R. Kelly’s Trial Is Becoming As Drawn Out As The Mr. Biggs Storyline

Sep 4th, 2007 // 5 Comments

57365280.jpgIn keeping with his general inability to bring a narrative to a satisfying resolution, Romulus Kelly’s maniacal ass is out of the fire for at least a little while longer, the judge in his kiddie porn case having issued another stay of execution after the just-popped-out-her-third-child prosecutor for the Cook County sex crimes division said she would not be able to proceed with her case. Which means the trial won’t be starting in two weeks as originally planned back in August:

Per a gag order, neither side was permitted to comment on this new delay, the latest in a long series of postponements. The pre-trial phase alone has lasted longer than other celebrity trials, or even other child-pornography trials, which usually begin with a year or two of charges being filed. Many of the delays have been medical in nature, such as when Kelly needed emergency surgery for a burst appendix in February, and when Judge Gaughan fell off a ladder, causing multiple fractures, last summer.

You know, at this point I wouldn’t be surprised if the big R. knocked up the D.A. himself to keep her out of the courtroom. And then he’d wright the scene into Part 666 of Trapped in the Closet.

R. Kelly Child Pornography Trial Postponed Yet Again [MTV]

Some Dude Really Misses Jon Brion

Sep 4th, 2007 // 9 Comments

graduation.jpgA reader named Chris Yamashiro sent a letter into the Idolator tip jar pleading with us to “please please please sign my petition asking kanye to bring back jon brion for all music in the future.” Apparently a world without Jon Brion is not a world where Chris can bear to see Kanye walking around making music and buying sweaters and handing out free sunglasses:

To: Kanye West
Dear Kanye,


Your beats on Graduation are a bit rudimentary compared to Late Registration and the hooks are just a bit underdeveloped.

“Stronger” is not a terrible song, though I don’t think you can really do anything with Daft Punk and get away with it.

“Good Life” is exactly what I was hoping Graduation would sound like… in full.

Instead, you throw a Can sample, a Kate Moss reference and an Entourage appearance at us, expecting that we’d forget all about how good your music was with Jon Brion involved.

I am not petitioning to tell you that the album was bad, but I think it could’ve been so much more if you didn’t have such an oversized ego and were willing to give up a little control in the production department.

Thanks for listening.


The Undersigned

Dissing Daft Punk out of hand? You’re fired, Chris.

Is this what happens when you bring a Hollywood producer-arranger type in for one album to add a little unexpected flair to your beats–spending the next few years listening to grumbles and gripes because your new tracks aren’t being fleshed out by an oboe or a pump organ? Okay, so an online petition is one thing, but why do I expect a lot of this kind of griping over the next few months, especially from the more schmindie reviewers and/or bloggers who had their minds blown that the rapper dude was working with the Fiona Apple guy? I did love the Kanye/Brion team–”Gone” would have halved its power without those strings, for instance–and wouldn’t have necessarily looked askance at Late Registration redux myself. But Kanye made great music before Brion, and I have a strange feeling his heart will go on without him.

Bring Back Jon Brion Petition [PetitionOnline]

Universal Music Group Continues To License Its Catalog To Any Digital-Music Outlet With A Name That Doesn’t Rhyme With “My Spoons”

Sep 4th, 2007 // 5 Comments

ringboxxxx.jpgContinuing its trend of licensing its music to companies that specialize in useless phone-related widgetry, Universal Music Group has entered into a deal with the service Ringboxx, which is–and I quote–”basically a caller ID box users can connect to their home telephone lines, which will also play music in place of the standard ring — much like a mobile phone.” List price? $59.95. Seriously. What’s next, specially licensed versions of the Crazy Calls cassettes, all customized for different demographics? Wait, I probably shouldn’t go giving them any ideas.

UMG Licenses Music Catalog To Ringboxx [Billboard.biz]

Sep 4th, 2007 // 6 Comments

panic.jpgPanic! At The Disco lead singer turns 21, has “rock musos bonding session” with Adam Duritz. Between this and their cover of “The Weight” at the Reading Festival, I’m starting to think that the “Sam’s Town-o-meter” on these kids’ next album should be set to red alert. [Pop Eater]

When All The Blogs Are Buried…E-mail Will Prevail?

Sep 4th, 2007 // 4 Comments

Way back when I was in college walking twenty miles uphill in the snow just to use one of the few computer labs that was actually hooked up to the Web, my digital media professors wisely impressed upon us that e-mail, the mighty cockroach of the Net, impervious to nuclear-grade business setbacks, would never go out of business, even when multimedia CD-ROMs were being prepped as props for a VH1 nostalgia special. That may be why media company the Pilot Group is continuing to invest in mailing lists as a slow-and-steady source of revenue while we bloggers may also be prepped as props for a VH1 nostalgia special in a few years:

Daily Candy, of course, a darling of the early 2000s, was on the block less than a year ago. Investors wanted to recoup money and Mr. Pittman, who dropped $3.5 million for a controlling stake in 2003, was reportedly seeking a $100 million price tag. It had to return some capital to shareholders — some cashed out, some cashed in. It is not for sale today, said CEO Pete Sheinbaum.

Its various editions today boast a collective 2.5 million subscribers (900,000 unique) and has spawned a crop of imitators: In late 2004 a pair of recent college grads conceived a male-focused version, Thrillist.com, and sold the idea to Pilot Group for $250,000 in 2005; two years later they have 110,000 subscribers among New York, Los Angeles and national editions. That same year Ideal Bite launched as an e-mail newsletter targeting what it calls the “light green crowd” (the “person … who wants to do the right thing but isn’t sure what that is and doesn’t want to give up some creature comforts,” explained co-founder Heather Stephenson). Its subscriber base (which totals 150,000) is growing at a 12% monthly clip.

At Pilot, the main investment sector is broadcast-TV affiliates, although the firm has begun to invest in other online businesses, such as music blog Stereogum and Facebook’s popular social-music application iLike.

There’s your music blog connect, in case you were wondering.

Still, as the Advertising Age article notes towards the end, I’ve personally known several people who have already ditched MySpace and/or Facebook once already only to have to re-sign up once they realized how little people were e-mailing these days. And these are people in their supposedly stodgy mid-30s, not teenagers who take new tech for granted. E-mail’s not going anywhere as a safe alternative, but why would the Pilot Group be investing in networking sites and music blogs if it didn’t see things trending at least partially in that direction? (As for the continuing potential of blogging in general, it would be gauche of me to speculate. Cough, cough.) I mean, would y’all prefer an Idolator e-mail blast or what?

A Single Platform Player Surviving In A Multi-Platform World [Advertising Age]

Sep 4th, 2007 // 1 Comment

Get back into pencils-and-books mode with Cheech Marin, Otis Redding, the Replacements’ “Fuck School,” and, of course, “Hot For Teacher.” [Moistworks]

Kanye Says Nighty Night To His Japanese Fans

Sep 4th, 2007 // 1 Comment

Nah Right has a Kanye/Mos Def Japanese bonus joint that would have fit much better at the end of Graduation than the lame Young Jeezy reprise of “Can’t Tell Me Nothing.” Not to say it’s that great of a tune, but at least it’s not the Snowman spitting third-rate rhymes on one of Kanye’s weakest singles:

The descending, tuneless electro bassline on “Goodnight” sounds like Kanye’s banging out a D4L melody on one of Jon Brion’s keyboards a summer too late, and yet again instead of rapping Mos is doing his knockoff version of Wyclef as island-inflected backup singer. But I dig the sleepy, nursery-rhyme quality of the melody, the harpsichord (?) hook, and that it’s pretty much the light and fluffy mirror opposite of the murky, soupy novelty of “Drunk and Hot Girls.” Also this makes me wonder if more import-only goodies are going to leak out between now and 9/11.

Kanye West Ft. Mos Def – Goodnight [Nah Right]

Good Thing Chris Brown Didn’t Decide To Throw Himself Into The Crowd This Morning

Aug 31st, 2007 // 6 Comments

Because judging by the near-riotous reaction to him tossing his jacket into the audience at the end of his performance on Today, it looks like the crazed young ladies making up the front row would have torn him limb-from-limb, instead of his poor, defenseless (and sorta Sergio Tacchini-looking!) jacket.