Remember Lost in Space? What a timeless film: William Hurt, Mimi Rogers, Heather Graham, and TV greats Lacey Chabert and Matt LeBlanc. Back in 1998, there was such excitement for this cinematic recreation of the classic ’60s CBS series.
What’s that? You say you don’t remember this bit of Clinton-era movie magic? Or…you do, vaguely — but you seem to recall that it kind of blew chunks?
Well, how could that be? After all, Lost in Space was the movie that evicted Titanic, the highest-grossing and Oscar-winningest movie of all time, from the top of the U.S. box office after a record-setting, still unbeaten run.
This bit of throwaway trivia (regarding a movie that, all kidding aside, was a serious flop) leaps to mind as I consider the song that finally terminates the Black Eyed Peas’ half-year run atop the Billboard Hot 100.
Jay Sean’s “Down,” to be fair, isn’t half as bad a song as Lost in Space was a movie. It’s a pleasant little ditty, a Chris Brown‒like midtempo jam with a not-embarrassing supporting rap from prodigal chart hero Lil Wayne. London native Sean — born Kamaljit Singh Jhooti — also earns the happy status as one of the few people of South Asian descent to top our singles chart, after a successful half-decade career hitting charts in the United Kingdom and India.
Still, there’s no question that the Hot 100 win by “Down,” over a very competitive field of songs-in-waiting, has less to do with love for the track than with the Peas at last letting go. Jay Sean should enjoy the victory he’s eked out, because it will likely be short-lived. More »
With the release of their first album since bringing in new frontman William DuVall, Black Gives Way To Blue, the dark Seattle rock band Alice In Chains has been making the promotional rounds lately. And a recent appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! made one fan of dark Seattle bands wonder: Did Alice In Chains borrow from Nirvana — specifically, the Nevermind track “Polly” — when sitting down to hash out their new song “Your Decision”? Let’s go to the videotape! More »
Tomorrow’s release-date schedule is pretty glutted with albums that—gasp!—might get people to actually spend money on music, from Madonna’s latest greatest-hits collection to new albums by the spunky likes of Miranda Lambert and Paramore. In order to help you navigate through this week, might I suggest a friendly game of Buy/Download/Kill, in which each album receives one of the three fates outlined by the game’s title? My personal preferences after the jump. More »
The folks at industry rag Hits have a handy chart of the albums coming out in the last months of the year, which, who knows, may be the last one in which a chart like this is even necessary! But even though we’re a long way from the days of 50 Cent and Kanye West squaring off on the anniversary of 9/11, it’s still sort of fun to see what CDs will be landing at America’s retailers on the same day. After the jump, five of the best battles that could arise from the coming release-date schedule. (Marketing departments, get your beef stew recipes ready!) More »
Something that I missed earlier this week: The first single from the rebooted Alice In Chains, “A Looking In View,” was released on the band’s Web site for the price of an e-mail address (it’s also on iTunes, for those of you who would rather give up money than personal data). The first verdict on the seven-plus-minute track: Hearing the band give in to fortress-of-sound rock trends is a little jarring at first, but as “Looking” unfolds, it settles into a nice, dark groove, thanks in no small part to the way Jerry Cantrell’s backing vocals blend with those of new lead singer William Duvall into something ominous and otherwordly. (And yes, that’s a good thing.) A YouTube embed of the song after the jump. More »
Facebook, as you probably know, is a social-networking site that allows its users to basically fall down a rabbit-hole of whiling away time that could otherwise be spent outside, or curing cancer, or even, I don’t know, reading. One of the odd customs of the social-networking site involves bestowing presents upon others–sending friends virtual birthday cakes, martinis, that sort of thing. The presents sent from friend to friend have grown more esoteric as the site’s population has mushroomed, and one of my favorite gift-giving opportunities is Old School Seattle Rock, which involves the sending and receiving of bands from the golden age of Sub Pop Rock City. Yesterday I was thinking about maybe sending some Fastbacks to a pal, and I wondered, “Hmm, what could the most popular bands on this site be? Pearl Jam has to be No. 1, right?” Well, not really! The top five (as of this writing): More »
Hey, there’s a new album from Alice In Chains on the way; the band is going to enter the studio next month, after “polishing and spit-shining” some new material in August. Of course, the lead singer role will be played by a different person, what with original frontman Layne Staley dying in 2002; that man is Atlanta punk lifer William DuVall, who’s been fronting the band since 2006. How does DuVall hold up? Compare his take on the Alice In Chains classic “Man In The Box,” which I’ve placed after the jump, with the original version above.
Many people find it hard to tell the great from the godawful when it comes to 21st-century mainstream rock. To help figure out which is which, here’s “Corporate Rock Still Sells,” where Al “GovernmentNames” Shipley examines what’s good, bad, and ugly in the world of rock and roll. This time around, he gives the year’s rock charts a midway-mark overview.
– The New York Post reprints the oldest Van Halen backstage-sleaze story known to man. [Page Six] – Matthew Knowles fired Beyoncé’s 400-pound, $500,000-a-year bodyguard, apparently because he didn’t intimidate enough Oscar voters to get her a nomination for Dreamgirls. More »