Thursday, October 30, 2008

BRN - today's quick hits.

Bryan Adams is going after several of his own fan sites. Apparently, these sites are using the Canadian "rocker"'s picture and name without his permission. Even more astounding, there are still Bryan Adams fan sites. You would think that this man would be happy that people still know who he is. If I'm Bryan Adams, I would be sending these sites all kinds of stuff, making them happy to be associated with me. I find it hard to believe that these people are such hardcore fans that even being sued by their idol won't dampen their enthusiasm. I find it easier to believe that the fame of Bryan Adams hangs by the most tenuous of threads at the best of times. Then he releases a statement through something called Web Sheriff, that says if these fan sites "want to be part of the family then they need to play ball”. Is Bryan Adams running a mafia-style organization designed to alienate the nine fans he still has left? See ya later, Bryan.

AC/DC breaks more records as Black Ice tops the charts. It is the first time the band has hit #1 since 1981, when they released For Those About To Rock (We Salute You). They sold 784,000 copies in the U.S. in their first week, making this album the fastest selling AC/DC record of all time. And assuming that people also picked up ketchup, pampers and kitchen faucets at the same time, this must have been a giant week for Wal-Mart. This means one of three things. Either this is one of the greatest AC/DC albums ever made (unlikley), or it is the most brilliant marketing ever done by the Australian band (possible), or it has been long enough since they were last relevant that kids today are just now discovering how awesome AC/DC is (probable). Best news of the day - they outsold the High School Musical III soundtrack by well over a two-to-one margin. (Some rapper named T.I., some country singer named Kenny Chesney, and Metallica made up the rest of the top five.) Oh - one more possibility. It could be that no one else, anywhere, is making good music. At all. (Definitely.)

The Beatles might be coming to Rock Band! MTV is ready to make an announcement this morning concerning an "unprecedented global music project" with Apple, the company that holds all of the Beatles licensing rights. Some quality detective work went into the Rock Band speculation: MTV is now reality TV. They show Paris Hilton's My New BFF, which last night had the girls aspiring to be Paris' friend playing "seven minutes in heaven" with a creepy gross "rapper" named Dirt Nasty. They show A Shot At Love With Tila Tequila, and the spin-offs of A Shot At Love With Tila Tequila. Ergo, MTV no longer has any connection to the world of music whatsoever. The only connection with music, in any way, is that they produce the video game Rock Band. It follows, therefore, that one of two things will happen. Either Paul McCartney will be a contestant on the new British version of Paris Hilton's My New BFF, (and yes, this show does exist - how, you say, can Paris Hilton do TWO seasons of the show, when BFF means Best Friend Forever, and no one can have TWO "best friends", by definition? And even if the winner of the first season became her BFF, then "forever" goes out the door when the very next season sees her doing the same thing? I say - don't ask. It's MTV.) OR, the Beatles will get their own edition of the Rock Band video game. I sure hope it's the latter.

I once met Alice Cooper, and asked him to autograph my vinyl copy of Welcome To My Nightmare. It was one of two times in my life I have asked anyone for their autograph, and I must admit that it made me feel a little like a loser. Because I have never really understood the autograph thing a whole lot. The way I saw it at the time though, and the way I still see it, it was a nice personal touch, a reminder of the time I saw Alice Cooper and got a chance to meet him, and I now wouldn't part with it for the world. Well. I wouldn't part with it for...eighty dollars. Really. But it helped me understand, to a degree, the people who collect memorabilia and autographs and pictures and such like. What I still don't understand are the people who, this week, will pay $200,000 for the organ John Lennon played on the Ed Sullivan show. Or the guy who's going to shell out $70,000 for a bass guitar Kurt Cobain used to record some demos once. Unless you have a museum, like Paul Allen's in Seattle or the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, how can you justify spending that much? You aren't going to meet John Lennon. You aren't going to meet Kurt Cobain. Same goes for Sid Vicious and Jimi Hendrix, who also have stuff up at this Christies auction. So then what - they serve as a memento and reminder of the time you bid a certain amount online? This is odd to me.

And more auctions - this time, a short film strip of the Beatles performing live in Kansas, at Municipal Stadium, in 1964. This will go up for auction, no one seems to know where or from what source, on November 4th. All of which is well and good, but here's the thing - with the Beatles, you want to hear their music, and this film strip is silent. But...in colour!

Here's one I actually understand - collecting albums on vinyl. This is why I am pleased that Metallica has decided to release their entire back catalogue on vinyl, beginning with ...And Justice For All on December 1st. I am not going to be one of those hippie music purists who suggests that all music sounds better on vinyl. Frankly, in most cases I would disagree. Most music made before 1980, and recorded a certain way, sounds better on vinyl. Like The Court of the Crimson King, for example. But I would be surprised if Master of Puppets or Kill 'Em All are any better in terms of sound coming out of a record instead of a CD. The real reason I love the vinyl for stuff like this is that I just love the big cardboard case. It feels more like an item I'm glad to have around, more special I guess, when the cover art is that big, and you have to go out of your way to play it. A record isn't going to be something that you take out of the case and leave in a pile in the back seat of your car and discover three years later when you finally do that cleanup. Having the record means that to listen to that album you have to go out of your way to do so. And for Metallica, that seems worthwhile.

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