Matablog

Archive for the 'power brokin’' Category

Taxpayers Oughta Know – How Much Of Our Defense Budget Is Spent On Dry Ice?

By Gerard on Friday, December 26th, 2008

Much as I hate to poke fun at the brave men and women who constitute our nation’s armed forces, Max Impact — a self-described combination of “today’s hip-hop, pop and urban sounds-and everything in between” — might be the first entry in a genre I like to call, “Bands That Can Form The Basis For A Future Earles & Jensen Phone Call”.   From the M.I. bio  (link swiped from Wired)

Max Impact answers the call to motivate and inspire the newest generation of professional Airmen. To achieve maximum results Max Impact stays on the leading edge of the ever-changing pop music scene while projecting the highest standards of Air Force professionalism. Optimal delivery is the name of Max Impact’s game when it comes to serving its audience. With innovative style and boundless energy, Max Impact commands the stage encouraging every Airman to embrace the spirit and join the fun. 

Some Police Are A-OK

By Gerard on Monday, May 12th, 2008

Sure, sneering at the cops is pretty easy. But some of ‘em are a-ok. Like the kindly NYPD officer who told me in 1992 during eviction proceedings against Matador, “this might hurt your chances of getting into college” (keep in mind, I was 27 at the time). Or, for example, Couch Flambeau’s Jay Tiller.

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Funny Thing Is, Our Corporate Anthem Sounds Almost Exactly Like This

By Gerard on Thursday, April 3rd, 2008

Boing Boing.tv (sorry – I just took down the embedded clip due to a BMW ad) explores the rich world of corporate anthems. As opposed to, y’know, fight songs.  I don’t know what the guy from Jesus Jones is up to at the moment, but surely there’s a bank /health care provider / state lottery that needs his help writing a song?

Doesn’t Anyone Want Southside Johnny’s Endorsement?

By Gerard on Thursday, December 27th, 2007

The New York Times’ Jeremy W. Peters on the Garden State’s most highly sought after seal-of-approval, that of Jon Bon Jovi.

In New Jersey, it is practically a requirement for any high-ranking politician to attend at least one of his shows. And despite his left-leaning political allegiances, Democrats and Republicans alike seek him out as if he were New Jersey’s very own Bono.

When former Gov. Christie Whitman was deciding whether to build a sports arena in Camden, she consulted Mr. Bon Jovi — part owner of the Arena Football League team the Philadelphia Soul — and took his advice to pass it up. When Newark needed a marquee name to christen the Prudential Center, one of its most important new developments in decades, it turned to him.

“He basically says, ‘Hey, here’s where I’m from, like it or not,’ ” said Ms. Whitman, a Republican who later became administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency under President Bush. “And that’s refreshing for the state of New Jersey because we don’t have a lot of that.”

Yeah, I can’t think of anyone else who might be identified with New Jersey.

If Anybody Was Wondering…

By Gerard on Tuesday, December 18th, 2007

…neither Matador Records nor any of our artists signed off on this particular bit of clumsy attempted co-opting.  But we’re very pleased to see some of our favorite bands getting involved in setting the record straight and hopeful making future advertorial mavens think twice before pulling a similar stunt.

A Message To Prince Rogers Nelson

By Gerard on Wednesday, November 7th, 2007



Go on, sue us.  We used to love you to bits, but in retrospect, the Mary Jane Girls were so much cooler than Vanity 6. 

Shat In The (Linkin Park’s) Van!!

By Andrew Earles on Tuesday, November 6th, 2007

No square inch of scenery left to chew, no square inch of Shatner’s ass to kiss, and no clips of the interview on YouTube yet, but one can enjoy Mike Patton exploring everything that happened in music between The Infectious Grooves and Linkin Park!

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No Need To Pimp This Ride

By Gerard on Monday, October 29th, 2007

Who amongst us hasn’t dreamed of tooling around town in a chariot previously owned by one of history’s most infamous despots?

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But enough about Matt Dillon, apparently Pol Pot had something to do with this Mercedes, too.

Can You Hear Me Now? – Bell Canada Flunks Punk History Test

By Gerard on Tuesday, September 18th, 2007

From Reuters :

Canada's biggest phone company has apologized after a punk-rock reference to the Holocaust appeared on billboard advertisements for its cellphones.

The ads for Bell Canada's Solo discount service showed a young woman decked out in flashy punk rock attire, with a button that reads "Belsen was a gas" — the controversial title of a song by the Sex Pistols, and a reference to Nazi Germany's Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.

"It was inadvertent," Bell Canada spokesman Mark Langton said on Friday, noting that the dozen ads were taken down as soon as the company realized its mistake. "Obviously, we would never depict such an offensive slogan in our advertising."

He said Bell officials approved the ads after examining sample images that were smaller than the final billboards. The button inscription could only be read when the ads were blown up to their full size, he said.

 

"In the proofing and approval materials, it was impossible to see the button, so our folks missed it."

Cell Freak helpfull points out most of the prisoners at Berger-Belsen "actually died after being beaten to death or from a Typhus epidemic in late 1944."   So I'm feeling better about Canada Bell already. 

First Person To Ask “Where’s The Beef?” Has Their Entire Slash Records Collection Confiscated

By Gerard on Thursday, August 16th, 2007

From the AP's Larry Neumeister :


Violent Femmes Bassist Brian Ritchie sued lead vocalist Gordon Gano (above) on Wednesday, saying he was deprived of credit for some of the group's songs and a proper accounting of its earnings.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, also accuses Gano of trashing the band's reputation by allowing its signature hit, "Blister in the Sun," to be used in a Wendy's commercial.

Gano, reached by telephone at his Manhattan home, called the lawsuit "a complete surprise" — especially since the band still regularly performs and just returned from a tour in South Africa.

"This action is the unfortunate culmination of an ongoing intra-band dispute between Ritchie and Gano over Gano's misappropriation and misadministration of Ritchie's interests in the jointly owned songs and assets of the band, misappropriation of assets solely owned by Ritchie, improper accounting and nonpayment of royalties," the lawsuit said.

The Wendy's deal was a buzz-kill for the band's fan base, the suit says, causing one fan to comment in an online blog that after hearing "Blister in the Sun" in a commercial, "My ears perked up. Then my jaw dropped. Then my heart sank."

If there's any consolation for Ritchie, he should know the earlier version of the Wendy's spot featuring the Dead Kennedys' "Holiday In Cambodia" has done nothing to besmirch that band's reputation. 

 

Calling Blind Item Boo-shit

By Gerard on Monday, August 13th, 2007



Fox News' Susan Estrich
is fed-the-fuck-up with the Interweb's "unbridled ugliness", and in addition to obscene threats she receives daily, " I don’t even have to read my own mail to be exposed to such garbage. It’s on plenty of websites as well."  (thanks.  we're trying)

Curiously, however, Estrich segues from a rant about online harassment to a personal brush with greatness turned unpleasant :

Some years ago, I was in a ladies room, straightening out my skirt, when a famous celebrity I had long admired began berating me mercilessly for working for FOX News. How can you do such a thing, she asked, rhetorically, because of course she had no interest in my answer.

It was clear that she didn’t want to hear my arguments about reaching an audience that could prove decisive, as opposed to the pleasure of singing for the choir– much less the fact that some of the people I work with at FOX are actually decent people who value dialogue and reward personal loyalty. She was right because she was sufficiently famous that clearly no one had ever told her otherwise.

As she slammed the door in my face, though, I got in the last word: If you don’t like FOX, start your own network. Put your money where your mouth is. Now, whenever I see her, I smile, and she looks away.

Professor Kingsley, how can you in good conscience be such a tease?  WHO was it? Jane Fonda? Karen O?  Susan Muldowney? Valuable leisure time that might have otherwise been used to write threatening letters to you and your colleagues will now be wasted in a futile attempt to figure out precisely who you're referring to. 

Jon Bon Jovi Might Suck…

By Gerard on Thursday, July 19th, 2007

but at least he never sicc'd Web Sheriff on anybody but nobody can accuse him of having an inflated sense of his own self-importance. Not without getting a letter from his lawyer, anyway. From the AP :

When it comes to energy drinks, rock star Jon Bon Jovi thinks an East Brunswick man gives coffee a bad name.

The Jersey rocker wants the owner of the Mijovi energy drink to change its name, arguing it is too similar to his famous moniker.

But Marcos Carrington says his coffee-based energy drink is named after his girlfriend, whose name is Jovita.

After Jon Bon Jovi, who lives in Middletown, saw a can of Mijovi for sale in a cafe in nearby Red Bank in January, his lawyers sent Carrington a letter demanding that he stop using the name Mijovi.

"It is just unfair," Carrington, 37, told the Asbury Park Press for Thursday's newspapers. "It is unfair because Mijovi has nothing to do with Bon Jovi."

Carrington said he started Mijovi in August 2004 as a way to raise funds for an environmental consulting business.

He said there were no coffee-based energy drinks even though coffee is one of the best-selling beverages in the U.S. Working with a flavor company, he developed Mijovi, a coffee drink that contains Taurine, B-vitamins and caffeine.

In a Jan. 22 letter, Los Angeles lawyer Peter Laird, representing Bon Jovi, objected to the word "Mijovi" as well as other words "itsmijovi" and "itsmilife" that appear in the company's marketing materials and on the can. Rather than use Carrington's spelling, the letter used the phrases, "It's My Jovi" and "It's My Life."

"As you should be aware, one of Bon Jovi's most popular songs is entitled "It's My Life," the letter states. "We hereby demand that you immediately cease and desist all further use of the name "Mijovi' and "It's My Life.' "

If JBJ is successful in halting sales of this (gross sounding) drink, presumably Richie Sambora will be emboldened to go after anyone selling Sambuca. Likewise, what is stopping Tico Torres from threatening action against Taco Bell?

Not To Be A Total Cynic Or Anything…

By Gerard on Saturday, July 7th, 2007

…but what's the environmental impact of hundreds of thousands of unsold Zunes?

Surely This Isn’t Chuck Scarborough’s Idea Of Free Speech?

By Gerard on Thursday, July 5th, 2007
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(video link swiped from Boing Boing)

Rock Biz 101 With Flo & Eddie

By Gerard on Tuesday, April 24th, 2007
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To Quote Rainier Luftwaffe Wolfcastle….

By Gerard on Tuesday, April 3rd, 2007

…you can't sell out when you never stood for anything in the first place. From the New York Times' Robert Levine, April 2, '07.

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Fans of Fall Out Boy who downloaded “Thnks Fr Th Mmrs,” the rock band’s new video last weekend most likely enjoyed the spectacle of chimpanzees playing filmmakers and mocking the members of the band. But they may have noticed something else: Tag All Nighter, a deodorant body spray aimed at young men, is featured prominently in the video.

Procter & Gamble, which owns Tag, made a deal with the band’s label, Island Records, to make the video available for free downloading from the band’s Web site before it could be seen anywhere else.

Since CD sales are declining but the cost of making a video is not, many musicians have made product placement deals for videos in the last few years. In this deal, Tag essentially underwrote the cost of those downloads for a limited time and put a message to that effect on the band’s Web site. Tag also promoted the band in advertising and helped offset the cost of making the video.

Fall Out Boy was comfortable with Tag because the brand’s ads have a “sarcastic spin,” said Pete Wentz, the band’s bassist and lyricist. “Given how the industry is right now, you have to come up with new kinds of partnerships, and when you’re able to offset the cost of the video, that’s cool. Hiring chimps is not cheap.”

More Proof that New York Is Getting Soft

By Joel on Tuesday, December 19th, 2006

Our good friends at the New York Post are reporting this morning that Limelight, the once-infamous nightclub, will be resurrected as a mini-mall:

December 19, 2006 — The former Episcopal church that once housed the sacrilegious Limelight nightclub will be born again – as a retail mini-mall.

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Now known as the Avalon nightclub, the legendary 12,000-square-foot venue on Sixth Avenue at West 20th Street will shutter its doors in early 2007.

"The landlord has decided that he doesn't want to go forward with another nightclub," said broker Frank Terzulli, of Winnick Realty Group.

"He's going to cut it up for retail tenants and a restaurant with patio seating."

Terzulli added, "The area is becoming more upscale with high-priced condos and stores, and that will make it more difficult to get permits from the community board" for a nightclub…

Sources say international discount-clothing retailer H&M is the likely main tenant for the space, which features triple-height ceilings and mezzanine levels.

A representative for Winnick would not confirm any specific names, since no leases have yet been signed.

Limelight, founded in the deconsecrated church in 1983, hosted some of clubland's wildest parties in the '80s and early '90s under now-deported club king Peter Gatien (above).

In 1996, federal agents charged that Limelight was a "drug supermarket" and shut it down.

Gatien was acquitted of racketeering and drug charges but convicted of tax evasion. He spent time in jail and was eventually deported to his native Canada.

That same year, one of the club's flamboyant promoters, Michael Alig, pleaded guilty to manslaughter for killing Angel Melendez, a club regular and reputed drug dealer over a money dispute. He's still in jail.

Limelight reopened under new management but was shuttered again in 2002.

It came back to life in November of that year as the short-lived Estate. Avalon followed a few months later.

My only memory of the place is seeing Mogwai play there last year, but I'm sure other Mata-folks would be happy to share anything they might possibly remember (as long as the statute of limitations are up).

Has Anybody Consulted Bobby Steele About This?

By Gerard on Monday, December 11th, 2006

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Lonnie Donnegan. Skiffle king. Dead man. Ardent supporter of retrospective copyright term extension. 

NO ONE AT THE VENUE MAY LOOK MORRISSEY IN THE EYE

By Gerard on Thursday, October 26th, 2006

Though I'm super impressed by these third hand claims of diva-dom, perhaps it is a good idea for support bands and headliners to keep a respectful distance from each other.

Until the end of the evening, all-star jam, of course. 

Concerto Review : The World’s Greatest Money Making Enterprise

By Gerard on Monday, October 23rd, 2006

Like a not so small portion of Austin, TX  I am recovering today from the Rolling Stones' first-ever appearance in our humble town.  What conclusions can be gleaned from the Stones playing what we in the trade charitably call "secondary markets" (ie. Missoula, Boise, Regina, Wichita, El Paso, etc.) are not worth mulling in the wake of such a historic event. Amongst the highlights the local press neglected to mention

1) A tremendous cover of Spoon's "Don't Buy The Realistic", certain to displease tour sponsors Radio Shack.

2) The equally improbable cover of "Dicks Hate Police".  "We've never played this one in public," admitted Mick, "and we might never play it again."

3) Excellent security provided by the Hells Angels.

4) A surprise appearance by Mick Taylor.  Selling hot dogs.

5) Quoted boost to the local economy : $25 million.  Damage done to the psyche of neighborhood dogs by the show's pyro : incalculable.