Next year, the UK will issue a series of stamps dedicated to the art of the British album cover. The Stones’ Let It Bleed, New Order’s Power, Corruption, and Lies, Primal Scream’s Screamadelica, and Blur’s Parklife will all be honored in this 10-stamp issue. If the US had a similar stamp issue, I wonder what albums would get the nod? You’d think Thriller would be a no-brainer, and Madonna’s True Blue would look kinda dynamite, but after that… ? (First person to shout “Merriweather Post Pavilion!” is fired.) The full issue of stamps after the jump. More »
In the midst of praising a sort of mediocre, but I guess well-framed paparazzi photo of Rihanna, Kanye West took some time out to offer up his thoughts on today’s biggest stars, and which current celebrities were serving as analogies of stars gone by, I guess because we live in the post-everything age. If you ever wondered which current somewhat-superstar Kanye West views as the new Jimi Hendrix and/or Roger Waters, the answers lie after the jump. More »
In today’s midday headlines: Pink Floyd gets litigious, Rick Ross gets bored, and Madonna nurses her wounds. More »
Supermarket shelves in other parts of the world (and at certain specialty shops in the US) contain a food product called Marmite, which is basically a bread spread made out of yeast extract. I personally tried it when I was 16, after an Australian pen pal sent me a few packets, and my Cool Ranch and Domino’s-trained palate found it absolutely repellent; I haven’t tried it since, because the thought of doing so makes me shiver. But apparently it’s pretty divisive in the UK, to the point that the product name is actually being used by some music-biz insiders to describe certain artists who have a love-’em-or-hate-’em appeal. The musical omnivores at Popjustice explain: “the phrase describes the sort of band or artist which divides opinion as strongly as the disgusting/delicious yeasty food product Marmite. It is not a phrase used to describe how good or bad something is–there’s no value judgment involved.” Popjustice says that Alphabeat, the Scissor Sisters, and Bob Dylan are all “Marmite artists”–although a shitty band being pushed by a publicist to no avail is not, so don’t try it next time, publicists. Confused yet? Well, in keeping with our English-class form, the term is used in context after the jump!
Reading the New York Times obituary of Pink Floyd’s Richard Wright yesterday, I came upon a statistic that the newspaper ran unquestioningly that ticked me off, as it always does when I see similar statements in print:
Pink Floyd’s 1979 album, “The Wall,” eventually sold 23 million copies in the United States.
No, it didn’t, I grumbled to myself. It’s a double-album—by RIAA math, that means it sold about 11.5 million. SNARL!
There are many things wrong with the Recording Industry Association of America’s system for certifying albums gold, platinum, multiplatinum, and (now) diamond. There’s the counting of records shipped, not sold; I’ve seen discs certified platinum that have actually SoundScanned fewer than 700,000 copies. On the other side of the ledger, there are discs that are under-certified because of the RIAA’s outmoded system requiring labels to request certification—short-changing dozens of classic Motown artists, for example.
But nothing in the RIAA metals methodology sticks in my craw more than double-counting. It’s the biggest scam in record-industry self-tallying, and the main reason it’s infuriating is the very example cited above: journalists and music fans the world over use the RIAA’s certs as their yardstick for all-time album sales. It’s basically a total distortion of rock history.
It was probably only a matter of time: Pink Floyd finally has a cruise in its honor. The Great Gig In The Sea, which will set sail next May, is guaranteed to be a rollicking time, despite having zero performances by any members of the band during its three-day duration. More »