Saturday, September 03, 2005


Oh good grief: Eric Roberts' daughter wants to be a pop star. Emma Roberts bubbles about her song I Wanna Be:

"It's a really fun, upbeat song that just says have fun and love life."

Don't any little girls want to be vets or nurses any more?


Former boyband member Bryan Abrams, who was in Color Me Badd, is being dragged into court - not to atone for his musical misdemeanours, but because he's sixteen thousand bucks behind on his child support (according to his ex-wife, CBS News' Shon Gables). Shon is ganging up on him with his more recent ex-wife, Ashly Abrams, who had been underwriting Abram's legal bills prior to their marriage going belly-up as well; since then, Bryan's not been doing anything to help with their kid, either.

Bryan Abrams issued a statement claiming, "My ex-wife's allegations are simply that: 'allegations.' I prefer to tell my side of the story in court, where I am confident that God will see that truth prevails." Abrams attorney, Floyd Taylor, told District Judge Allen J. Welch that his client didn't know about the child support agreement and is seeking to have it overturned.

Not one to give up, Bryan is engaged to a third woman - Kim Frazier - and working on a solo album. Although his day job seems to be working in a tyre shop.

Clearly, Sexing You Up has fiscal consequences.


Obviously, HMV's fearless corporate voicebox Gennaro Castaldo is a man for whom rest is nothing more than a vague concept, but even by his own standards, he's been a busy boy - no sooner having time to pat everyone on the back for a successful PSP launch - “The launch went very, very well,” HMV’s Gennaro Castaldo told MCV. - than having to swing his attention back to the download market and trying to push his master's views that the iPod isn't the only game in town: "I think in time the public will realise that there is a vast choice available to them," HMV spokesman Gennaro Castaldo said.

As if that wasn't bad enough, the half-hearted attempt to pretend that Gorillaz releasing a single the week after Oasis went to number is some sort of Britpop War II might be so lame lesser men would have ignored it. Not Gennaro, though - he sniffed some extra coverage inches for his store, and swung into action: Gennaro Castaldo of HMV Stores, said: "Downloading will keep sales up in the two to three weeks that follow release and could make the chart more like that of the 70s and 80s when singles hung around for a lot longer."


British-based promoter Seabreeze has screwed up its organisation for two gigs in Marbella, failing to put up enough cash for the venue services leading to Bryan Adams and Jamiroquai gigs to be cancelled with very short notice.

Fans, ticket agencies and other companies are owed cash running into thousands and thousands of pounds, and Seabreeze has become uncontactable. The company is run by John Coletta, former associate of Deep Purple.

The Jamiroquai camp are pissed:

Promoters of Jamiroquai’s scheduled show in Marbella have today announced that they are unable to pay the costs of putting on the show. Jamiroquai, who along with their crew, trucks and equipment have been in town for two days, were ready willing and able to play tomorrow night’s concert and were extremely disappointed to be told the news.

“The promoters of the show, who have also cancelled several other scheduled shows with other artists through the remainder of the summer, were unable to fund the costs associated with putting on the show, including power, security, staging, policing and first aid.”

With no word from Seabreeze, those owed cash are considering taking legal action.


A bunch of artists have signed up with CD Baby to direct all their profist from CD sales to the Red Cross - wonder if their labels would like to make a similar pledge?


NBC's glittering telethon to help those hit by Katrina got thrown a little off course when Kanye West forgot these occasions are meant to allow CEOs of large corporations to parade about holding big cheques, and decided to comment on the pisspoor response to the disaster. NBC cut his remarks from the West Coast broadcast, and tried to cut away from his unscripted attack on George Bush, but by then it was a little too late:

"George Bush doesn't care about black people... I hate the way they portray us in the media. If you see a black family, it says they're looting. See a white family, it says they're looking for food."

NBC was so paniced about this they dragged Chris Tucker back onscreen instead (and it says a lot when he's seen as being the safe pair of hands) and then issued a even more panicky statement:

"It would be most unfortunate if the efforts of the artists and the generosity of millions of Americans are overshadowed by one person's opinion."

On the other hand, wouldn't it be scandalous if all the good work that needs to be done is allowed to drown out a debate that really needs to be had? For what it's worth, we half agree with West - the US media we've seen certainly did portray black people as borderline criminal when most were just doing what they needed to do as survive, and the focus of the likes of Fox on looting and "lawlessness" seemed to persuade the few authorities left in New Orleans that they should put more effort into protecting buildings than rescuing people. But we don't think that Bush doesn't care about the people in the Superdome because they're black - he doesn't care about the poor regardless of what colour they are.

(To be fair, in a less-well reported segment of his statement, West did suggest there was an economic element here, too:

[He] said America is set up "to help the poor, the black people, the less well-off as slow as possible.")

Of course, the blogpile is buzzing - the sort of people who treat Matt Drudge as an unimpeachable news source are fuming with pooly-spelled rage - like the aptly-named Living In The Past (they don't say how far in the past, but we're guessing back before that nasty Rosa Parks spoiled everything):

Hey Kanye West, You are nothing but a USER………The IDIOT just had to use the Funding Raising effort to sneak in comments about The Irag War. Kanye, your a LOSER………

That post is exactly as we found it - we presume The Irag war is the one that Bush has planned once he's finished with Iraq and Iran. It's true, Kanye does make an oblique reference to Iraq - although he doesn't actually sound critical, saying something along the lines of "we understand the people who could help are elsewhere, fighting another war..." - to us, that would seem to be an accurate summation of part of the problem of logistics rather than a condemnation of George's Middle East adventurism. But then there is currently an enormous rawness amongst the illiberal blogs at any attempt to even suggest that there might be something worthwhile in considering the current events on the Gulf Coast in the context of the massive financial and human commitment made in that other Gulf (and, incidently, in the context of global warming at all.)

The Crossfader saw West's remarks as a vital part of, erm, "keeping it gangsta":

Let’s face it. You ain’t gangsta unless you can slap the President on network television.

We'd say less gangsta, more "first step in 2016 presidential campaign."

RickSpeak isn't thinking of Presidents - this is little more than the first scent of a coming revolution:

[America] is being preyed upon by opportunists who strike with both subtlety and bluntness. Once the subtlety is gone, the revolution will have begun. We are close to the end of subtlety.

You'll note that it's West who is considered to be displaying the lack of subtelty here, and not Bush, with his gurning, grinning press conferences while people are dying. We're still not sure why Bush felt his "enjoyed myself a little too much" comments last night were appropriate; certainly, Kanye has done Bush a favour by giving this for people to latch onto rather than Bush's bizzare claim on live TV yesterday evening that "I am satisified with the response."

Getting a little confused is Everything Between, which can't see the difference between criticising a politician and taking a stand against homophobia:

Kanye says “Bush doesn’t care about black people” aside Mike Meyers in this segment on NBC’s Katrina fundraising extravaganza. But they censored him on the later West Coast broadcasts! And he’s the one who just last week called for all rappers to stop criticizing gays.

Er... yes, he did... and...?

Resurrection Song is upset that someone allowed the real world to intrude on the telethon world:

In a moment when he should have been thanking people for their generosity, asking people to do even more, and, in general, being appreciative of the fact that people from around the world are rising to the task that hurricane Katrina left us, Kanye West instead chose to say some seriously nasty, unfounded things

Yes, dammit - have we learned nothing from years of fundraisers? People aren't meant to be angry, and demanding decent treatment as right on a telethon - they're meant to restrict themselves to slots on preshot videos, and perhaps the odd tearful spot of gratitude. Heaven forbid that the authentic voice of the people who are supposed to be at the centre of the event actually makes to air.

You can download the moment for yourself.


Ian Brown has firmly, firmly ruled out any prospect of a Stone Roses reunion, at any point.

Apparently somebody had offered to pay all four of them a million quid each if they got back together - clearly, someone from the Madchester era's doing alright for themselves - but Ian's not biting.

Another ten years, then. Thing is, even if you had a spare four million, why would you want to get the Roses to play live for you? They weren't any cop live at their peak, and now, older, more upholstered and doing it for cash - why would that be any good?

This is all you really need, and it's a hell of a lot cheaper than an expensive onstage disappointment.

Friday, September 02, 2005


Fifty Cent, as we reported last week, is suing Gary Barbera car dealership over unauthorised ads bearing his likeness. Now, Snoop Dogg is also suing this Swiss Tony. Snoop wants two million dollars for misuse of his face and "verbiage confusingly similar to the Snoop Dogg trademark" - by which they mean the -izzle business.

Barbera's marketing man claims they're sorizzling the claizzle.


Despite what the internet might have told you, Eric B is not dead; the stories of his death are just another Whigfield. Eric B refuses to accept he's passed:

"The only way I am going to go is by having a heart attack while I am out with my grand kids,"

"I want to thank everyone for their concern. You never really know how you have impacted people until some sort of crisis."

"My daughter and I are making a list of people to call back, there's been that many people that have called,"

"I am alive and well. The only person I am dead to is Jay-Z, he never returns my phonecalls.”


Sons and Daughters - or "maybe all we've got left now that Garbage are gone" - are announcing a November UK tour:

20 - Brighton, Concorde 2
21 - London, Kings College
22 - Manchester, Academy 3
23 - Nottingham, Rescue Rooms
24 - Glasgow, Abc
26 - Belfast, Limelight
27 - Dublin, Village*

* - we know, that's not in the UK.


Are the record labels really that arsed about filesharing at all? We only ask because, if it's worth suing dead people and twelve year-olds over, wouldn't you expect to see panic, fear and a sense of meltdown if something like, say, the Rolling Stones new album leaked online?

Only it has, and the official response from EMI is, well, "Do I look bovvered?":

"Low-quality" files of tracks from the album were found posted on the internet on 29 August, a spokeswoman for the group's label EMI confirmed.

"The material became available online after the songs were streamed on authorised websites and played on the radio," she said.

"It was a major achievement to keep this album secure so close up to the commercial release date."

If record labels suddenly getting a sense of perspective, does that mean the RIAA is pursuing a campaign in the name of its members which its members no longer believe in?


Of course, with hundreds of thousands of people whose lives have been smashed to pieces by Katrina and subsquent events, one person is no more important than anyone else; but the news that Alex Chilton is now listed amongst the missing does demonstrate the scale of what's happened in the US once again.


Having spent some time last month lamenting that the Accepted Pop History seems convinced that Pulp have more in common with Oasis than they did with Lush, it's heartening to discover via AngryRobot that Miki Berenyi has made her first musical appearance since her band came to its heartbreaking end:

reading through the archives of Robin Guthrie's blog, I see that Miki has provided lyrics and vocals to "Smile," a track on the new Flat 7 album, Lost In Blue. Flat 7 is the solo project of Cocteau Twins alumni Mitsuo Tate. "Smile" appears in two versions on the album, a "2005 Mix" and a "Robin Guthrie Remix," featuring the man himself on guitar. Nobody should be surprised that the song sounds like a Lush outtake. The album itself seems only to be available from Japan, with no current ability to purchase it via the Flat 7 site.

It's hardly three weeks at the London Astoria, but we've always felt the loss of Miki's voice and attitude to the British music scene and hope this might be a hint of more to come.


One of those sad stories that come after the final punctuation of rock lives: Ian Edwards, of Merseybeat band Ian and the Zodiacs has been convicted to harassing his wife. Edwards - who was living in Birkenhead YMCA at the time - was on a deferred sentence for assaulting his wife, Esther, and under court orders not to contact her.

If the Beatles were the Kings of Merseybeat, the Zodiacs would have probably been the younger sons of baronets; their greatest success came recording covers of Beatles songs for the German market under the name The Koppycats.

Edwards will be sentenced in October.


We're not entirely sure how historic something can be when it's the fifth time something's happened, and the third time in about five years, but apparently it's historical that Mariah Carey is at number one and number two in the US singles chart this week.

What is curious is that it proves that not even Mariah has the power to dislodge We Belong Together from the number one slot - and if she can't get rid of herself, who else will?

Equally not-quite-as-exciting-as-it-sounds-at-first is Franz Ferdinand getting the second highest new entry on the US chart - because, first, they're in at 83, and second, they've been beaten by Nickelback.


Don't laugh at her - it can't be easy being Kerry Katona. One minute you were a member of a band that held the world in their Rimmel-painted hands; the next... well, the next you're calling out bingo numbers. Not even in a real bingo hall.

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It might have won an award of some sort at the Sundance Film Festival but the Dandy Warhols aren't entirely happy about Dig!.

The film, which follows them and the Brian Jonestown Massacre is - you'll never guess - edited to give a certain slant, claims Courtney Taylor:

"The director, Ondi Timoner, moulded it into a confrontation, so it would be a good film.

"To some degree we did as she said - it's not really true to life."

Tomorrow: Star Wars isn't real.


In a decision which will come back to haunt them in a decade when they discover they can't go out without someone yelling "chreubic" at them, The Choirboys have signed a deal with Universal Classics.

No, they really are choirboys. Half a million quid, and all that could spoil it would be puberty.

Slightl alarmingly, they have even more in common with McFly than you might think:

The group was formed after talent scouts visited 50 cathedrals and churches across the UK.

Yes, they're a manufactured choirboy band.

We feel your shudder.


We think the sadder part is that Britney is reading Kabbalah books, but it could be that she's doing this to pass the time while Kevin records his debut album.


One of the greatest Mississippi bluesmen, R L Burnside, has died. He was 78.

Extraordinarily, although acknowledged as one of the finest musicians in the south, he'd not been able to pursue music as a career until 1991. He'd taken up the guitar forty years previously, inspired less by his father - himself a noted guitarist - than by an older generation of Mississippians, including Fred McDowell and Jesse Vortis. Although he quickly developed a reputation in the local juke joints and music houses, a search for economic comfort led to his decision to set aside music and seek better conditions - first in Tunica, and then Mephis and Chicago. At the end of the 1950s, he returned to his home state and - while working on farms and raising a huge family - picked up the threads of his music.

Burnside's reputation as being a traditionalist was founded on an accident of chance - when George Mitchell sought him out in 1967 as part of his attempts to document his generation's sounds, Burnside's electric guitar was out of action and so the first recordings of his music were made using an acoustic guitar.

In the 1970s, the size of his offspring started to pay off, as his sons Joseph and Daniel formed the Sound Machine, a family group whose main function was to provide back-up for RL, building a local following and inspiring a whole new generation.

It would still be a over a decade before RL would sign a record contract - with the then-new Fat Possum records - and release a debut album, Too Bad Jim. He would go on to record over a dozen further albums, including the collaboration with the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, 1996's A Ass Pocket of Whiskey and, in 2004, A Bothered Mind, which would prove to be his swansong.

Heart surgery in 1999 had reduced the number of live appearances he was able to make, and Burnside had been in declining health for some time.

RL Burnside died in Memphis on Thursday. He's survived by his wife, twelve children, and the numerous grandchildren that that would imply.

[Thanks to Ladycrackerland]


In an announcement that will shock most, if not all, of the world, Jack White has admitted that, yes, Meg was his wife, not his sister. But he lied for us - oh, yes, it was to stop us looking at the White Stripes in a funny way; in fact, it wasn't even lying:

"It's funny that people think me and Meg sit up late at night, in front of a gas lamp, and come up with these intricate lies to trick people.

"If we had presented ourselves in another fashion... how would we have been perceived, right off the bat? When you see a band that is two pieces, husband and wife, boyfriend and girlfriend, you think, 'Oh, I see...'

"When they're brother and sister, you go, 'Oh, that's interesting.' You care more about the music, not the relationship."

Let's not even bother ourselves with the possible truth of that (if anything, a grown up brother and sister playing together is far more intriguing than a married couple, if you ask us), but instead, frame a different question to Jack: Since in less than three seconds of your first appearance on the scene the rumours about your marriage to Meg had been launched, doubted, rejected, revived and proved, didn't your plan to try and stop your relationship taking attention away from the music fail at pretty much the first hurdle?

Now, if your plan had been to attempt to draw attention to yourself with a 'married? related? incestuous?' story arc - why, there you'd be toasting a PR triumph, wouldn't you?

The White Stripes, yesterday


Amongst all the bad news, some good: Fats Domino has been located. His daughter reported that Domino was plucked from flood water outside his house on Monday.

In other Katrina-related news: American Idol cancels auditions in Memphis "out of respect for the city's citizens" - not because there's no infrastructure and precious little interest in the singing competition, then; it's a gesture rather than a reaction; nd Celine Dion donates a million bucks to the relief effort.

Thursday, September 01, 2005


Amongst the stories coming out of Louisiana, reports that Fats Domino is missing. Domino told his manager on Monday that he intended to "ride out the storm" at home; his home is in the Ninth Ward, which is one of the worst-hit areas of a city that's been really badly hit. Of course, with communications in such a poor state and the rescue effort suffering from lack of direction (wasn't America meant to be on a heightened state of alert to cope with a massive disaster?), it doesn't mean the worst has happened.

Aaron Neville evacuated the city in time to avoid danger, but his home and most of his family's belongings have been destroyed.

Also among the thousands missing are Irma Thomas and Allen Toussaint.

[Thanks to Matthew Best who originally posted the link in the comments section]


Possibly tens of thousands are stranded still in their homes with water lapping the roofs. Most of the affected states' national guards - who could be helping - are stuck in Iraq being shot at. People are starving, dying of dehydration, and desperate. Rumours of society breaking down across New Orleans are spreading like wildfire, closely followed by actual wildfire. The poorest people have had their lives wiped from them. Some gouging gas store owners have stuck petrol prices up to levels which make it almost as expensive to fill your tank in some places in the US as it would be in the UK. And how does the President react at his nation's time of desperate need?

He's having fun dicking about with country singer Mark Wills.

Yes, that's a picture from Tuesday night, when the scale of the problem was already very obvious.


[Thanks to Jim McCabe.]


Things are getting desperate over in the various Carter households as young Aaron approaches his 18th birthday - his mum has taken to sending an open letter to Aaron warning him that she believes his Dad wants to lock him into contracts before he reaches the age of majority.

She chose the National Enquirer as the medium for this letter, presumably because The Onion might not have been taken seriously enough by her son:

"Dearest Son," she begins, "I have always been truthful with you and will continue to be so. Aaron, I know the private jet rides can be thrilling. What is not a thrill is the day you get the bill for them all when you turn 18!

"Everything that has been spent on your behalf until now will come out of your future earnings — if you're not careful."

Jane, 46, is fighting a legal action from her ex-husband Bob, who is seeking full custody of Aaron and his twin sister Angel. "Don't allow your father full custody," she warns in her letter. "Think about it — why at this point? It's because they all have their eyes on the $4 million trust fund I managed to sock away for you. Kiddo, that is yours! You earned it and you worked hard for it."

Actually, you know, we think finding a bill for ten years' worth of jet rides tucked inside an amusing card with a joke about getting drunk on your 18th.

Cheer up, Aaron...

... there's always porn.


We've tried from every angle to get a "growing at the wrong speed" gag to work, but we can't: John Peel is having a tulip named after him. Sheila is pleased:

"All of our family and friends are proud to see John's name remembered in such a fitting way, and I am sure he would be amused by us all coming out to see him `in bed' each spring in our gardens."


According to the Sky News gossip-stick, the US distributors aren't that keen on taking Madonna's new documentary into the cinema - this after she was unable to find a studio willing to back the project, and had to fund the making of it herself.

It seems the movie is a bit light on Madonna doing the stuff people like her for (falling off horses, being taken from behind by Vanilla Ice) and too heavy on the bits that have rapidly made her one of the least liked people on the planet ((kabbalah, really bad children's books, operating a one-woman humility-free festival, being married to that man who makes thug porn.)

What's curious is that while most people seem to have sensed that Madonna has become whatever the opposite of catnip is, some businesses are still pushing ahead under the delusion that people look at her and think "ooh, it's that sassy woman who used to be in the Breakfast Club" rather than "bonkers cult falling-off horse lady: Motorolla have lined her up for the iTunes phone launch ad, although she's there firmly to represent the 80s.

VENUEWATCH: Academy chain grows

The increasing homogenisation of the UK live music scene continues with the opening of the lager-sponsored Academy chain's new outpost in Newcastle. To mark the event (we're not sure if 'celebrate' is quite the right word) there's going to be a big ribbon-cutting event featuring The Futureheads, Field Music and Kubichek. 14th October is the date to pencil onto your face.


What's puzzling about the man looming out the crowd and attacking Mick Hucknall during a gig in Cuba is: what the hell was Hucknall doing playing a gig in Cuba?

Mick's manager Ian Grenfell is puzzled, too, but for different reasons:

It was bizarre. What is so worrying is that we don't know what the man's intentions were. He was a Cuban American in his twenties and he stormed the stage and tried to attack Mick.”

He added: "Police say the man was stoned but what is unclear is why he took exception to Mick."

It must be difficult trying to isolate what the precise reason was out a potential list of son many reasons someone might have for punching the man responsible for every track on Stars.

ROCK SICK LIST: Bloc Sick List

After screeching his pretty eyes out at the Reading Festival weekend, Kele Okereke has buggered his throat and his Harley Street doctor has told him he needs to rest his throat. Yes, Harley Street. Get him, eh, there's posh. And so on.

The throat will get its rest through the pulling of a London gig tonight, and the date at the launch of Virgin Digital tomorrow. The US tour and the Mercury appearance aren't thought to be in danger.


Who would have thought that claiming to have a book would leave you open to being thought a little bit of a thickie? Having seen herself on the receiving end of some claims that she might be less sparky that a underwater barbecue, Posh has tried to repair the damage by clarifying her comments:

"I always start them, get distracted, and never seem to get the time to finish - I’m sure all mothers with three boys know what I mean," she said.

Fair enough, with three active boys (do you see? She was counting David) you might find it awkward to work your way through a novel undistracted - if it was us, we'd not be able to get through a chapter without popping out to send the nanny down to the shops. Except, Victoria, originally you said that you'd never read a book, ever. Unless, of course, the magazine had misquoted you?

But, since you find it difficult to get the end of one of those books you start - eventually, it turns into a beautiful butterfly. No wonder he was always eating, eh?


We're sure the waters have started receeding already, as news comes that Britney is praying for the people on the Gulf Coast.

On a slightly more practical level, rock types are pulling together to hold a couple of events to raise money to help with the rescue effort - seeing as Bush flying overhead doesn't seem to have made much difference. MTV and VH1 are planning a concert with Alicia Keys, Dave Matthews and Green Day (haven't these people suffered enough?), while NBC has lined up Harry Connick Jr, and Jerry Lewis is going to give some of his annual Labor Day telethon earnings to help out.


The RIAA is still pushing blindly on with its lawsuit campaign, either not knowing nor caring that, if the "message" it wanted to get through by this behaviour was working, they wouldn't be finding it quite so easy to pick off another 700-odd people, would they?

Still, congratulations to the RIAA - next week they'll have been pursuing this expensive folly for two years, and now they've topped 14,000 lawsuits, they've finally managed to hit the psychologically important 0.1% target of all estimated filesharers in the US. At this rate, the RIAA will have hauled all their nemesises in front of the judge in just 2,000 years time.

No filesharers in 4005, then.


Even although it's not likely they'd be selling out Coldplay-esque Arenas, Starsailor are popular enough to make their plans for a brief tour of smaller venues next month a treat rather than a realistic assessment of potential:

Edinburgh, The Venue - October 3
Manchester, Jabez Clegg - 4
Birmingham, Irish Centre - 6
Bristol, Bierkeller - 7


The lease at CBGBs has run out - but the club isn't budging. Or so owner Hilly Kristal told a rally:

"We intend to stay. This is not a eulogy. There's no reason why we shouldn't come to an understanding."

The executive director of the homeless charity which owns the building, Muzzy Rosenblatt, doesn't seem to be in any mood to reach any sort of understanding:

He believed the it was in the "best interest of our clients - the homeless and neediest New Yorkers - to sever this relationship." He called on CBGB's to "vacate the premises both voluntarily and expeditiously".

Miami Steve Van Zandt out the Sopranos and the E-Street Band suggests that there's going to be a huge scrap:

"We're not going without a fight," he said. "If the eviction proceedings start tomorrow, which I hope it doesn't, we'll fight it in the courts."


It's not totally impossible, of course, that if the surviving members of the BeeGees really were foolish enough to sink - and we choose that word carefully - twenty million quid into a Saturday Night Fever remake, that they'd decide Robbie Williams would be perfect to play the Travolta role. Slightly tubby, gurning bloke from Stoke on the cusp of early middle age pretending to be a teenage disco king from New York? It seems unlikely.

But then, the BeeGees did do this:


Outrage might have decided on behalf of British gay men that they don't have a problem with Sizzla any more, providing he just doesn't do the silly calling for queers to be shot with a gun again. Lesbian and Gay groups in Cleveland, Ohio, though, aren't quite so happy with the terms of the supposed truce, and are fuming that Sizzla's been invited to play the House of Blues, a few weeks after holding a series of PR events designed to promote the venue as gay-friendly:

Earlier this summer the Cleveland House of Blues organized a series of events to position the club as an accepting and tolerant place for LGBT people.

"Sizzla’s appearance not only contradicts those efforts but devalues the local LGBT community," said Doerfer, Executive Director of the Lesbian/Gay Community Center of Greater Cleveland.

"If we were valued enough to be customers, why are we not valued as concerned citizens? Refusing to cancel the Cleveland show is a gesture of intolerance that makes the company’s outreach to our community very patronizing.”

House of Blues seems to be remaining quiet on the subject.


We had been holding off posting this until we'd had a chance to listen ourselves, but it disappears in 48 hours or so, so we thought we'd better bring the wise words of Simon from sweeping the nation out of our inbox and onto the blog:

As BBC7 forgot to advertise it, I must bring their Purely Peel three hour special to your attention - Lamacq fronting a load of speech based memorial shows, chiefly him and Walters remembering their entry to rock'n'roll in 1987 series Peeling Back The Years, him looking back through his career in 1986's Radio Radio, two editions of Radio 5 chat show Chain Reaction wherein he's interviewed by David Gedge and interviews Ian Rush, and a remarkable five minute trail with Walters' assistance only made for broadcast during the preceding programme. All on Listen Again, obviously.

Chain Reaction, of course, is notable for being one of the programmes the proper Radio 5 would put out when it had to fill the mornings up on days there were no schools programmes...


The timing of the story that festival message boards are suddenly buzzing with the news that Glastonbury attendees have got trench foot is curious - could the sudden discovery of this condition be because journalists spent yesterday reading the boards in search of some other story?

Of course, while it's astonishing that people get trench foot while watching the Kaiser Chiefs, the truth is a little less gobsmacking - trench foot is, in effect, chillblains that don't get proper treatment. But then 'Glasto Fans Get Chillblains; fail to take care of them' doesn't have quite the same grab-factor, does it?

Wednesday, August 31, 2005


Interesting goings-on over at the message board today - a post appeared from someone who claimed to have been a steward at the Reading festival, detailing a couple of incidents - one where a boy was hit by an exploding gas canister in the genitals, another where an ambulance was toppled by fans. Drowned In Sound had picked up on the story, but both their news page and the original thread had disappeared by teatime. A spearate thread debated the veracity of the original message, especially in light of the lack of any news coverage of this serious alleged maiming. It all seems to have been an elaborate hoax.

On the other hand... over on the official website of DC Site services, there's this message:

Message to all DCSS staff: Please find below an email sent to DC Site Services Admin on 31st August:

hi there. i would pleeeease like to have this email forwarded to the security stewards that helped at reading festival this year. i was there this year, and on the last night i was up till about 5am just innocently dancing and playing music with my friends, and some stewards came along and made my friends and i stop. the stewards were very humourless at the time, and quite angry - and i thought what spoilsports they were, seeing as we weren't really doing anything wrong. however, i have recently found out what a lot of them went through on that last night (therefore explaining why they appeared angry!) - having to sort out fires, riots, and people with exceptionally serious injuries - and as a result i would to apologise to them all on behalf of everyone who behaved badly. you all did a terrifc job, and who knows where we would be if you weren't there. most probably dead with what was going on. i hope this doesn't stop you from doing your job in the future, as a lot of us are honestly very grateful for your work! so a huge huge thank you to you all. rachel x

That this appears to have been posted by the company charged with security for the event would suggest there was some sort of trouble that has been largely unreported. Curious, and more curious.

As has now become mandatory, ">tickets for the 2006 festivals have gone on sale straight after the end of this year's event - a limited number for both Reading and Leeds, at 2005 prices. Of course, you are punting on the licence being granted.


It's been a happy way to idle away a few minutes in the pub for the last few months - what would come first, official announcement of the new Kate Bush album or the confirmation that iTunes was going to leap onto mobile phones?

As it turns out, they both broke at roughly the same time.

Kate Bush finally follows up 1993's The Red Shoes with Aerial, out worldwide on November 7th, with a single, King of the Mountain, on October 24th.

Meanwhile, in what's now the worst-kept secret this side of Steve Coogan's baby, Motorola will be showing off its iTunes-enabled phone in San Francisco on September 7th.


If you really want to drag yourself down during the festive season, why not build your celebrations around a Coldplay mini-tour?

Earls Court Arena - Dec 14th
Newcastle Metro Arena - 18th
Manchester MEN Arena - 19th
Belfast Odyssey Arena - 21st

Support for all dates will come from Richard 'what are, you, man, Chris Martin's bitch or something' Ashcroft on every date.


Unless she's changed her mind again, the last we heard Courtney Love has done another 180o turn and confirmed, that, yes, actually she is pregnant, and actually, yes, it is Steve Coogan's.

We're sure this will have changed again in the next 24 hours or so, so we'd suggest holding off in trying to get to the front of the christening queue.


If Ken Clarke thought that being on the board of a tobacco company was proving tricky to balance with his Prime Ministerial ambitions before, the announcement by Mariah Carey that she owes her over-octaved voice to cigarettes is going to make it damn nigh impossible:

“It’s true. The two lowest octaves are probably there because of the smoking,” a champagne-sipping Carey told Swedish mag Groove, according to a translation. “But of course it’s not good to smoke. I always had a cold and constant throatache.” So she quit, she said. “One day I promised God that if he would give me my voice back I would never smoke again. I got three octaves back after quitting.”

What sort of deal are you cutting there, God? Since not smoking is good for you, making a deal that you'll quit if God does something nice for you is like saying "if you let me win the lottery, I promise I'll buy myself a pair of comfy slippers and a nice hat." Besides, God probably wants you to smoke - he's got a consultancy role at British American Tobacco, hasn't he?

The Carey interview then gets a little snippy:

But Carey was drinking alcohol, pointed out the interviewer. “Doesn’t alcohol dry out your vocal cords?” she was asked. “Well, what dries the cords out isn’t the … do you sing? I have a feeling that you are a singer.” The interviewer said no. “Okay,” replied Carey. “Let’s stop the tape and rewind.”

We wonder what the "are you a singer" bit was - could Mariah have been hoping to communicate "you and I both know it's all down to what the producers do, all I have to do is turn up in a push-up bra with my undercarriage primed" by a series of nods and winks?


We bet it seemed like a great idea at the time: stage a zombie invasion of the American Idol auditions in Austin. And it would have been an amusing stunt satirising the whole TV talent show ethos - except... well, the zombies couldn't help but be flattered by the TV crew to get involved with the programme:

"We've been on 24-hour zombie watch," said coordinating producer Patrick Lynn. "We thought it would be fun to have them on the show."

And that is how the zombies ended up squatting down on the concrete of the Erwin Center's second level, signing release forms to allow their images to be broadcast by Fox TV.

"Zombies, I need you back here!" Lynn shouted. "All you zombies, I need to get a group shot!" The undead complied, waving their bloodied limbs about for the TV cameras.

Of course, turning a bunch of the clinically dead into teatime TV fodder is nothing new to Cowell. We've not forgotten One True Voice.


We're not sure the "chavs" that the Guardian report have been encouraged to relocate their street turf war from Peterborough town centre to a outdoor activity centre really are chavs - they sound more like townies to us. But we know sure as hell that the supposed Goths the local council are taking out there aren't goths at all - what self-respecting goth would run around in the woods with a plastic ball gun?

The council's idea is that the teenagers can run around and burn off that excess energy in the forest instead of Cathedral Square. But...

Mr Mayes admits there is one small problem: most of the goths were so laid-back they couldn't get up in time for the war games. Six cried off yesterday morning. "We've got more chavs than we have goths because they couldn't get out of bed," he said. "They've probably been smoking too much pot."

Either that, or they're afraid running about in the hot weather will play merry hell with their make-up.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005


We're guessing Liberty X are as puzzled as we are by the sudden hacking attack on their website by Turk Hackers. We wonder if, from a Turkish perspective, Liberty X represent the peak of Britain and British culture in a similar way to which Craig David (apparently) is Egypt's idea of the most popular singer in the Western world? Or - just possibly - Liberty X's record label have hacked the pages themselves, in a bid to have something interesting on the site for the first time in ages?


Having heard that some chap got himself mauled by a bear in Manitoba, Ted Nugent was straight onto the email to offer to go there to shoot bears. This would, uh, help, apparently:

"I hope to come to Manitoba soon to put my 'hands-on' some precious bear renewability, spending massive amounts of money and untold family conservation time in the wonderful wilds of beautiful Manitoba as a clear benefit to the wild and the people," he wrote.

It's thought Ted is also planning to offer to head down to Louisiana to shoot that damn Katrina. "Guns. It's the only language these natural threats understand," he grunted.

ROCK SICK LIST: But at least I'm not in Journey... oh

Trouble over at Journey's Jones Beach show on Long Island at the weekend, where Jonathan Cain needed hospital treatment after he came off stage. The Journey guy had his appendix whipped out in a hurry; dates this coming week have been cancelled to allow him to recover.


We know you'll have been worried because, boy, does that man have a knack for trouble finding him. After his narrow escape from the London Bombings, poor old Omarion found himself in Miami waiting for his MTV goody bag when Katrina made its first land hit. He was scared, but - and here you might want to offer up a small prayer - not injured:

"I was a little skeptical coming here. I'm from California. We do earthquakes, no Katrina."

Surely it's time somebody - perhaps the President - could ensure that there's a 24/7 team close by to Omarion's every move to keep this plaent's most shining jewel safe from the many threats that snap at his heels every day?


We're not sure who came up with the idea of getting The Who to record with McFly to push this new HMV download store, but we did wonder why they think that Pete Townshend is the best choice, what with his history of filling his hard-drive with dodgy material. The two bands have re-recorded My Generation to demonstrate that every man has a price, and it's not that high these days ("to promote the service which goes live next Monday").

Meanwhile, and there's nothing cartelly about Virgin launching at virtually the same time - we're sure their prices will be totally different, Richard Branson has also come up with a lame stunt. He's going to appearing in virtual form:

"Seeing as Virgin is going digital, I thought I'd do the same."

Yeah, we couldn't be arsed to turn up, either, Branno.


For the second time in two years, Art Garfunkel has been stopped by police with dope in his car.

Apparently if they catch him three times, the police get to keep the car.


Were you planning to go and see Adam Green next month? Well, you can't, tough - he's busy in the studio and so he's putting off doing the tour until March:

“Unfortunately I have been touring constantly this year and have not been able to get in the studio to finish my new album. The decision to postpone these dates was not taken lightly, I just realized if I was to do these dates I would never get the album finished in time for its scheduled release in March next year. I hope you can understand the predicament I was in.”

Over-extended, eh? Like Garbage. We reckon he's about to split.


Apparently a whole bunch of Creative Zen players have shipped with, somehow a W32.Wullik.B@mm worm tucked inside them. Of course, if you have a half-decent virus scanner on your PC, it'll catch the worm before it can do any damage, and delete it. This would, though, imply that Creative don't have a half-decent virus scanner anywhere on their system.


Our ears perked up when we heard Kelly Clarkson muttering about Hilary Duff:

"I want to be the new one. Two Texas girls go at it. And maybe throw in Beyonce. That's three Texas girls."

For a moment, we thought Clarkson was proposing the sort of thing that the government are rushing to ban from the internet. Then we realised she was just talking about wars of words:

"I'm going to start a fight. Me and Hilary Duff. Isn't she always in the news for being in fights with some other chick?"

Clarkson hasn't got this fighting thing off, has she? You don't just go up to someone and have a fight with them. Unless you drink in one of those single-storey, brick-built pubs on the edge of 1970s housing estates - you have to say something provocative about the other person, Kelly. Something interesting. Something to capture the attention.

Maybe your manager can help you with the being interesting thing.


It's funny the number of people who suddenly realise they don't have time for a pop career, erm, just after they release a single into a world that responds 'face-bovvered'. Having said which, we are kind of sorry that Tyra Banks is dumping plans for an album after not selling any copies of her Shake Ya Body single ("after not being able to find the time.") We had a soft spot for that track when it kept cropping up on America's Next Top Model. And, somehow, we find it easier to believe that Tyra is too busy with other things than we did with, say, Jennifer Ellison...

anice Dickinson is unlikely to be recording an album to take up the slack.


Copyright battles over films and TV shows are only on our patch at a tangent, but we think it's worth mentioning these comments from the MPAA's director of worldwide anti-piracy, justifying the heavy-handed use of the law to close down Bittorrent sites:

"Internet thievery of all creative materials is unacceptable and these thieves need to realize they are not anonymous," said John G Malcolm, the MPAA's director of worldwide anti-piracy.

"Every television series depends on other markets - syndication, international sales - to earn back the enormous investment required to produce the comedies and dramas we all enjoy and those markets are substantially hurt when that content is stolen.

"On this site, anyone in the world can download entire television seasons in a single click."

According to a recent report, TV piracy leapt last year as fans of TV shows - particularly American programmes - downloaded episodes before they were show on television.

The Envisional survey said Britain led the world in online TV piracy, accounting for a fifth of illegal downloads, compared with 7% in America and just 2% in Spain.

The curious might raise an eyebrow that the level of downloads is so high in the UK. Is that because we're more evil in the UK when it comes to TV shows? No, not really - the reason why the British download three times as much TV as the Americans is because there's less encouragement for the US to download stuff, as the big download draws like ER, 24 and Lost get shown there first. Nobody would bother piddling about watching Lost on the computer if they didn't have to wait so long for the programmes to make it to British screens. You could reduce TV show piracy at a stroke by bringing programmes online simultaneously both sides of the Atlantic.

But since that's not happening, the fact the MPAA are going to law must mean they're losing a small fortune - all of those downloaders are taking international sales from the TV companies, right?

Erm... in which case, how Sky TV boss James Baker is complaining that the cost of US imports is now so high in Britain - the leading nation for downloaded TV, remember - that it's probably going to be cheaper for it to make its own programmes instead of buying them in?


Disappointingly, there are people wearing official uniforms and holding clipboards rushing to deny that Kylie is coming back at the Commonwealth Games. They're not just upset for her, at these rumours, of course, but they're thinking of the fans:

"Once the doctors give Kylie the 'all clear', her first priority will be to bring the Showgirl tour to Australian fans as promised," said her manager Terry Blamey.

"Making up stories about her performing elsewhere shows scant regard for the feelings of those fans as much as for the truth."

Can you imagine how those fans are feeling right now? Not to mention the truth? Do you people know what a violated person looks like?

Luckily, Kylie fans have, for years, been carefully preparing themselves to be protected from this kind of brutal intrusion, as this file photo shows:


We're loving the theory that's growing that the person who shot Suge Knight was... Suge Knight. We suspect that a wisecracking rabbit may have got hold of his gun and bent the barrel right round, so that when Suge pulled the trigger, the bullet boomeranged back round at him. We asked our resident ballistics expert if this was possible, and he shrugged and said that he'd seen it happen to stuttering pigs when they were out hunting as well, so why the hell shouldn't it?

Another possiblity is that Suge is a bit clumsy and really shouldn't be trusted with a gun.


Since there's already a confusing number of charts knocking about (is the Hit40 the old Pepsi chart? What's the Smash Hits chart when it's at home?) causing confusion and failing to make even a gentle dent in the perception that - even with JK and Joel at the helm - the Radio One chart is the chart, the obvious response would be to look for some other idea to stimulate radio stations.

Obvious, perhaps, but way too dangerous, so we're going to see not one but two new charts.

First up, Heart and the Real Radio network are going to be showcasing something called The AC chart. Presented by Melanie Sykes.

Image hosted by

And, erm, Nick Snaith. (Not just us, then.) Apparently this chart is going to somehow mix album sales, DVD sales (presumably only music DVDs, otherwise Frodo Baggins will be number one some weeks), airplay and singles. In other words, it'll be such a hotch-potch, practically anyone they want to be number one could be.

Meanwhile, the Fresh 40 is being boiled up from the makers of the Hit40UK (yes, that was the Nescafe Network chart); it's going to "focus on R&B, hip-hop and dance" because, of course, artists like Usher, Mariah Carey and Black Eyed Peas don't stand a chance of getting into the mainstream Top 40; this is a great opportunity to let these under-known artists have a chart where they can thrive.


Even before the Sun was reporting that Pete Doherty had got into yoga, his search for peace and serenity had ended when he louted up to Johnny Borrell and set about him at the Leeds Festival:

A festival source told NME.COM: “We’ve been told that Pete Doherty did in fact have a disagreement with Razorlight. Rumour is that Doherty walked into the band’s dressing room last night after both bands had played and in an unprovoked attack headbutted Johnny Borrell. Johnny put Doherty on the floor and left the dressing room, at which point festival security escorted Doherty from the dressing room and back to his bus."

It just shows how badly drugs screw you up if you get bested by a stick like Borrell.

Meanwhile, also at Leeds, a tradition was revived as the festival ended with people setting fires and having mini-riots - "sporadic outbreaks of low-level disorder", in the official police words - before going home. A number of arrests were made, mainly for assault, and the scenes weren't as bad as the battles and bonfires that marred the festival during its unhappy time at Temple Newsham.


After his flirtation with computer games last week, Gennaro is back on the music watch - and talking about his own employer, as well. He's had to lay down his Play Station Plus in order to deny that HMV has missed its chance by leaving it until this week to introduce digital downloads to its website:
Gennaro Castaldo, HMV's head of press, denied the music store was late in jumping on the music download bandwagon.

"It's the first time that major players in the UK are launching their own sites - iTunes was the initial catalyst, the fact that we are now launching is the next stage in taking music to the mainstream. The timing is just right," he said.

A potential problem with the service is that it will not be compatible with iPods. Mr Castaldo said: "That's a choice made by Apple and it's one that we regret. Although the iPod is iconic, from a functional point of view, alternative products are just as good.''

He added: "The iPod is a desirable device, but it is fashion-led and fashion tends to move on."

Yes, like the fashion for shopping at record shops, eh, Gennaro? We're obviously a big fan of Gennaro, but we can't let him get away with these - the idea that digital downloads aren't "mainstream" yet in the UK when the bloody Daily Telegraph are flogging them; and Gen-Gen seems to misunderstand what the word catalyst means - it's something which speeds up a reaction, and HMV's slow lumber towards the inevitable hasn't been marked out by anything approaching speed at all.

Oh... and there's absolutely nothing stopping HMV selling downloads which work on iPods - any one of the devices will happily play any MP3 file. It would actually be HMV's choice to only sell hobbled downloads which makes them incompatable, surely?

Virgin Megastores are also launching (or, we suspect, relaunching) their download services this week.

Whatever happened to MyCokeMusic, eh?

Monday, August 29, 2005


We're not quite sure we can make head or tail of this one, but we'll try - Jamie Lynn Spears (the one who now carries the hope of the family that they might rise above the static caravan park level) is appearing in a programme called Zoey 101.

Also on the show is someone called Alexa Nikolas, who apparently has been having a long-running beef with Jamie Lynn.

Now, depending on who you talk to, Jamie Lynn's famous sister decided to get involved, and either stormed down to the Zoey 101 set and ripped strips off Nikolas, or else Britney Spears popped down to the studios and had a nice chat with Alexa.

It's nice that Britney feels like she wants to stick up for her sister, but... haven't we learned anything from Grange Hill? You have to leave the younger siblings to make their own mistakes, Britney...


We have to tip our hat to Fluxblog's MTV play-by-play awards recap. They watch, so nobody else has to:

8:50 Shakira is here to lip synch in Spanish and slink around. With the damaged hair and leathery skin, she's looking a bit like Sheryl Crow. It seems as though she's threatening to shake her pants right off.

See? There's a lot more to blogging than reviews of Krispy Kreme's doughnut of the month. Sometimes.


Well, at least she didn't flee and head off to live in a hutch somewhere: Mindy McCready is banged up tonight; arrested on a warrant issued for probation violations. It's likely she'll have to spend a little longer inside when her case is heard.

WHAT THE POP PAPERS SAY: How many exclusive Pixies interviews can you count?

Last week's NME (or, rather, what will be the week before last's when the new one comes out on Wednesday) came with a CD put together by "Oasis", but at least the Noel turned up to offer some pithy insights - "usually I don't condone this kind of music [it's Jet, by the way] but they've become our new best friends..."

Hang about Noel - in what way, exactly, do you normally stand against dumbly grandstanding retro heartless pomp poured out by a pair of brothers? They're you, you moron.

But he gets even more deluded when he reaches the Oasis track on the album: It's My Generation. A song which he really believes "we've kind of made it our own, now."

What did surprise us is that Goldie Lookin' Chain are still going. Apparently they can "crack up even the most cynical listener with a killer one liner", reckons Barry Nicholson. Let's try that - here's a line from their new song 'Sister':

"If you leave me now/can I fuck your sister and your best friend?"

Yes, you'd have to be astonishingly cynical to hear that line and sigh heavily, roll your eyes and mutter that you yearn for the days when comedy rap at least got as amusing as Rat Rappin'.

The reviews team were able to catch Eminem at New York, shortly before he sung himself to sleep, and maybe GLC don't seem to be so bad after all. April Long got to see Em's little bit of business where he mentions the tabloids are saying Kevin Federline will be the new Eminem, before - oh, my sides - snorting "Kevin Faggotline."

TOTW for week was Kaiser Chief's I Predict A Riot, which just seems odd, but at least Pete Cashmore found the time to point out that Oasis had taken a bunch of cash in order to help promote Sky Sports - "what does this sound like? Who cares?"

What is quite exciting is that the NME has quietly announced that it's going to be offering free small ads soon - the music mags have badly needed one of these since the demise of Select and Sky; and a good few years back - before the internet, when the small ads were bubbling - we made a load of interesting friends through the NME classifieds column, so we'd love to see its spirit return.

This month's Observer Music Monthly gave the cover to 50 'simply not very good' Cent sucking a lollipop. Centy bangs on over the same old ground - why has he got a stupid car that would be too big if he was farmer? Because that's what success is like - "it drives by on four wheels", apparently. See, we'd say that showing off drives by on four wheels, ourselves, and it's that sort of attempt to create ill-will and crush other people's sense of self-worth and it's that sort of behaviour - grinding other people's faces into their poverty - that creates many of the sort of problems that Cent claims to deplore. But the man's got a biography to sell, and that sort of self-questioning seems to be simply beyond him.

OMM throws together a list of the top 10 musical dynasties - the Shankars at number one edge out the Cash/Carter clan, which would seem to be misordering; and the Osbournes are in the chart at all - why? On the strength of the seven records Kelly sold, probably to herself? The blurb explaining the Ozz Family's entry makes no sense, either: "Kids Kelly and Jack seem almost well-adjusted [eh?] and thank heaven Kelly prefers singing Like A Virgin to War Pigs." Except, of course, Kelly complained that she hated singing pop songs, albeit by way of explaining the stiffing of the first album.

The Record Doctor goes to see Michelle 'sounds like she should be in Liberty X but actually used to be in Eastenders' Ryan: she does make history by becoming the first person to say in print that she "really doesn't like MIA".

For a photoshoot, Jamie Cullum wades out into the middle of a river, and puts his head under the water. No, nothing bad happens, but let's not spoil the moment, shall we? Cullum is worried about the dangers of a backlash: "I don't want to do any dodgy videos this time. If there's a backlash, I want it to be against something I have chosen to do." So, if we've got this right, he doesn't mind us hating his stupid scrambling on top of the piano at the drop of a hat, but he doesn't want us to hate him for his smackable face. He'd be relaxed about us screaming 'destroy, destroy' whenever we think of what he did to The Love Cats, but doesn't want to be despised from here unto the seventh sign because his people got him to do Everlasting Love for Bridget Jones II. That seems fair enough.

Kitty Empire's flash-forward band is CocoRosie, which is effectively if Charmed was a band, and played folk, and weren't vapid.

Paul Morley turns up with a long piece about rock biopics so he's been let off doing the TV review column, which is a pity as we'd been quite looking forward to him having a go at the BBC FOUR Britpop night. And Peter Robinson only gets a half page, which is all wrong.

In the back, Simon Amstell quizes Ricky Wilson - which seems like cheating as usually this page is for a pop star to ask questions of a pop star; Surely Amstell can ask Ricky these questions on his TV show if need be? We do have a soft spot for Amstell, though - if his byline picture was slightly more faded it'd seem like an interview done by a kid who went missing in the mid-70s whose body was found after a three-day search.
This week's NME pledged "the ONLY interview" with the Pixies, which puzzles us who the "exclusive" interview in the previous weekend's Weekend Guardian was actually with, then. In the Guardian, Joey Santiago tells Laura Barton he was so overwhelmed at the reunion with how much he'd missed being in the band that he now sleeps with his drum; in the NME, Black Francis suggests the best reason to go and see them over the other bands at Reading is "there's always a chance Kim and I will end up fighting." He also picks his best festival memory as playing the Crystal Palace Bowl in 1991; we, of course, had left the park just before the band came on. And we would again, you know; we would again.

Most of the NME is given over to previewing Reading - Leeds, and much more to clearing up after the V festival. There, oddly, Oasis dedicated Rock & Roll star to Barry Bulsara, the man convicted of murdering Jill Dando. You have to wonder what's going on in Noel's head, don't you?

While we're delighted that the NME picked Boy Kill Boy as one of the Reading highlights, it did mean, disappointingly, we found out what they looked like.

!!! - The 100 Club - "let's hope he remains a heathen, as motivational speaking's gain would be our loss"
kubichek! - birmingham acadmey 2 - "the exclamation mark is more than justified"
arctic monkeys - birmingham academy - "blw up the bandwagon, tear up the handbook"

kanye west - late regsitration - "the rest of the rap world is playing catch-up", 8
death cab for cutie - plans - "the non-thinking man's coldplay", 4
goldfrapp - supernature - "the musical know how to sway women, men and Morrisseys alike", 8

totw - gorillaz - dare - "animal magic"
viva voce - alive with pressure - "formulaic mess of styles"
princess superstar - perfect - "not perfect, but we like her"
jj72 - coming home - "the only voice in rock less soothing than a car alarm"

And finally, Jim McCabe brings Charlotte Church's appearance in Friday's Guardian Review to our attention: "It's interesting in a scattergun sort of way, although I'm surprised that the lawyers OK'd all the quotes. Or did they?"

She does certainly let rip, and - to be honest - we find it so much easier to like her when she says things like "I can't stand Bob Dylan. He sounds like a freak. And that Chris Martin isn't any good either - he can't do any vibrato, which colours a voice, so he just sounds conversational." Now she's in her stride. "Look, I don't mind Coldplay," she continues, getting increasingly animated. "And I know that style of singing is very modern. But it's a bit wimpy and as soon as one person's done it, they're all fuckin' at it. They're trying to sound like Jeff Buckley, but his voice is outstanding and nobody can be compared to that feller." She also admits to having mimed at an outdoor festival the other week, which is at least more honest than you'd expect from, say, former Spice Girls or sisters of not very good actresses.


We're not sure who's underwriting the Babyshambles sideshow these days, but we bet they'll be delighted that the stuff the band didn't succeed in smashing to pieces they threw to the audience at the end of their Reading Festival appearance.

Hint, Pete: The Who used to substitute fake equipment before they started breaking things. Otherwise, it gets pretty expensive.

Elsewhere at Reading/Leeds, The Rakes battled on despite Alan Donohoe being sicklisted off; in Reading they swelled their ranks with Russell and Gordon Bloc Party, Paul from Maximo Park and, um, Danny and Dirk from Sigue Sigue Towers of London. In Leeds, Kele Okereke helped out.

Razorlight gave a sneaky preview of the track they'll be doing for the new Help album - although they'd actually played it at Glastonbury, but that was before it was earmarked for the project. Andy Burrows told the NME that their Reading set would mark the official end of touring for the Up All Night album, too.

Charlotte Hatherley was joined on stage by Graham Coxon, which made her a little wibbly:

“Graham’s brilliant because he just kind of ambles on, pulls a few faces, plays some amazingly crazy wacky guitar, and then ambles off. Haha! It’s so cool. I’m quite a huge Blur fan though, I went to see them when I was 15 and he was my kind of pin up, so in that respect I thought it was really mad. Is he still on my wall now? Yes!"

The crime story seems to be spinning round in the opposite direction from the start of the weekend - apparently, all that theft during the first twenty-four hours marked a less crime-ridden festival:

Melvin Benn, managing director of the Mean Fiddler, organisers of the Reading Festival, said: “We have had a musically fantastic weekend, blessed with glorious sunshine and happy crowds.

“We have also had significant reductions in crime, medical casualties and fires. It’s been a great weekend.”

The police, too, were happy with the way the event went:

Superintendent Steve Kirk said: “Despite the higher numbers of people attending Reading Festival this year I am extremely pleased to say that we have seen a large reduction in crime, with over a quarter fewer victims than in 2004.”

And we now know that Fightstar are tougher than Fifty cent - they were bottled at the start of their set, but refused to be cowed; eventually, the crowd ran out of bottles, which is close enough to "winning them over" as to do for us.

Earlier Reading-Leeds post


Michael Jackson seems to be quite settled in Dubai, where he's staying with the royal family there. We're sure Michael will enjoy his time in the United Arab Emirates, a place where they take a pretty harsh line on what they perceive as sexual deviancy - for example, in December 2004 two women domestic migrant workers were sentenced to flogging because they got pregnant while being unmarried. We know we'd feel comfortable accepting hospitality from the rulers of that sort of place. More Jesus Juice, Michael?


We actually hadn't realised that Ricky Martin had quit music, although if we think about it we guess we hadn't heard that much from him for a while. Not singing wise, anyway. But apparently his music disgusted him - you and us both, Richard:

"I was so tired, so burnt out. I don't know if it was a breakdown, but I probably would have had one if I hadn't stopped that day.
"I was onstage in front of 25,000 people and I wasn't enjoying it. The applause wasn't bringing me a rush. As a matter of fact, it disgusted me. I was completely disorientated. This is what I'd lived for - the applause. It's what inspired me. Suddenly, I was on tour and wasn't happy. It got worse and worse. When I walked onstage I was in a bad mood, I was angry to be there. You can't get much lower than that - being onstage, with the applause of 25,000 people, and having no sense of gratitude."

Well, to be honest, being sat amongst 25,000 people excited to hear someone plod through Livin La Vida Loca would be a bit lower, but carry on:

"Something was wrong. I needed to stop. That day in Sydney, I said, 'This is my last show today.' We were supposed to be going to Argentina and Brazil. I knew it would cost me a lot to cancel, but I didn't care. "A lot of people told me, 'This is your moment. You've sold 50 million records around the world. If you stop now, this is the end of your career. If you stop now you're insane.' I thought, 'I probably am insane which is why I need to stop.'"

Apparently, insanity is something he's happy to be flirting with again, as he's got an album coming out later this year. Watch his eyes closely.


A few days after hoovering Kerrang awards up like there was no tomorrow, Green Day have now done the same thing at the MTV awards, taking seven prizes home with them, although we're not sure quite "best editing in a pop video" is either that much of a coveted title, nor a reflection of their talent.

Kelly Clarkson - who has been squawking like a parrot that's been over-exposed to mid-period Cher since she won American Idol - continued to receive validation from television with best female and best pop videos. Gorillaz picked up a pair of gongs - one for Best Special Effects (clue, guys: it's a cartoon). Those winners, then, in full:

Video Of The Year
Green Day, "Boulevard Of Broken Dreams"

Best Male Video
Kanye West, "Jesus Walks"

Best Female Video
Kelly Clarkson, "Since U Been Gone"

Best Rock Video
Green Day, "Boulevard Of Broken Dreams"

Best R&B Video
Alicia Keys, "Karma"

Best Dance Video
Missy Elliott with Ciara & Fat Man Scoop, "Lose Control"

Best Rap Video
Ludacris, "Number One Spot"

MTV2 Award
Fall Out Boy, "Sugar, We're Going Down"

Best Hip-Hop Video
Missy Elliott with Ciara & Fat Man Scoop, "Lose Control"

Best Special Effects In A Video
Gorillaz, "Feel Good Inc."

Best Pop Video
Kelly Clarkson, "Since U Been Gone"

Best Group Video
Green Day, "Boulevard Of Broken Dreams"

Best Choreography In A Video
Gwen Stefani, "Hollaback Girl"

Best Art Direction In A Video
Gwen Stefani, "What You Waiting For?"

Best Editing In A Video
Green Day, "Boulevard Of Broken Dreams"

Best New Artist In A Video
The Killers, "Mr. Brightside"

Best Cinematography In A Video
Green Day, "Boulevard Of Broken Dreams"

Breakthrough Video
Gorillaz, "Feel Good Inc."