WHAT WE WERE SAYING ABOUT I-TUNES AND INDIES: This from Bloodshot, via Morag:
As the music business heads off into uncharted territory we are feeling the effects first hand as stores close, media consolidates and users have noqualms about stealing music from the web. After a fun business trip to Apple HQ in California, we have decided to cast our lot with Apple’s new iTunes store. By the end of the summer (hopefully) you’ll be able to download individual tracks or albums from nearly every Bloodshot artist (including comps). We’ll let you know when our catalog is ready to go.
Saturday, June 21, 2003
WHAT WE WERE SAYING ABOUT I-TUNES AND INDIES: This from Bloodshot, via Morag:
OTHER MUSIC BLOGS ARE AVAILABLE: A quick mention for BangSheet, which - though it would probably deny this - is kind of like a MetaFilter for music, in a way. Give it a try and see.
ADVERT SOUNDTRACKS WRECK MY HEAD: How many more fucking adverts are going to use "keep young and beautiful/ it's your duty to be beautiful/ keep young and beautiful/ if you want to be loved" on the soundtrack for their make up/ diet food/ jogging pants? Don't they know that it's already been on the soundtrack of seventy-nine thousand adverts? Even if it wasn't an irritating song and being used without any understanding of what the song was (they use it as if they think that it was a serious song they're injecting with an element of parody, oblivious to it originally being a pisstake of the sort of people who use beauty products/ keep fit regimes - i.e. the very people they're trying to sell to) it's become such a commonplace, they should just steer clear of it for about seventeen years at least. By which time we'll all be dead and it won't matter.
Friday, June 20, 2003
INTERESTING LEGAL QUERY OF OUR TIMES: If Shane from the So Solids is still planning to go ahead with his legal action against the government for actions which linked his day job with guns and drugs in people's minds, could he also bring legal action against G-Man and Asher D for doing the same thing?
Asher D, of course, fronted up a 'guns off the street' campaign (the public penance part of his sentence), when he suggested "some of the guys have been through theirs. But we want people to know that's not what we are doing now. If we get one gun off the street then that's a good thing." Of course Shane was no longer doing gun stuff, as he'd thrown his away the previous November. If only he'd had the presence of mind to tell the cops that when he tossed the weapon into the garbage, he was making a difference by taking just one gun off the street...
SPOT THE STRAW, SPOT THE DROWNER: Oakenfold to remix Madonna - "let go of my leg, dammit, you'll drag us both down."
In other news, we read in Metro that Madonna is returning to having blonde hair because she had her greatest success when she was blonde. That'll be it, Maddy, your blue stilton records aren't selling at the moment because you're a bottle brunette; it's got nothing to do with the contents being as inviting as the Jeffrey Archer Parole Party.
Thursday, June 19, 2003
STILL, HE'S GOT THE RENT BOY GIG TO FALL BACK ON: So, apparently, Pete's permanently out of the Libertines, or so someone claiming to be him has told one of their fansites:
Further to this.. I suppose replies will be forthcoming, so I will try and respond in advance to notions I have of your responses.
I can see it from their point of view, I have proven unreliable and let people down. Gary, John and Carl have worked like martres and I just expect to show up when I choose. They have made a stand and I can't just swan up and plug in and scream it all out anymore. I don't want to be in that position anymore, I dont want to have all of 'em relying on my whims, and the thoughtlessness of my relatives dropping off one by one.
I am not comfortable with the line up and over the months have repeatedly (if a little cowardly in my subtleness) tried to explain to Gary and John that I don't want to be in a band with them. My capriciousness deters them from taking me seriously but that is the way it is. My new songs are all I have, along with my liberty, and everything has to be just right from now on in. I need to start singing my new songs, and I want to play with other people.
the recent responses from Libertines fans have made me a little bored and aweary. I think a sensitive, more open minded crowd of ears awaits me and yes, I'll watch my back.
So, there it is then - a frankly baffling decision on the part of the rump Libertines; it's like the Yeah Yeah Yeahs deciding they could do without Karen O, or, erm, Alex Ferguson happily consigning David Beckham to Eurodrudgery (yeah, you thought you'd have avoided that topic here, didn't you?). Sure, they can probably find someone who plays as well - maybe better - but fans don't cling to bands or teams because of their techincal proficiency. It's the personality that engages, and you can have a band or a team where the character is all closed out, where the automaton-rating is high. But it won't be something to take to your heart, to cherish, to dream of running away to join in the middle of the night when the police helicopter has woken you up again.
The Libertines should look at Hurricane Number One, The Healers, The Seahorses - even the post-Limahl KajaGooGoo. There are hundreds of bands that are projects where the musically gifted have tried to do without the awkward, angelic bugger. Almost all of them are turgid and life-affiriming only in the sense that you don't know you're born until you try to get through a fourteenth grim guitar solo.
ALL THESE SINGER SONGWRITERS BLEND INTO ONE: Michelle Branch is pissed off with people thinking she's Vaness Carlton: "You don't know how many times I walk down the street and people go, 'Oh, my God! I love you're [sic] video where you're playing the piano,'" Branch told Blender. "I know that's not their fault. I'm sure Vanessa Carlton gets the same thing."
Yes, Vanessa Carlton probably does get people saying that they love her piano-video all the time, too. [Sidenote: If they do love that video, they're either insane or lying.] What Vanessa probably doesn't get is people saying 'I love that thing you do where... uh... ', which is presumably what they'd be saying if they thought she was Michelle Branch, an artist so flat and cookie-cut in terms of personality passers-by would be hard put to pick her out of a line-up featuring her, a branch from an oak tree, the branch line to Ormskirk, a branch of Lloyds TSB and a light brunch consisting of two eggs over easy and french toast.
THATS WHAT WE NEED... ANOTHER NEW CHART: Channel Five reshuffles chart programming again, having jumped from Pepsi/National to Smash Hits, they're now going to launch the Flaunt Chart Show, based on text votes for, um, the Flaunt channel. So, that's not a chart that's going to be easily manipulated by PR girls with tired thumbs, then.
NOW THE REST OF THE WORLD...: Apple continue spread of the only downloads that count, wooing indie labels onto itunes with level playing field offers.
YES, WE GET THE POINT NOW: "I like booze me!" trills Charlotte Church again and again "Ooh, I'm a naughty girl and I kiss boys and sometimes argue with my Mummy." Yes, we know. You keep saying. Here's a hint , Charlie: you've already managed to successfully shed the image of the pious little choir girl. You might want to now work on repositioning yourself somewhere other than 'dimwitted, boring brat.'
More from No Rock on charlotte church
KEVIN ROWLAND BUCKLES AND GIVES IN: Who'd have thought that Dexys would ever reform?. But they are, you know. I'm sure it's nothing to do with the gap between sales of Kevin Rowland solo records and tickets for the Here And Now tour.
CRAIG DAVID REMEMBERS PRIOR ENGAGEMENT, MUMBLES APOLOGIES: "It's all about the fans, I want to be close to them. I am besieged by artists who want to be on my tour." Those are the words of Mariah Carey (although they're lifted from The Sun, which, being edited by Rebekah Wade means that maybe someone had been paid to make them up). Unfortunately, the fans don't seem to want to be close to her, as tickets are moving as fast as the largest corpse carrying heavy shopping with a ball and chain on its bony ankle. And Craig David has dumped the whole effort like an eccles cake filled with wasps ("had to pull out of dates - rearranged in the hope that people might turn up this time - because it clashes with other commitments")
Wednesday, June 18, 2003
WHAT THE POP PAPERS SAY: Cobbled together in coffee-breaks edition from Newcastle:
MediaGuardian predicts the sweeping in of Clear Channel to grip its fingers around the UK radio industry. While we suspect that this is in its plans, we're a little surprised at the evidence the paper offers - that CC has just opened a big headquarters in London. Yes, this may be the bridgehead for a sweep throughout the UK taking over Viking and Fox FM, you've also got remember that CC are already one of the market leaders in European outdoor advertising (bus shelters and such) and own venues and have a thriving promotion business. So it's not impossible they could fill the executive washrooms without the need to snap up Classic FM as well.
Besides, where would be the harm if they did? The man from Clear Channel stresses that the company isn't the sort to take over a radio station and alter it beyond recognition - "we're aware of the needs of the local market." That'll be why all those North Mexican listeners keep getting travel news for San Diego, then.
Also in the Guardian: Moby is interviewed. We could say things, but we're feeling too weak right now. Eminem sacrificing a doll version of him isn't enough. We need show trials, witch burnings, all of that. Talking of Eminem…
Eminem! Dre! 50 Cent! All grimming out of the cover, although the presence of the ludicrous 50 pence is akin to having George W on Mount Rushmore. And Eminem is wearing a dopey hat that makes him look like he's got the wig Dave Grohl wore for his cross-dressy bit in the Learn To Fly video. Only without even that much gorm.
Page three has been given over to a sort of contents page - "inside your packed NME" promises the top, hoping nobody will notice that it's so packed they've had to fill a page with trailers for stuff a few pages on.
News: Pete Doherty missed a Libertines gig - capital case made
the new Muse album will be "harder" than expected (translation: our label wants us to go after the Scuzz/Kerrang market with a vengeance)
Kaish from the So Solids claimed that the wrongful arrest wrecked his career - because without it, he would have had a great solo future ahead of him, like, erm, those other boys from So Solid, like, um…
Chris Martin has written a song about Gwyneth Paltrow - it goes "like Moses has power over the sea, so you've got power over me" - so she parts you, does she, Chris?
Apparently 'I fucked Jack White' tshirts are the must-have item this summer. Everyone's wearing them. Except Meg, who's presumably got one with the word "really" on it too. And "Our mother doesn't know" as well, perhaps.
Justin Frischmann's vocals on Pleasure's Don't Look The Other Way is being released on July 7th. We suggest you start queuing now. Unless, of course, you buy your records over the internet, in which case you might want to sit logged-on for all time until you can buy it.
Stellastar have signed a major deal with RCA. Only not in Britain, they'll still be cool and on 20/20 there. We'd assumed the level of useless flyposters they'd been given showed the shadowy influence of a major label anyway, to be honest.
Ross from Futurehead isn't scared of you, and isn't scared of ghosts - told he was playing Newcastle's notoriously spooky Opera House, he snapped "Fuck the undead - we are punk rock." Hmmm. But seeing as most remaining punks are zombies now, and you're playing a bloody opera house, we're not entirely sure who's spooking who.
It looks like the lazy filling of two pages with a whole bunch of numbers in BIG TYPE is to be a regular feature - anyway, this week's is quite interesting, as it has the first day sales figures for the New Radiohead Album, Hail To The Thief - 44,000 copies in the UK alone. Now, record industry, will you believe us that downloading doesn't actually harm sales?
Neither does stretching, apparently - some woman's paid out GBP1,610 for Ronan Keating's old knickers, which are garments that must have been under something of a strain, don't you think?
Stuart Braithwaite of the Mogwai chooses CD tracks - The Cure, Sonic Youth and - hurrah! - Spaceman3's Revolution.
If your mum and dad were trapped in marriage for twenty years not because they loved each other, but because they were in need of the comfort, would you write a song about it? Cause that's what Luke Steele from the the Sleepy Jackson did, with 'Acid in my heart'
Travel broadens the mind. Unless the first stage is on the Mersey Ferry, of course: James Skelly of the Coral gets a trip to Japan, and comes back complaining about the food - "all day, all we could eat was fish biscuits" he bemoans - apparently unaware that some of the cheaper Digestives and Custard Creams in Liverpool shops are made with "marine oil" - i.e. squished fish. Fact.
The Dre/Eminem/Fifty spread shrinks like a salted slug when you look at it - the Eminem piece originally appeared in the New York Times Magazine (not written by Jason Blair), Dr Dre isn't actually "playing at the weekend" so you're left with 50 per cent (yes, we're killing ourselves, too) to carry the feature. He's a great example, you know: "My son is six, and when he watches someone getting shot [on TV] now he says 'switch it off - it aint real, you've been shot nine times and you're still alive" - perhaps the first ever case of real-life violence desensitising kids to violence on TV?
Radio 4 (the band0 are angry - why? Because "Aids is not on TV, it's not in the news. This country has a short attention span." While possibly true, Google News finds about 2000 references to Aids + America at the moment. While no longer the number one disease of the month, surely HIV is only an Elton John interview away from the headlines?
Electric 6 - fire - "a record to be used and abused", 6
Gossip - movement - "drama, passion and fun", 8
Liam Lynch - fake songs - "self-indulgent piffle", 3
Sotw - Yeah yeah yeahs - Pin - "trashy, sexy, cool"
Siobahn Donaghy - Overrated - "sugababes gone rock"
Yeah yeah yeahs - Camden barfly - "a head fucking rock band"
And finally, in response to a complaint that a page given over to Jack White in his swimming costume was a bit lightweight, the nme bristles and says "ah, but is' fun." Maybe, but the problem wasn't that it was published at all, but that it was given a whole page. And lead the news section at that. Five years ago, it would have been a small pic on the Public NME page. And therein lies the problem, and therein.
SEXING UP STORIES - A WORKING EXAMPLE: Dull story about cheque fraud? Desperate for a bit more attention? Why not sex it up? The only connection between the fraudster and Lionel Richie in this story is that the fraud guy claimed to have worked on his boat, but... hey, so long as we make it clear that Lionel had connection with him at all later on, why not bring him in?
Tuesday, June 17, 2003
UN PEACEKEEPERS NEEDED: The security team at Glastonbury can only look at Hultsfred heavy-handedness and dream: conga-dancers arrested because - seriously - the fear that hijinks could develop into lawlessness.
NO, BOB, NO: Bod Geldof reckons that his political activity have cost him his musical credibility. Oh, yeah? Sure it wasn't that Vegetarians of Love album? Or, perhaps, the desperation to please suggested by album covers like this:
Nah... it'd be feeding starving africans, mate. You're right. Look at how Bono's career's gone - can hardly get his records into the Woolies mark-down racks.
WEASEL GOES THE POPTONES: Alan Mcgee has bought Poptones back off the shareholders (didn't they include the queen?) for one pound, thereby valuing his entire record label at less than list price of a The Legend! seven inch single.
More from No Rock on alan mcgee
Monday, June 16, 2003
RONAN KEATING IN CANCER SCARE: Except, erm, he didn't have it. We'd have gone with 'Ronan keating touches bollocks' as a headline ourselves.
NO ASTORIA LA VISTA, BABY: Encouraging news from London, where the Footloose-style local old folks at Westminster City Council have withdrawn their appeal against the Astoria. Westminster - the people who brought you the selling-off-graveyards-for-a-penny, gerrymandering-housing-policies and dumping-poor-people-in-asbestos-filled-flats-even-though-they-knew-they-were-harmful scandals had thought that their misdeeds were entertaining enough for locals and there was no need for fancy-dan affectations like discotechques and so on. However, they've now come to their senses.
While we're on a venuewatch, the wavy-lined mouths at the recently deceased Liverpool Lomax will be presumably turned down further to see their old venue, the L2, about to reopen as... a big dance and live venue. Luckily, the place seems to be perfect for it as the previous tennants spent a small fortune converting it into a great place for live music and dancing, before they decided to move to somewhere else for whatever reason. The real problem is that the venue is a sister site to the Birmingham and Glasgow Academys, and so they're going to call it the Academy. Unfortunately, the Liverpool University venue recently hooked up with the Manchester Uni operation and rebranded itself... the Academy. Apparently it's not going to be confusing because one will be called "[sponsors name] Academy Liverpool" and the other Liverpool Academy. A taxi driver said, yesterday, "sorry mate, didn't realise you wanted the other one - it's another fiver away..."
We wait for wisdom to prevail.
AN EARLY LEAD: Last week, we announced the shallowest music competition in history - the only one that doesn't pretend to be interested in the music at all. So far - we suspect because people thought it was all a joke - we've only had one entry and, frustratingly, she's actually a really good artist as well as pretty damn cute. So, meet Sixx:
She comes with an endorsement from Pink, and we did consider disqualifying her on the grounds that she's equally wonderful with your eyes shut. But we shan't. You can hear her stuff at sixxonline.com.
At the moment, she's going to win by default. If you think you can stop her, email your entry now to email@example.com. Remember, this is the only Best Unknown Act contest that considers entrants purely on looks and not on musical ability; and it's open to girls, boys and bands.
Sunday, June 15, 2003
HEADS INTO THE FUTURE: Our Radiohead correspondent Aaron's been back in touch, with the following musing:
As a long time Radiohead fan, I'm really interested to know what the band are going to do after their record deal ends (this'll happen pretty soon).
The whole band have had an anti-industry stance for years now. Back in the day, Colin went on the BBC's Newsnight to advocate file sharing and napster. Just two weeks ago, Thom said the band would be "completely unrecognizable in two years". But then, three weekends ago, MTV were allowed to record a Radiohead show in London - then again, Thom mouthed off about their presence the whole way through the gig.
So, what I want to know is, will Radiohead follow through at the end of their record contract, and become the first, mainstream, popular music act to say goodbye to the record labels and run things the way they want, using the net..? I sure hope so, because, they're big enough the change the way things are done, as the lyrics/tabs issue shows.
The other thing, of course, is that the band seem less bothered by the whole flogging of records aspects of the music industry to be that worried about the risks of taking such a step. Bush tried to do this a few years ago, and came a bit of a cropper in the process; mainly because at that time there hadn't been the massive popularisation of music downloads brought about by Metallica's Napster campaign. But now things have shifted a lot.
BYE MUM: Jewel sacks Manager Mom, gives her face-saving, useless royal style charity role.
POP DIRECT INTO YOUR BITS: last night there was a snatch of Brian Molko's appearance on V Graham Norton - because of the Big Brother Borg they don't repeat the whole shows at the moment, so we only got a small part; Graham had a voice-activated vibrating gizmo which a girl got to put on (over her jeans, I should point out) and Brian sang Nancy Boy ('because it's kind of appropriate') directly into her.
Norton: Did you like that?
Girl: [still buzzing; coyly] Might have...
Punchline involving the phrase 'so that's a Placebo effect' to follow.
AND WE MISSED ANOTHER: This is what happens when you spend a week before you post something - yeah, we know, instant web publishing, ain't it grand, yadda yadda.
Anyway, Simon Tyers has pointed us in the direction of Warner Chapell's U-turn on the Radiohead lyric and tab fansites.
What's fascinating here is that the pressure seems to have come from Radiohead themselves for the W-C climbdown - would the muscle of a band whose potential future sales don't contribute so much to the bottom line have the same effect, we wonder? - and that they aren't just going to leave the sites alone, but instead introduce one-year, free-use licences.
However, this is almost the closest we've got to a record company confessing that limited availabilty of free stuff doesn't, actually, impact on their sales. We're making a note of that, using a pretty, glittery gel pen.
WE MISSED ONE: And it was the oddest of the lot - Dave Gilmour, CBE. But then he does do a lot of good work for charity.