Thursday, August 11, 2011

Kings Of Leon Royally Screw Over Their Fans

The show started off well, fans laughing with the lead singer of Kings Of Leon, who were playing to a large crowd in Dallas, TX as a part of the US leg of their international tour. A half hour into their set, front man Caleb Followill entertained the crowd with a few songs, but mostly babbled on about how hot out it was and how awesome everything in his life was. Fans found it hilarious at first, but things took a turn for the worse and it has been downhill for the Tennessee band ever since.

Caleb announced his plans to the entire audience, saying. “I’m gonna vomit, I’m gonna drink a beer and I’m gonna come back out and I’ll play three more songs”. He never came back out. The band had to apologize and end cancel the rest of the show. Bassist Jared Followill explained through Twitter, admitting, “I know you guys aren’t stupid. I can’t lie” and “there are internal sicknesses & problems that have needed to be addressed”. Only a couple of days after this show, the band announced that they were canceling the remaining US dates of their tour. Despite Jared’s remarks, the band’s official statement cited vocal issues and exhaustion as the reasons for the tour debacle. It’s not uncommon for artists to cancel shows due to issues with their voices, but this seems like a deeper problem.

How much do Kings Of Leon owe their fans? Not only did they just cancel tour dates for about the next two months, but they’re not even rescheduling them. Everyone gets their money back but to someone who’s looking forward to seeing a band perform live, this hardly seems like enough. And to top it all off, it seems like the band is making excuses to cover for their front man. Yes, his personal issues are just that…personal. But when the issues affect his ability to do his job and anger a loyal fan base, he and the band should at least offer an honest explanation.

If they don’t, their run as a popular rock band, selling out shows, could be over soon. Sure, at first, music fans love drama and controversy. But the troubled rock star thing gets old pretty fast. The band is encouraging Caleb to get help for his problems, which is not only a good idea for their frontman’s own health, but also for the sake of their careers. This would help avoid more embarrassing ordeals like the Dallas concert. Not only did they anger their fans, but Followill’s antics cost the band millions of dollars for canceling shows, and possibly their reputation as live performers.

Check out footage from the Dallas show that started all the drama!

The Glee Rebellion

Anyone who remotely follows pop culture and entertainment headlines is probably aware of certain nasty remarks floating back and forth between Glee creator Ryan Murphy and various artists over the past couple months. The big culprits are the Foo Fighters, Slash, and especially the Kings of Leon. But are these artists picking on Glee or is it the other way around? Upon closer examination, Murphy’s actions make him seem like he might just be a bit oversensitive.

Ryan Murphy

Starting with the most recent dispute, David Grohl’s outburst against Glee comes off as over the top and unwarranted. “It’s every band’s right, you shouldn’t have to do fucking ‘Glee’¦ Fuck that guy for thinking anybody and everybody should want to do ‘Glee,’ said Grohl to The Hollywood Reporter. Looking back further, however, Slash’s and KOL’s actions are well within reason. Well, at least at first. The worst thing that Slash has said about Glee is that it’s “worse than ‘Grease.'” And KOL simply turned down Murphy, who wanted to use “Use Somebody” in an episode, saying that they had never seen the show. Murphy took the rejection personally and responded in THR with “Fuck you, Kings of Leon. They’re self-centered assholes, and they missed the big picture. They missed that a 7-year-old kid can see someone close to their age singing a Kings of Leon song, which will maybe make them want to join a glee club or pick up a musical instrument.” KOL singer Caleb Followill then calmly responded with a rational explanation of why they chose not work with Murphy and Glee. End of story, at least until Caleb’s brother Nathan made some unfortunate remarks on Twitter.

Caleb Followill

Overall, Murphy acted childish and brought most of this backlash upon himself. Calling out the Kings of Leon publicly for not wanting to be featured on Glee is one thing, but insulting them personally is just unnecessary. Additionally, claiming that Glee is all about helping kids and encouraging music education would be more effective if he didn’t open with the F-bomb. Not only does it set a bad example, but it is antagonistic and provokes a negative response from the band. That being said, David Grohl and Nathan Followill showed little restraint in this petty debate. Personally attacking Murphy, while possibly satisfying, is equally as childish and actually weakens the point they were trying to make in the first place.

Discourse & Dischord

The Good

Gordon Pinsent reads excerpts from Justin Bieber memoir

Get your LOLs right here, folks. First up, a memoir written by a 16-year-old. Ha! And, it’s entitled First Step 2 Forever.  The laughs don’t end there. Here’s a video of the esteemed actor Gordon Pinsent doing a dramatic reading of Justin Bieber’s riveting tome. Enjoy”we did.

Alicia Keys gives birth to Egypt

Not the country! That would be sooo 3150 BC. Alicia Keys and husband Swizz Beatz (born Kasseem Dean) welcomed a baby boy this week named Egypt Dauode Dean. May he grow up to become a very successful pharaoh.

The Bad

Glastonbury Festival shelved for 2012 due to toilet shortage

We wouldn’t wish more port-a-potties on anyone, but this does give us pause. England’s Glastonbury Festival has been canceled for 2012 due to the Olympics taking place in London that same year ¦ and the ensuing toilet shortage. Athletes are such loo-sers.

Kanye’s album cover art banned? He wishes.

Kanye West is a legend in his own mind. But he may also be a victim in his own mind as well. The rapper griped on his Twitter page that Wal-mart had censored the cover art for his upcoming album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Tweeted the rapper: So Nirvana can have a naked human being on they [sic] cover but I can’t have a PAINTING of a monster with no arms and a polka dot tail and wings. Oh the injustice! Is it too much to ask for a man to be left in peace with his armless polka dot monster? IS SOCIETY SO INTOLERANT”what’s that? Wal-mart didn’t censor the cover? Oh. Uh, never mind. As you were.

The Ugly

Cantankerous singer pegs bottle at Mumford and Sons

Mark E. Smith of the band The Falls was getting ready for his set at a Dublin music festival when a terrible caterwauling struck his ears. Next door, the hugely successful English folk band, Mumford and Sons, was warming up. I just thought they were a load of retarded Irish folk singers, Smith explains. So, understandably, he threw a bottle at them to encourage them to silence their plaintive yawping. The bottle fell short of its target and Mumford and Sons went on to sell one trillion records.


Next Big Nashville 2010: That’s a Wrap!

Next Big Nashville began with a whimper. Five years later it’s exploded into a full-blown rebel yell.

Gone are the days when a few honky tonks served as an excuse for local musicians to do sound check and dust off their amps. This year, over forty percent of the 150+ bands that performed at some 15 venues between September 29th-October 2nd were from outside of Nashville, double from last year.

By Steve Cross. Courtesy of Next Big Nashville

And forget about calling this a country event”Jack White all but abolished Nashville’s reputation as strictly a place for hick hooks and chords when he moved to town. Rockers, rappers, punks and alts were all right at home here in Music City.

Spotlight seekers came in hopes of ripping a page from say, the Jamey Johnson or Cage the Elephant success stories”good examples of the fest’s ability to get unsigned artists record deals and national attention.

Not that national attention was lacking. Headline acts such as Yeasayer and Washed Out, regulars on the tour circuit, were on the scene. ASCAP and BMI both held big bashes. Even local yokel Vince Gill popped up.

The Worsties Live at The Rutledge. By Brad Butcher. Courtesy of Next Big Nashville

The parties this year were the best I’ve seen yet, recalled Jesse Worstell, lead guitarist of OurStage’s own  The Worsties. They provided a great opportunity for Nashville artists to mix it up with industry folk from around the globe. The Worsties, a ska/punk Nashville-based band, were part of the Music City Unsigned showcase at one of NBN’s key venues, The Rutledge.

Jack White’s Third Man Records, 12th & Porter and The Basement were several other key venues this year for showcase events. One band that played The Basement, Madi Diaz, a folk pop duo, emerged with some strong street buzz.

We had a great show this year, recalled lead singer Madi Diaz. We loved getting to see our out-of-town friends without having to go…well, out of town. Bring ˜em all to Nashville!’

Madi Diaz live at The Basement Nashville. By Steve Cross. Courtesy Next Big Nashville

After this year, that may no longer be a problem, now that the NBN Leadership, Music Digital Media Summit, is part of NBN. This was the first year the two events were held concurrent.

A-list speakers were not in short supply. Lady Gaga’s manager, Troy Carter, drew a crowd. Yet, the most tweeted about event seemed to be the Q&A with Kings of Leon band member Caleb Followill.

NBN co-founder Jason Moon Wilkins said he’s already looking at ways to expand on the education aspect next year. It’s just one more way to make NBN a must for the brightest minds and most exciting acts out there.

By Neal Webster Turnage

Neal Webster Turnage is a Los Angeles writer whose work appears frequently in many national and international consumer magazines.

Discourse & Dischord

The Good

OK Go get dogged in new video

If you’ve ever watched an OK Go video, you know choreography is key. Exhibits A, B, and C right here. This latest installment is no different, but adds man’s best friend to the mix with heart-warming results. If one of these furry little rapscallions doesn’t get a gig on Dancing With The Stars then there is no justice in this world. Oh, and 10 points if you can spot the goat.

And then, these guys jumped on the bandwagon …

Ever heard of a band called OK Go? Quirky, ambitious videos? Winsome electro-pop? Subject of blurb Number 1 in this column? Here’s video that lampoons their whimsical, electro-pop methodology … using a giant pie!

The Bad

Aretha Franklin’s son beaten at Detroit gas station

Eddie Franklin, 52, son of soul singer Aretha Franklin, ended up in the hospital on Monday night after three men jumped him and beat him severely in a Detroit gas station parking lot. Franklin underwent emergency oral surgery and was released on Wednesday. Charges have not yet been filed.

The-Dream and L.A. Reid fired from Def Jam

L.A. Reid and The-Dream

Word on the street is that producer L.A. Reid (responsible for cultivating the careers of Mariah Carey, Pink, Usher, Ciara and countless other stars) and R&B singer/producer The-Dream were just fired from Def Jam Records due to disappointing sales figures and exuberant spending. If true, this would be The-Dream’s second break-up of 2010. If he gets strapped for cash, maybe he can sell the pointless hyphen in his name.

The Ugly

50 Cent threatens his dog with a knife

50 Cent and Oprah

In an attempt to be funny, 50 cent posted pics to his Twitter page of him threatening his yorkie, Oprah Winfrey, with a knife. Totally lame, and kind of disturbing. Seriously, someone call animal rescue on this tool. In happier news, here’s a video of kittens massaging each other.