Wise, Wise West
While his music is highly overrated, superstar rapper Kanye West has been making some crucial statements recently that could go a long way in changing some of Hip Hop's more unsettling trademarks. Following the noble and thoughtful anti-bling message about the tragic conditions of the diamond mining industry on his new single, "Diamonds (From Sierra Leone)," West came out fairly strongly against gay-bashing and homophobia in a recent interview that aired on MTV. Though it took a family member's coming-out to make him understand the hypocrisy of being intolerant towards homosexuals, West's words are a welcome respite from many of his peers' usual way of thinking.
Masked Hard Rock crew Slipknot is suing Burger King for copping their style. Like the Tom Waits' court case where the singer successfully sued the makers of Doritos for appropriating his voice in a commercial, Slipknot is claiming that BK's latest ad campaign, featuring a masked Rock band called (kid you not) Coq Roq, is intentionally ripping off the band's image. If you're thinking, "Duh? What about GWAR!" then you think like a Burger King lawyerthesmokinggun.com, BK's legal team defends the burger giant by pointing out Slipknot's own lack of imagination. "Many bands wear masks and/or make-up to accomplish a mask-like effect," one defensive document states, "including ... KISS, Gwar, Insane Clown Posse, Mushroomhead, Mudvayne, Marilyn Manson, Los Straitjackets and the Spits." Yeah, but it doesn't make it right.
Electronic music pioneer Robert Moog died on Aug. 21, the result of an inoperable brain tumor found in April. His synthesizer inventions were used by a wide range of experimental and mainstream musical acts, including The Who, Stevie Wonder and The Beatles. His presence is vast, but Moog's creations can be heard in everything from the Prog Rock of the '70s to the New Wave of the '80s to the Electronica movement of the past several years. The synth icon was the subject of a recent, critically-acclaimed documentary film, titled, simply, Moog.
Former Doors drummer John Densmore scored a victory last month when a judge ruled that his former bandmates could not perform under any name that included the word "Doors." Cocktail-lounge-worthy keyboardist Ray Manzarek and guitarist Robby Krieger had been touring with Cult singer Ian Astbury under the horrendous moniker "The Doors of the 21st Century," with Densmore sitting out because, well, he seemed to be the only one who realized Jim Morrison was dead. The group has settled on the new name Riders on the Storm, which, now that we think about it, is actually a pretty good name for a Doors cover band, although surely one that's been used by other mimics. Now that's a court case headline we'd like to see: "Tribute Band Sues Tributees Over Name Copyright Infringement."
White Trash Party Source
Like so many of our citizens approaching their Golden Years, Garth Brooks is soon to be working for Wal-Mart. Unfortunately, he won't be donning the snazzy blue vest and greeting customers at the front doors. Billboard magazine reports that Brooks has signed a deal that will make Wal-Mart the exclusive distributor of all of the chubby weirdo's horrible albums for the next several years. Maybe he can get Chris Gaines a job.