FAIL: Courtney Love, KeSha, Beta Band, Rock And Roll Lawyers
Photo illustrations by John Seaborn Gray
Courtney Love Melts Down Onstage... No, We Mean More Than Usual: We're hoping our Rocks Off counterpart Craig Hlavaty gets to witness his fantasy Hole show next week, but judging from the performance Courtney Love put on last Sunday night at Washington DC's 9:30 Club, it doesn't seem very likely.
Love slurred, mumbled, and rambled incoherently, playing mainly incomplete shards of songs before losing the words or chords, and either ignoring and swearing at fans. She did all this for three hours, by the way, evidently chasing over the half the crowd straight out the door by the end. As for what caused the meltdown, it's anybody's guess. Food poisoning? Heatstroke? That old celebrity standby "exhaustion"? Enough pills to bring down a herd of elephants? We may never know.
By the time she came out for the encore, Love was clad in a see-through top and asked the audience for a bra, which she removed during the closing song of the night, "Northern Star."
We're not still finding this bullshit cute, are we? Yeah, she still looks good, but this chick is 45 years old with a daughter who won't even speak to her. The folks who walked out had the right idea. The last thing Courtney needs now is encouragement.
KeSha Wants to Be Taken Seriously. So Does That Mean We Can Give the Dollar Sign a Rest?: Oddly-shaped one-hit wonder KeSha recently told the Associated Press she wants to be taken seriously. This shouldn't be a problem, as long as she goes into something other than singing. If you saw her perform her massive club hit "Tik Tok" on Saturday Night Live, you saw a joke of a live act fail to generate any excitement whatsoever led by a performer who sorely misses her Auto-Tune.
In a way, this performance really validated the whole concept of Auto-Tune; despite getting used a lot by artists who don't really need it - Chris Brown, Enrique Iglesias, the goddamn Temptations, etc. - sometimes it really is a vital tool for making a flat, atonal performer sound decent. Back to KeSha: you know what's going to happen next. Any time an artist talks about "being taken seriously," their next project is always a maudlin effort completely devoid of fun or humor designed to show that they're deep, thoughtful people who deserve to be admired, not just blasted in the club and then forgotten about.
In other words, KeSha's next project is going to be just as shitty as "Tik Tok," but without the benefit of being danceable. Yikes. Buckle up, everybody.
[Ed. Note: Apparently the software we use to post these here blogs has decided to answer the question in the title of that last item for us.]
Music Festivals Have Non-Compete Clauses for Their Acts; That's So Effin' Rock and Roll!: If you're in a band and you play in a music festival like Bonnaroo or Lollapalooza, you can't play within a certain radius of that festival for X days before and Y days after. In the specific case of Lollapalooza, radius = 300 miles, X = 180 and Y = 90. Relax, that's as much math as Fails will ever make you do.
How badly does this screw over bands? Pretty badly, it would seem, and even worse for local concert promoters, who will have a paltry three-month window to schedule any tour dates with any bands participating in the festival, and will have to hope bands unaffiliated with any nearby festivals will be coming through town often enough to sustain business in the other nine months.
So if there's a festival in Austin (as there so often is) and let's say the Constantines are there, and they want to swing down to Houston and play here in order to make Fails the happiest little fella you ever did see, they're more than free to... three months after the festival leaves Austin. Those cats are from Canada, you bastards. They don't get down this-a way all that often.
Is it just us, or is rock and roll embracing Draconian habits more and more of late? It's like they miss writing songs about how much they hate George W. Bush so much that they've decided to start acting like him.
Apparently Glastonbury Works Just Like High School: Like, so there I was, in eleventh grade, okay? And I seriously knocked it out of the park with this monologue in Drama class. We were auditioning for Les Miserables, so I picked this monologue from Beckett and just absolutely freaking owned it right there in front of everybody and then immediately launched into my audition song, "Stray Cat Strut," and blew everyone away.
Some people were seriously crying. So then a week later I check the cast sheet, and who gets the part of Jean Valjean but stupid Derrick Grenier, who had literally just come off of playing Sweeney Todd in our fall production. The whole thing was, like, so rigged. I got cast as stupid Thenardier who only has a couple of scenes and one lame-ass musical number. I was so upset I kicked a Sousaphone case somebody had left in the dressing room, broke a toe, and had to give my part in Our Town to somebody else.
If the preceding made you throw up in your mouth a little, imagine the very same sentiment coming from a full-grown musician, spraying sour-grape juice at Damon Albarn because last year he headlined the Glastonbury Music Festival with Blur, and this year headlined the same festival with Gorillaz. The jealous musician in question would be the Beta Band's Steve Mason.
"When will the rest of us get a chance, Albarn?" he seems to be asking, without realizing that the Beta Band, while a decent band, couldn't headline a music festival in their hometown if Jesus Christ himself offered to play bass. Damon Albarn is in two massively successful bands. Just accept it and keep doing your own thing, dude. That's how Fails wound up landing the part of MacDuff in Macbeth our senior year and totally got to choreograph our own badass climactic swordfight.
It was so sick, you don't even know.
Titans of Aimless Snooze-Rock to Join Forces: Benefactors of much Pitchfork fellation, Deerhunter are collaborating with Animal Collective engineer Ben Allen, who also worked on unotrdfnheanbhjgnnnnnnnnnnnnzpo what?
Oh, damn, sorry about that, fell asleep right on the keyboard. Anyway, this collaboration should be perfect for fans of delicate, mid-tempo adult contemporary with allusions to offnofn;ngsugn;ioghwregvvu35as0035... okay, we're going to have to write about something else now.
Win of the Week: Speaking of Glastonbury, The Edge came out and performed "Where the Streets Have No Name" with Muse. It was pretty damn neat.
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