Billboard Bits serves up the best bite-sized nuggets of music news and gossip.
Lady Gaga Bashes New York Times Fashion Critic
For someone who owes a great deal of her popularity to media hype, Lady Gaga isn't the biggest fan of professional critics, particularly New York Times fashion vet Cathy Horyn. In her recent column for V magazine, the singer argues that the opinions of the masses (Twitter, blogs, etc.) have essentially replaced those of critics, especially ones like Horyn who've rubbed her the wrong way. Perhaps one day artists and critics can come to a truce and for all -- and figure out this whole social media thing while they're at it. (V via Gawker)
Aretha Franklin Performing at Obama's Labor Day Rally
Aretha Franklin had so much fun singing at home she's going to do it again during the holiday weekend. The Queen of Soul plans to perform three of her "signature songs" -- including "Chain of Fools" -- at President Barack Obama's Labor Day Rally on Monday (Sept. 5) at Hart Plaza in downtown Detroit. Franklin also performed at then-candidate Obama's 2008 rally at Hart Plaza, and she sang at his inauguration the following January in Washington, D.C. The Labor Day appearance follows Franklin's successful homecoming concert on Aug. 25 at the DTE Energy Music Theatre.
Bjork's 'Biophilia' Delayed Two Weeks
The release of Bjork's upcoming album, "Biophilia," has been pushed back two weeks. The record, out via One Little Indian/Nonesuch Records, had an original release date of late September, but the official release date is now October 11 in the U.S. and October 10 for the U.K. While you're waiting, listen to the album's lead single, "Crystalline," below. ( Consequence of Sound)
Good Charlotte Announces Hiatus
After fifteen years, five studio records and a trio of Top 40 singles, Maryland pop-punks Good Charlotte are taking a break. "We're stepping away from the grind of making records and touring for a minute," guitarist Benji Madden revealed to Rolling Stone. In the meantime, the "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous" rockers will release a free mixtape on Oct. 1, titled "Before The Fame: The Madden Brothers." It features up-and-coming hip-hop artists like Rockie Fresh and Machine Gun Kelly. (Rolling Stone)
Canadian Radio Lifts Ban On Dire Straits Song
The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council has overturned a previous ruling banning the 1985 Dire Straits hit single "Money For Nothing." The song was originally banned in January after a listener from Newfoundland filed a complaint over the song's use of the word "f*ggot." The ban originally deemed the lyrics as a breach in the human rights clause in Canada's broadcasting code, but the new ruling concluded, "the story told in this song, developed at some length over more than eight minutes, provides sufficient plot development, story line and context to justify" the lyrics. However, the CBSC still upheld the section of the previous ruling stating that the questionable lyrics were inappropriate for broadcast under normal circumstances. (BBC)
Coen Brothers To Direct Film On '60s Folk Scene
The Coen brothers have committed to directing and producing "Inside Llewyn Davis," a film based loosely on the life and career of Dave Van Ronk, a main figure in the 1960s Greenwich Village folk scene and a major influence on Bob Dylan. The screenplay, written by the Coen brothers, will be a heavily fictionalized account of a musician named Llewyn Davis that reflects on the struggles of Van Ronk during folk's peak. Producer Scott Rudin and Executive Producer Robert Graf, who both collaborated with the Coen brothers on "No Country For Old Men," are also on board. (Rolling Stone)
(Reporting by Gary Graff, RJ Cubarrubia and Chris Payne)