Looking to Metal For Help

Investigators try to ID Venom fan, Miles Davis called is an iconic singer and music is not selling so well these days

click to enlarge The Venom T-shirt John Clinton Doe was wearing at the time of his death
The Venom T-shirt John Clinton Doe was wearing at the time of his death

HOT: Looking to Metal For Help

Heavy Metal has long been demonized by those who don’t understand it, but Metal fans are a tight-knit community — something that an investigator in Wisconsin is counting on for help with a long-unsolved case. In 1995, the skeletal remains of a man were discovered in a remote area in Clinton, Wisc. The man’s clothes remained in tact, including a T-shirt featuring Venom, an influential British Metal act. Jack Freiss started the Find JCD Project (the man was dubbed “John Clinton Doe”) while working at the coroner’s office in an effort to identify the man, and he’s kept it going since leaving the job. After hitting dead ends, Freiss is trying a new approach — hanging posters in Metal clubs in the hopes that someone may recognize him. More on the case can be found at findjcd.org.

WARM: Miles Apart

Miles Ahead, the biopic about music legend Miles Davis that was filmed in Greater Cincinnati, has been garnering a lot of buzz at film festivals lately, leading Sony Pictures Classics to acquire worldwide distribution rights. Perhaps in its excitement about the acquisition, the company rushed out a (since-updated) press release praising director/co-writer/star Don Cheadle’s acting and directing work, but flubbing a key component of Davis’ story. The press release said the film marks the emergence of a “major film director who happens to portray the iconic singer in a jaw-dropping performance.” Though he probably sang in the shower, Davis, of course, is the greatest trumpet player in Jazz history.

COLD: R.I.P. Selling Records

In the latest sign that streaming services and other outlets are dominating how we consume music, the most recent No. 1 album on the Billboard charts set a new sales low (at least in the "SoundScan era"). Adding insult to injury, the album is the soundtrack to a made-for-TV movie on the Disney Channel. The Descendants soundtrack topped the charts by selling only 30,000 copies. The album’s chart position benefited from Billboard’s decision to include streaming numbers in the final tally, though it still only adds up to 42,000 copies sold/streamed. We are getting closer to the point at whcih someone selling CDs out of their trunk is going to sell more than an “official” Top 10 album.

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