Oh no! RASCAL FLATTS are coming out with a sixth album, and I still haven't caught up with the previous five!
COREY TAYLOR, the dude from SLIPKNOT, is embarking on a solo career! Finally, he's liberated from the shackles of collaboration, free to follow his Muse wherever she may lead him. "I've refused to accept the fact that I can't make any kind of music I want," he tells Billboard. "I think it took people a minute to understand that, but now I'm at a point where I can do anything and people will take it seriously." So, what shall it be? Free jazz? Avant-garde noise? A trilogy of brooding semi-instrumental albums recorded entirely in Cold War–era West Berlin? The sky's the limit, Corey. Let your genius at last be unfettered. I promise to take it seriously.
I also promise to take STEVE MARTIN's upcoming album of banjo music seriously, since anything that can pry him away from paycheck jobs shooting sequels to remakes is fine with me. Has he done a "Steve Martin Movie" since Bowfinger? Oh, Shopgirl? Come on, dude. I'm not angry — I'm just disappointed.
Finally, some comeback news of interest to human beings: LEONARD COHEN, the scary sad grandpa of modern song, is set to play a gig at New York's Beacon Theatre next month, his first live US engagement in 15 years. A tour may follow. Elsewhere in time and space: Spiral Stairs has been running his mouth about a PAVEMENT reunion at Coachella '09 — if the money's right. He told Loud and Quiet: "Our booking agent's pretty strong, you know, he's waiting for the right number, I think." I suppose I should be outraged that it's a money thing, but, hell, I'm just happy Pavement still have a booking agent.
Not-made-up title of new MORRISSEY single: "I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris." That is sooooo Morrissey. Guess which of the following are the actual names of the B-sides and which I just made up: "Beloved But Unloved"; "Because of My Poor Education"; "Now Is Not the Time for Being Pleasant"; "Shame Is the Name."
In other Mooze news: he told Filter that he might not be around forever, so gather ye Morrissey while ye may: "I don't want to go on much longer, really. I think that would suggest a lack of imagination. A certain lack of dignity, also. There has to reach a point where you've said enough, I think." Certainly the last thing we want to see from a yelping, pompadoured Englishman known for stuffing bouquets in his butt and playing chocolate bars like harmonicas is a lack of dignity.
I'm a big fan of this Billboard.com headline: "Reports: JERMAINE DUPRI Exits Island." Took me a moment to process that they meant the record label, so I had one of those half-seconds of furious mental calculation: why was Jermaine Dupri on an island? Why was his departure from the island newsworthy? I pictured him running from the big scary balloon sac of The Prisoner.
In reality, he's leaving the Island label because blah blah blah, who cares, it's Jermaine effing Dupri.