Katy Perry shattered many a teenage dream when she and Russell Brand tied the knot in India this past weekend. In doing so, our Halloween costume inspiration has officially joined the ranks of some of pop music’s oddest romantic pairings. While many of the marriages didn’t last—some even a week (we’re looking at you, Britney Spears)— we’re sure that Katy and Russell have what it takes to make it work. Now, a look back at the strangest pop star couples all thanks to Cupid’s misguided arrow. More »
After delaying his pre-World Series performance of “Empire State Of Mind” for reasons that were either weather-related or scheduling-conflict-borne, Jay-Z took the song to the field at Yankee Stadium before last night’s Game 2. (He continued his run as a good-luck charm for the home team; the Yankees topped the Phillies, 3-1.) Our F2K correspondent Christopher R. Weingarten was not all too pleased about this, saying on his Twitter, “If New York is so great, it really shouldn’t fall for something as cloying as ‘Empire State Of Mind’.” Which garnered a sorta-obvious, yet still noteworthy, parallel from diehard Phillies partisan JT Ramsay: “I hope Billy Joel gets a songwriting credit!” Sure, the titular similarities between the two Big Apple odes were obvious from the day that the track listing leaked, but this recent spate of Yankees-flogging does take things to another level. Why, just look at the below performance of the Piano Man performing his Big Apple shout-out at the old Yankee Stadium in 1990. More »
Twenty-seven years ago today, Sony introduced the CDP-101 to market: The $2,200 piece of electronics (pictured at left) was the first compact-disc player, and the company went on to sell 20,000 units over the three months following its debut. In addition to the hardware, Sony issued 50 of its titles on CD at a price that would equal between $33 and $45 in 2009 dollars; the “first” entry in the compact-disc catalog was Billy Joel’s 52nd Street, and a bunch of other albums from Sony’s corporate rock, Japanese pop, and classical units fell in line behind it. Is there a dusty copy of one of the 50 titles after the jump in your library? More »
Jess Harvell’s piece on The Misfits’ relationship to New Jersey earlier this week sparked some debate from out-of-state residents over which musicians deserved to be elevated to bard status as far as their respective homelands went. I wouldn’t try to speak for all of New York, because, well, doing so would be just silly (plus I think that as someone who still calls Rockland County “upstate” from time to time I’d be disqualified from that particular panel by anyone living north of the Bronx). But I do have one nominee for Long Island’s most mythical artist… and it’s not Billy Joel. More »
Billy Joel on his design aesthetic: “The motorcycles that I’ve designed are essentially new bikes that I’ve made look like old bikes. They’re kind of retro-styled… I’ve become used to all the conveniences of modern technology, but I still like how the old things look. I do the same thing with the boats… I probably do the same thing with music.” Color me shocked. [Newsday] More »
Perhaps perplexed by the prospect of five-and-change minutes to fill with zero chance for making Will Ferrell dress up like George Bush, or Alex Trebek, or , for a second time during its 90-minute running time, this weekend’s Saturday Night Live closed with a sketch in which Ferrell–accompanied by most of the show’s cast, as well as the members of Green Day, Anne Hathaway, Tom Hanks, Artie Lange, and other celebrities who just happened to be in the area–performed Billy Joel’s Vietnam-vet anthem “Goodnight Saigon” in full-orchestra drag. The punchline was that Ferrell’s mournful reverie was inspired not by time spent in the trenches during the Vietnam War, but by a vacation there some four years ago; the not-so-obvious punchline for me didn’t hit until yesterday morning, when the song proved incapable of being shaken from my brain. A slightly truncated version of the clip after the jump. More »
In this edition of our noontime headlines roundup: Faith Hill’s “Comic Strip” poses, Billy Joel gets out of hand with a Sharpie, and Justin Timberlake returns to the Saturday Night Live stage for the 454th time. More »
Thanks to Nashville Cream for letting us know that today is the 60th birthday of the 45-rpm single, a format that debuted with Eddy Arnold’s “Texarkana Baby” b/w “Bouquet Of Roses” on March 31, 1949. They’re having readers delve into their record collections to find their favorite examples of that format, but I figured it would be fun to share our first vinyl-single purchases, and where they occurred. My first crush of 45s—all of which were purchased at Pathmark, back when grocery stores thought music was a viable income stream and back when I thought “b/w” was some weird code for the song on side “b” being in black and white (I was young, I dunno)—after the jump.