Posts tagged "dan gibson"

A Moment Of Gratitude (With An Assist From Big Star)

As you might have noticed, this is a bittersweet week around here; because of budget cuts, we’ve had to say goodbye to pretty much all the Idolator contributing writers, from columnists to daily bloggers. The site is going to go on as a solo project of sorts, although the news cycle might run at a slightly slower pace. I just wanted to take a moment on this crappy day to thank everyone who’s contributed to the site during my tenure, from the people who helped me sift through the news cycle every day to the columnists, each of whom expanded the focus of the site.

So, to Mike Barthel, Dan Gibson, Lucas Jensen, and Christopher R. Weingarten; and to Andy Beta, Chuck Eddy, Tim Finney, Alex Goldberg, Matt Goldenberg, Rob Kemp, Anthony Miccio, Molly McAleer, Chris Molanphy, Kate Richardson, and Al Shipley–not to mention all the other writers and friends who pitched in with a guest-blogging day or two–thanks. Each one of you brought something to the site that I never could, and it was a pleasure working with you and learning from you.

Special thanks to Jess Harvell, who was a fine foil and remains an even finer friend, and Michaelangelo Matos, whose organizational skills on our year-end wrapups were only matched by his enormous reservoir of patience. Finally, thanks to Brian Raftery, without whom I wouldn’t be sitting on my couch typing this right now.

(And of course, thanks to you, too.)

Thank You Friends [YouTube]

partofthelistToday on WNYC’s music-centric show Soundcheck, which airs at 2 p.m. ET: Idolator’s Dan Gibson expands on his reconsideration of Record Store Day in a “smackdown” segment where he’ll be pitted against the general manager of New York City stalwart J & R Music. (NB: Ne-Yo will not be there, unless he calls in.) [WNYC]

Elvis Costello Continues A Series Of Curious Career Moves

differentelvis.jpgWhen you’re Elvis Costello, you certainly have the luxury of doing largely whatever you please. Record an album of opera? Sure. Reissue your catalog three times? Whatever. Marry a borderline smooth jazz singer? Maybe that was a bit too far, but who am I to judge? So, in preparation for a tour with the Police this summer, Elvis Costello has a new album. With all the excitement lately over the Raconteurs and Gnarls Barkley, why not come up with a exciting new distribution method for your work? Instead, the new Costello album, the apparent tribute to New York City dining Momofuku will be available on vinyl only, with a code to download the album tucked inside the packaging. Although the Elvis Costello fanbase is somewhat likely to still own turntables, you have to wonder who at Lost Highway agreed to this move. Maybe they’ve just given up on actually selling things over there? [Billboard]

I’ve Officially Lost Touch With Urban Youth Culture

I like to think of myself as having my finger on the pulse of youth culture (not literally, as per my agreement with the state of Arizona). When I spent a evening at the local skating rink, I managed to keep up with the pre-drinking age DJ’s and their “Does The White Guy Know Urban Music?” quiz. But reading through the radio charts this morning, I realized quickly that T-Pain is releasing music quicker than I can hear it at this point.

It’s possible you’re way ahead of me here, but let me introduce you to 2 Pistols, who recieves the following endorsement from YouTube commenter “Brattyx12″: “DaMnZ 2 PiSt0L iZ s3x!”. Of course, without T-Pain, 2 Pistols wouldn’t probably amount to much, but with Autotuned assistance, he had last week’s 33rd-most-spun song at radio, “She Got It,” which is likely to climb into the top ten this week.

The song itself is OK, albeit largely forgettable. But is this how it’s going to be now? It’s hard enough to try to keep track of Plies and Flo Rida and Rocko without T-Pain appearing on tracks left and right. I just heard Dolla the other day. It’s getting impossible to keep up. Slow down, Teddy, for the sake of the people who have to blog about this stuff.

2 Pistols f. T-Pain – She Got It [YouTube]
2 Pistols [MySpace]

The Legacy Of Elvis Must Be Defended!

joggingelvises.jpgElvis fans, as you might have guessed, are a bit of a nutty breed. When I was the sort of person who collected and sold records, a woman begged me to sell her a copy of the soundtrack to Roustabout. (Actual begging, I assure you.) She needed it, apparently, to complete her collection of all the Elvis soundtracks. I ended up giving it to her, partially to get her to go away. But to actually consider that there are people out there collecting Elvis soundtracks, as if the movies themselves weren’t bad enough, is somewhat staggering, which may be why it didn’t surprise me to see the latest front of Elvis-related insanity.

If you’re the editors of Parade, a Mariah Carey cover story seems like a slam-dunk. People know who she is, you can use some slightly creepy short-shorts pictures. It’s a win/win. Little would you guess that Mariah’s presence in the magazine would bring out the nutjobs on your Web site:

(as a disclaimer, all spelling, etc. within in the quote is the author’s own)

Part 1 In referrance to the article about Mariah Carey sharing the record for most number one hits on the Billboard Top 100 with Elvis. If Billboard allows this to happen it will take the last bit of respect i and the public has for them. Everyone knows that Carey’s former husband (Tommy Mattola) had huge influence with pop radio stations when he was president of Sony music corporation. This resulted in payola (the practice of paying off radio stations to play artists songs) which is supposed to be illegal. Now that she is at Island Def Jam her friend L.A. Reid is doing the same thing. A couple of years ago Sony along with other record labels were caught and fined for payola. This proves that when Carey was with the label she benefited from the actions of her label. Now Island Def Jam must be investigated. The government should go after these people just like they’re going after athletes for steroid use. It is cheating, plain and simple and Miss Carey should be exposed for the fraud she and her record labels are perpetrating. Back in the 1990s she was sued in court three times for plagiarism (sampling other people’s music without their permission) which she settled out of court for an undisclosed sums. This also proves she is dishonest and she most likely knew about her record labels practice of paying radio stations to play her music.

I guess there’s an interesting point somewhere in there, although assuming that Mariah “likely knew” about anything seems like a false premise.

Part two is where the agenda comes in:

Part 2 If Billboard plans to go through with this farce they should do one of two things. 1. They should recognize the Elvis number ones on the Billboard Single Sales Chart (for the simple fact that you can’t fake sales) “A LITTLE LESS CONVERSATION” 2002 , “RUBBERNECKING” 2003, “THAT’S ALRIGHT MAMA” 2004 and “HEARTBREAK HOTEL” 2006. or 2. They should put a disclaimer at the top of their weekly chart listings explaining that the resulting chart placings are a result of dishonest practices between the artists record labels and the radio stations that play their music. Tommy Mattola must be questioned as well as other Sony executives that were there during Carey’s tenure. Elvis would’ve never gotten away with it if his label would’ve participated in payola. He was investigated along with **** Clark back in the late 1950s payola scandal which rocked the music world ,but he and Clark were found not guilty. If someone were to top Elvis (like the beatles did) without cheating we would have no problem accepting it ,but payola is music’s version of the steroid scandal going on in baseball now. We must show our young and old people that taking short cuts to the top is wrong because it is lying and cheating.

He’s actually upset that Mariah Carey is currently tied with Elvis for second place on the list of artists with the most No. 1 singles on the Billboard Hot 100. The Beatles are still solidly at the top with 20, but Mariah and Elvis have 17 a piece. Hence, just like the Mitchell Report rocked baseball, the 19 comments left by “Don” will be similarly thought-provoking for anyone who stumbles upon the comments section of a Mariah Carey article from Parade. At very least, we might know what Eliot Spitzer has been up to… cracking down on radio payola even while temporarily unemployed.

Comments: Interview With Mariah Carey [Parade]

Lyor Cohen Gets A Raise, World Officially Insane

thisistheonlylyorcohenpictureicouldfind.jpgFirst, Edgar Bronfman, now his right-hand man, Lyor Cohen. You’d actually think that Warner Music Group was a successful organization in the midst of a growth industry, the way they’re handing out raises to executives around there. While it’s not an especially good time to be a WMG employee, if you’re Lyor Cohen, Chairman and CEO, everything’s coming up golden parachutes and roses.

According to trade publication FMQB, Lyor Cohen, who some assumed would be let go by the WMG board, bounced back rather nicely:

Cohen…received a bump in his pay, with a base salary doubling from $1.5 million to $3 million, with a maximum bonus of $5 million and a minimum of $1.5 million. Cohen would also now receive $8.5 million if he was terminated.

Cohen’s new contract also gives him 1,500,000 stock options and 1,750,000 performance-based restricted shares of WMG common stock.

The stock options will probably prove as worthless as mine were at WMG, but hey, the $8.5 million to get fired is certainly an excellent incentive to work hard and be successful.

Pali Research, the stock research firm that recently upgraded WMG’s stock value, was less impressed, asking “Where is the corporate governance?” when told of the deal and suggesting that stockholders protest the move. Also worth protesting: The fact that WMG had zero albums in the top ten the week the company’s executives got massive raises.

Lyor Cohen Receives Promotion, Raise, New Contract [FMQB]

One Man’s Innovative Tour Is Another Man’s Depressing Career Move

Times aren’t generally good for the alternative rock stars of the ’90s; after all, how many state fairs and Indian casinos are there, anyway? Still, a man’s gotta eat, so the Verve Pipe’s Brian Vander Ark is making do playing for a market that Fastball hasn’t gotten to yet: People’s backyards.

Yes, for a minimal fee (and likely unlimited drinks from the cooler), the man who brought you the hit “The Freshman” and another song I vaguely remember will play your backyard.

So last year, Vander Ark spent his time playing living rooms, backyards or anywhere fans paid him to play. He hoped for 25 shows; he ended up with 75. One of his stops included performing for two pregnant couples in Louisville at midnight after a gig in Indiana.

“I also played for a young couple celebrating their anniversary,” he said. “They had a babysitter watch their baby for a couple hours. I play whatever they want me to play.”…

“It’s so much more enjoyable than the club thing,” Vander Ark said. “It really is a campaign — shaking people’s hands, thanking people for their support and playing music for them.”

The jokes really write themselves here, but in the end, if you know six other Verve Pipe fans and have a Sam’s Club card to get cheap booze, maybe you can throw a better show on in your backyard than you’d see in some lousy club off Highway 80. You can skip having a miserable open act, lower the drink price, and have at least an equal chance of having decent sound. Then again, you’d be booking the guy from the Verve Pipe, so maybe the deal isn’t that good.

Brian Vander Ark Literally Performs in Your Own Backyard [Spinner]

Idolator’s Good Friday Christian-Rock Tribute: Joy Electric

wearethemusicmakers.jpgI’ll take any excuse to write about Christian rock, it seems, but Good Friday is probably the tackiest yet. Nonetheless, I’d like to take a moment to pay tribute to the strange genius of Christian alternative music, Ronnie Martin, and his synthpop project, Joy Electric.

Ronnie has been around the strange business of Christian music since the early 1990′s, performing in the Blonde Vinyl act Dance House Children with his brother Jason (now of the band Starflyer 59, which has its own obsessive following). Following the break up of Dance House Children, Ronnie took the only reasonable artistic route: He wrote an album of synthpop tunes about candy and fairytales as one of the first acts on Tooth and Nail Records, a label now better known for churning out dozens of largely identical emo acts, but then still somewhat cool. His first album, Melody, was released in 1994, and Ronnie has since turned out album after album of decidedly strange but brilliant synthesizer-pop. If Joy Electric were a secular act releasing music on cassette only, Ronnie Martin would be hailed as an outsider genius, but with the “Christian” tag permanently affixed, he remains a nice guy with a regular job who happens to have a huge discography of his own. His video collection is a little meager, since Tooth and Nail seems to spend their money elsewhere in most cases, but here are a few selections for your enjoyment.

From my favorite album, We Are The Music Makers, “Burgundy Years”:

Red Will Dye These Snows of Silver:

Song For All Time:

and Ronnie from the movie Why Should The Devil Have All The Good Music?:

Joy Electric [Official site]

Please, Save The Washington Nationals From Themselves (Musically)

heylookitsodalisperez.jpgThere’s a lot of planning that goes into a new stadium. “Can we break the $10 barrier on the price of nachos?” “Where do we locate the hot dog topping station?” “How much extra security do we need for Bat Night?” In order to focus on those pressing issues, the Washington Nationals have passed the buck to you, Internet user, to pick the various songs played loudly while certain events are occurring. However, the problem is, many of the songs you have to choose from are AWFUL.

First up, the home run anthem. The options are:

Because We Can by Fatboy Slim
Bustin Loose by Chuck Brown
Kernkraft 400 by Zombie Nation
Off We Go (Air Force Theme) by Robert Crawford
Song 2 (Woo Hoo) by Blur

I don’t even want to think about the Air Force theme option, but really, do sports fans need another opportunity to hear this?:

Go now, and vote for Chuck Brown. It’s the logical choice, since he’s actually from DC, and the song is actually good.

In fact, why can’t the entire ballgame feature a go-go theme? At very least, when C.C. Sabathia visits town, they could thrown on EU’s “Da Butt”.

Vote For Your Nationals Music []

I Take It Back: “Rock The Cradle” Is A Great Idea

Despite what I might have said earlier, MTV has hit gold with Rock The Cradle. The show itself isn’t terribly interesting to me, especially since most of the celebrity parents. weren’t that interesting to me anyway (the less I have to think about Dee Snider, the better, frankly). However, the program has done us all one huge favor… introducing the world to Al B. Sure!’s son, the impeccably named Lil’ Al B. Sure!

That’s right, Lil’ Al B. Sure!

Although any name with the prefix “Lil’” is nomenclature gold, I have to think there were other options. Vote for your favorite after the cut.

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MTV Shakes Up Malls with Rock The Cradle DNA Duel! {Fanbolt]