Despite the typical lull that seems to happen with the music scene during the holidays, this week saw plenty in the way of music news headlines. While the passing of jazz legend Dave Brubeck was definitely on our radar this week, here are a few other news headlines from the past week that you might have missed.
CLEAR CHANNEL ANNOUNCES LAYOFFS IN MAJOR MEDIA MARKETS
Billboard reported this week that for the third time this year, Clear Channel Media (one of the nation’s largest media conglomerates, primarily in radio) is “restructuring,” this time announcing layoffs in major markets such as Miami, Los Angeles, Denver, Austin, Detroit and others. The last round of cuts in October were primarily geared toward smaller markets. It is unclear at this point how many jobs were affected, but cuts were apparently made at all levels, affecting some employees that had been around for one or two decades. Whether this restructuring has anything to do with the rise of the digital media market affecting radio listeners is unclear, but considering how many times this has happened in recent memory, it leaves plenty of room for speculation.
PSY DID SOME ANTI-AMERICAN STUFF EARLIER, BUT NOW HE’S SORRY
Two things we need to remember anytime we see someone rise to huge celebrity: 1) Everyone has feet of clay; and 2) Stuff you do in public can come back to bite you in the butt—so be careful. Apparently, K-Pop sensation PSY (recently made famous by his “Gangnam Style” dance hit) suffers from both clay feet and some (now) embarrassing public actions. While today much of his success is courtesy of the United States, it came out this week that about a decade ago PSY expressed some very anti-American sentiments at some protests concerning the presence of American military in Korea, as well as our handling of the Iraq war. During one song, “Dear American,” he was heard to rap the following: “Kill those f**king Yankees who have been torturing Iraqi captives…Kill them all painfully and slowly.”
When the news broke, PSY immediately went into damage-control mode, expressing deep regret and releasing a statement to MTV that included the following: “I’ve learned there are limits to what language is appropriate and I’m deeply sorry for how these lyrics could be interpreted.” (Unsure how many ways “Kill those f**king Yankees” could be “interpreted”, but it’s nice of him to apologize.)
PSY is currently scheduled to perform before the President and his family at the annual “Christmas In Washington” special. Awkward…
12/12/12: THE CONCERT FOR SANDY RELIEF SET TO BE BROADCAST TO 1 BILLION PEOPLE
On 12/12/12 at Madison Square Garden, some of music’s most notable legends will gather for a special benefit show to raise money for victims of Hurricane Sandy. The lineup includes Alicia Keys, Bon Jovi, Bruce Springsteen, Dave Grohl, Chris Martin, The Who, Paul McCartney, Eddie Vedder, Roger Waters, Billy Joel, Eric Clapton, Kanye West, and (recently announced) The Rolling Stones. According to Clear Channel (mentioned earlier in this piece), the concert is now set to be telecast to 34 major television networks, plus radio and live streaming across six continents, reaching a potential audience of 1 billion people. The show is also set to be simulcast in movie theatres across New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, where tickets are free on a first-come, first-served basis. Proceeds go to the Robin Hood Relief Fund, targeting people hardest hit by the storm. For all the details, visit the 12/12/12 website.
Have a great weekend!