Many Punk fans around the world first learned about “real” London through the music of The Clash. The spirit of “The Only Band That Matters” has been hovering over the city lately, starting last month when the campaign to bring people to next year’s Summer Olympics included a version of The Clash’s “London Calling,” an Apocalyptic vision of the U.K. capital city’s future and class inequities.
Kanye West and Jay-Z were recently sent a message from independent record stores — please, sirs, may we sell your music and make you even more money? A coalition of stores signed a letter to the super-duo asking them to reconsider their deal with Best Buy to sell their much-anticipated Watch the Throne exclusively for about two weeks before other retailers may have the privilege.
When a group of young Bay Area Punk musicians in the late ’70s decided to name their band The Dead Kennedys, in their minds the odds of a beer company using their compositions in a marketing campaign was as likely as them being invited to become the house band at the Kennedy family’s Hyannis Port compound.
It was announced that Miley Cyrus, Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber and Lil Wayne have been nominated for possible induction into the International Bowling Hall of Fame. (Kim Kardashian, Michael Jordan and the only people who make logical sense, Jeff Bridges and Bill Murray, are also up for the esteemed honor.)
The U.K., when not obsessing over the News of the World phone-hacking scandal, is abuzz right now with rumors about Paul McCartney’s possible involvement in the next Olympic games, which come to London next summer. According to NME, Macca is being coy but hinted that the whispers might indeed be true — he and Ringo Starr will perform at the opening ceremonies with a “new” version of The Beatles.
Seth Putnam, frontman and founder of easy-listening faves Anal Cunt, died of a heart attack June 11. Oh, wait — Anal Cunt was actually a controversial Grindcore band named after a GG Allin tune, responsible for seconds-long songs like “Your Kid Committed Suicide Because You Suck” and “Van Full of Retards.”
Did you know Bono put himself in the position to be murdered by a Canadian serial killer recently? Having clearly not seen enough horror movie thrillers, Bono found himself (and a buddy) in the middle of a downpour while taking a walk around town in Vancouver. Instead of just ducking under one of those orange traffic cones, the U2 singer was rescued when he was able to flag down a motorist.
Concert venues were very strict with policies regarding taking photos or recording video or audio during a concert. We once had a Bic pen confiscated from us after being frisked on our way into a show (clearly an effort to stop us from selling our unauthorized pen sketches of Insane Clown Posse on the street after the concert).
Somebody sure wanted a blockbuster No. 1 opening weekend for their new album. Along with the months-long promotional lead-up to Lady Gaga’s Born This Way album, sales for the release received an extra boost when Amazon made it available for 99 cents.
George Michael recently announced his plans to return to music with a new album and worldwide tour. Michael, now known more as a tabloid joke, is making his comeback to help improve his tarnished legacy, but not for solely selfish reasons. The singer said his return is for young gay people, who he felt he let down in his career by not being “out” publicly from the start.
Theatrical Rock legend Alice Cooper is pulling a Princess Leia and “performing” a show in England without attending it. The London show is being called the U.K.’s “first holographic 4D rock gig,” as Cooper and his band play in Hollywood while the British concert-goers watch a multidimensional hologram transmission.
As they seem to do every five years or so, The Beastie Boys have returned to the music world, just in time to provide a lesson to next-generation Pop tarts on how to have a long, successful career in music without sacrificing creative progress or integrity.
In 1969, if you’d told Ian Anderson — bug-eyed frontman for Jethro Tull — that one day he would be performing a duet with someone floating 220 miles above the earth … well, he probably would have said, “But, of course” (drugs were pretty popular that year).
If you were attending an esteemed university and ready to enter the job market, what would you do if some of your fellow students pulled a stunt that made your school a national laughing stock? If it’s New Jersey’s Rutgers and the stunt is paying a flash-in-the-pan reality TV star a shit-ton to speak on campus, you reach out to The Boss.
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.