Saturday, November 01, 2014

Hold on and stop what you're doing

November 17th. Bo Ningen & Savages collaborations of the last couple of years are resulting in an album.

Bo Ningen and Savages announce a collaborative recording as a co-release by Stolen Recordings / Pop Noire Records on November 17th. ‘Words To The Blind’ comprises of one 37-minutes long track. Taking their cross fertilisation a step further, following occasional live appearances together and Savages’ Jehnny Beth guesting on Bo Ningen’s current album ‘III’, ‘Words To The Blind’ is an astonishing piece of work, a ‘simultaneous sonic poem’ inspired by the Dadaist concept of the ‘Simultaneous Poem’
That's later this month. That's just over a fortnight away.

What do they sound like together?

Whoever thought we'd have something in common with Usher's son?

We're both unimpressed:

Usher says his son Naviyd Ely Raymond, who turns 6 in December, isn’t impressed with the multiplatinum singer.

“He doesn’t care about what I do as much. … He’s like, ‘I’m the star. Who are you? You sing?'” Usher said in a recent interview.

“He told me the other day, he says, ‘You’re not a great singer,'” Usher, 36, continued with a laugh. His reply to his son: “What? I’m a great singer!”
To be honest, if you're son's only six and already twigged that you're not the greatest everything in the world, you've got a terrible problem there. Most sons are convinced they've been sired by a cross between Superman and Superman II until they're eight at the very least.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Brits 2015: Hosts announced

Exciting news - the hosts of next year's Brits have been announced.

It's Ant And Dec.

Sorry... I think I've got confused; that must be an old news story from the time when CD:UK was on the television. Obviously Ant And Dec wouldn't be hosting the Brits in 2015. That'd be absurd.


Hang on.

Brits chairman Max Lousada said it was "a real honour" to have them back.

"Ant and Dec are two of the most popular TV broadcasters this country has ever produced," he said.

"It's great that these two pillars of British TV will be part of a night about celebrating icons in British music."
There's a slim justification for this booking tied to the charts:
The return of Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly comes in the wake of them reaching number one last year with Let's Get Ready to Rhumble - a re-release of their 1994 hit.
That's true. But I'm not sure a novelty hit in 2013 is quite the cutting edge happening to build an event around in 2015.

More to the point, that a twenty year-old joke that wasn't funny anymore steamrollered its way to outsell all the other music around that week doesn't really send the 'British music is creative, vibrant and modern' message that the Brits is supposed to be sharing with the world.

I suppose we should be grateful that Mike Read already had a corporate gig booked for that night.

Emeli Sande returns to public life

You might have been worried about the recent non-appearance of Emeli Sande at public events. There was some concern she might have been extraordinarily rendered or something.

But she's emerged: Campaigning for West Cumberland Hospital:

The award-winning singer/songwriter publicly backed the cuts protest after visiting the county to see family, some of who live in west Cumbria. She used her Twitter account to express her support for the We Need West Cumberland Hospital campaign to her 1.2m followers.
Emeli Sande takes on Jeremy Hunt. At last, a Sande gig we can all get behind.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Little Mix take the big prize

I think that Today managed to do a piece on the Popjustice £20 Music Prize yesterday means that it's now moved beyond a thing that happens to a Vital Part Of Our Cultural Hinterland.

Although Little Mix won it this year with Move.

Which is nowhere near as good as last year's winner...

... but then what is?

Mercurys snap Twigs; Young Fathers victory doesn't really impress

Last night was the Mercury Music Prize. It's now found a home on More4, so let's hope the nominees remembered to offer some tips on redeveloping houses otherwise the regular audience would have been very confused.

This was the shortlist:

Anna Calvi – One Breath
Bombay Bicycle Club – So Long, See You Tomorrow
Damon Albarn – Everyday Robots
East India Youth – Total Strife Forever
FKA twigs – LP1
GoGo Penguin – v2.0
Jungle – Jungle
Kate Tempest – Everybody Down
Nick Mulvey – First Mind
Polar Bear – In Each and Every One
Royal Blood – Royal Blood
A golden year for the shortlist, because it's the first time both penguins and polar bears have been represented, honouring both arctic and antarctic creatures.

But it seemed fairly certain that FKA Twigs would waltz it. I would imagine she'd already ordered a new sofa from DFS expecting the cash prize to be hers.

Except that didn't happen.

Yes, Young Fathers won. And the world...?

The world wasn't so much surprised as confused.

And then decided that it must have been one of those Mercury years.

The one where they give it to a Roni Size or someone to show that it's not just about popularity.

It must suck to be in Young Fathers - "hey, guys, you've made the best album of the year and so everyone's now decided you're Speech Debelle v2.0". They're actually better than that. But that's not going to stop people complaining:

'How can this possibly be the best album if I've never heard of it' perhaps misses the point of the Mercury, which is supposed to bring under-appreciated albums to wider attention.

Mostly, though, it's been about weak jokes based on the band's name:

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Robbie Williams isn't getting any better

Well done, Robbie Williams. Through clunky mugging, you managed to make the birth of your second child all about you.

The music industry underestimated Taylor Swift

When people who work in the industry tell you how everything else has ruined their business, never forget the biggest problem is that they don't really know what they're doing.

Take how badly they misjudged Taylor Swift:

Just a couple weeks ago, industry sources were telling the music trade publication Billboard they expected Taylor Swift to sell about 750,000 copies of her new album, 1989, in its first week.
How good was that estimate?
Now, with 1989 out for just one day, Billboard says she’s likely to hit a million.
So, industry sources out by a quarter of a million copies.

To be fair to them, how could they be expected to know Taylor Swift was going to sell a million in a week? Nobody's done that since... erm, Taylor Swift did it with her last album. (Her album before that did a million, too.)

Music industry execs: they wouldn't even bother killing the goose that laid the golden egg, as they wouldn't even have realised it was laying golden eggs in the first place.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Placebo are going on a huge UK tour next year

That's really all there is to this story, apart from the observation that they're not small venues, but they're, shall we say "cosier" than the venues they played the last time they did a big UK tour:

25/02:Dublin Olympia
26/02:Belfast Waterfront Hall
28/02:Edinburgh Corn Exchange
1/03:Glasgow o2 Academy
3/03:Aberdeen Music Hall
4/03:Newcastle o2 Academy
6/03:Hull City Hall
7/03:Blackburn King George’s Hall
9/03:Leeds o2 Academy
10/03:Liverpool Guild Of Students
12/03:Manchester o2 Apollo
13/03:Sheffield o2 Academy
15/03:Norwich UEA
16/03:Leicester De Montfort Hall
18/03:Birmingham o2 Academy
19/03:Bristol Colston Hall
21/03:Bournemouth o2 Academy
22/03:Southend Cliffs Pavillion
24/03:London Hammersmith Apollo

Here's a lovely creative commons image of Brian Molko from 2007:

Image by Marinjo_zg under CC-BY licence.

Monday, October 27, 2014

UKIPtube: Farageland

As Mike Read's calypso fades into the past, here's a UKIP parody that's actually funny - Attila The Stockbroker's Clash-meets-UKIP Farageland:

The end of a long, historical mistake

Oh, we have waited for this moment:

Can it really be true? Can we get a second source?

Beady Eye formed when the leftovers of Oasis weren't thrown away quickly enough and started to become semi-sentient.

The hope is that Liam is now going to throw himself into his expensive trouser shops; the fear is that decks are being cleared to allow Oasis fans to be shaken down for a few quid on a reunion tour.

Taylor Swift hasn't done a murder but fears you'll be told she has

In an interview with Ellen, Taylor Swift has said her biggest fear is of being framed for a crime, like murder.

Of course, it's possible she's ALREADY DONE A MURDER and trying to plant the idea that she's been framed in the mind of a jury yet to be selected.


(Sidenote: Taylor Swift is excellent at being a pop star, isn't she?)

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Bookmarks: Lana Del Ray

You'd think 'why do some people dislike Lana Del Ray' would be a question too small to bother the hive mind of Quora - 'not everyone likes everything' being the answer, right? - but there's been 30-odd people so far who've had a crack at answering. Including taking a leap that involves betting that most people who dislike her are passionate fans of Genesis P Orridge, which I suspect might be overestimating their musical knowledge:

She's been blasted for such things as changing her name and perhaps having some cosmetic surgery and losing weight. Because these things are not indie, goes this reasoning. Somehow I don't think Ms. Del Rey particularly cares if she is perceived as indie, nor do I. She's too busy making interesting sounds. Furthermore, some of the same people who probably think Genesis P. Orridge is so transgressive and cutting-edge for having his boobs, eyes, teeth, lips, and taint done to look as much as possible as his deceased wife as to be unrecognizable are probably the same ones who are cutting Lana down because they think she had her lips done. Girl, please.

This week just gone

The most read October stories:

1. UKIP bungle taking down Read's racist tune
2. Bono tries an 'aw shucks' apology
3. Tom Watson wants 6 on FM
4. Ben Watt spots a scorpion
5. Glastonbury ticket servers stay up long enough to allow sell out in record time
6. Man doesn't recognise Jay-Z. MTV loses its shit
7. Video: Johnny Marr on Sara Cox
8. Mike Read explains you can't make a racist record without a funny accent
9. Douglas Carswell compares Tories to HMV
10. One Direction own a slice of 5 Seconds Of Summer

You can tell Christmas is coming by the depth of the release schedule:

Half Man Half Biscuit - Urge For Offal

Download Urge For Offal

The Orchids - Beatitude #9

Download Beatitude #9

Tindersticks - Ypres

Download Ypres

Jane Weaver - The Silver Globe

Download The Silver Globe

And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of The Dead - IX

Download IX

Scott Walker & Sun-O}}}} - Soused

Download Soused

Thurston Moore - The Best Day

Download The Best Day

Inspiral Carpets - Inspiral Carpets

Download Inspiral Carpets