the listenerd

optimized for maximum incontinence

Category: beards

Links plus ultra: SpiralFrog, Bridwell’s beard, wusses + more

*Free, ad-supported music service SpiralFrog finally launches, after much pain. [AdAge]

*LAist once again brings the hate down on BEARDS. This time, surly, camera-hating, Wal-mart loving Band of Horses front man Ben Bridwell is the target of their ill-placed ire.

*Blender calls out music’s 25 Biggest Wusses. I don’t know, man. Natalie Merchant seems kind of grimly tough.

*Concerts in Second Life suck. Especially if you have to sit through a set by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic.

On Rick Rubin’s BEARD

The New York Times magazine does an extensive story on Rick Rubin and the future of music. More importantly, it also offers incredible pictorial evidence of Rubin’s legendary beard. It may not technically be a talibeard, but it is impressive nonetheless.

A David Geffen quote is used to frame the issues faced by the music industry: “The music business, as a whole, has lost its faith in content. Only 10 years ago, companies wanted to make records, presumably good records, and see if they sold. But panic has set in, and now it’s no longer about making music, it’s all about how to sell music. And there’s no clear answer about how to fix that problem.”

Says Rubin: “Fear is making the record companies less arrogant. They’re more open to ideas. So, what’s important now is to find music that’s timeless.”

Tech / tunes links 9.1.07 – Inching the night away

*The DRM-free music store at Amazon will roll out in mid-September (the NY Post says it’ll be the week of September 17), and will apparently charge $.99 for most tracks, $.89 for “emerging artists.” [NY Post]
*NBC Universal v. iTunes: NBC says they never wanted to double prices, and that their content will be up on iTunes through December. Uh boy. [Paid Content]
*Billboard on Nokia’s Ovi: “The model that Nokia introduced this week should serve as a blueprint for how to marry Internet services with mobile services.” YES. [Mediaeater]
*Q magazine tries to define and track down “perfect songs.” For some reason, they turned to Michael Stipe and John Legend for the answers, who came up with, among others: Springsteen’s “Born to Run,” the Stones’ “Sympathy for the Devil,” and Buckley singing “Hallelujah.” [The Set List]
*Laughing Squid points us at coverage for this year’s Beard & Moustache Championships (with most excellent pics). The BBC also reports on the most important event in facial hairdom.
*The ultra-phonograph: the ELP Laser Turntable.
*RE: Perez Hilton – It is said that one day there will be two kinds of humans.
*Justin Timberlake will be airing backstage footage of his most recent concert tour in Second Life. Insert “Dick in a Box” joke here. Nullus. (Had to.)

Tech / tunes links 8.30.07 – Magical Mystery

*EMI’s CEO and CFO are out as Terra Firma takes over.
*MySpace is launching its own music tour, which will feature the likes of Hellogoodbye and Say Anything. [Ypulse]
*Sparkfun Electronics has apparently launched a rotary cellphone, the Port-O-Rotary. [Geekologie] Might I suggest integrating a phonograph, for the ultimate retro-convergence device?
*Band of Horses has a video out for “Is There a Ghost.” Also, and more importantly, awesome beard.
*Christian Bale on what it’s like to play Bob Dylan. [The Playlist]
*Metal keeps the guitar industry motoring. A profile of Halo Custom Guitars, who make demon-themed axes complete with “rotting flesh and distended eyeballs” for metal bands – and make a pretty good living doing so! [via Blender]
*David Bowie is slated to appear in the next edition of old-person nerdfest Dr. Who. He will play an evil alien abductor. Bowie to Bowie! [XRRF]
*Mark Cuban is slated to appear in the next season of old-person nerdfest Dancing witth the Stars. The internet is BORING. [USA Today]
*Music widgets: Slacker has one for MySpace now. Wheeeee-oy. [Mashable]
*The execrable local: Daft Punk’s movie Electroma will be screening at Minneapolis’ Uptown Theater 9.15.07. [LimeWire Music Blog]
*Jail Guitar Doors is a charity set up by Billy Bragg, donates musical instruments to UK prisoners. All civilized like. [Metafilter]

Tech / tunes links 8.19.07 – Just a thing or two

*The Rock Lighter page, for use at concerts with your internet-enabled phone. Seems like there are now dozens of digi-versions of these. [via]
*I’m not usually one for indiscriminate podcast consumption, but GigaOm interviews Real Networks CEO Rob Glaser.
*A few days ago Salon ran a piece on how Guitar Hero is bringing back guitar music. Now, the New York Times is weighing in on how it thinks the videogame is changing aspiring musicians’ enthusiasms and aspirations.
*Perfect for any baby shower: An album of lullaby covers of Rolling Stones songs such as “Brown Sugar” and “Mother’s Little Helper.”
*Musical beards: Huh. Rob Zombie is directing the next movie in the Halloween franchise.
*Manu Chao exclusive performance on IFC, but unfortunately for the little Dude, the song’s not “Bongo Bong.”
*Superbly named blog Green Pea-Ness argues that the Nintendo DS game Elite Beat Agents is “the single most devastatingly accomplished work of pop-art criticism since Orson Welles’ F For Fake, albeit probably completely inadvertantly.”

Banhart’s “Don’t Look Back in Anger”

A video (supposedly the winner of a fan-made vid contest held by Engine Room Recordings) created for Devendra Banhart’s cover of Oasis’ “Don’t Look Back in Anger” from the Guilt By Association album (which I mentioned previously, and which spawned the Petra Haden-meets-Journey fried egg vid I linked to yesterday).

The Beard: An alternative point of view

For purposes of journalistic integrity, I must present this sex column from esteemed corporate blog LAist, which this week addresses the topic of beards (and even, more specifically, of beards on musicians).

The language is salty, the topics sometimes sexually explicit, and the viewpoint is entirely wrong-headed, but the subject is nonetheless beards. I am heartened by the fact that the columnist is taken to task by a number of the more enlightened commenters.


It’s been a while since I blogged beards (including an especially long drought for Talibeards). Enter Beardcore. [via] The site, whose motto is “Folklore for the Hardcore” has been around since 2004, celebrating bearded citizens and the possibilties of the beard in general. Famous beards are enumerated (Aristotle, Freud, Rob Zombie) and the site maintains a MySpace page and sells attractive beard apparel (though no fake beards).

What is lacking, of course, is any mention of Talibeards (a fairly new phenomenon – or, at least a new term for an old beard – in the Western world). Also, there is no beard news, per se, so the James Hetfield airport non-detention is not mentioned.

However, the organization’s charter bears reposting here:

Beardcore is for those of you who:
have a beard
aspire to have a beard
like beards
love beards
think beards are hot
think beards rock
are hardcore in general

It is that last condition (general hardcoreness) that makes Beardcore the kind of community I want to be a part of. FOREVER.

Tech / Tunes links 7.31.07 – With imperfect knowledge of my own velocity

*Bee mystery clearing up? Not music, not tech, but a pet issue of mine nonetheless. Seriously; terrified. (Upshot: It might be a virus brought in by imported bees. Wohoo!) Everyone can start using those cellphones again.
*Incredibly awesome Chuck E. Cheese mod. Chuck’s animatronic band The Rockafire Explosion performs hip-hop opus “Ms. New Booty.” Must see. [via]
*The eMusic / AT&T partnership we mentioned yesterday is the real deal.
*Analyst says Google’s working on predictive search for mobile devices. (Anticipation engines!). Also 11% of Google innovation since 1999 has been telco related…
*Feces-dumping bandleader Dave Matthews signs a deal to sell one of his live CDs exclusively through Starbucks. [via] In my mind, the Matthews tour bus incident is on par with Fergie’s pants-peeing – an incidental event (which may not even be true) so inextricably linked with an artist one cannot but think of it whenever one sees or hears that person. I believe that James Hetfield’s London airport Talibeard detention (or non-detention, if Mr. Hetfield is to be believed) is making its way toward that status as well.
*The Execrable Local (kinda): Low does Daytrotter sessions. (Breaker, Violent Past, In Silence, Sandinista)
*Sasha Frere-Jones in the New Yorker on Damon Albarn’s operatic endeavours.

Hair metal, sans beards

Though, alas, before the days of beard metal. Ye Olde Metal Days, an impressive Flickr photoset of metal bands such as Metallica and Megadeth. Keep your eyes peeled for James Hetfield before he began sporting a Taliban-like beard.

[via Getty Images]

Trapped in the Closet…again

Billboard reports that R. Kelly will release 10 new chapters of his INSANELY LUDICROUS YET STUPEFYINGLY AWESOME video series “Trapped in the Closet” via DVD on August 21. [via]

BEARD NEWS: Kelly will be playing the part of an old man with a belly and a fake beard in the latest “Trapped in the Closet” installments.

Master of Puppets, I’m Pulling Your Strings

In our quest to cover everything even tangentially related to James Hetfield’s beard, we offer up this nugget: Harptallica is an all-harp Metallica tribute band. The 2-harp band has released a ten-song CD of harped-out Metallica covers, including metal evergreens “Master of Puppets” and “Ride the Lightning.”

A Harptallica performance of “The Unforgiven” awaits your viewing pleasure.


Beardfilter: Video version

A must-watch video, starring one of America’s most compelling beards: Kanye West’s “Can’t Tell Me Nothing” as interpreted by Zach Galifianakis and Will Oldham, aka Bonnie “Prince” Billy.

Beardfilter: Hetfield responds to recent rumors of his detention

We have all been closely following the story that Metallica’s James Hetfield was not long ago detained at a London airport due to his Taliban-like beard. Days after the initial report, updates in the press questioned the veracity of the original story.

Yesterday, Mr. Hetfield himself weighed in on the matter on the official Metallica website. I quote his commentary in its entirety below (mostly because there is no permalink to the quote itself):

“In the last few weeks there have been a lot of rumors flying around saying that I was detained by airport security in London while on tour in Europe. I’m here to tell you that it never happened . . . pure fabrication! The story is simply that there is no story . . . it’s scary how gullible and easily fooled the press is!
With that said, we had a blast out there on the “Sick of the Studio” tour and big thanks to everyone who came out to the shows and to the crew who made it happen. Now back to the studio . . .”

We stand corrected, though we are no less impressed with Mr. Hetfield’s Taliban-like beard. This important case is – for the moment, at least – closed.