Saturday, March 19, 2005


Good news from the Smog camp - the new album, A River Ain't Too Much To Love is almost ready to launch; it's scheduled for a 30th May release, and there's going to be a full UK tour at around the same time. A River... has been recorded at Pedernales Studio in Texas, where Willie Nelson used to do his stuff back before he started to work with Jessica Simpson. And we're just suckers for lyrics like this:

"I love my mother, I love my father, I love my sisters too
I bought this guitar to pledge my love, to pledge my love to you"

Meanwhile... why not try some earlier Smog?

Rain On Lens

Burning Kingdom


Obviously, there's tonnes of SXSW stuff floating about the web right now, but perhaps one of the most exciting innovations this year is that the BBC Radio Player has got all the BBC radio stuff from the festival in one place - including programmes from Radios 2, 6 and Scotland. Be quick, while they're there.

And don't forget you can follow bloggings on sxsw by checking the technorati tag.


There's only one music story making the running today:

Pop Babe's Gangster Secret

that's how the Star has it, although the "Pop Babe" doesn't actually have a secret herself, it turns out:

And, to be honest - it's not as if nobody knew that Tafarwa Beckford was related to Jamelia; the Sunday Mercury in Birmingham had pointed out the links between Jamelia and the shootings of two girls; the Observer had had the story in 2003. So, apart from the change from 'Jamelia's brother accused of murder' to:

... on conviction, it's hard to see why the press is suddenly getting excited now. Except for the Telegraph:

They're excited because it's an excuse to put a sexy young lady on the front page.


After OutRage's surprising climbdown in the homophobic reggae lyric war, Beenie Man is set to play a gig in London. Somewhat surprisingly, he's offered a whole new reason why, hey, he wasn't homophobic in the first place:

The star, who is signed to Virgin Records, told BBC London his lyrics had been misconstrued. He said the term "batty boy" - widely perceived to be a derogatory term for a gay man - actually meant a child molester.

"Jamaican people are taking our lyrics and translating them to people in the wrong way... a batty man is a child molester, anyone in Jamaica can tell you the same thing."

This is new and interesting - somehow nobody ever realised that before, did they? Let's not be quick to dismiss this as self-serving, face-saving bollocks, or ponder how "anyone in Jamaica" can tell you "batty boy" is child molester and yet "Jamaican people are translating lyrics in the wrong way."

It's kind of strange that there doesn't seem to be any evidence on the web of this alternative defintion. Could it really be that Beenie Man got punished because he thought he was writing a rebekkah wade style anti-kid fiddler rant, but he got the name wrong?

It's not totally unlikely - the chap half way down this page offering himself for hire as a Batty Boy for children's parties clearly doesn't know there's an awkward meaning in his character name - but it would seem to be stretching credibility. Still, at least Beenie Man knows he's been bad - let's hope he takes his new message of coexistence back to Jamaica with him:

Beenie Man said he had never intended to incite violence. "A gay man is a man," he said. "It is very wrong to incite violence against anybody, any group of people... I don't do violence."

Except to kid-touchers, obviously.

Friday, March 18, 2005


Megaman - or Dwayne Vincent as he's called when he's not on So Solid Crew business - has appeared in court to enter a not guilty plea to charges of murder. Vincent and co-defendent Carl Morgan were in the Old Bailey this morning. Both deny the murder of Colin Scarlett last November. The pair were remanded in custody and will appear for trial on September 5th.

template story: babyshambles cancel or cut short gig or gigs

Babyshambles have cancelled/abandoned a gig/gigs in London/other:_____ after Pete Doherty died/ disappeared/ oversdosed/ got into a fight with a fan / got into a fight with a member of security / got into a fight with a friend/ lost his voice / lunch / last clean needle / bail. The gig has been quietly forgotten/ entered into rock legend/ rearranged for April 29th assuming Pete is found/ can be arsed/ recovers/ isn't in jail.

Babyshambles apologised to fans for the incident or cancellation.


Well, if Bob Geldof was looking for an extreme reaction from his blah-rant against the press for not doing enough for Africa, he's got exactly what he was after. Eleven newspaper editiors have decided they've had enough [MediaGuardian - free registration required]and if steps aren't taken to end bitter old guys launching attacks on them, they say they'll stop going to the Press Awards (scene of the Geldof diatribe) altogether:

"The editors of The Guardian, The Observer, The Daily Telegraph, The Sunday Telegraph, The Independent, The Independent on Sunday, the Daily Express, the Sunday Express, The Daily Mail and The Mail on Sunday believe the organisation of these awards brings little credit to the industry or to the newspapers who win them, " the editors said in a joint statement this afternoon.

"Following the Press Awards ceremony earlier this week, discussions are now going on about what should happen in the future," it added.

Richard Wallace, the Mirror's editor said: "There is that old chestnut that everybody hates awards unless you win and Geldof's comments and remarks just fuelled what is always a night of great tension and has led everybody to question whether the entire awards should be changed, but to scrap them [an awards] entirely would be a mistake."

Oddly, the Sun and the Murdoch papers don't seem to be too bothered by Geldof's foaming. But then it was the wonderful Sun - Bob's apparent idea of what a newspaper should be - that invited Geldof on stage in the first place.


Simon Fuller has dumped the entire 19 Entertainment edifice - responsible for Will Young, the too-young S Club and, erm, the Beckham's media strategy - into the gleefilled arms of Robert Sillerman. Sillerman, who runs Sports Entertainment Enterprises. The deal involves stupefying sums of money, SEE being renamed CFX and Fuller getting a seat on the board.

CFX? Is that text speak for Ceefax?

Sillerman did a deal to buy Elvis' corpse and business just before Christmas, and this latest deal means one man is responsible for Official Elvis Presley keychains, Gareth Gate's future and Victoria Beckham's faltering singing career. It's like having the fishing rights on an open sewer, isn't it?

There was, of course, a lot of unhappiness when Sillerman sold up his SFX business to Clear Channel back in 2000 (the move which gave Clear the control of a large chunk of live music business as well as the radio of America). Ordinary shareholders claimed that Sillerman and the other execs of SFX had negotiated a sale on better terms for their own shares than for the general sort; SFX paid out USD34.5million to settle. No wonder Fuller insisted on remaining around after the takeover.


Oooh, look... Freddy The Durst is just surfing that zeitgest, isn't he, judging by this exciting post from the Limp Bizkit blog:

i would like to ask you all to familiarize yourselves with the concept of FLASH MOBS. if you already know everything you need to know about them could you enlighten your friends and allies?

timing is everything in almost everything.

i will be posting pieces of information about our new album in little bits more often these days and they may not make any sense, but we don't care. this is intentional. there will be song titles and other things in every post i make, including this one.

the key is to pay attention. this way we can weed out the idiots who could care less. we don't make records for them anymore.

Flash Mobs! How thrilling - clearly Fred has heard about these mobile phones that everyone's getting and is sensing a marketing opportunity there. Wait till the dude discovers Txt mssgs - then the world will see something to make it sit up and take notice, eh? And we're delighted to hear that the Bizkit aren't making albums for people who don't care about them... erm, unlike before, then, is that? Did the last albums start with a desire to make an album for somebody who wouldn't buy it anyway? But hang on, Fred's back... maybe he's discovered teletext:

question #3
do you really think you know anything about why limp bizkit has made a new album? what you don't know cannot hurt you until you find out. all of the bullshit propaganda being attached to music these days is simply a cover up to get people to buy into something they may or may not identify with in the long run, but it helps the entertainment industry stay in the game of surviving from one day to the next by the seat of their pants. and you know what? there is never a moment that we can't do something about it. it is hard to say if it is all about the music isn't it? i mean music makes me connect with so many things inside my chamber of emotions and memories that have nothing to do with music. it's simply the fact that the music made me more aware of them. without music there would most likely be so many things that stay undiscovered inside of me. to me it's all about life and what is life without music? believe it or not there are people who know the answer to that question. find those people then compare your lives. limp bizkit is life as we know it and the music will be a reflection of that. we are very concentrated on intention and motivation and that leaves very little room for anything besides a full throttled expression of exactly that. the heaviest is yet to come.

Limp Bizkit "is life as we know it" - what, that shit series with Kelly Osbourne in it that got canned almost as soon as it took to the air? We're glad that Fred is taking a stand against "bullshit propaganda", though - yeah, the modern marketing of music stinks, doesn't it, Fred? How much better to launch a record with a Flash Mob. No bullshit propaganda there. We can't wait until you throw open the doors on your chamber of emotions. We just hope the gift shop is well-stocked.


Kylie has been able to preserve her reputation as an extraordinary beauty thanks to the not-cheap sciences of medical attention and photoshoppery. But how can she ensure that her live tour keeps the mystique alive? Simple... fling cash at that, too. In the shape of a a five thousand pound corset:

An insider said: "She's already got the greatest bottom in pop, now she'll have the slenderest waist too.

"She's worn it for a few rehearsals and it makes her bum look astonishing. Heaven knows how she manages to breathe in it, let alone sing and dance."

Kylie makes mental note to check the backing tapes are ready. Perhaps connected with the news of five grand being blown on some corsetry, they've made extra tickets available.

Of course, there's nothing wrong with a spot of corset-wear; and it's not as if Kylie is a total stranger to having her internal organs crushed in the interests of body shape:

And it's a
cultural artefact, too, you know:
But then so are crotchless panties and peephole bras. Next tour, maybe?


Having tried and failed to get tickets for the Dead Can Dance dates in London and Dublin, there's something incredibly tempting about the announcement of US, Mexico and Canada tour dates for them:

Sept. 17-18: Seattle (Paramount Theater)
Sept. 21-22: Oakland, Calif. (Paramount Theater)
Sept. 25: Los Angeles (Hollywood Bowl)
Sept. 27: San Diego (Humphrey's)
Sept. 29: Mexico City (Auditorio Nacional)
Oct. 1: Toronto (Massey Hall)
Oct. 2: Montreal (St. Denis Theater)
Oct. 4: Philadelphia (Tower Theater)
Oct. 5: Washington, D.C. (Music Center)
Oct. 7: Boston (Orpheum)
Oct. 8: New York (Radio City Music Hall)
Oct. 10: Chicago (Auditorium)

Mmm... pity there's no Denver date, but Boston... there's something tempting about that. But I suspect this might be somewhat more realistic:

Dead Can Dance Live DVD - Toward The Within


Oddly, whenever bands sack founder members, they tend to be the quiet (by which we mean dull as mid-February sermon by a priest who's lost his faith); they always approach it like it's some sort of business decision. You can just picture Snow Patrol watching The Effective Manager or something like that before giving their old friend Mark McClelland the bullet.

And yet, despite the bands usually being dull, they suddenly spark into life when they have the sacking - or at least the bloke who gets the poke who does. So, taking his cue from Stuart Cable's perpetual thorn in Kelly Jones' side routine,


We're kind of confused at the order the Jackson prosecution are wheeling out their witnesses - you'd have thought the accuser would have been either the big finish or the grand opening. Anyway, for whatever reason, next up after his "I told teachers he didn't touch me, but I didn't want to be known as Michael jackson's rapetoy boy" testimony was a policeman from the case who said Gavin ahd claimed five to seven cases of interference, but could only describe two in any detail. Then there was TV weatherman Fritz Coleman, who just popped up to counter the expected Leno attack on the family for being nasty and greedy. And now they've brought up KiKi Fournier, a housekeeper at the neverland ranch - which she described as a "pleasure island." While admitting she never saw Jackson give the infamous Jesus Juice to anmy kids, she did claim to have seen three or four kids pissed - presumably telling Jackson he was their best mate and hugging him. Kiki sounds far from impressed with the goings-on, which sound a little like those Channel 4 shows where they let kids have the run of a house:

Some would stay for weeks during school holidays, she said, eating what they wanted, staying up late to watch films and having food fights.

"Neverland became like Pinocchio's pleasure island without the parents," Ms Fournier told the jury.

"He [Michael Jackson] did let them have a free hand. They could get pretty rambunctious."

Of course, when Sky News show this they'll have a little 'Reconstruction' logo on it so you'll know...

The case continues.


Lil'Kim has been found guilty of lying under oath by a new York jury, and is now looking at a possible five-year stretch. She did have some comfort in the verdict, though, as she was cleared of obstructing justice, which carries a heftoer sentence. But the three counts of perjury and one of conspiracy are bad enough.

Her main line of defence - that she couldn't see the shootings because she was wearing sunglasses and had severed ties with Damion Butler before the shooting outside Hot97 - had been pretty solidly dispatched by prosecutor Cathy Seibel:

the jury was shown security photographs of Mr Butler opening doors for Lil'Kim.

"You would have to believe they were magic sunglasses that only block out your friends who were shooting people," Assistant US Attorney Cathy Seibel told the jury.

Kim will have to return to court for sentencing; she plans an appeal.

Thursday, March 17, 2005


As he waits for the first Relaxed Muscle royalty cheque to turn up, Jarvis Cocker is doing some oddjobs: he'll be sitting in for Marc Riley on 6Music for a couple of weeks at the start of April.

In other Radio Presenter news, Emma B is leaving Radio One. Her sole fingerhold on the network, Sunday Surgery, is going to be taken over by Letitia, who also does stuff on 1Xtra.


We were just idly flicking about the web when we came upon a name we'd not heard of for a while: Dataplay. Now, back in 2002, we were raising an eyebrow at Universal's decision to invest in Dataplay; they were part of a fifty million dollar lifeline to the new format - looks like a tiny CD; erm, works like a tiny CD - in the hope that it would catch on and we'd all be queuing up at Virgin to buy our record collections all over again. Clearly, it didn't work, although there are a few actual releases on Dataplay; but just a handful - and all from that period when a few dreamers really believed that the future of portable music lay in very limited storage discs sliding into separate players.

Dataplay hasn't quite died - as with the Minidisc, it's struggling on; but in its most recent incarnation as a kind of portable storage device for computers. Still, though, hard to see what it offers that a pendrive, say, or even an iPod shuffle doesn't. What is interesting, though, is that in this new incarnation, it's not only given up dreams of being a music medium, but also shorn itself of all proprietary and DRM attachments. Not that this will do much to help its prospects.


Apparently, Beyonce has offended the whole of France (and much of Canada) by butchering their language during the Oscars. According to Julie Delpy, anyway:

"Beyonce singing in French - it sounds like she's crooning in strong Chinese

"I swear to God, to French people it was like being stabbed in the heart."

We suspect it might have been a subtle punishment from the US government for that whole not-helping-the-Iraq-war thing.


There are some thing so terrible even we wouldn't use them as an excuse for a cheap jibe: so we'll just record that Dave Kushner of Velvet Revolver used to be part of Vanilla Ice's band - one of his "homies,", if you will - and move on, shall we?

He says he needed the money. And, being fair, with a face like his, selling himself for sex was hardly an option, was it?


When he's not busily praising George Bush for his vision (What was it? "Clinton talked the talk and did diddly squat, whereas Bush doesn't talk but does deliver", wasn't it, Bob - certainly has delivered now; delivered the World Bank into the hands of Wolfowitz), Bob Geldof trumps around the world shouting. Clearly, he thinks that this is in some way helping the cause of fighting poverty, but... does it really? Take, for example, the other night: Geldof went to the British Press Awards[MediaGuardian - free account required]. A fine moment to request a bit more attention for Africa from the UK nationals? Or a chance for an embarrassing tirade setting the cause back a few more feet in the struggle for attention? Have a guess.

For example, The Independent had given Bob a full page to write about Africa the previous week. A good opportunity to get in touch with key opinion formers, surely? But was Bob happy? No, of course not.

Without pause he then launched an attack on [Indie editor Simon] Kelner, accusing him of mistreating a comment piece written by the former Boomtown Rats singer.
The article, published on March 11, was allegedly intended to be the splash but appeared on page 5.
"Simon promised me the front page the other day and what did I get? Page 5... What fucking happened?" asked Geldof

Well, Bob, if you'd actually read the paper, you'll have seen that the Indie had splashed instead on the story that Britain had gone to war on the basis legal advice which barely covered a single side of A4 - a story that has implications for Africa and, indeed, the rest of the world and, sadly, slightly more newsworthy than 'Geldof shouts about Africa. Again'. And the Independent did find space to include a front page mention of the Geldof piece, actually deviating from its usual design rules to fit it in:

But if treating friends badly was a start, he was to get worse:
Then turning on the Daily Mail he raged: "The Mail: your coverage of Comic Relief was a disgrace."
When one journalist protested at what seemed to be a rant against everyone apart from the Sun, Geldof responded: "Do you know what it [the G8] is, you twat?"
Referring to a physical punch-up between former Mirror editor Piers Morgan and TV presenter Jeremy Clarkson at last year's awards, Geldof added: "You will have a Clarkson moment in a fucking minute if you want it."
His list of targets exhausted, Geldof ended his guest appearance with a plea for better coverage of war and famine-stricken Africa, with the G8 summit in Gleneagles the starting point: "If Rebekah [Wade, Sun editor] and these guys can do it, then why not everyone?"

Yes, The Sun is Bob's new best friend - for some reason, he's happy to cosy up to Dominic Mohan and Rebekah Wade; just a few days after Wade's Sun started a racist campaign against gypsies; despite all the hate-filled coverage of immigration she and her team have been responsible for. Yeah, Bob, they were very supportive of Band Aid. Because it was a celebrity story. Not because they give a shit about Africa.


... because surely there's not really any way that Mel C would want to return to the Spice Girls family in order to do a musical, is there?

Having said which, it looks like Bruce Willis is pulling the stops out for the Geri role:

Image hosted by


Remember when you were little, and used to wonder if the light was still on when the fridge door was shut? And how the coming of maturity brought the realisation that there'd be no point in a light shining away if nobody was looking into the fridge, and how it would be a total waste of energy burning when there was no audience?

For some reason, we thought of that when we heard that Geri Halliwell is about to release a new single and album. The single is called Desire: Your Kiss Kills, and is about bad breath. The album is called simply Desire.

Image hosted by
Geri, clearly, is very excited, too.

Interestingly, if you type geri into the amazon search engine, it makes six other suggestions before it thinks you might be interested in her music. Just six.


In a not atypical piece of bandwagon jumping, the chair of the Scottish Parliament's "cross party group on the contemporary music industry" has called for more support for Scotland's musicians.

Ms McNeill told MSPs: "Scotland is taking its place in the world as a home for contemporary music. We are contributing to the renaissance of live music - Biffy Clyro, Idlewild, Belle and Sebastian, Aberfeldy - the list is endless.

"But unless we take a conscious decision to better support it as an industry it will fade as quickly as it arrived."

Biffy Clyro? Contributing to the renaissance of live music? They do have different laws in Scotland, but...

Anyway, she went on:

Ms McNeill praised the Welsh Music Foundation, a not-for-profit agency with a dedicated board of industry figures. She added: "Peter Hain [the Welsh Secretary] was so shocked at learning that all the economic activity that a rock concert in Wales generated did not benefit Wales directly, [he] set about changing that immediately.

"The Irish have a similar music board, and I believe that in Scotland we must have a similar plan - a plan which recognises there are thousands of small businesses which could be larger with the right support."

What's disappointing, but unsurprising about this is that music isn't being seen as an important thing in its own right - that decades of Scottish talent have played a major role in shaping a distinctive international, cultural identity for the nation - but that it's seen as being valuable because it helps flog stuff. These are people who go to festivals and applaud the t-shirt stands.


There seems to be a spot of confusion over whether Ian Brown got arrested or not during his gig in San Francisco on Tuesday.

His label's spokesperson Paul Smernicki says he was - a fan jumped on stage, attacked Brown, and then things got confused:

Mr Smernicki said he had been told a fan "rugby-tackled" the singer during the gig, which resulted in "pushing and shoving".

Ian Brown led The Stone Roses until they split in 1996
Brown then got into a brawl with another man who tried to restrain him - without realising he was a security guard, Mr Smernicki added.

The star went off for 15 minutes before returning to finish his set. Police took witness statements and apprehended Brown at his hotel, Mr Smernicki said.

But he was released without charge and "as far as we're aware, that's the end of it", Mr Smernicki added.

On the other hand, SF police say they have no record of the incident.

Obviously, after what happened to Dimebag before Christmas, anyone rushing the stage in the US must be a cause for a little alarm these days - although it's hard to believe anyone in 'Frisco would be that enraged by Brown's role in the split of the Stone Roses. Unless they were angry he didn't take action to break the band before they released The Second Coming.


And with most of the papers concentrating on the budget this morning, there's just the one pop story on the front pages. The Express asks the question:

Can anyone replace Freddie?

To which the answer is: almost certainly, but not effectively.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

WHAT THE POP PAPERS SAY: Chiefs and Bosses

Lisa I'Anson tells this week's Closer how she's lost so much weight since she was in celeb Big Brother. Erm... because Channel 4 stopped feeding you?

Boy George's big interview this week is with the Radio Times: that seems to sum up the RT, actually, as well as it does Boy George; there's something increasingly Listen With Mother about them, like they secretly wish they were living in an age when they could get away with putting a black and white picture of Parkinson on the cover and still be the be the biggest selling magazine in the country: George, with his plastic teasing and peforming bear act is perfect for them. I'd imagine Gill Hudson didn't sleep well before this issue hit the streets - maybe he's just a little too edgy? George bangs on in exactly the way you'd expect: gay marriage isn't worth fighting for, because its all about "assimilation", for example. Arguing against George is a waste of time; it's like telling a laughing policeman at a fairground to be quiet, but it's hard to believe he's as stupid as he is. Was he too busy colouring his neck in to notice last year's American election, and how the question of gay marriage - far from being an attempt by the straight world to assimilate homosexuality - is seen by many as a frightening precursor of the end of the world? And besides: since when has making a public affirmation of your love for someone else been "assimilating"? And even if it is - if it gives you the same rights as straight couples - to keep a house if your partner dies; to share a pension - why would that be a bad thing? From someone who clearly has no capacity to love anything outside of his own clown costume, advice on marriage is misplaced.

Unfortunately, due to an astonishing mix-up, we've been sent a 1994 NME. Oh, hang on, it's the Kaiser Chiefs, not Menswear. (No, we're never going to tire of that gag, I'm afraid).

This is something of a low-key Liverpool Bandwagon- fest, featuring the Coral (they're coming back, exactly the same as before, only without the winning sense of novelty); the Zutons - also back, with a little bit more swagger ("I'm aware of the Coral, but we're competing with the Scissor Sisters and Franz Ferdinand now" - errr, not unless there's some meat draw taking place down at the Pop Arms that we don't know about); and - meeting Peter Robinson - there's Ian Broudie, who looks so rough now he's just a spit away from turning into Ron Dixon. Broudie talks about buying his records at Probe, though, which makes us feel a little homesick. Sort of.

Gorillaz offer us a track-by-track of their new album - which would be great, sparing us the need to listen to it. Except we didn't intend to listen to it anyway; and having read the piece - "part Clash, part Madonna" - we're now going to have our ears sealed by surgeons to make sure it doesn't happen by accident.

Kelly Jones pops up doing an interview - hey, what happened to the whole Mr. Writer thing? Wasn't Kelly meant to be down on the whole music journalist thing? Anyway, he tries to make it sound okay he sacked his old loyal schoolfriend Stuart Cable from the band. Apparently it was "an ongoing situation... I regret how it was handled..." Good god, not only does he make corporate sounding rock, but he approaches shitting on a mate like he was someone from human resources.

Gwen Stefani wants to work with Keane. Keane are, of course, keen. Let's hope she doesn't realise she meant Bloc Party any time soon, and break Tim Oxley-Rice's heart.

Martin Horsfield worries about the quality of Britain's entry, recalling a time 11 years ago when oasis told him they could waltz the Eurovision. Martin thinks we should give them, or - god help us - Pete Doherty a crack at it. (Radiohead, of course, claimed they'd write an entry for last year, but reneged). Thing is, even if Oasis were at their best, they couldn't write a Eurovision winner if their release from a Munich prison cell depended on it. They don't have the ability to resonate with so many people; their experience is too narrow, their worldview too limited. Oasis write for a very tight audience; none of that audience are going to be sat in Kiev on a Saturday night voting for a song.

Be Your Own Pet are the radar band this week - they're so sickeningly young we're whistling and not thinking about biting their tight little buttocks, as that sort of thing gets people arrested. Although if they'd like to pop in for some Jesus Juice while they're in the country...

Ricky from Kaiser Chiefs says he'd happily wank off a tramp for success. There's a show idea for Channel Five there.

Josh Homme is still going on about how he didn't "steal" Brody Dalle from Tim Rancid, and how Tim is full of shit and... so on. The Desert Sessions? More like The Playground Spats.

Motley Crue - New York Madison Square Garden - "Lee turns a camera on the audience on girls in the crowd and insists they remove their tops, screaming 'get your titties out'."
The Arcade Fire - Kings College - "a band worth dying for"

The Bravery - The Bravery - "wickedly destabilising pop", 7
rufus wainwright - Want Two - "one of the mosr ambitious double albums of the year", 9
daft punk - human after all - "reveals more of what lies in their hearts than ever before", 7

totw - beck - e-pro - "mind-warpingly sleazy"
50 cent - candy shop - "pleasantly pornographic"
martha wainwright - factory - "living testament that talent requires more than genetics"

And finally: there's a lot of sucking up to Coldplay going on.


Amazon not-that-busily taking pre-orders for Don't Believe The Truth (528th best seller - hardly a world set alight, then), and this:

as a cover
. (Not final artwork? You'd bloody well hope not - Liam appears to have come as Paul weller and Noel... good god, Noel, get a bloody grip man) Now, there's a tracklisting, too:

‘Turn Up The Sun'
'Mucky Fingers
‘Love Like A Bomb’
‘The Importance Of Being Idle’
‘The Meaning Of Soul’
‘Guess God Thinks I’m Abel’
‘Part Of The Queue’
‘Keep The Dream Alive’
‘A Bell Will Ring’
‘Let There Be Love’

So, let's just check the full Oasis songbook is there - dim-witted pisspoor Live Forever style anthem? Keep The Dream Alive. Another desperate attempt to write something Beatle-esque? Let There Be Love. An attempt to throw down a gauntlet by defining a genre and demonstrating ? The Meaning of Soul. The sort of 'clever' title that a fifteen year old would - wrongly - assume impress girls and guarantee loss of virginity? The Importance of Being Idle. Oh, yes, it's all in place.


Okay... okay, we take it back: can we'll take Bono instead. Please.


The Billy Joel tour of the US looks ever so slightly in doubt after Joel has checked himself into rehab. Apparently, his decision to go to seek help with drinking came after " a recent bout of severe gastro-intestinal distress" - we think that means he pooped himself during a drinking binge, but we're not sure.


So, Renne Zellweger, if you're really afraid that Paul McCartney has discovered you've got a crush on him, why are you going round telling interviewers about it?

Besides, it's not Paul you should worry about. It's Heather. She doesn't like competition, you know...


we've sometimes wondered if Ananova actually read their own stories before writing the headlines, but it seems they don't even bother to read the stories before writing them, as Jarvis promises Pulp return suggests.

The standfirst announces "Jarvis Cocker has assured Pulp fans that the group have not split up." Which is great news. Only... what Jarvoid actually says is:

"We're far too lazy for that kind of dramatic-ness. Pulp, as I'm sure you kind of know, has undergone many periods of hibernation and stuff. I don't know whether we'll do anything again."

Which isn't actually the return promised by the headline, nor the 'not split up' of the start of the article.

Anyroadup, here's what the rest of Jarvis had to say:

"I've been doing Pulp since I was 15 years old and I'm now a 41-year-old man. Even though we've never released that many records I was always doing it and I just thought, 'I'll try summat else.'

"I've been writing some songs. When I've got enough ones that I think are fit for human consumption then I'll try and decide what to do with them.

"The main thing that I've done recently is to write some songs for the Harry Potter film, but that's just a shameless effort to try and ingratiate myself with kids."

Ingratiate yourself with yourself:

All the Pulp videos on one handy DVD, including the Stars And Their Eyesathon Bad Cover Version clip


What is this, something interesting happening in the world of Snow Patrol? The band have stopped being mellow for long enough to sack Mark McClelland. There is a statement:

“Snow Patrol have parted company with bass player Mark McClelland. Following a life-changing year in 2004, Snow Patrol found themselves under a whole set of new and unexpected pressures. These pressures have unfortunately taken their toll on working relationships within the band, and it was felt that that Snow Patrol could not move forward with Mark as a member.

”Coming to this decision was the hardest thing the remaining band members have ever faced, it was reached with much regret. The band have not appointed a new member, and are currently in rural Ireland writing the follow up to 'Final Straw'."

We're not sure what McClelland has done - popular reasons for getting sacked can include fiddling the petty cash; sleeping with the bosses wife and selling hastily-photocopied trade secrets to the opposition; but unless somehow Gandaddy have scraped together enough to pay for industrial espionage, none of these things seem that likely.

McClelland was a founder member of the band; he's been a Snow Patroller for a decade.


So, the reappearance of the Cocteau Twins is no more - Liz Fraser has changed her mind and so there'll be no Coachella festival; no US festival dates at all.

Console yourself:

Buy Blue Bell Knoll


It seems to have been a while since we stumbled across a picture of Lauren Laverne trying to avoid a celeb - has the Orange Mobile Phone programme been taking a break? - but this week, she looks desperatelyy afraid Vinnie Jones will realise she doesn't really like him:

In the programme, Jones announces that he's going to make a film with Ronan Keating. A gangster film, of course - you think Jones has any sort of range at all? But it's going to be a comedy gangster movie. We'd recommend waiting until the film is released before torching every cinema in the land. But no longer.


So, then, Christina's comments about celebrity clothing lines has come back to haunt her, even earlier than we expected them to:she'd already signed a deal with Basic Box for, um, a celeb clothing line. They're a little surprised at her attack:

"That's a very strange thing to say when she's got her own range coming out. It annoyed a lot of people who've been working really hard on the clothes.

"Dealing with Christina has been very difficult, but then she signed the contract."


The cross-examination of Gavin Arvizo has been the main business at the Jackson trial, with, as expected, Thomas Mesereau focusing on the times Arvizo told teachers that Jackson hadn't abused him. Arvizo has attempted to explain that as a way of trying to avoid being teased as the "boy that Michael Jackson raped".
Perhaps the more important question - unasked by both sides - is what made the teachers think that Jackson might have abused the boy in the first place.

Meseraeu then attempted to paint the fifteen year-old as being not that innocent:

Working that theme, Mesereau tried to get the boy to fess up to being something more than an innocent who was corrupted by Jackson. He asked the boy if, during his days at Neverland, he ever masturbated, drank or looked through "girlie magazines," as Mesereau calls them, when Jackson wasn't around.

The boy rejected the attorney's assertions.

We're not quite sure if the "it's okay to molest kids, providing they wank" law Mesereau seems to be alluding to is a state or federal measure.

More successfully, Mesereau demonstrated further changes in the coherence of the story. And it might be this which is starting to change the tenor of reporting of the case: you can see that the US media is starting to sense that Jackson might be acquitted. E! has started to call him the King Of Pop in their headlines again.


That's what we really need: Slipknot, but as executives. M. Shawn Crahan, the clown, has formed his own label; or at least been givne a bit of Sanctuary to play with. He's called it Big Orange Clown Records, naming it after his hero, Ian Paisley.

And you might think you can guess what sort of music it'll be pumping into the atmosphere, but - hey - let's not underestimate Clown's tastes:

"I'm always looking for that song -- whether it's classical, country, rap, hip-hop, hardcore, metal, whatever -- I'm looking for people who dig into their souls and they mean it," he told Billboard. "If they do, I'm going to be involved, because they might write that song that will for one minute make the world take a second to think about it and maybe bring on change."

So, what's his first signing, then? A string quartet? A bluegrass singer? Well, no, it's Gizmachi, who are a metal band. But we're sure that's just a coincidence. The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic have sent off a demo tape and are keeping their fingers crossed.


If it wasn't bad enough that Liverpool Airport had rebranded itself Liverpool John Lennon (apparently, and genuinely, after one of the managers had flown out of John Wayne Airport) and that all the signage there now says 'Above Us Only Sky', in a meaningless fashion (there are, surely, planes above them, too?), now Luton Airport is getting in on the act. Not be giving itself a stupid name - it's already got the London Luton official title, which is insane enough (they should make the heads of airports walk to the places they claim to be from their own airports, preferably on hot days with no water and carrying a full suitcase). No, Luton has carried out some sort of poll which has found that the lyric of All You Need Is Love is the greatest words ever spoken, and so they've painted them up around the airport.

We've flown out of Luton, and to be honest, in that context, "Flight 277 to Liverpool is now, finally, boarding" is a whole lot greater.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005


What are you doing Thursday? You could, if you were in Detroit, nip down to Room 858 of the Theodore Levin Courthouse and watch the MC5 legal spat makes it to the frontend of a judge. This is, of course, the case where the estate of Rob Tyner are suing the surviving members of the band over the copyright on the songs. This is what Patti Smith had to say about the case recently in the Chicago Sun-Times:

Q. There's been quite a bit of controversy in Chicago between filmmakers David Thomas and Laurel Legler and the surviving members of the MC5, particularly Wayne Kramer, who are blocking the release of their film, "MC5: A True Testimonial." You were married to the late MC5 guitarist Fred "Sonic" Smith. Where do you stand on the issue?

A. I feel very sad about it. I haven't seen the film, but my son has seen it. He thinks it's great. He really wanted to see it come out. I mean, I've done everything that I can legally do to help them. The MC5 era was before my time, so I know very little about it, except that I hope that the filmmakers get a chance to distribute their film. I don't have very much respect for Wayne Kramer as a human being, so I can't really make any judgment. I haven't found him to be an honorable person. I shouldn't comment on it because I haven't seen the film, but I take my son's word that it was good and good for his dad.

They were a great band and they should be remembered. And they should be remembered together. This film is a very good opportunity to give them recognition. I don't understand why he would want to block it except for monetary reasons. The only reason I haven't seen it is just it's hard for me to watch Fred. It's just painful.

With the judges involved, it's almost certain to get panful for everyone now. Except for the lawyers, set to make an extra car or two out of it. Ironic that the MC5 legacy is going to be pissed away on legal actions. Muthafukers.


Billy Idol only owned two pairs of leather trousers during the whole of the 1980s. I'm sure you can all extrapolate what that must have smelled like. He would throw cologne over them to try and mask the stench, but that's rather like put an Airwick inside a charnel-house:

"You had to warm them up because they were stuck together. That's the reason I started wearing cologne, to hide the stench of the fucking rotting, fleshy, slimy shit.

"The lower part of my body was blue, because the leather would bleed onto the skin.

"Instead of Old Blue Eyes, they'd call me Old Blue Balls."


David Beckham - he used to be a famous footballer a few years back - has been talking about his wife's delight at having an apparent eating disorder or at the very least, an unhealthy obsession with her weight:

The England superstar told GMTV 'Tor' was already "very happy" with her post-baby figure just three weeks after giving birth.

"She's very happy - she didn't put much on anyway, to be honest, she only had this little cute bump. But she's really good and really healthy," said Becks.

"She's great and she's losing the weight quickly, which is pleasing for her."

You might have thought she'd be looking for joy in her new born baby, or in the warmth of her loving family. Nope; it's seeing the scales tip at the right point which pleases Victoria.

And the name for the baby? Well, apparently, that was all about showing off, too:

"We just wanted something different, of course, because that's the way we are..."

Right, so the child has been lumbered with a name for its social cachet, has it? (Not, actually, that Cruz is all that different, if you're living in Spain)

"... and we actually struggled with Cruz's name because it was right up to the last couple of days and we just couldn't decide what to call him. We love it. You have to do the little test, Victoria was in the lounge and I'd go outside and shout upstairs, "Cruz, come down!" and then we said, "Yes, that's the one!"

Actually, we bet that while they might have been standing at home, they were picturing how it would sound at a social event - Victoria imaging the turning heads. Well, he'll always be Tim to us.


David Beckham - he used to be a famous footballer a few years back - has been talking about his wife's delight at having an apparent eating disorder or at the very least, an unhealthy obsession with her weight:

The England superstar told GMTV 'Tor' was already "very happy" with her post-baby figure just three weeks after giving birth.

"She's very happy - she didn't put much on anyway, to be honest, she only had this little cute bump. But she's really good and really healthy," said Becks.

"She's great and she's losing the weight quickly, which is pleasing for her."

You might have thought she'd be looking for joy in her new born baby, or in the warmth of her loving family. Nope; it's seeing the scales tip at the right point which pleases Victoria.

And the name for the baby? Well, apparently, that was all about showing off, too:

"We just wanted something different, of course, because that's the way we are..."

Right, so the child has been lumbered with a name for its social cachet, has it? (Not, actually, that Cruz is all that different, if you're living in Spain)

"... and we actually struggled with Cruz's name because it was right up to the last couple of days and we just couldn't decide what to call him. We love it. You have to do the little test, Victoria was in the lounge and I'd go outside and shout upstairs, "Cruz, come down!" and then we said, "Yes, that's the one!"

Actually, we bet that while they might have been standing at home, they were picturing how it would sound at a social event - Victoria imaging the turning heads. Well, he'll always be Tim to us.


While U2 got a knockabout Bruce Springsteen lead-in for their Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction, the poor O'Jays had to make do with Justin Timberlake, and, to be honest, they weren't thrilled:

Eddie Levert, 62, said they were unhappy about Timberlake inducting them into the Hall.

He said: "We protested, kicked and stomped. But it is out of our control."

His bandmate Walter Williams, 61, added: "No offence to Justin, because he deserves the respect he has earned, but I could think of a few people who know more about our pain and suffering and history."

The other inductees/introducers were less controversial:
The Pretenders were done by Neil Young (shared interest in the needle and the damage done); Buddy Guy by BB King and Eric Clapton (BB King is a guitarist of equal stature; Clapton was just checking Guy had no plans to relocate to the West Midlands) and Percy Sledge was given his big key by Rod Stewart (swapping from Rod to Percy is like peering at a fuzzy sign and then suddenly putting your glasses on).

Chrissie Hynde made a sweet tribute to the fallen Pretenders:

We are a tribute band. We're paying tribute to James Honeyman-Scott and Pete Farndon, without whom we would not have been here."

But mostly, the night was about U2, because it had Bono in it and Bono makes sure that he's at the centre of everything:

"Bono! ... What about the Nobel Peace Prize?" one reporter called out, querying as to whether Bono's mission to eradicate third-world debt would get him the honor.

"Rock star is already having the cream of the cake," Bono replied.

Really? I thought all the anti-poverty stuff was what was really important, Bono?


Well, we're clearly not as clever as we like to think. We couldn't quite work out why Robbie Williams was as desperate as he was to play with Queen, but Roger Taylor has joined the dors for us:

"I think America appealed to him and he... I think he was sort of quite keen on the idea at one point, and it did seem like a good idea, and then I think we all sort of drew back a little - thought about it a little harder, and then thought 'Maybe not', you know," Taylor told Capital Gold radio.

Aha! Robbie wanted to know what it was like playing a gig in America where people turned up. How lowly must your prospects be if you're hoping for a career boost from being Brian May's bitch? Come to that, how poor must you be if you don't measure up to Brian May's not-exactly-taxing standards?

Brian May said: "We got close with Robbie... yeah. Absolutely. Yeah, we talked to him, but not in an auditioning kinda way. We just thought 'Wouldn't it be fun if we did something'.

"We kind of talked about it and talked about it and came close but..."

He wasn't even worth an audition. If it were possible, you could almost feel sorry for Robbie Williams, couldn't you?


There are two fall-backs for the Western artist who have run out of ideas: one is recording a record about djs and/or radio; the other is doing a song about New York. Madonna has already had her "Hey, Mr. DJ, put a record on" moment, so it's only to be expected she's recording a tribute to New York. It's called I Love New York and exists solely in the hope that it might get picked up for a city marketing campaign ("as a heartfelt hymn to her favourite city. Apart from London or Los Angeles.")


We've just heard of the death of Kid Krupa, Revillo guitarist. The 17 year old Kid joined the band in 1980, spending a happy three years with the band before moving on to a number of other bands and session work for everyone from Roger Daltry to Shakin Stevens. Ill-health forced a change in direction, and he moved behind the production desk, although he'd still play from time to time: he played on the Japanese Revillos tour in 1994.

Kid joined the Revillos shortly after the band had split from their Sire contract and renamed themselves Revillos to keep the major label happy (Sire wouldn't tolerate their former serfs recording under the Rezillos name). They'd already had a smattering of hits under the new title, but during Krupa's time they recorded the textbook Revillo tunes Bongo Brain and She's Fallen In Love With A Monster Man.

Krupa died from complications relating to diabetes. He was 43.


Try to cast your eyes away from the main story on this page on the Scotsman website - it's about Howard Brown from the Halifax having a top 20 record, and it might be a sign, like cats giving birth to snakes and so on, of the world coming to an end, and ponder this, instead:

Cult 70s hit Is This the Way to Amarillo? is released today, threatening to carry the almost-forgotten singer Tony Christie to number one in the charts, and raising more money for Comic Relief

The "almost-forgotten" Tony Christie has been in the Top 10 album charts for the last few weeks.


So, let's try and get this straight, then, Boy George: if someone does say "I'm gay", they can never be gay enough for you (like Rosie McDonnell); unless they're enjoying a lot of Orton-style gay sex, in which case they're reinforcing a stereotype (like George Michael). But then again, if they choose to exercise their choice not to comment, that's wrong as well. Yes, George has slapped down another former friend, Matt Lucas, who has failed George's impossible test of being just about gay enough:

"He wouldn’t talk about his sexuality, although he’s now made the queerest show in Britain. I found him prissy, a niggly diva."

Imagine being such a diva that Boy George thinks you're a diva. We're not entirely sure how Little Britain counts as "the queerest show in Britain" being half-made by David Walliams.

Of course, Boy knows that people only pay him any attention these days when he's doing his own bit for the bitchy queen 'type, and so he throws some more in - Elton John. Yes, he's not had a pop at him for about a week:

"Elton John is like our headmaster, the grand old dame of pop, with a beautiful voice but living in an ornate bubble, full of fresh flowers, surrounded by people who nod and laugh at everything he says, and he doesn’t have a sense of humour."

Boy George, of course, is a perpetual source of hilarity and joy. Oh, and there's a mysterious pop at George Michael:

"so desperate to be famous, he feared that if fans discovered he was ‘a true Greek’ it would all end in tears".

Must have been a different George Michael who made all those Yog jokes in Smash Hits.


I guess after waiting for so long, a little bit of a longer wait is no big deal: Teenage Fanclub have put the release of Man-Made back to May 9th.

The vinyl version is available for pre-order and, currently, outselling (out pre-ordering?) the CD.

Monday, March 14, 2005


John Peel suggested the reason why he accepted his OBE was because, otherwise, you'd only be stood around in the pub banging on about how you were offered one, but turned it down. Clearly, you either accept these things or you don't; turning down and then still claiming the glory compounds the empty gesture with even emptier bragging: if it's worth mentioning, why wasn't it worth accepting? In case you haven't guessed, it's Boy George who's telling us just what a rebel he is by saying "no" to Queen Liz. And, doubtless, he'll even show you the letter from the Palace. That he said "no" to.


Over at the supporting feature, Lil'Kim has been accused of lying at her grand jury hearing - and not just lying, but telling huge, "preosterous" whoppers. federal prosecutor Cathy Seibel painted a picture of a Lil'Kim who believed herself to be above the law:

Last week, Lil' Kim had testified that she "could not come into a grand jury and purposely tell false statements and lie."

But Seibel, calling Lil' Kim's testimony "laughable," said that's exactly what she did.

"It's like `Alice in Wonderland,' it's whatever lie is expedient at the moment," she said.

The trial is at its closing stages.

I DID SAY HE DIDN'T TOUCH ME: Jackson trial update

As the cross-examination of Gavin begins, he's told the court that, yes, he had previously said to a teacher that Michael Jackson hadn't touched him in a bad way. Jackson turned up at court wearing a red blazer of some sort, with a black armband. It wasn't entirely clear if he was instigating some formal mourning for his career at this stage, or if he was merely wearing red to provide some "In the red" headline fun.


In order to give their fans "a special show", Girls Aloud are saying they'll be clean living while out on tour:

"We want to give our fans a special show each night so we're having a banging hardcore tour - just on stage - and then we'll go to bed early," Cheryl Tweedy explained.

Hang about... they're doing banging hardcore on stage? Let's hope it's not too late to get tickets, then...


ITV have issued a statement confirming that they do intend to see if they can drop their standards any lower, with the news that they're signing up the Osbournes to present a chatshow. Now, it's just possible that nobody at ITV had the presence of mind to try and get hold of a tape of Sharon's awful US daytime chatshow; or maybe every copy of that show has actually been burned; every guest and audience member hunted down; every last reference wiped. But even so: it's obvious Ozzy can't really do the sort of quick-witted chat that a talk show needs, and just a glance at Sharon's Asda spots ("keep putting those chippolaties on") or her co-anchoring of Sky's Oscars debacle ("if I can't think of anything to say to cut the guest off, I'll just cackle instead") should surely have provided the warning from history?

The only real reason we can think of for this project getting a green light is that it was part of the deal to get Sharon back on the X-Factor. But surely that's a price too high?


Ukraine have apparently elected to not bother trying to clone its Eurovision winner from 2004, turning its back on giving us another Ruslana and choosing instead a band who've had to rewrite their song because the lyrics were too political. Odd, that, what with the song also having been the anthem of the Orange Revolution and all. The band who wrote the song - Greenjelly - have agreed to change the words, which originally ran:

"No to falsifications... No to lies. Yushchenko - yes! Yushchenko - yes! This is our president - yes, yes!"

With something like "Boom-bang-a-bang, boom-a-bang, death to the enemies of the people", presumably.


We're trying hard to shed a tear for Britney, who's having trouble selling one of her homes: she's dropped the price on her New York apartment to two and three quarter million quid after she had no interest from serious buyers. This is a bizarre repeat of her marriage, where she dropped her expectations to Kevin Federline's level, after getting no interest from serious men.

Surely someone at Channel 5 is pitching a Celebrity House Doctor special? Surely?


Not that we know she'll change her mind, but it's just worth ensuring that Christina Aguilera's disdain for celeb clothing lines is on the record:

"I just think it's so tacky. I have always thought that it's one of those things that just makes people look like they don't know what to do any more."


Robbie Williams loves to feel something throbbing between his legs. Of that, there is no doubt. But "concerned friends" are worried that William's love of his big, shiny motorbike and riding it at high speeds could be putting him at risk:

"He's spending a lot of time working in the studio and racing his bike around a track is his way of unwinding. Yes, it's very dangerous, but surprisingly his insurers let him do it," an insider was quoted as saying.

So, it turns out that insurers are just human after all. Rumours that the Norwich Union Direct quote me happy phone line also suggested he try it with the helmet off so he could feel the wind in his hair - and "ooh, have you ever taken your hands off the handlebars and waved them above your head?" - are probably just a beautiful dream.


The new host of CD:UK has been announced: it's going to be Dave Berry.

Brilliant, we thought, it's great to see him coming out of retirement:

But then it turned out to be this bloke:

... who apparently is currently in charge of MTV's TRL. Which reminds us: didn't MTV insist they had to relocate to the Capital Radio building as that would make TRL a massive hit? Hasn't really worked, has it? It still seems to be the sort of show where Christina could ass-to-ass with Britney and nobody would realise it had happened.


Ridiculously large cowboy hats in the air for Garth Brooks - his lawyers spotted a charity auction on Ebay: a guitar signed by their client on sale for the tsunami relief effort. They got in touch with the seller, Toby Bradley (who had bought the guitar himself in good faith) and asked if they could verify the product. But when the signature proved to be a fake, Garth got his Sharpie out and made the guitar a proper, officially signed one. Everyone, then, is a winner.

Sunday, March 13, 2005


We know it's quite late in the day, but...

Kate will marry me, says Doherty

Pete's supposedly off the smack... and yet he's still flogging stories about him and Kate Moss to the tabloids. Perhaps he wants to buy her a really nice ring. It's not just Zammo, is it?


The curious little spat started when Britney Spears appeared to spill a bunch of diet pills at Heathrow Airport - Zoller Labs issued a pre-emptive lawsuit to stop her suing them for using her image without permission - has come to an end. Nobody is saying exactly what the terms of the settlement are, but we'd imagine Zoller have managed to convince her they wouldn't really want to use her as an example of a person using their product. Not with all the extra weight she's hauling about these days; not even after she got married to it.


The death has been announced of Danny Joe Brown, singer and founder member of Molly Hatchet. Taking their name from the second most famous female axe murderer (someone else got Lizzy Borden) and inspired by Lynyrd Skynyrd, their debut 1978 album went multi-platinum in the states. Their early success was consolidated by prestigious tour supports - notably with the Rolling Stones - but in 1980 Danny Joe decided he'd had enough of not seeing things management's way, and stepped aside in favour of his own group, the Danny Joe Brown Band. They toured through to 1982, while Molly Hatchet continued with Jimmy Farrar taking vocal duties. Brown returned for the No Guts No Glory album. Playing 200 gigs a year, by 1990 the band was frayed and so took a five year break. The reunion in 1996 saw a shuffling of responsbilities - Brown, a diabetic, was no longer able to lead the band and so made way for Phil McCormack.

In 1998, Danny suffered a massive stroke, spending three months in intensive care, and then longer in therapy. The Dixie Jam Band - featuring members of Blackfoot, Marshall Tucker, Foghat, Pat Travers Band, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Rossington Band, Doc Holliday and (as you'd expect) Molly Hatchet - came together to perform a benefit for him and his family.

Danny recently spent some time in hospital with pneumonia; shortly after returning home he died. He was 53.


Rather than bring any sanctions against Martin Bashir for his recent flurry of ABC specials about the Jackson case (Bashir should have been observing a court-imposed gag on participants banging on about the case in public), Judge Melville is going to let Jackson make a programme of his own. The defense told the court they wanted the programme as a balance, but there was a slightly more prosaic reason:

"Right now, rebutting his critics is a prime way of earning a living," said Jackson lawyer Brian Oxman. "Enormous money is being offered for rebuttal programs and we'd like to take advantage of that."

So... the court are going to allow Jackson to make a one-sided programme that will allow him to turn a profit from being accused of getting a kid drunk and jerking him off? Shouldn't they at least wait to see if the jury fins him guilty of doing that before letting that happen?


Bad news for the Afghan economy: Scott Weiland says he's given up drucks for good:

"The prospect of losing my wife and my children changed everything," he said. "I don't think anymore about getting high."

Weiland, 37, said his "preoccupation with catching a buzz" began in his early teens, when he began drinking liquor.

He tried cocaine in high school and had moved on to heroin by the time he was 24 and touring with his previous group, Stone Temple Pilots, saying it made him feel safe and more confident about his music.

Now, we spent much of the past decade suggesting you'd have to be off your cake on drugs to actually think that Stone Temple Pilots music was anything even approaching listenable. It's lovely to have a sense of vindication.


Proving that Scotland is about sixteen times as cool as the UK as a whole, the Scottish parliament are thinking of inviting Franz Ferdinand, Idlweild and the Mull Historical Society to do a gig at Hollyrood. And who did they get to play Westminster the last time they decided to let a beat combo in? Alicia Keys.

Nineteen times as cool.

Make your own Hollyrood Extravganaza:

Franz Ferdinand - Take Me Out DVD

Mull Historical Society - Loss CD

Idlewild - Warnings/Promises CD


The FBI have decided they've got better things to do than waste any more time searching for who might or might not have killed the No-no-notorious BIG and have closed the case. An FBI spokesperson said "maybe we'll have another look if a rap record comes out called 'we killed biggie', or if there's a chance we can pin it on Jacko or something, but really..." and then he just shrugged and wandered off.

Seriously, the police had been investigating claims that a "rogue cop" had been involved in the murder, as if it wasn't part of that tiresome rap war at all. Biggie's mum is going ahead with her plans to sue LAPD over her belief that the cops have been attempting to cover up police invovlement in the BIG murder. That hits the courts on April 12th.

Clearly, though, the FBI don't share Lil'Kim's belief that the killing of Smalls was on a par with September 11th 2001.