Is that your rubber ringing?

Music News, Tid-Bits and Other Morsels

Rubbers' Soul

Forget the iPhone (we're holding out for one with a built-in taser, anyway). Condoms with a musical component are the real hottest new technological advances of 2007. Late last year, several news sites picked up a story about a Ukrainian scientist who had invented a rubber that would actually emit music during sex, thanks to motion sensors and a mini (thankfully) loudspeaker. The musical tones are said to be on par with a cellphone ringtone and the tone and volume respond to movement. Several musical condoms from Czech company Erco Ltd. are available now, weird looking devices with painful looking characters at the tip, playing such songs as "Happy Birthday" and "The Wedding March." Ooh, sexy! More recently, rubbers from a Hong Kong company have made headlines with their "Idom" product, which comes in an "attractive package" that includes CDs of Dance music, Acid Jazz or a "chillout" soundtrack (no Barry White?!). The condoms don't actually make music, but they do come in mint, strawberry, chocolate and banana flavors. The packages were designed, according to the company, to alleviate the embarrassment of buying rubbers. 'Cause it's so much easier to say, "I'll take the Chocolate Acid Jazz love-glove gift set," than to simply bury a six-pack of Trojans under your groceries in the check-out line.

Meanwhile, along with book publishing, clothing and vitamin water, 50 Cent has entered the condom market. We'd make a joke about how the condoms come with nine bullet-like holes, but 50 says he'll donate proceeds to help HIV and AIDS awareness organizations, so we'll just say "Kudos."

Mix Smash

The RIAA appears to be upping its attack on the makers of mixtapes, compilation discs Hip Hop DJs put together to make a name for themselves and promote up-and-coming talent. Knowing their vital promotional importance, labels have long looked the other way (even paying to get their artists on mixtapes), but a raid on the Atlanta offices of DJs Drama and Don Cannon seems to send a message that they will no longer be tolerated. Police arrested the DJs, seized recording equipment, cars and over 50,000 CDs and froze their assets. Those in the Hip Hop field have told reporters that this is a huge blow to their genre, some even suggesting that the actions specifically target Hip Hop — a rep for Diplomats was quoted as saying he thinks they are trying to "make Hip Hop illegal." In a statement, Drama said, "This is an attempt by the government to paint an image of those involved in Hip Hop as criminals." Can playing music too loud in your car be the next target? It is public airplay of copyrighted material!

Teddy Bares Arms

Rocker Ted Nugent is a fairly good example of a good-ol'-boy political conservative (loves guns, Bush and some of the guys from Night Ranger), but having him perform at your inauguration might not be the best idea in the world. New Texas governor Rick Perry didn't anticipate any problems when he invited The Nuge to play his inaugural ball. He's just some Texas-via-Michigan Rock star who has played in a loincloth, shoots flaming arrows on stage and sings songs like, "Wang Dang Sweet Poontang," right? Besides sporting a confederate flag T-shirt and using real guns as props, Ted reportedly tried to warm up to the crowd with comments like, "What's a feminist anyways? A fat pig who doesn't get it often enough" and other offensive quips about non-English speakers. Liberal and GOP officials alike expressed disappointment in the governor's choice to hire Nuge, but Perry's people say he stands behind his decision to have his "good friend" play. Note to Republicans: stick with the tried-and-true Statler Brothers. They'll at least leave their guns off the stage.