Entries in Music (15)


Kid Rock vs. Beyoncé: Uhm, So Let's Name Kid Rock's Hits


This "Single Ladies" image, alone, is more iconic than anything Kid Rock has ever created. (Credit: Columbia Records)

BY ROB DONOVAN (REVIEWniverse Guest Contributor)

This past week, the great rock icon Kid Rock (anyone under 50, please feel free to Wiki him) decided to trash Beyoncé, who from last count has added much more to the pop culture canon than Mr. Ritchie (you'll find that in Wiki, kids) has. It's a fact, even if you aren't an R&B fan.

Kid Rock (cool, hip name, huh?) told Rolling Stone that he was "flabbergasted"' by Beyoncé's fame, adding, "Beyoncé to me, doesn't have a f**king 'Purple Rain,' but she's the biggest thing on Earth. How can you be that big without at least one 'Sweet Home Alabama' or 'Old Time Rock & Roll'?"

Here's where his idiocy gets better. He said, "People are like, 'Beyoncé's hot. Got a nice fucking ass.' I'm like, 'Cool, I like skinny white chicks with big tits.' Doesn't really fucking do much for me."

So let's play "Kid Rock Song, Backstreet Boy Song, Tired Cliche, Porn Movie Title, or President of Nigeria?:


  • "Angel Guts"
  • "I'm Kid Rock"
  • "Picture"
  • "American Tushy"
  • "All Summer Long"
  • "Bawitdaba"
  • "Larger Than Life"
  • "We Got It Goin' On"
  • "Cocky"
  • "In a World Like This"
  • "Only God Knows Why"
  • "Goodluck Jonathan"
  • "Born Free"

(Answers are listed below) 

Point is, how many of Kid Rock's enduring hits did you know?  Now, how about: "Crazy in Love," "Drunk In Love," "Single Ladies," "Halo," "Run the World," "Listen," "If I Were a Boy," "Irreplaceable..." We all know those, don't we?

So, Kid Rock, shut up and stick to making that timeless music you do so well.



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R.I.P. Don Cornelius, and Remember the 'Soul Train'


REVIEWING THE NEWS: A complicated legend, Soul Train creator and black-music pioneer Don Cornelius, passes away.

By Kenny Herzog

Don Cornelius: 1936-2012


Much like the recently deceased King of Pop, Michael Jackson, and late Godfather of Soul, James Brown, Soul Train conductor Don Cornelius' final years were marred by legal entanglements and poor health. But just as when word spread of M.J. and J.B.'s passing, news that Cornelius, 75, was found dead this morning of an apparent suicide still took your breath away.

We have a tendency to define people by their lowest point, particularly when we initially put them on a pedestal. But we mostly admire and ultimately mourn figures like Cornelius because of how something they created at a different time in their lives put us in a special place inside our imagination. And in the case of Soul Train, it was the hippest, coolest place to be on a Saturday morning, but also (and by design), a demonstration of peaceful activism, enormous catalyst for cultural integration, an heir to Motown as a platform for black artists and blueprint for future groundbreaking musical television like Yo! MTV Raps. In short, Soul Train was the shit.


IN OTHER WORDS: Despite Don Cornelius' troubled end, he was still there at the beginning.

THE SOUL TRAIN MAKING NO STOPS RATING: It's Gonna Be a Stone-Gas, Honey/10


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Whitney Cummings is Right

REVIEWING THE NEWS: We may not love her sitcom, but we do applaud Whitney's provocative and insightful blog post in defense of SNL casualty Lana Del Rey.


By Kenny Herzog

We assume this was Whitney's reaction to reading Del Rey criticism. (Credit: Chris Haston/NBC)


When we posted our op-ed regarding Gawker founder Dick Denton and Editor-in-Chief A.J. Daulerio's mishandling (read: reprehensible fumbling) of the Brian Williams/Lana Del Rey private e-mail fiasco, we failed to acknowledge one important repercussion: Their actions not only alienated Williams' confidence and belied any basic journalistic ethos, but also further defamed Del Rey, who'd been plenty humiliated already by bloggers whose explicit goal was to publicly shame her.

It's a mean, mean world we live in, and sometimes it can be overwhelming. Whitney Cummings, an often-scorned female entertainer in her own right, can relate to being smothered with ill will. Early this morning, the comedian/actress published an open letter in Del Rey's defense. It's a surprisingly candid, sensitive and absolutely spot-on plea for consumers and critics of pop culture to—in paraphrased Real World-ian parlance—stop being hurtful and start getting real.

Cummings admits she's neither objective nor qualified enough to comment on the veracity of peoples' horror at Del Rey's actual SNL performance. By the same token, we're far from pre-inclined toward solidarity with Whitney, and have been among the voices expressing dismay at her eponymous sitcom and 2 Broke Girls. But what her letter tries to emphasize—and it's a point of view we fully support—is that Del Rey's supposed "Video Games" debacle (which wasn't actually that bad) seems to have opened up a permissive space for simmering discrimination against and regressive attitudes about women in pop culture. 

Maybe it was late at night, and Cummings had just polished off a bottle of wine and was feeling sentimental enough to convey how she's "protective of girls, especially young performers, because they live a hard, emotionally challenging, often physically challenging life" and avow that, "Other peoples success doesn’t fuck up our lives and other people [sic] failures should not brighten them." Perhaps all the Del Rey venom hit close to home, but with enough distance for her to comment on it comfortably. Whatever the impetus, and without dismissing Whitney's opinion on the basis of disregard for her television alter-ego, her ballsy testimony is the kind of outspokenness that deserves encouragement and support. 


IN OTHER WORDS: You go, girls.





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Johnny Depp Blah Blah Vanessa Paradis Blah Blah Split Up Blah

REVIEWING THE NEWS: Multi-gazillionaire actor extraordinaire Depp and mildly interesting model/actress/singer/whatever reportedly no makey the love-y anymore. Blah. Wah.


By Crispin Reynolds

Blah blah blah blah, blah, blah blah blah. 


Sorry, REVIEWniverse readers, if it took me eons to post about the day's most scandalous celebrity-breakup news. I spent all morning drying my hair and wiping away crocodile tears after hearing that Johnny Depp and Vanessa Paradis have, according to People mag (and, also, just other people), been living separately and out of love for some time.

Boo-hoo, blah blah. Don't get me wrong, gals and cads, it's sad when any couple with two children can't reconcile their differences (ParaDepp have two tween- and elementary-aged little ones, Lily-Rose and Jack, though it's never been confirmed if their naming was some kind of coded inspiration for Daniel Day-Lewis' 2005 drama, The Ballad of Jack and Rose... you know these actor types). I'm sure they'll sort all that out with more aplomb than your average not-loaded, irreconciled parents. Otherwise, a big blah blah and who cares, outside of the fact that Hollywood's sauciest middle-age bad-boy is back on the market. I know a certain 40-something gossip columnist (me) who wouldn't mind searching for that Pirate's booty.


IN OTHER WORDS: Insert seductive, Eartha Kitt meow noise. Also, blah.




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Gawker, Denton and Daulerio Get Brian Williams/Lana Del Rey Fiasco All Wrong

REVIEWING THE NEWS: The gossip site and its founder, Nick Denton, draw line in the sand of journalistic ethics after posting Brian Williams' personal e-mail about Lana Del Rey.


By Kenny Herzog


Nick Denton's Gawker Media embodies the blogosphere's curious position as unfiltered aggregator of truth and unchecked court jester. REVIEWniverse has taken the company's principal domain, Gawker.com, to task in the past for the relatively victimless distinction of boasting less-than-credible musical taste. But yesterday, Denton and his new editor-in-chief, muckraking former Deadspin Editor A.J. Daulerio, imposed a substandard of poor journalism when they posted NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams' personal e-mail to Denton without consent. 

By now, you've all read that Williams wrote Denton on Sunday to join the chorus of boos hurled at last weekend's maligned SNL performer, pixie chanteusse Lana Del Rey. It was an informal, clearly personal and off-the-record correspondence in which Williams lamented that Del Rey was "the least-experienced musical guest in the show's history" and good-naturedly bemoaned that "it was a fallow holiday period for those of us who check your shit 10 times a day by iphone [sic]." And you also know that Daulerio, after what we presume was much discussion with Denton and Gawker staff, posted the e-mail verbatim on their site the following afternoon. Lastly, you've heard or seen that NBC PR (no doubt unhappy about the cross-contimination within their brand) sent Gawker a stern but reasonable demand to remove the item, and Daulerio merely updated his original story by making that correspondence public as well.

Frankly, this reeks more of Daulerio's recklessness than Denton's salacious tendencies. Either way, the gauntlet has been laid. It's clear that for Gawker (and as they go, so do countless apers), no friendship or set of basic personal or journalistic principles will stand between them and a childish impulse to determine what qualifies as "news," deliver it with irresponsible whim and no discernable point of view, and let others sort out the consequences and implications while they calculate Web traffic and turn it into liquid ad-revenue gold.

For any of us who've ever worked in a real newsroom or, as consumers, are simply adapting to the digital information age with a bit of blind faith, it's impossible to fathom that Denton and Daulerio's story could be planted with total transparency from the inside. It's depressing to consider the breakdown of accountability within an organization that, like it or not, influences more readers on an average afternoon than most major newspapers even reach in a week.

Gawker may have caught Williams in an untenable position by putting him at odds with his employing network, but something tells us we haven't heard the final word on all this. In journalism and in life, corrupting privacy and closely held relationships can have short-term gains, but almost always precipitates an eventual collapse of relevance and character. Daulerio better realize he's playing with the big boys now, because Denton's just a careless schoolyard bully.


IN OTHER WORDS: There has to be some kind of bar before it can be lowered.





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