French TV is shunning the current video by Justice, for the Stress single. The promo's depiction of youths running amok in the streets has an apparently racist tinge to it. The ensuing controversy, and YouTubing of the video, has sparked some life into Justice's career. We're sure, of course, that there's nothing in any way cynical about the whole operation. No, no, no.
Saturday, May 03, 2008
This week's edition of American Idol - the one where Paula Abdul provided a critique of a song that didn't exist - was notable for another reason; the show dropped off 1.2 million viewers week-on-week; its worst performance in a half-decade. There is a season for all things - could, at last, Cowell's behemoth be entering its autumn?
Jeff Jarvis on the Decade Delta:
Following on from the success - or, perhaps, not quite so much success - of Starbucks' CD sales, now the US supermarket chain Whole Foods is launching a 'discover new artists' campaign, flogging CDs from acts starting with Greg Laswell.
Laswell does, at least, have the beard-and-sweater of the type of person who happily shops at Whole Foods, paying the shocking mark-up on produce accounted for by some sort of woolly-lovely idea that driving to one massive store is, somehow, more kind to the planet than driving to your nearest supermarket and buying the same stuff at lower prices.
Rod Stewart's Son, Rodstewart'sson Stewart, has had charges against him dismissed. Sean Stewart, who makes his living as Rod Stewart's son, had been accused of assault with a deadly weapon, but his attorney argued that it wasn't clear he'd been involved in the throwing of missiles following a dispute on the road:
We love the idea that his defence rested on his supposedly famous face, but it's worked. A civil case relating to the incident remains to come before the courts.
For one night only, the Liverpool Lomax is being celebrated with a reunion on the 28th May at, erm, The Cavern. Ticketmaster are flogging the tickets, and the line-up is quite good:
Ian McNabb and the Dead Gratefuls
Man From Michael
Frank Sidebottom (full Beatles set)
It's probably inevitable that Eddie Shit is on the list; he seemed to be something of a regular at the old Lomax. Although on nights when you'd never leave Old Man's Pub across the street.
Several states in America are currently pondering legislation which would make convicted drunk drivers install a device in their vehicles which would make their cars incapable of starting if they try to drive drunk.
The drinks industry is, for some reason, confused by this - it's decided that while drunk-driving is bad, it's also some sort of human right. And so it's running adverts with photos of Lindsay Lohan. No, really:
We're not entirely sure if they're suggesting that Lindsay Lohan - and Lindsay Lohan alone - should be breath-tested every time she starts a car, and that everybody else should be free to drive while intoxicated lest it interfere with their business, but it does seem like that.
Lohan's people, meanwhile, have suggested that she thinks the ignition interlock might be a good idea all round:
"Drunk, white businessmen, drunk housewives out for girls night out and drunk wedding parties should be kept off the roads of America," Berk continued. "Lindsay Lohan fully endorses ignition interlock devices, which have been well-proven to save lives."
The US drinks industry seems to miss the reason why people are upset by the idea that some Americans should be allowed to drive drunk as if it upholds a tradition:
"People magazine, Smoking Gun and a lot of people have republished this mug shot," said Longwell. "It was publicly accessible. We're not using it for any kind of commercial gain. So we're well within our rights to use it."
It's not that you used Lohan's picture, you idiots, it's that you think it's a good idea to campaign against the measure in these terms in the first place.
We're sure P Diddy-Wah-Wah didn't quite mean to make the surprising announcement he slipped out in Hollywood:
So, that would be Diddy being out and - with nothing to hide - proud. We feel as if we should send some sort of card.
We're suspecting that she hasn't actually been asked, but 3AM heard on Heat Radio that Ashlee Simpson won't be playing Jessica's wedding to whoever she's getting married to.
Yes, the 3AM Girls have now replaced research with "listening to Heat Radio". Still, it does allow them to discover that Pete Wentz has some sort of pet's passport:
He'll be reunited with her just as soon as he's out of quarantine.
So, after more packing in more flip-flops than a busload of British tourists heading to Orlando, it turns out that Amy Winehouse won't be doing the new Bond theme. Because - surprise - she's too screwed:
Asked if the track would ever be completed, he replied: "I don't think so unless by some miracle of science it gets recorded and someone sings a vocal on it so probably not. We did work on it but we never finished it so that's about it."
Amusingly, Winehouse's people have countered the project foundered on "muscial differences". Like Ronson wanted to make some, Winehouse wanted to just score.
There's another story on Gordon's page this morning which is also picked up by Stop Crying Your Heart Out, a pro-Oasis news site. Michael Eavis has expressed his disappointment at Noel's attack on Jay-Z:
“He should give someone else a chance. He needn’t have said that and I was disappointed he did.
“He said it’s a place for guitar bands — but there are loads of guitar bands playing.”
Why did Noel get involved in something that he understands little about, and has nothing useful to add? Because he isn't dead, presumably.
SCYHO, though, isn't going to let Eavis get away with a moderate exasperated tut:
Well, yes, he does have a right to make this "feelings" known - even if they're so ass-headed they were communicated in fart-sounds - but that doesn't mean there was any real need for him to do so.
And "what most music fans were thinking", eh? I'd love to see some empirical evidence for the belief that "most music fans" dislike Jay-Z more than, say, Noel Gallagher.
Poor Gordon isn't happy: Lily Allen has ignored his fashion advice, prompting that what-is-he-thirteen "look you can see her nipples" "She's hiding Smarties down her top" joke that he does every time.
Elesewhere, he reports on some sort of battle amongst people who have sex with footballers. Fiona Barratt (who is girlfriend of Sol Campbell, apparently in lieu of a career) moans about Victoria Beckham on what appears to be grounds of being less than famous than her. People tried to take pictures of Beckham during the world cup, it turns out. Just fancy that.
Friday, May 02, 2008
James Cridland went to the Guardian's Radio Reborn conference earlier this week, and took notes:
The comments are great, too:
A few years ago it would be obvious that a commercial radio group would be bigger than an internet station. Now it’s become notable. How the internet changes things…
Continuing an afternoon with James Taylor, JD Souther turns up for a run through Her Town Too:
[Part of James Taylor weekend]
The geniuses running XFM have decided that, in future, much more programming on the regional stations will be networked during the day.
Great news for the Manchester branch of the network, then - having managed to increase its share of all listening in its region from 1.2% to 2.30% in twelve months, it's now going to have dump lots of its programming to make way for stuff coming from London, whose share of all listening fell from 1.80% to 0.90% in the same period. Apparently this is somehow going to help "the financial viability" of the brand.
The Hives are playing some sort of festival at a zoo, and according to NME.com are letting the animals choose which songs they'll play:
"We're a bit scared that the gorillas will start a riot if we don't play the right songs," he explained. "We've never played a zoo before you know? Once we played at a festival in (hometown of) Fagersta in a field and their were cows there. Did they like our music? Well cows are pretty chilled out generally aren't they? So yes, I think so."
Given that the Zoo Thousand and Eight festival at Port Lympne Wild Animal Park also features Chas and Dave, we shouldn't expect The Hives would need to worry about what the animals think of their set; they'll clearly be at the other stage.
Back to 1977, and James Taylor is joined by Carly Simon to sing Close Your Eyes:
[Part of the James Taylor afternoon]
We don't like to be snarky at charities, we really don't, and Crisis do brilliant work and we suggest you support them. Give them some money. Go on.
Having said that, what on earth is point of the thinking behind the "bid to break the world record for number of downloads of a charity single on a single day"? We know it's supposed to create a bit more interest around the Enemy/Beth Ditto/Paul Weller/Supergrass single, but how is making up a record which nobody would ever have even thought of really going to help?
They've got Pearl Spam from Powder involved:
But it's not a world record, is it? It's just quantifying something that's never been measure before, like me deciding I'm going to break the world record for the most embedded James Taylor videos in a music blog on a Friday. Good cause, terrible half-arsed marketing idea.
Despite the appeals judge pointing out that the great Snoop Dogg Heathrow fight consisted of him trying to entertain some kids while the police and British Airways staff went in heavy-handed, the government has announced it intends to appeal over plans to let Snoop Dogg come back into the UK. Probably because Brown desperately needs one policy to remain unchanged week to week:
"We will continue to oppose the entry to the UK of individuals where we believe there may be a risk to the public."
Curious they should insist it was an error in law, rather than in judgement, as we're pretty certain the appeal by Mr. Dogg was upheld because the judge didn't think there had been any risk demonstrated, not because of some clever, Alan Shaw style legal arguments from the Snoop team. Does the Labour government really feel that British people would sleep less soundly if Snoop was allowed to take rooms in Hounslow or Havant? Are they that far out of touch?
The French government who, frankly, seem to hand out membership of the the order of Arts and Letters like a commercial radio station hands out signed photos and goodie bags, has decided to honour Kylie Minogue by awarding her the title:
Blimey, she must have done wonders for Olivier Martinez, musn't she?
Kylie is thrilled, too:
Well, she did have a hit with a French title, didn't she?
BBC Four is having a James Taylor night this evening from nine, with all manner of Tayloresque programming. Never having any shame at hitching our bicycle to ride in the slipstream of a bigger bus, we're going to sprinkle some Taylor over the afternoon.
This is You've Got A Friend (the theme from the AA advert, as I suppose we're meant to think of it now) live in 1971:
More James Taylor this afternoon:
With Carly Simon doing Close Your Eyes in 1977
With JD Souther doing Her Town Too
[Buy: One Man Band CD-DVD greatest hits one-two]
Gordon might have made himself look a little silly by trying to pretend that his review of the Madonna gig in New York was an "exclusive", but compared with this morning's 3AM Girls, he looks like a man in control of his brief. Mirror readers are told to ready themselves this morning:
Did nobody even send them a press release?
Erm, yes, apparently, as at the same time Mirror readers are told about Madonna flying to New York to promote Hard Candy. Although, surely, that must have been on Tuesday?
You might have enjoyed reading reviews of Madonna's New York gig over the last day and a half. Apparently, Gordon hadn't, as he seems convinced that his review was somehow "exclusive". Although, to be fair, his fawning piece is the only one which didn't mention her falling over at the end or the vocal track screwing up, so it's exclusive in that sense.
Mind you, Gordon didn't only have eyes for Madonna. He was very excited by Justin Timberlake, too:
While Gordon is over in New York, someone credited simply as "online reporter" is holding up the nipple count in his column:
IF there was a letter after Z in the alphabet, that’s the list JAY NICHOLS would be on.
The desperate glamour 'model' - a veteran of the capital's party circuit - pulled her oddest stunt yet by turning up at Chinawhite wearing this number.
Hmm. Oddly, having rolled eyes at how desperate Nichols (who she?) is, the paper then obliges by running pictures of her. And giving her a load of coverage. Surely that makes Gordon's column much more desperate than the woman? Calling "look at me" is one thing, but rushing over yelling "look at the woman calling 'look at me'" must be worse.
Meanwhile, Pete Samson again delivers a proper exclusive - which may or may not be true, of course - claiming not just that Pete Doherty is going to be released on Tuesday but will then spend the next three days "getting smashed". You can tell it's a serious story, as they actually source a quote. Admittedly, only this one:
The real surprise, of course, is that Pete's planning a three-day boozy celebration - didn't the Sun tell us he'd become Muslim during his time in jail? Why, it's almost as if that wasn't true.
Thursday, May 01, 2008
The guy who tried to cash a $360 billion cheque claimed that his girlfriend's mother had given him the money to start a record label. Presumably she was only investing for ten per cent of the stock...
Bloody hell, no wonder the team at XFM panicked and brought back daytime presenters: the experiment of dumping DJs has caused the station to tank, mislaying 40% of its audience year-on-year, according to today's audience stats.
The trouble for XFM is that its audience is younger, smarter and more plugged in to the web - having persuaded a couple of hundred of thousand of them to look elsewhere for entertainment, it's going to be virtually impossible to tempt them back.
Still, at least the hollowing out of the XFM audience has spared its 'flagship' sister station the humiliation of being overtaken by the indie-snits down the corridor. Capital is continuing to do badly - the Vaughan-Van Outen breakfast show now languishes behind Magic and Heart. Capital MD Paul Jackson is insisting that it's still "early days" for the new schedule, although since Van Outen popped up on the station back in February it doesn't really seem all that early in the day. Perhaps Jackson has a different concept of "early" to the rest of us. Maybe he thinks getting up at Noon is "early to rise." If he does get up at midday, it would explain why he thinks the Vaughan-VanOuten breakfast show is a good idea, I suppose.
More worryingly for Capital, it's now having its arse kicked by Kiss:
Nationally, both Moyles and Wogan had record audiences at breakfast and Radio 1 has broken the 11 million barrier - the first time since back when Sara Cox was doing breakfasts.
Perhaps the 3AM Girls really do stay up to 3AM writing their column, which would explain why (a) it reads like it's been written by people who desperately want to be asleep and (b) it sometimes doesn't come spuming out of the TrinityMirror RSS machine until lunchtime.
Now they're live, we can all enjoy what sort-of-passes for wit amongst the Spice Girls:
Well, yes, that'll show Murphy.
They also find room fro this:
Woman discovers man she doesn't know isn't in when she phones him! Hold the front page! We do, however, enjoy the implication that while Osbourne might lack the luck of the Irish, it certainly didn't desert O'Donoghue. If, of course, he really was working in LA, and not merely hiding behind the sofa mouthing "tell her I'm in LA" when Kelly rang.
The latest Word podcast had some fun with the claims that Elvis Presley came to London and hung out with Tommy Steele without anyone noticing, suggesting it's a tale with the stamp of something that someone once said in passing that got passed around and more-or-less backed Steele into a wall of having to claim it was all true.
Now, someone who was with Presley on his trip to Europe has officially squashed the tale:
"I was with him the whole time," he told the BBC News website. "I got there two days after he got there. He was confined to base."
Presley did visit Paris and Munich during his 18 months in Germany, Mr Fike said, but added: "Had he gone to England, I'd have been there."
Steele has previously tried to play down the tale:
"I can only hope he [Presley] can forgive me," he said. "It was an event shared by two young men sharing the same love of their music and the same thrill of achieving something unimaginable."
Elvis achieved the unimaginable of inventing fame and turning Rock and Roll into a mass-market commodity; Tommy Steele managed the unimaginable of persuading ITV to make Quincy's Quest. We imagine they would have had an awful lot to talk about. Had the meeting ever happened.
We're expecting Tommy to send another note to the Mail in a couple of days saying "Did I say Elvis? I meant I showed Hans Lohmmann, my German penfriend, round London. I always got those two muddled up."
Quincy's Quest? Oh, you do:
The annual Mojo awards, which they call the Mojo Honours (slogan: 'Every bit as important as the Q Awards') have issued their shortlist for 2008. It's come out now so you can manage your expectations down.
The nominations in full:
3 Pete Molinari
4 The Last Shadow Puppets
5 Bon Iver
1 Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Dig!!! Lazarus, Dig!!! (Mute)
2 Arctic Monkeys – Favourite Worst Nightmare (Domino)
3 Radiohead – In Rainbows (XL)
4 Duffy – Rockferry (A&M/Rough Trade)
5 Robert Plant & Alison Krauss – Raising Sand (Decca/Rounder)
Compilation Of The Year
1 Theme Time Radio Hour With Your Host Bob Dylan (Ace)
2 The Very Best Of Ethiopiques: Hypnotic Grooves From The Legendary Series (Buda/Manteca)
3 Cries From The Midnight Circus: The Ladbroke Grove Scene 1968-1971 (Sanctuary/Universal)
4 From The Motion Picture Control (Warners)
5 Juno OST (Warners)
Song Of the Year
1 LCD Soundsystem – All My Friends (DFA/EMI)
2 Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Dig!!! Lazarus, Dig!!! (Mute)
3 The Last Shadow Puppets – The Age Of The Understatement (Domino)
4 Richard Hawley – Tonight The Streets Are Ours (Mute)
5 Duffy – Mercy (A&M/Rough Trade)
Best Live Act
1 Arctic Monkeys
2 Rufus Wainwright
3 Seasick Steve
4 Led Zeppelin
5 Neil Young
Actually, it's easy to mock the Mojos (go on, have a go) and, yes, of course it's got Alex Turner running through it like a rust-stain on a public lavatory wall, but at least there are a couple of names on the shortlist which mark it out as having a slightly different intent to the others. We love the idea that Bon Iver is an act which has, in some way, broken through something in the last twelve months.
Of course, they'll wind up sharing out the prizes between Turner and Duffy and, thus, turn themselves back into a simulacrum of every other awards ceremony. But at least they've tried.
All those guys in the record labels - they're pretty straight kinda guys. You can trust them.
Up to a point. The Australian RIAA client has got an only-slightly-sinister-sounding Music Industry Piracy Investigations unit which has produced a video for kids to teach them about copying being bad. It turns out, though, that they got some musicians to take part by lying to them:
He said he was told the 10-minute film, which is being distributed for free to all high schools in Australia, was about trying to survive as an Australian musician and no one mentioned the video would be used as part of an anti-piracy campaign.
The MIPI Unit denies that anyone was duped:
She questioned whether McDougall had actually watched the film and said only 1-2 minutes of it discussed the issue of downloading and how it impacted musicians.
- although it seem strange that a Piracy unit would be making a film which wasn't actually about piracy, and push for it to appear in schools when teaching about copyright if it wasn't about copyright. We love the way they're saying "well, nobody else complained" as if that somehow disproves McDougall's complaint.trip
A Federal Judge in the US has settled the long-running debate about how much the major internet companies should be paying to songwriters. The judgement could be backdated to the start of the millennium; sample figures suggest that AOL will have to find six million dollars, for example, to cover 2006 alone.
The sudden appearance of a grainy movie which may or may not feature Jimi Hendrix having sex has upset the Hendrix estate. Which is perhaps unsurprising; they get upset whenever anyone (other than themselves) turns a few quid off the Hendrix name:
An obvious attempt to profit, you say? Why, yes, it would be.
Of course, half the potential interest in the tape disappeared when one of the key market segments discovered the tape was filmed while he was still alive.
The press people are very optimistic about the Weller-Noel Gallagher collaboration Echoes Round The Sun:
Well, you can certainly hear how that's what they were trying to do - trouble is, what they've ended up with sounds more like one of Weller's slow songs fighting with an early Ash track. Don't take our word for it: It's on Stereogum.
Although there doesn't seem to be very much evidence for any of it - like a jealous husband, Gordon seems to assume that Amy Winehouse is sleeping with any man she talks to - Smart claims he's uncovered "lover number three" this morning:
So, he's told you, has he?
Ah. So some person - we have absolutely no idea who, or if they even exist - says that he says that he slept with her. Oh, and someone's mocked up an image of Amy with lots of men's names written on her thorax, so it must be true then.
Elsewhere, Gordon's descent into self-parody continues with a headline about a visit to a DIY store by Lily Allen:
Yes, I'm afraid this is a gag about door knockers:
Although she appears to actually be looking at door handles in the pictures.
Gordon chides Allen:
Although, since the photo of her in the hardware store shows she's wearing a sweater, it's hard to see what he means.
Still, buried on the page, Gordon does have a good story - Keith Duffy's put the Boyzone comeback at risk, because he's got blood poisoning. He was having a tattoo when he picked up the disease. His life is really turning into a bad episode of My Family.
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Poor Cliff Richard - the man is on his uppers, he says:
Actually, the story that appears under this headline on the Mail website isn't quite that cut and dried: they've cut and shunted two stories together. The first is Cliff moaning on that they don't play his records on the radio anymore - comments, erm, he's made on a Radio 2 show dedicated to celebrating him and his music; onto the end of this was tacked something else entirely:
Mail order items for sale include T-shirts, sweatshirts, concert brochures, mugs, pens, keyrings and even a "Cliff" diamante belt buckle and official 50th anniversary pendant are for sale. Other items include signed calendars, 'official teddy bears, a miniature gold juke box and an embroidered ski hat celebrating his recent tour.
His Vida Nova rose and tinto wine is also for sale there, Cliff tells us, as it is in Waitrose on-line.
While his four different perfumes - Miss You Nights, Dream Maker, Devil Woman and Summer Holiday - are all now currently on sale on-line too.
Sir Cliff's former producer Clive Black added: "These projects are all hobbies of his. He loves tennis and gardening too and I wouldn't be surprised if he bought a nursery. He's just lucky that he is able to make a living from them.
"He has a strong army of believers in his fan club and he doesn't want to be at the beck and call of anyone except himself. He doesn't want his career dependent on record labels."
But isn't this less that Cliff is being "forced" to flog tat to make ends meet; more that he's churning out a load of old gubbins secure in the knowledge that he's got a massive army of fans who'll lap it up by the caseload?
After all, it's the prime minister who taps Cliff for the free holidays, not the other way round. Not getting a slot on Horizon FM can't be hitting him too firmly, can it?
Adding to the increasingly unlikely range of celebrity smells: Tim McGraw, a fragrance for men who probably don't really feel comfortable wearing fragrances.
Oh, cheers, brother. With Ali Campbell bounced out of UB40, the band have drafted in his own brother, Duncan, to fill the gap.
Duncan is something of a musician in his own right, you understand:
It's not clear if Duncan might be persuaded to pick up the spoons again. We'd quite like to see Red, Red Wine with spoons.
Paul McCartney turns up in the Liverpool Echo talking about his Anfield gig:
“I’m doing a decent length of songs,” he said, denying earlier rumours that he was singing only four numbers.
“I know we’ve also got a few guests. But I’m not sure of exactly who. It’s still a bit up in the air so I wouldn’t get anybody’s hopes up.”
“It’s going to be interesting.
“But it is basically my tribute to Liverpool.”
A personal thank-you - although a curious sort of thank-you which the people being thanked are having to foot a two million quid bill in order to be thanked. I wonder if - given the choice - most people in Liverpool would rather spend the cash on something other than getting a thumbs-up from Macca.
Sugababes have worries about our nation's soft-headed children. They grow up too fast, because pop doesn't save them:
"Even the Saturday shows where we dressed up and got gunked don’t exist.
"I know I’m sounding like a granny, but kids today are growing up way too fast because they don’t have those things to keep them young anymore."
Ah, yes. If we don't have the Sugababes singing about their sexy assess, and Girls Aloud making fetish videos singing "sexy no no no" and Blazin' Squad trilling "I just like tight butts on ladies who play rough 4 ages and nuff love comes in stages", children might just grow up way too fast.
Thom Yorke has decided, on reflection, it might be a good idea to not let people take albums for free in the future:
Apart from anything, that any free album promotion online is now referred to as "doing a Radiohead", the prospect of "Radiohead do a Radiohead" headlines must create a risk of the universe crashing into itself and ripping open portals to other dimensions, like when Dawn's blood splashed in the wrong place.
In its pointless battle to try and persuade kids not to use illegal sources of music, the music industry is now burning through money it could be investing in credible business models on an educational booklet aimed at 21 nations' schools and colleges.
We've tried to draw up a list of 21 nations whose cultures are identical enough to make a single booklet viable across all of them. We came up blank. Still, we guess the IFPI is trying to use up all its money before it closes down.
Interesting watching those banking large cheques from the Chinese government trying to justify taking part in their marketing campaign. Latest to flap in the wind is Will.I.Am, who clearly isn't going to turn down a big payday just because the money is coming from a repressive government:
"If America really wants to make a difference, it should stop importing China's products and pay back its debt," he added.
Aha. So, it would be wrong to "punish" a country by not letting them hear his music (is the whole country going to his gig, then?) but it'd be better to not buy their stuff - presumably, then, forcing ordinary Chinese out of work is, in Will.I.Am's crazy world less of a blow to them than not getting to hear about the super-rich in one city turning out to hear a Black Eyed Pea gig.
He hasn't quite understood how cultural boycotts work, has he? The idea is to remove legitimacy from a regime by stopping treating it like it's a normal nation doing normal things. We don't know if Mr. Am wants to spend some time reading about the powerful effects of the sporting and cultural boycotts of apartheid South Africa, if he ever gets a chance between balancing his pocketbooks.
Well, yes. That would kind of be the point, wouldn't it?
Children hurtin you hear them crying
Can practice what you preach
Would you turn the other cheek?
It turns out, yes, Will.I.Am is delighted to turn the other cheek.
A couple of papers run pictures of Robbie Williams today with observations like this, from the Mail:
Fatty food, by the looks of his expanded girth, and a brunette called Suzanna.
The paper then calls him "portly" which seems a bit unfair - he's carrying a few extra pounds but it's quite a few Dunkin Donuts short of being fat.
The woman, though? We're not so sure about:
"Who clearly share an interest in golf"? Why, because you've got a long lens shot of Williams carrying a golf bag and, erm, her in check trousers?
Oddly, while Gordon is reporting that Amy Winehouse and Alex Haines are busily creating a music imprint, the 3AM Girls are insisting she's dumped him by text message. They can't both be right, although it's possible for them both to be wrong.
Apparently unaware that the line-up has been announced, the 3AMies are still speculating about who the headliners might be:
Other rumours centre on Coldplay - back with new album Viva La Vida - and Oasis.
Well, yes, Madonna is the latest name mentioned in connection with Glastonbury. But look: now we're mentioning the late John Lennon in connection with the festival. See?
Apparently, Chris Martin couldn't bring himself to listen to the new Coldplay single yesterday. He's sick of it already, then.
Gordon Smart appears to have given up totally on the journalism and thrown his weight behind softcore porn instead. For the second day running, the big Bizarre story is nothing more than an excuse to run a topless photo: Keeley Hazell has released a single. Her day job is being a Page Three girl - although she's not very good at that, either and, clearly, even Gordon can't find anything to say other than 'she has breasts and has made a record':
What? What on earth are you talking about?
This is, remember, Gordon's big story today, at least online. In the paper, more space is given to claims that Amy Winehouse is thinking of dumping Island, supposedly with Alex Haines in charge:
Ah, yes. A manager's bagman. That'd be the perfect person to be in charge of a major recording artist's record label.
Elsewhere, Gordon has sneer at Coleen McLoughlin for going to McDonalds:
COLEEN MCLOUGHLIN couldn’t resist a slap-up meal at McDonald’s on the last day of her hen week.
Either Gordon has joined London Greenpeace, or this sudden dislike of fast food is somewhat puzzling - is McLoughlin only allowed to eat lobster and larks tongues now or something?
And, we all feel a little dirty: he's got a story about the Ting Tings, albeit the deal they've done with Apple that everyone else had a couple of days ago.
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
The Jamaican dance hall artist Bounty Killer has been banned from Guyana. Although known for promoting the killing of gay men, he'd been doing that before he played Georgetown; it was more the gunfire which broke out during his set that made the government decide they could do without him. Movado has also been banned, presumably because they had the book out anyway.
How everyone laughed and pointed when Roger Waters set free a pig during his Coachella set. The pig floated above the sun-burnt heads of the gig-goers. And then floated off.
Which was a bit of a bugger, as Waters had spent a lot of money on that pig, and hadn't expected him to disappear. So he's now offering a reward for its safe return.
CMJ prints some details of how to identify the pig, presumably in order to help you distinguish Waters' pig from any other floating porcine balloon you might come across in California.
It seems the people who own Manchester City aren't that happy with Sven Goran-Eriksson, and have told him they're going to sack him over the summer. God alone knows why they're so upset he's got to go, but not for a couple of months. Perhaps they're deciding if they'd be better off playing cricket instead.
Anyway, the most famous Man City supporter isn't happy, either. Noel Gallagher, who lives just a step or two from the Man City ground in London, Manchester has started honking:
"For a club that's been going nowhere fast for the last 25 years, with a manager who's the best out there bar Jose Mourinho… he turned it around and gave us a bit of style and dignity and grace. He bought some great players. The fans have got pride back in the club… I just think it's beyond a joke.
"We've got a manager who's got style. If the owner thought they could come in and qualify for the Champions League straight away then he's tripping. It'd be like sacking David Moyes at Everton or Martin O'Neill at Aston Villa because they didn't qualify. It takes more than one season.
"Eriksson is a graceful and dignified man. This guy Shinawatra has come in and he seems like a bit of a nutcase. The only thing that will get him off the hook is if he's got Mourinho lined up. Apart from Mourinho Eriksson's the best thing out there.
"I'd be amazed and appalled if I met a City fan who thought getting rid of Eriksson was a good thing. They all love him up there. I'd give him a big kiss and say, 'You know what, you take them to the cleaners.'"
Sorry, we would have edited that down but couldn't actually find any bit worth saving. We did, however, find some pretzels we'd forgotten about in the bottom of the bag. Delicious.
So, with Too Pure being mothballed, what better time than to enjoy some of their stars?
First, here's the Voodoo Queens doing Supermodel, Superficial from 1993:
More videos to be listed here over the next day or so
Electrelane - Film Music
The Rogers Sisters - Check Level
Future of the Left - adeadenemyalwayssmellsgood
Stereolab - Cybele's Reverie
As part of the crazy, new-frontier world of music labels, Beggars Group have decided to thin out the number of imprints they operate under, shuttering the venerable Too Pure and Beggars Banquest labels and transferring across artists under those banners to 4AD.
It used to be quite hard to get onto 4AD; now it turns out all you had to do was sign to Beggars and wait.
The Too Pure singles club, it seems, is going to continue, though, as they sent out a press release after the announcement of the mothballing of Too Pure. This Spring, they'll be launching limited-edition singles featuring Kaputt, Electricity In Our Homes, Die! Die! Die!.
Ne-Yo was approached to write a song as part of the Spice Girls reunion, but turned down the offer:
“They wanted something to put on their comeback album but I never got round to getting it done.
“I was recording songs for Rihanna at the time."
Odd, that, that you might choose working with Rihanna over knocking together something for the returning warhorses. And it's not like anyone involved in the Spice comeback spent that much time working on the songs they supplied, is it?
Having taken pictures of a half-naked child, Annie Leibovitz misses the point slightly:
You hear? It's not like she's caked Miley's face with make-up like a whore or something.
Leibovitz misses (or pretends to be missing) what might be upsetting people - it's not a question of if the image is beautiful or not, it's the extent to which an adult should be printing sexualised pictures of children in a national magazine. Perhaps the picture is being misinterpreted, but Leibovitz is not an idiot. She knows exactly what sort of reaction a sexy picture of a child is going to get - fluttering your eyelids and saying "gosh, but it's pretty" is no kind of explanation at all.
The tangled web gets a bit more tangled. Last week, Morrissey's people issued a press release which implied that NME had been the major sponsor who pulled out of Love Music Hate Racism:
IPC, though, have now countered that this simply isn't true, and they were never supposed to be a sponsor in the first place, reports Drowned In Sound:
“While supporting Love Music Hate Racism on a number of fronts in the last year,” the statement continues, “including giving away a themed covermounted CD album… NME had no planned commercial participation in this weekend’s Carnival.”
Let's hope that the NME is more forgiving of Morrissey's mispeaking than he is of their reporting of his views on immigration.
Having had a bit of chip away at the record labels, Nine Inch Nails are now trying to shake up online ticket sales. Or at least make them a bit more fan-friendly. Yes, you have to be registered to gain access, but unlike Glastonbury, where the registration confers upon you nothing more than the right to compete with everyone else to buy tickets, being registered with NIN comes with benefits: presale access, mostly. You pick up your ticket on the door, and go straight in - supposedly bypassing the risk of scalpers.
It'll be interesting to see how it works - and also what happens to the tickets which don't get sold this way. Will it mean genuine but unregistered NIN fans end up having to pay more for touted tickets in a tighter market?
There's a rather sweet interview with Adele in the Telegraph, one of the highlights of which is her snorting when asked about Estelle's complaints about white soul singers; the suggestion being that it's not like Estelle is Lauryn Hill or anyone important. But we were amused by this bit:
Oh, yes, the near-insurmountable odds of being lauded by all the people who put together TV shows and write long glowing profiles in the public prints. How difficult it is to come back from such setbacks...
With R Kelly's child-porn trial finally getting within spitting distance of a court, the Chciago papers have clubbed together to try and persuade the judge to let them run details from the sealed court papers. In, you know, the public interest and not simply to try and flog some papers with a bit a underage slap-and-tickle.
Kelly has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
It was funny watching Tonight Without Trevor McDonald Anymore last night, wailing about how rude and ill-mannered everybody is these days, when the only programme anyone watches on ITV any more consists of Simon Cowell and that simpering balloon-head who used to edit the Mirror being paid millions to be rude to people.
And, while Britain's Got Talent has only just got underway, the other half of the never-ending Cowell story is already preparing in the wings, with Dannnii Minogue getting space in 3AM to stoke the choreographed "feuds" between her and the other judges:
"There were some moments when I felt like I was back at school. It was distressing but I'm prepared for it this year."
Like being back at school? Well, yes, if you used to be part of a very lightly talented amateur dramatics troupe in your class.
The 3AM Girls are a bit hard up for copy today: they've got a story about the Queens of Noize's rider for a TV promo event. The Queens Of Noize? Even their mums would have trouble placing them, surely? What next: Sean Keavney's holiday plans? So obscure, indeed, are the DJs that the Mirror manages to spell their name incorrectly.
Poor Gordon. Pete Samson's not delivered him anything substantial for his column this morning, so he's reduced to getting Emily Smith to file something about the Miley Cyrus pictures you'll have read about yesterday and running topless photos of Nereida Gallardo, who apparently is going out with a footballer. Oh, and in the paper David Backham's Sesame Street appearance from last week. Presumably Gordon has some news about people you've heard of who are actually doing things now, but he'll be keeping those back for Wednesday.
Monday, April 28, 2008
The Rolling Stones aren't exactly bosom pals, says Keith Richards:
"Pass the Rizlas... have you got the accountant's number?... Can you change a fifty?" Yes, there's probably little more left to be said after a couple of weeks, we'd guess.
Bon Jovi's Florida date this weekend was disrupted when a bomb hoax was phoned through to local police. Well, actually, it was a bomb threat that was phoned in - you wouldn't bother ringing the cops up to tell them you were pulling a hoax, would you?
The venue was evacuated, but police found nothing of any interest during a search; afterwards, the fans were allowed back in and still nothing of any interest happened.
Thanks to the lovely people at Ecstatic Peace, enjoy Seasick, a free mp3 drawn from the new Free Kitten stuff.
For reasons we're having trouble understanding, Midlake's Eric Pulido has turned himself into a coffee brand:
Well, yes, that makes sense. I mean, you could look for a Fair Trade symbol, or a Rainforest Alliance logo, but it makes it far simpler to seek the endorsement of a member of Midlake when seeking ethical beverages.
Now, if you'll excuse me, the drummer from Sparklehorse has just turned up with our vegetable box.
There's a lovely Pearls Before Swine strip where Rat takes revenge on a restaurant who upsets him by attending their All You Can Eat buffet and eating everything on it. The joke being that nobody actually expects someone to turn up for an All You Can Eat service and actually eat everything in sight.
Nokia must be hoping that their customers aren't going to turn out to be like Rat, as it seems they've cut the world's worst deal with Universal and Sony BMG. The handset manufacturer pays a fixed rate to allow its customers to download as much music as they'd like. We've been saying for a few weeks now that sounds like a poor deal for the labels, but what we didn't know was the labels thought so, too. With visions of Rats emptying their libraries, the labels told Nokia it must pay wholesale rates for any downloads beyond a certain number.
That number was ruinously low thirty-five tracks. Yes, if their customers choose to download more than a couple of hefty album's worth of songs, Nokia are going to have to start paying out. And, since it's not costing them anything, chances are their customers will think "I don't really like U2, but I might as well download everything they've ever done." Nokia have left themselves horribly over-exposed. Ed Averdieck, , Managing Director of Nokia Music has been given the chance to seek out new opportunities in the business world while Tommi Mustonen is being forced by his bosses to try and negotiate the company's way out of the mess. That should be easy, Tommi. The RIAA are known for their reasonable behaviour.
Poor old Miley, eh? People got upset when the internet was awash with a photo of her showing her bra; now, she's taken the bra off and are people happy? Nope. It's not clear quite what Annie Leibovitz and Vanity Fair thought would happen when they ran topless photos of Miley Cyrus, but we suspect the phrase "this will create a magazine-selling hoo-hah" wouldn't have been far from the process.
Miley, for her part, seems to have confused Leibovitz with some sort of God:
You can, actually, "say no to Annie" - what's she going to do? Not take your photo?
Still, Miley has now realised that not being skanky isn't enough, and issued an apology:
She never intended for people to say "there's that wholesome fifteen year-old kid off the Disney Channel in a shot that looks disturbingly post-coital"? Fancy that.
The photo crew are quick to stress that - although it looks like she's naked, she wasn't actually naked at all. Oh no. Although:
To be fair, anyone wearing a flesh-coloured tank top probably should be asked to remove it, although it could be replaced with something less disgusting.
Have you ever wondered what Panic At The Disco think they're doing?
Now we know:
We're sure that, if they'd really wanted, they could have come up with a description of the band that was more workmanlike - but probably not much more workmanlike. The truth, the heart of the group is that it's some blokes who've made an album? Why, how do they contain such passion?
More from No Rock on panic at the disco
Given that she's become an "author", by which they mean she's had a children's book published, The Sun has made Geri Halliwell a "reading ambassador". God alone knows why The Sun has decided it needs a reading ambassador; it's like Bernard Matthews appointing a spokesperson for vegetarianism.
Still, Geri is delighted by her new role as book-learning-spokesperson:
Yes, you've empowered yourself through "the power of education and reading". Like all the reading you did when you were in the porn magazines, and the time standing by prizes on a Turkish game show. And The Spice Girls, of course. How the crowds would gather at what we now realise was a late 20th Century reimagining of the Workers Education Assocation.
Geri, you see, loves books. She says so:
“It’s got such poignancy and heart. I cried when Aslan died. I love it that a book can make you cry."
It's true, The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe can make you cry. When you're six. It's funny that Geri doesn't seem able to think of a book that she's connected emotionally with since she was that young, isn't it?
It's not entirely encouraging that the "reading ambassador" doesn't seem to have a clue what children like to read; nor that she can't speak English - what books are 100 to 150 words long? The Mister Men? Or did she mean "a review of between 100 and 150 words" rather than the book?
It turns out that Geri's not very good at maths, either:
One out of every two people living in Britain are single-parent mothers, are they? So, since every single parent mother must, by definition, have a child, that would account for the other half. So there are no men, no childless adults, no married families in Britain. No wonder the kids are having trouble with reading.
Having realised just how insulting and hideous it is for a multimilionaire to compare herself with a single mother in Oldham struggling on benefits or minimum wage, she does so anyway.
Still, is the book any good? The signs aren't encouraging:
“As a girl I’d be writing little stories beside this outside toilet at school when I was waiting my turn to go. I’ve got collections of diaries. It was a way of expressing myself.”
Oh, god, god, god.
The Sun helpfully provides the first chapter of this "bonkers wackiness":
Ugenia leaped out of bed with even
more enthusiasm than usual. She couldn’t
wait to get to school! This was because it
was Valentine’s Day next week and Ugenia
had been chosen to be the class Valentine’s
Disco Coordinator, which made her feel
Maybe this year is going to be different,
thought Ugenia, remembering how last
year she didn’t get even one Valentine’s card
from any secret admirers.
Surely being Valentine’s Disco
Coordinator would mean that this year
she’d get heaps of cards through her letter
box; or maybe even mountains.
Although Ugenia was delighted to be the
Valentine’s Disco Coordinator, she hadn’t
quite worked out what the job involved.
At morning break Ugenia recruited her
best mates – Rudy, Crazy Trevor and
Bronte – to help. Ugenia hadn’t known
Bronte for very long, but she was becoming
Ugenia’s NBF (new best friend). Bronte was
one of the cleverest girls in the class. She
wore square black glasses, she always had
her nose in a book and she was very well
Yes, the "clever" girl reads books and has "square black glasses".
Inventive, there, Geri.
dancing?’ asked Bronte.
Eh? Are we supposed to believe that this "clever" girl - who wears square black glasses - would need to have it confirmed that there would be dancing at a disco?
The chapter carries on in this style, of course: the way that adults who think they're still "young at heart" write - simpering half-witted stuff that assumes children are more like brain-damaged adults than individuals in their own right. Does Geri really think this is on a par with CS Lewis?
The, shall we say, generosity of Gordon in allowing his deputy Pete Samson to write the big stories knows no bounds. While Gordon writes a James Blunt needs finger surgery non-story, Pete Samson ("and Lucy Hagan") tries to make some sense out of Amy Winehouse's life. The paper is convinced that she's about to dump Blake and marry Alex Haines instead. Indeed, the Sun is thrilled by what it claims is the "favour" it's done for Amy:
“It was getting harder to keep the affair under wraps.”
But - if there is an affair - surely the reason why it would be hard to keep it under wraps would be the likes of the Sun constantly hanging about outside, peering in through the curtains? It's like being delighted the guy who's broken your legs has thrown your body out a car into a hospital car park.
The paper also resurrects the "other" Blake, claiming that the days of innuendo back then were spot-on:
One said: “You could hear them down the hall. Her thing with Blake II lasted a few weeks. The pair barely left their room.”
"Dubbed Blake II by her chums", rather than Gordon, eh?
For prurient hacks, the Sun doesn't really understand sex at all, does it? Isn't Amy's (alleged) sex-life going to be like the rest of her life, characterised by an awful lot of empty, destructive, addictive consumption?
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Nokia has denied that it's paying $35 a handset to Universal to allow its customers access to their back catalogue:
So, it's going to be paying less, then - and, that it feels the need to deny that figure, we can only conclude that the actual amount is some way shy of $35. Twenty bucks, perhaps? But if Nokia is only pay ten quid for every song in the catalogue, how much will the artists - who, remember, are the people the majors say they care about the most - see from the deal? They'll be no better off than if the tracks were just sucked off the peer-to-peer networks, surely?
Bits and pieces from Coachella are starting to turn up online - for example, Deaf Indie Elephants is currently hosting the Portishead live set.
Starbucks have moved backwards from their attempts to run a music business alongside a coffee shop, announcing that it's going to pass all day-to-day control in its HearMusic joint venture to partner Concord Music.
It seems having all those demo tapes on the kitchen table was getting in the way of brewing coffee:
In other words: put down that bloody guitar and make some coffee, will you?
As part of the cost for allowing XM and Sirius to merge, the Attorney Generals of four US states have proposed the new company should offer free bandwidth to some form of public-service radio. The idea being that if people who've paid out for an XM or Sirius receiver no longer wish to pay money to the united company, this way they'd still have something to listen to. Kind of like the channels which broadcast in the clear to Sky digiboxes, then.
It's actually a good idea for the Sirius-XM corporation, too: easier, surely, to persuade people to buy kit if they know that they'll still be able to tune in if they decide the cost of subscriptions is too much of a drain on the family pocketbook some time in the future.
That the Cure have a new album coming out isn't much of a surprise. The attempt to drum up a sense of excitement, though - that is. a single a month, every month, on the 13th, in the four months running up to the new album in September.
The 13th, presumably, because they're Goths. And there isn't a 666th day in any month - except February in leap years - so they've had to choose the 13th.
Shortly before it was due to host a benefit event for Common Ground on Friday night, the New York Public Health Department shut down the Luna Lounge, citing public health concerns. It's not clear what this pressing risk to the soft heads and lovely flesh of New Yorkers actually was.
It's difficult to remember that there was a time when the music industry wasn't that bothered about the internet, and - had Metallica not thrown their weight around - it's possible the offices of the RIAA companies would still be happily ignoring the threat to their business.
Having kick-started a war on the web, it's amusing to see Metallica now happy to leech off the work done by others:
So, having done so much to try and close down the possibilites of the internet, now they can sniff a few bob, Lars and the boys are changing their minds.
Someone who won't be wearing the awful Kurt Cobain training pumps: Frances Bean Cobain. She's being lined up to be a new muse for Karl Lagerfeld. It's almost certainly what Kurt would have wanted. Or possibly isn't, but if you blow your brains out you can't actually complain if nobody listens to you, can you?
Snoop was joined on stage at the Melkweg by Willie Nelson:
First they did My Medicine...
... and then they did Super Man.
Having first suggested that David Banda was an orphan, Madonna's now working to try and make it a bit like he is, effectively: Yohane Banda says that promises he was made have been broken and he's been cut out of his son's life:
“I told her [Madonna] that although I was giving her my son she should look after him well . . . I told her that she should raise him, educate him and make sure that he does not forget me and Malawi.
“Now I fear that my child will never know his roots and will not know me. He is the only surviving child I have and I regret the whole thing now. It’s so painful sometimes to realise that I have been forgotten.”
To be fair, The Sunday Times didn't offer Madonna any chance to respond to the claims in its story this morning, so perhaps it's all a terrible misunderstanding. Perhaps.
What a surprise: Agyness Deyn has made a record with a small indie band. The Five O'Clock Heroes, in this case.
No wonder Pete Doherty had himself locked up.
With Sarah Harding's back gone a bit Stan Ogden, there was a shadow hanging over the Girls Aloud tour. Actually, we'd imagine that if her back was that bad, she'd have just been given a chair at the side of the stage and invited to sing along anyway rather than the whole tour being dumped. Still, Rav Singh reveals Sarah's back will be fine anyway:
Really? Before her family, the band, management, or drunken bums in the street, eh?
Rav also brings his curious inability to actually commit to anything to the possibility that Beyonce might be pregnant:
Well, after secretly getting married, I reckon there's only one other bit of news they can be keeping from us— that the Baby Boy beauty is pregnant.
Singh does this a lot - he doesn't seem to have any confidence in his own scoops, so instead runs endless pieces about how, at some point in the future, someone might say something. Given that much of what runs in the News of the World is made-up anyway, why is he so reluctant to commit himself to his own stories?
It's not the first time, but Mitch Winehouse is once again telling the tabloids that he wants Amy sectioned.
And, let's face it, if you thought your child was suffering so much she could no longer cope with looking after herself, you'd make your first call to the News of the World, wouldn't you?
Although since the police released her with a caution, they clearly don't view her as a danger to others - and, really, the test for sectioning a person has to be stronger than "might give an irritated slap to a person", surely?
Mitch then reveals - who'd have thought - that Amy is a bit headstrong:
Which is a strange thing to say since you're talking about sectioning her which is, by definition, forcing someone to do something against their will.
The ten most-accessed individual stories this week have been:
1. R Kelly's sex video - is he ever going to come to trial, by the way?
2. Miley Cyrus shows bra; internet feels compelled to look
3. Heather Mills and nudity should never mix
4. McFly, put some clothes on; we can see your penises
5. Beth Ditto removes her clothes for NME
6. Why does Robbie Williams love Keira Knightley?
7. RIP Joaquin Tavares
8. Is KT Tunstall a lesbian?
9. Underwater sex with Amy Winehouse
10. RIP Paul Davis
We flogged these for two weeks solid:
Forward, Russia - Life Processes It really is a cracking week for new releases
Blood Red Shoes - Box Of Secrets ... a cracking, cracking week
Tift Merritt - Another Country
Tindersticks - The Hungry Saw Brand new Tindersticks stuff, bringing miserable joy
Long Blondes - Couples Out last week, of course
Accidental - There Were Wolves
Jim Noir - Jim Noir From the Late Junction favourite
Dawn Kinnard - The Courtesy Fall
Soda Mountain Rag - It's Rag Time And I'm Maggie
Pete Moliarni - A Virtual Landslide
Kid Creole & The Coconuts - The August Darnell Years Compiling the bit before Mr Creole became so well-known Ronnie Barker impersonated him
More from No Rock on this week just gone