Thursday, May 23, 2002

TEN:ten reasons why Jay Kay must be stopped:
1. The Hat
2. Actively encouraging the press to call himself "The cat in the hat"
3. Fucking Denise Van Outen
4. Appearing in magazines talking about how much he is in love with Denise Van Outen
5. Fucking over Denise Van Outen
6. "Look at my cars! Aren't they great?"
7. That video of him dancing in a featureless white corridor
8. You're not Stevie Wonder...
9. And you're not even trying to copy his best stuff, either - you sound like a pisspoor remake of the lady in red soundtrack
10. There is nothing more tossery than naming your band after yourself. Unless you're Helen Love.

MAMMA MIA: Nice to hear Benny and Bjorn from Abba on this morning's Today (presumably because they're picking up their lifetime achievement award at the Ivors in about an hour?) I hope someone taped this and played it to the BeeGees as an example of How Not To Behave Like Cunts. Cheerfully admitting their music was populist, taking the piss out of their jump suits, they just came across as genuinely likeable people. And they wrote Dancing Queen, too. Cheers, the Swedes.
Listen to it here - if only there was a webcam...

"We only play what we want, and nothing else" - BBC 6 Music slogan
"I wanted to play madonna, but I'm not allowed" - Liz Kershaw, 6Music, 22/05/02

Jordyn's Journal - part primer, part scrapbook, part review, this anglophile-american blog has recently set out on the seemingly impossible task of collating the top ten British albums ever. It's not the ten you'd expect, and personally, I'd have banned Crystal Days on the grounds that its more of a box set, and would argue that I should coco hasn't aged well at all, remaining a document of times when there was nothing in the times to document, but if you ever found a spurious chart you agreed totally with, you'd be working for the now-defunct Pepsi Chart, wouldn't you? The 'Introducing...' slot is pretty nifty, too, although it makes me feel old. But then most things do.

THE END OF THE SPORTS STRANGLEHOLD?: It's always been a pisser to me the way that sport has been treated like the holy grail of broadcasting - ooh, get some golf rights and you'll double your audience. But it seems that that golden age for sweaty men is drawing to a close - the FA Cup barely registered on the ratings meters; the whole ITV Digital debacle happened; nobody much seems to want Scottish League football on their channels; nobody is buying novelty football records this year. Even that Beckham party was virtually footballer free. And now comes the news that the decision of Teamtalk to buy Atlantic252 and turn it into a non-stop sports yammering station has stiffed - after two months, the disappearing audience has forced them to put the station up for sale. Wouldn't it be excellent if it was bought and turned back into a music service?
Thought that 24 hour sport was the way to go [MediaGuardian] - yes, for that large 3 am audience for an update on the England team - "they're sleeping, Chris"

"Channel 5's controller of youth, music and interactive Sham Sandhu says [buying the rights to Party in the Park] signals the company's "big ambitions" in the area of music and promises more pop and rock programmes in its prime schedule during the coming year" - Music Week, 18th May 2002
"Channel 5 has dumped the four-year-old Pepsi Chart Show after after the programme lost two-thirds of its audience in 12 months." Media Guardian, 23rd May 2002

Wednesday, May 22, 2002

seven has relaunched, as the first ever weekly dance mag reinvents itself as a monthly, like all the others. Um... only problem is, if you're now not coming out every seven days, shouldn't you be renamed thirty, or thirty-one, excepting february, which would be twenty-eight, or twenty-nine in each leap year? Also curious is the lobbing overboard of the serious dance angle to become just another dance-music-themed lifestyle rag. Maybe seven is the number of issues they expect before the plug is pulled...

bizarrely, the top shelf at out local Smiths now boasts a wealth of Blair-funding porn, Gay Times, Diva, AXM and... um, Dazed and Confused. What's even odder, though, is that while the not-sexual at all D&C is on the wrist shelf, the genuinely gay Attitude is down at "could scare kids" lower shelf, lifestyle mag shelf...

just how seriously does Moby take his greenchristianmorality stance? we only ask because he didn't seem at all uneasy being surrounded by naked women in a photo shoot for Q. Yes, we know it was a supposed homage to that Hendrix cover (though lacking the wit of Onionhead's Electric Ladland ep sleeve of a few years back) but... seriously, Moby promos using tits and fanny? Don't tell us, Mobe - the record company made you, did it?...

"Fifty Years of Sex, Drugs & Rock and roll" - maybe this week the nme coverline is apt, as front page is given over to Ozzy...

Eminem the new Matt Johnson? "When I worked nine to five, I expected to get a fucking pay cheque. It's the same with music" whines Marshall, all het up because some "scrawny little dickhead" has put his album on the internet. Hey, Em - lighten up, mate - you sound as whiney as one of those lesbians who objected to your singing about raping them if they won't sleep with you. (joke used on XRRF yesterday. and probably tomorrow). Chris Martin is the voice of reason here, as the Coldplay bloke observes "You see what Hobnobs look like before you open the packet, don't you?" - meaning its a try before you buy thing, we think...

other bizarre things: Liam Gallagher refused to sing a line in the new Death in Vegas song because they used the f-word - ("Fuhrer"); Radio One have edited out the references to roiphy from the Prodigy song, thereby foiling their attempts to be fashionably banned; Fischerspooner describe their new stage show as "more The King and I than colonial", thereby proving they have neither style nor an understanding of the works of Yul Brynner; there's a big question makr hanging over the future of Glasto, Leeds and Reading - does nobody else find it ironic that Mendip Council insisted on the Mean Fiddler being in charge of Glasto security when the Fiddler's Leeds festival ended in a riot in 2000, and the 2001 Reading festival played host to a rape and a toilet block being razed to the ground? Maybe Eavis should be offering Power tips instead; Simon Goddard has unearthed a lost smiths track - more excitingly, it's on one of those white-bodied TDKs you don't get anymore; White Stripes have recorded a duet with ex-thee headcoatee Hollu Golightly. Or maybe they've adopted her. With those crazy Stripes, you just can't tell, can you?; Kelley Deal nearly burned down her chalet at ATP - lets hope the Breeders stay away from the toilet blocks at reading, then. The NME asks the question on everyone's lips: Is Dave Grohl too committed to the Queens of the Stone Age? What do you mean, you couldn't give alearning to fly?
And smallest offer of the week: Log on to and get a "track-by-track preview of the eminem show." Or log on to audiogalaxy and get the whole thing...

On bands: Box Car Racer - Blink 182 (no, *really* Blink 182) apologise and say "We'd quite like to be Fugazi, really" - which sort of knocks The Mad Capsule Markets, who are Japanese would-be-weirds into a cocked hat - sure, you can dress up as robots, but for odd, you can't beat a chart snot band doing what amounts to a confession that, so far, they've been tiresome...

Showing the Prodigy how to do it: The Yeah Yeah Yeahs managed to get the line "Take a swallow as I spit, baby/ as a fuck, son, you suck" unedited onto Radio 1...

In a bid to fill the six pages on the Osbournes, David Stubbs attempts to convince us that its the 21st century version of Wait Till Your Father Gets Home (ask your gran/Tv Cream)...

At long last, Peaches gets an interview. So, what shocks peaches? "If you;re in bed with someone that tries to fuck you in your sleep. Or Charles Manson. Anyone who wears a Charles Manson tshirt can fuck off." Having been asked to pose lying down with a neon bulb between her legs, Peaches then stands up and "takes control. Those pictures are much sexier. We'll see which ones you use..." The nme, of course, pictures Peaches on her feet...

lp reviews: the breeders - title tk ("what the second elastica album should have sounded like", 8); faultline - your love means everything ("a cerebral banker for Mercury Prize nomination", 8); dot allinson - we are science ("spooky cinematic vista", 7); mum - finally we are no-one ("fans of Boards of Canada will find plenty here", 7); the get up kids - on a wire ("brave, potentially suicidal", 7)...

singles: sotw peaches - set it off ("not entirely unlike Gary Numan after a sex change", scarily); worst sotw - ant and dec - we're on the ball ("somehow managed to find the two men in england with worse voices than David Badiel and Frank Skinner"...

live - the libertines in bristol & london ("idols in waiting", but nb: nme promoted gig); kylie in brum ("Kylie defines pop"); (international) noise conspiracy in highbury ("great frontman; no shakes as a singer")...

that perpetual circle: having turned into a postcard themselves, the Sex Pistols are using that stock postcard image of a passed out guardsman to promote their oh-so-ho-hum "jubilee" gig...

electric soft parade fill an unsold advertising slot with their ten song Cd thingy - My Bloody valentine, neu, television and royal trux...

and, finally: someone in angst describes brett's face as looking like "soggy dairylea". But dippa or triangle?

INSPECT A PALUMBO: As Iain Duncan Smith comes out against making that dangerous drug Ecstasy a slightly less-tightly controlled substance (the way he was talking on Today this morning, you'd have thought that simply declassifying the drug would have meant providing break-time doves for all children of school age), James Palumbo has popped up in the FT yammering on about how he got drugs out of the Ministry of Sound. Of course, this is all about making the soon to be plc'ed MOS seem a safer, straighter bet for city investors when the shares come to the market, but he's having a hard time trying to balance the tastes of his consumers with the demands of the City, resulting in some strange pronouncements: "I don't have strong moral objections [to drugs] like the high-pitched voice of a grandmother," he tells the FT. I really must try some of this high-pitched voice of a grandmother, it sounds great. No, seriously - what does he mean, exactly? That only old people object to drugs? Only grandparents have morals? "Actually, I'm quite a libertarian, I believe people should be allowed to do what they want, as long as they're not upsetting other people. I just cannot allow organised drug-dealing by scum doormen in my club, because it leads to extortion and threats and even sometimes to death." Maybe you'd be better off not employing scum doormen, then, James, rather than simply prohibiting them selling drugs?
"A lot of the deaths from Ecstasy, if you look at them, are because the place was overcrowded, there wasn't enough water, the club manager was taking £2,000 round the back of the club." There usually wasn't enough water, young James, because the management of the clubs were switching the taps off so they could flog drinks at the bar - which, apart from anything, is in breach of licensing regulations anyway, of course. Nothing to do with overcrowding.
"When I arrived here, the place was out of control, and I didn't understand what was going on, because our door-team was busy organising the drugs, and pretending everything was just fine. It took me six months to work out that this was what was happening up and down the country." It took you SIX MONTHS to work this out? Jesus Christ, man, just how stupid are you? Your average gently-monged clubber can usually spot the bloke selling E in about thirty-four seconds without the benefit of having access to CCTV footage, being their employer, and all the other benefits from owning the place.
"We might have been taking £30,000 in door and drink revenues on a Saturday night and they were selling 2,000 or 3,000 Ecstasy tablets at £15 each, so the drug take exceeded our take - and it's all cash, obviously" - of course, the shrewd pension funds will be looking to invest in the MoS door staff rather than the club itself, based on these figures. Quite why "it's all cash" is in any way relevant here, I'm not sure - is James suggesting that by refusing to take credit cards the drug dealers aren't playing the game? Maybe this is his plan - "Right, lads, we'll encourage the dealers to get hooked up to swipe card machines, and then we'll just wait until there's a paper trail to follow..." Of course, if you bought a dodgy pill your credit card company would then reimberse you under the 1974 Consumer Credit Act, so everyone would be a winner.
But it's no picinic taking on these people: "If you try to stop them, they'll follow you home and stick a knife into you, but in a lot of places, they'll kill you. So I grew up very fast." Because adults cannot be stabbed. That's neither a being killed stabbing, or one of those that happens in some places, where they puncture your lungs as a warning.
The interview in full - aw, you had to mention the limo loan to Mandelson, didn't you?

ADMIT IT, YOU'RE SUPPORTING: Hugely amused by this mail-out, which seems to have raised "tail wagging dog" to new levels:
SUPPORT: Bob Log III, The Von Bondies, Les Savy Fav, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Shins support the Donnas.
Sleater-Kinney headlines after the Donnas set.

But seeing as its the Donnas, we'll forgive 'em, and point out all this is for free at Coney island on July 20th. We can't go because we're in Liverpool.

FREE CELINE! Having trouble with hyper-difficult copy protection on your Shakira CD? Celine not playing in your PC? The Hives copy protected album causing you to pull your hair out? Take out a pen - no, not to write to Sony, but to colour in the outside of the the disc. Then, everything will be fine.
Don't take our word for it, Reuteurs have tested it - you might want to draw over Celine's face while you're at it...

Tuesday, May 21, 2002

ASK A STUPID QUESTION: Rolling Stone is currently running a poll "Who would you want to see Britney with?" Unsurprisingly, Justin, Carson and Jack are languishing, as 60% have plumped for Christina instead...
Latest results - of course, given a write-in, we'd choose Miss Dynamite, Mel C and Ben "Open Wide" from A1...

OKAY, LET'S GET THIS STRAIGHT: Raping lesbians because they won't sleep with you? Fine. Drugging underage girls? Dandy. Slapping about your ex's current squeeze? Everyone does it. And, hey, we're only teasing about this, aren't we? Eminem doesn't worry about rules, does he? It's all up for grabs, all a bit of a jape.
That is, of course, unless you're having your fun at his expense. Then he gets mighty cross. For, whatever anti-social behaviour Marshall sings about, there's nothing that gets him crosser than someone uploading his music onto the net. Then, he gets pissed:
"I think that shit is fucking bullshit. Whoever put my shit on the Internet, I want to meet that motherfucker and beat the shit out of him, because I picture this scrawny little dickhead going ‘I got Eminem's new CD! I got Eminem's new CD! I'm going to put it on the Internet.' I think that anybody who tries to make excuses for that shit is a fucking bitch."
Well, at the risk of being Eminem's bitch - hmm, now there is a thought - can we just point out again that part of the problem surely was the record company's ridiculous prounouncements about how secure the new release was? Of course that was going to sound like a challenge to the internet - because not only was there the usual "upload, upload" impulse, but in addition, the whole thing took on a James Bond dimension. Plus, of course, once the security had been cracked, there was a whole story there - "New album leaked onto web" isn't news, but "Impossible to leak album leaks" is a hell of a tale. And other excuses? Allows people to try before they buy, creates a buzz, usw. Plus, it's brought the release date forward, which is a nice thing.
NME reports Em threatening fans - "could lose label millions" - yeah, yeah, yeah...

EMI REPORTS: So, the one and a half thousand people whose lives were junked by EMI might be interested to learn just how badly the company was doing when it laid them off. The group as a whole only made a profit in the year to March 31st, 2002 of just under a fifth of a billion pounds, while the Recorded Music division could barely scrape together a profit of £83million after paying off Mariah Carey. You can see why they'd have to tighten their belts and have a few less people working in the mail room, can't you?
To be fair to the company, the press release accompanying the annual report doesn't - as the BBC coverage suggested - attempt to lay the blame for the droop in sales on piracy - indeed, it's pretty honest that its big releases "underperformed" (as in "this has never happened to me before") and that its management in America screwed up badly; the company only really mentions piracy as being a major problem in Asia and Latin America, but nevertheless announces plans to introduce digital-copying technology "by the end of 2002." At least it won't be the same flaky system as the Sony group labels are employing - EMI's pledge is for something that will allow legitimate duplication while preventing mass-duplication. Whether such a device can be created - how will it know if my MP3 of Mel C is for my Rio, or for being distributed through the internet? - remains to be seen, but at least it's a step in the right direction.
That report to shareholders in full - I'd have been tempted to print a picture of Mariah with "She ate all the pies" scrawled over her face...

MINISTRY PRIVATISED: And don't bother pointing out that actually it's going public, but Ministry of Sound have announced plans to float themselves on the stock exchange. Lets buy shares and make them include indie in their magazine...

Pink suggest Bush should try E, should be made available to kids
Senior UK MPs suggest E gets treated less seriously

Monday, May 20, 2002

BAND BACK: Delightful news that the Band of Holy Joy have reformed. Back in the days of the Snub TV era, this bunch of accordions and too many members came on like a more humane Dexy's, and contributed one or two classics (notably 'What the Moon Saw') to the combined body of work before they faded out and, it appears, broke up. But now they're back together again - a million times more exciting than the umpteenth Pistols reunion, as the BofHJ never seemed like they were through doing stuff, which suggests they have some unfinished business and untested ideas still to work through.

KERSHAWATCH: Not content with blowing up the Radio 6 studio, Liz Kershaw has just bemusingly delivered her verdict on Eminem - that she thinks its funny when he slags off Christina and Britney "for not wanting to go out with him" but says it makes her "uncomfortable" when he has a go at his parents. This seems to be the strangest angle of fence-sitting I've ever come across, but in that spirit - That Liz Kershaw, she's a skanky whore because she won't suck my cock. But I love my Da, I do. Okay, Liz?
Meanwhile, that Eminem single again - "it feels so empty without me" he claims. Um, what with the D-12 stuff, and Stan, and the Dre collaborations... could you give us a couple of months to put this to the test, Marshall?

KERSHAWATCH: Not content with blowing up the Radio 6 studio, Liz Kershaw has just bemusingly delivered her verdict on Eminem - that she thinks its funny when he slags off Christina and Britney "for not wanting to go out with him" but says it makes her "uncomfortable" when he has a go at his parents. This seems to be the strangest angle of fence-sitting I've ever come across, but in that spirit - That Liz Kershaw, she's a skanky whore because she won't suck my cock. But I love my Da, I do. Okay, Liz?
Meanwhile, that Eminem single again - "it feels so empty without me" he claims. Um, what with the D-12 stuff, and Stan, and the Dre collaborations... could you give us a couple of months to put this to the test, Marshall?

YOU CAN NEVER GO HOME ROUND SIX: So, Tony Wilson - or Anthony Howard Wilson, as the old fruit now wants to be known - has returned to from whence he came, sliding behind the Granada Reports desk next to Lucy Meacock tonight. This comes on top of critics mass-marching out of the 24 Hour Party People showing at Cannes, suggesting that ole Tone is at something of a low ebb right now, which is kind of a shame as we do have a soft spot for the man. It gets worse, too: Glasgow are attempting to establish a direct rival to his In The City British music industry beanfeast. We reckon that what he should do is get in touch with the equally beleagured Alan McGee and work up proposals for an Odd Couple-style sitcom. We can see it now...

FORE! It's of course no surprise that the British Record Industry throws charity golfing bashes - if you expected the people behind the desks at Universal and Sony to be closer to BRMC than Tarby and Kenny Lynch, then you obviously have seriously underestimated the number of lawyers and accountants involved in making records. But you have to choke on the good cause the latest BPI-approved golf event has chosen to support. Sick kiddies? Young bands that can't afford instruments? The old but valuable Music Therapy? Nope, the next time record company bods stride out onto the greens, it'll be to raise money for anti-piracy campaigns. Jesus, do these people never stop thinking someone's stealing the sounds from a Slipknot album?

A TVWOP FOR THE EARS?: If you're a fan of television without pity, you might be wondering why there doesn't appear to be a site that sets about pop and rock with same sort of "this is hurting me more than it hurts you" abandon. Ruthlessreviews may be a step in that direction - sometimes you get the impression that, despite their name, they are holding back slightly, but on the whole, they seem to approach reveiwing from a rather Paxmanesque 'why is this band giving me this shit record?' angle.
As an example - Christina Aguilera - not exactly holding her hostage and making her eat her own legs, but in the right direction

WE NAME THE STUPID SPAM BANDS: In a bid to get under the skin of Spam Bands, XRRF have infiltrated one of the worst offenders - the Soul Hooligan "Digital Street Team" and discovered that they're actually so stupid, they even appear to be spamming their own bloody list. Over at bsn, we've been pestered by someone who reckons they're the new Gorilaz (and, who, strangely, is one of the people creating polls on the 'DST' site) and, frankly, would like to think more of Madonna's label than this pisspoor effort.

EWWWWWWWWW. FUCK OFF. NOW: Quick message to whoever it was who came to this site via a Google on "S Club Juniors Tits" - not only are you gross, but they're, like, ten years old. They don't have them.

COMMERCIAL BREAK: We could, of course, froth up mock outrage at the very concept of Fred "Real" Durst allowing Limp Bizkit to be used in commercials at all, but let's face it - he's clearly always been more The Man's man than on our side - did we hear it correctly that his brand of outraged outsiderism has netted him a fortune of $170million already? - but what's amusing is the brands he's chosen to hook his wagon up to. At the moment, 'My Way or the Highway' is currently being used to flog Worthington. Bitter. The old man's drink. The drink of beer bellies and whippets. Clearly, the new owners of the brand are hoping that by slapping Durst under still traditonal images of blokes drinking will bring a new generation skateboarding into the brand. In the event, it makes the bitter look like an old bloke wearing a baseball cap (hey, maybe there is sense in using Durst) and removes any last traces of credibility Durst might have had. An ice lager, a mix of schnapps and fruit juice; fuck, even Budweiser, and there'd be some connection. But Worthington Bitter? Freddie, boy, don't you care how you look?
Coming next: Seven Seas Cod Liver Oil unveils Korn-themed cinema spots.