Much as I hate to bring up MICHAEL JACKSON again, I was intrigued by sister LA TOYA's allegations that he was knocked off for his publishing assets. "Michael was murdered," she told News of the World. "And we don't think just one person was involved. Rather, it was a conspiracy of people. I feel it was all about money. Michael was worth well over a billion in music-publishing assets, and somebody killed him for that. He was worth more dead than alive." Paul McCartney, you murdering son of a bitch!
She's right about one thing, though: Mike's incredible posthumous chart domination gives credence to the idea that he's skyrocketed in value since his demise. And perhaps he's not even truly dead at all. "Considering all the good things Michael did on Earth for peace and love, I'm sure he is alive today on the Elohim's Eternal-Life Planet," said Rael, the leading philosophical mind of the totally sane Raelian movement. I'm not going to go into all the awesome stuff they believe; just read that quote again and you'll have it mostly figured out.
The legal troubles of KEVIN COGILL, the man who leaked some Chinese Democracy tracks on his blog ahead of the album's release, seem to be over. Although prosecutors sought jail time, Cogill has been let off with a warning and a bit of humiliation — he has to record an anti-piracy public-service announcement for the RIAA. Frankly, I think this man should have been protected under federal whistleblower laws for risking his neck to provide inside info regarding the album's impending shittiness.
The hilariously titled GUITAR HERO: AEROSMITH PRESENTS AEROSMITH tour has been fraught with problems of late — Aerosmith seem to be having quite a bit of trouble presenting Aerosmith. Early in the month, the band postponed three shows because of a Steven Tyler leg injury. Then a June 8 press release revealed that guitarist Brad Whitford would skip out on part of the tour as he "recuperates from recent surgery." Once he returned on July 15, he tagged out bassist Tom Hamilton, who'll sit out the next leg while he "recuperates from non-invasive surgery." At this point, their enfeebled geriatric bodies are deteriorating quicker than their artistic legitimacy — you know your time has come when the Rolling Stones are looking positively vigorous by comparison.
MTV News headline: "NEW BOYZ Say They're More Than Just Jerkin' Rappers." Uhhhh . . .
After a decade of fussin' and feudin', MASE and CAM'RON have set aside their differences to record a track together. It's kind of like the Nas/Jay-Z team-up, except that those guys managed to pull it off when a certain percentage of the world's population still gave a shit. I guess I still have a bit of affection for Cam'ron despite his pathetically declining career, but Mase? Mase? Still?
Getting a little sick of BRITNEY SPEARS as an archetypical trampy weirdo girl? In her upcoming video for the track "Radar," she'll be turning over a new leaf. "Let's show the classy side of Britney and focus on a classy experience," suggests the vid's director. MTV reports that "the new video centers on Britney being torn between two love interests: a rich guy and a polo player." News flash, you shut-in Hollywood idiots: polo players are rich guys.
RYAN SEACREST, the campy scaffolding that holds up that cheesy grin on American Idol, has made significantly more money than you over the past few years. He just negotiated a new contract, however, and now he'll be making way, way, way more money than you. If you're feeling a little bitter about this, please remember that he's obscenely rich because he's more talented than you, and because our culture values him more highly. There, doesn't that make you feel better?
DAVID THORPE |firstname.lastname@example.org