People still haven’t quite gotten over the tragic passing of Michael Jackson a little over two years ago, but now that Dr. Conrad Murray‘s manslaughter trial is underway in California, expect things to get worse before they get better. Prosecuting attorneys are currently in the midst of outlining their case to the jury against Dr. Murray, who was Jackson’s personal physician at the time of his death and had prescribed him the Propofol that he overdosed on. Earlier tonight, we pointed you in the direction of the gruesome MJ autopsy photos that were shown in court today, but now some new evidence that’s just as disturbing, if not as visually graphic, has emerged.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the “emotional high point” of the trial’s first day was the audio recording that we have for you above. The recording, which was captured on May 10, 2009—just six weeks before his death—highlights a Michael Jackson that the public has never been privy to. Gone is the boyish, enthusiastic voice that we all knew and loved; in this audio, it has been replaced by a drug-addled, slurred speech that is wholly unrecognizable as Jackson’s voice. Yet beneath this tragically sad exterior, the passionate heart and competitive spirit of Michael Jackson was still fully alive. “When people leave my [This Is It tour],” he explains, “I want them to say, ‘I’ve never seen nothing like this in my life…He’s the greatest entertainer in the world.” Sadly, he never got the chance to prove that to audiences one last time, but even still, his legacy as the King of Pop will always remain in tact.
To hear Caleb Followill tell it, Kings of Leon‘s American tour has been cancelled so that he can rest his voice. To hear the rest of the band tell it?well, they’re not being specific, but they seemed angry with the outcome, judging from their reactions yesterday. The band’s management is being a bit more active in its pursuit of silence, making copyright claims on clips of Caleb’s meltdown [via @carr2n]. Their basis for the claims is the inclusion of the band’s music, which is why edits that include merely Caleb’s ad-libs have remained on YouTube, but the claims are suspiciously coincidental given the sheer volume of fan-shot Kings of Leon clips from other shows still available on the site.
As a na?ve attempt to protect Caleb Followill’s privacy (and reputation), this is all sensible?perhaps standard operating procedure prior to the Internet. As a social media strategy, however, this is the worst possible course of action for the band and for Caleb. Fans are curious folks, and as long as an audience wants the story, people will try to get it (and in so doing, will have control over it). In the absence of hard evidence (or sometimes even in spite of it), speculation and circumstantial evidence will exist as fact in practice.
Until an official report on the cause of Amy Winehouse’s death becomes public, many are more than happy to speculate, including, most recently, Tony Azzopardi, a 56-year-old London man who claims to have been friends with the singer and her now-incarcerated ex Blake Fielder-Civil. Azzopardi has given several interviews to local police?and several more to the British tabloids?indicating that, in spite of the claims of Winehouse’s family, the singer had relapsed, a fact he knew as a result of helping her buy crack cocaine and heroin on the eve of her death.
Sadly, we weren’t able to make it out to Chicago for this year’s Pitchfork Music Festival, but we were closely following along at home?a task made somewhat easier this year with (now-dead) livestreams of some bands’ sets?and we wanted to share the fruits of that labor with you. So here’s what you (and we) missed:
By our count, there were three saxophonists onstage at the festival for this Summer of Sax: one as part of Destroyer‘s smooth-rock band, and two playing with Merrill Garbus of Tune-Yards. Those looking for a smooth sax solo could find it at Destroyer’s set, but the harmonic and punctuating use of saxophones was a highlight of Thursday’s Tune-Yards performance at Pier 54 in New York City, and judging from this clip of “Do You Want To Live?” Friday’s Pitchfork set was no different. Read more…
Amy, Amy, Amy. We thought you were getting better, not worse! Just two weeks ago, after a short stint in rehab and a clear-headed, successful performance at London’s 100 Club, it was reported that the British songbird’s sobriety was finally on the mend. But in Serbia on Saturday night, Winehouse kicked-off what was supposed to be her European tour, showing up visibly inebriated on stage. Not only could a stumbling Amy barely sing for her Belgrade audience of 20,000 ticket-holders, but her cringe-worthy “performance” was heavily booed in what local press is referring to as “the worst in the history of Belgrade.” An apologetic statement has been issued from her camp, speaking to the incident and canceling her next two shows in Turkey and Greece: Read more…
Both People and Rolling Stone have feature interviews with Aerosmith frontman and American Idol judge Steven Tyler this week, in which he opens up about his drug relapse during recording sessions for what would have been a new Aerosmith record, and the joy of his drug-free last eighteen months.
The characteristically outspoken Tyler told Rolling Stone he was useless in the studio: “I couldn’t sing, really, because I was snorting everything, and it f**ks up your throat.” But even while speaking to People in drug slang, he’s happy to be successfully rehabilitated: “If you think going out in front of high-def cameras and millions of people I’m not high on adrenaline, you’re crazy.”
Meanwhile, in a NY Times Home and Garden profile of his Hollywood Hills home, Moby spends little time on the physical details of his “castle,” instead speaking extensively?and quite frankly?about his struggles with alcohol abuse. (“For a good 15 years in New York,” he tells the Times, “I was sort of tragically notorious for always being the last person to leave the bar.”) He wryly likens his East Coast self to Charles Foster Kane and psychoanalyzes himself on the record as a way of explaining a loneliness that he tried to escape with alcohol, promiscuity, dance music, and money.
But with the help of sobriety (and his West Coast relocation), Moby has aimed to conquer his existential malaise by facing it head on?not least artistically, with Destroyed, a new album that he describes as “broken-down electronic music for empty cities at 2 a.m.” Destroyed is due out May 17.
Two weeks ago, our sister site, The Fab Life, counted down the Top 25 Fictional Stoners in Cinematic History. Of course, it’s a lot easier to be famous for using an illegal substance if you’re not real. So we thought for 4/20 we’d honor (or at least acknowledge) some of today’s most vocal pro-marijuana musicians.
Khalifa’s big hit may be “Black and Yellow,” but he’s been pretty busy using much of the money, attention, and goodwill he gained from that song to rap about weed (though not, surprisingly, on his newest single “Roll Up”). His newest album is even called Rolling Papers. When even “The Lonely Stoner,” Kid Cudi, has given up marijuana, Wiz is holding fast, even writing a sidebar for Rolling Stone‘s Best of Rock 2011 issue, feting OG Kush as “Best Weed.”