Get a “Kick” Out of Beck
One of the coolest just-for-the-hell-of-it projects by a musical superstar in recent memory is Beck’s “Record Club” project, a loose-yet-focused jam session of sorts that features Beck and an impressive list of pals covering classic albums in full. The entire albums are recorded in one day and then tracks (in video clip form, featuring footage from the sessions) are posted on Beck’s Web site (www.beck.com/recordclub). The project has so far resulted in raw but wildly imaginative reworkings of The Velvet Underground & Nico (with guests like Nigel Godrich, Joey Waronker and actor Giovanni Ribisi), Songs of Leonard Cohen (featuring MGMT, Devendra Banhart, Andrew Stockdale of Wolfmother and others) and Skip Spence’s pyschedelic classic Oar, featuring Wilco, Feist and Jamie Lidell. Most recently, the site has been rolling out clips from perhaps the oddest selection so far, INXS’s hit-laden Kick, with guests Sergio Dias of Os Mutantes, Annie Clark of St.
Rand and Crist’s Infinitely Inappropriate Playlist
Add U.S. Senate nominee Rand Paul to the long list of Republicans who either don’t understand copyright law … or don’t care. Paul’s campaign had used the songs “Tom Sawyer” and “Spirit of the Radio” by Canadian rockers Rush without permission and now the band’s lawyers have sent the libertarian politician a letter telling him to stop. This is just the latest in a bafflingly long line of GOPers arrogantly using — without permission — the work of musicians for political gain. Florida Governor Charlie Crist (then a Republican, now an “Independent”) is being sued by former Talking Heads frontman David Byrne for his use of the Heads’ hit “Road to Nowhere” in a Web ad. Meanwhile, the 11 conservative musical acts in America said, “Uh, hey — we have some songs you could use, you know.” The Statler Brothers have got to be pretty pissed by now.
Candle in the Windbag
The recent news reports of Rush Limbaugh’s fourth wedding raised two baffling questions. Who on earth would marry such a despicable human being? (Answer: Someone who saw a billion-dollar divorce settlement in her future?) And why in the name of George Michael would Elton John agree to perform at the ceremony? Limbaugh has made numerous offensive, anti-gay statements over the years but that didn’t stop John from collecting a cool million bucks for his performance. John has yet to comment, but many have assumed that the singer would donate his fee to a charity. But saying that’s acceptable is like saying it would be fine for Snoop Dogg to play a KKK rally, as long as all of the money went to the NAACP.