Big "Brother" Project
The excellent book, Dream Brother: The Lives & Music of Jeff and Tim Buckley by David Browne, looks to be on the fast track to Hollywood. Reports say a script based on the dual bio about the father and son singer/songwriters -- who each enjoyed fervent cultish success in their time but died tragically young -- has found a producer in Train Houston (Jeff is said to be the main focus of the film, with Tim appearing in flashbacks). Given the protective, precious relationship between the Buckleys' music and their hardcore fans, here's hoping that casting is done very carefully. But knowing Hollywood, it'll end up a buddy comedy starring Will Smith and Martin Lawrence.
Jah Rastafari, Y'All
Is there anyone who heard about the long-in-the-works Willie Nelson Reggae album and didn't have a least a little skepticism? Besides the mutual love of ganja, what on earth could a long-standing Country legend have in common with the island sounds of Reggae? Have faith in the Willster -- Countryman (due July 12 on Lost Highway Records) takes top-shelf Reggae backing and cool Country accoutrements to create a beautiful, Nashville-meets-Kingston interconnection that is a pure delight to listen to.
Mon, whodathunkit? The red-headed stranger now has free reign -- we now eagerly await the Willie Nelson Hip Hop masterpiece. But it's going to take a lot more than a good Reggae album to make us forget about Willie's awful Dukes of Hazard-related Jessica Simpson duet, perhaps the worst song of the new century.
How Not To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb
A raid by the New York police department (reportedly in conjunction with and at the urging of the RIAA) on legendary record/video shop Mondo Kim's in NYC's Greenwich Village, where cops confiscated "mixtapes," has many worried that the entertainment biz's laser focus on dismantling "illegal" forms of media might be moving in on destroying the mixtape scene. An underground outlet for Hip Hop musicians, the mixtape's profile has risen in recent years, with major labels even embracing the on-the-down-low format to promote their own "official" releases (some have even released store-ready, legal mixtapes themselves). The "tapes" -- actually CDs now, featuring everything from remixes, rare tracks and freestyles to unofficial full albums -- have been a springboard for tons of aspiring Hip Hop artists (50 Cent has benefited from them ... and still does to this day) and are crucial forms of promotion for up-and-comers and established artists alike. For Hip Hop, taking out the mixtape scene is on par with criminalizing radio. In the end, it is often the labels that benefit from the buzz as much as the "pirates" (often the artists themselves). Another example of the myopic music industry, desperate to make a stand on bootlegs and illegal downloads, but desperately out of touch with what is really fueling their own business.
Good Charlotte: Fucking Pussies
So you think Good Charlotte are, like, the coolest Punk band ever? Is it the cringe-inducing Donkey Kong commercials, where band members are shown hopping around banging bongos/playing video games all carefree-like? Their new hyper-commercial Pop direction (do they even need guitars anymore?)? The reports that they are collaborating with Hillary Duff? How about their devotion to fans worldwide -- except in Indonesia? The boy band in Hot Topic clothing recently cancelled a gig in Jakarta next month due to fears of terrorist attacks. To be fair, other artists have also cancelled concerts in the region. But, really, if Good Charlotte doesn't play Indonesia, don't the terrorists win? Gas up the jet, boys! For America!