But Emma Bunton has insisted that the show will go on, even if she has to take to the London stage with crutches.
After all, a bit more support propping things up on the Spice tour won't be a problem, will it?
We say she's insisted. I suspect it's fifty percent management pointing out the costs of cancellation; fifty percent the Spices desperate to not have to extend the tour a moment longer by rescheduling dates.
Friday, December 14, 2007
But Emma Bunton has insisted that the show will go on, even if she has to take to the London stage with crutches.
With Gordon presumably still following the Spice Girls round America, Pete Samson is again filing the big story for Bizarre - we wonder if he spins round in Gordo's chair, too. This morning, the Ed Balls of the Bizarre cabinet has an unsourced story which builds on the Israeli rehab story the paper was pushing last week, claiming that Amy is going to go off to rehab-lite. But not before a "big Christmas blowout". Which would be like a new year resolution, presumably.
The two stories actually don't make sense together, though: last week Gordon was suggesting Amy was reluctant rehabber - hence the trip to the Israel clinic where rehab lasts only a week (the course; we imagine the clean time isn't as long as that); this week Pete Samson is saying she's keen.
Meanwhile, Ringo Starr is worried about Amy, too:
“It’s a very public destruction. The good news is that there’s more help around now than before.”
It's true that - back in the 60s it took a lot of organisation to get yourself destructing; now, it's easier than ever to dabble, snort, smack and generally befuck yourself. In some companies, it's even tax deductible.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
It's looking much more likely that we might be back to five major labels in 2008, as Advocate General Juliane Kolkott has advised that the Court Of First Instance's ruling that the clearance given by Europe to the Sony-BMG merger be removed. Kolkott's advice is not binding, but is normally followed by the higher court.
God alone knows what would happen next - presumably a few years of legal merry-go-round followed by some token disinvestments. It's probable that CDs will be finally obsolete before this one gets sorted.
Spinal Tap tribute act Velvet Revolver are planning a UK tour for next March:
Liverpool, University - March 15
Leeds, University - 16
Manchester, Apollo - 17
Newcastle, Academy - 19
Glasgow, Academy - 20
Wolverhampton, Civic - 22
Birmingham, Academy - 23
Brixton, Academy - 25
Brighton, Centre - 27
We wouldn't advise buying tickets just yet.
The inductees for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, 2008, have been announced: Madonna - who has donated large numbers of items to the museum - is in; The Beastie Boys - who haven't - are not. Funny that.
Also going in will be John 'Where's The Cougar' Mellencamp and Leonard Cohen. The funny thing is, despite the amount of cash the good people of Cleveland have poured in to the Hall, they hold the induction in New York. It's almost as if the birthplace of rock and roll isn't good enough for today's rock and rollers, isn't it?
[You might also enjoy: No Rock's trip to the Hall of Fame]
Kerry Katona is going to churn her life into a MTV reality series:
And it will chronicle her bitter custody fight with ex-husband Bryan McFadden, with whom she has two daughters.
A source said it was a chance for Kerry, who has fought drink and drug addictions and was diagnosed with manic depression, to answer her critics.
Hmm. Not entirely sure how selling your private life to a TV company - and selling out your kids by viewing a custody battle as a USP for a reality series rather than a serious determining moment in their lives - is an "answer" to the critics who suggest she's more interested in money and clinging to declining fame above those she supposedly cares about, but good luck with it, Kerry.
Well, now we know why Gordon wasn't at Led Zep: it sounds like he's plodding about behind the Spice Girls, spending
RupertJames' money on an American jolly. It's fair to say he's a little starstruck, as - like politicians - the Spices can't help sucking up to The Sun:
GERI HALLIWELL replied: “What, the Scottish guy with the nice eyes?” (Aaah, bless. It’s all pretty good so far).
Then MEL B: “The bloke who edits the Bizarre column of The Sun?” (Ooops, I’m not known as their No1 fan).
POSH added: “That’s him” and SCARY, obviously, had to have the final word. She said brazenly, as I cringed, wondering exactly what was coming: “He’s got a massive, huge, gigantic . . . personality!”
Most of the Vegas crowd didn’t notice my massive, huge, gigantic grin as I savoured the message.
Your massive, huge, gigantic grin? Good lord, man. If you feel this is something to brag about, at least try and write it up in a way that doesn't make it sound like 'what I did done do on my holidays'. (We do love, though, that "most" - as if there were a knowing few cognoscenti would have been nudging each other saying 'that's that Smart, that is...' - whereas, of course, the audience would actually have been wondering why the Spice Girls were making so much fuss over a supermarket tabloid.)
Funny, though, that Gordon managed to miss the story that was in all the other papers - how few people turned up for the gig. No wonder they were able to single Gordon out for special treatment. He probably was all of Row B.
Still, if he's pulling together his column in a hotel room in Nevada, it explains how an actual story might have accidentally sneaked into his page: Noel Gallagher apparently being too drunk to remember what he said to Jimmy Page after the Led Zep gig. But elsewhere, it's business as usual: that naked Paris Hilton champagne advert being treated like it's worth an article, and a clunking piece of text to go with a photo of Kylie Minogue:
We don't know what the bikers wear round Smart's way, but we've never seen anyone on a Harley in a couture mini-dress and fishnets.
She must break more than just 2 Hearts a week.
Eh? Because she has a tight dress, she ends relationships with at least three people every seven days? Oh... is it just a crowbarred in pun based on a songtitle?
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Exciting news for Microsoft: the Zune is a sell-out. And back-orders are starting to pile up. Although this turns out to be more because they've not made enough to meet a fairly low level of demand than because they've been fabulously successful. And not having devices in the shops as people go out Christmas shopping might not be the sharpest strategy to defeat the iPod.
Poor Craig David. There he was, all set to press the button to start the balls coming out of the Lotto machine - and just as he was saying "Good Luck" Alan Deddicoat spoke over him, as the balls had started to come out without the need for David's involvement.
While this raises a bit of a question over the probity of the draw - who's setting the thing off it it happens without the hapless z-lister pushing the button? - it's more indicative of Craig David's role in the scheme of things: he's not even needed as a player in his own life.
Okay, maybe Ralph Bernard, outgoing head of GCap, isn't threatening to kill kittens, but he has announced that GCap is considering pulling the plug on all its digital radio stations:
"At GCap, we are seriously considering whether to continue with our digital stations," he said. "It costs us £8 million a year to run an analogue station, while it costs us £15 million to run a digital station. Where's the logic in that? It can't be sustained.
"We don't want a hard and fast switch-off date, just a target date."
Bernard also moaned about the awarding of a digital multiplex to Channel 4, suggesting that "flooding supply" would set digital radio back ten years. On the other hand, limited bandwidth has just given us a bunch of under-funded, soundalike Top 40 and gold stations, so perhaps it's worth a try, eh?
Scott Weiland has been formally charged with DUI, a charge which carries a year in the slammer.
Weiland has issued a statement via his management denying that he was drunk at the time of his road accident, and looking forward to going to court to "clear things up".
The death of Ike Turner has been announced. He was 76.
Born in Mississippi in 1931, the young Ike started to earn money from his music when, as an eleven year-old, he played piano for Sonny Boy Williamson and Robert Nighthawk. By the end of the second world war, he was combining djing for WROX with performance work. His piano work was a vital part of Jackie Brenston's Rocket 88; constantly in demand, he also appeared on records with Elmore James and Howlin' Wolf. Solo records were less well-received - his voice wasn't as strong as some of his competitors - but his nose for a hit saw him land a talent-scouting job for Modern Records. Discovering acts, producing them, and often embroidering his role in some groups' success, Turner's greatest stroke came in 1957. Having relocated to East St Louis, Turner came across Anna Mae Bullock. Persuading her to join his band, The Rhythm Kings changed their fortunes - and everyone's names. Anna Mae became Tina Turner; the Kings became the Ike and Tina Turner Revue.
The details of the relationship between Tina and Ike are confusing - she moved into his house while pregnant with a child by the saxophonist of the Revue; Tina married Ike in Tijuana, only to discover he was already married and the ceremony was void. Ike married four times legitimately, but it's believed he might have been through fourteen ceremonies.
While their partnership provided some great musical moments, their relationship was less glittering. Ike beat Tina; he spent much of the last thirty years slagging her off to anyone who'd listen (for example, blaming her love of "cold fish lesbian sex" for the collapse of their marriage, rather than his love of domestic violence.) The pair divorced in 1975.
While Tina fought her way back, Ike struggled a lot - he wasn't helped by Tina's biography and the film based on her life, What's Love Got To Do With It, fixing his violence in the popular imagination. Drugs and gambling didn't help - in 1989, he served a sentence after being caught with a large amount of coke.
He continued to record, however, slowly salvaging some of his reputation: a Grammy came in 2001, ten years after he and Tina were simultaneously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame. In 2005, he released what he knew would be his final proper album, containing a surprising safe sex message:
He even got a genuflection from Damon Albarn, with a guest vocal slot on a Gorillaz track.
Asked how he felt history would view him, Ike summarised his life:
Missy Elliott wanted some balls ripped off;
Moby got attacked;
French police raided Universal parent company Vivendi's offices;
while Hilary Rosen wrote for USA Today about how terrible file sharers were;
Nas announced he "looked up" to Hitler and
Stereolab's Mary Hansen died in a bike accident.
As lame ideas for films go, a teenager giving birth on Christmas Day and her hick neighbours deciding that it's the second coming - even if it's touted as a "satirical" look at religion - is pretty much lacking good legs. It's the sort of Polytechnic Film Course idea that nobody would give a second look at.
Unless you add Britney Spears' name to it. Which is what has happened:
"But I thought it was brilliant. It's a bit ironic that she would play the Virgin Mary, no?"
Ironic? Not really. And not especially funny, either. We wonder if he's actually pitched this to Spears' people yet, because we bet he didn't do the "... and it's funny because Britney is playing a virgin, while as we all know... um... she... aaah..." routine.
50 Cent doesn't mind a bit of filesharing, saying that it's not bad for artists.
Of course, he's retired, so you'd expect him to say that.
Oh... hang on, he didn't, did he?
Mr. Cent told a Norwegian magazine:
He went on to say that the industry needed to "maximise its income from concerts and merchandise", adding that: "It is the only way they can get their marketing money back."
However he hit out at some labels who were more interested in peddling “ringtones, not records".
He went on: "They don't understand the value of a perfect piece of art."
While welcoming his attitude, we're a little confused as to why he would decry ringtones while insisting that labels should be maximising income from baseball caps and boxer shorts with logos on.
The Black Eyed Peas - who seem to exist these days purely when called upon to do a corporate - were made to cut short a gig launching a Hard Rock Hotel in San Diego:
Which is hardly "local", is it?
We'd imagine that people trying to get some kip in the hotel might have been less than thrilled, too.
The number of times HMV has launched its new face onto the world, you might think nobody is much noticing. The latest excuse to try and interest someone, anyone, in their declining sector has been the re-opening of the London flagship, upon which deckchairs have been decisively re-arranged:
Like the world's most technologically advanced youth club, the room is a godsend for gamers - and possibly the first of many across the country.
(Yes, Sunday Telegraph - 'possibly' in the sense of "possibly the first, if you don't count the one in Merry Hill.)
Simon Fox of HMV trots out the justification for dumping CDs and concentrating on Games:
"For HMV we are already a natural destination for music and film, we want to become an equal destination for games, and this is about making our stores a real magnet for gamers to come and play and buy," he says.
Lessening dependence on a sector which has seen the closure or sale of MVC, Fopp, Tower, Virgin, Borders and so on might seem to make sense, although entering a sector which has the same sort of problems, perhaps less so. Documents in the recently green-lighted merger of Gamestation and Game [pdf] indicated the main motivation for reducing the number of games-only chains to one was the challenge of digital downloads for games, and the supermarkets eroding margins for physical products. In effect, by turning to games from music, HMV is like a sportsman trying to cope with a bad back by swapping weightlifting for shot-putting.
[Thanks to James P for the link]
Thanks to Mark S for pointing us in the direction of the Top 25 UK itunes songs of the year.
What's interesting is that only one track makes the top five on both sides of the Atlantic: Plain White Ts.
A remarkable triumph for them, although when we say "them" we mean their marketing team - if ever a band were put together in a brainstorming session, it was them, surely?
[More best ofs! More most ofs! On the big best of 2007 page]
While we can understand the Orange Prize Judges' motivation in accepting an offer from Lily Allen to let her judge the next prize - with so many prizes for literature now, it'll give it a PR leap over the Costa, the Guardian, the Smarties and the rest of the crowded field - we're not entirely sure they're comfortable with what they've done.
Certainly, Kate Mosse seemed to be selling an idea rather than announcing a judge:
The Orange judges have previously included actors, politicians and models, and, Mosse pointed out, a singer, Suzanne Vega.
Because, of course, Suzanne Vega and Lily Allen are almost interchangeable.
It might be that Allen is a great choice - although she doesn't list any authors as inspiration on her MySpace page, and we can't think of her talking about books overmuch - she once told the Independent she her "current favourite book" was the Other Boleyn Girl, and there were rumours earlier in the year that she'd been signed up to add a "My Life Story" to the groaning WH Smiths shelves alongside Beckham and Price. It might even be that having Allen onboard will allow a little of her marketeer's idea of cool rub off on reading as a whole. But the Guardian website seemed to be sending out a coded message of doubt:
That Allen "indirectly" (i.e. through her management or record label, we assume) Orange to be a judge is also interesting - could she be hoping a little credibility sticks to her?
Billy Bragg, writing for the The Guardian about the Morrissey/NME spat, comes out broadly in favour of the NME's right to publish:
In other news, Andrew Collins spent Saturday at a Royal Festival Hall event marking Billy Bragg's fiftieth birthday. Guess who turned out:
Having - apparently - not been at the Led Zep concert at all, Gordon is back behind the wheel today, offering to reunite Naomi Campbell with her stolen Blackberry:
Yes, we're sure that Naomi would be delighted if you pass her telephone to the offices of News International, with its relaxed attitude towards listening to other people's telephone conversations.
Indeed, so relaxed is the attitude to people's voicemail privacy at Wapping, one former News of the World staffer told the UK Press Gazette that the features desk used to hack into the voicemail of the news team.
Gordon also reports on plans for a Zeppelin gig in New York - he relies on "my souce backstage" at their London gig.
Otherwise, it's business as usual: Cindy Crawford has decided that she doesn't want to pose naked again, because she's afraid her child might get teased. So Gordon responds by running as many naked pages of Cindy as he had stuck in his scrapbook;
while, despite hardly anyone in the UK knowing or caring what Hulk Hogan is, Gordon runs a photo of her to support a story that consists of saying "look, she's in a bikini".
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Apparently it's "personal reasons" that have led Nand Gangwani, vice president and chief financial officer at Napster, to quit the company. It would be unfair to suggest that Sisyphus gave similar reasons when he stepped down.
More from No Rock on napster
Digital Music News is reporting that - as the majors shrink - Geffen Records could be about to disappear in a Universal shake-up.
Depending on who you listen to, the label will either be shuttered, or else be stripped of everything but its name, with the brand being slapped on to releases handled by other parts of the Universal empire. In other words, the Geffen name will be preserved, although only to undermine it by using it as nothing more than a flag of convenience with dwindling returns.
Courtney Love has figured a reason why people think she's a bit of a hellraiser. No, surprisingly, it's nothing to do with the way she'll strip off and run, drunk, down the street during a magazine cover shoot. Or being arrested smashing bottles outside rivals houses. Or the drugs. Oh, no - it's because she is a woman:
That's right. If you were a guy, we'd barely notice you as you careered down the street yelling and puking and fighting, Courtney.
More from No Rock on courtney love
A mask of David Bowie's face has gone up for sale by auction. The immovable but lifelike visage of Bowie was made for make-up tests during the making of The Hunger; not be confused with the immovable but lifelike visage he used when he was stinking up the screen in the Twin Peaks movie.
We love anyone who will take on a cover version of Randy Newman's Simon Smith And His Amazing Dancing Bear. If they give it away, so much the better. And that's just one track on Okkervil River's free download mixtape of cover versions, available from their website for a limited time.
They're coming to the UK in February, too - you'll find details on their website.
The Kooks are talking up their next record:
Oh, you're alright, Luke. We're quite happy to take your word for it. We really don't need to hear it. Indeed, as it's called Konk and includes a track Do You Wanna (Make Love To Me), we're more than happy not to listen to it. Ever.
Amongst recent revisions to the best-of lists are the iTunes sales charts from the US, which basically reveals that some people don't even deserve iPods. Fergie? Plain White Ts?
Coming next year: not just a James tour, but a studio album, something they've not done since 2001.
Oddly, James are treating this as a continuation of business, but a load of bands have formed, split and had massive reunion comeback tours in the gaps between the two albums.
Dates in full:
Derby Assembly Rooms (April 10)
Lincoln Engine Shed (11)
Liverpool University (12)
Newcastle Academy (14)
Sheffield Academy (15)
London Shepherds Bush Empire (17)
Norwich UEA (18)
Bristol Colston Hall (21)
Blackpool Empress Ballroom (22)
Edinburgh Corn Exchange (24)
Aberdeen AECC (25)
The Metro, the initiative from Associated Newspapers designed to hide the chewing-gum and dog poop on British city streets by covering them in a thick layer of newsprint, has soft-launched a music service called MeMusic for some reason - presumably as in "I gotten me music on me mp3 player".
This offers free streaming of its library - uploaded by users:
And what, exactly, is 'fair' to download?
It turns out that means 79p, some of which goes to the artist. The headline says 70 per cent - but it turns out that means something different:
Oddly, AmazingTunes and the Metro promote this as being a music service "without the middlemen", but, surely, if they're raking off 30p in the pound, then they're the middlemen, aren't they?
Back in our distant past, we were around Radio City at the time when the then-management told a new presenter he was going to be known as Rick Shaw on air. So successful was the not-quite-relevant punning name at rebranding him, we can't for the life of us remember what he was called before that.
Now, still with humorous name in place, Rick has joined XFM to take over the drivetime programme in London. In the meantime, he's been at Kerrang Radio, so this is something of a step up. He was always a thoroughly nice bloke, and we wish him well. "Well" might include something better than the broken XFM.
In other radio news, Classic FM has announced Barbie is going to be a presenter on the network over Christmas. The station says it doesn't see anything wrong with having a small chunk of plastic most people dimly remember from their childhoods doing a show, pointing out it already has Simon Bates in the line-up.
Life is moving on: The Times has crowned Adele Adkins the "new Amy Winehouse", although it is slightly confused:
How do you actually put music on MySpace without releasing it? Perhaps they mean "sold" rather than "released"?
Over in Las Vegas, trouble hits the Spice Girls reunion. The Mandalay Pavilion probably wasn't, as the Mail has it, half-empty; but it does seem to have been only three-quarters full.
Mind you, the audience had that boxer bloke who everyone liked last week when they thought he was going to be better at punching people, and Colleen McLoughlin in the audience, so perhaps they don't quite count.
Apparently, Keisha Sugababe wasn't that bothered when Amelle got beaten up earlier in the year. And not becuase "we can just get another person in, if need be".
Oh, no: it's the edge:
Yes. What a shame the whole boyfriend-sister accusations thing couldn't have been better timed to coincide with a best of album, eh?
It would be funny if the completely crushed human spirit revealed by the story wasn't involved: twenty-four hours after Karl Lagerfeld decided Amy Winehouse was a fashion icon, Victoria Beckham has announced that oh, yes, I think Winehouse is a fashion icon:
It's not just that Beckham has clattered and clambered onto a train as it's leaving the station, it's that the desperate fawning is centered around Lagerfeld, a man who dresses like a vicar returning from a cataract operation to take part in a Duran Duran video.
It was Gordon Smart, of course...
[UPDATE: As one of our commenters pointed out below, it wasn't Gordon - the biggest showbiz night of the year, and Gordon sent someone else - Pete Sampson, as it turns out.]
, who whipped off the Sun's tickets for LEDgendary Zeppelin (do you see?), revealing that - apparently - the showbiz hangers-on were really angry:
Perhaps they weren't angry. Perhaps they were shaking their fists because they'd confused Robert Plant with Gareth Hunt and were doing Nescafe advert shakes? Or maybe Gordon meant they were punching the air.
(Still, isn't it lucky that so many famous people won tickets in the draw, eh?)
The thing is, that despite
... he clearly isn't a fan:
After more than an hour the bulk of the fans got what they seemed to want most — a rendition of Stairway To Heaven.
Yes, they've waited decades just to hear one track.
It doesn't really sound like
Here, the headline is:
Ah, yes. A pun on Allowed/Aloud. Which, erm, was the whole point of the band's name in the first place.
Still, back at the office, Gordon has seized the key question of the day is Dita Von Teese or Victoria Beckham hotter? There's even a poll padding out the page, too, on which scale we're expecting Gordon to give a column over tomorrow to cutting and pasting his Special Heroes Power he'll be uncovering on Facebook later this afternoon.
Monday, December 10, 2007
The first reports are sliding back from the Led Zep reunion earlier this evening - NME's blog has fallen over a few times, which is either a resounding triumph or not, depending on how you look at it.
What, you might be wondering, did they play?
Good Times, Bad Times
In My Time of Dying
For Your Life
Nobody's Fault But Mine
Since I've Been Lovin' You
Dazed and Confused
Stairway To Heaven
The Song Remains the Same
Misty Mountain Hop
Then they went off and came back on again and played
Whole Lotta Love
Whitney Houston had to read songwords off her shoe during a nightmare on Good Morning America;
Jay Leno struggled to understand how The Vines could turn up loaded;
Colin Murray got a job filling the awkward gap between Lamacq and Lowe;
and, having lost Atomic Kitten, Andy McClusky put his faith in Jennifer Ellison.
Radiohead attempted to disguise their secret recording sessions by disguising their masters, explains Colin Greenwood:
"And on the master we'd always write a name which probably nobody would listen to if we had lost it; Eagles: Greatest Hits, Kula Shaker demos, Phil Collins hip-hop covers."
Which explains why you should double-check that copy of the Eagles Best Of you bought for your Dad down the pub before you give it to him on Christmas Day.
[Thanks to Rachel Summers for the tip]
Albert Hammond Jr is clueless about what's going to happen next with the Strokes, he tells Pitchfork:
AHJ: No idea, man.
Hammond vaguely denies that the band have split, claiming they're all "still friends", but seems more interested in his next solo album - oh, and his new "good friend" Sean Lennon.
Employing our handy rule of thumb, we reach for the formula:
(formerly modish band)+(relative of a Beatle)=band past prime
Having sold his creativity for a case full of deodorant early in the year, it's not like Pete Wentz and Fall Out Boy have any dignity left to lose.
Which is why they're probably happy to whine about not being nominated for a Grammy:
"The first reaction is jealousy mixed with a slight sense of entitlement. We just want to be a part of your club...We play the events for you and the right parties all the time.
"It's kind of like being invited to a birthday party and then not allowed to eat the cake."
It would be cruel to point out that Pete Wentz is closer in demographic to a fifty year old white guy than anyone who is 'relevant'; it might, however, be worth mentioning how Wentz doesn't mind their sense of whart's relevant when they're signing off on using their marketing budgets to prop up the band's bottom line.
The real question, though, is in what way does Wentz think winning a Grammy is a sign of whether a band has "relevance" or not?
Guy Ritchie's not-very-good Revolver is being given a second chance in America; he tells MTV that the reason it didn't go down well in the UK was because he was so bloody loved:
And not because the film isn't very good, even by his low standards.
Guy, though, bless him, still thinks Swept Away was a good deed that became punished:
MTV: When you heard the reactions, did it feel like the critics were watching a different movie?
Ritchie: Yes, it did. I still don't get what the fuck that was all about.
Somewhat surprisingly, Guy then decides to compare the critical panning with the reaction to the adoption of David Banda:
Except, of course, Madonna wasn't demonised - she was criticised, and quite fairly, for taking a child who was claimed to be an orphan, who turned out not be an orphan; for 'adopting' him without due process; for going on television and claiming there weren't any rules in place covering this sort of "adoption" despite there being laws in place at a national and OAU level; for having offered to defray course costs for members of the department who oversaw the adoption process and... well, so on and so on. Nobody demonised her for "stopping children dying."
Of course, just for the cost of the private jet which flew a bemused-looking child to Britain, Madonna could have "stopped" a lot more children dying by using that cash to vaccinate them against malaria, the disease which claimed David's siblings. But that's less photogenic, of course.
What's really interesting, though, is the way Ritchie phrases it: "my wife decided to adopt...". So, not a joint decision, then, Guy?
Quietly developing a service which could turn out to be the YouTube of the audio world, Imeem has announced a deal with Universal to bring streaming content from the label onto its service. Universal was the last of the majors to sign up, but now Imeem is in the unique position of offering streaming music from all the big powers of old music.
Universal is delighted to be involved:
Of course, Universal artists' stuff is all over the Imeem service already, in the wrong way, and embeddable (something the official service won't allow). Surprising that the majors can, sometimes, be forgiving about "theft" of music, isn't it?
Rhianna, somewhat appropriately, is feeling under the weather, and so has dropped three of her UK tour dates:
Although, clearly, there is something she wants more, as she's not seeing them and connecting with with them.
3AM Girls have a tale to chill the blood of Take That:
Drunk stalker targets Take That
Blimey. A drunk stalker, eh?
Erm... not quite:
She was eyeing them up as they relaxed in the bar of the five-star Chelsea Harbour hotel after a sell-out gig at London's O2 Arena.
A source close to the band said: "There were around a dozens fans, almost all girls, in the bar and it was very good natured. But it became more worrying when one girl tried to get upstairs into the boys' rooms.
They called for security and had her thrown out. After a night on stage they can't be doing with any stress at the hotel."
When exactly did "stalker" come to mean someone showing any interest in another person at all? Ten years ago, you'd have to put in some effort to be labelled a stalker; hanging around outside houses, going through rubbish, taking long-lens photos for months on ends. Getting a bit pissed and trying to follow Gary Barlow into a life doesn't a stalker make - but then "Take That attract social irritant" isn't quite such an eye-catching headline.
Gordon also brings us news that Paul McCartney is going to drag himself down to the Brits to pick up a lifetime achievement award next year.
It's a wonderful example of space-filling, as Gordon churns into overdrive to fill up a giant swathe of space with a news report that consists of 'Macca gets award'. So, we get a reminder that - in case you hadn't heard - he's getting a divorce:
He did miss the chance to churn out a few extra words by mentioning 'porn past', of course.
Gordon then clocks up some more words listing the previous winners of the award. But the foot of the page is a long way away.
Ooh... what about women?
Strangely, Gordon seems to have forgotten Nancy Shevell, who was supposedly the big secret love of McCartney's life according to The Sun last month.
The foot of the page is still a long way off, though. Think, Gordon. What about Paul's colleagues?
So, that's "it's not clear who will present the award" stretched out as far as it can go. If only Paul McCartney had breasts, Gordo could plug the gap in his copy with a photo of him in a bikini and something about bangers.
Quick, Gordon. Google to see if he's won anything at the Brits before:
Actually, no, that was a different type of awards ceremony, marking the Queens Jubilee and covering 25 years of British music. But never mind, we're almost there. There's no real reason to talk about last year's show, but...
... needs must when the deadline drives.
Still need some more words? Ooh, ooh... how about a joke about a record McCartney made twenty years ago?
Nearly there, Gordon - can you strecth 'the Brits will be presented by Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne' a bit?
With Ozzy’s shaking hands and Macca’s twitching eyebrows – it should be a classic.
Yes, because it's funny to laugh at people with physical symptoms of stress, isn't it?
Never mind, Gordon, you've made it: a massive article that consists solely of one tiny fact.
Oddly, Saturday's "report" that was little more than an advert for Jordan's slow-moving 2008 calendar remains prominent on the Bizarre website this morning - 4th story, in fact.
But Gordon also finds room for the "news" that Kylie Minogue has danced a bit on German TV. She kicked her leg in the air, which gives all the excuse needed for the weak headline:
Mind you, considering the best the front page can manage this morning is pinching the week-old, weak, old Daily Mirror Canoe/Can you not-quite-pun, this makes Gordon look like The Guardian crossword.
Sunday, December 09, 2007
Casting around for an example of great female role models, Ed Balls realises that Gordon Brown's cabinet offers not very much, so settles on The Spice Girls. Oh, and Thatcher.
We're not sure if we'd rather have our daughter turn out like Thatcher or Geri Halliwell. We really wouldn't want to have to make that choice.
The Wired Listening Post interviews Tim Burgess about giving the album away, and working with Alan McGee:
With Lil Bow Wow currently trying to push his collaboration with Omarion - the same Omarion, you'll recall, who bravely survived the July 2005 bombs in London despite only being several miles from them - the last thing you'd think Bow Wow needed would be some sleep. But, apparently, he needs some rest. He's dropped off his headline tour due to "stress and exhaustion".
The sort of exhaustion that requires an emergency trip to A&E, apparently.
And the sort of headline tour which will carry on without him.
Dam House is a grade two listed building in Astley, Greater Manchester, which was saved for the greater good by public-spirited fund raisers who pulled together the cash to keep the building a community facility.
In part, it's running costs are funded by a tearoom. To make the buttering and scone-filling more agreeable, the staff have a radio in the kitchen.
Enter, stage left, the PRS. Standing in the tearoom, the bat-eared PRS rep believed they could hear the radio leaking through into the public area. The PRS demanded that - since, clearly, people would be going to the attraction to sit, straining their ears, to hear a radio programme they could listen to at home - the charity cough up for a PRS licence.
Somehow, the charity scraped together £230.
But the PRS are like the mafia - once you pay them, they're always going to be back and demanding more. This year, they want £470.06.
"The business completed our standard reassessment form in which it indicated that its music usage had increased since it purchased a PRS Music Licence last year. Based on this information, a new invoice reflecting the increase in music usage was issued on November 10, 2007.
"We are in contact with Morts Astley Heritage Tearooms Ltd directly since they spoke of their concerns on BBC Radio Manchester to ensure the details they provided PRS are correct."
And what was this "increase in music usage" of which the PRS spoke?
A children's carol concert.
Ho-ho-ho. Merry Christmas.
The BPI had to face up to the piracy risk of musical pants;
Elvis Costello and Sophie Ellis Bextor were paying a company to spam the world;
Attempts to point out how ridiculous a law requiring a licence for two people singing in a bar would be backfired;
Mariah Carey's comeback had yet to gain traction;
Glastonbury muttered about tickets being sold in advance and
Christina Aguilera put out a casting call for sexy or compelling people with eating disorders.
Back when the RIAA still probably believed there was a better side amongst their customers to which they could appeal, they wheeled out Britney Spears to make a video equating downloading tracks with stealing CDs.
Now that she's been filmed stealing lighters from gas stations, we'd love to hear from the RIAA if downloading an out-of-print song is as bad as, worse than, or not as criminal as that.
One of the few good things to come out of the unwatchable Sharon Osbourne show was the woman offering to build a sensory garden for a twelve year-old disabled boy.
Unfortunately, the three thousand pound garden never materialised - although at some point someone from ITV sent a talking dice instead. Now, some fourteen months on, the family have finally got the garden, but only after the Daily Star got involved.
The programme team are dressing it up as if the excruciating delay was part of plan to make the timing special:
Heartwarming, you see? Of course, the mother will also remember fourteen months of constant calls to ITV trying to find out what had happened to remember as well.
Lee Ryan had a "gig" (or, rather, he was going to sing a single song) in Liverpool, but after he'd hit on the wrong woman, a fight broke out and Ryan decided to head straight back to Lime Street.
This, of course, was at the Newz Bar.
Surely Pete Doherty isn't so desperate to grub out some cash that he'd sell out Kate Moss for a tittle-tattle documentary on ITV2? Surely not?
Apparently, ITV2 are making a programme - actually, "documentary" is overdoing it - called Kate and Pete: A Love Story, and Doherty is granting an interview. Perhaps it's best for Babyshamble's credibility that he's stopped turning up for gigs.
For reasons which the Sunday Mirror doesn't bother to detail, Robbie Williams' amateur football team has been docked points by the Super Metro League, which has cost it the championship.
Williams, of course, is not happy, burbling away about "unbelievable bias":
Although, of course, they didn't play fair - they took to the field with an unregistered player. The LA Vale line is that they did register him, it was just a "fax problems and documentation" that meant he wasn't registered.
Not, of course, that Williams cares about the technicalities. He's apparently just going to take his ball home and disband the team altogether.
While Mitch Winehouse is out lamping Pete Doherty, Janis Winehouse has taken time to send Amy a letter, pleading and heartfelt, asking her to get some help.
Oddly, though, she's sent it through the News of the World. Perhaps she doesn't trust the post.
Why, you may wonder, would a mother think publishing the plea in the paper be a wise move? The note provides a hint:
I HOPE you understand why I'm writing this. We have spoken recently but many people will wonder why I haven't run down to whatever hotel you're staying in, scooped you up and taken you home for a hot bath and a steaming bowl of chicken soup.
It's because your father and I know what you're like, Amy.
We want to help you, but we know that unless you want to be helped— unless you come to us—anything we tried would be in vain.
So this letter is my way of making sure that you know that—that all you have to do is come to us, Amy, and we'll do everything in our power to get you well again.
In other words, this letter is more to show News of the World readers that Janis Winehouse is doing everything she can for her daughter, rather than trying to persuade Amy to do anything at all.
Winehouse mere goes on to tell the readers - sorry, Amy - that she was always "headstrong" as a child, before ramming home the point that it's up to her:
At a guess, it's probably something to do with her nogoodnik husband being in the jail and having an addiction.
Ah... yes. The husband:
When I was quoted recently as saying "Thank God Blake's inside" what I meant was that putting him in jail might help him to clean up HIS act and change HIS life.
It wasn't said out of viciousness or to upset you. If your relationship is meant to be, it will survive.
I'm a great believer that everything in life happens for a reason, a purpose. And if you two are destined to be together forever, then so be it.
Not only is that less than ringing as an endorsement of the man, "so be it" is a phrase which can't actually be uttered without grinding teeth and rolling eyes.
Despite disappointing all of your fans, who I know you treasure so much, maybe it will pull you up and make you stop and think and take stock of where your life is going.
Look! Fans! Don't run away just because she either doesn't turn up, or does turn up and just spits at you and suggests you'll get beaten up when her husband is out of jail. Amy treasures you. Don't you feel special?
Oddly, having decided that it's for the best that Amy has cancelled her tour, Janis then suggests that she really needs to be back at work:
We know you don't want to let your fans down. We know how important they are to you and how once you're over this present setback you'll give them a show they'll never forget.
To be honest, the shows on the aborted tour are unlikely to leave the attendee's minds anytime soon.
Let's hope that Amy, erm, buys the News of the World to see this heartfelt plea. And doesn't feel that it's not actually helping to drag the family's laundry through the popular prints.
The ten most-read individual pages on No Rock & Roll Fun this week:
1. Heather Mills porn pictures resurface
2. R Kelly sex video gets court OK
3. Why did Casey Calvert die?
4. McFly strip at GAY
5. RIP: Casey Calvert
6. Morrissey denies racism; attacks NME
7. Beth Ditto: naked for reasons
8. Nelly Furtado naked for Playboy? Won't happen
9. 2007 Best Of Albums, Singles, anything...
10. Mitch Winehouse slaps Pete Doherty
These were the best of the new releases:
The Wedding Present - Shepherd's Bush Welcomes... Another live Weddoes album as, seemingly, every gig they ever played comes to CD
The Wedding Present - Ye Ye ... while Sony BMG attempt to squeeze some cash out of the RCA years
Remi Nicole - My Conscience And I Apres Nash, the deluge
Echo & The Bunnymen - Killing Moon In case you missed the freebie Best Of chucked out with the Daily Star Sunday earlier this year
Various - Finest Worksongs Athens bands pay tribute to the city's most famous musical sons
Daniel Levitin - This Is Your Brain On Music Music, why do we love you when you're so bad to us?
Michael Moran, Tom Bromley, Simon Trewin, Amanda Astill - Shopping While Drunk *cough* Page 177
More from No Rock on this week just gone