The Morning Mix: Metallica's Label Fades to Green; Bruce Working on a Tour; Colin Meloy's Songbook Slays


Headlines: Lars Ulrich, a Bank of Elektra Customer Since 1984! The outspoken Metallica drummer said his band doesn't need a major label -- and he said in front of a bunch of reps from Metallica's label, Warner Bros., which scooped up the rockers after Warner Music Group folded their longtime label home, Elektra. "Without offending any of the good people from the record company in the room, no," Ulrich said. He added: "The primary -- not the only, but the primary -- function of a record label is to act as a bank. When you're fortunate enough to be successful and so on, you don't need to rely on record companies as the banks." ... Bruce Springsteen is working out the kinks in advance of the Working on a Dream tour. Key sentence from Rolling Stone's report on the first rehearsal concert in Asbury Park: "Where the Magic tour was all low lighting and brooding music ruminating on an America drifting away from its ideals, last night was something more akin to a block party." ...The Decemberists have a thing for death: A Paste mag study reveals that Colin Meloy and Co. kill an average of 0.92 people per song. ... Pete Doherty is unreliable. Surprise! Writes Chris Lee on the L.A. Times music blog: "I went all the way to London to interview England's most notorious rock star and all I got was this stupid blog post." (TWP's review of Doherty's new album is here.) ... Green Day's new album, "21st Century Breakdown," has a release date: May 15. Though release dates are like MSRPs anymore. The music will undoubtedly leak online much earlier than that. ... Nicole Scherzinger didn't want to record an English version of "Jai Ho." Says she was scared. Scherzinger performed here with the Pussycat Dolls at last night's insane Britney Spears concert, though I missed the set as I was busy checking out Brit-Brit's merch booth. Did anybody actually pay $150 for a velour track suit? ... Darius Rucker has his second country No. 1. Last year, Rucker became the first black artist in 25 years to top the chart. (My profile on Rucker is here.) ... The Dead are charging top dollar for their best concert seats. But it's for charity. (April 14 at the Verizon Center, btw.) ... Phil Spector's defense: Lana Clarkson killed herself. ... Uriel Jones -- a drummer for Motown's legendary house band, the Funk Brothers -- has died. His credits included "I Heard it Through the Grapevine," "Ain't No Mountain High Enough," "Ain't Too Proud to Beg," "Cloud Nine," "I Can't Get Next to You" and "The Tracks of My Tears." ... Stephin Merritt's scary "Coraline" musical will open in May. ... Katy Perry is not dating Josh Groban. Feel better now? ... It's true: Spandau Ballet is on the comeback trail.

Video of the Day
In which Keri Hilson -- she of the long-delayed debut, "In a Perfect World" -- does battle with Kanye West, with an assist from Ne-Yo.

Today in Style
"Britney Rules 'Circus' Ring With the Greatest of Tease." Yep, Ms. Spears was kind of awesome. There, I said it. (Though it was more Cirque du Soleil than concert.)

Also: "At 9:30 Club, Cut Copy Hurtles Back to the Future."

List of the Day
Stereogum has ranked the week's 50 Best Rock Star Twitterers, a list that includes Blitzen Trapper, Courtney Love, Neil Diamond, indie-rock fan Solange Knowles and Snoop Dogg, whose top Tweet said, simply: "getn high right now."


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By J. Freedom du Lac |  March 25, 2009; 8:33 AM ET Morning Mix
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