The hand-wringing over Kanye West’s and Guns N’ Roses’ disappointing sales figures last week has begun, and lots of fingers seem to be pointing toward the economy, the decline of the music industry as a whole, and Axl Rose’s reclusive nature. But should someone maybe point out that people aren’t buying the discs because they heard them already and felt like they could live without the return of Axl and the rise of Autotune?
Hey everyone, remember Buzz Ballads? The compilation of ’90s alt-rock (sorta) slow jams for the sensitive flannel owner in you? Almost a year ago I asked you to decide which “buzz ballad” was the worst of the bunch. (The winner, to refresh your memories, was Staind’s “It’s Been A While,” but there’s a reason we used the “Everybody Loses” tag on that post.) Well, those nostalgia-mongering sadists at Razor & Tie are back with…Buzz Ballads 2! Could things get ickier than Ed Kowalcyzk’s paean to placentas? Apparently yes. Join us, won’t you, in helping to decide which of the new crop of buzz bombs on this double-disc set is the worst of the worst.
How do you get Robert Plant to agree to a full-scale Led Zeppelin reunion when he’s reluctant to leave his project with Alison Krauss behind just so he can play decades-old music every night and rake in a lot of cash? Apparently, you tell him the band’s moving on without him.
The musical part of the video for R. Kelly’s “Skin” is your standard CGI-as-substitute-for-desire fare; there are flames, and writhing, and R. Kelly standing in a pool with only his chiseled ab muscles to support him through his time of unbridled lust. But surrounding that part of the clip is a curious bit where Kells and a woman are staring at each other across a long boardroom table, a scene where you can feel the smoldering tension surrounding their discussion of… well, that’s what I’m trying to figure out. Watch the clip and then vote on what’s actually happening in our poll after the jump!
September will, in the UK at least, see the issue of Songs Without Words, a collection of pop-rock hits that have been “classicalized.” David Bowie, Sting, Coldplay–all your middlebrow favorites, given the ultimate middlebrow treatment. This is nothing new, of course; Christopher O’Riley has tenderly massaged the Radiohead catalog two times, and done the same for other artists’ work as well. Still, a few big British names have been tragically overlooked in this “let’s show everyone that this stuff is legitimate” sweepstakes, so we’d like to see which ones we should lobby Classic FM and UCJ Music for on the next edition of this comp.
Hold Steady guitarist Tad Kubler has caused the Internet to go nuts with his comments on Radiohead, which he made over the weekend to BBC6 Music. “I think they’ve lost the plot,” Kubler said when asked the now-standard-in-every-music-interview question about Thom Yorke et al’s recent album In Rainbows. “What are they doing? Where are they going? What’s happening? I don’t get it any more. They lost me. I still appreciate what they’re doing, or what they’re trying to do. But I think they’re trying too hard not to be Radiohead. That seems a little ridiculous to me.” Kubler then went on to praise… Oasis. Ooh, burn! Yorke and his bandmates were unavailable for comment, but the Internet was more than happy to rush in and fill that particular void.
The truth quotient of the rumor that Lenny Kravitz would be replacing Weiland as the lead singer of Velvet Revolver has plummeted from 38% to zero, if Kravitz’s just-issued statement to Rolling Stone is to be believed. “I know and love the Velvet Revolver guys but there is no truth to the story about me joining their band,” he told the magazine. Looks like bloggers everywhere will have this story to kick around for a little longer! But where will it go next?
On Monday, I offered a few theories as to what kind of “video project” Britney Spears and Madonna could be putting together for the latter’s upcoming tour. Needless to say, I’m embarrassed that it never occurred to me that an elevator would be involved. According to E! Online, the set involves an elevator, “in, around and on which Spears will dance.” Tying that bit info with this revelation from one of their sources (“The video will be very deep. You’ve never seen Britney like this before. It will blow your mind.”), we’ve put together some new ideas for you.
Def Leppard frontman Joe Elliott told The Irish News that while he’s honored to tour with the likes of Styx and REO Speedwagon, don’t expect to see his band on the road with any of the bands who shared chart space with it during the Hysteria era. “We refused to go out with Poison or Winger or Warrant or any of those shite bands,” he said. “It’s a real pity that a lot of the newer bands we’ve dug over the years haven’t actually dug us. But that’s just music, man.” Those “newer” bands include Stereophonics and Manic Street Preachers, just to give you an idea of Elliott’s internal timeline and, uh, general assessment of what isn’t “shite.” Well! Let’s see what is and isn’t “shite” in your eyes, readers. I picked my favorite songs from each of the artists Old Joe disses–as well as one from his own band, and one from each of his U.S. touring partners this summer. Which do you prefer?
As of this writing, Tyga’s “Coconut Juice” is beating Estelle’s “American Boy” in our final battle of Idolator’s 2008 Summer Jam Tournament–Tyga’s track has 58.1% of the vote, while Estelle’s has 41.9%. But those of you who were hoping for an Estelle win shouldn’t fret–the difference between them could easily be made up in the hours between now and 5 p.m. ET, when the polls close! The poll’s been reposted below, so get clicking.