Tyler, the Creator -- the de facto leader of young Los Angeles rap crew Odd Future -- dropped his label debut, Goblin, yesterday. And he got arrested. He's so controversial! No, really, he is so controversial. The 20-year-old's morbid nihilism-rap is heavy on the kind of disturbing imagery and troubling language that would earn any 10th grader an unlimited pass to the guidance office, but a good percentage of critics think he's a genius. Is he insightful or just incite-ful? It depends on whether you can stomach rhymes about raping pregnant girls in the interest of hearing Tyler's gloomy, Pharrell-inspired production skills and curiously clever flow. What we're saying is you might pick up Goblin and get a serious case of buyers' remorse (like that mom with Green Day's Insomniac). To help avoid that scenario, here's what a cross-section of the nation's critics are saying about the disc. Read, educate yourself, and decide whether Goblin is the album for you! (Spoiler alert: This isn'tRead More »from Is Tyler, The Creator’s ‘Goblin’ The Right Album for You?
- Caryn Ganz | Amplifier – Wed, May 11, 2011 9:19 PM EDT
- Daniel Kreps | Amplifier – Wed, May 11, 2011 8:17 PM EDT
Three years ago, $10,000 maybe could have bought you a ticket to see Led Zeppelin's one-and-only reunion show at London's O2 Arena. Nowadays, $10,000 will only get you a really old Led Zeppelin shirt. An ultra-rare shirt documenting Led Zeppelin's 1979 performance at Knebworth sold for $10K to some Australian superfan, Bravewords reports (via the Daily Swarm), the most a vintage rock tee has ever fetched. The shirt itself doesn't look all that awe-inspiring, but given its uniqueness -- the shirt was essentially a backstage pass for the show, so it was produced in very limited numbers -- it was deemed the rarest rock tee in history.
Stormcrow Vintage, an eBay purveyor of awesome and insanely expensive vintage tees, was the lucky seller. "Given this shirt may be one of the only ones in existence, the price tag is completely justifiable. It's a rock relic, beyond rare," said Stormcrow's Kyle Ermatinger, who initially purchased the shirt for $123 from the screen-printing shop that firstRead More »from This Led Zeppelin T-Shirt May Cost More Than Kate Middleton’s Wedding Gown
- Caryn Ganz | Amplifier – Wed, May 11, 2011 7:24 PM EDT
Who's Number One: Like a salmon swimming upstream, Adele continues to sell more records each week while nearly everyone else on Billboard's Top 200 goes with the drain-circling flow. 21 moved an additional 155,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan, giving the U.K. singer her seventh week at the top. Her momentum is so massive, she was also able to unseat Katy Perry's "E.T." to dominate the Hot Digital Songs chart with "Rolling in the Deep," too. When Adele booked a U.S. theater tour a few months ago, she likely had no clue she was going to become the Biggest Thing Ever (of early 2011) -- time to upgrade to arenas!
Who's Bummed Out: The Beastie Boys, who haven't had a hip-hop disc debut below Number One since 1992's Check Your Head -- Hot Sauce Committee Part Two clocked in at Two with 128,000. The good news: They beat out seven other Top 10 debuts and are still the three coolest guys in New York.
So That Means ...: Lots of new and eclectic faces in the Top 10 behind Hot Sauce,Read More »from Who Charted? Beasties Can’t Make More Noise Than Adele
Neil Young is a very active 65-year-old rocker: He's got a new album, Le Noise, an upcoming live album, induction speeches, and possibly the second volume of his mammoth Archives series. You know what's missing? A concert film. Luckily, director Jonathan Demme will have cameras rolling when Young returns to his native Ontario tonight and tomorrow for a pair of shows at Toronto's Massey Hall for a film that will be released later this year. Le Noise was among our favorite albums of 2010, and Young's recent set lists have been top notch, so this is definitely a concert film to look forward to.
The movie will mark Demme and Young's third -- and final -- collaboration following 2006's Heart of Gold and 2009's Trunk Show. The Massey Hall gigs also return Young to the scene of one of his most storied performances from 1971, as documented on this excellent live album. In addition to winning Oscars for Silence of the Lambs, Demme is also among the best concert filmmakers out there thanks toRead More »from Neil Young Keeps On Rockin’ in the Movie Theater
- Caryn Ganz | Amplifier – Wed, May 11, 2011 5:23 PM EDT
Because everyone associates Lady Gaga with
inappropriate nudityagriculture, the pop star has announced plans to debut music from her May 23rd album Born This Way on the wildly popular farming game FarmVille. Yes, FarmVille, the bucolic virtual world in which users tend chickens, plow the fields, and decorate cottages to earn points. This is the first time Gaga has gone after the lucrative nerd-farmer market. (She's pictured above demonstrating the proper way to birth a calf.)
Beginning May 17th, fans can enter GagaVille, a specially designed world in Zynga's game, and hear one exclusive new track per day via an IHeartRadio stream until the 19th (so, uh, three songs). On May 20th, the game -- which will feature Gaga-specific objects like unicorns and motorcycle-riding sheep -- will start including non-exclusive songs. On May 26th, GagaVille will magically vanish, like Gaga's self-awareness.
"I want to celebrate and share Born This Way with my little monsters in a special way that'sRead More »from Lady Gaga Chases Lucrative Nerd Farmer Demographic
Sigh. We thought the days when politicians viewed rappers as threats to national security had ended with N.W.A and Body Count, but we were sadly mistaken. Yesterday, Chicago MC Common was invited to read poetry at the White House. His appearance should have simply been a famous name lending support to a fading art form, but it turned into an embarrassing display of how Republicans profile rappers. A right-wing site called the Daily Caller sparked the outrage by mocking Common's work and implying it was stupid and violent, which was followed by Sarah Palin tweeting, "Oh lovely, White House..." and linking to the Common story.
G.O.P.-leaning sites began digging up any material they could find to frame Common as a "gangsta rapper," even though anybody who listens to hip-hop knows Common is probably the least threatening rapper in hip-hop. He may look tough, but his criminal record is spotless. He's written a children's book. He starred in a Queen Latifah rom-com. You can't get less hoodRead More »from Republicans Have No Idea Who Common Is
- Daniel Kreps | Amplifier – Wed, May 11, 2011 1:02 AM EDT
In two days, Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark -- the critically maligned, eternally delayed, U2-penned Broadway blockbuster -- will return after spending the past month working out the kinks that made it such an epic fail in the first place. Essentially, producers and a new creative team were de-Taymor-ing it. The New York Times has an in-depth look at the new Spider-Man, referred to by all involved as "Turn Off the Dark 2.0," and the musical is starting to sound like something we'd pay to see and not just something we'd pay to laugh at.
From The Amp's perspective, the biggest change is more new music from U2's Bono and the Edge. The band's original soundtrack was less-than-acclaimed in Turn Off the Dark 1.0, but Bono thinks that's because people were too busy being confused by the plot to actually enjoy the tunes. "If people can't follow the story, then the songs aren't going to get them out of the maze," Bono said. With the plot now less convoluted, Bono and the Edge have polished upRead More »from Bono Promises ‘Spider-Man 2.0′ Will Pwn ‘Turn Off the Dark 1.0′
- Caryn Ganz | Amplifier – Wed, May 11, 2011 12:06 AM EDT
The Billie Joe Armstrong of 2011 uses his considerable fame to slam Donald Trump and speak out against war. The Billie Joe Armstrong of 1996 was slightly more preoccupied with lack of sleep and lack of sex. One thing hasn't changed: Green Day's frontman enjoys his First Amendment.
In December '96, the band received a letter from an outraged mom flipping out over the "cassette tape my 8 year old son was listening to," (1995's Insomniac). Her primary gripe seems to be that the music sucked -- in the typed complaint republished on Letters of Note she admits the family digs other Green Day songs like "When I Come Around" -- and she calls the album "trash" and "rubbish" (they're kind of the same thing, ma, but OK). "All the thoughts you are helping to put in the minds of our youth is scary," she concluded. "You have so much influence why not use it for something GOOD?"
This woman would probably love to know that Armstrong went on to win two Tony Awards for the stage adaptation of theRead More »from Billie Joe Armstrong: Saying Anything He Damn Well Pleases Since 1996
- Caryn Ganz | Amplifier – Tue, May 10, 2011 11:04 PM EDT
No act of nature -- not a hemorrhage, burst appendix, nor any of the myriad STDs he presumably picked up shooting Rock of Love -- can stop Bret Michaels from slaughtering the memory of what was once a fantastic power ballad. "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" arrived in 1988 with a sweet cover on which Michaels looked like a hybrid of Axl Rose and Slash. It featured not one, but two guitar solos. It was written in a laundromat.
Acoustic jams from hair-metal bands do not get much better than "Every Rose Has Its Thorn." This is a fact Bret Michaels clearly realized a long time ago, as he's been pimping out this song for 23 years. He stepped up his efforts late last decade, when the track made very frequent appearances on his reality-dating show, the aforementioned Rock of Love. Then he performed it on American Idol with Casey James. Then he recorded a version of it with Miley Cyrus. Now, Blabbermouth tells us, he's doing a rendition with his daughters, Raine and Jorja, for the May 17th LP KidzRead More »from Bret Michaels Nowhere Near Done Pimping Out ‘Every Rose Has Its Thorn’
- Daniel Kreps | Amplifier – Tue, May 10, 2011 10:21 PM EDT
Comedian Bill Hicks once said sober people don't create masterpieces like Pet Sounds. The 1966 album and the long-buried Smile came at the cost of Brian Wilson ingesting copious amounts of LSD and becoming a recluse, and repercussions from those two unhealthy activities might force the Beach Boys legend to retire from touring. Now 68, Wilson admitted to the London Daily Standard that he suffers from stage fright and, umm, hallucinations.
The voices in Wilson's head aren't exactly kind. "What the voices say is still pretty much the same, negative things, 'You're going to die,' or, 'You better watch out,' life-threatening kinds of things," Wilson explains. "Performing helps, but I'll still have the voices there when I'm onstage. They're always with me."
That sounds pretty serious; maybe now would be a good time to retire. As much as Wilson loves London -- "London is my favorite city in the whole world," he said -- he recognizes that his September dates at the Royal Albert Hall might beRead More »from All That LSD Has Unfortunately Caught Up to Brian Wilson
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CHICAGO (AP) — An 87-year-old woman who alleges Donald Trump cheated her in a skyscraper-condo sale told jurors Monday she had qualms about suing the real estate mogul and TV celebrity. But, she quickly added, "Somebody had to stand up to him."
- Germans blame euro zone crisis for Eurovision debacle
BERLIN (Reuters) - Germans lamented their unexpectedly poor showing at the Eurovision Song Contest, blaming Chancellor Angela Merkel's tough stance in the euro zone crisis for their failure to win any points from 34 of the 39 countries voting. Denmark's Emmelie de Forest won the event, watched by around 125 million people across Europe, with 281 points while German act Cascada was 21st out of 26 countries, getting just 18 points from Austria, Israel, Spain, Albania and Switzerland. ...
- OJ Simpson lawyers say he is closer to freedom
LAS VEGAS (AP) — The latest high-stakes court hearing for O.J. Simpson in the glitzy capital of big gambles has come to a close with the former football star's defense team feeling confident that their client is closer to getting out of prison.
- NY Cuomo letter warns Kardashian over T-shirt logo
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's sent a letter to Khloe Kardashian's (KLOH'-ee kar-DASH'-ee-uhnz) informing the reality star the logo on her T-shirt line may be violating copyright law.
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Taylor Swift is red hot.
- Prince reigns over own music releases in new deal
LONDON (Reuters) - Singer Prince has signed a new deal with Kobalt Music Group to market and distribute his future work without giving up control over his rights, the company said on Monday. The singer-songwriter, who is famed for changing his name to an unpronounceable symbol in a wrangle over musical rights, will release his own work as well as a slate of new music by other artists that he produces, Kobalt said. ...