By Adam Lovinus
By Lilledeshan Bose
By Gabriel San Roman
By Rachel Mattice
By Stephanie Zacharek
By Daniel Kohn
By Nate Jackson
By Mike Seeley
Jesse Rich, singer/guitarist of Orange County’s Broken Bottles, died of a drug overdose on the evening of Dec. 8. He was 32. Rich, also known as “Jess the Mess,” started the band 10 years ago. “The loss of someone who is like a brother to me is far more devastating than anything that has ever happened to me,” says Broken Bottles drummer Jason Seamans. “This is so unreal. No words can express the emotions I am feeling right now.” The band is planning a tribute to Rich in March 2011. From a Dec. 9 Heard Mentality post by Danielle Bacher.
MICHAEL JACKSON IN TUSTIN
“Hold My Hand,” the first single off Michael Jackson’s posthumous release, Michael (which dropped Dec. 14), has CGI shots of the King of Pop, plus a lot of real clips of Akon, a.k.a. Mr. Hookmaker. It opens with a shot of MJ’s fans screaming, “Love you, Michael” and releasing balloons into the sky. Then it segues into classic Jackson clips and shots of impersonations and murals—with a lot of the video filmed at the Tustin Air Station on Nov. 22, according to TMZ.
Built to house Navy blimps during World War II, the station’s hangars were situated in what was the largest Marine Corps helicopter base in the country until it closed in 1999. Pearl Harbor was shot in one, and an X-Files convention has been held in one, too.
The video features 9-year-old Michael Isaac Blanks (Tae Bo king Billy Blanks’ nephew), who has been performing as “an MJ wannabe for years.” He caught the eye of This Is It director Kenny Ortega at a charity dancing event and was asked to participate. There’s also a heavenly theme throughout. The hired extras for the video were bona-fide MJ fans who were asked to walk into an open airport hangar that was pitch-black except for a bright light at the end, which was supposed to symbolize “walking into the light.”
A casting call for the video asked for “a disabled person with no hands.” And two minutes and 44 seconds into the video, there is a man with one hand. How literal! From a Dec. 6 post.
The first fake wish list/lineup for Coachella 2011 has been floating around the Internet, and as usual, it’s pretty dreamy. Some safe bets are on there—Bright Eyes, The Strokes, Tribe, Daft Punk—but it’s nice to see even the dreamers have given up on a Smiths reunion. (One glaring omission: Where’s Blur on this list?)
The only thing for sure about the flier is the date span: April 15-17, 2011, so you nerds can commence cross-referencing tour schedules . . . now. From a Dec. 7 post by Vickie Chang.
YOUNG THE GIANT, AMAZON’S BEST
Released on Oct. 25, Young the Giant’s self-titled release on Roadrunner Records got the No. 3 spot on Amazon’s best music of 2010. From a Dec. 10 post by Taylor Hamby.