Saturday, February 28, 2015

Cotton gone: Fearne leaves Radio One

Fearne Cotton - who, with her Very work is very much the Marshall Ward of our times - is leaving Radio One:

"I have had the most incredible decade broadcasting on Radio 1, meeting wonderful people, helping break artists and watching live music from the world's best," she says.
In her ten years on the station, not a single record or live performance she introduced was anything less than "really, really, fantastic".

Fearne's replacement is, surprisingly, Simon Bates. "I did this show before and I absolutely ruled," explained Bates at a press conference, "and I'm delighted to be returning to my spiritual home." The press conference broke up when he realised he was speaking to an empty room, and that the call from the BBC had actually been a dream. A beautiful dream, but... a dream nevertheless.

Clara Amfo is actually taking over the slot, and this feels like a significant moment. With Zane Lowe also moving on, it looks like the era when Radio One recruited by picking high-profile names off TV and dumping them on the air is now behind it. Amfo - despite already having landed the chart show job - is so (relatively) obscure that she doesn't yet qualify for a little box on the side of her Google search results, and her Wikipedia page is a bit of a mess.

I suspect that won't be the case much longer.

Chart Show move isn't really about the Chart Show

Surely what's really important in the story about a possible move of the Radio One chart show from Sunday to whenever is less the move itself, and more the reason behind it:

From summer 2015, new music will be released at 00:01 on Friday.

The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) hopes an aligned global release day will reduce piracy and "re-ignite excitement".

The Official Charts Company confirmed it would "also be looking to move the UK chart announcement day".
Yes, every record will henceforward be released at the same time all over the world, to, you know, reduce piracy (somehow) and... sorry, what was that phrase again?
"re-ignite excitement"
Let's leave aside the whole question of how this would actually work when you've got situations like Charli XCX's Sucker, which came out in the UK this month but had already had its US release back in 1972 or something.

Instead, let's just wonder what salary the people who came up with this idea are on. Faced with the structural decline of music purchasing, their big idea was not better records, or different records, or even records which came with flavours on them.

Oh, no. They actually believe that a person is more likely to be (a) excited by and (b) pay for a track if they know it's being released on a Friday at the same time only not because of timezone differences as "the rest of the world" by which we mean America really.

It's One Direction you've got to feel sorry for - imagine how popular they might have been had their first releases not been dragged down by humdrum Monday release dates, eh?

Naturally, there's a lengthier expression of this preposterous position:
Frances Moore, the IFPI chief executive, said: “In today’s globalised world, it makes no sense for new music to be released to fans on different days of the week.

“We view this as a tremendous opportunity to breathe new life back into the release of music. Friday has a compelling logic to it, at the start of the weekend when fans most want to listen to and buy music.”
Sometimes you wonder if the people who work at places like the IFPI have ever listened to music ever.

- Hey, Tom, I've got the new Stibby Jolenenza record here, do you want to listen to it?
- Margaret, are you insane? It's only Wednesday. I'd have thought a big music fan like you would want to wait until Friday evening, when proper music fans start listening to music

There's also that odd suggestion that music fans buy records at weekends. Now, when I was younger, maybe there'd be something to that - until Saturday came round, hopping on a bus and heading off to Woolworths or Rounder in town wasn't that easy. Now, though, whoever the poor benighted fifteen year-old who is my equivalent is, all they have to do is press their phone's purchase button.

(Oh, god, knowing what an asshat I could be at fifteen, it's possible that the 2015 fifteen year-old me equivalent is refusing to get a phone on some vague point of principle. Just get one, 2015 fifteen year-old me equivalent. It's not like anyone likes you because of your stance. And for god's sake, lose the 2015 Tears For Fears t-shirt equivalent.)

Paul McGowan, chief executive of Hilco Capital, which owns high street retailer HMV, said it was “a totally logical move”.

He said: “Quite simply, new music should hit the high street when people hit the street. New Music Fridays will get new releases to fans when they most want to buy them.”
Obviously, Hilco know enough about retail to have managed to salvage some sort of high-street presence for HMV, but I'd be intrigued to know who this demographic is - who are so hungry for new experience they don't want a record that came out four days ago, but who are able to wait long enough to go into town and buy it rather than download it straight to their phones.

Still, as an indication of where the thinking of the IFPI is these days, it's a useful guide. And for those remaining physical record stores, the day for the assistant looking confused when you ask for a new CD is moving from Mondays to Fridays. Make a note in the Filofax you're probably still using.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Brits 2015: Cloaking dragged her

It was the thud that was heard around the world, and the music industry of the United Kingdom is waking up to the realisation that everything it has to offer was upstaged by pratfall.

That's except for readers of The Times, though:

There's something of an ethical conundrum here. She is a woman in late middle age who had quite a heavy fall, which isn't funny. But on the other hand, Madonna clearly doesn't want the world to think of her as a woman in late middle age, which might make it okay to giggle a little bit.

Thank god she wasn't doing one of her great songs when it happened, though.

That panic in her face as she tried to shrug off the cloak was clearly less about falling hard, as looking a bit of a twit on live TV. ("Kanye had flame throwers, he was safe. Paloma mixed water and electricity, she was safe. And I've got a glorified pacamac and it's going to bring me down.")

She might take some comfort, though, in the first thought of some - as BBC News reported - was of the impossibility of this being a mistake, because, well, she's Madonna:
Well, sitting way up in the balcony seats among some of Madonna's biggest fans - the type who know and sing along with every lyric - the initial thought was that it may have been a particularly well orchestrated dance manoeuvre.

Consider the evidence - she fell on the lyric "I let down my guard, I fell into your arms" and was back on her feet to sing purposely "now that it's over, I'm going to carry on".

The truth later emerged but credit to the showbiz trooper for carrying on. In the words of those other Brit Award history-makers Chumbawamba "I get knocked down but I get up again".
There is one other upside: eleven years on from Janet Jackson at the Superbowl, now we finally know what a wardrobe malfunction really looks like.

Bookmarks: Public Service Broadcasting

The New Yorker has done a lovely profile of Public Service Broadcasting. Although it doesn't start brilliantly, to be fair:

In 1985, Paul Hardcastle scored a huge hit on both sides of the Atlantic with “19,” a song that combined dance beats with spoken-word samples from an ABC documentary about the Vietnam War. The song’s title came from the film’s voice-over narration: “In World War II, the average age of the combat soldier was twenty-six. In Vietnam, he was nineteen.” Hardcastle stuttered the latter number to make a memorable chorus, “N-n-n-nineteen. N-n-n-nineteen.” An uncanny combination of protest song and dance music, “19” was Hardcastle’s biggest hit by far, and also a departure from much of the rest of his work, which hewed more closely to traditional club music. (Hardcastle has since reimagined the song for the war in Afghanistan.)

Three decades after “19,” Hardcastle’s formula is being taken up by the British band Public Service Broadcasting. P.S.B. is the brainchild of the pseudonymous J. Willgoose, Esq., a multi-instrumentalist from South London, who started performing in 2009.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Brits 2015: the liveblog

Unquestionably today is the best day of the year for music on British TV.

That's because at 7.30, Sleater-Kinney's set from the 6music festival is going to be on the BBC Red Button.

Sadly, most of us are going to be watching the Brits instead.

Here's the thing - why not let us take the strain of watching the Brits while you go an enjoy Sleater-Kinney. That way, everybody will be happy.

I'll level with you - I'm still in Pizza Express right now. I'll get the check, and see you back at this page in a few minutes.

They're interviewing Sam Smith on BBC News. That's the sort of night we're in for.

So this is the first night of the post-Corden era. Ant And Dec return to hosting duties.

It might not seem a totally absurd choice - after all, they did once present a music chart show on ITV. But that was back when Mark Goodier was doing the charts for Radio One.

They're such an old-fashioned act, aren't they? The perfect faces of Morrisons, a store which seems to sell nothing but luncheon meat shaped like teddy bears, tripe and haslet.

Mastercard sponsoring again. They'd have been better off doing a product placement deal like Visa have done with Corrie.

And we're off. There's a comedy sequence of Ant and Dec preparing the food in the kitchen with all manner of pop people roped in for it. And the bloke off of the Knorr ads.

Oh, jesus. Dancing waiters. With Ant and Dec doing that thing where you lift a big silver lid off a platter, and they're underneath it. Told you they were old-fashioned.

Taylor Swift doing first performance, which isn't food-themed and makes the opening seem even odder. (Perhaps it was a reference to that time they tried to drop the tables from the hall to make it more of a spectacle for ITV and it died on its arse.)

Taylor Swift is ace, because it's Taylor Swift. Peaking too soon.

She does have dancers in bowler hats, though. Because it's England, guv, innit?

The long catwalk into the audience works really well for her. I suspect it's going to be a less useful feature when it's Sam Smith.

First glitter shower of the night. Yes, the Brits have peaked already.

The catwalk has now shown its weakness, as it took about six years for Ant and Dec to reach the place where they're supposed to do the talking.

Ant (or is it Dec) tells us this is the year British music has gone global. Wasn't that a couple of years back?

There's a joke about Kanye being in the building - haahahahahah he might take your award and give it to Beyonce, they say. You can tell they're hoping.

First short list: Video artist of the year. This is the one the oh-so-discerning viewers at home can vote for, with a hashtag. At least they've worked out that just using the act's name might not work entirely well as a voting mechanism.

Tracy Emin grimaces when they show her award.

Rita Ora off The Voice and Orlando Bloom off the Pirates Of The Caribbean come on for a prize. Orlando Bloom calls Rita "darlin'" and comes off like a bit of a perv.

This is best male artist - Damon Albarn v Paoloa Nutini v George Ezra v Sam Smith v Ed Sheeran.

God, is that really the best men can do?

"This is a hell of a line-up" says Rita. Yes, it does feel like hell.

Ed Sheeran wins.

Apparently Ed is one of the nicest people in pop. He's doing a reminiscence about the first time he ever came to the Brits, way back in 2011.

And they're already going to a break. Blimey.

It seems they've officially dropped the "The" from the awards - like Kanye or Beyonce, just relying on the one name now.

As they were going to the break, Dec (or was it Ant?) said "one down, ten to go", but it seemed almost heartfelt.

Still, they have managed to do something astonishing - the prize going to Sheeran actually manages to create the sense that Sam Smith has been unfairly robbed.

This has nothing to do with Brits, but there's an hour-long Thrush Puppies live video on YouTube, you know.

The ITV livestream doesn't appear to have sold all the ad slots in this break, which is a bit ominous.

Ant & Dec are now amongst the "celebrities", threatening to chat to them.

Second award - Jimmy Page is introduced with a joke about throwing TVs out of windows. Page's job is to give out Best British Group.

Royal Blood v Coldplay v Alt-J v Clean Bandit off the Windows Phone ads v One Direction.

Royal Blood have won. You can hear a million preteen girls screaming abuse at their televisions. I fear there will be much blood on the streets tonight.

Lovely self-effacing speech from the band. (Worth noting they're playing the show, and One Direction aren't; not that that's the criteria at all.)

Sam Smith is doing his live bit now. He's keeping the theme of the kitchen staff dance from the start of the show going, because he's come dressed like a lad dropping off a delivery from the grocers.

Oh, hang on, that's how he always dresses is it?

He obviously hasn't attempted to fill the whole of the O2 on his own; he's turned up with a full string orchestral backing. Because he is a Serious Artist Who Sings From The Heart.

He's now bellowing, presumably because he can't hear himself above all those fucking violins.

He's got a lot of head at the back of his face, hasn't he, the Sam Smith?

We're down amongst the tables now. Ant and Dec chatting away with Ed Sheeran.

This would be disappointing television even if you were Ant and Dec's mum.

Unlike Corden, Ant and Dec are asking 'proper' 'serious' music questions. How did the record come to happen, Ed?
("I just filled in a music-by-numbers chart, and there was the album.)

We're getting another reminder of the video vote hashtags now. I implore you to use #reopennominationsbrits

The Clean Bandit Windows phone ad is on. "We are stiff because we are posh; we are also stiff because we are not actors. Isn't that right, Cortana?"
"Yes, there's no place I'd rather be."

Quick look at the twitter:

ITV drop a Keith Lemon trailer into the proceedings, to remind us that things could have been a lot worse.

The boys are doing jokes about mismatched presenting teams. It flops. They're doing a bit of business with a bingo ball machine.

It doesn't help the punchline is Lewis Hamilton and Ellie Goulding. Although from here is looks like it's Eva from Corrie.

Lewis is proud to be here tonight. He makes a joke about Ellie's dress, which she clearly doesn't like. "That's a good one" she grits out.

Beyonce v Lana Del Ray v Sia v St Vincent v Taylor 'in the room' Swift for international solo artist.

Taylor Swift wins. Which would be right and proper. Even if she hadn't already done a turn for it.

She lets herself down a little by starting by thanking the record labels.

She also thanks Ed, and some models, and British fans. And, just as she's about leave, she slips one for Ellie. Lewis doesn't get a thanks.

Ant and Dec do the Kanye stealing awards joke again.

Royal Blood live. I doubt if any One Direction fans will be going 'yeah, actually, this is better, fair play' but it's amusing to think that this is probably only going to be the second time a large chunk of the audience have come across the band; and the first time would have been back at 8.23.

Royal Blood are accomplished, but they could have done that at any Brit awards since the 70s and fitted right in.

Time for a chatty chat chat with Rita and Ellie. Ellie Goulding looks like she's got scratches on her face, but on closer inspection it's just a lipstick kiss.

Another reminder of the video nominees; another bunch of commercials.

One of the complicated Mastercard break bumpers features Paloma Faith ordering an unsuspecting couple of head for a bank vault. It's a bit sinister. The best that couple can hope for is they're going to discover the corpse of a favourite pet; chances are it's going to be Faith doing a song in their faces.

A quick reminder there between the difference between 'doing a song at the' and 'being nominated for an' Oscar.

Ant and Dec have found Simon Cowell, who loves the Brits. It's like a bloodthirsty warlord marching through a field strewn with corpses.

'Who you listening to at the moment, Simon?"
'Sam Smith, Ed Sheeran, One Direction...'

He's so cutting edge.

He's also wearing Max Clifford's glasses.

"Collaboration is his middle name" say Ant and Dec. "Here's Mark Collaboration Ronson". Ho-ho

Paloma Faith v FKA Twigs v Lily Really Allen v Jessie Ware v Ella Henderson for British female. Lily Allen?

Paloma Faith has done a lot of work for the spons... sorry, has won the award.

She is delighted, though: "it's been a long time coming". It's hardly Jean Rhys' "it has come too late" though, is it? Faith warns us that she's going to do a long speech, but everyone else has done short speeches.

She's talking about flyposting, though, which is a reminder that not every musician starts out with Syco backing them.

Yeah, you're going on a bit now. Lucky they'd already shifted the news back to 10.10.

Trying to work up an Una Paloma Blanca joke. Failed.

Ed Sheeran's playing live now. Time for a toilet break, then.

He's gurning like he's on a toilet break, too.

For a song so devoid of any emotion, he's certainly emoting like crazy. With the sound down, you might think this was an impassioned performance.

Ant and Dec are now asking Sam Smith about how he enjoyed the Ed Sheeran song. There are rental properties on Homes Under The Hammer which are less bland than that moment.

Oh, another ad break.

Perhaps if they'd done a few less ad breaks, they might have filled all the slots on the online stream of the show.

From Twitter:

There's now a trail for Ant And Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway, reminding you how bad things really are.

Ant is staring into the middle distance, now. Not sure if he's wishing it was over, or desperately hoping to see an autocue with some new material.

Kim Kardashian is here for the global success award, and probably as part of the contract negotiations to get Kanye to play live. She introduces a small reel of why Sam Smith is so brilliant. You know the sort of thing - "he has made some records! Inoffensive in 12 languages! Comes with his own toothbrush!"

They remind us he won Critics Choice award last year, so this is a Brits first - bullshit non-prizes two years running. Well done, Sam.

Ant and Dec are kissing Kim and saying they're "thrilled to have you here". She's getting more screen time than Smith did.

And they're doing a taking a selfie routine. Can the MySpace jokes be far away?

Kim introduces Kanye, which does nothing to dispel the impression her appearance was negotiated.

West is having so much of his performance muted it's like he's doing it on RealAudio over a dial-up line.

The 'riot and fire and cops' staging might have been edgy, had it not been done in 2011. By Plan B. And also by Take That.

Nice shot of Lionel Richie looking impressed as someone uses a flamethrower indoors.

(They do know the fire brigade are on strike today, right?)

Hang on, maybe there's no cops in the melee - it was hard to tell as ITV kept pulling back.

Sam Smith reaction shot - he was ashen faced.

And a third Kanye interrupting awards joke.

International Male solo artist:
Jack White v Hozier v Beck v John Legend v Pharrell Williams

Who will it be? And what the hell Hozier?

Pharrell Williams wins, but he can't be here tonight. Luckily for him, neither could any of the others. Williams does a little speech via the magic of video. He couldn't be arsed to do a second take, though, clearly.

Another break. Another reminder to vote in the video prizes.

Spotify's social media team are busy:

So... if you're watching a programme on TV, why not look at an unconnected organisation's twitter stream to find out the latest about what you will have already just seen?

Just seen that Sex Criminals - the freeze-when-you-fuck comic - is going to be adapted for TV. That's made me more excited than anything so far at the O2.

Realised that when I thought Ant had said Kate Nash was going to be playing live next, he actually just said Take That, didn't he? That's disappointing.

Now a bit of business about which end of the runway they're meant to be at. Clearly the Chuckle Brothers have shared their writing team for the evening.

It's all in the cause of introducing Take That. Look, George Osborne had no way of knowing what they were up to, right?

Mark Owen now looks like that guy who used to play the cardboard guitar outside What Everyone Wants in Liverpool.

It must be depressing for Gary Barlow, knowing that everywhere he goes, and everything he does, will be met with a barrage of 'pay your taxes'. Did he ever release the results of his investigation in how he came to be avoiding taxes?

Looks like Josh Widdecombe is in the background on guitar there.

"Let in The Sun" they sing, aware that News International also had an interesting approach to paying their taxes, too.

British singles awards. Oh, they're doing the bingo machine thing again. Flogging a horse that was already dead.

Lisa Snowdon and Lionel Ritchie. Edward Snowdon and Lionel Blair would have been a more interesting choice.

Rather Be v Thinking Out Loud v My Love v Ghost v Nobody To Love v Stay With Me v I Got U v Budapest v Uptown Funk

That's a lot of very posh people. Mark Ronson wins for having pretty much shagging the corpse of James Brown for the enterainment of people who don't really like James Brown.

Ronson thanks the Commodores, which I bet he wouldn't even have done if Lionel hadn't been standing right there.

John Bishop has come on to do a prize. Really? I mean, I like him well enough but he played a dad on Skins... who is this aimed at now?

Best International Group: Foo Fighters v Black Keys v First Aid Kit v The War On Drugs v 5 Seconds Of Summer

Of course Foo Fighters win; the other names were just padding out the list to try and get a few more NME readers to tune in.

Dave et al pick up their prize via video. They're proud. They sound bored as paint.

James Bay is at the table with Ant and Dec, wearing his hat and exhibiting all the personality we've come to expect from these empty chairs. Sam Smith gives him some advice, which i didn't catch but assume was 'sit down and don't make any unexpected moves'.

George Ezra is now playing his guitar. He's got his name up in lights, like Elvis doing the comeback special.

Just think of that.

Ezra is trying to make us think of him in the same way as Elvis Presley.

Let's hope he starts on that high fat diet quickly, then.

Clearly, Ezra is incapable of growing a hipster beard, and so has hired a backing musician to do that bit for him. He's probably going to leave the stage riding a penny farthing.

We're going to have another break? Jesus, how many more times do Lidl want to berate us this evening?

Some poor sod has been made to play maracas with Kaiser Chiefs in the break bumpers. I'm going to go and cut up my Mastercard just in case this sort of thing could happen to me next year.

Kevin Bacon still making ads for EE, then. Now with people from Gogglebox. I'm not sure why EE are making adverts just to alert us that Gogglebox has become too knowing to be of any interest now, but they are.

The British Breakthrough act. Ant and Dec are reminding us they were beaten in this category by Oasis many years ago.

Fearne Cotton and Charli XCX are doing the presenting. Charli has come dressed as Santa.

George Ezra v Chrvches v Royal Blood v FKA Twigs v Sam Smith

Sam Smith wins it. Did they know he was going to win this before they gave him the bullshit made-up award they only invented for One Direction last year?

Smith makes the sort of dull acceptance speech you'd expect him to. I do like the colour of his jacket, though.

Ant and Dec now pretending they hide under tables during live music bits. If only they'd hidden during the links as well.

Paloma Faith is now playing live. THIS IS UNCONNECTED WITH HER AWARD IN EVERY WAY. Her stage act includes a mime dancing in the rain.

There are now a lot of people dancing in the rain. I wish they'd switched this rain effect on when Kanye was doing his riot bit. That would have been worth turning up for.

I hope Paloma didn't get nervous waiting, although if she'd not done a three hour acceptance speech earlier, she'd be in a cab on the Westway by now.

Oh, Lord, she starts doing more thank yous at the end of the song.

Now, let's see if One Direction fans can still rig a vote - we're at the video award point.

Jimmy Carr - has anyone here paid any tax at all ever? - and Karlie Kloss. Carr does a CD:Uk joke - one for the teenagers there, then.

Carr does a joke about separate toilets for men and women which goes down like a Royal Blood tshirt at a One Direction party.

#whathashtaghaswon #icannotwaittofindout #whyaretheydoingtheshortlistagaintheyhavedoneit10timestonight

One Direction win. Surprise, everyone! Surprise!

Cowell goes up to pick up the award because One Direction can't be arsed with shit like this these days.

Cowell makes a speech, apparently thinking we'd appreciate that.

"I'd like to thank the boys for being amazing". Britain's got talent, although not any of those talents able to write a script, it seems.

There's an interview with Royal Blood and Alt-J. There seems to be a table that clearly the BPI thinks is the circle of credibility. George Ezra has been sat at it, which suggests some sort of terrible mistake.

They're going to have another break. Of course they are.


"Okay Google, show me pictures of beef stew... oh, god, no Google, I don't mean that as a euphemism... jesus, my girlfriend's here... stop playing that video, Google. I didn't even know that was a thing..."

Boots has now got the women in the Number 7 video to lip synch to Jessie J, which is actually quite a clever pun for its service matching lipstick to skintone, but might be a bit too clever for its own good.

Apparently ITV Be is still going.

Last award - British album. Russell Crowe is giving it out, so there's a bit of Wolf from Gladiator themed jokage. Seriously, what year are we in now? (I'd have applauded if they'd done a Romper Stomper joke...)

Crowe now less Gladiator, more 'it looks like he ate her'. We can all do it, ITV. We can all do it.

sheeran v ezra v alt-j v royal blood v smith

Who will it be?


That's the message of this year's Brits. It's more middle-class than Escape To The Country.

Oh, what's that rattling? It's the sound of Madonna approaching. But first they have to try and bark up interest in the backstage party on ITV2. Given how ker-azzzy the main event has been, who know what hijinks there will be on ITV2? People using cheese knives in the butter dish, no doubt.

Madonna is now rolling on to close things off.

Still doing the matador thing, then. Go on, do Borderline.

Wow... something actually happened - she got tugged on her cape, and fell backwards down the stairs. She looked so pissed off as she climbed back up the stairs...

To be fair, those long housecoats can be a nightmare on the stairs. Something similar happened to my nan once, but it wasn't on live TV.

It's ironic she's singing "I'm gonna carry on" when if this had been recorded they'd have gone for take two. Still, shows she's still a trouper.

Presumably the twerking was meant to be a little more energetic than this.

I suppose its possible it was an intentional move to distract attention from how weak the song is. You wouldn;t have to do a pregnant Diana down the stairs if you'd done Borderline.

And she only did one song? They've been building to Madonna's big performance all night, and all they let her do was a single, flat track? Barely worth her getting back up off the floor for that.

ITV News do their bit for this magic evening for British Music by leading on the latest 'Cliff Richard is a nonce' allegations. Thanks, ITV News. You know how to make a party special.

Watching Madge on the steps, it's clear that she was starting to panic that she hadn't got the clasp of her cloak undone before the guys downstage were going to tug it off.

So, that's the summary of the great job the BPI have done this year: the only thing we'll remember is when a woman in her mid 50s was pulled over as she tried to climb the stairs.

British music. Best in the world, isn't it?

Thanks for sharing the evening with me.

Brits 2015: It's come around again

That noise you can hear? Oh, that's just Sam Smith feasting on the massive insects prior to his ascension.

There'll be a Brits liveblog later tonight. I genuinely can't remember the last time I watched a programme presented by Ant And Dec all the way through. I liked it like that.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Noel Gallagher puts a price on an Oasis reunion

Is an Oasis reunion out the question? Not as far as you might hope, as Noel Gallagher has terms:

Noel Gallagher recently sat down for an interview with Vulture, stating he would reform Oasis for a fee of “half a billion”. Gallagher readying the release of his new High Flying Birds album ‘Chasing Yesterday’, which is out Monday 2nd March.

Asked about a possible reformation in the future, Gallagher added: “If somebody puts that on the table, I’ll pack my bags in the morning and say, “How many gigs do you want?”
To paraphrase Churchill: we know what sort of man he is, now we're just haggling about the price.

Rita Ora talks about herself in the third person

So, Rita Ora was at the Oscars last night (she didn't win), and obviously, E! wanted to know what she was wearing. This is how Rita answered:

"In the dress world for Rita Ora, there are two things you have to do: what hasn't anybody done [and] what could I do to make myself feel as sexy as possible," she said. "I'm really lucky to be in a position where I have an amazing team who can design custom from real incredible designers like Vera Wang and Marchesa and so forth."
In dress terms, that answer is something that got chewed up in the washing machine.

"In the dress world for Rita Ora"?

I know it must mush your brains to mush-mush to be performing at the Oscars - look what it did the Neil Patrick Harris last night, whose hosting was so off-note that he'd be lucky to get a casting call if they decided to bring back Doogie Howser. But who gets so confused they start to talk about how they chose a frock with the phrase "in the dress world for Rita Ora"? Especially if they're Rita Ora.

Still, how did what hasn't anybody done work out for you, Rita?
Yes, a white/silver/reflective floor length gown - that's a fresh look for this awards season, Rit... oh, sorry, that's Taylor Swift at the Grammys, isn't it? In 2014.

Here's Rita, then:
Still, you can tell how her designers have designed custom out of what real incredible designers have done there, can't you?

The way is still open for Ozzy to have a crack at the Parish Council

Metal star to politician isn't a typical career path, but it looks like it might work for 林昶佐 Freddy Lim out of Chthonic.

He's seeking power. In Taiwan. Taking on the Chinese state makes bands who think wearing scary masks on stage is dangerous look a little weak, doesn't it?

But then, Chthonic aren't quite a typical metal band - Freddy Lim has been chair of the Thai branch of Amnesty for a while now; they use traditional Thai instruments in their metal endeavours; and their lyrics have a political aspect to them.

That's like a party political broadcast, that it is.

Oh, and Lim formed his own political party, too. Not in the style of Bez. A proper political party. The New Power Party (I think the echo of Prince is unintentional) has been going a month, and already has persuaded two prominent human rights lawyers to stand under its banner for city elections this year.

Lim is running for the national legislature next year, and his 'not the two party system message' might sound familiar to British ears:

Lim has rejected the traditional bipolarization of the electorate into pan-blue and pan-green camps, saying that such polarization should no longer be considered effective, as Daan, like any other electoral district, is plural in nature.
“Daan is home to a heterogenous population, which includes people like me — a founding member of a minor party — and the Chinese Nationalist Party’s [KMT] Taipei mayoral candidate in last year’s elections Sean Lien (連勝文),” he said.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Nicki Minaj covers herself with dead things

Not just the coat made from skinned corpses; the boots are animal skins as well. Class act.

Bookmarks: The Uncanny Avengers

Meanwhile, over at Every Day Is Like Wednesday...:

Caleb takes issue with leather clad mutants' understanding of indie...
Also, The Decemberists may have been "indie" in 2001, when they self-released their first album, but they've had four fucking albums with Capitol Records by this point.

This week just gone

The most-read stories this week:

1. That last Mark and Lard show in full]
2. Tony Hadley being hospitalised in 2006
3. Simon Bates dropped by Smooth
4. The perenial 'do people think I'm gay because of my braces?'
5. Somy dumps Omnifone for deal with Spotify
6. RIP Steve Strange
7. One of Westlife selling coffee in a lay-by as a "side project"
8. Kasabian die on their arses in airless BAFTA performance
9. Kasabian win big at the NME Awards…
10. ... and soon they might have to give the NME away

These were this week's interesting releases:

Darren Hayman - Chants For Socialists

Download Chants For Socialists

Idlewild - Everything Ever Written

Download Everything Ever Written

Manic Street Preachers - No Manifesto DVD

Charli XCX - Sucker

Download Sucker