Nothing good happens in August. You didn't know that already? Think about it. If you're a student, August is the month where you have to quit your vacations and staycations and summer debauchery to be a student again. But hey, at least you're learning--adults don't get that luxury. Instead, they get increasingly inane headlines, increasingly soul-sapping weather and a cultural wasteland where clods like Conan the Barbarian and Rise of the Planet of the Apes start seeming kinda OK. Both generations listen to the radio (we're assuming), and judging by the past few years' No. 1 songs, they're either drawn to angsty songs about domestic abuse (2010, "Love the Way You Lie"), languid creepiness (2008, "Disturbia"), or mindless stupidity (2009, "I Gotta Feeling").
To make it worse, August pretty much came early this year. Think about it. More than 90% of the United States by surface area was torched by record heat in July. Following the news during the past few weeks has been roughly comparable to making yourself stare into a laser beam, regardless of your opinions. And in music, the past month's been filled with endless illnesses, delays, DJ Pauly D absconding with Britney's tour slots and a one-month chokehold on the Billboard No. 1 spot by a group formerly known for downing shots, being in Miami (bitch!) and the couplet "You broke my heart into a million pieces / shoulda seen that coming, wish I had telekinesis!"
So does this mean we're going to get an August reprieve? Very funny. It's barely been a few hours and there's already been refutations of idiotic Amy Winehouse rumors (she wasn't going to adopt a kid, come on), sad Kings of Leon news. This does not bode well for the rest of the worst month! There are 31 days of this mess ahead of us. However will we cope? Well, music isn't all gonna be dismal. (We suggest avoiding those Britney dates, or at least showing up late.) Here are some things you can actually look forward to:
THA CARTER IV (AUGUST 29 [YEAH RIGHT]) AND WATCH THE THRONE (AUGUST 8) MIGHT ACTUALLY EXIST.
Granted, the latter's much likelier to exist--it's been heard by like 12 people even!--than the former, which exists now as an apology: "Sorry the beats sucked, let me make it up to you by just passing time over a bunch of tracks you know." And with the thick crust of hype built up around both albums, they're inevitably going to sound much tinier once they drop (or leak, which is probably gonna be the case.) Nevertheless, these are the closest things we've got to big release events in 2011, and they're even conveniently spaced throughout the month!
SOME ALBUMS ARE COMING OUT THAT HAVEN'T EVEN BEEN DELAYED.
But lots of albums are coming out, in fact, as Metacritic can tell you. We're not excited for all of these. It'd be a stretch to say we're excited for half. One that's not on the list that we are anticipating: Miranda Lambert's group Pistol Annies, whose Hell on Heels is due August 23 and whose first single is extremely promising.
LADY GAGA HAS A VIDEO THAT SEEMS LIKE IT MIGHT BE SUBSTANTIAL.
You've heard about it, right? The "You and I" video whose filming startled schoolteachers who expected road crews but got Lady Gaga instead? It's certainly going to look less like a Hollywood set than "The Edge of Glory." And let's face it: for some of you readers, just the fact that Lady Gaga is doing something in August is enough to redeem the month.
THE VMAS ARE HAPPENING.
No, this is a good thing. If the may well win something. And there's bound to be at least one act of costumery making the night worth watching. Isn't that all you want out of August--wacky clothes far too inappropriate for the heat?