It’s Fun To Win At The Y.M.C.A.:

Victor Willis, a.k.a. the cop and naval officer from the Village People scored one for the rock home team this past Monday, following one of the first 35-year copyright reversion clause cases that tie back to a legal push in 1978 to give some rights to artists and ownership of their art. Willis had been battling for a total of 32 cuts that he claims he penned, “Y.M.C.A.” among them, in order to start collecting revenue from the licensing of said songs, in the face of the record industry’s age-old domination of other people’s art. In short, a California judge dismissed two song publishing companies attempting to prevent Willis from Macho Man-ing on with his tuneage, setting a precedent for a plethora of other artists to follow suit, from Bob Dylan to the Boss and many, many more (via the New York Times).

Against The Closet:

And if I could have chosen, I would have been born a woman
My mother once told me she would have named me Laura
I’d grow up to be strong and beautiful like her

So goes the lyrical foreshadowing of Florida punk stalwarts Against Me! from 2007’s New Wave and its swan song “The Ocean.” Lead singer Tom Gabel penned the song, revealing to Rolling Stone yesterday that he’s been wrestling with gender dysphoria for years and plans to begin living as a woman. Considered the first major rock star to publicly do so, Gabel told the magazine (hitting newsstands May 11) that she’ll remain married to her wife Heather, commenting “I’m going to have embarrassing moments…and that won’t be fun. But that’s part of what talking to you is about – is hoping people will understand, and hoping they’ll be fairly kind.” Godspeed, Gabel.

White Noise:

And here we were thinking Jack White would stop at the conquering of Earth. Now he wants the moon, too. In typically awesome weirdo fashion, the current reigning mad king of rock innovations got to chatting with iconic moon-walker Buzz Aldrin via Interview, teasing an incentive to shoot a balloon up into space and onto the moon, the inflatable device towing a record player with aspirations to be the “first vinyl record player in outer space.” It’d be a different plausible story if White hadn’t just balloon-launched a bunch of 45s unto the Nashville countryside. But since he did, there may be some truth to this. Oh how grand it would be to make first contact via Jack White. Please let it be “Hello Operator” (via NME).


Motorcycle and musicians have a torrid relationship. If not killed – Howard Allman – the list of seriously injured by way of motorcycle ride is long – Bob Dylan, Joe Perry, Daniel Lanois, etc. – despite its stronghold on one of America’s most storied highway freedom pastimes. Neo new-waver Twin Shadow not withstanding, the 2010 breakout artist recently unveiling his sophomore effort, Confess (July 10; 4AD), inspired by a winter accident. Dig on the simultaneously unveiled tour promo artwork to the left, electric cruiser single “Five Seconds” and tell us what you think, particularly of the refrain, “Five seconds in your heart/straight to the heart/I can’t get to your heart.”


L. Ron, a.k.a. Lafayette Ronald Hubbard, tired of penning science fiction novels, took a stab at psychology on this day back in 1950, publishing Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, the precursor to his infamous legacy, the Church of Scientology, saving souls via space ship one purchased E-Meter overseen “audit” session at a time. The pop culture skewering of some of the holes of said faith are many, but let’s collectively turn to the late Frank Zappa for some rock opera commentary via “A Token of My Extreme” and song character “L. Ron Hoover:”

A latent appliance fetishist
Is a person who refuses to admit to his or herself
That sexual gratification can only be achieved through the use of machines
Get the picture?