The Morning Mix: Talk to Beyonce's Terminator Hand; Singer-Songwriter-Scalper?; 1-866-IDOLS13 = NSFW
Headlines:Beyonce is ramping up for a world tour, during which she might need an extra roadie just to deal with the robo-hand that she's bringing on the road. "I have to figure out how I'm going to perform with that hand," the hip-hop diva says of the artificial appendage that she introduced in her "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)" video. ... Many top performers -- including Neil Diamond, Bon Jovi, Celine Dion, Van Halen, Elton John, Billy Joel and Britney Spears -- have quietly gotten into the scalping business, according to a Wall Street Journal story. The Journal reports that it's now common for artists to sell premium-priced tickets on TicketExchange.com, where they're priced and presented as resales by fans. ... "American Idol" created a mess for itself by expanding the field of finalists to 13, as the sequenced telephone number for contestant No. 13 -- 1-866-IDOLS13 -- is actually a phone-sex line. Fittingly, contestant 13, Alexis Grace, performed "Dirty Diana" during last night's round of Michael Jackson songs. Another contestant, Anoop Desai, had already done "Beat It." ... "My Life Would Suck Without You" singer Kelly Clarkson thinks having kids might suck. "My job is too selfish," the pop star says. ... For those about to be mocked, the Jonas Brothers salute you. With purity rings, which have a starring role in tonight's JoBro-spoofing episode of "South Park." The JoBros just announced a summer tour; July 13 at the Verizon Center. Consider yourselves warned. ... Rihanna might be recording a love duet with Chris Brown, after all. Meanwhile, Nickelodeon has decided not to remove the beleaguered Brown as a nominee at the upcoming Kids' Choice Awards. ... No more unreleased Nirvana songs. Ever. So says Krist Novoselic. ... Devo is whipping itself back into studio shape. A new album -- the new wave band's first in 19 years -- is due in the fall.
"Like many of my peers, I come from a working-class background, beginning my musical journey playing in dingy bars and college lunchrooms. Being a performer requires countless hours of dedication to your craft. It is not an easy business to undertake, and for every success story, there are many who have not had the opportunities that I've had. ... We must consider that, for many artists, the difference between receiving these resources is the difference between a life in music and a life out of music." -- Smashing Pumpkins frontdude Billy Corgan, testifying yesterday at a House hearing in support of the Performance Rights Act. The bill would require terrestrial radio stations to compensate performers for airplay of their songs. Currently, stations pay songwriters a publishing fee, but performers get zilch. Corgan also scratched his lobbying itch by coming out in support of the Live Nation/Ticketmaster merger in a letter to Congress.
Concert Pick of the Day
Common, 9:30 club. The Chicago rapper released the worst album of his career last year in "Universal Mind Control," which stressed shallow, carnal club bangers over Common's deep-thought lyricism. It was as if the conscious hip-hop poet with the knack for intricate, vivid verse had, indeed, fallen victim to the Neptunes' booty-beat mind control. But Common's catalogue of soulful rap runs deep, and he still has that butter-cream flow; so here's hoping he gets back in touch with the more thoughtful, clever Common who lamented the sorry state of hip-hop so many years ago in his metaphorical masterpiece, "I Used to Love H.E.R."
Video of the Day
In which three Philadelphia senior citizens offer insta-reviews of Young Jeezy's "Black Dreams" ("The Young Jeezys," one of the old folks calls the rapper in the video's intro) and Animal Collective's "My Girls." The commentary is sort of amazing. Warning: The Jeezy track contains explicit language. So don't crank this video at your office. (Hat tip: The Daily Swarm.)