Saturday, December 14, 2002

Skeleton news service

Lee Roth sues Van Halen - again?... Ryan Adams to open for Rolling Stones, complete transition from prince of cool to embarrassing 'New Weller' in 2003... David wins Fame Academy and promises to return to sing at next year's final if the manager at KFC will give him the night off... BBC invite listener's comments on Mariah's new album and record company and PR rally round...

Friday, December 13, 2002

That when you bow, you leave the crowd

It's been incredibly quiet in the music world today - a couple of new stories on, nothing since ten at ananova, so we feel slightly less guilty about slipping out the door for Christmas - possibly the odd update in the next few weeks, but we'll not be back with a full service until the 30th. So, we'd like to take this opportunity to wish everyone who reads this a very, merry Christmas (or whatever it is you're doing) and hope you'll join us again when we return.

Meanwhile, as part of the bothsidesnow Christmas special, there's a pull out guide to music on TV over the holidays and - yes - another list of best tracks of 2002.

What can't we face if we're together?

Nickeback goat-man Chad Kroeger has been whining because his friends couldn't get into a backstage event at the Billboard awards.

"They wouldn't let our people in because they didn't have laminates."

Right, and your point being, Chad? Look, if your people fucked up and didn't get your guestlist in in time, that's your problem, not theirs. Or maybe there's some sort of exception to the rule because you're so ugly you think security would just know someone turning up at the door saying she's your wife would have to be, as nobody else would claim that even to sneak into a party? You might not have heard, Chad, but the whole of the US is a little jumpy right now, what with the smallpox and the rap wars and the shooting of one of Run DMC and the Iraq crisis.

Maybe you should think about the security implications before you open your mouth and sound like a bullock head. Oh, and - really - don't worry about the same thing happening at next year's awards. Can you say "Stiltskin"?

The same old tricks, why should we care?

Macy Gray, Lil' Kim and Queen Latifah attempt to ride the coattails of Moulin Rouge ("team up for Chicago track").

I'll never tell

Official Glastonbury Site, yesterday: "the festival makes no assumption that it will get a license", today: After the meeting Michael Eavis said he was "not too bothered" by the failure to secure a licence and that he would be appealing to magistrates.

"We lost by one vote and the unfortunate thing was that the members weren't all there and it was a poorly attended meeting," he said.

"We will go to the magistrates court and appeal. The council, police and fire service have been very supportive."

"We are not too bothered and I think it's all going to be fine."

Thursday, December 12, 2002

Missy turns Solanas

Missy Elliot may have a reputation as a bit of a ball-buster. Not without reason, it seems, as she's teaming up with PETA to get animals neutered.

Now we don't encourage this sort of thing

And much as we hate Moby and his smug little attitude, we don't condone the rather odd attack on him in Boston. It's a terrible thing to happen to anyone. Especially since it results in journal entries like this. Stop being so understanding...

An open goal

Nsync unveil uncannily lifelike waxworks. The rest writes itself.

Is this how they're filling time since they got dropped?

Toploader 17


Whoever was looking for "pictures of Holly Valance and Britney Spears having lesbian sex" - what other sort of sex could they have been having? And... did you really expect to find it?


Always nice to come across a magazine for non-straights that isn't stuffed with cock, and solanasonline is certainly one of those. We mention it here because it's got a LeTigre feature in it.

I'm sorry I can't be with you, but as you can see, I really can't be arsed

Ms Dynamite backlash? Yes, if you'd like to stand here, sir, she'll be pissing on some kids' Christmas dreams in a moment.

While the record labels lecture us about probity and legality and rights and honesty

The French police are raiding Vivendi Universal's headquarters to investigate claims that the parent company of Universal and Island records knowingly published false information.

I collect, I reject

While normally we think that an iPod is the finest thing in the world, we're not sure about celebrity-autographed limited edition iPods. An extra fifty bucks just to have No Doubt's logo engraved on it? (and since engraving of anything costs USD20, that's thirty bucks for the logo.) Hint: buy an iPod, buy some stickers. Job done.

Rosen's cranky guild are stern and dead

We only got round to reading Hilary Rosen's USA Today piece this morning, and we approach it rather like Buffy at the start of the musical episode - heavily world weary and feeling like we've been here so many times before. Still, maybe this time she'll tell us something that we not only didn't know, but didn't not know because it's made up. Let's see:

The editorial above urges the recording industry to aggressively focus its energies on a legitimate online music market. That is exactly what the industry is doing, with nearly a dozen online services now up and running.

Well, no - it's not what the industry is doing. Sure, it's gotten some services going, in a limited, toe-in-the-water sort of way, and just now something a bit more solid is being hammered together. But the industry isn't focusing its energies here at all - the actions of the RIAA are still staring gimlet eyed at trashing peer to peer networks, pursuing 'theives' and threatening universities and businesses.

How much money is being spent on making adverts with stars going "it's like stealing a CD from the store" compared to the spend on actively promoting the new systems? And can't you see that a dozen separate services is compounding the problem rather than solving it - what Napster and Kazaza and the others had in their favour was universality - you looked for stuff, it was there, you downloaded, you played. You didn't have to try and remember which offshoot of the military-industrial complex the artist you wanted had been enlisted to, try and find a partner service to that label, search in the hope the download was available, sign up to a payment system, have a card validated, wait for an email, sign back in to the partner site, do the download, find out the software required to play the tune wasn't on your system, go to the software download site, download the software, install it, find it doesn't work with your system, go to Limewire, download an MP3 and play it.
Record labels together with technology companies are meeting consumers' desire to access music online. Looking back over the past year, the legitimate marketplace has grown by leaps and bounds. Four different services now offer content from every major music company, and several others provide a rich array of music and listening options. Music fans can enjoy hundreds of thousands of tracks in many different ways.

That's not meeting consumer's desires. What we want is a central place where you can download music in the format we've chosen, which our computers can handle, and our CD players and iPods and Rios work on - MP3. We don't want new formats of encoding that offer no advantage to us and constrain how we can use the music we've paid for.
But what these services do not yet have is enough customers. No business can be expected to compete against an illegal service that is offering the same product for free.

Bollocks. It's more than possible for commercial services to thrive alongside free services. ITV has managed to exist alongside the free services of the BBC; many newspaper markets have freesheets which co-exist with paid for titles. The fact your competitors are illegal should make it easier, not harder, for you to compete because you do have the ability to appeal to people's better nature. The trouble is that you're not offering the same product for free. You're offering a less useful version of the product - the reason why people aren't downloading from the official services is that they don't give people what they want. They want music they can burn to their CDs, stick onto their portables, that they can use. The RIAA position is akin to offering the news values of Metro, but expecting people to pay International Herald-Tribune subscription rates for it. It needs to be the other way round.
If the legitimate services are to have a chance to succeed in the marketplace, we must take action against those who trample the copyrights of songwriters, artists and record labels.

Hmmm. Well, possibly - let's leave aside the way record labels are quite happy to trample the rights of the artists themselves, seeing as its Christmas. Of course, if you'd got your arses into gear earlier, you wouldn't have been in this position, would you? Its not like people didn't tell you this was the way the wind was blowing. The free services are squatting in a house you left unoccupied and uncherished. Your now using the courts to try and win back an advantage you squandered.
The notion that pursuing peer-to-peer network piracy violates personal privacy is just plain wrong.

First, no one enjoys the right to commit a federal crime anonymously, and downloading or uploading copyrighted works such as software, movies or music without permission is clearly illegal.

Bollocks squared. If you're checking a person's computers to see what they've got, it's invasion of privacy. Unless you have some sort of strange stoolpigeon network, whereby someone rings the green phone in your office with a tipoff - "Ginger Teaspout is downloading Kenny Loggins from Bearshare now" - the only way you can possibly tell what's on a person's computer is by looking at it. And since nobody calls files things like "Bruce Spingsteen - Born To Run - have never bought the record.mp3", the only way you can begin to find out if a file called 'borntorun.mp3' is a downloaded naughty Bruce-steal is by looking at the contents. That seems pretty much like invasion of privacy to me.
Second, users open up their computers to the peer-to-peer networks, not copyright owners. It's like walking down the street holding up a sign and then being mad that someone has read it.

Bollocks cubed. It's actually like leaving a catflap in your front door, and then being mad that someone has snuck through it and started to rifle through your personal papers - i.e. fair enough.
And third, colleges and others can address this problem in non-invasive ways, such as using filtering systems and bandwidth-management controls.

Tesseract of bollocks. Filtering systems? Do you mean checking what people are sending from their own discs? That sounds pretty much like an invasion of privacy to me. And, more importantly, "bandwidth management controls" - are you really so blinkered to the rest of the world that you think the only thing that university computers are used for is to swap Bruce Hornsby songs? Did it ever once occur to your well-rewarded brain that there are many, many reasons why university networks might be transmitting large volumes of data over the internet? Should we really shackle academia in order to ensure that Mariah Carey doesn't lose the odd sale? "Sorry, Mrs. Kapinski, but we tried to send your CAT scan data to an expert in a University Teaching Hospital, but it bounced back. I'm sure you understand, though - your health is nowhere near as important as ensuring Now Thats What I Call Music 8 doesn't underperform."
Ironically, it's the peer-to-peer networks that actually put users' privacy at greatest risk. A recent study by Hewlett-Packard showed that typical users of a network such as Kazaa inadvertently expose personal files, including credit card information and e-mail, for millions to rummage through.

Opps. Is my face ever red now - I'd assumed all along the RIAA campaign is about trying to protect its sometimes dubiously obtained copyrights in the face of people who are sick of paying over the odds for recorded music. But it turns out that its actually only been trying to save ourselves from the nasty hackers who are "rummaging through" our hard drives stealing our credit card numbers and emails. Say, do you suppose that's how the Daily Mail got hold of those Cherie Blair emails - was she attempting to find Charlie Drake's My Boomerang Won't Come Back and let the journalists in while she was doing it?
Given the scope of the problem, we are taking measured steps to combat online piracy. These efforts are a necessary means to an important end, which is an expanding and dynamic legitimate online marketplace — a reality achieved after a year of progress and multiple new licensing agreements from the major record companies.

This would be the dynamic legitimate online market place that you said a few paragraphs ago that doesn't have customers because of the existing free alternatives, would it? Let's be fair again and assume that maybe you expected nobody would make it through this far.
Hilary Rosen is chairman and CEO of the Recording Industry Association of America. For legitimate services to thrive, violators must be stopped.

That's exactly how it ends on the USA Today website. Curious, isn't it? Do they mean people are violating Hilary? Or has that become the the full title of the RIAA?

It's not just when the policemen look younger

An orneryboy strip which will make those of us old enough to remember Kid Jensen's show smile with recognition. And fear.

Keeping it in the family

Flicking idly through PA photos, we couldn't help but notice the spooky way Cherie Blair looks like she might be the mysterious songwriting mother of the Cheeky Girls:

Nice, Nas

For once, we have a bit of sympathy for a major label. Sony, called by to see if they could clairfy why Nas says he "looks up to Hitler" said they "weren't clear at the direction" the rapper was coming from. We're not sure if even any extra clarity at the direction would help much.

Still, doubtless the BNP will be knocking together a page thanking him for his support.

Talking of which, they've still got the page about Dannii Minogue up on their site - Dannii, what's happened to your legal action? Would you like us to pay for a courrier to get the papers round there?

The Saddest Song

Very sad to come in to the office this morning to hear the news of the death of Mary Hansen of Stereolab. Amongst the many tributes to the multi-instrumentalist - another cyclist lost on the roads - we like ChartAttack's ten reasons why Mary was cool.

Wednesday, December 11, 2002

Pop Papers: Supplemental - do you see what we did there?

We neglected to mention that the nme this week comes with a pull out of Melody Maker style "images of the year" - Coldplay; Kelly Osbourne; Liam; Von Bondies; Cooper Temple Clause; The Hives; The Strokes; the Datsuns; The Vines. The choice is curious - none of the really great pictures of the year (White Stripes with New York between them, for instance) and even the most photogenic band don't come across that well - how can you have a picture of Craig that doesn't make you sticky?

What the pop papers say: The pre-festive edition

The Wall Street Journal has rumbled that certain American groups are playing off the two sides of Atlantic against each other. The way they reckon it works is a bunch of good looking young Americans fly to London. Englanders, perhaps still recalling all the glorious pantyhose brought to us during the war, fall for these kids and assume they must be cult heroes. As a result, the nme annoints one or two of them The Greatest New Band Ever each week. Whereupon, the band returns home, shows off their fawning UK press coverage and the Americans - who still have a soft spot for the Beatles - decide that if the country that names its airports after hypocritic guitar players likes 'em, there must be something to them, and enthusiastically adopt them. Mind, if even the WSJ can see through the process, it can't have much more life left in it, can it? And it only seems to work for the pretty and good acts - Andrew WK still flounders round in mid-Atlantic...

Liam's fight gets the sort of coverage the tabloids would give to pictures of Cherie Blair fisting Michael Barrymore, spreading his dull brawl over pages 1, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7. The lowlights of this unedifying coverage of an unedifying event include speculation that it cost Oasis a million (although two pages later, it costs them six million); a picture of Tony Soprano (because the fight was with Italians, see?); a photomontage of Liam decked out like Gladiator - presumably because Russell Crowe is another cunt who punches people more or less at will; a photo of a dental x-ray captioned "how an x-ray of Liam's teeth might have looked" and "Could this be the end for Noel and Liam" (erm, they don't know). Presumably if he'd lost an eye, we'd have had a few extra pages of coverage...

In 'other news' (or, rather, actual news), there's that story of how the Blur single got mistaken for a bomb and blown up - since its likely to look like a bomb when it's released, police are already courdoning off the lower end of the Top 50 for a controlled explosion; the Serbs are pissed off that they have to fork out nearly a third of a month's wages to see the Rolling Stones - lets hope they don't get faced with having to fork out for the current Michelle Shocked tour; the nme "exclusively reveals" that Major Record Labels want to sign the Yeah Yeah Yeahs (next week: major governments want to arrest Osama Bin Laden - exclusive); Kelly Osbourne got the hump because the Sugababes didn't come out to talk to her at the Smash Hits parties - but Kelly, they're very busy. Maybe if you ask your daddy nicely, he'll take you to another one of their gigs; Zwan's new album is going to be called Mary Star of the Sea - Billy Corgan is just rubbish at names, isn't he?; the White Stripes are putting out a special Christmas single, but the nme is very disappointed that Jack hasn't responded to Ryan Adam's taunts from last week - maybe Jack had more important things to do; like re-order his spice rack or apply Bible Code principles to discover hidden messages in Bloomberg TV's news ticker; and the nme tells us what to expect from Jackass the Movie - puerile humour and some stupid people injuring themselves - am I right?...

Erol Alkan, trash club supremo, does the make-believe CD, including Moose's Suzanne - one of the greatest records ever made, of course. Russell Moose - what would we have let that man do to us? Even beyond the point of passing out?...

hot new band is the star spangles, who get bored and go for McDonalds instead of waiting to be interviewed...

in a nice touch, you the reader are asked to choose between two things in about a dozen categories - spit or swallow; red or black; melody maker or select - and next week you can compare your responses to your favourite stars and find out if that stalking actually does have a basis to it after all...

one of the hellacopters is called Boba Fett - not, we'd imagine, his given name...

we're also not convinced one of the soledad brothers really is called Johnny Walker - we're guessing he's just a big fan of radio 2's hookers and gin king...

we're banging our head with spoons - the nme has got a big interview with pink in which they overwhelm her by pointing out she does what Kurt did, but while selling records - and yet they give the cover to fucking chimpy boy chimp gallagher. Way to go, nme - still, at least you've spared yourself six "How dare you give the front page to Pink" letters. She claims to be "apple sauce on the inside" which we don't know means anything, but certainly opens up the chance for us to sink to a new low for pop papers and say "can we dip our pork into that, love?"...

new order - retro - "tries to make schizophrenia fashionable", 7
wit - whatever it takes - "electroclash is evolving", 7 (nb: WIT are scary looking bananarama of electroclash)
fat joe - loyalty - "a niche, but a big one", 6

sotw - jet - dirtysweet - "the rest is going to be history"
others - the white stripes - merry christma from - "it's ace"
avril lavigne - sk8r boi - "in years to come, will be alongside 'I think we're alone now' and 'mickey'

ikara colt - london ica - "defy health and safety"
brmc - leeds black canvas - "the word is 'summer'"
jackie o - manchester roundhouse - "genuine contenders"

and, finally, "it was great" wibbles some loser in the photo section "to be able to tell Liam he is the best singer in the greatest rock & roll band in the world." Yeah? Why not go out and tell six year olds they can fly, you cruel fuck.

Surely they can't be suggesting...

That the doctor struck off for filling up Winona Ryder's medicine chest was doing the same thing for Courtney Love, can they? That might be a bit risky what with Courtney threatening the Smoking Gun with legal action over another Doctor's notes.

[UPDATE: The story has been overwritten, however, the original remains at]

Pick the RIAA's pockets

We wonder whether the RIAA will make an advert to promote the CD Minumum Advertised Price Antitrust Litigation Settlement along the model of their downloading ads?

They could have Britney Spears, tears in her eyes, comparing deliberately fixing the prices of CDs to "going into someone's house and taking money from their pocket book, their purse or even a small child's piggybank."

The sums involved might not be massive - even a Peel-esque bout of music purchase may only get you back twenty bucks, but remember - it's your legal right, and every single cent you claw back from the labels is a cent less for them to spend on sending threatening letters to Universities. Americans, the CD MAP Settlement form awaits you.

Things we didn't know

How could we be expected to know that Colin Murray, hereafter known as "the indie Adrian John", was a presenter on Channel 4's RISE?

We've never met anyone who watches the beleagured breakfast show, much less knew the name of its presentation team (is it a team? Or some woman they found presenting a second-string Beadle-type show on Sky and a couple of muppets?).

What's really funny is the way that everyone's behaving like Murray is the new presenter, rather than the bloke called in to piss on the fire while they wait for Zane Lowe to drive up in spring.

Nobody chose Animal (Fuck Like A Beast), then

The people at Music Choice asked 10,000 Britons what music they played when they shagged. Sexual Healing came first, which makes you wonder if most people are as dull and unadventurous with their lovemaking as the choice of music when they shag. Most scary of all is that the number ten choice is Chris DeBurgh doing Lady In Red. Bloody hell.

Are they sure?

According to remember the 80s, Pete Burns is going to appear on Blue Peter next year.
Pete Burns.

There were adults having nightmares after his Never Mind The Buzzcocks appearance. God alone knows what he'd do to the kids.

Tuesday, December 10, 2002

You thought Atomic Kitten was scary?

Live Magazine let the cat out of the bag, so we suppose everyone knows now - having been spurned by AK, Andy McCluskey is now priming this for pop action:

Jennifer Ellison from Brookside. Presumably he's chosen a solo artist as they can't conspire against him.

Jay Leno: A Man who's seen a lot

The most scary thing about the whole Vines kicked off Leno incident is the little quote from the man, reported here:

"They were like loaded at 6 pm."

Jay Leno works in showbusiness. He's interviewed countless dozens of drug addicts, boozers, wifebeaters and auto-erotic self-flagellators. And he's tutting over a rock band being drunk in the evening? Jesus, lets hope he hasn't got Winona Ryder booked this side of the Betty Ford clinic.

(Apparently Craig Nicholls and chums had a massive fight and hit each other a bit and Leno had them escorted from the studio).

We wouldn't want to piss off her publicity machine, but

It's all very interesting that Victoria Beckham is going to be a judge on season 2 of Pop Idol, but we'd been led to believe that because the public are bored shitless of scrubbed youngsters singing covers of BeeGees tunes, Pop Idol 2 wasn't going to happen next year?

Evening Shuffle

In a slightly odd decision, Radio one have announced their choice of replacement for Steve Lamacq.

Because they want Zane Lowe to do the show, and he's not available until springtime, for a couple of months the show is going to be in the hands of Colin Murray.

Now, while we've nothing against Murray, we can't work out why Lamacq couldn't have been allowed to carry on until Lowe's XFM contract finished - after all, its not like Steve wanted to leave, and he's not even going from the station anyway. It smacks a little of botch-up to us.

Didn't we say this would happen?

Back in July we predicted that there'd be problems over Fame Academy turning artists out for Mercury at licence fee payer's expense. But oddly, the tabloids seem curiously reluctant to investigate the story.

Oh, wouldn't it be luvverly?

We normally wouldn't bother with this as apparently Heat have done it, but... About Me - - Martine McCutcheon's official site - is just priceless.

Apart from the introduction, where a cartoon version of a much, much thinner Martine appears to be miming self-fulfilment while another Martine signs autographs (or maybe deals with angry letters from people who turned up to see her in My Fair Lady on the nights when she was 'ill'), the site is a mixture of thick ego sauce with lacings of poorly written, self-loving gush:

My nicknames originated from my Mum. Doughnut is still used often within the family group, I was a sugary sweet girl who always loved a squidgy cuddle. Mum would say I was all sweet and sugary on the outside and soft and jammy on the inside. Hence, Doughnut was born.

And we'd like to apologise to people for the mangling of the syntax there...

Like some sort of horrorshow, isn't it?

It's odd watching Whitney and Mariah race themselves down the downward spiral. Following her sniffy putdown about crack - "I don't use crack, it's cheap" - Whitney turned up for Good Morning America looking "too loose", nearly fell over and had to read her songwords off her own shoe. Lynne Perrie could probably sort her out with a job as a celeb bingo caller in Yorkshire, you know.

We always thought there was something a little bit too sniffy about Blogcritics using a ".org" domain in preference to the ".com" version, partly because it has that air of being more than a loose affiliation, and secondly because we always type .com ourselves whenever we go in. As a result, our bookmark points to, which has been having a few problems of late. At first it was just had one of those "Apache was successfully installed" messages; now they're still thinking its Britney Spear's birthday. Um... why not just have a simple redirect to the .org page, guys?

A moment of clarity

I'm glad I didn't have to wait for Nancy Banks-Smith to point it out to me this time (when she said the Sally-Kevin-Decorator love triangle on Coronation Street was a homage Brief Encounter, I shot myself and sent a corsage to my wife for my having been so dense as to not realise - "I've got something in my eye", of course - very, very nice work from Corrie there).

I was coming into work this morning thinking about that Electric Six single, and the video - because it all felt so familiar. And then it struck me why - it's exactly the sort of thing that used to crop up on the Max Headroom show (nb to American readers; I'm talking about the Saturday night UK show where Max acted as a VJ rather than the peculiar US action series with the same character).

While not being directly derivative of the likes of Belouis Some or Propaganda, the whole feel of Danger High Voltage matches - sexualised in a slightly odd and kinky way - more the scent of sex rather than a Holly Vallance tits-out assault; and a sound that makes use of electrification rather than electronics.
It's a wonderful tune, mind.

Blimey, it's aged her

We can understand that having a stalker might worry you, but we're not sure that ananova was being a little cruel using this picture to illustrate the story:

I mean, Britney looks like she's just seen Joan Jett walk in carrying a jackhammer...

Monday, December 09, 2002

Every kind of people (providing they're sexy or 'compelling')

We hate to make it look as if we're obsessed with Christina Aguilera, but we've been passed what we're assured is a genuine document that was the casting call for the Beautiful day video - the horror in full is here [UPDATE: and now below], but the highlights include the demand for an actor with braces (must have own braces), a gay couple and a girl with anorexia.

We're guessing the idea is to show that all sorts of people are beautiful inside. However, 'cause it's an Aguilera video, they're not taking any chances and are insisting that they're beautiful outside, too.

UPDATE: Here's the text in full:


Christina Aguilera music video ''Beautiful''
Director: Jonas Akerlund
Interview Date(s): Tuesday-TOMORROW (11/5) and through the week !!!!
Shoot Date(s): Friday and Saturday 11/8 & 11/9 (MOST ACTORS WORK ONE DAY ONLY)
Shoot Location: LA
xxx xxxxx

This song is a ballad..the scenes that accompany Christina's performance footage will all be beautiful vignettes....all different types of COMPELLING people, in many different situations, going from feeling their own personal sadness to realizing that they, and their life, are truly "Beautiful".....These roles ALL require excellent actors.
Actors will be asked to lip synch a little bit of the song at their audition....some actors will also be asked to cry on cue. Please have them come prepared. Christina's album is already in the stores it's called "Stripped"."
Jonas Akerlund is the multi-award winning director of
Madonna's "Ray of Light" and U2 "Beautiful Day" videos and the FEATURE FILM "SPUN" ....and the list goes on!
Teenage Girl with Braces: ALL ETHNICITIES - TEENS.....She is beautiful, compelling and interesting, MUST BE A STRONG
Mom of Teen Girl: All ethnicities- 33-45...She is beautiful, compelling and interesting...must be a strong actor!! $350 +
20%/12 hour DAY
Anorexic Girl/Woman: All ethnicities 16-35.....Must be extraordinarily skinny.....must look anorexic....must be a strong actor!!! $350 + 20%/12 hour DAY
Mexican Man: 42-55....he is expressive and compelling...must be a strong actor. $350 + 20%/12 hour DAY
Hip-Edgy-Sexy STRAIGHT Couple: 18-27, male and female
ALL ETHNICITIES...don't have to be a real couple...DO HAVE
TO BE hip, edgy, sexy, beautiful, and completely comfortable passionately kissing a person of the opposite sex in the video.
Must be a strong actor!!! $350 + 20%/12 hour day
Hip-Edgy-Sexy GAY MALE Couple: 18-30, ALL
ETHNICITIES....don't have to be a real couple...DO HAVE TO
BE hip, edgy, sexy, beautiful, and completely comfortable passionately kissing a person of the SAME sex in the video.
Must be a strong actor!!! $350 + 20%/12 hour day
30-something GUY: (30's) ALL ETHNICITIES He is very handsome, hip and cool. The guy who loves to go out and have a great time on a Saturday night....but, parties a little too hard. Must be a strong actor! $350 + 20%/12 hour day
Older Woman: 50-85. She is beautiful with an incredibly interesting face. She has seen many years and many things...extremely expressive and excellent actor here is mandatory!! $350 + 20%/12 hour day
Thin Teenage Boy: 13-18...He is slightly awkward but still really adorable and kind of cool in his own way...he works out, ''pumps iron'' trying to build his physique..must be a strong actor!! $350 + 20%/12 hour day
Street-Hooker: 27-40...All ethnicities...She has fallen on hard times (duh, she's a hooker).....once very beautiful, her looks have become somewhat worn and faded....$350 + 20%/12 hour day
White Trash Shop Clerk: 40-55, Caucasian... FEMALE...not a
charicture, not comedy...think ''Gummo'' or ''Bully'' at a truck stop.....from the ''armpit'' of Florida so to speak...$350 + 20%/12 hour day
White Trash Dad: 40-55, Caucasian, not a charicature, not comedy...must be a strong actor....from the ''armpit'' part of
Florida so to speak. $350 + 20%/12 hour day
Hip-Hop Guys: 18-25, Male, All ethnicities....They are
urban,young, hip, with total hip hop style...must be strong actors.... $350 + 20%/12 hour day
Punk Rocker: Male or Female, early 20's.....Hard core....spiked hair or something equally Punk fakers no fauxhawks....want the ''real deal''....good actor hugely helpful!
$350 + 20%/12 hour day
Lesbian Women: 40's, all ethnicities....should appear instantly ''feminist''...I know not all feminists are Lesbian, TRULY I DO...but do you get what we're going for here? Thanks! Strong actors a must!!$350 + 20%/12 hour day
Christina Aguilera ''Stand-in'': 18-29....Looking for a very close visual match... will get her exact measurements ASAP...but, check out one of the thousands of photos of her on line if you don't know what she looks like...she's very petite!!! $200 +
20%/per 12 hour day

High Art/ Low Art gag

Guns N Roses, the Guns N Roses tribute act, have cancelled the rest of their tour. Apparently Buckethead is worried that Keith Tyson will be coming after his hat next.

Festival farrago

The official Glastonbury Festival site is very strict in saying they won't publicise the name of the website offering tickets for next year's (still only mooted) Glasto because they're "clearly trying to profit from all the hard work" (presumably Ticketmaster and the other people who sell tickets with a booking fee are public spiritedly attempting to take money out of an overheating economy.

But surely if you're trying to keep the name of the company secret, calling the images used to illustrate the story by something very close to the company's name and saying where they're based is surely an invite to Google.

What's really interesting is when you find the online ticket shop's website they're asking £175 for a fictional ticket, a figure the official Glasto people describe as exhorbitant. (We, of course, think the whole festival has become an exhorbitant price anyway).

Interestingly, the site sniffs that "the festival makes no assumption that it will get a license", which must make planning really, really difficult - surely if they're distributing information to interested traders they must work on the very basic assumption that they will get a licence? They're inviting demos, and according to the music press some artists have already been sounded out - all of this doesn't sound like the activity of a site that isn't working on the assumption of licensing, does it?

Meanwhile, today Mendip Council are holding an open meeting to canvass local people's opinions on next year's festival; that means from young people (or rather the prematurely middle-aged) who want to speak up for the weekend as well as those who seek to condemn the concept of rock music, cow muck and swearing; Thursday 12th is the decision day when the licence will come up for consideration by the licensing body.

Great investments in music history

How many millions did Island invest in Mariah Carey? They must be delighted with the response to her comeback - her long-awaited new album Charmbraclet debuts this week two places higher than Robson Green's new collection.

Trouble is, Robson's in at 54. Yup, despite her whirlwind of publicity, she's not even been able to make the top 50. Maybe if she'd been a bit more honest in her interviews and said "Yup, I went nuts" rather than peddling the line that she thought "I might as well go to the emergency room to get out of doing some TV", she might have been forgiven. But there's nothing worse than someone with a sweet life telling us how they've got it so hard, is there?

But the humiliation for the Celine-In-A-Crop-Top isn't over yet - so desperate are they to try and shift some of the copies of the album, she's being reduced to hoofing round the supermarkets like Tiffany and Kylie did when nobody knew who they were. Maybe Tiffany's other career choice - the drop and spread of a Playboy feature - now represents Mariah's only way of keeping the pill cupboard stocked in the long term?

Do you have a licence for this hoe-down, sir?

The appearance of this on reminded us that it's been sat in our 'to be blogged' pile for a little while. You might remember a few months ago Billy Bragg and some of that lot campaigned against the law that, if more than two people sing in a bar, you need a licence. Well, his campaign has worked. The new proposal is that any live music must be licenced - way to go Billy.

Now, three points of view are represented here, but the one which we feel we must jump on is the claim that there are safety issues involved.

No, there are not. If you run a public place, you have to have the fire service come and check out that you're safe anyway. And its not like places doing live music are going to be suddenly any less dangerous because a bloke turns up with a tuba and a collection of Linda Rondstatt sheet music, is it? These places need a fire certificate; they need a licence from the royalties collection agency; if they're selling drink they'll need a licence for that, too. What is to be gained from bringing an extra layer of licensing down on them - except, perhaps, a new stream of revenue for local councils?

We (or, rather, name the spam bands

What saddens us is not so much that truly heroic acts like Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Elvis Costello feel the need to sign up with a corporation like digital outlook, a group that organises mass-spam-a-thons to plug products, but that they choose a company whose quality of work so obviously says "advertising message disguised - badly - as genuine recommendation" like this.

Real people don't say things like "I'll definitely be buying the album on the 15th" - jesus, people in proper commercials stopped saying stuff like that in about 1985.

The trouble is this whole area stinks - of course, it's not illegal, but its like having your mother vote for you in Porn Stunt Double Cock of the Year.

When Digital Outlook simper Positive reviews generated on almost all leading game sites/shops, do they realise they're more or less blowing the game? They admit they used guerrilla marketing (including reviews) as part of the campaign. This may be legal, but it strikes us as fraudulent, or at best just dishonest. Shabby shame on any artist using such methods.

If a tree falls over in an empty wood, and nobody is watching it on a broadband link-up in Hoxton, couldn't we just say it's Michael Owen's sister?

popbitch returns. What have we done without it, eh? [reads from piece of paper handed to him] Oh... watched Life Laundry, apparently.

Meanwhile, watching the Google search terms as they still roll in for people looking for the "truth" about the Footballer shows the dangers of closing down the 'bitch. What used to be "what is it?" type searches have now started to mutate into searches based on the rumours that are skeetering round in the real world, which suggests that really, he'd have been better off leaving something obviously false up, instead of creating a climate where it's mutated into something else entirely. For example: it seems the word "sister" has disappeared in a lot of the retelling.

Hey: Microsoft say something and all of a sudden it's a fact

There's much of interest in Robert X Cringely's response to the not-actually-Microsoft's Darknet report and conclusion that you can't stop peer to peer network fileswapping. The most interesting part is what the X stands for - Xavier? Xylophone? Surely not Xander?

His actual arguments are as puzzling, if not as absorbing. He doesn't actually appear to have read the report he's filing about, as he seems to think the team concluded that P2P will be unstoppable because it's reached a "critical mass" (actually, what they concluded was that a system which was secure would be unattractive to consumers, who'd be tempted to the dark side instead - a totally different motivation).

Anyway, it doesn't alter their vision of the future - one where movies, games and videos zing back and forth through the communications networks of the worlds.

Cringely faces this future square-on, firstly by reminding us what it is movie moguls and record labels actually do which, it turns out, is invest millions in creation of the cultural artifacts - thanks for reminding us, X, we keep forgetting its not just all about stuffing the work experience girl full of coke and rancid cock.

"How" wails Cringely "will P2P networks pay millions of dollars to make movies?" Hmmm. I've spoken to my old English teacher and we suspect this might be a rhetorical flourish. But Cringely goes ahead and answers it anyway, to s-p-e-l-l it out for the back of the class - probably none. So, he concludes, people will still go to the cinema because people like to see movies and so people won't share movies if it hurts the industry.

Excuse me while I laugh my head off. See, I don't imagine that P2P will bring the end of cinema, either, but for totally different reasons - that most people, offered the chance of the Proper Product or a pirate version, will go for the real thing. The analogy is the way that, even although you can pick up versions of the classic novels for a quid, the full-price versions still do good business, because they're just nicer to have. Furthermore, I can't really imagine anyone who would go to the trouble of buying Babe II: Pig In The City from a bloke in the pub would stop for a second and think "Hey - am I going to be harming the chance of a sequel here?"

Cringely then trips over his feet - apparently, because films are expensive to make, there's no problem, but because records and articles are cheap to make, there is. He then launches into a laboured attempt to show us what happens next by drawing on the history of oil in Kuwait. (One company offered to do the research work for its big rival who held the monopoly to extract oil in Kuwait, and then managed to spend twenty years not finding any oil.) From this, he concludes, the record and publishing companies will set up a P2P network, tell everyone it's better and they'll have to pay, only it'll be rubbish so everyone winds up using a system they control that doesn't work very well. This is useless. The analogy doesn't work anyway because there's no way the internet and P2P can be compared with tightly controlled geographic territory - so if Sony turned up and said "Hey, guys, we've set up a filesharing service for you to use, for a small fee" everyone would say "Really?" and carry on with the free service they've already got. In effect, Cringeley has completely misunderstood the sort-of-Microsoft report. They're not merely saying "there's always going to be peer to peer swapping"; the whole point is they say:

you can build secure, swift, rights-managed networks until there's no more silicon left on the beach; people will always choose the unsecured option.

Just pants

As if the BPI didn't have enough to worry about with the threat to every single musician ever caused by the internet, now they're having to worry about musical knickers, too. Apparently the tune-filled underwear threatens to leave popstars unable to eat this Christmas.

Just how evil is Saddam?

Look at this photographic evidence of the the weapons dossier...

Clearly, the Saddam regime has access to CD burners and blank media. This can only mean that (applying the RIAA's logic) not only is he trying to make nuclear bombs out of chewing gum and cow's milk, but he's almost certainly got dozens of illegal home-burned compilations of The Captain and Tennielle's greatest hits hidden in his Presidential Palaces. The Weapons Inspectors should be recalled - let's send in the Federation Against Copyright Theft

We'll be kissing her ass

Luckily, someone in Australia gives Pink her due, as we offer you Kyla's review of the festival:
um, i'm not very good at this kind of stuff, but i'll give it a go... she was only on for about 45mins. and she wasn't even the closing act! it was so annoying, because they put shaggy as the closing act, and fucking hate shaggy. but the only thing i had to throw at him was my fairy wand, so i had to restrain myself...

ANYWAY, pink was great. easily the best there. i never even liked her before, but i am very converted now. she was wearing these mid-length spike heel boots and pin-stripe 3/4 cargo pants things that hung down way below her waist so that you could see her undies, which had 'FUCK' written on the back of them. and a white spaghetti string top under a black spaghetti string top, and then a pleather jacket that she took off about half way through the performance. i don't really know any of her songs that well, so i don't know what she played except for "family portrait" (introduced it as being "time to get all depressed now"), "get this party started" (is that what it's called?), "just like a pill", and "there you go" (a song she said she did a couple of years ago when she "had pink roots and was very pissed off").

oh, and she did a cover of four non blondes' "what's going on?"... um, she was kinda funny, too. well, she certainly amused me, anyway. she kept swearing and then correcting herself, because there were kids as young as five in the crowd... she was very energetic. she jumped around a lot, and at one stage i thought she was going to do a bowie and go down on her bassist's guitar, but sadly, she just laid down and let her bassist walk over her.. during the last song, she got down off the stage and in with the crowd. but i was about a metre too far back to make any contact with her. dammit... i seriously suck at this re-telling business, but she was just ace. i loved her. i want to be pink. that's all there is about it.

natalie imbruglia was also good. but the rest of the festival was pretty poor. mostly people wearing baggy clothes and pumping out what they dare to call "r&b". selwyn basically got up on stage and went, "oh, ah. yo yo yo. say, selllll-wyyyyyn..." a lot. he was just terrible. but pink was definitely great...

We like Undercover, but

Their story about Pink getting into a scrap stinks of a publication turned down for an interview, doesn't it?

"It was nice to see her [Pink] acknowledge her creator Linda Perry by performing Linda's 4 Non Blondes hit 'What's Up' (sic).

Yes, because Pink doesn't ever mention the role that Perry played in Misundastood, does she? She barely mentions it more than once or twice an interview. Undercover describea Perry as a "modern day musical Dr Frankstein", which is curious, since it suggests that they believe that Frankenstein's monster approached the doctor and begged him to create him. Thank god they didn't discover that Linda's gay, eh? Can you imagine the insults?

Quick thanks

Richard from Popism pointed out to us that our links had gone all Ivy Tilsley on us, thereby reminding us to update the javascript. Ta, Popism.

Sunday, December 08, 2002

Tom Jones as a guide for life

We're not just amused by the American preacher who dresses up as Tom Jones and uses his songs as the basis of his sermons, but also bemused - we know bits of the Bible can be quite harsh, but surely Delilah's tale of actively not turning the other cheek is taking retribution a little far. And we're curious as to how Sex Bomb would be worked into a sermon.