This week in music was full of public relations fiascoes and new music announcements. From Weird Al’s slew of new parodies and Phish’s new tour dates, to A$AP Rocky’s legal issues, Broadway failures and the Vegas ska band Be Like Max’s social media disaster, we have chronicled a few of the top happenings from the music industry in the past week.
‘Weird Al’ Yankovic releases 8 videos in 8 days
The undisputed King of Parody went on a video-releasing marathon this week by putting out eight video parodies in eight days, to promote his 14th studio album, Mandatory Fun. Yankovic chose not to release one lead single and instead arranged to launch eight music videos online during the first week of the album release. The album has twelve songs including parodied hits from Lorde, Pharrell, Robin Thicke and Iggy Azalea. Yankovic is coming to the end of his 32-year contract and this album is rumored to be his last, although he plans to continue producing singles and release content through media portals like YouTube. He is ending his contract at a high point considering that Mandatory Fun is the only one of his albums to hit No. 1 on Billboard’s charts.
A$AP Rocky sued for assault in Pennsylvania
Harlem rapper A$AP Rocky is facing some legal troubles. A female fan is suing him for assault pertaining to an incident that allegedly occurred at last year’s “in America” festival in Pennsylvania. The woman claims that A$AP Rocky slapped her, and she is seeking “compensatory and punitive damages for civil assault and battery, intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress, negligence and premises liability.” Initially when the case was filed in 2013, it seemed that Rocky was able to avoid the charges while the case was put on hold until the plaintiff could provide a “viable address” for the rapper. Nearly a year later, and Rocky is now officially facing the harsh reality of his alleged actions.
Phish announces West Coast dates
Phish, the acid-jam group whose fandom has just about reached epic proportions, has just announced a 12-date fall tour of seven West Coast locations, dominated by Cali pit stops. The tour will start on October 17 in Eugene, Oregon and will finish November 2 in Las Vegas. Phish is touring in support of their new album Fuego, which has been hailed critically as some of their best work in years.
Dates for the fall tour include:
10/17 Eugene, OR @ Matthew Knight Arena
10/18 Seattle, WA @ Key Arena
10/21-22 Santa Barbara, CA @ Santa Barbara County Bowl
10/24 Los Angeles, CA @ The Forum
10/25 San Diego, CA @ Sleep Train Amphitheatre
10/27-29 San Francisco, CA @ Bill Graham Civic Auditorium
10/31 Las Vegas, NV @ MGM Grand
11/1-2 Las Vegas, NV @ MGM Grand
Vegas ska/punk band Be Like Max comments offensive memes, causes backlash
For a lesson on how to implode your rising band’s reputation, look to the ska/punk band Be Like Max’s Facebook to see the drama that has unfolded regarding their reaction to a post from a fan. The fan posted on the band’s page requesting them to not use the words ‘slut’ or ‘bitch’ while on stage. The band’s lead singer, Charley Fine, responded by creating a meme using pictures from the fan’s Facebook paired with offensive language. While the band is vehemently claiming their purely joking intentions, the incident has already blown up on social media. Some have called for Be Like Max to be removed from the Ska Revival Tour lineup, which the band is currently touring with. It is left to be seen how Be Like Max will bounce back from this PR nightmare.
Tupac Musical ‘Holler If Ya Hear Me’ pulled off Broadway
The musical inspired from the songs of late and influential rapper Tupac Shakur has been removed from Broadway after running for less than two months. The musical failed to gross more than $175,000 per week throughout its run, with attendance hovering below 50% capacity in its last week, despite ticket prices being lower than other Broadway shows. The musical, which presented the fictional story of a young man who returns to his inner-city neighborhood after doing time in a correctional facility, faced mixed reviews after its premier. Eric Gold, one of the show’s lead producers, attributed the show’s closing to “the financial burdens of Broadway”. Some critics and sources, including the show’s lead actor Saul Williams, have commented that the musical should have toured off Broadway to garner an audience instead of being launched cold on the biggest theatrical stage in America.
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