Saturday, January 27, 2001

VH1-2: Although as a half hour of telly, Morrissey (The more you ignore me...) followed by The Cure (Love Cats), Silver Sun (Too Much Too Little Too Late), Cast (I'm so lonely), Stereo MCs (Connected), The The (Beaten Generation) and Hurricane Numbver One (Only The Sun and Mail Will Survive) may be an interesting and not altogether unpleasant prospect, this - at 10 this morning - was the make-up of MTV2's Alternative Music Television, a self-proclaimed showcase for "the best new videos." If this is the vanguard, god help us for the rest of the year.

HIP -OPERA: The phrase may be being used for that woman out of Destiny's Child making a rap Carmen (Malcolm McClaren will be spinning in his grave), but never mind that, its already here in the form of the truly extraoridnary Lina. If you haven't heard the incredible Playa no more, you really should - the sort of vocal gymnastic leaping that Mariah Carey or Whitney actually think they're doing, and proving that singing for the sake of it can work. Pity about the cringe-summoning fuck-mime in the video, though.

ROCK CHICK: One of the great joys of the tabloids is the way they manage to apply a veneer of fame to almost anyone. This week, some posh bint who's been dropped by some over-privileged aristocrat was languishing under "Rock Chick Dumped" headlines. Turns out she was a session singer who appeared on Murray 'brother of Giles off Buffy' Head's One Night In Bangkok single back when Chess was the new rock and roll - i.e before the phrase "the new rock and roll" had been coined. Anyone seen any more obscure clinging to the running board of celebrity?
CORRECTION: Turns out you really shouldn't believe what you read in the tabloids - the 1NIB she appeared on wasn't even that one. Um, hanging out with Cradle of Filth and appearing in porn movies that like to pretend they ain't, that'd be nearer: - nope, still none the wiser...

CD RIP-OFF "SHOCK": Its an ongoing moan, but now the European Commission is set to investigate the cost of CDs. It's pretty well acknowledged that the shiny bits of plastic are considerably more expensive than in America - where the prices are already under investigation - and the ridiculous price was established when CDs were introduced, at the expense of consumers and artists. Expect lots of high profile bleating from record labels about how much it costs to develop an artist, and so on. Then wave your napster-grilled CDRs at them, and laugh. And ask them how many careers they actually bother to develop nowadays anyway. And everything. And wonder how come CDs are still clearly overpriced in a year's time. (Go look in Virign at their constant, never ending deals - this isn;t over-stock or anything, everything will still be bringing in a profit...)

Woodbine - Neskwik
PJ Harvey - Nina In Ecstacy 2 (rediscovered obscure classic)
Caroline Alexander - Fake the Blame
and the new, not really working Loose Ends live in front of a studio audience - where Paul Daniels is currently available

Friday, January 26, 2001

REALLY, ADAM?: Adam Rickitt, still being descirbed as "Corrie Hunk" in the tabloids, despite not having set foot in Weatherfield since Ena's hairnet's last outing, has admitted that his singles were pretty shitty. Yeah, Adam, we kind of spotted that. What's the point in fessing up now, then? Can this be an attempt to reposition yourself in the market now that the pecs are starting to droop a bit, by any chance? Surely not...

Thursday, January 25, 2001

BIAFRA BAN UPHELD: A San Francisco Superior Court has upheld the jury decision last year which found Jello Biafra guilty of defrauding the rest of the Dead Kennedys, firmly adding Biafra to the Morrisey List of popstars who've ripped off their mates. Biafra, Morrissey, Tony Hadley - now there's the makings of an interesting dinner party. Cash and ownership of the DK's recordings now reverts to the rest of the band from Alternative Tentacles, with the prospect of rare and unreleased stuff, much digital remastering (oh, yeah, we so need the crystal sound on a punk classic, don't we?) and so on to come.
Music 365 reports - don't any drummers check what the deal is when they're signing contracts?
Alternative Tentacles webpage - proudly drawing parallels between the Police bringing a case against the Crucifucks, and a punk band suing one of their own...

STAR RAPPED: The BBC been forced to tighten its cross-promotion rules following complaints from IPC over onair promos for Star and Eve. Star, the teenie Hello-clone launched a few months back, has come in for a particular heckling. Live & Kicking, the dwindling BBC1 Saturday morning strand which is reduced to trying to excite viewers by offering the Wet and Messy prospect of Katy Hill getting gunged, has been instructed to alter its Star segment, to prevent "confusion" between the magazine and the slot. And how, we wonder, could anyone think that a slot that used the name, masthead and visual styling of the magazine could ever be mistaken for a promo.
MediaGuardian report - thank god nobody reads Live & Kicking magazine...

IT WAS THE MUSIC WHAT MADE ME DO IT: Unpleasant story, unpleasant ending, as parents of a girl murdered and then necrophiliated attempt to blame... Slayer, of course. In perhaps the nastiest case of grieving parents seeking to hold musicians responsible for other people's actions, the parents of Elyse Pahler have launched a civil action against the band and their label, claiming they bear some of the responsibility for her death. The band and Sony records are claiming First Ammendment.'s first Slayer story in three years - "the craziness to turn professional" defence again, then, eh?
Meanwhile, in the UK, Eminem's role as bogeyman number one has been shored up by a coroner, who descibed Marsh's references to death as "a bit off." Delivering a verdict of suicide in the case of the death of a 17 year old man from Devon, Coroner Hamish Turner noted the suicide note had been written under a copy of the lyrics of Rock Bottom. "It struck me as pretty miserable stuff. [Suicide David Hurcombe] was obviously a bit affected by this."
Because, like, there's no way he'd have been listening to the music because he was depressed, right? - NME helpfully provides click throughs so that you, too, can buy the music that killed the man...

SIMIAN PERCUSSIVE NONESENSE: Monkey Steals The Drum are about to release a single on Shifty Disco called 'Injured birds' which sort of sounds like a pussy cat's idea of a sweet gift. You really should think about buying it. Oh, and this comes from their mailout:
This show also coincides with the release of our second single 'Injured Birds' under Oxford based label 'Shifty Disco.' The first 20 people through the doors at this particular show will receive a free 'Shifty Disco' promo
CD, and will get straight to the bar with minimum hassle.

MSTD website
Lomax website

CLARIFICATION, THEN: EMI have issued a statement denying that Louise has been dropped. Why, they're even about to release a Greatest Hit album. That's not at all sounding like a contractual obligation thing, then...
NME report - and if that's not enough there'll probably be a live album, and a rarities collection...

Wednesday, January 24, 2001

IN A WORLD WHERE YOU CAN FORGET ASKING IF A BLOKE WHO'S GIVEN YOU A MILLION QUID FOR A PASSPORT, MAYBE THIS ISN'T SO FARFETCHED: Both Ocean Colour Scene and Shed Seven have told the NME they didn't know that there was any sort of problem with Nestle products, following outpourings of tut last week when they were found to have accepted offers to appear on a chocolate bar related promotion. Personally, we're quite fond of the Nescafe speciality coffees and butter Polos, and aren't entirely sure that forcing Nestle to divest its sub saharan baby milk interests would actually make much of a difference, but we wouldn't accept sponsorship cash from Nestle 'cause it'd fuck people off. So, nul points to Cast, OCS and Shed Seven for presentation, then. Not for the first time. While OCS and Shed 7 tracks have been pulled from the Aero-branded CD, fans of the faded britpop bands who also want to register their support for the Swiss Multinational will be pleased to hear virtually identical CDs are currently available on packets of Nestle Golden and Cinnamon Grahams. Oh, and while the whole country may be pissing themselves at Cast et al trying to claim they didn't spot the baby milk action campaigns, look to your own laurrels - last year James, OCS and Shed Seven all appeared on CDs that came with Crosse & Blackwell Snack Stops. And nobody said a dicky bird.*
baby milk action - You sure you've not heard about this, Rick Witter?
nestle - Food for life. Unless you're a sub-Saharan African baby, of course...

Tuesday, January 23, 2001

FAVOURITE FALLEN IDOL: Lousie appears in the last Melody Maker poster special sharing a drink with Brian Molko. Less than a month later, she's dropped by her record company. Coincidence? We think not.

OOH, MANSON, GET YOU: Marilyn 'look, eyeliner, look, cold meats' Manson has arrived in the UK, which would be almost the dullest thing to mention were it not for the reaction of our old friend, the bonkers jesus people who spent all day camped outside the Manchester Evening News Arena in order to (i) pray for his soul; (ii) tell him they loved him and (iii) give him a Christian rock CD - the last of which seems to be a bit heavy in punishment for a bit of light godmocking. Talking to, protestor Dennis Wriggley said that they knew Manson was going to be mocking god during his show because they'd all read about him avidly in the pop press. (Sadly, there's clearly not enough Christians left in the country to keep Melody Maker and Select going.) Right, so that's not a second-hand viewpoint, then.
Mansonwatch: MM has also visited a (gosh) fetish club, clad outrageously in, um, a cowboy hat. So far, no portents of impending evil have been recorded in the country.
Hey, kids, don't spit at bibles... - thank god he's not read the autobiography...

NEW MANICS GO ALL NEW LABOUR: The NME is offering a chance to hear the new Manic Street Preachers single
'so why so sad', eh?
it's sleeper attempting to recreate the Spector wall of sound with medium density fibreboard. Sounding like a band so desperate for a new direction, they'd follow an egg wagon along a country lane. is saying "not what we expected" - in the sense, presumably, that the manics have never done 'pleasant but vacuous' before.

Monday, January 22, 2001

ALAN McGEE "QUITE GOOD" SHOCK: Yes, shockingly, Alan's Poptones Radio 4 show - confusingly on XFM - is pretty good. Alan and his slapstick sidekick fill the airwaves with stuff, displaying better taste than on his currently recurring picks for MTV2, which is a bit Melody Maker nurock heavy. They even gave repeated plays to the mighty TLC after getting complaints the first time they played them. Downside: Only on for an hour, on up against Peel, and, erm, shouldn't XFM be this eclectic all the time?
X FM - available online and also to 4.5 million houses through Sky Digital Channel 924

HATFULL OF HOLLOW: He may not be rolling on the floor of a hospital after all, but on the evidence of the GREAT BIG HAT worn by Alan Ant on I heart 1981 on Saturday, he may have already torn his hair out. A great edition of the nostalgiafest, with Kim Wilde saying she was jealous of Clare Grogan, Clare admitting she stole her kid sister's clothes for Top of the Pops, Toyah speculating on how she could have been singing about thunder in the mountains while Shakin' Stevens "was singing about a door" and John Taylor still looking as dream-flake filled as ever. What we learned was: Kim Wilde thought the outfit she worse in The Second Time video was like "bondage" - which would make the inflatable on Cheggers Plays Pop some sort of dungeon; David Jason is a good sport, finding time to pop in to do some voicing for Dangermouse and that nobody had the sense to send Miranda Sawyer a Valentines Card. Disturbingly, the I Heart slot next week has got Holocaust Day memorial programming in it, offering the worrying prospect of Jamie Theakston muttering "What was all that about? That Hitler was a right nutter..."