This being my first news-in-brief round-up of a yet unspoiled new decade, I was hoping to have more encouraging stories to report, but ugh. Or, to quote Pusha T of Clipse: yecch.
I'm just gonna blurt this shit out, since there's nothing I can say to make it any funnier or weirder than it is: horror legend CHRISTOPHER LEE is about to release a symphonic metal album called Charlemagne: By the Sword and the Cross. Lee, now 87, is best known for playing Dracula and sundry evil wizards in films from Star Wars to TheLord of the Rings. "To my surprise and indeed great pleasure," he said in a video statement, "I've suddenly found that there seems to be another string to my bow. It's fascinating to me that at this stage in my life, people are beginning to look upon me as a metal singer. Symphonic metal, but nonetheless metal."
You can find clips from the album on YouTube, and they're as bad as you're already imagining — a unique mix of funny bad, scary bad, and sad bad. Symphonic bad, but nonetheless bad.
In other news of major æsthetic discord, MARK HOPPUS of Blink-182 and PETE WENTZ of Fall Out Boy will be teaming up on a song for the soundtrack of Tim Burton's upcoming Alice in Wonderland. If there's any silver lining to this development, it's that it temporarily halves their output — Mark and Pete will be in the same studio working on the same song, rather than in two different studios working on two different songs.
Also appearing on the Alice soundtrack will be AVRIL LAVIGNE. Funny story about her: several news sources, among them Billboard, have reported that her upcoming album will be titled Pink Crust. If you're thinking that that's just a little too gross to be true (you're picturing a filthy child who's just been force-fed a dose of Pepto-Bismol that is now burbling out onto his slug-like lips, or something even worse), you're correct. As near as I can figure, that title was posted as a joke on an Avril Lavigne fan site, and credulous publications reported it as fact. Because anything you find on the Internet must be true, right?
This same soundtrack — this very same malignantly godawful thing — will include an offering by 3OH!3, my personal pick for worst new band of the past year. If you haven't heard of these clowns, you're probably already shaking your head at their idiotic name — but believe me, its idiocy pales in comparison with their actual music, which is a deadly mix of emo-pop Warped Tourism, white-boy rap, and creepy bro-magnon misogynist horseshit. Their radio hit "Don't Trust Me" actually turned my stomach — and this from a dude who harbors a deep appreciation for Goldy's "Bitch Had a Baby by a Dog."
The film itself will feature CHRISTOPHER LEE. Let's hope it's in a non-symphonic role.
M.I.A. has declared that her next album, which is due this year, will be more musical than her previous efforts. "I wanted it to be like, no gimmicks," she told NME. To me, that's a little scary — when you boil it down, the judicious deployment of well-constructed gimmicks is about two-thirds of what makes M.I.A. special.
You've probably heard by now that SIMON COWELL will be quitting American Idol to launch a new version of The X-Factor in the USA. Fox has yet to announce a replacement, but I'd like to announce my humble candidacy. I don't have much TV experience, but I excel at most of the things the role calls for: sitting in a chair, being really rude, hating Ryan Seacrest, and wanting tens of millions of dollars.
DAVID THORPE | dthorpe[a]phx.com