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  • He's dead Jim!

    Posted by David Burns


    Photographer Jim Marshall who shot some of rock 'n' roll's most iconic images, is dead. The New York Times says he died in his sleep in a Manhattan hotel room hours before a reception to promote his new book. Jim was 74. He did the cover photos for more than 500 albums, and was the official photographer for both the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival, and Woodstock in 1969. You can see some of Jim's work at marshallphoto.com.
  • Lady Gaga has PO'd Donny Osmond!

    Posted by David Burns


    Donny Osmond is not at all happy with Lady Gaga's new music video for her latest single, "Telephone." On his syndicated radio show yesterday, Donny said that as a parent, he doesn't want his children or grandchildren to be able to jump on the Internet and have easy access to the full, 10-minute uncensored version of the video which includes over-the-top and graphic violence, profanity, sexual exploitation and nudity. While Donny realizes his reputation as a goody two-shoes Mormon, he stressed that he is all for freedom of speech and is against any form of censorship. In fact, back in the 80's, he took a public stand against Tipper Gore's Parents Music Resource Center and its crusade to put warning labels on albums. But, Donny said that unlike 20 years ago, today's Internet age allows any kind of content to go viral instantaneously. He feels that artists, like Lady Gaga, need to keep that in mind and be more responsible.

    (see audio below)
  • Mmmmm...BEER!

    Posted by David Burns

    The Beer Belly of America

    Conservatives know it as the “American heartland.” Elitist liberals know it as “flyover country.” But to serious drinkers, the Midwest should perhaps be known as the “beer belly of America.”

    The map below shows the parts of America where bars outnumber grocery stores (red dots) and vice versa (yellow dots). Note where the map is rosiest:

    DESCRIPTIONFloatingSheep.org Bars and grocery stores: Shading represents more references to one search term in the Google Maps directory at a particular location. E.g., a red circle indicates more references to bars than grocery stores. Data collected in August 2008.

    This creation comes from FloatingSheep, a Web site where some academics are mapping some of the most bizarre data unleashed by the World Wide Web.

    The data in this map are drawn from Google Maps directories, which are based on various sources like yellow page listings (directories exclude user-generated landmarks, which FloatingSheep does mine for other projects).

    FloatingSheep also looked at 2007 Census County Business Patterns on the number of establishments listed as “Drinking places (alcoholic beverages)” to see if the patterns held up. And indeed, they found an average of 1.52 bars per 10,000 Americans nationwide, with a significantly higher ratio in the “beer belly” region:

    Rank State Bars per 10,000 Population
    1 North Dakota 6.54
    2 Montana 6.34
    3 Wisconsin 5.88
    4 South Dakota 4.73
    5 Iowa 3.73
    6 Nebraska 3.68
    7 Wyoming 3.4

    The team behind this site — Matthew Zook and Taylor Shelton at the University of Kentucky and Mark Graham at Oxford Internet Institute — has found other ways to visualize how social values help shape economic markets. One particularly provocative map is this one, which shows which parts of America have more abortion providers than abortion alternative services.

    This one, on the other hand, shows the interplay between pizza, strip club and gun landmarks around the country, based on user-generated Google data. Surprise: Vegas appears to be the strip club capital of America.

  • Snookie is in trouble. Could be bad!

    Posted by David Burns


    Radaronline.com reports that Jersey Shore's Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi was one of three people charged in connection with the 2004 death of a teenage boy. Snooki was charged with selling booze to minors at her house. After the party, one of the attendees, Michael Truncali, died in a drunk driving accident. The Marlboro High School student's blood alcohol level was .18 when he crashed his Mazda. Earlier in the evening he had been drinking in the basement of Snooki's home. Snooki was subsequently charged with Prohibited Sale of Alcoholic Beverages, since she reportedly made kids pay for the booze.  (There's no word if she was punished for the crime.) Snooki's mother Helen was at home at the time of the party, and sources say there were adults in attendance who were drinking with kids.

  • Play with Clapton...REALLY!

    Posted by David Burns


    Wanna play guitar at Eric Clapton's Crossroads Festival this summer? If you're a musician without a record deal, head on over the www.playcrossroads.com and upload as many as five MP3 files of yourself performing, plus photos and a bio. The winner will be flown out to Chicago, put up in a swanky hotel, and given a 30-minute set on the Ernie Ball Village Stage at the Crossroads event on June 26th. Bands can enter too.
  • Conan on the road!

    Posted by David Burns

    Conan O'Brien announced dates yesterday for his long-rumored live tour. The show, dubbed the "Legally Prohibited From Being Funny on Television Tour," hits 30 cities, kicking off April 12th in Eugene, Oregon. O'Brien will do two nights at New York's Radio City Music Hall in June, just around the corner from his old NBC Late Night studios. The show is being described as "a night of music, comedy, hugging, and the occasional awkward silence." TMZ claims that Conan isn't making any money off this tour. The only reason he's doing it is to keep his former Tonight Show staffers employed. Some 40 former employees will be working on the production. Tickets for most shows are already on sale. More info can be found at Conan's new website, TeamCoco.com.

  • Make a video for Moby!

    Posted by David Burns
    Want to make a music video for Moby? He's holding a competition and if you come up with what he thinks is the best clip for his new single, "Wait For Me," then you win 5,000-dollars. Two runner's up will get 1,000-bucks each. Go to mobygratis.com for all the info.


  • Be in the Pumpkins!

    Posted by David Burns


    Wanna be a member of The Smashing Pumpkins? Billy Corgan is holding open auditions for a bassist and a keyboard player. Ginger Pooley was playing bass in the new lineup, but she quit last week to focus on her family. So, if you think you have the goods, send all your info and a link where Billy can see and hear you play to: PumpkinsBass@gmail.com or PumpkinsKeys@gmail.com. The deadline is March 31st.