Avril outs herself

Apparently, Avril Lavigne recently had a bit of a dust-up with the paparazzi. I say “apparently” because I didn’t know anything about it until I received this E-mail from her label:


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Avril Apologizes to Fans

In response to reports that Avril Lavigne recently had a run in with paparazzi while spending private time with her husband, Deryck Whibley, she has this to say:

“I’d like to sincerely apologize for my behavior with the Paparazzi. It’s trying at best dealing with their insistent intrusions. I meant no offense to my fans, whose relationship i truly value. I have and will always go out of my way for my fans. My behavior was a reaction to the persistent attack from the paparazzi.”

Well, hell, you’ve got my attention now!

A quick search on Yahoo! News came up with an article about the incident to which Avril refers. Apparently, while out celebrating her 22nd birthday, Ms. Lavigne approached a photographer from the website TMZ.com with the charming opening line, “Hey fuckhead, come here,” then allegedly spat into his lens. When she returned the following night, she spewed abusive dialogue once again, reportedly – but not definitely – signing photos for autograph seekers, “Fuck you” (and, man, what are THOSE going for on eBay?), then, as her car drove off, spit on another photographer and screamed”Bitch!”

Niiiiiiiice.

Weekend Video Vault

All right, kids. This will be the official spot for what started last week as my favorite music videos post. There are always too many to just group into a small list, so this will now give you a weekly dose of videos I like for whatever reason. They might be great clips of art, or they might just be so bad they’re good. Either way, we’re gonna groove as the mighty Led Zeppelin once sang. So let’s get to it, won’t you?

Kid Creole and The Coconuts – “Endicott” To start things off this week we have this classic wacky clip from August Darnell and crew. “Endicott” is the tale about a goody two shoes that the ladies all love. Why can’t we all be a little more like Endicott? ‘Cause we’re free…thank God we’re free.

The White Stripes – “Fell In Love With A Girl” LEGOs make the whole world a happier place. I don’t know what else there is to say besides that, really. I’m waiting for the official White Stripes LEGOland models to be released. Tapping into a whole new generation of fandom.

Faith No More – “Easy” Suffice it to say that Faith No More’s cover version of this song blows the original away. Suffice it to say that watching the band cavort around with a bunch of transvestites in a hotel room is even better. Mike Patton’s total look of boredom throughout is classic. Take that, Lionel Richie!

Utopia – “Feet Don’t Fail Me Now” This was the song that got me into Todd Rundgren’s vast catalog of music way back in my high school days. It’s got a nice cheapo quality to it, and I always really liked those shifting scenes. Hey, I’m a sucker for simple but effective transition effects, what can I say? Unfortunately, Utopia never really got their due. Perhaps they were too alternative for even the ’70s and ’80s. Go figure.

Adrian Belew – “Oh Daddy” Featuring Belew’s daughter Audie on background vocals, this was one of those things that was just destined to be a fluke novelty hit. And it basically was, though the rest of the album it was taken from (Mr. Music Head) was one of Belew’s finest. Like Todd Rundgren often does on his albums, Adrian played the whole kit and caboodle of instruments on the disc. Sweet nostalgia.

Talking Heads – “Road To Nowhere” Talking Heads put out a slew of great, bizarre videos, but this one probably perfectly encapsulates their surreal weirdness the best. None of it has to make sense, so therefore it doesn’t. Just don’t let your shopping cart get away from you.

David Bowie – “Let Me Sleep Beside You” A super early clip of Bowie for a killer track a lot of fans may not even know about. As you can see, even in his pre-Ziggy Stardust fame the man just exuded cool attitude and is simply a joy to watch even in a basic no-frills clip like this. Man, I wish I could have been him…well, without all the coke, getting rail thin, and plucking out my eyebrows, anyway.

Lou Reed – “Rock and Roll (live)” Definitely file this one under “so bad it’s good.” This rare clip from a 1974 show in Sydney finds Lou at his jacked-up amphetamine best, with his hair dyed blonde and his body convulsing in embarrassingly hilarious “dance moves.” I promise you won’t get the image out of your mind ever. Just let it wash over you and drown in the insanity.

The Art of Noise – “Close (To The Edit)” If I have to explain why this video is cool, then there’s no hope for humanity. Seriously, how can a punk rock kid and three dudes destroying beautiful instruments not rule? Whoops, I just explained it. Oh well, I suppose there’s no hope for me.

Whale – “Kickin’” You may recall this group from their hit “Hobo Humpin’ Slobo Babe.” Well, if you’ve never tried it, score a copy of the band’s album We Care. It’s one of a kind and spreads itself across a whole rainbow of groovy genres. This is the opening track on the album, and there’s nothing else like it on the rest of the disc. Come back, Whale. Your silliness is missed muchly.

Lost Bands: Gunbunnies

Like so many disaffected teens with a jones for new music, I spent some time working in music retail…and one of the many bands I discovered during this era (1989 – 1994, with some time off to attend college) was the Gunbunnies. Signed to Virgin Records back in the days when the label was flooding stores with promotional copies of albums by their new artists, we scored both cassette and CD promos of their debut album, Paw Paw Patch, and it’s clear Virgin had high hopes for these guys.

Their single, “Stranded,” was picking up quite a bit of college radio airplay, and the critics were loving the fact that the album was produced by the legendary Jim Dickinson (Big Star, the Rolling Stones, the Replacements). Plus, the band’s lead singer and songwriter, Chris Maxwell, had put together 10 songs that could hold their own with bands like Guadalcanal Diary, House of Freaks, and the like…and although he had a highly competent band behind him, Maxwell was practically a one-man band; he played guitar, harmonica, trumpet, and electric sitar on the album!

Poised for success…? Yeah, not so much.

The Gunbunnies disappeared after Paw Paw Patch…and I mean really disappeared. Not only was there no follow-up album on Virgin, there was no follow-up, period. Maxwell didn’t even go solo; he just vanished.

Well, okay, he didn’t vanish vanish; if AllMusic.com can be trusted (and they usually can), he left music altogether for about five years, then returned to play bass for They Might Be Giants and to do some production work for artists like the Lunachicks…but, of course, that’s if this is the same Chris Maxwell. Can anyone confirm or deny…?

A new favorite site for music geeks everywhere:

Concert Ticket Generator.

Any site that can enable you to produce this ticket stub…

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

…is all right in my book.

Plus, you can turn your fake ticket…wait, this is a fake?…into a refrigerator magnet or a sticker. Oh, the possibilities…!

File under: Evil and very, very wrong

VH1’s Best Week Ever brings us this clip from GorillaMask Media of …”Muppets With Attitude.”

That’s right: Kermit and the gang deliver a hard-hitting cover (well, okay: a surprisingly well lip-synched mash-up) of NWA’s “F@#k the Police.”

Enjoy. And then pray for your soul.

History of Censored Music Videos, vol. 1

Ever since the music video has been around, there have been artists who have tried to push the envelope and see just how much they can get away with in their clips. On the other hand, there have been plenty of videos that have been banned or censored for seemingly non-existent or innocuous reasons. Trace it all back to Elvis Presley’s hip-shaking days that threw networks in a tizzy. At any rate, here’s a handful of music videos that for one reason or another was censored by somebody out there. What is art, anyway?

Devo – “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” Devo’s excellent devolution of the Stones’ classic includes a couple of rather innocent through-the-shirt breast groping sequences. This kind of thing would still not fly with American censors these days. Go figure.

Frankie Goes To Hollywood – “Relax” The song should have been enough to get the axe by many ceonsors’ standards, but instead it was the original video for the song that was banned. What have you missed all these years? Why, only a fine gay party! Everyone jump in and groove.

Fatboy Slim – “Slash Dot Dash” In an inspired Fando Y Lis knockoff. A couple strapped with a ton of Sharpies go nuts tagging up a public bathroom. There are brief shots of nudity once the female’s already scant outfit is ripped clean off. Not at all titillating or sexy when it gets down to it, but even with the rapid fire edits, it didn’t stand a chance with the censors.

Jay-Z – “99 Problems” Here’s the full video in all its unedited glory, with all lyrics intact and the climactic ending featuring Jay-Z getting gunned down. The man himself said the violence wasn’t gratutitous but a symbol of his rebirth, putting Jay-Z to bed and allowing Mr. Carter to be born. It’s a kickass tune no matter how you slice it.

The Cardigans – “My Favourite Game” We’ll close this first volume of censored videos with this clip from The Cardigans that could alternately act as a PSA stating simply that reckless driving causes much destruction, death, and suicide. Or not.

Scissor Sisters state the obvious, and Ta-Dah! Your local record store has banned them for it

File under ‘You have got to be kidding me’: Trans World Entertainment, which owns retail music chains For Your Entertainment, Sam Goody, Strawberries, Wherehouse, Specs and Coconuts, is refusing to carry the Scissor Sisters’ new album, Ta-Dah (which is really freaking good, btw), because of comments singer Jake Shears made at the National Association of Music Retailers convention that CD prices were too high.

Ta-Dah

According to Trans World President and CEO Jim Litwak, his company was just expressing its displeasure at Shears’ comments, which he said were untrue and unfair. And furthermore, he said the whole situation could’ve been avoided had the band bothered to pick up the phone and call him.

“Mr. Shears said that he tried to buy a Raconteurs album but didn’t because it was too expensive,” Litwak told MTV News. “But he didn’t bring it up to register, because if he did, he would’ve seen that the CD was on sale.

“So Mr. Shears made an incorrect statement at a convention instead of reaching out to us, to discuss our pricing,” Litwak continued. “We decided that it would’ve been nice to get an apology from them, so we reached out to their distribution company [Universal Music Group Distribution] to let them know we were displeased, and we never heard back from them. So we made the decision not to carry the band’s new release.”

In fairness to Trans World, Jake should have taken up this issue with the band’s label, Universal, which decides the suggested retail price for their albums. This is what Tom Petty did back in the day with his album Hard Promises when he found out that his then-label MCA was going to charge a full dollar more for his record than every other record on the market. He refused to turn the album in until the label relented, which they ultimately did. Score one for the common man.

However, in fairness to Jake, CD’s are way, way, WAY too expensive.

(Click here to read the rest of the Chauffeur’s mad rant.)


Read the rest after the jump...

Aaron Carter is available again, ladies!

That’s right! Aaron Carter has called off his recent engagement to Kari Ann Paniche. Paniche, no stranger to the Carter clan, was actually Nick Carter’s girlfriend at one point. She was also a Playboy Playmate. Poor girl just can’t catch a Carter break! When asked about the sitch, Aaron said,

“I got caught up in the moment and proposed…I then realized it was a hasty thing to do and I am not ready for marriage quite yet.”

Not ready for marriage, but certainly ready for reality TV. Aaron and Nick will be featuring in their family’s TV debacles on “House of Carters,” coming in October on E!

Toy Matinee, “The Ballad of Jenny Ledge”


What’s there to say about Toy Matinee…? They came quick and didn’t stay long, and during the brief period they existed, their most impressive feat as a band was securing Julian Lennon to contribute guest vocals to their lone, self-titled album.

Sounds woefully unimpressive, no…?

Well, the thing is, the two guys who made up Toy Matinee were Patrick Leonard – who produced Madonna’s True Blue, Roger Waters’ Amused To Death, Jewel’s Spirit, and Elton John’s Songs from the West Coast, among many others – and Kevin Gilbert, who’s written songs for Sheryl Crow, engineered Michael Jackson’s Dangerous, and played keyboards for Susanna Hoffs.

So, basically, it didn’t matter what Toy Matinee did; they had plenty of other avenues to fall back on…which is good, given that Toy Matinee did precisely jack.

In 1990, no-one was looking for the second coming of Steely Dan. Too bad, since that’s exactly what “The Ballad of Jenny Ledge” was. Arguably the best song on an album full of consistently solid pop-rock tracks, it tells the tale of one Jenny Ledge, who was “tempted by half-Elvis, half man-about-town, and a life of ease.” Great song, but one woefully out of place at its time of release. Check out the video…

…and if you like what you hear, go yell at iTunes to make the album available for download so you can hear the whole thing.

Promoting what will surely be the best bad movie of all time…

…Tenacious D, “The Pick of Destiny.”

The D
“It just so happened to be the best song in the world…”

The video for the theme to Jack Black and Kyle Gass’s upcoming classic in the making debuts today on MTV2, and there is a behind-the-scenes on the making of the video at 10 PM EST. They’re also giving away free downloads to a Diddy track all day today as well, and leaking the new Killers album on Friday at 11 PM EST. Head over to http://music.mtv.com for all the fun stuff.

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