This one even has proper old vinyl clicking at the start:
[Part of Parachute Men weekend]
Saturday, September 04, 2010
This one even has proper old vinyl clicking at the start:
After nearly a year, Kanye West has sort-of apologised to Taylor Swift for behaving like a cock at the 2009 VMAs:
"I'm sorry, Taylor," he wrote. "We're both artists, and the media and managers are trying to get between us. She deserves the apology more than anyone. Thank you [Twitter co-founders] Biz Stone and Evan Williams for creating a platform where we can communicate directly."Yes, that'd be why it had taken him the year to get round to saying sorry. Apparently, apart from Twitter, there's no way of having communicating directly with someone. If only the telephone, or email, or carrier pigeons had taken off, eh?
But this isn't really about Kanye feeling sorry - except, perhaps, for himself:
Kanye went on to say that the media vilified him. He alluded to his claim during a 2005 NBC telethon for Hurricane Katrina that "George Bush doesn't care about black people," as a point for which the media was looking to pay him back. He noted that in the VMA aftermath, the media played the race card and turned it into an angry black man versus innocent white girl issue.With all due respect, Kanye, this is total pantwash. During the Katrina telethon, you said something needed to be said. It might have made others uncomfortable, but it doesn't make you wrong.
"Even though the NBC telethon was widely praised y'all didn't think they was just gone let me get away with that did y'all???!!!" he questioned, rhetorically. "The media has successfully diminished the 'receptive' audience of... KANYE WEST. ...taking a 15 second blip the media have successfully painted the image of the 'ANGRY BLACK MAN.' The King Kong theory. With the help of strong will, a lack of empathy, a lil alcohol and extremely distasteful & bad timing ... I became George Bush over night."
At the VMAs, on the other hand, you behaved like a boorish jock. It's not about race, although it is about gender. Whatever caused your little trot onto stage doesn't excuse it, and people call you out on it because you were wrong, not because you were black.
Yes, it can be argued you've played into a cultural stereotype by, erm, playing into a cultural stereotype. Do you think people should have looked away because of that? Are you saying you should be allowed to clamber onto the stage and honk away because to call you on it makes the complainant racist?
Frankly, trying to get a free pass on your drunken behaviour by waving the 'racism' card around makes you look an even bigger jerk than the original stage invasion did.
Perhaps there's a reason that your management try to stop you talking directly to people these days, Kanye.
So, onto homemade videos inspired by the then-current Chart Show approach to 'bugger, there's no video for number seven in the Indie Chart, what the hell shall we do?'
[Part of The Parachute Men weekend]
More from No Rock on homemade video
Because apparently, if Olly Murs beats Perry's current single to number one tomorrow, he's going to take his clothes off.
Gordon (or whoever is writing the column at the moment) is very, very excited by this:
And the big-talking Essex lad let me know last night that if he had to choose a fruit to cover his modesty it would be: "Without doubt a pineapple."Why glad? And why, exactly, would you be asking him what sort of fruit he'd use to hide his cock in the first place?
Glad he didn't say satsuma.
Olly Murs in with a shout of a number one single. If ever there was a sign that the charts are without any value as a guide to the taste of the nation, that would be it.
A quick dip into some late 80s northern indie today. Fire Records' finest*, The Parachute Men:
As far as I can tell, this is the only moving video of them online - later on it's going to be stills and music. You've got to love that Carry On Disarming video from the NME, haven't you? After putting in about two years as 'the only thing Planet X had to show on its TV screens', it's now enjoying a healthy afterlife as 'the only online video presence of some great lost bands'.
So, the Parachute Men. Two Greggs, and drummer who also played keyboards; blonde hair and black leather jackets. They were - if you'll take a breath and follow me on this - the sort of band who would be put together to appear in a TV programme which needed an indie band, before their sort of band was considered to be an archetype.
And, perhaps surprisingly, that song up there, Leeds Station, turned up on the Chris Moyles show just last year. Albeit smuggled in by Steve Lamacq.
Earth Dogs And Eggshells
Because Midway Still Aren't Coming Back on the Parachute Men
Parachute Men on Last FM
Some more Parachute Men stuff during the next few hours
Sometimes In Vain
If I Could Wear Your Jacket
Every Other Thursday
* - well, up there with Bark Psychosis and Pulp. And Spacemen 3. And... oh, one of Fire's finest.
Yes, he's done it again:
[H]e reignites a simmering row about his views on race in an interview in Guardian Weekend magazine, in which he describes Chinese people as a "subspecies" because of their treatment of animals.The context? He's talking to Simon Armitage for the Guardian weekend magazine, when he gets on to China. And animals:
"Did you see the thing on the news about their treatment of animals and animal welfare? Absolutely horrific. You can't help but feel that the Chinese are a subspecies."Is it not possible to raise ill-treatment of animals without slagging off all the Chinese?
If past form is anything to go by, we'd expect Morrissey to have his people issue a statement claiming misquotation, followed by dark threats of legal action.
Which does remind us: whatever happened to the supposed lawsuit against the NME after they ran his last ill-considered "oh, it's not racism" dribbles about foreign people in the streets of London. He did, in a rather Bob Maxwell style, sue a third party, but the supposed action against the paper which "misquoted" him? Not a dickie bird.
One further curiosity: on that occasion, the journalist he accused of misrepresenting him was Tim Jonze. The same Tim Jonze who is currently music editor of... guardian.co.uk.
Small world, isn't it, Morrissey? Although obviously not as small as you'd like it to be.
Friday, September 03, 2010
"Here's the deal: One more bottle and we go home."Axl Rose offered the deal. The Dublin audience took it up, and continued the bottle-hurling.
In the end, though, the band returned and played a set which didn't end until 1 am. Which is a bit ironic, since the original bottle-throwing was sparked off by the band turning up an hour late.
A spot of officialage from The Drums, supporting Down By The Water:
[Buy: The Summertime ep]
Without much of a sense of shame, Richard White and Sean Hamilton (Gordon must be on holiday, then) claim an exclusive on, erm, a court list:
CHERYL COLE is due to divorce love rat hubby ASHLEY in the High Court today.It appears the Coles asked to be listed by initials to "avoid publicity". That worked, then.
The couple's case - referred to only by their initials - tops a list of splits scheduled for this morning.
You might wonder that, given the marriage was all over the papers, and Mr Cole's errors of judgement were all over the papers, and the split was all over the papers, and the early stages of the divorce were all over the papers, and the decision of Mrs Cole to remain Mrs Cole was released to the papers, that now is perhaps a little too late to be trying to keep things quiet. Indeed, wouldn't you want the divorce bit to actually be public?
Still, it's nice that - as Gordon promised us - it's all being sorted out before the World Cup.
Thursday, September 02, 2010
In Tony Blair's new book, The Journey Which Apparently Ends With Me Turning Into Ted Heath, there's this:
A passage on page 555 of 'A Journey', Blair writes that Bono "could have been a president or prime minister standing on his head. He had an absolutely natural gift for politicking, was great with people, very smart and an inspirational speaker ... motivated by an abundant desire to keep on improving, never really content or relaxed. I knew he would work with George [W. Bush] well, and with none of the prissy disdain of most of his ilk".In other words, Bono was one of them. I don't think this counts as a revelation - nobody has really ever thought that Bono was one of us for years, right?
A gift for politicking. That would be on the money.
Blair also touches on Red Wedge, Spinner points out:
"Back in the late 1980s there was a group of musicians called Red Wedge, fronted by people like Paul Weller and Billy Bragg, who came out and campaigned for us. It was great. But I remember saying after one of their gigs ... 'We need to reach the people listening to Duran Duran and Madonna.'"Really? When Red Wedge were active, Duran were in their Warren Cuccurullo wilderness. Surely the sort of people clinging doggedly to a cause that had long since lost its relevance was what Blair was against, not for?
Apparently Katy Perry feels she's matured since her last album.
You know, like a cheese does. Becomes just a little more ripe; you need to hold your nose a little more firmly before consuming.
She's told the AP that this new record is "really validating". In the sense of 'I'm not wearing any clothes at all for the sleeve this time round' is validating.
Perhaps she can explain what she means?
"It's really validating, but not in like a mean girl's kind of way feeling," she said. "I've always believed in myself and it's just wonderful that people can finally jump on the train and be a part of something really exciting."Ah, it's not validating in a mean girl's kind of way of feeling. Of course it isn't. It also isn't a feeling that's a girl's mean way of kindly validating really.
What I've done is a little unfair; I've scrambled up the words Perry said and come up with something meaningless.
She's included a song on this record which is about a man taking drugs:
"It was difficult to write it because it's not where I am now, but it was a feeling that I had stored away a long time ago, in my emotional filing cabinet."Emotional filing cabinets are quite tricky things; just when you really need to dig out the details on the Paxton account for a meeting, it suddenly bursts into tears because its father never loved it. Or, worse, it reorganises all your files in order of who needs a hug the most. Really difficult to keep track with one of those, but slightly less physically damaging than a hysterical Rolodex.
But why would Perry write a song about a man doing drugs instead of another one about kissing boys or sometimes kissing girls? It's range, you understand:
"Sure, I wanted to make a record with more tempo, but I didn't want that to mean that I had to write about just DJs and dancing and getting drunk… I need a soundtrack for all the rest of my emotions, and that's what I really wanted to provide with this."A soundtrack for all the non-getting drunk emotions Katy Perry might experience. I think we all need an album like that, don't we?
Perry doesn't list what her 'not getting drunk' emotions consist of, but I'm reliably informed they are mostly 'grimly deciding to take top off for photos', 'pretending to be a little bit bisexual again' and 'look, look, there's a camera, did it see me?'
Any last words, Katy?
"This record is going to kind of solidify the fact that I have something different to offer, a different perspective."Yes. Some songs about getting drunk and a record about a man taking drugs. We have never had their like before.
I think I feel a little more validated, too.
Hello, large labels, management companies and record labels spokespeople! Can we just take as read your grumpy response to the following story will be the erroneous 'they can only afford to do that because of the investment the existing music industry put in the band'? Thank you.
Bunch of fans went to see Radiohead at Prague with handheld digital movie cameras; they got together afterwards and made it into a crowd-sourced live DVD. Radiohead found out, and rather than send a grumpy legal complaint, chipped in with the desk recordings for free.
This is what Nude looks and sounds like:
The whole thing can be downloaded from the Prague fan site.
The RIAA are offering to donate an explanation of why this can't and musn't work.
Yesterday's launch of 'oh, so it's a bit like Last FM' Apple's Ping service and rather lovely-looking new iPods might have overshadowed somewhat - yes - another supposed iTunes killer from Sony.
It's not, of course. It has a silly name - Qriocity - and is more about keeping the Playstation on a level with other games devices:
Fujio Nishida, head of Sony's Networked Products & Services Group, said users would be able to transfer the music they download across any platform including smart phones.The flexibility - at least within the brand - is to be welcomed, but it sounds much more about making it easy for Sony to sell video to their existing customers than an actual bid to topple iTunes.
He said: "We are excited to offer our customers high-quality, cloud-based entertainment experiences across many of Sonys network-enabled devices."
I suspect Mr Smart must be on holiday right now. He might find this disturbing:
Wednesday, September 01, 2010
The male members of the band - Fazer and Dappy - will release t-shirts, trousers and accessories through their line, Nanawear, while Tulisa will work on a womenswear label called TFB.The male members of the band? Yes, that would be about right.
While you have to admire Mark Ronson's brave attempt to recast being in a jazz choir as a "Glee-like singing group", did Gordon really think when writing this bit?
Mark is an unlikely fan of the camp telly hitFirst, it's not camp. More importantly: it's one of the most popular television programmes of these times. Why would a musician be an "unlikely" fan of something everyone seems to like?
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Given that Universal and its RIAA partners are constantly pleading poverty, it's heartening to discover the label can find $840,000 to invest in just three months.
Admittedly, it's invested the money in lobbying - or "trying to buy politicians" to give the process its full name.
More from No Rock on universal
The thing is, there's no real reason to make up stuff about pop stars, as the real stories are quite diverting enough. And this one has a few hundred witnesses.
Lauryn Hill turned up three hours late to play Washington's Rock The Bells festival. Because she was having a pedicure. And a manicure. Obviously. Nobody would be three hours late just for a pedicure.
And when she finally swung by, was the wait worth it?
The performance was a messy rush through highlights from "Miseducation," but they were hardly recognizable due to her hoarse voice, speedy delivery and clunky, overstuffed arrangements. Hill wasn't lacking for energy, just focus. The feedback on her microphone was ear-splitting; special guest Nas came out for a 45-second cameo, and his microphone wasn't working for half of it. After 20 minutes she departed to an equal mix of cheers and boos, seemingly oblivious as to why anyone might be upset.If only she'd taken the time to prepare properly.
Still, 20 minutes was a lifetime compared to Snoop Dogg, who hadn't taken the stage by 10.45 - for an event due to finish at its 11 o'clock curfew. From the Washington Post review, it doesn't sound as if anyone minded overmuch the truncation.
Given that this story is completely untrue, it's surprising that Female First run it with anything approaching a straight face:
Lady Gaga is reportedly so terrified of the radiation emitted from mobile phones, she insists someone holds her communications device away from her head when she has to make a call.Actually, we're probably being unfair when we say the whole story is bollocks. This bit could be true:
Lady Gaga is scared of mobile phones.
The 'Telephone' hitmaker is reportedly terrified of getting a brain tumour from using a portable device and now insists a member of her entourage holds her phone a short distance away from her whenever she has to make a call.
"She then listens to her calls on the speakerphone."Crazy, huh? Using a speakerphone to listen to telephone calls without having the receiver up to your ear. It's surprising they haven't sent a sniper with a knock-out draught to take her down.
* - except she doesn't.
More from No Rock on lady gaga
Both the CofE and Sabbath have stuff in common: venerable institutions back in the past, now well past their level of usefulness and run purely as cash-cows by dubious characters. So it's not so crazy that the Reverend Rachel Mann has suggested the church could take a lesson from the Sabbath. The Register has details:
“As both priest and metal musician and fan, it strikes me that the Church, especially at this agonized time, has a serious gospel lesson to learn from this darkest and heaviest music.”Archbishop Ronan Williams was unavailable for comment, because he was still trying to bite the head of a bat in a bid to unify the African and North American wings of Anglicanism.
“The music’s willingness to deal with nihilistic and, on occasion, extremely unpleasant subjects seems to offer its fans a space to accept others in a way that shames many Christians," she says.
She adds that parish councils across the land may want to emulate the ways of the headbanger, who she describes as generally “graceful, welcoming and gentle”.
Imagine The Killers if the rest of the band had no real way of keeping Brandon Flowers' ego in check. They'd be a lot like The Killers, right?
So it's not entirely clear why Flowers feels the need to do a solo tour, but he does. Oh, he does.
Pepsi are currently running a charity campaign in the US. Causes looking for funding can bid, encourage people to vote for them, and if they're at the top of the poll at the end of the month, the charity gets the cash.
It's perhaps a bit unfortunate that Pepsi decide to turn their generosity into a gameshow, but for small charities, it's an extra avenue of potential funds so it isn't all bad.
But hang about: what's this?
YOKO ONO is urging JOHN LENNON fans to celebrate the late BEATLES star's 70th birthday by voting for his Educational Tour Bus to win a $250,000 (£156,250) charity grant.So this bus - splattered with the Lennon brand, you'll notice - needs less than £200,000 to get on the road.
The mobile recording and multimedia studio enables youngsters in the U.S. to record their own music, with sound engineers on hand to help students produce projects.
Ono wants to take the initiative global to coincide with what would have been Lennon's 70th birthday in October - and she's eyeing a cash sum from the latest Pepsi Refresh Celebrity Challenge.
Couldn't Ono write a cheque for that without even breaking a sweat, instead of throwing the bus into a battle for a limited pot of cash against other groups who can't draw on the name of a dead pop star to push their cause? It's a bit like staging a Beatles gig in the same village at the same time as the fete to raise funds for the new Church roof, surely?
[If you want to vote for someone, why not vote for Denver's splendid Center For Hearing, Speech and Language's literacy project?]
It's not often Gordon is spot on, but his reaction to claims that Amy Winehouse is going to be Pete Doherty's landlord is probably right:
AMY WINEHOUSE and PETE DOHERTY living together is the worst idea I've heard in months.Of course, when he says "worst idea I've heard in months", what he really means is "blimey, this column is going to write itself for the next couple of months, isn't it?"
When it first became clear that Wyclef Jean might not qualify to be president of Haiti, his team made some encouraging noises about how what really mattered was the process being followed; that making sure that rules are applied.
That the election doesn't turn into a circus.
It will be in that spirit, then, that Jean has recorded a song having a go at the electoral commission:
The song is called “Prison for the CEP,” referring to the electoral commission, whose decision he wants to overturn in court.Yes. That'll stop the whole process descending into a personality-driven sideshow. It's exactly what Andrew Jackson would have done.
Mr. Jean also chides President Rene Preval as he sings in Creole, the French-derived language spoken by most Haitians.
Monday, August 30, 2010
It might take more than the next Robbie Williams record bucking the downward trend and Terra Firma barking up a few more quid to keep the US banks happy: there's a shortfall in EMI's pension pot which could getting on for a quarter of a billion quid.
EMI is hinting that if the UK Pension Regulator makes it keep its promises, it could cause the company to implode.
Sure, things are difficult right now for EMI - although the decision to load the company up with debt it couldn't afford isn't anyone else's fault - but as part of the RIAA, constantly lecturing the public on The Right Thing To Do, how can EMI possibly renege on a promise to the people who made the organisation what it was before Terra Firma took it over?
More from No Rock on emi
As is now traditional, the organiser of the festival must have his post-fest interview to declare how well everything went. Melvin Benn has, thus, proclaimed Reading-Leeds good.
And, given the way Leeds used to always end in a pitched battle and burning trash, the organisers probably do deserve credit for having turned things around. Nowadays, it's just the bands who are causing trouble:
Last night at the Leeds Festival Axl Rose slammed the festival organisers, saying "This war ain't over". Benn had cut the band's sound at Reading to prevent them from breaking the noise curfew.It's not entirely clear how Axl intends to pursue his "war"; or, indeed, if he'll even remember he's at war this morning. Shouldn't he really be at war with the licensing authorities rather than the festival anyway?
Benn played down the feud, saying: "I'd definitely book them again but I don't know if they'd come and play. I doubt I'll be getting a Christmas card from them. It's not personal, I think the band are great. Why would I make it personal?"
Benn was pleased with how professional the Libertines were:
"Anyone coming into this festival that just read press would have thought thought The Libertines were going to be the issue but they were professionals," he said.I suspect "professional" is the key word here; watching on TV the set came across as very highly-polished, like something a Libertines tribute band might do. In the reuniting, they lost something of their soul. The Likely Lads have become Mike And Bernie Winters.
He added: "They were just fantastic. It was the real deal and they made the effort. Whether it's got legs for the future I don't know. What they have done is knock their heads together and gone, 'Let's put great shows on'. They may all walk away from each other again, if they do I expect they'll walk away very happy because they've really hung out again.
The Moscow Times appears convinced that Bono has saved the threatened Khimki Forest:
President Dmitry Medvedev ordered a halt to the construction of a highway through the Khimki forest Thursday, marking a rare victory for a grassroots effort that the authorities heavy-handedly tried to squash but nevertheless swelled into a thousands-strong rally last weekend and the intervention of U2 frontman Bono.Really, though?
Natalia Antonova isn't convinced:
There was an “intervention” on behalf of Bono in regards to the destruction of the Khimki forest? Where is the evidence of this intervention?It does look like all the heavy lifting has been done by Shevchuk and his campaign, while Bono has, once again, just turned up for the applause at the end.
Unless he comes out and says otherwise, he didn’t bring it up with Medvedev. According to at least Chirikova (a prominent defender of the Khimki forest), he actually didn’t make any promises regarding the issue.
Bono and his stupid glasses can waltz in to this country and then waltz back out again with no risk to himself or his career, express “regret” for failing to raise any actual issues with the president, and then try to make himself look cool by aligning with someone like Yury Shevchuk. I’m wildly impressed.
Indeed, so late did Bono turn up, as Foreign Policy reports, he didn't even know about the planned driving of the highway through the trees when he was talking to President Medvedev:
Bono had gotten an open letter from Shevchuk before the concert about Khimki, and he spent the hours before his Moscow show giving pre-concert interviews to Russian papers in which he said he wished he'd known about the Khimki forest so he could've brought it up with Medvedev.Given that protesters have been fighting the Kremlin for years on this - and the Kremlin has been violently fighting back - it must be galling for them to be hearing that their efforts didn't do anything and the forest has been saved, instead, by a tax-avoiding former pop star doing a Bob Dylan cover, who had only known about the road proposal for a few hours.
Not that the forest has been saved - the plans are being re-examined, which - as we learn from the story of Ringo's house - might merely be a way of getting the campaign to break up and disperse.
And, the real kicker: Foreign Policy suggests the stay of tree-felling is down to more pragmatic concerns than What Bono Says. The burning of Russia this summer played its own part:
Even Chadaev admits that. "The summer heat wave and the forest fires had a much bigger influence on our decision to save the forest than the noise around the Khimki forest," he told me, alluding to the catastrophic environmental disaster that many have blamed on human interference in nature.Still, nothing is going to save this from being seen as another victory for Bono. Be warned: if you're currently campaigning to stop Tesco opening a store on your high street, watch out for Bono turning up as soon as he hears that the boys in Delamere Road are cooling on the plan.
Obviously, it's their choice, but Weezer electing not to be filmed by the BBC during Reading does have a smack of the prima donna about it.
This morning, Gordon (or whoever is keeping his chair this morning) has a surprising story about Cliff being buff:
THERE aren't many blokes who could get away with stripping off for a calendar two months before their 70th birthday.Yes, it's pretty much the same story - and I'm using the word in no recognisable journalistic sense here - as the News Of The World had yesterday. Old man removes shirt, please buy calendar.
But SIR CLIFF RICHARD looks every bit as fit as he did in his Summer Holiday era.
But, you know, the fact both Murdoch sheets have run the same story two days running must prove that it's an actual news story, right?
Sunday, August 29, 2010
Kelly Osbourne, the daughter of Ozzy Osbourne, really hates being thought of as 'Ozzy Osbourne's daughter':
She explained: "I think for me it's just about not being classified as a 'celeb daughter'. A lot of them make me sick - so many of them walk around with such a bratty sense of entitlement, and then people start thinking that all celebrity children are like that.Kelly is much more than just the daughter of Ozzy. She's also the daughter of Sharon, of course. And sister of the son of Ozzy Osbourne too.
"So I hate being lumped in with that crowd of girls."
And she's done all that stuff in her own right, too, yes? You know, that record she recorded with her Dad. And that variety show she did with her dad and her mum. And... well, all the other things she's achieved.
"When you're in this position, it's easy to be lazy and live off your parents, but it makes it hard for me to do something with my life, because I'm judged whatever I do.That's not true, Kelly. Let us know when you achieve something on your own, and we'll be happy to share your joy.
"Anytime I achieve anything on my own, people will automatically assume it's because of my parents."
You know there's something wrong when you read this:
And it's Congratulations to bachelor boy Sir Cliff on the near-six-packYes, Cliff has stripped off for his 2011 calendar - only October, though, so you probably could go on holiday that month. Maybe it's a halloween costume?
What's strange, though, is the fawning write-up the News Of The World has given to the launch:
And if vintage Cliff continues to look this tasty in the next decade, then we've got something to say:Surely it can't be plugging Cliff's calendar to keep in with the company which also produces the Hollyoaks and Cheryl Cole titles more in keeping with the Screws' usual content?
Son, you'll be a calendar boy and that's the way you'll stay-ay-ay-ay.
The most-read August 2010 stories have been:
1. Paul McGuinness wants us to save his music industry
2. RIP: Charles Haddon
3. Jack White doesn't like his natural audience much
4. Deadmau5 collapses under weight of costume
5. What's happened to Susan Boyle's money?
6. Qtrax reinvents itself again, again
7. Libertines make an announcement
8. The Sun drags Joe McEdderly out the closet
9. Kings Of Leon approach album making like a middle manager's job
10. Carphone Warehouse invite you to subscribe to music you alreay own
These? These are this week's interesting releases:
Mogwai - Special Moves
Download Special Moves
!!! - Strange Weather, Isn't It?
Download Strange Weather
Tame Impala - Innerspeaker
Freelance Whales - Weathervanes
Klaxons - Surfing The Void
Download Surfing The Void
Lovely, lovely pens
More from No Rock on this week just gone