A Monday Medley

Hello out there,

Another week and another Mixed-Bag Monday for us.

The breaking news of the minute has to do with none other than that ‘King of Pop’, Michael Jackson.  The Jackson Estate and Sony Music had cut a deal worth a quarter-billion dollars to release up to ten albums worth of unreleased songs and outtakes.  In a ‘Thriller’ of a criminal case in England, it was revealed that some unknown quantity of Jackson’s music had been stolen from Sony’s computer systems.  The theft is alleged to be as large as tens of thousands of files.  Why, oh why are these hackers doing all this?  Well, we all love Jacko, so they . . . Won’t Stop Till We Get Enough!

Is it just me or is Electro-Pop getting nostalgic for the good old days and getting retro?  Sky Ferreira, who made a bit of a splash last year and then vanished, is all set to make a splash again.  She has just released ‘Lost in My Bedroom’, a jazz-inflected and pretty well performed and produced track from what will be her debut album, ‘Wild at Heart’.  Here’s the thing, though: a bass riff in Bedroom is strangely reminiscent of the well-known and humourous bass lick from ‘Son of My Father’, Chicory Tip’s hit from 1972 . . . when Sky’s parents were little kids!

Talk about guitar licks, only a few days back I talked about how the Beatles and Apple have ‘Come Together’ in two ways: We have the Complete Remastered Beatles on iTunes and a tasty assortment of The Fab Four’s no. 1 hits as ringtones.  Now, the Beatles-Apple combo have made it a hat-trick!  Guitarists who’re reading this post will be interested to learn that Guitar World’s ‘Lick of the Day’ have introduced two ‘lick packs’ with the Beatles’ guitar thrums.  These packs are playable using LickOfTheDay app, available at the iTunes store, on iPod touch, iPhone or iPad.  The licks are demonstrated by ‘name’ guitarists.  The app also displays staves and notes, and provides further info.

Our time’s biggest musical name – MJ – and our parents’ era’s most famous band – The Beatles – sandwiching a near-unknown who just might be on square one to fame and fortune.  Not bad for a Monday, eh?

Give ’em all a listen on your iPods,

Shane

One ‘Made’ Bad Girl, Another ‘in the Making’?

Hallo out there,

It’s a happening Wednesday so let’s jump straight into the news puddle.

Bad Girl Rihanna has paid no heed to my matchmaking advice of yesterday; she has not tried to entice Austin Powers into proposing to her.  Rather, she seems to be getting back together with her convicted abuser, Chris Brown.  Over the weekend Rihanna and Brown tweeted about their musical collaboration.  Each has been the beneficiary of the other singer’s voice ‘over-laid’ on an original song that was subsequently released as a new remixed version.  Confused by my phrasing?  Don’t worry – just focus on the word ‘Remix’ . . . yeah, baby, yeah!

The music has ceased but Michael Jackson still continues to make waves.  Only a few days back we reported on a fresh lawsuit filed by his estate against a former manager.  Now, a Los Angeles County judge has struck AEG Live as defendants from a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the singer’s father, Joe Jackson.  AEG are already defendants in another lawsuit filed by the singer’s mother, prior to the new one filed by his estate.  To streamline matters, California is designating one court as ‘Court Number MJ’; it will be dedicated solely to Michael Jackson lawsuits.

At last night’s Brit Awards in London Adele bagged British female singer and British album awards – no surprise.  But what made the news is that, somewhat out of character, Adele showed the middle finger – but, in all honesty, there were extenuating circumstances.  Within moments of beginning her acceptance speech for her second award, Adele was brusquely cut off, leading to her spontaneous act of frustration.  As she put it, “I . . . flung the middle finger . . . . to the suits at the Brit Awards, not to my fans.”  In a funny sequel, the Brit Awards’ organizers issued an apology to Adele, as did the emcee!

And hot off the (word)press, the next track to be issued as a single from the multi-platinum, multi-award album 21 will be Rumour Has It.

Go, Engerr-land!

Shane

 

Monday’s Mixed Bag

Hello on Monday morning, Music-Fans,

The lead music news of the weekend was, quite naturally, Whitney Houston’s funeral. The ceremony was the final act in a relatively brief and turbulent, but spectacular career in singing.  Regardless of its brevity, the quality of her recorded work assures her legacy as a pop music legend.  Though most great singers have two or three songs forever associated with them, precious few ever record what is termed an ‘anthem’.  Whitney was one of the rare ones who managed to lay down such an anthem – I Will Always Love You.

In some news that got drowned out during the sad events of last week is the announcement of the 34th Playboy Jazz Festival scheduled for June at the Hollywood Bowl in L.A.  Whoa – now hold on.  No, playmates and centrefolds won’t be doing the singing, think again.  Established and upcoming jazz performers are on the roster!  The headline star is Quincy Jones.  QJ started off as an arranger, released a succession of Big Band fusion albums, became a music producer, and set up his own network of music companies.  And he still leads bands!  Bill Cosby, the long-time presenter at Playboy Jazz Festivals, will do the honours again.  Instantly recognizable names who will perform include Ramsey Lewis and Eddie Henderson.

We’ve had a rerun of Colonel Tom Parker and Elvis except that this time the alleged money-grubbing manager has got sued.  Michael Jackson’s estate has filed a legal action against a former manager, Tohme R. Tohme, alleging lack of fiduciary duty.  The lawsuit pleads: “After being hired by Michael Jackson . . . Tohme took control of virtually all of Jackson’s personal and professional affairs, then did as he pleased.”  Allegedly, he not only took the standard fifteen percent commission from MJ’s gross, he made on-the-side deals with an equity and capital firm in 2008 when he arranged refinancing for MJ’s Neverland ranch.  The suit claims that Tohme skimmed ten percent from the deal without proper disclosure and had an insider agreement to get a further ten percent from a potential sale of the ranch.  The way that prizefighters and boxers get skimmed and ripped by promoters, agents, managers, whatnot, one wishes that MJ’s Estate were looking after their interests!

That’s all for now,

Shane