Some crazy give-away madness from Amazon is being set up next year: a billion free MP3s.
Well, up to a point - Pepsi are planning a promotional push that will see five billion of their products shipping with a code; five codes will be swappable for a free mp3 download off Amazon. We'd imagine that Pepsi will be somewhat upset if every single bottletop gets used to grab a free track, even at the 40 cents that Amazon is trying to persuade the labels to accept in return for the songs.
Certainly, experience from both MyCokeMusic and a Pepsi/iTunes tie-up suggests that dentists will see more action as a result of the pop-and-pop linkage than will Amazon.
In other mp3 news: WalMart is rumoured to have told labels that if they don't start to provide them with un-DRMed tracks, they'll find walmart.com won't be stocking their wares.
Saturday, December 01, 2007
Some crazy give-away madness from Amazon is being set up next year: a billion free MP3s.
Liam Gallagher seems to be suggesting that John Lennon was his imaginary friend, but then appears to back pedal impressively:
"That's when it all started going down, and I reckon it has something to do with him. He don't come and visit me - at least, I don't think he does. I wish he did."
Imaginary friend. Or possibly something to do with drugs. We like the way that Liam's not entirely sure if he's being visited by the ghost of Lennon, though - presumably it's hard to tell who's there when Elvis and the Big Bopper call round with their mates.
I was a bit surprised when popping into the Co-Op yesterday to see that - not only are they still happily selling the current edition of Heat, the one with the "amusing" stickers that mock a woman who had been the victim of a nasty violent attack, people on medication for serious illnesses and - topping the lot - a disabled child, but were giving the magazine a pride-of-place spot by the cash registers. I suppose the Co-Op has long since abandoned its "caring, sharing" strapline.
Janice Turner in The Times has called EMAP on the stickers.
More from No Rock on heat
Popbitch was taking a buffeting as people rushed to post a false rumour about David Beckham that had first appeared on a Manchester United message board.
When Morrissey's management started complaining about NME's report on an interview he did with Tim Jonze, they claimed that Tim Jonze had emailed them saying:
The implication being that NME took Jonze's work, and reworked it to make the November interview spawn a monster.
Late yesterday, Jonze posted to the Guardian's website, saying the opposite is true:
Yes, he had his name removed from the article - but because it was weakened, not because it was made stronger, says Jonze:
Jonze admits that the "byline debate" has been a "PR coup" for Camp Morrissey, although since his email to the management was the spark for that sideline, he can't really complain overmuch. There remains a mystery of why, though, of why he sent that email - as Suzanne points out in the comments on the Guardian piece, it seems a little odd to drop an email to someone along these lines:
It all makes Morrissey's threatened court case seem even more unlikely: can you really complain a magazine ripped you to shreds when the person who interviewed you insists you were being treated with kid gloves?
[Thanks again to Duncan]
Gordon does find some space in his column for something approaching news this morning: Apparently, Mitch Winehouse slapped Pete Doherty backstage at Winehouse's Brixton show last week:
“Pete was smirking until Mitch turned and whacked him.”
Gordon - who has the air of a man who sometimes watches that cage-fighting thing - embraces this vigilantism:
The courts have not bothered to punish him properly and he keeps leading people astray.
So I was delighted to hear that AMY WINEHOUSE’s old man has done what most of us have wanted to do for ages - and lamped the junkie singer.
Not, of course, that Gordon is happy with just a bit of a slap:
You never know when a taxi might suddenly appear.
Is it really appropriate for a journ... well, a writer, to suggest jokily that someone should be run over?
It's December 1st, the first day of advent. Or at least, the day on which advent calendars start. And Gordon Smart, of course, doesn't want to be left out of the fun. At home, we suspect he's got a Bratz Chocolate one, but at work - inevitably - it's the:
Helping Gordon find his excuse to print pictures of women in push-up bras, it's a feature deftly combining the coming of the Christ-child with cleavage shots.
Behind door number - we suspect behind every door - there's a picture of Jordan. Now, Gordon's not daft; he knows that nobody is going to pay him money simply for picking 24 pictures. So he's written some, uh, festive badinage to accompany the picture:
Forget the Queen's speech, it'll be cold turkey compared with unwrapping her presents.
Looking at a soft porn star's breasts makes the Queen's speech like quitting heroin. Of course.
Friday, November 30, 2007
Good god, we've been doing this so long now we've started to develop Christmas traditions. One of which is the post into which we keep poking selected details of other people's best-of lists until it gets bloated and/or we get bored of doing so, thus providing a handy print off, cut out and keep guide to what some people would insist was the shape of the musical year.
Which, as that implies, means this page will be updated from time to time: Last update 5.45pm, 05-01-08
Amazon.com customer's favourite albums:
1 Not Too Late - Norah Jones
2 Back To Black - Amy Winehouse
3 Magic - Bruce Springsteen
4 Call Me Irresponsible - Michael Bublé
5 West - Lucinda Williams
Amazon.com editor's best albums:
1 The Reminder - Feist
2 Sound Of Silver - LCD Soundsystem
3 Graduation - Kanye West
4 In Rainbows - Radiohead (notably, not available through Amazon)
5 Back To Black - Amy Winehouse
Amazon.com genre-by-genre best ofs:
Alternative: Person Pitch - Panda Bear
Folk: Dirt Farmer - Levon Helm
Instrumental classical: Osvaldo Golijov - Oceana
New Age: The Silver Tree - Lisa Gerrard
Apple iTunes best-selling singles in the US [via MTV]:
1. Big Girls Don't Cry (Personal) - Fergie
2. The Sweet Escape - Gwen Stefani
3. Hey There Delilah - Plain White T's
4. Girlfriend - Avril Lavigne
5. Glamorous - Fergie
Apple iTunes best-selling albums in the US [via MTV]
1. It Won't Be Soon Before Long - Maroon 5
2. Back to Black - Amy Winehouse
3. Graduation - Kanye West
4. Daughtry - Daughtry
5. Coco - Colbie Caillat
Apple iTunes best-selling singles in the UK [via Discopop]
1. Grace Kelly - Mika
2. Umbrella - Rihanna
3. How To Save A Life - The Fray
4. Ruby - The Kaiser Chiefs
5. Hey There Delilah - Plain White T's
Devendra Banhart's favourite records of the year as told to PopCandy:
Death Of The Sun - Matteah Baim
Kala - MIA
Berkley Place chooses the top political songs:
1. Louisiana Purchase - Akir with Immortal Technique, Mojo, and Poison Pen
2. Katrina - Black Lips
3. Windowsill - Arcade Fire
Blogglebum Cage Album of the year: Tromatic Reflexxions - Von Sudenfed
The Bookseller's best-selling music books [via Sunday Times]:
1 Eric Clapton: The Autobiography (Century) 49,085
2 Ronnie: The Autobiography by Ronnie Wood (Macmillan) 19,995
3 Barefaced Lies and Boogie-woogie Boasts by Jools Holland (M Joseph) 17,000
4 Bit of a Blur by Alex James (Little, Brown) 16,445
5 The Autobiography by Johnnie Walker (M Joseph) 15,660
Carrie Brownstein's biggest musical disappointment of 2007 [via MonitorMix]: In Rainbows - Radiohead
Christianity Today best Christian album: Salvation in Lights - Mike Farris
Claire out of CFBGoesPop picks top tracks:
1. Song #1 (Original Version) - Serebro
2. La Vie E'st Chouette - Jodie Foster
3. I've Been Searching - Gwenno Saunders Pipette
4. Theme To St Trinians - Girls Aloud
5. Hitten - Those Dancing Days
US Coalition of Independent Music Stores best-selling albums of 2007, via Hypebot
1. Back To Black - Amy Winehouse
2. Wincing The Night Away - The Shins
3. Icky Thump - The White Stripes
4. Raising Sand - Robert Plant & Alison Krauss
5. Reminder - Feist
Daily Telegraph writers pick the top gigs of the year:
1. Prince at the Millennium Dome, various dates
2. Led Zeppelin, O2 Arena
3. Arcade Fire, Smith Square
4. PJ Harvey, Bristol
5. Mika, Koko
Heather D'Angelo of Au Revoir Simone's favourite album [via Sweeping The Nation]: Rise Above - Dirty Projectors
Decibel's album of the year: Pig Destroyer - Phantom Limb
Double Viking nominate 10 Worst Songs of 2007:
Gimmie More - Britney Spears
Delilah - Plain White Ts
Buy U A Drank - T-Pain
Potential Break-up Song - Aly & AJ
New Shoes - Paolo Nutini
Young Folks - Peter Bjorn & John
Glamorous - Fergie
Beautiful Girls - Sean Kingston
Before He Cheats - Carrie Underwood
Party Like a Rockstar/Crank That/This Is Why I'm Hot - Shop Boyz/Soulja Boy/Mims
Jim Ed Poole from NPR's The Current Morning Show favourite album: Over The Hills - Lucy Kaplansky
Harp Magazine top albums, via Brooklyn Vegan:
1. The Stage Names - Okkervil River
2. Cease To Begin - Band Of Horses
3. The Shepherd's Dog - Iron and Wine
4. Future Clouds And Radar - Future Clouds And Radar
5. The Reminder - Feist
Kat from Lipstick Vogue reviews the year:
Hit: Playground Weekender festival;
Miss: Good Vibrations festival
Stephen King, author, in Entertainment Weekly - apparently "so disappointed" with this year's music he could only choose a Top 7 [via Idolator:
1 Washington Square Serenade - Steve Earle
2 Sky Blue Sky - Wilco
3 Life in Cartoon Motion - Mika
4 It's Not Big It's Large - Lyle Lovett and His Large Band
5 Black Rain - Ozzy Osbourne
6 Revival - John Fogerty
7 Countrypolitan Favorites - Southern Culture on the Skids
Lostmusic of Indiemp3's favourite music of the year:
Single: Keep It Coming ep - Manhattan Love Suicides
Album: Profit In Your Poetry - Butcher Boy
Live: Jesus And Mary Chain
Mojo top albums [via Acclaimed Music Forums]:
1. In Rainbows - Radiohead
2. Neon Bible - Arcade Fire
3. Magic - Bruce Springsteen
4. Favourite Worst Nightmare - Arctic Monkeys
5. Sound Of Silver - LCD Soundsystem
Paste magazine's Top 100 albums:
1. Boxer - The National
2. Neon Bible - Arcade Fire
3. Magic - Bruce Springsteen
4. Icky Thump - White Stripes
5. The Reminder - Feist
Most-traded songs on peer-to-peer networks, according to Big Champagne:
1. Party Like A Rock Star - Shop Boyz
2. I Wanna Luv U - Akon
3. Beautiful Girls - Sean Kingston
4. This Is Why I'm Hot - Mims
5. Don't Matter - Akon
Q albums of the year [via Idolator]:
1. Neon Bible - Arcade Fire
2. Icky Thump - White Stripes
3. Favourite Worst Nightmare - Arctic Monkeys
4. The Good, The Bad & The Queen
5. Magic - Bruce Springsteen
Q songs of the year [via Idolator]:
1. Umbrella - Rhianna
2. Fluorescent Adolescent - Arctic Monkeys
3. Foundations - Kate Nash
4. Keep The Cars Running - Arcade Fire
5. Golden Skans - Klaxons
Rock Sound Top albums [via DJ Martian]:
1. Puzzle - Biffy Clyro
2. My Heart Has a Wish That You Would Not Go - Aerogramme
3. The Blackening - Machine Head
4. Ire Works - The Dillinger Escape Plan
5. Death is the Communion - High On Fire
Rough Trade Record Shop picks ten best albums:
Person Pitch - Panda Bear
Close To Paradise - Patrick Watson
The Pirates Gospel - Alela Diane
West Coast - Studio
Five Roses - Miracle
Untrue - Burial
Sound Of Silver - LCD Soundsystem
Wooden Ships - Wooden Ships
Kala - MIA
Mirrored - Battles
Robert Sandall picks his favourite music books for the Sunday Times:
ERIC CLAPTON: The Autobiography
TONY VISCONTI: The Autobiography: Bowie, Bolan and the Brooklyn Boy
HEAVEN AND HELL: My Life in the Eagles 1974-2001 by Don Felder
BIT OF A BLUR: The Autobiography by Alex James
RE-MAKE/RE-MODEL by Michael Bracewell
LONELY AVENUE: The Unlikely Life and Times of Doc Pomus by Alex Halberstadt
IN SEARCH OF THE BLUES by Marybeth Hamilton
Rob Sheffield picks his favourite records not to make the Rolling Stone Critics Choice 50:
1. Is Is - Yeah Yeah Yeahs
2. Grinderman - Grinderman
3. Liars - Liars
4. Guy - Guy
5. Jarvis - Jarvis Cocker
(It's not clear if he was primarily choosing just from albums with eponymous titles; maybe it's a fetish.)
Sunday Times records of the year:
Pop and rock: Rasing Sand - Robert Plant and Alison Krauss
New act: Marry Me - St Vincent
Best-selling rock: Life In Cartoon Motion - Mika
Jazz: Basquiat Strings with Seb Rochford - Basquiat Strings
Fringe: Let Us Now Praise Sleepy John - Peter Case
"World": The One Love Movement on Bantu Biko Street - Simphiwe Dana
Dud of the year: The World Is Yours - Ian Brown
Sweeping The Nation is counting down the 30 top albums of the year; it's still a work in progress
Uncut best albums of 2007 [via Acclaimed Music Forums]:
1 Sound of Silver - LCD Soundsystem
2 Favourite Worst Nightmare - Arctic Monkeys
3 White Chalk - PJ Harvey
4 Raising Sand - Robert Plant and Alison Krauss
5 Sky Blue Sky - Wilco
You'll find much more useful collections like this at Largehearted Boy; via DJ Martian and Fimoculous
Lest we forget: 2006 and 2005
It was a very different world in 2002:
A talented solo artist had a bit of a breakdown on stage and flounced off leaving the crowds hollering for their money back; only in 2002 it was Michelle Shocked
while another solo artist gave an interview to a magazine, made some ill-considered remarks about the effects of immigration in changing the landscape of their home country and, when people pointed out that sounded a little racist, threatened legal action; only in 2002 it was Dannii Minogue
At the end of terms when I was a kid, we'd sometimes be given a light-hearted word game where words and phrases on a theme were not-very-convincingly worked into a longer stretch of prose. See how many you could find, of course.
Nicky Wire knocked up something similar to mark the launch of XFM in South Wales, forcing in some Welsh pop titles into the sort of empty, echoing honkfest you'd expect to launch a network designed to bring the great sound of the Shine albums to FM in Cardiff:
Let this music speed through the geography - criss cross the
Rain ravaged rivers and wild winds of our tiny massive country.
This is a 'Liberation Transmission' this music welcomes all skins,
All voices, all languages - for music bridges all divides.
This new 'Comfort In Sound' this new beginning.
'So God Show Me Magic' - 'Thank The Lord We're Welsh'-
Creation, inspiration a new generation..
'Maybe Tomorrow' the 'Local Boys' and girls of the future will make their own 'Design for Life'.
'For the art of playing music is the art of playing and listening
- One enhances the other"
We shall be one made of many, we are making history 'U Knows It'!!!!
Into the valleys out to the cities do not go gentle into that dark night.
XFM a 'New South Wales', 'What's That Coming Over The Hill, What's That Coming Over The Hill'
'What's That Coming'!!!
We understand that the 3AM Girls are hiring right now; with these skills Wire would be shoo-in.
A Jackson Five tribute band has been blocked from playing an aftershow for the Royal Variety Performance because the event starts too late for the kids to work under child labour laws:
Naturally, there's some muttering about "red tape" in the Echo's coverage.
We're sure Thom Yorke and Prince will be sobbing their hearts out at the discovery that they've been ruled ineligible for the chance to shake Sharon Osbourne's hand at the Brit Awards.
Radiohead's In Rainbows can't be entered for the prizes because it didn't qualify for the charts; Prince is barred because his album just wasn't any good. Oh, and it also missed out on chart qualification because it was given away by the Mail On Sunday.
Knowing Akon's habit of spinning a disaster out of the simplest tasks, the news he's going to have to appear in court over charges relating to throwing a teenager at a girl is probably simply the start in a chain reaction which will see a judge lose his trousers.
Akon denies there was "no basis" for criminal charges simply because he tossed a boy off stage into the audience and gave one of his fans a concussion.
Sneaked away at the bottom of a piece in the Omaha City Weekly:
There are people - I can give you a list - who will be unable to sit on their seats at thought of a band featuring Conor and M.
Conor, Conor, Conor...
"Okay..." said Conor, lowering his arm, "but I wish I'd never taught you that damn safe word..."
Alison Boshoff is worried about the future of The Spice Girls. This isn't based on some whim, or a desire to fill space in the Daily Mail with finger-in-the-air speculation.
Oh, no, Alison has strong evidence there's trouble at the comeback mill. She's looked at their necks:
They put on their necklaces at the Press conference, but quite where they have got to now, it is hard to say, as they haven't been seen since.
It is ominously appropriate that each of the 'girls' has managed to misplace these symbols of harmony, for the optimism of summer has given way to the irritating grind of rehearsals, with argument after argument - including a couple of humdingers between Mel C, Geri and Victoria.
Yes. That'll be the reason they're not wearing two and a half grands worth of diamonds while they're rehearsing dance routines - it's a silent cry for help and nothing to do with that sort of necklace hardly being day-to-day wear.
Perhaps Rebekah Wade hasn't had a chance to see what Gordon Smart is doing at Bizarre at the moment. As someone commented yesterday, under Newton it was hardly Newsnight, but at least there was some attempt to pretend there was something more to it than going "here's a person in a bikini and it's making me feel a bit wibbly in my fireman".
This morning, Gordon is bringing us Rod Stewart's daughter in a bra ad:
I’d love to be a fly on the wall during a row at the Stewart residence.
I reckon there’d be Bristols at dawn.
Well, at least he's moved on from bangers, but we're not quite sure how he thinks his pun works - does he imagine that the women who share Rod Stewart's house fight duels with their breasts? What does he mean?
Then, it's on to Rhianna, at the Bambi awards. Gordon can't find the space to say who awards the Bambis, or what they're for, or who won anything. But there's lots of room to talk about tits:
RIHANNA's never one to keep her bangers undercover and what better place than to give them an airing than at a red carpet event?
The really sad thing is, the accompanying picture shows that the dress she was wearing wasn't even that revealing.
Gordon, though, also hints that he'd not mind losing his virginity to an older woman, either:
The young wrigglers? Do you suppose the only reason nobody with any responsibility at the Sun has taken him to one side and had a word is they imagine Gordon is using street talk?
Thursday, November 29, 2007
The (now late) Pope was being promised a Bryan Ferry gig;
Britney Spears quit her NYLON restaurant business before it became an embarrassment;
and Kelly Osbourne revealed some of The Osbournes was faked - without setting off a massive wave of "fake TV" stories.
Developments in the Morrissey 'it's not that I'm racist, but...' story:
BBC News is reporting that having not got an apology from the NME, the Morrissey camp intends to sue. It's not quite clear on what grounds.
The paper, expressly, stated it doesn't believe Morrissey is racist. So there's no grounds to sue there - and even if that was the plan, who would want to go to court and argue that there's no way that a fair-minded person could construe his views on immigration as such? Is Morrissey really going to take the stand to explain Bengali In Platforms under oath?
That seems unlikely.
Tim Jonze, meanwhile, has been attempting to explain why his name was taken off the article:
He said he had asked for his name to be removed from the article because it had been rewritten.
"I didn't want my name on something I hadn't written, even if some of it might have been similar to what I wrote originally," he said.
Which, of course, makes you wonder why True To You claim he emailed Mozzer's management and said the finished piece didn't chime with his "beliefs". Of course, Tim is in a very, very delicate position indeed.
Love Music Hate Racism's blog is currently featuring a post headed Morrissey promising "another statement" soon.
Oddly, this seems to have been used to replace another article which LMHR has taken down. The URL of the object includes "morrissey-needs-to-speak-out-clearly-against-racism-and-fascism", which suggests that was previously the opening salvo of the article; if you Google the URL, it brings up a page preview of the original entry, which is uncached. If you copy the preview text and Google that, it takes you to what (presumably) is the full text of the original piece on Black Information Link:
He starts with an argument that’s all too common from the mouths of racists and fascists like the BNP - that in many parts of Britain “you’ll hear everything under the sun apart from the British accent”. The ridiculous example he chooses for this scenario is London’s Knightsbridge area - hardly your typical British area. Even if this were true - which it patently isn’t - does it matter? Britain is a much better place for being such a multicultural society. When challenged that he sounds “like a Tory”- he backtracks admitting that anyone ought to have the same freedom to travel the world that he enjoys.
Later on, when it’s pointed out that it’s hypocritical for the son of Irish immigrants to scaremonger about immigration, he says “it’s different now. Because the gates are flooded … Anybody can have access to England and join in.” This is total rubbish. Around 500,000 people came into the UK last year, while 400,000 left. At the same time, asylum applications fell 8% to just over 23,000. The same year, over 73% of refugee applications were refused by the government. Many thousands of genuine refugees are also locked up in government detention centres. But when Morrissey is asked if these statements are inflammatory, he says no, “they’re a statement of fact”.
We're a little puzzled as to why LMHR took down the post. It could be because it's quirkily worded in places; maybe the organisation got cold feet - although asking for an unambiguous rejection of fascism is surely what you'd expect from the group:
Well, not really, he doesn't. It would be nice if Morrissey did or said something rather than send legal threats to a newspaper which published his comments; but at the very least, perhaps he should be more careful how he words things in the first place.
Future of the Left are off on tour next week, you know.
Here are the dates:
Tuesday 4th December - Manchester Club Academy
Wednesday 5th December - Leeds Faversham
Thursday 6th December - Glasgow Barfly
Friday 7th December - Nottingham Rock City
Sunday 9th December - Brighton Freebutt
Monday 10th December - London KCLSU (King's College)
Tuesday 11th December - Bristol Academy 2
And here - shot at SXSW this year - is an idea of what to expect:
Andy Kershaw is inside again, after he admitted breaching bail conditions. He had been due in court next week following charges over a breach of a restraining order.
With living big stars proving to be something of a stroppy handful Warners are pinning their hopes on dead guys. They've done a deal to take on Frank Sinatra, covering his records, films, and likeness, in a joint venture with his kids.
It means we should be bracing ourselves for a range of image-destroying tat a la John Lennon toys or banana-flavoured Elvis Peanut Butter cups:
Do-be-do-be-do shoes, perhaps.
"I think you can expect to see more deals like this, but Sinatra, a worldwide icon, is one of kind and there will never be another deal exactly like this," he said.
So, we should look out for more deals like this even although there will never be another deal like this. You wonder why Warners are in trouble, don't you?
According to ContactMusic:
It doesn't record what happened next, but we suspect an excited scramble took place amongst people keen to hoof over to the hotel and pinch Jones' suitcase and laptop before the end of the encore.
In the never-ending cascade of Britney's over-the-falls-in-a-sieve lifestory, she's now accused of pulling a Winona Ryder - and, apparently, trying to pinch a wig.
The Mail's reporting of the story is a bit woolly, though:
It is alleged that after an altercation with staff, the troubled singer snatched a wig off a mannequin and left without paying for it.
The incident happened in the adult shop Hustler shortly before 1am on 18 November, the American magazine Us Weekly is reporting.
But surely only the panties "incident" (although we're not quite sure that warrants description as an "incident") - presumably she didn't then return to Hustler to steal a wig?
The Mail has illustrated the story with pictures of Spears shopping at Target for some reason.
The original US magazine report suggests that, more plausibly, she stole the wig upon being asked not to try on knickers.
It seems that there's still a lot of bad blood in the Spice Girls camp, with Geri's screwing up of the America tour she quit before not quite fading away:
Geri is abashed:
And how is Geri making amends?
Yeah, that must have involved delicate negotiations and called for persuasiveness. Doubtless she's going to say sorry for bouncing Mel C into an eating disorder by making absolutely certain that Wannabe is on the setlist.
So, the last couple of years Brit Awards have seen experienced presenters Chris Evans and Russell Brand struggling to make something entertaining out of a hotch-potch of coldcuts.
Given that it's a tough show for even sharp-witted types used to live television to marshal, it's doubly surprising that the organisers have plumped for Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne to present in 2008.
No, they really have. Since Ozzy normally behaves like he's on a ten-second delay, the wisdom of having him co-present a live TV show is debatable; presumably the bulk of the work is going to fall onto the shoulders of the unlovely Sharon. She, at least, has done some live TV work, although clearly nothing that had been seen by the people who've invited her to host this time round.
HMV is bravely pushing on with its attempt to revive its brand by building its own social-networking site, that will allow people to "connect with like-minded fans", reports PaidContentUK. This almost willful decision to ignore the existing social networks and hope that, instead, people will create new accounts on an HMV sponsored, locked-down site, would be quite touching if they weren't a public company in whose stock pension funds and insurance companies have vested your futures.
No, they really do think that despite Bebo, MySpace and Facebook all having acres and acres of chatrooms, groups, lists and widgets for people to explore all facets of their cultural life, that there's a gap in the market for an only HMV, highstreet-retailed music-DVD-games network. Heartbreaking.
Furthering the suspicion that he might actually be living in 1968, and just dreaming that he's in 2007 - like Life On Mars, only in reverse and without the sexual allure - Liam Gallagher doesn't understand this computer thing:
Any betting he mainly buys retro stuff?
Jay-Z has promised that his new album is packed with all kinds of secret messages:
"You know how sometimes someone says a line and you can guess the second one, where they're going? You can't guess it or can't see it [with me] - it just comes out of nowhere.
"And you might not get it ever. Or you might get it five years later."
Our expert said that he didn't spot any hidden references on the record, but he didn't have time to discus it any further as he'd been overcome with the sudden urge to go and shout obscenities at Cam'Ron.
Of course, the Daily Mail loves nothing better than something it can call a "race row", so its coverage of the Morrissey NME interview was only to be expected. The paper, however, excels itself by managing to trample over a sensitive area without any care or attention.
You'll recall that Morrissey told the NME his main worry over the possible tone of the piece was
Morrissey then went on - quite clearly - to explain there are other reasons, not least the execution of Jean Charles De Menezes, that kept him away from Britain.
So... what headline has the Mail gone with?
Something, expressly, that neither the NME nor Morrissey said. Good work, everybody.
Patsy Kensit has got engaged to Jeremy Healy, bringing together two 80s minor popstars in one marriage.
Here's Patsy with Eighth Wonder, doing Stay With Me at the glittery Montreux Rock Festival:
And here's Jeremy, with Haysi Fantayzee's last single release, Sister Friction:
The promise of Lily Allen to leave us all alone when she hits 25 has, as we suspected, turned out to be little more than a night-time puff under the duvet:
"I talk crap all the time and they all know it, so how come this time they didn't get it. Silly people. I am having the best time of my life."
I don't think anyone actually did believe it, Lily. But most people thought it was "something she said and will then regret" rather than thinking it was a joke. Because... it wasn't, really, was it? Unless you have a very flat sense of humour.
Talking of the naked Christina Aguilera spread for Marie Claire, we're amused by the accompanying explanation of why she didn't talk about being pregnant sooner:
"I just wasn't commenting. I'm not being like, 'Hey, everybody, I'm pregnant!' I'm not that girl."
Which might be more convincing if she wasn't doing a calculated "look at me, I'm pregnant and naked" cover shoot for a top selling magazine.
The growing sense that Gordon Smart's reign at Bizarre is slowly turning The Sun into a snickering back-of-the-bus read for thirteen year old boys isn't entirely helped by todasy's edition, which leads off with an "article" that consists of pictures of Jordan's breasts, headlined:
Then we've got a picture of Jennifer Love Hewitt's arse - newsworthy because, um, it's a bottom, apparently.
And the Christina Aguilera naked shoot for Marie Claire has also got him all hot and sticky as well - although he does describe the shoot as "classy".
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
We wondered aloud a while back if the new attitude brought by the motorway caterers running EMI would lead to them deciding paying a fortune to the RIAA might not be such a smart move. Well, they're not actually pulling out altogether, but Guy Hands has sent a letter to the RIAA & IFPI that would be what my father, a naval man, would call a shot across the bows.
The FT reckons that he's warned them of plans to cut the amount EMI lavishes on industry bodies by half - perhaps by merging the IFPI and the BPI.
You could save the other half, Hands, by pulling out altogether.
Perhaps as if to prove the sort of difficulty that Universal is in when it comes to making shrewd decisions: They've decided to force Lindsay Lohan to deliver the third album of her contract, despite the demand for the product being so close to absolute zero it could preserve the dead back to life and the prospect of trying to handle a press-junket to promote the album being as delightful as a chance to go skinny-dipping in broken glass.
Some promises, people, it is best to just let slide.
Michael Jackson said he was tired of pop;
the Backstreet Boys launched a lawsuit against their own label claiming Zomba cared more about Nick Carter going solo than making Backstreet work; and
Fred Durst came to an out-of-court settlement with the guy he hit with a micstand.
With their first date in London now sold out, Nada Surf are taking bookings for a mini-UK tour:
Tuesday 22 January – LONDON – Borderline [sold out]
Thursday 21 February – LONDON – Scala
Friday 22 February – MANCHESTER – Academy
Saturday 23 February – GLASGOW - Garage
It took many years for the NME and Morrissey to make up after the paper called him on his flag-waving, skinhead-teasing live appearance at Madstock in Finsbury Park. It seemed, though, that passing time and changes in the editorial team had smoothed over the breach. In 2004, he once again graced the cover.
So it was that Tim Jonze went off to interview Mozzer for this week's paper, expecting a fairly dull elder-statesman-of-rock-speaks piece.
That was, until Morrissey started to talk. Jonze asked about the state of the world:
If this sounds more like the sort of thing you'd expect to see in the Telegraph op-ed page than the NME, more is to come. Mozzer grumbles how there's "no democracy" in England, before moving on to the state of Britain:
This from Morriseey, who has already spent three columns grumbling and moaning about everything from the way people write about him and Marr to how people carry cameras with their phones.
So far, he sounds a lot like those other expats who go off to live in tax exile and pretend it's a cultural rather than an economic decision, like Michael Caine.
Not, of course, that he has anything against people from other countries.
He stresses that he's worried about the loss of identity and concedes that there's something "nice" about the enrichment offered by immigration ("but you have yo say goodbye to the Britain you once knew"), before worrying that, ooh, you don't hear English voices any more:
The converstaion turns to Bengali in Platforms, which Morrissey defends again on the grounds that the song was about someone who didn't belong, "just didn't", but not because of race.
So far, then, this is what you'd expect - a rich ex-pat muttering away about immigration "diluting" a nation, complaining about how you hear funny foreign voices on the bus - it's clear that, as with Dannii Minogue's racism over lunch with GQ a few years back, although this is unpleasant, it's being offered without malice. It's the soft racism that pervaded my parent's generation - "nothing against people from overseas", it's just they're different. Xenophobia from a fear of change, and lazy scapegoating of an easy target to blame.
It's disappointing, of course, to hear this sort of hateful rubbish being trotted out - an intelligent man who complains about the British government and ruling classes and media apparently getting his worldview from the news pages of the Daily Mail. We do love, by the way, that Morrissey cites Knightsbridge as the exemplar of Britishness - hanging around outside Harrods, a shop that sucks in tourists, you would expect to hear the sound of people from overseas.
There's worse to come, though. Worried by the tenor, Jonze sought a second interview to give Morrissey room to - presumably - explain the whole thing away as a silly misunderstanding. That didn't quite happen. Explaining his reasons for accepting a chance for clarification, Morrissey starts off well:
He does mutter on that, rather, it's the "expense" and "pressure" which keeps him away, but the mere fact that he speaks of immigration as an "explosion" rather than an ongoing, two-way process that's been happening as long as humanity have been able to build boats hints that he does see people from overseas as a problem.
Surprisingly, he then claims that the face of Britain in Jean Charles DeMenzes, and how you don't "shoot someone seven times in the head by accident". This is quite surprising - does Morrissey feel that he'd be at risk of an accidental execution if he lived in Levenshulme? Did a man who lived in LA - a place not exactly unknown for difficulties with police over-reacting - really find the prospect of Lancashire so frightening?
Sadly, the question is left hanging, as Moz is pressed on if he regrets anything he said:
Oh, god; he really is using the "how can I be racist, I watched all of Roots and once went to see Sammy Davis Jr play" defence. Albeit slightly QI-ed up.
The NME points out that immigration helped his parents into Britain:
Apart from being sickening - flooded? - this simply isn't true; it's the sort of ill-considered rubbish you hear BNP supporters bleating. Anybody can have access to England? Really, Morrissey? Have you ever spent any time at a immigration office? Who do you think are all those people being deported constantly?
Of course, Morrissey tries to stress that he's only being sensible - you can't let everyone come in and sit on your bed, apparently - and denies being inflammatory. He then worries he's going to be stitched up - although, if he doesn't think he's being inflammatory or offensive, why would he be worried by that?
This is clearly contentious material - indeed, Conor McNicholas feels the need to produce an editorial column to stress that, you know, Morrissey isn't racist, probably:
Oddly, though, this doesn't stop McNicholas slapping this on the coverline:
- which hardly suggests that the paper sees this as just a swansong for a prewar Blighty that never existed.
Meanwhile, True To You Morrissey fanzine carries a piece by Moz manager Merck Mercuriadis, giving a Morrissey view the background to the interview. He says they'd heard NME was planning "a hatchet job":
Clearly, rather than accepting that their man wasn't hatcheted, but more slapped himself round his own head, Mercuriadis then quotes an email he claims he got from
And, indeed, the article does appear under a clumsy "interview: Tim Jonze words: NME" byline, which makes the first person nature of the article a little odd, to say the least.
Morrissey's management sent an email to Conor; the response - claims Mercuriadis - was deliberately delayed to avoid any legal action keeping the paper from entering distribution. The response is quoted in full on True To You, but this is pretty much the tenor:
We wonder if McNicholas actually paused to consider - given the "climate or possible interpretation of his comments" - whether running a coverline of "the gates of England are flooded. The country's been thrown away" would be helpful or not?
Mercuriadis throws himself on our mercy:
It's true that the NME doesn't exactly come out of this looking great - it's trying to have its 'Mozzer race row' piece while desperately stressing that it doesn't believe Morrissey is racist - but the trouble is that even if you ignore the confused editorialising in the article, well, yes, Morrissey does still come across terribly. Not calling for race riots, perhaps, but using inflammatory, ignorant language and unacceptable imagery and singling out "otherness" as being a threat to "Englishness".
It's noticeable that Mercuriadis doesn't quite have the confidence to leave it there, but feels the need to stress just how not-racist Morrissey is:
Well, perhaps they do. One has that clunky bit about how we shouldn't feel racist standing by the Union flag (which sounds like the sort of thing the UK Independence Party trot out); the other two contain kneejerk anti-Americanism which - while it might be delightful to those who indulge in geopolitics by numbers - hardly is the same thing as a condemnation of racism. In fact:
sounds suspiciously like lazy all-Americans-are-fat stereotyping to us.
It's true, though, that he does lament there never being a "black, female or gay" president, so how could he be racist, eh?
Somewhat surprisingly, Mercuriadis signs off by publishing a letter from Mozzer's legal team to Conor - one that's covered in "not for publication"s and "strictly private and confidential"s all over it.
The legal letter insists that describing Morrissey as racist would be "malicious" - although, as we've seen, the NME bends over backwards to deny that it thinks Morrissey is racist and threatens withdrawal of planned Mozzer 7" covermount, besides other comments. It also demands McNicholas apologies to Morrissey for - apparently - having told Tim Jonze that Morrissey wouldn't want "a [black person] living next door".
It's all a bit of a nasty mess - Morrissey revealing more deeply the unpleasant side to his character and then attempting to use legal letters from this being shared; the NME trying to take two positions at the same time; and a suggestion that McNicholas apologise for something he may or may not have said in private.
No, Morrissey doesn't think he's being racist; he doesn't realise he's stirring up a hornets nest. That's what actually makes it worse.
[Thanks to Duncan for the link]
Now, we have no problems with people who make podcasts deciding they wish to be working on a commercial basis and charging a fee. What is a little odd, though, is the UK commercial radio's RadioCentre podcast pages, which offer a range of programmes charging what they call
That would be £12.75. Now, unless they're sending a bloke round your house to put the track onto your iPod for you, I'm at a bit of a loss to see how there could be £12.75 worth of administrative costs involved for every listener. If you're selling something, say so; don't pretend you're barely breaking even.
Rewriting history is usually a matter for the victors, so it's a little surprising to see Universal CEO Doug Morris being given a chance to try to address the perception that the record industry didn't see digital coming.
He tells Wired that the music industry knew what was about to happen, it just didn't know what to do:
Personally, I would hire a vet. But to Morris, even that wasn't an option. "We didn't know who to hire," he says, becoming more agitated. "I wouldn't be able to recognize a good technology person — anyone with a good bullshit story would have gotten past me."
The mental image - of a bunch of guys in suits gathered round a boardroom, hearing the sound of the future but afraid to do anything about it because they didn't have anyone with the skills to help, and incapable of even developing a strategy which could find someone who had those skills.
Seriously, this man is meant to be in charge of a major international company, and he's asking for sympathy that he felt incapable of popping an advert in a newspaper to hire someone to look at their digital strategy? Are we to assume that the secretarial services at Universal are still provided using Remingtons, card files and carbon paper because - you know - those computer guys could be offering "a good bullshit story."
Morris is doing the rounds to try and promote Total Music - the desperate attempt to break iTunes' growing dominance in the US music retail scene by 'persuading' mp3 player and phone manufacturers to bundle a prepaid subscription with their product. Morris only wants to see the artists paid, you understand:
He doesn't actually mean artists, though. He means the men in the boardrooms.
Morris believes his industry has become something of a... well, a Shmoo:
The music business is, indeed, like the Shmoo. The Shmoo last appeared in 1977 and has been a fading memory ever since.
But that's not what he means:
Now, there's an interesting question - the answer, sadly for Morris, is 'probably, yes, even more so now'.
Coffee is a product which you can only sell once - you grow a bunch of beans, you grind them, you sell the coffee - having first shipped the beans halfway around the world. Starbucks also runs a huge chain of coffee shops, with all the costs that that implies, and with - pretty much - only the sales of coffee to make the cash back on.
When you make a record, you do the work once, and can sell the results over and over again. CDs are sold in stores where they're - most often - not the main product being sold and so don't have to bear the weight of the retail network.
Looking at it from the other side, there was some research a few years back which showed the average CD in the US got played less than once. Even if we assume that things have got better, and lets say each CD is played twice before being discarded, a large coffee from Starbucks will give probably about half an hour of enjoyment; a new CD possibly a couple of hours. That seems to suggest that coffee drinkers are paying $4 an hour for pleasure; CD purchasers $4.50-$5. Seems fair to us.
But Morris doesn't just deal in coffee metaphors - oh no:
A chilling image. The trouble is, of course, that people get water coming through their taps, and yet the bottled water industry is worth $5 billion in the US alone. A large chunk of it - funnily enough - sold by the Coca-Cola Company. You can sell a product that people have on stream, providing it's delivered in a form which offers convenience and a pleasant experience. Perhaps if Morris spent more time thinking about how the Coca-Cola company has built a sizeable business selling something that people can get for free from their taps, and learned the lessons, he wouldn't be watching his company go down the plughole.
[Thanks to Michael M for the link]
Everyone these days does the pants and perfume cash in, but Kylie has her eyes on another part of Debenhams not yet knee-deep in pop-star endorsed tat - she's bringing out a range of housewares:
"Not curtains - bed linens, throws and cushions. I haven't made it to pots yet. You can have leopard-print ones. I mean, let's inject a bit of fun."
Yes. Let's inject fun. Because I don't know about you, when I find myself in the soft furnishings section of John Lewis, all I can see is the screaming misery of the ages. But why can't she bring fun to curtains as well? I mean, why can't we inject fun to the drapes, too, Kylie?
Oh, no. Gordon might seem obsessed with what he calls - with all the grace of a sexually paranoid fifteen year-old - "crackers", but he has other interests, you know.
Arses, to be exact.
His big story this morning is, erm, a pair of pictures of what he claims are the Hilton sister's butts.
Of course, you can't just print photos of bottoms. You need to have a news angle.
Oh, apparently you don't.
Still, he's got the story about Robbie Williams going to Amsterdam. Like the Mirror had the day before.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
BBC News is reporting that Amy Winehouse has cancelled all planned gigs and appearances for the rest of the year, after (apparently) her doctor prescribed 'complete rest'.
Presumably it's easier to refund everyone before they turn up and get angry at the box office instead of after.
New pop thrills: The theme from Sorry, Ronnie Corbett's sitcom about a mentally ill adult being slowly smothered by his mother, has been discoed up by Kick And The Teeth.
It'll refresh memories of feeling slightly uneasy on Thursday evenings wondering why his friend with the motorbike didn't ever think to contact social services.
There's been a lot of excitement over Jermaine Jackson's suggestion to 6Music that there might be a new Jacksons tour. DigitalSpy went with this headline:
Really? What did he say?
"It will probably start [in America] first, but it will be sometime in 2008. That’s our plan.”
So, that would be more "Jermaine suggests possible Jacksons reunion, maybe", surely?
It's not clear who the tour will actually be touching: those who bought the records are now grown up and have children of their own, so they'll be reluctant to turn up for Michael; there would certainly be that hardcore of Jackson fans in attendance - at last, a way of Michael to shake 'em down for some cash after constantly having to turn up for PAs outside courtrooms for free. But do the rest of the boys really want to turn up to effectively stand in the shadows of the "I believe you didn't do it" Jacko show? Is the money they'd want going to be covered by the hardcore audience?
We wouldn't want to invest on that hunch.
It's the most wonderful time of the year, when Radio 4 announces who's going to take the job of guest editor for the Today programme during the period when everyone's lying in and so nobody much is listening.
Chris Moyles, who'd have thought it?
Alright, he's not. But this year, alongside Peter Hennesey, Stella Rimmington and "members of the Dyfed Powys Police Force", Damon Albarn will be doing a stint.
They've had Radiohead, Ono and Bono, so clearly they're working their down some sort of "politically connected/pop culture figure" list. At this rate, it's going to be Tim Gane getting his turn in about 2013.
We think this makes Albarn the first person to ever guest edit both the NME and Today, which might be handy to know if you ever find yourself at an especially dull pub quiz.
Nice spot by Chris Albrecht at GigaOm: apparently both the Zune and iPhone/iPod are using The Shins in a bid to attract sale. Clearly, the band were keen to ensure everyone knows their music is available across a range of platforms and devices, and aren't just, you know, like whorish or anything.
The Arbitron system for radio audience measurement - which is being trialled at the moment in London - appears to have acknowledged that it's having trouble reflecting actual audience figures:
"However, over the past three weeks, feedback from our customers, the media rating council and other constituencies has led us to conclude that the radio industry would be better served if we were to delay further commercialisation of the PPM in order to address their issues," Morris added.
So, erm, it's confident that the system works, but needs time to... what, exactly? Either the system provides an accurate estimation of radio audiences, or it doesn't, surely?
And the chances are that it doesn't, as the sudden drop in audiences for black stations in New York suggested. Something that Morris tacitly accepts:
You'll notice the word "compliance" there, as if - somehow - black and Hispanic listeners aren't obeying the law by refusing to wear audience-measurement devices. Given that the members of the sample are doing the company a favour, Arbitron might find they have more success in their efforts if they stopped using "compliance" in favour of "assistance", "favours" or something similar.
It's still hard to understand how a company can admit that sizeable ethnic groups are, at best, under-represented in its sampling and yet remain "confident" in its audience figures. Arbitron - or just arbitrary?
Our eyebrows shot off our face when we got this through our RSS feeds this morning:
from 3AM Girls
Grungey singer takes a trip to Amsterdam with mystery brunette - and new beard.
The story confirms that they're just talking about 'a grim facial growth'.
The pair - Williams and brunette, not Williams and beard - were enjoying the Dutch capital, home of the Rembrandthuis, site of Anne Frank's House and the wonderful collection of art in the Rijksmuseum. Or, as the 3AM Girls would have it:
You'll recall a couple of months ago Richard Littlejohn announcing what a big supporter of gay rights he was, calling on his unexpected love of Tom Robinson's Glad To Be Gay as evidence:
So, Littlejohn's position is clear: he doesn't think its right that cops be sent into toilets to entrap cottagers.
So why does he keep banging on - or, possibly, banging off - thinking about George Michael in that toilet? If he doesn't approve of entrapment, why does he keep dragging up George Michael falling victim to a pretty policeman being sent in? Littlejohn raised it at the end of his earlier piece, and today - in an article where the hateful little man suggests raping children, Fred West's crimes, consensual extreme sex and cottaging are all moral equivalents - he returns to those toilets again:
It's like Littlejohn knows he shouldn't keep going back, but he just can't stop picturing it in his head, like some sort of compulsion.
Richard trots out his 'ha, see, I'm not homophobic' get-out again:
The reason why nobody has ever answered the question, Dickie, is because it's a pointless question. What if a gay man had been caught cruising for sex in a women's a toilet? Why would he? Or do you simply mean 'what if George Michael had got his penis out in a ladies?' - but that's a totally different type of crime; you might as well ask 'what if he'd been double-parked during rush hour'. Generally, if you're a man who finds the sight of another bloke's penis disturbing, you probably wouldn't be in a public toilet in the first place, what with the tendency of blokes to get them out while in there.
The thing about cottaging is, while it might make some people feel uncomfortable - especially if you're British, having to politely murmur "it's very flattering, but... no, actually all I wanted was a wee..." can be so very awkward - it's consensual and, if you're not looking for it, chances are you'll never be aware it's going on in the first place. Which is why they have to send those pretty policemen in in the first place, Richard.
Good news for the British film industry - there won't be a Spice Girls Movie this time round.
Not for the reasons that you or I might imagine, to do with how the first one turned out. Oh, no:
Also, we suspect the idea of hanging round Pinewood for hours on end - with each other - might not be so attractive.
Still, lets be fair to Gordon, it's his first proper day and he probably had to balance writing the column with trying to price a three-bedroom semi-detached in Ruislip,so what else does he have?
Pictures of Jordan's breasts (sorry, "bangers", a word that Smart seems determined to make his own); someone has sent him a photo of Dannii Minogue wearing a tshirt and Amy Winehouse has a secret love of wrestling.
Now, if ever a story sounds like someone ringing up the Smartline - 020 7782 4036, according to the desperate plea for stories at the top of the page - and making something up for shits and grins, Amy Winehouse's love of WWE would be it, but let's assume that it's a true story. You or I might have given it a small, Sunspot style nib at the bottom. Gordon, though, has seized it with both hands, and gone to the extent of imagining what Amy would be like if she was a wrestler. Trained by, erm, Pete Doherty.
Lily Allen, we discover from Gordon Smart's new Bizarre world is getting fit following a heart murmur:
"When they asked me how much exercise I did, I had to be honest and say hardly any.
"Now I make sure I work out three times a week. And I don’t hold back — it’s a hardcore routine in the gym."
Well, there we are - we wondered if young Gordon was up to the job, but here he's gone out and got an old-fashioned, flat-footed scoop. Did it take you long to pull the stroy together, Gordon?
Oh... so... erm, you read it in a magazine.
Still, the headline must be yours, Gordon?
Yes. We think that's probably your contribution. "Illy"?
Monday, November 26, 2007
The death has been announced of Kevin DuBrow, singer with Quiet Riot.
Born in California, but growing up influenced by British rock acts, in 1973 DuBrown joined Randy Rhoad's band Quiet Riot. The name, according to DuBrow, came from a conversation witj Rick Parfitt in which Parfitt suggested 'Quite Right' would be a great name for a band. But then, Parfitt was in a band called Status Quo.
The band didn't survive Rhoads' departure to join Ozzy Osbourne at the end of the 70s, with DuBrow forming a group which traded under his own surname for a while. The death of Rhoads in 1982 gave DuBrow the impetus to revive the Quiet Riot name - the record label suggested that it might be a good marketing move; and so it proved. Metal Health became the first debut metal album to make number one in the US.
The flaw was that the band struggled to be greater than the sum of its influences: both their key hits were covers of Slade songs, Cum on Feel the Noize and Mama Weer All Crazy Now. The frustrations of trying to coin something as memorable are sometimes blamed for DuBrow's erratic behaviour; something of a liability and with a reputation for mouthing off, eventually he was fired from his own band during a date in Hawaii.
DuBrow then launched another band, Heat, which once again morphed into another version of Quiet Riot. DuBrow was still touring with a line-up of the band this autumn.
[Update: Metal Health, not Mental Health. Thanks to - cough - Karl T's "friend" for pointing that out]
Further to the news at the weekend of the death of Hawthorne Heights guitarist Casey Calvert, Billboard are reporting that the probable cause of death was an acute asthma attack.
[Casey Calvert obituary]
Paul McCartney is working to bring his son James into the music industry:
We're not quite sure what's left for Paul to do, then, apart from interest the media in the project. Playing to his strengths, then.
Adam Davies was having a quiet drink in a Welsh pub when in walked Anthony Calvert. Davies - perhaps emboldened by his quiet drink - noticed that Calvert bore a slight resemblance to Simon Cowell, and decided to point out the similarity.
It didn't go down well:
"Then he punched me five times. I was just shocked and I didn't see it coming at all."
So, not like Cowell at all, then - he'd have made a prescripted remark first.
Actually, Calvert looks less like Cowell and more like Peter Mandelson and Ian Hislop's lovechild. But we're not going to tell him that.
Magistrates have found Calvert guilty of actual bodily harm; he'll be sentenced next month.
Flu like symptoms hospitalised 'some' members of Evanescence and their entourage at the weekend, leading to cancellation of the Denver date on their current plastic-goth tour of the US.
Charmlessly, they're not going to bother rescheduling.
Quick, Daily Telegraph writers - you're going to be needed to trot out some more pieces about how, if you pay to see Amy Winehouse, you'd better not complain: her third night at the Hammersmith Odeon hasn't gone down entirely well:
* Locked herself in her hotel room after a 48-hour bender and refused to go to the venue;
* Was booed after a shambolic set which didn't start till 10.15pm; Slurred her way through the songs, with many fans leaving early and demanding refunds;
* Snubbed her support act.
Now, the "snubbing her support act" is one of those bits that should have been left out of the article, but we suppose once the Mirror;s unnamed journalist had put in the first two developments, he or she didn't know how to switch off the automatic bulletpointing so had to pull in the not-entirely-heinous crime of not hanging out with the support act to round off the list.
They were quite upset, though:
Frankly, we'd be delighted to take the opportunity to nip off home early and catch the start of Newsnight, but that could be just us.
The threat to quit music when she reaches 25, made by Lily Allen, apparently, sounds like the sort of insistence many people make when 25 seems ages and ages away. By 25, we had planned to running the world's first seahorse farm and that never happened.
No, what's fascinating about Allen's reported comment is that, while she intends to do three more years as a pop star, she only intends to produce one more album in that time. Now, don't get us wrong - the less work Allen does, the happier we are - but two albums in a five year-career? Tupac Shakur is more prolific than that, and he's been dead a decade. Is she worried she might not be able to keep up the quality if she did more than an album every thirty months?
Not only does 2008 hold out the prospect of new stuff from the Valentines, but that other candy-and-barbed-wire outfit, the Jesus and Mary Chain, will also be flinging out a new album:
"I would say it's an evolution," [William] Reid says of the new material, which he and his brother wrote separately. "It definitely sounds like the Mary Chain, but I guess you evolve as a person and a writer. You can't really stand still. If you do that, you're lost."
Here's that Letterman appearance, to help you decide if this is good news, or just last knockings:
No, no, the headline isn't anything to do with the regular meltdowns of public order at the end of the Leeds festival; it's about Sting who will be dragging the now-overstaying Police reunion to offer some sort of climax to the Isle of Wight Festival next summer:
That's the biggest tour of the last two years if you don't count The Rolling Stones tour. Or Madonna's 2006 jaunt.
Neil McCormick met with singer-songwriter Newton Faulkner for the Telegraph (apparently he hates being called a singer-songwriter, which is probably fair enough as most people only seem interested in his cover of Teardrop.
Neil was excited to meet someone who he feels came up under the radar:
Yes, his sales are driven by word-of-mouth: people gathering at watercoolers and saying "have you heard that bloke who's got the Sony BMG marketing department behind him on Jo Wylie's show over and over again?"
As Gordon admits, it's same old, same old:
CHERYL COLE with hubby ASHLEY COLE gazumped Kim with the best outfit. You can’t deny she has cracking bangers.
Now, when Victoria used to run upskirts and downtops, it was nasty but at least there was the pretense that this was a "hey, girl, you forgot your pants", girl-to-girl fashion emergency service. Gordon Smart running a picture of a woman without a bra on going "cracking bangers" has the uncomfortable feeling of a drunk uncle peering down tops at a family gathering. It's really seedy.
Oh, classy, Gordon. Will we also get the order in which you'd fuck Take That?
And so the Sun rises on a new era, with Gordon Smart taking over the controls at the paper's Bizarre column.
Hey... he's called Gordon, and you know who else is called Gordon?
Yes, yes, the "moron" in Jilted John's hit, but you know who else?
Yes, the Prime Minister. But it's not a thought they'd push, is it?
Oh. They are.
And push it, and push it.
Well, yes. Gordon Brown doesn't look like he's one of the guys who turn up at the end of Homes Under The Hammer saying "I would value this property at £137,000...", for a start.
Still, the slight idea of hanging his launch column on a wan joke based on having the same name as the current incumbent of Number 10 over, what does... oh, he hasn't finished with it yet:
"Just like he has!" - ha ha! You can tell Gordon's a safe pair of hands, as he felt confident to leave off the "(SATIRE)" warning.
And, yes, Gordon does then fill a page with what he believes to be a something like a manifesto:
a) Little wrigglers and appear almost naked.
c) Making mugs of themselves.
d) Doing all the above. Otherwise, stay in rehab in America moaning about how you can’t handle your ale.
"Ale"? "Johnny Foreigner"? Where did Gordon spend his gap year - with Noel Coward? And what the hell is a little wriggler?
We wonder if - while Gordon was chuckling over the thought of encouraging people to drink too much, did he bother to read his own paper? Only Rebekah's editorials seem to send out the opposite message:
They worry about round-the-clock access to strong, ever-cheaper booze and the pressure on youngsters to drink themselves stupid.
...again and again:
Can the front of the paper really complain that young people are encouraged to drink themselves stupid and binge-drinking is seen as a joke when its showbiz editor is, erm, encouraging people to drink themselves stupid and regards binge-drinking as a bit of a joke?
That's a major break with the past, as those three would have been unveiled by the NME, The Sunday Show and Stephen Fry, of course.
Yes, nothing says "I respect your lifetime of achievement" like calling someone a "wrinkly rocker". We presume the "I will keep you legends alive" was a typo, and Gordon is promising to write about their tiresome antics rather than offering to pop down to give Keith Richards emergency treatment the next time he falls out a tree.
Aha. So, he's not like Labour - with the seedy passing of brown envelopes stuffed full of cash, the Prime Minister of Showbiz is in the mould of the John Major government.
Welcome, Gordon. Best of luck.
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Paolo Hewitt has carved out quite a niche for himself over the years, writing official Jam biographies and collaborating with Paul Weller, but it appears that the Mod Boswell has fallen out with his Johnson. The Mail gleefully previews the latest Weller book from Hewitt - The Changing Man - which shows signs of having been written after the pair fell out at the start of 2006:
"I was sitting in the back, Paul and Simon up front. Simon, who was driving, turned on the car radio. 'Turn that shit off,' Paul snapped.
"'For God's sake,' Simon shouted back, "it's you, you idiot."
"And it was. It was his song The Changing Man."
To be fair, the stripped down demos that finally got a release a couple of years ago showed that the official releases at that time had been totally overproduced - maybe it's fair that Weller didn't recognise his own works.
Hewitt appears to suggest that many of Weller's problems might be down to the drugs:
"It was the beginning of a period in his life characterised by a regular ingestion of chemicals," says Hewitt.
"Until then he had steered clear of them.
"He had tried Ecstasy once - he took a quarter of a pill on New Year's Eve 1990 at a club in Paddington and nibbled on my ear for five minutes. But it was only in the mid-Nineties when, as the Blur musician Damon Albarn so succinctly put it, 'a blizzard of cocaine descended on London' that Paul really turned his attention to chemicals.
"Cocaine was his thing, as it was for many others."
... and also, erm, Malcolm McDowell:
"I remember one day asking him what he'd got up to the night before and him replying that he had watched A Clockwork Orange 'for the millionth time'. Then he added, 'I got to stop watching it,' as if he was deriving some kind of unhealthy pleasure from it.
"There is a mean streak in Paul that in part mirrors the film's main character, Alex, and his violent tendencies."
Hewitt's reluctant to reveal what the falling-out was about, but it was bad enough to turn hagiographer into character hitman.