AUSTIN CITY LIMITS TURNS 35
The best music show on TV, PBS’s Austin City Limits, has announced the lineup of artists for its 35th anniversary season (yup, ACL can now officially run for President), which starts Oct. 3. The roster is another great mix of established artists and relative newcomers, with the Dave Matthews Band, Pearl Jam, Beastie Boys, Sonic Youth, Elvis Costello, Ben Harper, M. Ward, Andrew Bird, St. Vincent, Band of Heathens and Okkervil River slated for episodes. The season will also feature the first appearance by Cincinnati’s Heartless Bastards, plus a special Willie Nelson/Asleep at the Wheel episode (Willie was on the initial ACL pilot in 1974 and Asleep at the Wheel was on the first episode of the first season in 1976). It’s nearly impossible to find good music television these days; thank the Baby Jebus for Austin City Limits’ endurance.
Once upon a time, it would be no surprise to hear Iggy Pop had been banned from anything, for any variety of debauched reasons (shooting heroin into his eye, sticking a mic stand halfway up his ass, selling his music to cruise ship commercials). The Igster is again in trouble with “The Man,” but this time it’s really not his fault and it’s breathtakingly noncontroversial. Pop was the TV spokesperson for Swiftcover car insurance in the U.K., starring an ad where he shirtlessly implores everyone to sign up for the insurance. Turns out, a bunch of musicians took Iggy’s cue and applied for coverage, only to be told that anyone employed as an “entertainer” was ineligible for Swiftcover insurance. Because Iggy himself is an entertainer, The Britain’s Advertising Standards Authority called the advert deceptive and demanded it never be broadcast again without editing. If Iggy can only sell things that musicians can obtain, looks like he’ll be stuck shilling for Taco Bell, Milwaukee’s Best Light and GPC cigarettes for the rest of his life.
OZZY WAS STONED?
In the biggest “no shit” music item of 2009 so far — ranking with all-time obvious music reports like “Courtney Love Arrested Again,” “Pete Doherty Arrested Again” and “Limp Bizkit Still Hated by Just About Everyone” — England’s The Daily Mail has reported that Ozzy Osbourne has admitted he was completely wasted during the entire run of his family’s popular reality-com, The Osbournes. The report says that Ozzy would feign being into fitness for the show (i.e. the popular “Ozzy on a treadmill” shots), but once the cameras went off, Ozzy sequestered himself with his “pipe” and some booze, plus a shit-ton of prescription pills. Next thing you know they’ll be telling us Flavor Flav likes clocks, Bret Michaels digs stupid women and Nick Lachey married Jessica Simpson as a publicity stunt!