But of course, as is the case with anything having to do with politics, Inauguration Week wasn't without its odd moments and controversies...Aretha Franklin's amazing peformance of "My Country 'Tis Of Thee" at the inauguration ceremony was all but upstaged by her much-gabbed-about, outrageously bow-bedecked hat, a mad-hatter fashion statement so OTT that it was effectively lampooned by Ellen Degeneres on her show the next day. (We dare say Aretha wore it better.) Miley Cyrus and the Jonas Brothers performed at Disney's inaugural kids' concert, First Lady Michelle Obama upstaged both of them, getting the biggest ovation of all from the kiddie audience when she arrived on the scene. (She was later spotted dancing to the Jonases' music, however; and the JBs returned the favor by paying Obama daughters Sasha and Malia a surprise visit at the White House on Inauguration Night.)
Later in the week, there was a minor public flap when it came out that the Yo-Yo Ma/Itzhak Perlman-led quartet that played at the inauguration ceremony was actually miming along to pretaped music and not performing live.
And really now, don't you think the people who work for Obama have more important things to think about?
So anyway, President Obama has already clearly crossed musical-genre lines (Herbie Hancock, Garth Brooks, and Mary J. Blige on the same Lincoln Memorial concert bill?). Now it just remains to be seen if he can unite the country in other ways...Led Zeppelin fans about a Robert Plant-less Led Zep "reunion" tour, Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones, and Jason Bonham will not be hitting the road under the "Led Zeppelin" moniker after all. It seems the band was unable to find a proper singer to fill Robert Plant's mighty boots. Gee, go figure. The Zep dues were auditioning people like Alter Bridge frontman Myles Kennedy (it should be noted that Alter Bridge is just Creed with a different lead singer, which means Zeppelin were actually considering replacing Robert Plant with a Scott Stapp replacement), so it's no surprise that their audition rounds were unfruitful. Apparently the song does NOT remain the same, if Plant isn't singing it. Faces--the '70s classic rock band of Rod Stewart and the Rolling Stones' Ronnie Wood--would soon embark on comeback plans for a 2009 concert tour and new album (their first since 1973). But old-school Faces fans weren't too thrilled to find out who Rod and Ron had reportedly recruited to replace deceased original bassist Ronnie Lane: Red Hot Chili Peppers bass ace Flea. While there was no denying Flea's phenomenal musicianship, it was hard to imagine that his funky, slaphappy rhythm style would gel with the Faces' bloozy sound, so this Faces reunion seemed likely to fall flat on its face. But now both Rod Stewart and Flea's camps have issued statements via Billboard saying no Faces reunion is in the works after all, with or without Flea. And the New York Post is further reporting that tentative Faces rehearsals last year did not go well, making a reunion tour seem unlikely. Talk about losing Face! Bono and company have still got the goods...as long as they don't hire anyone from Alter Bridge or the Chili Peppers as an addition to their rock-solid lineup! Akon. Well, he at least doesn't want to know the DOB year on his birth certificate. Akon told the Associated Press this week that he refuses to find out his real age, because "all it's going to do is depress me. I don't want to know I'm getting older. Then I'll start to think about getting checkups and insurance. I don't want that." He then added: "I feel like I'm 21 right now. And I'll be 21 for the next 10 years." However, various reports have estimated Akon's actual age somewhere between 25 and 35 years old (and in 2006, he told reporters he was 25), so it's unclear why he wants to fudge the number now. Maybe it's so he can still get away with immature behavior like throwing concertgoers off his stage or lasciviously accosting teen girls during his concerts. But whatever the reason, we suggest that Akon still think about getting checkups and insurance anyway. Prevention is the best way to maintain one's youth, after all.
And so concludes another week in music news. Come back next week for more headspinning headlines, and until then--goodnight, and good music.
THIS WEEK'S TOP 10 STORIES:
1) Obamarama - Music's biggest stars come out to celebrate President Barack Obama's inauguration.
2) Dancing Days Are Not Here Again - Led Zeppelin decide not to tour without Robert Plant.
3) Red Hot Chili Faces? - Rod Stewart denies rumors that Flea has been hired to play in his reunited rock group.
4) A Beautiful Day For U2 Fans - Bono and company premiere their new song online.
5) Britney's Parental Advisory - Family advocacy groups protest Spears's new single.
6) Akon Not Aging Gracefully - He awkwardly claims that he doesn't know how old he is.
7) B.I.G. Trouble - Four guests are stabbed at a Notorious afterparty.
8) The Next Carly Smithson? - A new American Idol contestant is causing controversy due to her major-label past.
9) The Fab Three - The Jonas Brothers' upcoming TV show will be inspired by old Beatles films.
10) All In The Family - Mariah Carey records a duet with her little brother-in-law.
- Arts & Entertainment