On Saturday at the annual Pop Vs. Jock charity basketball game organized by Win Butler of Arcade Fire, Butler and other members of Arcade Fire joined forces with Justin Vernon of Bon Iver—as well as Nikolai Fraiture of the Strokes—to perform as “the Pop All Star Band.” They played covers of Phil Collins‘s “In the Air Tonight” and the White Stripes‘ “Seven Nation Army.” (Billboard)
Leonard Cohen will celebrate his upcoming 80th birthday on Sunday with a couple of big events: he’s going to release a new album, Popular Problems, tomorrow, and then he’s going to take up smoking again. This is not a new plan: Cohen says he’s been looking forward to this day for the last 30 years. (Billboard)
Death has brought no surcease in the glut of weird litigation surrounding Michael Jackson—but then, the latest Jackson-related litigation involves the star’s resurrection, in a sense. Alki David, the owner of Hologram USA, gave an angry interview to CNN after Jackson was animated holographically during this spring’s Billboard Music Awards, prompting a lawsuit from Pulse—the creators of the Jackson hologram—who claimed that David had made false statements overstating his company’s stature in the celebrity-hologram game. The whole thing was wearily dismissed by a California judge; Jackson’s hologram has declined to publicly comment on the litigation. (Billboard)
Meanwhile, Cher is being sued by three backup dancers who allege they were wrongfully dismissed on the basis of race (in two of the plaintiffs’ cases) and age (in the third plaintiff’s case). (Bilboard)
Stevie Nicks took a bunch of Polaroid self-portraits in the 70s, and now that selfies are all the rage, Nicks’s photos will be exhibited at the Morrison Hotel Gallery in New York. Not coincidentally, Nicks’s new album 24 Karat Gold will be released on Oct. 7, three days before the photo exhibit opens. (Rolling Stone)
At music retailers, the only thing hotter than black vinyl right now is custom vinyl. Haim have taken the trend to new heights by releasing a limited-edition 7″ in the shape of Alana Haim. The Alanas will ship on Oct. 27.
And now for a couple of people you’d almost forgotten about, but are about to be reminded of for strange reasons. American Idol star Clay Aiken is running for Congress, but though he’s running as a Democrat, he gave of a whiff of Limbaugh when he said that the celebrities whose revealing photos were recently leaked deserved what they got for taking “inappropriate pictures of themselves.” (Not that Aiken is about to let the thief off the hook: he also believes that the culprit should be “hogtied.”) (Billboard)
Then there’s Yulia Volkova. You may remember her as half of t.A.T.u., the “All the Things She Said” duo who pretended to be lesbians for publicity circa 2003. Volkova sparked worldwide outrage (at least among people who remember t.A.T.u.) when she appeared on Russian TV recently and declared that she “won’t accept a gay son.” She clarified that she’s “not against gays,” explaining that “being gay is all still better than murderers, thieves or drug addicts. If you choose out of all this, being gay a little better than the rest.” (Billboard)