Sunday, August 02, 2015

Legendobit: Cilla Black

It's been announced this morning that Cilla Black has died. It feels weird that this time yesterday I was writing about her being on the NME cover in 1986.

She had an astonishing career - not the only person who had the good fortune to be born in Liverpool at just the right time to catch a rising tide, but with the personality to take that advantage and turn it into whatever was needed to work.

Singer; presenter; presenter who sang her own theme tune. There were many Cillas. But my Cilla - and I say this without any side - is this my Cilla, the Cilla I first encountered. Advertising Cilla:

(Actually, the one that has been banging round my head for nearly 40 years was 'I know it's not just me/ all my friends agree', but that doesn't seem to be online.)

There's not many current pop stars who could convincingly push a slightly nasty chocolate cube into a stranger's mouth and not come across as creepy; and much as I love Charli XCX, I couldn't really picture her working a sofa with Bob Carolgees on one side and a pair of twins who hadn't seen each other in twenty years on the other.

Bear Grylls might think he knows something about survival, but Cilla's career shows what survival really looks like.

This week just gone

Ten years old: The most popular stories from August 2010:

1. The AC Chart and the Fresh 40 Chart will save music
2. Louise Who Used To Be In Eternal now advertising bread
3. Melissa Etheridge now cancer-free
4. Tatu announce plans to work with Sting, Dave Stewart, Richard Carpenter
5. Marilyn Manson asks 'what about Harry Potter?'
6. Jon Brookes reveals new Charlatans album will sound like The Charlatans
7. Nico movie cast
8. Liam Gallagher marries well
9. Portugal give U2 a massive award
10. The odd world of Avril Lavigne dress-up dolls

These came out over a week ago now:

Gwenno - Y Dydd Olaf

Download Y Dydd Olaf

Hannah Peel - Rebox 2

Download Rebox 2

Ducktails - Saint Catherine

Download St Catherine

Saturday, August 01, 2015

Morrissey patted down, touched up

Disappointingly, the official TSA blog has kept quiet about Morrissey's claims that his penis was fondled by a security screener at San Francisco airport - although they do report twelve people around the US trying to take bear mace through in their carry-ons. You've got to be one hell of a nervous flier to think you need to be prepared in case there's a bear on the plane, surely?

The TSA have denied that anyone groped Mozzer, though:

A TSA spokesperson said in a statement to Rolling Stone magazine Thursday that after reviewing closed-circuit TV footage of the encounter, the officer in question appeared to have “followed standard operating procedures in the screening of this individual.”

"TSA takes all allegations of misconduct seriously and strives to treat every passenger with dignity and respect," TSA spokesperson Mike England said in the statement.
That respect thing must be difficult when you're faced with someone who thinks it's okay to climb aboard with a can or two of bear incapacitant - or the dozens of yahoos who want to take their loaded guns to have with them as they fly.

The appearance of Morrissey in this story shouldn't shift the focus away from the TSA, as this isn't the first time screeners have been accused of sexually assaulting travellers. It's not even the second time. Depressingly, allegations of sexual assault by screeners are incredibly common.

In fact, if you travel through Denver in 2014, you'd be lucky if it hasn't happened to you. It was quite the thing:
According to law enforcement reports obtained during the CBS4 investigation, a male TSA screener told a female colleague in 2014 that he “gropes” male passengers who come through the screening area at DIA.

“He related that when a male he finds attractive comes to be screened by the scanning machine he will alert another TSA screener to indicate to the scanning computer that the party being screened is a female. When the screener does this, the scanning machine will indicate an anomaly in the genital area and this allows (the male TSA screener) to conduct a pat-down search of that area.”
It took three months from the TSA in Denver being told about this before they did anything about it.

And that's just the top of the pile. Some allegations have been revealed following a FOI request, and they make pretty grim reading:
The female TSO then proceeded to roughly feel of [sic] her breast including her nipples. The TSO didn’t go under her arms or along her sides. She indicated that she did not receive a proper pat down. The search was limited to her breast… Two other individuals came over to where the supervisor and gentleman were and they began laughing. The caller indicated that the incident was not the business of the other two officers and not a show for them. The caller indicated that even the Supervisor, along with the others, began to roar with laughter.
So when Morrissey says he was assaulted at the screening point, the only surprising part of that story is that Morrissey wants to leave San Francisco. Everything else is too grimly believable.

Twittergem: Tiffany

Not every artist would be delighted to hear their old work is going for fifty cents in a bargain bin, which is why Tiffany is to be cherished:

Countryobit: Lynn Anderson

When I was growing up, my parents listened to Radio 2, so Lynn Anderson's Rose Garden was a fundamental part of my childhood. What I didn't know about her, until today's obituaries, was that she appeared in Starsky And Hutch:

Lynn Anderson died following a heart attack on July 30th. She was 67.

How can you tell if you don't actually have anything to write about?

Handy hint: if that is your headline for the story, New York Post, and the story doesn't include the line "police found evidence of two-dozen feline auriculectomies believed to be connected to the manufacture of the dress", you don't actually have a story.

David Cassidy sells up

David Cassidy is bankrupt, and selling his house. He's even reduced to showing people round the home in a bid to sell it:

At least he hasn't yet had to endure Amanda Lamb turning up to cast judgement on how he lives ("offer ways to help with the clutter"), I guess.

And Cassidy won't be down for long. Apparently he's got a Christmas album coming out, so if you do happen to be in a car park at the same time as he is, do pick up a copy.

What the pop papers say: The last NME

Yesterday, Conor McNicholas, former NME editor, Instagrammed a photo of the last-ever NME (paid version) with the words "I'm holding a piece of history".

If even a former editor didn't exactly bother rushing out to get it when it hit the newsstands, you're looking at a piece of history that somehow struggled to write itself.

So what do we get for the extra quid on the cover price? It's a bumper edition - 132 pages, although 50 of those pages are reproductions of the greatest covers (or the "greatest" covers). And I say reproductions, but the older covers - at a guess, the ones which predate digital production on the magazine - look really shit. I can't work out if they're supposed to be artfully distressed, or if they're just distressed. On a few, you can even make out the adverts on page two peeking through. Even covers which have been reproduced elsewhere, in better quality, like the Shaun Ryder on the giant E one, have turned up for closedown looking like they've been scanned for a school project.

What else is there? A history of the magazine spends longer on the punk years than the interesting bit in the middle. The hip-hop wars get a mention - and the 1988 "Greatest Rock & Roll Band In The World" Public Enemy cover is neatly tied to Kanye's Glastonbury pronouncement of his "greatest living rock star" status, but curiously Barry Nicolson declares "the hip-hop warriors eventually won". A strange victory, as Kanye aside, there's not been any other hip hop act (or even hip-hop-ish) on the cover of the NME since Skrillex over a year earlier. If hip hop won - and that's not an unfair suggestion - then the NME was very much the warrior who didn't hear the war was at an end; fighting on deep in the jungle. Fighting on against those deeply into jungle.

This bit's odd, too:

Indie remained the paper's bread and butter, however, and a series of questionable laet-80s cover stars (Cilla Black, anyone?) hinted at a scene in the doldrums
The impression here is that somehow indie was in such a parlous state by the end of the 80s that Cilla Black was an indie hero.

Let's just unwind this a moment. The Black cover was the front of an issue about TV (Victoria Wood and Dennis Potter also featured in that edition; at the time, Cilla Black was the biggest thing on TV. And this issue looking at TV was part of the era when NME used music as an entry point into writing about the wider culture - this was the week after the famous Youth Suicide all-black cover.

More importantly, while the 80s NME covered indie well, it's a myth to say that indie was the paper's bread and butter. It might have been the margarine, but the main features around this time were as likely to be the Eurythmics or Suzanne Vega as The Wedding Present or The Smiths. In fact, the run of really indie covers (when Smiths and Mark E Smith and Pop Will Eat Itself) had yet to happen when the Cilla Black front page was published.

And it's the date that's really important - because Cilla Black on the front of the NME happened in 1986. 1986. The point where C86 came out - which Nicholson describes just a few paragraphs before as helping "define and contextualise [the] scene". The scene which, we're supposed to believe, was in the doldrums. I know times were tough in the mid 80s, but nobody was ever going to send away for a tape which gathered together the last farts of a dying scene.

The thing is, there's no shortage of actual covers which could have been used to make a similar point - early in 1990, the paper was reduced to painting a world map on a bald writer's head to do a front page.

Barry ends his piece like this:
We approach the future cognisant of the most valuable lesson learned from our past: that music doesn't stand still, and we can't afford to, either.
Well, Time Magazines (formerly IPC) clearly couldn't afford to stand still.

Otherwise, there's a rummage in the archives - a welcome outpouring of love for Swells and Peter Robinson; some features get re-run; as do some live photos. Really oddly for a paper who insists even its reboot is going to be about music, though, the live photos come with only a couple of lines from the original review, and there's no space at all for any reprints of record reviews. Some bits of Thrills are republished, although the introduction is wrong (it was only satrical and made-up for half its life; initially it was straight-faced short items and featurettes - a look back at page 16 shows this because there's Thrills covering the Pistols on the Grundy show) and the reproduction of the cutting so poor you just have to take the captions' word for it that they were funny.

And a chilling statistic: Oasis in their various incarnations have appeared on the cover 78 times. Bowie has only managed 32 (he held the record for a bloody long time, too.) You could argue that Oasis sell papers, but the downward line on the circulation graph would argue they don't.

What does it amount to, then? As a summation of a 63 year history, it's okay - it's effectively the 60th anniversary edition they seemed too embarrassed to produce. They're still treating Lana Del Ray as a big deal, although the rest of the world seems to have moved on. But it's mostly a big thick line. Running through the pages is a signal that this isn't going to be relaunch like Time Out or the Evening Standard - dropping the cover price, reworking the title, but remaining as close as possible to the old model. This feels more like its going to be that time Zig Zag merged with One Two Testing, and tried to start from scratch while keeping the old audiences.

Still, if it means a few fewer Oasis covers, it won't be all bad.

The NME has fallen silent. Next month, who knows what will rise in its place?

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

NME prepares to join the free sheets

Tomorrow is the last day the NME will be trying to charge people money for their services; to mark the occasion they are inviting users to add page impressions wildly ("click through 50 best covers to vote for the best").

They've found space for Simon Cowell's 2009 cover. That's the standard we're going with.

Personally, although I always think the much-hated Youth Suicide issue was the best NME cover ever, and I have a soft spot for the Motorcycle Boy one which was a by-product of corporate meltdowns, I think the occasion should be marked with this one:

Yes, it was awful. But it's a key cover in the NME history, because it was the point where the magazine passed its point of no return.

Not just the WK cover choice - or that they added a second cover because they believed him to be so brilliant. But that does tell its own story - a magazine which would have once seen through his schtick desperately trying to laugh along, hoping it would catch up with the joke.

It's the rest of the stuff on the cover - you could argue what you're looking at it is an eclectic title offering a range of delights. But it's not, is it? It's a rudderless ship throwing not-very-interesting bits of every flavour in the hope something will catch. Travis. Oasis. ODB well past his best.

It wasn't a question of who is this title for, but why is this title here? And over the subsequent 14 years, there have been fluctuations in quality - the magazine got a lot better, and more interesting, and then less so, and then more so again. But that cover - Andrew WK, so good that he needed two covers that week; so poor he never got near the cover again - feels like the point where the paper moved from making the weather, to sheltering from it.

Monday, July 27, 2015

A small round of applause

Hadley Freeman sticks up for Kate Moss in today's Guardian, and in the course of it says this:

I’ve heard and read plenty of tut-tutting about Moss’s alleged former drug use, with much headshaking about the global damage done by drug users and so on, and that’s just grand: well done on your “virtue signalling”, to borrow a useful term coined by the New Statesman’s Helen Lewis. Strangely, though, I very rarely hear such qualms expressed about, oh, let’s say, Noel Gallagher, who has talked frequently about his former cocaine abuse and yet now seems on the fast track to national treasure status, despite writing songs so boring I honestly believe they should not be played on the radio out of concern for drivers falling asleep at the wheel.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Helly Luv is actually an edgy pop star

Time to catch up with Helly Luv, who makes most so-called edgy acts seem like the soft options they are:

She's Iraqi. That song is a direct attack on ISIS. And she insisted on making the video for it in Iraq.

All Things Considered have been to Iraq to find out how she's gone down there:

This week just gone

The top five stories last week:

1. Savage Garden's Daniel Jones seems quite lovely
2. Tim Worthington's guide to terrible protest songs
3. Music your neighbours like best
4. Three Doors Down are looking out for their fans
5. Lily Allen hires a trainer for her face

Last week's new releases:

Flying Saucer Attack - Instrumentals

Download Instrumentals

Samanthan Crain - Under Branch & Thorn & Tree

Download Sing Into My Mouth

Ben Bridwell & Iron And Wine - Sing Into My Mouth

Download Sing Into My Mouth

Tame Impala - Currents

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Chris Brown: now free

Disappointing news for schadenfreude fans: Chris Brown is out of the Philippines:

Journalists saw Brown and around 10 others boarding his private plane parked at an airport hangar, with one taking a selfie before going into the plane.

Tan said Brown obtained the departure clearance at the bureau's extension office and not at the main office in downtown Manila where dozens of journalists were staking out.

She said the clearance was given after "verifying that Chris Brown has no other derogatory record apart from the (immigration lookout bulletin)" that was issued Wednesday.
No other derogatory records? Has she not heard Fortune?

It turns out Jar Jar Binks could have been even worse

According to Ahmed Best, who played the most universally despised figure ever to appear on film (and, yes, that's including Triumph Of The Will), his part in Star Wars nearly went to Michael Jackson:

"Me, Natalie Portman, and George's kids - we were at Wembley Arena at Michael Jackson's concert. We were taken backstage and we met Michael.

"There was Michael and Lisa Marie [Presley]. George introduced me as 'Jar Jar' and I was like, 'That's kind of weird.' Michael was like, 'Oh. OK.' I thought, 'What is going on?'

"After Michael had driven off, we all go back up to a big afterparty. I'm having a drink with George and I said, 'Why did you introduce me as Jar Jar?"

"He said, 'Well, Michael wanted to do the part but he wanted to do it in prosthetics and make-up like Thriller.' George wanted to do it in CGI."
Best's theory is that Lucas didn't want to have Jacko in the film because his presence would have overwhelmed the movie. Which is a bit like someone taking a poo in the kitchen sink but moving the dishcloths first so it doesn't get too unhygienic.

How's Chris Brown getting on in the Philippines?

It sounds like he's not doing well, being held in the country over a contract dispute:

in his third video the 26-year-old was filmed on his knees and saying, "Please, please, let us leave, please,” suggesting Brown was becoming increasingly concerned about his situation. The video was captioned, "OBAMA!!!!!!!!!!" but has since been removed from his page.

Brown also published a series a panicked tweets denying any wrong-doing and claiming he was trapped in a “serious situation” that someone needed to be held accounted for.

I have nothing to do with anything going on right now. I came back to Manila to do a make up show for New Years. I did the show 3 days ago

This is a very serious situation and someone needs to be held accountable for mixing my name up in all this. I've done nothing wrong!!!
If only Chris Brown wasn't such a reprehensible person, it might be possible to feel sorry for him. Instead, it's just amusing. I'm guessing the plan is for him to be held in the country until he's given the nation entertainment to the value of the million dollars they say they paid him for the gig he never played.

Friday, July 24, 2015

No apology needed

There's no need to apologise, Seattle Times. Just no need.

Taylor Swift makes amends. A bit.

Shortly after Taylor Swift called out Apple on their attempts to make artists cover the costs of the three month Apple Music trials, Jason Sheldon pointed out that the terms she imposed on photographers weren't entirely fair, either.

While Apple crumbled overnight in the face of Swift's attacks, Swift has taken longer to respond to Sheldon but her people have just launched a new contract which goes some way to addressing Sheldon's worries.

The new contract does make clear that the camera people keep copyright on the pictures and will be credited if Swift or her team choose to use them on social media but it's still pretty restrictive.

Someone doesn't want Chris Brown to go

This must be a strange feeling for Chris Brown - normally, whenever he turns up people can't wait for him to bugger off again. In the same way the Queen believes all public buildings smell of paint, Brown must assume that everyone in the world is just about to go to bed at every point in time.

But at last, someone is saying 'don't go, Chris Brown. Don't go."

Unfortunately for Brown, it's the Philippines authorities and they're pretty much holding him because of a legal dispute.

Ironically, the dispute that's keeping him in the country is as a result of a time when he didn't turn up before:

Brown’s visit to the Philippines had appeared to be going smoothly after he performed a concert Tuesday evening in front of a crowd in Manila, the capital.

But that same night, authorities issued an order to stop any attempts by him to leave. It was put in place to compel him to pay money that promoters said was owed to them after he failed to appear for a previous appearance scheduled for last New Year’s Eve.
Brown is apparently confused by it all. That's not entirely surprising, though.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Leave it to Bieber

Tori Kelly is gathering on the horizon, with so many US entertainment franchises invested in her (Ameircan Idol, Star Search et al) we're probably not going to be able to avoid her.

I know what you're thinking - how will one so young cope with a sudden rush of fame?

Don't worry, she's got a sponsor:

At least Kelly, 22, doesn't have to feel overwhelmed – she has friends in high places who are eager to help guide her on her journey to pop super-stardom. Unsuspecting role model Justin Bieber took it upon himself to offer the burgeoning pop star – whose first album, Unbreakable Smile, debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 – some advice on handling fame.
Yeah, advice on handling fame from Justin Bieber. I'm presuming we're looking at something along the lines of 'when you egg a house go at least two blocks down and don't do your neighbour' and 'when you're on the live link to give evidence, try and blink a bit so you look normal'.

Actually, here's what he said:
You've just gotta appreciate all these people here supporting you and like that's what it's about. It's about the people and it will go by so fast.
Is Tori sure that was Justin Bieber, only it sounds like my Aunt Maureen after the third Christmas sherry.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Is there any role in life which we can truly say is without value?

Yes. Yes there is:

Pop Star Lily Allen Hires A New Personal Trainer For Her Face
I'm opposed to fracking, but starting to think that anything which hastens the end for a species which has personal trainers for faces might have something going for it.

Three Doors Down - two thumbs up

There's not many occasions Three Doors Down deserve a standing ovation, but this time they do:

Three Doors Down singer Brad Arnold kicked a fan out of a show in Colorado on Tuesday after he spotted him pushing a woman in the audience.

The frontman halted the gig in Broomfield and urged security to escort the rowdy fan out of the venue.

He raged, “Hang on, hang on, hang on. Hey, hey homie. You don’t hit a woman. You just pushed a woman out of the way to get in a fight, you d—!

“Get him the hell out of here.”
It's not cool to hit anyone making your way through a crowd, of course.

Up until today, I'd have argued that being ejected from a Three Doors Down gig would be a badge of honour. Not any more.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Bookmarks: Protest songs

Oh, Edwyn Collins, you might believe there's not enough protest songs, but Tim Worthington is disproving you all over town with his guide to ten of most ineffectual protest songs of all time. It somehow misses off Back To The Planet's Please Don't Fight, but does corral everyone from Bill Oddie to Bros:

Matt and Luke attempt to reverse their Dumper-wards trajectory with an impassioned gospel-inflected ecological plea delivered to some bloke eating crisps, warning that there will be no birds up in the sky unless 'we' stop 'it' now. Presumably the minor landslide of vinyl, cassettes, 'Postermags', badges, t-shirts, leather jackets, pilfered bottle tops and Summer Specials containing bizarre text stories about kidnappers plotting to hold Matt to ransom in 'our 'oliday 'ome' that they had left in their wake did not constitute part of the 'it'.

Do you wonder what music your neighbours like?

Not what music your immediate neighbours like, of course - that, thanks to poor building materials and high density housing you can't help but know as the dull thud of Heart FM trickles through the party wall.

But what music do the people of your town and/or city like? Spotify have created an interactive map which spits out a playlist of tracks favoured by people at any given postcode, and over at Quirker Michael Moran has been looking at it with his beautiful eyes:

For example, Hull's music selection shows quite a lot of love for local band The Beautiful South while down the road in Lincoln they're more promiscuous in their taste, taking in the likes of Spanish DJ Dr Kucho and Bristol duo Blonde.
If I were Spotify, I'd nip over to Hull and check that it's not actually members of The Beautiful South with a room full of iPads trying to boost their royalties, to be honest.

The Quirker piece has the full map, so you can decide - once and for all - which is the most godforsaken musical toiletbowl on the face of the planet.

This week just gone

Hotter than July - the most popular stories from any July:

1. Mariah Carey blames 9/11 for Glitter flopping
2. Noel Gallagher: If I was gay, I'd be the best gay
3. Tony Thompson: Cause of death
4. Mel B drops claims over 'sexual hijinks'
5. Pete Doherty runs to papers over loss of Kate Moss
6. Nick Lachey tries to block pap sex pix
7. Lee Ryan isn't gay
8. Ben Lee only wanted you to look naked
9. Panic At The Disco split
10. Sweden change 'free to copy for personal use' law that 90% of people weren't using anyway

These were last week's new releases:

Veruca Salt - Ghost Notes

Download Ghost Notes

Ezra Furman - Perpetual Motion People

Download Perpetual Motion People

Lucy Rose - Work It Out

Download Work It Out

Four Tet - Morning/Evening

Download Morning/Evening

Little Boots - Working Girl

Download Working Girl

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Daniel Jones seems quite lovely has caught up with Daniel Jones, the half of Savage Garden who didn't pursue a solo career. And he seems lovely:

Lucratively and uncommonly, the pair own the rights to their own music, which they haven’t put on streaming sites, and have remastered their albums and released a new singles compilation.

That has got Jones doing his first interview in many years, but he’s politely declined to send updated photos of himself, still happy to live off the radar.
Thankfully, the website resists the temptation to try and do one of those computer-aged photos which police use to try and track down missing people years later, allowing him to enjoy both his anonymity and what being in Savage Garden did for him financially:
I remind myself of the guy in that Hugh Grant movie Music and Lyrics where he inherited royalties from some old songs. Sometimes I feel like that character in that I’m still getting paid for something I did nearly 20 years ago. That in itself is quite amazing. But it’s how the beast works, it’s how residuals and royalties happen. I’m so appreciative of the fact I’m still getting paid today for something I did so long ago. I did it not to get paid, I did it because I loved doing it. It was that innocent. For someone today to still be putting their hands in their pocket and buying our music, I’m so honoured by that.
(About A Boy rather than Music And Lyrics, surely?)

So, what is he up to these days?
I still enjoy [music], I still write and record and play around with it purely for fun, the same way I did 20 years ago with Darren. But I don’t take it as seriously any more as far as the dream I dreamt. Which I realised wasn’t really my ideal dream. The dream I’m dreaming now is another one I’ve dreamt but I’m happy and that is a family.
I'm sorry, I think I stopped following that around the sixth or seventh dream. I think he's saying he's trapped in an Inception-like nightmare. (Actually, he's working in real estate.)

Although bands still working twenty, thirty, even fifty years in to a career is fairly inspiring, I think there's something a lot more impressive about musicians who have gone on to do something away from the glare of publicity and are quite happy about that.

Simon LeBon has sympathy for One Direction

Simon LeBon looks at One Direction. He know what they're going through. That was him, once. (Except Duran had to come up with ideas and make records and play instruments, but... you know what I mean).

Simon feels for them:

"They are a cash cow for so many people," he said. "There's a huge pressure to never take a break."
I'm not sure they're cash cows, are they? They're more golden-egg laying geese, which will be worked to death. And not slowly. Maybe battery hens.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Maroon 5 no longer heading for China

Maroon 5's planned dates in China aren't going to happen now. There's speculation as to why:

No official explanation has been given with a statement from Live Nation, the band’s promoter, alluding only to an unspecified “reason”.

The cancellations sparked speculation that a tweet sent by Jesse Carmichael, the group’s keyboard player, was responsible.

In the message, posted on July 4, Carmichael sent birthday wishes to the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama. The musician reportedly attended a party celebrating the Buddhist leader’s 80th birthday in the United States.

The tweet, since deleted, linked to a photograph on Instagram that was also later removed.
It could be the tweet was the reason. What I suspect happened is someone in power actually heard Maroon 5 and started combing the social media output of the band looking for an excuse.

The Times used to be a serious newspaper

The horrible death of a child in an accident can be difficult. What's the correct way to react? How do treat the parents.

Here's a clue: you don't treat the parents the way The Times has just treated Nick Cave following the death of his son.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

50 Cent? He WISHES he had 50 Cent

50 Cent has declared himself to be bankrupt:

In papers filed with the US bankruptcy court in Hartford, Connecticut, on Monday, 50 Cent, real name Curtis Jackson, reported assets and debts in the $10m to $50m range. According to the petition, 50 Cent holds primarily consumer debts, which are debts “incurred by an individual primarily for a personal, family or household purpose”.
If you'd like a full Ozymandias moment, might I suggest you turn your attention to 2009's Business Insider piece, 50 Cent's Massive Business Empire. There's a parade of the piles of cash which, it turns out, 50 Cent has managed to lose:
50 Cent, you'll recall, is the raised-from-the-dead, shot-9-times rapper, produced by Dr. Dre and Eminem.

But fame did not make him the big bucks, smart business moves did (Just ask Gary Coleman).

Once you're it, says 50 Cent, there is no time to rest on laurels. It's time to market the hell out of yourself – thus, getting more exposure.

Most importantly, you have monetize your popularity. From book deals to vitamin water to moisturizers, 50 Cent is dabbling in almost everything.
It's probably all that vitamin water which accounts for how he's pissed it all away.

Although is this bankruptcy quite all it seems?
The bankruptcy report arrives three days after a jury ordered the rapper to pay $5m to Lastonia Leviston, of Pembroke Pines, Florida, for buying her sex tape, editing it with his own narration and posting it online without her permission.
Nah, 50 Cent wouldn't file a bankruptcy claim just to avoid having to pay the money he owes to a woman who he humiliated "for a laugh", would he? Because that would be even harder to swallow than his foul-tasting Street King energy drink.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Who says boyband members aren't bright?

Faced with a demand for a £45 baggage fee when he tried to get on Easyjet with too much hand luggage, Rewind's James McElvar did what any sensible person would do.

He paid the £45 fee and got on board, deciding to take more care packing next time
He put all his clothes on.

Ha! That'll show Easyjet and their not-actually-unreasonable attempts to stop people cluttering up overhead bins with bags that don't fit, right?

How did it work out for him?

Not well, actually:

The Sun reports that McElvar wore 12 layers of clothing after facing an additional charge of £45 for having too many bags.

The newspaper states that McElvar "became violently ill and suffered a fit" with "an off-duty paramedic treat[ing] him as passengers looked on".

"I thought I was a goner and that I was having a heart attack," the singer told The Sun.

"The woman said either one bag went in the hold or we weren't getting on. The rest of the band had gone through so I couldn't give them any of the clothes. I was told I’d either have to pay a £45 fee to get it on the plane, get the flight the next morning, bin the clothes or wear them."
God help us if he ever gets let lose at an All You Can Eat Pizza Hut buffet.