The Big Hurt: Forward into the past!

Music news in brief
By DAVID THORPE  |  March 28, 2012

COOLIO just got arrested for missing a court date . . . in 2010. Yes: it took them two full years to notice that Coolio hadn't shown up.

Speaking of being gone for years without anyone noticing, the HIVES will be back this year with their first new record in ages. "It's been a terrible couple of years for the b—," frontman Howlin' Pelle Almqvist managed to tell NME before I stopped reading.

Meanwhile, in another bygone era, ANDREW WK will be starring in a new Web series presented by MySpace! Yo, did I just get beaned in the noggin with a coconut and wake up in 2004? It gets worse: the whole thing is sponsored by Taco Bell, so it comes pre-apologized-for by Fox Digital's senior VP of social-media moron shit: "The branded entertainment space has evolved over the last few years by doing what is typically labeled as 'organic' integration all the way up to a sponsor wrapping themselves around a program that never mentions their product. The mindset of Taco Bell is as a certain prop element; there are not tacos in every episode."

The dessicated skeleton of rock and roll will be coughing out another bitchin' lungful of dust soon: STEVEN TYLER revealed that an AEROSMITH track from their upcoming album will be appearing on the G.I. Joe: Retaliation soundtrack (right where it belongs). Not a new song, though; it'll be a warmed-up leftover from the Get a Grip sessions. The band is currently remixing the track and excavating the weathered sarcophagus of Alicia Silverstone.

Elsewhere in old tunes: NEIL YOUNG's been guilty of the same thing recently with leftover '80s tracks like "Razor Love" and "Ordinary People." I can't complain about those two, but I'm starting to formulate major concerns regarding the moistness of the Neil songwriting well: his long-awaited Crazy Horse reunion shall be a fully public-domain affair. Americana will include versions of "Clementine," "Oh Suzannah," and — how dearly I wish I were presently shitting you — "She'll Be Comin 'Round the Mountain."

It should be immediately apparent that nobody in the world needs to hear that, not least of all because, with minimal imaginative strain, you can already play all of those songs in your head in crystal-clear Ragged Glory style. Try it real quick. You just saved 15 bucks.

Some artists have the opposite problem. While rock's venerated fogeys are scrounging for old ideas, forward-thinking innovators are exceeding their grasp with records that are just too dang much art. Avant-garde icons KEANE are a little embarrassed by the lofty heights of their 2008 effort, according to an XFM interview: "We felt that Perfect Symmetry was pretty sprawling, a little bit self-indulgent in places. Certainly sonically — we referenced Bowie, Talking Heads, those kind of bands, which was quite an unusual step for us."

For their new one, they'll leave their grand ambitions behind and focus on hits. Alas, they're "stuck with 10 or 12 real single contenders from the album. We've had a lot of headaches over which song we should release first!"

Same goes for LINKIN PARK, whose last foray into highbrow experimentalism was a tad too far removed from their nu-metal roots — rather than alienate fans with more intellectual showboating, they'll also bring back the familiar hooks. "Over the previous two records, we were trying hard to break out of the nu-metal box that we'd found ourselves in," Chester Bennington told Kerrang! "[The new album] will be more familiar to people than A Thousand Suns was, where we were like 'Fuck it, we're just going to go bonkers.'"

During a recent BBC live set, KATY PERRY performed an ill-advised cover of Jay-Z and Kanye's "Niggas in Paris" in which she totally avoided all racial awkwardness by replacing the word "niggas" with "ninjas." Um, possible celebrity juggalo sighting? Woop woop, Katy?

DAVID THORPE | dthorpe[a]

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