Paste — According to the best press release we’ve received in some time, washed-up rapper Rob “Vanilla Ice” Van Ice Van Rob Winkle will soon debut a television show “focusing on his passion for home renovation.” Here is a teaser: “In this 10-episode series, Rob is ready for his biggest project yet—a complete overhaul of a six-bedroom and five-bathroom, 7,000 square-foot lakefront home in Palm Beach, Fla.”
This raises all sorts of questions. For instance, if you had a 7,000 square-foot mansion, would you entrust its renovation to a man who once renovated a pair of inflatable pants in a sparkly American Flag motif? And also, wouldn’t it be funny if all the other rapping relics from the 1990s got into the home-improvement business? We think it would. And we freely offer these business concepts to any of the artists mentioned in this link. CALL US.
Cinderella: One wrong click and suddenly you’re on a page full of ornate period costumes, soaring magical anthems and fabulous hairstyles. There are also some sites about the Disney movie.
Paste — Rumor has it that early-’00s rap-rock ensemble Linkin Park chose to spell its name all funny-like for a simple reason: Someone had already grabbed LincolnPark.com, so the band went with pre-K phonetics and created the world’s first known fusion of search engine optimization and gloppy nu-metal. Regrettably, thousands more were to come.
If you’re going to get noticed online, you need to snag the teeny attention spans of potential new fans while staying accessible to old ones. Many bands address this problem with unconventional, eccentric or exceedingly dopey names like Them Crooked Vultures, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah or Taylor Swift. Yet plenty more clearly did not get the memo, because no one gets memos anymore, because they’re all online stealing music. For instance, I recently received a PR pitch from a band called One. A Google search for this band turns up, in order: 1) a group fighting AIDS and poverty, 2) the integer before two and 3) coconut water, which was delicious, but my point remains. A Paste list of bands that have made themselves bafflingly difficult to Google.
Paste — Bruce Springsteen’s most recent eyebrow-removing live documentary is evidence that the aging process may be purely theoretical. “IS THERE ANYBODY ALIVE OUT THERE?” he shouts all of 12 minutes into the show, throwing down the gauntlet to the behemoth Hard Rock Calling Festival audience with a crazy-eyed boxer’s glare that’s part statement of purpose and part f*#&-you to the AARP Magazine cover. London Calling: Live at Hyde Park then explodes open with its ace in the hole: Springsteen and Steve Van Zandt tearing into the Clash like two scuzzy-looking punks thirsting to prove themselves, which is, of course, profoundly insane: By the time London Calling was shot in June 2009, Springsteen and the E Street Band, most loitering around the parking lot of 60, were firing on all cylinders, inventing more cylinders and then firing on those too, laying waste to festivals and towns huge and small with three-hour sweat-fests highlighted by nightly Stump The Band requests delivered via creative poster boards (the DVD’s: the Young Rascals’ fest-ready “Good Lovin’”).
Read the full review at Paste.
Paste — Shopping for music reissues is like hitting the sundae buffet on your birthday: It’s one of the few times you are allowed, if not obligated, to put aside your cares about portion size. In the world of repackaged albums, volume is king, sets are super-sized and few demos are considered too scruffy for inclusion. The most bank-breaking reissue of Pearl Jam’s Ten, for example, came with dueling mixes of the album, a live DVD, a vinyl LP, a replica cassette of Vedder’s early demos, some recipes, a coupon for 50 percent off your second pair of shoes, Six Flags tickets and a Don Mattingly rookie card; an apparently sizable audience was once even heard clamoring for 22 outtakes from the Gin Blossoms’ New Miserable Experience.
Magnetic Fields’ spry, sprawling 69 Love Songs album was no small investment in its original proportions, and its three 23-track discs—each loaded end-to-end with near-comprehensive coverage of the highs and horrors of love—cemented Stephin Merritt’s standing as a kind of misanthropic dark knight. And so, while the recently-reissued version is plus-sized—the whole shebang comprised of six vinyl LPs (plus a code to download the remastered MP3s)—this new, limited-run package features no outtakes, no demos, no live cuts, no extra anything. It makes sense, as anything more would bungle the math. Plus, Merritt doesn’t exactly seem like the kind of guy who would throw open his journals. “He made Lou Reed look like Little Orphan Annie,” says author Neil Gaiman in the trailer for the newly released, decade-in-the-making documentary Strange Powers: Stephin Merritt and the Magnetic Fields. Read the full review over at Paste Magazine.
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Paste — The last hot-barbecue platter from these Athens, Ga.-based workaholics, 2008’s “Brighter Than Creation’s Dark,” was a characteristically stomping monster, 19 tracks of roaring awesomeness that felt like a pretty deliberate screw-off to supporters of the Judiciously Edited Album. This quick-to-arrive follow-up whittles things down to more manageable levels, but still swings big. The full review is over at pastemagazine.com.