and more playful, chopping and sautéing original Beatles tracks to create loopy, beat-driven experimental collages.
Can the Cirque project still switch musical directors mid-stream? 'Cause this music put to guys in leotards spinning around on ropes we actually might pay big bucks to see.
Lovers of Covers
Gather 'round, little ones, for a story about ye olden times. Once upon a time, little boys and girls would go to this thing called a "record store" where they would buy things called "albums" and "CDs." On these music distribution formats, artists would put imagery on the front, which we called "album covers." In the latest M.L.O.N.R.S. (Musical List of No Real Significance), a poll of UK music fans conducted by CD/DVD duplication company Brandedmedia has discovered that perennial list-topper, The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's, has the best cover art of all time. Fair enough, but some of the rest of the Top 5 is a little more curious: Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon comes in at No. 2 and Mike Oldfield's Tubular Bells is in at No. 5, two covers that look like something a freshman graphic design major might come up with. Can't argue with the Stones' Sticky Fingers taking the No. 3 slot (zipper-version vinyl edition only), but No. 4 is pretty much representative of the lack of perspective a lot of these British polls always seem to show (like when all of Oasis' early albums were always beating Dylan and The Beatles in the Best Albums of All-Time polls in the mid-'90s). Better than Revolver, better than Bitches Brew, better than Electric Ladyland, is ... current Brit fan fave Scissor Sisters' self-titled full-length! At least the Red Hot Chili Peppers' Stadium Arcadium didn't make the list -- it makes those covers from the old K-Tel hits compilations look like vibrant, multi-colored Yes gatefolds.
Coke Steals Ska
Jack White got some flack from the hipsterati last year when he wrote a song for an overseas Coca-Cola TV commercial. But at least Coke asked Jack for a song. For a commercial campaign in South America, the cola giant reportedly just found a song that they liked and ran with it ... without getting the artist's permission! The London Ska band 7 Seconds of Love says Coke nicked their song "Ninja" for the campaign, something they never would have known about were it not for a curious fan. The group is made up of struggling artists, so they say they don't have the funds to pursue a lawsuit, though they are hoping for a fair pay-off. For its part, Coke says the clip was turned in by an advertising company, with assurances that all elements were "original." One of the band members said they would have been more than happy to have participated if they'd been asked. Tsk, tsk. We'd expect this from Faygo, but c'mon Coke -- you're better than that!