Saturday, February 14, 2015

Venuewatch: Liverpool Lomax packed with drugs, closed down

I'm not entirely sure if the current version of the Liverpool Lomax is officially the second or third iteration of the venue - third, strictly speaking, if you consider the time the original venue closed and moved in with its bigger sibling the L2 round the back of Lime Street.

Whether you consider it Lomax v2, or v3, or v4 if you think of the L2 as actually being v2 is irrelevant now, as the police are asking magistrates to shut the police down.

They raided the place early today and... well, they didn't like what they found:

After closing the premises officers carried out an extensive search of the four-storey premises and found 10 bags of cannabis and some cocaine.
It's been a grim week for turn-of-the-century big names in Liverpool: Garlands was also raided and closed down.

Friday, February 13, 2015

NME circulation does what NME circulation does

Down again, down again: print sales have now gone below 14,000 with 13995 copies finding their way into people's hands in the second half of last year.

Topping up with digital sales brings the number up to 15,384 a week, but even digital sales aren't offering much joy: 8.5% of digital readers in the first half of 2014 had vanished by the second half. Digital was never going to take the circulation back to six figures; it's starting to look like it might not keep it above five figures.

All together, NME is down another 23% on the same period in 2013.

Q is now selling 50,161; Mojo 70,693. Kerrang - once the nip-and-tuck rival to NME lost 13.7% of circulation but remains outstripping NME by nearly two-to-one.

And the gloomiest view of the figures? MediaGuardian reminds us:

But [NME] now has just half the sales of its now defunct sister title, Melody Maker, when it was closed in 2000.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Romobit: Steve Strange

Steve Strange: Faded to grey.

His agent, Pete Bassett, said he would be remembered as "a hard-working, very amusing and lovable individual who always was at the forefront of fashion trends".

"Up until last year he was putting together a book of fashion styles based on the New Romantic movement and it comes as a great shock.

"We understood that he had certain health problems but nothing we knew was life threatening.
"His friends and family are totally shocked, we had no idea anything like this was likely to happen."
Fifty five years old; taken by a heart attack.

There will be a lot written about the New Romantic years; about Visage; about the demons and theft of teletubbies.

But lets not forget Steve's sweet re-emergence into public life when he appeared on BBC Three's Celebrity Scissorhands. It sounded like a terrible idea - a man who had clearly not long since left a bad place doing haircuts for charity - but he was the revelation of the show. Much of his work showed how creative he was, and how he could bring people together. But a silly little programme tucked away in the early evening on a digital channel showed what a lovely, lovely man he was.

Ellie Goulding is from round these parts, sort of

A whole bunch of Gloucestershire parish records have been put online, and the Gloucestershire Echo is excited:

More than three million historic Gloucestershire parish records have been published online for the first time, offering unique insight into the history and people of the area – including the relatives of pop star Ellie Goulding.
Yes, having gone through three million births, marriages and deaths, the most exciting thing they can find is that Ellie Goulding's great gran lived in the county.

Given that Goulding was only born 45 miles from Gloucester, it's not even that surprising, surely?

NME Awards 2015: Godlike, in that they're unknowable

Congratulations to Suede, winners of this year's NME Godlike Genius Awards.

You can tell that NME considers Suede to be geniuses, given that they're always on the cover.

Oh... that they have had the cover as recently as, erm, 1996.

To be fair, last year's winners, Blondie, hadn't got a front page from NME since 1986, but normally the genius being celebrated by awards is also celebrated by being given cover features - Johnny Marr had been on the front cover two weeks before he picked up the prize in 2013; as had Noel Gallagher in 2012. 2011's Dave Grohl had been part of a shared cover on the first issue of the year - but it had been four years since the Foo Fighters had got a stand alone page one. They did get two further covers in 2011, though.

It'll be interesting to see if we're about to be hit by a wave of Suede pictures on the newsstand. I'm not holding my breath, mind.

Album charts apparently still going; intend to add streaming

The addition of streaming to the singles charts gave a headache to the Official Charts Company - how do you weight a listen to a tune against the purchase of a CD?

They're now adding streaming data to the album charts, and that's created an even more Sheldon Cooper style twisting of data to make sense.

They've rejected the model used by the Billboard charts:

In the US, the Billboard chart equates 1,500 streams of any song from an album to one sale.

However, that leads to situations where the popularity of one song pushes the entire album up the chart.
(Additionally, and surely more worryingly, it means that the effort of one song is going to be counted for both the singles and album charts, which seems odd.)

So what have the UK chart counters come up with?
The Official Chart Company says it will weight its data to avoid similar situations.

It will look at the 12 most-streamed tracks from each album, then down-weight the two most popular in line with the average of the next 10.

These streams will then be added together and divided by 1,000. This "stream factor" will then be added to the physical/digital sales of the album, to produce an overall "sales figure" that determines an album's position in the countdown.
Louis Walsh was last seen heading home to see if he still had his log table.

There's nothing like a completely transparent system to make the list of best-selling album, is there?

You might ask why it's only streaming albums which get adjusted if people access them but only want to listen to two tracks? Why shouldn't physical CDs be marked down if the purchaser only makes it through the first couple of songs, or rips it to their PC but only ever plays the hits?

The album chart, like the singles chart, will ignore YouTube data completely so won't even reflect what people are really listening to.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Eurovision 2015: Canberra, can we have your v... hang on, what?

It's never been a condition of entry that your nation is in Europe to be part of the Eurovision Song Contest. You just have to be a member of the European Broadcasting Union.

So the announcement that Australia is going to send a competing song to Eurovision isn't quite as unlikely as it sounds.

Australia is an associate member of the EBU, and given that that's enough to qualify for entry, it holds out the prospect of other associates turning up. That could mean Brazil; Japan; or even a Cuba-USA head-to-head.

Participation leads to voting privileges, which means Terry Wogan is trying to work out which European country is closest to Australia so he can start complaining about block votes.

Kathleen Hanna is a monster

Well, she's actually pretending to be a monster - she's voicing the lead character in the Myrna The Monster cartoon about an alien coming to terms with growing into adulthood:

“I think just that [Myrna]’s so awkward and she seems kind of like, you know she really wants to be a part of things but doesn’t really know how,” Hanna says. She also says she can relate deeply to Myrna on that level. “I’ve always been a person who like, I make friends by doing projects. If I need friends, I start a basketball team or a band, some kind of project that involves other people. I don’t really know how to just straight-up make a friend, you know what I mean? I’ve always felt socially awkward.”
Not entirely sure how successful you could be at forming a basketball team while being socially awkward, but you get the point.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Tories silent auction gives you chance to be Great Uncle Bulgaria

You might think that the story about the Tories raising money through a silent auction was a spoof when you got to the bit about rich Conservatives bidding on tickets to see the last of The Hunger Games movie. But it's genuine.

There's going to be a plutocrat trying to get their money back when they discover that The Hunger Games has such a sad ending.

With lots like the chance to eat an entire chicken with Michael Gove and Sarah Vine, the line-up of items suggests a confusion between 'silent auction' and 'unspeakable horror', but there were a surprising number of music-related chances to bid.

Perhaps most surprisingly, there was a photo of Suggs. The catalogue describes the photo:

Portrait photograph of Suggs from Madness.
This framed photographic print of Suggs from Madness is a true collector's item. The photographer Stephen Perry has been described as a true visionary and has taken portrait photographs of the stars since an early age. Stephen claimed that he chose to keep Suggs' sunglasses on as he was still a recognisable figure with them on, although it later emerged that he had been in the pub before the shoot and was slightly the worse for wear!
What larks.

I wonder if there's another story about Suggs being in a pub that might be relevant here? How about this one:
Suggs is keen to point out that Madness were always very political. “We were socialists, and still are, to a greater or lesser extent. Our first gig at the Hope and Anchor was the night Margaret Thatcher got voted in, God help us. All that ‘there’s no such thing as society’ and what they did to the unions… We were a little society of our own and tried to create a feeling of belonging. Our House becomes authentic, even though it’s an abstract. It’s the idea of family.

“We did Red Wedge [aimed at raising political awareness among young people] with Billy Bragg, The Specials, Jerry Dammers, Paul Weller, and we did loads of stuff for the miners, benefits for the strikers and families.”
Perhaps the Tories knew all this. Perhaps using Suggs to raise funds for the Campaign to Re-elect The Shiny Porkfaced Cameron is a joke.

Or perhaps they're just inept.

Another lot is to get Mike Batt to write a song, just for you. "It could be a comic song" suggests the catalogue.

But there's a warning:
Not to be used for commercial purposes
Really? You're putting a ban on a person using something they've bought for their own personal enrichment. You've changed, Conservatives. You used to support the free market. Who knew the invisible hand gets slapped back the minute it tries to caress Mike Batt's bottom line.

There's also tickets to see Fleetwood Mac in Leeds, which could be a tribute to that time Republicans bought tickets to a Mac gig and then sold them at a mark-up to fundraise.

It's possible the whole event was some sort of too-clever-by-half in-joke.

But then all the opportunities to shoot things to death... well, that looks deadly earnest.

Twittergem: Morrissey

Jack White's fabulous rider

Jack White had a date booked at Oklahoma University. Have you ever wondered what sort of rider Jack might have?

Well, now we know. It even includes a guacamole recipe:

• 8 x large, ripe Haas avocados (cut in half the long way, remove the pit—SAVE THE PIT THOUGH--, and dice into large cubes with a butter knife. 3 or 4 slits down, 3 or 4 across. You’ll scoop out the chunks with a spoon, careful to main the avocado in fairly large chunks.)

• 4 x vine-ripened tomatoes (diced)

• ½ x yellow onion (finely chopped)

• 1 x full bunch cilantro (chopped)

• 4 x Serrano peppers (de-veined and chopped)

• 1 x lime

• Salt & pepper to taste

• Mix all ingredients in a large bowl, careful not to mush the avocados too much. We want it chunky. Once properly mixed and tested, add the pits into the guacamole and even out the top with a spoon or spatula. Add ½ lime to the top later so you cover move of the surface with the juice (The pits and lime will keep it from browning prematurely.) Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until served. Please don’t make it too early before it’s served. We’d love to have it around 5 pm.
The thing about the pit in stopping the browning is rubbish; it's the foodie equivalent of 'using an old tape machine will capture the spirit of Hank Williams'.

There's more, though:
White ends the night with a New York strip steak, cooked medium, with steamed vegetables on the side and no sauce. “This should be made/picked up just before the show ends,” according to the contract.

Hospitality for the performance must be set up and ready to go prior to the tour group’s arrival, with the exception of alcohol and deli/cheese platters. Those can wait. It’s a different story for the 36 bottles of spring water, four bottles of fresh juice smoothies, 1 pound of “freshly sliced, high-quality prosciutto and aged salami with a sharp knife,” though—all for White’s dressing room.
Man, he eats a lot of meat.

So far, so amusing - if he came round here it'd be a tub of Sainsburys hummus and a choice of pepparamis. But perhaps the student paper which ran the story mocking the rider should have paid more attention to this bit:
No photos of White in or directly outside the venue, and any reporting of the event on social media sites are discouraged until “well after the performance is over.” This is because White and the crew like privacy.
Yeah, the guy just wanted to be left alone to eat all that meat (what is he, a werewolf?) in private.

The whole 'pointing at his demands and laughing thing' isn't going to go down well, is it? Either with some New York Strip Steak.

So it proved - White has now added 'little hissy fit' to 'Carey-style demands', and the agency, William Morris Endeavor Entertainment, has put the OU on its blacklist:
The company said they won’t book anymore bands or other talents to come to OU because the article mocked Jack White and they don’t want any other artists treated that way, said Layne Ferguson, Campus Activities Council chairperson.
There's two things here - first, it was a little gentle ribbing (and we can only imagine how Jack likes his ribs) and perhaps he should be a little more resilient.

The second is the agency wants a change in policy at the OU to stop this ever happening again - but the policy of releasing documents like this, if asked to, isn't in the University's gift:
This policy refers to the Oklahoma Open Records Act, which requires any public entity of the state of Oklahoma, such as OU, to respond to request for records. OU must respond to requests for records involving the administration of public funds or transaction of public business, including budgets, faculty emails and other records.
So, it's actually a state law that public-funded bodies have to reveal details of business dealings.

Maybe they should think about suggesting artists stop making demands that make them sound like Little Lord Fauntleroy, rather than whining when people find out about it?

Grammys 2015: Manson crushes West... but not totally

The Grammys, as ever, provided a focus for bad behaviour, most of it of the uninteresting sort.

The red carpet brought this gem, the implication that Taylor Swift was there to get laid:

Meanwhile, the success of Beck upset Kanye West. Obviously, West isn't really a tiny child who can't understand why his favourites don't win; he just seems to think that his "brand" is somehow "enhanced" by pretending he's fighting for Beyonce's honour:
"Beck needs to respect artistry and he should've given his award to Beyonce."
Yeah, that's how awards work. It's like a fucking white elephant gift exchange. Perhaps they should just put all the prizes in a skip and let Kanye deliver them to the home of the person he decides is most worthy.

You know what? There's no need for the rest of us to tut at West, because Shirley Manson's taken him to pieces:
"Dear Kanye West,

"It is YOU who is so busy disrespecting artistry.

"You disrespect your own remarkable talents and more importantly you disrespect the talent, hard work and tenacity of all artists when you go so rudely and savagely after such an accomplished and humble artist like Beck.

"You make yourself look small and petty and spoilt.

"In attempting to reduce the importance of one great talent over another, you make a mockery of all musicians and music from every genre, including your own.

"Grow up and stop throwing your toys around.

"You are making yourself look like a complete twat.

"P.s. I am pretty certain Beyonce doesn't need you fighting any battles on her account. Seems like she's got everything covered perfectly well on her own."
You've got to admire the artistry in that.

There is a slight problem, though. This line:
In attempting to reduce the importance of one great talent over another, you make a mockery of all musicians and music from every genre, including your own
These are the Grammys you're talking about Shirley. The Grammys are pretty much an attempt by a jury to reduce the importance of one talent over another (or Sam Smith, sometimes).

Ultimately, it's all a dog-and-pony show. West might have behaved like an out-of-towner, his timing is poor and his approach gauche, but isn't half the reason the big awards shows attract television coverage and sponsorship is because people feel invested enough in them to talk about whether the right person won? West's problem is he forgot he was part of the awards machine, not that he prefers Beyonce to Beck.

Monday, February 09, 2015

Grammys 2015: Sam Smith scoops an armful

Perhaps it's unsurprising that the BAFTAs were lumbered with Kasabian, as it was also Grammys night, with the American recording industry making it Sam Smith's night.

Yes, that's where the bar is set these days.

At least you can kind of see why Smith got given four prizes. But Beck picking up best rock album of 2014? There are people who only ever buy their records from Target who might raise an eyebrow at that. It's curious that Beck took the mainstream rock album award, while St Vincent won in the alternative rock category; I'm not sure either sits particularly comfortably in the bucket into which they've been tossed.

Likewise, the Tony Bennett/Lady GaGa album gets "traditional pop vocal album" - to be fair, pairing a classic artist with a pop star who has just edged past their peak for a Christmas stocking stuffer record is now a tradition, but it doesn't feel right to be giving them a prize for it.

The real scandal, though, is that Shake It Off was eligible for everything (even in 1989 wasn't) and yet - apart from getting a mention in the list of credits which won Max Martin producer of the year - not a bite.

Now, it could be that people believe anything Sam Smith has done is better than Shake It Off. It's more likely Taylor Swift is being punished for having the temerity to question the deals struck by the music industry with the streaming services.

Sam Smith, then, has won his prizes for not causing a fuss both on and off record. It's a double.

Probably the only prize which lands successfully is Clean Bandit getting best dance record for Rather Be. But I probably only think that because I don't listen to as much dance music as I should.

Here's the winners in full, then:

Record of the Year
Sam Smith – "Stay With Me (Darkchild Version)"
Steve Fitzmaurice, Rodney Jerkins & Jimmy Napes, producers; Steve Fitzmaurice, Jimmy Napes & Steve Price, engineers/mixers; Tom Coyne, mastering engineer Label: Capitol Records; Publishers: Sony/ATV Songs LLC obo Naughty Worlds Ltd./Universal-Polygram Int. Tunes, Inc. obo Salli Isaak Songs, Ltd./Universal Polygram Int. Tunes, Inc. obo Method Paperwork

Song of the Year
Sam Smith - "Stay With Me (Darkchild Version)"
James Napier, William Phillips & Sam Smith, songwriters

Album of the Year
Beck - Morning Phase
Beck Hansen, producer; Tom Elmhirst, David Greenbaum, Florian Lagatta, Cole Marsden Greif-Neill, Robbie Nelson, Darrell Thorp, Cassidy Turbin & Joe Visciano, engineers/mixers; Bob Ludwig, mastering engineer

Best New Artist
Sam Smith

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance
A Great Big World With Christina Aguilera - "Say Something"

Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album
Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga - Cheek To Cheek

Best Pop Solo Performance
Pharrell Williams - "Happy"

Best Pop Vocal Album
Sam Smith - In The Lonely Hour

Sam Smith 22 Things We Learned Hanging Out With Sam Smith »
Best Rock Performance
Jack White - "Lazaretto"

Best Rock Album
Beck - Morning Phase

Best Rock Song
Paramore - "Ain't It Fun"
Hayley Williams & Taylor York, songwriters

Best Alternative Rock Album
St. Vincent - St. Vincent

Best Metal Performance
Tenacious D - "The Last In Line"

Best Rap Performance
Kendrick Lamar - "I"

Best Rap/Sung Collaboration
Eminem Featuring Rihanna - "The Monster"

Best Rap Song
Kendrick Lamar - "I"
K. Duckworth & C. Smith, songwriters

Best Rap Album
Eminem - The Marshall Mathers LP2

Best R&B Performance
Beyoncé Featuring Jay Z – "Drunk In Love"

Best Traditional R&B Performance
"Jesus Children"
Robert Glasper Experiment Featuring Lalah Hathaway & Malcolm-Jamal Warner

morrissey 25 Artists Who Have Never Won a Grammy »
Best R&B Song
Beyoncé Featuring Jay Z - "Drunk In Love"
Shawn Carter, Rasool Diaz, Noel Fisher, Jerome Harmon, Beyoncé Knowles, Timothy Mosely, Andre Eric Proctor & Brian Soko, songwriters

Best Urban Contemporary Album
Pharrell Williams - Girl

Best R&B Album
Toni Braxton & Babyface - Love, Marriage & Divorce

Best Contemporary Instrumental Album
Chris Thile & Edgar Meyer - Bass & Mandolin

Best Dance/Electronic Album
Aphex Twin - Syro

Best Dance Recording
Clean Bandit Featuring Jess Glynne - "Rather Be"

Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media
Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Robert Lopez, Tom MacDougall & Chris Montan, compilation producers

Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Alexandre Desplat, composer

Best Song Written for Visual Media
"Let It Go" from Frozen
Kristen Anderson-Lopez & Robert Lopez, songwriters (Idina Menzel)

Best Country Album
Miranda Lambert - Platinum

Barack Obama 20 People You Won't Believe Have Grammys »
Best Country Solo Performance
Carrie Underwood - "Something In The Water"

Best Country Duo/Group Performance
The Band Perry - "Gentle On My Mind"

Best Country Song
"I'm Not Gonna Miss You"
Glen Campbell & Julian Raymond, songwriters (Glen Campbell)

Best Bluegrass Album
The Earls Of Leicester - The Earls Of Leicester

Best American Roots Performance
Rosanne Cash - "A Feather's Not A Bird"

Best American Roots Song
Rosanne Cash - "A Feather's Not A Bird"

Best Americana Album
Rosanne Cash - The River & The Thread

Best Folk Album
Old Crow Medicine Show - Remedy

Best Music Video
Pharrell Williams - "Happy"

Best Music Film
20 Feet From Stardom
Darlene Love, Merry Clayton, Lisa Fischer & Judith Hill
Morgan Neville, video director; Gil Friesen & Caitrin Rogers, video producers
We Are From LA, video director; Kathleen Heffernan, Solal Micenmacher, Jett Steiger, video producers

Producer of the Year, Non-Classical
Max Martin
"Bang Bang" (Jessie J, Ariana Grande & Nicki Minaj)
"Break Free" (Ariana Grande Featuring Zedd)
"Dark Horse" (Katy Perry Featuring Juicy J)
"Problem" (Ariana Grande Featuring Iggy Azalea)
"Shake It Off" (Taylor Swift)
"Unconditionally" (Katy Perry)

Taylor Swift How 2015's Record of the Year Nominees Stack Up »
Best Instrumental Composition
John Williams - "The Book Thief"

Best Arrangement, Instrumental or A Cappella
Pentatonix - "Daft Punk"

Best Arrangement, Instrumental and Vocals
Billy Childs - "New York Tendaberry"

Best Recording Package
Jeff Ament, Don Pendleton, Joe Spix & Jerome Turner, art directors
Pearl Jam - Lightning Bolt

Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package
Susan Archie, Dean Blackwood & Jack White, art directors
The Rise & Fall Of Paramount Records, Volume One (1917-27)

Best Album Notes
Ashley Kahn
John Coltrane - Offering: Live At Temple University

Best Historical Album
Colin Escott & Cheryl Pawelski, compilation producers; Michael Graves, mastering engineer
Hank Williams - The Garden Spot Programs, 1950

Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical
Beck - Morning Phase
Tom Elmhirst, David Greenbaum, Florian Lagatta, Cole Marsden Greif-Neill, Robbie Nelson, Darrell Thorp, Cassidy Turbin & Joe Visciano, engineers; Bob Ludwig, mastering engineer

Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical
Tijs Michiel Verwest, remixer
John Legend – "All Of Me (Tiesto's Birthday Treatment Remix)"

Best Surround Sound Album
Beyoncé - Beyoncé
Elliot Scheiner, surround mix engineer; Bob Ludwig, surround mastering engineer; Beyoncé Knowles, surround producer

Best Regional Roots Music Album
Jo-El Sonnier - The Legacy

Best Reggae Album
Ziggy Marley - Fly Rasta

Best World Music Album
Angelique Kidjo - Eve

Best Children's Album
Neela Vaswani - I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up For Education And Changed The World (Malala Yousafzai)

Best Musical Theatre Album
Beautiful: The Carole King Musical
Jessie Mueller, principal soloist; Jason Howland, Steve Sidwell & Billy Jay Stein, producers (Carole King, composer & lyricist) (Original Broadway Cast)

Best Blues Album
Johnny Winter - Step Back

Best Spoken Word Album
Joan Rivers - Diary Of A Mad Diva

Best Comedy Album
"Weird Al" Yankovic - Mandatory Fun

Best New Age Album
Ricky Kej & Wouter Kellerman - Winds Of Samsara

Best Improved Jazz Solo
Chick Corea - "Fingerprints"

Best Jazz Vocal Album
Dianne Reeves - Beautiful Life

Best Jazz Instrumental Album
Chick Corea Trio - Trilogy

Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album
Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band - Life In The Bubble

Best Latin Jazz Album
Arturo O'Farrill & The Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra - The Offense Of The Drum

BAFTAs 2015: The big story

Okay, the real big story of the night was how badly Paddington got robbed. But the second biggest thing at the BAFTA last night was the painful Kasabian peformance. Even someone who can't really understand what function it is Kasabian deliver, it was hard not to feel for them.

The sound was dreadful; the mixing in of film effects and dialogue swamped their wheezy rock giving the impression of a million people watching YouTube clips while they were trying to play. The decision to end on a kid saying "that was amazing" (or awesome, or something of that nature) provided an unintended boom-tssh for a song played to a room of people sat in chairs, stock still, trying to look polite. Kudos to the director, scanning the crowd for someone, anyone, even moving their head just a little.

In a room that was both a cacophony and arctic-silent at once, Serge's decision to wear a tshirt with the words "black tie" on it didn't help. An empty gesture at once lazy and disdainful of the audience, the audience responded in kind.

Still, Stephen Fry got them a nice round of applause as he started the task of picking the thing up off the floor.

Sunday, February 08, 2015

This week just gone

Ten years ago: The most-read February 2005 stories:

1. Grammys 2005: Good news for dead people
2. T-Mobile slag off their own product to dissassociate it from Fred Durst's sex tape
3. Brits Liveblog: In which Angels is declared best song in 25 years. Not by us, obviously
4. NME Awards: Paul McCartney was the best thing ever in 2004
5. Sony announces copyprotection tightening, but promise tracks will play in boomboxes
6. Max Carlish on Pete Doherty and the drugs
7. RIP: Nick Kilroy
8. Turns out Britney didn't do a nude photo shoot without anyone noticing
9. Brits - early results
10. Jesus, did we really write so much about the Jackson trial?

These dribbled out this week:

Luke Haines - Adventures In Dementia

Download Adventures In Dementia

Say Lou Lou - Lucid Dreaming

Ty Segall - Live In San Francisco

Download Live In San Francisco