Mixed Media

Friday Sighs, "Music News Day"

| Fri Jan. 18, 2008 4:45 PM EST

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  • Did someone say "unicorn"? Neko Case, T-Pain and MF Doom will provide the voices for characters in an upcoming Adult Swim cartoon called, er, "Cheyenne Cinnamon and the Fantabulous Unicorn of Sugar Town Candy Fudge." Good title, but somehow I know it won't be nearly as good as the first season of Aqua Teen.
  • Speaking of adults, Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore has provided the music (link possibly NSFW) for an adult film called "Extra Action (and Extra Hardcore)," out on DVD March 18th. Wocka waa, wocka wah waaaa? The video is being directed by Richard Kern who has also made some Sonic Youth videos, so that helps explain that, I guess.
  • Both Beyonce and Foo Fighters have promised to attend the Grammys, no matter whether it's a full-on ceremony with union writers penning the jokes or a guy tossing the awards out of the back of a truck. The Foos' manager, John Silva, extended support to striking writers but confirmed the band's commitment to the Grammy ceremony.
  • Some sad news: Lily Allen, who announced her pregnancy last month, has had a miscarriage. A representative for the singer asked for privacy for Allen and her partner, Chemical Brother Ed Simons. Messages of support are being posted at Allen's MySpace page.

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Music Sales Confirm I'm a Music Snob

| Thu Jan. 17, 2008 5:02 PM EST

josh-grobin-250x200.jpgNielson SoundScan's 2007 report on nationwide music sales forces me to ponder once again the following question: Do I have crappy taste in music, or does the rest of the country?

The most popular artists in this year's report make music that A) Hurts me to listen to, or B) I would prefer listening to crying babies for hours on end than have to endure. Here are some examples:

Dirty Karaoke in China

| Thu Jan. 17, 2008 2:59 PM EST

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China plans to clean up its act.

No, not that act, silly. I'm talking about China's pre-Olympics plan to crack down on its karaoke parlors, which are apparently seething with sin:

While entertainment enterprises boost consumer spending and provide jobs and tax revenue, "some are unlicensed and in some, illegal activities such as sex, gambling and drugs are taking place," the Ministry of Culture said in an apparent reference to the many massage parlors that double as brothels.

Drugs? Sex? And to think that at karaoke parlors here in the States we're all jazzed about our friends' hilarious drunk rendition of "Wonderwall."

Coachella Countdown: Three Months, Ten Days

| Thu Jan. 17, 2008 2:41 PM EST

mojo-photo-coachellakiss.jpgWhat am I going to wear?! The LA Times' Buzz Bands blog (say that three times fast) has a quick update on this year's lineup for the big festival, and insists that it will not include a reunited My Bloody Valentine. But, but, but, the fake flyer said they would be there!! The post does contain the most serious-looking list yet of bands "expected" to appear at the festival, some of which have confirmed on their own websites or tour info sites, and some of which would probably be hanging around anyway so why not put them on the bill. There's also the matter of the post's odd title: "Coachella roster slowly takes shape (and getting misshapen)"; is that a hint of a Pulp reunion? Anyone?

The official announcement is expected as early as this Friday (meep! meeep!) but click the good old "continues inside" button for the Times' "expected" list, rearranged by me in order of headliner-y-ness:

New (-ish) Music: Studio - Yearbook 1

| Wed Jan. 16, 2008 7:12 PM EST

mojo-photo-studioyearbook.jpgA lot of music requires the listener to be patient, give it time, let it sink in, listen to the whole album beginning to end before judging. On Swedish duo Studio's Yearbook 1, it's possible to pinpoint the actual moment you have to wait for: exactly 1 minute and 39 seconds into track 1, "No Comply," the awkward piano chords and strained vocals give way to a chiming guitar arpeggio, and the effect is like rounding a bend to see a vertigo-inducing vista. That sense of unexpected majesty never goes away on this collection of the band's vinyl releases.

Banksy Wall Gets $400,000 Bid, Remains Terrible

| Wed Jan. 16, 2008 3:40 PM EST

Banksy in LondonIn the latest twist in the career of British "art prankster" Banksy, a wall on which he painted another one of his one-note eye-rollers has brought £208,100 at auction, or around $400,000. The wall, on the side of a building on Portobello Road in London, will have to be removed to be enjoyed at home by the buyer, and the cost of removal is not included in the price. The artwork depicts a stereotypical artist, with bow-tie and paint palette, putting the finishing touches with a brush on a sloppy "Banksy" tag that has clearly been spray-painted. Har, har: it sure pokes fun at all those people who take art seriously!

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Tuesday's Snoozy Music News Day

| Tue Jan. 15, 2008 3:36 PM EST

News Jan 15

  • Surprising no-one, record label EMI announced that it would cut up to 2,000 jobs in an attempt to cut costs. Trouble with EMI's roster of artists continues to foment: Coldplay and Robbie Williams may leave the label, and The Verve may be "withholding" their next album "until they receive assurances about marketing and the company's financial health." Well how about Richard Ashcroft give us assurances he's going to eat something?
  • Bjork Attacks, Part Deux: Apparently the Icelandic singer had just arrived at Auckland International Airport in New Zealand, and went after a photographer when he ignored her request to stop taking pictures. As the photographer put it, "she grabbed the back of my black skivvy and tore it down the back. As she did this, she fell over." The best part of this story is "skivvy": most stories are saying "T-shirt" but the New York Times insists "sweatshirt." I say: female domestic servant.
  • Ever wonder how 50 Cent and Timbaland got so buff? No? Me neither, but now they've actually been named as part of an Albany, New York-based steroid investigation. The report indicates the musicians, along with Wyclef Jean and Mary J. Blige, received performance-enhancing drugs from a pharmacy in Orlando. Well, jeez: those microphones are heavy.
  • Barack Obama gets two, ahem, "important" endorsements from the world of rock music: Pete Wentz of Fall Out Boy, who says he's been an Obama supporter "from day one," and Win Butler of the Arcade Fire who says Obama is "the first candidate in my lifetime to strip some of this bullshit away." Wait, aren't you from Canada?

If a Golden Globe Falls in the Forest and Nobody's There to Watch It...

| Mon Jan. 14, 2008 2:21 PM EST

mojo-photo-goldenglobes.JPG…Are they more likely to give them to deserving shows? Answer: kind of. Honestly, I'm being a bad journalist here since I didn't actually see any televised reading of the winners; apparently Nancy O'Dell and Billy Bush chuckled their way through a list of winners on NBC and the E! network featured a half-hour reading at some point. When I was flipping through the channels last night, my Comcast program guide showed a "Golden Globes Pre-Show" leading directly into a "Golden Globes Aftershow," giving the impression that the event had been compressed into a single point like a black hole. And when Time Magazine headlines their article: "The Golden Globes – Who Cares?" you know things are bad.

Friday's Sly Music News Day

| Fri Jan. 11, 2008 4:35 PM EST

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  • Okay, I knew that pneumonia story was suspicious. It turns out Eminem wasn't just in the hospital for a cough. The rapper has apparently ballooned into a "fat Elvis," this according to his mom, who's quoted in a gossip blog saying the 5 foot 7 rapper now weighs over 200 pounds and was hospitalized for possible heart problems as well as the pneumonia. Apparently the rapper is "depressed." But it feels so empty without you!

  • Following in the wake of Radiohead's post-EMI success, both Coldplay and Robbie Williams are reportedly considering leaving the label as well. Well if you have a "pay what you want" internet site, please do it in dollars so I don't screw it up again. Oh wait, I don't buy music from either of you.
  • Soulja Boy has set a digital sales record. His irrepressible hit "Crank Dat (Soulja Boy)," whose eponymous subtitle confuses and infuriates me, has become the first track to sell 3 million downloads. The music videos have been viewed over 50 million times on YouTube. Soulja Boy responded to the news by saying, "Yuuuuaaaa!!" Seriously.
  • This year's Coachella music festival near Palm Springs is set for the weekend of April 25-27, and now Idolator has what they call the "first fake line-up" for this year's festival, although Stereogum posted one back in November. Nothing, however, beats the one you can see after the jump:
  • Writers' Strike to Cancel Grammys?

    | Thu Jan. 10, 2008 7:28 PM EST

    mojo-photo-grohlgrammys.JPGHow will we know if Carrie Underwood has made the song of the year? Variety's Set List blog is speculating that if the writers' strike is still in effect on the planned Grammys ceremony date of February 10th, the list of musicians who might show up will be missing some big names: