Marc Hogan

writer

Biography

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    Pair of So-Called 1980s-Era Radiohead Demos Hit the Web

    By 1984, Thom Yorke and Colin Greenwood had left their first band, the punk outfit TNT. Joined by the other future members of what would become Radiohead, they formed On a Friday, named after the day of the week they rehearsed. The last to join was the youngest of the group, Jonny Greenwood. Now two previously unreleased tracks purportedly recorded by On a Friday for their first demo tape in 1986 — before the younger Greenwood joined — have hit the Web. Their back story appears to make sense, so there's not necessarily much reason to doubt their veracity, but don't listen expecting anything amazing. As with most of, say, the Beatles Anthology Vol. 1, these recordings of are worthwhile more for shedding light on a hugely influential band's formative years than for musical enjoyment.

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    Watch This 'Chill' Scientology Rap Video At Your Own Risk

    It's been a tough week for the Church of Scientology. First, Comedy Central announced the creators of South Park have signed on for three more seasons. And now, the Village Voice's Runnin' Scared blog has flagged a Scientology hip-hop music video — apparently intended for internal church use — that will be hard to forget once you've watched it. Thought to be the title track of a CD titled Dauntless, Defiant, and Resolute by a hip-hop artist called Chill EB, the featured song is soaring synth-rap in the style that was all over Top 40 radio around the time of T.I.'s "Whatever You Like" — only in this case, it's all about the awesomeness of "the IAS," a.k.a. the International Association of Scientologists.

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    MTV Plans to Play More Music, Sort Of

    MTV just took a tiny bite out of the old punch line about how the network formerly known as "Music" television doesn't even play music anymore. After bringing back late-night alternative music show 120 Minutes earlier this year, MTV2 is bumping it and host Matt Pinfield up from a monthly 1 a.m. slot to a weekly Friday 6 a.m. position, reports Variety. As if that weren't enough '80s and '90s nostalgia, MTV2 is also reviving the music channel's influential hip-hop show, Yo! MTV Raps!, at least for one night: A 30-minute retrospective, titled Yo! MTV Raps Classic Cuts, will air following the inaugural "Sucker Free Awards" on December 4, according to TheWrap.com.

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    Watch Florence + the Machine's Dramatic 'No Light, No Light' Video

    The previous video from Florence and the Machine, for the Weeknd-remixed anthem "Shake It Out," explored the mask-wearing, vaguely Satanic side of hedonism — though not with quite the gusto of Britney Spears' recently unearthed visuals for Marilyn Manson's "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This).". The latest clip from fiery-voiced British singer Florence Welch and her band's second album, Ceremonials, again touches on the fine line between spiritual ecstasy and reckless abandon. As the rousing, string-entangled pop of "No Light, No Light" booms underneath, we get a children's church choir, a prancing voodoo practitioner, and Welch herself tumbling from the top of a skyscraper. "You want a revelation," she admonishes. "Well, that's a conversation I just can't have tonight." A fall like that would be enough to knock the wind out of just about anybody.

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    Van Halen Jump to Interscope After 35 Years at Warner

    Van Halen have officially inked a deal with Universal Music subsidiary Interscope Records, according to the Hollywood Reporter. The move ends a 35-year relationship with Warner Music and contradicts speculation that the band would be signing with Columbia Records. According to THR, the band apparently went with the West Coast-based Interscope to please frontman David Lee Roth. A source reportedly says the Columbia offer had been approved before Interscope swooped in at the last minute. The band is thought to be almost done with its first studio album since 1984, with a "special announcement" from the group anticipated at the Grammy Awards nominations concert on Nov. 4. A photo has been sent out of the press showing Roth, Eddie Van Halen, Alex Van Halen, and Wolfgang Van Halen in Los Angeles as new members of the Interscope family.

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    Hear Radiohead's Three Bonus 'King of Limbs' Remixes

    Every move Radiohead makes, we'll be blogging about them, argues an essay about the group published today on Slate. Well, guilty as charged, at least to an extent — after the band released a series of 12" singles featuring remixes of tracks from their latest album, The King of Limbs, and then compiled them in the form ofa two-disc remix compilation, titled TKOL RMX 1234567, the unveiling of three more TKOL revamps might carry with it the slightest whiff of barrel-scraping. Then again, as anyone who remembers buying Radiohead EPs and import singles in the pre-Napster era can attest, sometimes approaching this band's music with the fewest expectations is what satisfies you the most. Here's hoping that turns out to be the case with these three remixes, available for purchase here starting on Monday.

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    Hear Four Vintage Smashing Pumpkins Demos

    The first of the previously unreleased extras from the Smashing Pumpkins' upcoming deluxe album reissues have surfaced online, and they don't disappoint. The Pumpkins will release remastered deluxe versions of their first two — and arguably best — albums, 1991's Gish and 1993's Siamese Dream, on November 29, each with an embarrassment of bonus-track riches. Seattle radio station 107.7 The End is streaming four demo versions of classic Pumpkins songs right here. One of the tracks, debut single "I Am One," hails from Gish; "Today," "Rocket," and "Disarm", of course, all ended up on Siamese Dream.

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    Lady Gaga Fire Sale Leads to Change in Billboard Chart Rules

    Unconventional marketing plans such as Lady Gaga's revolutionary deal to sell Born This Way for $0.99 on Amazon could be a thing of the past, thanks to a change Billboard has made in the way it determines its charts. Sales of albums priced below $3.49 in their initial four weeks of release will be ineligible for inclusion on Billboard's album charts, the music industry publication has announced. Nor will the sales count toward Nielsen SoundScan's album sales totals. How chartmakers should account for heavily discounted album sales emerged as a controversial issue during the promotional blitz for Born This Way. Gaga's 2011 LP ultimately topped the charts with first-week sales of 1,108,000 copies, according to Billboard — including an estimated 440,000 digital sales through Amazon, at the $0.99 price point.

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    Amy Winehouse Wanted to Form Jazz-Pop 'Supergroup' With ?uestlove

    Barring some "Unforgettable"-style fun with overdubs, music listeners can add something new to the list of opportunities lost due to Amy Winehouse's tragic death this summer: a "supergroup" featuring the Roots' ?uestlove and saxophone player Soweto Kich. Winehouse had been planning to record a jazz album with the potential group, producer Salaam Remi has disclosed, according to BBC News. Remi shared the news at a media listening session for Winehouse's posthumous album, Lioness: Hidden Treasures, due out December 6 (and featuring cover art by none other than Bryan Adams).

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    Google Launches Music Service With Pearl Jam, Coldplay Freebies

    Google officially opened the doors to its online music-download store on Wednesday, joining a competition with Apple's iTunes and Amazon's MP3 shop. Artists providing exclusive tracks for the occasion included the Rolling Stones, Pearl Jam, Coldplay, Busta Rhymes, and Tiësto. The early reception from the technology press has been positive, though without the exuberance that tends to accompany the launch of a product from rival Apple. Google Music Beta had already been enabling users to upload up 20,000 songs from their personal collections to the cloud, to stream from any location. The non-beta launch of the service will allow users to buy MP3s from a selection of more than 13 million tracks, offered by a wide range of major-label and indie partners — though, conspicuously, not yet Warner Music.

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