Americans who love a spot of bloke-in-eyeliner and the merest whiff of male-pattern baldness will be crackling with delight at the announcement of Placebo tour dates:
Fri Apr 6 Roxy Boston, MA
Sat Apr 7 Metropolis Montreal, QC
Mon Apr 9 Guvernment Toronto, ON
Tue Apr 10 Theater of the Living Arts Philadelphia, PA
Wed Apr 11 Roseland New York, NY
Fri Apr 13 House of Blues Chicago, IL
Wed Apr 14 Beaumont Club Kansas City, MO
Sun Apr 15 Pizza Hut Park Frisco, TX
Wed Apr 18 Fillmore Denver, CO
Sat Apr 21 The Fenix Seattle, WA
Sun Apr 22 Roseland Portland, OR
Mon Apr 23 Fillmore San Francisco, CA
Thu Apr 26 House of Blues Las Vegas, NV
Fri Apr 27 Marquee Theater Tempe, AZ
Sun Apr 29 Empire Polo Field Indio, CA (Coachella)
[Via Brooklyn Vegan]
Saturday, March 03, 2007
Americans who love a spot of bloke-in-eyeliner and the merest whiff of male-pattern baldness will be crackling with delight at the announcement of Placebo tour dates:
Having seen her profile dip when she tried a "grown-up" (i.e. mainstream emo) album, Avril Lavigne has decided to not make that mistake again:
"My favourite stuff to play live has always been Sk8er Boi and He Wasn't, the faster songs. When I was on tour, I realized I need to write more of this kind of stuff. Those songs come alive onstage, and I feel like that's the most me."
Yes... you're at your most alive when you're selling records, Avril.
Were we locked into some sort of American spa, desperately trying to beat our love of Junior Disparol, we'd be desperately hoping that someone close to us would be busily flogging stories of our shit life to all and sundry.
We're sure that's what's motivated Jan Williams to flog her story to The Sun. Curiously, Jan is an addiction counsellor, but happily, since it would be unethical for her to have her own son as a patient, she's not bound by any worries about confidentiality.
So, who's to blame for Robbie's addictions, Jan?
But she also revealed being thrust into pop stardom as a teenager with TAKE THAT left him mentally scarred and sowed the seed for his addictions.
Work, time, Take That. Jan's not afraid to share the blame around, is she? We can't help but wonder if there's someone missing off that list, but... no, can't quite put our finger on it.
So, what's the solution? The love of a good woman, apparently:
She revealed: “He has said he would like a family. A lot of people around him have got married but it’s difficult in the industry he’s in.”
It's curious that "a lot of people around" him manage to get married despite it being "difficult in the industry" - it's not like he's in the sodding army where forming a relationship can be hard because of the upheaval and constant, gnawing threat of a partner being killed by plans to surge into a civil war or whatever. Tom Jones has managed to be married for fifty years; countless musicians make good and strong marriages. The ones who don't tend to have character flaws which the entertainment industry finds too easy to excuse - but the original problems aren't created by being a singer.
Friday, March 02, 2007
We're a little surprised at the very idea of an Asian Dub Foundation best of album, but if anyone deserves a career-spanning retrospective, we guess they do. And it'll be a handy 'start here' point for newcomers. Time Freeze: 1995- 2007 The Best Of is out at the end of April; a useful corrective for people who think that London sounds like Lily Allen.
It's all a good cause, really: Billy Bragg is launching an appeal to get musical instruments into prison:
"I'm asking musicians, particularly those of you who were inspired by the Clash, to raise the money to provide a prison with enough equipment to help inmates find that same sense of release."
The jail doors initiative would like to hear from you on firstname.lastname@example.org if you can help.
We'd not hold our breath if we were WIHT - they apparently stumped up the cash to get Bobby Brown's ass out of jail, thinking they'd get something in return:
"Bobby deserves a clean slate," said Kane. "He has agreed to be a positive role model for the Washington, D.C., community and we look forward to welcoming Bobby to the staff at Hot 99.5. This is something positive, and while he is in town with us, we will be giving back to the community."
Except, of course, he's doing the job because you've paid his child support for him. Assuming he turns up - he's not entirely known for keeping to his side of the deal.
Kelis has managed to get herself into something between a pickle and a problem as she's been charged with disorderly conduct:
The arrest report said the officers were posing as prostitutes along a main avenue in the South Beach nightclub district when Kelis started screaming racial profanities at them. She then rushed toward them and had to be restrained by her friends, the report said.
It's far from clear if she was shouting at them because she thought they were hookers, or because she knew they were police. Hopefully that one will be sorted out before they get to court.
EMI and Warners would dearly love for us to view their long relationship as one of the great romances of our time, but it's endless sniping, disappointments and failure to consummate makes it more like Frasier and Lilith. Although they, at least, did manage to get into bed together. Perhaps its more Sam and Diane. Whatever ill-considered pairing they resemble, though, it's all gone cold again as EMI's board formally rejects Warners' takeover bid:
The implication seems to be it's not worth the trouble it'd bring for the size of the offer on the table.
What surprises us is not that Jarvis Cocker is curating the Meltdown festival on the Southbank this year, but that they've done it for thirteen times before without asking him.
No word yet as to who he'll be inviting along to the Royal Festival Hall, but he's got until June to come up with a convincing line-up.
We're not quite sure if Everett True realises or not, but his guest dj slot at How Does It Feel To Be Loved (March 2nd, Canterbury Arms, Brixton) is being promoted under his old indie-pop/NME name, The Legend!
We're using the word "under" in the same sense as "a pile of unsold CRE001s under Alan McGee's bed", of course.
The NME's News Vulture was promising all the gossip from behind the scenes, but somehow didn't get round to mentioning the whole walkout by Pete Doherty and Kate Moss - apparently Pete took the hump at being asked why he was wandering off carrying a concealed spoon. Perhaps he was planning some sort of special dessert?
More interestingly, though, NV did notice this:
While Lily Allen wasn't turning up for her NME 'worst dressed' prize - ironically, she was in Paris at a fashion shoot - yesterday was still a bit of a bad day, what with her mother having her brother arrested and everything.
The brother, of course, is Alfie, as in that song what Lily Allen does about him.
As ever, Lily knows what to do at the time of a family crisis - ring the tabloids:
“I have spoken to my mum and Alfie and everything is fine now.”
Yes, we're sure they were reassured by your taking charge of the press coverage.
Happily for the tabloids - who, after all, would find the real journey back from mental illness to be frustratingly slow - Britney Spears has gone outside and not attacked anyone with a brolly:
The baldy wore a brown wig and jaunty cap as she left the Promises clinic in Malibu – and looked far happier than the raging madwoman we saw attack a car with an umbrella last week.
The fact that Britney actually looks like she's prescribed out of her mind and has doodles all over her hand isn't allowed to spoil the happy ending:
Hmmm. Let's hope.
Thursday, March 01, 2007
Having seen little reward for its efforts in other ways, the RIAA is apparently trying a new tack: coming via the hosting companies to attack mp3 bloggers.
Idolator reports that Side One Track One, Country Pinball Machine and Shameless Complacency have all been kicked into touch by their hosting companies following their distribution of Kaiser Chief, Avril Lavigne and Wilco mp3s respectively. If we were a website hosting a copy of Brianstorm by the Arctic Monkeys ripped from the Zane Lowe show, we'd be treading very carefully right now...
We can just about understand the fairly late slot for the Channel 4 showing of the NME awards, but tonight's programme on E4 not starting until 11pm tonight hardly seems festive: E4's Thursday nights are pretty full, but you'd have thought they might have wanted to give it a slightly less buried slot. Especially as, by the time it's on, everyone's going to know the winners. Even if you missed them on Popbitch earlier (before they disappeared), you can see them now on NME.com.
So, who got fingered, then?
Well, nobody, as they use square awards these days. So, who got cubed, then?
Best band - Muse
The continued quiet Muse revolution claims another gong. Bloody mystifying, isn't it? Muse are great, sure, and you meet lots of people who like Muse - but I don't think I've ever met anyone who would say their affection for them stands above all their other passions. And yet Matt Bellamy has had to have an extra chimney and mantle put in, just so that he's got enough room to display his prizes.
Best international band - My Chemical Romance
With NME trying hard to be an international brand, and since nme.com is doing a pretty good job from its New York office, we're not quite sure the concept of a 'rest of the world' prize is sustainable in the long term. Especially so if it's going to be won by the likes of My Chemical Romance. And it's kind of worrying that there's enough manufactured Goths amongst the readership to let MCR win, but not support circulation against Kerrang.
Best solo artist - Jamie T
That's a bit of a surprise. It's not quite proof that NME Awards are alternative but do at least retain the ability to surprise everyone - even the NME, we bet.
Best new band - Klaxons
We imagine The Kooks will feel shocked, The Fratellis will feel robbed, and The Horrors will be annoyed when they sober up.
Best live band - Kasabian
This is closer to what we expected. The dull, middle-of-the-road band getting the prize. Give it twenty years, they'll be Ocean Colour Scene.
Best album - Arctic Monkeys: Whatever People Say I Am...
We imagine they'd started engraving their name on this one before they'd even drawn up any shortlists.
Best track - The View: Wasted Little DJs
A fair victory, although it does mean Carl Barat has gone home empty handed.
Best video - The Killers: Bones
Really a prize for Tim Burton, of course. They should introduce a handicapping rule here, where they'd divide the size of the vote by the amount spent on the clips.
Best music DVD - Arctic Monkeys: Scummy Man
It's interesting that any category where My Chemical Romance were up for a prize that marked what they did, not who they are, they failed to win. I suspect that even if you divided votes by cost, the Monkeys would have romped home even more convincingly.
Best live event: Reading/Leeds
We still don't know who is in a position to compare a festival they went to with all the festivals they didn't.
Best radio show: Zane Lowe
HE SHOUTS A LOT, DOESN'T HE? SHOUTY SHOUTY SHOUTY. (Actually, Lowe has calmed down a lot since he crossed to Radio One - indeed, if he gets any calmer he might even be able to dep for Parky on Radio Two.)
Best TV show: The Mighty Boosh
There's not much chance of this going on for an NME/BAFTA double, is there?
John Peel Innovation Award: Enter Shikari
We're not quite sure what this award is, or what they've done to win it. Presumably it must be for something other than merely having a name which is nearly an anagram of instructions on how to have sex with a pop star.
Godlike Genius award: Primal Scream
Again, we're not sure what the genius is here. It's a little late for acknowledging the genius of Velocity Girl, isn't it?
Oh... we appear to have caught up with the NME.com coverage...
Having sent someone out to sell the CD machine and raise a few quid, Bobby Brown has paid off his child support and been set free.
His lawyer has basically admitted that Brown is a nobody stuck with a somebody's bills:
You can almost hear her thinking "I'd better get my bill in quick."
Having called a press conference to deny charges of assault and resisting arrest, when it came to court, she decided she was guilty after all.
Her 'fessing seems to have saved her from a trip back to the big house:
Doubtless she'll change her mind again overnight.
New York City has announced a sort-of ban on broadcasting the word "nigger", in the hope it might stop the casual use of the racial slur in the entertainment industry.
The ban is symbolic - there's no actually punishment attached to the offence. Chris Rock - whose act, under the rule, falls outside the law 78% of the time - was less than impressed:
Although well-meaning, the decision to ban the word rather than condemn the act would seem to cause more problems for black artists than white racists.
Brett Anderson - now officially filed under "yes, a little craggy but you still would" - is about to embark on his first ever solo UK tour. It's to promote his first ever solo album, with its first ever solo single, Love Is Dead. We think that Love Is Dead threatens to burst into a Careless Whisper sax-solo at any minute, but that's not to be considered a bad thing.
May 1 -Bristol University
2 - Manchester Academy
4 - Glasgow QMU
5 - Wolverhampton Wulfrun Hall
6 - Newcastle University
8 - Cambridge Junction
9 - Shepherd's Bush Empire
Puffing Daddy has been struck down by a court for failing to honour another undertaking to not call himself Diddy in the UK. The original Diddy - Richard Dearlove - has won another court battle which will stop Nu-Diddy from calling himself Diddy on stage when he plays Wembley.
We're a little puzzled as to why, though: we can see the vague possibility of confusion between, say, two records by different Diddys side-by-side in the shops; but is anyone going to suddenly hear Puff sing a line that says "call me Diddy" suddenly think "hang about... I thought this was Sean Diddy, but now it sounds like it's Richard Dearlove."
Judge Kitchin decided it wasn't as simple as that:
“I see this as straightforward advertisement by Mr Combs of his CD, his songs which can be downloaded from iTunes and his live shows, all under and by reference to the word ‘Diddy’.
“The listener will understand he is being encouraged to buy the Press Play CD, to download the songs and that the live show is an event well worth attending.”
To be honest, that sounds like P Diddy's not just passing himself off as someone else but indulging in some false advertising, too.
The suggestion that lyrics are adverts is a curious legal precedent - does this mean that when Sam Fox sang "touch me, touch me" she was attempting to enter into some sort of contact contract?
How P Diddy must hate Dearlove. How he must fume everytime he thinks of this fairly-obscure British bloke making him dance to his tune. Especially as a further trial is being lined up to see if P Diddy is breaking the agreement online, too.
Wilco have announced a world tour, which - thanks to All Tomorrows Parties - includes a stop-off at Butlins:
04-16 Brisbane, Australia - Tivoli
04-18 Melbourne, Australia - Palais Theatre
04-21 Sydney, Australia - Enmore Theatre
04-22 Perth, Australia - Metropolis Freemantle
05-19 Somerset, England - Butlins Minehead (ATP vs. the Fans)
05-20 London, England - Shepherds Bush Empire
05-23 Cologne, Germany - Live Music Hall
05-24 Berlin, Germany - Kesselhaus
05-25 Hamburg, Germany - Grosse Freiheit
05-26 Dresden, Germany - Alter Schlachthof
05-28 Frankfurt, Germany - Mousonturm
05-29 Paris, France - Bataclan
05-30 Ghent, Belgium - De Vooruit
05-31 Amsterdam, the Netherlands - Paradiso
06-02 Barcelona, Spain - Primavera Sound
06-14-17 Manchester, TN - Bonnaroo
Coming this Spring, the first proper Pet Shop Boys tour since ages ago. Dates:
Gateshead Sage – May 24
Wolverhampton Civic Hall – 25
London Hammersmith Apollo – 27
Manchester Apollo – 28
Brighton Centre – 30
Are they sure? Word has been handed down from Coca-Cola's Jack White about the next album:
"And though we are tired, worn, weary, hungry, cold and left without an ounce of nutrition between ourselves, we are in the midst of planning performance type shows around the world."
The name, apparently, is Icky Thump - which is almost, but not quite, the name of the Yorkshire martial art practised by Bill Oddie's character in The Goodies. That, actually, was Ecky Thump, as featured on the seminal movie poster featuring Oddie in a cloth cap and frock promoting Ecky With Drag-On.
Whereas his former mate spends his days playing with shooters and trying to kill penguins, Carl Barat seems to be more interested in, you know, making music. The ggod news is that work has started on a second Dirty Pretty Things album. Barat tells the NME:
Presumably without the blowing-your-head off bit at the end. Or Courtney.
Please, no Courtney.
Good news for Jamelia: a mysterious Russian is digging deep to play a gig for them. It was the "sort of money" Jamelia couldn't turn down, apparently - which puts her fee at anything above fifty quid. We're sure she's not going to bother sullying the deal by asking where the guy's cash comes from or anything.
The most interesting of tonight's NME awards has been leaked, as it seems Robbie Williams has waltzed the worst album prize:
The history of the Shockwaves NME award goes back, what, one year? The inclusion of the sponsor's name in that quote suggests it was an intentional leak to promote the awards.
There are, apparently, plans to Fed-Ex Robbie's prize to his "rehab" clinic, but since they won't even let him have get well soon cards delivered to him, IPC might be better off keeping its cash in its pocket.
The real scandal, of course, is how Johnny Borrell came to be so badly robbed in this category.
This is the extraordinary moment where the world discovered Heather Mills is dating Flavor Flav.
Actually, it's not - it's a bizarre illustration from the Sun's coverage of yesterday's McCartney v Mills court hearing. We're a little at a loss to explain why the paper thought it so significant she left the court building at five that they felt the need to superimpose a giant clock on the picture - was there a 3AM Girl hanging about who needed to be taken out the shot? Is it part of an new educational remit - "telling the time with Heather Mills"? There was also a shot of Macca leaving at 5.20 with, yes, a giant clock to illustrate the point.
The paper insists:
but doesn't actually bother with any of the details of these "lurid claims" being "thrown out" - you'd have thought a judge throwing out details in a divorce petition would have been worth some deeper coverage, but instead the court report actually consists entirely of a few words:
Neither of the warring couple was called to give evidence in the witness box.
And the first half of that sounds like a guess. Suggesting that the judge had taken such decisive action and not being able to stack it up seems curious.
Still, at least Sun readers are better informed than Entertainmentwise.com users, who were told at the start of the week:
We're not sure, but we could have sworn that Ry Cooder just implied that he knew President Bush stole the last two elections because his imaginary talking hobo cat would have been able to see right through it.
We'll need to listen again when the interview turns up on the Today website after nine o'clock.
It's not all dodgy ITV bulk-made Jane Austen adaptations for Billie Piper, you know. She's going to get married again. The man filling the Chris Evans role this time will be Laurence Fox, who is playing Lewis to Lewis' Morse in Lewis, if you see what we mean.
Using the old stand-by of "we must beat the touts", T in the Park has persuaded the local council to allow them to sell an extra 5,000 tickets for this year's festival.
The tickets will be sold - quickly, we'd imagine - from 9 on March 9th, via the Tinthepark.com website.
Geoff Ellis persuaded Perth & Kinross council with this argument:
"We are confident 80,000 is a good figure.
"I'm not saying that 85,000 is too much, but 80,000 seems just right.
"We feel the numbers should not go any higher to ensure the comfort and enjoyment of our customers when they come to the festival."
Later on, we'll be inviting a mathematician and a philosopher to explain how 80,000 can be just right while 85,000 isn't too many.
We're not exactly sure how flogging a few extra tickets will "beat the touts" - wouldn't it just mean more tickets for the touts to have to flog? Unless Ellis is calculating that by cramming in another 6.25% fans, it'll be so cramped in there nobody would be prepared to pay through the nose to get in.
Beth Ditto has shared the benefits of her wisdom with the Daily Record this morning. It's interesting that the other two out The Gossip are condemned to a Rest-of-Razorlight low profile - and, while we understand that the editors probably seek an audience with Beth alone, we're not sure that it's particularly punk to have one member grab all the limelight.
Anyway, today it's the "did I mention I'm up for sexiest woman against Kate Moss" thing again:
She said: "They like to put you up against one another, but I'm not like that. They did it with me and Kate Moss, saying you're fat and she's skinny.
"My only issue was that the editors would rather put a model in a musicmag than afemale musician."
Hang on a minute... the NME editors haven't put you and Kate "up against one another" - you've been shortlisted for sexiest woman with four other people, based on an reader's vote, and nobody (apart from you) has arranged the women based on body mass index. You're also up against Lily Allen, Karen O and Kate Jackson, and yet you don't keep on banging on about that, do you?
"When women aspire to be a nothing it says something about our culture. You should be glad for what you have."
Um... you do realise that size zero is merely a dress size and there's more pressing concerns than the semiotics of the word.
Wednesday, February 28, 2007
You and I, we have little in the way of food danger beyond the odd risk of e coli in Taco Bell, or the chance that Cadburys can't be arsed to deal with leaky pipes. If you're famous and glittering, though, your risks can be so much more epic.
There was Beyonce, for instance, enjoying being on the front of Sports Illustrated with a delicious buffet catered by Wolfgang Puck and some model friends.
The only downside, of course, is that the caterer had a staff member with hepatitis A:
Hepatitis A can cause loss of appetite, so that at least is good news for the models there - that'll save them a fortune on the appetite suppressants.
Oh, bugger. That's what you get when you put your faith in the 3AM Girls. This is currently on Music Week's subscriber website:
The soul star reportedly told the paper that he is fed up with touring and wanted to spend the rest of his time flying his helicopter and "looking for the right lady to have children with".
But a spokesman for Jamiroquai says he is considering his future options after separating from Sony BMG, and is taking a break before beginning work on a new studio album for release next year.
However, when he's seen how happy he's made people when they thought he was giving up, maybe he'll do the decent thing.
Now, this would be a headline act to behold: Hello reckons Shirley Bassey has been approached for the living legend slot at this year's Glastonbury. Having said which, we're not entirely holding our breath:
Clearly waiting for a counter-offer from Reading/Leeds.
Unlikely reunions keep coming thick and fast: now, Northside are prepared to face down the blame again. They've got a tour lined-up and everything, though sadly without the Pale Saints.
Tangerine Dream are about to release a new album, Madcap's Flaming Duty, in memory of Syd Barrett; as part of the launch (and to mark their 40th anniversary) they've just announced a London gig to play the whole thing, from cue-up to run-out, at the Astoria Friday 20th April.
Sometimes, you have to read things twice to make sure the news you're reading is every bit as good as you think. To save you the trouble, we'll just write this twice:
Jay Kay has quit music
Jay Kay has quit music.
There's a statement for you to savour:
"I might be back if I get my inspiration again, but who knows," he told [3AM]. "I'm bored. I don't want to go back on the road. We all need a rest to be honest. I don't need the money or a deal. One minute I would be promoting a single with one team and the next they brought different people in and expected me to go along with it.
"There was no way in hell I was doing that. I'm just tired of the format and wanted to call it a day with them."
Yes, so low had Kay's star sunk that he was reduced to "breaking" the news through the 3AM Girl's column - presumably Newsround would have been the next port of call.
Michael Eavis has announced an extension to the Glastonbury registration deadline - instead of closing tonight, it's going to be pushed back to the fifth.
Numbers had picked up to the point where some 260,000 people had registered by this morning, and were apparently still coming in at 1,500 an hour - although, presumably, not round the clock.
At least it's a bigger figure than the number of tickets available. This seems to have given some peace of mind to Eavis, who told the BBC:
"People have taken it all very well because it does seem like you have to go through a lot of obstacles to get to the festival. They could have said `it's not worth it'."
Although Morrissey has ruled himself out of the Eurovision race, that doesn't mean Britain won't be represented in Helsinki by some top-flight entertainers.
Oh, actually: yes, it does. Justin Hawkins is going to be competing.
As is Natasha Hamilton - yes, Atomic Kitten's Natasha Hamilton.
And so are Big Brovaz. Yes, the poor man's Fugees (all phew, no gee) who are planning a comeback in early Spring.
Oh, and Brian Harvey, fresh from the newly rebroken East 17 and hoping that no rogue potato might frustrate him again.
And Scooch. Yes, Mike Stock and Matt Aitken's proof that Pete Waterman was the magic ingredient. They're embarking on a second comeback - you'll remember, of course, they reunited in 2004.
The only fresh face - the Chantelle in a room full of Prestons, if you will - is Cyndi. Such is the reek of old men at the youth club with the other contestants, we did make sure it was a new popstar and not Cyndi Lauper.
God help us all. We're backing France.
Try and work your way past the question of what she was doing with a poster of Noel Gallagher on her wall at all, and ponder Beth Ditto a moment:
Curiously, she berated Scissor Sister fans for never having heard of John Waters, and yet apparently she assumes that Oasis fans will constantly be rewinding their tape of Pink Flamingos.
And you can't fault Ditto's ability to make it all about her - supposedly praising Noel, she manages to make it clear how she's got a brilliant voice and how she was the coolest teenager in Arkansas.
You just know that something special is going to happen when Victoria Newton opens a page with the words:
Have you, Victoria? It comes as news to discover you think of these things at all, much less that you've ever weighed the credibility of John Legend.
But, do tell us what has caused you to turn your whole world on its head:
"I thought it was a great song and should have done better even than it did.
"I'd do a song with her. It would be an interesting experience."
"Even better than it did", of course, would mean selling two copies. If Legend really wanted to work with Hilton, of course, he'd not mention the music career at all - we're supposed to all pretend that never happened, aren't we?
The belief that the "adoption" of David Banda had less to do with David and more to do with Madonna and Guy doesn't actually vanish when listening to Guy Ritchie's Dad:
“They are all out there together now. She just went out to be with him and the kids.
“Madonna wants them all to be together and they are very happy now.
“Things have settled down and are great between them. Since they have had David they feel very content.
“He makes them feel very happy, they feel blessed.
“They may have had their problems but they are now a very functional and happy family unit."
Hmm. Call us cynical - oh go on, we know you do it behind our backs - but rather than David making a difference, if they're happy now, and Madonna has only just flown out to LA, and Guy's been there for weeks, doesn't that suggest that Madonna's marriage is at its most effective when she and Guy are in different countries?
Robbie Williams' mum wants us all to send him get well soon cards, even though he won't be able to have them until he's out of his "clinic".
Always one to spot an opportunity for a branding exercise, Victoria Newton (or perhaps Emma Pryer) has come up with this horrible item, instructing us to print it out, fill it in, and send it to her to dump in the recycling bins at Wapping ("pass on to Robbie for when he comes out. Of hospital.") It does have his face on it, so perhaps that'll make up for the otherwise totally crappy nature of the "I almost thought of you" message - it's not even foldable, it's a flat picture of a stand-up card.
We're heading down to the newsagents later to see if they've got a "Stay away from the chemist, but best take a few months off work" card, perhaps with a picture of Mark Owen on it.
We've often wondered what sort of cummerbund throws rubbish into animal enclosures at the zoo. Now we know:
It's not so much that he threw a joint into the penguin enclosure at Burford's Cotswold Wildlife Park; it's that someone who would try and pass themselves off as smart and sensitive would toss anything into a cage where an animal might eat it. You'd have thought that Pete might have sympathy for animals that have been rounded up and locked away behind bars.
The Sun, being something of a nihilistic publication itself, struggles to find any reason to come down on the size of the penguins, but then has a flash of inspiration:
Good lord, they can't run a story about someone poisoning animals in a zoo without having to find a celebrity angle for the victims.
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
While we'd love to believe that there's really ten million dollars sitting in an NBC account with Victoria Beckham's name on it, we're a little unsure as to the exact status of the Victoria Beckham NBC reality project.
The Daily Mail reckons it's a done deal; Simon Fuller is enthusing:
Perhaps Fuller is confusing "meeting with Beckham at NBC" with that episode of Seinfeld where they pitch the butler idea.
Notably, NBC seem cool:
And, when pushed, even Mrs Beckham's people were a little less enthused:
A half-idea the network don't even want to admit to and no idea when it'll go out, fronted by someone the Americans barely know. We can see Posh hobbling down to the bank already with all those millions.
A spokesman for the company said: "Sony BMG is not in the business of releasing albums without the knowledge of the artists.
"It is in our interests to work with artists, so they can promote their records and continue to work with us."
The label then scratched its two corporate heads, pointing out that the record had been released before and it wasn't a problem then - perhaps Ian Gillan knew nothing at all about that time, boys?
Talking to the tireless NME New York staff, Johnny Borrell has been trying to play down the repeated stories of trouble in his group, Johnny Borrell and the Razorlights:
Borrell, of course, talks as if there has only been one small squaring-up and not a long and constant string of reports that suggest he sees himself as being the gaffer. The mere use of the words "my band" would seem to slope in that direction, too.
The need for nothing more complex than a server and an angle to get a single into the c charts looks like paying off from Ugly Rumours, the band that isn't Blair and Mark Ellen's old band. They're heading for the Top Ten with an anti-war cover of Edwin Starr, although as Franco M pointed out to us when he sent us the link to the story, it's not entirely clear what war they're protesting against - Iraq? Afghanistan? The Inch War?
It comes to something when a band feels the need to protest, but not only can't be arsed to write a new song, but they can't even come up with a new name.
Foxy Brown has gone over the heads of the criminal justice system to appeal to the public following her arrest last week at a beauticians:
She claimed she was dragged half-naked out of the store's bathroom and picked on by police because she was black.
"The only crime I'm guilty of is being a young black woman," she said.
Well... that, and the one you're currently on probation for, where you attacked a woman in a beauticians, of course.
Foxy gets her day in court this week.
The last vestige of alternativity the NME awards were clinging to has vanished as the Daily Mail runs a feature predicting, ooh, trouble.
For what it's worth, the Mail reckons the Kaiser Chiefs will do well at the ceremony - despite, erm, not being nominated in any categories at all. They are going to play live, apparently, which is enough for the paper to headline the story... can you guess?
Yes! A story about the Kaiser Chiefs with "predict a riot" in the headline. (Nice albatross, Ricky - raise it yourself?)
Not entirely sure that "throws the awards into chaos" - it wouldn't even panic an easily-frightened moth, would it?
This odd contradictory piece just popped up in my newsreader:
from NME.COM - News by email@example.com
Claims that Britney Spears has been put on suicide watch in the Malibu rehabilitation centre she checked herself into last week (February 23) have been denied by her manager.
We know that the NME has a "build 'em up, knock 'em down" reputation, but its rss files are now building up their own stories before knocking them down. IPC seem to be running the website from a HAL like computer. It's rumoured that this NME-HAL has bumped by the review marks for Ocean Colour Scene albums by 33% across the board in the last couple of days.
NME.com has a lovely, juicy, fruity exclusive, in the form of the new Arcade Fire album, yours to listen to for the price of a creating a free NME.com user name (this, by the way, should not be the same as your secret crime-fighting identity.)
It's called Neon Bible. I would say something but apparently having an opinion about an album's title makes you satan or something.
Deep Purple's Ian Gillan is so horrified at a record label sticking out a live recording of what he believes is one of the worst concerts of all time, he went on this morning's Today to issue a plea to fans to not part with their cash:
"It was one of the lowest points of my life - all of our lives, actually," said Gillan.
"In fact, it lasted five or six shows after that Birmingham show.
"Then Ritchie left the band. And we've had 13 years of stability ever since then."
So, what is the shady little label that's pulled a nasty little stunt that does no good to consumer or band?
That would be your Snoy-BMG, cornerstone of the RIAA and thus signed up behind that organisation's condemnation of how priacy and downloads don't respect the artist's rights to control their own work.
You'll already be familiar with Amy Millan, from Broken Social Scene and Stars. It's possible you're already familiar with her debut solo album, Honey From The Tomb. But, in a bid to encourage more people to become more familiar with her, you can download a sample track for free.
[Via Music Is My Boyfriend]
Mr. Barrington-Coupe is quoted as saying that after CD technology arrived in the early 1980s, his attempts to transfer her cassette recordings to CDs proved unsuccessful. He and his wife therefore decided to re-record her repertory.
“Although she kept up a rigorous practice regime, Barrington-Coupe says that Hatto was suffering more than she admitted, even to herself,” Mr. Inverne wrote. “Recording session after recording session was marred by her many grunts of pain as she played, and her husband was at a loss to know how to cover the problem passages.”
Barrington-Coupe insists his wife, Joyce Hatto, was unaware he had started to use passages of other people's work to cover her weaker parts.
He may have been misguided, but he was motivated by love. Part of me wonders if it might have been better if we'd never known:
Let's hope nobody is as vindictive to use copyright law to make the story have an even more heartbreaking end.
Being asked to keep quiet for her own sake, if no-one else's: Lovefoxxx from CSS has got a bad throat, reckons the Daily Record:
The curious career path being trod by Beth Ditto spirals round again - we're still trying to understand how you can berate Scissor Sister fans for "not listening to the Ramones" one minute, and turn up as the house band on The Friday Night Project the next. Now, she's objecting to Kate Moss being allowed in the 'sexiest female' category in the NME awards:
“It should be about music. For Kate to be up for anything to do with music is absurd."
Not the New Model Express - I see the subtle gag there. But Kate Moss has made records - not that many, admittedly, but she's appeared on more albums than Lily Allen - and she has been at the heart of one of the biggest music stories of the last couple year. Even if the NME awards did require some sort of membership card to be stamped for entry, she'd qualify.
“You have to wonder how she feels about her life and size.”
Well, excluding the whole Pete Doherty thing, I'd imagine Kate loves her life. But what we don't understand is why, if Ditto believes "role models should be people who have a strong place as an artist, not as a sexy woman", she's objecting to Moss' inclusion in the sexiest female poll, and not the whole idea of a vote judging people on how sexually attractive they are in the first place. It's all a little confusing.
This morning's Sun seems surprised that Heather Mills is appearing on Dancing With The Stars as, well, Heather Mills:
Mucca, 39, signed up for Dancing With The Stars, the US version of Strictly Come Dancing — but insisted on appearing only under her former name Heather Mills.
(Yes, they're still clinging to the "Mucca" nickname. Let it go now, please.)
Maybe the paper has missed that bitter divorce battle?
They're convinced she's up to something, and have discovered a "source" to explain it all:
“But Heather is calculating. If she used Paul’s name to earn money, he could claim that half of it was thanks to him.”
Maybe. Or, erm, maybe she's divorcing Paul and doesn't want to be appearing under his name.
After all, The Sun has long since dropped the "Lady" and "McCartney" from most reports about her:
Heather 'a liar and cheat' By GIOVANNA IOZZI -
Heather Mills: Macca beat me up By TONY BONNICI October 18, 2006 -
The astonishing claim — which Macca is expected to furiously deny in court — comes in papers lodged by Heather’s divorce lawyers.
Mucca is a bloody LIAR By RICHARD WHITE CLODAGH HARTLEY and ALEX PEAKE October 25, 2006
... and so on, and so on. But perhaps she's up to something when she makes the Sun drop her title and Paul's surname when it writes about her.
Monday, February 26, 2007
The first signs of the final stretch of Napster's existence appeared today, as the download store scraps its UK arm to "centralise" its European operation in Frankfurt:
Napster president Brad Duea says the restructure will help to manage its European market more efficiently. He adds: "At this moment in time, it makes sense for Napster to centralise the European management structure in Frankfurt."
In other words, in a bid to stem the ongoing losses, they're trying to reduce the number of holes to leak cash from.
We know that if you end your subscription, your Napster downloads disappear. If you're one of the handful of Napster subscribers, you might want to double check what will happen to your music collection if Napster disappears.
If the cosmic reward for enduring a Boyzone reunion is the news that six by seven are reuniting, then that might even be a deal worth enduring.
The band say:
There's some news to put a spring in your step.
[Plug: Bring yourself up to speed before the new stuff hits...]
The difficult times for pop music TV on both sides of the Atlantic continue; nobody in the UK is watching MTVFlux and the channel is starting to come across like Why Don't You:
That's five programmes a day where you can talk about your interesting hobbies. They especially want to hear from you if you are the best at hobbies. Weak lemon drinks at the ready.
In America, the cost crunch has led MTV2 to drop presenters, voiceovers and interviews altogether. Now, the idea of a channel which is videos, videos, nothing but videos is quite appealing - but does raise the question of what, exactly, MTV brings to the party that twenty minutes on YouTube doesn't already offer?
The Manic Street Preachers are gearing up for a new album release, and by way of coughing politely to help us go "oh, yes, them", they're going to give away the first single.
Nicky Wire says the freebie is quite good:
Although how much individuality there is in sounding like someone else, The Stooges or not, is debatable.
You'll find the track on their website from March 19th.
Well, most people wouldn't have noticed James Blunt turning up at the Oscars, duet with Elton John or no duet with Elton John. So it probably doesn't hurt that he managed to have his car roll over someone's foot. Well, it probably hurt the foot he rolled over, but it at least gave people something to talk about.
The increasing need to remind people that the Zune is a small iPod-style music player available in shops is starting to fry Microsoft's brains. Their latest idea was to pull up outside a nightclub and pump music from a Zune out into the night.
Unfortunately, they chose a residential area, and the locals aren't thrilled. They wrote an open letter:
We would like to thank you for the egregious display of noise terrorism commited on Ludlow Street between Stanton and Houston during the early hours of Sunday, February 25th. At approximately 03:00 EST, a Toyota FJ Cruiser with a competition grade car stereo rolled up outside of 178 Ludlow Street. In what was seemingly a desperate bid for attention, music was blasted in a very dense residential area.
There is, however, something odd about all this.
The noise supposedly prompted the creation of a WakeUpMicrosoft.com website - it was up briefly, containing the open letter. But it disappeared almost straight away.
Even more oddly, a blog and separate domain was created at roughly the same time - hellsquare.com - which also carried the letter. Now, we can see you might scramble to create a website to carry a 'screw you, Gates" letter - but to create two seems like overkill. And Hellsquare.com also disappeared as soon as it appeared. The whois lookup suggests the domains were registered through an anonomising third party - if you're posting a letter from your own address, with that address in the letter, why would you hide your domain details?
The truly cynical might wonder if this whole thing - angry residents and all - are all part of a marketing move?
We've been puzzled over the last few years watching the independent sector forming more and more alliances - sure, co-ops are great, and there is power in a union and all that, but if you're all going to agree, what's the point of being independent?
Now, something has finally turned up to fracture the indie consensus: the fate of the biggest indies of them all, Warner and EMI. The international indie organisation, Impala, has decided that its somewhat in favour. But that's annoyed Ministry of Sound so much to the point that it's pulled out of AIM, the British branch of Impala.
Warners have bought Impala's support with little more than a promise - "no strings attached" says Impala; "no solid guarantee", we suspect - to back Merlin, yet another digital rights management initiative:
We'd love to think that the indies are really thinking "what's the point about fighting over a pair of companies on the downward spiral?", but they're probably not.
AIM's Alison Wenham gritted her teeth to say how great it is that MOS have quit:
Warners have made further vague pledges about perhaps divesting some parts, and being generally good; Impala haven't even shared these with their members yet.
Bobby Brown has been arrested - yes, again - for failing to provide child support. Ironically, the arrest came while he was offering support for his child during a cheerleader contest in Canton, Massachusetts.
(How does one show support during a cheerleader contest? Do you have to form a football team to stand at the side to offer encouragement? Or do cheerleaders have other cheerleaders to lead the cheers for them?)
Take That. They're not going to go away, you know. At least not until they've gotten people into such a frenzy that when they split it's all counselling and helplines again.
Today, they've announced their first UK tour in almost a year:
Friday 16th, Saturday 17th, Monday 19th and Tuesday 20th November- Birmingham NEC
Thursday 22nd, Friday 23rd and Saturday 24th - Glasgow SECC
Monday 26th and Tuesday 27th - Newcastle Arena
Thursday 29th and Friday 30th November, Saturday 1st, Monday 3rd and Tuesday 4th December - Millennium Dome, Greenwich
Monday 10th, Tuesday 11th, Thursday 13th, Friday 14th, Saturday 15th, Monday 17th, Tuesday 18th and Wednesday 19th - Manchester MEN Arena
That's a lot of nights in Greenwich. Let's hope they're ready for them.
The other day, watching someone talking about The Zutons on the television, we found ourselves thinking "whatever happened to The Coral" before our attention wandered elsewhere - we think we might have come to chasing a milkfloat down the street or something.
Well, you'll never guess what we've heard this morning: first, United Dairies is taking out some sort of restraining order; and second, The Coral are about to get out their shabby bear suits all over again:
In all we spent about two months in Noel Gallagher's Wheeler End studio with Craig Silvey of Dr Barnabus at the helm. I'm not really too interested in giving much away about how we have (once again) revolutionised music but I'm sure you can picture it; If you can't then think Zappa sharing a jazz omelette with Gnarls Barkley. We're all excited to get out there and gigging again, getting a little sweaty and moistening some of you lucky lovelies at your local discos.
Gallagher's studio? Let's hope the landlord didn't keep try to intervene, like a musical Harry Cross...
Doubtless this is a project for after the Katrina benefit single, but people with acres of print to fill ("people in the know") are persisting with the rumour that the Jackson Family are going to reunite as a music-making unit:
It is also a boost for the rest of the family with Janet Jackson's recent records flopping and the others never finding the same success they had with the Jackson 5.
Righto, because that makes sense - nobody wants to touch Michael Jackson with a double-length extending Swiffer, so by parcelling in Tito and Randy and whoever else is really going to sweeten the deal, isn't it?
"I wasn't going to go and see the man who did Billie Jean and Thriller, but if Tito is going to be onstage, too... well, that makes all the difference..."
Yes, it's been Oscars night - they're like the European Office Products Awards of the American film-making industry. And nothing says "insular industry awards ceremony" like Elton John's post-Oscars party.
This year, people attending will discover James Blunt has an invite, and worse - he's going to be playing:
Well... Elton John playing solo is much better than that, for a start.
There's actually something quite sweet about Larry Mullen's offer to sit in for the injured Jonny Quinn when Snow Patrol played the Brits.
We wonder why Snow Patrol turned him down? We like a nice supergroup. Okay, this wouldn't have actually been "super", but you know what we mean.
KT Tunstall is trying to gatecrash the Live Earth gig, waving her longlife lightbulbs and recycled notepaper in Al Gore's face:
"It's not as if I'd be busy off-roading in my Range Rover."
Perhaps Al Gore just hasn't heard of you?
You'll have been fretting all night, we know.
The Sun claims that - afeared of meeting other people - Brit has allegedly taken over an entire wing at the Promises clinic (yeah, a large building empty except for "nursing" staff - that'll help with cocaine psychosis.) The Sun is reporting Britney's status as "troubled star."
The Wichita Eagle sensitively treats her problems as a sign "she's gone mad", giving her status as "she dropped her basket."
Yeah, there's not much about her this morning, but then she was competing with some sort of film awards.
Sunday, February 25, 2007
The Kaiser Chiefs reckon they know why so many of their contemporaries so enjoy having a pop at them: they think it's tall poppy syndrome, Nick Baines tells Gigwise:
“You realise that it’s all one big game but unfortunately the bands that choose to slag us off are taking it far too seriously. It’d be better if they were writing better songs than us, but they’re not so they can shut up.”
Well, you have a point, Nick. On the other hand, if you've only got one song and have been hawking that round for two years, that may also make you a target. And issuing a challange which boils down to "if you've written a song better than 'Ruby' then feel free to have a pop" - notwithstanding that it's number one right now - that basically means anyone from Wendy James upwards is now free to tweak your noses.
Building an audience - it's not all about sticking videos onto YouTube and letting anyone hit you up for an add on MySpace. Oh, no: there's still gigging to do, unless, say, you're the daughter of a comedy performer or happen to have a giant PR company working for you.
So it is that Mumm-Ra are about to do a massive tour:
Sat 14 April Brighton Concorde 2
Mon 16 Portsmouth Wedgewood Rooms
Tue 17 Norwich Arts Centre
Wed 18 Exeter Cavern
Fri 20 Stoke Sugarmill
Sat 21 Newcastle Academy 2
Sun 22 Liverpool Academy 2
Mon 23 Cambridge Soul Tree
Tue 24 Colchester Arts Centre
Thur 26 Nottingham Rescue Rooms
Fri 27 Oxford Zodiac
Sat 28 Luton Live Room
Mon 30 Manchester Academy 3
Tue 1 May Sheffield Leadmill
Wed 2 Glasgow King Tut's
Thur 3 Aberdeen Tunnels
Fri 4 Leeds Cockpit
Sun 6 Preston 53 Degrees
Mon 7 Birmingham Academy 2
Tue 8 Bristol Thelka
Wed 9 Reading Fez
Thur 10 London ULU
This week, we pluck some Mekon-related stuff from the giant, leering video-sharing service:
Snub TV's Ghosts of American Astronauts clip
Sally Timms, Jon Langford and John Rauhouse cover the Handsome Family's Drunk By Noon in San Francisco, sometime in 2000
The Mekons doing Work All Week for Top of the Pops (not, we imagine, the main TOTP) in 2004
In a bid to excite people to the possibilities and value of learning Welsh, Cerys Matthews is going to be helping out teaching newcomers the language on television.
Of course, turn up at the wrong time and you might wind up getting your lessons from Glyn off Big Brother instead. Which might put people off more than encourage them in.
Still, it would be a hoot to be able to understand what they say about you when you walk into a pub and order Campari and Orange in English, don't you think?
Although the building was originally an ice rink for the first five years, the Hippodrome on Brighton's Middle Street only really came to life as a variety theatre. Opening in 1902, the venue was the site of performances from everyone from Max Miller, Sandra Bernhardt, through Laurel and Hardy, to the Beatles and the Rolling Stones before it closed in 1965. Like many buildings of its size and type, it would then spend time as a bingo hall - indeed, it was eyes down at the Hippodrome until last year.
Now, though, the company which runs the soon-to-merge LiveNation and Academy groups are to renovate and restore the grade II listed building and once again use it for gigs.
We're far from fans of the LiveNation group, but it's nice to see that the new company seems intent on keeping up the Academy's tradition of restoring faded buildings and making them part of the community again.
It's not just US rappers and people who annoy Babyshambles who are liable to end up on the wrong end of a gun. This is Pov Panhapich, the third female celebrity to be shot and critically wounded recently in Cambodia. It's believed the motivation for these attacks are linked to the somewhat dubious relationships between members of the Cambodian elite and rising young stars.
Panhapich, who was shot in the stomach and throat, has been taken to Vietnam for treatment.
Here's a small curiosity from Chicago: Joe Piagentini, who runs a bar in the suburbs, Sharky's Billiards, believed he'd signed a deal to bring Justin Timberlake to do an autograph session to his place.
Piagentini reckons he handed a promoter $25,000 for the deal; Timberlake's lawyers say they know nothing of it.
Of course, it's possible they're both telling the truth. It's believed that Piagentini will sort this one out once he's found out why the bridge he bought from a guy on the Embankment in London last year hasn't shipped.
With so many stars, former stars and social irritants checking into the white uniforms and regulated regimes of rehab these days, and then crashing out a few days later, it's becoming clear that simply "going to rehab" isn't even part of a solution. So, what to do when your addiction becomes too big to handle (and by "handle", of course, we mean "keep out the tabloids.")
Shaun Ryder could provide a way forward: he's quit methadone. And, you'd have to say, something which could separate Ryder from his methadone must be quite a good cure. So, how did you do it, Shaun? Miranda Sawyer suggests it was a slightly unorthodox approach:
I spend quite some time insisting to Shaun that he, Kav and Johnny must have been out of it, that someone must have spiked their drink, until Shaun just shouts: 'Or we was visited by aliens! I've had all sorts, I've had stuff from the Amazonian rain forest, but that doesn't explain the telepathy!' So I stop. Anyway, they asked the aliens some questions - 'they was a bit shady about [his kid] Jael' - and the whole experience got him off methadone, so well done to the ETs.
So, Shaun Ryder is, finally, apparently, straight, and setting to sorting his life out - and there's a lot of sorting to be done. Sawyer explains the way he's got stuck into having to send every penny he earns to his former manager to pay off a legally unenforceable contract - the courts said that even though it was unenforceable, he had to honour it because he'd previously managed to allow to be enforced; he's trying to do right by his kids, but he's got a lot of bad to undo there.
If Ryder can be sorted out, then there's hope for us all. It might just be a slower process than some newspaper reports of celebrity cures likes to suggest.
[Thanks to Jim McCabe for the link]
It's not, of course, the first time Chris Martin has been caught living a life that doesn't match up to the pretty slogans he writes on his hands - let's not forget he drives an SUV, but even so, it's a special kind of surprise to discover the Make Poverty History man charging up to USD160 for a gig in Chile.
His excuse, frankly, is as weak as his music:
"The price is a little embarrassing. When you are a famous band, a lot of things happen that you don't know about."
Actually, Chris, it's not "a little embarrassing" - it's shameful. And to try and bluster that you "didn't know about it" - what, you don't sign contracts for this sort of thing? Nobody looks over the financial plans before you sign on the dotted line? - is both unbelievable and unacceptable.
Of course, the way to dig yourself out of this hole is quite simple: do a couple of free gigs at the same time, distributing tickets amongst the locals. It might wipe out your profits, but - hey - you're not a profit-motivated kind of guy, are you?
Then we'll have a chat about the carbon impact of playing a gig in Chile, shall we?
It's been a week of tidying up for Hank Williams Jr - he's sorted out his divorce, and now the assault charge which had been hanging over him has gone away, with charges relating to an alleged choking of a cocktail waitress being dropped:
... although it never hurts, does it?
Presumably as she's now slagged off all going concern popstars, Lily Allen has had to turn her ire on the generation-before-last:
“But because these things are so unattainable, kids often give up before they've even started."
Yes... the best way to fight that sort of thing would be by, erm, launching a premium fashion range of your own, Lily, wouldn't it?
Having been fairly humiliated by Britney during their ill-advised marriage, we wonder why Kevin Federline is offering to stand by her?
Look, we can hear you shouting "right of attorney", and that's just unfair, alright?
The reconciliation might be a bit shaky, though, as the News of the World reckons Brit might have put Kev on some sort of superpowered shitlist, along with other unhappy behaviour:
# WAS STRIPPED and searched after medics feared she'd smuggled a stash of cocaine into the rehab clinic.
# CONCEALED a "Death List" of people she wishes would die— including her husband.
# OFFERED Kevin £100,000 to drop a custody hearing over their two sons.
# BELIEVES she is being bugged as she sleeps and checks every morning for listening devices.
It's good to see the doctor-patient confidentiality clause is as strong in rehab clinics as it is in proper hospitals - although, frankly, it sounds like Britney probably needs something more than a showbiz detox unit right now.
Curiously, the Sunday Mirror suggests in its interview with Jason Alexander that he is "her first husband", although - since the marriage was annulled - he isn't. But then the Smirror has never let a few facts frustrate a good story.
Jason has "broken his silence" out of concern. Not for cash, it's worry:
Surely, Jason, if you've been that worried, it might have been more use to mention this before she shaved her head off and succumbed to cocaine psychosis - otherwise, your intervention looks even less "I told you so" than "yeah, I could have told you that would happen."
He confessed: "We used ecstasy at night to party and cocaine during the day to stay awake. Then we would take downers like Valium or Vicodin to come down and rest. Britney stayed up three days straight over New Year. I couldn't keep up.
"She definitely had a problem with drugs when we were together - and that was three years ago.
"She has got herself in a cycle which is hard to break."
You think, Jason, she still might have the problem?
It's only out of concern that Jason tells the story of the time she necked too much E and needed rapid treatment. And, of course, you can't appeal for your first love to sort herself out without selling some mildly salacious low-level bisexual flirting tale to the papers, can you?
He continued: "We wore out everybody with us and they went back to the hotel. Soon it was just me, Britney and some of her back-up dancers who were with her.
"Eventually we ended up back in the room where the party continued. Britney stripped down and was dancing naked on the table with a bunch of her dancers.
"They were squeezing her tits and ass. I was sitting off to the side, buzzed and watching it all go down.
"But later on I saw Britney walk back to one of the bedrooms with one of the female dancers.
"When she didn't come out in about five minutes, I got up to investigate. The door was unlocked so, of course, I had to open it.
"Every guy I know would love to see some buck-naked bitches going at it and that is exactly what was behind door number one.
"It was like winning the sex lotto. Britney and this girl were having some lesbian fun, so I did what every other straight guy would do - I dropped my pants and hopped right into the middle of it and enjoyed every second. It was definitely a New Year's Day to remember."
Of course, without Jason sharing that story with the press, there's every chance Britney could end up like Anna Nicole Smith.
Amusingly, it's the Smirror's sister paper, The People which puts Jason's concern into a bit more context. It seems, luckily, he's had a book just about to roll, and knowing about that hasn't exactly had the positive effect he'd been promising:
"But she didn't believe he would actually go through with it. Now she knows what's in the book she is devastated.
"She never thought he'd discuss the sex they had together and her problem with drugs."
Jason, 25, admitted: "There are things that will upset her, things she will be mad at. The book focuses on stuff no one knows - our sex life, everything. There's no holding back."
Jason is so clear in the Mirror that he's afraid of Britney ending up "like Anna Nicole-Smith", but presumably only because of the guilt, then.
Another seven days on No Rock And Roll Fun
For a change, here's the ten most read articles not featuring stories about nudity:
1. KT Tunstall is a lesbian. No she isn't
2. Jo O'Meara's unhappy time house-sharing
3. Jo O'Meara makes it worse once she's out
4. Britney Spears downward week starts with shaving
5. Lady Sovereign calls Corinne Bailey Rae 'boring'
6. Pete Doherty takes drugs; backpacker takes photos
7. Will Young sort-of blamed for ruining Kenwood Park concerts
8. Damon Albarn claims Good, Bad and Queen hasn't got a name
9. Our Brits live coverage
10. The Jam get back together. Except, oh, Paul.
Also this week: Plans for EMI to drop DRM fell apart - EMI wanted the download stores to pay upfront; T in the Park sold out in forty minutes while Glastonbury registration numbers were put at a surprisingly low 175,000; Morrissey decided to not throw his hat into the Eurovision ring after all and Gareth Gates has returned shorn of stammer and, sadly, point.
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And five years ago this week... U2 did well at the Grammys - Walk On was the record of the year, and seriously we couldn't tell you how it went if it would stop you trying to get our PIN out of us; Leah Bett's parents - never shy of a publicity bandwagon - attacked Travis for saying they'd experimented with nearly every type of drug (thereby proving that drugs don't aid the creative process once and for all); websites hosting the (alleged) video of R Kelly having sex with a 14 year-old girl came up with novel answers to the question 'when is child porn not child porn' and the BBC were preparing to launch It's Hot, a Heat-for-teens. And Fred Durst, for some reason, said he'd only testify at the inquest of the fan crushed to death during a Limp Bizkit gig if he didn't have to set foot in Australia. Too busy, apparently.
These things we spread on a blanket and cried "who'll give us a fiver?" for this week:
Black Box Recorder, Client, and now solo: Sarah Nixey's Sing Memory
There's always been an I and Irie element to our music: Radiohead's Jonny Greenwood picks his reggae favourites
Sweeping The Nation alerted us to the re-release of McCarthy's fabulous I Am A Wallet - previously changing hands for a somewhat capitalist £40
The first studio album in four years from the marvellous Lucinda Williams
Apparently Yoko Ono is claiming that she's in WITCH, although she wasn't in season one
Romeo, Julia a Tma: Love, secrets and isolation in occupied Prague
Of course, Explosions In The Sky's All of A Sudden... leaked online before Christmas, so - if the record industry is right - nobody will buy this now
The Ataris try wearing shorts that fit in order to crossover from the skatepunk to the FM market
One disc mainly of Ramblin Syd Rumpo, one disc mainly of Beyond Our Ken stuff - precisely the legacy Kenneth Williams was afraid of. Oh, what's the bloody point?
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