Beck and His Father, David Campbell, Are Obviously Playing a Sold-Out Show at the Hollywood Bowl on My Father’s Birthday On Purpose

Gee, that was pretty nice of them. Though I won't be sending any thank-you notes until some gold-engraved invitations show up at my pa's place, you hear?

In case you didn't know, Beck's pater, David Campbell, is kind of a big deal. In the course of his career, composer-arranger Campbell has racked up credits on more than 400 gold and platinum albums, including performances on sessions with Marvin Gaye and Carole King and arrangements for Johnny Cash and Neil Diamond. Campbell will now direct the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra Strings as Beck performs a sold-out show in Los Angeles September 20. While he's done many of the string arrangements on his son's albums, this is the first time they'll take the stage together.

What finally made them decide to share the stage? Was it that bonding experience over a bottle of cognac? Campbell's tearful admission that he wishes he'd come up with the hook for "Sexx Laws"? The world may never know... but I'm going to go on the record and say that this is probably all happening in honor of my dear ol' dad's 64th birthday. If you think of a better reason, call me.

Chinese Democracy Leaker Hatches Devious Pyramid Scheme

So far: Axl Rose and his record company are suing the pants off this Kevin Cogill guy because Cogill leaked songs off the upcoming Guns N' Roses album Chinese Democracy.

In a new blog post, Cogill is both asking for donations towards his legal defense fund and posting a cool picture of Public Enemy:

Hi everyone. As you are all undoubtedly aware, I was arrested at gunpoint last Wednesday by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and I am now facing a federal criminal charge by the United States Government of copyright infringement, after allegedly hosting a stream of 9 Guns N’ Roses songs, for a brief period of time in June.


I am trying to take full responsibility for my predicament. I consider the burden of legal fees ultimately mine to bear; I have independently raised the funds required to retain my attorney. However, it has definitely been by far the biggest expense I have ever faced in my entire life, and my resources are very limited while formidable costs shall continue to pile up. It’s beyond daunting, being a single independent citizen facing a full-force prosecution by the most powerful government in the world.

I am aware that the re-emergence of Guns N' Roses is intended to hail some recapturing of the bombastic zeitgeist of the late 1980s, but this trickle-down Reagnomics nonsense is taking it a bit too far.

As far as I know, I'm the first person to call it: This is nothing but a viral marketing ploy for Chinese Democracy. If it's not, though, we should all learn from Cogill and use any leaks that come our way to fatten up our ratios on torrent websites instead of as a publicity stunt for our crummy music blogs.

RIP: Jerry Reed, Country Star, Actor

From an article by the Associated Press:

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Jerry Reed, a singer who became a good ol' boy actor in car chase movies like "Smokey and the Bandit," has died of complications from emphysema at 71.

His longtime booking agent, Carrie Moore-Reed, no relation to the star, said Reed died early Monday.

"He's one of the greatest entertainers in the world. That's the way I feel about him," Moore-Reed said.

Reed was a gifted guitarist who later became a songwriter, singer and actor.

As a singer in the 1970s and early 1980s, he had a string of hits that included "Amos Moses," "When You're Hot, You're Hot," "East Bound and Down" and "The Bird."

- Jerry Reed Wikipedia entry
- Jerry Reed IMDB entry
- R2K Records
- Associated Press article: "Singer-actor Jerry Reed dies at the age of 71"
- YouTube video: Jerry Reed - Lightning Rod 1977

Bob Dylan Endorses Hohner Harmonica Line; Steven Tyler Reminds You That He’s Already Done That

So how many endorsement deals must a man sign-on for, before you can call him a shill?

Better not ask Bob Dylan, who, in an uncharacteristic eschewing of his longstanding Freewheelin’ Policy, decided to settle down with a nice, church-going instrument manufacturer named Hohner USA to create his own line of harmonicas (at least, that’s the way she tells it!).

“Hohner is extremely proud to celebrate the artistry of Bob Dylan, one of America’s musical treasures,” says Hohner president Clayman Edwards. “This is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Bob Dylan fans, and we hope that those who are able to own these items will treasure them as a reflection of his musical genius.” Edwards also hopes that Hohnor is able to make some money, probably, but... you know, he didn’t print that part.

Anyway, this limited “Bob Dylan Signature Series” of harmonicas -- available individually or in sets of seven -- will feature a machine stamp of Dylan's signature and a Dylan-designed logo, thus out-classing by far any mouth-harp you have ever locked lips with to date. But before you go throwing away all of your old Alvin and the Chipmunks harmonicas, keep in mind that Hohner will only manufacture 25 sets of seven Marine Band harmonicas (in the natural keys of C, G, D, F, A, B, and E) that Dylan himself has apparently pre-tested, plus an additional 100 individual Marine Band harmonicas (in C). Both of these limited run items will bear Dylan's actual signature and will be available exclusively via Sam Ash Music beginning October 29.

Meanwhile, bobo-master Stephen Tyler presumably remains unimpressed by this whole situation... not to mention this guy.

Bob Dylan Dates:
09.04.08 - Temecula, CA - Pechanga Resort and Casino
09.06.08 - San Diego, CA - Concerts on the Green @ Qualcomm Park
09.07.08 - Santa Barbara, CA - Santa Barbara Bowl

Comcast To Limit Customers’ Data Bandwidth; I’m Feeling All Tiery-Eyed

Comcast has announced that it will enforce a bandwidth cap on how much data customers can transfer in a month. Now, before everyone freaks out, according to this site, 250GB is about equivalent to 50,000,000 emails or 124 full-length films.

I know there are some obsessive folks out there, but really, I’d like to challenge you all to try to send 50,000,000 emails to me in one month. That means you’re gonna have to send me 1,666,666 emails a day. Which means you’re gonna have to send me 64,444 emails per hour. Which means you’re going to have to send me 1,157 emails a minute. Which means you’re going to have to send me almost 20 emails per second. So get on it! I am so going to be the most popular person ever after this.

But seriously, the thing to worry about is perhaps not the fact that Comcast is restricting the bandwidth of purportedly just 1% of their customer base; it’s more the fact that this could be the start of a slippery slope in which the major ISPs slowly roll out a new, tiered broadband service. I weep for the future.

Elaborate Prank or Leaked Review? Mogwai vs. Pitchfork

The latest chapter in the saga of the internet's leaky faucet and Thunderdome of publicity stunts features a rather unusual, rather awesome story from Mogwai.

Our favorite stalwart purveyors of doom are not deterred by several tracks of the triumphantly-titled The Hawk is Howling racing through the blogosphere, but rather a ‘leaked,’ unfavorable Pitchfork review. The band posted on their official site: "Dear dear me, it seems that there has been a second unfortunate Mogwai related leak this week. This was forwarded to us by an anonymous source, it is the unedited review of The Hawk Is Howling."

However, akin to Mogwai's technicolor shroud of mystery, it seems entirely probable that Mogwai wrote the review themselves, insofar as most of the writing is not in the typical dissertation-esque format. For example, the supposed Pitchfork writer dives into album epilogue "The Precipice" by lamenting how "guitars curlicue around the pounding of mannish tom-toms like the garland of graying pubic hair around your uncle's boner… [they] offer you a lollipop and the promise of videogames, the ghost of Slint dulling your senses into a glassy-eyed hypnosis, until you realize that Mogwai are fucking you, fucking you, fucking you." In "Thank You Space Expert," Mogwai "absently strike their guitars, glockenspiels and who-diddly-dang-bangles."

Moreover, sarcastic jabs alluding to common criticisms of Pitchfork reviews are spread throughout ("I should note here that I will simply use the term ‘music’ in this review... no time for useless genre struggles"). The most compelling evidence, however, is that none of the credited authors in this particular review are listed on Pitchfork's staff masthead.

If it is real, Pitchfork should up their QA standards. However, since Mogwai has often demonstrated their sense of humor throughout their discography, I'll put my money on saying that this is a pretty hilarious prank from our favorite cheeky Scots. It appears as Pitchfork might be on the same shitlist as Blur, especially considering the hate brought in its review of Mr. Beast.

Look for the new "Pitchfork is Shite" shirts at the merch booth as they kick tires, light fires, et al. across North America with Fuck Buttons:

Matt and Kim Announce Tourdates, Dress Up As Barack and Michelle Obama For Halloween

Last week, a lot of us were watching Obama’s Democratic National Convention speech. But unlike you, I was hanging out with Matt and Kim at the same time. All three of us were pretty drunk (Matt makes some mean screwdrivers), which led me to convincing both of them to dress up as Barack and Michelle Obama for the first show of their tour on Halloween. I know it sounds pretty cliché, but just imagine “Barack” and “Michelle” doing all of this. Now that’s patriotism.

Change we can believe in:

Dark Meat Set Out on North American Tour; Athens, GA Food Service Industry to Suffer Critical Understaffing

Flower children, gather ‘round — I have an announcement. The 17-piece psychedelic symphony (oh hey, cacophony is almost, like, the same word?!) known as Dark Meat (TMT Interview) will be rolling out the ol' 1972 GMC coach for a 21-date tour of the Midwest, East Coast, and Canada in support of the re-release of Universal Indians on Vice Records. Yes, it’s sad but true. For the months of September and October, stages will seem a little emptier, keyboards will have 170 less fingers tinkling on them, and bands all over Athens will limp sadly through their sets, as members fall prey to the Pied Piper’s call of the Dark Meat. But seriously, who’s going to make my latte?


For the First Time in Ten Years, James Chance and the Contortions Will Flip Faces in NYC, Also Plan New Album

Hot on the heels of Teenage Jesus and the Jerks’ June reunion concert, the hardest working man in No Wave, James Chance and his indispensable Contortions, will take the stage for the first time in a decade at New York’s City’s P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center this Saturday (August 30). Chance’s longtime collaborator Robert Aaron as well three original contortionists round out the band’s latest incarnation, but Chance has dedicated the evening’s performance to the Contortions’ original guitarist, the late Jerry Agony.

With 2008 marking the 30th anniversary of the legendary Brian Eno-curated No New York compilation, No Wave has managed to once again subvert its way back into the unpopular consciousness. Along with these two recent reunions, this year Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore and journalist Byron Coley published a memoir about the genre titled No Wave: Post-Punk. Underground. New York 1976-1980. Also in ’08, the entire recorded catalog of No New York alumnus Mars was finally released in a clean, non-water damaged format, via the 31-minute long Mars LP.

In addition to such confrontational classics as “Contort Yourself” and “I Can’t Stand Myself,” The Contortions will perform new songs from a forthcoming album. At the moment, there are no further details about the new record nor has the group announced any plans for a tour, but if this 2008 No Wave renaissance keeps cooking, in a few months James Chance and his impeccable coif might just stroll into your town! Keep your fingers crossed, America!

Trojan Condoms To Offer Grants to Musicians; Dreams Do Come True

What do musicians like more than drugs? Sex, of course! Now, every rock ‘n’ roll bad boy’s dreams are about to come true, as Trojan® Brand Condoms is asking musicians to apply for its Trojan Artists Grants program.

But what exactly do condoms have to do with grants? According to Billboard, Trojan is asking each grant recipient to write a song that encourages the public to use a condom when they have sexual intercourse. I can almost hear it now: a country-tinged ballad from Michael Gira (with backing vocals from Joanna Newsom) about putting on a glove before you make love. Or The Hold Steady's Craig Finn writing an ode to his gigantic penis and how he uses Trojan Magnum’s before drunkenly sticking it inside a groupie. Sound like hits to me!

Grants for the program range from $3,000 to $4,000, and each project that Trojan funds will be posted on a website in partnership with MTV. The deadline for applications is September 5. Think you can do better than Craig Finn? Applications can be sent to



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