Friday, March 27, 2015

New music from a long-silent source

This is probably one for the old people. Remember when Ministry wasn't the Jesus Built My Hotrod Ministry, and was the I Wanted To Tell Her new wave band?

They're back.

Well, no, they're not. But the question 'I wonder if Al Jourgensen would rather that the world forgot about the synthpop years' has been soundly answered. It's 'no, he's not ashamed of those years', as for Record Store Day the archives have been opened, and this is out for the first time:

Thursday, March 26, 2015

T in the wrong park

The Woodland Trust is calling for T in the Park to be moved somewhere where it'll do less damage:

You might remember we recently raised concerns about T in the Park's new venue at the Strathallan Estate. The area is surrounded by old, rich woodland used by many protected species including bats, otters, red squirrels and ospreys.

T in the Park is Scotland’s biggest music festival, attracting 85,000 people every year. The festival brings employment and trade but with so many ancient woodlands under threat in the UK we need to be more mindful of the impact events like this have.

Logistics, noise, light, litter and general disturbance would drive many rare species away from the woodland because the event's main arena would be just metres away.

We know DF Concerts can move the festival away from Strathallan Estate: it was just one of 14 potential venues identified by the council!

We need your help now to make them realise that it is an unsuitable area for an event of T in the Park’s magnitude to be held - the impact on precious wildlife is simply too damaging.

There's a petiton, as you might expect.

Oh, and if you're thinking "well, T in the Park is a responsible sort of event, I'm sure they wouldn't do anything dodgy that would harm wildlife, you're wrong. They're actually arseholes who are deliberately setting out to frighten birds away:
An attempt by T in the Park bosses to discourage ospreys from returning to their nest at the festival's new Strathallan home has been criticised by a leading wildlife charity.

T in the Park promoters DF Concerts are flying a Saltire from on top of a cherry picker festooned with CDs in a bid to deter ospreys from returning to their nest at Strathallan Castle Estate.

Two ospreys have regularly used the nest but its proximity to the main stage at T in the Park means organisers want them to move to a new nest site further away.

There's a response to Zayn Malik quitting you didn't expect

You might have thought what with the struggle Universal Credit is proving to roll out, the Department of Work And Pensions might have been too busy to pass comment on boyband splits.

You'd be wrong:

I think Zayn should heed this tweet. Given the way the DWP slap sanctions on people at the merest opportunity, ignoring that Tweet will probably leave Zayn unable to draw down his pension in the future.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

David Crosby hits jogger

David Crosby has hit a man. Unfortunately, Crosby was in a car driving at 55 miles an hour, and the man he hit was a jogger.

Crosby's people have issued a statement:

“David Crosby is obviously very upset that he accidentally hit anyone. And, based off of initial reports, he is relieved that the injuries to the gentleman were not life threatening,” his rep tells Us Weekly in a statement. “He wishes the jogger a very speedy recovery.”

"Mr. Crosby was cooperative with authorities and he was not impaired or intoxicated in any way. Mr. Crosby did not see the jogger because of the sun," California Highway Patrol Spokesman Don Clotworthy told CNN.
So, it sounds like a terrible accident, and that Crosby is pretty shaken by it.

Indeed, the police seem to be happy to put most of the blame on the victim:
Clotworthy also stated that the jogger was on the same side of the road as Crosby. Pedestrians, including joggers, are supposed to be on the left side of the road going towards traffic.
Although in this case, the traffic was clearly going towards the jogger.

Realityobit: Lil Chris

Sad to hear that Chris Hardman, who became known for a while as Lil' Chris, has died.

Chris was the breakout star of Channel 4's Rock School reality series. The format saw Gene Simmons attempting to turn a group of Lowestoft schoolkids into pop stars; he nearly pulled it off with Chris.

He managed to make the most of his time in the spotlight - hosting a strand of celebrity features as part of the now-defunct T4 programming on Channel 4; releasing a couple of albums, and a few singles.

But a first album, pointed at the 2006 Christmas market, only scraped through to 54; a follow-up took two years, and stalled at 94.

As Chris got older, the work started to dry up; he had a spell in musicals and then had a crack at Christmas Number One in 2013 with Christmas Number One (#FeedEmYellowSnow). As you might expect from a single with a hashtag in the title, it didn't worry the charts.

Lil' Chris was 24; Police in Suffolk say his death was not suspicious.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Inkwell doesn't like 6Music

Earlier today, 6Music was having a bit of gentle fun:

Okay, it's hardly Danny Baker Morning Edition level stuff, but it's fun if you like that sort of thing. (Not as much fun as listening to Michael Fallon twisting in the wind, spewing out reasons why we shouldn't ask about Cameron's bollock-drop last night like a shiny pinata, of course, but people make their choices.)

Oddly, this turned out to be a red line for York's Inwell vinyl and book store:

One tweet from one show, and the whole place - from Marc Riley's session support for new bands through to Stuart Maconie's Freakshow - is dismissed as "a sniggery, wrong-headed indie-kid" type of place.

I'm not a fan of breakfasts on 6 myself, but would rather have a bit of knock-about fun than a po-faced 'music is a temple and must always be treated with quiet respect' approach. There's a lot of places on 6Music where you'll be read the sleeve notes from a Lou Reed album; a few shows which try different approaches are going to make the station attractive to a wider number of listeners. Some of whom might go from enjoying some light entertainment over breakfast to buying obscure vinyl some day.

Taylor Swift porn site shows the problem with dot porn

From Taylor Swift's perspective, you can see the justification for her (or her management colossus) lashing out to buy and

Because if she doesn't, someone else will.

When the .porn and .adult top level domains were announced, some voices suggested that these might be problematic as some brands or people might feel they have to buy their own names in the spaces to stop other organisations snapping them up.

And that's what's happened here.

In other words, Taylor Swift has been approached by an organisation and offered the opportunity to hand over thousands of dollars, in order to protect her image.

That's a shakedown, surely?

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Songwriterobit: Jackie Trent

Jackie Trent, singer, songwriter, and actress, has died.

It's perhaps a shame that the obituaries are hanging her on the peg as 'the woman who wrote the lyrics for the Neighbours theme song'; it's a fact, sure, but the real-life soap opera played out in her earlier lyrics which reflected her first-affair-with, then-marriage-to, eventually-divorce-from Tony Hatch is far more interesting and artistically accomplished than the plodding, sodding Erinsborough jingle.

As a taste, her website tells the deeper story behind Couldn't Live Without Your Love, a hit for Petula Clark:

I wrote the lyrics in 1966: simply expressing my love and commitment to Tony Hatch – the man I would marry the following year. The lyrics speak for themselves.

Angela Kon’s (unauthorised) biography of Petula Clark: ‘Colour My World,’ page 178, allegedly records conversation of the 1980’s between the author and Tony Hatch: where he speaks of my loving words defining our relationship ‘from my point of view.’ If true, how deceitful and cold-blooded; with 25 years of marriage then ahead of us?

Eve Taylor, my manager did warn me: ‘Don’t marry him. He’ll just use you!’

Mind you, I still love those lyrics...
(Trent's website is well worth a visit; she's generous and open with anecdote, although writes in the overblown showbiz style parodied by Alan Partridge.)

Jackie Trent was 74; she died March 21st in Menorca.

This week just gone

The most-popular 2015 stories so far:

1. Liveblog: The Brits
2. NME puts Gallagher on front page, again
3. Did you wonder what Conor McNicholas is up to these days?
4. Brits 2015 shortlist
5. Thick, Williams pinched the rape song's tune from Marvin Gaye
6. UK picks its brave losers for 2015 Eurovision
7. The Dears force The Deers to become Hinds
8. Sony dumps Omnifone
9. RIP: Steve Strange
10. Mark Feehily has a van selling coffee in lay-bys

These were interesting releases this week:

Laura Walsh - Soft Control

Download Soft Control

Marc Almond - The Velvet Trail

Download The Velvet Trail

Julian Cope - Trip Advizer

Download Trip Advizer

Friday, March 20, 2015

Embed and breakfast man: Garbage

Vow by Garbage. Released twenty years ago this very morning.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Toyota: committed to crowd-sourcing bands and safety. Nowadays.

Earlier today, this tweet appeared:

God, it sounds horrible, doesn't it? It's not just that it's a terrible idea, it doesn't even seem like an especially original idea, being more or less a rehash of 2009's Josh's Band campaign.

So I made a snurkling noise:

I don't mind Toyota, to be honest. Their hybrids are alright, as cars go. But I just wished they'd stick to making cars rather than crowd-sourcing bands.

And I thought that would be it. Except... Toyota weren't having that.

Really, Toyota? You recall voluntarily, out of concern for safety, do you?


Just last year, you were pulling back six and a half million cars around the world after some of them caught fire. Presumably in Toyota's world, selling cars to people to see if they catch fire must constitute rigorous testing.

More to the point, a year ago to the very day, Toyota was making a massive USD1.2bn payment to avoid legal action following its decision to not recall cars where the accelerator could stick, even after ABC News had told it there was a serious problem:
ABC News published dozens of reports in the following months as Toyota said it investigated and announced massive recalls to address the accelerators being stuck under floor mats – repeatedly assuring drivers that the problem had been taken care of. But today Toyota admitted that the recalls did not cover all the cars they knew were in danger and said that they also concealed another cause of sudden acceleration they had found during their investigations – “sticky” pedals, which refers to the accelerator getting stuck partially depressed.

In December 2009, the court records showed the company responded to “media accusations that it was continuing to hide defects in its vehicles” by publishing a statement on Toyota’s website saying the company “has absolutely not minimized public awareness of any defect or issue with respect to its vehicles [and] [a]ny suggestion to the contrary is wrong and borders on irresponsibility.”

Toyota only announced the issue with the “sticky” pedals, along with another massive recall, just minutes before an ABC News report on “World News” in January 2010 told the story of one driver whose Toyota Avalon took off suddenly on the highway.
In fact, Toyota's "rigorous testing" somehow hadn't caught a situation where people could be killed - in fact, one man even spent three years in prison after a Toyota Camry he was driving spun out of control and killed three people.

In short, Toyota, if you want to burnish your image by crowd sourcing a band, feel free. But let's not assume that everyone has forgotten that time you knew your cars were dangerous and you lied about it, eh?

BBC Trust agrees to kill the distinctiveness of Radio 1

Radio 1. What makes it difference from commercial radio, and - come to that - from streaming stuff over Spotify?

It'd be the live music and the sessions. There's something you can point at and say, there's something that proves the value in having a station like that, funded by licence fee.

The BBC Trust agree.

Except, they don't agree enough to protect that part of the service:

BBC Radio 1 is to make dramatic cuts to its live music output, with the number of sessions by pop and rock bands dropping from 250 to 160 per year.

The station will also reduce the number of live events it covers from 25 to 10.

The BBC Trust has agreed to the changes, despite audience research showing "that live music is seen as a key strength of Radio 1".
"Yes, you're very good at what you do. Play some more records instead, eh, that's cheaper."

The BBC Trust is chaired, you'll recall, by Rona Fairhead, who seems to be bringing the same sure touch she shows at her other job at HSBC to the work she's doing at the BBC.

What else is in the Trust findings? Well...

Radio 1 and 1Xtra's roles supporting musicians and djs with career advice is now mainly going to be picked up BBC Introducing - a change which reflects what's been happening anyway;

Radio 1 and 1Xtra will share more documentaries; 1Xtra's requirement for 20% speech programming has been dropped as a result (although the worry is that 'repeating Radio 1 documentaries' isn't the same sort of thing as creating the crafted speech programmes it has been doing.);

1Xtra can now do dj mixes instead of club nights;

Radio 2 will no longer have to do 'readings' as part of its remit, on the grounds that who knew Radio 2 had to do readings?, but it still "should" do readings. That's clear, yeah?

The need for "regular" comedy programmes on Radio 2 has been watered down to just "comedy programmes";

6Music comes off largely untouched, although the previous target of "15% of concerts and session from archives" is turned into a more easy to track "Broadcast at least 6,500 concert tracks or sessions from the BBC’s music archive each year, with at least 1,150 in daytime". You might wonder why, if the Trust wants to see 6Music using the BBC Archive so widely, it's just signed off on proposals to limit the size at which that archive grows in the same sodding document;

Radio 3 has to do more jazz;

and less drama;

and Asian Network has to provide at least 24 hours of news and current affairs every week. Not clear if this includes sticking Five Live on overnight.

The worst thing in these new rules is that Radio 1 is going to mostly cutback the sessions and live music out of the mainstream; it's a double blow to distinctiveness.

Venuewatch: The Roadhouse

Manchester Roadhouse, one of those venues which is part toilet, part legend, is closing at the end of May.

It seems that the competition for the bands-on-the-cusp market has got too intense, and the Roadhouse is a casualty of the overcrowded market.

Britney Spears: Independent seems a little lost in the modern world

The Independent is very excited indeed by Britney Spears:

To many women, being called a "bitch", particularly by a man, is derogatory.

And there are equally as many reasons for why the term is perceived to be offensive as there are women offended by it.
Not so for Britney Spears, a pop singer who’s reiterated the word so often over the course of her career, it’s bizarrely formed part of her catchphrase ("It's Britney, bitch).

So, in a strange twist of neo-feminist fate, she’s decided to fully reclaim it with a definition of her own.

“Being a bitch means… I stand up for myself and my beliefs,” she wrote in a post on Instagram. “I stand up for those I love, I speak my mind, think my own thoughts or do things my way.
She wrote this, did she, Jenn Selby of The Independent?

Do you understand how memes work, exactly?

Sure, Britney posted the "Bitchology poem" to her Instagram account. And, yes, you might see that an embracing its viewpoint.

But it's clearly just a jpeg, and about one tenth of second with Google Image search confirms this is a "poem" which has been doing the rounds of the internet since before Grumpy Cat was a kitten.

You wonder if when Jenn sees those "funny" ecards on Facebook that she assumes the person who is posting them wrote the things: "Hey, I never knew my great aunt Margaret was such an amusing and inspirational thinker on questions of motherhood and religion. And how did she come up with that test to see if you can read all those words jumbled up? She's an undiscovered genius."

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Freeobit: Andy Fraser

Andy Fraser, bassist with Free, has died.

There's an official statement:

Andrew McLan Fraser passed away on Monday at his home in California. He leaves behind his daughters Hannah and Jasmine Fraser, and their mother Ri, his sister Gail, brothers Gavin and Alex, and many friends and associates in the industry.

“A survivor of both cancer and AIDS, Andy was a strong social activist and defender of individual human rights.
Fraser was diagnosed HIV+ in the 1980s; his illness with Sarcoma followed soon after.

On his personal website, Fraser wrote frankly about his struggle with his sexuality. Conflicted between feelings and image, he went as far as planning a suicide - talking with a reporter who had helped her terminally ill mother die; arranging how he'd do it; putting his affairs in order. Amazingly, it was the detailed planning of his death that helped him past it:
[I planned] until, in my mind, the event had already happened, and I thought 'what the bloody hell did that solve?' Nothing. So finally, I had to come around to acceptance.
Fraser didn't find coming out easy; being wracked with pain didn't help, either. He says he had to find new reasons not to kill himself every day for three years. But he got through it, finally finding a place where, in his words, he could say:
fuck you, everybody; I'm not hiding any more

A lot of his obituaries will record his victories over cancer and AIDS. His survival as a gay man in an era when that brought a mountain of struggles, and over suicidal depression, should also be celebrated.

Fraser was 62. He co-wrote a song that actually lives up to the accolade iconic:

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Glastonbury 2015: Kanye believe it?

There's been a predictable squeal of disrupted lives following the announcement that Kanye West is going to headline Glastonbury on Saturday night:

A petition has also been launched to prevent West from performing at the festival.

The petition [is] titled 'Cancel Kanye West's headline slot and get a rock band'
There's no way, just for clarity, that "rock band" is being used as shorthand for "a group of white men". That's not the intention at all. No. Not at all.

Thing is, there are good reasons for asking if Kanye is right for Glastonbury - but the objections are exactly the same as the objections to U2 headlining Glastonbury. An act well past their best before date being promoted beyond their due. And even those objections... well, you have to remember that when people say things like this...:
We spend hundreds of pounds to attend glasto, and by doing so, expect a certain level of entertainment.
... part of the reason you're paying so much money is because it's a massive festival, and there's about sixty thousand other stages to go and watch. Seriously, if you're paying that much money to go to a music festival and can't find something headlining one of the stages to enjoy, why are you paying hundreds of pounds to go to a music festival in the first place?

(With U2, there was a broader question about whether a festival that still had some pretence at being counterculturally aware ought to be booking acts who shuffle their cash off to lower tax regimes, which is a fair question. Kanye isn't a rock band isn't even a question.)

You paid your taxes. Do you want a prize? Oh, okay then.

YoonA, K-Pop star, has been given a special prize from her government:

And now . . . she is the recipient of a presidential award from the South Korean government for being a dutiful and honest taxpayer who has made a significant financial contribution to her country. As part of the award she will be an honorary ambassador of Korea’s National Tax Service, helping to promote her fellow citizens’ duty to pay taxes.
In South Korea, you're celebrated for paying your share of tax. In the UK, you get an OBE if you don't.

Why is the mainstream media not reporting this more widely?

Listen you guys, this is massive.

Shane Lynch went shopping in Redhill.

I know - where was Huw Edwards? Where was Jon "so-called" Snow? Where was Paxman Dimbleby?


Thank god the Surrey Mirror didn't flinch from reporting THE TRUTH. At some length:

BOYZONE pop band singer Shane Lynch popped into Redhill for some shopping on Monday afternoon - and happily posed for photos with a delighted fan.
Actually, that's the entire story. But... it doesn't stop the Surrey Mirror dragging it out for another fifteen paragraphs, building the drama:
He walked east along the High Steet and as he prepared to cross the road at the traffic lights outside the Tower public house at 2.30pm, a fan appeared from nowhere and plucked up the courage to ask if he was from the top "boy" band Boyzone.
I really hope the fan actually made the air quote symbols when she asked the question.

The story is strung out because the fan's photo failed:
She asked if she could take his photograph and Mr Lynch, totally unfazed, agreed to the request.

At first, the fan had to secure the help of a passer-by to take the picture. But when he clicked her mobile camera, the picture appeared blurred.
Luckily, the Mirror's Mark Davison, community editor, was nearby, and he stepped in to take a non-blurry photo. And write a long piece.

Oddly, the fan is referred to throughout as "the young lady". Perhaps so excited by the presence of "boy" "band" "man", the paper forgot to ask her name.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Pop stars doing lovely things: Mike Rosenberg

Mike Rosenberg, who is Passenger, was contacted by a fan's family. The fan, Rachael McGilvray, has got inoperable cancer, and is hoping to get married.

Rosenberg chipped in with a thousand quid to help with the costs of the ceremony.

Pop stars: Not always total asshats.

Amfar makes a curious choice

Amfar - the AIDS/HIV charity co-founded by Elizabeth Taylor - held a fundraiser in Hong Kong on Saturday.

Which is fine. Going where the money is. That makes sense.

But hang on... what was the entertainment?

HONG KONG – Robin Thicke serenaded a star-studded audience at the amfAR gala in Hong Kong on Saturday night with “Blurred Lines,” just four days after a jury in Los Angeles ordered the singer and Pharrell Williams to pay about $7.4 million to the family of Marvin Gaye, concluding that the pair’s 2013 hit song copied parts of Mr. Gaye’s “Got to Give it Up.”
Really, Amfar? You're raising money to fight against the spread of HIV by getting someone to sing a song about how it's so tricky not raping people? Do we not worry about judgement once we're out and about?

Friday, March 13, 2015

Do you wonder what Conor McNicholas is up to these days?

What happens to former NME editors?

Conor McNicholas, he of the double Andrew WK cover era, is doing this sort of thing:

Businesses need to "get radical" and change the structure of their business if they are to succeed in the new networked world, according to Conor McNicholas, the chief executive at AllTogetherNow.
McNicholas used the example of Barclays setting up an editorial board to bring together the different communications departments. He worked with Barclays at his previous employer Redwood.

Barclays put a router at the centre of the business with a representative from each department that met weekly to sign off joint actions.
He said: "At the heart of the editorial board is the concept of a shared culture. It creates a neutral space that allows those involved to bring opportunities or projects to the group and work on them together, no more meeting on your turf or mine."

McNicholas encouraged delegates to embrace the new networked world and "start kicking the shins" of the way things have always been done.
One day you're telling people that Party Hard is the greatest thing ever; the next you're punting a minor change in the comms strategy at a big bank as the revolution of our lifetimes. That's life right there, isn't it?

Madonna now peers with Status Quo

Oh, dear. Madonna now finds herself rubbing shoulders with Cliff Richard and Status Quo, shut out of the Radio One playlist and waah-waahing that it's sooooo unfair:

Pop star Madonna has called Radio 1 "discriminatory and unfair" after it declined to play her latest single.

Living For Love failed to make the station's playlist, which dictates its most-played songs, when it was released last month, leading to accusations of ageism from the 56-year-old's fans.

Speaking to The Sun, Madonna said she was "shocked" by her exclusion.

"I was like, 'Wait a second. Shouldn't it be to do with whether you wrote a good, catchy pop song?"
Come on, Madge, if you were being judged on quality alone, you'd not have been heard on Radio One since 1999.

It's hard to admit, obviously, but you're just not relevant to the target Radio One audience. It's not because of your age. It's because you sound tired.

In the Guardian a couple of weeks ago, David Connor - who saw Madonna play the Haçienda - summed up the problem she faces before she even faced it:
This story still definitely impresses people. I now teach electrical installation to 16- to 19-year-olds and, whenever I’ve mentioned it, they ask, “Who’s Madonna?” Although one of them once piped up, “I know who she is – she’s that old bird.”

I think Status Quo demanded some sort of parliamentary enquiry or something. You could try that.

It won't do any good, but it's important to keep busy as you enter your golden years.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Old pals under pressure

Blurred credit lines

I suppose that's going to have wiped the Happy off Pharrell Williams' face, as a US court rule he and Robin Thicke ripped off Marvin Gaye.

A jury decided that the music in rohyp-hop hit Blurred Lines was lifted from Gaye, and ordered a payment of nearly five million quid in damages to go to Gaye's estate.

Presumably, Gaye's family will spend most of this money on legal fees trying to get his name taken off the credits again.

Because that's not much of a victory, is it? Sure, you've got the proof that you were plagiarised, but now that crappy song is going to carry a credit that Marvin Gaye helped write it.

It's like you've broken into your the office your boss uses, and done a massive anonymous poo in the middle of their desk. But then discover that Molly from accounts is saying that she did it. You'd feel obligated to put everyone right, no matter how much you don't really want to be associated with the still-steaming turd. It might be an unpleasant pile of stinky old cack, but you'd be damned if someone else is going to pass it off as their work.

There's the potential for more problems for Thicke and Williams, as now the question of who wrote the music has been settled, they're at risk of being sued by the Friends Of Roman Polanski for lifting the lyrics from them.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Holy No'Moly

After 13 years of being the slicker alternative to Popbitch/the thinking person's Perez Hilton, Holy Moly is closing down.

Us apologise after misidentifying Kanye West as the loudest clown in town. A bit.

At the end of last week, Shirley Manson did a massive post to Facebook saying... well, this:

Dear He who shall remain nameless,

It is with great sadness that I read your email today.

Clearly you have forgotten or are just generally unaware, that in business it is always wise to be kind and respectful in your day to day dealings with other people. Especially those you have never met.

You just never know when you might meet that person who has been at the receiving end of your disrespect for indeed you may have to come on bended knee to that person later on down the line because they hold on to something of value that you need to get your greasy hands on.

What alarms me more than anything about your nasty little barbs is that you are in the business of representing artists interests and yet you are clearly unaware that not all musicians are obsessed with the charts or being famous.

That some of us do not value ourselves by the number of mainstream "hits" we have enjoyed .

That some of us just enjoy making music and having a long lifespan of a career without having to dance as fast as we can, or be the loudest clown in town or be having to hitch ourselves to the latest ,greatest, freshest sound in order to remain "on top" .

There are some of us who just like to live the way WE see fit. Make the music WE feel passionate about. Music that feels authentic to who we are and where we are in our lives.

There are even some of us who do not believe that being famous is the holy grail or the answer to a beautiful, meaningful and rewarding life.

Clearly you are unable to wrap your head around the idea that some musicians actually prefer NOT having to perform on Children's TV shows. Who do NOT want to be gossiped about in the popularity contest columns. Who most definitively do NOT want to be chased by paparazzi and who do NOT want to put their family name to some shitty , poorly made product in order to build a "brand" and who most definately do NOT want to go out every night, dressed up to the nines to the opening of an envelope.

SO allow me to make my choices as I see fit without having to endure your childish and un-evolved criticism.

As you so rightly pointed out, there are plenty of talented people in the world who will sell their grannies to serve your desires.

So now then sir, that all said,
Go F#CK yourself.
The "nameless" bit in the opening line is so frustrating if you're trying to stir up a beef, so a lot of publications - the charge led by Us - assumed that it must be Kanye West. After all, Shirl had a pop at West recently, and... well, if a gossip magazine can't think about more than one thing at a time, the same must be true of everyone, right?

Trouble is, it wasn't about Kanye. So Shirley took to Facebook again:
I would just like to state for the record that my post from a few days ago which has been heisted today by US Weekly and then consequently glommed onto by a variety of so called news sources had absolutely NOTHING to do with Kanye West whatsoever.

It was directed towards a completely unknown industry insider who had in my opinion been rather offensive in his dealings with me last week.

I take great exception to US Weekly rushing to assume who this aforementioned post was directed towards. Instead of doing their due diligence which in my opinion is their journalistic duty, they have instead made lazy, potentially libelous assumptions which I find completely offensive and entirely inaccurate.

Modern journalism in most cases these days, barely resembles the craft that was once practiced with such care, skill and integrity. Instead we are stuck with provocative scandal mongers who will stoop at nothing in an effort to drive people to their web sites.

Ignore all the stupidity and get on with your lives my friends.

I fully intend to do the same.
Be well.
(You know that somewhere there's a man reading that going 'calling me a loud clown is one thing, but now you've called me an 'unknown' - well, that's going too far, young lady. That's going too far.')

So Us have backed down:
UPDATE: An earlier version of this story stated — erroneously — that Manson had written her Facebook post specifically about Kanye West. A rep for the singer reached out to Us Weekly to clarify that the anonymous subject of Manson’s note was not, in fact, the rapper. Us regrets the error.
They regret the error.

Though not enough to bother changing the headline on the story:
Shirley Manson Trashes Unnamed Enemy as the "Loudest Clown in Town" -- Is She Talking About Kanye West?
No. No, she isn't. In the first paragraph under this headline, you apologise for saying that she was.

An error, of course, they regret.

Although not enough to actually change this image caption either:
Shirley Manson ripped Kanye West yet again on Facebook, calling Kim Kardashian's husband "the loudest clown in town" -- find out what set her off here.
That's quite a piece of work there, then, Us:
From the top, then:
Headline: Implies it might be Kanye West
Image: Says it is Kanye West
First para: Says it isn't Kanye West.

Good work, everyone.

Listen with No Rock: Molly Wilkinson

The wonderful Molly Wilkinson has just shared a cover of Dirty Old Town, which is a lovely way to start the morning.

Monday, March 09, 2015

Mergermania: Franz Ferdinand & Sparks unite

Not since Marxism Today merged with the New Statesman has there been a coming together so unexpected, but so provocative. There's going to be a tour, too.

Iggy quits. Except she doesn't.

Oh, say it ain't so, Inquisitr:

Iggy Azalea Leaves Social Media: Pop Star Deletes Her Instagram Account
Really? Her Instagram account deleted? Really?

Erm, not really. She's just handed the keys to her management. For a "break".

You'd think that 'artist whose image is built around being outspoken no longer controlling her own Instagram account so that her management can control what messages are put out under her name' is actually a far more compelling story than 'artist deletes account', wouldn't you?

Sunday, March 08, 2015

Popular music might have just died

Remember when pop stars used to swish around, doing interesting and exciting stuff?

Remember when you wanted to be a pop star?

Remember that?

Ed Sheeran and Sam Smith have a bet on to see who can lose a stone in weight fastest.

It gets worse:

According to sources, 6ft 2in Stay With Me singer Sam, 22 – who has ­struggled with his weight since childhood – has enlisted the help of a hypnotist and top Harley Street nutritionist.
This is meant to be pop. It sounds like a b-story from Downton Abbey.