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No Pants, No Songwriting Credits, No Problem: Britney Spears performs on the March 27th taping of Good Morning America.
- Late Wednesday, the FBI publicly released a file with the contents of its closed investigation of the murder of rapper Notorious B.I.G. The documents contain information that suggests that corrupt members of the LAPD may have been involved in the killing, though so much of the text has been redacted that it's tough to wade through — and it's worth noting that the files don't seem to reveal much that hasn't been reported previously. The LAPD's investigation into the murder remains open. You can download all 359 pages of the FBI's documents at the Los Angeles Times website.
- The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences announced on Wednesday that it would cut the number of Grammy awards handed out from 109 to 78, starting next year. Which means no more Best Classical Album or Best Hawaiian Music Album. At first glance, it seems like a weird decision — it won't change the number of awards handed out on television, so the only people who will notice at the ceremony itself will be industry insiders, and you'd think they'd be happy to promote more records — but as our pal Maura Johnston notes over at the Village Voice's Sound of the City blog, the changes could result in stiffer competition.
- Femme Fatale, the seventh album by Britney Spears, sold 276,000 copies in its first week in stores. That's fewer copies sold in a debut week than any of Spears' other albums since her debut, but it was still better than any other album in the land, giving the singer her sixth chart-topping album. The only Britney album not to top the charts was 2007's Blackout, which debuted at number 2 with 290,000 copies sold. [via Billboard]
- Heather Bright, who co-wrote the Femme Fatale track "Trouble For Me," praised Spears in a blog post for not taking songwriting credits on any of the songs on her new album. "The media is talking trash about how Britney didn't write any of the songs on her album... ," Bright writes. "HELLO! Wake up everybody! NONE OF THESE ARTISTS WRITE THEIR OWN SONGS!!!!!!" The problem, Bright says, is that plenty of artists find a way to get a writing credit on songs they didn't pen.
- On Wednesay, the Library of Congress announced the 25 recordings named to its National Recording Registry for 2010, which include the first recorded sounds ever — made by Edouard-Leon Scott de Martinville in the mid 19th century, by using boar's bristles to etch the images created by sound waves into glass plates. Also on the list: a 1908 recording of "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" by Edward Meeker, blues by Blind Willie Johnson, "Tipitina" by Professor Longhair, 1959 field recordings of the United Harp Musical Convention by Alan Lomax and Shirley Collins and albums by Captain Beefheart, Steely Dan and De La Soul.
- It's technically a television story, but it's hard to read Lacey Rose's Hollywood Reporter profile of Ryan Seacrest and not think that the American Idol host, E! News host and managing editor, Kardashians producer and Clear Channel radio host will eventually either find a way save the music industry or crush it under the heel of his probably very expensive shoe (Rose reports that Seacrest's deal with Clear Channel is worth $20 million per year, and his three-year contract with Idol pays him $45 million).
- On Tuesday Eliot Van Buskirk, the biggest fan of The Fall we know, posted an interview with Glenn Lehrman of secondary ticket sales website StubHub at Evolver.fm. Secondary ticket sales have drawn the ire of live music fans upset at the high price of some tickets and availability so limited at some shows that it can seem rigged. Scalpers aren't the biggest problem, Lehrman says:
"We see almost 60 to 65 percent of our ticket sales as being from individuals, not from what we would deem large sellers or brokers. It's not necessarily brokers or scalpers buying up those tickets early on. Those tickets are just never made available, period. What you end up seeing are backdoor deals where the promoter, venue and artist either sell those tickets to brokers as a way of guaranteeing themselves some income, or they just list it on the secondary market themselves."
- On Monday, Jay-Z launched a "style website" called Life + Times at which you can read endorsements of luxury brands like Jeep and Rolls Royce and watchmaker Audemars Piguet, or short essays about designer Nigel Coates, Seattle Mariners outfielder Ichiro Suzuki, boxer Andre Berto and the Canadian musician who goes by the name The Weeknd. The site also features original video, including a performance by the band Best Coast and interviews with a group of filmmakers working on a documentary about Senegalese director Ousmane Sembene. So far, it's all agreeably jumbled, off-puttingly posh, and absolutely inessential. But it is pretty to look at.
- Less pretty, more fun: the preview for the 30-minute film Fight For Your Right - Revisited, a follow up to the Beastie Boys' 1986 video "(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party)" directed by Adam Yauch. It appears to star Seth Rogen, Danny McBride, Elijah Wood, John C. Reilly, Jack Black and Will Ferrell as two sets of Beasties, plus Ted Danson, Jason Schwartzman, Susan Sarandon, Stanley Tucci, Will Arnett, and the actual Beastie Boys as police officers. That's the preview below. It contains swearing, and general mayhem, and boys having a good time acting badly, and promotional material for the Beasties' forthcoming album, just in case you're sensitive to any of those things.