How does one write an obit for Michael Jackson? José sees it this way: Suffice it to say he is possibly the most over-rated recording artist since Elvis. Popularity isn’t everything. Mayonnaise is popular, Wonderbread is popular. Kraft Macaroni & Cheese is popular. Most things with that level of near-universal popularity are utter shite. The man’s most popular two records were largely written by Quincy Jones. His most recent album Invincible came out 8 years ago and sold 2 million copies, barely a tenth of his album HIStory from 6 years earlier, that itself is a fraction of the 109 million that Thriller sold. He peaked early. He’d been on the way out for 20 years. His freaky self-mutilation kept him in the spotlight long after his 15 minutes were over. His claims to genius are arguable. The evidence for pedophile is much more convincing. More revolting is our instant lionizing of the publicly unrepentant pederast. He’ll share a room with Gary Glitter in hell.
In much more amusing news, Lemonheads lead vocalist Evan Dando is suing General Motors. His lawsuit claims that the automaker copied his 1992 single "It's A Shame About Ray" in an ad for Chevrolet and Buick. If you’ve seen the ad, you already know they are gonna lose bad. The Lemonheads will release their new album, Varshons, later this month.
José is way into this EP of down-tempo electronica by Mouse Kills Tiger. This LA-based trio kept it high and tight. They rock an uncharted region triangulated between Tommy Guerrero, Radiohead and Stellastar. Free Download HERE.
Billy Corgan has finally confirmed the identity of his new drummer. Replacing long-time smack-head Jimmy Chamberlin is 19-year-old Mike Byrne. Bryne is a Berklee College of Music freshman and former member of the Oregon-based band, Moses, Smell the Roses. He is already recording demos with Corgan.
Alice in Chains has gotten a tad more specific about their new album. The title has been revealed to be Black Gives Way To Blue and the record will drop September 29th. It will be their first album featuring new singer William DuVall and their first album of any kind in 10 years.
The Killers have stated that they intend to record an album of cover songs this fall. Singer Brandon Flowers stated that they were talking about covering songs by Joe Cocker, Billy Squire, The Baja Marimba Band and even Grover Washington Jr.
And on a lesser note, Phish have announced some details on their supposed “comeback” album. José askes: Come back to what? The 10-song album Joy was was recorded with producer Steve Lillywhite. Trey Anastasio stated “We played one long noodling riff over and over and over till everybody left the room.”
HOLY CRAP Oxford Collapse broke up. Their last two shows will be July 17 and 18 in Hoboken and New York. The bands official statement reads: After eight years, 450 shows, and four albums, we’ve decided that we’ve reached the end of the line. To paraphrase the Grateful Dead, “what a long, strange, eye-opening, stomach-bursting, heart-breaking, bittersweet, educational, enlightening, mind-numbing… absurd, amazing trip it’s been.” Damn.