The Big Hurt: Lambert works it, 50 blows it, Moz ends it

The Big Hurt: Music news in brief
By DAVID THORPE  |  December 9, 2009

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ADAM LAMBERT's spicy AMA performance continues to dominate entertainment headlines, weeks after it first scandalized the nation — but why does America care what a man does with another man in the secluded privacy of the American Music Awards? I think any act carried out on the stage of the nation's least-given-a-crap-about awards ceremony should count as "behind closed doors."

Some goddamned maniac has given SHANE MACGOWAN a reality TV show. If people are going to freak out over Janet Jackson's nipple or Lambert pretending to make a dude blow him, just imagine the outrage when they're confronted with MacGowan's horrifying visage. But, whew, I gather it's being shown only in the UK, where the broadcast standards are probably much more lenient about boobs, gay stuff, and nightmare teeth.

After he backpedaled on his promise to retire if Kanye beat him in a chart battle, I thought I'd had my fill of hearing 50 CENT make grand claims and then have to eat crow. But here's that ol' schadenfreude, back with another jolly tickle: 50's new Before I Self Destruct (Aftermath) sold a mere 160,000 copies in its first week. I'm not a guy to judge an album by its sales figures, but goodness knows 50 is, and this must have stung him. Last year, he predicted to MTV News that the release would sell a million units in its first week, but now he's playing it a little more humble. "When the energy around a project is the way this is," he told DJ Green Lantern in a radio interview, "you can't really feel like it's a failure." The Curtis of 2003 would have busted on any rapper making a statement like that.

What's worse, 50 had picked a pretty big target for his traditional pre-album beef baiting: he attempted to take on Jay-Z, whose Blueprint 3 (Roc Nation) sold nearly half a mil in its first week, and was then decisively sonned during Jay's AMA acceptance speech. "Men lie, women lie," said Hova. "Numbers don't lie."

In other dire sales news: let's wish better luck to the CLIPSE, whose new album comes out this week on Sony. Ever since their previous effort, the well-hyped and critically beloved Hell Hath No Fury (Re-Up Gang), sold only 80k in its first week, Malice has been looking heartbreakingly lugubrious in all his press photos. Buck up, lil' guy!

You know I love a great ridiculous press release, and this one entered my all-time hall of fame before I'd even finished reading the headline: "Soft Rock Hit-Making Duo AIR SUPPLY Steals the Scene in TV Commercial for Disney's Latest Film Old Dogs Starring John Travolta & Robin Williams As Seth Green Creates Monkey Business with Their Classic Hit 'I'm All Out of Love.' " Holy shit!

I've been disappointed by rock's current trend of turning its back on its most venerable institution: suicide. Gone are the days when parents sued metal bands for inspiring their kids to off themselves. Instead, we've got milquetoast emo bands holding anti-suicide benefit concerts and making PSA-style videos — what the hell, guys? The good news is that MORRISSEY, one of depression's most prominent spokesmen, has taken a bold pro-suicide stand. When asked during a BBC4 interview whether he'd ever contemplated suicide, he replied, "Yes I have. Yes I have, and I think self-destruction is honorable. I always thought it was. It's an act of great control, and I understand people who do it." Later in the show, he was asked which item he'd take with him to a desert island. "I would take a bed, because I like to go to bed. Or I would take a bag of sleeping pills, because I might want to make a quick exit." Bravo, Moz!

DAVID THORPE | dthorpe@phx.com

  Topics: Big Hurt , Celebrity News, Entertainment, Re-Up Gang,  More more >
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