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Industry News, Week 4: Elton John, Led Zeppelin, Earth Day, and Soda Pop by 20watts
April 14, 2008, 2:36 am
Filed under: Industry News | Tags: , , , ,

Hold Me Closer, Tiny Senator

It is not uncommon for politics to influence music. So many anti-war songs exist that it would be impossible to name them all. However, this week saw the most unlikely pairing of politics and music – Elton John played a concert in NYC to benefit Hilary Clinton’s presidential campaign. So many things are wrong with this picture that I don’t even know where to start. First of all, I’m not sure if Elton John is a citizen of the US, so I’m not sure if he can vote and actually support Hilary. Secondly, Hilary is not usually supported by the gay community because she supports civil unions, rather than gay marriages. Regardless, the concert took place April 9th at Radio City Music Hall. I wish Elton had brought Hilary out on stage for a duet of “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” with special guest Bill Clinton on the saxophone…how awesome would that have been?

Rumors, Rumors, Rumors

Last week, rumors began to fly that Led Zeppelin would be on a full reunion tour sometime this year. Although no doubt people will go just to see Zeppelin, rumors of who will open for them also began to circulate. Lead singer of the band Cult told a crowd at a concert last November that their band would land the opening spot, while people have also said Velvet Revolver would be on the bill. However, at a concert in Europe last week fans got the impression that Revolver would not be touring anymore when lead singer Scott Weiland said “you’re all watching something very special- the last tour by Velvet Revolver” to a packed house in Glasgow, Scotland. The band claims that Weiland did not mean what he said, just that the band has been experiencing a lot of turmoil recently, and that they will indeed stay together. If the Zeppelin tour does happen it won’t be announced until this fall, when Robert Plant finishes up his tour commitments with Allison Krauss.

Jammin’ for the Earth

Since when has Earth Day transformed from planting a tree into a celebration of music? Well, apparently it is now. On Earth Day, April 20th, 8 different cities will host concerts featuring various jam bands such as the Roots and Ziggy Marley in honor of living peacefully with nature. The event will be called the Earth Day Network/Green Apple Festival. The concert in New York City will feature Big Head Todd and the Monsters, Washington DC will have The Roots and Umphrey’s McGee, Chicago will star the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Miami will sport Menudo (sans Ricky Martin), and Los Angeles will feature Ziggy Marley. So if you happen to be in one of those cities on April 22, go listen to some good tunes and save the earth while doing it.

Crunching Cans

Many pop stars have done Pepsi endorsements in their time: Britney Spears time-traveled in her Superbowl Pepsi commercial; Michael Jackson had a – uhm – hair burning incident on the set of his infamous Pepsi ad from the Thriller days; Beyonce has even taken a whack at endorsing the thirst-quencher. Oddly enough, an alternative rock band has now joined the mix – Smashing Pumpkins were recently featured in a Pepsi advertisement. If you think that pairing is weird, you’re right- Smashing Pumpkins is currently in a dispute with Virgin Records because the Pepsi song was used without their consent. I didn’t get to see the ad before it was pulled, but I bet it was a juxtaposition for the ages.

On a related soft drink/rock music note: Dr. Pepper approached Axl Rose about a deal involving the highly anticipated, long-awaited Guns n Roses album, Chinese Democracy. According to RollingStone.com, Dr. Pepper said they would give every person in the U.S. a free can of soda if the album drops this year. Wow, dare to dream, Dr. Pepper.
– Rachel
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1 Comment

[…] Pitchfork also reports that Smashing Pumpkins‘ Billy Corgan has launched a website today called Everything From Here to There. According to the site, which is likely to be a blog about Corgan’s personal beliefs, “If you are drawn to the Hidden Truths, drawn to God as something beyond limitation, and drawn to Love as the greatest force in the Universe, then you have come to the right place at the right time.  This is a place of Love.” [Previous 20 Watts Coverage: Industry News, Week 4] […]

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