Retraction! Those of you who’ve been hard at work in your potato-salad labs preparing for the summer’s hottest music event — BOY GEORGE’s scheduled appearance at the NYC Department of Sanitation’s “Family Day,” which I reported two weeks ago and which I’m assuming is some kind of a picnic, hence the potato-salad remark, which in retrospect was probably a confusing and oblique thing to write, but what the hell, it’s not as if I could go back in time and somehow unwrite it — are in for some devastating news: Boy George has been denied entry to the United States! It seems he’s in a little bit of legal trouble stemming from the “assault” on and “false imprisonment” of a “male escort” from a place that we’re supposed to believe is called “Norway.” A convenient story, but we all know this is retaliation for last week, when the UK denied Martha Stewart a visa. I don’t want to engage in any irresponsible hyperbole, but I think this situation is serious enough that we might fairly describe it as “World War III.”
Recently resurrected guitar act the VERVE are set to release their first album in nearly a decade, and they’re kicking things off with a brand new single. You can hear “Love Is Noise” now on their MySpace page, but I would strongly advise against it; it’s godawful to a degree undreamt of even in the most dad-like of Richard Ashcroft’s solo flops. Things were looking encouraging last year, when the band released a 10-minute guitar jam that reeked of classic Verve, but this has all been thrown by the wayside in favor of irritating, ill-advised monkey noises.
Some dweeb on the Internet made news by accusing COLDPLAY of ripping off the tune to one of his songs. No, buddy, they didn’t rip you off — turns out you just kinda sound like Coldplay. Which ought to make you even more ashamed of yourself than the cheap attention grab you pulled.
Wait a minute — RUPAUL is a dude?!
I hope you’re sitting down and have your heart medication on hand, because I’m about to hit you with a quadruple whammy involving: (a) an unwarranted reunion; (b) Christian pop rock; (c) cutesy girl vocals; (d) a holiday album. After four years of uneventful absence, inoffensive Jesus-loving potluck types SIXPENCE NONE THE RICHER are returning to bless our souls with a musical log of yuletide cheer. Maybe we should just cancel Christmas. But on the bright side, holiday albums pose much less danger than most records, since there’s only a two-month “risk zone” followed by 10 months of relative safety.
JOHNNY CASH’s parents’ home is up for sale. Johnny wasn’t born there, he didn’t die there, and he didn’t write any notable songs there, but he did stay there for a time while his own house was being remodeled. It may not sound like a big deal, but think of it this way: looking at statistical trends over the history of the house, we see that couples who have sex in that house are far more likely to have produced — years previously, at an entirely different house — Johnny Cash–like offspring. So, if you already have an adult son, moving into that house exponentially increases the odds of your son having been Johnny Cash. At $1.4 million, can you really afford not to buy it?
Taco Bell has extended a bizarre offer to 50 CENT: if he’ll change his name to 79 Cent, 89 Cent, or 99 Cent for a limited time, they’ll give $10,000 to a charity of his choice. It’s a reference to their new value menu, you see. Har-har. This, like Dr. Pepper’s offer to give a free soda to everyone in America if Chinese Democracy was released this year, is one of those idiotic PR stunts designed to get picked up as an item in worthless “wacky news” columns and — hey, wait . . .
50 Cent’s management has further spread the word by dignifying the offer with a reply, threatening to sic their lawyers on Taco Bell for abusing the rapper’s good name.
KID ROCK, citing terrible rates paid to artists from digital sales, has decided to boycott iTunes. I have mixed emotions. On one hand, iTunes has been ripping off artists for years and needs to cut it out already. On the other hand, as a vehicle for Kid Rock non-delivery, it is flawless.
AMY WINEHOUSE has been hospitalized with what appear to be the early stages of emphysema, which may or may not be related to her striking resemblance to Joe Camel. The condition, though serious, may clear up over time if she starts living clean. (I mean the emphysema, not the Joe Camel thing; she’s stuck with that.)