Elliott Smith’s girlfriend Jennifer Chiba has lost a California appellate court case where she claimed she was entitled to a portion of Smith’s estate “because they had lived together, shared equally their earnings and property and held themselves out to the public as husband and wife. Smith, she claimed, promised to support Chiba for the rest of her life.”
She also claimed she acted as Smith’s manager and agent, including booking gigs for him, and was entitled to 15% of all proceeds he earned. She sought more than $1 million.
Chiba was there when Smith allegedly killed himself, and admitted to police that she pulled the knife out of his chest. Chiba has maintained that she didn’t kill him: “It’s absolutely not my fault. I know that, and people close to Elliott know that.” Smith’s family, however, was not so sure…
For weeks, Jake and I have been IMing about the respective issues and trials surrounding both Pete Doherty and Amy Winehouse. Now, I don’t mind that they get loaded and cause trouble. In fact, I like it. Rock and roll needs some troublemakers. Complaining about Pete Doherty’s drug arrests and Amy Winehouse’s tabloid travails seems to me to be anti-rock and roll. But I don’t want them to die. I love their music and want more and more of it. They also seem like cool people. I’m not sure I’d let them babysit my son, but I’d sure as fuck love to go to a dirty rock club with them and argue about the Kinks.
They seemed to us to be those two jacked up friends you’re always talking about. The friends you know shouldn’t get together, but if they ever did they’d have a hell of a good time and probably a few arrests under their arms before it was all said and done. I mean, imagine if Pete and Amy got together?
Imagine no more. The NME reports that Winehouse has in fact recorded a track with Doherty’s own Babyshambles. Guitarist Mik Whitnall explained, “It’s a ska type track. Amy’s playing guitar on it and singing as well,” he said. “I’m assuming that the pair have been jamming in Wiltshire where Amy’s been staying with him along with his new fiancé from what I could gather.”
And proving that rock and roll is still a bit of a boys club, Whitnall added this bit about Winehouse’s guitar playing, “She thinks she’s shit but she’s not. I’ve never met a girl who plays like that, let alone a man.” Gee, thanks.
How much would you pay to hear the new Radiohead album before it is “released”? Because, no, really, Radiohead wants you to set your own price. On October 10, you’ll be able to download In Rainbows from the band’s website for a cost of your choosing. So “x” out of Soulseek and give the band at least a penny; even if you don’t love ’em, isn’t one cent worth seeing an archaic business model crumble?
The album, self-released, will drop in tangible forms “before or on December 3.” You can pre-order a “discbox” which includes the CD and LP versions; a bonus CD of new songs, digital photos and artwork; and will come encased in a hard book. They’re not playin’ around. Pre-orders also include access to the digital download, so you’ll already know all the words by the time you’re pouring over images of crazy bears. The most vanilla of you could just wait until the regular CD comes out sometime early ’08.
There’s just so much to appreciate here. By releasing the album only through their website, they control it in all aspects. Instead of announcing a release date months down the road, only to have the album leak anyway, the band will get at least some cash out of the ‘net hounds. And the notoriously loyal Radiohead fanbase will still pre-order the loaded deluxe package. Meanwhile, fans who weren’t expecting a new album until at least next year only have to wait nine more days.
After three weeks of deadlock, the jury was released from duty today after the judge declared a mistrial for Phil Spector. The jury deliberated for 12 days, taking six ballots, but was unable to reach a unanimous verdict.
Spector was accused of killing Lana Clarkson, a B-movie actress who had fallen on harder times and was hostessing at the House of Blues, on February 3, 2003.
Anyone who knows anything about the history of rock and roll knows Spector is no stranger to guns. In fact, four women testified of their own gun toting encounters with with Wall of Sound inventor.
If you like The Artic Monkeys, The Libertines, The Bravery, or even Spoon, then you can thank The Jam. Revered by anglophiles everywhere, Paul Weller, Bruce Foxton, and Rick Buckler spearheaded the second wave of Mod in Britain in 1977. Coupling the rage of punk with the style and panache of their 1960s idols, The Jam were as much sound as vision. If you listen to the production style of some of their songs, and as you can see from the photos, there was an uneven level of success and failure with both.
Never-before-seen photos taken by the band’s official photographer, Neil “Twink” Tinning, from 1981-1982 have been selected from the recently published photographic book, The Jam Unseen (published by Cyan Books), and will be available as limited edition prints, individually numbered and signed. The photos depict the individual members of the original line-up of The Jam
The two members of the band not named Paul Weller hit the road as “From The Jam: Bruce Foxton and Rick Buckler” with a 20-date autumn 2007 tour. First show is Ipswich Regents Theatre on November 21st. The 22-date tour takes in London, Manchester, Newcastle, Glasgow, Southampton and ends December 21st at the Brighton Centre.
CMJ Caught in Money Grab? The short version: CMJ sent an email to the 675 bands who submitted an application through Sonicbids to play at the CMJ Music Marathon, but included all 675 email addresses instead of BCC-ing them. Hilarity ensued.
But the real problem is that CMJ (allegedly) wasn’t even listening to the applicants’ songs:
“Check your SonicBids account and see how many plays you received. Ours, attached, shows that there were NO plays of any of our music by anyone (CMJ was the only ap we submitted). $45 should at the very least mean that they get an intern to click play on your song once.”
I’m surprised they reject so many bands. I’ve suspected that CMJ was a racket, but I assumed the scam was accepting every band that applied and booking them in crappy venues on Wednesday night. I’m actually a little flattered now…
The Wall Street Journal asks, Are Technology Limits In MP3s and iPods Ruining Pop Music? But man, couldn’t they find anyone who doesn’t sound like a complete “back in my day” fogeyist? Kids these days, I tell ya, they just don’t care about quality anymore. At least according to dudes who’ve worked with Fleetwood Mac, the Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, Cher, Michael Jackson, Santana and, ahem, Chris Daughtry.
The annoying thing is that what they are saying really is important:
Producers and engineers say there are many ways they might change a track to accommodate an iPod MP3. Sometimes, the changes are for the worse.
For example, says veteran Los Angeles studio owner Skip Saylor, high frequencies that might seem splendid on a CD might not sound as good as an MP3 file and so will get taken out of the mix. “The result might make you happy on an MP3, but it wouldn’t make you happy on a CD,” he says. “Am I glad I am doing this? No. But it’s the real world and so you make adjustments.”
This shift to compressed music heard via an iPod is occurring at the same time as another music trend that bothers audiophiles: Music today is released at higher volume levels than ever before, on the assumption that louder music sells better. The process of boosting volume, though, tends to eliminate a track’s distinct highs and lows.
It’s true, and it sucks. But they’re not going to convince anybody with that kind of tone.
It’s not cool to pile on, I know, but anyone who saw the MTV music awards is talking about the same thing: What the fuck happened to Britney Spears?
Like all MTV Music Awards openers, this was hyped to be “amazing” and “shocking” and a triumphant return for who was once the bread and butter for the dopiest channel on TV. The promise was that everyone would be talking about Britney’s performance, and they are, just not for a good reason.
Half stumbling and entirely leadfooted, Britney Spears couldn’t even bother to phone it in. Naughty Baby definitely did a No-No with an uninspired walkthrough that has pole dancers everywhere justifiably declaring: I can do that!
Sarah Silverman may have put it best when she said, “Isn’t [Spears] amazing? Just twenty five years old and she’s done everything she’s going to do with her life.” Let’s hope so.