Uke Gotta Be Kidding
Some artists are so beloved they could release an album of songs performed on ukulele and fans would still buy the shit out of it. That’s not hyperbole — Eddie Vedder is putting the theory to the test with the upcoming release of Ukulele Songs, a collection of originals and covers performed by Vedder on — you guessed it — a ukulele. Not to be outdone, Creed singer Scott Stapp rushed out an announcement for his upcoming solo effort, Cheap Plastic Recorder Songs.
Whine By the Glass
In a fine example of how the Internet has enhanced sensationalism in reporting and buries less-exciting follow-up stories (especially if they disprove the original hot news item), former Fugees member Wyclef Jean was reportedly shot in Haiti recently on the eve of presidential elections in the troubled nation. Except he wasn’t.
There to support a candidate, the Haitian-born rapper/musician said he heard gunshot-like sounds, looked down at his bloody hand and assumed he’d been shot. Internet headlines bit, screaming, “Wyclef Shot in Haiti!” A day after Jean recounted his harrowing experience to the AP, reports surfaced that police were told by doctors that Jean was merely cut by a piece of glass. Yes, but that isn’t going to look as good on a rapper’s résumé or in press reports. Unless it was a glass Chinese throwing star tossed by a ninja assassin (or Lauryn Hill).
South By South-Mess
The most talked about things from the recent South By Southwest fest don’t have anything to do with music, schmoozing or free BBQ and beer. Rather, they were three painful-to-watch incidents that you can painfully watch thanks to cellphone cams and YouTube. The first was an accident involving a camera crane that fell on the crowd during a performance by Brit Synth Pop band OMD (four fans were injured but reportedly will recover). Meanwhile, after ranting about everything from music critics to SXSW itself, Ben Weasel (who you can partially blame for all the bad Emo and Pop Punk in the world) lost it during Screeching Weasel’s set and punched two women after being heckled and pelted … with ice cubes! (Weasel later apologized in a statement; police action was pending as of press time.) And at a secret reunion set by Dance Punk duo Death From Above 1979, eager gatecrashers reportedly caused a “riot” and mounted police came in to calm the crowd … with mace and tasers. Given that all three shows involved veteran and/or reunited bands, maybe SXSW was just being retro and paying tribute to Altamont.