Saturday, December 27, 2014

2014 Forever: August

One of the activists who campaigned at the 2012 Eurovision was arrested on bogus-sounding charges.

Apparently Ne-Yo has so much money you can pinch millions from him without him realising. Also heading to court was someone who helped out a Pink tribute act and got nothing but grief for her efforts.

Jonathan Ross returned to Radio 2; the Mail returned to Sachsgate like a dog to its own vomit.

Kanye West is the smartest man in the world, but doesn't like it when people quote his lyrics back at him. Beyonce tried to explain the elevator fight by pointing out how rich everyone involved was.

The homes of John Denver and Michael Jackson went on the market. They should get Papa Roach to help sell it.

"No photos" cried Kate Bush but everyone loved her anyway.

Design a shawl for Stevie Nicks. That was an actual thing.

The Co-Op tried to promote unsigned artists. Their customers were unimpressed. Elsewhere, a Canadian radio station decided its listeners lacked the stamina for full songs.

NME sales slid, again, as they usually do.

Jessie J went off to crack America. No news as yet. The Dominican Republic was even less welcoming to Miley Cyrus.

Turned out Hop Farm Fest wasn't properly licenced.

Who will speak up for the pigs? Shirley Manson will speak up for the pigs. And Justn Bieber can frighten off bears. But could Kate Moss frighten Justin Bieber?

Splitting: The Civil Wars; Blur; Darkside
Dropped: Morrissey
Revived: Planet X
Reforming: Blink

[Part of 2014 forever]
[Previously: July]
[Next: September]

Friday, December 26, 2014

Bookmarks: Formats

A Christmas tale of formats faded and objects discarded: A Reasoned Account of Seasonal Anthropomorphism and Hoarding:

"What does it mean to be REAL?" asked the CD one day, when they were lying prone, unalphabetized. "Does it mean live performers are pulled off the streets of New York in the 1960s and brought under the wing of an albino with Asperger?"

"Real isn't about how the albums are made or what the royalty advances were," said the LP. "It's a thing that happens when someone experiences you. When someone loves your content for a long, long time, not just as the backdrop of a car commercial, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real."

"Does it happen all at once, like a baby bird hatching out of an egg," the CD asked, "or bit by bit, like torrenting a whole HBO series?"

2014 Forever: July

Kanye West used his Wireless set to go a bit rambly, again. James Arthur asked why X Factor acts sledom appear at Glastonbury.

So shocked was he to discover that he was a tax-swerving arsehole, Gary Barlow announced an investigation to discover why he is a tax-swerving arsehole.

It was never entirely clear who was responsible for the Garth Brooks Dublin concert meltdown debacle. Probably the council. But at least they're not naming schools after Michael Jackson like Gary council are.

He hit a woman in the face, but Tim McGraw reckons he did the right thing.

Having made a big deal about being bi, Lady GaGa seemed to forget. But she is experiencing a drought right now.

Nobody told Lance Bass there was a big N'Sync best-of coming. Lloyd Cole withdrew from Spotify, although this wasn't quite as big a deal as when Taylor Swift did it. Duran Duran sued their own official fan club.

Tired of Robin Thicke, the internet fought back. Tired of reading his own shit, Professor Green tried to scrub his internet history. Harry Styles forgot to scrub his history, and Lily Allen wanted the rest of the internet removed.

To everyone's surprise, the second DAB national multiplex is still being planned for.

Louis Tomlinson turned out to not be able to buy a football club and Adele sold her haunted house and Liam Gallagher put his house with valet service on the market.

To the delight of Texans, Phil Collins handed over his Alamo collection.

The Japanese government attempted to use J-Pop to save the world.

Splitting: Death Grips
Closing: Bop

[Part of 2014 Forever]
[Previously: June]
[Next: August]

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Just in case you missed it...

It's Christmastime, and that's no time to be afraid. Unless reindeer give you the jibbers, of course.

Just wanted to say thanks to everyone who's read, commented, pointed out that I've confused Katy Perry with Kelly Monteith for the sixth time this month, taken offence, written a thinly disguised advert best price off-licence drugs help with bad things, or just simply clicked on the link expecting to see Beyonce's breasts.

Merry Christmas, one and all. Yes, Bono, even you.

2014 Forever: June

Radio One axed a lot of presenters who love music but don't have YouTube channels while the BBC decided to celebrate Brazil's rich musical heritage by getting an old Stevie Wonder song for the World Cup theme. We also had the annual moan about how many people it takes to mount a complex live outside broadcast for six channels at Glastonbury. Probably not the best time for the BBC to launch another music awards show, though.

Pharrell put on a Native American headdress, pulled down a shitstorm. Jack White tried to explain why slagging off Meg White was somehow championing her and Billy Bragg discovered being rude about Kasabian gets you called a "cunt" by the sort of people who like Kasabian.

Alfie Allen didn't appear to know about Lily Allen's supposed approach to appear in Game Of Thrones and Perez Hilton was still moaning about how Lady GaGa treats him bad.

Kanye West went down like a sandbag in a swimming pool at Boonaroo. Plans for a tour of Jesus Christ Superstar with John Lydon as Herod were dumped when it became clear nobody wanted to see that. Inevitably, another Morrissey tour turned out to be cancelled.

The BPI somehow tried to use the right to be forgotten to make a point about piracy and belatedly added streaming to the charts.

After nearly 40 years, The Ramones debut album finally went Gold.

Staind called out festival molesters. It's depressing more bands don't.

Dropped: Kylie; James Arthur
Launching: Amazon Prime music streaming
Collaborating: Sir Mix-A-Lot & Prokofiev
Quitting: Chris Moyles

[Part of 2014 Forever]
[Previously: May]
[Next: July]

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

VH1 suffers advertiser walk-outs after sneaking Sorority Sisters onto air

VH1's series, Sorority Sisters - a reality series about black sororities in the US - was snuck onto the air with little fanfare, suggesting that even the network knew in its heart that it had got it terribly wrong, but couldn't quite bring itself to cancel the whole project.

Maybe it should have done, because the reward for its horrible portrayal of black Americans is costing it heavily: advertisers are abandoning the show like it's rancid eggnog:

A spokeswoman for Hallmark confirmed that the decision was made in response to public opposition to the show. The company, Linda Odell said in an e-mail, will not advertise during the show “because of consumer reaction to the program.”

Update: 3:50 p.m.: Several other advertisers including Honda, Crayola, and JBL, a subsidiary of Harman International, have also said they are pulling their ads from the show. State Farm has responded to inquiries saying that they do not air commercials during Sorority Sisters.
And it's not just the show, either. Carmex is walking from the whole channel as a result:

Geri Halliwell is up on the latest trends

Good news, then, Geri: you can buy back the purple vinyl dress you wore on Noel's House Party in 1997.

2014 Forever: May

This month was some sort of high spot for Lee Ryan, who got drunk, arrested, and pissed in the cells. Which might not sound like a high spot, but compare it with the rest of the year.

Brotherhood Of Man could have gone to Eurovision, but chose Selsey instead. They missed all this fun.

"Get orf my land" is normally said by someone holding a gun, but at Brian May's place, it's the gunmen who get turfed off.

Britney is now, effectively, a danger to life and limb on the dancefloor, according to a lawsuit. Not a risk for Avril Lavigne, who refused to get within touching distance of fans who'd paid for photos with her.

Will I Am got a chance to say don't you know who I Am? I am I Am, but didn't.

Frank Turner started judging dog shows; Tony Hadley invented a beer and The Misfits had a row over who was allowed to flog their logo to Hot Topic.

Offered the chance to perform with a hologram of her dead brother, Janet Jackson politely declined.

Metallica were announced as headliners for Glastonbury, perhaps the only band to be announced as Reading and Glastonbury headliners in the same calendar year. (They were announced for Reading 2015 this November.)

[Part of 2014 Forever]
[Previously: April]
[Next: June]

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

2014 Forever: April

iTunes Radio. Yeah 'what', that was pretty much what the world said back in April, too. Jermain Jackman won The Voice. Yeah, we were saying 'who' back then, too.

Kylie robbed Atomic Kitten. Scarlett Johansson accidentally insulted ALL the pop stars. Avril Lavigne insulted all of Japan.

Paolo Nutini managed to upset anyone who knows about mental health issues, but compared with Terry Christian's rant about disabled people that was small beer.

As if going to see Kings Of Leon wasn't bad enough, they've started adding measles into the mix, too. Still, takes the mind off the sexism.

Jessie J decided she wasn't bisexual any more.

CNN worried that Obama might be giving special treatment to Justin Bieber.

Apparently a good way to fight piracy is to share a list of all the places it's easy to do piracy. I think they call that an educational campaign.

Samsung launched some sort of new streaming product while Spotify were all upset about something or other. And MTV launched an app that was only a bit stalkery.

Aston Merrygold backfired a prank all over his face.

It was Record Store Day - but is that a good thing? Meanwhile, everyone seemed to buy the claim that the kids are buying tapes by the shedload. Oh, and vinyl being a better audio experience than digital? that's a bit of a myth, too

IPC was sold on or spun off or something.

Splitting: RATT

[Part of 2014 Forever]
[Previously: March]
[Next: May

Monday, December 22, 2014

Grammyobit: Joe Cocker

Just heard that Joe Cocker has died at the age of 70; he'd been ill with lung cancer for quite a while.

Madonna sticks to the terrorism line, something something lizard people

Talking to The Guardian, Madonna has barely softened her claim that having her music leaked onto the internet was a form of terrorism:

Speaking to the Guardian on Sunday, the singer said she was “living in a state of terror” following the leak, adding that there was “a big possibility” they were the result of her personal computer being hacked.

“Obviously there is a person, or a group of people behind this that were essentially terrorising me. I don’t want to sound alarming, but certainly that’s how I felt. It’s one thing if someone comes into your house and steals a painting off your wall: that’s also a violation, but, your work, as an artist, that’s devastating.

“I’m an artistic person, I’m very expressive. I’m sorry if words alarm people, but that’s what it felt like. It was not a consensual agreement. I did not say ‘hey, here’s my music, and it’s finished.’ It was theft.”
Now, if she went simply with "theft", that'd be a fair description of what happened. But terrorism?

Talking at the end of a week when 140 people were killed for being at school, it would take an astonishing lack of understanding or compassion to try and make a case that simply having a few files lifted and dumped online was in any way comparable to that; would that all terrorism could be solved by simply bringing forward the presale date for an album, eh?

But having overbaked the leak, there's more grand claims lining up to be made:
Madonna unexpectedly released six tracks from Rebel Heart on iTunes, following the leak of the unfinished songs earlier in the week: the album itself is not due for release until March. She immediately reached No 1 in the iTunes chart in 36 countries, a situation she described as a miracle.
A miracle, no less. Not only do we have terrorism at one end of the scale, but the intercession of the almighty to make a popular artist able to sell music in quantities large enough to get to the top of a list of sales. Take that, Lazarus, if you thought you were the last word in miracles.

The only way this could get any more absurd would be if it turns out Madge is engaging with David Icke style conspiracy theories as well. But that'd be a step too far, right?
The six songs from Rebel Heart released thus far do not shy away from controversy: one, Illuminati, mocks the various conspiracy theories on the internet that implicate a variety of entertainers – including Jay-Z and Lady Gaga – in membership of a shadowy ruling elite.

“There’s a lot of talk in pop music right now about people saying, ‘Oh, this person’s a member of the Illuminati,’ or they’re Illuminati, or you’re Illuminati, and people’s idea that there’s a group of entertainers or very wealthy people, they’re referred to as the Illuminati, and they work behind the scenes and they control things and they’re very powerful, and there’s possibly a reference to something dark, or black magic, or something like that. And I have to say I laugh at all of those things.

“I think there are some people who don’t mind being referred to as that, but I know who the real Illuminati are, and where that word came from. The root of the word is “illuminate”, and that means “The enlightened ones”, and it came from the Age of Enlightenment, when a lot of arts and creativity flourished, from Shakespeare to Isaac Newton, to Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo: the philosophers, artists, scientists were all engaged in a kind of high level of consciousness through their work, and they were enlightening and inspiring people around the world. And those are the true Illuminati. So the purpose for writing that song was really in a way, ‘So, if you think I’m the Illuminati, then thank you very much, a compliment, because I would like very much to be part of that group, the real Illuminati, and this is what it’s not’”.
Yeah, it's like one of those magic eye pictures; if you stare at those comments for a minute or two, an actual lizard will leap out of the screen at you. "I'm delighted to be part of the Illumnait because it's actually being like Shakespeare" is very much the Masonic "I know what you are but what am I" of comebacks.

Odd, though, that Madonna doesn't seem to think that the Illuminati might be behind the terror/miracle of her leaks and sales. Wake up, Madonna. Clearly the goat lizards are pulling your strings more than you realise.

2014 Forever: March

With Ruslana on one side of the Russian invasion of Crimea, the Russians got their own pop star hero in the form of Oleg Gazmanov. Elsewhere, One Pound Fish man was arresyed for fraud.

50 Cent had some sort of app he promoted by streaming himself through it. Kiss were upset about something to do with them being induced into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame.

The VAT introduced to downloads kicked in. YouGov decided to find out who'd think Bez would make a good MP.

Paloma Faith lamented that the pop star was dead, while Bruno Mars went shopping for knock-off versions of his own CD.

The BBC chose someone who sang on a Sash track as this year's Eurovision hope. What could go wrong? Mind you, Armenia went with a homophobic, transphobic tosser.

Eliza Doolittle's label suggested she drop the Jesus reference when she went on Radio 2, and the BBC got it in the neck.

Lily Allen agreed that, yes, some of her output was docile pop rubbish; Amy Lee was thrilled to no longer be having to worry about a silly record deal.

Apparently the idea that Kylie Minogue has had sex is a shocking revelation. On the other hand, Kylie thought sexercise should be a thing.

Maximum Rock & Roll managed to restart a long-dormant battle over a thirty year old review.

Closing: The Fly; Twitter Music
Reviving: The Word podcast
Reuniting: Slowdive
Consciously uncoupling: That pair

[Part of 2014 Forver]
[Previously: February]
[Next: April]

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Ben Haenow is the Christmas Number One

A few minutes ago, Ben Haenow was named the Christmas Number One, just seven days after winning The X Factor and four days after slipping into obscurity.

Ben Whohe hit number one with a cover of a One Republic song, in a year when nobody could even summon up the energy to be that bothered about The X Factor taking the Christmas Number One slot.

It's believed the letter officially dropping him from Syco has been delayed in the Christmas mail.

2014 Forever: February

Kevin Cummins tried to stop you taking photos at gigs, and not because he makes his living doing that and you're making him obsolete. Oh, no. One Direction wanted you to stop you Tweeting, but not because they're tired of getting a million tweets every day. Oh, no.

Chris Moyles, confusingly, had been telling the tax people he made a living selling cars - he should have tried Abba's route, and glammed up to avoid tax.

It was the last Brits of the Corden era but apparently the year of Arctic Monkeys, still, at the NME Awards.

Skinny Puppy sent a bill to the US government for royalties from their use in Guantanamo torture. Panic At The Disco literally brought the house down in Atlanta.

Having made a speech about how young popstars are sometimes forced to do things they're not comfortable with, Charlotte Church then had to patiently explain that the things people were saying she did to prove she was somehow a hypocrite were the things she was thinking of when she was talking about doing things you're not comfortable with.

Even Radio 4 noticed that the NME's circulation is now parlous. Also at risk: George Michael, slightly inconvenieced in the winter floods.

Wayne Coyne and Beck had a spat, probably over who is the most quirky or whatever. Nicki Minaj managed to piss off Martin Luther King's family and friends.

Man who makes death metal music expresses surprise at low royalty rates from greeting cards and TV while Spotify seem to think they've invented radio djs.

Korn believe that Miley Cyrus is an Obama plot. Miley Cyrus asked people to not look at her bottom; Taylor Swift had to share the stage with a pair of arses.

Morrissey announced dates with Cliff and Tom Jones which nobody believed would ever happen. (They didn't.)

Bono admitted U2 were on the edge of irrelevance, but apparently didn't realise which side of it they're on.

Splitting: Aggi Doom
Coming back: Shirley Collins; Prince

[Part of 2014 Forever]
[Previously: January]
[Next: March]