The winner of the annual Eurovision song contest -- a sort of continental "American Idol" -- is usually the song that best transcends the cultural differences that arise when three dozen European countries compete against each other. What then do we make of "Hard Rock Hallelujah," by the Finnish act Lordi, which was crowned this year's winner last Saturday in Athens? It's hard to believe that the song itself, a groan-inducing heavy metal "anthem," resonated with the voters as deeply as the band's performance,which featured guitar-playing goblins, a pair of devil's wings sprouting from the singer's back, and lots of shiny lights.
In an effort to reach the young adults that make up its core, the U.S. military has been using the music of platinum-selling alternative rock band Godsmack in its recruitment videos. Lead singer Sully Erna was recently taken to task by Arthur magazine's Jay Babcock for allowing the band's music to be used in such a manner. Read a transcript of their testy exchange here, or go here to listen. Check out Popmatters for an entertainingly meta take on the confrontation.
For a band that hasn't had a hit in 25 years, Kiss sure seems confident about its position in the marketplace. And given that the band has already licensed its image for everything from condoms to credit cards, it doesn't come as much of a surprise that the greasepainted guitar slingers have branched out into the coffee business, announcing plans to open a coffee shop in Myrtle Beach, S.C. Among many great items on the menu are the Rockuccino and the Rockiato. Hey, you need that cup of joe if you're going to rock 'n' roll all night and party every day.
-- David Marchese