It’s normal to covet your neighbor’s hair. It’s not normal to go ahead and snatch it right off their head. While that’s not exactly what happened this past week in an auction, it does offer up an image of how badly a person wanted David Bowie’s hair that he went ahead and bought it for over $18,000. In less creepy music news, a handful of artists performed tributes to Prince at the BET Awards, Billy Joel did a surprise set with a cover band, Kanye West dropped a provocative video, The Front Bottoms relive the ’80s in their new video, and Canadian art rocker Lowell marks her return with a new video and EP.
The reason those wax statues at Madame Tussauds Wax Museum in London look so realistic is because they’re based off real people. That means there’s real samples, too. In 1983, an employee took a lock of David Bowie‘s hair to help create a color-matched wig for his model. That hair was kept in a frame and, this past weekend, went up for auction in Los Angeles. The Associated Press estimated it would sell for $4,000. A seemingly low number, but not when you remember it’s for a few inches of 33-year-old hair. Instead, it sold for $18,750, with a portion of the proceeds going to Thai animal welfare center Soi Dog Foundation. Woof; talk about a lot of money. [Pitchfork]
Sunday night, a slew of high-profile artists took the stage to perform at the BET Awards. It came as no surprise that Prince tributes were lined up. What did come as a surprise were the emotion and strength with which they were performed. The Roots and Erykah Badu did a funky version of “The Ballad of Dorothy Parker.” Bilal came after with a take of “The Beautiful Ones.” Leave it to Stevie Wonder and Tori Kelly to make us start weeping (though plenty of people were before that point) during their harmony-filled version of “Take Me With U.” That wasn’t even the last of the covers. Read our full run-down on the tributes right here and watch a video of the first cover above. [Nerdist]
For those who didn’t know, Billy Joel performs to a sold-out crowd at Madison Square Garden in New York City every month. That’s a big venue. Now imagine viewers surprise when they went to see Big Shot, a Billy Joel cover band, at the Paramount in New York City… only to have Joel himself show up for a three-song set. With the cover band backing him, the real Billy Joel launched into covers of The Beatles’ “With a Little Help From My Friends,” The Rolling Stones’ “Honky Tonk Women,” and his original “You May Be Right” combined with Led Zeppelin’s “Rock and Roll.” It was less a shock for the band since they sometimes tour with him as his supporting musicians. As for the audience? Well, yes, his appearance came as a big shock. [Rolling Stone]
With a song called “Famous,” how could Kanye West not go big in a sensationalized way? The singer debuted the music video for said The Life of Pablo track on Friday night. The provocative and controversial video replicates Vincent Desiderio’s famous painting “Sleep.” Yes, that means it’s a wide display of nude people post-coital. Alongside West and Kim Kardashian happens to be numerous synthetically-designed doppelgangers, ranging from Rihanna to Chris Brown, Donald Trump to Bill Cosby, Taylor Swift to George W. Bush. It’s a sight to see, that much is for certain. Watch it exclusively on TIDAL right here. [Rolling Stone]
It’s no secret that The Front Bottoms know how to have fun. The pop-punk band make it easy to relive your high school and middle school days with their brand of jubilant, catchy, anthemic rock. Now they’re giving you all the more reason to be nostalgic. In their music video for “Ginger,” a girl named Ginger goes through the ups and downs of high schools in the vain of Say Anything, The Breakfast Club, Risky Business, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, and more. See if you can catch all the movie references on the first view. It’s stuffed. Check it out above and then applaud director Marlon Brandope for all the hard work done to make it a seamless viewing experience. [Pitchfork]
Toronto is stuffed with bands that take an artful spin on everyday rock. Lowell, one of the city’s more synth-driven artists, shakes things up even more by stretching her work into an airy, poppy, and introspective direction unlike anything else you’ve heard. She returns this year with Part 1: PARISYK, a new EP out August 26 via Arts & Crafts, as well as a video for one of its singles, “High Enough.” The black and white clip sees her overlapped with blooming flowers, a mannequin, and all sorts of emotions you can’t help but project on the clip yourself. Check it out above. [Exclaim!]
See you back here on Wednesday for another Music Dispatch!
Image: Masayoshi Sukita