This is probably the last post for Saturday, so what better way to put the blog to bed for the evening than Insomniac? No sleep at all, carry me home...
[Part of the Echobelly weekend]
This is probably the last post for Saturday, so what better way to put the blog to bed for the evening than Insomniac? No sleep at all, carry me home...
Dischord, the Fugazi-founded punk label, has just gone digital, opening an online store which offers pretty much the label's entire back catalogue in a mix of purchasing options:
Under-performing albums from Feeder and Gnarls Barkley have shouldered the blame for Chrysalis issuing glum predictions about its performance this year:
Echobelly never much troubled the singles charts - they didn't, I think I'm right in saying, ever crack the top ten. But they did get to see inside the Top Of The Pops studio - here they are doing King of the Kerb:
[Part of the Echobelly weekend]
Virgin Records are suing 30 Seconds To Mars, claiming that Jared Leto's side-project has broken the terms of its contract.
The band allegedly signed a three album deal in 1999 and have conspicuously failed to deliver on it, complains the label. Leto, of course, could drop off another record and then Virgin really would have something to moan on about it.
The business hopes to get thirty million dollars in return for the breach of contract - presumably much more money than they've invested in the band, though. And if they have been stupid enough to piss that much away on them, they deserved to lose it.
William Patry - who has been involved in copyright for 26 years, most recently with Google - has announced he's no longer going to blog.
One reason he gives is the way his personal views keep being protrayed as if he's speaking on Google's behalf; but he's equally annoyed by the current state of copyright law:
According to the latest informed rumours, Guns N Roses are thinking of bringing Chinese Democracy to the market through an exclusive deal with a retail chain.
Wal-Mart are leading the bidding for the role - fitting, of course, since most of their stuff is made in China and their approach to their staff and customers pretty much apes that of the Chinese government to democrats.
Best Buy are also taking part in the talks, but WalMart makes more sense - people could pick up their free Dr Peppers while they're there.
Alan McGee takes to his MySpace blog for what presumably was meant to be an enthuse over Mogwai, but which crashes into being another one of his tiresome railings against former friends:
This, from the Albarn-fronted Britpop Now Late Show spin-off: Great Things:
[Part of Echobelly weekend]
With Noel Gallagher making a knob of himself on Chris Moyles' show yesterday, obviously the Sun can't ignore the story. But if Bizarre points this out, how can Gordon hope to hang out with Liam backstage, perhaps as he comes off stage, all sweaty, with his shirt clinging to his body?
Solution: run the story, but put a "MusicBiz" banner on it, rather than the banner with Gordon's name on it.
He never stops believing, Noel. He never stops believing.
More bemusing is the prominence Gordon gives to a "gay icon" chart drawn up by an obscure gay dating site - even putting a hyperlink straight to the sign-up page. Especially since the chart - save for Ronaldo at number one - is reminiscent of that Laura Solon sketch where she attempts to bond with a gay waiter by listing gay things that she likes:
1. Cristiano Ronaldo
2. Kylie Minogue
3. Judy Garland
4. Elton John
5. Liza Minnelli
6. The Village People
7. David Beckham
8. George Michael
9. John Barrowman
10. Paul O’Grady
Number eleven would have been "you know what else is brilliant? Gay rights... for gays..."
A couple of weekends ago, we did Sleeper, and one of the names mentioned in the comments was Echobelly. Sonya Aurora Madan's lot had the same 'sleeperbloke' jibe thrown at them, too - although Curve's Debbie Smith was also part of the classic line-up - but outlived the Britpop boom that brought them to chart success. The "pretty frontwoman" syndrome was as frustrating for Aurora Madan as it was for Wener, as she told designer magazine:
With Pixie Geldof having been the first to offer advice to people struggling to cope with disappointing exam results, you'd have thought that young people would, by now, all be fine.
But apparently Pixie wasn't enough on her own to solve the problems, so the Sun have drafted in Kelly Osbourne, who brings her own advice about coping with adversity:
Music journalist, executive and producer Jerry Wexler died earlier today.
Born in 1917, to an emigre Pole, Wexler had initially adopted journalism as a career after his mandated spell in the US Army. He joined Billboard in 1947, staying for four years - during this time coining the phrase "rhythm and blues" - before turning gamekeeper and joining a promotions company. Within a year, Ahmet Ertegun was sounding him out for a role at Atlantic Records; Wexler refused, holding out for a partnership. By 1953, Ertegun had come round to Wexler's way of thinking and sold him a share.
With a management style he described as that of a despot with problems delegating, he played a role in building up Atlantic's reputation and sales. He took charge of everything he could - doing production duties, for example, on Aretha Franklin's version of Respect.
An attempt to establish a powerbase in Nashville proved to be his undoing at Atlantic; following its failure he parted company with the label.
In 1977 he joined Warner Brothers as its East Coast man - a role which led him to sign Dire Straits and the B-52s, shaping the FM sound for the early 1980s. The assocation, though, didn't last long, and Wexler would quickly cut ties with the majors, carving out a freelance niche working with Bob Dylan, Dire Straits, Etta James, Allen Toussaint, the Staple Singers, George Michael and others.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame made space for him in 1987, leading him to sum up his career:
Tanya Andersen - the mother who was wrongly accused of illegal filesharing but had the courage to stand up to the RIAA - is to have her legal costs paid in full as the courts instruct the RIAA to dig deep.
But that's just settling the case the music industry had brought against her. Now, she's going after the majors seeking compensation for malicious prosecution. Oh, yes - and it's a class action. Potentially expensive for the majors, and certainly embarrassing. No wonder the BPI meekly agreed to the tut-tut letter strategy in the end.
We do wonder, though: when will the shareholders in the majors start asking the boards why they keep pouring subscription fees into such a poor industry body?
Noel Gallagher has pretty much damned the British mainstream music scene lock, stock and Mark Ronson guest appearances, apparently without realising how much he has done to create it:
After all that fuss over the suggestion that Slayer songs pretty much all sound like Slayer songs, how refreshing to find someone making rock music to a formula who admits that, yes, it's a formula designed to soothe rather than surprise. Step forward, Alice Cooper:
Lita Roza - the first Liverpudlian, and first female singer, to have a number one single - has died.
Roza's number one was a novelty single - How Much Is That Doggy In The Window? - and, like many who find fame with a novelty hit, it dogged her (no pun intended) for the rest of her days:
I don't want to make it look like I'm picking on NME.com this afternoon, but how come it's just now running the Britney to star in Faster Pussycat Kill, Kill story - not only four days after everyone else, but four days after everyone else ran stories pointing out that the idea was just a fanciful creation and based on no facts at all?
The report offers its source:
Morrissey's habit of criticising stuff released under his name is going to get him into trouble - surely he knows how much Morrissey hates even fair critcism?
His latest gripe is over the release of a DVD:
Unless I'm missing something, NME.com seems to have devoted a page to a breathless report about how they intend to market the latest Michael Jackson best of.
The headline, admittedly, did catch my attention:
Laurence Trifon is covering the Bandwidth digital music conference for Hypebot; they launched today by inviting four young people to talk about the way they collect music. Obviously, there's no reason to assume the four people they found are typical, but there's two interesting points:
Noel Gallagher has made it clear that Oasis won't be playing the O2. He went onto the Chris Moyles Show to condemn the place as being a bit tacky and rubbishy and aimed at the lowest common denominator. Yes, he said that on the Chris Moyles Show:
John McCain's people's attempts to mock Barack Obama - and in particular, Obama's claims that proper tyres and regular tune-ups are better for the planet than drilling out more oil - have run into trouble. His team decided to stick Jackson Browne's Running On Empty on the advert.
Yes. Jackson Browne.
Browne first made them pull the ad; now, he's taking legal action. And the McCain campaign are rushing backwards to try and disassociate themselves from the mess:
David Draiman of Disturbed suggests that some people backstage at Ozzfest might be a little too in love with themselves:
The ever-fascinating world of DMX turns another corner: having failed to turn up to one of his many court dates (this one for drug-related charges in Arizona), DMX got arrested in a WalMart car park. In Miami Beach.
Fair's fair: we did have a little smile at the story on Gordon's page this morning:
And, while we're at it: Caramel Distro is a small UK based fanzine distro house, for all your fanzine needs. It's not all about computers, you know.
Earlier, news about one of Marine Research. Now, news of an indie club opening in Glasgow. This is only going to confirm the suspicions of those Slayer and Iron Maiden fans, isn't it?
Anyway, Glasgwegians and those prepared to travel, prepare yourself for Half My Heart Beats, on the second Saturday of every month. The team behind it are affiliated with the indie-mp3 blog in some way, which is a guarantee of the quality of what you'll be hearing. And dancing your pretty little asses off to.
I don't often just dump entire press releases straight into the stream, but the news of the forthcoming not-written-by-Radiohead Choke soundtrack contains the following track-by-track guide to the album, with commentary by director/screenwriter Clark Gregg, which is that odd thing - press blurb that's worth reading:
You'd have thought that it would be hard to balls up a Northern Soul movie. Well, okay, casting Alfie Allen in it was probably a sign that Souled Out was going to struggle a little, but at least the soundtrack would be spot-on, right?
Latest ABC figures for magazine circulation have been published - and although no music magazine has suffered quite as badly as Maxim, which has lost nearly six out of every ten sales, it's grim news all round.
NME has dropped to just 56,284 in the last six months, down from 64,033 in the six months in the second half of last year and, presumably, weighing up the prospect of a drop below the psychologically important 50,000 level. Arch-rival Kerrang is still outstripping it, but also slipped badly - 76,937 down to 60,290. The NME will probably take a little comfort that Kerrang is dropping two sales for every one lost by the NME; nobody will be very happy at the total market shrinking so rapidly.
Q is still ahead of the pack - down to 113,174, though.
Only Mojo will be ordering a round of harmless fizzy drinks this month - they've seen a slight increase since the last set of six months figures. Only 149 copies, but it's still an increase.
Cats and Cats and Cats are brilliant. If only they had a few more cats, though. Still, the current outfit are going to be touring:
2 Dublin Lower Deck
3 Limerick Bakers Place
4 Kilkenny Cleeres Theatre
5 County Wicklow Greystones Skate Park
6 Galway venue TBC
7 Cork The Whiskey
8 Belfast venue TBC
12 Preston Mad Ferret
14 Leeds Library
15 Norwich Queen Charlotte
17 Kingston Fighting Cocks
19 Staines Hobgoblin
21 Sheffield The Grapes
22 Derby Victoria Inn
23 Newport Meze Longue
24 Cheltenham Subtone
25 London Brixton Windmill (all-dayer - details below)
26 Tunbridge Wells Forum
28 Ashford Downtown Diner
29 Brighton Freebutt
30 Guildford Boileroom
31 Southampton Soul Cellar
1 Chichester Chichester Inn
This is sort of what to expect:
Waving his Scouse credentials, Pete Doherty turns up in Liverpool for the second time in a week. There's a lovely review of the night on Liverpool Confidential, which sums up the 'but why?'-ness of it all:
Welcome to our occasional feature, 'where are some of the members of Marine Research now?'. Today, we hear news of Cathy Rogers.
Of course, she had been busying herself presenting Scrapyard Challenge, but now, she's doing this. Where "this" is nudo. Nudo. With an O.
It's an adopt-an-olive-tree scheme: you adopt the tree, and it sends you letters detailing how well it's doing in school, and photos of it looking happy. Actually, you just get sent all its produce for the year you adopt it, which is quite nice. And not how adoptions usually work, we're patiently but firmly informed by social services.
The Prodigy have pulled out of a Korean festival - the Summer Breeze - but can't stress enough that it isn't their fault:
The news that Dave Pearce is leaving Radio One has come like a sudden rain during a drought. Dave Pearce? Is he still there?
Apparently - and doing shows, too; it's not like he got lost in the passageways and was too shy to ask his way out. Thirteen years he's been there. Thirteen years. He joined when John Major was prime minister, and stuck it out ever since.
Eddie Halliwell is also leaving the station - he says he's just had to let it go to concentrate on all his other work, which is lucky.
The changes are part of an overhaul of the evening schedules, which are vaguely described on the press office website:
I have a lot of time for the Samaritans, a charity which does a lot of valuable work. But did they really think it through before inviting Pixie Geldof to front their 'don't worry if your exam results are bad' message this year?
Los Campesinos are heading out on tour in support of the We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed album:
Brighton Komedia (14 October)
Liverpool Carling Academy 2 (15)
Leeds Irish Centre (16)
Dublin Whelans (17)
Glasgow School of Arts (18)
London Electric Ballroom (20)
Bristol Fleece (21)
Manchester Academy 3 (22)
You'll recall, of course, Avril Lavigne's solemn pledge as to how she'd never pose in a sexually titillating manner -"I won't wear skanky clothes that show off my booty, my belly or boobs", as she put it. Here's the cover of the current Italian edition of Maxim, showing that she's a woman of her word.
Fox News chief honker Bill O'Reilly has a habit of upsetting people - a side effect of having a mouth designed to spout out barely-considered cant. Last year, he got into a battle of wits with Nas - imagine two rhinos charging at each other, but without the political sophistication.
Now, the East Coast Avengers have released a record calling for O'Reilly to be murdered.
However, you don't perhaps need to be a Fox News contributor to feel a little uneasy at the call to Kill Bill O'Reilly. Isn't that rather playing into his hands?
So, it's official, then: Gary Glitter is coming home:
The return of Leon Jackson, who won
Deal Or No DealThe X Factor, excites Gordon Smart:
In a bid to diversify the size of his bank balance, it looks like Kanye West is getting into the fast food business. He's got plans to launch ten Fatburger franchises in Chicago. He'll be overseeing most of the frying himself.
Canada's Conservative Government has announced that it's pulling funding from two programmes which helped local bands sell their music internationally. One of the reasons given is that some of the bands using the funding are rude:
No, no, it's not the long-afeared news of Legally Blonde: The Series, but the next "best" thing: Jennifer Lopez is going to executive produce a TV series spun out of Maid In Manhattan.
"Executive produce" is a technical term used in American television to indicate a person who receives a large cheque in return for their name appearing in the credits.
Obviously, the central story in the original Maid In Manhattan - something to do with an unconvincing maid having an unconvincing relationship with an actor planning to fire his agent - was resolved, and so the TV series will have to be different:
If I was the city of Cleveland, having poured public support - both goodwill and cash - into the building of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, I'd be less than delighted to discover that they've now decided to open a branch in New York, followed by others, around the globe.
Come to that, you have to wonder if there's much point in opening branches - what is a fairly broad collection of pop-related stuff in one central location might look a little thin spread out through a dozen or so sites. In fact, isn't this just going to be the Hard Rock Cafe without the overpriced burgers?
[You might enjoy No Rock's day trip to the Cleveland Hall of Fame]
What's perhaps surprising is not that Napster has dropped 52,000 subscribers over the quarter; more that, somehow, it's still managing to pull revenues of USD30.3million in that time. You have to hope they're investing that cash carefully - i.e. not by buying stock in clumsy music subscription businesses.
You can always rely on Hello to put on a brave face. Presumably delighted that Peaches and whatwashisname didn't flog the shaky pictures of their wedding to Okay, Hello! is delighted to report the news:
They're going to remake the Rocky Horror Picture Show. No, really:
That big public vote to decide what should go on the Michael Jackson best of? Looks like they've decided to ignore it, judging by some of the clunkers that are lined up for it:
'Black Or White'
'Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’'
'Don’t Stop ’Til You Get Enough'
'The Way You Make Me Feel'
'Rock With You'
'You Are Not Alone'
'Man In The Mirror'
'Remember The Time'
'You Rock My World'
'They Don’t Care About Us'
You don't have to be an expert in Florida chads to know that a public vote which claims that They Don't Care About Us and Earth Song are held in public affection - even amongst the sort of public who'd vote for a Michael Jackson tracklist - isn't quite right.
Forward Russia have - by way of announcing a date on the 17th October - confirmed that that's more or less it:
Here's a video slice of a new Mogwai track, Batcat. Which is named after a really, really rubbish superhero. Possibly.
Although based on his doctor's death certificate rather than a post mortem, Isaac Hayes' spokespeople have announced that he died as the result of a stroke.
Almost nobody outside of the British press seems to be taking the Stone/Obama story seriously - and even then, the "doing the campaign theme song for" has been nervously marked down to "writing a song for".
Well, we say "almost nobody". Some right-wing bloggers are treating it like it's real.
CrushLiberalism is angry:
This morning's Telegraph website is offering a free mp3 from the Cistercian Monks of Stift Heiligenkreuz.
They share a label with Amy Winehouse, and the paper's Peter Culshaw asked Father Carl to have a listen to her record:
Peaches Geldof's quick ceremony in Las Vegas - she popped into a wedding chapel and came out, officially and legally, as a pisspoor parody of Britney Spears - gets a full three-byline coverage from The Sun, leaving Gordon with nothing to do but supply an opinion piece.
But, really, what is there to say?
Trouble over at MySpace, as it gears up for another relaunch attempting to turn it from music promo tool to cash-generating music retail site: The Deal reports that it's having trouble tempting someone to take the CEO chair at MySpace Music (we're given to understand the large ejector button next to the chair itself might be the problem.)
Making things worse, the technical team pulling together the site is - again, according to The Deal - starting to smell a little burny as it rushes to meet a September deadline for launch; they're not keen on the idea of a CEO turning up right now, full of ideas, demanding changes and generally earning their living by making the tech team's life even more miserable.
I've not seen an official denial from MySpace that any such strains are appearing, but I guess we can imagine exactly the sort of statement doing the denying and take that as read, yes?
More from No Rock on myspace
In some sort of survey, Shepherd's Bush has been named the centre of British Rock And Roll on the grounds that if you count up all the rock stars who born there, and divide them by all the people including rock stars who came from there, the number is higher than anywhere else.
But it turns out you have to treat Shepherd's Bush as a place in its own right, as London fares quite badly:
The Allman Brothers have launched a legal action against their record label, UMG for $13million.
They claim that UMG has diddled them out of their fair share of digital royalties. Even so, thirteen million seems to be an enormous sum of cash - where on earth would someone have got the idea for demanding ridiculous amounts in return for small sums of potential lost earnings due to downloading, eh?
[Thanks to Michael M]
In the tent/pissing metaphor, Terry Wogan is one of those guys who you might consider better off having inside the tent pissing out, rather than being outside pissing in, only to discover that he's actually still pissing in from inside.
Now that Michael Parkinson has retired, Wogan has the field of 'grumpy old sod undermining everyone he works with' to himself, and marks his 70th birthday by moaning about the BBC which gives him a job in the BBC's Radio Times magazine. Standards, it seems, are slipping:
Given that Madonna's brother has been rotating wildly around the edges of celeburbia, slagging off his sister's marriage, her adoptions and her general control-freakery, it's interesting that the 3AM Girls focus in on a slightly more mundane claim:
Gordon Smart - and, to be fair, The Times both claim that Joss Stone has been asked to record the theme song for Barack Obama's campaign - although, curiously, the story doesn't appear in any American media.
The Times, at least, manages to keep fairly sober in its report, but Gordon gets a bit over-excited:
David Lander, who managed Kittie (and, indeed, was father to Morgan and Mercedes from the band) suffered a fatal heart attack last week.
Morgan has issued a statement:
Canadian we-mean-it punks SNFU are reactivating after three years with a tour of their homeland. We say SNFU - it's not quite a classic line-up, as they now consist of Mr. Chi Pig, Ken "Goonie" Flemming, Just Denis and Chad Mareels, which makes it more of a Dog Eat Dogma reunion than an SNFU one.
Drowned In Sound have had a first listen to the new TV On The Radio album, Dear Science:
People who care about such things might have noted last week that the new album from Morrissey has slipped back to 2009. The reason is a delay in deciding who'll be releasing it in the US:
Knowing that Gordon Smart is thinking about how well his jeans fits has obviously turned Liam Gallagher's head more than a little:
We got slightly thrilled to discover that a judge had ordered the destruction of U2's back catalogue, but then it turned out to only be one person's collection, not all of their records in existence.
It's a harsh world. As if knifings, territorial wars, Piers Morgan and disease aren't bad enough, Snow Patrol are now having the name of their new album revealed against their wills. Lost In The Showbiz publishes a letter from their PR team - or, rather, a statement from Gary:
Pete Burns is going to Liverpool - the first time since 1992 - at the request of Julian Cope. He's going to play a night celebrating Erics, but he stresses that he wouldn't normally do this sort of thing:
With an air of bewildered surprise, NME.com reports that the cancelled Joe Lean And The Jing Jang Jong album has "found its way" onto file-sharing sites.
Commenters on our post about the cancellation had pointed out that it was in the wild before the record company had decided it wasn't good enough.
It's not so long ago - yesterday, in fact - that selling well "on downloads alone" was considered noteworthy. Today, though, it's commentworthy that Kid Rock's All Summer Long single (a summer anthem which makes Una Paloma Blanca seem like a considered work of genius) has managed to sell without being available on iTunes.
Kid has his reasons:
The large, floppy Rolling Stone is to be no more: From mid-October, it's swapping from its classic format into something a bit more normal magazine sized.
It's basically given in to the rules of economics: it's easier for advertisers if they don't have to resize their ads for one magazine; it'll fit on the racks alongside other magazines; and, of course, smaller pages are easier and cheaper to make and distribute.
The new Rolling Stone is going to be glued, which means that the title will have a spine. Something it's lacked for a good couple of decades now.
They're hoping it will increase sales:
Gordon Smart outdoes himself this morning, claiming that Lily Allen has run away from a head-to-head:
CNN is reporting that police have discovered Isaac Hayes unconscious "next to a still-running treadmill". He was taken to hospital, but pronounced dead at 2pm.
Hayes was born into a sharecropping family in rural Tennessee. Raised by his grandparents after being orphaned, a move to Memphis at first showed Hayes the possibilities of life, but turned sour when his grandfather died. Poverty forced Hayes to seek work; he wound up as a short order chef. He tried to drop out of school, only to be more-or-less ordered back by the teachers who saw talent in the young man. It was also a teacher who persuaded Hayes to enter a talent contest, his first public performance since puberty had shattered his voice and his confidence. Victory was his; but it was the interest of the girls that the victory brought which persuaded him his future might not be in the kitchens.
When he graduated High School, Isaac had the choice of several scholarships to colleges keen to develop his vocal talents, but instead threw his lot in with a local record label. That label was Stax. Hayes debut was on Frog Stomp, which he co-wrote for Floyd Newman. He played keyboards and soon picked up regular work playing session keyboards for the label's artists and collaborating with David Porter on songwriting and producing.
It was the murder of Martin Luther King on the streets of Memphis which really drove Hayes, though, as he once explained: