The Week In Music: Britney Vs. Obama
Huffington Post has compiled a top 140 Twitter most-followed list and it's mostly good news for musicians, two of whom top the leader of the free world in Twitter followers. But while some of the highest-ranking music personalities are fairly predictable, the list shows a surprisingly democratic Twitter world, and one where you don't have to be the hottest name in pop culture to win fans. Britney Spears tops everyone with more than 5 million followers, and other major current music stars rank in the top 20, including Lady Gaga (No. 4), Taylor Swift (No. 8), John Mayer (No. 9), Coldplay (No. 17), Katy Perry (No. 19) and 50 Cent (No. 20). But the list also includes M.C. Hammer, who touches the list at No. 51, "Weird Al" Yankovic at No. 62, recent GRAMMY winner Imogen Heap at No. 123, and self-proclaimed avant-cellist Zoë Keating at No. 140. For the record, President Barack Obama lands at only No. 5, but that might be because it's tough to distill the 1,000-plus-page financial reform act into 140 characters.
Speaking of the financial reform legislation, which continues to limp through Congress this week, it comes with an entertainment-related note: Currently it would put a halt to proposed movie box-office futures trading if passed, according to the Los Angeles Times. The only other commodity on which futures trading is banned by law is onions. We think there's a joke in there somewhere, though it would be funnier if instead of onions the ban was on raspberries.
A new music video trend may have been stopped before it started. Instead of the usual humdrum video set, Snoop Dogg recently attempted to rent the entire country of Liechtenstein for his new music video. Of course, with an estimated population of just 35,000 and covering roughly 61.7 square miles, Liechtenstein is not entirely large. Unfortunately for Snoop the deal couldn't be consummated as his team "did not give enough time," according to a local property agent. The lesson? When looking to rent out Liechtenstein, get your request in a little earlier. Or, maybe try Andorra instead.
Police rushed to a Batavia, Ill., theater last week to halt the screening of a concert featuring performances by metal legends Anthrax, Megadeth, Metallica, and Slayer. The theater's manager placed an emergency call after attendees started to get a little out of hand and police arrived to find damage including one broken seat, broken armrests and a small hole in the screen. On top of that, there was "a large amount" of alcohol beverage containers on the scene. Large amounts of alcohol, holes in the screen, busted chairs — now, that truly is metal. However, no one was arrested. Not very metal.
In other raucous news, the National's Matt Berninger was recently taken into federal custody on suspicion of terrorism at the Honolulu International Airport when he attempted to carry on a MacGyver-esque, bomb-resembling alarm clock that the indie rocker had purchased in Tokyo. We're not sure if this was more of an inconvenience for Berninger (who had to ultimately surrender the clock to the Transportation Security Administration), or the rest of the airport patrons forced to evacuate. "Suddenly I hear my name being called and my name's flashing on all the monitors," said Berninger. "I was kind of hoping that maybe I could finish this 15-minute massage chair thing first then realized that maybe I shouldn't."
Platinum '80s pop starlets Deborah "Debbie" Gibson and Tiffany are set to make mega-film history. The duo will battle it out in the upcoming Syfy original Saturday night movie, Mega Python vs. Gatoroid. Both are no strangers to film as Gibson previously appeared in Mega Shark Vs. Giant Octopus and Tiffany starred in Mega Piranha — but this is the first time the duo will appear in a film together. "I know that pop culture fanatics have been dying for Tiffany and me to collaborate for the past 24 years!" said Gibson. "What better way to do it than by battling each other in a campy romp through the Everglades?" No word on whether the film's mega climax will be set to "Lost In Your Eyes" or "I Think We're Alone Now."
U.S. News & World Report's June 28 story, "21 Things You Should Never Buy New," probably left a sour taste in the collective mouth of the entertainment industry and, well, most every other industry too. No. 1 on its list is DVDs/CDs. But among the other 20 buy-used-only items: books, video games, jewelry, furniture, cars, musical instruments, pets (we have a relatively low-mileage cat we're taking offers on), houses and consumer electronics. What should you never buy used? Not much of consequence beyond laptops and underpants according to a related article. The report doesn't suggest how the manufacturers and intellectual property owners of the above items are supposed to be compensated (or for that matter how an item never bought new becomes used…). Of course, be sure to buy your copy of U.S. News & World Report used.
Katy Perry's "California Gurls," featuring Snoop Dogg, is once again the No. 1 song on the Billboard Hot 100 this week, and is tops on the iTunes singles chart.
Any news we've missed? Comment below.