ILL-GOTTEN GAINS: On the latest figures, of 437 people settling with an average of USD3000 as payment, we make it that the RIAA's witch-hunt for downloaders has so far netted a handy million and a quarter bucks for the industry. And so far, the RIAA hasn't had to defend its position in a single court case. Nice work if you can get it. We've yet to see any breakdown of how much of this money, if any, has trickled into artists' pockets - after all, it's all for them, isn't it?
Saturday, July 24, 2004
PLAYLOUDER TREAT US LIKE FAVOURED CHILDREN: In the musical equivalent of taking us to the ice cream parlour, letting us play with the squirty strawberry sauce bottle and eat ice cream until our little eyes start to roll, the Playlouder singles club offers us freebie downloads from The Go! Team, 5 O'clock Heroes and Art Brut. Just try not to be sick in the car as they drive us back to our parent's.
MANUMISSION INTERCESSION: Boy, we bet Charlotte Church is glad she's all growed up now and nobody can tell her what to do. Except for her management, apparently, who have banned Church from going to Manumission, on the grounds that she might see people fucking on the stage. They presume that it would be bad for her image, and indeed it would, because it's a boring, dull place where only virgins and maiden aunts would think anything "outrageous" is happening and would make her look like a somewhat dull, boorish twat.
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FIRE SUITS FILED: 226 victims and families of those caught in the Great White fire filed a class action lawsuit against 46 defendants in Providence Superior Court on Thursday. Amongst those 46 are those you'd expect - the band, their management and the club owners - and some that don't quite seem to make much sense, including a bus company. Quite a few strike us at this stage as being speculative, or at best done on the basis of "who's got a few bob and vaguely connected with the case?", so the local radio station and Clear Channel are lumped in on the grounds that they "knew or should have known" that Great White "customarily utilized pyrotechnics... repeatedly, openly and illegally."
ALL THAT STANDS BETWEEN US AND MELTDOWN...: We're not really buying the story that ITV bosses are refusing to let Tina O'Brien, Nikki sanderson and Lucy Jo-Hudson release their cover of Lady Marmalade.
Apparently, we're meant to believe that there are strict rules about cast members having "outside interests" beyond the soap which means the single cannot be released. Before anyone plays into Granada's hands and starts a popular campaign, maybe we should just ponder exactly how that fitted in with, say, Bill Tarmey's album getting released? Or, indeed, exactly how such a strict rule would have let them do the original performance on the godforsaken DiscoMania show in the first place?
NOW... IT'S GERI HALLIWELL, SPONSORED BY ASDA: We're delighted to discover that, not only are her friends describing Geri Halliwell as "desperate" to get back on stage, but her return to live music will be sponsored by Asda as part of a Breast Cancer Campaign. George Michael's involved, too, although he's got personal reasons for throwing his weight behind the fund raiser.
NOW... IT'S GERI HALLIWELL, SPONSORED BY ASDA: We're delighted to discover that, not only are her friends describing Geri Halliwell as "desperate" to get back on stage, but her return to live music will be sponsored by Asda as part of a Breast Cancer Campaign. George Michael's involved, too, although he's got personal reasons for throwing his weight behind the fund raiser.
RIGHT, SO HE'S NOT CALLED BEARD, WHICH, CONSULTING MY CHART OF IRONIC POP FACTS, MEANS HE'S ONE OF THE ONES WHO ACTUALLY HAS A BEARD: It was only a matter of time, in these days when AC/DC have been embraced by the gap wearing masses as a kind of sorta joke that everyone's in on, and even Q's TV channel has started to adopt a rock lettering, that a red car would eventually pull up outside the citadel of cool and three figures would climb out, coming to demand their slice of post-ironic rock redemption. And, lo, it has come to pass that ZZ Top's Billy F. Gibbons has popped in to do some work on the What's Left of The Queens of the Stone Age album. Expect the VH-1 tribute show sometime round late Fall; and everyone wearing brand new ZZ Top shirts they claim have had at the back of their cupboards for like, ever, early next year.
COX AND SHOPS: A rare chance to see a former member of Blur working in a shop early next week when Graham Coxon does a live appearance in Piccadilly Records in Manchester. Former members of Oasis are lot easier to spot working in shops in manchester, of course: Bonehead, we understand, still prices his spuds in pounds and kilos.
HANDING HERSELF IN: Americans can sleep a little easier in their beds tonight, knowing that Courtney Love has surrendered to the police. Okay, that's probably only going to allow a couple of members of the Smashing Pumpkins, Steve Albini and anyone who's ever stood in the front three rows of a grunge gig feel safer, but it's a start. She's posted the increased bail demanded by the judge in the assault with a deadly weapon case.
Friday, July 23, 2004
A PERFECT USE FOR A MEGAPHONE: You've got to admire the work of You Have Bad Taste In Music. Rather than sitting snarking behind some computer screen somewhere (ahem), You Have Bad Taste in Music picks up its megaphone, sets up stall outside a concert venue, and harrangues the crowd. We wonder if any of the crowd have yet been quick enough to shout back "Are you even standing outside the same concert as me?"
NAPSTER PREPARES ITSELF FOR SURGE IN DOWNLOADS OF 'TOUCH ME' BY SAM FOX: In a spot of nifty media tying-up, Napster have managed to complete its journey from zeitgeisty outlaw to dowdy lumpen mainstream by doing a deal to give away songs through the Sun. One lucky Sun reader is going to win a trip to the Napster HQ, as well, to see "a major artist" record a song - no word on who, yet, but Jodie Marsh is presumably keeping her diary open.
THE CLOSEST THINGS TO CRAZIES: Unfortunately, Ebay seem to have pulled the Katie Melua stalkers kit which was being offered on Ebay - times of her flights, places she'd be staying, and so on. "Friends" said the none-more-New-Woman singer was really frightened information like that could be used by people who wanted to gather around gawking at her, trying to touch her shapely buttocks, and so on.
We ought to warn her of another website which seems to be dedicated to detailing her movements. Something should be done.
BLAIR UNABLE TO TAKE BONO'S INSTRUMENT: Aw, bless, Bono tried to give Tony Blair a guitar, but Tony turned it down on the grounds that it was foolish and frivolous, displaying a pathetic attempt to igratiate himself with the Prime Minister while acceptance would be demeaning, making Blair look like an aging man desperately trying to cling on to some last vestige of youth. No? Would you believe that Tony laughed and said "Look, Bono, I live in 10 Downing Street, not the Hard Rock Cafe?" Nope? Okay, he had to turn it down because apparently it was worth more than GBP140 and would be outside what he's allowed under the rules of MP conduct. (We believe Erskine May also has an extra section about taking gifts from middle-aged pop stars).
Meanwhile, with Bono announcing that any appearance of their stolen album online would lead to an immediate legal online release onto iTunes, we're starting to wonder if all this is actually a rather clever publicity ploy. Bono also insists that they could have proper CDs in the shops before the end of the month - in other words, burned, pressed and distributed in large numbers, which suggests that - despite Paul McGuinesses' claim that the album stolen was "unfinished" - the band are poised and ready to run with it. So, by August 1st, we should know: are U2 or No Rock the more cynical?
POP STARS REALLY SHOULDN'T BE LEFT ALONE TO CHOOSE THEIR CHILDREN'S NAMES: To Erykah Badu, a girl: Puma.
We know she's thinking "Aha! My child is named after a mighty cat, and shall be strong and self-reliant."
But we're thinking:
HARSH?: We got an email from a person in a place to know arguing that we've been a little harsh on Korda Marshall, as he's one of the good guys in the music industry; apparently he tears strips off his employees when they describe music as "product" and, more importantly, he didn't suggest charging more for CDs with no copy protection - maybe the plan would be to make the copy-protected sort cheaper. Perhaps, but since CDs are already criminally over-priced, giving a discount for broken CDs is hardly a great leap forward, is it? And besides, it doesn't resolve the central question: If DRM is intended to stop people from using the music they've purchased outside of what is allowed by copyright law (i.e. by sharing it with other people), why expect people to pay more for a CD simply to allow them to do what they've already paid for (i.e. playing it in their car, or on their PC)? It doesn't matter if the broken CD is priced at fivepence, it's still not a proper CD, it's still attempting to drive a rather large tourbus through copyright law by attempting to legitimise record companies telling us which of our CD players we can play their CDs on. And it won't do anything to stop people uploading tracks from the un-DRMed version to the internet anyway.
Maybe if the record companies actually invented a DRM that worked, rather than tried to make up for their shoddy, shitty, half-arsed attempts that lock up computers and won't work on car players, then we'd be getting somewhere.
We're not convinced, incidently, that the CDs which won't play in a car are the result of a DRM balls-up. Maybe the record companies are afraid that, frustrated from putting the new Bootsy Collins and Winfired Atwell mix up on Kazaa, people will breach their copyright by driving their cars to other people on the file sharing network with the record playing and windows rolled down? Perhaps, somewhere in EMI's HQ, they're working on an exceedingly heavy CD that people won't be able to lift up and share with their friends.
One further note which occurs to us on Korda's comments: His attack on "dishonest critics", implying that it's music journos who are the main leaking points for music onto the web. A trifle unfair, perhaps? With journos under more and more restraints - getting CDs glueed into walkmans, being summoned to a distant moor to hear the first play of an Alanis album and then spun round and round so fast they won't be able to remember the tunes to hum to anyone else, or simply only given shit albums to work with - that primary source seems to have been well plugged, and yet unreleased work still cascades through the ISPs like Elizabeth Taylor smashing through the doors of an unlicensed sheebeen. Indeed, a lot of the highest profile leaks have come before any promo copies have been pressed up. Could it be, despite Marshall's assertion, that it's people working in the music industry who are undermining their own business models by leaking away?
EVERYONE WANTS TO WORK FROM HOME FRIDAYS: And Franz Ferdinand are no exception. They've been telling nme.com they want to record their entire next album in their own house, as part of their ongoing work with Dan The Automator. (Alex Kapranos has apparently done some vocals for Dan's Handsome Boy Modelling School thing.
BTW: Nice Partridge headline, nme. He musn't have heard.
HE INCREASES THE NUMBER OF REUNIONS BY EXACTLY ONE: Everybody's getting back to work these days... this fall, there'll be Campers on my lawn. Or, in other words, there's going to be a new album from Camper Van Beethoven this October. New Roman Times is more than just a really bad font-pun, it's apparently their most polished album ever, and the first proper collection for fifteen years.
We think that's enough to be excited about.
ALL POGUE, NO MAHONE: Holding out a chance that maybe, one day, the Libertines might get back together is the news that The Pogues and Shane McGowan are to be reunited for a tour just before Christmas:
December 13 and 14 - Glasgow Academy
16 - Newcastle Arena
17 - Birmingham Academy
18 - Manchester Evening News Arena
20 and 21 - London Brixton Academy
23 - Dublin Point Theatre
No word yet, though, on who'll be popping up as guest vocalist for the inevitable Fairy Tale of New York encore.
WIVES AND LOVERS: It was rather perfect when Brandy, knocked-up and famous, was able to announce a couple of months before the birth of her MTV-sponsored baby that, actually, she had got married the year before, she just, you know, forgot to mention it. (It probably says a lot about something that the thought of a child out of wedlock would have been treated as a scandal, like America in 2004 in Weatherfield, 1976). Now, though, her "husband", Kevin Smith, is running round saying that their secret marriage was a little too perfect: he and Brandy never were married, and they just cooked the story up to stop the public being outraged. (And, presumably, to spare MTV's blushes of sponsoring a child from the wrong side of the sheets and thereby encouraging public wantonness and general strumpetry):
"I prefer not to air our dirty laundry through the media. I was just stating the truth. Brandy and I have many things to work out over a long period of time, and will hopefully head in a more positive direction."
Brandy, naturally, is having none of it: "We had a spiritual union and true commitment to each other, and we still share a common bond through our daughter, Sy'rai." Of course, spiritual union and true commitments are really lovely things, but could you offer us something a bit more concrete, like "we had a gathering with friends and relatives, and a swan made of ice and a jazz band playing 'when the saints go marching in' and signed a piece of paper" or maybe even just "we had a piece of paper"? Because, of course, that would be the easy way to clear this up once and for all - just wave that marriage licence at us.
JUSTIN TAKES ON MURDOCH: Justin Timberlake is threatening to sue the pants off the News of the World over its story last week that he shagged a model while Cameron Diaz was eleswhere (presumably going round the globe trying to unplug computer servers). If the NOTW doesn't retract, he's prepared to take them to court to beat a retraction out of them.
Lucy Clarkson - inevitably - described her night with Timbo as a "sex romp" and claimed that he was "obsessed with my boobs." She reported that she didn't like kissing him "because his lips were too small." This makes us wonder if she perhaps had fallen in to bed by mistake with a Timberlake impersonator. If such things exist. Surely that could be the only explanation for it all? Unless someone's lying - and how likely would that be?
Update: Murdoch's paper won't retract, and seem very keen on taking the whole thing to court.
ODDLY, JUDGES NOT KEEN ON BENDING OVER BACKWARDS FOR LOVE: You know, Courtney, if you wanted the judges to treat you generously, you might have found it better to have turned up in court a little more regularly than you have so far. And, to be honest, your hotshot lawyer saying 'we were going to bring Courtney to court on Friday, but, well, if the judge won't suspend the warrant on her to let her arrive at court under her own steam, we'll take our pretty time' won't help any, either. For some reason, the lawyer, Michael Rosenstein, seemed to think the judge should give Courtney the chance to turn up at court without being arrested. You know, like she didn't do last time round.
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PLEASE DRIVE CAREFULLY THROUGH OUR VILLAGE: From what we've seen of landrovers on country lanes, we'd always assumed that farmers were treated like ambulances, and blind eyes would be turned to their speeding. We guessed it was to cancel out the times they drive really slowly on tractors. But it turns out not to be the case, as Michael Eavis has been fined sixty quid for speeding - 60 in a 50 zone. He kept his licence because he needed it for his mother and animals.
THE RETURN OF THE DARLING BUDS: One of the things that has made us pause a lot over the last ten years is the question: whatever happened to Andrea Darling Bud? Or Andrea Lewis, as she's really called. Well, she's been busy in the ten years since The Darling Buds called it a day, travelling to Azerbaijan to work with war-shattered kids through theatre and drama. And now she's bringing a Saturday morning stage school to Wales, but, she stresses, it's not that sort of Stage School:
"We don't want to be just setting up a theatre school for luvvies but lovelies," she said. "You imagine being surrounded by very domineering theatre types but you have a lot of shy children who have a very good presence when they are on stage."
The bad news? She's off the market, as she's doing this with her partner, Jamie Jarvis. Jamie, of course, played Troy, the toyboy who tapped off with Irene in EastEnders.
PRESUMABLY STILLS, YOUNG AS VICE PRESIDENT?: The American Presidential Election race has changed overnight. Hitherto, voting for 'anyone but Bush' seemed to be the obvious way to go, since it was impossible to imagine anyone being in a position to screw things up worse than the man whose lips move when he's watching a silent movie. Then, though, we got an answer to the once-rhetorical "Who could be worse than Bush?" as David Crosby and Graham Nash announce their joint candidacy . This shouldn't be interpreted as a publicity stunt for their current US tour and new album. Oh no.
Thursday, July 22, 2004
SOUNDTRACKOBIT: The death has been announced of Jerry Goldsmith, screen composer. Goldsmith won an Oscar for his score for The Omen and was nominated for the music on the soundtrack of John Houston's Freud, but also worked extensively in TV. Influenced by Milkos Rosza's University of Southern California classes in film composition, Goldsmith joined CBS in 1950 to write for radio shows, before moving into television. Amongst his themes were The Twilight Zone, The Man from UNCLE, Planet of the Apes and The Waltons. Fans suggest his masterpiece was the theme for the first Star Trek film. Goldsmith was 75.
CHANSONOBIT: Sacha Distel, possibly the best-known French recording artist of his generation, has died at the age of 71.
Born to an engineer father and a musical mother, Distel's popular image as a good-looking crooner sometimes obscured a greater range of talents. He was a successful composer - his The Good Life is one of the few standards to have been recorded by both Tony Bennett and Frank Sinatra - and he was also much admired as a Jazz guitarist.
But it was a singer that Distel will always be remembered - his version of Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head was his only chart entry in the UK, but he was a regular on British TV variety shows in the 70s and 80s. Amongst numerous honours and awards, in 1997 he was awarded the Legion of Honour in his home country, and earlier this year, appeared on Desert Island Discs.
MP3 BLOGS? SO 2003: It's a Broadband world, baby, and so its time for music video blogs.
OH, YES, THAT REALLY MUST SUCK: Busted are moaning about how dirty their female fans are: Matty Jay says he's sick of having his arse felt up by young girls. Quite right, too: girls, move over, and let some young boys show you how it's done.
We're also very alarmed by this quote from Matty:
"And he was left speechless by one fan's naughty confession: "(She told me) My fingers are rusted from frigging over Matty from Busted."
We can only presume he's managed to pull Metal Mickey.
I'M A MAN, YES I AM: Matt Goss has shifted up the negotiations for a Bros reunion ("ruled out the chances of a Bros reunion") by claiming it would be too expensive for anyone to come up with the cash to persuade Matt, Luke and Ken to get back on stage. Certainly, it'd probably cost more than anyone that bothered by it could afford - even if it was just expenses; even if all the remaining Bros fans clubbed together. Matt's not merely worried about the cash, though, he's afraid it might ruin "all the good things" the band achieved.
No, we're not sure what they are, either, although kudos to them for persuading people to stop wearing ripped jeans by showing just how godawful an idea it really was.
WHEN YOU SAY MY NAME, IT'S LIKE A LITTLE PRAYER: We're curious to know an answer to this one: Apparently, Madonna has hired dancers for her no-selling tour based on their birth sign. Is that, you know, legal? She's also, it's claimed, making the entire cast pray before they can go on stage - we don't know what the prayer involves, but we bet the words "more than half full tonight" will be in there somewhere.
WHILE THE MUSIC INDUSTRY CONCENTRATES ON SUING PRETEENS, THEIR SHOP BURNS DOWN: We're delighted that the IFPI is convinced its anti-piracy strategy is winning - personally, if a trade we were trying to stamp out lifted its sales up to 1.1 billion units, 4 per cent more than last year, and become an industry worth USD4.5bn, I don't think I'd be announcing that it's all a "positive indication" that our anti-piracy measures are biting. But then, guys with guns aren't such an easy target as live music bootleggers - who harm nobody - or little old ladies. They tend to fight back.
It really does amuse us that the IFPI waste their time issuing edicts that countries really must pull their socks up - they've targetted ten this time, including, for example, Ukraine. In a country where half the population lives beneath the poverty line and with inflation at 20% [1997 and 1998 figures respectively], any government pissing about trying to make sure Phil Collins gets his royalty cheques deserves to be propelled from office faster than one of those there speeding bullets.
HOW THE MUSIC INDUSTRY WORKS: Having threatened Universities across the US and bounced them into tying up with Napster, it now turns out that all students at Wright State are going to wind up paying a Napster subscription, whether they own a computer or not. Why don't the RIAA just make everyone send them ten dollars a month?
LOOK, SHOULDN'T THE RECORD COMPANIES CONSIDER GETTING SOMEONE WITH HALF A CLUE TO EXPLAIN THE DIGITAL WORLD TO THEM?: Baffingly, Korda Marshall, head of Atlantic Records in the UK, has mooted selling two sorts of CD - one, a cheap edition, with copy protection, another, without, which would cost more but would be certain to play on all CD players. Leaving aside the astonishing chutzpah of suggesting that people should pay even more for the already over-priced CD just to be certain it'll play on every device, isn't the whole point of copy protection to stop people file-sharing their music? So what on earth would be the point of using DRM on just half of the CDs sold? Can someone work up a Powerpoint presentation for Mr. Marshall with the words "You only need one recording without DRM for it to get duplicated sixty billion times", please? It's up to you if you want to illustrate this with a picture of a donkey or not. If the music industry wasn't so poorly run, we'd stroke our chin and ponder if the whole DRM debacle hadn't been cooked up to try and persuade people to pay more for a functioning CD.
This came on last night's Great Music Debate on Radio 2, in which Marshall also demonstrated his poor grasp of a brief by insisting simultaneously that "internet piracy has done great damage" and that the "industry is in a very, very healthy state." Which is it, Korda?
COMEBACK - WHAT DO YOU KNOW?: It seems rumours of Embrace mustering their forces on a distant field, preparing for a second tilt at our hearts are true, for the band has just announced an autumn tour:
Newcastle University (September 29)
Glasgow Barrowlands (30)
Manchester Carling Academy (October 1)
Nottingham Rock City (3)
Sheffield University Foundry (4)
Bristol Carling Academy (5)
Folkestone Leas Cliff Hall (7)
QUEERBASHING SOURS MONTREAL FEST: Generally, Canada seems like a pretty laid-back, together place, but even its streets are free from moronic hate crimes. Montreal is currently hosting the International GALA Chorus festival, but it seems that the concentration of so many queer singers in one place proved just too much of a temptation for some Tonrontians - Adam Conley, in town with the Seattle Men's Chorus, was viciously attacked by six thugs as he left a gay bar on Saturday. Police are investigating; Conley didn't require hospital treatment but remains badly shaken. Curiously, despite a gay man being attacked leaving a gay bar by six men yelling out anti-gay slogans, Montreal police spokesman Steve Morissette says "it's too early to call it a hate crime."
OZZFEST MELTDOWN "AVERTED": The Columbus leg of Ozzfest was in danger of turning into a rerun of the Leeds Festival, according to locla police who were trying to explain why seventy three gig-goers were arrested for minor drink and drug transgressions. Apparently, America's finest were afraid that if they let kids have a badly rolled joint and an underage alcopop (and remember, "underage" in America means something like "before their 35th birthday) that "at the end of the concert, the number of fights would be through the roof." They could have saved the effort and just released Kelly into the auditorium - that would have got everyone home quickly and safely.
PUTTING THE 'NDIE' INTO ITUNES: The biggest hole in Apple's European iTunes strategy - the absence of most of the indie labels from their offering - has been partly plugged with Beggars Banquet, Sanctuary and V2 signing up. Everyone is jubiliant, not least Tony Harlow, V2's CEO:
"Now music lovers in the UK, France and Germany will be able to download great music from the likes of Paul Weller, Stereophonics and The Datsuns."
Why on earth music lovers would want to be downloading Weller or the Stereophonics is lost on us, to be honest; and, strictly speaking, music lovers have been able to download those acts for years - what he presumably means is "having wasted months and months where we could have been charging for downloads, we're now belatedly signing up and hoping our shareholders don't question why it took so long, or ask how much revenue we missed out on since 1998..."
HAR MAR IN WELLIES: The Har Mar Superstar tour dates have been announced and, um, aren't quite as swaggering as Mr. Mar might have been telling cocktail waitresses to expect:
Middlesbrough Empire (July 24)
Welly, Hull (29)
Big Beat Boutique, Brighton (30)
Frog Club @ Mean Fiddler, London (31)
Stealth, Nottingham (August 5)
Birmingham Academy (6)
Liquid Rooms, Edinburgh (7)
Popstarz, London (12)
Ramshackle, Bristol (13)
Colosseum, Coventry (14)
The Hull Welly?
SMITH DATE CAST: There's now a release date for From A Basement On A Hill, the posthumous Elliott Smith album - Domino will be releasing it on October 18th.
PRIVATE POLLYDOM: Polly Harvey is set to put on her favourite ironic print dress and - we can only hope - a stout pair of knickers to play a small Australian show in Byron Bay as part of the Splendour in the Grass festival. The date is July 25th; tickets have to be bought in person from the Great Northern Hotel in Byron Bay from 10 am Friday.
Wednesday, July 21, 2004
IT'S THE BIGGEST PRIZE IN MUSIC: Okay, it isn't, but it's still much sought-after: the shortlist is announced for the Popjustice Twenty Quid Music Prize - Rachel Stevens look set to be split in two by her two entires, and there's a clumpy token indie band in there, too, in the form of Keane's Somewhere Only We Know. The full list is on Popjustice.com, of course. We think they should seek sponsorship from, say, the Furness Building Society. Or maybe the Cheshire, the one with the black cat for a logo.
WHAT THE POP PAPERS SAY: Golden Brown Edition
We were excited to hear that Robert Hardy had been asked by the New Statesman to review Shhh... Sounds In Space at the Victoria and Albert Museum; and that excitement was only slightly dulled when it turned out to be the Franz Ferdinand bassist rather than the actor from All Creatures Great And Small. The best part seems to be Gillian Wearing's interview piece with a man who, as boy, would cry because he hadn't been born in the past.
It's Observer Music Monthly week again, which means one thing - another dodgy chart. This time, it's the top ten books for the beach. It chooses Right From The Start by Gareth Gates, which undermines the whole point. There is no plane hostage crisis long enough that anyone would have time to kill reading Gareth's ghost written "autobiography".
Athlete Darren Campbell gets visited by the record doctor. He hits the eject button double quick when Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and Party came on.
The OMM has signed up for the Juliette Lewis Career Shift Plan - actor to musician in five colour supplement ads. "What is it with Hollywood? Why can't they just judge us on the music?" she wails. Maybe, Ju, because most riot grrl bands have to play roughly seventy five billion gigs before they'd be given a five page spread in a music monthly. The price of a little extra scepticism in return for the fast-tracking of attention is probably worth paying, right? Ask Kathleen Hanna if she'd be prepared to swap places. On the other hand, Lewis' plea to be judged on the music alone might backfire: Ryan from The Rebels pops up to deliver just such a verdict - "Juliette Lewis just vomits on stage. I'd rather stick a finger up her ass than hear that again." (We're assuming from this that Ryan has hygiene issues - after all, most sane people would happily insert a digit up Juliette's butt, surely?)
Zoe Smith plays Kitty Empire in the flash-forward slot, crying "look out, here come Deepest Blue." To us, they remind us totally of Blue Mercedes, so we'll pass, I think.
Badly Drawn Boy files a 'what i did at Glastonbury' spread, which is an interesting approach to bringing a fresh angle to the now well past festival. Gough calls McCartney "at best, karaoke Beatles"; Franz Ferdinand fret over if anyone really liked their set. And there's a picture of him pissing, but - thank the lord - only from behind.
Peter Paphides takes a tour of the doughty record shops of Old Albion, holding fast in the face of iTunes. You'd have to suspect that a store that's held on in the face of Asda and Virgin must have a pretty good chance of keeping going through the digital future, but a list which praises Picadilly in Manchester over Probe in Liverpool? You'd have to question the research, wouldn't you?
Brian Higgins is a Phil Spector from Kent for the 21st century, apparently - we'd advise eastenders actresses to not take him up on the offer a quick nightcap, then. He's really, of course, a more photogenic Pete Waterman - he's got the requisite dodgy past (member of Motiv8) with the dash of cred (extra wibblings for Pulp) and the knack of turning out a tune that even a clubfooted bunch of bus queuers like Girls Aloud can't fuck up. Totally.
Tucked away in the reviews is the news that Ella Guru have finally got their first album out - they were one of the few bands which made my period as live reviewer for Liverpool's then premier listings magazine Ink bearable; in a sea of boys who believed they were every bit as good as Oasis (and who usually were, but no better, and that was their tragedy), Ella Guru stood out like Morse in a field of Shoestrings. If there's any justice, they should now be adopted as heroes by all passers-by, and the Zutons can head back for retraining.
Paul Morley spends too much time worrying about Girls Aloud - "whenever I spot them on television, they look like they are in agony... [they] lethargically gyrated and tightly gripped onto their glossy smiles as if they were performing for a bunch of crazed soldiers a few miles down the river from Colonel Kurtz."
So, round the front of the magazine, you've got Juliette Lewis pretending to be a pop star. Up the rear end, it's Kirsten Dunst playing at music journos, interviewing Rufus Wainwright. She seems incapable of accepting that he's really gay, first undoing her shirt a little to see if there's any reaction; by the end, she's stripped herself naked and rubbed baby oil into her tits, standing on her hands with her legs splayed screaming "I don't believe it... tell me you don't wanna munch. Tell me. TELL ME!" Oh, alright, she asks him who he most wants to cover one of his songs. He chooses Bjork, on the grounds that "anything even breathed on by her has the permanent seal of hipness." Which is instantly disproved by Einnar Sugarcube, surely?
The NME has got one of those multiple cover things going on - we'd normally have snorted with disbelief that anyone thought a choice of Libertines covers would be a great idea, but having seen last week's Radio Times (horrible, horrible sub-warhol soap icons - "icons" stretched to include Spencer Moon and Angie Watts). Carl Barat - who, you'll recall, recently ejected Pete from the band - calls for Pete to come home. While Pete, dressed for offering a defence, whines "Why push me out, Carl?" Erm... probably the gallon of cheap hooker's smack in your bloodstream, Pete. the T in the Park survey asks if the Libs can thrive without Pete, getting a very on-the-fence 46-54 split just about in favour of 'Yes.' Which may harden Carl's resolve.
Naturally, the pair are interviewed apart - which gives Pete plenty of room to pull the pity me schtick - they coulda played Glastonbury, they did last year when he was in a similar place. He stresses that he doesn't inject the smack, like that makes a difference. Apparently, if he did, it would make him "more unreliable." The mind boggles. It's a splendid piece of journalism; it also marks a key point in the Libertines story - Pete's decline isn't heartbreaking anymore; it's frustrating, but he's burned through all the sympathy, used all his chances. It's hard to find any sympathy for a man who hasn't done a thing to help himself, a man seeking just the easy solution. As he trots out 'this time will be different' after half truth and self-serving recast of history, it just drains. Having flung so much goodwill back into so many faces, Doherty's now moved on from wasted talent to just a waster.
Which leaves Carl, of course: worried that the band are now the smack band rather than famous for their music. "I don't want to give the impression I've given up... there's always hope." He rejects notions that the Libs are the most important band of their generation on the wise grounds that "our generation isn't over yet"; this doesn't stop Mark Beaumont attempting to shore up the same claim over the following two pages. The witnesses in his defence - Alan McGee and a bloke who runs a Libs website - aren't exactly looking with fresh eyes; McGee makes the fatuous suggestion that "culturally, it's the most significant thing in my life since punk" (and Alan, if you really believe that, it's time to take up gardening). Beaumont at least has the grace to look sheepish as he attempts to place a label on the Libs and the bands supposedly riding in their wake (The Others and, um, the others) - The Paddingtons, The Cherubs or even, god help us, Urch. You turn the page, and there's an interview with Bloc Party, which doesn't just put the claim into perspective, but also shades it in and draws accurate pictures of running horses all over it.
Keane and the Darkness are having a fight, with The Darkness calling Keane "sheet-spoilers" (which isn't such an insult, is it, considering that sheets get spoiled in the middle of fevered love making) and Keane suggesting the Darkness are a novelty act. For some reason there's a Viz cartoon strip about it all, as well.
Keane versus the Darkness is but a playground squabble compared with the Elsie Tanner versus Ena Sharples that is Peter Robinson against Simon Popworld. In the end, though, they both turn on the smug, pointless, offensive, stupidly haired, badly beshirted, lumpen, porridgey Vernon Kay.
Willy Wonder. Tee hee. The Radar act has a vaguely rude name. And he gets to hang out with Conor Oberst and miss math class. Yes, "math". Which means, of course, he's American.
Modern Life Is Rubbish. Meat is Murder. Anarchy in the UK. All You Need Is Love.We Live In Urban Hell, We Destroy Rock & Roll. Fight The Power. Time For Heroes. The posters are, then, rock slogans - oddly, they've missed out Sex Is Good, But Not As Good As A Wank. Did These Animal Men die in vain?
Ikara Colt drop by with their art-rock manifesto, presumably for the next time they do the slogan posters: It's better to regret something you've done than... oh, you've heard that before?
the music - montreux - "ridiculous and sublime"
death from above - nme competition winner's front room - "two 13 year old girls discuss forming a death metal band"
goldie lookin' chain - ibiza - this writes itself, I guess
mark lanegan band - bubblegum - "'bombed is a snippet of raw, unhampered beauty", 8
tanya donnelly - whiskey town ghosts - "as bruised and bewitching as Belly", 7
WIT - Whatever It Takes - "18 months too late", 4
the (international) noise conspiracy - armed love - "mistaken R&B for the scream of revolution", 5
sotw - the futureheads - decent days and nights - "utterly thrilling pop music"
the golden virgins - light in her window - "wry, dry as a bone, flawless"
The cartoon strip ends with Noddy Holder spanking Justin Hawkins with a slipper.
DISGRACE: Robert Wyatt has suggested his entry on the Mercury shortlist is purely to make the list seem like it's quite broad and has said a win for Cuckooland would be "a disgrace". Which would be quite a cool reaction, but he suggests that Amy Winehouse would be a more deserving victor. Don't listen to him... please, judges, don't listen.
MAYBE THERE'S GOING TO BE LOTS OF WALK-UP: Madonna's ticket prices for the UK tour seemed to be a challenge: Do you love me enough to pay a hundred quid to see me? No seems to be very much the answer.
CALMED DOWN: Organisers of the Livid festival in Australia have axed this year's event because of a "scarcity" in headline acts on this year's international festival touring circuit." It's a new excuse on us: "We're not putting on a festival because the only bands we can get are shit." Let's hope the V organisers don't hear about it, eh?
PROMOTIONAL TOOL: Congratulations to Judy McGrath, just appointed chair and CEO of MTV Networks in the states. It's a little early to say what this will mean for an MTV battered by its involvement in the Janet Jackson flash-off, but we've spent a couple of minutes digging and come up with a speech McGrath made to the National Association of Record Merchandisers back in 2001:
But what I'm really proud of, and what I'd like to celebrate this morning, is the 20th wedding anniversary of MTV and you guys, the recording merchandisers of America. I mean when you think about it, we really are like this old married couple. We've been together for 20 years, we know each other's quirks and perks, we can practically finish each other's sentences. Sometimes we squabble, but most of the time we're the best of friends.
But the best thing about our relationship, the thing that separates it from most 20-year marriages, is we're still really good at it. I mean it, we've got the moves, we've got the groove, together we're performing better than we ever have.
Really? From the rest of the speech, it's clear that neither side is very interested in fucking each other, and that they're just together for the mutual benefit:
ust to give you some idea of this love thing we got going — 2000 was a record breaking year for music sales, and MTV played a very big role. Five artists — Eminem, Britney Spears, Limp Bizkit, Backstreet Boys and *NSYNC — sold over 1 million records their first week of release, after major MTV exposure the week before — stunts like Eminem hanging out on the channel and *NSYNC hosting TRL.
Radiohead credits MTV2 for helping them debut at number one in sales, and they didn't even make a video. What they did make were these odd, artsy 20-second video blips which we ran all over the channel. The blips not only promoted the album, they made MTV2 look really cool.
We threw a roller derby party for Jay -Z, and his album debuted at well over half a million, right ahead of Outkast, who had just been featured on Making of the Video. We made Papa Roach a staple on TRL, before they were getting any radio play, and their sales shot up to 100,000 a week. And Mudvayne is getting lots of early love on MTV2 helping them make that critical new connection with music fans that will spur their sales.
Had she known what 2004 had in store, she probably wouldn't have got quite so excited about this part:
Then this year, we participated in a little event called the Super Bowl. OK, the game may have been a snooze, but the halftime show, which MTV produced, with, you know, Aerosmith and Britney and *NSYNC and Nelly and Mary J. Blige … made history. Not just MTV history and Super Bowl halftime history, but record merchandizing history. It turns out our modest extravaganza had a direct effect on sales.
Boy, if you thought 2001 was a historic half time show, Judy, you must have been Fukayamed out this year.
Now, all of this might give the impression that MTV has become little more than a market stall, and that any vague notions the station may have had back in the early days about being a challenge to the mainstream have long been set aside in the interests of selling. Damn, are you wrong? It's about the revolution, you know:
So obviously this is a pretty happy, healthy relationship we've got going here — we, the music televisers, and you, the music merchants, And from the successes I've just cited,
one might conclude that we married for money. But I don't think it's that simple. Or cheap. It's not money, honey, that keeps us together. It's revolution.
Indulge me for a moment while I go back twenty years to those heady, romantic days when you and I first met. I arrived at MTV in 1981, just a few months after it launched. It was an inauspicious launch — at the end of our first year, we were carried in fewer than 1 million homes. Today, of course, MTV is carried in more than 333 million households around the world and has not only grown into being the most watched network on the planet but also the most recognized media brand in the world. But you've probably heard all that before.
More recognised than the BBC? Somehow I can't imagine that the World Service is less well-known than MTV, but let's let that pass.
Anyway, I had been a writer at Conde Nast, working at Mademoiselle and Glamour and writing stories like "Women Who Love Men Who Hate Women and Why." I had two friends who were working for a guy named Bob Pittman over at a place called MTV. They told me MTV was looking for writers. So I went over and met with Pittman, an ex-disk jockey from Mississippi, and John Sykes, who used to sell records out of the trunk of his car at Syracuse University. Incidentally, at Syracuse Sykes, who now runs VH1 and CMT, roomed with a guy named Phil Quartararo, who now runs Warner Brothers Records. Was that destiny or what?
But where is the revolution coming in?
Where was I? Oh, yes. so Pittman and Sykes took a chance on me and I took a chance on them. We were all taking risks. MTV was completely different from the world I had known. At Conde Nast, the staff had degrees from Ivy League schools. At MTV, no one had degrees. Many were refugees from radio. Some just seemed like refugees. I guess we all were refugees from former lives. But the one thing we had in common was our passion for music. We felt that rock had the ability to change lives.
I'm sure everyone in this room knows what I'm talking about. I guess if you think back to the beginning, MTV's programming was kind of pitiful. We told people we had hundreds of videos — actually, it was more like 50, and half were from Rod Stewart.
These days, of course, MTV is so busy showing dimwitted lifestyle programmes they wouldn't even need fifty videos.
But it didn't matter — we were part of a revolution. First of all, we were playing music that itself was born of a cultural revolution 20 years before. But we were playing it in a new way, music on television and in the process we revolutionized music and television.
To further the cause, we worked with other revolutionaries such as yourselves. From the start, MTV partnered with retailers to bring art to the masses. Early video stars like Cyndi Lauper, Madonna, the Go-Gos and Duran Duran, saw sales soar when their videos become hits.
It all became clear in Dallas. At the time, half of Dallas was wired for cable. On the cable side of town, Duran Duran records sold as soon as they were dropped in the record store bins. On the other side of town, the side not wired for cable, you couldn't give away a Duran Duran record.
We have our doubts about the authenticity of this statement.
And that, as I recall, is how the cable revolution began. The point I'm getting to, and we can all hope that in my nostalgic ramblings I'm getting to a point, and I am, and here it is: This revolutionary music that you and I are so in love with, that is at the heart of our love affair with each other, stands for many radical things. Well, you know the list — freedom, passion, tolerance, experimentation, everyone's an artist, make love not war, bite me — it's quite a list. But one powerful lesson we should learn from the music, and increasingly so today, is that technology is our friend.
Well, to be honest, telling the music industry that they should embrace technology in 2001 would be like suggesting to the Pope that he start giving lesbians the chance to have a go at preaching. But we doubt if anyone would have heard her, as most of the audience would have been guffawing at the concept of Cyndi Lauper being a breast-bearing revolutionary. Anyway, she then bangs on about the Dave Matthews band for a moment - oh, feel the sharpness of the leading edge, before getting to this bit:
"Buzzworthy" ROTATION has now become "Buzzworthy.MTV.com," a triple-platform threat that promotes selected new artists simultaneously on MTV, MTV2 and MTV Online. This worked particularly well last year for Buzzworthy.MTV.com artist David Gray, who had been selling 5000 albums a week and by Christmas was selling 100,000 a week. Buzzworthy.MTV.com is just one of a brand new bag of MTV 360* tools that we're developing.
Is this a revolution? Not yet, but we're working on it. Our goal is to build a total music experience — the first multi-platform, multi-dimensional musical brand for the digital age. The MTV 360 environment will offer more access, more control, more interactivity, more data and more fun. In short, more music and more everything the music's about.
Really? Not "shunt the music off to the margins, and try and sell stuff?"
Right now it especially seems like all the old definitions of retail are up for grabs. How people get music, how they feel about it and how they relate to it is changing right before our eyes. But that's cool -- we have a lot of tools to work with. We have fantastic internet radio with Sonicnet a secure deal with RioPort, thriving television networks ... lots of good ways to touch music lovers. And what we're trying to figure out is, how do we use MTV, MTV2 and MTV.com in some fresh new ways that consumers will find compelling?
Because at home, the consumers demand to be compelled. You might have spotted the pretence at revolution has slid a little here - it's become a lot about storming barricades, more about swiping barcodes. And, in fact, when you start talking about a secure rioport thriving downloader, 'Girls Just Wanna Have Fun' does sound a lot more like The Red Flag than it did before.
Fresh ideas are the key, of course. Like "Control Freak," which runs on both MTV2 and MTV.com. And DFX and TRL and VJ for a Day — those shows offer endless opportunities for cross-platform collaboration. They really are the shows of the future, and the best way to expose music to young fans. We go where they are and, and connect them to the music they need and want to discover.
Yes, request programmes. We can't imagine why nobody has ever thought of those before. But why exactly is playing requests the "best way to expose music to young fans" - surely playing them what they know they want to hear is the best way to ensure they never hear anything new, or challenging, or... hang on, I think I'm getting it now.
But perhaps our best and biggest idea of the year so far is relaunching MTV2, which is absolutely critical to our new 360 world. MTV2 is now in over 30 million homes and in 18 of the top 20 media markets. The channel plays music videos 24 hours a day and focuses on breaking new artists and cutting edge music. MTV2 features videos from all music genres, including hip hop, rock, R&B, techno and has even brought back an music industry favorite with the return of 120 minutes.
Viva the revolution of, erm, bringing back old programmes from the dead. Just for the record, of course, MTV2 in the States, like the UK version, has long since abandoned playing non-stop music videos (today you've got the usual mix of movie previews, Steve O sticking things up his ass, Making The Video... you get the idea of the cheap programming you'd see).
Over the last several months, MTV2 has scored big in retail with artists like David Gray, At The Drive-In, Coldplay, and Nelly Furtado. And at this weekend's NARM merchandising committee meeting, we began brainstorming an MTV2 New Music initiative to help spotlight the artists of tomorrow in your record stores.
David Gray, Nelly Furtado - surely not even the most out-of-touch monk in the furthest monastry could have mistaken Nelly and David as the harbingers of revolutionary new music?
So it looks like MTV and NARM will be married for some time to come, at least another 20 years and a few more revolutions. And even if we get it wrong, the music will get it right. You can tell there's something in the air.
This is as close as you'll get to the promised sex metaphor from earlier in the speech - MTV greasing up its asshole and sticking it aloft. It's all 'we'll bend over for you, look what we can do for you' - like a trophy wife in a stagnant marriage, MTV is begging her husband to stick with her, offering new and lower forms of debasement: "Okay, honey, we'll do the 360 environment if you'll not go down the pub tonight..."
The revolution is coming. I don't know if it's cyclical, or political, or what. But whenever things get a little boring … maybe a little conservative, the music gets really good. Think about it -- Eisenhower gave us Elvis and Chuck Berry. Reagan gave us MTV. That's right, we launched during Reagan's first year. Later we made a promo that said, "MTV -- the best thing Reagan ever did. So what's Dubya gonna give us? Personally I think the music will be revolutionary, and the videos will be insane. It's already happening. Don't believe me? Take a look at this video from Fatboy Slim that we're premiering March 22nd on MTV2.
Really, that probably encapsulates it all - that over-praised, humdrum Fatboy Slim video is the new CEO of MTV's idea of really "insane", revolutionary, exciting music. They might as well start sticking out round-the-clock showings of the Time Life Is This Love collection ("not available in any shops") and have done with.
More from No Rock on limp bizkit
CAREY SIGNS NEW PUBLISHING DEAL: Mariah Carey's withdrawal from Sony has been completed, with the sealing of a deal to take publishing for the Carey catalogue to Universal. The Universal spokesman, David Rezner, showed the sort of poker faced skills that won him the contract by pretending that the label were really, really interested in the new stuff she's writing for the album supposedly coming in the last part of the year. (It's currently described as "tentatively scheduled", which we're reading as "they're still having to put the soft material on the surfaces of the studio before they can start recording.")
CLEAR CHANNEL VERSUS STERN: IT'S A LONG WAY FROM OVER: Howard Stern's battles with US Radio giant Clear Channel in the post-Jackson breast days have now started to get to court. Stern is suing Clear Channel for terminating his contract - a ten million dollar claim; now Clear Channel are counter-suing Stern for three million, claiming his programmes were obscene and, thus, a breach of the contract in their own right. Legal sources said "this is obviously going to go on until someone loses an eye."
JACKO NOT ABOUT TO BE A DAD FOR FOURTH, FIFTH, SIXTH AND SEVENTH TIME: At least, Jackson is denying claims in US magazine there's a surrogate mother with quads in a womb that he's hired. Then again, who can be sure? You're feeling a bit down, you go to a bar, have a few drinks, feel lonely; before you know it whoever it is you're getting your sperm from and whoever it is offering up her ovaries are sending each other FedEx packages; nine months later you've got four bouncing kids on your doorstep and you can't even remember making the phone call to order 'em. Happens to us all.
CHRISTINA'S NOT GOING BALD: Christina Aguilera isn't going bald at all. According to her mum. Which just goes to show how sweet mothers are, doesn't it?
"I think there would be an awful lot of bald women and girls running around if changing your hair colour too often made it fall out. "
Um... but the key words there are surely "too often" - as Stephen Fry has pointed out, that's precisely the level which is excessive. But maybe you're right - the very idea that pouring chemical after chemical onto your head is going to make your hair die is just ridiculous - the sort of scaremongering that got them to stop putting alum into bread.
More from No Rock on christina aguilera
THANK YOU FOR THAT: Jamelia's been banging on. And on. And on. And... you get the idea:
"Gun culture does concern me - not in a personal way, but because it's so popular at the moment. In my opinion, it's an epidemic, and instead of concentrating on having bloody wars Tony Blair should be looking closer to home. It's ridiculous. Something needs to be sorted and it shouldn't be up to people like me to do something about it. I don't worry about becoming a target. I'm as much at risk as anyone else on the street - I don't see any particular threat against me. But you hear about people carrying guns, an argument breaks out and someone gets hit by a stray bullet and I think it's disgusting. I remember when I was younger people had verbal fights, but nowadays if I stepped on someone's foot I'd say: 'I'm so sorry.'"
Righto - so what would you have done in the past, Jam? Laughed? Not bothered apologising? Because if you're telling us that gun culture has had the effect of making young people more polite when they accidently hurt people, then we can't really see that as a bad thing. We are fascinated by the way you think "it shouldn't be up to people like me to do something about it" - because, you know, giving an interview to the Daily Mirror and moaning doesn't actually constitute "doing something about it", really, does it?
But if Tony Blair makes her angry, it's probably because he's not establishment enough:
"Prince Charles is such a nice guy. He's really, really down- to-earth and he knows what's going on. You think royalty are so detached but he knows his stuff - although he didn't know who Anastacia was. Meeting him was the highlight of my career. It was particularly emotional because I'm not from a privileged background. He was speaking all the time and at one point I actually thought, 'I'd really like to see Lemar perform'. But seriously, he was absolutely lovely. He talked about my career and background and said he was really proud of me. I've actually been invited to his house - but I can't tell you when for security reasons. It's a private party and I was really chuffed when I got my invite about a week ago. I don't know if William and Harry are going to be there, but I'm so excited."
Ah, bless, she really would have to kill us if she told us the date of Prince Charles' house party. Although we're shocked that the future king of this country has no idea who Anastacia is - why shouldn't he suffer with the rest of the nation? Not quite sure, either, why Prince Charles would be "proud" of Jam's career - what, exactly, has been his input into it?
"I think she [Beyonce] is a fantastic artist, but I'm my own person. Yes, there are similarities, but I'm not the British Beyonce."
Don't worry on that score, Jamelia - you're 2004's Michelle Gayle if you're anything.
"It's frustrating. I want to be the one people get compared to. I don't feel in competition with anyone. If anyone came on the scene similar to me I wouldn't feel threatened in any way, because I'm already here."
Ah, but the very idea of someone doing stuff pretty similar to the standard tunes you're knocking out - how likely is that, eh?
"I don't worry about my figure. This is how I naturally am. I don't exercise, I don't go to the gym and a lot of people call me a bitch. It's very easy for me to say, but I don't feel pressure to conform."
Well, we'll reserve judgement on this one until your metabolism ages and starts to run away from you.
"In my opinion, I have lots of money, but a millionaire would say I'm poor. You might see me in designer clothes, but - no offence - I would never pay for them because I could never justify spending that amount of money on a piece of clothing. I go to Topshop, Miss Selfridge. I still go into H&M and look out for the sales."
No offence? None taken, James. You insist on getting your designer clothes for free. You keep it real.
"I was so pleased [with the pisspoor chart entry at number 5]. A lot of people were talking about burning people at the stake because I didn't get to No.1, but it's really not a problem. I see myself as an artist with longevity. I still hope to be here in 10 years' time. I've got plenty more opportunities to get a No.1 - I'm no Peter Andre."
No, because Peter Andre had a so-so career, and then disappeared for a while, and then returned off the back off a TV show, whereas you had a so-so career, and then disappeared for a while, and returned off the back off the theme to a TV show. No similarities there at all. We're curious as to who actually was planning the stake-burnings - is this standard record company practice nowadays? Because if it is, there must be a hell of a lot of smouldering heaps round the back of 19 Management. But hold on, because Jamelia's off again, talking about making it in America:
"I think Americans can be a bit snooty about British artists, but I embrace the fact I'm from the UK and I don't attempt to do an American-sounding R&B. I do think I'm different enough to make it - or at least I'll try. It's definitely going to be next year. It's a territory that is its own little world and I'm so excited that it's a possibility."
Yes, the USA is one of those closed kingdoms, like Nepal or North Korea. We can only begin to imagine what their culture is like - can any of us even recall having heard an American pop song? We'd suggest that Jamelia prepare for her trip to this mysterious territory by watching BBC Four - they might drag up some US cinema for their world cinema slot to give you some idea of what to expect. But good luck with selling something that doesn't sound like what the American audience wants to an American audience.
"I've been single for more than three years now and I'm not actually bothered. I'm really happy, although if a guy did come along it would be nice. No guys chat me up - ever. It's just something I'm used to. Once someone gets the confidence to come up and say something, maybe I'll go on a date. I don't want to sound desperate, but anyone who is willing to take me, I'll go. It doesn't make a difference if he's famous or not - it's just whether we have a connection, someone who can make me laugh, is intelligent and likes to have fun."
I'm really, really happy being single. But please, please, please come and have a go. Please. Although - and I can't stress this enough - I'm really, really happy being single.
"I feel as if I'm living my dream. I feel fortunate and sometimes bewildered. I see people going a little bit crazy and I think: 'Right...' because I don't feel any different.
But you've just said you don't make enough cash to buy designer clothes, your single scraped in at a lowly five - why would you feel any different?
"If it all ended tomorrow, I'd be so happy I got to experience all these opportunities. I'd just go home and be a normal person.
But we thought you were just a normal person?
"I don't immerse myself in the celebrity culture. You can be here one day, gone the next, and no one knows your name."
No, you keep yourself aloof from the free designer clothes and parties with royalty of the celebrity culture. Wise move.
NOT ONE TEQUILA SLAMMER GOT SLAMMED: This appears down in the comments on the Linda Ronstadt story, but I think it's worth flagging up a little higher: there was no mini-riot at the Aladdin hotel when she praised Michael Moore, just a little gentle booing. Which makes the frogmarching and throwing out of Ronstadt even more extraordinary than it seemed on the first report.
Tuesday, July 20, 2004
DON'T TAKE ON THE CLIFF FANS: A company called GetMeTickets had a nice little sideline going flogging tickets to desperate fans, and then sticking on a massive VAT charge on top of their premium rates. It was all going so well, until they tried to charge a Cliff Richard fan GBP646.24 for tickets it had advertised as GBP550 all-in. Sonia Sweirzbinki had been happy to pay the 550 quid for the 40 pounds tickets because she loves Cliff, but she wasn't so daft as to take an extra hundred without a fight, especially since she'd been told that there would be no charges above that published in the paper. The company director Michael Rangos then put the phone down on her when she rang to complain, which turns out to have been rather an expensive mistake - her next call was to to Trading Standards, and the result? A four thousand quid fine for the company. First rule of business, Mr. Rangos: don't piss off people who are determined enough to pay ten times the face value of tickets - they don't tend to roll over that easily.
THERE WILL BE A RELEASE FROM SING-SING: Good news from Sing-Sing, who, you'll recall, had issued a cash-strapped warning that unless they could sell their old records, they wouldn't have enough to make a new one. Turns out it's worked:
You know when celebrities say when they have won an award, “I couldn’t have done it without my fans”? Well, literally – we could not have done it without you guys. Some of you already know this but we are making Sing-Sing album number 2! Yes, our appeal raised enough cash for us to go back into the studio and record the songs that have waited to be recorded all this time. The response was really beyond our wildest dreams so we both want to say a big THANK-YOU to you all!! This band is continuing because of you lot. You can all pat yourselves on the back!
Update – we are working on an 11-track album which we hope will be released sometime late 2004. Like the EP, Mark Van Hoen and El Drezidente are producing and Alan Moulder will be mixing again. It’s all very exciting as it’s sounding very good in this early stage. We haven’t thought of an album title yet but here are some track names ‘Come, Sing Me A Song’, ‘Lover’, ‘Mr Karachi’, ‘Going Out Tonight’......
So there you go, who’d’ve thunk it?!! We did it guys.
ROD STEWART BUYS GREAT BRITAIN: No, really. Apparently, someone's gone to all the trouble of building some fake islands in the Arabian Gulf so that it looks like a map of the World when flying above it - we're not sure if this is using a Phillips Projection or a Mercator Projection - and Rod's lashed out GBP18million for Britain. A fool, and his money, and so on.
MYSTERIOUS AILMENT CAUSES RONAN KEATING TO CANCEL ROUND OF GOLF: It seems Ronan's picked up something from somewhere that has caused himto be blinded by an enormous swelling (oh, please), meaning he had to pull out of a Charity Golf Day in memory of his mother. Apparently, the hospital won't let him leave until they're 100 per cent happy with him, which means, casting an eye over his back catalogue, he's unlikely ever to leave.
MY TY: We had a vague feeling that Ty were a Welsh guitar band, but it turns out that Mercury Nominated Ty is, apparently, London's biggest rapper. And not connected in any way with the company which makes Beanie Babies.
ANOTHER CHUNK OF THE SUPERS: Superchunk's ongoing official bootleg series continues to spit out gems with the regularity of a Italian farmer spitting out olive stones on a sunny afternoon in late summer. Their Cats Cradle set from five years ago is to get an airing. When We Were 10; Live at the Cats Cradle 1999 is the recording of their set at Merge record's 10th anniversary; it's going to be made available at the 15th anniversary weekend (from July 29th) and via the merge website.
I WON'T SHOW MY HOLE AGAIN: We're not entirely sure who it is offering Kerry McFadden thousands of pounds to pose naked for a calendar, but we're thinking of getting up a petition. We've all seen Kerry's porn pictures from back before she was bright orange, and even with skin the colour of skin it wasn't a pretty sight. Not that we should worry too much, though, as Kerry's turning down the offer:
"I can't do those sort of shots now I'm a married mother of two. It wouldn't seem right."
We understand, Kerry. Stretchmarks, right?
DOHERTY ANNOUNCES FULL SET OF TOUR DATES TO BE CANCELLED AT SOME POINT IN THE FUTURE: Pete Doherty's lined up a series of dates around the country, booked Dot Allison for support, and made an announcement of when he'll be playing. All that remains now is for him to sell his guitars, disappear off to Amsterdam and leave someone else to clean up the mess. If you're prepared to take a risk:
Glasgow Stereo (July 26)
Wolverhampton Little Civic (27)
Sheffield Trippets (28)
Southampton Joiners (29)
Nottingham The Social (31)
Brighton Freebutt (August 1)
London Camden Monarch (2)
Bristol Louisiana (4)
Shrewsbury The Albert (5)
London Camden Monarch (6)
EVERYONE WANTS A BIT OF THE STREETS: As if it wasn't bad enough someone popping up claiming the credit for Dry Your Eyes' music, now Chris Martin has appeared to say that he used to be the singer on it:
"Well it’s an interesting story if you’re into Coldplay and if you’re not its really boring, but Mike Skinner, his new single is called ‘Dry Your Eyes’ and there was this version of it which I sang the chorus. But I said I didn’t think it was as good as the version where he sang the chorus. Then he didn’t think that was as good as the version where some other dude sang the chorus, so neither him nor me sing on the chorus. But it was cool too... it was cool to spend the day with him. He’s an amazing guy; you know there are some great rappers coming out. I don’t know whether he’d class himself as a rapper or a MC or whatever."
Now, we're not in a place to judge this, but we'd suggest that - regardless of if you like Coldplay or not - that was a fairly interesting story told in a really dull fashion. This all took place during an interview with Harborough FM, which sounds like something made up for the Kit Curran Radio Show. The NME tries to spice up the transcript, to give them their dues - But "Chris Martin has spoken out" does oversell it somewhat. And we're not sure about the use of "joked" here, either:
Martin joked: "I think [Jay-Z] amazing. I’ve been listening to Jay-Z and Kraftwerk a lot. Trying to get inspiration for the last few songs on our album."
The interview then descended into banging on about the-not-funny-at-the-time Nappies spoof band for way too long, and how babies change "everything" (what, really? Why has nobody told us that before?)
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MERCURY SHORTLIST, ANYONE?: This just in: the 2004 Mercury shortlist - sponsored, of course, by the Nationwide:
Amy Winehouse Frank
Basement Jaxx Kish Kash
Belle & Sebastian Dear Catastrophe Waitress
Franz Ferdinand Franz Ferdinand
Jamelia Thank You
Joss Stone The Soul Sessions
Keane Hopes and Fears
Robert Wyatt Cuckooland
Snow Patrol Final Straw
The Streets A Grand Don't Come for Free
The Zutons Who Killed... The Zutons
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WHAT'S THE BUZZ: The Hives have announced a UK tour for September this year, where at least you can be sure they'll be really smartly dressed. The dates:
Bristol Academy - September 21
Birmingham Academy - 23
Manchester Apollo - 24
Sheffield Octagon - 25
London Brixton Academy - 29
GOOD NEWS FOR THE P45 INDUSTRY: The EU has approved the Sony/BMG merger and, with the Americans likely to give approval in days as well, it looks likely that 2000 - 3000 people from the music industry are going to be seeking new work by Christmas.
WISE INVESTMENTS: Making better use of his money than Shola is James Bourne out of Busted, who's bought shares in a clothing company. Although, really, choosing a modish fashion squad like Sic Puppy instead of something a bit more solid - say, Damart, with their thermals - might prove to be as risky an investment as, well, long-term investment in Busted's career.
THE DRUGS DON'T WORK, NOT FOREVER: Ever wondered what happened to Shola Ama? One minute she's the new Sade. Next... well, she's the new Sade.
It turns out she managed to burn through her cash by spending up to a thousand a day on cocaine; and, up to her beak in drucks, snorted away her career as well. Of course, we know this because she's returned, cleaned-up, testifying to her previous faults and keen to make a new start. Just like the new Sade.
Just in passing - a thousand quid a day on coke? What was she doing, taking it home in a bloody wheelbarrow?
YOU'VE GOT THE BAND IN THE BUBBLE AND THE BABY WITH THE BABOON HEART: Well, a band in a big glass box, anyway. Now, sadly, this isn't the plan we've had to permanently isolate Girls Aloud and stop them from being a menace to society; instead, Australian band Regurgitator have sealed themselves in a glass studio in the middle of Sydney while they work on their new album. Quan Yeomans says:
"Unparalleled artistic accountability wrapped up in a landmark meta-cultural experiment or a weeping pustule of cutting edge, quasi-real situation marketing-anti-marketing fodder covering up poorly crafted music? Quite possibly. I have no idea. That's why we have to do it."
[Thanks to Christopher B]
MULLY FOR NOTHING: If you fancy a spot of Mull Historical Society, but are reluctant to actually spend money to get your jollies, great news: MHS are playing a mini-tour of HMVs and Fopps. It was Birmingham yesterday, which we realise is a bit useless to tell you now, but here are the other dates:
Tues 20 July - 5.00pm - FOPP, 1 Earlham Street, Covent Garden, LONDON
Wed 21 July - 12.30pm - HMV, 1 Victoria Walk, Headrow Centre, LEEDS
Wed 21 July - 5.00pm - HMV, 90 Market St, MANCHESTER
Sat 24 July - 5.00pm - FOPP, 19 Union Street, GLASGOW
Monday, July 19, 2004
ENOUGH, NOW: We generally feel that 6Music is a good thing, and it makes us feel that there's more to paying the licence fee than just upsetting Rupert Murdoch (although sixty-odd pence a day to piss off Murdoch has got to be money well spent in anyone's book). And we love that the BBC support the network enough to actually promote it properly - we haven't forgotten how the old Radio Five was allowed to die starved of promotion pretty much after its first couple of weeks on air. Even so, we're getting a little bit sick of seeing the Phil Juiptus Breakfast Show trail at every bloody programme junction. Come on, 6Music is littered with treasures - The Collins, Gideon Coe, Lammo - why focus purely (and repeatedly) on just Phil Juiptus? We're not convinced his profile is very much higher than many of his peers - Andrew Collins was, of course, recently invited to choose his Perfect World for readers of the MK review, which is worth three appearances on Never Mind The Buzzcocks. And he might not have been a regular on It's Only TV But I Like It, but - hey - Telly Addicts, right?
The advert doesn't even make sense to us - we think the idea is meant to be that it's like he's doing the show from his living room, but since the coffee mug and dog are in the "studio" when he arrives there, does it mean he lives at 6Music? And if he does, why does he go out and drive round in a circle to get there? Is it - like Mike in Neighbours, Guy Pearce's first major acting job, he's been thrown out of his house by his evil Dad and so is sneaking in to sleep in the studio (or, of course, Daphne's coffee shop?) and having to sneak out and then re-enter so nobody knows? Although having a bloody great glass window looking in to the room might give his colleagues a clue, surely? Has he merely forgotten that he's at the studio - perhaps all those episodes of Buzzcocks are taking their toll on him, and he first he forgets to go home at the end of one show, and then, twenty hours later, forgets he's already at the studio? And, most important of all, if he's such a great DJ, why does he take the Cure off mid-verse?
AND THIS IS A DEFENCE?: So, Jay Kay out of Jamiroquai has been caught speeding again, this time in Central Scotland. And, with several offences already notched up against him, Jay Kay had better have a really good reason for tearing along at 105mph. And he has, right? Erm... right:
"I'd set out early in the morning but had become stuck behind slow moving traffic on the single-carriageway road. That meant I had been traveling for four hours at an average of about 30 miles an hour by this stage. I was not driving a fast sports car but a four-wheel drive vehicle which meant I wanted to make the most of this overtaking opportunity. I appreciate the maximum penalty for this offense could lead to the loss of my license and this is a matter of grave concern to me."
So, there you have it: He was speeding because he wasn't driving a sports car. How could anyone take away the lad's licence on that basis, eh?
DON'T COME AROUND HERE, NO MOORE: A few more lights switched off in America as their democracy starts to run on back-up power only. Linda Ronstadt was doing a set at the Aladdin Hotel in Las Vegas, when she broke off to suggest that everyone should pop along to the cinema to see Fahrenheit 9/11, and that Michael Moore was "a great American patriot" and someone who is spreading the truth." In response to this, some of the audience started to howl, tear down posters, and hurl food around. (There aren't many news reports which contain the phrase "people... tossed cocktails into the air", like a Darby and Joan riot, but this is one of them.) Now, the extreme over-reaction by Bush supporters to a fairly basic and not very controversial statement suggests something about how jumpy the right are in the US right now, and would seem to raise a question about how people four-square behind Bush's vision of freedom seem incapable of even tolerating the idea of people who may choose to exercise their democratic freedoms in a different way to their own, right? Erm... not according to Bill Timmins, president of the Aladdin hotel. He was so angry he wouldn't even let Rondstadt back into her bedroom, and had her thrown off the property:
Ronstadt's antics "spoiled a wonderful evening for our guests and we had to do something about it," Timmins said.
You might question why Ronstadt suggesting watching a popular movie is an "antic" which "spoiled" people's evenings - surely the real people who wrecked the night were the cocktail riot squad whose childish tantrums stopped Ronstadt from doing Desperado?
THAT'S NOT YOUR TUNE: No sooner had pretend George Harrison Michael gagliano popped up claiming he wrote the music for Dry Your Eyes, than The Streets people stuck out a statement:
"The strings in The Streets single ‘Dry Your Eyes’ were taken from a sample CD which provides royalty free samples for artists. This is standard practice nowadays. Obviously, Mike has never heard the other song in question. Apparently it was released towards the end of 2003, and ‘Dry Your Eyes’ was recorded as early as March 2003 and CDs of the track have been kicking around the label and people involved ever since. We have no idea how the other artist thinks Mike heard his music before recording it and find it all a bit strange."
Apart from the total rubbishing of his claims, it's the "obviously" which is the twisting of the knife there, isn't it?
WHEN THE OCEAN GETS GOING, THE WIFE GETS PACKING: Billy Ocean has announced a tour, and insisted that his wife comes along, too, to "deter female fans.".
You know what, Billy? You might find she doesn't have to work very hard.
MR. MORRISSEY MOURNS: Mozzer has pulled out of his Fuji Festival appearance in Japan because of some sort of disagreement over his "performance." Perhaps more importantly, Morrissey has been talking about Arthur Kane, the New York Dolls bassist who died last week:
"I am personally very grateful to Arthur for his essential contribution to the Dolls and their music.He has left us with some great musical memories – especially ‘Private World’ and ’It’s Too Late’.
He was a very gentle soul and I know he lived for many years with the hope of a Dolls reunion. When this happened – at the Royal Festival Hall in June – I know Arthur was thrilled to be back with David and Sylvain playing the music of the Dolls to such enthusiastic crowds over two nights.
I will always remember the look of bashful happiness on Arthur’s face as people in the audience constantly called out his name. He was finally back where he belonged."
The reunion, of course, was brokered by Morrissey as part of his Meltdown curatorial duties.
While we're on the subject, the New York Dolls management have also released a statement:
Arthur "Killer" Kane died Tuesday in Los Angeles of complications related to leukaemia. He was the bass guitarist for the legendary rock band The New York Dolls which achieved great success in the early 1970's.
He was born in New York February 3, 1949. In 1972 he helped form The Dolls and revolutionised rock and roll in the United States, in England and around the world.
After a 27-year break-up the Dolls reunited for two sold-out shows in London last month. The ability to perform again with his band mates and to bring joy to fans for a last time pleased Arthur tremendously.
He was a beloved friend, church member and rock star and his gentle and sweet influence will be missed. He was a great example of meekness, kindness and of enduring to the end."
The "church member" reference is an acknowledgement of Kane's Mormonism. Kane seems to be an unlikely member of the Osmond's church, but was apparently an enthusiastic convert and well-respected by his peers.
WHAT, NO CHESTERFIELDS?: The Beatles are the greatest band of all time, according to a fiftieth birthday poll over on Normblog. In fact, the poll had three acts - beatles, stones and dylan - quite a way ahead of the rest of the pack ("a collective Sir Donald Bradman", as Norm puts it). Our main reaction to all this is to shake our heads again at just how over-rated The Who really are.
STARS KILL ROCK: If you've not quite got into your stride of working this week, and are looking for some use of your connection that might not be according to the rules, but isn't totally illegal, you might want to point your browser in the general direction of Kill Rock Stars collection of free MP3s. It includes Slumber Party and The Legend, Sleater-Kinney and Xiu Xiu, but there's loads to choose from. And easy clicks to buy stuff from the acts you like.
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APPLE RAISES GAME: After a couple of months sitting still waiting for rivals to catch up, Apple have laughed and launched a new iPod - longer battery life, smaller, thinner - and USD100 cheaper. No word on UK prices as yet.
COMING SOON: X-CLASSIC-FM: Rumours are ramping up that Capital and GWR are holding merger talks to create one giant, though not very good, radio group.
STREETS CRIME?: Michael Gagliano - who makes his living by pretending to be George Harrison in the counterfeit Beatles - is pissed off with Mike Skinner. He claims Dry Your Eyes is a total rip-off of one his songs. (Not the ones he plays when he's pretending to be Scouse):
"Dry Your Eyes came on the radio one day and I couldn't believe it. I pointed at the radio and said: 'That's my song'. There's absolutely no doubt about it - listen to both and you can see exactly where he's got the tune from. The only thing is, he hasn't contacted me, given me any credit - or offered to give me any royalties."
It's not recorded if Mr. Gagliano pays a royalty to the Harrison Estate for making use of George's image.
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THANK GOD THEY CAN COUNT ON TOBY KEITH: Bewigged pop dilettante Elton John has added his name to the list of People Not That Impressed By Bush. John - not known for stirring up political dust - has attacked George W for the bully tactics used by the White House and its media supporters to try and squish anyone who might feel like pointing out the current President's flaws:
Elton told New York magazine that stars are "frightened by the current administration's bullying tactics. There was a moment about a year ago when you couldn't say a word about anything in this country for fear of your career being shot down by people saying you are un-American" he said."
Sunday, July 18, 2004
NOT ALL RECORD COMPANIES ARE EVIL: Some actually even try and do the right thing. For example, Falling Mountain records has pledged to give a dollar from every CD sold through its website to social and environmental causes. The label - home to Linda Hickman, The Bog wanderers and Randy Barrett, among others - has decided to move away from single shot benefit albums, and turn its entire catalogue into charity titles. Imagine what could happen if a label the size of Sony-BMG, say, did that.
BUY FAKES? GUY FAWKES: The easiest way to damn anything in these post-Twin Towers days is to mutter "could be terrorism/could be used by terrorists/might make people think of terrorism", and it's probably only a surprise that it's taken so long for the Entertainment Industries to claim a firm link between unlicensed product and Al-Qaeda. This time round, it's the Industry Trust for Intellectual Property Awareness (the movie industry's copyright whiners) who are making the suggestion that buying a fake DVD from a bloke down the pub is tantamount to setting up a direct debit to one of Bin Laden's offshore accounts, but the music industry have been dropping hints that fake CDs might be being used to fund nests of terrorisms, yea, even in our own bossoms. It turns out there's precious little evidence for this - Interpol's Ronald Noble has concocted some vague data, such as a court case where there was a suggestion of a possibility of a chance of some link to Al-Qaeda - and what's even more compelling is the shit margins on fake DVDs making it hard to believe a full day down at the Stoke Bruene Village Car Boot Sale knocking out wobbly camcordered versions of Spiderman 2 would bring in enough profit to keep the salesman in baccy and Guinness, much less pay the fees for a few dozen courses at Florida flying schools. As Duncan Campbell points out, Bin Laden was independently wealthy, and so hardly needed to wait for his boys to make it back from Camden Market before he could buy a tape for his next "Jihaddic Greetings From Osama" cassette rant.
"THEY JUST DON'T UNDERSTAND": Beware of young men bearing grudges. After all this time, Damon Albarn has popped up moaning about how the NME covered his trip to Africa. Albarn seems a little put out that the 'me took the chance of the journey it made with him to Mali to chat about how Blur were falling apart at the seems:
"I took the NME to Mali when we were rehearsing, and I was just devastated by the impression that they gave at the end. I'm trying to open this up for people like myself. The NME doesn't go to Africa very often, and I was really excited about the whole idea. At the end, I felt absolutely… does it mean that musicians' adventures around the world are destined to remain in the broadsheets and in the travel sections of magazines, and the kids never have access to this and are permanently force-fed crap?"
A lot of people, of course, have the feeling that, rather than using his connections to promote Mali music, Albarn is more interested in promoting himself using Mali music as tool. The fact that he then uses subsequent interviews to moan about how the NME failed to treat his cultural daytripping as the most important thing to happen to Africa since the discovery of diamonds, instead of enthusing over the Mali musicians he has so much at heart, tends to confirm this thesis.
OSBOURNES AT WAR WITH BUSHES: When even Ozzy Osbourne has sussed there's something wrong with Bush, you've got to wonder exactly where the White House is hoping to find support in this election year. Ozzy's using the current Black Sabbath tour to compare Bush with Hitler - okay, okay, it's hardly great, original satire but for a man who's been medicated to the point where he bleeds Calpol, what do you expect? It's easy to see why Ozzy despises Bush - a guy who's barely coherent, with a pushy, social-climbing wife and kids who have no actual talent but are happy to leech of their dad's position... exactly the sort of thing which would be a turn off to Ozzy, don't you think?
GINSENG GALORE: we're not quite sure why Britney Spears would be so angry about the New York Post cover story which suggested she was slugging from a bottle of Whiskey - apparently Spears is demanding a retraction and an apology, threatening legal action should they not be forthcoming. But what would the legal action be based on? Does she feel that the carefully cultivated image of someone who gets pissed, marries a bloke she happens to be drinking with, and then spends a week trying to clear up the resultant mess, using the incident as a basis for a gag during the few live shows she manages to make it through before pulling the tour might be destroyed if her fans see her able to enjoy an alcoholic beverage without winding up at the 24 Hour Wedding Chapel? Whatever, she's got her publicist to make it clear she was drinking ginseng, not whiskey. Because it's easy to confuse the two. (Personally, anyone drinking gingseng when they could be knocking back Jamesons automatically drops three points in my estimation.)
THE STORY OF O: We've always been impressed by Australian radio, which has seemed to us to be a pretty open-minded and willing to take risks. Admittedly, this has been filtered through stuff sent to us taped from Triple JJJ by the wonderful Emma W, and that bonus CD you got with some editions of the Go Betweens best of. But it seems that, back in the mainstream, it's every bit as pisspoor and poorly run as British or American stations. A band called Frenzal Rhomb have been finding this out the hard way.
Last weekend, Frenzal were playing a festival in Darwin. Things were running behind schedule, and, pissed off to discover that some minor celeb Jackie O, who hosts a pop show on the Austereo network., wanted to eat further into their time by making some sort of speech, decided to play over her. The effect, for readers in the UK, would be like The Libertines trying to drown out Sarah Kennedy. And that would have been the end of it, had Jackie O not thrown a hissy, demanding the band apologise. On her radio show. Following threats to "bury the band", Frenzal Rhomb shuffled into her studio. It didn't go quite the way O might have hoped, as the band decided not to just roll over:
J: Okay, now for a start, I'd just like to say, Jackie - at the aftershow party at the Discovery, were you (in background Lindsay says, "During the show"), during the show, were you aware that one of your security guards threatened our guitar tech with the threat of violence - as you're doing now Kyle, "it would have been on for young and old" as you say.
K: Yeah, yep.
J: Did you know about that?
J: That security guard came up and threatened us with actual violence? Do you endorse that?
O: What, what was...
K: Yes, well I do.
J: You do? You endorse that? You would have come and punched on because we said something about Popstars and Australian Idol?
Kyle and Jackie O: No!
O: It wasn't about Popstars and Australian Idol.
J: Because you felt that somehow we'd offended you, or not given you enough time to speak up. You were nine hours late for your show...
O: Well fuck mate, at least give me a chance to say something. Like, it's so rude to just come in and say fuck you, fuck Jackie O and play the guitar over me. I was only going to talk for like, ten seconds, seriously.
J: If we're going to talk about rudeness, can you please just explain why your people are ringing up our record company telling us you're going to bury our band...
O: We're not going to bury your band...
J: And never getting played on Austereo again?
O: But yeah, probably won't get played.
J: (laughing in exasperaton) It never did get played!
O: It got played on Triple M.
K: That's because it was pretty much shit.
J: It got played at bloody midnight so they could fulfil their Australian content, it's bullshit.
K: Mate you are just so bitter, you may as well just take a new career path.
J: I'm not...(laughing). Okay...
K: You're sad, see you later, goodbye. (hangs up) Man, what a cock. Sorry everyone, we've got to go to the hot thirty countdown now.
You can hear the interview in full via Bombshell [MP3 Download]
What particularly sucks about this isn't just the uppity jackie O electing to never play the band again, which, as Frenzal Rhomb point out, is something she'd never quite got round to doing anyway. More, it's the royal way she used threats to get them on the air to try and wring out an apology - using the airwaves to fight a very personal battle - and then, when she discovered she'd been outclassed by a superior intellect, doubling the hissy to insist on the banning of the band not just from her own network, but also other stations in the family. It's the sort of behaviour you'd expect from a six year-old, not a serious broadcaster. So, not that surprising, then.
Thanks to Nick B of Lets All Turn On