Saturday, April 19, 2003

SO NOT ONLY DID SHE MARRY HIM, BUT SHE'S HAVING SEX WITH HIM TOO: Seriously, congratulations to Cerys on the news that she's going to have a little wee babby tyke anklebiter.

SERIOUSLY, IS THAT SOMETHING THAT PEOPLE GET?: On the sick is Sam from Interpol, who has a stressed nerve in his arm. Apparently. Also, of course, Luther Vandross is in hospital, following a stroke. It's not clear if he's still in hospital because he needs to recover, or if he's just hurt by all those press comments about his weight and he's hiding. This might not have been the best week for Patti Labelle to release her new cookbook for diabetics, what with the promise both of healthy eating and Luther Vandross' favourite recipes.

CHANNEL FUNNEL: Sky's long-planned music channels are up and running now - the positioning on channels 469 to 471 less of a handicap than perhaps MTV would like since there are numerous slots of Sky to cross-promote their existence on its other channels, and the music video watching experience is one that does encourage channel hopping anyway, much more so than, say, with news channels where you'll have your taste and will usually be less inclined to move from it.
So, what do we get? The Amp, which seems to have a lot of shared dealings with X-FM (you wonder if Capital is eyeing a long-term deal with Murdoch when the radio ownership rules relax?) and has a playlist drawn mainly from the softer end of Kerrang and the indier end of MTV2 and Q - Placebo (and didn't they hit the zeitgeist hard with the nightvision video for the Bitter End, the clever bunnies), Ian Brown, Vines, Strokes and so on. Scuzz, which hits just perfectly that Kerrang Babies market for carefully arranged grime pretending to be real dirt - Cave In, In Me, The Donnas, Harry. for boys, with nothing really filthy, but a lot of looking at knives and wondering about when virginity will be in the past. Flaunt, on the other hand, is pointed at gurlies, mainly, but it's crammed a bit heavy with all the Top 40, R&B, boyband and Made-Up Popstars material to choose from. Busted, Big Brovvas, Mis-Teeq, Kym Marsh. Plus, Flaunt is given a whole load of extras like agony aunts and make-up tips, which seems puzzling; Sky Sports doesn't think it needs to patronise its male-bullethead audience by mixing the soccer with "how to barely look after your devil dog" and "where to buy kebabs", and Sky News is able to find an audience without mixing in dreadful features for its middle-class, middle-brow, right leaning targets ("how to ensure your semi in the suburbs rises in value", "beware of foreign people - they're up to things" ... oh, hang on a minute); but why can't the music channel just do music? Girls are quite capable of listening to music for fifteen minutes without the need to hear the latest hemline height advice; if they do need that, then other services are available. The inclusion of sub-J-17 lifestyle tat seems more likely to chase away floating boy viewers than attract extra she hormonal types.
There's extra stuff in the interactive sections on each station - nothing too clever yet, and much of it seems more designed to fleece the viewer (do a quiz to find out your style double; pay fifty pee and find out who you match - not really a very inspired use of the technology, and I knew that i was going to be Kylie without paying the money. But you can request videos through the digibox rather than the phone, so in that sense the service has got the edge over EMAP's music offerings.
The choice hasn't been extended far, but they're not bad as a start.

Friday, April 18, 2003

IF YOU CAN'T SHIFT YOUR TICKETS ON EBAY AND HAVE TO GO...: BBC Somerset has got a Glasto mini-site up. And after being grumpy about the festival and some of its twisting and turning the last couple of years, seeing Michael Eavis enthusing over the rebuilding of the working men's club in Pilton is quite a nice balance.

GET WELL SOON, TONY: Old Mr. Wilson is suffering from the pace of modern life, it seems - still, leaves the way clear for the nice Mr. Gordon Burn to be the Number One Former Game Show Host Presenting Regional News In The North West.

IT'S CALLED 'KNOWING YOUR LIMITS', I THINK: "Something edgy would be good," she said. "I like the kind of roles Angelina Jolie usually plays, like 'Girl, Interrupted.' Something with substance." - Christina Aguilera plots her move into films, December 2002
"Christina Aguilera has reportedly landed a starring role in a romantic comedy with Sean Connery.
Magic Isle will see the US star play an American drama student who falls in love with a fellow thespian when she moves to Scotland."
- News Report, April 2003
Doubtless further edgy, substantial roles will present themselves too - if they turn the musical Chitty Chitty Bang Bang into a film, she's surely got to be a shoo-in for Truly Scrumptious.

UOY RAE TLIST A CNUT: Moby likes Scrabble and Celine Dion. At least anyone who beats him up in the future will have the justification that he likes Celine Dion.

WE DO LOTS OF SEX. HONEST.: Madonna is telling anyone who'll listen that she's having loads of great sex and not about to break up with her husband, oh no. She says that sex in her forties is better than it was before - since that involved fucking Warren Beatty, being tied to a chair by Sean Penn and being taken up the back alley by Vanilla Ice for the Sex book that's really not saying very much, is it?

TELETUBBY NIMBY IN UNLIKELY MOGWAI CLAIM: Toyah, the woman who campaigned tirelessly to keep already brutalised asylum seekers out of her pretty little village lest they, I dunno, cause house prices to drop, is putting out a new album which she says is inspired by Mogwai and Nick Cave. This is in no way tied in to her appearance on the new series of I was Once A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here. She'll enjoy being in Australia, a country which shares her robust attitude to asylum seekers.

Wednesday, April 16, 2003

IT'S LIKE A RADIO ONE ROADSHOW. ONLY WITHOUT THE PRANKS, OR BITS AND PIECES, OR THE MUSIC. AND WITH POP PAPERS: For one week only, What The Pop Papers Say is coming to you live - yes, LIVE - from sunny Tunbridge Wells; off the very Pantiles themselves. It doesn't make it any better, just means we're in an incredibly good mood.
Ta-ta Tatu trilled the Daily Star, leading on the reports that the prospect of seeing REAL LESBOS IN THE FLESH maybe KISSING AND STUFF wasn't proving to be the box-office turn-on they'd hoped. The Daily Star decided the fact that Britain had - apparently - turned its collective mac - sorry, back - on the women dressed as jailbait was worthy of a front page, which sort of underlines the whole Tatu problem; if they could play one-off gigs in solitary toilet cubicles up and down the length of the country - or, maybe if they had some sort of personal booth on offer - they'd be raking the dollars in. But offer the prospect of ninety minutes surrounded by other paranoid aging virgins fighting the urge to whip it out in some cavernous hall, and nobody's going to pay for that.
What do you call a skinny pervert smackhead dressed up in Bowie's greatest hits? No, not 'Brett', you call it Kate Moss. As part of Vogue's music special they've got her all up in David's old clothes. It's an interesting idea, although why it should be any more interesting than pictures of Bowie in Bowie's old clothes we're at a loss to grasp.
The Brett-Justine-Damon triangle which was at the sweaty crotch of the music we've grown to grudgingly call Britpop was put under a microscope by the Guardian Weekend, sampling John 'Q former editor' Harris' soon come book that will be the Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire for the bright days between shoegazing and... blimey, what replaced Britpop? It's affectionate but honest, and we await the book with interest. Interest that would not be undimmed by a review copy, you know.
The Face's continuing inability to separate 'next wave' and 'already there' throws up its biggest wrong so far - this month, they've not only got Christina Aguilera on the cover, they've got her arse on one of the inside pages. Why? Has the magazine so firmly abandoned the bid to spot trends that it's now interested purely in shifting copies? Will it be Tatu for June?
So, quickly to the nme, which almost deserves less than this skating glance for its "eight page coldplay tour souvenir" pull-out. They nearly redeem themselves with Hot Hot Heat on the cover - not beautiful, but at least musical; Karen O claims the Yeah Yeah yeahs album makes you want to fuck (yeah, but as Xander once said, for seventeen year old boys, talking about linolleium...); The Black Keys say "people think Jack White invented the blues" - um, no they don't; not a living soul would believe that; Alison Goldfrapp does the Burn It CD line-up (Vangelis; Carpenters; Motorhead); Madonna's album is given 7 ("a men in black II, an unneccesary sequel"); 7 Nation Army is the sotw. Meanwhile, the raging against the price of Glastonbury tickets rages on - "scalpers charge too much" they wail. Yeah? Have you ever bought a ticket from a tout? Or asked in the hope you could afford to sneak in by using hard cash to by-pass the queue system? Then how can you complain about the same system operating now? Of course the price has trebled, but lets not pretend that it's that that will stop the Kids from going to Glasto this year - the price of tickets to start with had been set high; last year Eavis said he was glad the ticket price had dissauded teenagers from going. Nobody moaned when Mean Fiddler put the prices up and out of reach; why the fuss now?
Normal service back next week.

Sunday, April 13, 2003

ONCE AGAIN, BILL GATES COPIES AN APPLE IDEA A LITTLE BIT LATER: Microsoft announce an interest in purchasing Universal. Their bid is expected to look a lot like Apple's, but without the functionality or stability.


I KNOW THIS IS YEARS LATE, BUT: They've just been showing the Jason and Kylie video for Especially For You on VH-1, and at the end where they've finally met up, there's one of the classic video moments of all time that I've managed to miss before - they're hugging and singing to each other. Only while Kylie's gazing Donovan-wards, Jason is gazing into the camera. For just a moment, you can see Minogue's whole jaw clench at her screen husband's desperate playing to the audience. Perfect.

MORE SPECIALS THAN HE'S HAD NOSES: Michael Jackson is desperate for exposure and cash ("opening up his private movies to public view"). No, we suspect he'll be choosing carefully the videos that get shown - we're guessing the ones that show him as a great guy, doing great things, to the adulation of millions, with a nose very like the one he has now.

MAYBE HE WAS DEFENDING A MARKET: One of the curious footnotes to war: Alongside Harrison Ford and Sharon Stone, the Iraqi Secret Police's pin-up of choice was George Michael. A curious choice for a bunch of bastards who were meant to be ensuring the execution of - amongst others - gays.

I SWEAR ITS TRUE - kladddang - EVERYTHING I DO - klaaaddddaaannng - I DO IT FOR YOU: Writing off the back of the German woman who reversed the usual trend by coming out of a coma when she heard Bryan Adam's Everything I do, Ryan Craig writes in the Kentucky New Era about his love for the song, shedding some light on one of the greatest mysteries of the last century: how the hell did that song stick around at the top of the charts for so bloody long?

STUNTED: Michael Eavis has closed the 'reserve ticket list' because, it turns out, they might only have five hundred tickets to play with, and that's if they actually have the legal right to take them back - and it sounds like they're not entirely sure they do. The whole thing smacks slightly of a publicity stunt to us. We're telling, Michael: next year - you sell the tickets through Ebay.

HITS, TIPS, BLIPS, POWER: Interesting stuff going on just over there, at, a bunch of musicians attempting to establish a way of getting music heard without having to go through the Major Record Labels (and/or IT sector companies as it'll probably be by the end of the year). Still early on in their endeavours - they know what they're not, and they know what they want; it'll be interesting to watch how they get there.

WE'VE HAD LOTS OF LETTERS: Never let it be said that No Rock silences its critics. Apart from the tiresome ones, of course. We've been contacted by Avril Lavigne - though we suspect 'her' email address [] might suggest it's not actually the real Avril, although we wouldn't put it past her being stupid enough to write a passionate fan's defence of herself under her own name:
Hey toss pot,
One of the salutations built into the mailmerge function of Office 2003, I've been led to believe
the new ballad "I'm With You" is the best Avril song yet, in fact it's a classic! The first two piles of crap were piss poor, as you put it, then again it's a bit like your shite internet site really, isn't it?
erm... in what way? Are you suggesting that No Rock used to be pisspoor and now isn't, or that it always has been pisspoor and now remains pisspoor?
What amuses us, though, is that someone who thought Complicated and Sk8r boi were "piles of crap" and yet is now such a big fan they feel the need to send ill-considered emails in support of the person who, erm, shat them.
Avril's still not a puppet ahe's a songwriter getting a whole lot better, as it happens.
Avril rocks!

Seriously, it's curious how you can imagine Avril is getting better as a songwriter when she's still only released stuff that the Matrix wrote for her. But thanks for your contribution, and your continuing interest in our pisspoor site, um, Avril.