RIP: Robert Lucas, Former Frontman of Canned Heat

From Pollstar:

Robert Lucas, a former frontman of Canned Heat, died of an apparent drug overdose Nov. 23 at a friend's home in Long Beach, Calif., according to his former manager Skip Taylor.

Lucas, 46, recently left Canned Heat to pursue a solo career. The singer, harmonica and bottleneck guitar player had two stints with the band between 1994 and 2006.

Canned Heat, whose hits include "Goin' Up The Country" and "On The Road Again," has had four frontmen in its more than 40-year history.

Lucas also performed with artists including Big Joe Turner, George Smith, Pee Wee Crayton, Lowell Fulsom, Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson and Percy Mayfield.

- Canned Heat official website
- Canned Heat Wikipedia entry

David Byrne Extends Tour, Brian Eno Extends Paid Vacation

Steve Martin and John Candy they ain’t. You certainly won’t find Brian Eno traveling with David “The Next-Hardest Working Man in Show Business” Byrne this holiday season. It seems he had “other plans.” But I sure can tell you where you’ll find Byrne: the open roads of North America, where he belongs.

Apparently not content whatsoever with the notion of finishing up his 2008 tourdates and then going home to hang out and enjoy the fact that he’s, you know, “David Byrne” for a while, the talking and singing head has announced that he will add another string of dates to his tour of the U.S. and Canada that will carry him well into the new year. Totally oblivious to the fact that we at TMT already wasted some clever prose on what we thought was a complete tour (TMT News), Byrne will resume his 2-fast, 2-furious pace November 28 with a kick-off show in Buffalo, NY. The subsequent run will wrap up temporarily on December 13 in Miami, FL (looks like someone convinced him to at least try to see his loved ones this holiday season) before resuming again on February 18 in Seattle, WA. The tour will ultimately culminate with a show at New York’s legendary Radio City Music Hall on February 27. THEN THERE IS EVEN MORE TOURING (thanks Terry).

Byrne is, of course, not out there hocking shower curtain rings, exactly. Rather, he’s manically crisscrossing the country like this to support the recent release of that modest little old Brian Eno collaboration Everything That Happens Will Happen Today (TMT Review), released in August. So where exactly is Eno, then, you ask? Umm, my guess is probably somewhere a whole lot warmer... potentially tanning himself with sunlight reflected off of solid gold bars. Yeah. That’s my guess.

See? Not everything that happens will happen today:

Yo Quiero Lawsuit: 50 Cent Squares off with Taco Bell in Delicious Dispute

Who's more hardcore?

- A guy who was shot nine times, sold crack, owned a significant share of Vitamin Water, and has to deal regularly with a bunch of fame-hungry MTV reality show idiots on The Money and the Power?

Or...

- A fast-food restaurant chain started by a former Marine, hyped by a talking Chihuahua, with a menu consisting largely of beef and cheese items with the suffixes "ito" or "ita" tacked on at the end to denote the alleged "South of the Border" quality of the products?

The answer may at first seem obvious, but after some recent legal issues between rapper 50 Cent and 7-layer cheese-aholic crunchwrap meat surprise gordita purveyors Taco Bell, things get a little murkier.

A recent rather-short, kinda barebones report from Billboard revealed that a legal catfight between the two entities is getting just a little crazy. It seems that 50 is miffed about a fake letter/advertising scheme dreamed up by our taco-loving friends, in which the rapper is entreated to change his name to 79 Cent, 89 Cent, or possibly 99 Cent (presumably this would have been at 50's discretion) for one day only to promote the restaurant chain's value menu. Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson would've then received a $10,000 donation to the charity of his choice if he had accepted the name changin' challenge. Instead, he is suing for trademark infringement.

Taco Bell lawyeritos are decrying the lawsuit as an attempt to rack up the restaurant-hatin' street cred and "burnish his gangsta rapper persona by distorting beyond all recognition a bona fide, good faith offer." No word yet as to 50's feelings concerning that commercial where the two drive-through customers try to rap about their food.

Ah, Ah, Ah, Ah, Table Five! Table Five! Scientists Say “Stayin’ Alive” Provides a Perfect Beat For Performing CPR

When was the last time you watched Saturday Night Fever? Like two years ago on VH1, you say? It looks like you got some work to do, my friend! First of all, you should really watch Travolta’s positively spiritual dance moves every couple months just to recharge your chakra or center your chi or whatever method of metaphysical recalibration you prefer. Seriously, every thrust of those skinny disco hips is like a poem from the Book of Psalms. But along with saving your soul, researchers at the University of Illinois have found that the ’70s camp classic’s musical centerpiece “Stayin’ Alive” by The Bee Gees could save your life, too!

According to the Chicago Tribune, “Stayin’ Alive” works as the perfect metronome for CPR. At 103 beats per second, the tune worked as an ideal guide for rhythmically challenged test subjects practicing CPR on mannequins. When the song was playing, subjects were able to produce acceptable compression rates near the recommended 100-beats-per-second mark. When the subjects performed CPR in silence, however, most of them pushed and released too quickly at a speed of 150 beats per minute, which would cause the heart to expand and fill with blood. Yikes! So grab the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack from your parents’ record collection and start practicing, America! We’ve got lives to save! Oh yeah, you may want to learn CPR first, too.

RIP: Richey Edwards of Manic Street Preachers

From the BBC:

Missing Manic Street Preachers guitarist and lyricist Richey Edwards has been declared as presumed dead, a spokeswoman for the band has said.

The musician from Blackwood, south Wales, disappeared nearly 14 years ago.

Despite alleged sightings all over the world many believe Edwards, whose car was found near the Severn Bridge, took his own life at the age of 27.

- Richey Edwards Wikipedia entry
- Manic Street Preachers official website
- Manic Street Preachers MySpace

of Montreal Pack Up Their Nooses and Shaving Cream Coffins For Overseas Tour

As of Montreal continues to promote Skeletal Lamping (TMT Review) in the U.S. with bizarre, elaborate live shows during the holiday season, the band has announced additional tourdates that will take them overseas in early 2009. This means not only packing up band members and equipment, but also stage performers, costumes, multiple drum sets, set pieces, a stage partition, a noose, body paint, multiple cans of shaving cream, a fanny pack full of condoms, body suits, frilly shirts, toy guns, video footage, and a coffin. Expect long lines at the international airport in January.

For now, the band wraps up the year on the East Coast, hitting their home state at the very end of 2008.

& Fiery Furnaces