Saturday, September 25, 2010

Seal values family ahead of cash, says Seal

Seal is happy to make sacrifices for his family, but does want you to know that's the reason he isn't working and nothing to do with lack of demand:

"It's successful only because we make it successful. It's not rocket science, it really isn't. It's work but it's fun. It's only hard work when you allow it to be so. You've just got to prioritise, that's all.

"Both of us have turned down huge money-making opportunities because family is more important. You have to do that as you only get one crack at this."
It's true. Heidi Klum has said no to various lucrative modelling and presenting assignments, while Seal has told Reg that he won't drive double shifts at the weekend, not even the airport runs.

Gordon in the morning: You've gotta have a system

This morning, Gordon has a pop at Harry Hill for a deadline-crunched will-this-do album title:

EARLIER this week I told you about HARRY HILL's battle to come up with a name for his new musical comedy album.

THE BEATLES' label Apple Records refused to let him call it Sgt Pepper's Volume 2.

Sadly, the best title he could dream up as deadlines crept in was Funny Times.
God, imagine that - just lobbing any old rubbish down because you had to meet a deadline.

Incidentally, doesn't it seem a bit odd that Apple could refuse Hill the title Sgt Pepper's Volume 2 (complete with knitted tribute to Peter Blake's cover)? After all, there have been numerous parodies and there's even a band doing business under the title Sergeant Pepper? It's not as if anyone would really believe that it was an actual Beatles album, is it?

Still, Gordon, what can we expect?
Harry's musical effort follows in the tradition of comedy songs by Monty Python, BENNY HILL and The Goon Show.
Ah, yes. The Goon Show. That's one for the teenagers, Gordon. Could he not think of a single comedy record made since the early 1970s?

Friday, September 24, 2010

Cher will follow you - for a price. Oh, and respect.

Yes, it might be for charity, but the Cher twitter "experience" auction still reeks of a hollow offer aimed at empty lives.

There have already been thirty bids so far, pushing the price up to $750. And for what? For this:

Cher will follow you on Twitter for a minimum of 90 days, will retweet one of your tweets and will send out a tweet including your @twitterhandle.

It will be at the celebrity’s discretion to continue following the winner beyond 90 days.

Misuse of talent connection on Twitter may result in revocation of the Follow at the Talent’s discretion. Respect for the Talent is expected at all times. The Talent has the right to refuse fulfillment of the package based on already established relationships, sponsorships or personal preference. If the package is not fulfilled, the winning bid amount will be refunded.
Respect the Talent. With a capital T. Although, clearly, nobody is respecting the potential purchaser enough to bother doing anything beyond cutting-and-pasting some boilerplate text at the bottom of the offer.

The charity is a good one, but... oh lord. This is only one step away from paying a grand on the understanding that Cher will think about you for two minutes at one point in the near future.

[via @princess_knicks]

What the pop papers say: Indie in peril

Perhaps the NME is having a little joke, slapping yet another Libertines cover on the front of an issue in which is frets over the future of indie music.

It's thinky-piece is inspired by another in Music Week, which ran some statistics suggesting "sales of rock and indie [singles] have nosedived" while urban and pop have increased. Nicky Wire's theatrical yawning over the current state of music - a tradition as old and regular as The Queen's Christmas Speech - has also been stirred into the mix.

Naturally, any subscriber to Music Week would simply shrug here; music goes through cyclical boom-and-busts; sometimes Abba does well; sometimes the sales go to Oasis.

In fact, any subscriber to Music Week would not even bother shrugging; telling the music industry that pop and urban are doing better than rock is like telling a baker demand for macaroons is up while eccles cakes are struggling; for them, it's nuances on the total sales, not really a matter of great concern.

The conflation of 'rock' and 'indie' into one great supersegment perhaps suggests part of the reason why guitars are struggling a bit down at the sales floor - they shouldn't be the same thing at all, and yet who can really argue there's a reason to treat Guns N Roses, Kings Of Leon and The Cribs as if they were different beasts? The product line has been shrunk way too far; why wouldn't you expect people to turn away?

Indie doesn't really have any useful meaning any more, except perhaps when paired with a sneering 'schmindie'; if a genre has lost any distinctiveness, of course it will look dead.

Mind you, judging the health of any type of music simply by looking at chart positions and singles sales is a bit dodgy; it's like counting the number of horseshoes sold to try and work out how many people are making journeys in the UK. The loose correlation might have meant something once, but by now, it's frankly worthless as a measure.

Look at how the NME tries to take The Cribs as a test of indie-health:

The Cribs are a case in point - up until Cheat On Me in 2009, their previous singles had all cracked the Top 40. Cheat On Me entered the charts at number 80. Their next single, this year's Housewife, debuted at 105.
There's a few things here - firstly, it assumes that all Cribs singles are equal and equally good.

Secondly, with singles sales quite low, the difference between 105 and 80 - and probably 80 and 40 - is only going to be a handful of sales.

More importantly, Housewife was a "surprise download-only single", so its relatively low sales don't really count. Oh, and none of the singles taken from the first album even troubled the Top 40. And last year's album, Ignore The Ignorant, reached number 8 and went silver, the best performance by a Cribs record yet. So the proof cited here is simply wrong, and even if it was accurate, it wouldn't prove anything anyway.

To be fair, Barry Nicholson does eventually rally his piece, quoting The Wild Beasts' Tom Fleming suggesting Music Week might be a bit irrelevant, and pointing to the buoyant live sales (albeit of The Courteeners), but he still concludes that "indie isn't dead, but it is hurting". But indie is dead, Barry. Interesting music on the margins isn't, and we should be celebrating that the plodding constraints of the mangled indie brandings are finally slipping away.

A little box suggests there's a bright future, and includes The Kings Of Leon in there. Perhaps the NME is having a little joke, like suggesting tumours might be a cure for cancer.

Not 'arf: Blackburn in; Winton out

Dale Winton's slightly awkward period at the microphone for Radio 2's Pick Of The Pops is over; Tony Blackburn is taking over. Which feels more appropriate, given that Blackburn used to do the Top 40 back when it was the Top 40.

We await TV Cream's verdict with interest.

Tim Davie proves he doesn't really know about radio

Tim Davie has had a fair chance to prove wrong those who thought flogging teeth-rotting drinks might not be a transferable skill to running radio stations. But he's not really doing that, is he?

Today, he's been talking to the MediaGuardian podcast about Chris Moyles' banging on about how he had a minor HR problem for half an hour. He doesn't think it was wrong:

"I don't think it was utterly inappropriate," Davie told the Guardian's Media Talk podcast. "I think at the end of the day, Chris is always going to be someone who speaks his mind. His listeners know that. It was a lively broadcast, he said he had a pretty rough morning, but that's what listeners expect from Moyles.

"There's a huge difference between deep editorial issues that are causing offence to the audience and whether a DJ like Chris is talking about, or frankly ranting about, something for a while. People like myself are very clear that we want to give DJs space to do their thing, that's what we do. It's different to whether there's a breach of editorial standards, where we've got to be very tough."
No, Tim. No. There's a difference between 'having a valid point', 'having an interesting rant' and 'whining about a minor adminsitrative error'. I know Davie probably wants to keep Moyles sweet, but it was a self-indulgent chunk of pity party, and it's okay to say 'he had a valid point, but my God, if he churns out another dull half-hour like this, he's going to have to worry about if he's got a job, never mind if he's getting paid'.

Bruni does Bowie

The Daily Mail is having a right old laugh at Carla Bruni's Absolute Beginners cover:

Carla Bruni is being mocked mercilessly across France after having recorded arguably the most dreadful David Bowie cover of all time.
Clearly never heard Keane doing Under Pressure down at the Mail offices, then. Or The Flying Pickets doing Space Oddity.

The Mail gleefully reprints all sorts of negative comment from around the web:
‘She should stop smoking cigars,’ adds one particularly acerbic comment on the site, in a barbed reference to the controversial pictures of Miss Bruni smoking that were featured in 1994 issue of French Vogue.
Yes, how especially acerbic to make a reference to a fifteen year-old modeling job.

There's also some bemusing suggestion that by sticking out a dodgy track for a charity record, this might somehow influence Sarkozy's chances of re-election. Because, you'll remember, the UK election swung on the quality of the overpriced handbags Samantha Cameron used to flog to the other toffs.

The key thing, surely, is that this cannot be worse than Lenny Kravitz doing Rebel Rebel. Nothing can.

Gordon in the morning: Flogging a Jed horse

More news this morning of the no-chuckle brothers:

IT'S been a year since JEDWARD came into our lives, but the oddball twins are still thriving.

Not content with making more than £1million from their success here, they are now taking over the entertainment capital of the world - LA.
Really? Has Hollywood suddenly got a shortage of halfwits?
JOHN and EDWARD GRIMES are in Hollywood this week holding meetings about shooting a new series of their TV show Let Loose In Los Angeles. Deadly.
So they're having discussions about a slightly more expensive new series for ITV2. That's not taking over LA. That's just misery tourism.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

John Lennon time capsule to be stuck in cupboard at JMU

Together at last - the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame and John Moores University, as some sort of time capsule thing will be stored at both to mark Lennon's 70th birthday.

With the co-operation of Yoko Ono Lennon, the three time capsules will each include; John Lennon’s entire body of post-Beatles recordings, newly restored art prints of his LP artwork, rare memorabilia, a newly commissioned essay on John’s career, plus additional key items to help preserve his legacy and spirit for future generations.

In addition to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio USA, the second Time Capsule storage location has now been named as the Liverpool John Moores University.
You've got to love that co-operation of Yoko, as if it's awfully hard to get her to agree to something to keep her lucrative brand afloat.

So it sounds like it's a box set with a couple of knobs on. Quite how this will differ from anything on the shelves of the nearby HMV isn't clear. Apart from everyone planning it still to be there in 2040, of course.
[E]ach of [the three capsules] will be re-opened in a world-wide ceremony on October 9th, 2040, the 100th anniversary of John Lennon’s birth.
One will be locked up in Cleveland; the location of the third box is still up for whoever wants it.

Now, of course, a box of just records that you can find anywhere is hardly likely to get the post-apocalypse kids excited, so will there be anything else in the box?
The general public are invited to contribute to the John Lennon Time Capsule by submitting birthday wishes, commentaries, musical performances and personal thoughts online, at After the closing date of October 1st, the fan contributions will be collated and included in the 3 Time Capsules
You've got to love that "general public" - could that be any more condescending? Maybe the original draft had "schmucks" in but they decided to soften it.

Is anyone actually clearing their diaries to turn up to see a bunch of mawkish fan mail and a tape of Imagine There's No Heaven being opened in 2040?

It's a long way off. Given the way the current government is destroying the public sector, maybe there's as much hope of Liverpool JMU being around as there is of HMV.

Skellern spotting

The first in what might be a one-item series spotting stories about Peter Skellern in the papers.

The Henley Standard is perhaps overgenerous in calling Skellern a "70s pop idol" - I think even Skellern himself would suggest his appeal wasn't that of an Osmond or a Bolan - but the story is quite a sweet one:

CHILDREN at a Wargrave theatre school have had a song written for them by a Seventies pop star.

Kate Skellern, 36, founded the Skellern School of Speech and Drama a year ago to teach stagecraft to six- to 12-year-olds.

Ms Skellern, of Clifton Rise, Wargrave, is the daughter of Peter Skellern, 62, who had hits with You're A Lady and Hold On To Love more than 30 years ago. He is now retired and lives in Cornwall.

Ms Skellern said: "My dad has written a song especially for the young children who will be attending our new classes. It doesn't really have a title but we call it the hello song."
Okay, it's stretching the truth a little to even call that a story, but as 'things that fill papers up' go, it's a nice little thought, isn't it?

Kate Bush will knock your block off, Steve

That's a song ruined, then. Steve Blacknell reckons he was Kate Bush's Man With The Child In His Eyes.

Yes, that Steve Blacknell. The Daily Mail suggests this:

Steve himself had a successful career in music and TV, and he's best known today for having interviewed Phil Collins on Concorde as the Genesis drummer 'commuted' between the London and Philadelphia stages of Bob Geldof's pioneering Live Aid concert in 1985.
But he's actually best remembered - if at all - as the bloke who did Knock Your Block Off.

Blacknell's own website, by the way, describes his filling-air-time interview with Collins thus:
a year later took a pivotal role in "Live Aid", interviewing Phil Collins on his historic transatlantic concorde flight between London and Philadelphia.
Yes, that was the pivotal part of Live Aid; right up there with Frank Partridge doing news headlines at 3pm.

So, what is the evidence that Blacknell is the Man?

He was Kate Bush's boyfriend at the time she wrote the song - she was 13 at the time; Blacknell was born six years before her. Don't do the maths.

He also has the handwritten lyrics for the song:
Steve Blacknell, 58, of Hythe, Kent, said: 'By the spring of 1975 she had become my first true love.'

'All I really knew about her was that she wrote songs, played the piano and lived in a lovely house with an equally lovely family.

'But I've been told by those around her that I was indeed The Man With The Child In His Eyes and I know that those words were given to me by someone very special.

'They say you never forget your first love and in my case it's as true as it is for anyone. It's true too that she went on to charm, enlighten and entrance people all over the world.'

'I'm proud to have known and loved her, and proud to have shared such amazing times with the genius that is Kate Bush.'
Yes, yes, I'm sure you have a small tear in your eye that you're wiping away, although given that we know about this because Blacknell has put the lyrics up for sale, you might want to feel less moved and more slightly nauseated.

Against his suggestion that he is The Man is that the song doesn't really seem to be about an actual man, and most - if not all - of Bush's work is based on fiction. Perhaps Blacknell also believes he's that there Heathcliff out of the other one.

And, perhaps more importantly, there's Kate on Swap Shop:

About five minutes in, a caller asks Kate what the song is about. "It's about men generally" she explains. To be fair, Steve Blacknell is a man, generally, but there's not any indication that the song is about a specific person at all.

Being an article on Kate, the Mail, of course, is obliged by law to suggest that Bush is some sort of weird recluse:
Kate Bush, now married to guitarist Danny McIntosh, completely withdrew from public life in 1998 following the birth of her son Albert.
Really, Daily Mail? Never mind the 2005 album and promotional stuff, who's this, then, on stage with Dave Gilmour in 2007?

Gordon in the morning: Becks defender

Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross are getting back together to generate some cheap publicity for Absolute Radio:

RUSSELL BRAND and JONATHAN ROSS will be together on the radio next month for the first time since Sachsgate.
Except, it turns out, they won't be on radio at all:
The pair will record a podcast live from Hackney, east London, for Absolute Radio.
What's the "live" doing there? Is it recorded, or is it live?

Elsewhere, Gordon's former number two and a journalist come together to rubbish the claims of the Beckham 'hooker':
There is an obvious weakness in the InTouch story: if the woman who claims to have had an on-the-meter threesome with Beckham really is a high-earning sex worker with royalty, celebrities and sportspeople amongst her regulars, why would she ruin her business for a single cheque from a US magazine?

But News International isn't going to point out that the sort of top-level prostitute who often appears in their stories is the least likely person to be spilling beans. Indeed, it suggests that maybe this is a cash cow for her:
Last night Irma was trying to cash in on her allegations. She hired an agent and set up the website to charge 60p for each picture downloaded by users.
There's nothing more shabby than salacious content behind a paywall, eh, Mr Murdoch?

Of course, what's really here is a chance to throw rocks at another publisher:
Irma's story was splashed across America's In Touch Weekly lifestyle magazine, published by German media group Bauer, which operates in 15 countries including Britain.
Two journalists and - presumably - a sub looked at that sentence and decided it needed no further work.

To a casual observer, there might be a question 'if the story is so horrific and wrong, why bother repeating it?' But, hey, there's a news angle as... erm... it might all be some sort of conspiracy:
One theory about the allegations is that they may be an attempt to undermine England's bid to stage the 2018 World Cup. Becks is one of our leading ambassadors.
Even if that was likely - and, frankly, is isn't - given that the World Cup is one of the biggest drivers of new business to prostitutes, that shouldn't be a problem, should it?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

France unleashes force of Hadopi

The French copyright industry has started to request identities of unlicensed filesharers. It's getting off to a "lowkey" start:

The scope of the operation is mind boggling. The copyright holders will start relatively ‘slowly’ with 10,000 IP-addresses a day, but within weeks this number is expected to go up to 150,000 IP-addresses per day according to official reports.

The Internet providers will be tasked with identifying the alleged infringers’ names, addresses, emails and phone numbers. If they fail to do so within 8 days they risk a fine of 1,500 euros per day for every unidentified IP-address.
So in a month or two, the ISPs might be having to cope with a million demands a week. Or handing over a million and a half Euros a week to the copyright industry.

To be honest, you can't really imagine the music and film companies have the resources to formally request all those details, nor do anything with them if they could.

Now it's coming into force, it's clear that Hadopi is as poorly thought-out and unworkable as everyone who didn't have a vested interest suggested. How soon before it falls apart in the courts?

Bookmarks - Internet stuff: John Prescott

Things you might never have expected to see: John Prescott guest blogging for The Guardian's music blog:

I know very little of Rumer. In fact it was only by chance that I came across her on Later ... with Jools Holland on BBC2 last night. She sang only one song but it moved me – right back to the 70s and the days of eight-track cartridges playing the likes of Karen Carpenter and Carole King.

She reminds me a lot of both singers, especially Karen. Like Billie Holiday, there was real sadness and longing in her voice as she sang Slow – a song about a woman having to suppress her emotions for fear of putting off a man.

Who said The Zutons can't get a hit any more?

Dave McCabe, him out The Zutons, has been convicted of assault after headbutting a guy who said that his girlfriend's fur coat made it look like she had a beard.

Sentencing will take place on October 29th; McCabe is out on bail until then but the judge warned him not to assume that means he won't be going inside later.

Is It In You? Brookes has brain tumour

So, that's why Jon Brookes collapsed, then: He's got a brain tumour.

The Charlatans' US tour has been cancelled; UK and other dates will go ahead with a temporary drummer while Brookes gets treatment.

Moyles unpaid: BBC neglect to give Chris quids

Unquestionably, it's wrong for the BBC, due to whatever administrative cock-up, to have not paid Chris Moyles since July.

Having said that: it happens quite often at the BBC when people change roles or jump contracts. It's an administrative error, not the BBC withholding the funds indefinitely. And if Moyles really is such a financial basket-case that he can't cope with the interruption, I'm sure the BBC would find a way to pay him informally and recoup later.

What you shouldn't do, in this situation, is to go on to the radio and moan about it:

For about 30 minutes from the start of his show at 6.30am, during which no records were played, Moyles railed against BBC management, accusing them of showing a "huge lack of respect" and delivering a "massive FU to me". He said he knew who was responsible for his not getting paid and branded them a "moronic div".

Moyles opened the show after the 6.30am news bulletin sounding downcast and launched into his long, rambling monologue by saying: "Do you know what, I wasn't going to come in today. I hate the fact I've been put into a position by Radio 1 and the BBC that I don't want to be in.

"I'm very very angry, very very angry or being put into this position. I can't tell you how furious I am. I haven't been paid since the end of July and no-one cares about it. No one's bothered."

After being quizzed by his team why he was feeling so low, Moyles said: "Yesterday I thought why should I even bother hauling myself out of bed at 5.30am, 5.45am. Why should I bother if they can't be bothered?"

He continued: "They can't be bothered to pay me. Why should I come in? It's a two way street. What annoys me is the fact I mentioned it to people this week. Fix it, just get it fixed. It's a huge lack of respect and a massive FU to me. 'It doesn't matter'? Really? It's for free? I love my job, don't get me wrong I love my job."
It's not a huge lack of respect. Not in the way that, say, slagging off your employer when you're supposed to be working is.

Moyles then moves on:
"It's to do with our new contracts. Some dope, I pretty much know who's responsible in this building. I even know the name of the moronic div. I bet you any money their ass is getting paid," he said.
Sounding at the end of his tether, Moyles said his agent Vivienne Clore "texted me last night and said you've got to do the show for the listeners, they haven't done wrong ..."

Moyles appeared to refer to his personal life – he reportedly recently split up with his girlfriend Sophie Waite and spent last night sleeping on a friend's sofa – when he told listeners: "I don't need it at the moment. I don't need any more stress in my life at the moment and they know that and yet they can't be arsed. 'It doesn't matter, it's only Chris, it doesn't matter.' I've had enough. I don't need it. Every morning I'm in, like the rest of us are. Every day flogging it, working it every single day we care about this show more than anyone else on this network. We work so hard - 'Oh, youv'e not been paid, don't worry about it.'

"I know a lot of people think 'whinge, whinge, whinge'... it's respect... I'm sick of it"
Yes, it's unacceptable. And, perhaps, not turning up would be justified. But turning up and banging on? That's showing a real lack of respect for your audience.

What would you do if you went into a coffee shop and, instead of making you a coffee, the assistant instead spent twenty minutes talking about his problems with HR? Or a surgeon used time you thought for was for a consultation to whinge about trouble getting his parking space assigned.

Yes, Chris, you should be paid. But don't moan to the audience about it. It's respect. We're sick of it.

Guy Garvey sends file sharers to hell

In a slightly confused attempt to have-cake-and-eat-it, Guy Garvey has decided that some filesharers are damned, and others forgiven:

"If you genuinely can't afford music then of course you're going to rip it," the singer said.

"If you can afford it and you don't pay for it then you're going to hell and you've got your own room. Especially when it's a smaller band. There's no excuse."
In other words, damnation is now - like so much else since Cameron-Clegg got in - subject to means testing.

It's encouraging that Garvey suggests there might be shades of grey here, but that raises more questions than it answers. Is it worse for a banker to download a single track he could afford than a bloke on benefits taking 150? And what if the banker downloaded Madonna but the benefits guy was polishing off unsigned acts?

And - yes, really - doesn't it all depend what "it" is when Garvey says 'don't pay for it'. Does he mean that you should pay at moment of download? Or of listen? Or each listen? Is it worse to download a track you could afford to buy but don't listen to it, than downloading one you can afford and playing it 150 times?

If you download a song when you're on the dole, but continue to listen to it when you find a job, is that bad? And is that worse than if you buy a song because the artist is struggling, but the artist then starts to thrive at Elton John levels and doesn't then refund the cash?

Garvey then - he thinks - moves on to a different subject, which is actually the same:
He added that he felt his band were in a privileged position 20 years into their career to now have a supportive record label.

"You come across people [record labels] who've dropped Elbow all the time. If you throw a rock in London you'll hit one.

"We're lucky to have a paymaster in the current climate. It's not lost on us."
But Guy, all the "paymasters" are doing is managing the money. Your paymasters are actually the people who buy your records. The labels are middle-management. And - given that in twenty years you've been mucked about so much - don't you think it at least interesting that the clearly flawed industry of the previous years has changed just as you find a label happy to work with you and a public that is able to discover you?

I think your hell might be looking for the wrong people, don't you?

Bono: Buying cookies for the starving millions

It's easy to point and scoff at Bono, but you'd have to admit, looking at the figures from the ONE charity quoted by the New York Post, that he knows how to get charitable donations in:

The Bono nonprofit took in $14,993,873 in public donations in 2008, the latest year for which tax records are available.
Fourteen million dollars. Blimey, that's a lot of cash. That'll help with the whole eradicating poverty and fighting Aids battle, right?
Of that, $184,732 was distributed to three charities, according to the IRS filing.
Hang on a moment... what? That's about one per cent of the total. Really?
Meanwhile, more than $8 million was spent on executive and employee salaries.
The rest seems to have been pissed away on press packs and marketing, like the little stash sent to journalists covering the UN Summit on the Millennium Development Goals:
The items were part of a pricey pile of puzzling loot, which [alongside a cookie] also included a $15 bag of Starbucks coffee, a $15 Moleskine leather notebook, a $20 water bottle and a plastic ruler.

The stash came in four, oversized shoe boxes, delivered one at a time via expensive messenger.
One's defence is that it is an advocacy group, rather than doing charity work. It does say that on its website:
At ONE, we believe the fight against poverty is not about charity, but about justice and equality.At ONE, we believe the fight against poverty is not about charity, but about justice and equality.
Although it also is, erm, a charity in part: is a project of ONE Action, which is an advocacy organization under Section 501(c)(4) of the United States Internal Revenue Code. ONE Action seeks to raise public awareness about the issues of global poverty, hunger and disease and to ask our leaders to do more to fight these problems in developing countries. The ONE Campaign is our related Section 501(c)(3) charitable and educational organization.
So, it's not about charity, but it has a charitable organization. That's clear, then.

There's nothing constitutionally wrong about what One is doing, but that suggests there's a problem with the way One is constituted.

A grassroots advocacy campaign. Which takes in donations and turns them into free, expensive swag for journalists. Millions of dollars spent advocating writers have a nice coffee break with a delicious cookie. All a little rum, isn't it?

[Thanks to Karl T and Michael M for the link]

Gordon in the morning: Science with the Professor

Given that apps have been around for ages now, you'd have thought that the Sun would have just launched its Bizarre app and started to build its audience. Instead, for some reason, it's dragging out the launch like it's a new album from U2. I'm surprised we didn't have an announcement of the name day as part of the process.

Today, then, there's an essential awkward photo promoting the thing:

Clearly, because he has Professor in his name, Professor Green is some sort of expert in mobile telephone applications, right?
PROFESSOR GREEN is one of the first famous faces to test-drive the new Bizarre app - and he was impressed with what he saw.
... although, for some reason, Gordon runs a picture of him looking confused. I'm imagining Green is asking 'why are you showing me an iPhone? Can't you show me the app itself?"

Kennedy was shot

Shaking off the traveller's dust from my boots, I'm still trying to understand the astonishing Telegraph piece where Sarah Kennedy fumes at rumours she was drunk during one of her Radio 2 programmes:

Kennedy admitted that she had done a bad edition of her Dawn Patrollers show on Radio 2 in early August, during which she had sounded slurred, but put it down to not having slept the night before.

“I wasn’t sleeping. I was grieving from two unexpected deaths and I had got into a right tiswas with my sleep. I live near Wormwood Scrubs prison and that night there had been a police helicopter with its noise and its lights. Then the police started, with their dogs. I took a sleeping pill but I overrode it. I just couldn’t sleep. But you can’t just ring the BBC and say I can’t come in.

“I agree that I sounded slurred. I have a lazy tongue, if I’m not giving it my all.”

Kennedy also blamed her Radio 2 producer, Mark Hagen, who she said had not told her there had been a problem with her show. “What’s the point of a producer if he allows you to do a bad show and go home thinking it was OK?” said Kennedy. “If the producer doesn’t say, ‘You’re sounding slurred’, what the ****’s the producer there for? We could have put records on back-to-back. That happens when people are being sick in waste baskets.”
So according to Kennedy, it's impossible to ring up and tell the BBC you're sick, but your producer will quite happily let you sit in the studio while he plays records back to back because you're too unwell to work?

I was going to have a go at Kennedy for blaming everyone but herself for her bad show, but I suppose she did at least have the grace to include her tongue as one of the many conspirators who brought her down, alongside the police, prisoners at the Scrubs, her producer, manufacturers of inadequate sleeping pills and the rest of the world. Mind you, she even makes her tongue sound like an outside agent of collusion rather than part of her own body.

In addition, Kennedy then started trying to work out who claimed she had been broadcasting drunk (apparently unaware that 'anyone who heard this or many other of her shows' is the answer to that one):
“I have no quibble with the BBC,” said Kennedy. “But please put this in your piece. I would give my two feet to know who’s got it in for me at the BBC. Is it Alan Dedicoat? I have known for an awfully long time that I have got an enemy at the BBC and I would love to know who it is.

“I go in and I smile and I do my best. I don’t do the politics. You don’t see me in Boujis. You don’t see me in The Grey Horse or wherever it is they go. Chris Moyles - I’ve never met. Dermot O’Leary - I’ve never met. Yet they’re believing in these urban myths.
She doesn't get involved in the politics. But she will happily name names to the Telegraph and insist they appear in print.

Still, she's leaving Radio 2 with her head held high:
“Sometimes you have to step away,” said Kennedy. “I walked out of Game for a Laugh, I walked out of Busman’s Holiday. You know when it’s time.”
Busman's Holiday? Surely that's just a step-up from saying 'I turned my back on the six items or less checkout in Morrisons the other day'?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Gordon in the morning: They're just like us

This is probably worth holding a front page for, then: parents watch child play football.

I'm sure Gordon Smart can explain exactly how photos of Brooklyn playing soccer don't contravene the rules about 'famous parents' not being a reason to publish pictures of children in UK newspapers, can't he?

Downloadable: Ross and Reznor

A sample for the try-some, buy-some new project from Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross:

Naturally, they hope you'll buy the lot. If not, it'll add to Reznor's collection of emails, with which he is running a lucrative viagra business.

[thanks to Michael M]