Yes, I’ve been around here for a while. I just recently pushed my archive onto a second page and I make noise in the forums, but this is the first edition of Between the Notes. For my own sanity and to make sure I don’t go drastically wrong with my first step, creating a precedent it might take me months to correct, I’ll keep things brief on the front end. Fortunately, the music making folks have been keeping busy, so there’s plenty of news to push my word count up and keep the editors from thinking I completely slacked off this week.
.:That’s What’s in a Name:.
I’m currently listening to a preview of A Scissors’ Flux Decapitator which is electronica but produced with analog equipment. I suppose it’s nice to know the old stuff can still make sounds that are “modern.” Taking the digital out of digital music is a neat stance to take. It shows that what matters is the impact. So long as you can make the impact you mean to, the tools are irrelevant. In fact, if you can make yourself heard using tools other than what’s expected, all the better. Technology doesn’t not equal innovation.
Don’t get me wrong. I love technology more than most people I know, and I know some real technophiles. I’m a tech apologist. But inspired tech is only a tool. Technology is reliant on predictable results. Art is about creating unexpected results: the shock of recognition or displacement or revelation or any of the other really worthwhile experiences art can create.
It takes a spot in this new order of the universe I’ve been idly kicking around: despite all of the technology that bands use to connect and create, find an audience and distribute the product; despite our shuffles, play lists and mixed CDs — music is an inextricably linear piece of our increasingly non-linear world. Music could be more important than ever in that sense, returning us to the elemental sanity of real time whenever we need to hop off the time warp parade. Even books, which are built to be read from page 1 to page X, contain flash backs and time compression. You can read decades of plot in a week or 30 seconds. Music is fixed in time like nothing else.
So to celebrate that a little and give me a fortnightly reminder of the connection between time, order and music I’m calling this thing “Between the Notes.” It’s from a quote that was attributed to Claude Debussy when I first heard it, though I haven’t been able to confirm it or find it anywhere else. (So maybe I have it completely wrong. I’d welcome help in fact checking this one.) [Edit: since this first published, I found it and corrected the text.]
“Music is the silence between the notes.” Ever feel a quarter rest before a orchestral crash in the pit of your stomach? Ever throw your fist in the air at a concert? Ever roll rather than bob your head when the beat changes? That’s the music. It’s what the notes do to you. You can’t “compress,” “filter,” “shuffle” or “search” it and it is never, ever “random” because it comes from you. Nice, right? Chew on it and let me know what you think.
.:On a Separate Note:.
So on Thursday night I went to see the Arctic Monkeys and last night I went to my nephew’s 8th grade graduation. Fantastic-ness of both events aside, the two share a connection I wouldn’t have thought of had they not followed each other so closely. Having a hit debut has to feel like graduating from 8th grade. You’ve “made it” in one sense, but you’ll still pump gas for a living unless you can turn a hit album into a career.
I was listening to Belly on Wednesday and there was a time I really couldn’t get enough Belly. I loved those two albums. Not that they aren’t still great to hear, but I only played them because King came up via the “album of the day” feature on my MP3 player. Otherwise, it could have been a couple more years before I got back around to it.
I spend a significant amount of energy tracking what’s new in music and really, how much of it is better or even fresher than what’s old? The Arctic Monkeys were fantastic on stage, but the new songs were just kind of there. After a significant amount of time, the Belly struck me as new all over again and it doesn’t sound a bit out of date. I’m not saying InsidePulse should start reviewing 10 year old albums, but if you wanted to scoot over to the forum, I’m game to debate the most lasting releases of 1996. (One vote for Wilco’s Being There to kick things off.)
.:Reading is Fundamental:.
Tom’s Newest Classic from Unearth
KDP in the Kim Chee Place to Be
Gloomchen shoots straight and clears a few things up.
Must read of the week — Mathan on hip hop and songwriting.
Murtz and the real Roxanne
Kiss Kiss, Kiss Kiss
.:Beyond the Notes:.
Ne-Yo Smites Hawthorne Heights
(E! Online) – Ne-Yo’s so sick that he can’t be denied.
The rookie R&B crooner, whose debut single “So Sick” already topped the Billboard Hot 100 radio, now has a number one album to go along with, as In My Own Words topped the Billboard 200, selling 301,000 copies for the week ended Sunday, according to Nielsen SoundScan numbers.
The 23-year-old singer (whose birth certificate reads Shaffer Smith) also saw his follow-up single, “When You’re Mad” become the most added track on urban and rhythm radio stations.
Before his solo release, Ne-Yo had waves in the music biz as a songwriter for the likes of Mary J. Blige, Jamie Foxx, Ruben Suddard, Faith Evans and B2K. He even cowrote the most played song of 2004, Mario’s “Let Me Love You.”
“Ne-Yo’s use of the harmonies and words has touched music lovers from all ages and backgrounds,” Jay-Z, the president and CEO of Def Jam, says in a statement. “He is the true embodiment of the word ‘artist.’ ”
Ne-Yo’s supremancy came at the expense of high-voltage Ohio rockers Hawthorne Heights. Last month, the group called on fans to do whatever they could to deter In My Own Words sales and help make the band’s own If Only You Were Lonely number one. The group said a victory for Hawthorne Heights would be a victory for rock music and independent labels.
However, when the dust settled, the Buckeye State’s finest sold 114,000 copies of If Only You Were Lonely to finish in third place, behind Ne-Yo and last week’s champ, the Disney Channel’s High School Musical soundtrack. Still, the group remains one of the best-selling indie rock acts of the decade. Its 2004 debut, The Silence in Black and White, has sold more than 780,000 copies, an all-time best for the Victory Records roster, thanks in large part to the band’s Top 40 rock hit, “Ohio Is for Lovers.”
~~~And people think Slayer incites fans to do evil… oh wait…
National Day of Slayer Site Takes Credit for Vandalism
(SPIN) – The unidentified author of the National Day of Slayer site expresses excitment for inspiring the desecration of a Catholic seminary in upstate New York.
The author of the National Day of Slayer website, which asked Slayer fans to spend 6.6.06 listening to the metal act at full-blast and “spray paint Slayer logos on churches, synagogues or cemeteries” has taken credit for the desecration of a Catholic seminary in Yonkers, New York. The seminary was covered in phrases associated with Slayer like “Reign in Blood” (the title of the group’s 1986 album) late at night on June 6. The author, who The Journal News revealed is a 31-year-old Wyoming resident who works in the information technology industry, expressed his excitement over the media coverage of “activism” on Tuesday, specifically surrounding the Yonkers seminary. “We are overwhelmed with the response,” he wrote.
The author also intends to make National Day of Slayer an annual event, taking place on June 6.
Usher helps clean up New Orleans school
(AP) – Five-time Grammy winning R&B artist Usher pulled on some work gloves, grabbed a pair of trimmers and chopped away at a patch of vines that had overtaken a fence at a New Orleans school shuttered by Hurricane Katrina.
Usher, whose full name is Usher Raymond IV, joined dozens of volunteers Tuesday to clear the overgrown lawn of the International School of Louisiana, the state’s first foreign language-based charter school, which has been closed since Katrina hit Aug. 29.
Usher got his first glimpse of Katrina’s destruction Monday, when he visited storm-damaged neighborhoods in New Orleans and nearby St. Bernard Parish.
“To see it, in this state, it’s devastating,” Usher said, cutting away at the vines that had twisted through the chain-link fence surrounding the school, slated to reopen later this year.
“I’m here to physically do something and hopefully motivate other people to do the same,” said Usher, the latest in a growing list of celebrities to visit New Orleans and the Gulf Coast since Katrina.
~~~Not bad, young Mr. Raymond. 50 Pulse Points for you!
Korn frontman Davis released from hospital
(Billboard) – Korn frontman Jonathan Davis has been released from a London hospital, where he has been treated over the past four days for the blood ailment immune thrombocytopenic purpura.
The rap-rock band was forced to scrap its remaining European tour dates while David recovers.
“The doctors have determined that this was an isolated incident, and that after a few weeks my recovery will be complete,” Davis says in a statement. “I will be ready to rock on the Family Values tour this summer.”
That outing, with support from Deftones, Stone Sour, Flyleaf and Dir en grey, kicks off July 27 in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
~~~Can they blame that last album on immune thrombocytopenic purpura?
Jam-band paradise diversifies lineup
(AP) – As fans head to the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival this weekend, the show is moving from hippie to hipper in its fifth year.
Instead of the usual jam-band favorites, this year’s headliners at Bonnaroo include Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and Radiohead.
The Bonnaroo lineup has always been diverse, but industry experts say the four-day festival is changing to keep up in a competitive summer festival market.
Ray Waddell, senior editor of touring for Billboard magazine, said Bonnaroo organizers are smart to add more mainstream bands.
“You want to be broad to an extent,” Waddell said. “When you bring in Tom Petty, Beck, Radiohead and Elvis Costello, you’re showcasing a great rock lineup that’s not tied to any niche.”
The festival that starts Thursday also features plenty of indie rock this year, with Death Cab for Cutie, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Bright Eyes and Sonic Youth.
“Looking at the lineup, it’s actually hip,” said Gary Bongiovanni, editor in chief of Pollstar Magazine, a concert trade publication. “The bands are coming from a lot of different genres, and they’re pulling major musical players from all these different styles.”
Bonnaroo — held on a 700-acre farm in the tiny Tennessee town Manchester, 60 miles south of Nashville — had instant success, attracting crowds who wanted to hear the sort of sprawling improvisational rock performed by Widespread Panic, the Dead and former Phish front man Tre Anastasio.
But jam-band concert attendance has waned in the last few years, Waddell said.
~~~Yeah, I’ll say it. I need a miracle.
He might need to change it to ‘When I’m 84’
(Chicago Tribune) – Paul McCartney sang about it in 1967, and the big 6-4 is almost here. It’s a cultural milestone for baby boomers too.
He’s not losing his hair, although color seems to be an issue.
He does have grandchildren, although no Vera, Chuck or Dave.
He has been known to do a little gardening work, “digging the weed,” so to speak. In fact, one of his multiple marijuana busts was for growing the stuff on his Scottish farm back in the early ’70s.
Given the recent upheaval in his personal life, it’s unclear who’ll feed him, although there’s no doubt he’ll be taken care of.
Yes, the cultural alarm clock that Paul McCartney set 39 years ago is ringing. The man who sang “When I’m Sixty-Four” in 1967 turns 64 on June 18.
“I do remember that on the [song’s recording] session, we all figured out it would be 2006 when Paul was 64,” Beatles engineer Geoff Emerick recalled on the phone from Los Angeles, “and we had a good laugh about that and wondered what we’d be doing.”
~~~And speaking of the guy who was until very recently in love with a stripper…
Heather Mills McCartney plans divorce
(AP) – Heather Mill McCartney confirmed Tuesday that she and former Beatle Paul McCartney will divorce, a statement released by her lawyers said.
Once that’s over, the statement said, she intends to sue newspapers which have been digging into her past.
The couple had not mentioned “divorce” when they announced on May 17 that they had “decided to go our separate ways” after four years of marriage.
Since that announcement, she has been the subject of several unflattering newspaper articles which included pictures of her in naked or semi-naked poses.
The News of the World, a mass-circulation Sunday newspaper, has claimed that she was lavishly paid for spending nights with wealthy men when she was in her 20s.
“Heather is very distressed by this article,” said the statement from the law firm of Coyle White Devine.
McCartney has come to his wife’s defense. “Seeing that so many inaccurate stories have been written at the moment about Heather and myself, all I can ask people to do is not believe them and understand that most of what is coming out is made up and entirely false. Thanks for your support,” he said in a statement May 18.
Daddy Yankee defends music piracy in Peru
(AP) – Music piracy is unstoppable, and justified for poor fans, Puerto Rican reggaeton sensation Daddy Yankee said Saturday in the Peruvian capital of Lima.
“You can’t control (piracy). They gonna keep on doing it,” said the Latin Grammy-winning Yankee, who was born Raymond Ayala.
“Sometimes, economically speaking, in different countries … it’s hard for a kid to buy your record,” he said. Even if it means he makes less money, Yankee said, if a fan can only afford a pirated copy of his album, “nothing matters because the kid is poor.”
Yankee added that if a consumer has the money to buy the record, “why not, you know, buy it?”
Music and software piracy are widespread in Peru — as is poverty, with more than half the population surviving on less than $2 a day.
Reggaeton — an infectious tangle of Spanish rap, Jamaican dance hall reggae and the pulsating tropical rhythms of bachata, salsa and merengue — is a fixture on urban radio stations and dance clubs.
The genre has even become popular in the form of tinny, downloadable cell phone ring tones. Two Daddy Yankee songs were nominated for the 2006 Billboard Latin Music Award for Latin ring tone of the year.
~~~This almost makes me want to pay $4 for a 10 second Daddy ring tone that expires in 30 days. Almost.
Anheuser-Busch sued over ‘Dirty Water’
(AP) – The song “Dirty Water” blares at Fenway Park after every Red Sox victory and has become part of the winning soundtrack of baseball-crazy Massachusetts. Its use in Budweiser commercials, however, has drawn the ire of the band that wrote the 1966 hit.
The Standells filed a federal lawsuit last week claiming that Anheuser-Busch Cos. Inc. used “Dirty Water” without permission in commercials to try to tap into the song’s connection to the team.
“An advertiser decided to turn an artist into a pitchman without their consent,” the Standells’ attorney, Steven Ames Brown, said Friday. “That’s morally wrong.”
The Standells are seeking more than $1 million in compensation from the St. Louis-based beer maker.
Anheuser-Busch said in a written statement Friday that it has yet to receive a copy of the lawsuit and will not comment until it reviews the complaint.
The Los Angeles-based Standells had their first taste of fame with “Dirty Water,” which hit No. 11 on Billboard’s Top 40 chart. The song is an ode to Boston and its once infamously polluted waterways.
~~~Love that song, despite the Sox connection, but the Bud men must have been high to have anyone singing “love that dirty water” in an ad for what is basically dirty water. How high? This high…
Dem Franchize Boyz Member Arrested
(SPIN) – A member of the two-stepping hip hop group was arrested in a recording studio where police confiscated more than 11 pounds of marijuana.
Dem Franchize Boyz (DFB) got an unwelcome surprise yesterday when police raided the Money Making recording studio in Atlanta and confiscated more than 11 pounds of marijuana, $150,000 in cash, two handguns, and a stack of pornography, according to The Associated Press. Acting on a tip that drugs were being sold at the studio, police arrested eight people during the raid, including the head of Making Big Moves records, and a member of DFB whose name was not released. Some of the suspects allegedly saw police entering the studio on the surveillance cameras and tried to flush some of the evidence down the toilet, but “they just had too much and couldn’t flush it all down,” Atlanta Police Officer Richard Light told WSB TV.
~~~Good, Bad and Ugly: BIG, R. Kelly and Eminem
B.I.G. Retrial Set
(E! Online) – The family of the late Notorious B.I.G. and the city of Los Angeles are getting a do-over.
A couple of weeks after stating that an attorney representing the slain rapper’s relatives had “absolutely deceived” her, a federal judge set a retrial date for the wrongful death lawsuit that Biggie Smalls’ family brought against the City of Angels in 2002.
U.S. District Judge Florence-Marie Cooper ordered both sides back in court Oct. 16, warning them to keep the channels of information-sharing open in the meantime.
The judge voiced her reluctance to hold a retrial last month after lawyers representing the city presented her with a report indicating that the one of the family’s attorneys, Perry Sanders, had lied about information he had in his possession during the first wrongful death trial last summer.
A mistrial was declared in July after Sanders told the court that he had received an anonymous phone call informing him that the LAPD was withholding info about a jailhouse informant who said he knew about some rogue officers’ possible involvement in Notorious B.I.G.’s 1997 murder. Judge Cooper ruled that there had been a “deliberate concealment” of evidence and put an end to the trial. She later ordered the city of L.A. to pony up $1.1 million to Biggie’s family as a penalty for the purported cover-up and to cover legal fees and other expenses.
R. Kelly’s Sex Tape Going Public
(E! Online) – Coming soon to a courtroom near you: the R. Kelly sex tape.
A Chicago judge agreed to allow the videotape, which prosecutors claim shows the R&B superstar having sex with a 13-year-old girl, to be screened in open court. The footage, which has been widely disseminated online, is the core piece of evidence in Kelly’s child-pornography case that’s scheduled to go to trial this summer.
At a hearing on Thursday, Cook County Criminal Court Judge Vincent Gaughan said the people’s right to know the details that resulted in the “Trapped in the Closet” singer being charged with 14 counts of child pornography trumps his attorney’s argument that showing the sexually explicit material could lead to Kelly not getting a fair trial.
“This is the whole crux and linchpin of the case. If there was no tape, we wouldn’t have a case,” the judge said, per the Chicago Tribune. “I find there is not an overarching interest for excluding the public and the press from the portion of the trial that is the linchpin.”
R. Kelly’s lead attorney, Ed Genson, declined to comment Friday on the judge’s decision, as did a spokesman for the Cook County District Attorney’s Office.
Eminem To Star In Movie Western
(LAUNCH U.K. & Ireland) – Eminem has agreed to appear in a new film as a bounty hunter, according to reports.
The rap star, who starred in the semi-autobiographical 8 Mile in 2003 to much acclaim, is understood to have agreed to appear in a movie adaptation of an old TV series.
Have Gun – Will Travel was originally broadcast in the 1950s and followed the antics of a gunfighter-for-hire. Apparently the program will be updated for the 21st century and will see Eminem adopting the role of bounty hunter, perhaps in his hope city of Detroit.
There are also suggestions that Eminem, who has expressed a desire to pursue new projects in recent months, will score the soundtrack for the movie.
~~~Man Bites Dog — Or, how close is too close according to Brtney’s mom?
Paparazzi sue Britney
(LAUNCH U.K. & Ireland) – Britney Spears has been hit with a lawsuit from a member of the paparazzi, who claims he was run over by the star’s mother two years ago.
The aggrieved snapper alleges the collision with a car driven by Lynne Spears in a car park in Santa Monica in June 2004 has left him permanently injured.
The pop superstar and her sister Jamie Lynn were passengers in the vehicle at the time of the incident, and Britney, her mother and Britney Touring Inc. have been cited in the suit.
Cullen Reavley filed the legal challenge at Los Angeles County Superior Court on June 6, seeking unspecified monetary damages for injuries sustained to his “head, neck, back, trunk, and extremities.”
Reavley insists he has not fully recovered from the accident, claiming the injuries cause him “great mental, physical, and nervous pain and suffering” and “will result in permanent disability.”
Video footage shot at the time show Reavley–who is seeking $25,000 in medical expenses and lost earnings–on the ground following the collision. He was rushed to hospital afterwards and treated for swelling.
A statement was released after the incident in which Spears’s management commented: “If anyone was injured by accident, it was caused by the paparazzi’s own conduct.”
Lady Sovereign Goes On $10,000 Date
(Yahoo! Music) – On May 8, San Francisco music fan Zach Slow launched a website, helpmegetrandomwithladysovereign.com, to raise money to take out British rapper Lady Sovereign on a dream date. And one month, one day, nearly 1 million hits, and $10,000 later, his dream actually came true.
On May 30, Lady Sovereign’s manager contacted Slow, saying that if Slow was able to reach the $10,000 goal advertised on his site, Sovereign would accept his invitation. (Sovereign’s manager also requested that if Slow did not meet his $10,000 goal, he donate whatever money he did raise to the charity of Sovereign’s choice.) Just a few days before Lady Sovereign’s June 9 San Francisco tour stop, Slow had only raised about $3,000, but on June 6 an anonymous donor offered to match every dollar donated two-to-one. Then, on the day of Sovereign’s show at San Francisco’s Fillmore, a Santa Barbara company offered to donate $500 to Slow’s cause if he brainstormed with them about viral marketing campaigns. That offer put Slow at the $10,000 mark, so later that evening, Sovereign and Slow finally went out on a post-concert date that neither will soon forget.
The unlikely odd couple–whose first meeting was captured for posterity by local TV news cameras–spent the evening driving around in an SUV limo, guzzling champagne, and cruising the harbor in a private yacht. The night ended with Sovereign, Slow, and their respective entourages relaxing in a luxury suite at a five-star hotel.
In his online journal, Slow writes of the experience: I’ve always had a ton of ideas constantly running through my head–it’s been that way as far back as I can remember….For whatever reason, in the past couple of years I had stopped taking as many crazy risks. I had even started repressing the creative juices that had always been pulsing in me….This project has been really incredibly life-changing for me. Who would have thought seeing my favorite U.K. emcee would transform my life? This has reminded me that you absolutely, no matter what anyone else says, have to take risks to get exactly what you want out of life….I really believe that and this simple project has reaffirmed that for me. Stepping up, asking for what you want in life, and then working to get exactly that is probably the most fulfilling single thing you can do in your life. If you’re holding back, I suggest you think to yourself, “If Zach Slow can make a crazy website to go out with his favorite emcee, then I can surely do whatever the hell I want! After all, it would be impossible to look crazier than him!”
Perry Farrell Doesn’t Care What You Think of Nuno Bettencourt
(Rolling Stone) – We have a new favorite word here in the RS offices: Nuno. That’s right: Nuno, as in Nuno Bettencourt, former guitarist of Extreme — the extremely uncool Nineties pop-metal band best known for the ballad “More Than Words”. These days, our man Nuno has a new gig: He’s playing in Satellite Party, the latest band formed by Perry Farrell, which just signed with Columbia Records and will perform at Lollapalooza in August. The Foo Fighters’ Taylor Hawkins told me a while back that Farrell had no idea who Nuno was when he hired him: “I guess everybody was giving Perry shit about it and he didn’t really know. He’s like, ‘I don’t know, man, I met this guy at this party and I got along with him. We’re writing some songs.’ So like, Flea and everybody are just going, ‘You dork, why are you hanging out with that guy?’ I love that Perry is so not on the same planet as everybody. He just missed that completely.” We love that too. A lot.