Thursday, November 6, 2008

AC/DC has a platinum record. And their own day.

AC/DC remains at the top of the charts, selling 270,000 copies of Black Ice this week to beat such musical luminaries as Pink and High School Musical. The new album has now gone platinum, but that is not enough. The band needs further honours! And they received just that, with the mayor of Vancouver declaring November 28th AC/DC day in the city. It is the day the band plays GM Place. I'm certain that AC/DC was thrilled with this new, massive honour. If anyone even told them about it.

Speaking of awards and honours. Aren't there enough of these stupid things? Every week, I'm hearing about some classic rock band that is either up for an award or has won one for an album they did in 1967. Like Crem, who just won "classic album of the year" for Disraeli Gears at the Classic Rock awards. Where do these things come from? It's about time, I guess, that they got a trophy for that one...on the plus side, it allowed Jack Bruce to make these awesome comments about Led Zeppelin: "everybody talks about Led Zeppelin, and they played one [bleeping] gig -- one [bleeping] lame gig -- while Cream did weeks of gigs (a total of seven shows over two weeks that were months apart in 2005); proper gigs, not just a lame gig like Zeppelin did, with all the [vocal] keys lowered and everything. We played everything in the original keys. [Bleep] off, Zeppelin, you're crap. You've always been crap and you'll never be anything else. The worst thing is that people believe the crap that they're sold. Cream is 10 times the band that Led Zeppelin is." Not that I agree with Mr. Bruce, but I love it when rock stars say what they really feel about other bands and music instead of demurring.

The famously-fighting Kinks appear to be ready to put the animosity behind them and record an album and then tour. Ray Davies says they're writing music and working in the studio. Then the animosity resurfaces, as his brother Dave denies the whole thing. I hope the Kinks tour. I love the Kinks.

Bruce Springsteen, after a long hard (and successful) political campaign supporting Barack Obama, is hitting the studio to record an album that should be released in time for Obama's inauguration in January. I anticipate a rather happy disc.

KISS is apparently also recording a new album. In the studio. If and when it arrives, it will be the first album with the "new" KISS lineup, which is just about the same as the old KISS lineup but with different names for the guitar player and drummer. It will also be the first new KISS album since 1998. And no one will care. It will be released on the same day as KISS-brand breath mints and KISS-brand pregnancy tests, and just get lost in the shuffle. I sure wish Jack Bruce would tell us what he thinks of KISS!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The next step.

With the election of Barack Obama yesterday, the American people showed that, for the most part, they have evolved into a people who look beyond race. A people who no longer, as Martin Luther King said, judge people by the colour of their skin, but rather by the content of their character. This is an inspirational moment, one that really, admittedly, brought a tear to my eye last night when I heard Jon Stewart break into Stephen Colbert's rant to announce that "the president of the United States is Barack Obama". This is a moment that will be remembered for the rest of most of our lives, I think. Like the '72 Paul Henderson goal is to Canadians. More than that, the way JFK's assassination is remembered by the world. And most accurately of all, this is a moment that will resonate, forty years from now, the way Neil Armstrong walking on the moon resonates forty years later. That is how significant this was.

Does this end racism? No. Is it the biggest step since de-segregation? Yes. But there is still a lot of work to do to mend racial divides in the United States and around the world. But there could be no bigger step toward repairing those divides than the one that was taken yesterday. So assuming that within the next fifty years, racism is a thing of the past, what's next? Well, I think the Americans proved yesterday that while they are tolerant of other races and the time where Barack Obama's presidency seemed to be a ridiculous pipe dream is over, there is still some bigotry in the U.S. that urgently requires attention. And that bigotry is directed toward gay people. While Obama created the biggest, most inspirational moment for African-Americans since Martin Luther King's I Have A Dream speech, and perhaps ever, homosexual rights and equality was being dealt a blow all over the U.S.

California, a state which overwhelmingly elected Barack Obama and gave him the presidency, voted yes on a proposition that would ban gay marriage. California legalized gay marriage recently. Many gay people have been married in that state. And now, they take it all away. How people can think this way is beyond me. How two homosexual people being able to use the title "marriage" affects you in any way is staggering. The only reasons (and there are two) for this that I can see are either one - misguided religious zealotry. Or two - straight-up homophobia. I can't wrap my head around any other reason that straight people should give a s**t whether or not gay people get married. And both of those reasons are pretty lousy. How did this even make it onto the ballot? And, more disturbingly, how did it pass?

How about Arkansas, where the presidential election was accompanied by a bill that banned any adoptions by gay parents? A bill that passed in a landslide? Can you imagine a bill being proposed that makes sure black people can never adopt children? What is the matter with people? Why are they even willing to vote about this, let alone pro or con? Obama clearly scored a great victory for race relations in the States, one that I will remember as long as I live. But there is clearly a lot of work left to be done, and the most-ignored minority in the United States is now gay people. I'm starting the push now - a gay president by 2016! OK, like the Simpsons, I'll be realistic - a gay president by 2060! That gives us 52 years. If Barack Obama is any indication, it might well be possible.

Some videos...of me!

In case anyone cares...like my family! Hey Aunt Elaine, watch these! My time at Innovapost during their United Way auction was not in vain, it made it to youtube! Here are some videos:

Megalame plays the Rock Band video game:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DDxaAar2xHc&feature=related

I critique Megalame's performance:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-7mK30qt8w&feature=related

Ladiez Knight plays Rock Band:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YQiayRl55Z4&feature=related

I critique Ladiez Knight:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wukqG4ca6uM&feature=related

And Pretty in Punk, plus a critique:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_1YxLBwLCWk&feature=related

Too bad there was no video of Dave Templin smashing me with the American Gladiators Q-Tip in a measure of revenge for all those times I killed him in the short film we did. Next time Dave!

BRN today

Former drummer with Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention Jimmy Carl Black has died of lung cancer at the age of 70. This is quite sad. He played with Zappa and the Mothers from the time of Freak Out! until they released Weasels Ripped My Flesh in the mid-70s. Post-Mothers, he played with one of my favourites, Captain Beefheart, and fronted his own band, Geronimo Black. Of late, he was playing with Zappa acts, which involved many of Zappa's original musicians, so I wouldn't want to go so far as to call them tribute acts. One of those was the Grandemothers, who played Bluesfest about three or four years ago. I loved that show, and this man was tremendous. Rest in peace.

Nirvana's show at the Reading Festival in 1992 is one of those performances I hear mentioned the same way I hear people talk about Jimi at Woodstock, Otis Redding at Monterey, the Who at Leeds, Peter Tosh at the One Love Peace Festival, in the sense that they are saying "what I wouldn't give to have been able to be there". Frankly, I have never known why. I understand Jimi at Woodstock (or Jimi at Monterey, for that matter), and the others. But no one has ever explained fully to me why this Nirvana show was important. It is coming out on DVD in the new year courtesy of Universal, so I can see for myself. And, I imagine, so can you.

Ozzy Osbourne received that Classic Rock Roll of Hounour thing. The Lifetime Achievement thing, or the Living Legend. Whatever. It was presented by Slash, who apparently won an award of his own. Slash's award was called the "Holy s*** this thing goes to eleven" award, or somthing bizarre like that, so apparently this is some kind of rock-nerd awards show with bizarre award names and weird bands involved (Whitesnake!). And yet the big stars keep showing up. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that this show has something to do with Marshall. That may mean Marshall amps, or some guy named Marshall. I didn't care enough to do more research.

Ron Wood has offered his ex-wife, Jo, $4.9 million dollars in their divorce settlement. Per year.

Genesis is looking to reunite - again - this time with Peter Gabriel as lead singer. Which would make me far more excited to attend the next Genesis reunion show. The only problem I would have, however, is that if they didn't include all those poppy Phil Collins silly songs from the late 80s, I would have no idea when was an appropriate time to leave the venue for a smoke break. It was so easy to figure out last time...

NFL picks once more.

It is easier for me to write this stuff down ahead of time, so I can reference back to it rather than having to look stuff up from a bunch of different sources. In no way am I recommending that you follow my advice here, because it has so far been rather terrible, as far as advice goes. So you can, if you like, follow along and feel good about yourself in comparison to me.

Cleveland - Denver (Thursday night): Five weeks ago, this would have been a no-brainer in Denver's favour. Now, I think it is a no-brainer the other way. The Broncos are, truly, awful. However, Brady Quinn is going to be getting the start at QB for the Browns, and who knows how well he's going to play? As far as I'm concerned though, it doesn't matter how well he plays. Denver is not good enough to win in Cleveland. Or in Denver right now, for that matter. Browns are favoured by 3, they should cover that easily.

Denver, 34-30. Well, I'm pretty wrong. With Cleveland up by 13 late, I thought this one was over. The Broncos were not playing well at all, the Browns were playing well enough to hold them off, and this game looked to be done. But one long (I believe fluky) 94-yard pass, a fumble, and a dropped pass cost the Browns. The whole game. The team that played great, took advantage of the Broncos mistakes, was moving the ball seemingly at will, gave this game away entirely. I still think Denver sucks. But I also think the Browns are their own worst enemy.

Atlanta - New Orleans: A tough call for me. The Saints can light it up when they get on a roll, and they could easily win this one by 15. Then again, Atlanta looks awfully good on defense and their offense is coming along, so they could win this by 15. There is no line on this game right now, so I'm going to take the Falcons, simply because they have yet to win in their own division, and putting some distance between themselves and the Saints is imperative.

Atlanta, 34-20. Well, I'm pretty right. It was about time the Falcons won in their own division, and they are actually ready to take the division lead and keep it all the way through to the playoffs. Well. If their division didn't contain the Panthers, who are awesome. This, in other words, is a prediction that the Buccaneers will fall off after their bye. Falcons do, however, have an outside chance at the playoffs. It looks like the Saints are done.

Carolina - Oakland: Lock of the week. The Raiders have thrown in the towel, and even though they are home and the Panthers have not played well on the road yet this year, I will take Carolina to run it up big on Oakland. Even more than the 9 point spread I see today.

Carolina, 17-6. And...I'm right again. The Raiders really are as awful as we assume they are. The Panthers are as good as we think they are. This game could well have been as lopsided as the Jets game. Panthers clearly cover the spread, and win big. I think, given the rough inter-divisional games the NFC East will see, that Carolina has a good chance at home field advantage throughout the playoffs.

Houston - Baltimore: The Texans are favoured by one, mostly I think because they have played very well at home this year. But the Ravens are a better team, they are on a 3-game win streak, and they have played reasonably well on the road. Houston can't match up, really, and I think Baltimore will take this one. A really mild upset if they do.

Baltimore, 41-13. Well, I never get sick of being right. This was a very, very mild upset, despite the massive point differential. The Ravens really are a better team than the Texans, and Houston will have to wait at least two more years to be really competitive. The Ravens have a real shot (an outside one, I still think) at the playoffs this year.

Jacksonville - Detroit: In my opinion, Jacksonville is the second-most disappointing team this year, next to the Chargers. They have lost two in a row, against teams which I predicted they would beat. They are now 3-5 and the playoffs appear to be slipping away, and they actually can't afford to look past the Lions. Detroit, on the other hand, has lost eight in a row this year. Without winning one. And they won't win this one. But they will cover the 9 1/2 spread, because they are coming on enough to keep some games close. And who knows - Jacksonville could completely crash and actually lose this one. They won't, but they could.

Jacksonville, 38-14. The Jaguars are STILL the second-most disappointing team this year. However, they are more than enough team to beat the Lions. Detroit, mind you, did not have enough in the tank to cover the spread in this one, mostly because the Jaguars finally put together a complete game. If they can continue to do so, Jacksonville could still contend for the playoffs.

Miami - Seattle: The Seahawks look as though they are coming on. A little bit. Of course, they were hammered by the Eagles, but the Eagles are very very good. The Dolphins are just pretty good. Which means Seattle should cover the 9-point spread. But the Dolphins should win nonetheless, because Seattle sure isn't there yet.

Miami, 21-19. The Dolphins are really taking advantage of their last-place schedule this year, aren't they? Not only are they playing teams that ought to be awful, they are playing teams that are suddenly bad. Like the Seahawks, who are playing far below their level in every game. There was no reason for a 9-point spread here, and Seattle showed that, but they couldn't convert on that two-point conversion, and that made all the difference. It may have taken a last-second knockdown for Miami to make it, but they are now 5-4 and in the thick of the chase for their division lead. Don't look now, but the AFC East has the second-best record of any division in football, with no .500 or sub-.500 teams.

New York Jets - St. Louis: The Rams looked as though they could have some real fight in them as they beat two superior teams in back-to-back weeks. Then they lost to two inferior teams in back-to-back weeks. Now they play a mediocre team, who have looked good the last two weeks and looked decent on the road. Jets to win, Rams to cover the way-too-big 8-point spread.

Jets, 47-3. OK, maybe that 8-point spread was way-too-small. Who would have thought the Jets would put 40 on the Rams in the first half? Or that the Rams would look so terribly overmatched? Not me, I guess. And perhaps, there is a chance, that the Jets are not in fact mediocre. They are now in the lead in the second-most powerful division in football.

Minnesota - Green Bay: Sure, it's in Minnesota. And the Vikings are much better at home than they are on the road. But the Packers are a much better team, despite identical 4-4 records. This stretch for the Pack (Vikings and Bears) could be the deciding factor in their season. And considering the terrific show they put on against the Titans, I don't see them losing either of those two games. Packers to win, and upset. Vikings are favoured by 2 1/2.

Vikings, 28-27. Wwll, I would take Green Bay, and their terrific kicker, to make that 52-yarder at the end of the game nine times out of ten. So I am not that despondent about this game. Frankly, Adrian Peterson is a monster in the Metrodome, and put up almost 200 yards against the Pack. Which looks bad on Green Bay, but their pass defense remains as good as ever, they are still a well-balance offense, and they stayed in the game until the end. In fact, they were in a very good position to win it, and they ARE a better team than the Vikes. Packers covered the spread, and I was right there. But they lost, and I was wrong there.

New England - Buffalo: The Bills are struggling some, having lost two in a row. Both teams are tied (with the Jets) for top spot in the East, but New England seems to have figured out how to win without Brady, last week's loss to the Colts notwithstanding. Patriots are favoured by 4 1/2, which is too much, but look for them to win by a field goal or less. The Bills, it should be said, are also winless in their own division.

New England, 20-10. New England has, indeed, figured out how to win without Brady. This was a complete effort on both sides of the ball, and that long, excruciating drive to break the back of the Bills in the fourth was a thing of beauty. Haha. Break the Back of the Bills. Some nice alliteration there. The Patriots have to, once again, be considered the class of the AFC East, a division with four teams with winning records.

Philadelphia - New York Giants: These, I believe, are the top two teams in the NFC. Since the Cowboys fell off, the Skins lost at home to Pittsburgh, and the Panthers are still sub-.500 on the road. With the Giants coming into Philly, I think the Eagles have the edge, simpy by virtue of this being a home game. They are favoured by 3, which I think is a bit much. So Giants to cover, Eagles to squeak one out at home.

Giants, 36-31. Well, the Giants did cover. And then won the game. I still think the Eagles are the second-best team in the East. But it's clear the Giants are still a step above all the other teams in this division. I think there is a chance the Panthers are as good as the Giants, but we won't know that for sure until the season ends.

Pittsburgh - Indianapolis: There is no line on this as I type. Notwithstanding the Indy victory over the Patriots this week, the Steelers are better than the Patriots right now, Roethlisberger or no Roethlisberger. Wow. Try typing that one twice in a row after drinking a little. I think the Steelers have to be favoured at home, whether the Colts are genuinely resurgent or not.

Indianapolis, 24-20. Well, I'm wrong. The Colts may well be back. They have won two tight, tense games late in the fourth, and that is impressive in itself. The Steelers still look great on defense, with a massive pass rush and some good run D, but it wasn't enough against the suddenly resurgent Colts. AFC, look out!

San Diego - Kansas City: Does anyone remember that the Chargers are sadly over-rated this year? Anyone? The spread on this game is 13.5. Thirteen and a half points for a team that currently sits at 3-5, having lost 2 games in a row. Against teams whose talent does not match up. Possibly excepting New Orleans, who have also been disappointing. Chargers ought to win this one, the Chiefs are terrible, but not by two TDs. Take KC to cover the spread. Not that you should take my advice. That's just who I'm taking.

San Diego, 20-19. I get why the Chiefs went for two. I really do. When you are that bad, you take every chance you get to straight-up Win The Game, thanks Herm Edwards. But I didn't get this channel today. I was watching the end of the Packers game, and I saw the score in this one, with 30 seconds to go, change from 20-13 Chargers to 20-16 Chargers. I went nuts, throwing things at the TV. What kind of moron would go for the field goal in that situation? Are you trying to cover the spread? It turns out the wrong score was put up, and this never took place. So kudos, Chiefs, you gave San Diego a run for their money. And give it up, Chargers, you are done. Chiefs cover spread and then some, San Diego squeaks out a win to go to 4-5, and boy am I ever right once again.

Tennessee - Chicago: I like the Bears at home, I really do. The Bears are 3-1 at home, they have played much better at Soldier Field than they have elsewhere...but then, the Titans are 3-0 on the road. And 5-0 at home. They are 8-0 on the season, and they are much, much better than Chicago. Look for this game to end with the Bears tied for the lead in the NFC South with a record of 5-4. Titans to cover the three points.

Tennessee, 21-14. And I'm right again. The Titans were going to cover the three, of course they were. And the Bears are indeed tied for the division lead in the NFC North, although it's with the Vikings instead of the Packers, as I had anticipated. The Bears are a pretty good team, but I still believe that Green Bay is the best team in this division, and they will rise to the top by the end of the season. The Titans won't face a truly elite challenger until Week 16 and 17, but they better watch out at Jacksonville next week.

Arizona - San Francisco: OK. I want to call the Niners in an upset here. Division game, Niners can play a great game...but Kurt Warner is just playing too well right now to discount. He will rack up the yards and the points for the Cards. But their defense will give up a fair amount as well. Niners to cover the 9.5, Arizona to win outright.

Arizona, 29-24. Nice to end the week with a correct prediction. But man, what a finish! The Niners have the capacity to upset a team like the Cardinals, even some teams that are better than Arizona. But when it comes down to the final play of the game, and San Fran must convert to win, I will bet against them every time. Sean Hill kept trying, as best he could, to throw the game away, getting picked off at big moments. The fact that the Niners even had a chance toward the end is a testament to the fact that Arizona is also incapable of putting a game away late.

I am now 81-64 straight up, 87-57 against the spread.

Ghostbusters

Congratulations to Pierre Belanger (who dressed up in full Ghostbusters regalia), Shaun Vardon and the rest of the people at Operation Go Home, who raised $2,000 to get kids off the streets in Ottawa at the Ghostbusters screening at the Bytowne last Thursday. Way to go, guys!

Obama.

I believe Winston Churchill said once "America always does the right thing, but only after it has exhausted all other options". I think that, but I can't really remember because I am too tired to think. I had to stay up. I had to see it happen live. And I am paying the price this morning. Two hours of sleep, however, was totally worth it.

The headline on the front page of today's Ottawa Sun said it all - BAM! Oh, no wait. That said nothing. BAM!? What the hell does that mean? It took me a long time to realize that this was just standard procedure for the pun-tastic Ottawa Sun headline-writing staff. You see, there is a BAM in his name...oBAMa...get it? I still don't. What a stupid headline.

Anyway, I'm thrilled. And I got to see it live. And if I'm not making any sense, it is due to fatigue.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The news of rock today. And a couple of videos!

Most of the rock news today involves the election in the U.S. Obviously most musicians and artists and Hollywood types are backing Barack Obama, and some, like Bruce Springsteen, are actively campaigning right up until the last vote is cast today. He says: “I don’t know about you, but I want my country back, I want my dream back, I want my America back! Now is the time to stand with Barack Obama and Joe Biden, roll up our sleeves, and come.” I don't really understand the choice of the last few words there, but you get the picture. Also campaigning are several people who don't interest me - Jay-Z, Diddy, and so forth.

Perhaps the most interesting, and strange, endorsement came courtesy of John Densmore of the Doors, who a la Gil Scott-Heron, drums along with the thoughts inside his own head in a video on youtube where he endorses Obama by his non-endorsement of John McCain. Methinks Whitey may be On The Moon again:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KYIAatFTcSo

Black Sabbath has commemorative shoes. They have teamed up with Converse to come out with a Black Sabbath edition of the famous Chuck Taylor All-Stars, shoes normally referenced only in rap songs. Apparently they are basing the design of the shoes on some artwork from a 1978 Sabbath tour T-shirt. Which seems really half-assed as a marketing ploy, really. Who do they think they are, KISS?

Bon Jovi is being sued again, this time for much less than $400 billion. A British woman is suing them for the much-more-reasonable $250,000, after a Bon Jovi security guy ran her down with a golf cart. Most surprising, the guy yelled "do you know who I am?" moments before gunning the golf cart at her. You're Bon Jovi security. Does anyone know who you are? Other than the other members of the security detail? I will make fun of anyone who uses the phrase "do you know who I am?" Even if it was Jon Bon Jovi himself.

The Ramones do not support John McCain. Even if Joey's wife is running around helping the McCain-Palin ticket by using their name. If that helps at all. I love the Ramones, and my favourite song of theirs is pretty much the only political one they ever did - Bonzo Goes To Bitburg. It caused tension in the band, because Johnny Ramone was a hardcore Republican conservative, and was rather upset about this scathing attack on Reagan. My fondness for that song and an opportunity to talk about it was likely the only reason this story made Breaknig Rock News this morning.

Chris Cornell, former singer for Soundgarden, says he has not been approached to sing for Led Zeppelin. More importantly, why would he be? Well, I suppose he can still wail some, and he's a heck of a lot better than getting some guy off youtube. Speaking of youtube...here's another video:

Bonus:

Here is the commercial that ran during Saturday Night Live for Chinese Democracy. apparently, Best Buy thinks this album release is as significant as thye presidential election. So significant in fact, that they don't even need to mention the name of the band whose album they are promoting.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M24W57WUsiw

Election day.

I'm not a superstitious guy. I don't walk around ladders and avoid black cats and step over cracks on the sidewalk or hold my breath when passing graveyards. It strikes me that these things are more indicative of OCD than of actual superstition. But last night, I felt rather superstitious. Watching the Redskins play the Steelers, I had picked the Skins to win, but I was cheering for Pittsburgh. Because 16 of the past 17 elections, or something like that, the Skins have predicted the outcome of the presidential election. If the Skins win their last home game before election day, the incumbent party has won 16 of 17 times. Or something like that. So while I had the Skins in all my pools, I was cheering for the Steelers. Because this election, Obama needs all the help he can get.

I know, based on the polls, it looks as though Obama has it sewn up. And of course, by all rights he should win this thing. But then, I thought the same in 2000 and 2004. There are still a bunch of talking heads on TV who say things like "don't underestimate the Democrats' ability to foul this up". Which is, of course, nonsense. The Obama campaign has run one of the best, biggest, most organized campaign in history. The time for "Deomcrats" to "foul things up" is over. After all, we're a few hours away now - how can they foul things up now? Obama spends the day hanging out in Osama Bin Laden's cave? Come on.

I do, however, think there is going to be absolute chaos tomorrow down south. Although I keep hearing about all this ACORN B.S. and that sort of garbage, the real problem is with that bizarre American voting system where they use the machines, and so forth. Why can't they do the paper thing with an X like we do? Seems pretty darn simple. Then we hear about those last-second phone call campaigns saying people don't have to vote until Wednesday, or the parties that hire cops to stand around polling stations to intimidate potential voters. Thousands of names being struck off the voter rolls, college students being told that voting will screw up their parents' tax returns in other states. In short, that actual method by which voting takes place is a political thing in the States. And with what is likely to be unprecedented turnout, in a race that has inspired unprecedented passion on both sides, 12-hour lineups at voting booths could turn ugly. It could. I hope it doesn't. But it sure could.

I'm watching my PVR'd Monday Night Football right now. Both Obama and McCain were on at halftime with Chris Berman. And Obama was not in some cavfe with Bin Laden. So you Democratic supporters, if you lose today, it was not the "Dems lousing it up as usual". It was your stupid voting system and the corruption it allows. And you McCain fans (because this election is like sports, in that people are rooting and each candidate has fans), if you lose - you can blame the Redskins, and Jason Campbell, and that decision to throw the ball on fourth-and-goal from the one-inch line. Go Steelers!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Some more BRN.

The tallest building in Ireland is not to be. Apparently Bono wanted to build a skyscraper a million feet tall, at the top of which there would be an egg in which recording albums could take place. But because of the recession hitting Ireland, the 300-million dollar project had to be shelved. Too bad. I quite liked the idea of a recording studio in the sky. But from what I understand, Bono is an unstoppable fountain of songwriting when he is in the studio. After all, the new U2 album had to be postponed because there were just too many songs. And if he were to work in this tower, I can only assume we would be subjected to several concept albums in a row about how people look like ants from up here on my pedestal. And I don't want to see U2 become redundant.

Ozzy Osbourne is going to be receiving a Living Legend award at something called the Classic Rock Roll of Honour Award show in London. Sometime soon. He was quoted about this, saying "it's nice to know they haven't written me off". Which is very nice for Ozzy. Although, when looking at the nominees for "band of the year", some of the classic bands up for the awards - Def Leppard! KISS! And...Whitesnake! If this Classic Rock Roll of Honour Awards organization hasn't written Whitesnake off, then how much credibility do they really have?

Speaking of Def Leppard, who are still somehow making money on tour, despite having been written off. By me. They have fulfilled their contractual obligation to their major label, and there are no serious offers for their services coming in from other sources. So they are apparently pondering going the indie route, and following in the footsteps of Radiohead and the Eagles. They want to start releasing their albums on their own, and Joe Elliott seems to think that since those other two bands were able to do it, Def Leppard will as well. The Eagles were sold exclusively through Wal-Mart, see, and every ex-stripper Def Leppard fan shops exclusively at Wal-Mart, so...all the pieces fit. What he neglects to ponder here, however, is that Radiohead has a rabid fan base, the Eagles had been on a long hiatus without much work (and have a loyal fan base), and neither band ever released Songs From The Sparkle Lounge. Good luck, Joe.

And...there will indeed be a Beatles video game. Whether it will be a version of Rock Band or not is not certain yet, but it's the same people making it. Whatever it ends up being. MTV and some game company and Apple Corp. LTD...hey - Apple Corps! I finally get it. Anyway, all these companies announce that they have a contract to use Beatles songs in a video game, and that they have been working on it with McCartney, Ringo, Olivia Harrison and Yoko Ono for a long time. If they have been working on it for a long time, just tell us what it is. Why so secretive? All they're saying is that the Beatles' songs will be used in a game. If it isn't Rock Band, it could well be something totally different and lamer. Like, the Beatles songs will play as you speed around the course in the next edition of Mario Kart. Let's hope not.

"Chinese Democracy" hit the charts at #12 in it's first week, the highest chart position for the debut of a Guns N Roses song since "Don't Cry" hit #4 in 1991. The length of time between charting singles isn't a story. After all, GNR's last album was in 1993. The chart position isn't a story either - just enough people were waiting for this album to make the first single a matter of curiosity, enough to put it at #12. What makes this a story is that it sets up next week's chart position of the same single. If the single plummets down the charts, then it will be because the world realized that the song is awful. If, on the other hand, the song shoots UP the charts, and finishes anywhere better than #12, it will signal the death knell of modern rock music. It will prove, once and for all, that no good rock music has been recorded since, say...1993.

From people with too much time on their hands - to people who spend too much time at their desks.

Of course, when you see this, your first thought will be "why"? Why would anyone, ever, spend the time to do this? But then you will think "hey, that's pretty cool". And after about sixty seconds, you will think "OK, I'm bored and this is lame". And then...well, just watch it and think what you want. Someone, somewhere, has created the entire Rock N Roll train video from AC/DC in a format that runs entirely on the Excel spreadsheet. Brian Johnson is all ampersands and asterisks and such, and it really does look exactly like the real video. Well, almost. Here is the link to download it:

http://www.acdcrocks.com/excel/

And here is the link to watch a preview, if you don't have Excel, or you can't be bothered downloading something:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h9_YkXHCkgA