Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Some Breaking Rock News...

Aerosmith "can't wait" to get into the studio to record their 15th studio LP, and they will be doing so tomorrow. I, on the other hand, can wait. I can wait a lifetime. Starting with Get A Grip, Aerosmith has managed to maintain cultural relevance, album sales, and a fan base, despite (or perhaps because of) a slow but sure slip into musical irrelevance. They are now the music du jour for tweens who like Ben Affleck movies and young women who like Chevy commercials. They are not the band of Rag Doll or Janie's Got a Gun or Dream On. They are Bon Jovi with a little more street cred. From long ago.


Bruce Springsteen is making more songs available free. This time on the new Guitar Hero: World Tour video game. Because that (I actually mean this) is the best place for anyone to release new music. I realize now that Springsteen is hitting the ground at the right time, timing-wise, with the release of his new album coming right between the Obama inauguration and the Super Bowl halftime show. Smart timing! And it's only sensible to go through Guitar Hero to market your music. Any up-and coming band like Springsteen's knows that. Way to go, Boss!


U2's guitarist Edge says that the upcoming U2 album, No Line On The Horizon, is inspired by Led Zeppelin and the White Stripes. But then he goes on to say that, in fact, the album was more inspired by an appearance in a documentary that Jack White and Jimmy Page made together. And that seeing them together on this history-of-the-electric-guitar documentary was kind of neat. And then they went and recorded the album. But let's be honest. What U2 album is influenced by anyone other than Bono?


Yesterday, we reported that the Beatles' tunes would be available for download for the first time ever, thanks to some strange Norwegian podcasts that featured each of the songs in the Beatles catalogue. Their entire catalogue! Hooray...no. As it turns out, the Norwegian broadcaster that was putting these podcasts out there had to take them down, because of legal entanglements. Not because of any litigious action by Paul McCartney or anything like that - but rather because of a tiny clause in their contract, where it turns out they waited too long. They are only allowed to put out podcasts within six months after they aired. Or something. But they waited more than a year. Or something. And...we lose the Beatles music again. I hope they will not be forgotten by the general public...they were pretty good.


In an effort to make absolutely sure that we try to forget the Beatles, Paul McCartney recently released an album with a group, or side project, or something, called Fireman. And now it comes with a deluxe tin box that features a bunch of extra stuff. Like a bonus CD that gives you all the same tracks, but different versions. And a DVD where you can take those tracks, and remix them yourself to your satisfaction. So...I can take a CD of music that already sucks, put in my own effort in an attempt to make it at least half-decent...and then what? Play it for my friends?


And, in an effort to remind us all just how awesome the Beatles really were, Michael Jackson has said he will be leaving the Beatles catalogue to McCartney in his will. When Michael Jackson dies, McCartney will inherit (back) the entire Beatles catalogue for which he was outbid by Jackson more than 20 years ago. Jacko, you see, wants to extend an olive branch to Macca. Oh God, I've been reading too many tabloids. Anyway, the two haven't spoken in 23 years or something, so this is a way for the maniac man to make amends. Except, and no one appears to have thought of this, Paul McCartney is 66. Michael Jackson is 50. That's a 16-year age difference, and the chances McCartney outlives Jackson ought to be pretty small. The fact that no one has pointed this out indicates to me that just about everyone in the world assumes that Michael Jackson will perish, soon, in some incredible blaze of insanity.


The Doobie Brothers are almost finished their new album. The Doobie Brothers are still awesome. For more evidence on just how awesome they are, scroll down and click the link in the next post.


The Allman Brothers are also still awesome. They are back working, after Gregg Allman's illness last year. More interesting though, is that their badass amazing guitarist, Derek Trucks, is releasing his new album with his own group on Tuesday. Already Free is out January 13th. I suspect it is well worth picking up.


And lastly, sadly, Ron Asheton has died. Many people (including Doc and Woody and Randall) do not know him by name. They do, however, know his band, the Stooges. One of the very influential guitar players in music, Asheton will be missed. He was 60. I can't do a great tribute to him myself, at least not as good as the one in Rolling Stone. Or, of course, the memories of Iggy Pop. (Such as they are.) So go here to see the full extent of Asheton's influence:


http://www.rollingstone.com/rockdaily/index.php/2009/01/06/iggy-pop-pays-tribute-to-stooges-ron-asheton-he-was-my-best-friend/

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