Rolling Stone’s 500 greatest songs

Yes, Rolling Stone has trotted out another list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. It seems like they do this every other year anymore. 500 is an awful lot, isn’t it? Ah well, nothing in the first 100 is even remotely new. Is this good or bad? You decide.

Kazaa goes down

Score another point for the RIAA in its fight against illegal downloading. Sharman Networks, owners of the popular P2P software, have agreed to settle with the RIAA for $100 million and to go legit. The MPAA has also recently settled its litigation with the company as well.

As someone who has done his fair share of trading across these rogue networks over the years, there was a time when I was really gung-ho about these things and how they’d be around for a long time despite the RIAA’s efforts. I still feel this is the case, but anymore I personally couldn’t care less about my own involvement. The initial fun of the whole mp3 trading thing wore off a while ago, and with legit places like eMusic offering up a nice selection of albums anymore, I don’t mind buying the occasional album or song. Plus, I’m going to toot the horn for my ever-favorite La la that is still hands down the most amazing music trading community I’ve ever been part of.

Let’s pretend we’re married

Wait, on second thought…let’s not.

‘Tallica sells out to iTunes

Metallica fans everywhere can now rejoice as the band who hates music thieves put their first four albums on iTunes, with bonus live tracks. Before, you had to buy each album as a whole in its digital format on places like MSN Music, but now, roll around in your choice of any of the band’s early songs.

If that’s not enough for ya, the band is also scheduled to appear on “The Simpsons” on September 10th on Fox.

What? A former boy-band member is gay? Preposterous!

Fiddlesticks. Does this look like the face of a gay man to you?

Clearly Lance Bass is just looking to steal the spotlight from JT’s new single, or possibly horn in on some of the media attention those two former 98 Degrees singers are getting. Between Drew Lachey’s winning the title of King Star Dancer and brother Nick’s public nursing of his she-devil-inflicted wounds, Lance is probably just feeling a little left out of the Boy Band Alumni limelight.

Gay, shmay. Next they’ll be telling us that Tom Cruise is gay, or something equally ridiculous…

Because too much Simon Cowell is never enough…

…his prolific production company is now bringing us “Celebrity Duets,” featuring the likes of Cyndi Lauper, Smokey Robinson, and Macy Gray…but also Kenny Loggins, Dionne Warwick, and confirmed ass clown Michael Bolton. Each singer will be paired with a celebrity NOT known for his or her singing ability, and the matchups will change each week.

The show will begin airing on Fox the evening of August 29…make plans to either record or avoid it accordingly.

Trollin’ for sex in the parks George Michael style


“I’m never gonna dance again!”

Oh, that George Michael. His poor long term partner Kenny Goss must have felt completely at a loss when Michael was caught grooving with a jobless 58 year old van driver.

Said the man,

“OK, I admit I was there for sex. But I’m astonished a man as famous as George should even think about doing it. It’s potentially so dangerous.”

And then George replied,

“Are you gay? No? Then fuck off! This is my culture!”

Then he claimed: “I’m not doing anything illegal. The police don’t even come up here any more.

“I’m a free man, I can do whatever I want. I’m not harming anyone.”

Indeed, George, you just got this poor van driver some much needed attention.

For the longest time

The Streets are set to unveil a 20-minute video for an upcoming tune. Apparently this will set a new record. But if I’m not mistaken, I’m pretty sure David Bowie’s full-length clip for “Blue Jean” is even longer than that. Unless, of course, it’s not considered a “video,” but rather a “short film.” I’ll have to go watch the thing again and see, or just take the lazy man’s way out and look it up online…

Yep, I was right…according to the song’s Wikipedia entry,

Following the huge commercial success of Bowie’s previous album, Let’s Dance, its singles and the Serious Moonlight Tour, “Blue Jean” was launched with massive promotion. Julien Temple was engaged to direct a 21-minute short film to promote the song, Jazzin’ for Blue Jean. The song performance segment from this was also used as a more conventional music video.

21 minutes, people! The Streets will not be setting the new record. All bow to King Bowie.

On September 26th…

…”Weird Al” Yankovic is…

STRAIGHT OUTTA LYNNWOOD.

Aw, yeah…

NOW that’s what I call a poor excuse for a number one!

Relating to the Spotlight Kid’s fine posting below, one should also be aware of a highly disturbing article which appeared on the always-fair-and-balanced Fox News website last week about the album. What’s worse is that there’s nothing in it that really surprises me…

Record Biz Crisis: Top 20 Misses 750K
By Roger Friedman

The top 20 pop albums sold fewer than a total of 750,000 CDs last week.

You read that correctly. The actual total was 738,211. The number includes 220,000 copies of a greatest hits singles collection from all the labels, “Now That’s What I Call Music! Vol. 22.” Without “Now 22,” regular releases came in around 500,000 copies.

This is a crisis that no one acknowledges in the record business. But consider that recently dismissed Sony execs Donnie Ienner and Michelle Anthony were making $2 million a year, and that their income is typical of upper echelon management in any record company. If the half million CD sold at full price — $15 — then they didn’t even pay for a small part of one salary.

Consider also the execs at radio conglomerates, who have tightened playlists so that few new records are played unless — as identified by New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer’s findings — stations receive free trips, gadgets and other gifts as inducements. You might wonder how any of the companies on either side can afford to stay in business.

Consider that last Tuesday, “Now 22” was not the only new release. Sony/Epic issued a new CD by writer-producer Butch Walker, a performer whom this column has extolled over and over. Not only did no one from the company bother to send it here, this reporter only learned about it by accident — yesterday. Walker, who should have a following from his extensive touring — he produces and opens for Avril Lavigne. But he’s been ignored by his label and radio. What’s he supposed to do? The CD sold fewer than 15,535 copies — the minimum it would have taken to hit the top 50. And here’s an amazing statistic: four songs from the new album have been played a total of 200,000 times on Walker’s MySpace page. I doubt this is the work of one person who clicked the links that many times. Some group of people is interested in Butch Walker. They’re just not a group that his label or radio stations are interested in, apparently. If they were, there would be more of an investment in Walker’s career — and other countless talented artists like him — by the record companies. Instead, the record stores are empty, and customers are drifting toward other entertainment.

There isn’t a lot to look forward to right away in terms of new releases: Rapper DMX has a new album on Aug. 1, but his last one was three years ago. Rocker Tom Petty’s waited four years to put his new CD, and the last one wasn’t exactly a bestseller with fewer than 350,000 copies sold.

Yesterday’s crop of new releases has only one promising title, by Los Lonely Boys, whose previous album sold 2 million copies. All eyes will be on them to see if they can beat their last first week sales record: 4,000 copies. That shouldn’t be too hard. Or Music, a satellite label from Epic, sticks with their artists the way most labels do not.

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