Euro Kidding, Right?
Our national travesty, American Idol, is winding down. Or so we've heard — we don't watch, but from the looks of it, the finalists are the prom queen and her dad. Instead, we've been keeping our eyes on Europe's "Eurovision" song contest and wishing it were on our TVs six nights a week in place of Idol. While still cheesy and featuring artists with the shelf life of a banana (Celine Dion and ABBA are the contest's biggest success stories in its 50-year history), this year's competiton featured a surprising, surrealistic twist, as Finland shocked Europe with their entry — a monster-masked Heavy Metal band called Lordi — winning the big prize with their song, "Heavy Metal Hallelujah."
For the Love of God — Let It Be!
We can think of only a few things we care less about than celebrity divorces (see: American Idol, above), but how fun are the resulting headlines? Paul McCartney and his soon-to-be-ex, Heather Mills, created an avalanche of bad Beatles-song wordplay when they announced their impending divorce. Forbes weighed in with "She Loves You, Yeah, Yeah, Right" and the Sydney Morning Herald cleverly combined two songs ("Oh Darling ... She's Leaving Home"), but our favorites were simple yet direct (The Melbourne Herald Sun's "We Can't Work It Out" and another Aussie news site's "Love Me Don't"). The excitement over Paul's misfortune seemed to confuse some — a news site in India must've had Paul mixed up with Don Everly, given their "McCartney-Heather Say Bye Bye Love" headline. One job not in danger of being outsourced to India — headline writer.
More RIAA BS
The Recording Industry Association of America is taking a break from suing 14-year-olds and are going after someone who can actually challenge them in court. The organization is suing XM Satellite Radio, saying their new Inno contraption (which stores songs from their radio playlists so listeners can enjoy them at any time) violates copyrights because it doesn't compensate artists on a per-download basis. The RIAA reportedly wants $150,000 for each song XM users record. XM is apparently ready for a fight; in a letter to subscribers, the company compared their devices to cassettes, VCRs and TiVo, and noted that subscription fees are already being used to pay artists' royalties.
No Spin Zone
Spin magazine, once the biggest-selling rag for Alternative music lovers, has just launched a redesign. Despite featuring The Raconteurs on the cover (with Cincinnati boys Patrick Keeler and Jack Lawrence) and giving some love to The Comet and Southgate House in its nationwide "Spin 101" round-up, the vapid new Spin is a sad impersonation of Blender, heavy on short, pointless fashion features and "news" stories (Kate Moss buying a vibrator gets almost a full page). Crammed in the middle of it all is a four-page spread on post-nuclear-meltdown Chernobyl, meaning at least someone at the mag is fighting the surge towards complete frivolity. Either that or Paris Hilton is buying a summer home there. Debilitating birth defects — that's hot!
Apparently looking for a Gwen Stefani (or perhaps hoochie-era Jewel) type of career makeover, Nelly Furtado has forgone her unique vocal style and fluttering Adult Pop musings in favor of ... well, looking and sounding just like everybody else on the Pop music battlefield. Furtado's new Timbaland-produced album is a shamefully naked attempt at tapping into the teen market. Sheryl Crow, pull out the ol' hot-pants — you're next.