THE WALLACE BROS. SPREAD THE LOVE
THE WALLACE BROS. RELEASE CHART-CRUSHING DEBUT VIDEO AMID STORM OF BODY-DOUBLE CONTROVERSY
THE WALLACE BROS. DO NOT WANT
|THE WALLACE BROS. STRONGLY DENY RUMORED LIASONS WITH LOHAN, SPEARS, JOHANSEN, KIDMAN, “RENT-BOY” PAUL WALKER
For Immediate ReleaseIn the face of a growing media frenzy, the Wallace Bros. New York office has issued a strong denial of recent reports linking the brother-sister pop sensations to a string of Hollywood beauties at a dizzying list of exclusive locations around the globe.
The rumors began in St. Tropez in March, when paparazzi first produced pictures which they claimed depicted Mark, the band’s beatmaker, guitarist, and sometime vocalist, shirtless on the balcony of one of the islands toniest hotels, beside a grinning Britney Spears. But Spears, in the final throes of her ill-fated union with rap hopeful Kevin Federline, issued an immediate denial, quickly seconded by the older Wallace sibling. “All you have to do it look close at it,” he said. “I mean, I’m 6’5”. But in the picture, the girl’s only two inches shorter than the guy who’s supposed to be me. Britney would have to be like 6’3. That’s Amazon-size.”
Later that evening, however, a weeping Lindsey Lohan fueled the flames of controversy outside a favorite Hollywood nightspot, by quoting the lyrics of the Wallace Bros. breakout single, “Nobody Cares About Your Big Dreams,” when approached by a solicitous member of the paparazzi. “Nobody cares about your worries,” she told the concerned Italian. “Nobody cares about your heart. Nobody cares about your big dreams, or the way they fall apart.” She then added, from the title of the band’s smash summer 2007 single, “I used to think love was a dream.” Again, the Wallace Bros. office issued strenuous denials of a Lohan/Wallace romance, with either sibling, but a press release quote to the effect that Lohan “seemed like a sweet girl” led to front page articles in both In Touch and US Weekly magazines, In Touch suggesting the troubled starlet had finally found the peace she sought with well-known “good guy” Mark, while US Weekly hinted that, in fact, Lohan and Mark’s sister Carey had dabbled for one glorious, boozy night in “the love that dare not speak its name.”
Halfway around the globe from St. Tropez, at the gates of the storied Promises rehab facility, the seeds of rumor were planted, germinated, broke through the soil, and burst into vibrant bloom in the space of a single moment when Mark was photographed picking up a ghost-pale Nicole Kidman after a visit to her country-platinum husband, Keith Urban, in the unmistakable gold-plated Wallace Bros. tour van, recently retrofitted with widely-reported spinning silver rims, extreme-bounce hydraulics, and automatic dry-ice cloud release on acceleration. This time neither star questioned the veracity of the photographs, both issuing releases to the effect that their relationship was strictly platonic. Kidman’s statement, however, seemed only to add fertilizer to the roots of the hedge of controversy that now surrounded them: “Friend is a word that has become almost meaningless in this world,” she said through her publicist. “But Mark Wallace has taught me to believe in it again.”
The media storm surrounding her brother’s reported romantic exploits did nothing to distract attention from his sister, Carey, who actually held a conference to plead with the press for privacy after she was photographed three times in a single week in what she described as “low-key, intimate” moments with on-again, off-again squeeze Paul Walker: sky-diving over the Andes, holding hands in the front row at North Korea’s “only-in-the-know” but buzz-tastic Fashion Week, and leading the distribution of hundreds of thousands of brown, nutrient and vitamin-filled lollipops to poverty-stricken Burmese children. “These children,” Carey said, pushing forward an eight-year old girl who she had flown in that afternoon for the occasion, “are the real story. Not me and Paul. What is news?” she asked the gathered press, a plaintive note in her famous voice. “What matters in this world?” She then tossed handfuls of the U.N.-approved lollipops to the grateful reporters, who scrabbled under chairs for the candy like rats, or street birds.
Perhaps in reaction to this recent media glare, Mark has been publicly silent on reports linking him to Woody Allen’s newest love interest, Scarlett Johansen, despite undeniable images of him slathering her back with lotion as she enjoyed the sun in a yellow bikini on a US Virgin Islands private beach. But he has spoken generally on the topic, most recently in Playboy magazine. “Love,” he said. “I mean, it’s the stuff. Right? Whoo! Yeah. But when it all comes crashing down, you know, and you’re a hundred miles outside of town, and the van breaks down, and nobody else is around, what have you really got at, the end of the day? Not love, man. Music. You’ve still got music. You can’t leave it, and it can’t leave you.”
The Wallace Bros:
The Gawker.com Interview
Gawker.com: So, Lindsay Lohan, man? Really? Yeah?
MW: Lindsey, you know. She’s like a lost little princess. You just want to scoop her up and
CW: She’s a good friend of the band. A really great fan.
Gawker.com: And Britney?
MW: Well, there was the issue of the height. I mean, that did get talked about in the press.
Gawker.com: They mentioned the possibility of platform shoes.
MW: No, that girl’s barefoot. Go look at the picture. But what I didn’t mention in the press, the real reason we knew it couldn’t have been meI would just never go out in public without a shirt.
CW: You have never seen such a hairy blonde man.
MW: You know. You have a weekend, you wake up, you’re not exactly sure where it went, so sometimes you have to piece these things together, call a few friends. But when I saw the picture, I knew. I mean, you’re messed up, things get crazy. But there are lines you don’t cross. You don’t betray your country. You don’t bitch-slap your own mama. And I don’t take off my shirt.
Gawker.com: But Paul Walker, there’s some truth to these reports.
CW: Well, one of my best friends used to drive for a limo company in LA, so she met everybody. She says Pat Benatar is about the most down-to-earth lady you’d ever want to meet. But when she drove Paul Walker, he made a pass at her, and when she wouldn’t give him her number, he didn’t tip. So I thought, that’s not for me, you know? But then I saw his work in Eight Below. Have you seen Eight Below?
CW: It’s a vital film. I’d say one of the best in the last five years, if not the decade. Breathtaking footage of the Arctic Circle. I mean, it brought me to tears. And some really searing performances.
Gawker.com: By Paul.
CW: And Denverthat’s the dog that plays Old Jack. Really, you haven’t seen it?
Gawker.com: Is it out on video?
CW: You should rent it. In fact, don’t rent it. I’ll have a copy sent to you. But it was when I saw that that I knew. You see a man with a dog, and you know everything about him.
Gawker.com: And what you saw was good.
CW: I don’t want to spoil the movie for you. But he risks his life for those dogs.
Gawker.com: Well, Mark, we talked a bit about Britney and Lindsey, but those aren’t the only names you’ve been linked to in the recent press. Would you like to comment at all on Nicole and Scarlett?
MW: Well, Nicole, really, she’s just a friend. She has been for years, since we filmed “The Thorn Birds” remake together. It’s just something they decided to start reporting on now, you know, throw it into the mix. I wish her and Keith nothing but the best.
Gawker.com: And Scarlett Johansen?
MW: You’re not going to believe this, but we really just happened to be on the same beach. And she just needed some help with the lotion. But that onesee, that’s the one that really worries me. Because Woody Allen
Gawker.com: I think I know what you’re saying.
MW: Right! Right? That guy’s so small and smart and devious. I feel like he could just come for you at any time, you know. Creep in through any little window or dog run, and come on you in the middle of the night, with anything he found at hand.
Gawker.com: Like a fireplace poker.
MW: Yes! Or your clock. Or a coat hanger.
Gawker.com: Or a book he found by your bed.
MW: Maybe. But that rumor makes me nervous. I mean it. Woody Allen!
CW: What’s so crazy about it all is this whole time, the past few months, the band’s really been in a personal retreat, just journaling and taking long walks and writing music. On doctor’s orders, actually. I mean, neither of us is really capable right now of sustaining the kind of activity they’ve been reporting.
CW: The last checkup found some emotional deficiencies.
Gawker.com: And that can be treated medically?
CW: Sure, absolutely. It’s like vitamins: if you don’t have enough in your system, then you just have to eat some more pills, build them up again.
Gawker.com: And what leads to anemotional deficiency?
Gawker.com: I can see that.
CW: I think, between you and me, almost everyone in entertainment’s got it, to some degree. But with us, they’re saying they caught it early.
Gawker.com: So there’s hope for you.
CW: I guess that depends on who you want to believe.
MW: Like with everything.
|WALLACE BROS. RELEASE COUNTRY AND WESTERN ALBUM DESPITE RUMORED DEATHS OF LONGTIME MANAGER
A knife-fight in Toronto. A poisoning in New Orleans. A on-board fire on the seedy side of the Baltimore harbor.
The Wallace Bros:
The Nashville Scene Interview
|SIGNS, WONDERS ATTEND RELEASE OF WALLACE BROS. SECOND RECORD: POPULAR SONGS THAT WILL LIVE FOREVER, VOL. 2: HIP HOP
Statues weep. Broken hearts heal. And the band plays on.
The Wallace Bros. second album: "Popular Songs That Will Live Forever, Vol. 2: Hip Hop", is a grossly misnamed collection of infectiously danceable pop and heroin drones, most anchored with Casiotone keyboard beats (one of which is unmistakably copped from Tone-Loc’s "Wild Thing")and all topped by their trademark "hard-ass with soft-underbelly" lyrics, which, in all but three of the 10 songs, begin with the two words "every time." It’s a record obviously destined for complete obscurity, were it not for the nationwide outbreak of supernatural phenomena which surrounded its late-summer release.
"I’ve got to say it looked pretty gay to me," says 12-year-old Michael Hoyt, of Rome, GA, who sustained a broken ankle with multiple fractures during a travel-league soccer game. "How they turned those city lights into stars on the cover." But after his leg had been set, his older sister popped the Wallace Bros. album into the car radio on the way home, and Hoyt was gripped by a tingling sensation so strong that he burst into tears. His mother quickly turned the car back towards the hospital, where doctors were shocked to discover that the complicated break which X-rays had documented only hours before was completely healed.
The record appeared to be powerless to resuscitate Hoyt’s pet snake, which had died a few weeks earlier, and lay buried under a shallow layer of soil among the roots of his mothers prize hostas, but that didn’t prevent both a pilgrimage of local seekers, and a fundamentalist demonstration against the album and it’s suspected evils, complete with effigies of the siblings, which were burnt in the usually peaceful suburban street.
Predictably, the buzz led to strong opening-week sales, placing the Wallace Bros. comfortably in the Billboard Top Ten, although some Southern and Midwestern stations dropped their hit single, "I Can See No Reason To Believe" from their playlists. And as the reports pour in, both album owners and casual radio listeners have credited the music of the Wallace Bros. with alleviating a broad array of maladies, from poison ivy to chronic heart troublealthough it should be noted that actual record buyers seem to experience far more dramatic results than casual listeners.
The Wallace Bros. sophomore album also appears to have strange effects on inanimate objects. Detroit fans claim to have seen the angelic faces which overlook the street outside the abandoned Cadillac Hotel begin to weep, while the fans were briefly parked below, blaring the CD. Wallace Bros. album owners in several states describe incidents in which shelved books, particularly of poetry, will actually take flight from bookshelves, circle the room, and alight on couches, tables, or piano benches, usually open, while the album is playing. One volume, a turquoise first-edition of Edna St. Vincent Millay, found an open window and made a complete escape. And one listener descended to his basement to investigate an eerie glow and discovered that his entire moving box full of Christmas lights were all burning bright, even though no cord was plugged into a power source.
The Wallace Bros. are pleasantly surprised by the record’s reception, although Mark expresses some concern that the phenomena surrounding the release may be obscuring what for him lies at the heart of the matter: "We just wanted to write some songs," he says. "And now there are these weird statues, and lights, and healings. I just wish someone would talk about the songs.
"I guess I understand how a record album might not seem as important as someone dying in the street.
"But no one’s died from this one yet. Have they?"
The Wallace Bros:
The SPIN Interview
SPIN: Well, I’ve spent quite a lot of time with your album.
CW: Thank God. I don’t think the guy from Rolling Stone even listened to it.
SPIN: Rolling Stone. I applied for a job there once.
SPIN: They didn’t give it to me.
SPIN: Well, maybe I should begin with the obvious: you titled your record "Popular Songs That Will Live Forever, Vol 2.: Hip Hop." But it doesn’t really sound like hip hop. At least not anything that anyone else is calling hip hop these days. Or has ever called hip hop, really.
CW: Well, we have a drum machine now.
MW: We thought it was funny.
SPIN: I don’t get it.
CW: That’s how it’s been going.
SPIN: Now, Carey, you’re responsible for the lyrics on these records, am I right?
CW: My last name’s Wallace.
SPIN: Seven out of ten of these songs begin with the words "Every time."
CW: It’s a concept album.
SPIN: In Rolling Stone, you described your last record as a concept album, as well. Do you think there’s any chance you keep doing concept albums because you’re afraid you can’t just write a good song that can stand out there on its own?
CW: Well, I think that’s why most bands who are really high-concept do it, but not us.
SPIN: These lyrics, they’re really complex. Especially in your hit single, "I Can See No Reason To Believe." You’re not just doing traditional end rhymes. You’ve got this incredibly strict scheme where you actually repeat the same word at the beginning and end of each verse. And then in other ones, you’re doing this repeat and replace thing, almost like a villanelle or a pantoume, one of those repeating French poems. Although none of them are villanelles in the strictest sense, because that would involve an evenly metered nineteen-line poem, with the first and third lines repeated at the end of each three-line stanza, and then again in the final quatrain.
MW: You know those kids in high school, who would always ask the long questions to make themselves look smart? I always hated those kids.
CW: I always thought the good questions were the short ones. Like, "What do you think?"
MW: Or, "Why?"
CW: "Will you marry me?"
MW: "What are you wearing underneath that?"
SPIN: In "You’ll Come Running Back To Me", there’s quite a lot of really fascinating background noise, beginning with Mark saying, I think, "Ira?" Can you tell me what that means?
CW: Have you ever heard of Ira Gershwin?
SPIN: I’ve heard of George Gershwin.
CW: Piss off.
SPIN: And I understand that on several of these tracks, Carey, you also wrote the music?
CW: Well, Mark can’t write lyrics. So he only likes songs that sound like they were written by somebody who can’t write lyrics.
MW: Like Kurt Cobain?
CW: So if I wanted to write lyrics with more than one verse, I had to write the music myself.
SPIN: The beat on the opening track, "I Know What You’re Doing," which I guess you wrote. That’s the beat from "Mentally Ill in Amityville." Isn’t it?
SPIN: A lot of times your melodies, or your basslines, or even the whole feel of your songs areI guess you might say, reminiscent? Is that something you do purposely? Do you have a sense that you might beimitating?
CW: Oh, totally. I mean, Mark will call me up and say, "I just wrote Daydream Believer, and a Radiohead melody." There aren’t any new songs these days. Especially if you’re writing with only three chords. There’s no shame in it. Back in the day, it’s how everybody did it. (to MW) Right?
MW: I don’t know what the **** she’s talking about.
SPIN: There’s a lot that a band can do with technology these days: add echoes, cut-and-paste syllables in a vocal, bring an out-of-tune singer up to the right key. And I know a number of musicians have reacted to that by insisting on the one perfect take, refusing to use any of the bells and whistles, getting it down right, naturally.
CW: Well, we’re kind of like that. We can only really stand to do one take, usually. Otherwise Mark cries.
MW: Carey cries.
CW: But the difference is, our one take won’t be perfect. So then we have to go in and work with it.
MW: Like on "I Know What You’re Doing." She only sang that "every time" right once. I had to cut and paste it, like, half a dozen times. And I don’t think I’ve ever heard her sing on key for three minutes straight.
CW: But I think there’s a certain honest y in that, you know? Doing the best you can with what God gave you?
MW: (to SPIN) So, what’s your story? You write songs, too?
SPIN: No, I---
MW: Play guitar?
MW: Any instruments? Sing?
SPIN: Not really.
MW: But you write articles about music?
SPIN. I dated a drummer once.
SPIN: She was hot.
|NB: In these latter days, it has come to our attention that important editorial decisions about which band gets column space are made based on whether a band has provided a horizontal or vertical picture, to fit into remaining horizontal or vertical layout space. You may have noticed that our picture appears, at first glance, to be of the vertical variety. Please, however, note: if, in the week for which you are considering our story, you find yourself without vertical space, you can easily turn our picture horizontally, and caption it "Wallace Bros. in their grave." Many thanks.
THE WALLACE BROS RELEASE "POPULAR SONGS THAT WILL LIVE FOREVER" TO WORLDWIDE APPROBATION, MAYHEM
For immediate release---Monsoons. Shipwrecks. And the sudden death of one of America’s most beloved entertainers at their Detroit record-release party.
These are only a few of the signs and wonders surrounding The Wallace Bros.’ first shot across the bow of the music industry: "Popular Songs That Will Live Forever, Volume 1: Lullabies" an agoraphobic, poorly-recorded 10-song effort, which clocks in at just over 26 minutes of off-center, melancholy pop, coupled with sharply-observed if sentimental lyrics, sung almost entirely outside both singers’ natural ranges.
The Wallace Bros., who have worked thus far in relative obscurity, found themselves thrust suddenly into the limelight due to the death of one of America’s most beloved entertainers at their record-release party. The entertainer, who hailed from Detroit but, like Eminem, Madonna, Kid Rock, and Aretha Franklin, had made a nationwide name for himself over the course of the last several decades, actually collapsed due to heart-failure on the red carpet outside the party, and was rushed to Ford Hospital before even stepping inside the doors of the club. Today, it’s still not clear if he was aware who he would have seen on stage that night, had he survived.
"It would have been cool, right?" Mark Wallace said shortly after their release-party performance, which they carried on despite the incident, dedicating it as a tribute to the fallen man, who was pronounced dead shortly after midnight. "If he’d been in some boy band, or someone everyone hated anyway. Ironic, right? Like we struck a blow for punk-rock, or something. But we really liked him."
"Everybody did," Carey, his sister & second member of the duo, added. "I mean, he could do everything: sing, dance, play instruments. All this stuff we really can’t. It’s not fair, when you think about it, that we’re alive and he’s dead."
Still, crowd reaction was enthusiastic. "It’s Detroit," Mark explained later. "Nothing really fazes them."
Nationally and internationally, the critical reception has been strongly, even irrationally, positive as well. Japanese teenagers have added paper moon headgear and bracelet charms to their already incomprehensible accessorizations, and some Tokyo restaurants which cater to youth have even begun floating handmade paper swan boats in bowls of soup. Rolling Stone got in on the act with a Wallace Bros. fashion spread and interview, and the duo are negotiating terms for a judging spot on one of the popular later episodes of next fall’s third season of "American Idol."
Disaster always seems to follow close behind, though. Just days after their ill-fated record-release party, the "David James Ruffin", one of the most venerable of the Great Lakes freighters, which had weathered forty-five winters on the freshwater seas, sunk in the Detroit river, only a few hundred feet from safety. Found in the CD player in the doomed first mate’s quarters: "Popular Songs Which Will Live Forever, Volume One: Lullabies," a present from his girlfriend, a Wallace Bros. fan, which had apparently been delivered by mailboat to him, earlier in that day.
The Thai monsoons of late May, the worst in recorded history, haven’t been definitively linked with the record release at the time of this writing, but the buzz from Internet conspiracy sites is already strong, and so far the band has issued no denials.
"We just wanted to make a record," Carey says. "Actually, Mark didn’t even want to, really. I kind of made him.
"And then it got out of hand."
N.B.: This is the original, unexpurgated transcript of the Wallace Bros. Rolling Stone Interview. The published piece, as you will certainly recognize, was substantially changed in ways that should be immediately obvious.
RS: Well, you know the first question everyone wants to ask.
MW: (looking pained.) Oh, man.
CW: We felt bad about it. We really did.
MW: Yeah. I mean, right there on the red carpet.
CW: We had no idea something like that could happen. I mean, we’d never even played in public before.
MW: We thought it’d be funny, you know? To have a record release party, where the band didn’t show?
CW: Only we were going to be there, watching from backstage. We wanted to see how long it would take everyone to leave. Or maybe somebody else would just get up and play.
MW: Someone like him, he’s just so big. We had no idea he’d even heard of us. I mean, he wrote ‘Just My Imagination’.
CW: No, that was someone else.
MW: And then to have him die on our release date.
CW: At our party. In the street.
MW: We pretty much had to play.
CW: I didn’t feel much like joking by then.
MW: Me, either.
RS: It’s been written that your highly-touted freshman album, "Popular Songs That Will Live Forever, Volume One: Lullabies" is so highly conceptual that you yourselves may not even become aware of the depth or extent of the entire concept, perhaps for years.
CW: Yeah, but I think that’s true for everyone, don’t you? You really can’t help it. Everyone’s got so much, just kind of (pauses, glances out window) festering, you know? --inside them. How could you ever? You know?
RS: I have to say I don’t see it, the complexity. To me, listening to it this week, a lot of the songs seemed like they were just about breaking up. All of them, really.
MW: Well, yeah.
CW: And how much it sucks.
MW: That’s a lot to deal with in twenty-six minutes.
CW: Haven’t you ever broken up with anybody?
RS: I understand that distribution can be a real struggle, especially for an unknown band on an independent label.
CW: Well, we’ve pretty much solved that problem by not having any. You can’t actually buy a copy of "Popular Songs That Will Live Forever."
MW: Anywhere. Not even at Encore Records.
CW: Yeah, Fred probably would have taken some, since we dedicated it to him, but he went on tour again before I made it over there.
MW: And we haven’t tried anywhere else.
CW: So it hasn’t been a struggle, really.
RS: It’s been noted that, since you two are brother and sister, you aren’t brothers, in the strictest sense of the word.
MW: Um, Carey doesn’t really like to talk about that.
RS: Your current album is titled "Volume One," which, obviously, suggests future plans. A "Volume Two?"
MW: Well, Carey gave me a Casiotone keyboard for my birthday. It’s got 12 different beats. More if you sample and cut and paste them, which is, as you know, pretty simple to do with a traditional 4-track tape recorder.
CW: The next album is going to be called "Popular Songs That Will Live Forever, Volume Two: Hip Hop."
RS: Right. Because of the drum beats.
CW: Capital H, space, Capital H. No hyphen. Did you get that?
MW: The album cover is going to be sweet.
CW: We’re going to type "bling" into ebay and just buy everything that comes up. The first fifteen "bling" things.
MW: Within our budget.
CW: Yeah, they’ve got us on a budget now.
MW: It’s nice, you know. They give us money, and everything, but it’s not really the same, working for the man.
CW: But you’d understand that.