Saturday, November 30, 2002

Take the needle off it

You know something stinks about a person when the BNP runs an article praising them, and it's Danni Minogue who is giving succour to the scum this time round.

The Anti Nazi League News has got some background on the thicker of the two Minogue's dribblings about how great LePen is, and how asylum seekers, Gypsies and people who live on Council Estates are scum. Amusingly, the ANL point out that it's a bit rich for someone who themselves has come to a foreign country to make money to attack the concept of economic migration anyway.

What must have really hurt Minogue is that even when fascists are praising her politics, they still describe her as "Kylie's sister" rather than a person in her own right.

The dimwit's response is to threaten to sue the BNP over 'misquotation'.

Now we're getting into even stranger territory, because it's almost possible to have sympathy for the BNP here. They point out all they did was copy out what they'd read in GQ. Danni's defence - startling and stupid as the original comments - is to make a simpering meaningless claim that she's proud of Australia being the "most multicultural melting pot" and then say that when she said Jean Marie LePen "struck a chord" and that some street signs in Australia are in Asian and that gypsies, asylum seekers and council estate dwellers have made streets "unsafe" she was merely "stating facts" and not expressing disgust.

No, Dimwit. Saying "A cheetah can outrun a school bus" is stating a fact. Raising things like signs in other languages and suggesting that foreigners have made streets unsafe is, at best, unwitting racism. Singling out a stinking racist scumpimp like Jean Marie LePen to praise him for "striking a chord" is to actively laud a racist.
Either Danni, you are the world's most stupid person - which I don't quite believe - or you are racist. Which is it?

The Manbreasts exposed

Now, over to Canada where Claire Vernon is waiting to see Craig from the Vines unleash the rumoured he-bazookas:

The Music opened, and i just want to ask...

how come no one told me they were that good??? they played a 45 minute set and they were really really good. phonic/sonic i guess is the work for them. they buzzed around in my brain the way radiohead does and they rocked out at the same time. good times. singer has a really strong voice. very impressed. they definitely need work and a single though.

so the vines came on and played and this is where i got stuck in the middle of the crowd in front of mr craiggy. i haven't been in a "mosh" crowd in a really really long time and it was both exhilirating and a little like "fuck i'm too old for this" at the same time. it was nice to have the random violence and no control over where you put your feet while you just immerse yourself in music that you really like while you stare at a really pretty boy with a guitar and be all sweaty and squished. i felt like my eyes were as wide as dinner plates. but then some fucking crowd surfer (and didn't that die with vitalogy??) landed on my head and cracked every bone in my neck and i was in massive amounts of pain so i stayed for a few more songs and then left to watch the rest at the sides. but on to the music.

they played the first three songs right in the order of the album, then miss jackson (GORGEOUS) and mary jane, hmm what else, basically the rest of the album.

my highlight was homesick. then for the encore they did country yard and 1969 then cause craig was a weirdo he threw his mic and broke it and it didn't work even after the techies fixed it and that *pissed him off* and he fucking trashed the stage like i've never seen. in between or during songs he would just randomly throw himself on the floor. wierd. he was pretty nice although none of us understood what he had to say to us.

oh and on the man-tits, si, i saw nothing for the first part cause he was clothed and he was wearing black which is slimming. but for the encore he came back with no shirt. and what i have to say is this:

there is the beginnings of man tits. nothing you could really wrap your hand around. not even anything that could fill a double a cup. but if he keeps his lifestyle up, definite man tits coming. also, gut. definite gut. not appealing.
this man is best with a shirt on.

'Chelle lacked

Morag Rose, bsn person and - more importantly - editing force behind the soon-come Twang - witnesses Michelle Shocked in Manchester, Thursday:

so not going to see sparklehorse worked out nicely because i watched the emi and i programme instead. lara made that (well, not on her own obviously) and it was the first time i have ever so slightly wished i didnt change careers. i was happy they used a syd clip.

anyhow it also meant i could afford to seee michele shocked, who i used to love a lot and always gives a good show (if you know what i mean) so i went, looking forward to hearing some dearly beloved old songs and catching up on her new stuff too.
so i guess its always a cause for concern when the touts are selling for below face value (it was £16.50 for fucks sake! i thought she was punk in the old school having principles way. bah)

but my heart was set so i gave a man in a kagoul £14 and went to join the throng; if seeing the rock kids on monday made me feel old, last night i knew i was young and carefree. anyhow there were about 250 people, mostly couples, i imagine most like muesli and have little tarquin safely tucked up in bed so they could have a special night out.

there were grumbles that she didnt come on till 9.20; there was no support so people were a little restless and bored. but then she appered, looking a wee bit pasty and puffy (but then i figured it had been a while since i saw her) and told us 'its so so great to be back in manchester, and on the no bush war tour.i'm michelle shocked and your're.....drunk'

she picked up her guitar; no sound. lots of glares at the roadie and some grumbles but then she's away, starting with a new song, rawer and bluesier and gutsier than i recall, and it sounds fine. another newie and then she's warming up and looking happier; she tells us all to mambo and chachacha as she launched into 'on the greener side' theres a trummpet player (deeply ace) and a bass and some drums; people are dancing in slightly akward manner. then she goes into a story about wet counties and dry counties; big cheer: its making the trip to gladewater and it segues into a a fierce and lovely half spoken version of when i grow up.

then it gets weird. she picks up her water bottle. the lid id on. she takes it off, throws it at her roadie, has a swig of water and says 'excuse me for a moment'

the band look nervous but do some acomplished jamming; its good but its not what we want. they wander off and we are left to our own devices. for a long, long time. i manage to drinkl a pint, eat a bag of crisps, exchange disgruntled sighs with several people *and* think how great a song creep is. being a chorltonite crowd there are only occasional mumours of unease and jeering. i think there should be a riot but cant be arsed to start it.

after half an hour or so the tour manager come on stage. michelle wont be back. they will 'set up a process that ensures we will get a refund and a free show at a later date. she ...never wants to go through the motions and thats what she was doing today.,.....she is really sorry and is fully aware of the difficluties involved in going out at night, getting baby sitters, tube trains (this guy knows manc) and taxis..she's not thrown a tantrum, she's been touring the world since april 2nd and is tired...this is the last thing she wantted to happen but she wasnt giving 100% and could not be convinced we love her anyway...there will be a free show for us all... its her choice (not to play) and that is the kind of temperatemntal decison great artists sometimes make'

great artist? fuck off. i spoke to my mate at the door and apparently she was pissed.
the tour guy promised to sit down and talk to anyone who wanted to discuss issues and says he will stay as long as it takes. i'm curious and his bulshit amuses me so i loiter and listen to peoples jeers and heckles. but then the lihghts come up and they are evicted us early; he couldnt even keep that promise. as i leave i notice the merch stand has been hastily vacated and the box office has closed.

Friday, November 29, 2002

You have to wonder...

Is the current "Too many people are trying to look at us" page at the front of Popbitch because too many people are trying to look at the page, or an attempt to switch off the system before Michael Owen's lawyers turn up?

How to choose a magazine editor

Despite what "music industry insiders" might be muttering, there's nothing brave in the appointment of Ashley Bird at the helm of Kerrang - he may be relatively unknown, but it's refreshing to see someone who actually clearly enjoys music - he even DJs at the magazine's live events - being put in charge of a music magazine.

Britney pulls fat out of fire

Britney's quit that ill-fated restuarant deal. We're hoping this is part of an bilateral agreement with Jamie Oliver that he won't put out any more records.

"Shakira fans are the worst"

Just in passing, an amusing aside from Tony Hicks of the Contra Costa Times on how the internet has now expanded the global reach of hate mail directed at provincial press music reviewers.

[UPDATE: We're hoping that the Internet Archive still holds this piece, but it's not working at the moment]

Goodness. My world has now collapsed

Kelly Osbourne has told the Times that - gasp - some of The Osbournes was made-up and her parents played up for the cameras. Surely not? How can we believe anything we ever see on Reality TV ever again?

Stuff lifted with a straight face

Good stuff, as ever, in the weekly remember the 80's mailout, including the scary news that Bryan Ferry is going to perform for the Pope and the even more scary news that Spandau Ballet are going to re-release True next year, in order to screw more money out of the schlock market ("promote the recently released Box Set").

There are also plans for a DVD from the Spands, which will at least give us pixel-perfect versions of homoerotic epic Paint Me Down. Yes, it bloody is erotic, although not quite so much when you know what they end up turning into.

History repeats like cold turkey

Shampoo were shunned in their home markets, who seemed to think that screeching, unstable women weren't a good use of their leisure time. They managed to keep their career alive by focusing on the Japanese, who know a good joke when they see one.

Mariah Carey is still popular in Japan.

If it'll stop you asking

It's some lameass rumour about the footballer and another woman, other than the alleged singer. Nobody believes a word of it, and to be honest, we'd rather Popbitch just went "he's not shagging anyone else" rather than carrying a cryptic message which implies that there's some dark secret about David Beckham.

Thursday, November 28, 2002

The King of Pop abdicates

Michael Jackson has apparently told a German magazine that he doesn't like Pop. Curious, coming from a man who used to bully radio stations into refering to him as The King of Pop.

Hmmm... doesn't like pop music but has a major role in it, bought a load of copyrights to Beatles songs behind Macca's back; takes kids and leaves them dangling in mid air while fans look on horrified; and has a curious two-faced appearance. He's not planning on setting up his own label, is he?

NB: The line about fucking over bright eyed young kids has been excised on grounds of taste.

Backstreet's back

Trouble in store for Zomba, already having been sold for way over the odds; now the label is being sued for USD75million by the Backstreet Boys.

In a fairly complex complaint, the band reckon the label were more interested in faffing about with a Nick Carter solo album, thereby causing the Backstreets to miss out on a USD5M bonus for completion of an album on schedule, and that bosses had no interest in any of their suggestions artistically. Thats a hard call - record company execs or Backstreet Boys. Who'd vision of loveliness would you rather live in?

But while the Boys are moaning about what their company did for them, they may also want to have a word about where they were targetting advertising for them, as this screenshot demonstrates:

Surely that's not what they meant by backstreet boys, is it?

We need more details

So, Fred Durst has settled out of court with the person who - he happily admits - he hit with a flying micstand. But now it won't come to court we'll never know if he did it deliberately or, as he says, accidently.

His attorney says that it was all unfortunate and that he visited the victim in hospital (mind you, didn't they say that about the girl who died in the Australian gig?).

Nice things about Blueyonder

They took three days, but they've brought the system back up to speed. So, the battle's done and we sort of won... where do we go from here?

Thank you kindly, EMI and Me

The inspired BBC Business programmes department continues to turn out some cracking ideas; currently applying the "I Love" format to businesses to chart the British public's relationships with major brands.

Last night, James Bolam narrated us through 'EMI and Me', which was a wonderful opportunity to see just how mistakes being made today seem to have been constantly throughout the history of the label.

So, Cliff Richard was given a rubbish song to sing rather than the stuff he was good at; the executives believed that they knew better than Adam Faith how he should pronounce the word "baby", and so on.
Of course, being an EMI facing documentary, Malcolm McLaren had to pop up to tell us how he invented punk and everything. What was interesting this time, though, was the explanation of why the Sex Pistols were dropped - not so much because EMI couldn't handle them, but because the presence of the punks in the music division was causing Americans to pull out of their agreements to purchase the then-innovative CAT scanners from the electronics side of the business - it's apparent that but for that, the label would have been happy to keep the alleged anarchists on their books.

There was a lot that was left out - the humiliating merger with Thorn was covered, but there was no explanation as to how and why EMI became independent again; and although the acquisitiveness of EMI which led to the purchase of Bingo and Cinema chains was given space, no room could be found to explore the HMV shops adventures or the takeover of Waterstones.

But what we take away, mostly, is the image of men who clearly have and had no real understanding of the product they were selling, or the market they were selling to; through a mixture of luck and obstinancy on the part of the talent, they managed to make some profits. Which they then pissed away again and again - on developing medical equipment, on bingo halls, on Mariah Carey. The overriding impression is of a company that never quite got it.

Wednesday, November 27, 2002

What the pop papers say: God, isnt BlueYonder rubbish - 36 hours and nothing's fixed edition

"Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez talk about how they'll celebrate their wedding" promises Hello - apparently by Jennifer turning into Jackie Kennedy to judge by the front page. "Jennifer explains why this marriage will be her last" - I'd imagine because having worked her way through the men, she'll be getting cracking on the chicks next, is it? Or maybe it's because interest is waning, what with Jenny From The Block barely managing to sell more than 40,000 copies...

In Music Week, Alan Jones takes a hard look at Shania Twain's album and its oddities - a double CD that isn't advertised as such; in the US disc 2 is country mixes, while in the rest of the world you get the ghastly-sounding 'world mixes' and, scarily, nine of the tracks have exclamation marks. As does Up! itself. It sold 73,000 copies in first week in the UK racks, which compares well with the start Come On Over made (just 122 copies). If Up! reaches total sales as proportionately high to its week one as its predecessor, Shania can expect to flog nearly two billion here...

MW also reports further changes at the nme where, following on from appointment of former Daily Express writer Melissa Myers as news editor, deputy editor James Oldham is quitting to run a pretend indie label, Loog, part of the Vivendi-Universal conglomerate. Actually, we wish him well, although its a pity that he feels his time at the NME has "reached its natural conclusion", which we wouldn't be so cheap as to suggest has anything to do with the recent change in the editor's chair at Kings Reach Tower...

talking of what and which, there's two things lurking in the placcy bag the paper comes in this week - a Chain With No Name advent calendar (December 7th has a Haven Album clearly shoved in a girl's vagina); poorly drawn versions of celebs litter the calendar, offering a badly drawn Badly Drawn Boy and Conor Oberst looking like he's mid-change from mild scientist David Banner...

then there's a Bring It On - another month over so soon? - with The Datsuns on the front, pretty girls make graves, the thrills, the kills (rhyming bands alert), glassjaw, kinesis, the rapture and a scary close-up of conor oberst plus a better quality shot of Pete Libertines in his skirt...

so, onto the nme proper, with Black Rebel Motorcycle Club on the front - huzzah...

news: Kelly Osbourne says "I'm no Britney" - thats right, love, Britney can carry a tune when she has to; eminem is thinking about taking more acting roles following the success of 8 Mile - apparently playing largely himself in a film has given him to confuse himself with an actor. Someone should play him Desperately Seeking Susan and Shanghai Surprise back to back, and quickly; "Could former Marilyn Manson guitarist Twiggy Ramirez be about to join Blur? Could Courtney Love be about to join the former members of Guns N Roses?" asks the nme. No, and no. Next? Fabrizio Moretti has cut his hair off (hmmm, you'd have to say, having the Daily Star's gossip columnist at the news desk is starting to look less like a duff plan if this is the standard her news coverage is going to have rise to next week); what's puzzling about Kylie getting the huff over a body double being used for the unofficial hits package is not why she's arsey, but why the label behind the album had trouble finding a nearly nude Kylie shot to use for real; stars are asked what they think of Kurt's Diary in a feature entitled "Let's see if we can squeeze some more mileage out of this, then." What do the stars think then? We simply don't know. But we do know what Ryan Adams ("I'm just trying to read the stuff that makes me laugh" - anyone who can explain how you go about doing this wins a prize); Wayne Coyne ("He knew he was going to die, why didn't he take these things and burn them?"); Henry Rollins ("I'd like to see the version of the journal that says 'I'm really trying to get away from my psycho wife" - thanks for playing, Henry"); Roddy Woomble ("I don't feel the need to read it"); Steve Lamacq ("I met him") and Eddie Vedder ("I probably could relate to the suspiscion coming out of his brain [...] I've [...] I've [...] I've had a hard time [...] I used to [...] I'm [...] I've [...] "); Fischerspooner story blah blah blah oh give it up; you can win a free Winona Ryder tshirt by completing a sentence - which is ironic, being as how that's how Winona's going to have to win her freedom, too. ("Winona is innocent because...", by the way. Um, only she's not, is she?); there's a thing which claims the nme has come with three free badges "this week" which, clearly is meant to run next week - still time to realise just how shitty and awful the concept and, indeed the badges themselves are (More Melody Maker style "you all use our catchphrases like 'You Cock' and 'If they bring someone in over my head, I'm off to Polydor' all the time, don't you?" self-regarding nonesense, I'm afraid); there's two pages of Robbie Williams news - like we give a shit; there's also fevered speculation as to why Chris Martin had the letters BH on his hand at the MTV Music Award - it was a greeting for one of his friends who was having a birthday. You might think that someone with a top ten album might have sent a card and a bottle of beer or two; Ryan Adams has recorded hardcore punk for The Finger's We Are Fuck You album; Tim Burgess says that the solo album has come about because he feels isolated from the rest of the Charlatans - presumably the implication of living on the other side of the world not thought through, there, then; he's also been on a pilgramage to the Joshua Tree National Park to try and capture the spirit of Gram Parsons. Probably lucky the body had already gone, then...

hot new bands: pretty girls make graves - hot? yes; new? debatable...

sum 41's dave baksh does the pretend cd thing... he calls it Ass Invaders... huh huh huh huh... he said 'ass'... heh heh heh heh... Beavis chooses Anthrax, Pantera, Carcass and Death...

the pisspoor concept of getting readers to email gossip in is showing itself up for the mouldy cake it seemed like - Ladytron were spotted backstage at their own gig, believe it or not. Fancy...

Cranebuilders are interviewed so briefly as to have nothing worth mentioning there...

ryan adams is smeared lusily over four pages. He addresses the "humourless" charge over the Bryan Adams affair by pointing out the guy he gave the money back to had been using the same joke right through the gig, and it was at the Ryman Auditorium which was, personally, a big deal to him. And apparently Neil Young has since told him "You're lucky. All my life I got Neil fuckin' Diamond." He also claims he never went out with Beth Orton, and then turns his attention to Denise Richards who wears a mask to avoid breathing the air on planes: "How do you hold a penis in your hand? Charlie Sheen's penis mind you... you put that in your mouth and yet you put a bag on your head so you won't breathe the same air as other people."...

James Murphy/ LCD Soundsystem believes he's reuniting rock and dance, which were separated by homophobia and racism...

Good idea to investigate rock at violence, post-Leeds toilet riots and someone getting sexually assaulted at a Richard Ashcroft gig. Bad idea to try and do it in half a page, although Anton Brookes is on hand to provide the backbone to the piece: "You get these idiots, they read about what the hardcore days were like... but they don't get it. It used to be about self-expression and everybody would help each other. Now you just get a load of morons going mental."...

BRMC, then: it's a good article, but it's perhaps a little too heavy on letting daylight in on magic and explaining the new songs...

reviews: albums:
ladytron - light and magic - "it doesn't all work, but...", 8
audioslave - audioslave - "what does this parade of heavyweights amount to? nothing very much at all", 4
meat beat manifesto - ruok? - "none of this sounds less than seven years old", 4
ja rule - the last temptation - "aimed at the doubters, not the kids", 6
blazin squad - in the beginning - "PG treatment of adult themes", 6

sotw - eminem - lose yourself - "genius"
the raveonettes - attack of the ghost riders - "best JAMC-indebted Danish goth-garage band around"
tegan and sara - monday, monday, monday - "they have no tunes. rubbish"

doves - glasgow - "untouchable"
the rapture - london ICA - "absurd in theory; compelling in practice"
john squire - liverpool uni - apparently a lot of Roses stuff
ladytron - london WC2 - "'can we stop talking about porn now?' asks Danny 'can we talk about nice things?'"

best thing in nme this week: the model in the virgin mobile advert. in tights. he's yummy.

Contractual wrangle

BMG is cheerfully honest when it describes its new contracts - due to be phased in shortly. The label's worldwide COO Michael Smellie (settle down and stop your snickering at the back) fesses up to Music Week that "the objective is not to give artists more money."

But what the new system should do is make it a lot clearer what those levels of cash actually will be, sweeping away the current practice of saying bands will get X, and then withdrawing sums to cover things like the risk of "new" technology (such as that risky new compact disc), the cost of packaging, some money to feed the meter outside the record company's headquarters and so on.

The new deals will also be for fewer albums at a time - offering the likelihood of less B-side compilations and "Live Again At The Albert Hall" contractual obligation fillers. BMG is really proud of its new system, and although abolishing a system in 2002 that had more in common with the Industrial Revolution-era* Truck Ticket system is hardly much to crow about, it's to be welcomed that they've made a step towards fairness.

We suspect that this isn't the last we've seen of the majors sorting out their acts (if you'll excuse what is, even by our standards, a poor pun) as they struggle to come to terms with the realisation that, actually, selling small plastic discs isn't the safest indsutry to be in. Clive "the aptly-named" Rich, BMG's VP of legal and business affairs observes that "artists are the major asset" for any company. No, Clive, they're the only asset.

* - Before any other history student emails us: We know there was no Industrial Revolution, but we're using the term to describe the era when there was a sudden spurt in the consolidation of industial processes in urban areas, alright?

Can they do that?

Either the RATM supergroup Audioslave is slumming it and playing Liverpool's Barfly, or else the band they bought the name from is continuing to use its old title - maybe they're allowed under the terms of the deal, but that would seem to have been a curious clause. Maybe they're relying on the Americans not being the litigious type?

They call it Blueyonder because your service disappears into it

No Rock is currently suffering from Telewest, whose shaky service accounts for our shaky service at the moment...

Tuesday, November 26, 2002

Rejoice, rejoice

There's very few things which count as Unquestionably Good Things, especially after we've put our pyjamas on and waited for the sky to fall. A new Black Box Recorder album, however, is one of them - due February 2003.

Mormonism: A clarification

It's been pointed out to us that the analogy we use to try and grasp Joan jett's objections to Pink - that it's like Mormonism, because you have to be born into it, doesn't actually stack up. Which we suppose is actually true, but we were stretching the point that you get your ancestors reverse-baptised. But, no, it doesn't really work. So, instead, we'll suggest that Joan Jett is trying for a version of the 1970's closed shop - where it is not enough to be competent, but you have to have served years as an apprentice and be a member of the right Union. Apologies to the Latter-Day Saints for our earlier sloppiness.

Monday, November 25, 2002

This is humour; this isn't

Is there anything more scary than the concept of Coldplay covering Barbie Girl? You can imagine their approach - "Hyuk Hyuk, we're going to do Barbie Girl and blow people's minds because its, like, a pop song and we're a serious band. It'll be so funny." And all the time never realising why there's more value in one "ah-ah-ah-yeaaaah" from Aqua than in all the heartfelt little moans Chris Martin does put together...


DEFINITIONS: There's some good and some bad in the open letter to Rolling Stone that currently greets visitors to Joan Jett's website.
We're curious as to why Joan Jett thinks that Pink can't count as rock simply because she's done some hip-hop R&B as well - is rock turning into the musical equivalent of mormonism, whereby you must have been born into it to be able to do it?

We suspect that the story she tells of Britney "butchering" I Love Rock & Roll and then saying "I've always loved Pat Benatar" may have been the cassus belli for the letter - that must hurt, and, yeah, Avril and Britney and Eve aren't traditional rock, and having barely a page on Sleater Kinney and nothing about Karen O suggests that the editors of the the Stone have no idea what's happening in the music scene at all.

But complaining at the "misuse" of the word "rock" rather than the offensiveness of an edition that was little more than an excuse to get Brit's tits to flog a few extra copies masquerading as a girl-power thing? You're fighting a lost battle, Joan, and you sound past-it.

Please see the accompanying clarification on Mormonism

If I've ever heard a good reason for not buying a single...

That Pete Waterman will kill himself if the One True Voice (dim boy's band from tv show) doesn't make number one seems to be an excellent reason for leaving the shit on the racks.

Meanwhile, what does he mean when he says Sacred Trust is not a cover version? Sure, it might be different to the BeeGee's version - which was, after all, recorded by competent musicians and not as part of some gawp-gorm-fest - but as Atomic Kitten proved, sticking in a few extra words to get some cash back from the publishing doesn't make a lame copy anything other than a mucked about with cover version.

A Bad Night For Di

Not only did she come third behind Churchill and Brunel in the BBC Greatest Briton poll, but before the final debate kicked off Channel Five attempted to recreate her life through her record collection. You hope a bad wrong has been done to her, you really do.

They got Peter York to present - presumably because he co-wrote that Sloane Ranger's handbook sometime in the 1980's; on this basis, whoever ghost-wrote Adrian Edmondson's How To Be A Complete Bastard should have been doing the voiceovers for The Nazis - A Warning From History. Now, while the basic idea - that you might be able to get the measure of the man from the music he chooses to listen to - is a good one, the show suffered from three basic flaws.

Firstly, it relied on those elements of her record collection that were held in safe keeping by Paul Burrell (You remember, Your Majesty? Butler man. He told you he was looking after them for you. Do you remember?), which obviously strained the format before it began.

Secondly, Diana's musical taste has been picked over so many times, you could tick off the bands before they appeared (Duran Duran)?

Third, rather than use the music to try and imagine where Diana's head might have really been, they drew up ten artists she liked, made a list of what they know about Diana, and then joined up the two lists any old how. So, 'Rocking All Over The World'? Right, well, we know that they played that at Live Aid, and she "boogied" when Status Quo played it, and Prince Charles was wearing earplugs (this is meant to suggest he wasn't listening and was some way out of touch - but nearly all rock acts wear hearing protection, too) so that must show that they'd grown apart by this point as their reactions to Status Quo were different.

Trouble is, this supposes that Diana's reaction was like a young persons - whereas, at the time of Live Aid, dancing in an awkward geography teacher way to Status Quo smacked of middle aged, middle class values. Charles bored look was more in keeping with what the youth were thinking.

The programme was sloppy in other ways - "Most people believe [Lady In Red] was written about Diana" claimed York, which is rubbish - everybody has heard the story about how it was written for DeBurgh's bloody wife about six hundred times; it's like trying to claim that people think the original Candle In The Wind was written for Diana.

But where it scored was in the things it didn't set out to do. Once again it exposed just how dull, smug and self-satisified the old Radio 2 school are. Cliff Richard took the opportunity to moan again that he's not played on the radio, you know, and said "It's been said that 'Some People' [his song, not the Belouis Some track] was Diana's favourite song. She had very good taste" and then proceeded to tell a tale about how Diana, Harry, former Radio One DJ Mike Reid and he sat around jamming after a hard day's skiing.

Apparently, Harry asked for Great Balls of Fire, which Reid and Richard took as a request for them to sing, but we suspect may have been a call for judgement to rain down from God. Leo Sayer told a spectacularly immodest story about being told by Burrell that Diana would lock herself in her room and play one of his songs over and over again. Considering he was meant to be so discrete, Burrell seemed to blab an awful lot, didn't he? Sayer's reaction was to say "Wayne Sleep had already told me that." Nice. Locking yourself in with Leo Sayer is a cry for help if we ever heard one.

To try and provide some sense that she wasn't just a dumb blonde with godawful taste (Uptown Girl?) they tried to suggest she'd been developing an interest in classical music - because she had a Verdi album and went to see Pavarotti. Yeah, my Dad met Meatloaf in a toilet once. It doesn't make him Howlin' Wolf.

Then over to the Greatest Britons, where Lennon looked even more out of place amongst the others than he had when the list was just a list. Even Alan Davies, there supposedly to speak for the dead Beatle, admitted that he thought Shakespeare was better.

The most interesting aspects of the two shows were the copyright messages that snuck in. As the credits rolled for Greatest Britons, we were warned that "Imagine - Sole worldwide copyright of Yoko Ono" (or words to that effect) and during the Di doc, Nothing Compares 2U was doctored so that we never saw a glimpse of Sinead without the acknowledgement that it was Universal's property we were seeing. Self-aggrandising and unneccesary.

Comparing career slides

Myleene Klass - won UK's Popstars. Now reduced to flogging eye surgery - interestingly, for a site aimed at sore eyes, they've gone with grey on white text. Mylene doesn't even get a picture on the page, and gets to say things like

"I was a little nervous about the procedure so I asked around a lot and Maxivision was instantly mentioned, even by an optometrist friend, and that was good enough for me."

Sophie Monk - won Australia's popstars. Now a swimwear model.

Sunday, November 24, 2002

We dig this

AudioBullys- We Don't Care. And a great video, too, with a David Platt a-like parading round town before going into a pub, checking out a woman old enough to be Pat Wicks and getting in a pub brawl. Lager, lager, lager, shouting for 2002.


Holly Valance keeping her engagement hush-hush by only allowing her record company top confirm it to one huge-selling British tabloid.

Spectactularly bitter men

With the death of Jam Master Jay, and with it the end of the endless whining about how Jason Nevins had had the cheek to make a little bit of money while giving Run DMC their first chart hit in ages, comes a vacancy for the Most Bitter Little Man of Hip Hop.

Benzino has shown himself to be a contender, launching a dull, predictable attack on Eminem - he's 2003's Vanilla Ice, apparently.

Well, maybe, but surely the point is that he's also been 2002, 2001, 2000 and 1999's Vanilla Ice as well, and as such no Vanilla Ice at all.

But what could have led Benzino to be so amazingly bitter? Well, Benzino - real name snicker Raymond - claims to have "birthed" Eminem's career and thinks he now owes him. Of course you haven't heard of him. Why do you think he's a bitter little man?

Aptly titled-debuts

Lene Marlin. For One Day. Apt. Whatever happened to her and her brand of slightly more home-baked Imbruglia-ism?