Pity-me indie boy Pete Doherty has been bemoaning the fact that Kate Moss doesn't like his work:
Which makes you wonder what she was doing singing on the Babyshambles album if she didn't like it much.
Pity-me indie boy Pete Doherty has been bemoaning the fact that Kate Moss doesn't like his work:
Dedicated to Tony Wilson, and worth your attention: Little 015 - NineteenEightyySeven. Nineteen bands from 2007 doing 19 tracks from 1987. One each, of course, it's not 361 tracks. Amongst those taking part are The Leatherettes and Beki & The Bullets; amongst the acts being updated are A-Ha, The Vaselines and - eek - Men Without Hats.
The somewhat surprising decision to take a holiday in the sun rather than getting help seems to be working poorly for Amy Winehouse, as hotel staff report having to clean her suite of blood and vomit, and bloody vomit:
The much-delayed launch of Amazon's MP3 service - the most plausible iTunes Music Store threat (if not actual killer) to date - could be happening in the next couple of week. The New York Post has read its runes and predicts a big switch-on for September 17th.
The birth is set to be troubled, though, as record labels seem to be more interested in setting unrealistic prices rather than helping create a proper rival to Apple's behemoth:
Understandably, Aerosmith have now been going so long they can't be bothered to pick their own setlists nowadays: they're inviting fans to do that job for them, leaving them time to concentrate on the more lucrative field of sorting the merchandising.
Oh, god. It sounds like Mariah Carey's new album is like those old Friends break bumpers for cheap white wine, only with more pink giggling:
Timbaland and The Game (is there anything more stupid than a name which begins with "the", by the way?) are being pursued for copyright infringement. Saregama India claims the pair used a sample from one of their artists on The Game's 2005 album. It's not clear why it's taken two years for them to notice - presumably they couldn't stand to listen to the album more than a track or two at a time.
The somewhat protracted absence of Andy Kershaw from Radio 3 - there was some muttering about him being "unwell" but then Lucy Durans' stewardship of the Monday-night programme seemed to be turning into a permanent residency - might be getting a bit more protracted yet: he's been detained on the Isle of Man for allegedly breaching a restraining order designed to prevent him going near the home of his former partner, Juliette Banner.
Andy has been remanded in custody pending a hearing this Tuesday.
Radio One never embraced drama. While Radio 2 fought bravely with Waggoner's Walk and even Piccadilly Radio in Manchester had a stab at building a soap with a series set in a taxi firm, the Nation's Favourite never felt the need. Perhaps the torrid excitement of Our Tune was considered to be enough for the audience, or maybe Dave Lee Travis and his tales from his farm were meant to fill the gap.
Which is why it never quite made sense for Steve Wright to launch a parody soap opera in his show. Even more inexplicably, the Wright soap, Laura's First (and Second) Love chose to take the piss out of US daytime and radio soaps which, while ripe for targeting, weren't all that familiar in Britain at the time. Perhaps in these post Sunset Beach and Ugly Betty days, the source material might be more obvious, but in the early 80s, convoluted plots about Nazis and "a certain Goldstein millions" didn't seem to be a deliberate over-inflation of an already campy genre, and just sounded like odd plotlines for their own sake. A parody reduced to a sitcom.
A pity, though, because it was a loving parody - clearly, Wright's salary had allowed for a lot of transatlantic holidays, the bulk of which had been spent following All My Children and Passions. In fact, relying on the audience having spent enough time in the US soaking up daytime television in numbers large enough to make what was a very extended joke work illustrated the same problem that DLT's "my farm" monologues did - Radio One's daytime DJs were, by their success and ability to charge a small fortune for personal appearances, doomed to always grow away from their audiences, to never be able to quite relate to the people they were broadcasting to. When they arrived at Eaton Place from the nursery slopes of local radio, new DJs would still dress like, live like, react like their listeners. But with a year or two of success, a recurring slot on Top of the Pops and a few Brentford Nylon ads under their belt, that common touch would be gone and, ultimately, be as impossible to recapture as that first love of Laura's.
Presumably as part of his ongoing frustration at being bested by Kanye West at every turn, 50 Cent has had his people rustle up some political observations for him.
Cent has appeared to support the Iraq war in the past, popping over to help the troops keep their peckers up. Which makes his sudden conversion to being anti-war a little awkward:
The T in the Park sister festival, Connect - intended as an event aimed at a slightly older audience - has flopped, with bands playing to nearly-empty fields.
Just 11,000 tickets were sold, with organisers choosing to blame bad weather rather than the massive over-supply of festival events on offer, which would make them unlucky rather than foolish.
Amy McDonald, who opened the event, tried to put on a brave face:
As if having adopted the role of Official Spokesperson for Owen Wilson's mental health wasn't enough, Courtney Love has taken on the Amy Winehouse account, too.
Oddly, she doesn't seem to blame Steve Coogan for this one. Or hasn't yet, anyway. Instead - and you'll want to hold the front page here - she reveals that Amy Winehouse does drugs:
A year or so ago, Heather Mills had everything thrown at her: she was a gold-digging, child-corrupting, Diana-aping, lie-spewing harridan. Now, though, the papers are reduced to reporting minor parking infractions. By next year, it's going to be "Heather Mills double-dips."
Thus far, Bobby Brown appears to have spent longer in prison for unpaid child support than he actually has under the same roof as any of his children, so it's something of a surprise to discover he's suddenly seeking custody of Bobbin Kristin Brown, his daughter with Whitney Houston.
And it is sudden - Brown hadn't contested the couple's divorce, which was made final in April. This gave custody to Houston. So why the sudden change of heart?
Apparently, Brown is trying to convince the court he wasn't aware of the divorce proceedings:
Bookmakers are reporting (okay, "press-releasing" might be more accurate) that support for Amy Winehouse as likely Mercury winner has collapsed as fast as, erm, she has: Bat For Lashes are now pulling ahead as the clear favourite.
Curiously, the trailers for the BBC Four coverage are focusing on the Arctic Monkeys and a 'can they do the double' approach.
It's noticeable, though, that Bat For Lashes' label are currently spending squillions on advertising Fur And Gold in high-profile slots at the moment. And that's probably not aimed at the back-to-school market.
In what BBC News undersate as a "freak accident", Mick Quinn out of Supergrass has sleepwalked his way out of a first-floor window and broken his back.
As a result, Supergrass have suspended all their dates until he's better - he is supposed to make a full recovery. The BBC have also had to ort through their photo library and - discovering no pictures of Quinn - put a brave face, and twisty caption - on the next best thing:
As if the intervention of MSN to Pete Doherty's health isn't enough assistance for one man to cope with, Bez has decided to offer the benefit of his wisdom to both Doherty and Amy Winehouse:
Son-of-Mick James Jagger insists he's not a model. Ooh, it makes him mad when people do that:
Although ContactMusic bills it as "hitting back", Andy Burrows' response to Tim Wheller calling Razorlight "terrible" is more of a yelp:
James P sends us a link to MSN's UK gossip blogs with the observation that it's "the strangest thing I've seen in a while".
And it is somewhat odd - David Levin (writing, as a footnote stresses, in a personal capacity and not as some sort of Voice Of Microsoft) pens an Open Letter to Pete Doherty, suggesting he should go to prison:
Who knew that money from making burger commercials wouldn't stretch? Kevin Federline is trying to get Britney to pay his expenses for divorcing her:
Belle and Sebastain are getting into musical theatre. Or, rather, they're making a film musical.
The plan is to write a few new songs, but the storyline will be punctuated by Belle & Sebby's back catalogue. You know, like Queen's We Will Rock You.
Only without Ben Elton's involvement, as far as we can tell.
Stuart Murdoch fills in some of the storyline:
I am here, but I am not really here...
By the 80s, Jimmy Savile had long since completed the transformation from DJ to TV personality - obviously thanks to Jim'll Fix It, but also from promoting the benefits of train travel ("this is the age... [thumbs aloft] of the train") and of not being flung through a car windscreen ("clunk... click... every trip"). But he kept his hand in with dj work, too, presenting what in other hands would have been just a slightly dull Sunday lunchtime show working his way through old chart rundowns.
In Savile's hands, though, it became a surreal but slightly dull Sunday lunchtime chart rundown.
At first, the creation of a non-existent club setting - the titular Old Record Club - brought an element of oddness to the whole affair: who were these people, who gathered together on a Sunday (considering how difficult it was to get public transport anywhere during this age of the train at weekends) to play through the November 1964 top ten track-by-track? Was alcohol served? Was there a membership fee? Did the pretty young girls who sat next to Savile throughout the Club's operating hours actually exist, or were they part of a bizarre fantasy world that we were unwillingly being forced into enabling?
Stranger yet was the never-ending points battle. Sometimes, Savile would set the audience a question based around one of the songs - what, for example, would be the full title of the next song? Upon completion of the track, Jim would gurgle with delight revealing that the song in question had brackets in the title - (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction and, surmising that the audience would have not remembered the parenthetical portion, would delete millions of points from the listeners and award them to himself. It was never quite explained what these points were for - presumably, you could gather them up and the discover there was nothing of any use for which they could be exchanged, like the Green Shield Stamps which were popular at the same time.
Savile's love of marathon running then added another insane twist to proceedings. Like a proto-Liz Kershaw, Savile attempted to get away with pre-recording his show and passing it off as live. But in order to create the illusion of live radio, rather than adopting Liz's approach of getting friends to ring in to take part in competitions (that, presumably, would have introduced the extra confusion of trying to explain exactly what the points business was all about), Savile claimed that he was doing the programme at the same time as running a marathon. By, erm, having created a hologram - Hebert Hologram - to do the radio show.
We know, we know, holograms don't actually make sound, but in the context of a show set in a club which didn't exist, pre-recorded live transmissions by three-dimensional pictures of the presenter made perfect sense. Mark Thompson wouldn't allow it now, of course.
On a couple of occasions, Savile did actually do the show from a marathon course, though sadly never from the London Marathon. (That, in the days before the BBC had a sort-of-dedicated sports network, fell into Radio 2's remit; they'd broadcast live from a milkfloat which chased the stragglers through the red-brick pavements of the Docklands developments district.)
Eventually, Savile decided he was getting too old for Radio 1, and so retired from the Sunday old chart show to give a chance to a newcomer. He was replaced by the older Alan Freeman, who promptly hammered the boards over the door of the Old Record Club and revived his Pick of the Pops format.
[Radio One More Time]
We're having a bit of trouble buying the lead story in 3AM which claims that Mark Ronson is in a tizzy with Amy Winehouse:
Courtney Love's decision that Steve Coogan is to blame for all the world's ills, up to and including the attempted suicide of Owen Wilson isn't one she's started to regret yet. Now she wants Coogan to go home:
Derek Bowie is denying that he's going to be in the next series of Doctor Who.
Presumably he's holding out for a cameo in The Ghost Whisperer instead.
On the other hand: Russell T Davies swore blind that the stories about Kylie's appearance were just media flummery. So you never know.
The Projekt Revolution crowd-crush was nothing more than youthful exuberance - and probably some sugary drinks. When Tyrique Layne got crushed at a Lil Wayne concert, though, she alleges it was because Wayne had thrown money into the crowd. Now, she wants Wayne to throw some money at her. She's suing for a million dollars.
Mosh pits can be pretty unforgiving places, but there was something especially unyielding about Projekt Revolution's Syracuse mini-festival. Somewhere between Placebo, Linkin Park and Taking Back Sunday, there were two broken arms and a broken leg. In all, 30 people ended up in hospital.
We might consider taking a broken toe for Brian Molko, but the rest of 'em barely seem worth a enduring a grazed knee for.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Universal have cancelled all Amy Winehouse's upcoming US dates, including the MTV Awards:
Almost, but not quite, as she's now reduced to doing ads for Woolworths. The Woolworths No Frills budget range, to be precise.
And despite sharing the advert with a dog and a sheep puppet, she's still giving the least lifelike performance of them all.
We're usually rather a little dismissive of Linkin Park, with their unimaginative, derivative lyrics, spoon-footed music, beards grown like they're fourteen year-old boys trying to gain access to a nightclub, and general air of being dreamed up by a 46 year-old Republican with a flipchart and a subscription to the Suicide Girls website.
However, they are doing good things down in New Orleans, and it would be churlish not to mention it.
Apparently waking up and thinking she's Nick Ross, Heid Range has called for the killer of Rhys Jones to come forward.
After all, if all you have to worry about is facing a possible trial as an adult, a life sentence, being used as the face of Evil England by the tabloids and getting battered as an example by Jack 'Big Stick' Straw - who actually has "the Orwellian-sounding Minister of Justice" printed on his business cards - why would you not want to make a Sugababe smile by coming forward.
Tomorrow, Mutya's going to go to Iraq and say "please, make it stop."
Rather a brave choice for MTV, picking Snoopy Dog Dog to host this year's MTV Europe awards. Not because Dogg is "edgy" in the way he likes to believe, but with the recent spate of refused work visas he's suffered, it's possible he might not be able to set foot in Munich to do the show.
Still, he's keen, we'll give him that:
You'd have thought after its record company dibision got into a lot of expensive trouble including a nasty piece of rootkit (software which installs itself and hides from the operating system) on its CDs, Sony might have learned its lesson.
Apparently not: it's started to include them on USB drives now, too. Oh, and is adopting the usual, blase attitude:
Most people, if they wanted to see naked images of Nadine Coyle, would probably type "Nadine Coyle naked" into Google, before getting frustrated and collapsing in sobs of tears.
Jesse Metcalfe, thought, just rolls up his sleeve and looks at his tattoo. Since he got it done after they'd split, he probably collapses in floods of tears, too:
You were my first love
and first love never, ever dies
Much has been written about Simon Bates' Our Tune, the daily feature in which Bates would read out a letter about a love story which - normally - ended in tragedy and then, after a spin of the doomed couple's song (quite often something by Dire Straits of Will You, by Hazel O'Connor), the redemption:
So, you're looking at the radio now, saying 'what happened, Simes?' Well... Tony's leg never grew back, but his heart did...
The lack of any serious radio audience research allowed Bates to make grandiose claims for this daily spot of mawkishness. Sometimes, this would take the form of tales of hardened lorry drivers being forced to pull over to the hard shoulder of the M1 lest their floods of tears lead to multi-car pile-ups (although that would, at least, provide a fresh supply of "Julie was trying on the wedding dress when a policeman called at the door - it was Jack, he'd been killed in an accident" stories to keep the feature going.) Always, though, there was Bates' boast at the end:
Tell me your story, and I'll tell eight million other people
It's interesting that, despite these enormous audiences hanging on every twist and turn, nobody has seemed much interested in attempts to resurrect the feature in Bates' post-Radio One life. He's popped up doing it on Sky One, TalkRadio and Classic FM but (adopts gravelly voice, fades up Love Theme from Romeo and Juliet by Henry Salomon & His Orchestra) the spark had gone and, although Simon was keen to try again, the audience... well, the audience had moved on, found other obsessions. And so the tantalising question remained: had Our Tune been popular because it was on during the day on the biggest radio station in the country... or could, as Simon seemed to believe, have Radio One been so popular because of Our Tune?
To be fair to Bates, as Out On Air in Radio 4's Archive Hour pointed out a few weeks back, he was open to all-comers for Our Tune, and did feature gay relationships, something still fairly unusual to hear about on Radio One out of the context of "this is a youth issue with a telephone helpline attached". On the other hand, the way he'd build up to these stories - building a protective zone of repeated warnings ("some of you might be shocked, there might even be complaints") rather than slipping them in in a matter-of-fact fashion - suggested that he wasn't entirely comfortable featuring tales of man-on-man heartbreak and was probably only doing the queer ones because he'd run out of "normal" letters.
So, yes, Our Tune is well known. Less well recorded, though, is Mike Read's similar - some might even say copycat - feature which ran in the Breakfast Show. While Bates appealed for stories of the biggest romances and largest disasters, Read slowly carved out a niche for himself which sought out tales of First Love. In place of the Love Theme from Romeo And Juliet, there were the Walker Brothers, and - by the nature of the stories - much was played out in classrooms, common rooms and playing fields, which sat well with Read's other big feature, Schooldesk. (This was little more than hoping Mike Read would read out the name of your school - simple pleasures in those days, kids.)
In those days, Read provided the only public outlet for people, looking back fondly on a love which had been strong, burned with passion, and - usually - had been ended by circumstance or puberty, never to be regained. These days, of course, Friends Reunited performs a similar function, but in place of a TeaHee mug and a chance to hear a song you once snogged to, you get a messy divorce and the chance of a disastrous old-time's sake bunk-up.
Alex Kapranos appears to have been ripped off by the Beastie Boys:
Let's hope he's better than he was in Twin Peaks: David Bowie is popping up in the next series of Doctor Who.
The Sun, of course, is keen to ensure that no part of Amy Winehouse's decline is missed, and so has two journalists out in "The Caribbean" (that's as specific as the byline gets), including, as you might expect for such a big story, a section editor.
Not, though, Victoria Newton. In fact, it's TV Editor Sara Nathan who has landed the oh-so-strenuous job of hanging out in the sunshine, alongside James Clench. Curious.
And so what have the pair managed to file from their sunshine trip?
Erm... a story about Mitch Winehouse praying for Amy at her grandfather's grave.
The Mirror's website this morning is reporting a "war" between the various in-laws in the story, but most of the Mirror's showbiz errors are bringing up 404 error pages (branded as icnetwork.co.uk, like some sort of screw-up down memory lane) so we're not entirely sure how the 'war' fits with Mitch's clear and repeated insistence that while he disagrees with the Blake-Fielders' proposed methods, he doesn't want to rise to the bait of blaming each other's kid for the mess they're in.
If your life was going a little off the rails, and Courtney Love popped up offering advice, you'd surely see that as a wake up call.
Courtney Love. Thinking you're out of control.
Apparently, Love had been warning Owen Wilson about the dangers of hanging out with Steve Coogan shortly before Wilson tried to end it all:
Obviously, anyone connected with the EMI which had run itself so badly into the ground it got taken over by a German cafe business has hardly covered themselves in glory over the last few years, so a change at the Terra Firma owned company wasn't unexpected.
Eric Nicoli, who's been with EMI for 14 years, is leaving the CEO role and the company; in charge now will be two Terra Firma managing directors:
We Are Scientists are plotting a huge UK tour this winter:
Mon 05 November Preston 53 Degrees
Tue 06 Whitehaven Civic
Wed 07 Edinburgh University
Thu 08 Leeds Met. University
Sat 10 Surrey University
Sun 11 Leicester University
Mon 12 Keele University
Tue 13 Norwich Waterfront
Thu 15 Peterborough Cresset
Fri 16 Derby University
Sat 17 Plymouth University
Sun 18 Southampton University
Tue 20 Swansea University
Sun 25 Oxford Brookes University
Thu 29 Bangor University
Sat 01 December Skegness The Big Reunion
Sun 02 Coventry Warwick University
Fri 07 Dundee Fat Sams Live
Sun 09 Inverness Ironworks
Thu 13 Northampton Roadmenders
It's called the Trivial Pursiut tour - presumably because it's coming out to entertain at Christmas time.
Hilly Kristal, the founder of CBGBs, has died at the age of 75.
Born in Manhattan in 1932, Kristal was performer in his own right, before turning his hand to managing a string of New York clubs in the 1950s - including The Village Vanguard. He opened his own club, Hilly's On Ninth Street, which over the years would move and change its name to Country Bluegrass and Blues. The titular music was quickly pushed aside, though, as CBGBs became the home of US punk in the 1970s.
Debbie Harry led the tributes:
Well, why not: everyone should launch an attempt at unseating iTunes at least once in a tax cycle, if only to provide a pile of receipts for write-off purposes. Nokia has launched a mobile music store, called Ovi, in the hope that you'll want to buy the music you already have on your computer all over again to listen to on your phone.
We know mobile phone companies desperately want to sell us music, but it's a bit like Seeboard trying to flog turkeys because people use electricity to cook them.
The Pogues have announced a mini-tour of big-venues for the Christmas season:
11 December - Glasgow Academy
12 - Newcastle Academy
14 - Nottingham Arena
15 - Manchester Central
16 - Birmingham Academy
18 & 19 - London Brixton Academy
Hmmm. Pogues doing Christmas shows. I wonder what the encore will be.
Good bloody lord. Keith Richards is getting so needful, he's taken to writing to Swedish newspapers to moan about bad reviews.
Not that he's worried about himself, of course. Oh, no, Richards is worried that if the fans who enjoyed the concert read the review, it'll break their little hearts:
Considering that Kerry Katona was being "treated" for "bipolar disorder" at the Priory, her description of her mother is a bit, well, odd:
More from No Rock on kerry katona
Holiday, holiday, holiday time
Holiday, holiday, holiday time
with the Radio One [plonk] Roadshow
Once, a fixture in the British summer as immovable as donkey cruelty and bingo, the Radio One Roadshow could be seen as an object lesson in the BBC connecting with audiences - back before that became the sort of thing the BBC felt it should be doing. Indeed, back in the Roadhsow's 70s and early 80s heyday, a suggestion that any other part of the BBC should roll up its trousers and go and down to Margate to share chips and a Who Can Put The Most Spaghetti Down Their Trousers contest with licence-fee payers would have gone down about as well as pitching a programme called Fuck Me I'm A Hairy Woman.
I never got to go to a Roadshow - for some reason, Radio One's journey along the South Coast would visit Eastbourne rather than what might have been thought of as the more obvious Brighton, and by the time I was old enough to announce plans to go along to Eastbourne unaccompanied the attraction of seeing Gary Davies on stage was no longer strong enough to tempt to me. I have to take it on trust, then, that the "fun starts at ten" as the traditional preshow trailer would have it. For me, the Roadshow never really started until it was "on air at eleven".
Yes, the greatest gift of the Roadshow was to cut down some of Simon Bates' airtime.
Summer after summer, Skegness after Blackpool, year after year, the Roadshow would follow its own rhythm through the summer. Each of the daytime DJs would take a week, and, consequently, the stretch of coast that happened to coincide with that week. For reasons that we could never quite figure, the Roadshow never ventured inland, apart from on Bank Holidays when it might deign to try out a country park for a "special". Maybe BBC bosses believed that the only way you could holiday in the UK was if you went to the seaside.
Each presenter would get to make the week their own by having their own mini-competition - if Steve Wright was involved it would probably feature a bucket of gunk - but the main competitions were set in stone.
There was, of course, the Smiley Miley one, where four audience members would be given the chance to guess exactly how far the Roadshow caravan had travelled since the last programme. I used to fantasise about following the lorry from one location to the next as a cunning way of cheating on this competition, although since the prize was a Radio 1 goody bag, it might not have been the most sensible use of petrol.
"Smiley Miley" was also the name given to the producer of the events - part of the vast panoply of semi-fictitious characters who do the work on Radio One - who, in between making the Roadshows, seemed to be fighting a never-ending war with the presenters to see who could pull the biggest stunt. This always seemed to end with Mike Read's car being dismantled and reassembled in his hotel room, a pointless feat that served only to point out that there are some things that simply don't work on radio.
The main competition element on the Roadshow, though, was Bits And Pieces. So crucial was Bits and Pieces to the success of the Roadshow that it's probably the only feature on the station to have warranted its own trailer - "One more record to Bits And Pieces."
It was nothing more than ten small snatches of recent records, edited together, which four audience members (every participatory opportunity on the Roadshow called for four competitors) did their best to identify, with the winner - of course - winning a goodie bag. The contents of a Roadshow goody bag were shrouded in secrecy, but it's a safe bet they were slightly thinner fare than you might expect in, say, an Oscars goody bag. (They did, of course, provide the inspiration for Mark Goodier's network nickname.)
The classic version of Bits And Pieces would be heralded with a jingle featuring the 1964 hit from where it took its name, allowing my Mum to develop a running joke of yelling out "The Dave Clarke Five" as her first answer every day through the Summer holidays. See, it wasn't just fun to be at the recordings.
Nowadays, Radio One chooses not to connect with the bucket-and-spade tradition, preferring instead the grand sweeping gesture of One Big Weekend, or endless trips to Ibizia - the latter having a sense of being less about getting in touch with the Radio One audience, more about choosing somewhere nice to broadcast from. And, yes, it's undeniable that with cheap flights from EasyJet and expensive flights from Ryanair disguised as cheap flights when you strip out the hidden charges, your average Radio One listener will now have a much wider playground to choose from for their holidays. But it would be nice to think the network could still find it in their budgets to go and do something for the people stuck at home in the seaside towns they forgot to shut down.
[Radio One More Time]
Following on from yesterday's attempts by the Fielder-Civil family to place the blame for Blake and Amy's co-dependent downward spiral on Amy, people who buy her records and her record label, today, Mitch Winehouse has just been on BBC Breakfast rejecting this. His message was that Blake and Amy have only themselves to blame. While being more accurate, still isn't quite true: record labels, like any employers, have some duty of care to the people who work for them, surely?
If their report in today's paper is correct, Malawian authorities have not only ignored their own and the Africa Union guidelines on adoption, but they're now adopting a cash-and-carry approach to parcelling out the kids:
Lou Reed has signed on to appear as a guest vocalist on the next Killer's album.
At least when Sinatra reached this point of his career, he did it with the real Bono rather than a pretend one. It wasn't dignified, but it was a smaller indignity.
Having been offered the opportunity to repeatedly hurl down a "beat that" challenge opening for the Arctic Monkeys on their US tour, with a consequent reshuffling of their own American dates.
The appearance of My Bloody Valentine on MyBloodySpace - complete with classic line-up - has fuelled the talky-guess-network that is the internet with rumours that the band are going to play Coachella.
With the Mary Chain having got back together for this year's Coachella, it's clear that they're engaging on a slow-motion replay of the Rollercoaster tour. Blur with Coxon and Damon's penis on-stage for 2009, then.
Bad news from Florida this evening: Bo Diddley has had a heart attack. What makes the news especially worrying is that he had the attack while getting a medical check-up, which suggests someone who is very ill indeed.
Normally the BPI and the Chart company gets very excited when a historic entry enters the charts, but this week's vaguely historic moment has passed by largely unmentioned. There, at number 19, is My Baby Left Me, by Elvis Presley. A single whose recording is out of copyright.
Now, if you'd listen to Cliff Richard and the BPI the idea of records having expiring copyright 50 years after they're recorded is right up there with emptying phials of foot and mouth serum into rivers, or testing make-up on toddlers. But here's an example of the good that allowing old tracks into the public domain can do: clearly, Priscilla and family aren't going to find themselves short of cash for the gas meter this winter - indeed, RCA's 'official' Elvis releases are doing rather well despite the competition from unofficial Elvis; the writers of the track (or their estate) are going to get a sizeable payment they wouldn't have received had the song remained locked in a vault; Elvis fans get the chance to hear something they haven't grown heartily sick of from the official imprints. Everyone - except those of us who despair at the chart getting cluttered with half-century old songs - is a winner.
The sky hasn't fallen. Andrew Gowers was right.
Break out those copies of Fish-heads and Is That All There Is: as part of the 40th Anniversary celebrations of Radio One, they're reviving - for one night only - the Annie Nightingale Request Show.
We'd be very surprised if she doesn't include Echo Beach somewhere in the two-hour special.
We shouldn't buy any more Amy Winehouse records. Obviously, we never have and never would, but it's nice for a media campaign we can feel like we're joining in with. Blake Furtive Squirrel's mum has called on us, the record-buying public, to refuse to buy any more of Amy's records:
The Hobble on the Cobbles might not be the grandest of the UK summer festivals, but Aylesbury did manage to claim a tiny piece of history: a one-off, one-song reunion of Fish out of Marillion, and Marillion.
Aylesbury being where the band formed, and so appropriate for what Fish makes sound like a last hurrah:
Lily Allen has discovered the hard way that not everyone wants to work with her after she crashed Bobby Kray's Notting Hill Carnival set:
Travelling through space and time with the mingle-mangle music
John Walters is, of course, remembered as John Peel's producer, the man who had to "ring up Mrs. X and ask if her Overlord wanted to come on the programme." He also was a member of the Alan Price Set, scoring a top ten hit in his own right. But he also had another role - that of Radio One's arts correspondent.
Sort of arts correspondent. Presumably on the basis that he turned up at the studios carrying a paper you had to fold to read on the tube, John Walters was assigned the job of going to galleries and other events, and reporting back for the audience. Originally, he did this in a stand-alone programme, Walter's Weekly, in a slot which created a no-man's land between Night-time and Daytime programming. When this timeslot disappeared as part of a schedule shake-up, he became a roving reporter for Janice Long's show, delivering a Tuesday night Walter's Week slot, and a Thursday pop papers review. At the next schedule shake-up, when management created a buffer between night-time and daytime, Walters Weekly was revived for a short while. The final programme promised there was going to be another series, but it never happened before Walters retired.
Sort of arts correspondent. There were reports from openings - often enlivened by the presence of Quentin and Dave, respectively the Critic's critic and the People's critic, who sat on his shoulders whispering into his ears, in much the same way small angels and devils would attempt to influence the behaviour of characters in comics. Walters' great strength as an art critic was that he could understand the multiple complex levels being unravelled by Quentin, while retaining sympathy for Dave's view that a kid of three could do better.
But, generally, Walters used his time for discoursing on things he found interesting. There was much about the Archers - including his journey on an Archers themed tour where the coach visited places that, obviously, weren't in the made-up Borsetshire:
They'd say 'there's the cathedral where David and Sophie are going to get married in a few weeks - and you'd think, no, no it's not, that's Salisbury... a milkfloat overtook the coach at one point and the woman behind me said 'that'll be Mike Tucker' - and you just think, no, no, don't do their job for them...
once even composing a poem calling for more Grundy action in Ambridge, bemoaning how it's
It's Archers, Archers, all through the week
(Looks like Kenton will be up before the beak)
Then there were the "is it me" pieces, about breaking wind in apparently empty breakfast rooms only to catch the eye of a waitress who had been hiding round the corner, or being offered a slice of hot buttered something, or trains being full of screeching infants:
People stay at home trying for babies, then as soon as they're successful, they start to come out again, taking their babies to places where I am...
It's hard to disagree with a man who sees a sign outside a pub reading "Families Welcome" as a warning rather than an advertisement.
Then there were the frequent not-really-covert plugs for his arts series on BBC2's opt-out North-Eastern service, Northern Lights (or "ahem-hem-hem Northern Lights") and the obsession with the lack of people visible from the train when it went through Riddlesdown. Riddlesdown - City of the Dead spawned a feature in its own right, where Walters would take up the challenge of other towns to be similarly depopulated.
Much as we loved both iterations of Walter's Weekly, and the second's multi-tracked human brass band theme tune, it was the time he spent on the Janice Long's show which worked the best. Even the most natural raconteur works best with an audience, and Long's willingness to corpse on air made for a great partnership.
John Walters had the knack of turning the small print of daily life into wonderful stories; it's a pity his retirement proved so cruelly short at a time when he was available to other broadcasters to turn in work which walked the dangerous tightrope between whimsy and student-revue standard observational comedy.
We never did find out what happened to Alan, the furry soap cat, though.
[Radio One More Time]
The Mirror has got itself all excited by the news of Madonna hiring a bloke to be nanny for David Banda. Yes, a man. Can you imagine anything more unlikely, apart from that dog that was a district attorney?
The paper seems impressed with the terms and conditions:
Oddly, the tawdry story about Kylie Mingoue's fertility (a couple of quotes from "friends" about plans for some unspecified "pioneering" operation and, apparently, a willingness to be a single mother) has been filed by the TV team rather than Newton's team - despite describing Kylie as a "pop princess" in its opening sentence. Perhaps - with the television writers now getting front page stories about singers - this also explains why Bizarre is looking so empty these days.
Today's Bizarre is, if anything, even thinner than yesterday's holiday service: the second story is, erm, a single photo of French and Saunders dressed up as Amy Winehouse and Britney Spears.
Even Newton struggles to explain why she's placed a promotional picture for a clapped-out TV series as her second story, coming up with this:
Trent Reznor wasn't especially thrilled with this year's Reading-Leeds, especially the company he was asked to keep:
Reading between the lines, the main impetus for The Cure pulling their US tour dates is that even they're bored with themselves:
It's almost heart-breaking to hear that Jared Leto feels winning a Kerrang award confers some sort of artistic credibility on 30 Seconds To Mars:
Tonight, on University Challenge, one of the questions asked students to identify the Fierce Panda logo.
We don't know if Billy Corgan is thinking of joining Focus On The Family anytime soon, but judging by his remarks at Reading, he'd fit right in with anyone who shares their views:
The Malawian official whose inspection visit to see how Madonna and Guy are getting on with David Banda has been given approval to fly to Britain after all, with the Ministry giving permission for Penstone Kilembe to travel:
The Daily Mail is fretting about Charlotte Church:
More from No Rock on charlotte church
Oh, sure, Andy Burrows' suggestion that Johnny Borrell consider a solo career sounds polite:
In recent years, the role of the early evening slot after Newsbeat has been the opportunity for daytime to wind up, slowly thinning out the familiar so that, by the time Zane Lowe comes on, the audience won't be too spooked by a bearded man suddenly shouting at them while he plays something loud and alarming.
It wasn't like that when Peter Powell ruled the roost - coming out of Newsbeat at 5.45, he'd then launch into the Five forty-fives slot. Five new releases, played back to back. A solid twenty-minute chunk of records the listeners would be unfamiliar with. On a programme presented by a man so wet he apologised for having to play Cardiac Arrest by Madness during a chart rundown as "it must be terrible to hear that if someone in your family has just had a heart attack."
You have to remember this was back before the internet, when songs generally weren't known the world over the minute the final mix was signed off. It was even before record labels attempted to make "the first play" of singles into an event in their own right, strictly juggling embargoes on U2 songs to make sure that Chris Moyles gets the rights to be the first presenter to crash the vocals on the track. Back before new releases get sent to radio stations so far in advance of the day they arrive in the shops that Gnarl Barkley's Crazy felt like an oldie before it had registered a single sale.
Five records, back-to-back, which people were unfamiliar with, on what was still - technically - a daytime Radio One programme. And, by the law of mathematics, there had to be a lot more Hollywood Beyond and Modern Romance type acts than there were Duran Duran and Japan tracks in there. Considering the 1980s are generally seen as something of a conservative period for the higher-profile Radio One djs, this was quite a brave feature, putting the commitment to music and discovery ahead of the audience's comfort factor. Does any show on today's Radio 1 - or even 6Music, come to that - schedule such a large chunk of records that listeners will be hearing for the first time, back-to-back, today?
Of course, new music has always played an important role in the programming - the Breakfast Show's Record of the Week which seemed to survive most changes of presenters for the first couple of decades, where a new single would be given the honour of a daily play.
And there were review programmes: Roundtable - grudgingly listened to by Norman Fletcher at the insistence of Lenny Godber - which (aptly) took the 5.45 slot on Fridays for ages, most famously under Emperor Rosko's command; Singled Out; Collins and Maconie's Hit Parade, which took the basic Roundtable format and poked into gaps between David Quantick dismissing something he'd read in the Melody Maker as "arrant wasp toss". But even these shows soothed the shock of the new by inviting the likes of Debbie Harry, David Grant and Steve Wright (Roundtable) or the drummer from Kenickie, the news editor from Select and, oh, David Quantick's here anyway (Hit Parade) to contextualise the new singles.
Even if you tried to do something similar these days, the format of "here are five records you won't have heard before, listen to them and decide if you like them" would be bastardised by the inclusion of instant texts from Spandau Ballet fans. It's almost as if the more seriously Radio One management took music, they less they trusted their audience to cope with it.
[Radio One More Time]
So excited is Victoria Newton that Kylie Minogue has got a 'new' hairstyle it's the second story on this morning's Bizarre. Which is a bit weak, even for a Bank Holiday Monday.
She doesn't seem to connect with it being a throwback to Locomotion-era Kylie, but does manage to achieve a new low in punning:
According to The Sun, Winehouse and Fielder-Civil have fled the country. Winehouse's family seem to think this is a "good thing".
To the casual observer, this looks more like the sort of "good idea" when Factory sent the Happy Mondays overseas to record a drug free album. How did that work out, again?
Still, the poor sods who've been unlucky enough to have the pair sharing their hotel will probably be delighted they've gone. A New Yorker who was at the Sanderson tells the Mirror:
According to this morning's Sun, Sam and Amanda - the Big Brother twins - are "set to become the next Cheeky Girls".
Really? Or is this just a made-up story based on them having sung for yesterday's task?
Eugene Hutz apparently doesn't care for the entertainments of the young people any more, not now he's had a sniff of the a-list and their top table:
If the Environmental Agency really had the funds and resources to lower a river three inches, was the most appropriate use of that to drop the Thames three inches on behalf of Festival Republic?
So far, police have arrested 25 people across the two Reading/Leeds festival sites, mainly for drugs offences.
However, there have been over 108 thefts in Leeds alone.
Is mopping up some low-level drug users really the best use of police resources when the people who are paying for them to be there are having their stuff nicked?
If - as seems possible - the management of the Spice Girls reunion had hoped to hammer Mel C down into accepting her role as one of the money-makers, it's not going well: Mel C is having none of it, reckon The People:
Professional half-wit Lee Ryan has, apparently, managed to have half a date with Chanelle who walked out during Big Brother. Most humiliatingly for Lee, the Sunday Mirror reports this as if 'failed game show contestant' was pulling out of his league.
Back when the News of the World first ran its story about Dannii Minogue mucking about with strippers and getting caught on video. Dannii Minogue was just the less-popular Minogue sister. Now, though, she's a judge on X Factor, and thus every bit as famous and important as Piers Morgan.
Wisely, Janine Marshall has waited until now to come forward to sell her story to the News of the World. It's actually the same story the Screws ran back in February 2006, although with a name on it and some pictures of a stripper to illustrate it.
Oh, and some "personal testimony":
Legend tell us that it was Chris Evans' demands to be allowed Fridays off that led to his departure from Radio One - Matthew Bannister feeling that having a different breakfast show on Friday morning would be a something of an oddity. Evans insisted it was either Fridays off, or he was, and so he went. The sudden vacuum in the network's key slot sucked in Mark and Lard and made the uproar over Danny Baker seem like the polite mutterings of disgruntled parish council.
However, Evans' request wasn't quite so odd set in the context of some of the network's earlier schedules, not least the inexplicable time in the 1980s when Steve Wright was catapulted from his "in the Afternoon" slot into Sunday mornings. To make up for the horror of having to get up at, ooh, eight o'clock, Wright's hitherto Monday-to-Friday programme became a Monday-to-Thursday affair.
You can almost see the logic at work here - Fridays have always been slightly different on Radio One, with a weekend-starts-here approach, but the traditional switchover usually came in early evening - Andy Peebles banging on about sport instead of Kid Jensen, the Friday Rock Show where you'd normally find John Peel, Roundtable in Peter Powell's shoes. Pushing the start of the weekend schedule back to 2pm on a Friday gave the sense of arriving way, way too early at a house party.
It also meant Radio One had a problem trying to work out what to do with the slot - it was still a prime, daytime programme, so needed someone with enough profile to carry the audience along; indeed, with only one programme a week at this time, the challenge was to find someone capable to connecting quickly with the listeners while making up for the disappointment of the usual host being away. Trouble was, there wasn't a great deal of spare capacity in the network's presentation team - which is probably why they'd needed to get Wright on to Sundays, with his "we've just got back from the church" jingles and all - and so, at first, they tried propelling Early Show host Adrian John into the mid-afternoon. Our memory suggests that he used to do the early show and the afternoons on Fridays, but surely this can't be right, can it?
John tried to make the slot his own - his Beadlesque It's Only A Wind-Up could be quite inspired, as when he took advantage of scaffolding on Big Ben to ask tourists what they thought about the new digital clockface being installed - but it always felt like he was a housesitter.
After John, the Friday vacancy was used as a testing ground for new presenters - some with a degree of success (Mark "meMarkPage" Page) and some without (Paul Jordan, who eventually returned to Red Rose's deconsecrated church studios in Preston) before the idea that Sunday mornings were the new Friday afternoons was quietly dropped and normalcy returned.
Seven days on No Rock and Roll Fun:
The ten most-read individual stories are:
1. The court wants to watch R Kelly's sex video
2. We almost wish we'd never put Lily Allen and naked in the same story
3. Dannii Minogue's supposed slightly-lesbian secrets video
4. Beth Ditto removes her clothes for that evil old NME
5. Is KT Tuntsall a lesbian?
6. Johnny Headlock remembers: Oh, yes I had sex with Amy Winehouse
7. Akon presents kids with free vibrators
8. Priscillas hijack a Klaxons b-side
9. Edith Bowman's topless paparazzi nightmare
10. Darren Hayes in alleged "racist assault" mystery
Also this week:
Amy Winehouse got more messed up; Ticketmaster and LiveNation fell out with each other while Antigua requested the right to ignore US copyright; Britney Spears considered fleeing to London; Beth Ditto revealed she didn't think all gay men were starving women to death, only some of them and, in our brave new world, USB memory sticks made the grade for the charts.
You can read the whole week on one page or
skim the week before in one post
Five years ago:
Eminem fought with a puppet at the MTV awards; the pointless DataPlay format launched, after burning through some extra fifty million dollars; Radio 1 inadvertently called for queerbashing; Graham Coxon went missing from Blur while the NME suggested that Pulp were about to split; and the Leeds Festival ended in riots - possibly due to heavy-handed policing
Challengers, the new New Pornographers "more mature" sound
The incomparable Mekons offer their first in three years
MIA turns in another solid 8/10 performance which will get reviewed as a 10/10
... while Sevara Nazarkhan offers a different globally-mashed take
Caribou's Andorra marks Dan Snaith's move to City Slang
Jenny Lewis returns to the day job with Rilo Kiley for the difficult 'now we've got a profile' album
The experimentation was wrong, so they've reined it in: Liars get back to basics
Minus The Bear's Planet Of Ice "Nurturing a bold stylistic shift towards progressive and psychedelic rock Planet of Ice is loaded with hooks" says the press release, unpromisingly
Dirty Space Disco: Sylvester, Conrad Schnitzler, Clara Mondshine...
Clogging On Again: New Model Army manage a tenth album in 23 years - and they say there's No Rest
From back in the days when 'being gay' was a career in itself: An evening with Quentin Crisp
Chris Martin gets a chance to sing on the new Kinski. No, not that Chris Martin
More from No Rock on this week just gone