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Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin, Jack White and Loretta Lynn, Thom Yorke and Bjork, Robert Smith and Ashlee Simpson? Earlier news of the improbable pairing of the spider-haired Smith and bleached-product Simpson had fans of both parties perturbed. While the scare isn’t quite over, Smith’s statement to Billboard last week will at least defer fans’ dread. Says Smith, “I would be hugely surprised if I end up working with Ashlee this year, but I haven’t ruled it out,” adding, “I went to see her in Chicago. We have people we both know,” likely meaning Smith pal and lead Fallout Boy Pete Wentz, who happens to be Simpson’s current boyfriend.
Smith claims he was surprised by all of the negative publicity and was even pressured to deny the possibility, but he remains defiant: “I don’t deny anything. I don’t see the point. I’ve worked with lots of different people down the years.” While the duet may not be in the cards this year, Smith promises a different collaboration, one in a genre he doesn’t associate himself with. Remaining mum on who this supposed conspirator is, Smith says cryptically, “I could well tarnish other peoples’ reputations -- people who rely on being squeaky clean or family friendly.” I guess we should look for Smith next in the Christian Contemporary section.
In other Cure news, while the band is touring the U.S. and preparing to release their next (and possibly double) album, a documentary to celebrate the band’s 30 year anniversary of their debut Three Imaginary Boys is in the works. Due for release in 2009, the doc is as of yet director-less, but in another Billboard exclusive, Smith anticipates that it will include “interviews with everybody who has ever been in the band, and everybody who has been an important part of the Cure.”
If you think the Robert Smith and Ashlee Simpson musical pairing is bizarre, try penpals Moby and Karl Rove. The smooth-pated musician and political supporter appeared at a meet-and-greet with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi earlier in the year. Moby, a friend to Pelosi’s daughter, and director, Alexandra, revealed to the party, including a reporter for The Politico, that he had learned later in life of a half-brother whom he had never met, and joked “What if it’s Karl Rove?” Well, the all-hearing ears of the Deputy Chief of Staff are ever vigilant, prompting Rove to send a letter, which Moby shared with The New York Post: “The envelope looked as if it was from 1952,” and the letter said, “Dear Moby (or is that Mr. Moby), It’s not me. I have no musical ability and am 19 years older (assuming you’re 37). So you can breathe easier. On the other hand, James Carville is musically inclined and bald, too. Do you like crawfish etouffee?” Moby, an outspoken vegan, was shocked, not by Rove’s audacity but rather he was “a bit stunned because the letter was funny.” Perhaps we might see a future collaboration between animal-loving Moby and rapping Karl Rove.
Speaking of collaborations, here’s an unaired Saturday Night Live sketch of an imagined duet between Christina Aguilera and Neil Diamond, featuring Kate Hudson and Will Ferrell: