Reuters blog archive
from Left field:
Italian soccer club AC Milan played the famous music from the Champions League in their dressing room on Sunday to try to motivate the players. The only thing was they weren't playing in the Champions League -- it was a domestic match at home to Bologna.
Milan have stuttered in Italy for a few years now but they won the Champions League, Europe's top club trophy, in 2007 and had produced a good performance to beat Olympique Marseille in the same competition the previous week.
Club bosses decided that making the players hear the Champions League music even for a domestic game would give them the same battling mentality they show in Europe. They won 1-0.
What other strange motivational tunes are played in dressing rooms across the sporting world?
from Fan Fare:
Costume designer Ola Hudson, who made outfits for the likes of David Bowie, John Lennon and Ringo Starr but is perhaps better known as the mother of former Guns N' Roses guitarist Slash, has died after a battle with lung cancer, a longtime friend said.
Hudson died at Saint John's Health Center in the Los Angeles municipality of Santa Monica on Friday evening, according to Arlett Vereecke. She was 62. In addition to Slash, 43 -- whose real name is Saul Hudson -- she is survived by another son, graphic artist Albion "Ash" Hudson, 38, as well as her ex-husband, English artist Anthony Hudson.
from Fan Fare:
Velvet Revolver, the Grammy-winning rock group founded by three former members of Guns N' Roses, is not ready to call it a day even though they have yet to find a new singer.
The band ousted Scott Weiland in April 2008, following an unusually public feud, and he returns to the road next month to promote a solo album that he released in November.
His former bandmates are also keeping busy, including bass player Duff McKagan, who begins a U.S. tour in Nashville on Saturday with his side project, Duff McKagan's Loaded. The band, in which McKagan sings and plays guitar, released its debut U.S. album "Sick" last week.
Asked about the status of Velvet Revolver, McKagan told Reuters, "It is not done. We just haven't found a singer ... There's a lot of criteria to fill."
McKagan rebuffed a suggestion that he could take over as lead vocalist. He sang harmonies with both Velvet Revolver and Guns N' Roses, and often took a solo spot during Guns N' Roses shows singing the old punk song "Attitude"
"I'm very comfortable singing, for sure. I know what my range is," he said. "(But) we need a standalone singer, for sure. We need that rock guy."
As for Guns N' Roses/Velvet Revolver colleague Slash, McKagan revealed that the guitarist is recording a solo project with guest vocalists, including Black Eyed Peas frontwoman Fergie.
McKagan rolled his eyes at the mention of the pop singer's name, but said he "completely" supported Slash's creative decisions.
As for his own band, McKagan joined forces with three musician pals from his Seattle hometown. Their label, Century Media Records, gave them a modest budget of $20,000, and they recorded "Sick" in just nine days.
The album bears traces of the Stooges and Guns N' Roses, and angry tirades rub shoulders with wistful ballads about drug-overdose casualties and McKagan's own recent relapse.
"It's accessible, not that we tried to write an accessible record," McKagan said. "It's left of center, for sure, But it's not completely out there."
After scoring one of the biggest exclusive deals in music retailing in a long while-- or at least since Wal Mart snagged the exclusive for the new AC/DC opus "Black Ice" earlier this year-- Best Buy began selling the long awaited new recording by Guns n' Roses, "Chinese Democracy," on Sunday.
But stepping down the escalator at the chain's Chelsea story in New York City on Sunday, when a more than 17 year wait for original Guns n Roses material ended, it would have been easy to walk by the modest display box with the Chinese Democracy CDs and vinyl LP's. There were few other signs of CDs being available, and the store was not blasting it on the P.A. system as a record store would have back in the old days.
So I wrote this story the other day about how Guns N' Roses and the Paul McCartney/Youth project The Fireman were running streaming versions of their latest albums on MySpace, the social network that Rupert Murdoch counts as part of his News Corp media empire. The heart of the matter? MySpace touted it as exclusive launches preceding the albums' debuts in stores.
On Thursday, I got a call from someone at National Public Radio who had read my story. Everything seemed fine except that it looked like Sir Paul and his buddy from Killing Joke who comprise Fireman had promised the exclusive to NPR.
Once again, record companies are questioning the wisdom of selling music on iTunes. This time, the griping shows up the Wall Street Journal.
Basically, the argument is that music companies are starting to believe that selling single songs through Apple's iTunes is bad for the industry (an industry, by the way, that is badly depressed and counts heavily on iTunes for sales and promotion).