Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Breaking Rock News...the important stuff.

First, one more time, here is Neil Young's new video, which is awesome. I suspect that since Neil's brain aneurysm, something has been unlocked in that brain of his, and he has become more prolific than any artist ever. And his stuff is good. I suspect that within a few years, his newfound brain-power will eat itself, and he'll become Russell Crowe from A Beautiful Mind, but until then, enjoy the fruits of his labour:

Secondly, David Bowie is responsible for the economic downturn. What...really? The British paper the Mirror suggests that it is so. I am copying this story verbatim from Breaking Rock News, because there is not much more to say about it:

The British press have placed part of the blame for the current worldwide economic meltdown at the feet of David Bowie. You see, in 1997 Bowie opened the floodgates for the type of business practices that led to this recession with his "Bowie Bonds". He sold bonds of his future royalties to his fans, assuming that they would be more patient than he when it came to cashing in, and the fans were glad to have a piece of Bowie, a stake in his catalog. As far as Bowie was concerned, it just meant that he would be sure to get his royalty payments upfront.

The economic term for what Bowie was doing is "securitization". An article in the British Mirror suggests that banks were inspired by Bowie's idea, and extended the practice to mortgages, rather than to musical rights. This was so successful that eventually the rates were lowered, and anyone who wanted a loan could get one, whether they could pay it back or not. This is one of the big reasons for the current economic disaster.

Rolling Stone magazine has leaped to Bowie's defense, however, making the case that such practices were commonplace before Bowie, and that "securitization" dates back to the 1970s on Wall Street. They say, "there is no chance in hell that David Bowie inspired banks to package loans into securities, have rating agencies rate them AAA blindly and sell them off to high leverage hedge funds.”


A new book is coming out, inspired by Keith Richards. What Would Keith Richards Do?: Daily Affirmations From a Rock N Roll Survivor hits bookshelves in March, and it's just a collection of quotes from ol' Keith. Which means this might have been the easiest book to write, ever. Unless you count that book by that guy who collected all the internet jokes. Self-help new-age books are staggeringly easy to write, if not to read, and to do one using nothing but existing quotes from someone else? I should have thought of this. It would take me an afternoon.

This coming Sunday, January 18th, Bruce Springsteen, John Mellencamp and Bono (among others - including Beyonce and such) will be performing at the steps of the Lincoln Memorial as part of the Barack Obama inauguration celebration. Which is cool, except that it is being shown live on HBO in the States at 7 p.m. I checked the HBO Canada listings, but it doesn't seem to be included in our programming. That could conceivably change, I suppose, but don't hold your breath.

The feud is over! If anyone noticed it or cared to begin with! Poison vs. Def Leppard has ended...apparently last summer Joe Elliot infuriated members of Poison (and Motley Crue) with his (correct) assertion that they cared more about their appearance and image than they did about their music. Well, of course they do. And I will even go out on a limb to support Elliot in his (implied) contention that Def Leppard care more about their music. But doesn't that just make it a little sadder when they're still just as bad AT that music as is Motley Crue at theirs? Anyway, Poison and Leppard appear to be set to tour together.

And...a list has been made of the bands people would Most Like To See Reunite...and Zeppelin isn't in the top ten. Wham! is in the top ten. And it's a British list - shouldn't Brits want to see Led Zep back together? Nope. #1 on the list is ABBA. Now, I will say that as a diehard Stone Roses fanatic, I would rather see them reunite and come through town - all their original members are still alive - so I accept and condone their inclusion on this list. But the Jackson Five? Really? You want to see Michael Jackson DO stuff still? Take That? Seriously? Also on the list are Pink Floyd, the Smiths, Guns N Roses (original lineup) and the Faces, who actually ARE getting back together.

One more thing - you want an indication of just how much bigger The Beatles were than every other band ever? The keyboard player from the Cars has come out with a ukelele-only instrumental Beatles cover album - and it might be the best thing he's ever done.

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