Friday, June 28, 2002

U-G-L-Y, YOU AINT GOT NO ALIBI: In the light of that bloke out of Nickelback winning Ugliest man in rock, Newsround are offering the chance to vote on who you think the ugliest person in rock is. At the moment, Marilyn Manson is winning (he'll try and claim he's pleased, being the god of headfuck and everything, but you just know he's crying inside.
Cast your vote - anyone who votes for Pink gets forced to snog with Fred Durst

AN EXTRA STRIPE: Steve 'Not the one off Corrie' McDonald has added basslines to White Blood Cells, to add some extra support to the White Stripe's music. It's expected he might send a bra to Meg as well.
Dotmusic reports - was this really the result of wounded bassists pride?
Download, read, whatever - Is it just us or are Redd Kross a lot more use in pieces?

BACKSLAPPAGE: Glastonbury are proudly announcing that their fence has kept people out of the site. Well, since you spent a million quid on it, that's shouldn't be very surprising, should it? Besides, even if the fence hadn't held, since it would result in the festival being closed down, they'd be hugely unlikely to issue a press release, would they? Meanwhile, BBC News has this logic twisting segment: Fans were looking forward to a strongly rumoured surprise performance from singing star Dido, who is expected to appear with her brother's band, Faithless, on the main Pyramid Stage on Friday.

WHO GOES THERE?: As is probably being covered elsewhere on the web in far more detail, John Entwistle of The Who has been found dead, the result of an apparent heart attack. He was fifty-three. We shall leave a short gap before we do any "Hope I die before the bill for room service comes" jokes.
John Entwistle's official site - sadly, so many Britpop chancers nicked the Who's stylings, this winds up looking like a 'tribute' site. Or The Lomax homepage
Who's better, who's better, Who's dead? - MSNBC reports sad news that it's down to Pete and Daltrey now
BBC photo history - are they sure that bottom one is actually what they say it is?

Thursday, June 27, 2002

IT'S NOT JUST ROCK THAT'S BEING STRANGLED: Interesting piece on LudwigVanWeb about Classical Music, and how the way it's presented to young people is choking the life out of it. There's some interesting parallels with rock music, and conclusions could be drawn about why it might be wrong to have centrally-funded courses training musicians to play, rather than to support themselves while they play.
Young musicians are note-factories, says LudwigVanWeb - at least they don't have to have nice bums as well...

R KELLY UPDATE: He's pleaded not guilty to 21 charges relating to his alleged appearance on video shagging a child - mercifully, he did no talking himself, leaving his lawyers to enter his plea; even more mercifully, they opted not to sing his 'leave me alone' song. He remains free on bail, and outside the court there were a mixture of fans and outraged people. As you'd expect.

TWO WAY CHUNDERING: So, at long last XRRF goes democratic, offering the opportunity for you, the person who was probably just searching for pictures of R Kelly shagging, to comment on Our Great Stories. Hurrah, eh?

ANOTHER BUNCH OF BSC RULINGS: Robbie Williams getting told off for showing his bum on SM:TV, Neil Fox dammed fro calling Simon Cowell a "retard" on one of ITV2's seemingly endless PopIdol specials, and George Michael gets it in the butt for his video with all the bondage and so on. Three of the least edgy characters in music treated like they're somehow really bad.

Wednesday, June 26, 2002

AVANTI ZAPSMART: We'd previously been involved in Zapsmart as part of the Ink website, but since that seems to have gone to sleep now, we're bringing the list into the XRRF family. Basically, Zapsmart is a place for music fans to share pre-alerts about music shows on TV, radio and on the web. It's small, but it's reliable, and is almost insanely delighted with any and all contributions. Click on the - hey - graphic to subscribe

scenes from the decline of a magazine, number 377: The Face, once ahead of the field, this month gives The Osbournes the front page. A cultural phenom so mainstream that even the Queen has heard about it and assimilated it. Next month it'll be Fischerspooner, we betcha...

talking of the Queen, Private Eye waspishly points out the similarity between the parent group of nearly all the artists at the Jubilee Jamboree and the label due to cash-in and release the album of the gig. It's EMI, of course, in case you hadn't guessed...

the nme comes in a bag - to stop the Fly, um, Bring It On falling out, but also as a handy item for Glasto go-ers - you can sit on it, or fill it with milk. At last, then, a use for Bring It On, which already feels 'How soon can we junk this idea' thin. Hundred Reasons lead the live league table, whatever that means. Especially since Fischerspooner are new in at 2...

the nme proper has Chris from Coldplay on the cover. Luckily, it says, because I wouldn't recognise the fucker otherwise. Still, it's nice to see a move away from complete Festival Pullout blockage in the nme - over previous years it's been 89 pages of coverage, even when they lost the sponsorship...

news: if you have five spliff's worth of blow at the V festivals you'll be labeled a drug dealer and will probably wind up banged up. And with a criminal record. That's the voice of realism, then; there's a final warning to Glasto fence jumpers to not do it. The strange thing here is that, to try and discourage people sneaking in, they're not going to show the World Cup on the big screen. Discuss, with illustrations if needed, why people who buy tickets are going to be less interested in football than those who don't; The Hives have had a hit in America (erm, number 77 with a bullet); Thom Yorke is pushing for fair trade. Bravely, he concedes that he doesn't expect to see a change in government policy as a result of his campaign - so, still more humble than Bono, then, who expects Blair to dance a little dance singing "I'm a little piggy" for him every day; John Peel said the only reason he accepted an OBE was because otherwise he'd turn into the sort of bloke who stood around telling everyone that "I was offered one - turned it down, of course." Which we mention, because Pandit G from ADF has been going on about how he turned down his MBE; the Leeds Festival organisers will be delighted that the paper has chosen to report its appeal against its licence being turned down by ragging out its coverage of 'Terrifying Climax To Leeds Festival'...

on bands: the rapture - NY funk disco (looks like Men in stephen malkmus masks and bouffant hair); jolly music (italian house thing using sonya echobelly on vocals) and tenacious d (jack black semi-novelty side dish)..

okay, so there is a *little* Glasto overkill: Misteeq are taking a packed lunch with them; billy childish proudly says nothing's changed with his music over the last thirty years; michael eavis does the ten track thingy (REM, elvis costello, and the stone roses); there's pictures from the archives; coldplay say "we have no desire to be quite good, we want to be great" but chris concedes "we felt like a bunch of students who'd struck it lucky" (next week - "I was a mancunian chancer" shocker from Noel)...

lps: oasis - heathen chemistry ("what did anyone expect, Fischerspooner?", 8) - nb: the nme has been promoting the album on all week, and andy bell has got a beard that is frankly, shocking; muse - hullabaloo soundtrack - please notice the spelling; not hulabaloo soundtrack, or hullaballoo soundtrack; or hullaballoo soundtrack or... you get the point ("they're entertainers, no less. they're certainly no more", 6); fonda 500 - No1 Hi-Fi Hair ("a neat little treat", 7); nelly - nellyville ("a persecution complex can be put to good use", 7)...

sotw is idlewild - american english ("makes K2 look like a pimple on a midge's cock" - presumably not Midge Ure's?; also considered are Prodigy's baby's got a temper ("does this mean leroy was actually the talented one?"); and Sheryl Crow's steve McQueen ("she's beaten the rush to be the new Ryan Adams")...

live: primal scream in shepherd's bush ("even the models were cheering") and garbage in barcelona ("Shirley returns to perform Queer a cappella)...

from the ads: 'young rock band seeks boy singer... must have a good voice; influences greenday and blink 182' - erm, so why the voice, then?

JOINING THE DOUBTS: Tschaw. You write about getting married, and the excitement of registering your gift lists, and then you gush a little over the joys of having a baby on tour with you, and the next thing, everyone assumes you've been knocked up. Gwen Steffani should be more careful what she writes in her online journal, because you know how people leap to conclusions. Hmmm, can't wait to see "my girl Shirley manson", eh? Does Gavin from Bush mind her having a lesbian lover?

MOANING MOBY: Moby has come up with a handy new theory to explain why furrow-browded pop stars are selling fewer records than their glittery rivals. It's the Pearl Jam Effect. Moby reckons that bands whose fans are more techno-savvy than others will suffer, as their smart fans will be able to download the music from the internet, while dumb music fans have no choice but to drag their knuckles across the floor to their local HMV and buy their music there. This, he explains, is why Weezer sell less than Pink. This ignores two vital problems - first, it asks us to believe that Weezer fans are more techno-smart than Pink fans (the sort of people who can text message from their biros while accessing Pay Per View porn through child filters); second, it ignores the fact that Pink records are bouncy and fun and well made, and are almost guaranteed to sell in huge quantities. It's not clear if Moby is implying the Pearl Jam fans are smart or not.
Moby Muses at Launch - hmm, could this theory be connected to Poor Album Sales by the vegan ad-jingle composer?

HE'S NOT YOUR BOYFRIEND IF HE PAYS YOU, TYLER: While it's fair to say that the V festivals are great big advertising hoardings, with emphasis on the whore, is Glastonbury in any position to point out this shortcoming? With hundreds of stalls and loads of sponsors, when will they grow up and admit that they're just as corporate as anyone else? Even the Body Shop, which also gives cash to charity, is honest enough to acknowledge that it's part of the capitalist system. It'd be easier to take Glasto's purity a bit more seriously if it stopped trying to pretend that it has nothing to do with the beastly marketplace.
Glasto slags V for being over-sponsored - that would be the same Glastonbury brought to you in association with Kodak,, Apple, and Orange amongst others, would it?

WHITE STRIPS?: Of course, they're teasing us - this would just be a 'How deep is your love' thing - but The White Stripes (boy/girl/man/wife) are threatening to split because they're "too successful". Which, if your idea of success is a couple of NME singles of the week and a few emails about how you should really wear a bra, is clearly true. However, they're too good to lose, so I suggest we should look the other way until they change their minds.
Dotmusic reports - though how reliable information sourced to is, is debatable...

THIS OLE HOUSE MUSIC: It might just be part of the mythology, but the vaguely quease-inducing School Disco group claims it was born when a DJ was sacked for playing Shakin' Stevens This Ole House. [The BBC say so, it must be at least more true than that thing they ran about the diamond company and Bin Laden]. This seems curious to us, since there's no amount of nostalgic distance that can make that record anything other than an untouchable. The prospect of spending an evening with a group of people dressed as school kids (let's try and get through this without a Jonathon King gag, shall we?) could work, with right people and, of course, the right uniform - but wearing a tie and being forced to kow-tow to Shaky? Why do these people think we embraced the 90s in the first place?

I COLLECT, I REJECT: As if the shit that ordinary people try to sell on ebay isn't bad enough Cooper Owen are the latest auction house to set aside credibility for a spot of Hard Rock Cafe style glitz, and have assembled a collection of bits of old tat to tempt passers by that includes a tape of Lennon and Ono rambling on about nothing (which sounds like the cassette release of Double Fantasy to us) and a Rolling Stones poster with "facsimile" signatures. I wonder if they'd be interested in giving us a price for a copy of Nowhere, where Fat Tony has forged Mark Gardner's signature on it?

Tuesday, June 25, 2002

OTHER MUSIC BLOGS ARE AVAILABLE: Like, um, PopGossip, which I hope against hope is a spoof, but fear might be straight faced. It ends with a little "secret" message to Jonathon King, saying how the music industry is missing him. Not as much as the boys from F-wing are; they don't get a turn again until next Friday...

I WANT MY PPV MTV: Former Whistle Test honcho Trevor Dann is poised, poised like a leopard, to unleash a pay per view music video network on Sky Digital. At first, the thought of dipping into your pocket and handing over three quid seems like an outrage - what, we're going to pay to see your commercials? - but the mooted price seems quite fair when what you get (unlimited access to the video for a week; plus the now-essential 'extras') is compared with the EMAP station's deal - whereby you spend a quid a time dialling in a request to Box, Q or Kerrang, say, and might get to see your video, if you're lucky.
Possible fear of retaliation from EMAP and MTV may hamper the new service's attempts to get videos exclusively in advance, and it should be remembered that Dann once before promised to change the face of television and music with his Landscape Channel, which offered wall-to-wall flying geese and new age music. Channel Four sometimes ran it in place of a test card. It no longer exists.

BOWIE AND BING BOUNCED: Up until now David Bowie - who was very good on Conan the other night, we thought; sportingly singing nursery rhymes in a David Bowie style and generally reminding us that he isn't a bank, Banc or wanker - has shared with Bing Crosby the widest age gap between charting collaborators, being 43 years apart. Now, that's a distinction he's lost, as that god awful Williams-Van Outen duet has not only made the charts, but features a pair 45 years, five months and twenty four days adrift. Let's just be thankfull Anna Nicole Smith never made it to a recording studio, shall we?

GREAT ROCK? OR GREAT BALLS?: So, with the new album, apparently Sony plan to "re-establish" Oasis as one of the great rock bands. In this week's Music Week, their publicist complains that the b(r)and has to "contend" with a high media profile outside their music. Hmmm, contend, eh? Nobody seems to have stopped to consider where the band would have been without Liam's wayward spunk, Noel's wafer-lite It-ish girl wife, the fighting and the ill-tempered inability to exist in a world that doesn't need them is all that keeps them with a profile - certainly, musically, they're a band whose Great Works have long since been completed. Certainly, that's what the record buying public seem to feel, anyway - Stop Crying... not only got defeated at the shops by the second week of the third coming of Elvis, but roundly and firmly so - managing 85,000; nearly fifty thou behind the dead fat guy, and thirty thousand short of what the first single managed. This despite being the song of choice for both BBC and ITV to play over spliced highlights of England doing what England do in the World Cup. And wasn't that an apt choice? Plucky team doing better than anyone expected, but still failing to make it amongst the very best; let down by a bloke with a bad hairstyle and a bloke from Manchester whose talent couldn't be relied upon to deliver.
What is interesting, though, is the admission from the PR person (vice president of marketing at Sine, if that means anything) Torsten Luth
that the tracks being available on MP3 made no difference: "So the tracks were leaked. We just carried on as before with the campaign."

HOW STREET TEAMS WORK, PART x+1: The Soul Hooligan svengali has responded to our query. You might rcall, we'd asked no, Jason, you misunderstand - I need to know if we have to put the jukebox link only on Soul Hooligan boards, or just music boards? Would it count if I told my soccer group about them?. Jason's answer? No, it can be any message boards. The minimum amount of times is 20. So 20 different boards. So, that's what you're getting for your guerilla marketing budget - someone basically telling kids to forget targetting, just swamp...

Monday, June 24, 2002

SPAM BANDS: Starbucks gets its skin flayed for daring to show two cups near each other - you know, a bit like the Twin Towers (where "a bit" means "nothing"). IIron Angel attempt to build a career for their - ahem - New Age metal through invoking September 11th, and nobody says a word. Probably because - aside from their spam - nobody has ever heard of them, and nobody ever will.