Gene Simmons was scratching his head over how to make money off recorded music in late 2007, but in 2009, he’s figured out a plan: Embrace the idea of Canadian content wholeheartedly. No, really: The Kiss bassist has launched Simmons Records, a label that will “make sure that the next generation of world stars [emanates] from Canada.” And nowhere else! (At least not yet.)
So, the “Joaquin Phoenix rap career” experiment/celebrity press fake-out has now reached the point where the “actor to rapper following a dream” has his own MySpace page, complete with streaming jams and a concert listing for a solstice party on March 21*. There are three songs: “Pacific Dream” collects all the words that rhyme with “mediate,” yet were left out of INXS’ coda to “Need You Tonight,” over a grimy guitar-and-chimes sample; “Palisade Nights” has a similarly dark feel, with lyrics that sound like they were culled from spam and news-alert subject lines (there’s also a reference to “frozen menstruation” in there); and “Everyday” has Phoenix’s flow getting kind of rapidfire over a LeStereo-produced, K Records-inspired musical bed. Phoenix also took some time out to type up a quickie blog post (“Current mood: fermented”) regarding his fall from a Las Vegas stage last weekend:
This will be the last “change [someone] can… More »
Hey, congratulations, fans of teams from the greater Pittsburgh and Phoenix areas: Your Super Bowl viewing experience is going to have something more at stake than whether or not you eat too much guacamole before halftime! But what of the music that helped drive the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Arizona Cardinals to victory and a place on the field in Tampa come Feb. 1? Back when this NFL season started, WFMU’s Beware Of The Blog unearthed a 1960 fight-song album with tunes honoring both teams. (They’re even back-to-back on the record! Psychic!) Both “Pittsburgh Steelers Fight Song” and “The Cardinals Are Charging” are pretty boilerplate marching-band fare, with the Steelers’ anthem having the slight edge for its kaleidoscopic woodwind runs. But much like popular music, the idea of the fight song has been updated a bit, with new, less brass-reliant tracks spurring their teams on to win.
Welcome to the inaugural version of The Idolator Dozen, our new weekly countdown of notable-slash-positive happenings in the music world as decided by me. To answer your questions: “Why?”; “Ranking things is fun, duh.” “Why 12?”; “Because I like the number, and always have.” “What’s on the list?”; “Whatever I say, plus maybe a few things that I neglected to get to during the week.” “Why now?”; “Why not now?” “When will then be now?”; “Soon.” The top 12 after the jump!
Fall Out Boy are no strangers to the toy tie-in—after all, the band’s series of “action figures” sold out its run. Still, I’m a little mystified by the line of talking plush dolls the band has just released, although I’m sure an entirely new, and even more disturbing, sort of slash fiction will be inspired in the wake of them hitting stores. Beyond the cut, full-sized pics of the seemingly Mii-inspired dolls, as well as a video of two of them kissing (OMG!).
In news that only the hardest-hearted among us (ahem, Superineficaz) will be grumpy about, Canadian songwriter and former Buddhist monk Leonard Cohen will play his first United States show in 15 years at New York’s Beacon Theater on Feb. 19. That place has a capacity of 2,800, and I’m making the ballsiest prediction of my life here: it’s gonna be a sellout. Tickets go on sale this Friday. But there’s a dark side to all of this.
Season eight of the talent-competition-gone-wild American Idol tried to start off on an inspirational note, with a semi-incoherent quote from supersongwriter David Foster (“In life, the microphone passes your lips but once… you had better be ready to sing”) leading into a Vaseline-slathered package set to “What A Wonderful World” that gave William Hung and the “I Am Your Brother” guy the slo-mo treatment alongside David Cook and Daughtry. Because this season is supposed to be the feel-good one, you know? Well, that much was true, especially if what made you feel really good was the warm embrace of familiar TV-show tropes.
Surely your DVRs are set for the premiere of American Idol tonight (yeah, yeah, the suits at Fox always claim that the televised pop competition is “DVR-proof,” but the initial wave of bloated audition episodes, in which backstories mingle with back-stabbing, were seemingly designed for the new-wave VCRs). What will happen this season, when pop music is becoming ever more of an afterthought and people are more apt to stay away from network TV than ever before? I gaze into my crystal ball (it shines just like Phil Stacey’s head!) and envision a few scenarios for this season after the jump.