DEFINITELY MAYBE TURNS 20 TODAY

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It is somewhat sobering and slightly scary to think that ‘Definitely Maybe' was released 20 years ago today. 1994 does not seem that long ago…and looking back one can't help but wonder if these beginnings of Britpop were truly not the last great hurrah of music.

Music fans had been worked into a frenzy, after 3 hit singles the public were well primed to make this a really big deal.  On the day of it’s release (exactly 20 years ago today) the album made history.  It was facing some stiff competition, as odds on favorite for #1 record was ‘The Three Tenors In Concert’.  It blew Pavarotti and friends away, selling almost double of what the tenors did.  It went straight into the charts at #1, selling 86,000 copies.  It made Oasis a household name on both sides of the Atlantic.

The album went 7x platinum in the UK, and even though it only hit #58 in the US charts, it sold 1 million copies.  Oasis brought guitars back into pop music and carried the flag against the grunge scene which was huge in America.  Its legacy is undeniable.  It has been called the greatest album of all time by NME, Q, HMV, and many readers polls through out the UK press.

A deluxe, remastered 20 anniversary edition of the album was re-released in May.  It had been expanded to a double disc CD and also a triple disc version with collected b-sides,demos and live versions.  prior to its release, Liam made another famous quote when he tried to discourage fans from buying the latest anniversary edition by saying, "How can you remaster something that has already been mastered…"

For the record, ‘Definitely Maybe’ held the title for fastest selling debut of all time for over a decade, until The Arctic Monkeys debuted in 2006.

MARC BOLAN & SIOUXSIE
This is something you don’t see everyday, a snap of Marc Bolan hanging out with Sioux. Yikes-look at that get up Marc is wearing.  We know it is the 70s, but does he have no shame?  Plaid jacket with a plaid shirt?  Lemme guess, atop of silken or velvet trousers?
Marc never did a Banshees tune, but the Banshees did a less than impressive cover of “20th Century Boy" on the the b-side of their second single "The Staircase (Mystery)”.

MARC BOLAN & SIOUXSIE

This is something you don’t see everyday, a snap of Marc Bolan hanging out with Sioux. Yikes-look at that get up Marc is wearing.  We know it is the 70s, but does he have no shame?  Plaid jacket with a plaid shirt?  Lemme guess, atop of silken or velvet trousers?

Marc never did a Banshees tune, but the Banshees did a less than impressive cover of “20th Century Boy" on the the b-side of their second single "The Staircase (Mystery)”.

BRIAN MAY’S GUITARS AND RIG

**NERD ALERT**

This is a recent edition of Premier Guitar’s Rig Rundown series.  For those unfamiliar with the series, it focuses on some of our guitar heroes equipment and secrets of how they achieve their sound.  If there is one guy who has a lot of fables of his sound and his famous hand-made guitar, it is Brian May.

Normally, we are not ones to sit and watch guys talk about gear-however, Queen are an undeniable attraction and hearing Brian explain and walk us through his legendary guitar is…well, pretty interesting. Phasing, filling worm holes, coins as picks he almost empties all the tricks from his sleeves on this!

For anyone who ever wondered how Brian gets his sound, this is what you need to watch.  Gear heads will love it and Queen fans will find it worthwhile too.

Brian May..what a guy, huh?

"The Ramones have one gold record to their name, but they meant nothing. They never succeeded, failed, in fact."
GENE SIMMONS thinks the Ramones have yet to reach the impact of KISS.

HENRY ROLLINS PAYS THE PRICE FOR USING HIS VOICE

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What happened to Henry?  You know, that thick cut, tattooed bit of testosterone that would rather lift weights that a 40oz.  The guy who takes to the stage only in shorts and sweats off 10 pounds after every show from pure energy expenditure.  You know-the guy with close cropped hair, yelling in your face while his neck veins are popping, about to shoot his head off through the roof…yeah, Rollins man, Henry Rollins, rock and roll’s drill sergeant. What happened dude?

Never short for words (or vocal power), Henry wrote a piece in his weekly blog for LA Weekly.  He was sick and tired of the media bulldozing the public with headlines over the death of Robin Williams.  He thought about this and decided he’d had enough and would weigh in on the situation.  He’s been around and lost a few biddies along the way.  He typed up his thoughts and hit send, “Fuck Suicide” appeared about a week ago.

It is as you would expect.  Henry is not for it.  Remember, this is the guy who sang “Low Self Opinion”.  Why would he get misty eyed over some super celebrity taking the cheap way out and killing themselves?  You don’t get off that easy, Rollins let loose and came across white hot.

His article wasn’t heartless, but heartfelt.  He knows celebrity, he works in the biz, he’s lost friends and faced financial straits he’d even performed on some of the same stages Robin Williams had.  He had the right and insight to call it like it is;

Fuck suicide. Life isn’t anything but what you make it. For all the people who walked from the grocery store back to their house, only to be met by a robber who shot them in the head for nothing — you gotta hang in there.

Too right.  Rollins has no tolerance for weakness, especially when it involves leaving your kids behind fatherless.   You may not expect Henry to be the poster boy for Dad of the Year, but it is hard to argue with him. “But I simply cannot understand how any parent could kill themselves…I think as soon as you have children, you waive your right to take your own life. No matter what mistakes you make in life, it should be your utmost goal not to traumatize your kids. So, you don’t kill yourself.” 

He said he knew people would disagree and he was right.  Now, a week later Henry has gone suddenly soft.  His strength is nothing compared to the little blue box with the “thumbs-up” in it.  For a generation raised on the importance of gathering “likes”-they did not like the fact that hard man Rollins thought Williams snuck out the back.  He wrote his latest column “More Thoughts On Suicide” and dropped his shoulders, hung his head and sulked off back into a corner. 

What happened to you Henry?

 

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MORRISSEY COMPILES NEW RAMONES RECORD

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If reports are to be believed from the website which serves as Moz’s mouthpiece, True To You, then  Morrissey has been asked by the Ramones' management to compile a new 'Best Of…' for the band.  He was also given free reign to design the artwork which apparently he just trawled through some old Smiths archives for a nice pictures of some James Dean wannabes. Is this how the Ramones are really seen? Hmmm, Pinhead anyone?

One can only hope that Moz does a better job compiling a selection of tunes, as his artwork is less than enticing (and quite misleading). There have been tracklistings or street dates released but this is set to be the first Ramones release since the death of the last original Ramone, Tommy, back in July.  

TODD TERJE & BRYAN FERRY “JOHNNY & MARY”

This is a live version of the fantastic cover that Todd and Bryan did on Terje’s recent debut.  Originally by Robert Palmer, this is a truly enjoyable (if not slowed down) updated version.

This was actually the first time both had done this song live, performed earlier this month.

ROBIN ZANDER
Let’s take a minute to think about Robin Zander.  He is definitely one of the all time greats and for sure, part of one of America’s greatest rock and roll bands, Cheap Trick.
It is hard to think of a rock band bigger than these guys in the 70s, and even harder to think of such a great vocalist who still sounds as good as he did way back when.  Thank goodness the band are still out and about, bringing their high-octane show to everywhere they visit.  
The ‘Snobs just want to remind everyone what a great singer Robin is and also how great Cheap Trick are.  If you have never ever seen the band, you don’t know what you are missing.
Robin Zander-a real rock and roll hero!

ROBIN ZANDER

Let’s take a minute to think about Robin Zander.  He is definitely one of the all time greats and for sure, part of one of America’s greatest rock and roll bands, Cheap Trick.

It is hard to think of a rock band bigger than these guys in the 70s, and even harder to think of such a great vocalist who still sounds as good as he did way back when.  Thank goodness the band are still out and about, bringing their high-octane show to everywhere they visit.  

The ‘Snobs just want to remind everyone what a great singer Robin is and also how great Cheap Trick are.  If you have never ever seen the band, you don’t know what you are missing.

Robin Zander-a real rock and roll hero!

APHEX TWIN’S NEW ALBUM MIRACLE

Forget the hype about Aphex Twin floating blimps over London or the logo graffiti outside of Radio City in NYC.  We like this bit of hype which no one is really mentioning…the Aphex Twin jerk chicken miracle.

Perhaps this is the true sign that there will be a new album released this year, the first Richard has done since 2001.  In the recesses of Ebay, someone is selling off their ‘miracle’ Aphex Twin plate.  According to information posted by the seller, some jerk chicken was bought in Clapton, north east London, from Yum Yum.  After eating his meal, said seller noticed a miracle…an Aphex Twin logo mysteriously appeared on his plate in the jerk sauce.

At the time of writing, there have been 24 bids and the price is at $103!  Interested parties still have 3 days left to bid.  You too, can have your own piece of an Aphex Twin miracle.  Bid here.

NFL ASKS STARS TO CONTRIBUTE TOUR EARNINGS TO LEAGUE

Us ‘Snobs are very much against the over-hyped, Vegas style half-time shows of the Superbowl.  There is really no place for these rock and pop stars to be playing on a field during a break between a bunch of meat-headed jocks.  Add to that, they have less than 15 minutes stage time. This means one song, maybe two and a mish-mash of medlies to fill the time.  Is it worth it?

The NFL thinks so.  They are bigger than ever and are constantly looking for ways to fill their wallets through advertising, licensing and whatever else they can hock.  Now the NFL has turned to asking their half-time show performers to pay for playing the gig.  Until now, the slot has been a noon-paying gig, but gave performers a big 15 minutes of fame, or popularity at least until Monday morning comes.  They are basing a lot sales pitch on last year’s show.  Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers  were on stage  (Peppers miming) for about 12 minutes.  According to the NFL, the prime time is worth $4 million for a 30 second commercial, and added up for the performance time, that is roughly $100 million free advertising that these artists get for their time. Their real argument is that they could have pocketed $100 million while whatever band performed, in a sense, they are using this ploy to browbeat the next sucker into paying to be on their football game.

This year the NFL was excited to announce they had the big three hopefuls for the Superbowl.  Coldplay, Rihanna or Katy Perry.  They asked each performer to play-but, in doing so they asked that whoever does to contribute to the NFL or donate part of their tour earnings to the league.

INSANE!  Who will be the first idiot to do so?   Is it really worth it to whatever pop star decides to do it?  They get 15 minutes of half-time glory, but after the game when their next album is out or their tour rolls through town, what beer swilling football freak is going to remember or even care about supporting that artist?  It would be interesting to see how many football fans who watched last years game actually bought Bruno’s latest CD.  Fewer still would have bought anything by the Chili Peppers.  It is great during the fever pitched 15 minutes, or at least until the end of the game-then its business as usual.

It is a ballsy move by the NFL and clever to put these stars in the spotlight to see who will make the move.  It is a great money making move for sports but another dreadful move for the dignity of music.

WORLD’S TOP PAID DJS

It turns out it pays (and big) to stand behind a computer and raise your hands.  talent can come in other ways rather than playing and writing music, you have to have the right touch to tap a button at just the right time.  

Forbes recently published their list of of the top earning button pushers, and it is quite shocking.  Of course, for many of these the us ‘Snobs uttered a resounding, "Who?!" or, especially in the case of Steve Aoki-"WHAT!?"  Forbes kept track of earning during their set calendar period and this is where the money went…and to whom.  

Calvin Harris is in pole position.  He played 125 gigs and took home $66 million.  Of course, his writing for Rihanna helps a bit too, as does his residency in the Vegas humongo-club, Hakkasan.

David Guetta gets writing credits for Britney Spears and Lady Gaga, does a residency in Ibiza and takes home a measely $30 million.  Keep your eyes and ears open for his upcoming album recorded with ZZ Top!

Aviici and Tiesto both tied for #3.  they both bagged $28 million.

Shocking-but Steve Aoki gets $23 million…for what exactly?  

Afrojack comes in at #5 with $22 million.  he has a residency at the same Vegas club as Harris and Tiesto.

#6 goes to Zedd ($21 million). Exactly…we had never heard of this guy either.  next up is Kaskade ($17 million).  Surprisingly, Skrillex placed at only eighth on the list with a paltry $16.5million.  he may have a good name to drop, but it doesn’t pull in the bucks like others.

Deadmaus placed ninth.  Interestingly though, he played 1/10 the amount of gigs as the top earners (roughly 10-12) but pulled in a very easy $16 million.  No doubt, the Madonna of EDM because he sure knows how to market himself.

Hardwell brings up the rear, with $13 million.

INXS: THE WORLD IS THEIRS

INXS were a great live act.  For those who were fortunate enough to see them live with their original line up, you know how entertaining the shows were.  All in all the band has played to over 30 million people via 2,145 gigs across 49 countries.  Now add map designer Damian Saunder to the equation and something fantastic happens.

Damian has done something very interesting.  He has made a world map that documents every single gig INXS have played over their entire career. It is truly intriguing to look at.

Damian animated a world map (yes, it is zoomable if you want to get really detailed) and basically animated a timeline over it.  As the years peel by, cities and countries light up as INXS head eastward off of their native Australia, then suddenly around 1983 the US lights up, followed by Europe in ‘84.  This thing is strangely addictive to watch.

Check out the animated map here.