Changes to the monthly competitions

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Discourse & Dischord

The Good

Stop. GRAMMY time.

Shall we begin with Lady Gaga’s entrance by egg? Or perhaps make mention of her shoulder zits? Then there’s Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony’s uncomfortably terse stage banter. And let’s not forget Arcade Fire’s amazing upset for “Album of the Year.” So much to discuss! Maybe we’ll just let the folks at “Best Week Ever” handle all the GRAMMY highlights.

James Earl Jones recites Justin Bieber lyrics

Not to be outdone by Gordon Pinsent, actor James Earl Jones dug deep to bring some emotional resonance to Bieber’s “Baby” on “The Gayle King Show.” How will fans react to this treatment of the Bieber canon? If it’s anything like their outrage over Biebs losing the “Best New Artist” GRAMMY to Esperanza Spalding,  JEJ better guard his Wikipedia page.

The Bad

Beyoncé and Jay-Z headed towards the big D?

Could there be trouble in HOVA-ville? A new report claims that Jay-Z and Beyonce Knowles have agreed to a trial separation due to marital discord. The point of contention: Beyoncé’s uterus. JayZ wants to put a little jigga in there, Beyoncé is less than crazy in love with that idea.

The Ugly

David LaChapelle sues Rihanna

Being banned in eleven countries was an inauspicious start for Rihanna’s “S&M” video. Now the singer is being sued by celebrity photographer David LaChapelle, who claims the video copied eight of his images. Is Rihanna perfectly good at being bad after all? Looks like a judge will decide.

Miscellany

Discourse & Dischord

The Good

Sleater-Kinney’s Carrie Brownstein debuts sketch comedy “Portlandia” with SNL’s Fred Armisen

Carrie Brownstein may have stepped away as singer/guitarist for seminal rock band Sleater-Kinney in 2006, but that doesn’t mean she’s through with entertaining. Brownstein’s comedic chops are on full display in IFC’s new sketch comedy series “Portlandia,” which also stars SNL’s Fred Armisen. The show uses the city’s socially conscious, granola-guzzling population as inspiration for hilarious skits on organic farming, adult hide-n-seek leagues, and public bathrooms laws. The series debuts tonight, but if you can’t wait that long you can see all 22 minutes below.

Cee Lo Green interviews Cee Lo Green

Taking makeup cues from the Wayan Brothers in White Chicks, psychedelic-soul singer/rapper Cee Lo Green transformed into James Lipton to interview himself for Spinner. Is he as creepy as the real James Lipton? We’ll let you decide.

The Bad

Broadcast’s Trish Keenan dies

This week brought sad news for fans of British electronic band Broadcast. Singer Trish Keenan passed away due to complications arising from pneumonia. She was 42. To see a collection of Broadcast videos, head over to Pitchfork.

Kanye makes joke, joke bombs, Kanye is saddened

You know when you tell a joke and you get stony silence, then someone else tells the same joke and the audience roars? Kanye West feels your pain. Despite the fact that everyone in the Twitterverse was plundering West’s infamous “Imma let you finish” sound bite, when the rapper tried to reclaim the quote for himself, tweeting “Yo Britney, I’m really happy for you and Imma let you be #1, but me and Jay-Z’s single is one of the best songs of all time! LOL,” some folks didn’t see the humor. Soon magazines like Us Weekly were accusing West of starting a war with Britney Spears. “I thought LOL signified a joke,” he grumbled in a long Twitter rant. Sorry, Yeezy. Forget trying to be funny and stick to writing the best songs of all time.

The Ugly

Vince Neil busted for drunk driving

Motley Crue singer Vince Neil was arrested at 11:15 p.m. on Sunday for drunk driving after being pulled over in his Lamborghini on the Las Vegas Strip. Sounds about right.

Christina Aguilera passes out in Jeremy Renner’s bed?

In an epic party foul, Christina Aguilera reportedly crashed Jeremy Renner’s 40th birthday party and then passed out drunk in his bed. This makes us feel infinitely better about anything we’ve ever done.

Miscellany

Discourse & Dischord

The Good

Bjork holds three-day karaoke protest


Everyone’s got their own way of protesting. Some people stage sit-ins, some people march, some people change their Facebook profile photo. Bjork—she sings. Along with tens of thousands of people. The Icelandic artist held a three-day karaoke contest in Reykjavik to protest a Canadian company’s planned takeover of Iceland’s HS Orka power plant. More than 45,000 people have signed a petition asking the government to reconsider its stance on the takeover. Which is really impressive, but we think sending the government a singing telegram, maybe wearing this, might be more fitting.

Black Keys want to take Tegan and Sara out


Indie cupid has plunged his arrow in none other than the Black Keys. In an interview with Spinner, drummer Patrick Carney says he and singer/guitarist Dan Auerbach want to take Canadian duo Tegan and Sara out on a date. The location? None other than Canadian donut franchise Tim Hortons. The problem? Oh, nothing. Except maybe the fact that their dates are lesbians. That’s all.

The Bad

Grown man gets Justin Bieber tattooed on his thigh


To repeat, a “Grown Man” got a tattoo of Justin Bieber on his thigh.

He’s … a grownup. With a tattoo of a 16-year-old hearthrob. On his thigh. Forever.

We have no words.

Kanye asks for a cover that would be outlawed


In an interview with The New Yorker, artist George Condo lets it slip that Kanye West asked him to create an album cover that would be banned for My Beautiful, Dark, Twisted Fantasy. Which makes it especially poignant that no one banned it. West even tried to kindle some controversy by falsely accusing Walmart of banning his album. No dice. Guess My Beautiful, Dark, Twisted Fantasy will go down in history as having the most banal cover of all time. Sorry Yeezy!

The Ugly

T.I. lands in hot water after getting frisky with his wife


T.I. and his wife didn’t keep their hands where guards could see them during a supervised visit at the big house this week. The overly amorous pair had their visit cut short after prison staff spotted them getting a little too feely. T.I. was moved to tighter security housing as punishment for the offense. Hopefully one with cold showers.

Miscellany

Discourse & Dischord

The Good

New Muppets film to feature Lady Gaga, Jack Black, Dave Grohl

Last time we saw the Muppets, they were busy reuniting Gonzo with his alien family in Muppets From Space. Who knows what sort of crazy capers they’ll undertake in the new Muppets movie, currently in production. What we do know is that Jason Segel wrote the script and Dave Grohl, Jack Black, Lady Gaga and Ricky Gervais will all reportedly make an appearance. Grohl will step in for Animal behind the drum kit. No word on what role Gaga will be playing. Our guesses are either Janice’s long lost sister or a Kermit-obsessed version of Buffalo Bill from “Silence of the Lambs.”

Amy Winehouse nets $1.55 million for private concert

Amy Winehouse delivered a two-hour private performance to Russian businessmen—her first full singing gig in two years. The price tag? A cool $1.55 million. One member of the crowd called her performance “fantastic.” They drink a lot of vodka in Russia, right? Just asking.

The Bad

Captain Beefheart dies

Captain Beefheart, an influential icon of the ‘60s psychedelic scene, died from complications of multiple sclerosis this week. He was 69. Beefheart, born Don Van Vliet, garnered attention for the often eccentric, always innovative rock he created with his Magic Band, a rotating roster of musicians. Beefheart spent his later years as a reclusive painter in California. R.I.P.

Kings of Leon’s tour bus catches on fire

Kings of Leon had to cancel their concert at London’s O2 arena on Tuesday after two tour buses caught fire in the loading area of the venue and were burned out completely. Six people were treated for smoke inhalation. No word on the source of the inferno, but reportedly the band’s sex is on fire, so you do the math.

The Ugly

Lady Gaga bites head off Santa

Ozzy Osbourne will forever live in infamy for once biting the head off a bat in concert. Now Lady Gaga has her own tale of stage carnage to add to her legacy. At a show in London last Friday, a fan threw a stuffed Santa Claus doll onto the stage. Gaga responded by biting into its neck while shouting, “I hate the holidays. I’m alone and miserable you fucking stuffed little toy.” After beheading St. Nick with the heel of her shoe, the singer resumed her performance. And that, little children, is how Santa Claus died.

Miscellany

Discourse & Dischord

The Good

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame winners announced

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced its selection for 2011 inductees this week. Those who made the cut: Neil Diamond, Alice Cooper, Tom Waits, Dr. John and Darlene Love. Eligible nominees like Bon Jovi will have to live on a prayer for another year.

OK Go lead GPS parade around Los Angeles

For their latest video caper OK Go took to the streets with their fans, friend and total strangers for a parade along a 8.5-mile route in LA. But not just any route, a route that spelled out “OK Go” using the Range Rover’s “Pulse of the City App.” Check it out below.

The Bad

Remember when Miley Cyrus was busted smoking salvia out of bong?

Scandal erupted last week when a video emerged showing Miley Cyrus smoking the legal herb salvia out of a bong. Billy Ray Cyrus poured out his achy breaky heart on Twitter, and the blogosphere erupted in posts about Miley going bad. This week Miley was spotted partying on the town in New Orleans with Kelly Osbourne. See guys, nothing to worry about!

The Ugly

Fans outraged over documentary on Michael Jackson’s autopsy

A documentary called “Michael Jackson’s Autopsy: What Really Killed Michael Jackson” is scheduled to air next month in the United Kingdom on the Discovery Channel, enraging some of the King of Pop’s fans. Because the show’s medical examiners don’t have access to Jackson’s actual body, an “anatomically correct synthetic cadaver” will be used to demonstrate the autopsy instead. Fans cried foul, saying Jackson should be allowed a minimum of decency and respect. We cry foul for that reason, and cause face it, the thought of a naked Michael Jackson cadaver is kind of foul.

Miscellany

Discourse & Dischord

The Good

Michael Jackson video teaser released

Michael Jackson’s posthumous album, MICHAEL, is slated for release on Tuesday. The record features collaborations with artists like 50 Cent and Lenny Kravitz, but because many of the recordings were works in progress at the time of Jackson’s death, Sony’s release of MICHAEL has been fraught with controversy. However, watching the new video teaser for Jackson’s duet with Akon, “Hold My Hand,” makes it hard to be bummed about the record. Check it out below.

Rolling Stone’s top 30 albums & 50 singles of 2010

Rolling Stone has released their list of the top 30 albums and 50 singles of 2010. And now we have a million questions. Kid Rock beating Kings of Leon and Spoon—you sure about that Rolling Stone? Taylor Swift—sure, she can sell records, but does she really deserve the Number 13 position? And, Kanye West, your album is great and all, but seriously, Arcade Fire had one of the best albums of all time. Seriously.

The Bad

“Dead” celebrities back to life on Twitter

In support of the AIDS charity Keep A Child Alive, Alicia Keys, one of the organization’s founders, helped kick off the “Digital Death” campaign on Twitter last week. Keys, along with celebrities like Kim Kardashian, Lady Gaga and Justin Timberlake, swore off tweeting until a $1 million fundraising goal was met. The campaign got off to a slow start, with the public donating less half that sum after a week. Just when it looked like their silence would be permanent, frustrated celebs with itchy Twitter fingers recruited philanthropist Stewart Rahr, who swooped in to pony up the $500,000+ difference. Great news for Keep A Child Alive, bad news for those of us enjoying the Kim and Khloe Kardashian silent treatment.

LCD Soundsystem to stop touring in 2011

James Murphy told Spinner this week, during the Art Basel festival in Miami, that his band LCD Soundsystem will stop touring permanently after this year. “We’re done being just a pro rock ensemble,” Murphy says. From now on, “Daft Punk Is Playing at My House” will have to only play at your house.

The Ugly

Morrissey delivers the diss to Bryan Ferry

When Morrissey found out that Roxy Music frontman Bryan Ferry, whose album For Your Pleasure he listed as one of his top 13 favorite records, was an avid hunter, he did what any combative vegetarian would do and penned an open letter taking Ferry and a handful of other British celebs to task. Calling Ferry’s son Otis “Odious Ferry” and Ferry himself “Bryan Ferret,” The Smith’s singer apologized to fans for his support of Roxy Music in years past. Hunters, beware. To Morrissey, you are the quarry.

Miscellany

Discourse & Dischord

The Good

Thom Yorke building massive human statue to fight climate change

Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke is looking to recruit 2,000 volunteers to build a massive human statue to fight climate change this weekend. The statue will fight climate change by punching the clouds with its 4,000 fists. OK, not really. It’s more of a symbolic fight. Yorke’s human statue is one of 16 planned around the world to be photographed by a satellite from space. The event will raise awareness around the United Nations’ meeting in Cancun, Mexico, to discuss an international climate treaty.

Arcade Fire and Spike Jonze unite for “The Suburbs” video

Arcade Fire has released their video for “The Suburbs,” and it’s not a cheery tale of Bed, Bath & Beyond and Applebee’s. The video is directed by Spike Jonze, and, much like his work in Where The Wild Things Are, combines youth, nostalgia, and unexpected violence. Watch it below.

The Bad

Quincy Jones gives Kanye West the big diss

Don’t tell Quincy Jones that he has anything in common with Kanye West. Them’s fighting words. In an interview with Us Magazine, Jones responded to the observation that he and West are both hugely successful producers with total disdain. “No way. Did he write for a symphony orchestra? Does he write for a jazz orchestra? Come on man, he’s just a rapper.” West has yet to respond to this ego bruise publicly, but if Twitter suddenly explodes, you’ll know why.

The Ugly

Kings of Leon looking for ugly people

Calling all pockmarked, scarred and sundry busted people! Kings of Leon are looking for individuals with physical deformities for their next video shoot. Has anyone ever made a joke about your face breaking their camera? Do horses whinny when you pass by? Capitalize on your plainness—the band is paying $300 a day. Uh … are they sure this isn’t the video for “Use Somebody”?

Miscellany

Teen Spirit

Alexandria Maillot

Alexandria Maillot is far from an ordinary teenager. Unless you consider graduation at 16, followed by music awards, performances overseas, songwriting credits on gold-selling records, and spot in Oprah’s Search for the World’s Smartest and Most Talented Kids “ordinary.” Think of her as a more grounded version of Miley Cyrus—an artist blessed with an equally powerful voice, a pretty face, but more likely to spend her free time volunteering with charities than trolling the streets in minuscule jean shorts. Hope and the power of positive thinking are common themes in Maillot’s songcraft. “All We Need” is a mercurial little number that segues from a doleful piano intro to a sailing power pop chorus. The message may be sappy but it’s sweet: You’re all good as long as you have a hand to hold. “Revolution” is soulful pop with a percolating bass line, where Maillot invites her fellow youth to rebuild society. If all the feel-goodness makes you queasy, put on “Confession” for a sexier, edgier kiss-off. Maillot is wholesome, sure. But she’s not squeaky clean. And in that one regard, she’s a completely ordinary teen.

Discourse & Dischord

The Good

Gordon Pinsent reads excerpts from Justin Bieber memoir

Get your LOLs right here, folks. First up, a memoir written by a 16-year-old. Ha! And, it’s entitled “First Step 2 Forever.”  The laughs don’t end there. Here’s a video of the esteemed actor Gordon Pinsent doing a dramatic reading of Justin Bieber’s riveting tome. Enjoy—we did.

Alicia Keys gives birth to Egypt

Not the country! That would be sooo 3150 BC. Alicia Keys and husband Swizz Beatz (born Kasseem Dean) welcomed a baby boy this week named Egypt Dauode Dean. May he grow up to become a very successful pharaoh.

The Bad

Glastonbury Festival shelved for 2012 due to toilet shortage

We wouldn’t wish more port-a-potties on anyone, but this does give us pause. England’s Glastonbury Festival has been canceled for 2012 due to the Olympics taking place in London that same year … and the ensuing toilet shortage. Athletes are such loo-sers.

Kanye’s album cover art banned? He wishes.

Kanye West is a legend in his own mind. But he may also be a victim in his own mind as well. The rapper griped on his Twitter page that Wal-mart had censored the cover art for his upcoming album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Tweeted the rapper: “So Nirvana can have a naked human being on they [sic] cover but I can’t have a PAINTING of a monster with no arms and a polka dot tail and wings.” Oh the injustice! Is it too much to ask for a man to be left in peace with his armless polka dot monster? IS SOCIETY SO INTOLERANT—what’s that? Wal-mart didn’t censor the cover? Oh. Uh, never mind. As you were.

The Ugly

Cantankerous singer pegs bottle at Mumford and Sons

Mark E. Smith of the band The Falls was getting ready for his set at a Dublin music festival when a terrible caterwauling struck his ears. Next door, the hugely successful English folk band, Mumford and Sons, was warming up. “I just thought they were a load of retarded Irish folk singers,” Smith explains. So, understandably, he threw a bottle at them to encourage them to silence their plaintive yawping. The bottle fell short of its target and Mumford and Sons went on to sell one trillion records.

Miscellany

Discourse & Dischord

The Good

T.I. helps talk down jumper in Atlanta

T.I.

T.I.’s getting a head start on the community service he may face for his parole violation last month. The rapper helped police talk down a suicidal jumper from a 22-story high rise in Atlanta on Monday afternoon, arriving on the scene after hearing about the incident on the radio. Using his gift of persuasion (and rhyming?), the rapper was able to coax the man down, who was then taken to the hospital. Moral of the story: Great things can happen when you put down the sizzurp.

American Music Awards nominations announced

Eminem

Slim Shady is poised come home with more trophies than Lady Gaga at this year’s AMAs. Eminem is nominated for five awards along with country act Lady Antebellum. Lady Gaga will have to make do with her Artist of the Year and Best Female Artist nominations. And we will have to make do with our nomination for nothing.

Help determine who will be the winner by casting your vote here:

The Bad

Adam Lambert’s Malaysian concert protested

Adam Lambert

He kissed a boy, and he liked it … but Malaysia didn’t. Pop star Adam Lambert has been asked to alter the content of his upcoming performance in Malaysia amid protests from the Pan Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS), who claimed the show promotes a “gay lifestyle.” Lambert responded to that claim via Twitter, saying, “Does my show ‘promote the gay lifestyle’? It promotes living ANY lifestyle that includes the freedom to seek love and intimacy. Gay, straight, bi, young or old. It’s all inclusive.” That said, Lambert promised to put his lips on lockdown for the show.

The Ugly

Die Antwoord versus Bristol Palin

In one corner we have South African freak rappers Die Antwoord and their new video for “Evil Boy.” In the other, Bristol Palin in a video by Alaskan hard rock group Static Cycle. What’s creepier—an albino girl in a cloak of rats, or Bristol Palin dressed like a Russian pretending to be Mother Nature? You tell us.

Miscellany

 


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