It's not so much the news that Michael Jackson fell over in a crowd outside a London theatre. It's what he was going to see. With the whole of the West End at his disposal what does he choose? Billy Elliot, that's what.
Now, when Elton John originally wrote the musical version of Billy Elliot, Have I Got News For You got themselves into a load of homophobic hot water by making an "Elton John said he could imagine a bit of himself in Billy" joke. If only they'd kept their powder dry for Michael...
Saturday, October 08, 2005
It's not so much the news that Michael Jackson fell over in a crowd outside a London theatre. It's what he was going to see. With the whole of the West End at his disposal what does he choose? Billy Elliot, that's what.
One day before the cinema hook-up launch of the new album (already tipped to be this year's most-returned gift following Christmas Day), Robbie Williams has hurt his wrist. The official line is that he injured it playing football, which, you know... we totally believe.
Rumours that Williams took delivery of a large mirror yesterday cannot be confirmed as we upload this.
The 10,000 people who turned up to see Michael Buble this evening at the Sydney Opera House would have been mildly disappointed to be told the gig had been cancelled due to high winds. Then, we guess, they would have decided to go for pizza instead, as they'd paid for the babysitter and come up to town anyway.
We're sure everyone from Kate Moss down to T-Mobile - whose expensive press launch he unbalanced - will be delighted that Robbie Williams has expressed his support for the dusty-nosed model.
Now, we've not got a lot of time for Williams, which makes it especially galling that we found ourselves nodding along to much of his pronouncement - although his reasons for supporting her seem to include that she's usually nice to him. Luckily, though, he managed to blow it:
Williams said: “She’s done nothing wrong. What she does in her private life should be her own private affair. We are talking about a woman who has never hurt anybody and never pretended to be somebody she isn’t.” Williams, 31, had met Moss on several occasions and described her as “an absolute icon, beautiful. Every time I met her she’s been lovely to me.” The singer accused the media of conducting a witch-hunt, which could ultimately result in her death. He said: “It wouldn’t surprise me if she’d tried to commit suicide the week everything hit the papers. As a public figure it’s scary because sometimes it’ll be your mum these people get the knives out for.”
Hang about a moment there - a "public figure", you say, Robbie? Aren't you getting carried away a little there? We know you might think you contribute to the communal good by gurning a lot and pretending to have lots of girlfriends, but to describe yourself (and Moss, come to that) as public figures is just a nonesense. You're a celebrity - or, more accurately, a performing monkey - and to try and bolster your place in society from song-and-dance man to being on a par with a civil servant or elected representative may be an indication of how shit our politicians are these days, but it's going too far.
Public figure? Oh, don't you wish, Robbie.
Prior to their UK tour, the Mystery Jets have sold their guitarist online. They got £92, which is a bit poor - they'd have been better off splitting him and selling the bits in individual lots. You make more for a pig that's in chops and joints than one with the head still on.
You have to take your hat off to the Met Police - they've come up with a theory that the drug dealers who supplied Moss and Doherty with coke may also have supplied the Mirror with pictures of the drugs being used. See, detective training gives you insights like that.
Although we're not entirely sure why they're bothered who sold the pictures anyway - are they investigating an invasion of privacy? On the other hand, this is all coming from the Babyshambles camp, so who knows how reliable it is anyway:
The two men haven’t been seen among the Babyshambles singer’s entourage of hangers-on since the pictures were made public last month.
The pair were understood to have been invited along by Doherty to see the new Babyshambles album recorded at the Metropolis.
Our source said: "The two under suspicion are the drug dealers. I can’t be sure there isn’t somebody else involved.
"I don’t like pointing the finger at those people, but they are obviously under suspicion. Everybody else is accounted for. The men in question are both from east London. I hadn’t seen them down there before.
"If they did do it, they have probably left the country by now."
He believes the two drug dealers were not directly involved in selling the pictures of Kate.
He reckons a third person may have brokered the six-figure deal with a newspaper that first published the story. A Metropolis studio spokeswoman refused to confirm that the drug binge involving Kate happened there.
There's something every-so-slightly threatening about the "probably left the country by now" and it's unspoken "if they know what's good for them..."
Good on Britney Spears, who has insisted that she doesn't want her kid to live a childhood in the full glare of publicity, like what she did.
Once she's got the couple of million for the baby photos, of course.
Good news if you're a keen knitter with too much white or red wool - you can get knitting booties for Jakc White and Karen Elson, who are going to have a baby.
Bad news, of course, for music fans, who are now about twenty-four months from an album all about the wonders of little fingers and how children are our futures.
Well, there you are - Michael Jackson did slip into Britain (not exactly "slip", more showboat) late last night - so it's possible that he might even record some sort of version of his Can I Touch Your Bottom With My Heart song in aid of Katrina. Unless he's turned up to do his now four year-delayed 9/11 benefit single, of course.
The Sun - who usually are happy to encourage their readership to burn down the houses of anyone who might even look a little bit like a paedophile - seem uncharacteristically thrilled by the appearance of a man who, at best, doesn't understand the need for boundaries:
The crowd of around 100 went wild when Jacko climbed on the roof of his blacked-out people carrier and sang a few lines from one of his new songs.
He then knelt down and prayed before repeating “Thank you” to the crowd in Chiswick.
Friday, October 07, 2005
Strange story breaking this evening from New York, where the wires are just reporting the arrest of Boy George. The charges, apparently, are possessing cocaine and making a false police report:
The singer, whose real name is George O'Dowd, called police from a Little Italy apartment around 3:14 a.m. and reported a burglary, said Detective Kevin Czartoryski, a police spokesman.
Officers arrived on the scene and discovered a small amount of cocaine next to a computer, police said. A woman in the apartment said there was more cocaine around and police were continuing to investigate.
A former spokesman for O'Dowd's autobiographical musical "Taboo," which closed last year, said he did not know whether the singer had a spokesman or lawyer.
That last line seems the oddest of all, really.
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Possibly the sweetest news for anybody caught in an office with an internet connection - Danny Baker is returing to BBC London:
"People are unaware that I was actually born and raised at 35 Marylebone High Street in the old Studio Two to be precise, back when it was still known as The Lord Reith Umbrella for Unwanted Cockney Orphans," Danny says.
"My new life of indolence was going wonderfully well until I was offered a new show back at the old place that both intrigued and stimulated me," states Danny.
"'How about coming back and doing what you do - but this time in a way that would NOT require you to get up at 4.44am?' they said.
"I must say the boldness and risk inherent in the scheme both fascinated and, yes, intimidated me. NOT getting up while it was still dark eh? Why those crafty, crazy mad BBC London so-and-so's…"
Danny's wife was over the moon with his new position. "You're driving me up the wall, shuffling about the house all day," she said.
The hours suited her too as, "You can bring fish and chips home on Fridays!"
"From 17 October, it's fish and chips - put it in your diaries!" says Danny.
"As far as I am concerned it'll be fish and chips every night of the week. My people, my kingdom – I'm coming home."
That's the press release talking. One of the few saving graces of living in Britain - alongside those long, balmy Tory Party leadership battles, where you get Bobby Robson, some chap who looks like a midland Estate Agents mortgage advisor, and your great uncle Ken fighting it out in a bid to lose the next election - is radio stations which employ Danny Baker. My mom, my flag, my 94.9.
Confusing matters over in Los Angelese, where The Dead Kennedys have pulled out of a gig in LA after discovering that the event was being sponsored by Coors Brewery:
Guitarist and founder member of the band East Bay Ray declared: "Dead Kennedys have always been wary of corporate sponsorship and steer clear of lending our name to promote a product. Because we were not alerted to the ultra conservative, right-wing sponsor for this event, we could not see a reason to go ahead and perform at this show in good conscience."
He continued: "Dead Kennedys want nothing to do with this event or Coors and I am disgusted that they are now sponsoring punk shows, something they are politically at odds with."
Actually, Ray, the Coors company are probably ideologically in line with former punks flogging off their former rebellion as part of a nostalgia roadshow.
The sudden fit of the vapours at the idea of playing under an advertising banner is even more curious since Jello was kicked out of the band for turning down an offer from Levis flat...
According to reports in the Liverpool Echo this lunchtime, a 20 year-old collapsed during last night's Undertones gig at Liverpool University. Although there's been no confirmation beyond a quote from an ambulance spokesperson, it's being rumoured that her drink had been spiked:
An ambulance spokesman said: "We were called to reports of a 20-year-old fitting. We think her drink had been spiked."
Concert-goer Nicola Rowlands from Aigburth said: "Towards the end of the set I went out to get a drink and I saw a very pretty blonde girl with long hair outside.
"She looked awful, and she was unconscious. She was propped up on a chair and first-aiders were taking her pulse."
While a small group of admiring minions will always tell you you're doing great, Pete Doherty is starting to get the first inklings that, just maybe, his publicity is working against him. Iceland Airwaves had booked Babyshambles for their October festival. They've decided it's time for a rethink:
"Due to the current situation the Iceland Airwaves festival management has decided to cancel Babyshambles' scheduled performance on the festival."
It saves having to count the spoons after they've left.
Someone obviously moderating with either a hangover on, or another job to go to on the Britney Spears website: they let through a "congratulations" message on the birth of Sean London Preston Spears that read "Did it come out with a wife beater on?.
Aw, bless, the ole Dad what done did Lindsay Lohan wrong is snuffling away to her new song while banged up inside. Michael Lohan reviews it from behind bars:
"The lyrics not only brought me to tears, but they tell you what kind of a loving and caring daughter Lindsay truly is. While I always considered and expressed how truly blessed Lindsay, as well as my other children are, I never realized how blessed I AM to have a daughter as amazing as Lindsay."
Equally, of course, she's been blessed having a twinkly-eyed old papa who is doing porridge for contempt of court, driving about while pissed off his nuts and beating his brother up with a shoe.
According to Damon Albarn, there are still people who don't know that he's the man behind Gorillaz. Really, Damon? What people? Kelly Brook? Geri Halliwell? Kate Thornton?
Pretend cockney-pretend lord of the manor Guy Ritchie doesn't really like Madonna's songs. Apparently he prefers, erm, Republican songs:
"I'm not a sympathiser, but I like a song driven by a motive or resistance. I've been left-wing and right-wing in my time and now I couldn't give a fuck. I do like a bit of oppression though - it brings out great art."
We're interpreting his political position as "wet Tory", then; and if he's so convinced that opression makes for great art how come he's crushed under the stiletto of his wife's dwindling greatness and commitment to lunatic cults and yet still churns out tat like Revolver.
Revolver, unfortunately, is so bad it was reduced to paying The Sun to say something nice about it so it could put something on the poster; ironically, his next movie is going to be about " a women who hires a billboard with her name on it and gets famous.". Revolver did manage to make a profit on its first weekend - helped by a low budget and the old dictum about not going bust underestimating the stupdity of the public.
Where does Malcolm McLaren get all his crazy ideas from? There's been some suggestions from time to time that "from other people" is the honest answer, and now that claim is to be tested in court. Composer benjamin Beduneau reckons that Malc pinched his Kill Bill 2 soundtrack offering About Her from his Smith Ballad:
He said he registered the song with the French performers' rights body Sacem in 2003, and is demanding damages and the return of the original recordings.
[Mclaren's lawyer] Mr Ryterband told the court Mr McLaren, who was not at the hearing, had copyrighted the song in the UK and US.
But he admitted Mr McLaren could not play the piano or any other musical instrument.
Everything returns to the French court on November 10th.
Buy one now - every extra sale makes it a little worse for Malcolm...
Just added to the creaking line-up of the John Peel "tribute" single: Elton John, who's going to sing and play piano. Just like he did for the Lovely Princess Diana when she died.
Apparently, the single is going to get a first play "simulatenously across all BBC radio stations on 10 October." Even BBC7?
Despite what MTV may have led you to believe, the new Arcade Fire album isn't going to be inspired by the tsunami and Hurricane Katrina. It might, however, be inspired by hatred of MTV, as Win Butler is pissed off with them:
"I never said that. It pisses me off. They asked me one question about [the recent tragedies], if I felt bad about it. I said of course, and they twisted it to make a whole story out of it." A spokesperson from Merge Records confirmed Butler's sentiments to SPIN.com: "The headline was the problem ['Arcade Fire Channeling Katrina, Tsunami Sorrow On Second LP']. It had nothing to do with the interview."
The new album will actually be inspired by David Davis' poor Tory Party conference speech and the closure of Terry's York chocolate factory.
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All those predictions that Bono and Bob Geldof would win the Nobel Peace Prize turn out to have been little more than wishful thinking on the part of Bono's PR Machine.
The International Atomic Energy Agency has won it instead.
Scotch, or seek out a pearl-handled revolver. Thanks, Ananova:
Joss Stone is to make her big-screen debut alongside David Beckham in Goal! 2.
They're making a sequel. It's got David 'couldn't act natural if he had Stanislavsky directing him' Beckham in it. And now they're adding Joss Stone to the mix. Could it get any worse?
Joss plays a vamp who tries to steal the film's star away from his long-term girlfriend, played by Anna Friel.
Oh, god, Anna Fail's in it, too. Where's the glasses?
There's a surprisingly interesting Associated Press piece - offered a permanent home on Yahoo Muisc - which asks why it is, with all the musical activity designed to raise money for Katrina, nobody's writing any songs about the hurricane. Or, indeed, anything much. The conclusion? Music's just got a bit too hooked on partying. It's become your idiot dorm mate, running round with a traffic cone on its head:
"I don't know if anybody wants to mix their politics with their entertainment," singer-songwriter Fiona Apple said in a recent interview. "I can't think about anybody outside of country music that's even attempted to do an anthem-type song that's reflective of what's going on," she said.
Barbra Streisand says some artists may be reluctant to put social issues in their music because it might cost them fans instead of adding new ones.
"I can only think of fear," she said. "I really don't know. Maybe it will stop their sales, or they'll think people won't buy their records. I don't think that way."
Jesus, when even Barbra Streisand thinks that singers are lacking a backbone, you know things are bad.
Of course, Michael Jackson will change all that with his Katrina benefit... now, if his last press release was to be believed - and why would he lie? - it must be today that he'll land in London to start recording it, with all his celeb chums. We hope Heathrow has prepared itself.
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As if Pete Doherty didn't have enough to cope with, now his mam has taken to showing up at his gigs and giving him a lecture.
The great pity is, of course, Mollie Sugden is probably a little too old now for the part of mother when his life is turned into an actual sitcom.
Ever wonder what happened to Kurt Cobain? After he blew his head off with a gun, we mean? According to Courtney, he's locked in a bank vault somewhere, because:
"No one will take Kurt’s ashes because they don’t want the crowds. I don’t want his ashes in a bank vault somewhere. I want to be able to say, ‘I’ve laid you out somewhere and people can come’."
But - and if we've got this right - Kurt killed himself because he wasn't able to cope with the pressures of having people look at him, didn't he? Why not withdraw the ashes from the bank, drive off somewhere, and scatter him away from the public eye. Let him go, and don't tell us where. It's not like there isn't a place for people to visit, as Love herself acknowledges:
"I was up in Seattle recently and drove by our old house on Lake Washington Boulevard. It’s crazy. There were syringes, bottles and tree carvings. That’s what kids do."
We're sure social services will be pricking up their ears at the apparent suggestion that "kids do smack" here.
A cynical man - and thank god there's none of those around, eh? - might look at the interruption of the Rolling Stones gig in Charlottesville, Virginia due to a bomb hoax and wonder: did the old guys, now quite some way into their tour, get one of their retainers to phone in a threat so they could have a toilet break halfway through their set? A cynic would, of course, be wrong:
The threat was made in a phone call just before 9 p.m. on Thursday and was "specific to the stage area" of the concert at the University of Virginia's Scott stadium, which was packed with 50,000 fans, said university spokeswoman Carol Wood.
"Word was got to Mick Jagger and he announced that the band would take a 10-minute break," Wood said.
The band left the stage and police with sniffer dogs, already in the stadium for checks before the concert, searched the area.
Now, that's interesting - a threat serious enough to pull the band off the stage, and yet the poor saps in the crowd are left standing there while the dogs do their stuff.
Thursday, October 06, 2005
While it's obviously great of Dr Dre to write a cheque for a million quid to help families affected by Katrina, what sort of guy can just write a cheque for a million quid without breaking a sweat?
We've spent most of today wandering round trying to understand exactly what that Apprentice live final was all about - especially when Regis went excitedly "look, there's Sugar Ray Robinson", and Robinson stood up, and then sat down again. We know they had three hours to fill, but even so...
Anyway, we're not sure if this little deal was cooked up backstage then, but Regis and Donald Trump are recording a Christmas song together. (For those of you unfamilair with Mr. Philbin, imagine if Richard Madeley made double sure he paid for everything, and then put all his change in the poor box by the cashregister.)
They're doing Rudoplph the Red Nosed Reindeer. If it doesn't end with Trump telling "Dancer and Prancer, you're fired", then we're not the man we think we are.
EDIT: Shawndra tells us that it was, in fact, Sugar Ray Someone Else - Leonard? - but boxers were never our thing. And while we're at it, what on earth was the point of bringing on the O'Jays - twice - and never actually letting them do the whole of the song?
Apparently video iPods are going to be held back until there's a movie store or DVD import which can fill them - meanwhile, though, Think Secret reckons next week will see the launch of an 80 gig iPod.
It may or may not shoot lasers out of its firewire port.
Good grief, as if being on a murder jury wasn't grim enough, the twelve peers trying Dwayne "Megaman" Vincent have now had to sit trhough a couple of So Solid songs. Vincent - on trial with Carl Morgan for the murder of Colin Scarlett - hadn't, according to his defence, made any pro-gun songs. Following the playing of gun-happy So Solid songs, this was adjusted to suggest that although he'd appeared on songs that did talk about guns, he didn't actually do those bits; and that a song which the prosecution said mentioned "uzis" actually said "ooze".
The case continues.
Inspired by his manager's sister and dad being diagnosed, former Smiths boy Andy Rourke has organised a huge anti-cancer concert called 'Manchester versus Cancer' for January 28th. The winner will go on to take on Liverpool in the finals.
The line includes - oh, it's Manchester, we're sure you can draw up a list yourself: Badly Drawn Boy; baggy survivors The Charlatans; the odd former Stone Rose (Mani, in this case) and Peter Hook.
Rourke has decided this will be an annual event, too:
"It will bring together people and bands that have made Manchester famous. It will be huge and the idea is that this will be the start of an annual event to raise money for charity whether it is helping cancer or arthritis. It will be bigger and bigger each year, the highlight of the musical calendar."
Let's hope medical science doesn't screw things up by finding a cure for all known ills.
Up to a point, anyway, the Jesus and Mary Chain are working together again. Almost. Jim Reid and Sister Vanilla are doing a split single - Song For A Secret/Can't Stop The Rock. And the Sister Vanilla side is written and produced by William Reid and - oh yes - Linda Reid, who is the third sibling. (There's always a third sibling - there's an Attenborough who sells cars, you know.)
So they're standing back to back looking in opposite directions, but at least they're togevver, right?
Whatever you said, cut it in two: GCap's London flagship radio station (hey, even a leaky kayak can be a flagship if it's at the head of a flotilla of jumblies going to sea in a sieve) has decided it can continue to make programmes of the same quality with half the staff. Unfortunately, Johnny Vaughan isn't amongst those being offered the chance to seek out new opportunities.
According to the wonderfully handsome and talented Gideon Coe on 6Music this morning, Edwyn Collins has moved back into the studio, picking up the loose ends of his recording session left hanging when he went off to hang about playing knock down ginger on death's door. Heartwarming news on a cloudy day.
About three months after the "hoodie" moral panic that didn't quite sweep the nation, Lady Sovereign (ring) is jumping on the bandwagon. She's, erm, launched a "save the hoodie" petition - not, to be honest, that we've noticed their numbers declining in the wild - and issued a statement on this most pressing of matters:
"If someone commits a crime it's not about what they are wearing, it's about the person wearing it. A criminal is a criminal no matter what they wear. Don't blame the innocent hoodie, you should be able to wear what you want!"
She's drawn support from the National Society Of Men Wearing Stripey Jumpers, Masks And Carrying Bags With Swag On Them, whose chairman A. Chummy said "Yes, we support her ideas, and are keen for her to be out campaigning. Especially if she leaves the little window in the bathroom by the drainpipe open while she's out doing it..."
Having spent some time laughing off her hotheaded past, Sinead O'Connor has shown her new, fun-loving side by comdemning the entire Catholic Church as 'blasphemous':
"There are people who say they represent Christ but actually they preach against love, which is blasphemous as far as I'm concerned,” she said.
"The teaching against homosexuality is blasphemy.”
“God created gay people, so who is anyone else to say you should not be gay?"
You'll notice that Sinead has also cut through the long-running nature/nurture debate there; apparently, it's neither: God makes you gay. Divine intervention.
Of course, the church could counter that God has created them as tiresomely homophobic, so who is Sinead to say that it's wrong? - but we'll leave that to the theologians to get to grips with.
There we were, expecting Jet to turn out another album a lot like the last one - but, no. Nic Cester promises that the follow up will be five times as good as Get Born:
"We're just taking our time and making sure it's five times better than the first one."
Although, to be honest, it's hard to imagine an album that was five times worse than that one, so it's not much of a claim.
It's more mature [than Get Born]. I think first and foremost would be lyrically, we've taken giant leaps. We've lived two years, buzzing around the world, 250 shows last year. That's life experience right there."
Oh. In other words, it's going to be an album about how hard it is being a singer in a rock and roll band and on the road. Oh good.
Trouble brewing in Canada, as HMV Canada pull Dylan from the shelves following Bob's decision to grant Starbucks an exclusive on his latest album. Who best to explain HMV's actions than HMV's UK spokesflume, Gennaro Castaldo? He swings into action:
'I think [HMV Canada] feel they're acting for the common good, that there's a principle at stake," says HMV's UK spokesman Gennaro Castaldo, explaining that a gentlemen's agreement between labels and retailers rules out similar deals in the UK. "If a product is brought to the market as a chart release then everyone should have the right to sell it, and it's not fair that they should be discriminated against, particuarly on behalf of a coffee retailer that has no heritage whatsoever in selling music and developing that artist's repertoire."
Yes, we know this sounds like "waaaaah, it's not fair", but surely not? Surely a company must have more to its complaint than that?
There's a certain curiosity about Castaldo getting all angry about the idea that if a product is aimed at the chart, then everyone should be allowed to sell it - does that mean the page of HMV exclusives on offer on the store's website represent an idea that is about to be phazed out? Or are exclusives only bad when they cut out HMV?
And doesn't that "gentlemen's agreement" sound cosy? "Gentlemen's agreement" is a much nicer term than "consumer-shafting cartel", don't you think?
When Justin Timberlake played the young Elton John in a video a couple of years back, he made a pretty good hand of it, and Elton seemed to know exactly who he was. We're not so sure Timo would make such a good Johnny Rotten - Lydon wants to cast him in his biopic - and we're certain aging estate agent Lydon hasn't really got a clue who he is. He doesn't know his name, for a start:
"I've asked Jason Timberlake to do it. He hasn't said yes but I think it would work because he's a damn fine singer. But he's beginning to look bored."
We're not sure, either, why being a good singer would be a requirement to play Lydon - it's not like he's one of the Three Tenors. We wonder what "Jason" said when the offer was made? "Thanks, James", we hope.
YOU NEVER SMILE, YOU KNOW IT WOULDN'T LOOK RIGHT/BECAUSE YOUR DENTURES GLOW IN ULTRA-VIOLET LIGHT...
It's astonishing how useless Madonna has become at judging her own market, isn't it? She's turned down the Royal Variety Performance (you're lucky it's not a command performance any more, love) but agreed to do the MTV Europe awards. But, seriously, Madge: do you really think your natural constituency is closer to 80 year-old rich women or 12 year-old blonged up Portugese kids?
Wednesday, October 05, 2005
Paul McCartney must be shitting himself tonight - Stevie Wonder has volunteered for pioneering microchip surgery to restore his sight. McCartney's been telling Wonder for years that the video for Ebony and Ivory looks brilliant, and that you can't tell they were on different sides of the Atlantic when it was filmed. Now Stevie's going to find out he's been lying.
Macca is trying to persuade Wonder he'd be better off with a labrador and a new stick instead.
Is there to be no end to the parade of Beatle-related auctions? Despite fairly lukewarm responses to recent lots - last week, a bunch of handwritten lyrics failed to meet their reserve - people seem to keep discovering stuff and, before you can suggest they try it down at Flog It first, they're sticking it on sale in a fine auction house.
Latest tat is an incomplete set of Beatles heads, made in wax for the Sgt Pepper's album. They could raise up to eighty grand. Although on the other hand, they might not.
Paul McCartney's head, in case you're wondering, is the missing one.
Mick Jagger has rushed to defend his current beau, L'Wren Scott, in the face of rumours that she's telling the Rolling Stones what to do:
"This is all nonsense. We've not had any disagreements about clothes, smoking or L'Wren. This is very hurtful."
But then we bet she told him to say that.
Much-fancied (in both sense of the word) Sufjan Stevens is going to be doing two nights at King's College, London on Halloween (great excuse for not being in when hordes of poorly-disguised children come demanding sweets) and November 1st.
While we're in a cut-and-paste happy mood, the good people at MTV2 are putting their hands in their pockets and springing for a nationwide jaunt featuring Viva Voce, Clor The Departure and The Kooks. This has been sat in our inbox for a while, so if you're keen and live in Leeds, you'll need to hurry your ass:
Mon 03 Oct - Leeds, Uni
Tue 04 - Newcastle, Uni
Wed 05 - Liverpool, Uni
Thu 06 - Loughborough, Uni
Fri 07 - Warwick, Uni
Sun 09 - Southampton, Uni
Mon 10 - Swansea, Uni
Then Viva Voce are doing their own headline stuff, too.
Grab 'em while you can - The Earlies are dancing about in jiggle-free computervision, or something, as things heat up for the release of debut album These Were The Earlies.
You can see the video for bring it back again, or download delicious mp3s of Morning Wonder and The Devils Country, while stocks last.
Of course, they're sending these links round to people with blogs in the hope they'll post them, so in a way this makes us feel a little dirty, but we like 'em and think you will too. Besides, the only thing that stops us from actually whoring ourselves is that we don't think we'd command much of a market premium.
Another small packet of enticing UK dates slips into our inbox: Longcut are coming back from whatever it is they've been doing for a mini-UK tour kicking off on Bonfire night:
November 5 - Nottingham Rescue Rooms
6 - Leeds Brudenell Social Club
7 - Glasgow Oran Mor
8 - Manchester K2
10 - Bristol Trinity
11 - London Cargo
If you turn up early, you get a special remix CD of Longcut, erm, cuts done by LFO, Kid 606 and Minotaur Shock, which are so gloriously limited you'll need to keep a tight hold on the train home. You can also have takeaway pizza on the way there, because it's a treat evening, isn't it?
It's wonderful that Camelot are trying so hard to unite a lottery winner with an unclaimed prize, but since the ticket was only bought less than a month ago, we're not sure how useful Camelot's picture of when it was bought will be:
To jog people's memories, on 10 September, the Pussycat Dolls' new single Don't Cha was top of the UK charts and the Russell Crowe/Renée Zellwegger film Cinderella Man had just been released.
The Pussycat Dolls, eh? Whatever happened to them? We listend to some crazy music back a few days ago, didn't we?
We're not entirely sure quite what this item on Popdirt.com means:
Us Weekly reports that a member of Britney Spears and Kevin Federline's entourage "has threatened to release raunchy footage of the two taken before Spears looked pregnant [that was copied from a tape in the Spears/Federline collection]." A copy of the original tape viewed by the couple's lawyers elicited laughter and disgust.
Laughter and disgust? The only reason we can think of for that would be that at some point Britney rolls over and leaves Kevin's manhood fully on screen.
You might find yourself wondering why Liam remains in Oasis. What, you don't? You just assume he likes the money and, besides, what else will he do with his time? Oh.
But pretend you can't think why he remains in the band. Right? Good. Apparently, it's because Noel scares him into it:
"I've kind of learnt that instead of arguing stuff out with him and ending up in a fight, I work on his psychology and he's completely freaked out by me now," the guitarist told Spin. "He's actually frightened to death of me."
"I can read him and I can fucking play him like a slightly disused arcade game," added Noel summing-up the full extent of his manipulation. "I can make him make decisions that he thinks are his but really they're mine. Without fighting. It's an art I've lea...
No, it's no good, I'm going...
Work on the new Mozzer album is due to be finished by the end of this month, clearing the way for the album to get an early 2006 release. The album is going to be titled Leading Tormenter of The Rings. Or possibly Ringleader of the Tormentors. And is Morrissey happy?
Well, if he was, he'd try and keep it quiet as he's meant to be a miserable curmudgeon. But even he cracks a smile, says long standing fan site true to you:
Morrissey is delighted with the album which he describes as 'The most beautiful - perhaps the most gentle so far."
Coming this November: critically lauded (even unto "might I just touch your garbage bags?") darlings Clap Your Hands Say Yeah offering a UK tour:
15th Leeds Faversham
16th Cardiff Barfly
17th Manchester Music Box
19th Nottingham Stealth
20th Glasgow Stereo
21st Liverpool Academy
22nd London ULU
Tickets will be harder to come by than, ooh, discarded Bono trousers. Buy now. Or you could just pretend you were there, we suppose.
The two sides in the next generation of DVD format clash are sitting, waiting for this phony war to be over, and for the chance to throw billions of pounds away in a fight to the death for real. And, as they wait, a surprise: Intel has said they'll support Blu-Ray discs providing the format allows consumers to copy discs. Last week, Intel had offered support to rival development HD-DVD, which has already confirmed "mandatory managed copies" will be a feature of the format.
More from No Rock on the clash
Bill Gates could, of course, just buy all the labels and this wouldn't be a problem any more, but for now he's been frustrated in his attempts to ape Yahoo and Napster's music subscription services - the labels, of course, want more money; Microsoft aren't prepared to charge consumers more than their rivals, and aren't going to subsidise the record labels.
The end result: No Microsoft subscription service.
We don't have any fondness for Microsoft, but it seems a little harsh to refuse to supply them on the same terms as the other services. It doesn't seem to make any business sense - all it does is cost the labels money. Won't somebody think of the shareholders?
Some nice timing for a very, very minor accident involving Lindsay Lohan - it comes just as she was taking some heat for making a children's charity send a private jet halfway across America to pick her up only to send it away again. Then she changed her mind, and took another private jet to the benefit for Wyclef Jean's Yeli Foundation. (Not that she was there in spirit: "When Lindsay finally arrived, she sat in a corner playing with her BlackBerry and didn't mingle.")
Having burned up thousands of charity dollars - and managing to raise the temperature of the planet by a whole degree all on her own, through ridiculous squandering of jet fuel - Lohan needed something to take the heat off her. Suddenly, she was very slightly injured in a road accident.
This is third time in about a year she's been involved in a car crash, isn't it? She's more dangerous behind the wheel than all our grandparents put together. It's bloody lucky Herbie drives himself.
While the raid on a McFly party by cops turns out to be a misunderstanding - the police mistook their minder, Kelly, for a burglar - it could have been a lot worse. This was in North Finchley, of course, which meant the police were from the Metropolitan Police. And we know what they can be like when they jump to conclusions. Kelly was lucky they only thought he was a housebreaker and not a terrorist...
Why put on any old bra and knickers and prance about pretending to be Britney Spears when you could put on the real thing. Yes, Britney really is selling her old clothes on eBay. Including the bra from this video:
We're not sure you could wear it with anything but a strapless, frontless top, though.
We always had a soft spot for Lucky Stars by Dean Friedman ("I may not be all that bright/ but I know how to hold you tight"), and we've warmed even more as his 25th anniversary tour has blown up in a drugs shocker, sending the Milton Keynes Citizen rushing for the dope puns:
Potty pop performer Dean Friedman has ditched plans to give away cannabis seeds to his fans at The Stables after facing a joint ban by the venue and local police.
Joint ban! Potty! Oh, my aching sides.
Dean - or "self-confessed pot smoker Friedman", as the paper would have it - seems to be quite enjoying this sudden and expected change of image:
"I have been mistakenly perceived as 'Mr Middle of the Road' for quite a while."
"Now I feel I will finally be acknowledged as the shiftless, irresponsible, pot-smoking, sex-crazed, Commie-radical lunatic I actually am," he said.
The Police, of course, don't actually have any legal grounds to stop people from handing out cannabis seeds - in our splendidly well-constructed legal system, it's perfectly ok to buy and sell the seeds, so long as you don't cultivate them. So they have to fall back on the old cliche:
Milton Keynes Police said, "It is illegal to cultivate cannabis. This sort of thing sends out the wrong message. We would urge people to stay away from drugs,' said a spokesman.
Ah, yes... if a grey-haired old singer gives some of his fans some cannabis seeds, as soon as word gets round, Milton Keynes will have to cope with kate Moss hanging round the bus station trying to score.
We hate ringtones. So we're happy to throw our weight behind Eminem, who is launching a battle to wipe ringtones off the face of the Earth.
Okay, actually, he's just suing a few companies which make telephones squawk a bit like Eminem songs, and only then because he's not getting any cash from the deal. He's taking on people who make karaoke discs, too.
He's very busy for a man so hung-up on sleeping pills that he had to cancel an entire European tour, isn't he?
Tuesday, October 04, 2005
The ever-expanding indie-goes-to-Maplins of All Tomorrows Parties gets a little fatter again next year, with the addition of a second May event. Take one is from Friday 12th May - Mudhoney, Yeah Yeah Yeahs in charge; the next weekend, from Friday 19th, has The Shins, Sleater Kinney and Ween curating. Camber Sands hosts again, and obviously bands far cooler than the likes of me would have heard of will be on hand.
More from No Rock on sleater-kinney
While we imagine that Elvis would at least be having a chuckle that he's using the cash he made from singing a burger company jingle to pay for it, most people will have their marrow chilled that Justin Timberlake wants to buy Sun Records. Even worse, the deal would also allow him to add Stax to "his own Jay Tee label."
Most musicians would love to punch some journalists - a few do, others just send their wives over to bleat incoherently at them in public. Damon Dash, though, has set a new level: he's hospitalised the editor of the magazine he co-owns.
Apparently Dash got huffy that Smokey D Fontaine had run a paid-for piece talking about Sean Diddy's badly designed, nasty overpriced clothes - admittedly, it must have been galling for Dash who also has a range of overpriced ugly clothes.
It's claimed Dash punched Fontaine at the Dash HQ in Tribeca last Tuesday; police reports say that Fontaine checked in to hospital on Thursday.
Something to look forward to in October - Be Your Own Pet are touring, with the MTV Gonzo tour and then with The Kills:
14 Birmingham Barfly MTV2 Gonzo
15 Cardiff Barfly MTV2 Gonzo
16 London Barfly MTV2 Gonzo
Then the Kills join 'em:
19 Nottingham Rescue Rooms
20 London Forum
22 Newcastle Academy 2
23 Glasgow Oran Mor
24 Aberdeen Lemon Tree
26 Liverpool University Academy
27 Manchester Academy 2
28 Stoke Sugarmill
29 Sheffield Leadmill
31 Oxford Zodiac
We wouldn't want to suggest that Dannii Minogue is basking in having a sick sister, but... she does seem to be getting an awful lot of media coverage out of Kylie's breast cancer. All the while protesting, of course, that she wouldn't want to snatch away Kylie's privacy:
"Honouring her privacy, I wouldn't want to go into any details of anything. It's a tough time on the family as well."
That's Dannii, on GMTV this morning.
A few days ago, Dannii was spotted in the Mirror honouring Kylie's privacy by talking about how Kylie and her boyfriend Olivier Martinez were coping: "He is so romantic and does special things for her all the time. He is French, what do you expect? He's got that va va voom. They are so in love."
A couple of days prior to that, Dannii honoured Kylie's privacy by sharing that her sister was coping with cancer by laughing at Little Britain - she shared this only with a few close friends and anyone else at a random fashion week party.
A week or so before, and the New Zealand Herald was carrying more discretion from Dannii, yakking away again about how Kylie was "bouncing back."
And that came just after Dannii made room in her busy schedule at the GQ Awards to tell the Sun how Kylie was coping with the treatment: ""My sister is coping amazingly well with her treatment," said Dannii. "I don't know how she got to be such a strong person but she's a real fighter."
Of course, it would be wrong to suggest that all Dannii does these days is talk about nothing but Kylie's health. She also goes on about her own health, what with her sister being ill and all:
"Kylie is doing great at the moment but the whole thing has made us reassess our lives.
"We never take anything for granted and really go all out to look after ourselves health-wise. I have always been health-conscious but now am even more so."
Thank god Dannii has the good sense to not use her sister's health as a lazy way of getting interviews. For a health-conscious girl, something cheap like that - well, you could feel it eating away at your soul.
More from No Rock on kylie
Oh, sure, it might not have actually made any difference at all to the starving or dying of the world, but - hey - Live 8 did put an end to Pink Floyd's intra-band hostility:
[Roger Waters] says, "It was a great weight off my back to have a rapprochement with the three guys after all the enmity.
"Constantly, in my work, I am exhorting people to let go of entrenched positions, and that could be seen as hypocritical in view of the fact that, for all those years, I held an entrenched position in terms of the history and internal politics of Pink Floyd.
"If (Live 8) is the only time we play together for the rest of our lives, I will reap the benefits of those few days for the rest of my life."
A dying child in Niger issued a statement welcoming Water's comments:
"I am delighted to hear that the painful deaths and almost unimaginable suffering of millions of people like me have not been in vain and the many decades of western banks raping the economies of so many nations has played a small part in bringing about this joyous event. My role was only a small one in bringing this band back together, and ending their argument over whatever it was, and of course, I wouldn't want to take any of the glory away from Bob and Bono without whom our suffering might not have been turned into a tool to make multimillionaires a little more relaxed when they sleep in their soft, comfy beds at night, with full bellies and dry bedding."
In an announcement that would have trouble stunning anyone, Sex Pistol Steve Jones has said that, actually, most punk was rubbish:
"I don't really like punk. Most of it is crap. What I like is considered quite cheesy - Boston, Queen, Slade. In my punk days, I could never have admitted to liking bands like that. I'd have been given a beating."
In related news, music has shocked the world by suggesting that the Sex Pistols weren't really much good, and certainly not that punk. Talking to a packed press conference, Music laid into the band:
"I really didn't like the Sex Pistols. Most of what they did was crap. What I liked was much more considered and thoughtful. The Sex Pistols weren't to my liking at all, and always behaved like they were looking to give someone a beating. It was all a bit of an empty-headed stance they came up with while they were waiting to get proper jobs as estate agents."
He's boasting rather than complaining, we suspect, but Him's Villie Valo has been shaking his head over the problems of sharing a studio with Playboy magazine's photographers:
"I was doing my backing vocals and watching, like, a sea of breasts outside. It was good fun for the moment, but our balcony was filled with people setting up lights, and it's not easy to have naked people running about when you want to concentrate and do an album."
You think that's hard? You should try posing for porn when someone's making sludge goth-rock next door.
Fascinating piece over on EconoCulture which reports in depth on a raid on a New York record store which was selling dodgy cds. There's some interesting details there. The shop - Kims - believed it was dealing in CD-R mixtapes rather than fake CDs. That could have been what got it into trouble. But the way the RIAA behaves, you don't really need to be doing anything wrong to get yourself on the wrong side of the line.
For example, they have scans of the key legal documents provided by the RIAA "expert" confirming the CDs are fake. Now, you might think they'd at least take the trouble to provide something specific, wouldn't you? Say, "This album appears to be bootleg because the quality of the CD case is low, and instead of the booklet provided with the legitimate release, there is just a poorly-reproduced one sheet insert." After all, this is a serious business.
But no; the "expert" is given a preprinted single sheet and just asked to tick which of the typical pieces of evidence he believes he's found somewhere in the seized CDs - 471 alleged fakes, dealt with in five ticks, and not actual attempt to offer any clear link between the supposed evidence and the actual seized CDs. That's surprisingly slapdash - imagine if the police rounded up a gang of suspected terrorists and all they had to do was put some ticks on a form: "These people are identified as terrorists for the following reasons-
.... looking a bit foreign
.... going near a train
.... interest in public buildings"
Actually, we probably shouldn't give Charles Clarke ideas, should we?
The RIAA also claimed to have seized "nine CD-R burners", which does make the store sound like it could be a hotbed of piracy, until you discover that actually, this is just nine bogstandard PCs as you'd find in any office rather than high-end duplication equipment. Look around your office - they'd be able to suggest you were producing more CDs than Warners. (Although, admittedly, that wouldn't be difficult the way they're going.)
What's more disturbing, though, is the heavy-handedness:
about 20 law enforcement officials had swooped into the store and that the cops were dressed “like SWAT guys” who were saying something about a warrant from the Supreme Court that allowed them to search the premises. When describing the scene, Bettis might as well be discussing an obscure film noir filed in his store’s cult section:“It was this crazy, eerie feeling. I mean, cops come in Kim’s all the time, but not like that. At the time, it was really scary. It felt like a full-on raid.
Econoculture end up by posing five questions the RIAA are reluctant to answer - which is odd; if they're going to behave like they're the police, shouldn't they be answerable to the public?:
1) When considering to investigate and prosecute CD-R and mix-tape sellers, did you consider the cultural implications in so far as mixtapes and CD-Rs comprise a huge avenue for underground artists and DJs to ply their trade and get noticed?
2) In looking at statistics from your website, a huge percentage of stores raided were Latino businesses--why is that?
3) What was the basis of your investigation into Kim's--how did RIAA investigators learn that Kim's may be selling or manufacturing CD's?
4) Can you please provide to me a copy of the affadavit for the search warrant?
5) I understand that RIAA investigators can raid--without a search warrant--any record store that they suspect is selling or manufacturing pirated CDs--is this true?
We're not entirely sure that Franz guitarist Nick McCarthy is especially concerned about his band's possible involvement in killing the Glasgow music scene. We believe there's a tendency, know by psychiatrists as Baron Jackwhite's Syndrome, for successful bands to attempt to stifle the scenes which, to untrained observers, they are loving and caring parents to. So maybe the concern is more crocodiley in its teariness:
"I don't know if it's a good or a bad thing that people are watching Glasgow a bit more closely. To be honest, it might destroy it."
He added: "If you're in London you get picked up and you're the next big thing before you've even any songs. In Glasgow there was no attention and we had a year to write our songs and progress and find our identity. Then it suddenly exploded."
He might have a point - Liverpool is still having trouble dealing with the Beatles what came from there, all these years on.
More from No Rock on franz ferdinand
We'd heard none of them ourselves, but apparently The Beastie Boys have got so sick of rumours that Solid Gold Hits is marking the end of their time, they've issued a statement insisting The Beastie Boys go on. Mike D:
"We don't put out records too often, and we've been doing it for a while, so that puts us in a high-risk category for rumors."
It might also be, you know, you've been knocking about for a while, boys.
Michael Jackson has discovered a new thrill - going to court, rather than being dragged there. This is all part of his long-term dispute with German-based concert promoter Marcel Avram. A deal was supposed to have been agreed back in 2003, with Superior Court arbitration for the tying of lose ends; Avram, though, has started to move back to the courts again. Jackson wants to get an injunction to stop him.
Yes, he's gone to court to stop someone going to court, because he wants the person to go to court to solve the problems in an agreement designed to save anyone having to go to court. Clear?
Of course, Jackson is meant to be coming to London this very week, surrounded by thousands of celebrities to record his famous Katrina benefit. Isn't he?
We're taking a leaf out of Noah's book, and sending up a dove to see if it can find him.
As the world, as one, reaches for the "and it's goodnight from him" headline, Ronnie Barker has died. Although The Two Ronnies were a little overfond of Elkie Brooks, The Manhattan Transfer and - most shamefully of all - Phil Collins, and the bulk of their comedy skits were more often built around light opera or popular classical, the pair did sometimes have a tilt at the pop world - perhaps Ronnie's most memorable (and obscure) impression being the time he dressed up as Kid Creole for a rousing chorus of "There's something wrong, my parrot's died."
Ultimately, of course: He was in Porridge. And - more or less - had the wisdom to leave the stage early and (hardly) never made any comebacks. A sad loss.
The powers that are over at Horslips writes to take us to task for not paying proper attention to Sinead O'Connor over the last few weeks - where, of course, "proper attention" would be slack jawed amazement as she attempts to deny her entire past to date:
I've been particularly impressed with her disavowals of earlier controversial statements made in her career. That's nice going: get a headline out of saying something stupid when you say it and then twenty years later when you 'un'say it.
Of course, this time round, she's not having as much luck hitting the headlines as she did before. Indeed, Contactmusic are having trouble placing her - "Sinead O'what? The song Troy? Who?...
... the movie Troy, do you mean?
That comes as - having attempted to rub out her previous claims - she's now refusing to do any of the songs she's famous for:
"I'm really proud of them. For a little girl to have written some of those songs... I wrote my songs as therapy, if you like."
If one of us had suggested she was a little girl when she was writing that stuff, she'd have, quite rightly, come round and kicked us with her DMs.
So the songs were therapy, were they? Not very good, by the sound of it (and if memory serves)...
"I don't go back to it. I don't want to go there emotionally. I haven't paid all this money for therapy for fucking nothing.
She does, however, have rather a good gag:
"In Dublin I was doing this show one night and somebody yelled out, 'Troy, Troy.'
"And I went, 'I'm fucking troying.'"
(You have to do the accent, though, or it doesn't work.)
Monroe, Garbo, Betty Boop... and now Madonna takes on another personality: William Hague. She likes her beer, you see, even having it delivered by the firkin to her overlarge country house. We're just a little surprised she's prepared to allow anyone as humble as a drayman anywhere near her stately pile after all that trouble she went to throw us oiks off our own countryside because it was too near her front door.
He can't be gay, he had a woman go back to his flat and everything. And she didn't even know who he was, in common with more people than Robbie might think:
"It happened with this girl a few months ago. It was in America and not everyone there knows my face."
We love this apparent attempt to try and suggest modest, mainly for the way it falls on its arse. The hanging implication that all of America knows his name and voice, but there's a few people who might not be able to put a face to the crazy guy they hear about all the time is a wonderful piece of showing-off. It might have been more honest to say "America, where hardly anyone has heard of me and those that do would have to think for a minute to say who or what I am" - and would have the added bonus of making America sound like a wonderful place to be. For us. But it gets worse:
"The first time she came to my house, she was like 'Who are you?'
We're starting to suspect that this wasn't actually a date. We're guessing, in fact, that rather than being "like, who are you" her question would have been more "The survey won't take long, and first could I have your full name, please?"
I sat down and said 'I'm a singer' and put on the DVD of my Knebworth show, telling her: 'Well, have a look at this.'
A less conceited man might have waved a CD cover at her with a bashfull "I make the odd record...", but not our Rob. We bet he made her sit down and watch the whole thing, freezing the footage on shots of the crowd and making her count the numbers. She would finally have snuck out when he started to drift off working through the DVD extras muttering "more nights than Oasis... take that Noel..."
Incidently, for some reason, the 3AM girls seem to think this is "revealing your identity 'Bruce Wayne' style. No, us, neither, unless they mean "showing some stuff off to girls while a young boy mucks about in tights in your secret hideout.
In other self-absorbed shallow news, apparently Williams has got Jonathan Wilkes seeking out a country pile for him in Cheshire. Good god, he treats that man like a long suffering wife - although not, obviously, in the having sex with him sense. Apparently Williams quit Britain to avoid drink and drugs - neither of which are available anywhere near his current home in Los Angeles, of course, the famously dry county in California.
You can't fault the idea - tourist destination hires local girl to help promote the town. So it is we welcome Lisa Scott-Lee, new face of Rhyl. And Prestatyn.
Ex-Steps singer Scott-Lee, who is starring in her own reality series, Totally Scott-Lee, said Rhyl and nearby Prestatyn were "happening" places.
Well, you can't argue with that claim, apart perhaps from the word "happening."
But it's a tricky position to be in - you once attracted hundreds of thousands and were known as a by-word for glamour and fun; now, you've got to struggle with crumbling facades, a faint smell of sewage and a desperate failure to attract any sort of paying, quality business. If you're in that position, perhaps agreeing to do an advert for a seaside town might just help.
This picture appears in the BBC News story with the words "Tourism chiefs say Rhyl has improved in recent years."
Monday, October 03, 2005
Figuring that local businesses in Macon, Georgia have been getting fat off the town's most famous son, mayor Jack Ellis asked them for a little back. $75,000, in fact, to throw a lavish hometown gig by Little Richard, to show how proud they are of the boy who done good. (Why they didn't ask Little to show how proud he was of his hometown by coming down a little on the price is unclear.) Now, with just a few days to go, the whole thing is tipping towards debacle-central.
Businesses say they'd love to be able to help pay for the event, but, erm, they've left their chequebooks in their other small town factories right now. The mayor is hoping the ordinary citizens of Macon will be more willing to rescue his scheme and save him from looking a bit of a chump ("willing to help pay for the show".)
Because it's fashionable and easy to attack Apple, British music managers in the form of the Music Managers Forum want artists to get more thanfour and a half pence per iTune download. Actually, of course, they're not strictly worried about the precise amount they get from iTunes, it's the percentage royalty they get on downloads (which is 6%, half of what they receive from a physical sale) - and that's down to the deal they've cut with the labels rather than the direct influence of Apple. And it applies to all download services, not just iTunes. But where would be the interest in people demanding a larger share of the mycokemusic.com download pie?
Of course, the labels might feel that having nagging coming from the producers of the slurry or muso-product or content or whatever dismissive term they use for music at the moment could be an advantage when they settle down to debate terms themselves with Steve Jobs and co - "we need to get more of the money, we need to pay the boys with guitars, Steve..."
Somebody has already offered Eric Clapton ten million quid or thereabouts for his memoirs; Eric wants more cash.
Watch out, Eric - you remember what happened to Enoch Powell, don't you? (Of course you do, you were quite keen on the creepy right-winger, weren't you?). He was determined to accept no knighthood that was less than a hereditery title, and nobody wanted to offer him one. So he never got to stand up and spout his bile in the House of Lords. Let's hope your determination to not sell your life too cheap doesn't leave you without a publisher to carry the story about how, hey, really, it was all a terrible misunderstanding and you weren't ever a racist, like.
You would have thought that living in a castle, you'd be pretty safe. What with them being defensible and fortified, for instance. Oddly, though, Enya - who lives in a Dublin castle - can't seem to stop people breaking in.
Yes, we thought she was asking for trouble living in the Dublin Castle, but apparently this is a proper castle in Ireland we're talking about, and not the legendary indie camden drinks hovel.
Anyway, one time a bloke would prance around the city with a picture of her hanging round his neck; but he stabbed himself after being asked to leave her parents' pub. Then, a few days ago, a bloke had turned up inside the castle, probably muttering about how he was meant to be with her and hoping to find the knicker drawer before the police arrived. And this time, a different bloke turned up, let himself in, tied up a maid and went looking for Enya:
Enya was forced to flee to a safe-room whilst the man spent two hours searching for her. He eventually fled with a number of stolen items when Enya activated a panic alarm but remains at large.
We're not sure why Enya would have spent a couple of hours in the safe room before setting off the alarm - perhaps she was giving the stalkery creepo a sporting chance?
It's not all bad news, though, as this activity comes just a month before she's due to release her fifth album, so at least her name's back in people's minds.
Bloody hell... come next April, there's not only going to be a re-release of Tom Verlaine's 1992 Warm and Cool, but also two albums of new stuff, including one "more like what people know me for in Television." He's even working on getting a band together for a Television tour.
A moment of sympathy for the Cheeky Girls, who have now slumped so slow they've had to take an ironic role in a Blockbuster poster campaign. "Don't rely on anyone else to entertain you" warns the video rental chain, over a picture of the singing twins.
The saddest element of the whole affair, though, is that they've had to emblazon "cheeky girls" across their hotpants, to remind people who they are. Time to cash it in, and wait a few years for the nostalgia industry to come looking for you, girls...
There's some brighter news for Londoners who've been hoping for a decent local breakfast show since Danny Baker went off to do whatever it is he's doing right now: Lauren Laverne is taking over breakfast on XFM.
XFM is a strange bloody beast, isn't it? It keeps doing leap-of-faith steps like this, and yet... it still doesn't sound like it's taking leaps of faith with its music.
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