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The Big Hurt: Attention whoring and headline parsing

Music news in brief
By DAVID THORPE  |  September 15, 2009


An editor at this paper (whose name I withhold to protect his dignity and credibility, which he has already damaged almost beyond repair by giving me a job) forwarded me a glorious press release detailing a plan by the Sunset Strip Music Festival to erect a towering, garishly lit 12-story billboard of OZZY OSBOURNE’s face to commemorate the rocker’s larger-than-life status and kick off the fest, which was scheduled to run September 10-12. “Hmm,” wondered the editor, “is there an Ozzy–World Trade Center juxtaposition to be made here?” Yes, I think we both know there is, but neither of us could quite find the angle, and God save us for even trying. Slow news week.

And speaking of slow news: JOHN “NY ROTTEN” LYDON is said to be bummed over the Oasis split-up. “Noel is fantastic, one of Britain’s finest. Liam’s all right if you want a second-rate Rotten. I remember hearing ‘Rock ’n’ Roll Star’ for the first time, and it sounded like John Lennon and John Lydon mixed together.” Interesting to see Lydon pop up on all the major music-news sources with predictably self-aggrandizing commentary on a relevant topical issue so soon after announcing the re-forming of PIL. Wouldn’t it be easier if he just waved his arms around above his head and shouted, “Hey, look at me, everybody”?

(If you’re wondering why I didn’t mention the source of this quote, it’s because it appeared out of thin air. Several major outlets that picked up the story give credit to gossip site FemaleFirst, but it’s clear that source snagged it from elsewhere. Mysterious!)

And while we’re on the subject of female-firstness: LADY GAGA has finally put the “has a dick” rumors to bed, or at least kinda denied them. “It’s too lowbrow for me to even discuss,” she told an Australian radio show. Soon after, though, she courted controversy all over again by admitting a scatophilic desire to lick Dookie. “I remember when I bought Green Day’s Dookie,” she said at a press conference, “I just wanted to lick the pages from the booklet! That particular album, I mean, it is iconic.” Grody, babe.

Elsewhere on the People Who Maybe Have Dicks front: MORRISSEY is planning a collection of B-sides covering the singles from his past three albums. You guys ready to play the Morrissey Game? Pick which of these ridiculous song titles are real and which of them I’ve just made up: (a) “My Life Is a Succession of People”; (b) “Shame Is the Name”; (c) “Good Looking Man About Town”; (d) “It’s Hard To Walk Tall When You’re Small”; (e) “Teenage Dad on His Estate”; (f) “If You Don’t Like Me, Don’t Look at Me.”

Only fooling, they’re all real! Even the “Teenage Dad” one. Former Smiths guitarist JOHNNY MARR, meanwhile, has claimed that his new album with the Cribs is his best work in 25 years. Which would make it better than all but the first Smiths album. Tall words, Johnny.

(Tall words? Is that a thing people say? You guys totally got what I meant, though, right? Tall words!)

Radiohead frontman TOM YORK — this column has limited space and I’m not gonna waste it on superfluous vanity letters — is about to release a new solo single. Expect some wispiness and pleasant clicking noises. But not too pleasant, mind you, ’cause it’s art. Oh, and in further news from the Shit We All Care About Department: the dude from the STROKES and the dude from INTERPOL are also planning some solo stuff.

Best headline of the news cycle, courtesy of the venerable New Musical Express: “NOEL GALLAGHER in Oasis ‘moron’ blast against Liam.” The story goes on to inform readers that Noel called Liam a moron. Is that the most circuitous goddamn possible way to convey that information, or what? “Animal in ‘dog biting man’ uproar against man.” I know writing headlines is a tough job and you’ve gotta frontload a lot of info to grab people’s attention, but come on.

  Topics: Music Features , Celebrity News, Entertainment, The Strokes,  More more >
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