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Music

Too Many Zooz Rocks Union Square, Reddit

Friday was a BIG day for New York “Brass House” trio Too Many Zooz. Also known as Matt Doe, Leo P and Dave “King of Sludge” Parks.

At one end, their January video of a rip-roaring Union Square subway station performance hit the front page of Reddit. At the other, they were thanking Jimmy Fallon‘s band leader Questlove for having followed them on Twitter.

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NPR Tries to Extract Lessons from Rapper’s Fake NYT Article Stunt

Earlier this month, New York Times reviewer Jon Caramanica’s name was taken in vain by Queens rap artist Shirt. The musician mocked up a fake article with the journalist’s byline and e-circulated it as an upside-down way to promote his personal brand.

NPRTheRecordLogoToday, Brooklyn-based writer Kris Ex very intelligently dissects the lessons in a lengthy NPR.org blog post. There’s no doubt Shirt derived a ton of publicity from the bizarre maneuver. But what does the PR stunt mean more broadly, if anything? Notes Ex:

While Shirt’s stated goals are art and promotion, the rapper (perhaps unwittingly) has made telling commentary about the hip-hop journalism playing field. In the wake of his stunt, he’s generated more thoughtful digital ink than he has in four years of putting out actual product.

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Forty Years Later, Gene Simmons Still Has No Love for Music Critics

KISSalbumCoverIf you’re not familiar with the radio.com interview series “Not Fade Away,” be sure to check it out. At critical anniversary junctures, the column revisits enduring music albums. This week, on the occasion of KISS’s 1974 debut album turning 40, reporter Brian Ives spoke with Gene Simmons.

All sorts of things are happening these days at the KISS end. AMC-TV is planning a reality series about the LA Kiss, an Anaheim arena football team co-owned by Simmons and Paul Stanley; at Barclays Center in April, the band will finally be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; and their allure had a certain Washington Post columnist recently delighted to have been mistaken for Simmons on Twitter.

Simmons also continues to actively stick out his tongue. Here’s what he had to say about the music critics who failed to get the KISS message:

“We completely ignored critics, they meant nothing to us. I buried them in my backyard, they’re fertilizer for my greenery! They’re the guys who never got laid in school who have pus-filled pimples who still live in their mother’s basement. They’re not even journalists! It’s a completely unnecessary life form. If critics cease to be, nothing changes.”

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That’s the Way It Went with Walter Cronkite, The Beatles

BeatlesAreComingCoverThe kind of trivia that Bruce Spizer, author of The Beatles Are Coming!, is able to share never gets old. Doubly so when the 50th anniversary of the seminal NYC trigger date (February 7 1964) is looming.

Spizer, for CBS New York and other network websites, today reframes the unlikely trio of Walter Cronkite, 15-year-old Maryland high school student Marsha Albert and D.C. radio DJ Carroll James Jr. A daisy-chain of events linked the three and helped speed the stateside spread of Beatlemania.

As a vivid reminder of just how long ago this was, check out the following Spizer passage:

James, who had also seen the CBS Evening News [Cronkite] Beatles report, arranged to have a copy of their latest British hit single, “I Want To Hold Your Hand,” delivered to him by a flight attendant who worked for British airline BOAC.

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AP Gets to the Bottom of Christmas Song Mondegreens

Any AP story that requires interviews with the co-owner of an East Village karaoke bar and the co-host of a public radio show about the English language is absolutely fine by our Christmas carol songbook.

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The delightful item, by entertainment and lifestyles reporter Leanne Italie, is all about “mondegreens,” a term used to describe the usually very funny instances of people mishearing song lyrics like “9 Ladies Dancing” (from “The Twelve Days of Christmas”) as “9 Lazy Hansons.” Grant Barrett, of the aforementioned radio program A Way With Words, explains how the term originated:

The word, he said, can be traced to Sylvia Wright and a column she wrote in Harper’s magazine in 1954 titled, “The Death of Lady Mondegreen.” Wright discovered that for years she had botched the last line of the first stanza of the Scottish folk ballad “The Bonnie Earl o’ Moray.”

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Velvet Underground Fans Give Thanks for New Live Track

The song, “I’m Not a Young Man Anymore”, was recorded live at New York City’s The Gymnasium on April 30, 1967, when Lou Reed was just 25. Although a recording of the live show surfaced in bootleg form a few years ago, next month’s release by Universal Music of the box set White Light/White Heat 45th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition will mark the first time the composition has seen the official light of day.

For its coverage this week, Dangerous Minds excerpts a remembrance of The Gymnasium, a former Czechoslovakian health and social club, from Blondie member Chris Stein. As a teenager, Stein saw the Velvet Underground live there.

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Bob Dylan’s Version of a Cable News Channel Scroll

Bob Dylan has snuck up on the YouTube generation and just dropped one of the most inspired music videos of the 21st century.

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The juxtaposition of “Like a Rolling Stone” with various fake TV channel streams of lip-synched talking heads is made all the more inspired by the fact that watchers can channel surf as the song is playing. Among the second layers of detail is the ticker at the bottom of the MTC Business cable news channel. Bits of information shared include:

Alert: Some stocks went up and some stocks went down.

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Doc Severinsen Set to ‘Blow Out’ Buffalo

Stop and think, for a moment, what you might be doing in the future at age 86. Pining for the days when people didn’t have digital news streams downloaded to a chip in their head while sleeping? Struggling to remember where you put your dentures? Both?

DocSeverinsenWe ask because only a very few of us are going to be lucky enough to: a) make it to that age; b) look as good as the octogenarian on the right; and, c) still be working and receiving accolades like this one for Severinsen from Bob Saar in The Hawk Eye after a recent performance in Burlington, Iowa:

The Doc Severinsen Big Band gave the old building [Memorial Auditorium] new life, as though it had been waiting 80 years for them to show up…

Quite simply, this band is the best musical crew to hit a Burlington stage in decades. We’ve seen great shows at Steamboat Days, The Washington, the auditorium, the Blue Shop, but none have reached the soaring heights of Doc Severinsen and his band.

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Bob Marley Rises Up on Billboard’s Social 50 Chart

BillboardLogoAre you familiar with Billboard magazine’s Social 50 chart? If not, here’s an explanation of what it tracks:

A ranking of the most active artists on the
world’s leading social networking sites. Artists’ popularity is determined by a formula blending their weekly additions of friends/fans/followers along with artist page views and weekly song plays, as measured by Next Big Sound.

Miley Cyrus, Justin Timberlake and Katy Perry are currently 1-2-3. But, as per a report by the magazine’s social/streaming charts manager William Gruger, there’s also some noteworthy activity down below:

Bob Marley, who has the second-largest social media presence for a dead artist (behind Michael Jackson), reaches a new peak on the Social 50 chart. He rises 37 to 8 in his 88th week on the list, marking the third time Marley has climbed into the top 10.

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Journo Challenges Courtney Love’s Recollection of ‘Pugilistic’ Events

One of the more entertaining celebrity interviews published this week was a Q&A in LA Weekly with Courtney Love. The singer-songwriter-troublemaker was in free-wheeling form for a telephone interview with “West Coast Sound” reporter Lina Locaro, talking about her stripper days, a key early review from Robert Hilburn in the LA Times and more.

However, judging by reaction in the comments from Belissa Cohen, who once wrote the Weekly‘s influential “L.A. Dee Da” column, the Q&A should be taken with a large grain of salt. To Love’s account of how an altercation with the journalist went down, Cohen had this to say:

Courtney has always felt free to make up “truths” and history and in this interview she does it again. I never had a cousin who worked for Gloria Allred, who I had never met before (I cold-called her office) but who gladly took my case against the oft-violent Ms. Love; I never shoved Courtney (she is much taller and bigger than I am), and what she says she said to me during the altercation that she instigated is not at all what she said.

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