Now and then our Tour Survival Guide will check in with rockers about life on the road. Here’s guitarist Max Rafferty on Tijuana, staying Rolling Stones-style sexy and Courtney Love?s commitment to fandom.
Tough Work for the Liver
The long stretches while we?re on the bus can get tedious, but we all genuinely enjoy each other?s company, so that helps. We usually smoke a lot, drink until we pass out and listen to Bob Marley.
Touring Is Like a Psychedelic Picasso
The freakiest place we?ve ever been was Tijuana. When I went there, I had envisioned the place as an American Spring Break resort. Instead, all I saw were these transvestites wandering around with massive heads and old men playing guitar. Fascinating and a little scary.
Party Like It’s 2001
Foul-mouthed rabble rousers Queens of the Stone Age release a clip of their latest "Sick Sick Sick" and introduce us to their new spokesman Bulby. Lead Stroke Julian Casablancas guests — who knew three frames of animation could keep us entertained for so long?
Rehab Works Wonders on Van Halen
In addition to detox and counseling, looks like they offer frosting and tanning services at Eddie Van Halen’s rehab clinic. Or at least de-Golluming.
After lucidly railing against global warming, Thom Yorke drops typos like they’re hot and reveals he’s got a new Radiohead album, then rubs your face in it. "i have a cd of what we;’ve been up to…and you haven’t. yet. (sorry)" [mega-sic].
We?ve recently noticed that many rock stars are calling for new levels of audience participation. Used to be that they?d pull you out of the crowd if you were female (a la Bruce Springsteen and Courteney Cox); now they want you to direct their videos. Just this week, Bjork announced a contest for a fan to direct a clip for ?Innocence? from her forthcoming disc, Volta. Now we?re as invested in the Interweb as the next media organization, and we?re big fans of feedback (comments, please!). But we?re drawing the line here, because when Bjork, or Buckcherry, or Modest Mouse, or whoever else starts asking fans to make videos for them, it smacks of laziness.
?All I Wanna Do? songstress Sheryl Crow has recommended saving the environment by conserving toilet paper. Writing on her blog, the sunny SoCal girl says, ?I think we are an industrious enough people that we can make it work with only one square per restroom visit,? except, of course, on those pesky occasions where two to three could be required.? She also says ?paper napkins . . . represent the height of wastefulness. I have designed a clothing line that has what’s called a ?dining sleeve.? The sleeve is detachable and can be replaced with another ?dining sleeve,? after usage.? Her third idea? A reality show where contestants compete to see who can lead the greenest life. She?s willing to put her body where her mouth is, too. At last night?s White House Correspondent?s dinner, Crow had words with rapping administration star Karl Rove about global warming. By most accounts, Rove was dismissive. The evening finished very uncomfortably when Crow reached out to touch Rove?s arm as he was making his way back to his table. He said, “Don’t touch me.” To which Crow responded, “You can’t speak to us like that, you work for us.” Rove offered this as a rejoinder: “I don’t work for you. I work for the American people.” All that makes us wonder . . . what are you doing to stop global warming?
After promising initial forays into the world of music (her Pussycat Dolls performance, a non-speaking role in a Justin Timberlake video, recording the work of Tom Waits), Scarlett Johansson is now tackling Brit narco-rock greats The Jesus and Mary Chain. The band, who put out their first album mere months after the starlet was born, are reuniting to play a handful of shows at the end of the month. Their Pomona, California performance show will allegedly feature Johansson on backing vocals. Can’t bear to miss it? $100 gets you a chance to check out Scarlett’s pipes.
How much would you pay to hear Scarlett sing?
Only makes it stronger. The newly ex-American Idol contestant speculated about his future in the media — always a wise idea, kids — saying that he?d like to act, model and sing. He also said that given the violent reactions viewers had to his singing and hairstyles, he was considering hiring a bodyguard. The latest to weigh in? Idol winner Kelly Clarkson, who gave MTV this soundbite: "One of my friends [wanted] the Sanjaya guy to win. Oh, man, he’s crazy. I think [it would have been] funny, but I like Jordin Sparks. She’s passionate and still not jaded." That proves Clarkson’s a kinder person than Simon Cowell, who had this to say: "I miss [Sanjaya], probably in the same way as I would miss my favorite horror movie." Do you miss Sanjaya in the same way you would miss your favorite horror movie?
The day’s hot new accessory is a blow-hard dad, if recent rumbling from Alec Baldwin and Britney Spears‘ father are any indication. In a leaked voice mail to his daughter, Ireland, left earlier this month, Alec rants for two minutes after his daughter failed to pick up the phone for a scheduled call. He says, among other things, that Ireland is a "rude, thoughtless little pig" (which makes him what? A boar?), that he doesn’t know her age ("I don’t give a damn that you’re 12-years-old, or 11-years-old…") and that he will "straighten [her] ass out" on a trip he sets for April 20 (today). Not likely: the leaked message so alarmed a judge that she banned contact between Alec and Ireland. Nice try, though, Al.
The grievances of Britney’s daddy Jamie were also aired in public, but this time on purpose: he went right to the New York Post
to insure Brit got the flogging that was coming to her.
Yeah, you’re all hopped up to hear the new Arctic Monkeys disc, Favorite Worst Nightmare. Lots of people are. Crank the volume to 11 and prepare to be messed with when "Brianstorm" comes squawking out of the band’s MySpace page. See ‘em live by jumping in here.
A morsel of Bjork’s new Volta is up for sampling on her page, too. The choppy "Innocence" is seductive in a robotic kind of way. The full CD doesn’t drop until May 8. The Icelandic one is does her thing on Saturday Night Live tomorrow.
The always impressive Queens of the Stone Age do the math on their latest track, "3′s & 7′s." It’s from their pending disc Era Vulgaris, and it’s currently streaming on their Web site. The guys will salute Ozzy Osbourne at VH1′s Rock Honors on May 24. Don’t miss.
In her latest communication from Ironyville, Courtney Love has confessed that she has kicked her addiction to "perfection." In a typo-ridden, 1,000 word blog post on the discussion board of her site Moonwashedrose (short for the typically verbose Love) the singer — who obviously hasn’t kicked her addiction to attention or plastic surgery — discusses her recent weight loss and the criticism she’s received. She also shared with Spinner.com, in her rambling Courtney-speak, the significance of her upcoming album’s title, Nobody’s Daughter. "I’m not pouting. I’m not playing anything up. I don’t have parents that I acknowledge. I’m nobody’s daughter. I’m nobody’s wife. I’m nobody’s bitch. I’m nobody’s daughter. I’m nobody’s widow. I’m somebody’s mother. Other than that, I don’t identify with these other female roles I’m supposed to have."
The tragedy at Virginia Tech has sparked an outpouring of grief from politicians and artists far and wide, and the hip-hop community is no exception.
Immediately after the shootings, Chinese-American rapper Jin (left) quickly recorded the song "Rain Rain Go Away" that’s dedicated to "all the victims at Virginia Tech." (Listen here.)
Virginia rappers Pusha T, Fam-Lay and Skillz all talked to AllHipHop.com about how the tragedy is affecting their home state. "We must come together as a community to be strong for students and families whose lives were lost," said The Clipse‘s Pusha T, a Virginia Beach native.
And About.com did a cool feature called the "Top 10 Rap Songs About Loss" that gets away from the bling and braggadocio and focuses on hip-hop’s sympathetic side.