Saturday, May 01, 2010

Bookmarks - Internet stuff: U2

Lovely piece by Luke Lewis on the NME blogs in response to Spin naming U2 the makers of the most influential album of the quarter-decade:

But once I’d reset my face from a “beg pardon?” grimace, I realised that the Spin team were entirely correct. Rather than diminishing over time, U2’s influence has grown with each decade. Trouble is, that’s a cause for angst, not celebration.

With ‘Achtung Baby’, U2 set the default mode for the next two decades of guitar music - sonically expansive yet lyrically evasive, “emotive” yet essentially meaningless. Today, thanks to U2, all bands with vague designs on the mainstream sound broadly the same.

The illustrated Hello: Zippy, Bungle

Possibly the low spot of the list, in terms of the obviousness of the call-outs on The Beloved's Hello (and we're nearly at the end now, thank God), is Rainbow's puppet and man-in-a-bear-suit duo. Namechecking Zippy was, at the time, little more than a lazy way of shoring up the bookings in student unions.

Let's just get it out the way now: They knew what they were saying, it was for the Christmas tape.

Apart from the Twanger one. I really did see Bungle make a twanger, and my brother and I made twangers after the programme, but could never get the tension in the rubber bands right.

From the very first Rainbow - the pre-George era, then - here's Zippy and Bungle doing a song:

The musical heart of Rainbow didn't really sit with the carpeted twosome, though. It was Rod, Jane and Freddy - once Rod and Jane had dumped Sooty-heir Matthew Corbett from the line-up. They were so good - and I'm using good in the sense of "cheap, and known to the Thames Television production unit, and lacking a sense of embarrassment" - they got a spin-off series of their own:

Rod and Jane had been married, until Jane ran off with Freddy. Apparently. Which makes it even more remarkable that the trio are still going, albeit without the television gig.

Just in passing, it's worth remembering the other Rainbow spin-off, Take A Chance. A de-Bungle suited Stanley Bates was running a hotel (or, more believably, a retirement home) for entertainers, with his main (or, more honestly, only guest) being Dawson Chance.

I could never work out if we were supposed to think that Bates was still Bungle, only not wearing the suit - which would mean that we were supposed to watch Rainbow knowing that Bungle wasn't really a bear, but a man in a suit. That can't be right.

But if we were supposed to suspend our disbelief and watch Rainbow believing Bungle was a real bear, then how would Take A Chance be a spin-off from Rainbow? Because it had one of the same actors, but doing a different character? In which case, Dad's Army must be a spin-off of Coronation Street. Or Star Wars a spin-off of Grange Hill, right?

Still, the Ormskirk Advertiser wasn't going to let this format confusion spoil its excitement at a Parbold entertainer getting his big break on TV:

The former Butlins redcoat told the Advertiser at the time: “It is a situation comedy show and I play myself, an aspiring ventriloquist and working the puppets."

It lasted for about a dozen episodes.

[Part of the Illustrated Hello]

Gordon in the morning: It's like a LastFM feed

This is a genuine teaser on the Bizarre site this morning:

GORDON Smart has heard Mark Ronson’s new album and thinks it’s a right corker

What are we going to have next week? "Gordon Smart has added Keyboard Cat as a favourite"? "RWade_Wapping posted 'It woz The Sun wot winned it' - Gordon Smart likes this"?

The review itself is a bit odd, too:
I'VE had an exclusive listen to MARK RONSON's new album and it's one to really look forward to.

I'm really looking forward to something I've already heard?

Piss on the Alamo, piss off Phil Collins

I have a faint suspicion that the entire Dallas Morning News article about Phil Collins and his love for the Alamo is nothing more than a long, elaborate pisstake:

British singer, songwriter and drummer Phil Collins has won seven Grammy Awards and sold nearly 40 million solo albums in the United States.

But perhaps his biggest passion isn't music, it's the Alamo.

Admittedly, the idea that Collins doesn't love music as much as something else is quite credible - indeed, for much of his later career, it wouldn't be a surprise to discover that he was driven by a passionate hate for music and all connected with it.

But the Alamo?
Decades later, Collins has gathered what has been considered "one of the largest private collections of Alamo memorabilia in the world." He's said he has "hundreds of cannonballs, documents and other artifacts from the Alamo at his home in Switzerland."

God, his postman must love him.

"What have you got in this parcel, Mr. Collins? Cannonballs?"
"Yes, as a matter of fact."

I wish I had an interest and fascination so deep with an event that I dedicated my life to removing as much connected with that event as possible to be hidden away in a private collection in a totally different continent.

But while Collins might be stealing the Texan heritage, he is giving something back to Texas:
Collins will speak about his Alamo fascination at 6:30 p.m. May 10 at the Margaret and Al Hill Lecture Hall in the Hall of State at Fair Park, 3939 Grand Ave., Dallas.

If I were in charge of the Alamo Mission, I'd be making sure the doors were bolted and everything screwed firmly down next week. Just in case.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Tea Party plan presumably less-generous Band Aid style singalong

The permanently confused Tea Party movement is about to get a theme song, with Lloyd Marcus (no, us neither) calling acts to the studio to record a song called "Take America Back".

Let's hope he kept the receipt.

He wants his upbeat ditty to “highlight the diversity” within the Tea Party Movement, so he’ll accept any musicians – from tattooed rockers to preppy gospel singers.

Yes, the famously diverse Tea Party movement. It's not all about red-faced angry men.

The borderline-extremist group tends to only draw its support from amongst the permanently confused, so it's unlikely that anyone with an actual recording career will turn up - but Marcus has a plan to get round that one:
Since his ultimate message is about “we the people,” he wants mostly unknown artists to partake, not big celebrities.

Phew, that's lucky, eh? Although quite why celebrities don't count as people in this context isn't clear - can't really rich people hate sharing, too?

Still, it's a lovely idea - lots of people, coming together, working in a common interest, not for their personal gain but to achieve a goal that helps their community as whole. Don't you love watching socialism in action?

Gordon in the morning: Discovering new lows

The big story this morning, according to Gordon Smart? Man likes TV programme that everyone likes.

Bieber, hat reunited

Hey, David Cameron, if you believe that Britain's broken, what does that make New Zealand? A country so wracked with crime, someone stole Justin Beiber's hat in cold blood.

Thank god, the tiny child and his hat were reunited in the end, but clearly, it's left Beiber scarred for life:

"I got my hat back," he later posted. "No hugs. no thanks u's. Just glad they did the right thing. I don't condone thievery!! (sic)"

New Zealand politicians are promising to rush through legislation that will make 'messing with Beiber's stuff' a capital offence.

Imagine no possessions, eh?

I know, I know, the idea that John Lennon represents some sort of ideal of the simple life finally vanished around about the time the van turned up with the big white piano, but it never hurts to have it rubbed in.

Someone likes Lennon and what he "stands" for so much, they're expecting to raise nearly three quarters of a million dollars by selling a copy of the lyrics to A Day In The Life.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Absolut, Absolute settle

Presumably as the vodka company have realised nobody has even heard of the radio, Absolut and Absolute have settled their trademark spat:

"Absolute Radio is pleased with this settlement which will see us continue to build our music radio brand and advance our position as one of the leading commercial radio networks in a digital age," said Absolute Radio chief operating officer Clive Dickens.

It really is one of the leading commercial radio networks, alongside the other three.

"Child pornography is great" says Danish music industry lobbyist

Michael M suggested this Boing Boing headline might be the headline of the year:

Music industry spokesman loves child porn

The story comes from Pirate MEP Christian Engstrom's website:
"Child pornography is great," the speaker at the podium declared enthusiastically. "It is great because politicians understand child pornography. By playing that card, we can get them to act, and start blocking sites. And once they have done that, we can get them to start blocking file sharing sites".

The venue was a seminar organized by the American Chamber of Commerce in Stockholm on May 27, 2007, under the title "Sweden -- A Safe Haven for Pirates?". The speaker was Johan Schlüter from the Danish Anti-Piracy Group, a lobby organization for the music and film industry associations, like IFPI and others...

"One day we will have a giant filter that we develop in close cooperation with IFPI and MPA. We continuously monitor the child porn on the net, to show the politicians that filtering works. Child porn is an issue they understand," Johan Schlüter said with a grin, his whole being radiating pride and enthusiasm from the podium.

How brilliant, eh, that kids are being raped and abused because of the upside for the record labels? Sure, if one or two of those kids might, you know, disappear, they're just collateral damage in the bigger war of keeping Bono in the manner to which he's become accustomed, right?

Interesting to discover that the music industry lobbyists are "monitoring child porn sites" - isn't that what got Pete Townshend into trouble?

Jackson can't be used for any old charity

A US court has told that a charity to stop using the name 'Heal The World', the name of Michael Jackson's defunct charity, and Michael Jackson's face, the face of the defunct Michael Jackson.

The court agreed with the Jackson estate that this might confuse people - after all, if anyone is going to involve the ghost of Michael Jackson in a half-arsed charity, it's going to be them, right?

Gordon in the morning: The Jagger meister

Apparently the biggest story in showbiz this morning is something about Mick Jagger telling model Mick Jagger's Daughter that she has to stay in and do her revision.

This wouldn't even be worth noting, were it not for the result of pencil-sucking at The Sun thinking of something to say about Mick keeping Georgia Jagger at home.

WHEN MICK JAGGER was a snake-hipped, hellraising 18-year-old he was indulging in all sorts of rock 'n' roll antics and bad behaviour.

But was rock's Mr Pot banging on about the kettle when he sang Paint It Black?

I'm not a rock historian, but I'm pretty certain: no.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Gordon Brown breaks the law

Perhaps the least of his worries tonight, but Gordon Brown's been accused to being part of an event which breached licensing laws. The one with the Elvis impersonator:

A performance at the weekend by Brighton-based Elvis impersonator Mark Wright took place at Lodge Park Technology College in Corby as part of a lunchtime speech given by Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

But, according to the [Live Music Foundation], the move contravened the council’s own rules because the venue's premises licence only allows entertainment from 6pm until midnight.

Corby council say that it was fine, because the pretend Elvis doesn't count as music - he was "incidental", apparently. So that's alright then. Apparently.

Downloadable: Shout Our Louds

Hailed, apparently, by Esquire Magazine as a perfect pop song of the month - an accolade right up there with Angling Today's Hat Of The Week - enjoy a remix of Walls by the Shout Out Louds. This version has been chomped about by Fontän. It's very Swedish.

"If you keep pushing, nobody will get a Justin Bieber gig."

Diddyman Justin Bieber had a free gig in Australia axed at the last minute because everyone was pushing to try and see him.

Perhaps if they'd sent a larger pop star, people at the back might have been able to get a decent view without having to shove.

6Music closure leaker "leaves" the BBC

The person who let The Sunday Times know early about plans to close 6Music and the Asian Network has 'left' the BBC, reports The Independent this morning.

That appears to be 'left' in the manner of 'it's quite late, I'm sure you want to be getting on, don't let us detain you' rather than 'I'm off, then, toodle-oo'.

Dappy kind-of sorry about having taken meow meow

I'm not sure I entirely believe Dappy's admission on GMTV this morning that he's taken Meow Meow, as nobody who really used that drug would surely ever use that name, right? It's like a smackhead saying "oh, yeah, I'm addicted to poppyfluff."

Still, he's mumbled about how he shouldn't have done it - although when he did it, it wasn't illegal, so it's surely just down to him having made a stupid choice. And Dappy doing something stupid is hardly news, is it?

According to Twitter, Dappy's attempts to turn the story into a learning moment might have flopped a bit:

Was just watching the news lol dappy from n dubz on drugs! And he said every young person has to try it to know they dont like it LOLLL

[via @93Alan]

So... you shouldn't take drugs, except for when you take them to find out you don't like them. Not apparent yet what Dappy thinks young people should do if they had a bit of crack to see if they liked it, and found out that they did. I'm sure he's still thinking it through, people. Give him time.

Gordon in the morning: JLS send a postcard

You'll have been wondering how JLS are getting on breaking America, of course - Gordon has the latest this morning:

THE JLS lads look like they are getting used to this LA lark.

This "getting used" to the "LA lark" consists of a photo of the band walking down the street carrying soft drinks.

It's like they could have born there, isn't it?

In other grim news, Smart reports that Russell Brand is planning to stretch a weak joke too far, with an album of the songs his character from Forgetting Sarah Marshall & Get Him To The Greek has supposedly recorded:
I'm a betting man and I have already set aside a crisp tenner to stick on Russell having a No1 single with one of the comedy tunes from the film.

My particular favourite is a track called The Clap - and it isn't about applause.

Hahahaha. Given how subtle the joke was, Universal records would have been reassured to discover that Gordon got The Clap.

But it's not actually betting if all you do is put the ten pounds to one side - an actual betting man would have, erm, made the bet, surely?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Darkness at 3AM: Heather takes Heart

I suppose there's no reason why Heather Mills shouldn't ring up radio phone-in competitions to win free Whitney Houston tickets:

Mills, 42, was selected randomly after calling herself "Heather from Hove" - and correctly got a song lyric.

It just looks a little, well, cheap.

The really interesting thing about the Mirror's story was discovering that Richard Linfield's moved from Southern Counties to Heart. I think I understand why they didn't make that the headline, though.

Gordon in the morning: Won't someone think of the children

You know what's upsetting in any divorce? When there are kids involved. They can't decide what to do. They're left hoping to get a weekend with one parent here, a spot of playing them off there.

You sympathy, then, for Gem and Andy, left caught in the crossfire when the Gallaghers fell out. Gordon begs for us to share our sympathy:

OASIS stars ANDY BELL and GEM ARCHER must have sore backsides from sitting on the fence.

Neither bass player Andy nor guitarist Gem have taken sides with either LIAM or NOEL GALLAGHER since the Oasis split last summer.

Could there be a reason for this elephant-like stately balance?
But Liam is about to get them into rehearsal for live dates later this year and Noel has also needed the lads for demo sessions.

If you were left in any doubt about therestofOasis' status in Oasis, Gordon's "source" more or less nails it:
"It's great for Gem and Andy, though. They get paid twice, but it's bound to lead to trouble in the future."

Andy Bell was one of the most talented musicians of his generation, and he wound up effectively working as a labourer on wages. Perhaps rather than feting both his former employers, he could take the chance to do something that makes better use of his skills.

Meanwhile, Smart has words to chill the blood:
I hear Noel has more than enough material for a solo album.

Although that's not surprising, as the last few Oasis albums showed he considered a half-finished chorus and a couple of weak retreads of the earlier stuff more than enough for an album.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Dave Rowntree: Why I fight (elections)

James M emails with a sighting of Dave Rowntree in the Guardian's election coverage:

Having put himself forward, unsuccessfully, for the safe Labour seat of Liverpool West Derby, Rowntree is now contesting a seat which would've been difficult enough in previous elections. Given Labour's current standing, it's best to file it under the "completely unwinnable" category. However, it's refreshing to see a Labour candidate as defiantly off-message as Rowntree.

Dave almost implies he joined Labour because he couldn't sleep:
"It was pretty much a mid-life crisis," the 45-year-old said, swivelling on a chair at his campaign headquarters in the plush offices of a Soho media firm. "There was a fairly well-documented split in the band, I was turning 40, and I was going from having no time on my hands to having rather a lot. And I started waking up with that angsty feeling at four in the morning, going, 'Oh my God, I've wasted my life.' I had to do something about that. And so I started turning up at the local Labour party."

Dave doesn't trust the other high-profile Dave on the campaign:
Rowntree is amused by any politician who tries to turn music into political capital. He chuckles in particular at David Cameron's professed passion for the Smiths. "He's a Smiths tourist," says the drummer, cheeks creased with a knowing grin. "Real Smiths fans dress a certain kind of way, and they have a certain kind of haircut, and they wear certain kinds of T-shirts. But what they probably don't do is have their picture taken outside the Salford Lads Club.

"Politicians," Rowntree admits, "do have to try and present themselves as ordinary people. But you need to do that in a way which makes you look least like an arse."

Rowntree also has a pop at Blair, and the whole idea of New Labour inviting the likes of Alan McGee and Noel to hang out at number 10 - "we never said Britannia was cool" he says. He doesn't mention Noel Gallagher by name.

Rowntree is standing in the Cities of London and Westminster; he'd have to overturn a Tory majority of over 8,000 before he'd get a chance to make a maiden speech.

BPI issue sunny news release, make themselves cry to stop us thinking it's alright now

Great news from the BPI: Despite the UK economy having been in recession last year, the UK music industry saw an increase in sales. In money terms:

A strong fourth quarter and increased digital income streams offset the reduced sales of physical formats as the UK recorded music market reported a modest 1.4% annual increase in total trade income for 2009 of £928.8m, BPI’s annual survey of industry income revealed today.

Brilliant news, eh? Champagne all round, barkeep and...

Oh, hang on: if digital sales are growing so strongly, then that kind-of makes the arguments that without supertight new copyright laws, the music industry will vanish look like a bit of a fib. Quick, everyone, turn those grins upside-down:
Geoff Taylor, BPI Chief Executive said: “It’s encouraging to see industry revenues stabilise and even show modest growth in 2009. This is testament to continuing investment by UK labels in talented artists despite challenging economic conditions, and the innovation labels have shown in licensing new digital services.

“But let’s put it in broader perspective: 2009’s modest result follows a five-year drop in annual income, and total industry income has not exceeded £1bn since 2006. The CD continues to show greater resilience than many predicted – it is an excellent digital product. The pace of growth of new digital services is encouraging, but the size of the market continues to be constrained by competition from illegal downloads.”

Does it, though, Geoff? You're telling me that a market which, by the BPI's own figures, has grown by nearly 50% in twelve months is constrained? That seems a little unlikely, doesn't it? Almost as if you're selling convenience and experience, not the actual files themselves, so your growth has nothing to do with what may or may not be happening in the torrents. But don't worry, nobody expects the BPI to say anything that might make its histrionic hijacking of the Digital Economy Bill look any more ridiculous.

Oh - and while you might have had a five year-drop in total take, let's never forget (as you always do) that lower total revenue is in part a side-effect as you move from artificially-highly priced physical albums to lower cost single digital files. It's not the same thing as selling music becoming less profitable. (And if selling music had become less profitable, I have a feeling that would have been in the press release...)

Idlewild: A little discourage

News reaches us that Idlewild are going on hiatus - Jack B emailed with the pertinent extracts from their Facebook tour diary:

"Wed 21st – London
Wake up on bus. Lovely sunny day. The Forum has been done up since I was last here (to play - 10 years ago on the ‘100 Broken Windows’ tour, as a punter - six years ago to see Ryan Adams). The dressing rooms are lovely and have a roof terrace that looks over north London toward Hampstead Heath. The stage is a big one and the onstage sound is great – it’s a proper venue! Nothing against the clubs that we play in other places, but it’s awful nice to be in a big place for the evening. I feel a bit like a dog usually kept in the city that’s been taken to the countryside for the day. I head to Covent Garden for a while, have my lunch in the London Review Bookshop Cafe and buy Colin a belated birthday present - David Foster Wallace’s ‘Oblivion Tales’. Sit outside the British museum for a while people watching and then head back to the Forum to sound check. The concert is good, really good I think, although being able to hear myself so well and having so much room to move I worry I might have looked a bit bemused initially.

Decided to let the audience know that it will be our last London show, which makes the remainder of the concert quite poignant. At the end of this final part of the tour we will have played 40 gigs around the UK and Ireland in support of ‘Post Electric Blues’, which seems more than enough for some time. There isn’t the demand for our music that there was in the past, especially not outside of Britain so it seems after this year it’s an appropriate time to take a break, a ‘hiatus’ or whatever you want to call it.

Not to cast shadows over the remaining concerts though, an irony of idlewild has always been that as we moved from the bigger halls into smaller halls and clubs we improved dramatically as a live band. Partly because the pressure had gone, but also with age we became tighter, more adaptable, confidant and importantly, more relaxed. At our ‘commercial peak’ or whatever you want to call it, we were frequently unprepared, stressed, scrappy and rigidly stuck to the same set of songs. Of course some people preferred this more, but we didn’t and now there’s a contentedness among the five of us with our concerts, which I think is reflected by the fact that the people that do come to the shows come to them again and again.

After the concert we make full use of the grand dressing rooms, knowing we’ll likely be back in a cupboard tomorrow. We have lots of friends down and it’s a nice end to a good night.

It's difficult to read the words 'there isn’t the demand for our music that there was in the past' without a small catch in your throat, isn't it?

As Jack points out:
The fact that [the announcement] doesn't seem to have been picked up my very many people is almost proof of what they allude to in the diary entry.

I'd always expected them to be like The Wedding Present or The Fall, and continue in some sort of form until such time as the last page of recorded history was written. Let's hope the hiatus isn't indefinite.

Gordon in the morning: Plan B endorses David Cameron

The leader of Conservative Kent County Council might have pointed out that David Cameron's policies are dodgy and dangerous, but Cameron can take comfort from an endorsement from Plan B.

Up to a point, anyway:

PLAN B has joined his Harry Brown co-star MICHAEL CAINE in backing DAVID CAMERON's proposal for national citizen service for 16-year-olds.

Although it turns out Mr B didn't actually back Mr C, and Gordon seems to have struggled to find a quote which actually "backs" Cameron's plan:
Though Plan B doesn't back any party - or other Tory plans - he said: "There's no choice for kids, those who carry knives and stab people. I never had a dad growing up so didn't have anyone to discipline me.

"Kids turn to older mates. Only later you realise how wrong the guidance was."

The trouble is, Cameron's policy isn't about forcing or even requiring young people to do the service, so it's unlikely that kids who don't volunteer now are going to volunteer in the future. And saying "there's no choice for kids" is just lazy - there are choices, it's just some take more courage than others. A few posters of Cameron saying "My Volunteer Squad Needs You" isn't going to change that.

Nor is suggesting that a gentle mumble from Plan B is "backing" the Cameron plan going to shift that stubborn Tory poll share. Nice try, though.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The illustrated Hello: Jean Paul Sartre

Jean Paul-Sartre believed the individuals need to experience death consciousness so as to wake up ourselves as to what is really important; the authentic in our lives which is life experience, not knowledge.

The executors of the estate of Jean Paul-Sartre believed that individuals might confuse the French writer and philosopher with The Jean Paul-Sartre Experience, and issued legal threats forcing the BritishNew Zealand indie band to change their name.

It's anyone's guess as to whether it's Jean Paul or the band appearing here:

[Part of the Illustrated Hello]

The illustrated Hello: Sir Bufton Tufton

Sir Bufton Tufton doesn't actually exist; he's a catch-all invention of Private Eye used as a generic Tory backbench MP. He's more or less been put out to pasture by the magazine these days. Not, presumably, because Tufton's vanished, but it's much easier to make fun of his kids, Algy Tufton, who desperately try to pretend their virtually common.

There's lots we went looking for here to illustrate this one - Peter Lilley's horrific rap at party conference; any one of the numerous laboured Gilbert and Sullivan parodies Tories indulge in from time to time; Peter Brooke doing Clementine on The Late Late Show. None seem to be around.

So, instead, let's turn our attention to Michael Ancram and his none-more-conservative approach to Bob Dylan, as detailed by Pinboy on a Dylan message board:

I watched the Daily Politics show on BBC1 this afternoon. It mentioned that Michael Ancram (Tory MP for Devizes) was "Bob Dylan's biggest fan" and showed him singing Blowin'. It then showed a clip of Hard to Handle.

I also found this at The Guardian's website.

Dear Mr Ancram

I know you play a bit of guitar in the 60s folk style. So are you a Bob Dylan fan? Surely you don't think he'd vote Conservative, do you?

MichaelAncram - 04:40pm May 12, 2004 BST (6.1)
I indeed still play a 12 string Martin guitar and many of my songs are those of Bob Dylan who until he went electronic was my favourite folk singer. I don't know his politics but "the times they are a changin'" seems a very apposite theme for us today.

My second favourite singer is Paul Simon. His "Bridge over troubled water" still rings true today.

Here, then, for the Earl Of Ancram, is Bob Dylan and Joan Baez, Blowin:

[Part of The Illustrated Hello]

KT Tunstall disowns BNP stepfather's politics

KT Tunstall's stepfather, David Orr, is standing as a BNP candidate at these elections on a platform which appears to be 'struggling to cram petulant prejudice into a cheap suit'.

Tunstall has had her people issue a statement firmly and clearly dissociating herself from the man:

"She abhors the BNP and all they stand for.

"She now has no contact with David Orr."

The Sunday Mail suggests this is causing problems with her birth mother, Orr's wife:
A friend of Carol-Ann - who gave up KT, 34, for adoption when she was born before being reunited with her in 1996 - said: "She is absolutely devastated about this. But she loves David and has accepted she can't change his views no matter how unpalatable they are."

The impression being that poor Mrs Orr is shrugging her shoulders and going "tschaw, immigrant hating men, eh? What can you do about them?" while not really thinking he's right.

That sits a bit oddly with the report in the Herald, though:
According to official papers submitted to the local council, Tunstall’s birth mother nominated her husband as a BNP candidate.

"Ooh, you and your unpalatable views. Still, since I can't change them I might as well try and get you into Westminster so you can honk on about immigration and Britishness all over the place."

Downloadable: Sympathy For The Record Industry

Available for absolutely nothing over at the Amazon MP3 store: A Sympathy For The Record Industry Sampler. New York Dolls, April March, Holly Golightly... worth a moment or two of your time, surely?

This week just gone

The most-read stories this month:

1. Fire at Liverpool Korova
2. Adam Ant comeback: not going well, not sounding well
3. RIP: Ann Vervoort
4. Gordon Smart reports: Man wears hat
5. Q & Mojo freelancers asked to sign away their futures
6. The illustrated Hello
7. Susan Boyle: Isn't being famous brilliant?
8. N-Dubz shoot their own fans
9. Downloadable: John Prine
10. Telegraph claims 6Music saved; proves to be as inaccurate as its reports on Cameron's comeback

These releases ticked a box which meant we constituted them as being, somehow, interesting:

Sparrow And The Workshop - Sleight Of Hand

Download Sleight Of Hand

Ash - A to Z Volume 1

Download A to Z

Kate Nash - My Best Friend Is You

Download My Best Friend Is You

James - The Night Before

Download The Night Before

Caribou - Swim

Download Swim

Jacques Brel - My Death

Download Brel