The Royal We–the band of Glaswegians featured in the above video for “I Hate Rock & Roll”–had a show Monday night celebrating the launch of their self-titled album, which came out last month. But before you go getting worried about another band from across the pond getting all blog-hyped up the wazoo–even though its blend of girl-group harmonies and chaotic violin parts that recall the Raincoats, used to great effect on “Three’s A Crowd,” guarantee that they’d get attention from these quarters–you should probably know that Monday night’s show also doubled as their farewell performance, thus ensuring them a place in, at the very least, the pantheon of bands that maybe could have played one U.S. show before calling it quits.
New Scientific Research Finds That Horny Teenagers Are Probably Going To Get It On With Or Without Hip-Hop
Scientists have finally taken note of this secret society called “hip-hop” and the Pied Piperish hold its hypersexualized lyrical content has over our secondary schools. To gauge the threat level, researchers at Columbia University and the RAND Corporation, among other institutions, have been scrutinizing lyric sheets and even leaving the lab to mingle among dancers, hoping to find out if rap is making kids pet a little heavier than they should. Their findings? That no one should tap Ja Rule to teach junior high sex ed.
The researchers [at the RAND Corporation] interviewed more than 1,400 teenagers over two years, asking them about the music they listened to along with factors like peer pressure and parental supervision. They found that adolescents who were exposed to the highest levels of sexually degrading lyrics were twice as likely to have had sex by the end of the study.
The researchers defined degrading lyrics as those that portrayed women as sexual objects, men as insatiable and sex as inconsequential. One example they cited was from the rapper Ja Rule, whose song “Livin’ It Up” includes the lyrics “Half the ho’s hate me, half them love me.” Notably, lyrics that celebrated sex, like those crooned by the band 98 Degrees — “I’m dreamin’ day and night of making love” — had no effect on sexual behavior, the study found.
Perhaps because no one under the age of 50 uses the term “making love” with a straight face? Other pertinent facts gleaned from Columbia’s three years spent “studying the hip-hop club scene, talking to dozens of teenagers and watching them dance” include: Grinding on the dancefloor doesn’t necessarily lead to grinding on the bathroom floor; despite hip-hop’s fucked up gender roles, ladies still have no trouble telling a sucker “no” if he gets too close; and kids’ ears prick up to public health messages when you try to “rap” with them using a little hip slang, rather than affecting a finger-wagging Ward Cleaver stance towards their “confounding” subculture. At least our tax dollars aren’t tied up in this.
Diddy announced the winner of his YouTube personal assistant contest yesterday on Oprah: Lawyer Heather “Spelmansweetie” Thompson, whose slightly wooden audition video big-ups her time in the Peace Corps and her subscriptions to New York and The Economist. Those qualities will probably not be considered in Diddy’s next assistant search, which will take place through the tried and true “VH1 reality show” method. [YouTube via Whudat / Photo: AP]
Hoping to evade the possibility of an asterisk-tainted chart, the powers that be at Billboard and Nielsen SoundScan changed their rules for charting albums last night in such a way to ensure that the Eagles’ Long Road Out Of Eden–their Wal-Mart-only album that sold 711,000 copies last week–would top this week’s Billboard 200, pushing Britney Spears’ 290,000-copy-selling Blackout to the No. 2 slot.
In consultation with Nielsen SoundScan, Billboard will now allow exclusive album titles that are only available through one retailer to appear on The Billboard 200 and other charts, effective with this week’s charts. Prior to this, proprietary titles were not eligible to appear on most Billboard charts.
Early SoundScan numbers have the Eagles taking the top perch on The Billboard 200 with 711,000 copies sold, with most sales moved by Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club stores. For now, the only other U.S. outlets carrying “Eden” are walmart.com, where both physical copies and downloads are sold, and the Eagles’ own Web site. …
“We know that some retailers will be uncomfortable with this policy, but it was inevitable that Billboard’s charts would ultimately widen the parameters to reflect changes that are unfolding in music distribution,” says Geoff Mayfield, Billboard’s director of charts. “We would have preferred to make this decision earlier, but only became aware within the last 24 hours that Wal-Mart would be willing to share the data for this title with Nielsen SoundScan.”
Ah, the power of being able to ensure you’ve won before the results of your battle are announced! Although it’s funny (in a “wow, the business is circling the drain even faster now!” way) that the likelihood of this new rule influencing Wal-Mart’s decision to slash shelf space for music in the new year is probably nil.
Revised Chart Policy Lands Eagles At No. 1 [Billboard]
We got a tip this morning from a reader who saw copies of the Eagles’ Long Road Out Of Eden at the Times Square Virgin Megastore yesterday, and a little detective work by Rolling Stone confirms: the so-called Wal-Mart “exclusive” has been spotted in the racks of other record stores, often at a substantial markup from the Sam Walton-approved price of $11.88. (Hey, they have to make some profit.)
The best part: The only store that was willing to ‘fess up to getting its inventory at the big-box store was a small shop in Nebraska, while a Virgin clerk, when asked whether or not the albums were imports, whispered to RS he “thinks they were hard to get.” Which implies either a long car ride or some weird hand-off system because the Virgin clerk didn’t want to be seen actually shopping at Wal-Mart. The albums apparently just started popping up in stores today, so what this means for Eden‘s SoundScan tallies is still up in the air; given that Wal-Mart bought those three million albums from the Eagles on a no-returns basis, though, one might suspect that the powers that be in Arkansas are a bit alarmed by the way that their low prices are having the odd effect of cannibalizing their sales.
Or would if he could, judging by the meta-Internerd japes of “Online,” the song that made us to fall for the hunky social networker in the first place. This is also a handy way of reminding y’all to come back tonight at 8 p.m. EST, when Maura will be live-blogging the Country Music Awards. Where Mr. Paisley will be performing “Online.” With a full marching band! Which will almost make up for the Eagles performance.
Brad Paisley – “Online” [Daily Motion]
Hey, DMS of The Leak Source! It’s nice to be proud of your work, but I’m going to hazard a guess that proclaiming, over and over again, that you’re responsible for ripping the new Duran Duran album and uploading it to Demonoid isn’t the best course of action in these lawsuit-happy times. Even if you’re saying so in an effort to hold on to your leak-blogging honor. Oh well–at least I know that the album’s “out there,” right? [The Leak Source]
Today’s “Extreme Bravery In The Face Of Imminent Flaming” Award: “This also happened when I recently heard Joy Division for the first time, and honestly thought, ‘wow, they really are just like Interpol–only not as good.’ ” [Aquemini]
Man, NBC’s mid-season Hail Mary reality replacement Clash Of The Choirs just keeps getting more awesome. The ass-tastic trifecta of “celebrities” that will be leading the clashing choirs includes Blake Shelton, Nick Lachey, and Michael Bolton. One can only hope for a full choral rendition of “Can I Touch You…There?” [NBC]
And it’s her second little t.A.T.u.! What a fertile pair of beautiful nihilists. And yes, this deeply silly post was mostly a pretext to posting this video. Which, like the duo’s singular Sapphic mauling of “How Soon Is Now,” has yet to date in the slightest. Cough.
t.A.T.u. Do OK! Magazine [ONTD]