The Big Hurt: Music news in brief

By DAVID THORPE  |  February 15, 2013


Behold the music reporting of the 21st century! The following sentence is the actual lead in a Billboard story: "In a conversation with her dog on Twitter today, BRITNEY SPEARS slipped in a subtle hint that the rumors of her impending Las Vegas residency could be true." If you're hoping this is somehow not what it sounds like, let me assure you that it's exactly what it sounds like.

It seems that FRANK OCEAN won't be pressing charges against CHRIS BROWN following their recent fight outside an LA studio. I'm still not sure what happened there — it's been alternately described as a "brawl" and a "scuffle" in various news stories, and those two things seem very different to me. A brawl is half a dozen guys swinging wild haymakers until the concrete is stained with blood, and a scuffle is a couple of dudes getting real high-pitched and swinging at each other for an awkward 10 seconds.

Fox News, SPIN, and the New York Times blog went with "brawl," but the Boston Herald and the Wall Street Journal blog chose "scuffle." Many outlets, such as the LA Times and USA Today, hedged their bets by using both in the same article; several others, like Vibe and XXL, downgraded it from a brawl to a scuffle only after Ocean decided not to press charges.

Reuters went with "fracas."

Send your fond thoughts to our cherished MORRISSEY, who has been forced to pause and reschedule concerts in Las Vegas and Phoenix due to recent medical troubles. He's undergoing treatment, a representative tells Billboard, for a bleeding ulcer and something called Barrett's esophagus. We can mark down the esophageal corrosion as a side effect of his acid tongue, but I'm not pleased with this ulcer thing. Though it would be a shocking new low to criticize a man for his poor health, doesn't this all seem a bit too gastric for a man so cultivated? I'd much rather see him hospitalized for something more befitting his persona, like ennuibola or sighabetes*.

Billboard reports that MILEY CYRUS will work with songwriting powerhouse DR. LUKE on her upcoming LP. Even after all these years, I can never read headlines about that dude without briefly mistaking him for Dr. John and thinking Ke$ha, Katy Perry, or whoever is about to explore a zydeco/boogie-woogie direction.

Here's one for the rock-and-roll romance hall of fame: Tool guitarist ADAM JONES proposed to his girlfriend at the WWE Royal Rumble, resulting in the most intense mortification ever captured on film. His poor ladyfriend accepts the ring with admirable grace, though she can't quite hide the fleeting microexpressions of panic, horror, and something very difficult to photograph in the wild: the formation of a new most humiliating memory.

Though I've already reached my quota of Tool news stories to click on this week, I was also dismayed by this headline: "Tool forced to delay work on new album after freak scooter crashes." Guys, seriously, be careful on the freak scooter. ROB ZOMBIE almost died on that thing. Elsewhere in headlines I'm not going to click on, head over to and see if you can figure out what the hell this one is about: "TRINA hosting urban ski weekend pajama party." Doesn't that seem like maybe one too many party themes? Go ahead, close your eyes and try to picture that party.

* I ran "sighabetes" past my girlfriend, and she said, "Why would you make fun of Morrissey for being sick? You love Morrissey. He's probably scared and in pain." I was very ashamed of myself for this, so please pretend I didn't make the earlier jokes about Morrissey's health. I sincerely hope he gets better soon, and that he will not require mopin' heart surgery.


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