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Can’t We All Just Get Along?

This past weekend, Dan Deacon played a show at the Masquerade in Atlanta that ended…poorly. The club cut him off mid-set, and mild chaos ensued. Deacon fans were livid at the club, but the DJs who were scheduled afterward said that Deacon and Co. (and the opening band) went over their allotted time. Now you may think that cutting off Dan Deacon for a DJ is a bad idea, but there are schedule times for a reason, and I tend to think that everybody deserves their shot. (That’s why I don’t run a club.) I’d be willing to give anyone the benefit of the doubt over the Masquerade’s management, but his Athens show was also two hours late in getting set up as well. You can read a few sides to the story here and here.

Still, slow set-up times are one thing. Show cancellations are another thing altogether.

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Kanye West Likes Fish Sticks

Kanye West (or at least the computer-generated version of a construction-paper version of him) was at the center of last night’s South Park episode, in which aspiring comedian Jimmy creates the funniest joke ever, and it spreads like wildfire through the late-night talk-show circuit. The joke, which Cartman is quick to claim as his own:

“Do you like fish sticks?”
“Yes.”
“You like to put fish sticks in your mouth?”
“Yes.”
“What are you, a gay fish?”

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Britney Gets Gassed In Vancouver


Midway through last night’s Vancouver show, Britney Spears disappeared, refusing to come back onstage until the “smoke” cleared. Her official statement:

We want to apologize to all the fans who attended our Vancouver show tonight for the brief pause in Britney’s set. Crew members above the stage became ill due to a ventilation issue.

According to the Vancouver Sun‘s timeline, this “brief pause” was over 30 minutes long. Maybe in geological time, that’s brief, but in the middle of expensive-ticket-million-selling-superstar-concert time, “brief” is stretching. And that “smoke” that was the problem? That wasn’t the acrid carcinogenic, addictive kind, but other kind of “kind” kind.

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Lady GaGa Takes Slow and Steady Route to the Top

Lady GaGa Scores Hot 100 Milestone,” a Billboard headline trumpeted yesterday upon the release of the new Hot 100.

What could this milestone be? you might ask yourself. Biggest self-aggrandizer since 50 Cent to reach the top slot? Most similar-sounding pair of hits since Rick Astley? Most successful pantsless act?

As it happens, GaGa’s achievement has to do with her Billboard batting average: two chart hits, two No. 1’s. This week, “Poker Face” follows January’s smash “Just Dance” into the top slot. She’s the first act to step up to the plate, swing just twice, and hit two homers since Christina Aguilera’s first pair of hits, “Genie in a Bottle” and “What a Girl Wants,” topped the Hot 100 in 1999–2000.

That’s nice for the Lady and all, but it masks a more notable achievement: her slowness in achieving those hits. The amount of time “Dance” and “Poker” took to reach No. 1 is literally unprecedented in recent chart history.

In a sea of hits that explode up the charts based on faddish bursts of iTunes sales, GaGa’s chart pattern is contrary to everything going on in pop music promotion right now, recalling the more languid runs by songs in the ’70s through the mid-’90s. It’s almost enough to make an old-school chart geek like me root for her. More »


James Franco Journeys To The End Of Taste


It was a good night for Idolator faves at the Oscars last night. A.R. Rahman won twice, both for his original score and for the song “Jai Ho” from Slumdog Millionaire. But you know that already. You might not know about James Franco.

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Two-Hit Wonder Flo Rida Owns Charts, Reminds Us He Exists

Obviously, we need to talk about the new song that takes over the top of Billboard‘s Hot 100, and the mind-blowing record it sets.

But before we do that, let’s talk about Hilary Swank.

I find Swank’s movie career totally incomprehensible: She either wins Oscars, or she tanks. Not even Meryl Streep has won two Best Actress statues, yet in under a decade Swank has gone to that podium twice, like some kind of modern-day Katharine Hepburn. You’d think that would make her one of Hollywood’s biggest stars, or at least its most respected. Sure, she wins roles in some blockbuster-type stuff (The Core) or prestige-like stuff (The Black Dahlia), but these movies are invariably flops. Swank’s successes seem to have had no impact on her career, or the way she’s regarded by the general public. She’s some kind of metaphor for the in-and-out nature of post-millennial fame.

All this leaps to my mind when I consider Flo Rida, the rapper who reaches No. 1 on the Hot 100 for the second time, with the kind of sales total that you’d think would make Lil Wayne, Kanye West or Jay-Z bow respectfully.

But if I were them, I wouldn’t. Because after all, who is this clown? How did Flo Rida become the Hilary Swank of pop music?

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Today In Musician-Related Booze News: Jimi’s Vodka Gets Unplugged, Kid Rock’s Beer Gets Thumbs-Up

• A judge has ruled that Hendrix Electric… More »


Music Videos: Now Only $99

It’s funny that music videos continue to thrive now, when they don’t have many television networks interested in broadcasting them. In fact, with the advent of outlets like YouTube and Pitchfork.TV, I watch more videos now than I have in years—and in my days as a publicist, I found them to be an invaluable publicity tool. They were always a good excuse for another press release! With digital cameras getting cheaper and better, and everybody and their brother fashioning themselves the next Wes Anderson, it’s easier than ever to make a video for not much money. Enter $99 Music Videos, which like Danish woman-haters Dogme 95 wants to impose monetary constraints on bands and filmmakers making music videos:

1. It must be made for $99 (or less).
2. It must be shot in one day (24 hours).
3. It must be edited in one day (this doesn’t include rendering, digitizing, or exporting – just the creative part of editing).
4. It must be a collaboration between the band and the filmmaker.

Also, keep track of the video’s expenses. We want to know how the big bucks were spent.

We know what you’re thinking: “This is crazy! Only one day?? How is it possible to make something awesome for only $99?!”

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The Yeah Yeah Yeahs Learn Their Letters And Numbers

ARTIST: Yeah Yeah Yeahs
TITLE: “Zero”
WEB DEBUT: Feb. 16, 2009

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“Viva La Vida” Goes Global

vidalavida.jpgColdplay’s Viva La Vida, Or Death And All His Friends was the top-selling album of 2008 worldwide, selling 6.8 million copies, according to data released today by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, which represents some 1,400 record companies around the globe. Coming in behind Coldplay were AC/DC’s Black Ice; the soundtrack to the movie version of Mamma Mia!; Duffy’s Rockferry; and Metallica’s Death Magnetic. The top 20 albums and top 10 digital songs after the jump. (I swear this is going to be the last 2008 wrapup we run.)

THE GOOD: Viva La Vida sold more copies than the previous year’s No. 1 album, the soundtrack to High School Musical 2. Hey, these days, it’s any port in a storm, right?
THE BAD: People around the world sure do love operatic boy band Il Divo, whose The Promise sold more around the world than recent efforts by the Jonas Brothers and Taylor Swift.
THE WHAAAA? The soporific “Apologize”—No. 5 on the global tracks chart—was credited to Timbaland, with nary a mention of OneRepublic, a.k.a. the band that actually crafted the song that housed his occasional “ay”-ing. Good thing Ryan Tedder has that prolific songwriting career!

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