The Big Hurt: Neglected press-release roundup

Music news that only a publicist could love
By DAVID THORPE  |  March 24, 2008

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It may be a slow week for music news (everyone’s busy with — yecch — real news), but that doesn’t mean we have to bore ourselves with Paul McCartney’s divorce or SxSW wrap-up bullshit. Nothing shakes off the doldrums like a short vacation to the bottom of the press-release barrel . . .

‘The Dentist That Rocks’
Source: Aldo Leopardi Music
A dentist . . . that [sic] rocks? Such is the premise of a press release issued by Aldo Leopardi, an Australian-born dentist who — get this — rocks. Dr. Leopardi takes endless delight in juxtaposing the apparently irreconcilable positions of dentistry and rocking, perhaps under the assumption that his square day job gives a novel twist to his insufferable MOR vanity rock. He may be right — I’m sure “dentist that rocks” makes a more interesting human-interest story than “rocker that sucks.”

“Sexy sounds? From a dentist? From this dedicated specialist who has become a leading lecturer in his field of prosthodontics, the sound is sublime.”

Additional amusement can be found on his MySpace page (myspace.com/aldoleopardi), where he further belabors the dentist/rock dichotomy: “Growing up in Adelaide, Australia, Aldo Leopardi was the rebel student sitting in the back of dental-school class sporting a black AC/DC muscle T-shirt and crazed hairstyle.” The image becomes even more remarkable when you consider that he likely paid a great deal of money to sit back there in his bad-ass gear and fight the power.

‘Second Annual “Elvis Cruise” To Take Place Aboard “Fun Ship” Carnival Fantasy’
Source: Carnival Cruise Lines
It’s an Elvis cruise; it’s a cruise about Elvis.

I could try to wrap my mind around the notion that people are willing to pay for this kind of insipid, mass-market nostalgia, but instead I’m going to comfort myself by imagining that it’s actually some kind of weird sex thing for old people. Case closed.

‘Three-Year-Old Julian Pavone, the World’s Youngest Drummer, Is Invited To Study at Prestigious Berklee Music School in Boston’
Source: Bernardino Pavone
Here we have adoring parents who are so enthralled by their toddling son’s ability to bang on drums that they’ve made a strange little family business out of selling him as a prodigy. Their newest release reports that an instructor from the Berklee College of Music has taken note of their tiny son’s advanced development and invited him to study there this summer.

Having watched Julian’s videos, I can report this much: the child is placed in front of a drum kit and he proceeds to bang on it, sometimes haltingly, sometimes abstractly and occasionally, for seconds at a time, almost in some kind of rhythm. It’s definitely an adorable display of miniature showmanship, but the absurdly serious tone of the press release makes me more than a little bit uneasy. It’s a whirlwind recap of endorsement deals, TV appearances, and grandiose claims culminating in the Berklee invitation — all for a kid who’s way too young to comprehend his career choice.

Most telling bit: the parents say that their son is “considered the Tiger Woods of the music industry.” In other words, they’re delusional.

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