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 »
Live reviews of music tend to incite unnecessary fury from artists’ fans when they feel that their heroes have been slighted. Los Angeles Times critic Ann Powers opened up her mailbox and showed us some of the letters she received in response to a not-completely-glowing review of a recent Tina Turner performance at LA’s Staples Center. Here’s one of the nicer notes Powers got: “This woman is an inspiration to us all… For you to criticize her in any way is a lack of respect for her talent and professionalism. Wait until you turn 68 (almost 69) and see if you can get out and do half of what she does. Shame on you.” Not all of them were that polite, however.
My post on James Brown’s “Living In America” reminded me of a sorta-sketched-out theory I have about the evolution, and devolution, of recent years’ musical landscape: There are few musical icons from the glory days of rock and pop who didn’t make at least one indescribably awful career choice during the 1980s. (Some of the artists haven’t even recovered yet.) Evidence for this theory after the jump, along with one striking exception who leads me to believe that the product of an idle mind forced to hear one too many Rod Stewart covers while waiting on line in Walgreens might actually be fact.
Larry Levine, Phil Spector’s longtime engineer, died on his 80th birthday Thursday, according to a statement released by his family. Levine’s first collaboration with Spector was on the Crystals’ “She’s A Rebel,” and the two worked together on hits by the Righteous Brothers, Darlene Love, and Ike & Tina Turner. (He was there for those Leonard Cohen and Ramones albums, too.) Outside of Phil’s reach, Levine won a Grammy for his work with Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass, and he had his fingers in several Eddie Cochran hits and the Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds as well. Levine’s primary responsibility with Spector was to indulge the producer’s need for size and grandeur without letting the track collapse. Needless to say, he pulled it off more than a couple times.
The Association Of Music Producers is arguing that the NARAS should create two new Grammy awards: one for best original song in an advertisement, and one for best original score. Shouldn’t a freestyle regarding the glory of Sprite garner the performer a Clio instead, you might ask? Perhaps, but the AMP feels that the commercial appeal of these jingles proves their artistic merit and the need for the music industry to award their creators. With artists already treating their music’s appearance in an ad as an accomplishment in press releases, I suppose it’s time for them to start giving themselves trophies for it as well.
Mathew Knowles has responded to Aretha Franklin’s miffedness over his daughter calling Tina Turner “the Queen” during Sunday night’s Grammy ceremony. Quoth the dad of Beyonce: “As a manager I am not taking something this ridiculous to Beyonce. Beyonce referred to Tina Turner as a ‘queen,’ … More »