Music’s 3Rs 12.10.12: Breakups, Making Up and Apologies
Welcome, Babies. It’s been seven days, and my caffeine is running perilously low. Whilst I reload, let’s look back upon the Music Week That Was, for better or asinine.
Rapper Frank Ocean and fun. lead this year’s pack with five nominations apiece, including both receiving nods for Album of the Year, Record of the Year and Best New Artist. Meanwhile, Kanye West’s best year of releases in a while netted him two nods each for “N****s in Paris” and “Mercy” as individual records, and Best Rap/Sung Collaboration for “Church in the Wild.” Mumford & Sons and The Black Keys each also earned five nominations.
Honestly? It’s satisfying to know that this is a year in which one artist didn’t dominate the field, and that there could be deserved accolades afoot for engaging music that isn’t necessarily made with radio-friendliness in mind. Sure, fun. absolutely caught fire with “We Are Young” but it wasn’t a stereotypically engineered “hit single” song.
It’s always fun when the blind squirrel finds a nut.
For as perpetually cantankerous as Oasis’ Noel and Liam Gallagher can be, they actually occasionally make sense. Noel recently told the U.K.’s The Evening Standard that the recent reunion of Ian Brown and the once-irrevocably broken Stone Roses have given him pause to believe that he and his brother could realistically do the same.
Keep in mind, this is from the same Noel Gallagher who’d just weeks earlier claimed that Oasis would never play together again “even if all the starving children in the world depended on it.”
He added, “I can understand the man in the street thinking, ‘That was such a huge thing, how can you walk away from it?’ I understand. When the Sex Pistols reformed I thought it was the greatest thing of all time. You can never predict what you’ll be doing in 20 years’ time, but I guess if everyone remains vaguely slim and has not gone bald, then it’s on the cards. Forever. But saying that, when I pick up a guitar I don’t think about an Oasis reunion. I’ve recently seen [guitarist] Gem [Archer], and Liam, and [drummer] Chris [Sharrock], and not one of them mentioned it.”
Meg White: Always Uncomfortable With The White Stripes:
In a recent Esquire interview, former White Stripes guitarist and singer Jack White revealed that it’s a wonder the garage-blues duo lasted as long as they did.
White claimed that when the once-married pair struck the height of their powers in the 2000s, drummer and White’s ex-wife Meg White was perpetually “uninterested” in anything the two did together.
“If something nice happened, it wasn’t like we would hug or have a drink. That wasn’t what went on,” Jack explained. “We would record a White Stripes song in the studio and it would be me, Meg and an engineer. So we would finish a mix of a song and I’d say, ‘Wow! That’s pretty good!’ I’d look around and Meg would just be sitting there, and the engineer would just be sitting there.”
White insists the working with an ambivalent Meg for a decade following their 2000 divorce schooled him in “trusting [his] gut” but betrayed some bittersweetness to knowing few will ever share in recalling the best of their times before disbanding. Jack has insisted the pair have indeed probably played their last songs together.
“It’s strange to know that there’s beautiful moments that no one will ever know about,” Jack said. “It’s whether I’m going to tell you, because Meg’s never going to tell you. There’s a sadness to that, a romance.”
From a musical standpoint, it’s fascinating.
It would indeed be so delightfully warm and fuzzy to believe that every well-paired set of artists bonds famously over creation’s fervor. The stranger-than-fiction truth is, it’s just as often that people who make magic together creatively can’t stand one another personally – and given the brilliance of what’s made between them, it’s hard not to think it’s for the best they weren’t more cordial with one another.
For better or worse, Meg was what Jack needed creatively when he needed it. Jack’s remarks exude his appreciation that, though Meg was never so astute a drummer as to set the world afire, the heavy simplicity she presented complemented the unpolished grit of Jack’s guitar and his vocal howls so to a “T”, that it’s difficult imagining him playing those same songs with anyone else behind the kit.
Still, there’s just something a bit sad about listening to so much enjoyable music and knowing that half the equation might’ve just as soon not been there creating it at all.
More than 15 years following the 24-year-old hip-hop legend’s March 9, 1997 death in a hail of gunfire in Los Angeles, Wallace’s surviving family members this week weren’t informed by the Los Angeles Police Department that his autopsy’s findings had been publicly released until after the report had reached media hands. A Feb. 8 LAPD statement/apology explained that an administrative error resulted in unintentionally bypassing the family’s initial notification that the report would be made public, NME reported.
“Our detectives personally spoke with the Wallace family on Friday night, and apologized for not notifying them prior to the release,” Robbery-Homicide Division Captain Billy Hayes explained via the statement. “Obviously this has been a challenging case for us to solve. We hope that witnesses or other people with information will come forward and give us the clues we need to solve this case.”
Books and media coverage in the 15 years since Biggie’s death have insistently scrutinized the proposed conspiracy between Biggie, Bad Boy Records founder Sean “P. Diddy” Combs and particularly LAPD personnel to have the rapper assassinated. Everything proposed has kept circling back to Wallace’s death as vengeance for the Sept. 7, 1996 Las Vegas assassination of Tupac Shakur amid a heated Death Row Records-Bad Boy Records beef.
Following a June 2005 court-directed investigation into tips claiming information directly implicating LAPD detectives, a mistrial was declared in the Wallace family’s wrongful death lawsuit against the LAPD. Two years later, Wallace’s relatives filed a second wrongful death suit specifically implicating several LAPD officers and claiming that the department knowingly withheld officer Rafael Perez’s involvement with planning Biggie’s shooting. A U.S. District judge granted the city of Los Angeles a Dec. 17, 2007 summary judgment because the Wallace family had missed its six-month window to inform the city of a claim following Wallace’s death. The Wallace family filed yet another suit in 2008, which the city never answered officially and was voluntarily dismissed by both sides with prejudice in 2010.
To this day, there have been no arrests in connection with the case.
Rihanna, you’ve now expended your full allotment of “Chris Brown Kicked My Ass” pity.
According to The (U.K.) Sun, the “Unapologetic” artist and multiple-Grammy nominee recently sported some fresh ink inscribing Brown’s “Breezy” nickname. As claimed by one source purporting closeness to Rihanna and the cruise ship-sized douche canoe that beat the tar out of her in 2009, then expected a medal for not doing it again since then, “[Rihanna] got it to symbolise her commitment to him. Now the world knows they’re back together, they’re determined to make it work.”
OK, then. Here’s what should happen as consequence: never again should she be given a pass for another weepy interview recounting her state of mind during the incident or since without the interview’s moderator calling “Bullshit, you had his name etched into your skin.”
The moment you’re willing to wear a disturbed, temperamental abuser’s name permanently is the moment forfeit any future sympathy should he show a hint of recidivism.
Oh, but there’s this one last thing …
I Couldn’t Make This Up If I Tried…
As reported this week by Hollywood Life, Rihanna and Friends have also apparently decided she’ll just start doing us pundits’ jobs for us.
As claimed by another source reportedly close with the reunited couple, “Their relationship is like the early Whitney and Bobby days. Ri was watching Bobby and Whitney’s ‘Something In Common’ video the other day and said ‘This is just like Chris and me. For real though, that’s the type of fun we having right now. I love Whitney. She was my girl. Can’t nobody do it better than her.’
“She loves that old Whitney jam and knows that she and Chris have so much in common that just bonds them. They get each other just like Bobby and Whitney. You could see it’s like real love with she and Chris – like ain’t no bullshi**ng. The s**t is magical and it’s real.”
Face it folks, we all need a good comedown. Proving that there’s absolutely nothing they can’t make all the better, here again is YOUR MOMENT OF GWAR.
That’s the Week of Music That Was, Babies. Thank you, folks, for kindly dropping in. You’re invited back next week to this locality, to have a heapin’ helpin’ of my hospitality. I’m Sean. You’re not. Never dull your colors for someone else’s canvas.