Australia unimpressed with Whitney Houston show
Whitney Houston has been receiving major flak for her Monday night Nothing But Love Tour gig at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre in Australia. The Guardian noted that Whit gave “a car-crash performance” and “should stop performing until she can deliver something worthy of her name,” while Billboard reports that the show was savaged by fans as well as critics, and that some ticket-holders were demanding a refund.
Come on, now—it’s Whitney. It’s The Voice! It couldn’t have been that bad, could it?
It’s kind of like the first time you listen to Whitney’s I Look To You, and frantically fast forward to find the one song, any song, where she belts it out like the old days. There are a few decent tracks on there, and the production values are great. But overall, the whole record just sort of makes you depressed to hear how her voice truly is only a shell of what it once was.
But, look—we weren’t there in Brisbane to witness the alleged live butchering of the Whitney Houston catalog with our own eyes and ears, so who are we to really judge? Instead, we’ll just defer to the concert attendee from this news clip, who said the following when walking out of the show: “She couldn’t entertain a dead rat, to be honest.”
Famed producer of U2, DMB isn't kidding
Yes, he’s serious. Producer Steve Lillywhite does want to replace Simon Cowell on "American Idol." And when you give a listen, he makes a pretty good case for it.
You might note that in the video Lillywhite claims to have "discovered" U2, and it's not too
outlandish a claim; he says he saw their first London show and he did produce their first three albums, along with later works like “How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb.” Throw in huge albums from the Dave Matthews Band and the like and you know Lillywhite ain’t hurtin’ for money.
He says he’ll be a good judge. Known for his harder rock, he has worked on plenty of pop projects including Marshall Crenshaw, Crowded House, The La's and World Party.
“I can be firm; I have spent 30 years telling Bono what to do,” he says facetiously. With Howard Stern demanding $100 million to move into the Cowell seat, Lillywhite might be the bargain of the year.
Devo focus groups new record
Devo's first album in 20 years is to be determined by focus group. The de-evolved new wave band will choose their new record's songs, instrumentation, and even the colour of their "power dome" hats, in consultation with the public.
"In the spirit of trying to bring the best possible content to a world that seems to be reaching a boiling point, Devo wants to know what you, the hairy content consumers, really think," explained Greg Scholl, the "CEO" of Devo Inc. "[We have] initiated a series of studies to help the band determine every decision it makes regarding its body coverage, its brand colour, its graphic icons and even its choice of vocal, style and instrumentation on any given song."
Prior to last night's performance at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Devo's Gerald Casale explained the concept to the Los Angeles Times. "It's an art experiment," he said. "The experiment is the business of art. It's always there, but nobody ever talks about it." Besides working on consultations with the marketing firm Los Angeles Mother, the band have announced a major merchandise, tour and album deal with Warner Music.
"It's just fun to use business as part of the creative process, even if it's satirical," Casale said. Devo plan to put the whole process online, revealing all of the focus groups' decisions. "People will see what happened, and then we'll also put out bonus tracks of the non-focus-group-approved music," he explained. "For anyone who is interested, we'd like to let them examine this as an open book. Here's our first demos, and here's the songs that never reached anybody, and here's the ones the focus group didn't like."
In recording the album, Devo turned to a variety of producers who have been influenced by the band. These included Santigold, the Dust Brothers' John King, and Greg Kurstin, who plays with the Bird and the Bee. "[We wanted to understand] their idea of Devo," Casale said.
"Devo has remarked that the typical artist feels 'special' because he or she invents his own world and sticks to it," Scholl said in his mock-infomercial. "Instead, the band feels it's much more special actually to listen to others' ideas and feelings and take them into account."
"Devo is real now," Casale said. "Devo is not ahead of its time. Devo is not scary or shocking ... We're the house band on the Titanic, and we're here to entertain as we all go down."
The as yet untitled album will be released in May.
Billy Corgan seeks to outdouche John Mayer
Recently, tabloids and gossip blogs have been speculating on whether Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan and pop star Jessica Simpson are an item. The two were spotted in December, and last month of the pair working together in the studio.
On Thursday, Corgan opened up to The Chicago Tribune about the reason behind the pairing: Simpson apparently wanted the alt-rock titan to help her write the theme song for "The Price of Beauty," her forthcoming VH1 show about cultural ideas of attractiveness.
"She asked me to help her out on the theme song for her new TV show," Corgan said. "[The show] has an interesting concept. She goes around the world to show how different people perceive beauty. In some cultures, bigger is better. In some, smaller is better. It's interesting."
Simpson has dabbled in both the pop and country worlds musically, but it seems that Corgan has been helping her explore her inner rock god. "I ended up writing part of [the theme song]," he told the paper. "It has a little bit of an alternative-rock edge, but it's still very poppy."
While Corgan was clear about his musical collaborations with Simpson, he was vague about his possible romantic involvement with the pop singer. But he was forthcoming on what it was like to be a focus point of tabloid culture: "The stuff that I've seen doesn't have any bearing to the reality that I'm in," he said. "It's like being in a cartoon. It has nothing to do with what's really going on or how I feel."
Corgan is currently working on the Pumpkins' Teargarden by Kaleidyscope, a planned 44-track collection he's gradually releasing over the course of three years via free download from his Web site.
John Mellencamp for Senate?
INDIANAPOLIS — An online effort to draft Hoosier rocker John Mellencamp to run for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Indiana's Democratic Sen. Evan Bayh is building up steam.
Twitter is abuzz with the rumor and three separate Facebook groups have been set up, with the largest boasting about 2,000 members.
Mellencamp is no stranger to politics. In 2008, he recorded a radio commercial supporting Barack Obama's presidential campaign and requested that Republican candidate John McCain stop playing his songs, including "Our Country" and "Pink Houses," at his rallies.
Mellencamp's songs often have political or social themes. He is a co-founder of Farm Aid.
On Thursday, Mellencamp spokesman Bob Merlis said the musician "has no statement to offer."
The subject of one of the most iconic songs of all time talks about Doug Fieger
Sharona Alperin went on to be a high-end Realtor in Los Angeles and she reflected recently on the death of singer Doug Fieger and what the single did for her life.
Also unseen Prince, and Abbey Road for sale
Thirty years later, Jackson Browne still against the nukes. Here’s a new interview with radio legend Nicole Sandler; besides talking politics, Browne reveals he’ll reunite with David Lindley for a tour soon.
Bad idea: No Doubt may cover Lionel Richie and other ‘80s hitmakers on a new album.
This is like selling off the Eiffel Tower or Statue of Liberty. Abbey Road is for sale. An excerpt: "EMI bought the house at number 3 Abbey Road for £100,000 ($160,000) in 1929 and transformed it into the world's first custom-built recording studios."
Blink and you'll miss them. Some footage of Prince rehearsing for the "Purple Rain" tour has surfaced, but his lawyers are already all over it.
Patti Smith talks about her new book. "When I left the public eye in 1979, I felt that I had contributed all I knew in the arena of rock 'n' roll"