P. Diddy Loves Coldplay…Huh?

Oh shit. Someone just got shot outside Hammerstein Ballroom. Damn.

Last night boxer James Butler sucker-punched his opponent after losing his match at Roseland Ballroom last night.

What the HECK is going on in this country? I just saw an advert for Jeep with that “Hero” song by that other Iglesias. Now I’m finding out P. Diddy is a major Coldplay fan! Says Diddy, “The whole melancholy, emotional vibe. That guy’s wearing his heart right out there. It’s unmanlike, it’s so strong.”

Something is in the air- and it’s not just anthrax.

Remember the race riots in Britain this summer (and pop-rock having a scary moment when Andy Dunlop’s black cab was attacked outside Shep. Bush on the way into the Black Crowes show)? Yes? Then I think you need to read this whole Race In Britain special from The Observer.. No? Then I think you need to read this whole Race In Britain special from The Observer.

Here’s your chance to find out who penned two of the greatest pop hits of the year like Kylie’s “Can’t Get You Out of My Head,” and Atomic Kitten’s “Whole Again.”

I should be asleep, but I keep looking at the photos on this site, Podular. Beautiful.

Music of the Moment: “The Ballad of Helen Keller and Rip van Winkle,” The Moldy Peaches; “Dry The Rain,” The Beta Band; “Radio,” The Avalanches

Are the Strokes the McDonald’s of Rock and Roll?

Word. So many cartoons of The Strokes!

Help out Mick Jagger by being a part of Mick Aid. Hell, just buy it so you can get the freakin’ pin that says “Mick Aid: I did my bit for the old git,” distributed by The Sun!

I’m watching It’s A Wonderful Life right now, and I feel that somehow it’s wrong. I know it’s after Thanksgiving, but damnit- it’s really nowhere near Christmas!

Have you ever read an article that compared The Strokes to McDonald’s and Starbucks? You have now.

Find Out What Julian Casablancas’s Parents Look Like

God how I love Steve Lamacq… He’s doing a docu on “The Fantatics- Obsessive Fans.” Sure to be a classic.

Right now I’m in the computer lab transferring files from my Zip disk from home on to the Net so I can down load them from the Internet on to my computer. It’s a very complicated process, what can I say?

Thanksgiving wasn’t as relaxing as I would have liked it to have been. Came home ON Thanksgiving, had turkey, watched Legally Blonde… then, in a flashback to freshman year in high school, I watched R+J for the first time since I saw it in the theaters. I thought I was going to cry. It was so brilliant. I loved it so much. Leonardo DiCaprio? So good in it. So cute! (Whatever happened to the deary? What a pity Titanic was, eh?) It was really so great.

I also watched some of the “Random Mix Tape #6,” which seems to be made up of clips from late 1999- early 2000. It starts out with all this fabulous stuff involving Scotish people (bizarre). Travis on Conan, Travis winning a Brit Award, Dougray Scott in M: I-2, Alan Cumming on Conan, etc. Good stuff.

Then yesterday I saw a bunch of people from back home… Jen, Debbie, Rebecca, Kim. We went to Borders, and that was interesting. Then we went to Jen’s and just bummed around. They refused to let me watch television. I was horrified.

Oh yeah.. and what holiday weekend would it be without some commentary on The Strokes. 30 December. I’m going. Don’t ask. I don’t want to talk about it. Too upsetting. Too ridiculous. Boo.

I wish Bridget Jones’s Diary was on TV today, but it’s not. Boo. Maybe I’ll watch some of the movies I actually own. Ripley, Twelfth Night (evil Lincoln Center version), Sliding Doors? I’ll probably just end up watching regular TV… or Moulin Rouge.

I wanna get back to my dorm. Why won’t these files load faster?

Loading is done, but now I’m just surfing some sites.

And in case you were wondering what Julian Casablancas’s parents look like… have a ball.

I knew it! A link from Online Journalism proves those crazy European kids can’t get enough of their bloody “mobiles.” But they also love the Internet. Yay!

The Moldys Were So F*cking Great! And No One Is Online For Me to Tell!

They were really so fantastic- and the verdict on Adam Green? DEFINITELY A-DORA-F*CKING-BLE! So cute. So Beck meets Julian Casablancas. SO young. So… *sigh.* What a great way to kick off the Thanksgiving weekend!

well now that adam's already on the floor, we might as well just rape him... oops... was that out loud?

ADAM GREEN, I LOVE YOU. MARRY ME.

But the show.. Altogether the show wasn’t bad. I didn’t go to the show on time, so I missed the first 2 opening bands… Squares and something else… uh… I ended up getting to the Mercury Lounge around 10 and came in just as Dufus was taking the stage. They were… interesting…. Then about an hour later, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs took the stage, and they were actually quite good. That lead singer chick was rockin’ it. A little Debbie Harry, a little Cyndi Lauper… all good.

But the Moldys stole the show (and my heart). They came in and did the dance number- I nearly died laughing. It was so cute. Adam was wearing a spiffy new Elvis jumpsuit made by Kimya’s aunt. So fantastic. Just seeing Adam Green jump around and shake his tush wearing a white Elvis jumpsuit w/ rhinestones on it totally made my week. I can’t wait to see the Moldys again at the Vanderbilt. Forget the freaking STROKES- It’s the MOLDYS I want to see! Seeing the Moldys makes me happy to be in this country… and especially in New York!

Why did I keep noticing Adam’s nether-regions? Oh that’s right, because it was at eye level. Yes. Right. Yes. It’s so hot when Adam plays the recorder.

MARRY ME!

“I’ve Been Emailing Julian Casablancas” and the Dark Side of Being “The Next Big Thing”

There is a thread on TheStrokes.org called “I’ve been emailing with Julian for Months now…” and it is simply THE FUNNIEST posting I’ve read this month. There is all this complicated IP address listing, and then someone kicks in at the end showing that the IP addresses are coming from a UK address (BT Internet) proving that it really could not be Julian Casablancas emailing this girl. It’s like a Nancy Drew book!

While trying to think of a topic for my final Feature Article piece, I came across this article from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

November 18, 2001

BEING CALLED THE NEXT BIG THING CAN BE A DOUBLE-EDGED SWORD

The label has been an omen of success for some and a burden for others who couldn’t live up to the expectations that accompany it.

By Jeff Daniel

As a rock ‘n’ roll front man, Stuart Lupton had it all. A head full of jet black hair. A keen sense of mod style. Looks that fell firmly into an enviable territory that borders both handsome and cute.

All of that was on display on the small stage at Cicero’s in the fall of 1996, as Lupton and his band, the New York City fivesome Jonathan Fire Eater, roared through a quick, tight set of original songs that mixed the darkness of modern Goth with the bluesy energy of the early Stones. Lupton, a charismatic sort, even had his own restrained version of the Jagger-swagger. And why not? Jonathan Fire Eater, was the current big buzz of the rock music industry. Having just signed with the Dreamworks label after an intense bidding war, the band seemed destined for a Nirvana-like breakout. They were due. They had been crowned The Next Big Thing. Of course, it never happened.

After the release of one major label album (to mixed critical reviews and lagging sales), Jonathan Fire Eater spontaneously combusted. The band that the Post-Dispatch once proclaimed “the future of rock ‘n’ roll” couldn’t withstand the media hype, the lofty expectations — the pressure of bearing a title that it hadn’t lobbied for. The Next Big Thing now was last year’s news.

Five years removed, Jonathan Fire Eater finds itself garnering a bit of music press once again — as a historical footnote in recent stories about another New York City rock fivesome. This time even critics seemed aware of the perils inherent in the hype. “Remember Jonathan Fire Eater?” some are asking. “Could this band meet a similar fate?”

That band is the Strokes, and when it comes to Mississippi Nights on Wednesday night, the young musicians will hit the stage as the new Next Big Thing. So says the media, from the British music press to American magazines ranging from Penthouse to Newsweek. On a Lexus-Nexis search of major publications, the combination of the phrases “the Strokes” and “next big thing” brought more than 30 hits.

Rolling Stone magazine called their coming out disc titled “Is This It?” — released on RCA after the requisite major label feeding frenzy — “the stuff of which legends are made.” The band is selling out shows. “Is This It?” debuted at an impressive No. 76 on the Billboard charts. Most critics rave.

But the Strokes will soon learn that the very sword used to knight them has a double edge. With adoration comes skepticism. With reverential hype comes the inevitable backlash. With sky-high expectations comes the potential for a monumental free-fall. Just ask Jonathan Fire Eater, or the seemingly endless stream of rock and pop bands destined to blow up — an industry term for making it big — who instead found themselves acting out the more traditional definition of that phrase. Sigue Sigue Sputnik. London Suede. Veruca Salt. All were set to conquer. All disintegrated or quietly faded away after a brief splash.

But failures never seem to hinder the hunt for that Next Big Thing, a pursuit that goes well beyond music and the need for new rock stars. Hollywood has its own Jonathan Fire Eaters, as does literature, politics and television. The fashion industry is essentially nonexistent without its trend-setting and star-making bulwarks. Yet despite a poor batting average, the quest for hits continues undaunted.

Perhaps that is due to the fact that for every batch of Del Fuegos – remember that Boston roots-rock band who parlayed a Miller beer commercial into a fleeting Next Big Thing moment? – there is an enduring Sade. For every two or three Jan Michael Vincents, a substance-abusing wreck-of-a-man once touted as the young actor to watch, there is a Sean Penn. For every slew of Brett Easton Ellis types, a David Foster Wallace emerges and outlasts the hype machine.

Without a doubt, the greatest impetus for those continuing the Next Big Thing quest would have to be Bruce Springsteen. Now known as the Boss, Springsteen was far from that in 1974, although his first two albums had established his position as a Jersey-shore Dylan with a hard-core cult following.

In 1975, all of that would change as the music press began to buzz about “Born to Run,” the new Springsteen album that featured an expanded sound that had the potential for wider appeal. The music press hubbub quickly saturated the national media, with the end result being Springsteen’s face plastered on the covers of both Time and Newsweek. Here was the Next Big Thing, the forgers of national opinion declared. A quarter century and millions of records sold later, it’s hard to disagree with their proclamation. (And we can still thank our lucky stars that they didn’t choose Southside Johnny.)

The Springsteen example, of course, is now a case study in how a chosen one absorbs the spotlight’s glare, and, like a flower undergoing photosynthesis, uses the light as a means to blossom. Just as often the opposite is true – the heat causes those in the spotlight to wilt.

The list of wilters is long, ranging from such overhyped failures as film comedian Yahoo Serious to such overhyped forgettables as television talk show host Gordon Elliot (both Aussies, by the way). A kind of antithesis of the Springsteen success story involves the tale of Marisa Berenson, a former model tagged for a leading role in Stanley Kubrick’s 1974 film “Barry Lyndon.” Berenson got more ink than a tattooed Hell’s Angel, the hype machine working in overdrive. She was the new It girl, the new Next Big Thing. Needless to say, Berenson hardly met the expectations. Like Jonathan Fire Eater, she is now a footnote; in this case, as the star of the great Kubrick’s least-viewed major release.

Still, a full-fledged flame-out such as the one experienced by Berenson or Yahoo Serious isn’t exactly the norm. Instead, the more likely course for a failed Next Big Thing is a kind of slow, smoldering, fade away, akin to a once roaring campfire reduced to a pile of barely hot ashes. Or better yet, akin to the career of Matthew McConaughey, the young actor whose brief but memorable roles in “Lone Star” and “Dazed and Confused” left him with TNBT branded on his well-toned biceps. But the media buzz faded after a few years, years that included some bad film choices and some low box office totals. A dozen new Matthew McConaugheys have come and gone along the way. The original, no longer next and no longer big, now does his best to keep from being just another “thing.”

Which might be a little tough for McConaughey, for he surely remembers the heady days of his praises being sung in the loudest of voices (its a chorus that actress Julia Ormond, director Harmony Korine and singer Lisa Loeb, among others, must also miss). McConaughy, as his balloon was being inflated, had even appeared on the cover of Vanity Fair magazine, a virtual clearinghouse of Next Big Things. It is the cover where you saw Matt Damon and Charlize Theron and Josh Hartnett during their ascendancy. Vanity Fair captures the Next Big Thing buzz, nurtures it, fattens it up – then releases it to stamp through America like a very chic and beautiful Godzilla. Sometimes the method works, sometimes not.

Ryan Adams hasn’t made that cover yet – but he has been close. In the magazine’s recent music issue, the young singer-writer appeared in a color spread with a few of his peers. Adams, who recently canceled two St. Louis concerts at Mississippi Nights (he has rescheduled at the Blue Note in Columbia), has the looks and the talent to get some buzz going. That’s certainly the case these days.

Like the Strokes, Adams is a Next Big Thing, a figure touted as a savior of rock ‘n’ roll. He is following the proper path, to be sure. A recent profile in The New York Times Magazine. An appearance as the musical guest on “Saturday Night Live.” An upcoming slot on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.” Add to this a slew of press clippings from newspapers and magazines from across the country.

But also like the Strokes, Adams seems fully aware of the double-edged sword that he has been forced to handle. In interviews, both the band and the singer have acknowledged the fact that buzz can lead to a fatal sting, that hype can lead to ground swell of bad will soon after it leads to a major recording contract. They seemed to have learned from the mistakes of those who’ve gone before them.

In fact, Adams seems to have learned quite a bit: His critically acclaimed new release, “Gold,” features the musician standing in front of an American flag on its cover, an admitted homage to Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the U.S.A.” Not quite “Born to Run,” but close enough. One of the rock world’s Next Big Things taking a cue from perhaps the most successful one ever.

Unlike Jonathan Fire Eater, Adams appears to have discovered the Boss’ secret of basking in the spotlight without getting burned. For a Next Big Thing, where flame-out is a distinct possibility, such fireproofing may be as valuable as any combination of talent and looks.

Phone: 314-340-8399