Saturday, October 03, 2015

Lauren Mayberry doesn't want your proposals

Somebody called out a proposal during Chvrches in London. Lauren didn't fan herself and say yes:

"Come on! What's the hit rate on that? When you go into public places and ask women you don't know if they want to wed you. Does that work out well for you, sir?" Lauren lightheartedly enquired.

She went on: "Also, I assume because you're here that you know a bit about our band. I'm very grumpy. I don't want that shit.

"Thank you everybody else and sorry for shaming that one person - but if nobody tells you, you're never going to know."
It's probable that the guy wasn't actually expecting his proposal to be considered seriously - although it's lovely to think that maybe he did, and the wings had been a small mariachi band, a sommelier carrying champagne, and a dog with gift-wrapped ring in his mouth, all waiting for a signal from the guy to come in when Lauren said 'yes'. Seconds after the proposal flopped, all these people would have been milling about mumbling "we better still be paid for this".

It's also amusing that Lauren assumes that this wasn't just a bloke who was infatuated with her, specifically, to the point of inappropriateness, but she assumed he must make a habit of going about issuing proposals willy-nilly. "I don't even know why I'm still tearing strips off you, you've probably already gone over to the bar to ask the manager to marry you."

Putin is going to take on music pirates

So, apparently, Russia is going to stamp down on piracy by shaming advertisers:

The Russian government has vowed to crack down on the top 100 copyright-infringing sites, in order to shame the Top 100 brands into pulling their advertising from the pirate operations, Russia's Deputy Communications Minister Alexei Volin said this week.

"People need to come to their senses about this issue. Major brands are proud of being white-and-fluffy; so let's publish a list of all those brands that advertise on pirate sites." Wolin said this is the first step, with blacklisting sites also on the agenda.
We know that nothing upsets Putin like the sight of something where it has, legally, no place being - you know, like a Russian army brigade in Ukraine.

It's something of a turnabout for Russia to suddenly worry about music piracy, though - for years, the .ru domain consisted solely of the Pravda website and thousands of collections of mp3s you could buy for a few pence and however much money would subsequently be swiped from your credit card.

What the pop papers say: Missing by Moyles

Week three of the car-crash that is Free NME looking for an identity, and it manages to make last week's Robert Pattinson cover look like a wise choice. For staring out of the front page this time round, it's Chris Moyles.

Now, a Chris Moyles cover by itself doesn't have to be bad, if it was leading into a piece about Chris Moyles written out of curiosity. Instead, it just waves off four pages of fawning.

Moyles kicks off by announcing he's a feminist; he underpins this by listing the women he works with and muttering about tax on sanitary products. They ask about the whole "offering to fuck Charlotte Church now she's 16" thing - Moyles' defence is that he "said it once. I moved on." And how does NME counter this? Er, by just moving on to the next thing.

The next thing is his homophobia and racism. Unbelievably, Moyles uses the human shield defence - "one of my best friends is transgender".

Does the NME point out that this justification - don't judge me on what I do, judge me on who I know - is incredibly weak? No. Just write it down, type it up, print it out, move it on.

His continuing beef with Radio 1 is given paragraphs of space - which could have made for some interesting commentary; Moyles at Radio X suggests a man who's still obsessed with his Radio Ex, using the platform to try and convince Radio 1 that he's having a great time and he's really glad that they split up. Is there any attempt to quiz him on his obsession with Ben Cooper? Nope.

His tax arrangements? Mentioned just to allow Moyles to trot out a "I didn't break the law, and I paid it anyway" line before moving on. Yes, given the chance to ask him about his second hand car business, the NME blinks. Any opportunity to explore the question is gone.

Even on the reformatting of XFM as Radio X, which you think the NME would have once cared about, is treated in a way that will have Global Radio PR purring:

Don't expect to come to Moyles to find obscure new grime artists or cutting-edge psych-rock bands. Radio X has retained new-music champion John Kennedy's late-night X-Posure show for that. Moyles is here for the express purpose of entertaining people as they battle hangovers, get ready for another mind-numbing day in the office or peel out of bed before going to college.
That radio station which was supposed to be the home of alternative music on British radio? Don't worry, they've kept a tiny rump of that late at night - presumably when the 'real' audience is out building up those hangovers for the morning.

Back when Radio One was shunting John Peel ever further into the night, NME called the BBC on the bullshit claim that you can support new music best by putting it where nobody is listening.

Why on earth would NME give such a free pass to the new Radio X?

Clearly, in part, because the idea of taking something that used to be a distinctive, alternative voice for new music and pissing it down to yet another chart-and-chat platform might resonate with NME. The token music piece this week is a very, very, very short feature on Wolf Alice. They're dubbed "the best new band in Britain". The NME first wrote about Wolf Alice three years ago. The proper NME did. If they're pretending that Wolf Alice are a discovery now, no wonder they'd think John Kennedy is more than enough of that cutting-edge stuff.

The more prosaic reason for the free passes handed to Moyles and Radio X is probably the two page advert that appears immediately before the interview.

One other sign that the NME has lost its mojo quite badly - the person who used to maintain Wikipedia's list of NME covers hasn't bothered to update the list with the new ones. You can see why.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Bruce Dickinson overthinks the standing on stage thing

Bruce Dickinson has shared how he sees his role knocking out old Iron Maiden songs for ageing rock fans:

"I feel like that sometimes on stage, that you are an intermediary between one world and another — the audience are in one world, the band are in their world, and as the singer, frontman, whatever, your job is to kind of bring the two worlds together, but not get them tangled up. Keep it under control without people realizing that, actually, they're in a safe place. Keep the audience in a safe place, but let everybody feel out of control. And so that's the way I feel often on stage.

"Standing there looking beautiful is not performing. Performing comes from engaging. And it's hard work; you've gotta work to do that. Audiences are brutal — I mean, they will eat you alive — because they all paid good money to be entertained, and they turn up expecting to be told what to do. They may disagree with that, but actually they do. They turn up to a show, and they go, 'I came here to be…' you know. 'This is gonna be good. This is gonna be good. What do I do now?' And the band guide them; you guide them, you guide them, you guide them to a great place, where they go, 'Wow! What a great experience. Wasn't that cool? And we did this. And we all sang, and we all chanted.' But if the guy comes up on stage and goes, 'I'm gonna stare at my shoes and it's all about me,' they're gonna kill you. 'Cause it's not all about you, dude — it's about the music, and it's about them; it's about the audience."
If they turn up and expect to be told what to do, how are they actually brutal? Unless you tell them to kill you for staring at your shoes? And why would you do that?

It's a slightly odd view of what he's doing - opening some sort of portal to a netherworld, while simultaneously having to be the health and safety guy making sure the audience don't cross over. Which they wouldn't do unless he told them to.

Really, he's mainly just choosing when Run To The Hills appears on the set list, isn't he?

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Harry Styles gives his clothes to charity, like John Lennon told us to

Apparently, Harry Styles gets sent so many loads of designer clothes, he just drops them straight off at charity shops. Apparently:

A source shared: ''Harry was casually talking about all the free stuff he gets sent and how he can't keep up with all of it.

''He said he gives a lot of it away to friends and family but also drives up to charity shops and drops bin bags of designer clothes at a time.''
I'm hoping shrewd charity shops up and down the country are exploiting this news, selling polyester trousers to starstruck preteens by saying "no, a man with extravagant hair dropped these off here earlier today. He also handed over this collection of Midsomer Murders on slightly damaged VHS tapes."

I think Britney Spears has just recreated the Milgram Experiment

Compare and contrast:

This week just gone

Most-read September stories:

1. Emily Ratajkowski's blurred lines
2. Pop papers: First free NME
3. David Cassidy won't be coming back to the UK
4. Bruce Dickinson doesn't get the modern world with all its Tweetering and Facebookies
5. The Robert Forster album is streaming at The Guardian

These were the new releases:

Robert Forster - Songs To Play

Download Songs To Play

Metric - Pagans In Vegas

Download Songs To Play

Meg Myers - Sorry

Download Meg Meyers

Battles - La Di Da Di

Download La Di Da Di

Lana Del Ray - Honeymoon

Download Honeymoon

Phases - For Life

Download For Life