Last Lap: Thursday’s Odds And Ends In Music News

Jay-Z And Kanye’s Friends Get To Hear Watch The Throne
Apparently tired of the false rumors surrounding their forthcoming collaboration Watch the Throne, which, it turns out, is completed, Jay-Z and Kanye West have begun previewing the record for friends in the industry, so as to correct the record without leaking the, um, record. MTV News has a roundup of who’s heard it and what they’ve said.

Vanilla Ice Joins Eight-Year-Old Youtube Rapper Matty B. To Cover “Ice Ice Baby”
In hindsight, this was inevitable. Actually, “Matty B. guest spot” is a significant upgrade from “Gathering of the Juggalos commercial.” [Vulture]
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Liam Gallagher’s Bodyguard Steve Allen Is Britain’s Suge Knight

If a picture is worth a thousand words, this picture is the first thousand words of Guy Ritchie’s next film treatment. Sure, it’s got boxing (a November 2008 light-welterweight fight in Las Vegas), and it’s got foulmouthed Brits (at least, it has Liam Gallagher in his natural state, i.e. flipping off a camera). But see the redhead over Liam’s left shoulder, sternly looking off-camera? That’s Steve Allen, Gallagher’s bodyguard, business partner, and, according to Sunday’s Mirror, alleged death-threat sender.

Sam Berry and his girlfriend Claire Humphries both received letters in the mail containing bullets, the paper reports. The letters allegedly referred to one of several civil disputes in which former business associates Berry and Allen are entangled. The first of four such disputes ended with Allen forced to pay Berry £54,000. On Sunday, Allen was arrested in connection with the death threats, then released on bail.

Allen is not only Gallagher’s bodyguard, but also managing director of the singer’s fashion brand Pretty Green, film company Savile Row Films, and production company In 1 Productions. Gallagher described Allen as a “constant companion,” according to The Guardian. He has not yet been alleged to have hung any recording artists out of hotel windows, but he was present at the 2002 brawl in which Gallagher got his front teeth knocked out.

At the time of this writing, his life rights are still available.

[Getty Images]


The Top Five Musical Feuds Of The Last 20 Years (Not Involving Moby)

Moby‘s comments last week about what types of pop are and aren’t music isn’t the first time he’s taken shots at other artists. At the 2001 Grammy Awards he called Eminem ”a racist, a homophobe, and a misogynist.” But he’s not the only artist who’s feuded over art (and, implicitly, integrity). Here are the five most notable feuds of the last 20 years.

FEUD: Nirvana vs. Guns N’ Roses
HOW IT STARTED: Nirvana never liked the lyrical misogyny and homophobia of Guns N’ Roses, but the feud officially got underway when Nirvana turned down an offer to open for the band on tour.
KEY NIRVANA PULLQUOTE: Kurt Cobain, interviewed by Kevin Allman in the February 1992 issue of The Advocate:

I can’t even waste my time on that band, because they’re so obviously pathetic and untalented. I used to think that everything in the mainstream pop world was crap, but now that some underground bands have been signed with majors, I take Guns N’ Roses as more of an offense. I have to look into it more: They’re really talentless people, and they write crap music, and they’re the most popular rock band on the earth right now. I can’t believe it.

KEY GUNS ‘N’ ROSES PULLQUOTE: Axl Rose, on stage in Seattle: “Nirvana would rather stay home and shoot drugs with their bitch wives than tour with us.”
WINNER: At the time, Nirvana by a mile, but as time has gone on and Cobain-as-icon has lost some of its political edge, it’s now closer to a draw.
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Dumb-Ass Rock Lyrics, Part 23

Most of the time it’s the power of the music that gets you, not the eloquence of the words. Rock was made to be enjoyed as a total experience. But lyrics can’t be ultra shit, you know – there is a line somewhere. Like: "Slowly walking down the hall/Faster than a cannonball." If you’ll recall, that comes from the Gallagher brothers – a little thing called "Champagne Supernova." It, along with songs by U2 and Human League, made the BBC’s "Top 10 Worst Lyrics" list today. Duran Duran zealots should check to see why their boys are being dissed so bad.

What song has the dumbest lyrics you’ve come across?