Saturday, October 20, 2012

Whatever happened to that Fred Durst sitcom, then?

When this image of Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan popped up this week, there was just one thought:

That thought was: 'who knew there was a politician who'd base his look on Fred Durst?'

That led to another thought: whatever happened to Fred Durst's sitcom? It was announced to much excitement - alright, to a sea of snark - this time last year. And yet there's no sign of it in the 2012-13 schedules. There's not even a suggestion anywhere that a pilot even got made, much less that there was enough of a project to be dropped.

Mind you, ABC have got a show lined up called How To Live With Your Parents For The Rest Of Your Life, so maybe CBS just said 'one of the other networks is doing something similar to the sitcom based on you, Fred' and moved along.

So what is Fred up to these days? Popping up at celebrity golf matches for Christian charities.

Aerosmith really like football, or cola, or something

It's not just that you can picture the marketing meeting where this idea was choke-dropped onto the table; it's the way you can see the pie-chart of "intersecting communities" being drawn on the interactive whiteboard, and hear the whooping:

Pepsi and the National Football League (NFL) announced the expansion of the Pepsi NFL Anthems program, a national campaign that brings to life originally created anthems for seven NFL teams around the league. The latest world-renowned artists to be featured in the program include one of the generation's most influential artists, Lenny Kravitz, who penned "Like a Jet" for the team he grew up cheering for in New York, and America's Greatest Rock Band AEROSMITH, staunch supporters of the New England Patriots, who have released an anthem titled "Legendary Child - Patriots Anthem".
If you're telling people it's an anthem, it probably isn't. If you're having to stick the word "anthem" in the title, what you've probably written is a jingle.

If you can stand the violent interpolation of a can of fizzy drink and a bunch of dinosaurs into enthusiasm for people playing sports, there's much more joyless clunk to be discovered in the promotion.
In an ongoing effort to amplify the intersection between sports and music, we are thrilled to add AEROSMITH and Lenny Kravitz as the newest Anthems artists," said Pepsi Director of Sports Marketing Todd Kaplan. "On top of that, the Jets and Patriots have a notorious rivalry, and we couldn't have picked a better matchup to debut our new songs and advertising campaign."
Let's not doubt for a moment that there is an intersection between sports and music, albeit one whose value sits somewhere between the Hoddle and Waddell single and that comedy record by the bloke pretending to be John McEnroe.

But why and how would one "amplify" it? To what end? And if it's such a vibrant cross-section that you think it should be shouted about, why would you have to pay people to write songs that fit it?

Joe Perry explains why Aerosmith got involved:
"This is a program the band and I were excited to get behind as it is a true representation of our allegiance to the New England Patriots and the city of Boston," said AEROSMITH frontman Steven Tyler. "There's something about the word legendary and the words New England Patriots that have an amazing ring to them. We're excited and proud to be part of that," added AEROSMITH guitarist Joe Perry.
That sentence. That one right there: "There's something about the word legendary and the words New England Patriots that have an amazing ring to them." That is the marketing project equivalent of finding dead fish washed up on the beach, a warning sign that there's absolutely nothing able to breathe in the environment.

There's something about the words 'marketing' and 'patronising bullshit' that taste a little of Pepsi, isn't there?

Friday, October 19, 2012

Kerry Katona makes the Savile story about her

Today's Guardian Lost In Showbiz is very good on how Kerry Katona attempts to make the Savile story less about the raping of children in hospitals, and more about people looking at her in a funny way:

These are described in blunt, stark prose, the better to communicate their full horror: "He looked at us in a pervy way."
That must have been horrific, especially with Atomic Kitten's wholesome image being a world away from the sexualisation of school children, right?

Madonna upsets Denver

Going to Denver so soon after the mass shootings in neighbouring Aurora and having some on-stage violent gun-related fun probably isn't the smartest of Madonna's ideas.

Even so, 9News does have a slight air of entrappy desperation in its Facebook post:

Did you go to the Madonna show last night? We not only heard she came on stage really late, but we've also gotten calls that some of the show was pretty violent. One person sent us an email saying she simulated shooting a dancer and the audience. If you went, what did you think? We're you offended?
I'm sure there will be plenty enough people offended without the need to nudge the crowd and say 'you, you must have been offended, right?'

Seriously, though: mock shooting an audience in Denver. That's some crassness right there.

No winners, I think.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Sounds like Craig Nicholls isn't having a good time of it again

The sad lurch of Craig Nicholls' life takes another sideways, backwards stumble: he's been arrested after fighting with his parents and police. The Sydney Morning Herald reports:

Nicholls was arrested and charged with five offences, including two counts of domestic assault, stalking or intimidation, resisting arrest and assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

His parents took out an AVO and he is expected to appear before Sutherland Local Court tomorrow.
All in all, it's a terrible loss for music; but what music has lost obviously doesn't compare with what Craig has lost.

Liam loves George - true. Possibly.

Apparently Liam Gallagher and Andy 'the one out of Ride' Bell were at George Michael's recent show in London, but only managed 23 minutes before heading off to the bar.

George Michael has rushed to the internet to set matters straight - although, oddly, he seems to think this reflects on Liam rather than himself:

"Please don't hold it against Liam that he popped off to the bar at Saturday's show", Michael tweeted. "He's a lovely guy and has always been really friendly to me and very complimentary about my music."

Explaining that Gallagher left the show to get away from onlookers making him uncomfortable, Michael added: "He was getting a load hassle from people who spotted him so it's not surprising he went for for a bevvy :)"
It's fair to say that Noel was the Chuckle Brother who ground the axe more smoothly with George:
"What's he trying to say?" said Gallagher.

"He's now trying to make social comment, this is the guy who hid who he actually was from the public for 20 years, now, all of a sudden, he's got something to say about the way of the world. I find it laughable.

"That's even before you get to the song, which is diabolical."
But even so, it's very sweet that Michael rushed to defend someone who turned tail and walked out of a gig, even revealing that a large swathe of the rest of the audience was so bored they'd become more interested in hassling Gallagher.

Another survey suggests filesharers are bigger music purchasers

There's some fascinating data tucked into the Columbia University study of music collections in Germany and the US.

The first, and most important thing to notice, is that people who get a lot of files they shouldn't have tend to have more files that they have paid for.

(This isn't a surprise; we've seen these reports before.)

This, though, is the bit that should make sphincters tighten in offices where music is sold:

Around 79% of 18-29 year olds have music files, compared to only 14% of those over 64.
That, then, means that one in five young Americans have no music collection at all - or at least, none that are digitised.

It could mean that the survey spoke to a surprising number of hipsters who only buy hand-woven vinyl records; or possibly that a lot of American youngsters have become unshackled listeners, happy to just suck down tracks from a streaming service like Spotify whenever they need music.

Or it could just mean that twenty per cent of American young people have decided they don't need to collect music.

That presents one hell of a structural problem if you business relies on people amassing collections of songs.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Marilyn Manson, Rob Zombie stay up too late, have tantrums

It must be galling to discover your star has faded so far that you can only fill tour venues by teaming up with other bands, so it's perhaps not surprising that Marilyn Manson is on a foul mood on his trek around the US opening for Rob Zombie.

On Friday, it all boiled over. AllMichigan reports:

"I'm going to kick his ass," said Manson, near the end of a set that lasted about 80 minutes.

Manson made the threat after he told the crowd he wished he could've been able to perform more songs.
I've never been a big fan of Zombie's, but "cutting short the number of songs Marilyn Manson playes" sounds like something from a Nobel Prize citation.

Zombie, of course, laughed it off.

No, no, he didn't:
"Some tours just don't go (expletive) together," yelled Zombie, after he told the crowd Manson didn't even attempt to "kick his ass" during intermission.

Zombie also said he was tired of Manson's "rock star (expletive)" and said something about hoping Manson enjoyed the show because it could be his last.
Apparently there was some sort of show-down after the gig; probably once they had their cocoa and went to bed everything calmed down a bit.

And the promoters? They must be delighted - far easier to sell a pantomime than two fading goths.

The Prez des res

Want to live in Elvis' house? Not the one where he died, but his Beverley Hills pad. It's just come on the market at $12.5million.

For that, you do get a home with five bathrooms - handy if a music legend has died on one, I guess - and a lot of land.

But can the agents resist the temptation to sneak an Elvis pun into the listings?

A private master suite features a large master bath and expansive closet space – plenty of room for shoes. Perhaps some blue suede ones?

AEG up for sale

AEG - the Anschutz Entertainment business, not the fridge manufacturer - is up for sale.

It's a huge business, with more sports teams under its control than the three shadiest betting syndicates put together, and a slew of venues and promotion interests.

In the UK, AEG is probably most famous for working Michael Jackson to death during the preparations for the comeback that he'd never come back from, but also cascades coins out of owning the MEN Arena and taking care of the day-to-day running of the Millennium Dome.

There's no end of super-rich types interested in buying the company and, thus, becoming major-if-shadowy types in the music and sports businesses. Reuters runs its eye over some of the people kicking the tyres:

The list of potential AEG buyers includes investment firm Guggenheim Partners LLC and private equity firms such as Thomas H. Lee Partners LP, Bain Capital LLC and Colony Capital LLC.

Biotech billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong, Los Angeles's richest person with more than $7 billion, has also said he would bid on AEG to use its sports and concert assets to promote a healthy lifestyle to LA citizens.
Given that most of AEG's assets aren't in LA, presumably Soon-Shiong is thinking that he'd do something attractive in the Target Center in Minneapolis and encourage LA residents to cycle out there to watch?

Seriously, Patrick? Using sports franchises to promote healthy lifestyles? A business which encourages people to sit down watching for long periods of time, consuming hot dogs and nachos while drinking beer from your own hats?

And yes, Bain Capital is on the list, holding out the tantalising prospect that every time you go to see a gig at the O2, you'll be helping Mitt Romney get a little richer.

Bookmarks: Jarvis Cocker

Jarvis reviews the Hunter Davis collection of John Lennon's letters for Guardian Review. In the course of it, he explains why Britpop trying to be The Beatles was a bad idea, and worries about the way everything any Beatle touches becomes an artefact:

To be fair to Davies, he does admit in his introduction that he has "rather expanded the definition of the word 'letter'". This still does not quite prepare the reader for gems such as "Degs, No Fucking George, Yer Cunt, Jack" (letter 238: Memo to Derek) or "Fred, Lights in kitchen (bulbs), Honey Candy, Kitchen Air Con is 'On Heat' (Something Wrong), Cabbage, Grape-oil (ask where), Onions, Peas (NB the Korean Shop Shells Them!), Sesame Oil, Tomatoes, Berries, Yoghurt, Hamburger Meat (for the cat!)" (letter 255: Domestic list for Fred). The Post-It Notes of John Lennon, anyone? I like mundane reality – you could say it's my specialist subject – but there's no getting away from the fact that the second of those two examples is a shopping list. Are we really so bereft of new ideas that we now wish to study the equivalent of someone's Ocado profile?

[Buy: The John Lennon letters]

This week just gone

The most-read stories from October 2012 so far:

1. Glastonbury ticket sales: still a fall-over nightmare
2. The New Statesman worries that NME is looking tired
3. Oprah rejoices at Brown, Rihanna reunion
4. Coachella pledge to dump hot dogs to snare The Smiths
5. Insurance scuppers flying Cheryl Cole
6. Life after Kenickie
7. Cheryl Cole subtly reminds us she knows the royals, like
8. Chery Lloyd dreams of collaborations
9. Would Simon Fuller buying EMI rump be such a bad thing?
10. Primark to flog CDs; that noise is HMV sobbing

These might have interested you:

Beth Orton - Sugaring Season

Download Sugaring Season

Tim Burgess - Oh No I Love You

Download Oh No I Love You

Bob Mould - Silver Age

Download Silver Age

Tift Merritt - Traveling Alone

Download Traveling Alone

Errors - New Relics

Download New Relics

Love And Money - The Devil's Debt

Download The Devil's Debt

AR Kane - The Complete Singles