Apparently, video evidence of the crime, a weak defense, incredible media scrutiny, and really dopey looking hair braids aren’t enough to convict a guy of buggery in Chicago. Six years after being charged with making and starring in a child porn video, R&B superstar R. Kelly was found not guilty today by a Cook County jury. Both Kelly and the alleged victim denied appearing in the video and neither testified in the case.
It seems the whole defense was built around a mole. No, not a mole like a snitch or the subterranean rodent, but a skin discoloration. Never mind that the prosecution had a witness who testified to being involved in a three-way with Kelly and the victim, and could identify both Kelly and the victim in the video, the blurry tape apparently didn’t have high enough resolution so the guy was sprung.
According to the AP, “the prosecution’s star witness was a woman who said she engaged in three-way sex with Kelly and the alleged victim. Defense attorneys argued the man on the tape didn’t have a large mole on his back; Kelly has such a mole.”
And here’s a bit of GLONO trivia: Jake and I were at the WXRT studio when the Sun-Times’ pop critic Jim DeRogatis received word that Kelly was about to be arrested. Jake was asked to talk to Kot and DeRo on Sound Opinions about our posting of Jack and Meg White‘s marriage license and divorce certificate, and how that blew the lid off their whole brother-sister story. DeRo stumbled in late, arms full of fast food, huffing and puffing about the big story that was about to break the following day. He wouldn’t give any details, but the next day his reporting on the arrest broke and so began this whole mess.
Somewhere, Fatty Arbuckle is spinning in his grave.
[NOTE: This post has been edited for clarity and accuracy–.ed]
Another outstanding video from our new favorite band. You can’t watch this shit and tell me those kids aren’t wacked out on drugs. And what’s that!?!?! The bear from Chucky Cheese in a cameo? Oh, hell yes.
MGMT – “Electric Feel” Music Video
Previously: MGMT – Time To Pretend
That’s right, folks. Slick Rick has been pardoned! Rick’s recommendation to “Treat her like a prostitute” was apparently taken too literally by former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer, whose forced resignation landed the current governor his job.
Governor David A. Paterson announced today that he has granted Ricky Walters a full and unconditional pardon of his 1991 attempted murder and weapon convictions, in order to allow Walters to seek relief from deportation from the federal immigration courts. Mr. Walters, who was born in the United Kingdom, was lawfully admitted to the United States at age 11, and he was raised in the Bronx. At the time of his crimes, Mr. Walters was a newly-famous hip-hop artist known as “Slick Rick,” who has since been credited with being a pioneer in the development of hip-hop as a mainstream musical genre. Walters was incarcerated for six years, and was released from prison in 1997.
“Mr. Walters has fully served the sentence imposed upon him for his convictions, had an exemplary disciplinary record while in prison and on parole, and has been living without incident in the community for more than 10 years,” said Governor Paterson. “In that time, he has volunteered at youth outreach programs to counsel youth against violence, and has become a symbol of rehabilitation for many young people. Given these demonstrated rehabilitative efforts, I urge federal immigration officials to once again grant Mr. Walters relief from deportation, so that he is not separated from his many family members who are United States citizens, including his two teenage children.”
Continue reading Slick Rick Free, Pardoned
Sonic Youth has a new limited-edition compilation coming out on June 10. It’s called Hits Are for Squares and it will be sold exclusively at select big city Starbucks stores. The track list was selected by a bunch of famous fans, and Billboard has revealed the selections.
Of course the first thing we must determine is: Who is hardcore and who’s a poser? I.e., who picked the accessible “hits” and who picked the weird old noisy stuff? For what it’s worth, Radiohead selected “Kool Thing” and Chloe Sevigny selected “World Looks Red” from 1983’s Confusion Is Sex.
Criticize the rest of the picks after the jump…
Continue reading Sonic Youth: Starbucks is for Squares
Almost twelve years ago, some friends and I were having an e-mail discussion about Neil Young when one of our other friends made some ridiculous comment about how we shouldn’t waste his time on such an awful singer and terrible songwriter like Neil. I spazzed, of course, but my man George’s response was genius. Check it out after the jump…
Continue reading Tell like it is, G.
Hope you snatched them while you had the chance. A few weeks ago, we told you about eMusic’s coup of landing the ABKCO catalog. It seemed too good to be true, and unfortunately it was. Alert GLONO reader Baltimucho pointed out that now when you search for the Rolling Stones, you get the following response: “Due to events outside of our control, we no longer carry the Rolling Stones catalogue on eMusic. We are sorry to see it go, but hope to get them back in the future.”
Ars Technica looked into it:
All ABKCO would say is that eMusic “executed an excellent promotional campaign” but that the label “has decided that at this point in time we wish to further evaluate this area of the digital marketplace.”
eMusic, for its part, expressed frustration. “Unfortunately, during this time of transition in the music industry, customers are often caught in the middle as traditional music companies determine how to adjust to new opportunities in the marketplace,” it said in a statement.
This sucks, obviously, in general. But it sucks even more for people who put off downloading as much Stones stuff as they wanted, assuming it would still be there next month.
Continue reading eMusic Loses the Stones
The title’s not a call to action but a statement of fact: Pete’s free today, having served 29 days of a 14-week jail sentence for breaking probation. And from the sounds of it, prison life has it’s ups and downs when you’re Pete Doherty.
“I got trouble from the start, from the inmates and the guards, mainly shouting at night really,” Pete told the NME. “Some people were saying ‘Keep your head down’, the other half were saying ‘Keep your chin up’. So I was a bit like a nodding dog – I didn’t know whether to keep my chin up or keep my head down. It was 18-day early release – I can’t complain really.”
Doherty also claims to have been drug free during his time in the Joint.
“I managed to stay clean. I got my certificate. I was going to Sellotape it to the wall, but they wouldn’t give me any Sellotape,” he said. “Did I take heroin inside? Complete rubbish.”
Still, Pete’s upbeat. “It could have been a lot worse.”
Update: The Guardian has video of Pete waiting for his manager to pick him up.
Dirty Pretty Things news after the jump…
Continue reading Free Pete Doherty
Dennis Wilson‘s solo album, Pacific Ocean Blue, out of print since a crappy 1991 CD version, is being reissued on June 17 as a two-disc legacy edition with 24 unreleased bonus tracks (plus “All Alone” which was included on the Endless Harmony soundtrack). This is exciting news for Beach Boys fans and MOJO readers, as Pacific Ocean Blue is widely considered a lost classic and “the best solo album ever released by a Beach Boy.”
One weird thing about the reissue is that it contains one song (“Holy Man”) with a newly recorded vocal track by Taylor Hawkins of the Foo Fighters. Buddyhead talked to reissue producer Gregg Jakobson about how this came about:
Taylor was in town, a fan of Dennis’s. He’s also a family friend and interestingly enough has the same gravely, whisky, smokers voice as Den. They sound very much alike. We were in the studio mixing the Holy Man track, Taylor comes down to the studio, we hammer out a lyric, Taylor sings it. Perfect! It was meant to be. Destiny.
Buddyhead adds that Hawkins is also “a bearded surfing drummer just like Dennis.” So there you have it.
Official site: Pacific Ocean Blue. Pre-order from Amazon. Buddyhead has a couple mp3s and videos. Full press release after the jump…
Continue reading Dennis Wilson's "Pacific Ocean Blue" finally reissued
Bands catch a lot of flack these days for making half-baked, inarticulate political statements. It’s always fun to poke fun at dopey rock stars, I guess, but I just read a great quote in MOJO by Brian Jones from January, 1967:
“Our real followers have moved on with us, and they are questioning some of the basic immoralities which are tolerated in present-day society — the War in Vietnam, the persecution of homosexuals, the illegality of abortion and drug taking. All these things are immoral. We are making our own statement. Others are making more intellectual ones.”
We shouldn’t expect musicians to make air-tight political arguments. Leave that to the activists and intellectuals. But it’s great that they make their own statements, whether overtly political or not. There are many ways to subvert the system.
Kind of funny (and by funny I mean extremely disappointing) that 40 years after Brian Jones said that, we’re still basically fighting against those exact same immoralities…