Nice shot, but no pompadour: Johnny Marr, tortured guitarist for Manchester post-punk icons The Smiths, and Andy Rourke, slightly less tortured bassist for the same, will play a fundraiser for a Manchester hospital, their first time together since a bad break in 1987. Morrissey, under self-enforced exile in the concrete jungle of L.A., will not be in attendance, and my money says he still hates Marr, but maybe not as much as the two hate Smiths drummer Mike Joyce, who sued both for back royalties in 1996. New Order, Doves, and Badly Drawn Boy are also on charity show’s bill.
If you’ve not heard Jens Lekman and acoustic guitar can make you cry, you might want to fix that one. If you’re an eligible bachelorette, though, don’t bother to even buy the record, but save your cash for a one-way to Sweden. Lekman, a popular Swedish singer-songwriter, is abandoning recording of his second album to go on indefinite hiatus. The pin-up boy has repeatedly expressed concern that his grueling touring schedule (over 200 dates last year) was keeping him from the ladies, despite his dark countenance, perfect sideburns, or his beautiful, smoky tales of missed opportunities and missed connections. He previously even went one step farther and threatened to quit the biz unless a girlfriend was forthcoming, and it appears he’s made good on his promise, selling much of his equipment and looking for a day job. Please, somebody cute, go out with this guy.
The nominations for the Grammys have been released. Leading the horde in nominations are Kanye West, his soulful affiliate John Legend, and multi-octave diva Mariah Carey, who seemingly rescued her career with a diversion into R&B and collaboration with Pharell (I predict the Neptunes easily dominating the Best Producer category for their varied work this year). Other leaders include Missy Elliot and Gwen Stephani with five, and Common, Gorillaz, and Gretchen Wilson with four nominations. As is always the case, there are a few gross injustices, which I thought I’d take it upon myself to highlight. The always-painful
selections for Best Dance Recording include the hideous Q-Tip/Chemical Brothers collab. “Galvanize,” and the rock category is dominated by dinosaurs (see Robert Plant, Bruce Springsteen’s weak effort this year). The Black Eyed Peas continuing existence, barring their actual nomination for Best Rap Performance by a Group, is a very affront to Western civilization. God has justice for us, though, the group’s female lead, Fergie, recently wet herself on stage. Next up for God: weakening Eminem’s notoriously uptight sphincter. The Grammys air Feb. 8, 2006.