"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.
Our Tour Survival Guide checks in with rockers about life on the road. Here’s our You Oughta Know artist Aqualung (aka Matt Hales) on school bullies, audience love, and solar-powered calculators.
Ben’s In Charge It would be nice to think that I was a totally self-sufficient creature who could stalk through this world, bending everyone’s will to my own without anyone’s help. But it seems everything goes better when my brother Ben is there. He’s got a special pair of gloves for helping the load-in, and I haven’t got any of those. He’s also quite good at knowing what time it is.
Calculated Dirty Talk A few years ago, we were in a dark backstage area at a club gig, and nothing on our rider had arrived, but there was a solar-powered calculator backstage. Which obviously didn’t work, because it was dark. It struck us as the ultimate luxury. So we thought we’d have that on [our rider] from then on. I just like to do that thing where you type in certain numbers, turn it upside down and it says "boobs."
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?
How much would you pay to catch someone who hit you with a water balloon? If you’re a rap superstar, then it might be worth $50,000 to you.
During a recent concert at Bentley College, T.I. was hit with a water balloon (watch video above). After getting played, the Atlanta MC stops the music and lays a verbal smackdown on the crowd. Then T.I. offers 50 large to anyone willing to pull an anti-Cam’ron and snitch out the offender so the rapper can, uh, talk to him.
No word on whether the offending prankster was ever caught. So if you go to Bentley, beware; the Deadeye Dick (or Jane) might still be prankin’ it up on your premises.
In other T.I. news, another cut from his upcoming album T.I. vs. T.I.P. has leaked to the ‘net. It features Wyclef Jean. Listen here, snitches.
It was like the Rock U.N. yesterday afternoon, with members of Linkin Park, My Chemical Romance and Taking Back Sunday converging on midtown to announce the Projekt Revolution bill and tour dates. Eschewing "the printed up stuff from management," Linkin Park members Chester Bennington and Mike Shinoda quickly invited My Chemical Romance lead singer Gerard Way and Taking Back Sunday members Adam Lazzara and Matt Rubano up on stage, uniting the three bands who will form the main stage of Projekt Revolution. "We can’t wait to get out there and destroy everything in our path," said Bennington. Ironically, in the midst of all that destruction, the band announced PR will be a "green" tour. Also, My Chemical Romance will reunite with recently departed guitarist Mikey Way, and for the first time they’ll be switching up their set and playing more than just their latest The Black Parade in its entirety, though MCR do promise to bring as much of their arena show to the tour as possible. "Maybe we’ll get new uniforms," Way said.
After his infamous anti-snitching interview on 60 Minutes, the world knows how ridiculously much loyalty means to Cam’ron. But do his closest friends even have the Dipset head honcho’s back?
In an interview with Hot 97′s Miss Info, Dipset rapper Jim Jones (left) said that he hasn’t spoken with Cam’ron in a year and considers their friendship to be more of a burden than a blessing. "I’m through (with) being in hot water because of (Cam’ron)," Jones is quoted as saying on Miss Info’s blog. "I kept quiet out of loyalty … But now I can’t be next to you."