What do Michael Jackson, Kurt Cobain, and Miley Cyrus have in common? They all let “Weird Al” Yankovic turn their songs into parodies. Who didn’t? The one and only Prince. It’s long been a mystery why, but Al finally explained their relationship. Stick around after the details to learn about The Rolling Stones’ cereal song, Peter Hook’s new book on New Order, Charles Bradley’s moving music video, Nick Cave’s upcoming film, and the newest album from Conor Oberst.
Parodies are worth singing along to if done right. “Weird” Al Yankovic, the true king of the genre, knows how to make ’em good. Over the years, various artists have turned down his requests to make over their songs, earning a little dash in their career if only because it shows they lack the ability to laugh at themselves. There is one musician, however, who repeatedly said no: Prince. “It’s too bad,” Yankovic told People Magazine. “I hadn’t approached him in about 20 years because he always said no, but I had this fantasy that he’d come out with a new song, I’d have a great idea, he’d finally say yes and it would erase decades of weirdness between us. But that’s obviously not going to be the case.” Later in the interview, he details various parodies he had drafted just in case: “Let’s Go Crazy” about The Beverly Hillbillies, “1999” as an infomercial where those numbers served as the final four digits to dial, and variations of “When Doves Cry” and “Kiss.” Perhaps the parodies will come in after all the tributes.
Selling out isn’t always bad. In fact, it can be quite fun. Decades ago, The Rolling Stones scored an ad for Kellogg’s Rice Krispies. The English giants took the orders in stride, crafting up a jingle that’s as fun and poppy as it is guitar-driven. Brian Jones penned the hit. Does it snap? Does it crackle? Does it pop? Oh boy, yes it does. Check it out above and wonder why we don’t discuss this cut more often when talking about The Rolling Stones’ ability to write pleasurable, often meaningless songs that make you want to boogie. [Consequence of Sound]
— Peter Hook (@peterhook) August 3, 2016
Peter Hook is often brought up in discussions about Joy Division nowadays, in part because of the shows he’s done performing some of that material. But let’s not forget his role in New Order as the bassist of countless ’80s hits. Now, Hook is gearing up to release an autobiography about his time in that very dance rock band. The book, titled Substance: Inside New Order, comes out October 6 via Simon & Schuster. Hook rolled out a whopping 768 pages on the topic. Then again, given New Order’s history, it’s not surprising he had so much to say. Pre-orders are ongoing now if you can’t wait to hear about no-holds-barred anecdotes and history about set lists, geek facts, and equipment. [Rolling Stone]
They say exercise increases endorphin levels. Maybe that’s how Charles Bradley keeps his 67-year-old body in such good, love-filled shape. The crooner just shared a video for “Good to Be Back Home” off his 2016 album Changes. In the music video, Bradley talks a walk through Bed-Stuy in Brooklyn, his old neighborhood, after wrapping up an extensive tour in Europe. The black-and-white footage adds extra charm to his endearing voice. For a second there, you get lost in the area, wondering what Bradley was like as a child, a nice touch to an even nicer song. [Rolling Stone]
Several months ago, a fan noticed Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds scheduled a film screening to take place in Los Angeles. After some sleuthing, it turned out the gloomy rock crooner did indeed have a big film in the works. Now, we get to see the trailer. On September 9, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds will release film One More Time with Feeling in conjunction with their new album, Skeleton Tree. The film will screen only once in 650 theaters the night prior. It’s a black and white look at change, both literal and figuratively, likely in part a reflection on the sudden passing of his son. [Consequence of Sound]
Conor Oberst is back. The Bright Eyes frontman announced a new solo album is on the way called Ruminations, out October 14 through Nonesuch Records. That’s the artwork above. It suggests this will get pretty serious, though it’s Oberst, so there will likely be a line or two in each song that’s rife with bitterness or wit. All of the songs were recorded within 48 hours at ARC Studios in his hometown of Omaha. Stay tuned to Nerdist if you want to hear what the songs sound like. We’ll share the singles the first moment we hear of them! [Pitchfork]
See you back here on Friday for another Music Dispatch!