"Going to a Town," the first single off of Rufus Wainwright’s Release the Stars (listen to the entire thing on our Hear Music First page) is the opera-loving pop singer’s own state of the union address — a heartfelt indictment of the U.S.A. and its leaders. We asked Wainwright to explain how he’d fix the country if he were in charge. Spoiler Alert: the answer involves Dolly Parton.
Looks like if Chinese Democracy won?t come to the people, then the people will come to Chinese Democracy. The long-delayed, much-anticipated, disaster-fraught Guns N’ Roses album — the subject of speculation by everyone from magazines to psychics — has leaked, at least in part. Though these tracks have been available on file-sharing sites for awhile now, they?ve never been kicking around in such clean versions. This makes us suspect that an official release is . . . maybe . . . on its way. Haters can hate as much as they want, but these songs actually sort of rock: ?There Was a Time? and ?The Blues? are epic dirges in the vein of ?November Rain,? while ?I.R.S.? and ?Chinese Democracy? are harder numbers, the former more blues-y, the latter more White Zombie-y. Zombies are very much in fashion right now, so looks like Axl?s right on the money.
Former Eurythmics front-lady Annie Lennox is learning about Web 2.0 the hard way — from her daughter. In a scene reminiscent of the teenage wasteland dreamt up by Kelly LeBrock in Weird Science, Lennox?s former London home was basically leveled when her 16-year-old daughter threw a party and news of the event was spread over MySpace. What was supposed to be an intimate gathering of 30 turned into a rager for 200. Description of the damage includes the following: graffiti on the walls, cigarette burns everywhere, vomit on the stairs, urine on the carpets, torn-up floor boards, a flooded kitchen and many destroyed appliances. The total cost of the nightmare is estimated at somewhere in range of $60,000. Think this one will make the kids think twice about throwing a party when their parents are out of town?
Most of the time it’s the power of the music that gets you, not the eloquence of the words. Rock was made to be enjoyed as a total experience. But lyrics can’t be ultra shit, you know – there is a line somewhere. Like: "Slowly walking down the hall/Faster than a cannonball." If you’ll recall, that comes from the Gallagher brothers – a little thing called "Champagne Supernova." It,along with songs by U2 and Human League, made the BBC’s "Top 10 Worst Lyrics" list today. Duran Duran zealots should check to see why their boys are being dissed so bad.
What song has the dumbest lyrics you’ve come across?
Our ramp-up to Rock Honors (May 24) always includes revealing chats with the music’s stars. Clips for "With Honors" usually find the artists revealing career secrets.
Genesis is a superstar band, right? For decades they’ve made records, and for decades fans around the have snapped ‘em up as soon as possible. Well, according to the guys, that wasn’t always the case. If anyone’s looking for rare copies of their first disc, check over near the tool rack in the garage.
Grammy fanatics, rejoice! At a press conference earlier today, Motown Svengali Quincy Jones and barefoot soul-slinger Joss Stone were on hand to help announce some news: Grammy Brand clothing. Sure, they discussed some other items commemorating the awards spectacular?s 50th anniversary — like a coffee table book, a new 30,000-square-foot Grammy Museum in L.A., and Aretha Franklin?s philanthropic and musical endeavors — but we were taken with the part about the ?high-end fashion collection? for men and women coming to boutiques this fall. Expect everything from $49 T-shirts to $9,000 black-diamond-studded sunglasses. A portion of the proceeds benefits MusiCares, a non-profit that helps support needy musicians. Would you wear Grammy?
Evanescence continues to hemorrhage members — and the implication is that the feeling isn?t exactly mutual. Guitarist John LeCompt and drummer Rocky Gray have parted company with pretty little goth-lete Amy Lee. Said LeCompt, ?There?s absolutely no loyalty in this band.? Gray concurs, though apparently he?s been served a gag order to keep him from talking. That hasn?t stopped him from sharing some of his feelings on his MySpace page, however: ?The way they spin it, I?m not even allowed to say I quit the group, I guess. But the news is out there, so, there ya’ go. I need to have a lawyer read over all that mess to tell me what, when and how I can tell you all — the REAL FANS — what really went down, if I ever can, haha.? What do you think went down?
Our ramp-up to Rock Honors (May 24) always includes revealing chats with the music’s stars. Road Tales focuses on some the silliness that goes down when bands are on tour.
Ozzy Osbourne is known for all sorts of stage shenanigans, but when he’s heaving water all over the crowd and into the PA wiring, he puts a few people at risk. How do you like your rock shows, freezing or in flames? Zakk Wylde explains.
After Akon’s shocking performance simulating sex with a minor on stage under the guise of a dance contest, Verizon has dropped all tour sponsorship of the African chart topper. In a statement to Fox News, a spokersperson said, "This week the partnership ended. We have music services on our cellphone service and we were promoting him as one of the artists. The other part of the sponsorship was the Gwen Stefani tour, of which he was an opening act. We are no longer sponsoring the tour." The tour, which just kicked off in Vegas on April 21, has dates booked through October.
Rumors of an upcoming Queen biopic began percolating late last year. This morning our inside sources are saying that Sacha Baron Cohen has been tapped to play the band?s sadly deceased frontman, Freddie Mercury. Said someone close to the film, "Sacha loves the idea he can get away with playing Freddie after modeling Borat’s look on him." That would mean that Borat beat out Johnny Depp to play the charismatic rock god who died of AIDS-related complications in 1991. Of course, it behooves us to note that this news comes from U.K. tabloid The Daily Mirror, a publication so salacious it makes TMZ look like The New Yorker. As yet there?s no word on whether or not Queen guitarist Brian May will be played by Ken Davitian, aka Aazmat, Borat?s naked wrestling partner. Dream on, you little dreamers.