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Discourse & Dischord

The Good

Bjí¶rk releases Michel Gondry-directed video for Crystalline

Biophilia, Bjí¶rk’s eighth LP and first app album, isn’t descending upon planet Earth until September, but the artist is keeping fans happy by releasing a series of iPad apps for each track. If it’s all too futuristic for you, don’t despair. The Icelandic singer/composer also released a good old-fashioned music video for her cosmic single Crystalline, directed by Michel Gondry. Check out the intergalactic splendor below.

Jay-Z and Kanye West announce new name, release first track


Don’t call them Jay-Z and Kanye West. Don’t you dare. They go by The Throne now, and The Throne just released the first track off their upcoming collaboration, Watch The Throne. It’s called Otis, and it’s pretty much just Otis Redding’s Try A Little Tenderness with The Throne taking turns spitting lyrics over top. Decide whether it’s cool or convoluted by listening to it on Jay-Z’s Life + Times blog.

The Bad

Amy Winehouse laid to rest

What a week. Amy Winehouse was found dead in her London apartment last Saturday. The soul singer was 27”an unlucky age for musicians. After her autopsy proved to be inconclusive, Winehouse was laid to rest in London on Tuesday. Her funeral was attended by celebrities like Kelly Osbourne and Mark Ronson, who produced Winehouse’s GRAMMY-winning breakthrough album, Back to Black. In the days since her passing, musicians ranging from Rihanna to Katy Perry and George Michael have expressed their shock and grief. M.I.A. paid tribute to Winehouse with the release of 27, which you can listen to here. We’re posting the video of Winehouse’s last public appearance, just days before her death, which shows her happily dancing along to her goddaughter Dionne Bromfield’s performance of Mama Said. She was a tornado in a beehive, a rare talent whose demons cast a long shadow over her life, but never over her legacy. R.I.P., Amy.

Anthony Kiedis in tears over Justin Bieber

Anthony Kiedis has dealt with addiction, a father who was a drug dealer, and the loss of his best friend to heroin, but none of that has hardened him to the point where the image of a teenage girl crying over Justin Bieber doesn’t reduce him to tears. In an interview with Q Magazine he admits to getting misty over parts of the Bieber documentary Never Say Never. It seems the power of Bieber compels even a Red Hot Chili Pepper. All hail.

The Ugly

Justin Bieber and his dad get matching tattoos

What’s more disturbing”Justin Bieber opting for a matching tattoo with his dad, Justin Bieber’s dad opting for a matching tattoo with his son, or the fact that the elder Bieber doesn’t wear sunblock but does wear a soul patch and a gold chain. Trick question”it’s all disturbing.

Mariah Carey unleashes the diva on HSN

Mariah Carey’s first public appearance after having twins and giving them silly names was this little visit to HSN studios to hock her clothing and accessories lines. Mimi’s megalomania and micromanagement sends the show off the rails. If she sold one pair of earrings after using her allotted time to ramble on about swollen pregnancy feet and her stretched out body, we will be shocked, dahling.

Miscellany

Wolfmother’s Andrew Stockdale fined for drunk and disorderly conduct
Are Marcus Mumford and Carey Mulligan engaged?
Bob Dylan’s grandson, Pablo Dylan, launches hip-hop career
Lauryn Hill gives birth to sixth child
Gene Simmons proposes to longtime girlfriend Shannon Tweed
Phil Collins doesn’t like music
Dan Peek, founding member of America, dead at 60
Adam Levine and Stevie Nicks perform Leather and Lace at Hollywood Bowl
Kelly Rowland to star on A&E miniseries, Bag of Bones
Feist to release new album “Metals on Oct. 4
Nicky Minaj fined for sailor mouth in Jamaica
Kathy Griffin sings S&M

Why Amy Winehouse Doesn't Belong In The 27 Club

By: Joshua Neuman

There is a feeling that is equally as powerful as shock, but which perhaps is more addling.

When someone close to you passes away suddenly, you are struck by a vicious one-two punch: The fact that someone you loved is gone and the fact that you didn’t get a chance to say goodbye. I got that feeling when I was by my brother’s hospital bed at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Hospital on September 12, 2001 in New York, watching the morose testimonials of those who had lost loved ones the day before just a few miles south of us.

If only I could have just told her how much I loved her.

I would give a limb in exchange for three more seconds with him.

I never had a chance to tell her how I felt about her.

Those were some of the refrains we heard over and over that day. I remember looking at my brother as he watched the 4-inch black and white television hanging from a crane-like apparatus that he could adjust from his bed. I remember feeling grateful that I had the chance to say everything that I needed to say to him.

Despite the tremendous outpouring of sadness since she passed away last week, Amy Winehouse’s death wasn’t a shock to anyone.  Late night talk show hosts have been making light of her dance with death for years. A website, WhenWillAmyWinehouseDie.com, received over 96,000 entries since it launched at the end of 2007; even Amy’s mother talked openly about the likelihood that her daughter would die young. Upon learning of her death last week and deprived of the ability to process it through shock, a strange feeling ensued”I’m not sure I know how to describe it. It’s not like it’s less painful than the feeling of learning that someone close to you died with little warning. No, gradual decline grants no more reprieve from pain than slowly inching yourself into an icy pool of water grants you from feeling cold.

If anything, the fact that we knew that this was coming, that there was no opportunity for shock, made it more painful. We couldn’t fantasize about things we would have wanted to say to Amy Winehouse”we had every chance we needed to say anything we wanted.  We couldn’t fixate on the results of the toxicology report as we did with Heath Ledger”who the hell cared which specific substance had done her in? We didn’t get angry at her father, who was traveling to New York City at the time of her death to perform at the Blue Note”after all, he probably did all that he could to save her.

The snail-like pace of Amy Winehouse’s descent deprived us of the capacity to feel shock upon her death and perhaps shows us how much we use shock to insulate us from our experience of death.  In her farewell, she has less in common with the 27 Club than she does with Biggie and Tupac, whose lives and work seemed to forecast early death”however unable to soften its sting.