In Other News: A History Of Selling Out : The Record Using pop songs in ads since the 1950s, Nile Rodgers battles cancer, and more news from the web.
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In Other News: A History Of Selling Out


- At the Boston Metro's Metro Mixtape blog, Pat Healy offers an amusing, even-handed history of musicians "selling out" from the 1950s to today. Highlights include Michael Jackson and New Order changing the words to hits to boost soda sales, the Rolling Stones as Snap, Crackle & Pop's back-up band and Lou Reed attempting to add an iota of danger to the thoroughly nerdy Honda scooter, and ending up a punchline to his own song.

- Nile Rodgers, songwriter, guitarist and producer for the disco heroes Chic, is battling what he calls "aggressive cancer," as he reveals in a blog called Walking On Planet C. Rodgers says he was diagnosed in late October, and has undergone surgery to fight the disease.

- If you're feeling a bit of a post-year-end-list hangover, a few intrepid journalists are still out there mining 2010 for worthy nuggets of data. At his blog, Eric Harvey compares the Nielsen SoundScan sales numbers for the albums in Pitchfork's top 50 albums of the year with those in Rolling Stone's top 30. No surprise: the average sales for the albums in RS's top ten are about four times higher than their P4kian counterparts.

- Tom Hull's compilation of critics' year-end lists looks at just about every list published anywhere and ranks albums based on how many times they're mentioned. Hull's final list is like a pointillist version of an aggregator like Metacritic or a poll like the Village Voice's Pazz & Jop (which comes out tomorrow, btw); up close, you can only see the shocking amount of work and attention he put into creating it (Hull says he lists 3,450 records — I'll take him at his word), but at a step back, it's easier to handle. The top vote-getter? Arcade Fire's The Suburbs, followed by Kanye West's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.

- Essential reading if you're into folk, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, or Cannibal Corpse: Pitchfork interviews John Darnielle, the leader of adventurous folk band the Mountain Goats, about his forthcoming album, All Eternals Deck, and how he came to enlist Eric Rutan, known for recording heavy metal bands, to produce the album. Darnielle, who has long been a vocal fan of metal and wrote a book about Black Sabbath's album Master of Reality, says the album's influences include the horror films, Goya paintings, and Joni Mitchell.