Saturday, October 03, 2009

Black Lips spill shits

Another part of my Saturday catch-up - thanks to Carrie Brownstein's NPR blog - brings me up to date with the battle fought between Black Lips and Wavves last Friday night in Brooklyn. Or rather, with Wavves' manager.

The details of the fight are as you'd expect - the tiny slights which drive people who you'd prefer to admire to slap each other in a bar.

The queasy part, though, is Jared Swilley's response:

“First of all, I just wanna say that Wavves was NOT involved in that fight. That faggot didn’t even touch me.

I’ve never “come after” that kid, it wasn’t four a.m., that wasn’t my girlfriend, no one was spitting, and I didn’t attack him. I don’t give a shit about that kid and his music.

What happened was, after we finished our set I went to Daddy’s with some friends and saw that faggot from Wavves talking to a photographer friend of mine. The only thing I did was walk up to him and say “You’re that faggot from Wavves and I don’t like you”. He smiled a bit but didn’t say anything.

After that, I went outside and saw their tour manager hanging around with some guys. They started getting all chuckles with me and so I told them I wasn’t gonna have it. After that, Wavves tour manager hit me square in the face with a bottle. Blood started pouring out and six dudes fucking started kicking me until I blacked out.

All I remember is getting hit with the bottle and my friends dragging me to another bar. They wrapped my head up until I looked like a Confederate soldier.

So yeah, I lost the fight.

I also missed three flights. I’ve been in the airport all day having stewardesses cleaning my head because it kept cracking open. You can’t go on board if you’re bleeding.

Bottom line is that faggot from Wavves didn’t even hit me. Never touched me. And he should’ve, cuz he had a free shot.

He’s coming to Atlanta October 3rd and we’re gonna get ugly on him. We’re gonna destroy their van, we’re gonna destroy their faces, we’re gonna get crazy on em’. Nasty style.

Hold on... in amongst the tiresome belligerence, did Swilley just start using "faggot" as a term of abuse?

(That sentence, I think you'll have guessed, was rhetorical.)

Three times.


Something to listen to: Trembling Blue Stars... and more

Dandelion Radio are having a Peel celebration month throughout October, which features a whole bunch of exclusive stuff, specially recorded or snuck out for the site. There's Trembling Blue Stars, The Woodentops, I, Ludicrous, Beatnik Filmstars... and (as they'd say in a Ronco ad) much, much more...


Nicked from Noah

This is what happens when you leave it to the weekend to catch up with the Marc Riley programmes (cracking this week, by the way - Joan As Policewoman, Strike The Colours, First Aid Kit and Ambulances in session): I'd fallen down on the job by missing the news that Noah And The Whale had everything stolen in Manchester in the small hours of Wednesday morning:

We’re sad to report that last night Noah and the Whale had all of their instruments and tour equipment stolen from Trinity Way NCP car park in Manchester. At some point between midnight and 11am this morning, the band’s trailer was taken containing all the equipment listed below, most of which is of great sentimental value to the band.
Many of the instruments were packed in flight cases marked NOAH in 6” high stencil lettering, or gold marker pen lettering NOAH AND THE WHALE or NATW. If you were in the Manchester area and saw anything suspicious, or if you’ve come across any of the equipment listed, please contact the police immediately. You can also contact Coalition management on 020 8743 1000 or zac@coalitiongroup.co.uk

STOLEN EQUIPMENT

Gibson Les Paul Gold Top Deluxe
Fender telecaster – sunburst with black scratch plate

The above are both LEFT HANDED

Gibson Goldtone GA-30 RVS Amp
Voodoo labs power supply x3
Ernie ball volume pedal x2
Boss TU2 tuner x 7
Boss EQ pedal
Homebrew Electronics Powerscreamer
Ibanez TS-9 Tubescreamer
Line6 delay
Ebow x2
Electro Harmonix Holy Grail
Marshall Compressor pedal
Behringer acoustic DI box
Fender 66 P-bass
Vox F-hole 60’s sunburst bass
Ampeg B-15
Ashdown 2x10 cab
Z Vex wooly mammoth pedal
Little big muff
Mesa Boogie DC3 amp
Marshall 1 x 12 guitar cab
Line6 Digital delay pedal
MXR boost
Ibanez tube screamer
Fender 1965 Deluxe reverb
Ibanez AD9 Analogue delay
Keeley compressor pedal
Fender Telecaster 1963
Fender Jaguar 1963
Electro harmonix POG
Electro harmonix Holy Grail
ZVEX Distortron
Digitech loop pedal
Ludwig silver/white oyster finish drum kit consisting of:
22” kick drum (1966)
Rack Tom 13”(1966)
Floor Tom 16” (1970)
Zildjian 21” ride
14” Hi Hats
13” Hi Hats
16” Crash
17” Crash
Ludwig black beauty snare 14x5
Brady snare 14x6
Ludwig snare 14x5
2 snare stands
3 DW kick pedals, one with tamborine attachment
2 tamborines, cowbell
2 crash stands
1 ride stand
10 pairs wooden 5a sticks
1 pair brushes
2 pair hot rod brushes
2 pair felt beaters
Roland 88 note stage piano and x-frame stand

Peli-case toolbox
Contents:
Peterson strobo-flip
Boss tu2 tuner
Screwdrivers
Gas soldering kit
Various pliers /cutters
Nut-files/ various files
Music-stand lamp
Guitar Polish/cleaners/switch cleaners

Flightcases:
These are all marked NOAH in 6” high stencil lettering, some also have gold marker pen lettering NOAH AND THE WHALE or NATW
Fender Jag case
Fender Tele case x 2
Gibson gold top l/h case
Fender precision bass case
Vox F-hole bass case
Ampeg B-15 bass cab case
Ashdown 4x10 bass cab case
Fender Twin amp case
Fender Deluxe amp case
Gibson goldtone GA30 amp case
4 x Pedal board cases
Large drum traps Hardcase
Small tom case
Floor tom case
Snare case x 3
Kick drum case
Small traps case x 2
Kick pedal case
Guitar rack case x2

Tool box with various screw drivers etc.

Having all your stuff stolen is the extreme of being shat on (even if Feargal Sharkey would argue it's on a par with having someone download a couple of your songs without a licence) so let's hope that someone will be able to help out.


Gordon in the morning: He really, really, reallys wants to zig... oh, please yourselves

Although he ran exactly the same story a couple of weeks ago, and despite that story being denied instantly by Mel B, Gordon is back with the claims that the Spice Girls are going to reunite.

Again.

Only without Beckham.

And, erm, possibly, without Bunton.

In fact, Gordon does admit - seemingly by accident - that his first story was total bunkum:

I revealed a couple of weeks back that Mel and Stephen had discussed a one-off Spice Girls appearance at the World Cup in South Africa next summer.

It sounds like the response has encouraged talks about another big comeback.

Actually, Gordon, your original story wasn't that "Mel and Stephen" had discussed a one-off comeback - you actually said:
She has already got Ginger Spice GERI HALLIWELL, Baby EMMA BUNTON and Sporty MELANIE CHISHOLM on board.

Did you forget that? Only you have ragged out the story from the paper that you're now trying rewrite, including the bit that you're now trying to conveniently forget.

Meanwhile: How many times has Gordon 'introduced' Dionne Bromfield to the word now? I make it four, but I might be losing count.


Friday, October 02, 2009

Barat to Doherty: Don't look forward in excitement

As the last of September ebbed away, Pete Doherty was telling everyone the Libertines were coming back, back, back:

“I think we’re gonna make a record, and tour. Get the Libertines to take it to the next step, next stage. Next year.”

This comes as news to Carl Barat, who can't get away to marry you today, as his life won't let him:
"I'm too busy next year. Maybe the year after that," he said. "See how it goes. When it needs to happen, it will fall into place. It's more a way of life than a band for me. I’m not going to jump up there and play the songs for some money – if it feels right then it will fall into place."

Admittedly, he didn't say "over my dead body", or "when Nick Clegg becomes Prime Minister", but there's a suggestion that he's not quite so excited by the prospect of reuniting with Pete. "Maybe we'll see how things look for 2011" couldn't be a more effective brushing-off if it came with a tray to collect crumbs and was followed by a little buffing.

And I'm sure the bit about doing it for money wasn't meant to make it sound like, ooh, some other people are desperate to get back together so they can stop relying on collecting the empties at the Black Dog And Handle to scrape enough for a kebab on the way home. I'm sure.


Fame Kills is killed: Gaga/West go West

Nobody quite seems to have a plausible reason 'why', but the Kanye West/Lady GaGa Fame Kills tour has been axed.

To be fair, nobody could quite explain why they were bothering with it in the first place, so perhaps the only explanation we'll get for the axing is "someone woke up and took a good hard look at what we were doing."


Liam Gallagher instructs Carter-Ruck

Liam Gallagher is suing the Guardian over a bad review.

Yes, that's right. Liam Gallagher has instructed Carter-Ruck to sue The Guardian because its reviewer claimed he'd "unprofessionally" stormed off stage, when - rather - he was merely taking a scheduled break. The paper's review also claimed that Gallagher hadn't returned, when he actually came back on after ten minutes.

(Liam needs a ten minute break during a set? Really? Is this something he feels the need to have more attention drawn to that?)

The paper has already run an apology and a correction:

"In an earlier article 'Liam Gallagher storms out of Oasis gig' published online on 22 July 2009 we wrongly suggested that Liam Gallagher walked out of an Oasis gig and did not return disrupting the set they were performing.

"In fact Liam Gallagher only left the stage whilst his brother sang two songs as is normal during their performance and returned to continue the rest of the set.

"We apologise to Liam Gallagher for this error."

You'd have thought that would be enough, right?

Not so, reveals Press Gazette:
Gallagher claimed it was not issued on agreed terms, and did not provide the vindication to which he was entitled.

Gallagher complained the apology did to refer to paying damages [sic], was not suitably prominent, and was not linked to the website home page but appeared only as a free standing item for about 60 hours.

The writ issued to the High Court claimed Guardian News and Media made no effort to contact Gallagher, or any representative of Oasis, before the story appeared and has since failed to make offer of amends.

Does anyone really expect to see a review before it's published?

James M - to whom, thanks for the story - isn't impressed:
The fact that the Guardian reviewer was guilty of sloppy journalism is accepted by all. However, there's something rather pitiable & pathetic about Gallagher's stance. Moreover, as a commenter on this story points out, the claim that the Guardian story could put people off attending future Oasis gigs is bemusing, seeing as Noel has taken his guitar home with him

It's equally possible that the discovery that Liam spends some time off-stage might make people feel a bit more well-disposed to going to see an Oasis gig.

It's a long way from fighting the mafia in Munich bars to instructing m'learned friends to extract damages for a minor slight.


Gordon in the morning: A little drink

One of the reasons that The Sun is withdrawing its support for Labour is the boozy, woozy nature of Britain:

Booze ... the number of alcohol-related deaths and violence has soared since Labour came to office

Yes. Who else but the government should be held responsible for the increase in drinking and the belief that getting smashed is cool?

Sorry, we were drifting off topic. What's Gordon got for us this morning? Still at the MOBOs, he's reminding us that getting smashed is cool:
IT was even-stevens with two gongs apiece at the MOBO Awards for N-DUBZ and JLS.

But party animals DAPPY, TULISA and FAZER from N-Dubz put their rivals to shame with some seriously boozy aftershow antics.

The trio lasted the distance during a whisky-fuelled tear-up - while ASTON, MARVIN, ORITSE and JB peaked too early.

Presumably it was Gordon Brown himself who suggested to Gordon Smart that he should write in glowing terms about young people drinking as if the amount you can put away should be a matter of pride. Right?


The D:Ream is over

It's amusing that - having made such a fuss about no longer supporting Labour a couple of days ago - The Sun only seems to have belatedly realised it's meant to offer an alternative and actually has a "oh... we'd better say something about the Tories" this morning.

I'm sure it's not been lost on David Cameron and Andy Coulson that the tone of the Sun's coverage isn't "Cammo is the man for Britain", but rather "god, Gordon is knackered." But as Homer observed, default are the two sweetest words in the English language.

Even today, as the paper finds some room to let Dave tell us what his plans are, they're still more interested in kicking Labour than actually endorsing the Tories. And, oh, how cruel the sting of the turncoat:

THE pop star behind New Labour's anthem insisted last night Things Can Only Get Better - if voters DUMP the Party.

D:Ream singer Peter Cunnah - whose track was Tony Blair's theme tune when he swept to power in 1997 - backed The Sun as he declared: "We need to give David Cameron a chance."

The fed-up dad of two, 43, said: "It's time for a change. If Gordon Brown called me today I wouldn't sing for them again."

I suspect it's hugely unlikely that anyone would be putting in a call to D:Ream HQ for an endorsement this time round, given that next year's first-time voters would have only just been born the year the song came out and so doesn't quite have the youthful relevance it once did.

It's worth pointing out that Cunnah isn't "backing The Sun" at all, either - the paper is saying 'vote Tory' (except, confusingly, to its Scottish readers) and Cunnah... well, he isn't:
Peter said the Conservatives had to show that they offered Britain a PROPER alternative.

He admitted that currently he was frustrated at not seeing "a real choice". That was because "the Conservatives are so red and the reds are so blue".

Peter added: "I think, 'Should I use my vote?' I'm still floating."

Not quite agreeing with the


Mobos moaning: Kelly Rowland's not happy

Perhaps the only piece of comfort for Kelly Rowland - livid at the poor sound of the MOBOs stage - is that it was only the MOBOs, and so it's not like anyone would have heard her performance.

What's hilarious is the way the MOBO organisers are trying to deny there was a problem at all:

A Mobo spokesman said: "Kelly Rowland looked at the BBC's iPlayer and thought her performance was better than she initially thought when she came off stage and is completely happy with her performance."

That seems a little unlikely, given that it sounds rotten on iPlayer and - even if you could ignore the muzak-in-a-cow-shed mix, that she is pulling a face of a woman trying to hold a feisty kitten in a room full of birds throughout suggests that she wasn't comfortable while it was happening.

Her Twitter stream recorded her anger...
OK. So, I'm at the MoBo's and getting ready to have a GREAT show with David and the MoBo's F'd my sound up!!!!! PISSED!!!!!

HONESTLY, that just makes me work harder! But, what I will say is the MoBo's owe me an apology!!!! I was LIVID after the show!

I wanted you guys to be the 1st to hear it from me! rehearsals. were fine. soundcheck. was fine. performance, wad a struggle at 1st

But, I got through it!!!!!!!! So-----It happens! The next show will be Better!--------TRUST!!!!!!!!!

Poor woman. Not only was her sound awful, but it looks like her exclamation mark key is sticking too.

There is, it's worth noting, no further tweet going "oh, it looks fine on iPlayer. Chill!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"


Thursday, October 01, 2009

Embed and breakfast man: The Bravery [NSFW]

The young people do the sex.

This video is by The Bravery, and off the new album. It's not a single, it's called Hatefuck, and has naked rudery in it. In other words:

DON'T PRESS PLAY IF YOU'RE AT WORK, OR IN CHURCH, OR SHY OR WHATEVER

The Bravery - "Hatefuck" from the hassle on Vimeo.



The Bravery are at The Ogden in Denver tonight, a week too early for us.


What's a nice Girl Like You not doing on a MySpace like this?

Huge thanks to Robf for tipping me off about the post of Edwyn Collins' MySpace by his manager Grace.

It details the struggle Edwyn's had trying to offer his music for download:

At the beginning of this year I noticed that Edwyn's myspace had gone bit wonky and I tried to upload the tracks back on to the music player. His most famous track, which he owns the copyright in, as he does for most of the music he's recorded in his life (preferring to go it alone than have his music trapped "in perpetuity" to use the contract language of the major record company) is called A Girl Like You. It's quite famous. Lo and behold, it would not upload, I was told Edwyn was attempting to breach a copyright and he was sent to the Orwellian myspace copyright re-education page.

It turns out that Warners was claiming copyright and - despite repeated attempts to persuade them - nobody has yet relinquished the false claim.

I'm not sure how one would even go about getting an ISP to punish Warners for this claim, even although falsely claiming ownership of something is a crime at least on a par with sharing an unlicensed file. At least unlicensed downloading doesn't preclude the legal owner from using their own material.

But it's worse than that:
A Girl Like You is available FOR SALE all over the internet. Not by Edwyn, by all sorts of respectable major labels whose licence to sell it ran out years ago and who do not account to him. Attempting to make them cease and desist would use up the rest of my life. Because this is what they do and what they've always done.

Now, people swapping files for free on the internet, they're perhaps breaching the letter of the law, but at least they're not doing it for financial gain.
Even when Edwyn was really skint at the fag end of the eighties, I remember being in Camden market and seeing some tapes of a couple of his shows on sale. I tried to buy them but the stallholder somehow knew who I was and said "free to the management." I failed to see how that guy selling tapes of Edwyn or even U2 or anybody on the list of signatories above could harm their career. But anyway, as an earlier post said, this is not really an argument worth having. The gig's up. You might as well take a position about when you want the sun to come up in the morning. It's over. Now let's get on with working out a wonderful new way for music lovers to enjoy music for free or for a small subscription that makes it legal and easy to hear ANYTHING and allows the artist to reap the rewards of such freedom of access. Viva la revolution!

Spot on. And yet the Featured Lily Coalition still seem determined to believe that if they make enough people miserable enough for long enough, they can make the sun rise in the South.


Downloadable: Florence And The Machine / The XX

You'd have to hope there isn't too much of a "you were the future - once" element to having the XX remix Florence And The Machine. It does sound good, though - RCRDLBL are doing the hosting, and the track is You've Got The Love. I wonder who'll be adding a bit of bright-eyed lustre to The XX by remixing them next year...


Embed and breakfast man: Polvo

I used to have a problem with Polvo. Whenever they'd be announced by Peel, I'd be convinced that I didn't like them. And then the record would start, and I'd remember that I did, and that I always forgot. I don't know what it was about them which left me suffering this mild amnesia. It might have been the unprepossessing name.

Now, they're back, though, and I'm able to remember that they were alright. Amd they're doing a special for Noisemakers on Noisevox.

Look:


That's Beggars Bowl filmed live at The Bell House in Gowanus, Brooklyn, that is.

And there's more:


Right The Relation. Same venue.

There's more where that came from, and an in-depth interview with the band over on Noisevox.


LaToya: Murder was the case. Or maybe stress.

It was quite clear that LaToya believed that Michael Jackson was murdered, right?

Oh... maybe not. Now she seems to have been persuaded by Paris Jackson's claims that he was worked to death:

La Toya, 53, reveals: “She said, ‘No, you don’t understand. They kept working him and Daddy didn’t want that, but they worked him constantly’. I felt so bad.”

No... hang on, it was murder:
She says: “I thought that from day one. You must understand something Michael always told me.

“He said, ‘If anything happens to me, if I die, it’s because someone murdered me. They’re trying to kill me’. It wasn’t that he was being delusional, they did this over the catalogue.

“He owned the Beatles catalogue. Most entertainers out there, he owned their music. He would say, ‘They’re going to kill me over that catalogue. It’s dangerous.’ Look what happened.”

He owned "most entertainers" music? Really? Do you want to nip off and check that before you want to decide which claim you'd like to believe?


Future of the Left, future of music

I was asked on Twitter yesterday if I was going to say anything about the UK Music advert from Monday's Guardain, which repeated (making it clear it was with permission, of course - Feargal isn't going to make a rookie mistake like Lily Allen) a blog post from Andy Falkous on Future Of The Left's MySpace blog.

It was an odd choice for UK Music to use to make its case - sure, you can see the idea of taking a smaller act, a struggling band, and sharing their frustration at the new shape of selling music. Somewhat surprisingly, I don't think the advert actually even bothered to mention the band's name, though, and just shared the full URL of the original MySpace post. Given that UK Music had probably spent more on this advert than all the promotional spend on Future Of The Left records ever, it seems a bit churlish to have not given the band a bit of a bigger mention.

But it's also odd that UK Music used a MySpace blog to make its point - for didn't MySpace build its business on wanton disregard of copyright? Oh, sure, after it had built a userbase it went legitimate, cleaned up its act and licensed in all directions. But there wouldn't be a MySpace business if its founders hadn't adopted a blind eye to the letter of copyright law in the first place. Perhaps UK Music thinks what it is doing is rejoicing over a repenting sinner, rather than suggesting it's okay to do what you like, providing you get your house in order once you've built your business. Because that would be a strange message.

Now, I love Future Of The Left, but the problem with Andy's post is that it merely reflects the problem the major labels are having - he's trying to work in a digitally-connected world using a model established to cope with the limitations of a physical product.

Most of his concerns seem to be about the leaking of the album before it was due to be released. Upsetting, certainly, but that's not a problem caused by filesharing, even if filesharing exacerbates the effect. The leaking - the original leak - must have come from someone working in the wider music business (there's no suggestion that cat burglars are lifting tapes from recording studios), which would seem to be the sort of thing that UK Music could be sorting out within its own ranks.

But it's not just people in the music industry leaking records; it's the business model that the labels and UK Music are trying to cling to that makes leaking possible. Why are you collecting tracks until you have enough to fill a 12 inch disc rotating at 33 and a third before you release them? And if you must work in "albums" of tracks, why would you leave them sitting around for ages before putting them up for sale? Don't you think that this gap between creation and distribution is just opening a window for leaking? (Although I suppose if you had an open window, it wouldn't be a leak. But you get my drift.)

More to the point, though, is this bit:

I'm not angry (in fact I
don't blame you, unless you leaked it, in which case I WILL KILL YOU),
just a little worried that the record we made will get lost amongst
the debris and leave us playing shows like we just weathered at the
laughably bad Camden Crawl this last weekend - fifteen people and a
world of disillusion.*

It doesn't give me any great pleasure to say this, but if you're only able to scrape together an audience of fifteen in Camden at the weekend, your actual problem isn't really that people are filesharing your album.


Gordon in the morning: He went to Glasgow

First, let's just be fair to Gordon Smart: He did actually bother to head off to Glasgow for the Mobos.

And - given how the winners were drawn heavily from the sort of people that Smart plugs his column with when there's nobody interesting to write about - it's no wonder Gordon was thrilled. Thrilled to the point of awkwardness:


But The Sun has been pretty sniffy about the Mobos in the past - how can Gordon save face?

THE MOBO Awards have been rubbish for years.

Bizarre dubbed them the "no goes" a few years back when half the celebrity nominees failed to show up for the bash.

But this year, on my home soil in Scotland, the McMOBOs were finally something to celebrate.

It's unclear if - when writers from the English Sun travel north, they suddenly cease to believe the Tories are a good thing, in line with their newspaper's somewhat odd double-dealing, and sadly Gordon doesn't let on if he suddenly finds Cameron vapid once he's out of Northumberland.

Nor does Gordon seem to have noticed that, yes, the winners did turn up in Glasgow, but that this might be more because the prizes have gone to bands which issue press releases when one of them buys a drink in a bar or has a bad head cold.

Gordon shares an astonishing statistic with us:
It was a brave shout, considering only five per cent of urban sales come from north of Watford.

What? So - generally - people in Manchester, Liverpool and Bradford don't buy music by black artists? Or is a Scottish journalist making the Southern solecism of assuming that "anything outside London" counts as Scotland?


Mobos proudly celebrate all music of black origin, regardless of how good it is

It's perhaps indicative of how far the Mobos are from being a national staple that BBC News treats the story as one of the "TOP GLASGOW, LANARKSHIRE AND WEST STORIES" rather than an entertainment one.

Mind you, given the results, it's not surprising:

JLS and N-Dubz win two Mobos each

Really? That's the best we can do?
Accepting the award for best song for "Beat again", JLS's Marvin Humes said: "The band's success would have been inconceivable just a year ago."

It's still pretty hard to get your head around right now, Marvin.

Even the winners seem to have noticed that the prize giving seems to have spotted that there was something terribly wrong:
Speaking after the awards, N-Dubz's MC, Dappy, said rapper Tinchy Stryder should not have been overlooked.

"There's no-one like Tinchy, nobody's doing what he's doing, nobody's got his swagger," he said.

"I'm really upset. He should have won something."

Those winners in full:

Best UK: N-Dubz

Best Newcomer: JLS

Best Song: JLS, Beat Again

Best Album: N-Dubz, Uncle B

Best DJ: Trevor Nelson

Best Hip Hop: Chipmunk

Best R&B: Keri Hilson

Best International: Beyonce

Best Video: Beyonce, Single Ladies

Best Reggae: Sean Paul

Best Jazz: Yolanda Brown

Best Gospel: Victizzle

Best African Act: Nneka

JLS winning... well, anything. Whoever would have thought? Hang about... that's going to make someone happy, isn't it?


Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Metalobit: Chris Puma

The original guitarist with Brooklyn hardcore act Candiria, Chris Puma, has died, the band confirmed in a brief statement:

"The cause is not known to us, as his family did not speak of it. He leaves behind two children — 3-year-old Aislinn A'marie and 4-month-old Aidan Todd.

"Chris was a great friend to the founding members of the band, and a respected musician among his friends and peers. He was a kind and gentle person and he will be missed."

Chris was with band from formation in 1992 until 1997. He played on all the band's releases during that half-decade, including 1995's Deep In The Mental.


Happy bloomin' Christmas



While the Bob Dylan SatNav was a joke, the Christmas Album is in deadly earnest. They've even made this little film to promote it.

[via Last Year's Girl]


Mike Read! Mike Read! 275 - do I hear 285?

James P emails with a sad story about Mike Read:

Without wishing to appear as his official stalker or anything, there's a sad story in today's Mirror about Mike Read. Apparently following bankrupcy earlier this year, he's being forced to sell his record collection.

It's considered 'too valuable' to break up into single lots, and so is being sold as one item, currently valued at £750,000. It would've been £750,003.99, but the copy of 'Relax' appears to be snapped in half.

The other really strange thing about the Mirror story is that Mike Read - Pop Quiz and Radio 1 - now seems to be morphing into the other Mike Reid - Runaround and EastEnders:

According to the Mirror, the bunch of records has been valued at a million but, as James says, is being auctioned as one lot. Which seems a bit confusing - he's in serious financial trouble, and yet he's decided to sell the records in a way that will cost him a quarter of a million quid? You wonder how he ended up going bankrupt twice don't you?


Producerobit: Greg Ladanyi

Greg Ladanyi, producer, has died a week after suffering a blow to the head on-stage in Cyprus.

Twelve-times nominated for Grammy Awards, Ladanyi's work included producing The Boys of Summer for Don Henley, Jeff Healey's See The Light and Fleetwood Mac on Behind The Mask.

Greg Ladanyi was 57; he was touring with Anna Vissi at the time of his accident.


Kings Of Leon really want you to be impressed

There's an element of the needy in the latest press release that's been sent out by the Kings Of Leon:

RCA Records is very proud to announce that Kings of Leon's single "Use Somebody" has hit the #1 spot on the Top 40 Radio charts in both airplay and audience. Amazingly, this is happening exactly one year after the album Only By The Night was released. At this point, with all the radio "Use Somebody" is getting in all the formats, the song is reaching a cumulative audience of 100 million on the Hot 100. The album has sold 1.3 million copies in America to date.

It's like they can't quite believe they're this popular, either, and - having pinched themselves - they're having their people send round a letter to say "look, it's not just an optical illusion, we are really popular, sort-of, even although you don't ever meet anyone who really cares about us."

It's not entirely clear why the press people feel it's "amazing" this is happening exactly a year after the album came out. Unless they mean "amazing" in the sense of "amazing that they're still able to spin it out this long without someone seeing through them" - but surely they can't mean that, can they?


Eddie Vedder: Speed king

Eddie Vedder has revealed - to not very much surprise - that he never spends longer than 30 minutes writing a song.

From this, we can surmise that it must take Vedder about 23 minutes or so to find a pen and paper when he has an idea for a song.


Jackson estate picks fight with Heal The World

Charming. The people in charge of the corpse and likeness of Michael Jackson are suing an organisation trying to heal the world. "Heal The World" belongs, they claim, to Jackson; although his own Heal The World foundation was wound up after failing to actually do any global-healing. It's not clear if the objection is to any healing the world, or just doing it under that banner.

In other news, the estate is also planning to sue hundreds of thousands of men who have told their partners that they do no have lovers called Billie-Jean.


BPI claims 2% of BT customers are unlicensed file-sharers

The BPI has started moaning. They say they gave BT details of 100,000 customers they claim are file-sharing without permission, and BT haven't done anything with the information.

100,000? BT only has 4.8 million customers, which means the BPI is claiming 2% of their customers are filesharing to a point where something must be done. (You'll recall there's been suggestions that the music industry would only be interested in pursuing "heavy" uploaders rather than light users.)

BT have said that, much as they'd like to help, that many IP numbers are quite expensive to deal with:

Petter said he fears that the anti-piracy process could cost ISPs a staggering £365m a year – £165m a year more than the £200m the BPI says the industry will lose to online music piracy in 2009. The BT boss went on to label the BPI’s losses assessment as “melodramatic.”

Well, if the BPI are going to send so many demands, the figure of £365million isn't too extravagant - presumably Carphone Warehouse and Virgin customers would be roughly as evil, so we'd be expecting around a third of a million contacts to have to be made. That implies quite a few full-time jobs, and a lot of administration. The BPI isn't having a bit of it:
Geoff Taylor, chief executive of BPI, is now hitting back, claiming that Petter has exaggerated his figures too.[...]
“It’s shameful for a company like BT to know that a high percentage of the traffic it carries is illegal material but do nothing,” Taylor told The Mirror. “If you operate a commercial service and know it is being used to break the law, taking steps to ensure it is used legally is a cost of doing business.”

Is it? Really? Or is that rubbish? Is there any other business which expects someone else to fund the cost of its own security measures?

[Thanks to Michael M for the link]


Not here, my dear: Rick Wright's will

The Telegraph seems strangely obsessed with Rick Wright's decision to leave his ex-wives nothing in his will - is there some social mos that I've missed that you're supposed to leave money to people you've divorced?

What's more eyecatching is the amount of cash left behind by Wright:

Profits from writing, recording, performing and royalty meant that Wright was worth £23.7 million when he died a year ago from cancer at the age of 65.

I think the paper means "royalties" rather than "profit from... royalty." Wright wasn't, as far as I know, running a string of Duchesses in the Polite Cage Fighting scene.

Twenty-three point seven million. Sloshing about. It's an interesting figure, at a time when the BPI and UK Music are straining to uphold the current arrangement of the music industry, suggesting that it's file-sharers who are stopping young artists from making money. How many four-piece guitar bands could have been kept going it just half of that cash had been redirected rather than sent straight to Pink Floyd? The pile of pounds shows that the music industry really isn't working very well for most bands, but incredibly nicely for a few.


Gordon in the morning: Gordon is a Tory

Well, whoever would have thought it? After a decade of supporting the people best-placed to do Murdoch favours from Downing Street, this morning The Sun makes the shocking announcement that, henceforward, the paper will support the people best-placed to do Murdoch favours from Downing Street. In a historical leader that none of its readers will read, the Sun insists that it is time for the paper to cosy up to the party most likely to be shaping broadcasting policy for the next four years.

Oh, and some stuff about how Britain is all broken and stuff, and how bodies get left unburied and stuff. All that stuff.

And as Dominic Mohan opened the file with the words "It is vital for the country that we can tell [insert name of party leading in the polls] that we helped secure their victory" and pasted it into the paper, Gordon Smart was doing his bit for a Cameron victory by underlining the theme of broken Britain:

Amy's music-making has also come to the attention of some people far closer to home.

Neighbours in her smart London borough are tiring of her late-night recording binges.

The singer is often up until 5am warbling, and locals have begun to complain.

Can David Cameron save the poor people of the nicer parts of London?

Only time will tell.

It's not just a political realignment this morning, though, as Gordon calls for Noel Gallagher to be dropped from public life:
Take a Bow, axe Lord Noel

Yes! Let's take a bow and axe Noel Gallagher. Although what are we going to use the bow for? Oh... hang on... you mean "axe lord", don't you?
The axe Lord has teamed up with fellow Manc rocker IAN BROWN.

The duo star in a new advert for Adidas and filmed their appearances in the new campaign at an industrial estate in East London last week.

So Noel's now flogging shoes? I see.


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Warners returns to YouTube

YouTube welcome back Warners artists:

Music Licensing: It's complicated. Let's face it. But today all of that is beside the point: we are happy to announce that Warner Music Group (WMG)'s artists are returning home to YouTube. Under this new, multi-year global agreement, you will be able to discover, watch and share Warner music on the site. The partnership covers the full Warner catalog and includes user-generated content containing WMG acts.

With Warner on board, we now have artists from all four of the major music labels & publishers together with hundreds of indie labels and publishers on our platform. Warner will also be able to sell their own ad inventory and will use our Content ID technology to claim and monetize user-generated videos uploaded to YouTube by Warner Music fans. The partnership is based on a revenue share generated from the ads on the videos, and this makes good business sense for everyone involved: artists and labels can make money from their videos and the YouTube community gets to enjoy them.

But enough talk... let's get back to the rock. Warner's videos will begin appearing on YouTube in the near future.

That's from the official YouTube blog.

Why might Warner have come back?

Well... the blog entry immediately before the Warners return shows exactly what the label was risking by sitting outside:
We love to brag about successful projects that happen in our community, and so when we heard about DFTBA Records, the label that's all about acts that rose up on YouTube, run by YouTube stalwarts/songwriters Alan Lastufka (fallofautumndistro) and Hank Green (vlogbrothers), we just knew this had to be the subject of a Music Tuesday spotlight. Thus, on the homepage today is a DFTBA showcase, including a premiere of "Live on the Internet" from comedy duo Rhett & Link (cameo alert! a certain rapper appears in the video). You can also hear Hank and Alan talk about why they started DFTBA -- which, by the way, stands for "don't forget to be awesome" -- and experience a taste of their own music.

Oh... and the latest ComScore figures can't have hurt YouTube's case, either. This put Google's share of video viewing at 39.6% in August. The closest competitors - Microsoft - managed 2.2%. Warners was only hurting its artists by remaining aloof.


UK Music sharpens its points

A while back, when UK Music was being berated for suggesting that people be thrown off the internet for filesharing, Feargal Sharkey denied that anyone was saying any such thing.

Now UK Music are, erm, saying that people should be thrown off the internet for filesharing. PaidContent reports:

In its submission to the business minister’s recent consultation on his new suggestions, seen by paidContent:UK, UK Music - representing labels group BPI, AIM, BASCA, MPA, MU, PPL and PRS for Music - supports adding suspension to a list of “technical measures” which Ofcom would direct ISPs to carry out after transgressors receive warnings about their habits.

So... that meeting last week when musicians decided they'd rather support throttling than suspension? Seems to have been totally ignored. But it's not like the people who make music have anything to do with managing copyrights, is it?
UK Music is also supporting Mandelson’s proposal that Ofcom should investigate how to implement these “technical measures” (which would also include bandwidth throttling) now, rather than wait to see if a system of warning letters reduces piracy by 70 percent, as Stephen Carter’s Digital Britain paper had proposed.

Yes, dammit. Let's just rush those proposals through as a package. After all, it's easier to get people to swallow a 'something must be done' proposal, even if it contains something potentially illegal and undemocratic - if the idea of throwing families off the web because of something someone may have done had to fight for acceptance on its own, the stench of people burning their Undertones records would become a danger to public health.

There's still no proposal of anything that might make this sound a little less like Victorian factory owners arbitrarily handing out punishments, though: no suggestion, for example, that there should be anything even approaching due process before these actions are put in place.

Astonishingly, UK Music also seem quite muddy about what sort of process they want at all:
UK Music says a “limitation on the volume of notifications” is not “advisable” since “the number of notices generated by rights holders will inevitably be limited ... given the costs involved in identifying infringers and presenting evidence”. The group wants an “escalation in tone” of warning letters.

Splendid - in other words, the record labels will be able to not only act as judge and jury, but also to make up the rules.


DJ AM: Overdose - official

As the law catches up with the gossip sites, the New York medical examiner has confirmed the cause of DJ AM's death:

The medical examiner said Goldstein, a self-described crack cocaine addict, died from an accidental overdose due to the combined effects of cocaine, Oxycodone, Vicodin, Ativan, Klonopin, Xanax, Benadryl and Levamisole, a drug used to cut cocaine.

MTV are intending to press ahead with his sobriety documentary - "it's what he would have wanted" explains MTV "if, by "he", we imagine an MTV executive who is keen to not lose the chance to garner a ratings boost from the ghoulishly curious".


Downloadable: Lou Barlow

Stereogum multiplies the lo-fi effect as Lou Barlow turns in a cover of Franklin Bruno. Fi so lo, it can barely stand to be digital.


Downloadable: Sissy Wish

The lovely, lovely people over at One Track Mind are sharing a download from Sissy Wish tonight. They say:

The result is music that is blessed with both the accessibility of great pop music (Kelly Clarkson’s “Since U Been Gone” is an odd but apt bedfellow) and the inventiveness to keep it above the rest of pop pap.

It's basically more Scandinavian class. Thanks, lovely, lovely people at One Track Mind.


Staying put: Radcliffe turns down Five Live

In the radio gadabout as Radio 2 shuffles to cope with the disappearance of Terry Wogan, there had been rumours Mark Radcliffe had been going to move to take over Simon Mayo's now-vacant seat on Five Live.

That's not going to happen, reckons MediaGuardian, because Radcliffe has decided he'd quite like to carry on playing records, and he wasn't thrilled that the plum slot, doing the movie programme on Fridays, was still going to be done by Mayo.

There's something delicious - given this about a shuffle required by Chris Evans moving his show - that a major BBC show has been turned down because the presenter wasn't required to work on Fridays.


Ben Perreau to attempt to bring coherence to Global online

Ben Perreau - former editor of the online edition of NME and currently with Sky - is going to take over Global Radio's websites.

Perreau is to be director of digital content, which raises the question of what's the difference between him and his boss, Robin Pembrooke, who is director of online and interactive. Let's hope they're not also seeking a director of internet operations and a director of websites.

Still, Pemberton's appointed a good man, and even if he doesn't quite seem sure why, he's happy with his choice:

Pembrooke said: "We're thrilled to have found someone with Ben's track record of growing audiences and creating innovative online offerings for music fans. His appointment strengthens our capabilities to deliver fantastic online experiences for our listeners.

"He joins at a critical time when our brands are reaching record audiences on new platforms like iPods, mobiles and next-generation digital radios."

If they're new platforms, doesn't it stand to reason the audiences will be "record"? Even Heart isn't so bad it would manage to see an audience fall on a platform it hasn't used before.

And I'm sure Pemberton's slightly rambling-but-warm announcement doesn't really suggest that Global knew they needed to do something but were in desperate need of someone who knew what they should be doing.


Twittergem: EmSquared

Perfect ragout from Natalie Imbruglia's BBC interview from @emalyse:

"Brian Eno is someone that you don't want to sound stupid in front of, & everything he said, I was just like, 'Wow'. "


Gordon in the morning: Oh, you rate the new Williams album, do you?

Given how excitedly Smart has been pushing the new Robbie Williams record, you might have thought that he'd already heard it. But it turns out he's only just heard it. Never mind, though, as Gordon is quick to calibrate his review to justify the heralding it as second coming:

And I reckon ROBBIE WILLIAMS's eighth album, Reality Killed The Video Star, is his best since 2002's Escapology.

Gordon is quick to show us how secure Robbie's system is:
I got my hands on a Press copy of Rob's new CD which he released under the pseudonym Luke Moody to defy internet pirates.

Right. Only Williams has happily been babbling on about how Luke Moody was his pseudonym for the album for weeks, and the picture of the review copy Smart publishes clearly bears the album's real title and tracklisting featuring already discussed songtitles. So it's not really much of a security measure; admittedly, it's one step up from putting a picture of Feargal Sharkey on the sleeve.

Gordon provides a "track-by-track review" of the album. It's like being there:
7. SOMEWHERE: A 60-second string arrangement with good vocal.

Even Gordon tires of a shaky track-by-track by the end:
12. WON'T DO THAT& 13. MORNING SUN REPRISE: Rob introduces brass for the final fanfare. A rousing, upbeat finish.

Elsewhere, Gordon files a crime report:
BURGLARS have battered down the front door of GWEN STEFANI's £2.5million London pad.

Blimey - they broke into her flat?

Erm... no:
But they failed to get into her upstairs flat - and are said to have broken into an apartment downstairs instead.

Oh. So they didn't batter down the "front door" of "her pad", but broke into the building?

The headline on the story is curious, too:
Gwen is target of burglars

So they "targeted" her, by, erm, breaking into someone else's flat? Even Brighton and Hove Albion are closer on target than that.


Polka News Network: Polka lives, dammit

The Sioux Falls Argus Leader discovers that it agrees with the Grammy organisers about the decline of polka at its peril. You tell 'em about the Lake Benton Polka Fest, Mrs Erickson:

We have a motor home and stayed the entire weekend, and believe me, it was difficult finding a place to sit.

Trouble is, Sioux Falls Polka Fest has organisational problems:
We also attended the Sioux Falls fest, unfortunately, and couldn't believe how disorganized it was, with two bands playing at the same time within feet of each other separated by a cloth drape.

The dance floor was a layered paper wood, which literally became dust as you danced. I have asthma and could barely breathe.

We left after one night.

The floor turning to dust as people danced might not be good for the respiratory system, true, but answer us this, Grammy organisers: has U2 ever made anyone dance so much the floor vapourised?


Monday, September 28, 2009

Alice In Chains compare filesharing to rape

Who knew there was something more ridiculous than comparing filesharing to stealing? Sean Kinney from Alice In Chains suggests it's more akin to prison rape:

"You know it's gonna happen 'cause it's part of (how the industry now works), but you just hope it doesn't happen too far in advance.

"It's nothing unique (but) we hadn't been through it, 'cause we hadn't made a record in 14 years, so I think that's the initial shock. It's like, 'What?'

"It's like going to prison - you're know you're gonna get raped, but you're not ready for it. You think you're all prepared for it, but you're not really prepared for how violent that rape is. It's like, 'Wow! He's really giving it to me.'"

Not, of course, that anyone is taking anything out of proportion or anything. Not at all.


Cerys Matthews new release

There was a time when a new single from Cerys Matthews would have got a lot more attention than a polite mention on her MySpace blog.


Buy from Amazon


Downloadable: School Of Seven Bells

School Of Seven Bells are about to throw out a buffed-up version of Alpinisms - with b-sides and stuff to pad it out. In a bid to tempt you to buy an album you might already own, they're offering a free iamundernodisguise alternate version mp3. To persuade you there's enough new worth having, I guess.


Downloadable: Metronomy

It's Metronomy. It's free. It's remixed by Wild Geese. It's from RCRD LBL. It's yours, right?


It's the two-week 80s Halloween tour

Next month, in the run-up to Halloween, the 80s Matchbox B-Line Disaster are going to have a comeback horror tour type thing. Dates ahoy:

Sun 18 Cardiff Barfly
Mon 19 Manchester Night & Day
Tue 20 Derby Rockhouse
Thu 22 Brighton Engine Rooms
Sat 24 Milton Keynes Craufurd Arms
Sun 25 Mansfield Town Mill
Mon 26 Wolverhampton Civic Bar
Tue 27 Crewe The Box
Wed 28 Newcastle Cluny
Thu 29 Carlisle Brickyard
Sat 31 Leeds Rocket


Drummerobit: Beau Velasco

The drummer with Death Set, Beau Velasco has died, his his management have confirmed.

Originally an Australian Gold Coast-based band, Death Set relocated to America in 2006 - first Brooklyn, then Baltimore.

Johnny Siera told the City Paper what it was about Velasco that made them the band they were:

“When I go and see a band, I want to see them going apeshit spastic,” Siera explains. “I’d try to do that in my old bands, but the other guys were just standing there. Beau was the first person I’d ever seen in our small scene that was going absolutely apeshit. I remember him picking up his amp and smashing it against things, and I just made a decision that I was going to play music with that guy. I didn’t know how or why, I just knew that I wanted to.”

The band took DIY to ridiculous extremes - Velasco slapping together old bits and pieces to allow them to make their first demo - and managed to assemble a huge following out of local gigging, some high-profile supports (Bonde De Role) a lot of singles and eps and a single album last year.

Siera shared this earlier today:
"R.I.P. my dear brother, friend and bandmate Beau Velasco. We are all so devastated that I will keep this short. We love you and you will be missed. You affected us all so much in the most positive ways. Our lives would not be as is if not for you. We love you. For all those who wish to pay their respects we will let the details known soon."

No details of the cause of death have been released.


Beatleobit: Lucy Vodden

Former classmate of Julian Lennon, and - supposedly - the non-drug inspiration behind Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds Lucy Vodden has died from Lupus. She was 46.


EU: Turn it down, Apple

Doubtless Nigel Farrage will be on the televisions now, insisting that it's every Englishman's right to bugger his hearing without being told not to by an edict from Brussels, but that's what's going to happen. The EU is going to instruct personal audio manufacturers to set a lower default sound level on devices sold in the future.


The world waits for Westwood

This evening - and it'll be marked on your year planners and wall calendars, so it comes as no surprise - Tim Westwood takes over drivetime on 1Xtra.

John Plunkett has peeked into the plans:

If you have seen the trailer for the Westwood show, then you will know he is not in the habit of taking himself too seriously. At least, I hope he isn't. "I think people take me far too seriously. Hip-hop in 2009 is about having fun with it, man." But I fear his plans for a couple of comedy characters, Russell Bendy and Dr Lover Lover, might be slightly misjudged.

With his sommelier's nose for porridge and a crew of crazy characters, surely this man is crying out for a breakfast slot? He could do it on the way home.

Westwood arrives with traffic news from 4pm this afternoon. Drivetime did for Des Lynham - can Tim survive?


Gordon in the morning: You don't listen to N-Dubz for the sense of musical history

Sweet joy for Gordon Smart today, as he finds someone with even less of a steady grip on popular culture than he has:

N-DUBZ star TULISA CONTOSTAVLOS proves she's got soul but she's no fan of THE KILLERS.

The singer confessed she had no idea the sample for the brilliant new War Child track which she features on was from All These Things That I've Done by the US outfit.

She confessed that. And asked for three other charges of not being able to tell U2 from Radiohead to be taken into consideration.
Tulisa and the rest of the Young Soul Rebelswill perform the song, I Got Soul, for the first time at Wednesday's MOBOs in Glasgow.

Ah, yes, Music of Black Origin - N-Dubz singing a song based around a Brandon Flowers piece. There's a celebration.

Still, it must be exciting for Glasgow, this week preparing to hold an event that it's pumped cash into to help shift the idea of Glasgow from being a crumbling, old-fashioned, bypassed city into something new and modern and a little multicultural. Isn't that right, Gordon?
I'll be there tapping my foot, drinking Irn-Bru and eating Tunnock's Tea Cakes.

Oh.

I suppose the good people of Glasgow can take comfort that he didn't mention hot battered confectionery. Although there's still time.

Elsewhere, Gordon manages to spin a lead article from the somewhat humdrum news that Kate Moss is now a member of the PRS.


Sunday, September 27, 2009

Deus Weekend: Slow

Recorded live in an Antwerp recording studio in 2008:



[Part of Deus weekend]


Woot-ton: Kasabian/Oasis crossover episode

Dan Wootton has the sort of story that would make Gordon Smart explode down there, most likely:

NOEL GALLAGHER will definitely maybe return to gigging by joining KASABIAN on tour.

The Mancunian rock legend, 42, is desperate to get back on the road again just a month after OASIS split.

So he has turned to Kasabian and said: 'Maybe you're gonna be the ones who save me...' from being bored.

He's agreed to appear on their upcoming UK arena tour - which kicks off in Newcastle on November 10 - and they have given him the thumbs up.

Isn't this a bit like a former Tescos Chief Executive agreeing to help out in a branch of Poundland?

More to the point, is this really what's happening?

Tom Meighan has an "exclusive" chat with Daniel, and said this:
He told me: "We've got our arena tour in November.

"Noel will be calling us up nearer the time for sure saying, 'Lads, I'm going to come perform with you on tour'.

"He's a performing machine, and loves playing live so he jumps at the opportunity whenever he can join us."

That sounds more like Tom saying "yeah, I bet Noel will want to play with us" rather than "oh, yes, he's learning the tabs from... one of our songs..." from where I'm sitting.


Deus Weekend: Sister Dew

More Deus now, and this is Sister Dew - the proper video and everything to what many people (warning - unscientific poll) consider to be their greatest single:



[Part of Deus weekend]


This week just gone

The most-popular Embed & Breakfast Man weekends so far have been:

1. MGMT
2. Cathal Coughlan
3. Stereolab
4. Joan As Policewoman
5. Echobelly
6. Amon Duul II
7. The Boo Radleys
8. The Pooh Sticks
9. Tim Burgess
10. PJ Harvey


This week, we've been thinking about these releases:


Richard Hawley - True Love's Gutter



download True Love's Gutter



Where The Action Is: Los Angeles Nuggets 1965-1968



download La Nuggets 65-68



Micah P Hinson - All Dressed Up And Smelling Of Strangers



download Smelling Of Strangers



Nick Cave & Warren Ellis - White Lunar




Stephanie Pompougnac - Hotel Costes 12




Duran Duran - Live At Hammersmith 1982



download Live Hammersmith 82



Basement Jaxx - Scars



download Scars