It might not have the overwhelming cultural resonance (or the marketing budget) behind it that Martin Scorsese's Bob Dylan documentary did, but Madonna's tour video, "I'm Going to Tell You a Secret," debuting next week on MTV, may prove in some ways far more entertaining. There's an 8-minute preview here, which shows Madge launching almost instantly into an aside about belief in a higher power and the Beast of the modern world (and later admonishing her dancers about drug use). It's a long way from 1996's "MMMBop," but Hanson now have their own riches-to-rags-type documentary, and iFilm is showing the first eight minutes, including cringe-inducing studio footage. And though it has much lower production values than either, "Punk: Attitude" is a charming, from-the-hip retelling of the story of New York's nascent punk scene, including appearances from the people who made the scene what it was -- Jello Biafra, Chrissie Hynde, Legs McNeil, Thurston Moore, Tommy Ramone and Henry Rollins, among others. There are several longish clips here.
Speaking to Suicide Girls about his storied career making soundtracks -- he's long been playing John Williams to Tim Burton's Steven Spielberg -- Danny Elfman also talks about his decision to give up performing live:
"Suicide Girls: Do you have any desire to play live music anymore?
"Elfman: Not really. Let me put it this way, I have no desire ever to be on an Oingo Boingo stage again.
"Suicide Girls: Why not?
"Elfman: I can't get in front of a stage that loud again. I spent 17 years in a band in front of monitors and it fucked up my ears. It was insanely loud."
Meanwhile, over at the Los Angeles Times, former H|sker D| frontman Bob Mould talks about the decision to get back into his former band's music after years of going solo. "I think enough time had passed," Mould, 45, says of his decision. "I sort of got right with the idea of taking ownership of those songs, as opposed to leaving them where they were." (Get updates on Mould's current tour over at his blog.)
Getting coffee yesterday in a cafe/record store in Brooklyn, N.Y., I suddenly found myself -- by total accident -- in the middle of a Castanets performance. We'll be featuring more by the band in the next few weeks, but I couldn't help sharing one of the songs they played, "Three Days Four Nights," off their album "Cathedral." I like the spare openness of the recorded version, but live it was if anything even wider and looser -- they played without a drummer present -- and beautifully but bone-crushingly mournful.
British researchers have announced an advance in MP3 players that not even Apple can touch: breast implants that play music. BT Laboratories' futurologists have come up with an idea for flexible plastic inputs that would transmit signals to a set of headphones and be controlled by a wrist-worn unit. Or, as Ananova puts it: "One boob could hold an MP3 player and the other the person's whole music collection." BT's Ian Pearson, speaking to the Sun, said "It is now very hard for me to think of breast implants as just decorative. If a woman has something implanted permanently, it might as well do something useful" (which just goes to show that futurologists have one of the easiest jobs imaginable, and apparently they're hiring).
-- Scott Lamb