Rick Rubin may soon be removed from his post as… More »
Sure, even people who enjoy Metallica’s Death Magnetic have been quibbling about the sound quality on Metallica’s newest album, saying that it’s lacking in dynamics and that the version recorded for a freaking video game sounds better, but outspoken drummer Lars Ulrich is sticking his fingers in his ears and telling all the naysayers to shut up shut up shut shut shut up. “Listen,” Ulrich told Blender‘s blog, “there’s nothing up with the audio quality. It’s 2008, and that’s how we make records.” Oh, you bet he had more to say.
The first thing I thought when I heard Metallica’s Death Magnetic was, “All right! This is more like it! This sounds pretty freaking great!” The next thing I thought was, “Boy, does this sound shrill!” Apparently, I wasn’t the only one who thought so, as the Internet is abuzz with talk that Metallica’s Death Magnetic is a well-produced record that still sounds crappy. The band has been fighting back via its manager, who assures us that 98% of listener response to the album has been “overwhelmingly positive,” based on what is probably very scientific research. Count me among the 2% that has a problem with the album’s dynamic range, or lack thereof.
Bearded music guru Rick Rubin has joined the board of MOG, the social-networking site with a music-blogging component, an easy-to-remember three-letter name, and $6 million in capital, including money from Sony and Universal Music Group. More »
When I read that Rick Rubin was going to produce the new Crosby, Stills, and Nash record, for a split second I got excited, thanks to imagining the trio harmonizing sweetly over the top of some badass “99 Problems” boom-bap. For better or worse, that is not the case. Instead, they’ll be teaming with Rubin to record an album of covers–so what we’ll probably get is a ripoff of Johnny Cash’s dour, cred-resurrecting American Recordings album, right on down to the production credits. It’s a rather transparent and uncreative bid for gravitas, but if they pick the right songs, it may actually be successful in improving their image and their legacy.
ZZ Top! Of course! The trio will celebrate its 40th anniversary by herding into the studio with Rick Rubin later this year, after they wrap up a co-headlining tour with Brooks & Dunn. The band is aiming a sound more “La Grange” than “Sleeping Bag” (aw, can’t they do both?), and Rick Rubin does seem the painfully obvious choice for a high-profile authenticity move. The band has also signed to Rubin’s American Recordings, which heightens the prospect that its forthcoming album will get his full attention, rather than being one of eight projects he watches through a large telescope from inside his ashram. In recent years Rubin has worked with the Dixie Chicks, Linkin Park, Metallica, Weezer, U2, Kanye, Green Day, the dude from Semisonic… is there any respected figure in music that Rubin has yet to work with? I was able to come up with five who would be definite collaboration coups for both sides.
Sunday’s edition of the New York Times Magazine had the always-entertaining gambit “Can Person X save the music business?” as its cover tagline; the man in question was Rick Rubin, the Def Jam founder/khaki pant-wearing guru who became co-head of Columbia Records in May. Lynn Hirschberg’s lengthy, somewhat oddly structured profile gave a glimpse at Rubin’s strategies for the future sound of Columbia (Beth Ditto and Neil Diamond and the guy who won Britain’s Got Talent, yes; mewly singer-songwriter dudes who have one song worth hearing, no), how the rootkit fiasco almost made him swear off the record company for life, and his plans to market the music, including an in-house “word of mouth” department and a pie-in-the-sky plan to have all the majors band together in their time of woe, Care-Bears-Stare style.