The music industry's response to the Haiti disaster has been pretty great, since it's given some huge names a chance to complete the vital circuit between the public's heartstrings and their wallets. RADIOHEAD's recent charity show raised half a million, and the Hope for Haiti Now telethon brought in an amazing $57 million. The artistic response has seldom hit a sour note — but since this is "The Big Hurt," I guess I'll pick on one thing. SIMON COWELL's upcoming charity single will feature all sorts of heavy-hitting talent, like MARIAH CAREY, JON BON JOVI, and ROD STEWART. I wish it the best of luck and hope it raises a billion dollars, but the song selection is a little perverse: a cover of R.E.M.'s "Everybody Hurts." Really? Everybody hurts sometimes? Chin up, Haiti, we totally know what you're feeling right now. Happens to all of us.
I'm also kinda bummed that it seems to take a tremendous loss of life to get interesting music programming on the air. If you see a major artist covering an even more major artist on prime-time TV — like Stevie Wonder doing "Bridge over Troubled Water" or Neil Young covering "Imagine" — you know some terrible shit went down.
On to lighter news: recent gossip in Britain's Sun indicates that Blake Fielder-Civil, ex-husband of AMY WINEHOUSE, spent some span of time cavorting with a young lover described as a "transsexual Amy Winehouse look-alike." It could have been an honest mistake, since that's pretty much what Amy Winehouse looks like.
You hear that mournful whistle? That's the Wind of Change, my friend. After 75 years of unwavering German rock, SCORPIONS are delivering one final album and tour and then splitting. True to form, they'll be going out on a modest note. "While we were working on our album these past few months, we could literally feel how powerful and creative our work was," said lead singer Klaus Meine. "We want to end the Scorpion's extraordinary career on a high note." (Not so sure that's the right possessive, but, hey, it's his band. I'll trust him.)
Sinatra had The Manchurian Candidate, Bowie was perfect in The Man Who Fell to Earth, and Björk was lauded for Dancer in the Dark, but I think we can all agree on the single greatest motion-picture performance by a singer: WEIRD AL in UHF. After more than 20 years of tragic non-film-stardom, Al has entered a development deal with Cartoon Network to direct a new live-action TV movie. I know we're socially required to stop loving Al when we turn 14, but as a child of the '80s, I'm unironically and unashamedly jazzed. It's okay to say that his recent parodies are lame, if you must, but people who don't like UHF are like people who hate Star Wars: total bitches, all of them.
I checked my e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) the other day, as I do every few months, and was pleased to learn that I'd made a bunch of OASIS fans really, really mad back in September. I was also delighted to see a timely request regarding a very recent article, in which I called horror actor CHRISTOPHER LEE's Charlemagne-inspired metal project "a unique mix of funny bad, scary bad, and sad bad." The message:
Although all press is good press, please consider a kinder treatment of Sir Christopher Lee and the forthcoming "symphonic metal" project.
Yours in Metal,
Vlindinhauer, I'm always amenable to the requests of my cherished readers, especially those who are mine in metal and have boss-ass names. As such, I've considered a kinder treatment of Sir Christopher Lee's symphonic-metal project. . . . After some deliberation, I have concluded that a kinder treatment of Christopher Lee's symphonic-metal project is not warranted at this time. I believe this concludes our business.
DAVID THORPE |email@example.com