Dope Pope to Drop Debut Album

Plus, Elton John talks to the actual Russian president and Collect Records cuts ties with pharmaceutical villain

click to enlarge Not Pope Francis' forthcoming album cover
Not Pope Francis' forthcoming album cover

HOT: Dope Pope to Drop Debut

Album
Popes releasing albums actually isn’t that unusual. Though they were all taken from masses and speeches, Pope Paul VI put out more material in the ’60s than Nirvana did its entire career. Pope John Paul II raised the bar in 1979 with his live jam, Sings At The Festival Of Sacrosong, on which he actually sings. Even Pope Benedict XVI, the Sarah Palin of Popes, put out Alma Mater in 2009, though, again, it’s just the pope’s voice over Classical/Choral music. Given “Cool Pope” Francis’ rep, it’s not shocking to hear he’s releasing an album called Wake Up! Go! Go! Forward! this fall that features spoken passages by Francis. What is unusual is that the music is described as Prog Rock, and the pope plays a 16-minute drum solo on his cover of Emerson, Lake and Palmer's "Tarkus." (Hopefully.)


WARM: Elton Talks with Real Vlad

Elton John was recently on the receiving end of a prank call from some Russian wise guys who pretended to be Vladimir Putin and requested a meeting to talk about Russia’s horrendous LGBTQ-rights record. The biggest thing learned: Elton John apparently doesn’t have caller ID (or he accepts calls from “Unknown”). There’s a happy-ish ending, though — the real Putin reportedly did call John, acknowledging the pranksters and saying he would indeed meet with the Pop star if “schedules allow.” ICYMI: Putin signed a law banning distribution of propaganda relating to “non-traditional sexual relations,” helping create an even worse climate for LGBTQ ruskies.

A change in Russia's approach to

LGBTQ issues seems unlikely, though

Elton DOES have experience negotiating seemingly impossible deals with Russians:


COLD: Label Cuts Ties With Gouger

Martin Shkreli — the man who became infamous for claiming a patent on the drug Daraprim (used by some AIDS patients and others to fight a parasitic disease) and raising the cost from $13.50 per pill to $750 per pill — has an unlikely music connection that has also blown up in his face. Shkreli is a huge Emo fan who invested money in Collect Records, run by Geoff Rickly of Thursday. While Shkreli eventually backed off his price gouge (though he has yet to say how much the pills will cost), Rickly announced he severed ties with the rich dick and has the full support of the label’s artists.

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