The White Album: How Bob Marley's Legend Became a Blockbuster in Death

Story by Chris Kornelis.

At the time of his death, in May 1981, Bob Marley was 36 years old, reggae's biggest star, and the father of at least 11 children. He was not, however, a big seller.

For Dave Robinson, this presented an opportunity.

Two years after Marley's passing, Chris Blackwell, the founder of Marley's label, Island Records, brought Robinson in to run his U.K. operation. Robinson's first assignment was to put out a compilation of Bob Marley's hits. He took one look at the artist's sales figures and was shocked.

More »

Get Over It: Five Rocker Muses Who Totally Suck

Photo by Jason Wolter
Sting, we need to have a talk about this Roxanne.
We've all been there: with a crush so big and bad that it completely muddies your ability to think clearly and infects your brain like an earwig, in love with someone who realistically is kind of a crapbag, pining after someone who, plainly, just sucks. We all know that this thick veil of fantasy can be very difficult to lift. The worst is watching a friend go through this.

How can one compassionately shake the sense into someone? How can you sensitively tell a friend, "Dude, she sucks, get over it?" Sometimes the truth hurts, but we need to hear it. Look guys, it's time to hang it up on these girls and move on. There are plenty other rock chicks in the rock sea. These girls SUCK.

More »


pop songs

An Election Day Playlist If You're On the Way to Vote

I love Election Day. Sure, early voting is great if you absolutely can't make it to the voting booth the day of, but given the choice I will always vote on Election Day. There may be lines, it may be out of the way, and it may even involve casting a ballot for someone I don't necessarily like, but voting makes me feel more American, and I like that feeling.

I also like making playlists, and I make them for everything. Seriously, I can't even make a 30-minute trip out of town without two hours of music to listen to, just in case.

What I'm getting at is that like anything else good in life, your Election Day drive needs a playlist. Struggling for ideas? Don't fret -- here are five songs to help you get in the voting spirit, no matter your political persuasion.

More »

UPDATED: Gatsby-Mania: 5 Songs for the New Great Gatsby Soundtrack

UPDATED to correct Daisy with Myrtle Wilson in item No. 2.

F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby is the greatest novel ever written that everyone had to read in high school. And now it's going to be the greatest movie ever made that everyone will have to watch, supposedly out in May, because Leonardo DiCaprio is in it. It's in 3D for some reason too, even though there's not one single action scene in the entire book.

Since this movie is going to be a big deal, the producers have decided to do a big-deal soundtrack release with it, complete with original songs from Prince and Lady Gaga and Jay-Z & Kanye's "No Church in the Wild." To be honest, they sound like perfect picks, considering the subject matter of the book and film (yuppies partying and love triangles). But it got us thinking: What songs are already out there that the producers could use for scenes in the movie?

Obviously, spoilers for the book are going to follow here. So if you somehow escaped high school without reading it, look away.

More »

Robert Ellis' New "Friends Like Those" Clip Uses Friends Like Yours

This week Robert Ellis released an interactive clip for his latest single "Friends Like Those" off of his 2011 Photographs LP. You can check out the clip here at preferably with your Google Chrome browser.

The video, which uses a plug-in from your personal Facebook account and culls through your profile pictures to personalize the video for you, was the brainchild of Ellis and friend/fellow musician Ben Godfrey, who works here in town at Web design house Adcetera. Over a few beers, the two stumbled upon the idea for "Friends."

"We bounced around ideas for something more interactive and came up with this," says Ellis.

"He had come to me first and said he wanted to design something cool and online for me. I don't know if you knew this, but he is kind of an incredible Web designer," he adds.

It's true. Besides being one of the best Web designers in the city, he is also the mastermind behind listenlisten, various solo ventures, and one of the biggest estate sale magnates in the area.

More »

Moving Day: 5 Albums I Just Can't Quit

Music Ark.JPG
Photo by Nicholas L. Hall
Now I just need to find some gopher wood ...
Reconsidering a lifetime of musical choices is a funny business. My first musical purchase? The Maxi Single for Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now). First proper album purchase? Amy Grant's 1991 classic, Heart In Motion. Before I lose any degree of credibility, let's move on.

For the past month or so, I've been trying (with limited success) to convince my nine- and six-year-old children to give up most of their worldly possessions. We've been in the process of buying a house, and decided early on to use it as a springboard for slimming down. When we settled on a house not much bigger than a garden shed, those efforts reached an urgency that forced me to take a good hard look at my own possessions.

I began sorting through my record collection, trying to decide what I could truly live without. I contemplated converting it all to digital, and saving even more precious square footage. Then, I heard about Bruce Willis' supposed feud with Apple.

More »

Happy Birthday GG Allin: 10 SFW Inspirational Quotes From The Poo-Poo Rocker


This is a rerun of a popular post from Mr. Allin's birthday last year. We'd be remiss in not sharing our some of the outlaw scumbag's best quotes on a day like this.

Today would have been shock-rock icon GG Allin's 56th birthday, making him a senior citizen. But hell, we doubt the man/force of nature would have made to the 21st century, unless he made a radical and annoying left-hand turn into normalcy.

The singer, born Jesus Christ Allin, died on June 28 1993 after a heroin overdose, not quite dying onstage the way he wanted, and was probably supposed to. We wouldn't mind dying while writing or seeing a concert ourselves. He left behind a band, The Murder Junkies, and a brother, Merle, who continue GG's stanky legacy to this day.

More »


GG Allin

Aggronautix Bringing You Bobblehead Wayne Kramer, James Williamson

Aggronautix has brought you bobbleheads of GG Allin, Mojo Nixon, Roky Erickson, Andrew WK, and even Milo from the Descendents. I even purchased a creepily lifelike model of Allin's head from them a few years back. Today they announced two new additions to their bobbled family, in the form of the MC5's Wayne Kramer and Stooges guitarist James Williamson. Holy Detroit Proto-Punk Meltdown!

Yes, Kramer and Williamson's likenesses have been cast in bobblehead form, but that's not all. No sir. These delightful, sneering, and angsty fellas also play music at the press of a button.

More »

Your Ultimate Batman Batsoundtrack Batplaylist

No doubt some of you are sitting bleary and bloodshot from seeing an overnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises, and I am jealous of you. I didn't think to buy tickets early so now I will have to wait until like, next week to see it. First World Problems, dude.

The ending of the Christopher Nolan trilogy of Batman films is the close of a great chapter in cinema history, where the Dark Knight wasn't a campy, nipply, colorful himbo, that was more or less a tool to sell toys. he was a brooding crime-fighter that was multi-layered.

OK, the Burton flicks ruled. As for the last two Batman movies in the '90s... well, at least the music was fun?

When the new Nolan movies were announced and we could see the tone of the films shaping up, it was obvious that there would be no room for pop-studded soundtrack tie-ins, and that's a good thing.

More »

GG Allin: Remembering the GGreat American Hero

This past weekend marked the anniversary of the death of GG Allin. Described as "the most spectacular degenerate in rock and roll history," he died from an accidental heroin overdose on June 28, 1993. It's only proper that we remember his legacy on July 4.

Allin's onstage violence and off-stage antics were disgusting, to say the least. But don't take him too seriously. When we skim through the interviews of the past, we see him not as a coprophagous lunatic, but more as a troll -- perhaps one of the greatest trolls of all time, whether he knew it or not.

In honor of this patriotic holiday and the laws some of you will probably be breaking, we've compiled some of GG's most illegal songs. Unlike many other musicians who merely fantasized about committing crimes, Allin followed through on (almost) every lyric he wrote. So when you're setting off your fireworks in a county where fireworks are illegal, just remember the words of Allin, "Whether anyone likes it or hates it or shows up or doesn't, I'd still do it."

Of course, we areleaving out quite a few, since some of Allin's songs are too vulgar even for Rocks Off.

More »