411 Music Fact or Fiction 11.01.13: All Tomorrow's Parties
Posted by Joseph Lee on 11.01.2013
Will Chris Brown face any punishment for his latest assault arrest? Will Lou Reed be remembered as one of the great songwriters? Did Miley Cyrus' performance save the VMAs? 411's Chad Webb and Joseph Paige Jr debate these topics and more!
Welcome to another edition of Fact or Fiction: Music. I'm your host, Joseph Lee.
This week we have Joseph Paige Jr against Chad Webb.
Chris Brown will escape his charges this go around. He's been getting away all this time and will again. Celebrity privilege you can call it. Now the kid is in rehab for anger management. Code word, hard-core drugs.
Chad Webb: FACT.
On one hand, I could argue that he was already "punished" when he was arrested and jailed for a time. It wasn't for very long, but it did happen. However, he is a celebrity so I would be shocked if he suffered harsher consequences. After all, they have the money to get the best lawyers, who in turn get them off scot-free. Yes, he is on probation, but how many times did Lindsay Lohan screw up while on probation only to have nothing happen to her? At this point, Brown has pleaded not guilty and there are rumors that he didn't throw the first punch, that his security protected him instead, yadda yadda yadda. In the news we always hear the maximum fine and sentence someone could get and it rarely ends up like that. The media shows us all the time that celebs can get away with a lot in this world, so I'd be surprised if Brown was sent to prison. At most, he'll pay a fine. I've never met Chris Brown, but by all accounts he is a douchenugget. His arrests and their media coverage are growing old. I wish he would go away.
Although the Miley Cyrus performance at the MTV Music Video Awards was terrible it's the only thing we're all still talking about. The girl knew what she was doing.
Save it to what end? Save it this year? Save it for the foreseeable future? This one is worded in a way that requires more information. Did her performance result in momentary increased buzz and ratings for the pointless award show? I suppose, but if that's the definition of "saving" then I'm scared for society. The show is still meaningless and dumb. This was the plan all along. They were hoping to generate something controversial so it would get people talking. Why? Because no one cares about the MTV Video Music Awards because a) MTV doesn't care about music or music videos anymore, b) the show is all about the performances, and c) nothing of note ever happens. Miley Cyrus got MTV a ratings bump this once. Next year the network will look to accomplish the same thing. Will people tune in next year to see if history repeats itself? I doubt it. This day and age we wait to hear about a segment and watch the clip online. Award shows such as this, ones which could care less about prestige or class, rely on hijincks and controversy for attention. In this case the show did have Timberlake raking in all the statues, not to mention the much-hyped N'Sync reunion, so it's not like Cyrus' stunt was the only part people were discussing. In terms of ratings, yes the performance helped a bit, but in terms of quality or longevity I do not think one performance will enough to sustain the ceremony.
Lou Reed left behind a great legacy, and will always be remembered. Get ready for iTunes to crank out a collection of tracks to profit $0.69 each.
Chad Webb: FACT.
This is a broad statement. Is he "one of" the greatest songwriters? Sure, "songwriters" being the key word. If you had said "artists," I would have replied "Fiction." Reed was known for his poetic lyrics more than his sound or polarizing deadpan voice. When someone famous passes away, the line between their actual achievements/talent and over-exaggerating their merit tends to blur. I guess this happens everywhere on the planet. I'm as guilty as anyone else for doing it. An artist dies and their popularity spikes. Nothing wrong with focusing on the positive, right? But we should watch how far we take that. Lou Reed was indeed a great songwriter. I don't know as I would put him in my Top 20 or even 50, but his name deserves to be mentioned somewhere in the conversation. I'm not trying to look down on him or anything, but Reed was a very divisive musician. For every effort that garnered critical acclaim, there was one that was panned. He was incredibly talented, but not consistent and that is important. I'm anxious to see how his music will age now that he has passed because as he grew older and was still living I feel like it did not age well. From his solo career, how many people know him for more than "Walk on the Wild Side"? I feel like his work with The Velvet Underground is more revered than his solo stuff, but that's me. His mark on the music industry should not be ignored, but if we're calling him "one of the greatest of all-time" we need to have a clearer definition of what that means (Top 10, 20, 100?).
From what I have read, YouTube plans to offer about the same thing that Spotify does, but with videos and downloads for offline listening instead of just audio. Record labels are finally looking at YouTube as more than just a video site, so now they will start charging, approximately $10 per month I think. Spotify has three options last I checked: free, $5, and $10. If you pay $10 you get unlimited music, no ads, and can play it on your phone. That's what I pay and I enjoy it. I know others who prefer Pandora, Rhapsody, and so on. There are lots of options. I primarily use YouTube for videos, so I won't be using their subscription service. I can still use it for free and tolerate the ads and since I don't visit the site often enough to pay monthly, I'm satisfied with Spotify. I don't think it will be an outright failure, but now all these companies are forcing people to choose more strictly how they access music. I'm sure plenty of people will choose YouTube. The problem is, everyone is dipping into music now. Every major company has a music service now: Apple obviously, Google, Twitter, Amazon, and the list goes on. I don't think YouTube's entrance will backfire on them, but I don't think it will be an overwhelming success either. I envision them being another face in the crowd at this juncture.
Joseph Paige Jr: FICTION.
YouTube is always ahead of the curve when it comes to what's the next thing in technology. Their subscription service will be nothing short of success, because many people already use the site as their main source of discovering music.
Actually I think Tom Hardy is a superb choice. He is not very tall, much like Elton John. Their statures are pretty close honestly. Hardy would have to lose some of the muscle he put on for roles in The Dark Knight Rises and Warrior, but that's easily hidden under costumes. The main question is how the filmmakers plan on handling the singing portions. Will he be belting Elton's classic tunes himself, or will there be lip-syncing? The lip-syncing may be the best bet since Elton John has such a distinctive tone. Additionally, I have no idea how good a singing voice Hardy possesses. Nonetheless, Hardy is a fantastic actor and has proven to be one whose dedication could serve this role properly. I can think of no one better.
Joseph Paige Jr: FICTION.
Tom Hardy playing Elton John in a biopic is the definition of an oxymoron. I know he's an incredible actor, but it's hard to see Hardy as a "Rocket Man".
I think I get a music video question every time I do this column, so my answer will probably sound like a broken record, but it is extremely difficult for me to give one iota of a shit about music videos these days. They have to be extra special. I love the song "TKO," but the video can be summed up like so: Timberlake hooks up with girl, girl knocks out Timberlake with a frying pan, girl drags Timberlake behind her in a truck and kills him. Riveting as that might be to some, watching it once was sufficient for me. Seeing Timberlake getting steamy with some girl is not absorbing enough for me think about this video afterwards. The problem is the video has no backstory, which makes the conclusion unmoving. Had they went farther with the project, it would have been more memorable. Instead the most interesting fact about the video is the identity of the girl putting the moves on Timberlake: Riley Keough, Elvis Presley's granddaughter.
Joseph Paige Jr: FICTION.
Justin Timberlake has been disappointing me as of late. The 20/20 Experience was a great listen, but then the style just got repetitive and seemed like a rehash of his old material. Hopefully he'll leave Timberland behind and come up with some new dance steps.
Score Card: 4 for 6
Anything you agree with? Disagree with? Sound off in the comment section.