Tuesday, March 30, 2004

WE'VE HAD LOTS OF LETTERS: Thanks to everyone who takes the trouble to drop us emails of stuff that might be of interest; we've got a small pile of things thus collected to bring to your attention.

First, Joris fromStereo picks up on last week's Pop Papers mention of Jesus Jones' odd reunion, pointing out the Guardian arts pages has given this matter some attention in the past.

Next up, Gary M has been looking through the BPI's defence of its plans to send highly trained hit squads of lawyers into seize computers owned by filesharers:

My favourite bit of their press blurb was this:

"If America protects its music better than we do, then we will get American music on our radios day and night and I don't want that to happen," he added.

Imagine if UK radio was dominated by american acts!

Next up, Cameron from The All New Ylbaveilebnu Dedrater Golb (sti ton yllautca dedrater ta lla):

Just poking through your blog, very interesting.? Read through the article on Radio Five, and it makes me wish we had something like that in Canada.? Right now we have?documentary station CBC Radio One and glorified?classic music station + other bits?CBC Radio Two.? There's also a "CBC Radio 3" (purely web-based) that appeals to it seems a trend-oriented section of youth (pop, hip-hop, essentially indie-centrism at its most overblown).? It always seemed to me that BBC Radio "gets it" by comparison.? As much as BBC might be shit sometimes it could be us by comparison.
Nothing against my own network, they put on some good shows now and then, but they're devolving badly as they seem to appeal less to a general audience and more to the urban-centric types that they've really always focused on.? It'd be nice to hear somethng a little bit more anarchic on Canadian radio.? It's either the American-esque formats, a terrible campus station and CBC Radio, nothing really great.? Then again, it may be me whining about nothing, I dunno.

I think the thing that has saved British radio has been that old licence fee that twonks like Jonathan Miller would have us abolish; even during the worst periods of bad management, most stations have kept some sort at-least token show to appeal a bit to everybody - I can't imagine there are many radio networks which would have allowed John Peel to have kept turning up playing sometimes almost exquistely unlistenable records, while simultaneously ripping the piss out of his colleagues. Obviously, nowadays sacking Peel would be like raping the Queen level of unthinkable, but there was a time when he could have been shown the door with barely any level of protest at all. Likewise, many of the BBC Local Stations harbour - or have harboured - almost insanely passionate left-field music shows amongst the traffic news and dedications.

A little deeper into the mailbox, Jake was inspired by Lowestoft's proposed Darkness Street to send us this:

One of the best thing about Milton Keynes is the Crownhill Estate, which features:

Darin Court
Vincent Avenue
Presley Way
Cochran Close
Mercury Grove
Fury Court
Marley Court
Lennon Drive
Cline Court
Crosby Court
Morrison Court
Bolan Court
Redding Grove
Valens Close
Monro Avenue
Hendrix Drive
Cogan Court
Chevalier Grove
Orbison Court
Gallagher Close

as well as:

Kinnear Close
Beckinsale Grove
(Rock?) Hudson Lane
Laurel Close (no Hardy that I can see)
Chaplin Grove
Garbo Close
as well as a couple of others that I don't recognise, including Drakes Mews, which looks a little bit like Darkness Mews from the corner of your eye. It's still pretty impressive though.

We've mentioned before the legacy of the short-sighted attitude to the Beatles taken by Liverpool City Council in the 80s, who not only destroyed the original Cavern but grudgingly named streets after the band members - choosing some obscure stumpy little cul-de-sacs on the edges of an unwelcoming estate next to Kensington (as in the Head's Streets of Kenny), and, of course, Norman Cook has a bus named after him on the streets of Brighton, but this does lead us to wonder if there are any other streets or things that have been named after musicians? We'll open the bidding with the Arthur Askey Rooms in the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts. Any more?

The plight of record stores: Amblongus drops off this fromAustin Statesman [registration required] report on the closure of Tower Records in Austin, in the light of our earlier piece about how legal downloads might do more harm than the illegal ones:

And money, said UT graduate student Matthew Thomas, is a factor in buying decisions.
Thomas went to Tower on Monday to buy a CD of one of the small bands he prefers. But he found out that Tower wanted $17.
"The price here is pretty high," he said.
Instead of going to a big-box retailer, Thomas turned to the latest competitor to record stores: the Internet.
Thomas went to the band's Web site and bought the CD for $10.

Of course, based on how long it took the recording industry to wake up to the threat of Napster, we reckon bands have got four or five years to work this to their advantage before Mitch Bainwol starts to steal their guitars or whatever.

And finally, thanks to Andy for sending us the link to the file sharing study - we'd come across it before we read your email, but thanks for thinking of us anyway.

Anything to add? The usual address is waiting.

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