Random Stuff & Nonsense: Miley Who?!, Sean Parker Is The Devil, New Smashing Pumpkins Song, and Lorde Giving Simon LeBon A Million Dollars


SEAN PARKER 

When the history books talk about the end of the music biz as we folks knew it, the person they will implicate as the true villain in all of this will be Sean Parker. Thing is, I used to think that he was artist-friendly and that Napster had been created to bring about a much-needed leveling of the playing field between labels and artists, but now, seeing that HE was the guy that Spotify chose to go to the labels and coax them into playing ball with the streaming service - basically bribing them with talk of part-ownership in exchange for rock-bottom payment rates - I'm finally of the mind that this billionaire is really just money-friendly and that he sure has made a lot of money for doing diddly squat.  In that sense, he is the perfect face to represent Spotify.  And, for that matter, Facebook, which he also helped launch into the stratosphere.

MILEY CYRUS

It's been ten seconds since the media said anything about Miley Cyrus.  Somebody better go check on her.  Seriously, can you imagine what she and Gaga must be thinking right now?  Probably something like, What?! Taylor sold over a million copies without taking her clothes off?!  Let's hope that one catches on.



AC/DC DRUMMER PHIL RUDD

You've no doubt heard the news of Rudd's arrest for hiring some dude to kill two people for him.  Let this be a lesson to anyone who thinks making drummer jokes is a good idea. Do you really wanna piss off the one guy in the band who still has to sell meth on the side to make ends meet?  We'll never hear "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap The Same Way Again".

SIMON LeBON AND NICK LOWE

You've no doubt heard that the Duran Duran crooner was handpicked to perform on a song to be included on the new Hunger Games soundtrack.  Apparently, Lordes, who is curating the soundtrack, is a Durannie and called LeBon personally to ask if he'd like to be involved.  Wonder how THAT conversation went:

LORDES: Hi, Simon, this is Lordes, I'd like to hand you a million dollars.

SIMON: Let me just finish gassing up my 50-foot yacht and get back to you.  JUST KIDDING.

See, there's a lot of money to be made from soundtracks.  My favorite example of this is The Bodyguard soundtrack, which included Whitney Houston's mega-bombastic cover of Dolly Parton's "I Will Always Love You".  Because of that tune's popularity, the soundtrack album sold a gazillion copies, so even Curtis Stiger's cover of Nick Lowe's "(What's So Funny About) Peace Love And Understanding?" ended up making the song's writer, Nick Lowe, over a million dollars.  I can't help think Stigers will forever kick himself for not doing one of his own tunes, for which HE would have received that money.  D'oh!



THE NEW SMASHING PUMPKINS SONG

It's odd watching a guy like Billy Corgan fight to remain relevant.  Most of us can only dream of being relevant in the first place, so understand that I admire what the guy has accomplished and am merely observing human nature.  It seems that no matter how big an artist gets, at some point there is a societal shift that occurs where everything you do is welcomed with open arms by literally millions of adoring fans to being completely shunned for no other reason than there's someone newer kid on the block getting the love that used to be yours.

At that point, even if you were to unveil the rock masterpiece to end all masterpieces and put to rest the endless gushing over Sgt. Pepper's and Pet Sounds (two albums older than most of us), nobody would care.  You see it happen to Tom Petty and U2 and Nine Inch Nails and Green Day (Hey, let's release THREE albums all at once! Yeah, that'll cure our overexposure after American Idiot's success and the Broadway play and Billy Joe's meltdown).  The only way to avoid it, I think, is to remain a cult artist.  It's okay to be popular, but don't get so popular that your only competition is you because, at some point, folks will just get sick of you.  Wonder if Taylor Swift is ready for that?


THERE'S NO SHAME IN JUST WALKING AWAY

The flipside of the above observation is that more artists should consider walking away to make room for the next Beatles or Stones ... or Sly Stone.  Thing is, even a band like Marcy Playground ("Sex and Candy") can milk the nostalgia circuit, getting up to $50k a gig, which, I guess they have every right to, but still takes one space away from a young band that might do more with the opportunity.

Thanks to the interweb, there is this illusion that there's room for everybody and the simple truth is that this is systematically wrong.  With so much info and advertising being thrown at us than ever, the teeny-tiny window we have for being exposed to worthy new artists is jammed full of junk mail - so much so that we accidentally throw out the one good piece of mail buried within.  Love them as I do, I wouldn't mind if my top ten favorite bands just called it a day, even if ten new bands I hate at first take their place.

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