Editor's Note: First Notes is a weekly update of recent happenings in the world of music.
* The costume of Gwar singer Oderus Urungus was set ablaze in a Viking-style funeral during last weekend's annual Gwar B-Q. Urungus was the alter-ego of musician Dave Brockie who died at age 50 earlier this year.
* North Carolina rapper J. Cole visited Ferguson to show support for the Mike Brown protests. He talked with protestors and visited different locations in town, including the spot where Brown died and the gas station where looting occurred last week.
* Justin Timberlake upset, well, the Internet when he referred to Madonna as a "ninja." The word is commonly used instead of a derogatory n-word. Timberlake sent out a Tweet saying, "A happiest of Bdays to my mother chucking ninja, @Madonna!! Hope you have a great one, M!" The Tweet has since been deleted.
* Drake and Lady Gaga did the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. At least, I assume it was for ALS, because Lady Gaga doesn't say a word, and doesn't look happy about it, either.