Making a killing
It’s all but axiomatic that death is good for record sales. So perhaps it’s not surprising that the Columbine High School massacre is sparking increased interest in two artists allegedly favored by the Trenchcoat Mafia. According to SoundScan, KMFDM’s Adios sold a paltry 128 copies its first week; after Columbine, it moved 6,164 units. German shock-rockers Rammstein experienced a slightly less dramatic jump for their Sehnsucht album, from 3,863 to 4,708 copies sold. Both discs are continuing to sell in excess of 3,000 copies a week. ”I think people are trying to find out what it is in those songs that those kids might have found interesting,” says Michael T. Marsden, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Northern Michigan University. ”I don’t think [record buyers] are necessarily bent on the destruction of the human race.” Whew — that’s a load off our minds.
Labor of glove
Evander Holyfield may have lost a piece of his ear in a certain notorious 1997 boxing match, but he believes he knows good music when he hears it. Which is one reason the boxer has started his own label, the Atlanta-based Real Deal Records, which will concentrate on what he calls ”positive music.” Real Deal’s first release, due this summer, will be an album by self-proclaimed ”God-hop” group Shalom. That will be followed by the debut from rapper Nuwine in September. Holyfield got the idea for the label several years ago when he met the members of Shalom and was appalled to learn that ”people were telling them they wouldn’t sell because they weren’t cursing or talking about sex or killing or hurting somebody.” Their clean-cut approach appealed to the boxer, who wants to promote uplifting music for young people (he intends to keep a close watch on all his artists’ lyrics). Any plans to enter the musical ring himself? ”I may, but I’m not looking to promote me. I don’t want to go in the studio and have somebody fix things so I sound good, and then perform live and embarrass myself.” Too bad; we’re convinced he could lay down the definitive version of D.J. Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince’s ’89 single ”I Think I Can Beat Mike Tyson.”