Music News May 25, 2016
MC Hammer Has Turned His Back on Hammers . . . For Money!
Forget everything you were ever taught. Your universe is about to unravel. MC HAMMER HATES HAMMERS. (!!!)
In a recent interview, Hammer said, quote, “Using hammers is always a scary proposition, man. You can hit your fingers. So I try my best to not have to hammer too many things.”
This may seem shocking, but I’m here to tell you that it’s downright TRAGIC. Because Hammer only turned his back on his namesake . . . FOR A PAYCHECK.
Hammer is the new spokesman for Command hanging strips . . . picture hangers that don’t use a hammer or nails. He even did a commercial for them where he says, “Stop hammer time,” instead of “Stop (COMMA) Hammer Time!”
The nickname Hammer actually came from his days as a batboy for the Oakland A’s. Legend has it that Reggie Jackson nicknamed him “Little Hammer”, because he looked like “Hammerin'” Hank Aaron.
Paul McCartney Says Oprah Scolded Him for Doing a Kanye Track with Dozens of N-Words
In an interview for the BBC’s “Mastertapes” series, PAUL MCCARTNEY talked about what it’s like working with KANYE WEST.
He wrote the melody for Kanye’s song “All Day”, and he said he was a little surprised when he first heard it. Quote, “I get this track back . . . [and] he’s taken my melody and he’s made it seriously urban . . . the lyrics are like . . . they use the N-word, a lot!”
He said that when some of his friends heard it, they didn’t think he should be associated with it. One of the people he heard that from was OPRAH. She told him, quote, “You shouldn’t do it, even black people shouldn’t use that word.”
But he told her, quote, “Yeah, but it’s Kanye!”
Paul decided it was cool because, quote, “he’s talking about an urban generation that uses that word in a completely different way. It’s the context. So I was actually pleased with it.'”
Adele is About to Sign One of the Biggest Record Deals Ever
ADELE is about to sign a $130 MILLION deal with Sony. It’s the biggest record deal ever for a female artist, and for a British artist, male or female.
WHITNEY HOUSTON held the previous record for female artists with the $100 million deal she signed with Arista in 2001. As for the Brits, ROBBIE WILLIAMS had the old record with a $125 million deal with EMI in 2002.
You don’t really hear about record deals like this anymore. But then again, you don’t really hear about artists SELLING MUSIC that much anymore, either. Except Adele. She’s only 28, by the way.
The Singer of the Tragically Hip Has Terminal Brain Cancer
2016 is about to claim another rock star. Singer GORD DOWNIE from THE TRAGICALLY HIP was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer in December. The band announced it on their website yesterday. He’s 52.
They’re still planning another tour, though. They said, quote, “This feels like the right thing to do now, for God, and for all of us.”
The Tragically Hip are a Canadian band who hit their peak in the U.S. in the ’90s when they performed on “Saturday Night Live”. They’ve always been HUGE in their native country, though.
Music News May 24, 2016
Madonna Doesn’t Care If You Hated Her Prince Tribute, and
Questlove Defends Her
A lot of people weren’t feeling MADONNA’s PRINCE tribute at the “Billboard Music Awards” on Sunday.
But she doesn’t care. She said, quote, “Deal with It! Anyone who wants to do a tribute to Prince is welcome to. Whatever your age, gender, or skin color. If you loved him, and he inspired you, then show it! I love Prince forever.”
QUESTLOVE also has her back. In a series of Tweets he said, quote, “Every Prince rendition will not be a life-changing, orgasmic experience. Just to SING his work is brave enough.
“Everybody wants and deserves a chance to say goodbye in their own way . . . let’s [just] not get ugly with playing the ‘Prince would and wouldn’t approve’ game.”
Granted, Madonna wasn’t very good. But people were bound to hate it either way. Prince himself could’ve come back to life to do his own tribute, and there’d be people on the Internet who’d whine about it.
By the way, BET was one of the haters. The “BET Awards” will have their own Prince tribute, and in an ad for it they said, quote, “Yeah, we saw that. Don’t worry. We got you.” After that, they’d better blow it outta the box.
Justin Bieber Says Award Shows Aren’t “Authentic” Enough for Him
Whenever JUSTIN BIEBER gets into one of his philosophical, coffee shop moods, I try really hard to give him the benefit of the doubt . . . because he’s THINKING. And there was a time when that’s all we asked of him.
But it’s so hard. Justin slipped into that mode again after performing at the “Billboard Music Awards” . . . and went on an Instagram rant about how the whole experience wasn’t REAL enough for him.
He said, quote, “I don’t feel good when I’m there nor after. These award shows seem so hollow . . . I see a bunch of fake smiles, so that when the camera hits them they look happy . . .
“I’m privileged and honored to be recognized by my peers, but in these settings I can’t feel the recognition. There’s an authenticity missing that I crave!”
He talked about how he just wants people to be sincerely proud of him . . . to have fun . . . and to help him be “rewarded with fulfillment” for “living his purpose.”
This is how growing up a child star messes with your head. He doesn’t want to be approached by regular people, because it makes him feel like a zoo animal . . . but he wants genuine love and appreciation from an industry where everyone’s putting on an act. When you’re a celebrity, you can’t have your cake and eat it too.
Will Jay Z and Beyoncé Respond to “Lemonade” with a New Joint Album?
There’s been talk that JAY Z is working on his own “Lemonade” to tell his side of things . . . and maybe he could call it “Iced Tea” or something. Well, now it sounds like they’re BOTH working together on an “Arnold Palmer”.
The “New York Post” claims they’re recording a joint album, and they’re going to let IT do the talking. Quote, “Jay and Beyoncé were never going to do an interview to address all the questions that came up after ‘Lemonade’.
“It’s more their style to respond through music.”
As opposed to Solange, whose style is to respond through a physical elevator beat-down.
There’s no official word on any of this.
Music News May 17, 2016
Transgender Star Laura Jane Grace Burned Her Birth Certificate in North Carolina
A lot of artists are boycotting North Carolina because of their law requiring people to use the bathroom that corresponds with the gender on their birth certificate. But LAURA JANE GRACE from AGAINST ME! did them one better.
Laura IS transgender, and during a show Sunday night at the Motorco Music Hall in Durham, North Carolina, she walked on stage and set her birth certificate ON FIRE. As it burned, she said, “Bye, gender.” (Here’s video.)
Classic Albums that Flopped When They Came Out
“Rolling Stone” put together a list of 14 classic albums that flopped when they first came out. Here are the highlights, in chronological order:
- “Pet Sounds“, The Beach Boys (1963)
- “Ramones”, The Ramones (1976)
- “Tusk”, Fleetwood Mac (1979)
- “Paul’s Boutique”, The Beastie Boys (1989)
- “Pinkerton”, Weezer (1996)
(The list also includes the Stooges, the Velvet Underground, the Monkees, the Kinks, and Marvin Gaye. Check it out here.)
Music News May 11, 2016
Paul Stanley Is Apologizing for Gene Simmons’ Take on Prince
GENE SIMMONS made some controversial comments about PRINCE in an interview with “Newsweek”.
Basically, he said that DAVID BOWIE’s death was tragic because he had a real sickness, and that Prince’s was “pathetic,” because he indulged in too many drugs.
Quote, “His drugs killed him. What do you think, he died from a cold? . . . I think Prince was heads, hands and feet above all the rest of them. I thought he left [Michael] Jackson in the dust. Prince was way beyond that.
“But how pathetic that he killed himself. Don’t kid yourself, that’s what he did. Slowly, I’ll grant you . . . but that’s what drugs and alcohol is: A slow death.” Gene claims he’s NEVER been drunk or high in his entire life.
Naturally, those comments ruffled some feathers . . . including those of his bandmate PAUL STANLEY. Paul Tweeted a link to the interview, and said, quote, “Embarrassed by cold clueless statements regarding Prince’s death.
“Without all the facts better to say nothing. My apologies.”
The DEA Is Searching Prince’s Compound
The DEA searched PRINCE’s Paisley Park compound yesterday, so it’s really starting to look like he was involved in something shady with prescription drugs.
Reports say the feds are checking to see if there’s a case to be made against any doctors or pharmacies for bogus prescriptions.
They’re also looking into the son of the rehab doctor who was at Prince’s home when he died. He had a backpack full of synthetic opiates with him. They’re used to wean people off actual opiates, but that may not have been on the up-and-up.
“Motley Crue: The End” Hits Theaters Next Month
MOTLEY CRUE came to an end on New Year’s Eve last year, and now a final concert movie is coming to theaters. It’s called “Motley Crue: The End”, and it’ll premiere on June 14th. That’s also Flag Day . . . so now you have TWO reasons to celebrate. (???)
The movie is two hours and twenty minutes, and features their final show in L.A., along with “exclusive interviews and behind-the-scenes footage of the last week of the tour.”
It’s just a one-day event though, and it’s unclear how many theaters will have it. It’ll be available on pay-per-view after the premiere, and it’ll hit DVD sometime later on.
Music News May 10, 2016
Neal Schon Thinks Journey Is Getting Into the Rock Hall Next Year, But Doesn’t Know If He Cares
JOURNEY has been eligible for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for 16 years, and guitarist Neal Schon thinks it’s close to happening. The nominees will be out in the fall, and the inductees will be announced in December.
He says, quote, “I think there always has been an opening for us. Basically Steve [Perry] has not wanted to do it . . .
“I think he probably wants to wait until he releases his solo record, which is supposed to come out this year, and [that’s] probably why I’m hearing that we’re supposed to get in this year.”
But Neal isn’t sure he wants in anyway. He’s close with Steve Miller . . . and he’s concerned about some of Miller’s beefs with the Rock Hall, and he also believes there are a lot of people in that, quote, “aren’t rock and roll.”
If it does happen, it might open a line of communication again. Neal said Perry doesn’t seem interested in talking to him, even though he’s tried, and would love to work with him again.
Neal also says he wants to record a new album, but the rest of the band doesn’t think it’s worth it since you can’t make money off albums anymore.
Meghan Trainor Nixed Her New Video Because She Was Photoshopped
MEGHAN TRAINOR’s video for “Me Too” hit the Internet yesterday, but it was only out for a few hours before she had it pulled.
She was unhappy with how she looked in the video, because she was Photoshopped. In a Snapchat clip, she said, quote, “My waist is not that teeny.
“I had a bomb waist that night, I don’t know why they didn’t like my waist. But I didn’t approve that video and it went out to the world. So I’m embarrassed.”
She was also on “Watch What Happens Live” last night, where she showed off her ACTUAL body, and said, quote, “Bring the cameras back to this beautiful waist. I was so upset because I thought the fans were doing it online and then I was like, ‘Oh my god, it’s my video.’ So I called the Gods of Vevo and they took it down.”
She has since approved a new version, which will be out later this morning.
(Here’s video from “Watch What Happens Live”.)
Music News May 9, 2016
Radiohead’s New Album A Moon Shaped Pool is Here
After a truly #OnBrand hype-building campaign that involved the gradual erasure of their online presence, some creepy leaflets, a Wicker Man–inspired stop-motion video that features a Blue Velvet–like bird, and a Paul Thomas Anderson–directed video that’s currently playing in select theaters, Radiohead has finally released their new album, A Moon Shaped Pool. Radiohead seem to be playing the long game with the album, as it includes a song written in 1999 (“Burn the Witch”) and 1995 (“True Love Waits,” which was written during The Bends sessions and appeared on the live album I Might Be Wrong in 2001).
Update: Google Play has deleted the album. It will be released for real on other platforms, including the band’s official site, at 2 p.m., with a physical release set for June 17 through XL Recordings.
Update: A Moon Shaped Pool is now available on the band’s site here and on iTunes. It is streaming on Apple Music and Tidal. The two previously released singles, “Burn the Witch” and “Daydreaming,” are available to stream on Spotify, but not the rest of the album. According to a report from Billboard, the service looks forward to “making the rest of A Moon Shaped Pool available on Spotify as soon as we can.” The band did not comment on the decision, but Thom Yorke has a famously antagonistic relationship with the streaming service — he once described it as “the last desperate fart of a dying corpse” — so it may be some time before A Moon Shaped Pool enters Spotify’s catalogue.
Are 700 People Claiming to Be Prince’s Siblings?
A company called Morse Genealogical Services has been hired to test all the people claiming to be PRINCE’s siblings . . . you know, now that he’s dead and his money is about to be divvied up.
But they’re going to be pretty busy, because apparently almost 700 men and woman from all over the country have staked a claim.
The head of the company says, quote, “Our phone has been ringing off the hook . . . They run the gamut, literally from ‘We lived in the same area so we must be related’, to ‘We have pictures of Prince at our family reunion.'”
Prince has one full sister and five half-siblings officially, plus two half-siblings who are dead. One of them has a granddaughter who’d be entitled to a share, but the other died without having any kids.
In related news, Prince’s estate is already licensing his music. They lent some to Shonda Rimes for two of her shows: “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Scandal”.
Axl Rose Did His First AC/DC Show, and He’s Actually Pretty Good
AXL ROSE performed with AC/DC for the first time Saturday in Portugal, and aside from the awkwardness of him performing from a sitting position, he was actually pretty great.
Instead of Dave Grohl’s giant throne, he was sitting in what looked like a simple office chair that had been dressed up a bit. He said it’s the same chair, but it was just toned down to fit AC/DC’s set-up. He’s still recovering from a broken PINKY TOE.
Also, the show only started five minutes late . . . which, in Axl Rose Time, counts as two hours early.
He started the show by telling the crowd, quote, “Nice to meet you!” And even though there was talk of AC/DC fans wanting refunds beforehand, there weren’t many complaints. Axl missed a few cues on the more recent songs, but that’s not bad considering how little time he’s had to rehearse.
For what it’s worth, Axl is open to continuing with AC/DC after these European shows, but obviously the future sort of depends on what’s happening with Brian Johnson. Angus Young is still insisting Brian wasn’t fired.
Music News May 6, 2016
Train Is Covering the Entire “Led Zeppelin 2” Album for Some Reason
TRAIN has made a great living off of songs like “Drops of Jupiter (Tell Me)”, “Calling All Angels”, and “Hey Soul Sister”. But apparently they’re not looking to stay in their lane.
For whatever reason, they’ve decided to cover LED ZEPPELIN’S second album in its entirety. That’s the one with “Whole Lotta Love”, “Heartbreaker”, and “Ramble On”.
They’re calling it “Train Does Led Zeppelin 2” on June 3rd, and the proceeds will be donated to charity.
Singer Pat Monahan says, quote, “They are so hard to record . . . I’d love it if people get a dose of what’s hiding underneath Train’s songs, our influences, but we basically did this for the fun of it.” (Pre-order this awesomeness, here.)
It Was Axl’s Idea to Join AC/DC, But Says It’s Inappropriate to Celebrate at Brian Johnson’s Expense
In his first interview in five years, AXL ROSE says it was his idea to take BRIAN JOHNSON’s place for the final 12 dates of AC/DC’s tour.
Quote, “I called the day I read about it in the news, that there was a situation with Brian’s hearing . . . I wasn’t looking at it like, ‘I’m singing for AC/DC.’ I was looking at it like, ‘y’know, if I can [do it], and if they think I’m able to do it.”
He says he meant no disrespect to Brian. In fact, he doesn’t think he’s skilled enough to do some of the songs. Quote, “A lot of the ‘Back in Black’ stuff is really challenging . . . he’s a great singer . . . I’m just trying to do it justice . . .
“I’m happy and excited in one sense, but I think it would be inappropriate to be celebrating at someone else’s expense . . . it’s an unfortunate situation.”
Meanwhile, ANGUS YOUNG says there were no hard feelings about Brian’s decision to leave, and that he doesn’t blame him for being careful with his hearing.
Axl’s first show with AC/DC is this Saturday in Portugal. They posted a brief video hyping the show on Facebook . . . although ‘hyping’ is a stretch, because they seem pretty unenthusiastic about it.
And finally, the guy who invented wireless in-ear monitors has made a video begging Brian to look into his new technology before he quits performing for good. He says he’s created an improved version that protects your ears . . . and could potentially even RESTORE some hearing loss.
The 10 Artists Who Made the Most Money Last Year
“Billboard” has put out their annual ‘Music Moneymakers’ list, which ranks the 40 artists who raked in the most money last year. The estimates include stuff like music sales, streaming, ringtones, publishing royalties, and touring, which is where the big money comes from these days.
They only count U.S. sales and touring, so anyone who spent a lot of last year touring abroad won’t have that income added. Merchandise sales and sponsorships weren’t included either, because there wasn’t enough information available to make it consistent across the board.
TAYLOR SWIFT is #1, with an estimated net income of $73.5 million . . . and no one else was even close to that.
Here are the Top 10 Music Moneymakers:
- Taylor Swift, $73.5 million
- Kenny Chesney, $39.8 million
- The Rolling Stones, $39.6 million
- Billy Joel, $31.7 million
- One Direction, $24.2 million
- Grateful Dead & Company, $23.8 million
- Luke Bryan, $23.1 million
- U2, $21.8 million
- Adele, $20.5 million
- Maroon 5, $19.2 million
Music News May 4, 2016
Hear Radiohead’s latest Release ‘Burn The Witch’
Radiohead has unveiled a new song! Hours after a couple of teasing Instagram posts floated onto the web — one of a bluebird, the other of a medievally clad woman being tied to a tree by men in True Detective season one masks — the band debuted “Burn the Witch,” a very promising herald of the band’s ninth album, due whenever it decides to drop it. It’s a great portent, a very balanced blending of Thom Yorke’s soulful mature vocal style and Jonny Greenwod’s increasingly focused, classically informed musical approach.
Radio Stations Around the Country are Playing Prince’s “Nothing Compares 2 U” Today
Radio stations around the country are paying tribute to PRINCE today by playing his version of “Nothing Compares 2 U” at 6:07 P.M. Eastern Time. (That’s 3:07 p.m. Pacific, or 5:07 p.m. Central.)
Why today, and at that specific time, you ask? Because that’s when it will be “7 hours and 13 days” since he died. The first line of his version of the song is, “It’s been 7 hours and 13 days / Since you took your love away.”
If you’re confused about that timeline, it’s probably because the SINEAD O’CONNOR version says it’s been “7 hours and 15 days.” And yes, she recorded the song first, and hers was a bigger hit. But Prince WROTE it, so they’re doing it HIS way.
Bruce Springsteen Sped Up Sounds Like Stevie Nicks
It’s surprising no one’s figured this out before, but when you speed up BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN’s voice, he sounds a lot like STEVIE NICKS.
Someone made the discovery by taking Bruce’s “Darkness on the Edge of Town” album and playing the song “Racing in the Street” at 45 rpm. It’s a little Chipmunk-y, but you can definitely hear some Stevie. (Check it out here.)
That Big Classic Rock Festival is Official
It’s official: The classic rock festival you WISH you saw 35 years ago is happening.
Paul McCartney, the Rolling Stones, the Who, Roger Waters from Pink Floyd, Bob Dylan, and Neil Young will take over the site of the Coachella festival in Indio, California on October 7th through the 9th.
Dylan and the Stones will kick things off on Friday the 7th . . . Neil and McCartney will play Saturday . . . and the Who and Roger Waters close things out on Sunday.
Tickets go on sale on Monday, and yeah, they’re gonna set you back. A one-day general admission ticket is $200 . . . and all three days is $400. Want floor seats for all three nights? That’s $1,600 out the door. Per person. Plus fees, of course.
Music News May 3, 2016
The Edge Became the First Rock Musician to Play in the Sistine Chapel
THE EDGE from U2 recently became the first rock musician to perform at the Sistine Chapel. It was part of a conference on finding a cure for cancer.
It was an acoustic set, and he was accompanied by an Irish choir. He did the U2 songs “Yahweh”, “Ordinary Love”, and “Walk On”, as well as a cover of “If It Be Your Will” by Leonard Cohen. Bono was not there.
The Edge said, quote, “When they asked me if I wanted to become the first contemporary artist to play in the Sistine Chapel, I didn’t know what to say because usually there’s this other guy who sings.”
Check Out Audio of Axl Rose Practicing with AC/DC
It sounds like somebody got audio of AXL ROSE practicing with AC/DC for their upcoming shows. There are two, 30-second clips of Axl belting out “Shoot to Thrill” and “Thunderstruck”.
They appear to have been recorded outside a studio, so the sound isn’t great, but it’s hard to deny that’s Axl’s voice.
The title of one of the videos is in Spanish, and it mentions Lisbon. That’s where the first Axl-DC show goes down this Saturday, so we assume that’s where these videos were shot. (Grab both videos here.)
Watch Billy Corgan Tell a Fan to Get the “bleep” Off His Stage
This is easily the COOLEST video of a rock star telling someone to get off the stage EVER. And even if you hate BILLY CORGAN with the heat of a thousand suns, this might just make you love him.
During a show in Memphis last week, the SMASHING PUMPKINS were doing “Angie” by the Rolling Stones, and some dude jumped up onstage and started head-bobbing.
Without even looking at the guy, Billy just nonchalantly said, quote, “Get the “bleep”
off my stage before I punch you in the “bleep” face.” And the guy immediately jumped down.
Music News May 2, 2016
Radiohead Is Promoting Their Next Album By Disappearing?
Usually when an artist has a new album to promote they’re EVERYWHERE . . . clogging up your Twitter feed, posting non-stop statuses on Facebook, and showing up on every talk show.
But it seems like RADIOHEAD is taking the opposite approach.
There’s no explanation yet, but they’re probably disappearing in a BACKWARD attempt to get some publicity for their upcoming album and tour.
Meanwhile, some fans in the U.K. did receive mysterious leaflets from the band which said something like “Sing a song of sixpence that goes, burn the witch, we know where you live.” That’s pretty creepy, so it’s good that they were embossed with a Radiohead logo . . . so it didn’t totally scare the crap out of you.
The band has an old unreleased song called “Burn the Witch”, and some people think it could be featured on the next album, or that it may be the new album’s title. (They teased the song at a show a while back.)
Beyoncé’s “Lemonade” Is Her Sixth Straight #1 Debut
As expected, BEYONCÉ scored a record sixth #1 debut on the Billboard 200. “Lemonade” sold a whopping 653,000 copies last week, so it wasn’t really close.
But it WAS closer than it would’ve been normally, because last week was the first full week after PRINCE’s death . . . so FIVE of his albums made the Top Seven, led by “The Very Best of Prince”, which sold 391,000 copies. Here’s the Top 10:
- NEW: “Lemonade”, Beyoncé . . . 653,000 copies
- “The Very Best of Prince”, Prince . . . 391,000 copies
- Prince’s “Purple Rain” soundtrack . . . 216,000 copies
- “The Hits / The B-Sides”, Prince . . . 106,000 copies
- “Anti”, Rihanna . . . 50,000 copies
- “Ultimate”, Prince . . . 40,000 copies
- “1999”, Prince . . . 36,000 copies
- NEW: “Always Strive and Prosper”, A$AP Ferg . . . 35,000 copies
- “Traveller”, Chris Stapleton . . . 33,000 copies
- “Purpose”, Justin Bieber . . . 31,000 copies
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