The Russian sex-pop duo t.A.T.u. made a big splash by playing at being lesbians when they first appeared on the world stage in 2002, even managing to get the video for their first single "All the Things She Said" banned for a time on MTV Russia and the BBC. Their second album, "Dangerous and Moving," is coming out next week -- and they'll be releasing a Russian version of the album 10 days later -- and seems to be trying to play off the controversy a couple of years too late. You can see the video for the self-obsessed single "All About Us," which none-too-subtly tries to restart the "we like each other better than boys" meme, here.
The RIAA hasn't been doing much recently to buffer its public perception. After a case against a Michigan woman was dismissed "with prejudice" (meaning it can never be reinstituted) -- in part because she claimed she couldn't take responsibility for her daughter's downloading habits -- the industry group is now trying to sue the 14-year-old in the case, Brittany Chan, while at the same time get her mother replaced by a legal guardian. Legal experts say the RIAA is taking a "shotgun approach" that often ensnares innocent people to its download lawsuit cases, using tactics similar to the ones that brought on a racketeering lawsuit against them in February and has sparked a new one by a woman in Oregon. Now, the RIAA might be looking to satellite radio over portable players that -- much like those tape decks that have been around for decades -- allow people to record what they listen to off the radio.
The ubiquitous iPod has long since moved on from being merely a consumer item: Like custom cars, it's the sort of object that inspires a certain kind of mania in people (this Halloween costume was just the tip of the iceberg). Some of the most inspired iPod accessories: this swanky handbag, these overpriced T-shirts, and this little outfit for your iBaby. And what's a better sign of iPod's widespread appeal than this iTunes giveaway/recruitment drive by the Army National Guard?
The New Yorker's Sasha Frere-Jones is one of my favorite music writers -- rarely didactic, always curious, and more than able to crank out good phrases. He's just announced a new series on his Web site called "Old Pieces Not Available on the Web That I Don't Want to See Burned in a Big Jolly Bonfire," the first installment of which is this fine little piece, originally from the Village Voice, on the many musical uses of the click.
Just a heads up: The White Stripes, just off their national tour, announced on Friday that they'll be playing on "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart" -- the very first musical appearance on the show -- coming Dec. 1. Stewart says, "We've never had a musical performance on the show before -- not because we haven't wanted one -- but because we were holding out for a reunited Spandau Ballet. This will have to suffice."
-- Scott Lamb