The Week In Music: What To Read Now To Learn A Little Something
Post-Sandy, post-election, post-Taylor Swift, we're still here. This week we're schooled by a British dance music fan and Chad Kroeger. For further instruction, you're going to have to put in a little more work — to read an excellent interview with Ozzy Osbourne's bassist you can't just click, you have to order the print magazine in which it appears. Some things never change.
Electronic dance music's shocking (if not exactly surprising) boom in popularity here in the United States has a lot of rookie ravers taking to the dance floor. This has the potential to be a very good thing — imagine a world where young white men didn't cross their arms or push each other around while listening to music. But like all ventures into uncharted territories, there's also potential for awkwardness, if not downright ignorance. After all, dance music has had more than 30 years to establish its own unwritten rules. So, fellow Americans, let's take a few tips from our forefathers in Britain, where electronic music has toyed with the mainstream since the early '90s. Tony Naylor, a dance (and food!) writer for The Guardian, penned a hilarious list advising readers how to conduct themselves in the club. My favorite: "It's not something that anybody will admit, I know, and it will come as a shock to many, but some people who go to clubs do so to take drugs." --Otis Hart
This isn't a story about whether or not Nickelback is a good band. It's a story about why Nickelback is a rich band. Lead singer Chad Kroeger reveals several secrets to his "formula" for success, including a strong focus on radio, a simple stage show that allows for affordable ticket prices and a variety of cheap merch. He also demonstrates a willingness to work extremely hard, even beyond the band — writing songs for, performing with and investing in a number of diverse artists. Did you know that every purchase of "Call Me Maybe" puts money in Kroeger's pocket? He co-founded the record label that released Carly Rae Jepsen's album. The band's "manufactured approach" may incur accusations of cheapening music, but it's also why this story is in Businessweek. --Amy Schriefer
The glory of printed quarterlies is their disregard for the oh-so-brutal promotional cycle of a record, a band or a poorly encoded demo for the sake of good. This time metal and horror movie mag Chips & Beer has a peg for its lengthy interview with bassist Bob Daisley — a yet-to-be-published memoir largely centered around his years in hard rock titans Rainbow and Ozzy Osbourne's Blizzard of Ozz — but it's the kind of out-of-time, get-the-real-story kind of interview the zine now regularly features. Besides some inside baseball and Daisley's heartbreaking details about Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne's shady business dealings, there's a lot of heart in what the bassist says about former Ozzy guitarist Randy Rhoads and what it means to live rock 'n' roll. Beaver's illustrations are crude and delightful as always, too, especially a really weird one with the head of Frank Zappa growing out of Ozzy's neck. --Lars Gotrich