Brian Is (Not) a Punk Rocker

Brian Wilson's never heard of Punk, Frances Bean Cobain makes headlines and some major labels considering talk show cutbacks

Apr 14, 2015 at 2:27 pm
click to enlarge Brian Wilson not recording The Sex Pistols in 1976
Brian Wilson not recording The Sex Pistols in 1976

HOT: Brian Is (Not) a Punk Rocker

Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys is a Pop music genius whose songs are steeped in the classics, so perhaps it’s understandable (yet still a bit surprising) that Wilson is very out of touch with contemporary music. “Contemporary” meaning music from the past 40 years. In an interview with The Guardian about his new No Pier Pressure (groan) album, the writer asks Wilson what he thinks of Punk Rock. “I don’t know what that is. … What is that?” Wilson responded. When informed of the mid-’70s-spawned artform, Wilson said he preferred music that is more “medium tempo” and said (apropos to what is unsure) he liked ’60s Welsh Pop Rock artist Spencer Davis. Bless his heart.

WARM: A Kurt Response, Blown Up

Frances Bean Cobain, daughter of Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love, gave a rare interview to Rolling Stone in connection to Montage of Heck, the new documentary she helped produce about her late father. Considering the life she came into, the 22-year-old came off as remarkably well adjusted. But since click-bait soundbites are now the entire story for many media outlets, Cobain’s admission that she doesn’t enjoy her dad’s music (she prefers Brian Jonestown Massacre and Mercury Rev, which is pretty cool for a 22-year-old) was all most got to read from the interview. Sites trumpeted the “Young Cobain Dislikes Nirvana” theme and mentioned little about the rest of the story, while the sensationalists at TMZ went into full distortion mode, using the headline, “Frances Bean Cobain … I Hate Nirvana.”

COLD: Corporate Labels Still Suck

Billboard is reporting that some major labels are considering disallowing their artists from offering talk shows bonus “online exclusive” clips when they appear. If you guessed that the reason has something to do with money, give yourself a prize. The report says that these labels don’t care that the exclusives often make the online rounds in the days following an appearance, offer viral promotion for the artists and are a perk for fans. The concern? The labels can’t monetize the bonus clips, the TV shows get all the clicks and sometimes (especially in the case of bigger appearances, like Van Halen’s outdoor, multi-song concert for Jimmy Kimmel Live!) there are costs the label must cover (though sponsorships can lighten that load; the Van Halen show was sponsored by Jack Daniels). The Billboard story did feature a lot of counter arguments by sensible insiders, including an unnamed artist manager who said, “Labels see the big picture as, ‘Nothing should be given away for free.’ ”