Saturday, April 23, 2011

Gordon in the morning: Backstage with Britney

Gordon worries for the staff working on Britney Spears' tour:

The singer has given caterers strict instructions not to make any junk food because she's not allowed it.

Hot dogs, pizza and cookie dough ice cream have all been blacklisted.
Well, that doesn't sound too bad - after all, most of the schools left alone by the coalition adopt a similar policy. Healthy. They can scoff pizza when they get back to the hotel, right?
If that's not gutting enough, they are going to have to listen to MICHAEL JACKSON songs constantly.
Okay. THAT is cruel and unusual. And somewhat uncalled for.
She has stockpiled his tour DVDs and enlisted the help of his dance team to recreate his routines.
Given how successful the preparations for the last Michael Jackson dates went, you might be better off nomming down the cookie dough ice cream, Britney.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Bookmarks - Internet stuff: Paul Carr

As Paul Carr spends too long living on the Vegas Strip, inevitably he winds up at a wedding chapel, talking with an Elvis impersonator:

There are almost no restrictions on who is eligible for a license, except that the applicants can't be too intoxicated, and, to answer the question posed by Brian's creepy mother-fucker, they can't be "nearer of kin than second cousins or cousins of half blood". The whole process takes about twenty minutes, and is available daily from 8am until midnight. "People think you can get married in the middle of the night," says Brian, "but the marriage bureau is no longer open 24 hours..."

He rolls his eyes.

"Thank you Britney Spears".

Google coos at Spotify

Given that both Google and Spotify are caught in a perpetual dance with the labels, cha-cha-chaing around when they'd rather be launching in America, perhaps it makes sense that they've apparently been having talks about pooling their resources.

Cnet claims:

Rather than launch its own digital music service, Google is considering whether to partner with an existing service, including the likes of Spotify, to power Google Music.

According to a source with knowledge of the talks, Google has told the labels that it has begun discussions with Spotify in recent weeks, though no agreement is in place.
It might all come to nothing, but it's clearly gone far enough for Google to go semi-public about it. I think that's 'we might go dating, if we can decide between skating or dancing'.

A day with the Jesuses: Teenage Jesus And The Jerks

There were just three short years before Teenage Jesus And The Jerks went their own separate ways - one tenth the career of actual Jesus - but luckily Lydia Lunch got the band back together in 2008 which means there's some recent YouTube live footage.

There is, even more enticingly, footage of them playing in 1979:

[Buy: Shut Up And Bleed]
[Part of A Day With The Jesuses]

A day with the Jesuses: The Last Days Of Jesus

Grammar-defyingly described as "Europe's most unique deathrock band", meet Bratislava's Last Days Of Jesus. They've been dragging the last days out for about twenty years now, and you feel that there couldn't be a better argument for hurrying those suffering along.

For what it's worth, here's Corrupted:

The Last Days Of Jesus get an X-Factor of 1982.

[Buy: Alien Road]
[Part of A Day With The Jesuses]

A day with the Jesuses: Jesus Jones

Quite possibly the only band to ever have come from Bradford-On-Avon and made it fairly big in Avon, Jesus Jones were the band who made EMF seem like a credible option.

Part of Dave Balfe's Food Records, a surprising conjunction of being in the right place at the right time; a subgenre which didn't care overmuch about things like talent, coherence or style; and a marketing budget being signed off by EMI brought it all together for them.

It went to their head a bit, with the ultimate result of this romp putting Francis Fukuyama's end-of-history triumphalism into some baggy jeans and a dayglo tshirt:

Jesus Jones get an X-Factor of 'whatever happened to the Milltown Brothers, now I come to think of it'.

[Buy: Jesus Jones Best-of]
[Part of a day with the Jesuses]

A day with the Jesuses: Jesus Chrysler Suicide

It's a pun too far, isn't it? Jesus Chrysler would have just about worked, but 'Suicide' pushes it too much.

They're from Poland, and, erm, have clearly written their own Last FM biography:

Music critics immediately spotted huge potential resting in the band. As a result “Romp” received great reviews. Meanwhile the band was giving concerts all over the country among which the one with Life of Agony and Pro-Pain became particularly memorable. In 1995 the group`s second album “SCHIZOVIRUS” appeared to be a breakthrough in the band`s career. It was a huge step forward towards the more intriguing and more original sounds.
In their mind, they're The Cult; but they're really like Zodiac Mindwarp forgetting it was meant to be fun:

Jesus Chrysler Suicide get an X-Factor of 4.

[Part of a Day With The Jesuses]

Alan McGee says no to 'just the facts' Creation story

Alan McGee says he's turned down plans to film the story of Creation Records because the people who had the money wanted a factual story, and he wanted to follow Irvine Welsh's plan:

He explained that Welsh had come up with the idea to morph McGee's character with the Sex Pistols' impresario Malcolm McLaren and Andrew Loog Oldham, who managed The Rolling Stones in the 1960s.

"That to me was a 10 out of 10 idea," McGee commented. "It was going to be called something like Beyond The Eruption."
You can see why McGee want to go with a story which dumped straight narrative for something a bit more myth-making, although probably the elements we'd like to see the most are the ones that he'd care for least:

A lovely, lingering shot of piles of Legend singles under Alan's bed.

A short sequence of Are You Scared To Get Happy measuring the empty space in the middle of Creation twelve inches.

A recreation of the launch party for Kiss Me, I'm Cold.

At least ten minutes on the contract negotiations that created Elevation.

Alan McGee gurgling as Noel and Liam Gallagher honk horns and ride round and round on tricycles while, outside, over his shoulder, Piotr Fijalkowski taps the window trying to get his attention before sloping off into the rain.

Bob Geldof, hanging around.

If McGee really wants the film to merge him with some other characters, could I suggest Harry Fenner and Guy Hands?

A day with the Jesuses: Jesus Lizard

Strictly speaking, the Jesus Lizard aren't named after Jesus, but an animal which walks on water.

Given that walking on water was one of the signs of Jesus being divine, having a reptile that can do the same trick undermines him a bit, doesn't it? I don't know if there are other animals which can do his other bits of business - a sloth which brings people back from the dead; a goose able to spin out a loaf bread to feed hundreds; a koala which goes into Cathedral Gift Shops and asks "so how is this different from moneychangers in the temple, exactly?"

David Yow in full yowl was a sight almost as wonderful as a lizard running over the surface of water, don't you think?

The Jesus Lizard gets an X-Factor of ow, ow, my ears.

[Buy: Liar]
[Part of A Day With The Jesuses]

Sarah Nixey has plans

Sarah Nixey is going to be busy in May.

May 2nd, there's an ep - Brave Tin Soldiers.
May 9th, there's an album - Brave Tin Soldiers. The album.
May 24th, there's a date at the Camden Enterprise.

All this is lovely news.

A day with the Jesuses: The Revolutionary Army Of The Infant Jesus

Great lost band time. TRAOTIJ were from Liverpool, at a time when Liverpool was creating interesting and exciting bands so quickly it lost track of them almost as soon as it birthed them. Genuinely - the entire Liverpool WaveBlast scene got on a bus heading to Speke and vanished, and it wasn't until 2003 anyone realised.

There's a great piece on them on Jason Morehead's blog if you'd like to better know the band a little.

In the meanwhile, here's a picture and the band playing Shadowlands:

[Buy: Gift Of Tears - if you happen to have a hundred pounds]
[Part of a Day With The Jesuses]

A day with the Jesuses: Jesus Skins

Unlike Vaginal Jesus - who are a bunch of White Power hatboxes - Jesus Skins are, actually, skinheads for Jesus. They're called Matthew, Mark, Luke and... yes, John, and claim a fifth member, Judas, sold them out.

They really are:

Yes. That really is called Oi Oi Amen. They do say God moves in mysterious ways.

In the sort of ecumenical link-up that is so popular these days, Jesus Skins have released a split album with Jewish skinhead act Jewdriver.

Jesus Skins get a X-Factor of 2.

[Buy: Unser Kreuz Braucht Keine 1]
[Part of A Day With The Jesuses] You and me both, mate

It turns out that is sick to death of the lyrics to My Humps.

It's only taken six years for him to catch up with all other sentient life on the planet, then.

A day with the Jesuses: Jesus Loves You

Or, when Boy George met E.

The history books record that it was hearing Everything Begins With An E that led Boy George to embrace the then-new dance music, create More Protein records, adopt the pseudonym Angela Dust for writing and Jesus Loves You for recording.

Angela Dust - do you see what he did there? It sounds a bit like, oh, what's the phrase? Oh, yes, "like he's a thirteen year old boy pretending to be doing drugs".

Funnily enough, Bow Down Mister - the big hit-ish hit - doesn't sound half as annoying when viewed from 2011 as it did when it came out. It still doesn't sound great, but it has taken on the sort of warm nostalgia for the declining years of the Radio One Roadshow that The Second Summer Of Love gives off. In other words, it reminds of us a time when we hadn't realised we weren't young anymore.

Jesus Loves You gets a X-Factor of 5.

[Buy: Bow Down Mister]
[Part of A day with the Jesuses]

A day with the Jesuses: Jesus Wore Dickies

Supposedly all dead, but with a surprisingly active website and a presence on iTunes, there's meant to be a Masquerade-style hidden prize that you can find by following the clues in their album Terminal Island.

I don't believe a word of any of it.

This is the Secret Of B:

Jesus Wore Dickies get an X-Factor of 5.

[Download: Strap-On Halo]
[Part of A Day With The Jesuses]

British music publishers try to seize domain over 90 year old music

The International Music Score Library Project is many things - a wonderful public resource; an index of public domain sheet music; a good deed in an ugly world.

What it isn't - and let's be clear about this - is some sort of Pirate Bay/Napster type outfit, creating listings without considering the copyright status of what it indexes.

So it was a bit surprised when the British Music Publisher's Assocation made its domain name registrar, the supine, seize its address because it listed a link to Rachmaninoff’s Bells. Which is in the public domain in the US and Canada.

The takedown demand sent to GoDaddy contained a massive lie:

Dear sirs

We, the Music Publishers Association, take action to remove unlicensed copyright material from infringing websites.

We understand that Godaddy are the sponsoring registrar for the website http://www.IMSLP.ORG which makes available unlicensed copyright protected sheet music notation which is an infringement of copyright. By assisting this website, Godaddy are liable to pay damages for secondary copyright infringement once notice of the infringement has been given.

We therefore request that you withdraw from all associations you have with http://www.IMSLP.ORG and retract their domain name so that the website cannot be accessed.

An example of the infringing material on http://www.IMSLP.ORG is ‘The Bells’ by Rachmaninov which can be reached via: [link]

This material is copyright protected in most counties including all European countries and the USA.

Here are the registrant’s details to the best of our knowledge:

Registrant Name:Edward W. GuoRegistrant Organization:Project Petrucci LLCRegistrant Street1:205 S. Charles St.Registrant Street2:Registrant Street3:Registrant City:EdwardsvilleRegistrant State/Province:IllinoisRegistrant Postal Code:62025Registrant Country:USRegistrant Phone:+1.6186565143Registrant Phone Ext.:Registrant FAX:Registrant FAX Ext.:Registrant Email:

We have good faith belief that use of the material in this manner is not authorized by the copyright owner or the law.

The information in this notification is accurate and we confirm, under penalty of perjury, that we are authorized to act on behalf of the copyright owner of an exclusive right of that is infringed.

I would be grateful for your response detailing your undertakings by 3 May 2011.

Yours faithfully,

Jake Kirner Printed Music Publishing Administrator Music Publishers Association 6th Floor, British Music House, 26 Berners Street, London W1T 3LRDirect Tel: +44 (0)20 7637 4052Fax: +44 (0)20 7637 3929 (please confirm fax by sending me an email) the_MPA on twitter
When the ISMLP published this letter online, pointing out that it simply wasn't true to claim that the piece was in copyright in the US, how did the Music Publishers Association react?

Why, yes, the apologised, sent round a big basket of muffins and promised to be more careful in future.

Not really. The Music Publishers Assocation tried to get ISMLP to remove the takedown notice from the internet.

Eventually, the MPA realised it was in the wrong, withdrew their demands to GoDaddy and the website was back working normally. The ISMLP were graceful in their victory.

There remain questions, though.

Why did the Music Publishers Assocation send the takedown in the first place?

Did they really believe that the piece was in copyright in the US - in which case their lack of understanding of copyright law suggests they're not the right people to represent music publishers in an increasingly complicated IP environment.

Or did they know it wasn't in copyright in the US, but decided to have a crack at getting a site closed because they perceive it as an irritant to their business - in which case they'd be open to accusations of immorality and underhand tactics?

Or do they simply churn out these demands without even reading what they're putting into the post (no better than a common blogger) which suggests they're simply incompetent?

I've tried to think of an explanation that doesn't make the Music Publishers' Assocation sound like either a Keystone Cops or Luther Industries style outfit, but I really can't.

Even if there had been merit in the case, does the MPA really have so little to worry about that it has resources to burn through protecting the work of a Russian who died in 1943? The implication that there's no living, British songwriters whose work needs their protection suggests that that piracy they're so worried about is almost at an end.

A day with the Jesuses: Hookers For Jesus

There are actual hookers for Jesus. Originally, it was a code-name for flirty fishing; then some actual former sex workers picked the name for their Christ-inspired outreach work amongst not-yet-former sex workers.

The musical version of Hookers For Jesus, though, is a slightly reedy singer-songwriter from Bloomington, whose own Last FM page has little to say about him, beyond a long description of Flirty Fishing.

There are no videos, but you can listen to some songs online. Like Love.

Hookers For Jesus gets an X-Factor of 3.

[Part of A day with the Jesuses]

Gordon in the morning: Bieber and Sheen

Gordon Smart reports this morning that Justin Bieber has been voted one of Time Magazine's Top 100 people.

To be fair, Bieber recognises that this is ridiculous.

So, who would you put on the list, lil'fella? Barney The Dinosaur? Mr Maker?

"It has got to be Charlie Sheen.

"He's got a million followers in one day on Twitter - I've never seen that happen before.

"Plus he's got tiger blood and he's always winning."
Well done, Justin. You've managed to pick the only person who is less deserving of a place on any sort of list of achievement than you are.

A day with the Jesuses: The Jesus And Mary Chain

The Jesus and Mary Chain weren't really named after Jesus at all; they took their name from an offer on a box of breakfast cereal. They could, had things been different, been known as The Tom And Jerry Shrinky-dinks or 20p Off Your Next Purchase Of Special K.

They're an interesting example of the way that nobody very much cares if you call your band Something Something Jesus. True, there were a few swivel-eyed loons who wrote to local newspapers, but it really took the triple blasphemy of loud feedback, venue riots and passing Bobby Gillespie off as a drummer before people started to get up petitions.

Still, they are sublime:

The Jesus And Mary Chain get an X-Factor of 6.

[Buy: PsychoCandy]
[Part of A Day With The Jesuses]

Embed and breakfast man: A day with the Jesuses

Hey, band - looking for a name? Want something a bit edgy?

Don't go for something with Jesus in.

Sure, about forty years ago, putting Jesus' name on a band poster might have shocked and surprised people, but John Lydon was still capable of shocking people back then. But in 2011, it just looks a little desperate, like drawing a penis on your school exercise book. The best you can hope for is a light pantomime of outrage, but nobody's heart will really be in it and you just end up having to ram a massive cock into your school bag every morning for the rest of the year.

After all, in many Catholic communities, Jesus is commonly given as a name to boys and - because there's no such thing as nominative determinism - there are Jesuses all over the place who turn over liquor stores, treat their boyfriends really badly and put plastic into the paper recycling box. It's not like the idea of someone borrowing Jesus' name and doing something wrong under the banner will bring the church to its knees. Especially given that the church has managed to survive the many wrongs done under the banner of the Church over the year.

Oddly, more Anglican types don't use Jesus as a name for their kids, favouring Christian instead. The idea of using your value system as a name for your kids doesn't seem to have spread much further than this, which is why you didn't go to school with Marketsocialism Jones, Threesecondrule Brown or IftheygivemechangeforatennerwhenIonlygavethemafiverImkeepingititsnotliketescocantaffordit Pryce-Graham. Obviously, there'd never have been a Youdontneedcondomsifyouwhipitoitintime Lloyd.

But despite there being nothing inherently culture-crushing about putting the word Jesus into your band name, bands keep on doing it. There's been something of an arms race, with some of the smarter Jesus-themed acts realising they needed to weaponise their brand with another, equally-presumably-offensive idea or concept. Hence you get bands like Vaginal Jesus.

That's just drawing a cock on both sides of your maths book.

Come, then, let us spend Good Friday looking at bands who have taken Jesus' name, most often in vain.

We'll give them an X Factor (yes, this might be a half-arsed Good Friday Bank Holiday feature, but that doesn't mean it doesn't deserve a Greek pun). This number will mark the band out of 10 on how close they came to despoiling forever the good name of Christ.

I should stress this figure has absolutely no scientific basis, and is just plucked out the sky in the mistaken hope that it will provide illumination by suggesting the existence of an externalised standard against which behaviour can be judged. Which seems kind of appropriate.

I'm suspecting I won't be able to find any Satan, The Jesus Infected Needle And Blood, by the way, but I live in hope.

In a moment, we'll kick off with the Reid brothers.

The Jesus And Mary Chain
Hookers For Jesus
Jesus Wore Dickies
Jesus Loves You
Jesus Skins
The Revolutionary Army Of The Infant Jesus
Jesus Lizard
Jesus Chrysler Suicide
Jesus Jones
The Last Days Of Jesus
Teenage Jesus And The Jerks

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Indieobit: Gerard Smith

A few weeks after the band revealed he was ill, sad to report the death of TV On The Radio bassist Gerard Smith.

Smith joined the band as a full-time member in 2005, sliding in for the Return to Cookie Mountain album sessions. He was 34; his death was down to lung cancer.

There's a brief statement from the band:

We are very sad to announce the death of our beloved friend and bandmate, Gerard Smith, following a courageous fight against lung cancer. Gerard passed away the morning of April 20th, 2011. We will miss him terribly.

The following shows will be cancelled:

April 20 St. Andrew Halls, Detroit MI
April 22 Metro, Chicago IL
April 23 First Ave, Minneapolis MN
April 24 First Ave, Minneapolis MN
April 26 Ogden, Denver CO

There will be more information as it becomes available.
There's been too many good people dying too young from cancer recently.

Here's the band on Letterman in 2006:

Ten Pirates attempting to take seats

Ten candidates representing The Pirate Party of Canada are standing in their nation's general election.

They've got some lovely policies.

And a bit more on Lady GaGa taking herself too seriously...

Weird Al Jankovic asked Lady GaGa if he could do a parody of Born This Way.

Despite, you know, how she's dedicated her life to "pushing the boundaries of love and acceptance", GaGa decided she didn't love the idea and didn't accept it.

Weird Al called Fair Use, and went ahead and did it any way:

Having been thus trumped, we can read GaGa's po-face as her management have backed down and given the project their blessing. Not that they could withold it.

Let's hope, though, that Weird Al doesn't get into trouble with the musician behind the original track. Madonna can be quite a hardcase.

Lady GaGa: Not born this way

The NME has managed something of a genuine scoop this week, with Lady GaGa taking to their pages and, in the process, describing comparisons between Madonna and herself as "retarded".

Now, obviously she would want to have tried to shake off the impression that she's just imperial-phase Madonna but with added Twitter, just as desperately as plantains bristle at being described as "nothing more than a husky banana", but "retarded"? Really?

Having accidentally kicked up a storm, GaGa Inc has tried to calm things down by issuing a statement through the august offices of Perez Hilton. (Yes, it's still going.)

I consider it part of my life's work and music to push the boundaries of love and acceptance.

My apologies for not speaking thoughtfully. To anyone that was hurt, please know that it was furiously unintentional.

An honest mistake, requires honesty to make.

Whether life's disabilities, left you outcast bullied or teased, rejoice and love yourself today.
She hasn't actually said sorry for tossing the word "retarded" round like a bully in a playground, you'll note. And she's desperate for us to understand that, why, she only said a terrible thing because she's so honest.

Why, using "retarded" as a term of abuse is just because she's honest.

Hold on... what?

This statement does appear to boil down to saying "I spoke unguardedly, but it's only because I am so full of truth and so edgy I've said something that I shouldn't. Love yourself."

I think the crappy attempt to try and shore herself up is way more insulting than her original insult.

In more gathering gloom for GaGa Industries, the Guardian reports growing discontent at her self-appointed status as She Who Speaks For Gays:
But as the world lived with Born This Way, a deeper disquiet began to emerge, and the heavy-handed way that the song assumed stewardship of an entire portion of humanity began to breed real resentment, from the forums to the dancefloor to the word on the street. Fact of matter: most gay people don't consider themselves to be freaks and outsiders, as is suggested in the lyrics, but perfectly normal people whose sexual orientation just happens to be wired a certain way.
Perhaps they should, you know, rejoice and love themselves today.

Gordon in the morning: Please don't run it just because you can

Surely Gordon knows Dolly Parton was joking when she said she'd marry Harry, right?

Dolly Parton: I’ll marry Prince Harry
Only it doesn't really come across that he knows that in the way he reports the comments.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Breaking News: BT & TalkTalk call for DEA judical review rejected

BT and TalkTalk have had their call for a judicial review of the Digital Economy Act rejected by the High Court.

The ISPs have indicated they will appeal.

Mogwai on hold

Earlier this week it was the Pipettes; this week, visa problems have forced forced Mogwai to rearrange a US tour. The April dates are off; they're hoping to play in October instead.

Ticketmaster announce plans to make buying tickets even more miserable

The live music cash cow fell over and died last year, with bands and promoters and ticket agencies getting greedy and managing to kill off demand for the bit of the music industry that had been buoyant.

Clearly, something must be done.

Rather than reducing ticket prices back to a sensible level, or cutting the egregious made-up 'service' charges, Ticketmaster have decided to have a go at dynamic pricing.

Oh, yes, knowing that you'll pay £30 to see Spiggy And The Spocks clearly doesn't work any more:

The world’s largest purveyor of live-event tickets said Monday that it had partnered with MarketShare to help adjust ticket prices for its shows. Ticketmaster will begin rolling out the “dynamic pricing” sometime this year, initially for major sporting events and concerts, and for arts and theater at a later date.
Now, in theory, this could mean that gigs which are selling slowly will see their prices go down. The bit that Ticketmaster will be interested in, though, is that if a concert is doing well in sales, it can jack the price up.

For years, the only worry about a big gig has been if you'll be able to buy your tickets before the system selling them goes down. Now, you're going to need to factor in whether you're buying them at the right price or not.

Yes, make buying tickets an even more unpleasant experience, with the chance you wind up paying way over what everyone else in the room is paying. That'll bring the crowds back, Ticketmaster.

Gordon in the morning: Rum do

There's a complicated story about Matt Helders' bar, and the opening of a bottle of rum in Bizarre this morning".

Gordon suggests he bought a bottle of rum for £70, opened it, and then suddenly discovered that the bottle might have been worth £38,000. Although surely the real interest would then be in the man who sold the bottle for seventy quid in the first place?

Although it's not entirely clear this is anything other than a rum tale. Smart explains how Helders found out about his expensive mistake:

After the rum was unsealed someone at Matt's bar decided to contact the Rum Story museum in Cumbria where the spirit was originally made and found out that a similar unopened bottle fetched £38,000 when it was sold.
According to the BBC, though, the most expensive bottle of bottle of rum in the world was only worth £26,000, and a totally different type:
The drink, made by the Jamaican distillers Wray and Nephew, is worth £26,000 and is one of only four unopened bottles in the world.
To be fair, though, that was 2007, but I can't find any evidence of a more costly bottle of rum ever having been sold anywhere.

To make things even more confusing, this is the picture Gordon uses to illustrate the story:
That's, erm, a twenty quid bottle of rum.

It's not entirely Gordon's fault, as he's just copied the story straight from this YouTube video:

But shouldn't a journalist be a little more curious when presented with extraordinary facts?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Engineerobit: Roger Nichols

Roger Nichols, legendary sound engineer, has died.

Nichols won seven grammy awards in a career which saw him work in the studio with John Denver, Rickie Lee Jones and, most notably, Steely Dan.

He'd been at school with Frank Zappa, but nearly went into a totally different career. His university time was spent studying nuclear physics, and for three years he worked in a power station. But audiophilia got him in the end, and he quit in favour of working in recording studios.

Roger Nichols was 66; he died from pancreatic cancer on April 9th.

Gordon in the morning: The gravid Carey

Besides the horrible look in Mariah Carey's eyes in that naked and pregnant photoshoot - either she's already on the drugs for delivery, or she was wishing she wasn't exploiting her not-even-born-twins for a few extra dollars - the puzzle is why Gordon and his team are running a story about last week's OK Magazine cover. Hardly suggests "being at the centre of things", does it?

Monday, April 18, 2011

Embed and breakfast man: Art Brut

Here's this, just turned up on the internet: a video for Lost Weekend by Art Brut:

Downloadable: Lykke Li

Gold Panda have remixed Sadness Is A Blessing. And look, here it is:

Google should buy the music industry, says Glynn Moody

There's an interesting bit on Techdirt and opendotdotdot pointing out that Google, rather than being disgusted by the labels, could actually buy them. Without breaking a sweat.

It's not a totally original thought - at an In The City at the end of the last century I remember hearing someone pointing out that Bill Gates could buy all four major labels should he wish (assuming the competition laws would let him). Maybe he should have done - that might have given the Zune some leverage over the iPod.

Still, Glynn Moody thinks the thought again:

But that throwaway comment also raises another interesting idea: how about if Google *did* buy the music industry? That would solve its licensing problems at a stroke. Of course, the anti-trust authorities around the world would definitely have something to say about this, so it might be necessary to tweak the idea a little.

How about if a consortium of leading Internet companies -- Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, Baidu, Amazon etc. -- jointly bought the entire music industry, and promised to license its content to anyone on a non-discriminatory basis?
EMI and Warners are both up for sale right now, it's true; but it's hard to picture Google and Microsoft setting their differences aside long enough to employ Josh Groban. Nor is it clear why Baidu would want to sink its money into Western labels.

But it's a lovely idea. Unworkable, but lovely.

Phophosonic Presents...

When did the Garage become the Relentless Garage, exactly? Apart from being a rotten name - the relentless garage sounds like a late-period horror story from the pulp-paperback era - Relentless is one of those pointless drinks that tastes like liquid granny sweets.

Anyway, the venue - The Garage - is playing host to a series of gigs from Phophosonic, and that's worth holding your nose for. They start May 6th with Parallel, Buffalo Ink and Dimbleny & Capper. All for six quid.

Worth considering. Find out more on the internet.

Blocked Pipettes

Space age? No problem. Jet age? Not so simple. The Pipettes have had to rejig their US tour dates after "visa problems".

The dates are now:

April 2011

Wed 20 - New York, NY - Mercury Lounge
Thu 21 - Philadelphia, PA - North Star Bar
Fri 22 - Hoboken, NJ - Maxwell's
Sat 23 - Washington, DC - Red Palace
Mon 25 - Chicago, IL - Schuba's Tavern
Fri 29 - Vancouver, BC - Venue
Sat 30 - Portland, OR - Doug Fir Lounge

May 2011

Sun 01 - Seattle, WA - Crocodile Cafe
Tue 03 - San Francisco, CA - Rickshaw Stop
Wed 04 - Los Angeles, CA - The Satellite
Thu 05 - San Diego, CA - The Casbah

New Zealand MP wants somebody to stop her

It's not an unusual Tweet - @melissaleemp laying out her plans for the evening:

OK... Shower... Reading... and bed! listening to a compilation a friend did for me of K pop. Thanks Jay
Only trouble is, a few hours later, Melissa Lee was standing up in the New Zealand parliament, arguing for stronger sanctions against people who obtain unlicensed music.

She was surprised when people pointed out that there was a bit of hypocrisy there:
Lee defended herself by saying that the songs were downloaded legally and paid for. But unfortunately for her that doesn’t mean much. As the National Business Review points out, when a friend makes a copy of songs that were legally bought, the recipient of the ‘gift’ is still guilty of copyright infringement.
Obviously, Lee was caught out by something that everyone does - making and sharing a mixtape - is actually illegal. It's a stupid law that does nobody any good.

But if you're making copyright law, surely you shouldn't be getting "caught out" by the existing law. If we adopt the music industry's flawed "stealing CDs" metaphor, this is a bit like someone who has been joking about shoplifting records on Facebook turning up to call for new rules against thieves, and then trying to explain that her shoplifting is somehow different.

I don't think Lee is alone in making copyright law without understanding it. That's the worry.

Gordon in the morning: You'd be happier doing sports, wouldn't you, pet?

By snaffling a photo of Liam Gallagher from Twitter, Gordon found an excuse to file a report on the FA Cup semi final:

It was a triumphant day for the Blues, despite a row erupting on the pitch between their tetchy star MARIO BALOTELLI and United's RIO FERDINAND and ANDERSON.
Psst, Gordon... you're meant to be the showbiz guy?
That was probably the icing on the cake for Liam.
Still, I'm glad Gordon mentioned rivals having a pop at each other, as there's a wonderful story in the current Private Eye which could teach that pair a lesson about good sportsmanship. The Eye relates how, after the News Of The World's Stephen Moyes beat Gordon to scoop of the year at the British Press Awards, Gordon:
... [was] quick to rush over and congratulate [Moyes], and [well done] particularly for the sportsmanlike way he got very close and shouted his words of praise directly into Moyes' face lest he fail to hear him over the hubbub of the event.
It, erm, must have been the icing on the cake for Gordon.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Bookmarks - Internet stuff: The Daily Mail

Last week's Mail story about Adele being destroyed by Google has been turned into a handy inforgraphic by BrokenTV.

Service Outage: Google to wipe GoogleVideo

You've not been able to upload to Google Video for quite a while now; but if you have stuff there it's going to vanish soon. Google is switching off the service at the end of the month and are advising users to take any video they have on the site over to YouTube.

You'd have thought that Google might have been able to automate that process somehow, wouldn't you?

Bookmarks - Internet stuff: Snoop Dogg

Snoop Dogg is in Australia, and manfully agreed to meet the press for one conference. Admittedly hobbled by a long list of what they couldn't ask, the Australian press didn't really rise to the occasion. For Collapseboard, Bianca Valentino details the questions that did get taken:

I’m from Melbourne so I am an AFL fan, my team is Collingwood and we’re going for back-to-back premierships as the L.A. Lakers are and I know you have a close relationship with Russell Crowe – he’s a Rabbitohs man – I just wanted to know, in the two codes of football in Australia is there anything that you’ve taken back for your teams in your league?

Silver Sun weekend: Last Day

You see? It's the last day of the weekend, and the song is called Last Day, and... it's themed! You see? DO YOU SEE?

[Part of Silver Sun weekend]

This week just gone

First, a small apology - sorry about that video from this week - I hate autoplay video and didn't realise it was going to do that.

The most-read stories so far this month:

1. Lady GaGa tries to take photographer's rights
2. What The Pop Papers Say: The Real Ramones
3. Daily Mail claims Google is out to destroy Adele
4. Video: Stars put naked woman in video
5. HMV to be offered support to ailing record labels
6. Gordon Smart explains why he claimed there was a Stone Roses reunion that wasn't happening
7. Google 'disgusted' with major labels
8. Why don't you buy Mitch Winehouse's record? Why?
9. Pete Doherty: tortured soul or nobby?
10. Bob Dylan keeps Chinese government happy

Metronomy - The English Riviera

Download The English Riviera

Low - C'mon

Download C'mon

Mazes - A Thousand Heys

Download A Thousand Heys

Cat's Eyes - Cat's Eyes

Download Cat's Eyes

Crystal Stilts - In Love With Oblivion

Download In Love With Oblivion

Panda Bear - Tomboy

Download Tomboy

Alison Krauss - Paper Airplane

Download Paper Airplane

TV On The Radio - Nine Types Of Light

Download Nine Types Of Light

Autechre - EPS 1991-2002

Download EPS 1991-2002

Holy Ghost - Holy Ghost

Download Holy Ghost

Kate & Anna McGarrigle - Oddities

Download French Record

The High Llamas - Talahomi Way

Download Hawaii

Glastonbury resale update

This is probably as sweetly a heartbreaking tweet as you could ever expect to see, from the official Glastonbury feed:

We're getting tweets from lots of you who *are* managing to get tickets, so it is working. And there are more tickets left. Pls keep trying.
If you're having to use another service to beg your potential customers to keep trying to use your sales service, it isn't, in any sense, "working".

Glastonbury resale: It's happening now

How can you tell that the resale of leftover Glastonbury tickets is going on right now?

Because the SeeTickets infrastructure is falling over.

You can try and get on.

To be fair, at the moment it does appear to be failing gracefully, giving this message:

Sorry, this site is currently receiving very high volumes of traffic. You're seeing this holding page because we've reached the maximum number of transactions we are able to handle at one time.

You are being held at this holding page until a space on the booking page becomes available.

This holding page will automatically refresh every 20 seconds to try to obtain access to the booking page. (You can also manually press refresh if you choose.
That's some sort of improvement, I suppose.