Last Lap

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Last Lap: Tuesday’s Odds And Ends In Music News

R.E.M.’s First Demo Surfaces Online
Just two weeks after R.E.M. called it quits, the band’s original three-track demo has surfaced online, digitized from one of the only 400 copies they had made in 1981. Spin has the details. [Spin]

Sneak Peek At Def Jam: The First 25 Years
If you get one music-related oral history this month, get I Want My MTV (seriously, it’s great, and we say that knowing that former MTV execs trash-talk VH1 within). But if you get two, the forthcoming history of Def Jam Recordings looks like another winner. It’s co-written by two former employees of Rick Rubin. GQ has an excerpt detailing the rise of LL Cool J. [GQ]

Method Man Writes Sour Patch Kids Rap For Commercial
This doesn’t quite measure up to the ode to sour cream and onion that Bruno Mars wrote for PopChips, but Method Man’s rap is certainly more than just your ordinary endorsement. Still: did Raekwon turn them down? We’d have asked the Chef first if we were selling edibles. [YouTube]

Tim Armstrong Creates Punk Rock Halloween Musical Anthology Series
That’s a lot of descriptors! But the trailer has us intrigued. In the first episode, Lars Frederiksen, also of Rancid, is visited by the devil. We’re hoping this turns out to be something halfway between American Idiot and Justin Timberlake’s Southland Tales routine (set to The Killers). [VEVO]

[Image: Getty Images]

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Last Lap: Monday’s Odds And Ends In Music News

Beyoncé Reveals “Countdown” Sneak Peek
Ready for a new Beyoncé video? (Is the answer ever not yes?) MTV’s Buzzworthy blog has the first 30 seconds of the video for “Countdown,” which premieres on Thursday. It’s simple yet ultra-stylized: sixties-chic by way of Sesame Street. Random fact: director Adria Petty is the daughter of Tom Petty. [MTV Buzzworthy]

Sting Hosts Sting Tribute Show For Sting’s Birthday
Sting celebrated his 60th birthday with a star-studded concert at the Beacon Theater in New York on Saturday night, with all proceeds going to the Robin Hood Foundation. Bruce Springsteen, Lady Gaga, Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder, Herbie Hancock, Rufus Wainwright, Mary J. Blige and will.i.am gathered to duet with Sting on his own songs. Springsteen was reportedly the crowd favorite despite making the equivalent of a Viagra joke. [Rolling Stone]
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Last Lap: Friday’s Odds And Ends In Music News

Enrique Iglesias Premieres Cameo-Filled, Behind The Music-Inspired Video
Enrique Iglesias is reissuing Euphoria with a DVD and bonus tracks, including the single “I Like How It Feels”?which would be a run-of-the-mill tour video if not for the famous friends featured. But wait?it’s in a sort of flashback, behind-the-scenes style, and features a bit of footage from 1979. Call us narcissistic, but this feels inspired by his July 31 episode of Behind The Music!

Wilco And Blink-182: Rock Dads With New Albums
Jeff Tweedy of Wilco talks to Brian Hiatt about “dad-rock” in Men’s Journal. All three members of Blink-182 mention parenthood in individual interviews with Andy Greene for Rolling Stone. Speaking of which, Mark Hoppus is one of the punk-rock fathers documented in the upcoming film The Other F Word, which now has a trailer. (P.S. Billboard reports that both Wilco’s and Blink 182′s new albums are predicted to debut in the top ten next week.)
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Last Lap: Thursday’s Odds And Ends In Music News

Sylvia Robinson Dies At 75
In 1979, R&B singer Sylvia Robinson avoided bankruptcy and made history by recruiting and recording the Sugarhill Gang, thus releasing the first ever rap record, “Rapper’s Delight.” [NY Times]

Courtney Love To “Set The Record Straight” With Memoir
Courtney Love has signed a deal with William Morrow, a HarperCollins imprint, to write a memoir. Celebrity memoirs aren’t usually up our alley, but if this book’s editors can preserve Love’s, er, unique writing style without sacrificing intelligibility, this as-yet-untitled tell-all will be a 2012 must-read. [AP]
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Last Lap: Wednesday’s Odds And Ends In Music News

VH1 Classic Celebrates The Jewish New Year With 24-Hour Rush Marathon
Rosh Hashanah begins at sundown tonight, and on VH1 Classic, that means one thing: the return of Rush Hashanah! Classic Albums: Rush 2112 & Moving Pictures kicks off the celebration at 7PM ET/PT, followed by the premiere of Rush: Time Machine, a brand-new concert film in which the band plays Moving Pictures in its entirety, at 8PM ET/PT. The Rush marathon continues with Beyond the Lighted Stage, R30, Rush In Rio, and more. [VH1 Classic]

Hold On For New Music From En Vogue
After being stunned by continuing fan support after their appearance at the 2008 BET Music Awards, En Vogue reunited in earnest, but after a successful tour, their appearances got more sporadic. But rumors of new recordings got a big corroboration when the quartet was named as one of the performers at New York’s CMJ Music Marathon next month. [Sound of the City]
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Last Lap: Tuesday’s Odds And Ends In Music News

Conrad Murray Trial For Manslaughter Of Michael Jackson Begins
The doctor, Michael Jackson‘s personal physician, stands accused of administering a fatal dose of propofol to the singer. Prosecutor David Walgren opened his case by showing the jury a postmortem image of Jackson‘s body on a hospital gurney, which The Smoking Gun already has. The proceeds are being televised and webcast, so expect a lot more rubber-necking coverage like this on gossip sites, especially when Murray’s attorney calls Jackson’s eldest son, 14-year-old Prince, to the stand.

Lil Wayne’s VMAs Stretch-Denim Inspires An AP Trendpiece
The attention-grabbing headline Latest Trend in Hip-Hop: Women’s Clothes disguises a lengthy meditation on the performance of masculinity by none other than celebrity stylist June Ambrose, who’s got a show premiering this winter on VH1. And yes, the piece may refer to Kanye West as “hip-hop’s ultimate metrosexual,” but at least it didn’t misidentify Lil Wayne’s bottoms as “jeggings.” [AP]
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Last Lap: Thursday’s Odds And Ends In Music News

Eddie Trunk Of That Metal Show Named One Of The Best Characters On Television
Eddie Trunk, the enthusiastic host of That Metal Show, got a much-deserved nod from Rolling Stone in their list of this season’s Best Characters On Television. The VH1 Classic show is now powering through its eighth season, with no signs of stopping. Sammy Hagar stops by this week: tune in Saturday at 11PM ET. [Rolling Stone]

Facebook Launches Music Partnerships With Spotify And Others
During their F8 keynote today, Facebook announced a slew of music partnerships that will integrate its social elements with the streaming capabilities of Spotify, Soundcloud, Rhapsody, turntable.fm and others, so you can easily see what your friends are streaming and listen along (or be prompted to join whichever service, if you’re not already signed up). The auto-updating timeline/ticker setup inadvertently joins the fight against guilty pleasures, as there doesn’t seem to be a mechanism built in to prevent friends from seeing everything you’ve listened to. [Billboard]
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Last Lap: Wednesday’s Odds And Ends In Music News

Happy Birthday, Leonard Cohen!
Leonard Cohen turns 77 today. To celebrate, read Mike Barthel‘s chronicle of Cohen’s song “Hallelujah” and how it became a television-montage staple, or listen to “Suzanne” or “Everybody Knows,” or pre-order the Complete Leonard Cohen box set that’s on the way. [Pitchfork]

Wilco, Coldplay Live on Letterman
This morning we mentioned that Coldplay had appeared on The Late Show to perform “Paradise.” They also recorded a full concert for Live on Letterman that streamed last night and is now available on demand. Tonight at 8PM ET, Wilco (featuring a newly jolly Jeff Tweedy) will do the same. [Live on Letterman]
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Last Lap: Tuesday’s Odds And Ends In Music News

Rick Ross: Gentleman Rap Boss
Devin Friedman admits that he’s “basically eating out of [Rick Ross's] hand” for the majority of his time with the rapper, but manages some good insights (e.g. “Rick Ross is always both inside and outside a joke he’s making about hip-hop music”) and many more entertaining observations about the kindly boss, whom he describes as “the fat black McConaughey,” in his profile for October’s GQ. [GQ]

Complex On Kreayshawn In Brief
Ernest Baker‘s profile of Kreayshawn for Complex is less intriguing; luckily for us (and you), Katherine St. Asaph sums it up at Popdust. Key facts: she wants to slap The Game in the face, and she bought that Game Boy Color she always wanted after she got signed. [Popdust]
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Last Lap: Monday’s Odds And Ends In Music News

John Mayer Delays Album, Cancels Performances
This weekend John Mayer took to his Tumblr to announce that, as a result of a granuloma, he has been unable to sing, either to lay down the final vocal tracks for his upcoming album Born and Raised (thus delaying its release until 2012) or to perform at the iheartradio Music Festival in Las Vegas or with Tony Bennett in Los Angeles. We wish him a quick recovery. [Tumblr]

Best Coast: “Planet Rock is the best VH1 Rock Doc ever”
Straight from Best Coast‘s Twitter to your eyes. She’s not the only one raving, either. You’ve got at least one more chance to watch or DVR it: tomorrow at 11:00AM ET. And don’t miss the exclusive bonus interview clips. [Twitter]
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