If you press play on the above video and are confused by its lack of audio, don’t be confused: The clip has had its audio—which was originally a mish-mash of versions of “Walk” by Pantera, Avenged Sevenfold, and Disturbed—stripped by the video-sharing site YouTube. The muted clip is now captioned by the below advisory on the site:
What were the 80 most important musical recordings, artists, trends, events, and performances of 2008? What were the eight things this year that broke our hearts—or, at least, our ears? We’re happy to announce 80 ’08 (and Heartbreak), Idolator’s year-end overview. The list is below the jump.
Prince got added to the Coachella bill some 15 days before the desert festival was slated to kick off, a move that was simultaneously totally awesome and slightly reeking of desperation. Ticket sales for the 2008 installment of the fest had been rumored to be a bit soft (a rumor that was borne out by the tumbleweeds skipping across the Empire Polo Field during Jack Johnson’s Friday-closing set), and apparently Prince commanded a lot of cash to help goose the Saturday-night till. “So what?” you might ask. “He’s Prince. He’s worth it.” I wholeheartedly agree, but at the same time, I can’t help but wonder if his set—which included a cover of Radiohead’s “Creep” that made Thom Yorke a bit snitty—broke the festival (and maybe even the US festival circuit) in a way, kind of like his precipitation-inducing Super Bowl halftime show of 2007.
A little light reading for those of you stuck at work, or in front of your computer, today (some stories may even give you anecdote material for your New Year’s socializing):
• Stephen Holden recalls the career of Eartha Kitt, who passed away at age 81 on Thursday. [NYT]
• Kelefa Sanneh emerges from the depths of The New Yorker‘s TV-reviewing beat to profile Will Oldham. [TNY]
Rap battles’ origins, Moby, and Madonna after the jump!
On Sunday, the New York Times reported that all videos using songs owned by Warner Music Group were pulled from YouTube. Talks between WMG and Google (YouTube’s owners) had broken down (WMG is unhappy about the amount of ad revenue it’s getting from YouTube and wants more money), we were told, and so one of the parties had gone with the nuclear option. YouTube explained that this applied even to videos using WMG songs as a soundtrack, but that the video creator had the option of dropping pre-cleared music into their videos instead. But hold on! Did they really remove everything?
The day that Chinese Democracy leaked should have been sorta-momentous for me. Here was an album that had been part mythical creature/part butt of many a joke/part go-to source for my day job for years and years, and it actually sort of existed! But as it turned out, 15 years of Axl Rose’s trials weren’t nearly as compelling as a high-pitched voice, a few errant handclaps, and a clip of a tiny baby hamster reclining on a piano key, eating a kernel of popcorn that was as big as his head.
The Academy Is… irritate me to no end when I’m forced to add the ellipsis to their name for accuracy, but I’m willing to let it go considering how much I’ve enjoyed their album Fast Times at Barrington High this year. Still, something’s been missing. Something that would tie the occasionally angsty teen-rock lyrics of the band with the popular films that seem to inspire the band; something that would summarize one of those films to spare me the trouble of watching it again. YouTube, you always come through.
In the wake of Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin'” being resurrected by a pop-culture phenomenon for the 58th time last year, the band went hunting for a new lead singer—and they found one on YouTube, of all places. Arnel Pineda’s rise to becoming a sort of Ripper Owens for the user-generated content era began when some friends uploaded his performances to the video-sharing site; as lore has it, the Manila-based singer received an e-mail from Journey guitarist Neal Schon inviting him to audition, but dismissed it as a probable hoax. Eventually, Schon convinced Pineda that he—and his request—were the real deal, and the online matchmaking bore full fruit in February, when the new Journey made its live debut in Chile.
It used to be that you had to lurk on fan sites and wait for someone to post a concert bootleg to hear unreleased material from your favorite bands, but that process has since been boiled down to a single YouTube search. Case in point: “I Want for Nothing,” an unreleased track by Baltimore’s Wye Oak.
Ed. note: It’s time for another installment of “VHS Or Beta?”, where Andy Beta looks at the music behind the movies–from preserved-by-Criterion classics to completely inane summer blockbusters. In this installment, he looks at the recent film by the Frenchmen Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel De Homem-Christo, Daft Punk’s Electroma: