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Discourse & Dischord

OSBlog02_Discourse_Feb10_Week2
The Good

New MGMT album inspired by Lady Gaga, Kanye

MGMT

MGMT

After the wild success of their debut album, Oracular Spectacular, MGMT has turned to new sources of inspiration for their upcoming follow-up, Congratulations. In an interview with Spin.com, Andrew VanWyngarden cites Lady Gaga, Kanye West and surfing as influences for the duo’s new material. The fame that followed Oracular Spectacular turned Van Wyngarden and Ben Goldwasser into “the people we were making fun of.” With Gaga and Kanye serving as a double-headed muse, will MGMT now turn into the people the rest of us make fun of ?

Sade releases first album in 10 years

Sade: Soldier of Love

Sade: Soldier of Love

This week Sade released Soldier of Love, her first studio album since 2000’s Lover’s Rock. Already the LP has hit the Number 1 spot in the iTunes digital store. Has the singer’s soothing coo richened with age? Click here to find out.

The Bad

Michael Jackson’s doctor formally charged

Dr. Conrad Murray

Dr. Murray

Dr. Conrad Murray was charged on Monday with involuntary manslaughter in the June 25th death of Michael Jackson. Murray entered a plea of not guilty in a courtroom that included Joe, Katherine, Jermaine, LaToya, Tito, Randy and Jackie Jackson. Bail was set at $75,000 — three times the normal limit for such a charge but probably petty cash for the King of Pop’s doctor.

White Stripes seeing red over Super Bowl ad

The White Stripes

The White Stripes

After the US Air Force aired a commercial during the Super Bowl with a soundtrack that sounded suspiciously like “Fell in Love with a Girl,” the White Stripes took to their Web site to cry foul. “The White Stripes take strong insult and objection to the Air Force Reserve’s presenting this advertisement with the implication that we licensed one of our songs to encourage recruitment during a war that we do not support.” The Air Force has since put the brakes on the ad, saying they commissioned an original score from an outside agency and that any similarities were unintentional. In other words, “they don’t consider it cheating.”

The Ugly

John Mayer kisses and tells, again

John Mayer Jessica Simpson

Mayer and Simpson

The phrases “John Mayer interview” and “TMI” are eternally linked. In this case the victim of his loose lips isn’t Jennifer Aniston, but Jessica Simpson, African American women in general and David Duke. In his interview with Playboy, Mayer dishes on sex with Simpson, and his member’s distaste for women of color. It’s pretty awful, which means it’s a great read. Here’s a link to the highlights.

Miscellany

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Discourse & Dischord

OSBlog02_Discourse_Feb10_Week1

The Good

Entire music industry enlisted for remake of “We Are The World”

wearetheworld

We Are The World: Part Deux

Right, maybe not everyone. They didn’t invite Ke$ha, for example. (Possibly because she brushes her teeth with Jack Daniels.) But at least 100 of your favorite musicians took part in a remake of the famous 1984 musical collaboration, “We Are The World.” Quincy Jones, who produced the first version, and Lionel Richie, who co-wrote it, recruited stars ranging from Barbara Streisand to Lil Wayne to take part in a new rendition to benefit victims of the earthquake in Haiti. The event went down at Jim Henson Studio in Hollywood on Monday, and will be broadcast on February 12 on NBC prior to the opening ceremony for the Winter Olympics in Vancouver. Check out the video here.

Simon Cowell leads charity recording of “Everybody Hurts”

Simon Cowell

Simon Cowell

Quincy and Lionel weren’t the only ones busy producing benefit singles for the victims of Haiti. Simon Cowell enlisted the help of star talent as well for a recording of the REM song “Everybody Hurts.” Susan Boyle, Bon Jovi, Mariah Carey, Michael Bublé and a dozen or so more performers lent their voices to the track, which is already playing on UK airwaves and will be available for download on February 7th. Take a listen here.

The Bad

Fall Out Boy = dunzo?

Fall Out Boy

Fall Out Boy

Looks like it. In an interview with Spin, frontman Patrick Stump confirmed rumors pretty succinctly when he said, “I’m not in Fall Out Boy right now.” This statement echoes a similar one made by Pete Wentz on his Twitter page in which the bassist says, “I can’t imagine playing in FOB again.” R.I.P. until the reunion tour, fellas.

The Ugly

Courtney Love and Mariah Carey (almost) collaborate

Courtney Love

Courtney Love

In the Diva Clash of 2010 that never was, Courtney Love reveals that she came this close to collaborating with Mariah Carey on “Samantha,” the first track off the new Hole album “Nobody’s Daughter.” Also revealed in the interview: Mimi likes to take up a lot of room in the photobooth.

Miscellany

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Discourse & Dischord

OSBlog02_Discourse_Jan10_Week3The Good

Madonna, others join “Hope for Haiti Now” concert

Madonna

Madonna

Jesus Luz’s favorite cougar lady will join an endless roster of stars for the “Hope for Haiti Now: A Global Benefit for Earthquake Relief,” which airs this Friday at 7 p.m. CT/ 8 p.m. ET. The event will be telecast from New York, Los Angeles and London, and features musical performances by Haitian artists Emeline Michel and Wyclef Jean as well as Bruce Springsteen, Jennifer Hudson, Mary J. Blige, Shakira, Sting, Alicia Keys, Christina Aguilera, Dave Matthews, John Legend, Justin Timberlake, Stevie Wonder, Taylor Swift, Keith Urban, Kid Rock, Sheryl Crow, Beyoncé, Coldplay, Bono, The Edge, Jay-Z and Rihanna. Or, to put it another way, every musician in the world.

For more information on how to get involved, call 877-99-HAITI, text “GIVE” to 50555 or mail Hope For Haiti Now Fund, Entertainment Industry Foundation, 1201 W. 5th St., Suite T-700, Los Angeles, CA 90017.

OurStage will be streaming the Hope For Haiti Now telethon live Friday, January 22 at 8 p.m. ET.

PS22 chorus does it again

PS22 Chorus

PS22 Chorus

Sometimes it seems like the only news is bad news. If life starts getting you down, know that you can always turn to the kids at PS22 Elementary School on Staten Island to put a smile back on your face. Here they are singing Jay-Z’s “Empire State of Mind.” Enjoy.

The Bad

Courtney gets maternal
You know you’re in trouble when your actions leave Courtney Love feeling like a mother. Forget worrying about her own spawn, Love is more bugged out about pop’s sloppy party girl, Ke$ha, who’s just a few years older than her own daughter. In a long series of tweets on her Twitter page, Love voiced her concern that Ke$ha was being “molded into something not her that will fail,” and that she wants “to save her.” Frances Bean, say it with us: Physician, heal thyself.

Killers announce hiatus

Killers

Killers

The Killers have announced they will go on indefinite hiatus after wrapping up their tour in Australia in February. Citing exhaustion after 6 years of steady rocking, the group will take some time to focus on other areas of life that we “normal” people take for granted: watching “Jersey Shore” marathons in our living room with no pants on.

The Ugly

John Mayer’s Rolling Stone interview

John Mayer

John Mayer

Listen to John Mayer as he spins a long and self-gratifying yarn about his near misses with Vegas strippers, how it broke his heart to dump dear old Jen (again) and his love for Rosie Palmer. Put it this way, when he’s not stroking his own ego, he’s stroking something else.

Miscellany

Discourse & Dischord

OSBlog02_Discourse_Jan10_Week2The Good

Blonde Redhead score new Dungeons & Dragons documentary

Dragon Tamers: Blonde Redhead

Dragon Tamers: Blonde Redhead

Attention wizards and dwarves: Put down your copy of Fiendish Codex 1: Hordes of the Abyss and listen up. A new documentary on Dungeons & Dragons entitled Dungeon Masters is scheduled for release on Amazon’s Video On Demand on February 12. Exult! Even better — the elder statesmen of hipster rock, Blonde Redhead, scored the entire film. Not even a meldshaper could produce a more potent jolt to your soul. Click here for the trailer.

Kings of Leon release line of pricey hipster garb
Those in the market for expensive bandanas and plaid shirts will love the new line by Kings of Leon, KOLxS2A. Nothing retails for under $100, but it’s worth the price to look like THE COOLEST ROCK BAND IN THE WORLD. The band’s line of clothes will be sold exclusively in the UK at The Shop at Bluebird, Chelsea, and can be seen here. We wonder if the fabric on those pants is flame retardant in case your sex catches on fire.

The Bad

Jay Reatard dies

Jay Reatard

Jay Reatard

A sad day for fans … Jimmy Lee Lindsey Jr., better known as lo-fi garage punk artist Jay Reatard, passed away on Wednesday in his home in Memphis at the age of 29. Reatard was signed to Matador Records and had released a string of successful singles in recent months. R.I.P.

Simon Cowell announces he’ll leave Idol
Simon Cowell, America’s favorite purveyor of caustic one-liners, announced this week that he will leave American Idol after this season to serve as executive producer and judge on The X Factor, a show he created originally in England which debuts stateside on Fox in the fall. Does losing its biggest (and crankiest) personality signal the demise of the most popular television program in the country? Somewhere Paula Abdul is giddy at the thought— or maybe it’s just the meds.

The Ugly

M.I.A. rips NYT a new one

Twit Fit: M.I.A.

Twit Fit: M.I.A.

When the New York Times named Sri Lanka the Number 1 destination in its “31 Places to Go in 2010,” Sri Lankan native and global pop phenom M.I.A. responded by posting horrific photos of atrocities from the country’s civil war on her Twitter page. “F**K New York Times! Do you really think you need to go here on vacation?” she tweeted. “Get your priorities straight.” Shocking, but point taken. In other Twitter news, Paris Hilton just had an “amazing” facial.

Miscellany

Discourse & Dischord

OSBlog02_Discourse_Jan10_Week1
The Good

All the colors of the rainbow set to perform at this month’s GRAMMYs

Tickled Pink

P!nk: Tickled

The list of artists slated to perform at the 52nd Annual GRAMMY Awards on January 31 reads like a box of crayons: P!nk, Green Day, Black Eyed Peas, Zac Brown and the always-technicolor Lady Gaga, who was added to the schedule this week. If the committee adds Yellowcard and Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, well, color us happy.

Kelly Clarkson joins Twitter, the masses follow

Don’t be jealous, but Kelly Clarkson just joined Twitter two days ago and she already has more followers than you. See for yourself.

Michael Cera stars in new Islands video

michael cera with camera

Hip to be Square: Michael Cera

You may not know who Islands are, but you probably know Michael Cera, who played the adorable geek on “Arrested Development,” the adorable geek in “Juno” and the adorable geek in “Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist.” Cera tries out a new character (adorable druggie) in the new Islands video for “No You Don’t.” In it, Cera pops some pills, jogs aimlessly, unsuccessfully climbs a tree and gets hugged by Elvis — not to ruin the ending. Watch it here.

The Bad

Katy Perry is off the market (again)

Thank You India: Brand and Perry

Thank You India: Brand and Perry

Katy Perry engaged to Travis McCoy? That’s so 2009. Katy Perry engaged to Russell Brand — totally 2010! The American pop singer and her British beau announced their engagement this week following a romantic trip to India. (2011 prediction: Katy Perry and The Situation.)

The Ugly

Freaky Fruit
New Peaches video for “Relax” off her upcoming album “I Feel Cream.” Enough said.

Miscellany

Discourse & Dischord

OSBlog02_Discourse_Dec09_Week5

The Good

Van Morrison adds another to his brood (not a brown-eyed girl)

It’s true —Van Morrison is still alive and actually quite virile. This week the reclusive, 64-year-old singer became a father for the fourth time when his manager/partner Gigi Lee gave birth to a son, who the couple named George Ivan Morrison III.

New Missy Elliot Track leaked

missy-elliott

Missy Elliott

Speaking of reclusive, Missy Elliott has been keeping a low-profile of late, finishing up work on her long-anticipated album, Block Party. The hip-hoptrix joined forced with Lil Wayne on the track “All 4 U,” which leaked unfinished onto the interwebs this week.  Check out the rough mix here.

The Bad

Vic Chesnutt dies on Christmas Day

interview-vic-chesnutt

Vic Chesnutt

Athens, Georgia singer-songwriter Vic Chestnutt died on December 25th following an apparent overdose of prescription muscle relaxers. Confined to a wheelchair since his teens, Chestnutt struggled with depression for much of his life, but remained a prolific musician. In 2009 he released two albums, At The Cut and Skitter On Take Off and collaborated with several artists, from Widespread Panic to Sparklehorse.

Avenged Sevenfold drummer dies

Rev

The Rev

Not to crush your spirits even further, but the music world suffered another loss on Monday when Avenged Sevenfold drummer James Owen Sullivan, a.k.a. “The Rev,” passed away in his home in Southern California. Local authorities say Sullivan appears to have died of natural causes, but his death is still under investigation.

The Ugly

Lil Wayne heads to the clink with a bang

Lil Wayne (born Dwayne Carter) will likely be spending a year behind bars for his conviction on a weapons possession charge in October. But, he’s not going softly into that good night. This Monday the rapper performed in his hometown of New Orleans to a crowd of thousands as part of his self-described farewell tour. Lil Wayne’s next album, Rebirth, is due for release Feb. 1. After New Orleans, he is scheduled to perform in Lafayette, Texas, Arkansas and Mississippi before being sentenced in February. We bet “a milli” they won’t let him bring his auto-tuner to prison.

Miscellany

Discourse & Dischord

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The Good

White Stripes release song from tour documentary

the-white-stripes-leibovitz

Stoking the fires of anticipation for the March release of the White Stripes tour documentary, Under Great White Northern Lights, the band has released one song, “Let’s Shake Hands” as well as a trailer for the film. If you like bowling and the elderly, you’ll love this. Take a look.

James Mercer and Danger Mouse get slightly less stealthy

As we recently told you, the new Danger Mouse/James Mercer project Broken Bells has become an epic game of cat and mouse for curious fans. This week the duo released snippets of their album’s first single, “The High Road,” allowing listeners to finally hear Mercer’s vocals. Click here to check it out.

The Bad

Lady Gaga leaks

lady gaga the fame monster

It’s the holidays and no one wants their Christmas spirit dampened by sad stories so let’s keep this section short. So we’ll just mention that this week another Lady Gaga single was leaked on the interwebs, accidentally or intentionally we’ll never know. Last week it was “Reloaded,” this week it’s “Kandy Life.” The track samples The Chordettes’ 1958 hit “Lollipop.” Is it delightfully sweet, or decidedly rotten? Decide for yourself.


The Ugly

Thom Yorke rants

060705-thom-yorke

Thom Yorke got himself a press pass and snuck into the United Nations Climate Change conference in Copenhagen. Now he’s taking world leaders to task on his band’s blog, Dead Air Space. Looks like the Radiohead front man is none too pleased with how they plan to leave Earth for future generations. (Insert “Karma Police” quip. Laugh track. End scene.)


Miscellany

Ke$ha’s “TiK ToK” rises to top of Billboard Hot 100
Kanye West debuts new Mos Def collaboration “24 Hour Karate School”
• Beyoncé releases  “Black Culture”
Rivers Cuomo offers $208 for production assistance

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Discourse & Dischord

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03092010

Beam 'Em Up: The mysterious Broken Bells ad

The Good

Danger Mouse and James Mercer get “LOST” on fans

Danger Mouse and Shins frontman James Mercer are set to release their first collaboration in early 2010 under the moniker Broken Bells. If that doesn’t get your indie motor running, this will: To hype up the new record, the duo has launched a mysterious viral campaign. Here’s what’s gone down so far:

Those signed up to the Broken Bells mailing list received an email last week written entirely in binary code. Translated it reads, “The high road is hard to find,” which is an obvious reference to one of the album’s tracks, “The High Road.” This week ads started popping up on various Web sites, displaying an image of two shadowy figures. The ads link to several nonsensical Web sites — all anagrams of “Broken Bells.” There, listeners can hear brief snippets of streaming audio, presumably from the record.

I haven’t been this excited since finding out that Ethan Rom was an anagram for “Other Man”!

ABBA decks the hall

Gimme, gimme, gimme airbrushing

Gimme, gimme, gimme airbrushing

The Hall of Fame Foundation has announced that ABBA will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland in March 2010. The Swedish pop group joins Brit rockers The Hollies and Genesis, Detroit rockers the Stooges and reggae legend Jimmy Cliff, who will all be inducted this year as well.

T-Pain and Andy Samberg: On a boat, with crabs

As we mentioned last week, comedy group The Lonely Island has been nominated for a GRAMMY for their duet with T-Pain, “I’m On A Boat.” This week Andy Samberg reunited with T-Pain for a “Funny or Die” sketch in which he uses the T-Pain Auto-Tune app on his iPhone to serenade a hermit crab. Funnies ensue.

For the video, click here.

The Bad

Courtney Love loses custody of Frances Bean

Why so serious, Frances Bean?

Why so serious, Frances Bean?

This week a judge appointed Wendy O’Connor and Kimberly Dawn Cobain — the mother and sister of the late Kurt Cobain — legal guardianship of 17-year-old Frances Bean Cobain. Proving the legal system right, Courtney Love took to the interwebs to voice her frustration, posting a long rant on Facebook which she quickly deleted but not before several Web sites picked it up. Highlights include Love calling Frances Bean “deluded” and “deceptive.” Kind of makes Alec Baldwin look like Father of the Year.

The Ugly

Chris Brown disses Walmart, quits Twitter

Tweeter no more: Chris Brown

Tweeter no more: Chris Brown

Chris Brown stopped by a Walmart in Wallingford, CT and was, um, dismayed to see that the store wasn’t carrying his new record, “Grafitti.” So, like fellow genius Courtney Love, he voiced his concerns on the Internet, tweeting “[Walmart] r blackballing my cd. Not stocking the shelves and lying to customers. What the f—k I gotta do.” [sic] Walmart responded that they were, in fact, selling his CD across the country, including the Wallingford location. Brown then deleted his Twitter account. Now if only Love would do the same …

Rihanna goes topless for GQ

More classiness for you. Begs the question, why is this a headline? A more newsworthy story would be “Rihanna keeps her shirt on for photo shoot.”

Miscellany


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Discourse & Dischord

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The Good

2010 GRAMMY Nominees Announced

imonaboat1

They're (still) on a boat

Last week the 2010 GRAMMY nominees were announced. Beyoncé led the pack with 10 nods, followed by country cutie Taylor Swift, who received 8 nods. Kanye West, the Black Eyed Peas and Maxwell each received 6 nods, while Lady Gaga only received a mere 5. So sad.

The most unusual nomination went to the Andy Samberg-led comedy music group The Lonely Island for their collaboration with T-Pain on “I’m On A Boat.” They’re up against Kanye West and Beyoncé for their song,“Ego.” Oh, this is too good. It’s a perfect storm for a Kanye meltdown. We hope The Lonely Island sails off into the sunset with the GRAMMY, if only to see how Kanye would handle his “Ego” losing to a novelty rap song. Stay tuned for potential fireworks on January 31st.

Jay-Z turns 40

Mr. HOVA himself, Jay-Z, turned 40 on Friday. He celebrated the event by renting a mansion in the Dominican Republic and flying in the likes of M.I.A., Kanye West, Oprah, Alicia Keys and A-Rod on private jets. Weird, same way I celebrated my birthday last year.

The Bad

Rivers Cuomo Injured in Weezer Tour Bus Accident

Weezer singer Rivers Cuomo landed in the hospital on Sunday after his band’s tour bus skidded on ice and ran off the road in upstate New York. The band was travelling from Toronto to Boston for a show at Boston University. Rivers and his assistant were hospitalized with minor injuries —both are expected to make full recoveries.

VH1 releases Kanye West Storytellers

And then things got really weird ...

And then things got really weird

OK, lots of Kanye this week but he just makes it too easy. Remember the rapper’s long-winded, awkward and grandiose performance on VH1 Storytellers last February? Now you can relive the discomfort via a CD/DVD release of Mr. West’s performance in its entirety. The album hits stores on January 5th. Next time you do something embarrassing, just pop this thing in your DVD player—you’ll feel better about yourself in no time.

The Ugly

Lady Gaga Meets Queen Elizabeth

royal variety show england queen elizabeth lady gaga go fug yourself

Queen Elizabeth is the one on the left, if you're wondering

This historic event happened Monday in Blackpool, England, at the Royal Variety Performance. I don’t know why I included it in the “ugly” section. The Queen of England is certainly not unattractive, nor is our Lady of Gaga. They’re both extremely handsome women. That scarlet Elizabethan condom that LG is wearing is another story. I suppose you can’t wear a sequined thong or a Kermit the Frog cloak to meet the Queen. But really. The ladies from Go Fug Yourself agree. I rest my case.

Miscellany
•    She & Him (better known as M Ward and Ben Gibbard’s wife) set to release sophomore album
•    Aziz Ansari and TV On The Radio’s Dave Sitek join forces for hip hop mixtape
•    Noise Pop Festival lineup announced
•    Spin releases Top 40 albums of 2009

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Discourse & Dischord

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Introducing “Discourse & Dischord” a new column wrapping up the week in music and delivering it to you with a big, fat bow every Friday. This week: The Strokes, Adam Lambert, Chris Brown, Susan Boyle and more.




The Good

The Strokes announce first gig since October 2006

the strokes julian casablancas phrazes for the young

Photo Credit: Marcos Hermes

It’s been three years since the Strokes’ last live show, and the interim has been filled with band members’ solo projects (Albert Hammond Jr.’s “Yours To Keep,” Fabrizio Moretti’s work with Little Joy and Julian Casablanca’s latest, “Phrazes For The Young”). So you wouldn’t have to be much of a gambler to wager that a Strokes breakup might be imminent.

This week the band laid any such fears to rest by announcing a headlining gig at England’s Isle of Wight festival on June 11-13. The Strokes will join the likes of Jay-Z, Blondie and Orbital. Jittery mod rock, shaggy hair and monochromatic croons —it’s been too long.

Susan Boyle beats Gaga and Rihanna (not literally)

Susan Boyle's "I Dreamed A Dream"

Susan Boyle

Our Lady of Blackburn emerged at the top of the Billboard charts this week with her Sony debut, I Dreamed A Dream.

The Scottish singer edged out pop front runners including Rihanna, Adam Lambert and Lady Gaga with her album of covers. As you may recall, Boyle’s performance of the title track on the TV show “Britain’s Got Talent” made her an internet sensation.  And she didn’t even have to simulate fellatio on her guitar player (note to self, Lambert).

The Bad

Adam Lambert, Chris Brown and ABC: A Tale in Three Parts

Photo Credit: Djansezian/Getty

Photo Credit: Djansezian/Getty

Speaking of Lambertkins, you may have heard a little bit about his recent AMA performance. In short, he did some naughty things on stage, and subsequently got booted from his upcoming gig on Good Morning America. Network executives claimed Lambert wasn’t wholesome enough for a morning audience, then, in a brain fart heard ‘round the world, replaced him with convicted girlfriend-abuser Chris Brown. Cries of outrage ensued. This week ABC announced that Brown will not be performing on GMA after all, and instead will be interviewed on 20/20 on December 4. Brown’s replacement on GMA will be wholesome Al Qaeda terrorist Syed Hashmi. (Not really, but you never know with these guys.)

The Ugly

Pete Doherty booed off stage for singing Nazi national anthem in Munich. That headline says it all.

Bits and Pieces

•    Phish cover TV On The Radio’s “Golden Age” in Albany

•    Spoon releases album art for upcoming “Transference”

•    New Gorillaz record to feature Lou Reed, Snoop Dogg, Barry Gibb, says Damon Albarn

•    Lady Gaga wipes out

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