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Ozzy Osbourne-International Rock Star/Gravy Maker Extraordinaire

June 6, 2009

 

Sure-Fire Sign of the Superiority of Apes #1:  Ozzy Osbourne
When I was a kid, I wasn’t allowed to listen to Black Sabbath.  OK that’s not really true–my folks didn’t even know who Black Sabbath was.  But if they had put down the Air Supply records long enough to hear anything like Sabbath, Bloody Sabbath, I can promise you that my tender little soul would have been in line for an exorcism.  These guys were extreme metalheads and anyone who listened to them back in the day would swear that they lived for nothing but sex, drugs and rock and roll–oh, yeah and Satan too.
Now, it’s come to this:  Ozzy Osbourne, chief architect of the original Sabbath and rock god to many, has proven once again that in the end, it’s all about the Benjamin’s.  His Royal Ozzness (strings pulled by his wife/manager/puppeteer Sharon I’m sure) recently sued former band-mate Tony Iommi for a cut of the Black Sabbath brand.  Yep, you heard right. He didn’t sue so that he could make music with the band or so that he could protect Black Sabbath’s music from copyright infringement.  He sued to get a cut of the money the band makes from merchandising.  And furthermore, this is a band that he no longer sings with and that he has stated no intent of singing with again.  All this while he and Sharon come in as only the 600th richest people in Great Britain.  Way to stick it to the man, Ozzy!
On to other things musical.  I’ve completed a first-run listen to the new Danger Mouse/Sparklehorse record Dark Night of the Soul and it is superb.  Brian Burton (aka Danger Mouse), one half of the supergroup Gnarls Barkley, teamed up with Mark Linkous (aka Sparklehorse) to record some of Linkous’ unreleased songs.  This is easily the most intriguing record of the year simply because the music may never officially get released due to a contract dispute with EMI.  So the duo teamed up with cult-filmmaker David Lynch and created a book (of which there are only 5000 in the entire world) to go along with the music.  The book can be bought via Lynch’s website, and it comes with a blank CD-R.  The implication is that you can download the album by pledging your life-essence to the internet music gods, burn it to the blank CD, and circumvent this EMI dispute.  But marketing novelty aside, this is quality music and if it ever sees its way to be actually distributed it will easily be one of the top albums of the year.  If you’re interested in hearing it, bop on over to NPR’s website where it’s streaming in full.
There’s been a lot of buzz going around about Grizzly Bear’s new album, Veckatimest.  The group was all set to play David Letterman last week before getting bumped due to Letterman’s show running long.  I have to admit that I have not been a big fan of their previous work, but this is a solid album.  It has a laid back, ethereal vibe that draws you in–but it’s definitely not for the casual listener.  After you give it a little love, it’ll to start to grow on you and the rewards are worth the effort.
For those of you into dance music, you absolutely cannot go wrong with Passion Pit’s new release Manners.  This release takes the soaring melodies and hyped beats of their 2008 EP Chunk of Change and raises the bar.  In some ways, this album hearkens back to some serious 80’s dance music, but don’t let that turn you off.  Almost every track could be an instant club hit and will make you dance wherever you are.  The first track is the album’s weakest, but once the second track hits there’s no turning back.  I predict this album will be the soundtrack to my summer and it should be to yours too.
There’s so much more going on in the music world right now, but only so much space in this little slice of the blogosphere.  But never fear, we’ll be back soon with more goodness for your eardrums.  In parting, let me leave you with a little palate cleanser after all our Ozzy mess.  Later!
Sure-Fire Sign of the Superiority of Apes #1: Ozzy Osbourne
When I was a kid, I wasn’t allowed to listen to Black Sabbath.  OK that’s not really true–my folks didn’t even know who Black Sabbath was.  But if they had put down the Air Supply records long enough to hear anything like Sabbath, Bloody Sabbath, I can promise you that my tender little soul would have been in line for an exorcism.  These guys were extreme metalheads and anyone who listened to them back in the day would swear that they lived for nothing but sex, drugs and rock and roll–oh, yeah and Satan too.
Now, it’s come to this:  Ozzy Osbourne, chief architect of the original Sabbath lineup  and rock god to many, has proven once again that in the end, it’s all about the Benjamin’s.  His Royal Ozzness (strings pulled by his wife/manager/puppeteer Sharon I’m sure) recently sued former band-mate Tony Iommi for a cut of the Black Sabbath brand.  
Yep, you heard right. He didn’t sue so that he could make music with the band or so that he could protect Black Sabbath’s music from copyright infringement.  He sued to get a cut of the money the band makes from merchandising.  And furthermore, this is a band that he no longer sings with and that he has stated no intent of singing with again.  All this while he and Sharon come in as only the 600th richest people in Great Britain.  Way to stick it to the man, Ozzy!
On to other things musical.  I’ve completed a first-run listen to the new Danger Mouse/Sparklehorse record Dark Night of the Soul and it is superb.  Brian Burton (aka Danger Mouse), one half of the supergroup Gnarls Barkley, teamed up with Mark Linkous (aka Sparklehorse) to record some of Linkous’ unreleased songs.  This is easily the most intriguing record of the year simply because the music may never officially get released due to a contract dispute with EMI.  So the duo teamed up with cult-filmmaker David Lynch and created a book (of which there are only 5000 in the entire world) to go along with the music.  The book can be bought via Lynch’s website, and it comes with a blank CD-R.  The implication is that you can download the album by pledging your life-essence to the internet music gods, burn it to the blank CD, and circumvent this EMI dispute.  But marketing novelty aside, this is quality music and if it ever sees its way to be actually distributed it will easily be one of the top albums of the year.  If you’re interested in hearing it, bop on over to NPR’s website where it’s streaming in full.  Once again the amazing power of the internet foils another evil record company scheme.
There’s a lot of buzz going around lately about how Grizzly Bear’s lead singer looks a lot like Kumar.  Wait, that’s just in my head.  In the real world, the Brooklyn band has a new album, Veckatimest and they were all set to play David Letterman last week before getting bumped due to the show running long.  I have to admit that I have not been a big fan of their previous work, but this is a solid album.  It has a laid back, ethereal vibe that draws you in–but it’s definitely not for the casual listener.  But if you give it a little love, it’ll start to love back and then baby it’s on.
For those of you into dance music, you absolutely cannot go wrong with Passion Pit’s new release Manners.  This release takes the soaring melodies and hyped beats of their 2008 EP Chunk of Change and raises the bar.  This album sounds like it belongs on an 80’s dance music mixtape, but don’t let that turn you off.  Almost every track could be an instant club hit and will make you dance wherever you are.  The first track is the album’s weakest, but once the second track hits there’s no turning back.  This is just a fun album to listen to and I predict it’s gonna be the soundtrack to my summer.
There’s so much more going on in the music world right now, but only so much space in this little slice of the blogosphere.  But never fear, we’ll be back soon with more goodness for your eardrums.  In parting, let me leave you with a little palate cleanser after all our Ozzy mess.

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