The Big Hurt: Now hiring

Music news in brief
By DAVID THORPE  |  March 16, 2010

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If you're a musician looking to break into the big leagues, now's your chance. The Smashing Pumpkins — a/k/a BILLY CORGAN — are holding open auditions for a new bassist and keyboardist. "We were lucky enough to find drummer Mike Byrne through an open-audition process," said Corgan in a press release, "so why not open the doors again to anyone who might be interested for the bass or keyboard position. As you can see from our past and present, age, race, or a person's background is not an issue." Funny, then, that the next paragraph asks for applicants to give their age, detail their musical background, and supply a photo.

Keyboardists will be asked to play in the style of RICK WAKEMAN, and that bodes ill for the future of the Pumpkins — but at this point, doesn't everything? The cruel truth of the matter is that any musician with the professional chops to be hired by Billy Corgan probably has much better things to do than hang out with Billy Corgan.

Meanwhile, nerd-metal superstars DRAGONFORCE are holding open auditions for a new singer, having recently parted ways with their old one, citing "differences in musical opinion." I'm on the singer's side — anyone who has musical differences with Dragonforce is definitely on the right track.

Footage of JOHN LENNON showed up in a Citroën commercial in the UK recently, prompting outrage from the dwindling segment of society that finds it objectionable to use dead guys to sell stuff. Since Lennon's estate is so rigorously and personally maintained, we all know who to blame, and I have a terrible fear that this misstep might tarnish YOKO ONO's sterling reputation as a good influence on John Lennon's affairs.

SEAN LENNON was quick to defend his mother, claiming that her licensing of John's image wasn't about the money but rather a way to keep Lennon in the public eye. Said Sean on his Twitter: "Look, [the] TV ad was not for money. It's just hard to find new ways to keep dad in the new world." One might argue that dad is pretty well engrained in the new world without anyone's putting him in car commercials, but Sean's tweet disputes that notion: "You wouldn't believe how many teenagers ask me who the Beatles were."

Me, I would believe very few. But if we're to take his statement for truth, we can infer either that teenagers waltz up to him unprompted and go, "Who were the Beatles?", or that he's been provoking the question by bragging to teenagers that his dad was in the Beatles. Decide for yourself which is more likely.

It's totally fine that they removed the Best Song performances from the OSCARS, since the baffling interpretive hip-hop pop-and-lock routine was way cooler anyway. I mean, what better way to honor the poignant Hurt Locker score than to bring out a dude who looks like MC Serch from 3rd Bass and have him do the robot while a bunch of dancers pretend to get blown up by his body rocking? Genius.

The ongoing reports that MILEY CYRUS will team up with BRET MICHAELS have been testing the upward limits of my eyebrows already, but what manner of perversity compelled billboard.com to run the headline "Bret Michaels Gets Busy with Miley Cyrus"?

Rapper J-KWON, best and only known for his 2004 hit "Tipsy," was declared missing in February by his record label, Gracie Productions, after being out of contact for more than a month. Turns out he was alive and well — just laying low and enjoying some privacy. I'm glad he's not dead, but you know the folks at Gracie are in big trouble if they're going, "Where's J-Kwon? Has anyone heard from J-Kwon!?"

DAVID THORPE |dthorpe@phx.com

  Topics: Big Hurt , Celebrity News, Entertainment, Miley Cyrus,  More more >
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