Nicki Minaj is in Pasties But All I Noticed Was the Beats by Dre


Spin busted out some great linkbait this morning:

Nicki Minaj is wearing pasties? Not sure who French Montana is, but of course I had to watch the video. For research, of course.

Here’s where it got weird. Gizmodo had a great story last month about the history of Beats by Dre. It’s a must-read.

Marketing, Iovine told Kevin Lee, would take too long. Education would take too long. Instead, the strategy was to enchant the public: Beats would be “the hottest product to have, and sound will be a Trojan horse. And that’s what we did. Beats was in every single music video,” says Kevin. Iovine made sure Beats had prominent placement across Interscope’s sterling roster, infiltrating the money and product lust-addled brains of video-watching America.

And amazingly, as I watched, I found a perfect example of this placement. There is a shot that lasts for about 1 second at about 2:11 into the video. The video is set in a club. You know those places. At least according to the rest of the video it’s the places with fire-breathing dancers and people dry humping each other. So why would they need some $200 Beats portable speaker system? (It’s called the Pill and somehow they trademarked the word “pill”?)


I’m not an avid consumer of music videos, so I wonder how many more have Beats cameos as weird as this one. It’s one thing for DJ’s to wear the headphones as they spin, but a small portable speaker system in a huge club?

Sanity Check: Billboard’s Top 10 Rock Songs Are Basically the Same


I’ve lost my mind. To make sure I don’t listen to the same music all the time, I subscribe to the Billboard Rock Songs playlist on Spotify. Sometimes I put on music and play along with it on the guitar or whatever instrument is closest. Today’s little impromptu jam session freaked me out. The first three songs on the list were basically the same. Same key, same progression. As I played those 4 chords for 11 minutes in a row, I was amused. Amusement turned into something weirder as the same thing happened two more times before I got to the tenth track.

Obviously there’s only a few chords and progressions, but it’s so weird to see such similar songs listed so close to each other on a Billboard chart. This must make it really to be a sweet 16 DJ right now.

Even though the progression for Muse’s ‘Madness’ isn’t ground-breaking, it was a nice way to clear out the numbing repetition of the majority of the current top ten tracks.

Old and cranky, a bitter failed musician, enlightened? Probably all of the above.

Metallica Covers Green Day’s ‘American Idiot’ at Voodoo Festival

Green Day has been playing Master of Puppets in their live sets for more than 10 years, but this is the first time I’ve heard Metallica play a Green Day song.

When I saw Green Day, they played part of Master of Puppets. Billy Joe started off by announcing that he could play any heavy metal song. The honor has been returned. Props to Rob Trujillo for busting out the bass solo from some song on Dookie. (In the end?) Trying to remember which song he was playing made me realize that Dookie has the same bass breakdown in most songs. And they’re all awesome.

via Watch Metallica Half-Cover Green Day’s ‘American Idiot’ at Voodoo Festival

“That’s all we had time to learn.”

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Elliott Smith Wall Gets Some Love

The first Elliott Smith song I heard was Pretty (Ugly Before). I had been recording a bunch of demos and my buddy Elie sent me an MP3 of Pretty and told me that my style reminds him of Elliott Smith. I connected with that song immediately, but for years it remained the sole Smith track in my library. One night I was at a party and the host was basically a missionary for the cause of promoting Elliott Smith’s music. I walked home that night with a DVD of basically his entire catalog and it stayed relatively unexplored for another large chunk of time. One day everything just clicked and I became infatuated.

Being such a huge fan of the music and yet a casual fan of the actual artist sounds strange, but it’s true. I know very little about who Elliott Smith was outside of the info on his Wikipedia page and some clips on YouTube. And that is what brought me to this link on Laist. It never occurred to me that the artwork from the album cover of Figure 8 was actually street art. I’m not sure how I feel about memorials for people in general, but this seems like a cool project that is coming from the collected hearts of many fans and the latest restoration has some cool elements mixed into it. Check it out.

Photos: Elliott Smith Wall Gets Badly-Needed TLC Just In Time For 9th Anniversary Of His Death

The iconic “Figure 8” mural in Silver Lake was getting some much-needed TLC today—just in time for the 9th anniversary of Elliott Smith’s death tomorrow

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Follow Me Around. Thom Yorke live @ Latitude 2009

Sometimes I almost forget that this is one of the best songs ever written. At least in my book. The fact that Radiohead has never released an official version of Follow Me Around makes it feel like some sort of insider “I’m cooler than you because I know an obscure Radiohead song” snobbish thing. I actually had very limited knowledge of Radiohead’s catalog until recently. Basically until Spotify came along and I could browse by album instead of random tracks that I acquired. Before then, I had their hits and also some very hard to find bootlegs that a college buddy had given me for fixing his computer. And by that I mean that when I fixed friend’s computers back in the Napster days, their music collections were added to my library.

Anyway, I had tons of random Radiohead music in my iTunes library and didn’t know which were album and non-album tracks. I gravitated to Follow Me Around which had been ripped from Meeting People is Easy. There was a haunting melodic quality to it that drew me in. When I finally saw this video of Thom Yorke playing it live, it made my day.

Link: WATCH: One Of The Best Things You Will Ever See


Katy Perry’s music is a not-so-secret vice of mine. I’ve always been a sucker for pop music. When I posted this on my Facebook page, I included the message “If this doesn’t bring tear(s) to your eyes, please do the world a favor and die.”

WATCH: One Of The Best Things You Will Ever See

There were a number of extraordinary moments during Comedy Central’s Night Of Too Many Stars benefit for autism programs, but there was one in particular that drew tears from the audience rather than laughs.

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