The evergreens (Spoon, Yo La Tengo, Silver Jews) and up-and-comers (Tapes 'N Tapes, Band Of Horses, Chin Up Chin Up) of the indie rock universe were all on display over the weekend at Chicago's Union Park for the Pitchfork Music Festival, staged by the snarky music Web site that has become a must-read for millions. Billboard's Todd Martens braved the crippling Windy City heat for a report from the frontlines, which can be read by clicking here.
Wedding... erm, um, Bells for, um... Janet...?
Janet Jackson has no idea if she is engaged to Jermaine Dupri or if she is going to be getting married to him or, um, gosh... what is she doing with the guy?
"Are you engaged?"
"That's what he said! So if … I don't know. You know … Everyone's been asking me about it. And if it's meant to happen, it'll happen. Why is everyone just staring at me? It's really quiet in here. It's too quiet in here."
For the sheer number of years that Janet Jackson has been in the music industry, how is it that she doesn't have a better answer than, "Why is everyone just staring at me?"
Steely Dan Iron Fists Older Wilson
While we're pretty darn sure it's all a big joke, our favorite aging hipsters Steely Dan posted a letter to actor Luke Wilson about how his older brother Owen Wilson's most recent frat-caliber film "You, Me, and Dupree" rips off their excellent Dupree-ee song, "Cousin Dupree."
"What we suspect may have happened is this: some hack writer or producer or whatever they call themselves in Malibu or Los Feliz apparently heard our Grammy winning song "Cousin Dupree" on the radio and though, hey, man, this is a cool idea for a character in a movie or something... Nevertheless, they, like, took our character, this real dog sleeping on the couch and all and put him in the middle of some hokey "Down and Out in iBeverly Hills" ripoff story and then, when it came time to change the character's name or whatever so people wouldn't know what a rip the whole thing was, THEY DIDN'T EVEN BOTHER TO THINK UP A NEW F*CKING NAME FOR THE GUY!"
So while the letter continues to be (hopefully) intentionally poorly-worded and grammatically meandering, the power duo arrive at requesting that Luke tell Owen to apologize to them onstage. And then indirectly threaten Owen's being.
While Steely Dan is never low on humor, pranks and snarkiness, we enjoy one particularly stunningly funny quip about the whole get-up: they write it to Luke, to pass on to Owen.
Oh, and they're touring with Michael McDonald -- also funny.
You can read the lyrics to "Cousin Dupree" here, and quietly judge for yourself.
Despite rumors flying about on his fan message board, Ryan Adams will not be releasing any new albums this year.
Reportedly, A prankster posing as the prolific songwriter claimed three albums, including a double album, would be released by the end of 2006. A spokesperson for Lost Highway has rejected the claim -- plus, the artist is too busy hitting the road to even record at the moment.
Adams will, however, appear on a Bloodshot compilation DVD, which will include a live performance of "Amy" and a 10-minute "tour diary" documentary.
We Be Jammin'
Jaded Insider knew what he was getting into by attending a Black Crowes, Robert Randolph and Drive-By Truckers show, but my goodness were there a lot of "jams" flying across the sparsely populated Jones Beach last night. Randolph and his Family Band were as jaw-droppingly tight as usual but it quickly became impossible to tell where one song ended and the other began. The instrumental cover of Michael Jackson's "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough" was a nice touch though, and it's hard to think of a better new-fangled funk tune than Randolph's "I Need More Love."
Likewise, the Crowes spent much of their set in outer space, particularly during an epic jam in the middle of "Soul Singing" that was brought back from the dead more than once. Chris Robinson went off the deep end during the "Hard to Handle" jam, prompting the 14-year-old kid next to us to exclaim, "What the hell is this?" to no one in particular.
Luckily there were some unusual moments to keep everybody interested, like Rich Robinson taking the mic for the Who's "The Seeker," Marc Ford singing Neil Young's "L.A." and a surprisingly concise, show-closing run through "Can't You Hear Me Knocking." The Crowes even tested out a new song, the dubiously titled "Magic Rooster Blues," which sounded pretty good but was only met with a smattering of applause. Rock on, and on, and on...