Before Swedish songstress Tove Lo began exploring themes of sex, pain, love and death through music, she expressed them through (unpublished) poetry and short stories. “One [story] is about a girl who starts stalking her best friend who’s drifting away and eventually kills her,” Lo tells Overheard. Another involves “fairies planting ‘fight-triggers in people’s homes” that cause them to behave with total honesty. “It creates a total riot,” she says. Lo’s recent encounter with a fan rivals her fiction, though. “A Swedish girl told me she got horny from listening to “Habits” and decided to pierce her nipples that morning. She showed me and I had to feel them.”
No Points for Smash Mouth
@Midnight host Chris Hardwick has an effective way of spurring his studio audience to behave as wildly as possible. On Nov. 3, Hardwick, 42, taped the first of four episodes of his Comedy Central game show in Manhattan in conjunction with the New York Comedy Festival, and shortly before the cameras rolled, he explained to the crowd that if their enthusiasm fell short of expectations, it would be treated to Smash Mouth’s “All Star” during the segment break. And if that didn’t work, Hardwick said, “We’ll play deep-cut Smash Mouth.” (No such stimulus was needed.) Through a spokesman, the band responded: “Oh Chris, are you still upset that we put Ben Stiller in the ‘All Star’ video instead of you? You know we love you!”– Frank DiGiacomo
Alt-J Roils Giants Fans
English indie-rock band Alt-J loves Kansas City, but not all of their fans appreciate that. On Oct. 29, the night of Game 7 of the World Series, Alt-J took the stage of the Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland in Kansas City, Mo., wearing custom-made Royals jerseys. “Kansas City, probably more than any city in America, has embraced our music. We wanted to show our love in return by backing their team on such a big day,” keyboardist Gus Unger-Hamilton told Overheard. Alas, the Royals lost the series to the San Francisco Giants, and Alt-J appears to have lost fans. After the band posted a photo on Twitter showing the Royals attire, it was pelted with a handful of tweets from suspected Giants fans grousing that they were “disappointed” and felt “betrayed.”
Nuno Bettencourt’s Prince-ly Party
On the same night that Prince performed a mind-blowing eight-minute set on Saturday Night Live, guitar prodigy Nuno Bettencourt of Extreme did a spot-on imitation of the funk god at the post-Halloween bash he hosted at his Los Angeles home on Nov. 1. Bettencourt, who’s been in the studio recording new music with Rihanna, entertained friends, including rock n’ roll activist Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine, for over three hours, while dressed as Prince. His set included Aerosmith’s “Walk This Way”, Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky,” Beyoncé’s “Crazy In Love” and a version of Michael Jackson’s Halloween favorite “Thriller” that inspired the intimate crowd to imitate the choreographed zombie dance from the pop star’s iconic video for the song. Just as the police arrived at the house around 1:30 a.m., Nuno closed out the night with a faithful 10-minute rendition of Prince’s “Purple Rain.”
The Loneliest Pornographer
Carl Newman, also known as AC Newman, from the Canadian indie rock band The New Pornographers, writes alone. “I’ve never been into writing with people,” he tells Overheard. “If I was sitting down with John Lennon, even though I worship John Lennon, I probably still wouldn’t trust him to write my lyrics. I don’t trust anyone to write them.” The Pornographers’ recently released its first album in four years, Brill Bruisers, and Newman says he’s already busy writing new songs in Woodstock, N.Y., and will soon begin demo’ing the tracks for the other members of the band.
This article first appeared in the Nov. 15 issue of Billboard.
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