A Michael Jackson-Sonic the Hedgehog Conspiracy Runs Through Arizona

Sonic 3 Michael Jackson rumors
All those Sonic 3 Michael Jackson rumors have an Arizona-based explanation.
There's no shortage of Michael Jackson conspiracies, but this one is my favorite: Michael Jackson was supposed to do the music for Sonic 3, one of the biggest video game events of the '90s, but the child abuse scandal that changed his career forever sent Sega running. Nevertheless, the conspiracy goes, some of his work remains in the finished product.

It's not my favorite Michael Jackson conspiracy theory because there's something that sounds exactly like "Stranger in Moscow" in there, or because I love video games, even though both of those things are accurate. It's my favorite because it makes so much sense. Now, according to Fervor Records, the truth can be told--and the way they tell it, this conspiracy runs through Arizona and Brad Buxer of the Jetzons.

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This Band's Wikipedia Page Is Somehow Longer Than The Who's

Old Crow Medicine show promo by Crackerfarm
Old Crow Medicine Show's Wikipedia page is unnervingly comprehensive.
I was having a perfectly enjoyable lunch: a turkey and avocado sandwich on a croissant with a jumbo, ice-filed Arnold Palmer (Arnold Palmers for all my friends!), and John Prine and Iris DeMent singing "In Spite of Ourselves" mainlined into my head. That was when my friend The Tortuga sent a text. He directed me to Old Crow Medicine Show's Wikipedia page. I wasn't sure what the hubbub was about until I started reading. And reading. Reading some more. Then I got it. I didn't know I'd signed on to read the band's voluminous, ego-stroked, promotionally driven biography. The Tortuga is a tortured soul.

But he's right. OCMS' page rivals The Battle of the Alamo's Wikipedia page in scope and minutiae, though we'll save the argument about the cultural and historical significance of these two "artifacts" for another time.

I made it a quarter of the way down the page before I surrendered and just started scrolling -- I somehow missed Wikipedia's warning banner at the beginning of the article, or it possibly didn't appear on the device I first used to access the page. When my quest finally concluded at the page's "References," I scrolled some more.

There are 161 footnotes cited for OCMS' relatively short history.

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YouTube's Music Awards Reveal The Secret, Obvious Shame of Social Media

Jason Schwartzman - YouTube Music Awards
This is a really obvious, great idea, and I commend whoever came up with it: YouTube, the place where everybody listens to music by default, has announced the first-ever YouTube Music Awards, a 90-minute live stream scheduled for November 3.

There are some other cool ideas, too--they're going to be "[making] live music videos throughout the night," among other concessions to the viral video format.

But the bulk of their announcement is devoted to the famous people who are going to be in it, as announced by the famous guy who's going to host it. That's the big deal, here, because it's an explicit reminder of something that's usually just implicit: For all the hype about the Social part of Social Media and its democratizing effects on culture, when it comes time to monetize these websites always reach for the celebrities.

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I'm Done Buying Every Bob Dylan Album Over and Over (Probably)

Bob Dylan album art thing
BGSU University Library
I hate to do this, but two clarifications seem important at the outset: I adore Bob Dylan and, as a lover of physical media, I'm one of the few people (20-somethings especially) still collecting CDs. With that said, I have to say this, too: There's no fucking way I'm plucking down $280 for the recently announced box set of Bob Dylan's collected discography.

The problems of repackaging the same albums over and over and over again aren't unique to Dylan, of course: The Onion famously nailed it with "Man Who Bought the 34th Anniversary Reissue of Fleetwood Mac's Rumours Feeling Like a Real Idiot After Passing Display for 35th Anniversary Edition."

But Dylan (or Columbia Records, to be more exact) is as guilty as anyone.

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The Sony Music Video Recorder Wants To Professionalize Your Band's YouTube Selfies

Somewhere just a little downstream of music on my list of socially dangerous interests: Weird, single-use Japanese gadgets. Enter: The Sony Music Video Recorder. The video camera you're looking at is designed for one thing: Recording music, ideally in the hope that you will someday become YouTube's best-sounding ukelele sensation. Like your cell phone, it shoots 1080p video; unlike your cell phone, it has two big, purpose-built microphones protruding out from it.

Early hands-on reports suggest it does its job really well. But here's what I'd like to ask all real and real-ish musicians within shouting range of this blog: is its job worth doing?

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Why One Direction's Movie Missed at The Box Office: Fandom Isn't Everything

Thumbnail image for One Direction (Maria Vassett 2012)
Maria Vassett
One Direction: This Is Us made $18 million over the Labor Day weekend. That means the One Direction movie did better than the Katy Perry movie and significantly worse than the Justin Bieber movie, which--fanbase-wise--seems intuitively right to me. But it's not a lot of money for a movie. It's $5 million less than Planes, Disney's poorly performing kind-of-sequel to Cars, made. It's $12 million less than John Carter of Mars.

Which is to take nothing away from One Direction; their movie cost $10 million, and it sells itself, so they're already making money. This is probably right in line with TriStar's projections. But in terms of absolute dollars it should be a humbling reminder to the internet as a whole: Fandom isn't everything.

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NSYNC Reunion Confirmed by Verified Twitter Account, Because the Internet Is Ridiculous

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*NSYNC has literally just been standing here for the last 10 years.
God, the internet is weird. Also *NSYNC fans, but mostly the internet. Just days after Lance Bass's non-denial an *NSYNC reunion at Sunday's VMAs was confirmed, in this order, by Joey Fatone's dad and the opening of a verified Twitter account in their name. , which immediately drew 67,000 followers. This is great news for, in this order, the non-Timberlake members of *NSYNC and people who self-identify as '90s Kids.

The best part of this whole thing--unless you're aching to hear "Bye Bye Bye," which seems like the odds-on song-choice favorite if there's a performance element to the reunion--is learning that they haven't missed a boy-band beat: Their tweet is exactly the kind of awkward attempt at sounding unrehearsed that would have garnered them screams 13 (yikes) years ago.

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Call of Duty: Ghosts' Eminem Song Debut Shows Just How Big Videogames Have Gotten

If you're anywhere on the internet today, or within 500 feet of a teenage boy, you've probably heard that today marked the official Call of Duty: Ghosts multiplayer reveal. You may have also heard that the trailer contained the world premier of a new Eminem song, "Survival." That's right: One of music's biggest stars released his new song in a videogame trailer.

Videogames and music haven't always gotten along very well. History is littered with stupendously bad attempts from pop stars to cash in on a medium they must have seen as a passing fad: Revolution X, a shooting game in which the only force powerful enough to take on a dystopian new world order government is literally Aerosmith; Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch: Make My Video, which is basically self-explanatory.

But the release of Eminems new song is interesting for the opposite reason: It shows just how much power blockbuster videogames now have. In 1990, Nintendo used a movie, The Wizard, to debut the world's most-anticipated videogame, Super Mario Bros. 3. Now Eminem is using a videogame to debut a song.

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Lady Gaga's Right: Computer Speakers Are Making Your Favorite Music Worse

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Maria Vassett
As a general rule, I don't like to be lectured by Lady Gaga. This is not to say that I haven't earned a lecture, since she's a rich and famous superstar who's touched millions of kids who feel sad and alone and I'm a guy who listens to episodes of Fibber McGee and Molly in the shower -- just that I don't enjoy the prospect. But even I have to admit that her recent tweets begging those sad-and-alone-feeling fans of hers to not listen to ARTPOP on computer speakers, where 99 percent of the world's recorded music is now heard, are dead on.

It's not that "SPEAKERS ON YOUR COMPUTER are NOT ACCEPTABLE." It's just that crappy laptop speakers are a terrible way to hear music you love, or want to love, for the first time.

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Mega Ran Lost His Nintendo 3DS, and the Internet Is On the Case

Mega Ran
Mega Ran dot com
Quarter-circle forward + Punch
I never quite understood it until yesterday, but my favorite Andy Warhol quote has always been, "In the future, everyone will be famous enough to have the Internet come to their rescue for 15 minutes, or until some more really goofy Anthony Weiner sexts leak." Phoenix's own Random -- alias Mega Ran -- is on the receiving end of the Internet's distributed generosity Wednesday, as Facebook fans, Twitter followers, and Redditors put out a dragnet for his missing Nintendo 3DS, lost somewhere on last week's West Coast tour.

If that doesn't sound to you like the most important thing the Internet will do today -- well, Mega Ran would probably agree with you. The former teacher, with other members of The Writer's Guild, is organizing a school backpack drive at Club Red for the beginning of August.

(But it might change your mind to know it's a 3DSXL; you can really only understand the scope of his misfortune if you bought the far inferior smaller version, like I did.)

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