A Somber Farewell to the King of Pop; NIN Schedules Final Dates; Kanye and Lady GaGa Dates Announced
Headlines: Once again, it was basically an all Michael Jackson news day. The King of Pop's funeral in Los Angeles was "a surprisingly somber affair, and far less of a spectacle than you might have imagined." As The Post's Monica Hesse neatly sums up: "It was very sad. It was very long." It was nearly three hours of speeches and songs that ranged from touching to puzzling. (John Mayer? Really?) Just when you thought the whole thing was getting to be too much (Usher singing at a casket?) Michael's daughter Paris just goes and breaks your heart. If we're picking best performances, Jennifer Hudson would probably be the winner. She beat Mariah Carey at her own game. Of course, those vintage clips of a young Jackson performing with the Jackson 5 topped everything. Will this finally bring an end to wall-to-wall Jackson coverage? I somehow doubt it. His dominance of the Billboard charts continues. And people aren't just downloading from iTunes; they're actually buying the physical CD. Now there remains the question of whether there will be any sort of tribute concert or tour. It seems like there's money to be made, so don't rule it out.
You didn't think the last Nine Inch Nails shows would be as an opening act for Jane's Addiction, did you? Born-again Twitterer Trent Reznor announced the band's really-for-real-final tour dates, or at least the cities they will be in: New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Toronto, starting in late August. Make your travel plans accordingly. In other touring news, that Kanye West/Lady GaGa tour is definitely happening this fall. Dates were unofficially announced, but except the odd couple to hit Verizon Center on Oct. 29. And Kanye refuses to call Lady an opening act. "She's talented and so incredible that she's not an opening act. We're doing it together, with no opening act." OK, then. For a co-headlining tour that's something completely different but will be in D.C. the previous night, check out Andrew Bird and St. Vincent at 9:30 club. I still can't stop listening to St. Vincent's "Actor." Did you catch Bird on "Conan" last night? Dude's a total showoff but manages to get away with it. Definite David Byrne thing going on.
In new album news, it seems the Lil Wayne rock record is definitely happening, if that cover art is to be believed. If that isn't a Washington Nationals bullpen-level disaster it will be shocking. A special EP version of David Bowie's "Space Oddity" will be released on July 20 to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the moon landing. (Or "moon landing" for all my conspiracy theorists out there.) It's just the original version of the song plus three different mixes. If you haven't heard the Langley Schools Music Project cover of that song, take a listen. So good, so creepy. You can listen to the debut by the Dead Weather, Jack White's latest supergroup, exclusively on iLike, today only. Let me know how it is. I'm skeptical. As for White's next collaboration? The Onion has the scoop. And personal favorites Times New Viking have a new one ready to go and Matador will make it available for purchase on on Sept. 22, probably about three weeks or so after it appears on 392 blogs. "A cursory glance at the American rock underground reveals a landscape littered with well-intentioned but vastly inferior bands who've caught the lo-fi bug," says the hype talk, but it's actually true. TNV's songwriting chops are much more developed than the rest of their lo-fi peers.
In case you missed it in the paper the other day: Allison Stewart weighs in on Maxwell's long-delayed return to the fold. Verdict? Not really worth the wait. Plus Quick Spins of Hannah Montana, Son Volt and Cass McCombs. Guess which one I wrote.
Video of the Day: Breakfast at Sulimay's
Everyone's favorite Internet video series in which senior citizens offer their takes on indie rock, or whatever Grizzly Bear does. "It sounded like a college glee club doing a rock song," one of them offers. "I didn't care for it very much," says another. "If it's experimental ... keep experimenting!" LOL, as they say.
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