Saturday, November 06, 2010

Warpaint weekend: Composure live

Night visions goggles on, to join Warpaint warming up at the Scala in London for their Reading/Leeds dates:

[Part of Warpaint weekend]

Bookmarks - Internet stuff: Dean Wareham

Aidin Vaziri meets Dean Wareham for the San Francisco Chronicle and asks why Wareham's touring Galaxie 500 songs, but not the band:

"It didn't look like fun," Wareham says, with just a hint of his native New Zealand accent lingering in his voice.
In an oral history published on the website Pitchfork to commemorate the releases, Krukowski charged, "The more money we earned, the less I recognized Dean for the friend I once had."

Wareham was caught off-guard by the lingering resentment but not entirely surprised. The only communication he's had with his former bandmates over the past two decades is through e-mail. "I don't need to travel with people who are angry about things I did 20 years ago," he sniffs.

"I think a reunion would be easier to do with a four- or five-piece band," Wareham adds. "The very structure of being a trio, where the other two are a couple, makes it more difficult to consider. There are only so many ways the tension could go."

Warpaint weekend: Burgundy live

Just last month, in Seattle:

[Part of Warpaint weekend]

Peter Jenner: Maybe we charged too much

Peter Jenner - president of the music manager's group, the IMMF - has already speculated that the fight against piracy might well have been a lot of effort in the wrong direction. Now, he's gone a bit further via the MidemNet Blog:

There is no evidence that there has been any serious decline in illegal use, yet sales have held up. Maybe we don’t need any more customer bashing. Maybe we should be trying to find new outlets and business models for our retailing partners, rather than treating them as the enemy. Maybe the penny is beginning to drop that collective licensing of digital services is the way to go, and that the development and encouragement of new altruistic filters (online and off), to turn our customers onto great new music is a good idea.
He also echoes the suggestion of Rob Dickins a few weeks back that maybe music has been overpriced:
Now they [the major labels] need to ask serious questions about their decline, and stop looking for easy culprits and facile solutions. Is the collapse over the last few years more to do with unbundling the album, failure to provide the right excitement in A&R, poor marketing and abysmal relations with retail that has led to the collapse of so many retailers (thank god for Tesco, ASDA, and Sainsbury for using records as a loss leader).

Maybe records were too expensive after all.

Maybe our core traditional audience wanted to spend their money on games, cheap fashion, getting drunk, and mobile phones rather than recorded music. Maybe we had ignored for too long the over 35’s who are probably the key buyers for CDs the premium product.
I still think we're a few years from most of the RIAA admitting that they were so convinced filesharing was the cause of all their woes they forgot to even run their own businesses properly - it's like an oak tree assuming its leaves are falling because of the mistletoe, as it started showing its berries around the same time. But it's encouraging that some people are starting to ask the right questions.

Perhaps Feargal Sharkey should have listened to the Culture Show programme, instead of complaining that it was so unfair.

Maybe in a couple of years.

Warpaint weekend: Elephant live

Recorded - let's say verité style - at Chicago's Do Division Festival:

[Part of Warpaint weekend]

Murdoch's team looks at watch as MySpace relaunches

The big MySpace relaunch - which we think was probably the fourth or fifth time they've announced that they're now a music and entertainment site - has been more or less undermined by deep sighs from News Corp:

Chase Carey, News Corp's president, said the company was clear that MySpace "is a problem" after quarterly losses in its digital and other activities widened by $30m to $156m (£97m).

MySpace, now well overtaken by Facebook in popularity, has been relaunched as a music and entertainment network, but Carey – deputising for an absent Rupert Murdoch on a results conference call – said that "traffic numbers are still not going in the right direction". He warned that the site's performance was something "we judge in quarters, not in years".
Most observers seem pretty agreed that the current relaunch is MySpace's last throw of the dice; it can't be helping them that their family is stood at the side of the craps table yelling "you don't know what you're doing, we'll be out in the car waiting to drive you home in five minutes."

The real problem is for this MySpace to work, it's going to need to be fed with content by bands and other creative people. But if you were looking for a home for your content, and to build a relationship with fans, why would you throw your lot in with a social networking site whose owners can't even think of anything positive to say about it to investors?

Warpaint weekend: Beetles live

Ooh, this is a nice venue - it's Warpaint at the Fort Worth Modern Art Museum:

[Part of the Warpaint weekend]

Guy Hands and the melting chocolate biscuit

The Citigroup v EMI trial wasn't a total disaster for Guy Hands. Sure, the jury took hardly any time at all to kick Hands' claims out of court, and it now looks inevitable that Citigroup will take control of EMI, and Hands' reputation lays in tatters.

But at least he managed to be humiliated in New York, so it won't affect his tax status. So that's a plus, right?

The case was never going to fly, and given that Citi could point to Guy Hands' close friendship with David Wormsley remained close even when Hands had twigged the banker had diddled him it was probably foolish to even start the action.

And that was before Guy Hands stood up in court and said actually, he didn't even recall much about being defrauded, now you ask:

Terra Firma Capital Partners Ltd founder Hands, pressing an $8 billion damages claim against Citigroup, also testified at trial in New York that he had no document to support his allegations banker David Wormsley lied to him in three phone calls about a rival bid.

During hours of tense cross-examination, Citigroup trial lawyer Ted Wells asked Hands: "The only thing you can remember is the conversation with David Wormsley and chocolate biscuits?" from a May 20, 2007 Terra Firma board meeting.

Hands replied: "That is correct, in detail."

He said he could remember "how close the plane was" at the meeting in an airport hangar on the English Channel island of Guernsey, but not the meeting details or documents.

He said he remembers being hungry and asking for chocolate biscuits to eat.
How on earth did Hands think this was going to come off well for him? Was he hoping that he could enter an empty Tunnocks Teacake Wrapper into the court to support his entire case?

Hands has done the remarkable in the current climate and made the world feel a bit sorry for a bank. Indeed, there was a juror who got special thanks from Michael Moore for constructing an anti-bank movie, and even then Hands couldn't find any support.

It perhaps says it all that the lead Terra Firma counsel didn't stick around for the verdict. He'd already moved on to the next thing.

Of course, it's not inevitable that Terra Firma will lose EMI. But given that it's struggling to keep afloat, and relying heavily on the kindness of its main creditor, dragging that creditor to court and calling it fraudulent might not have been the shrewdest move.

It's horrible for EMI, and the people who work for EMI. You know what's funny, though? Even after a half-decade of terrible decisions, it's unlikely Hands is going to suffer as much as those whose employment depended upon him.

Embed and breakfast man: Warpaint

What a strange NME it is this week. It's got Warpaint on the cover, which is right and feels like the direction that KM had originally been taking the magazine in. But it's got posters of Oasis, White Stripes, Libertines and... you know. It's almost as if there's a fear that putting an act still in a getting-to-know-you stage of their career on the cover is going to be so alienating to the NME readership, they've had to balance it with the cover promises of big glossy pictures of Liam and Jack and Pete. "Don't worry, readers, we're not really moving on. Stare at Noel's eyebrows. We're not going to kill your heroes, no matter how rubbish they've become."

On the plus side, though, it is a big splash for Warpaint. Let's celebrate with a quick smattering of Warpaint through the day.

First, and perhaps most obviously, here's the video for Undertow:

The Fool
Exquisite Corpse

More Warpaint
Warpaint official site
Last FM

Further splashes of Warpaint across the weekend
Beetles live in Fort Worth
Elephant live in Chicago
Burgundy live in Seattle

Gordon in the morning: I guess it's lucky he's not called Roger

Really, Gordon? Mat dates Amber LeBon, and you come up with Mat has Horne for Amber?

As your lead?

Friday, November 05, 2010

Gordon in the morning: Mixing pop and politics

Gordon is having a crack at sucking up to Downing Street this morning:

D Cam or D-Dog, as he might become known, is the youngest Prime Minister in 200 years, so his taste in music is likely to be more up to date than predecessors TONY BLAIR and GORDON BROWN.
Oh, yes. That five months difference in age between Blair and Cameron when they became Prime Minister makes all the difference. Your tastes suddenly become so old-fashioned in that bit between being 43 and a half and 44, right?

This fawning over Cameron's tastes is hung on the news that Wiley is going to go to Number 10:
The PM is expecting a visit from top grime crew ROLL DEEP.
Although, as Smart admits further down, it's all part of some sort of Sun-sponsored awards thingy rather than Dave calling his favourite bands to Whitehall.

Blair, of course, did throw his own reception shortly after election which included inviting Alan Mcgee and Noel Gallagher for drinkies. I'm surprised Gordon didn't decide to have a bit of fun poking Blair for fawning over Gallagher all those years ago - after all, who treats Noel Gallagher like he's some kind of Lord, eh, Gordon?

Still, I could be wrong, and Gordon might be spot on. Perhaps Cameron will soon be known as D-Dog. Let's hope William Hague and his friend have kept those baseball caps.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Michael Grade is very, very cross

Michael Grade is bursting with rage at the BBC for what they did. But also quite a bit about what they didn't.

Grade seems to have accepted the BBC's apology and the findings of the complaints unit. The unit, in particular, upholds complaints that way other news outlets spoke about the original World Service programme might have led to fair-minded listeners getting the wrong impression about what it found.

It makes it odd, then, that Grade's interviews today see him talking about the Editorial Complaints Unit judgement in a way which might have led to fair-minded listeners getting the wrong impression about what it found:

Former BBC chairman Michael Grade, a trustee of the Band Aid Trust, said Assignment had "sexed up" its story by "trying to smear Live Aid through this programme through the use of all the music from Live Aid and using Bob Geldof's name".
Except, that's not what the ECU said:
The ECU found as follows:
* The programme [Assignment] gave the impression that the claims of diversion related, inter alia, to Band Aid/Live Aid money (and the programme-makers acknowledge that such an impression, though unintended, might have been formed by a fair-minded listener). However, the programme's evidence did not relate to Band Aid/Live Aid money, and the impression given by the programme in this respect was therefore unfair to the Trust.
* There was no evidence that the programme's allusions to Band Aid were motivated by a desire to sensationalise the story. [3]
So no "sexing-up"; no intent to smear anyone. It might be thought a bit misleading to go round claiming that there was.

Gordon in the morning: Man to spend Christmas with partner's family

Yes, that's the big splash on Bizarre today, that Matt Bellamy will spend Christmas with Kate Hudson and her family.

You might think that Gordon would struggle to make this typical Yuletide plan into anything beyond a nib, but Gordon has got it covered.

Let's also hope [Matt's] mum doesn't take along any proof of his circumcision when he was a lad.
I'm sorry...what?

Yes, Gordon has decided - hilariously - that it's going to be just like Meet The Fockers. No, Kate Hudson wasn't in that movie, nor were Goldie Hawn or Kurt Russell, her mum and stepdad. In fact, the only link seems to be that that's a film about someone meeting somebody's family, and that's what Matt's doing so... it's bound to be identical, right?
MUSE rocker MATT BELLAMY could soon end up nicknamed Gaylord Focker if his Christmas get-together fails to go to plan.
It's a slim conceit, but you might just be able to get away with one reference, however shoe-horned in.
Matt may decline the water volleyball as he doesn't want to give Kate a shiner.
Like in the film. Do you see?
As long as Matt doesn't kill the cat or get caught raiding Goldie's undercrackers drawer, it should be happy families.
Like in the film. Do you see?

Of course, Gordon's not so gauche as to assume that simply listing the plot of a film and adding 'let's hope that doesn't happen, eh, reader?' isn't enough to carry an entire piece, so he turns to wondering how Bellamy's in-laws - who may or may not be going along together too, depending on which paragraph you're on (at one point, the families are all "shacking up together", at another, there's talk of "splitting the US trip between [Matt's parents]") - will get on with Hudson's:
Kurt is a huge music fan and Matt's dad used to be a guitar player in Sixties group THE TORNADOS so there's already common ground.
Oh, yes. That's practically being brothers, isn't it?

"I was once in a band"
"That's such a crazy coincidence, I've just bought a CD. From a shop. That's got a band on it."

Perhaps it's best to stick to wedging in references to barely-connected comedy films as possible events that you hope don't occur during the holidays.

Let's hope Kate Hudson doesn't put a flute up her pussy, eh, readers?

BBC say sorry to Band Aid, Bob Geldof

The BBC has withdrawn and apologised some of its reporting over Ethiopian aid - although the actual complaints findings aren't online yet, so it's not entirely clear yet what, specifically, they're saying sorry for.

Much of the apologising seems to be for other news programmes making a direct link between Band Aid and misused aid; the BBC has admitted you could have come away with the impression that the programme was talking about Band Aid funds rather than aid in general.

In much the same way that this morning, you could come away with the impression that the apology was for the original investigation into what happened to aid rather than some of the summarising which followed.

The Mail is relatively restrained in its reporting of the apology. But then the Mail did run a story directly linking Band Aid funds to weapons around the same time, with an on-the-record source.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

George W Bush zings back at Kanye

Kanye West might think he's fast with a line, but he wasn't counting on George W Bush, who has shot back at West's 'Bush doesn't care about black people' jibe just, erm, five years after it happened.

Bush has written a book - I know, bless - and he's currently trying to promote it to anyone who might have some money left after he'd crapped the US economy into a junkyard. On a tour to promote the book, Bush brought up West while talking to Matt Lauer:

'He called me a racist', Mr Bush said on the primetime special.

When Lauer clarified that West said, 'George Bush doesn't care about black people', Mr Bush reiterated that to him those words meant West was claiming, 'he's a racist'.
Meanings of words, George? That was never really your strong suit when you were President, was it?
'And I didn't appreciate it then. I don't appreciate it now', Mr Bush continued.
Actually, I don't think West was even dignifying you with being racist, George - at least a racist might have been engaging with Hurricane Katrina; West was suggesting you didn't even think it worth your time to think about.
'It's one thing to say, "I don't appreciate the way he's handled his business". It's another to say, "This man's a racist". I resent it, it's not true and it was one of the most disgusting moments in my presidency.

In the book he wrote: 'The suggestion that I was racist because of the response to Hurricane Katrina represented an all-time low'.
Well, there's some common ground between Bush and West; both thought the episode was the low of the Bush presidency, just for different reasons.

But it wasn't really West that made people think you didn't give two hoots for the poor of Louisiana, George. It was more the sitting about on your hands not doing anything while people were drowning, and then the not-saying-anything when the residents of New Orleans were being treated as hostile as they tried to survive in their own city. That sort of thing.

By the way, this passage from the Mail's report on the Bush book is also quite priceless:
Mr Bush also reveals in Decision Points that he stands firm on his decision to invade Iraq, resents being accused of lying about WMDs and even considered dropping Dick Cheney from his 2004 campaign to 'demonstrate that I was in charge'.

The idea to replace Cheney was prompted in 2003 during a private lunch with the former vice president who offered to drop out of the race.
So Bush was going to show how much he was in charge by, erm, accepting the suggestion of the Vice President that he step aside. That's decideration in action right there.

BT hit delete, tell Ministry Of Sound these are not the customers they're looking for

That stamping of feet? That'd be coming from Ministry Of Sound, enraged that BT have deleted private data the MOS were demanding to pursue unlicensed filesharers. MediaGuardian explains:

BT had agreed to retain the personal details of 20,000 of its customers earlier this year, so that Ministry of Sound could pursue them once an injunction on the court order was lifted. However, the record label today said that BT had "failed to preserve" the details.

The telecoms company was granted an injunction on the original court order, submitted by law firm Gallant Macmillan on behalf of Ministry of Sound, on 4 October. The broadband provider argued that it would continue to challenge such orders – known as "Norwich Pharmacal orders" – until the rights holder and law firm can prove that accusations of illegal filesharing have "some basis".
It almost makes you forgive BT for those Kris Marshall ads, right?

Ministry Of Sound likes to think of itself as a record label, although grouping a bunch of other people's tracks together and slapping a picture of a foxtrelle in a bikini on the sleeve isn't really being a record label, is it? Still, it has copyrights and it's going to protect them, dammit:
The Ministry of Sound chief executive, Lohan Presencer, said: "It is very disappointing that BT decided not to preserve the identities of the illegal uploaders."
Alleged illegal uploaders, surely, Lohan. You claim they were "illegally" uploading, but BT suggested that you hadn't shown these claims had any basis.
"Given that less than 20% of the names remain and BT costs have soared from a few thousand pounds to several hundred thousand pounds, it makes no economic sense to continue with this application."
Again, there's that whining sense from the copyright industry that they shouldn't be expected to pay the costs of their own security - like the bloke from the corner shop wanting the council to pay for his CCTV as the kids who steal Mars bars use the street to get there.

It's a bit surprising, though - let's say everyone on the MOS list was somehow stealing from them. 20% of a list of 150,000 is still 30,000 chummies making off with Carl Cox remixes.

And, surely, the people on the list must have been serial abusers to have made it worthwhile pursuing them in the first place, so shrugging about 30,000 bad, bad people seems a bit strange.
"We are more determined than ever to go after internet users who illegally upload our copyrighted material."
Except, oddly, not for the 20% of names for whom BT still hold the details. Not really determined about them any more.
"We will be making further applications for information from all ISPs. Every time that a track or album is uploaded to the web it is depriving artists of royalties and reducing the money which we can invest in new British talent."
Ah, yes. New British talent. Those '15 years of anthems' or 'Dave Pearce: 1995' albums don't just create themselves, you know.

Look, I could go through the whole 'an unlicensed download is not the same thing as a lost sale' argument, but I think even Ministry Of Sound know that nobody really believes in the old 'every time a track is downloaded, an angel loses its wings' saw. In fact, lets just pretend that Lohan said "everytime someone goes out in the sunshine for free vitamins, it means the loss of a sale of an orange and reduces our ability to invest in Florida."

The sudden decision to drop the pursuit of 30,000 alleged infringers might look a little like Ministry Of Sound not really wanting to have to explain the quality of their data in a court. BT sweetly points out they're more than happy to help. With safeguards:
"The safeguards we aim to establish via the court are on the security of data handling, a threshold for providing a customer's details based on a minimum number of separate incidents, the tone of contact with broadband subscribers and a reasonable approach to financial compensation sought."
All of that seems reasonable enough. You'd have thought that Ministry Of Sound, determined to pursue these villains, would have been happy to give those assurances, and give them quickly. Strange that - despite this sapping their ability to invest in another Housesexy collection - they chose not to.

[Thanks to Michael M]

Gordon in the morning: Limited release leads to limited sales shock

Gordon has some fun poking Nadine Coyle with a stick this morning:

NADINE COYLE has sold an embarrassing 117 copies of her debut solo single.
117 is quite disappointing. Although a couple of paragraphs later, Gordon admits that she hasn't actually sold 117 copies at all:
The singer, who released Insatiable exclusively through the supermarket, flogged 117 copies, according to official first-day sales figures on Monday. Digital sales were dire too - just 2,439.
So, "sold 117 copes of her single" if you ignore all of Tuesday's sales and all the download sales. And you can only buy the physical record in one place - a store which tends to do most of its business at the other end of the week. And you can't find the mp3 everywhere, either - Amazon don't have it, for instance.

So, in that context, perhaps not such a terrible result.
CHERYL COLE's sales figures rub further salt into Nadine's wounds.

The X Factor judge has shifted 566 hard copies of track Promise This and 27,643 on t'internet - in her second week of sales. And she sold a whopping 157,000 copies in the first week.
T'internet? You're still doing that, Gordon?

Given that Cole is everywhere - both metaphorically and in terms of stockists - and it's only the second week of sales, I'd say those figures are probably more worrying for Cole than Coyle.
RIHANNA racked up 47,000 downloads with new song Only Girl (In the World).
That doesn't really sound like many. Sure, Nadine's not shifted much, but isn't the story here that all the sales figures are pretty grim here?

Smart pegs Coyle at 35 in the midweek charts - which is more interesting in its own right. If you're down to about 3,000 sales before you get out of the Top 40, how many singles do you have to sell to make the top 100? I feel as if I should be turning up there. I've not sold any singles at all, but it looks like that should guarantee an entry in the low 80s.

But Gordon's story isn't about the state of the music industry; it's all about kicking the heck out of Nadine Coyle:
At this rate she'll be in the reduced aisle with stale muffins by Thursday.

There's no mistaking Nadine's got a good set of pipes, but she's about as endearing as malaria.

Maybe if she'd put some work in over here instead of keeping her head down in LA, it would have fared better.
Most people who Gordon write about go to California, and they're living it large, Hollywood-style. Nadine Coyle goes there, and she's sneaking away in some posh foreign hidey-hole.
Her increasing rift with popular bandmates SARAH HARDING, NICOLA ROBERTS, KIMBERLEY WALSH and Cheryl can't have helped either.
She's in a rift with the popular ones.

Popular with The Sun, clearly.

Smart's bullying looks like a desperate attempt to keep in with Girls Aloud and The X Factor mothership.

It also makes you warm more and more to Nadine Coyle.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Radio One buries Nations opt-outs deeper

You could be forgiven for not knowing that what was once The Session In The Nations from Radio One was still going, as it had long since been dumped from an early-evening slot into the post-Midnight on Thursdays slot. If you could be arsed to track it down, though, it was still quite worthwhile; Bethan Elfyn's Welsh variant especially.

They're now being "given a shake-up, which means getting pushed off to the even-worse slot of midnight until two on Monday mornings, a slot so prized it currently plays host to bits of old canker from the week strung together and passed off as a review show.

There's presenter changes, too, as MediaGuardian reports:

Ally McCrae joins the station to replace Vic Galloway on the Scotland show, while Jen Long – currently assistant producer on the Wales show – will succeed Bethan Elfyn in Wales.
This is, erm, apparently being done to please the BBC Trust:
Ben Cooper, the Radio 1 deputy controller, said: "The BBC Trust asked us to appeal to the next generation of young audiences, and within that to look for the next generation of new talent – and Ally and Jen are just that."
Interesting that you'd bring on the next generation at nothing o'clock on a Monday, for one-third of the UK, rather than, say, giving someone fresh a chance with the Breakfast Show.

Our suspicions were first aroused when he claimed emphatically to not have killed the deputy

A few weeks ago, Will Self claimed in the New Statesman that the Met's armed police had placed themselves beyond reproach. Not by behaving well, but by letting it be known if any one of them was ever properly punished for breaking the rules, they'd all walk. That sort of beyond reproach. If they were firemen and said that, it'd be all over the tabloids before you could fact-check.

It's perhaps this apparent belief that they're untouchable which gives the backdrop for the claims that an armed officer had dicked about hiding song titles and lyrics in evidence at an inquest into the death of Mark Saunders.

If it wasn't so horribly inappropriate, there'd be something almost mesmerising about a news story which unites songs by Chris DeBurgh and The Membranes.

The "independent" Police Complaints Commission is carrying out an investigation. It'll be interesting to see if anything solid comes of it.

P-orridge bowls: Throbbing Gristle splits

Genesis P Orridge has sent stiff emails to the rest of Throbbing Gristle, uncoupling himself from the band. And, as a result, the rest of the Gristle has called it a day, too. For now.


In the evening 27th October TG members and their associated managements
received two emails from Genesis P-Orridge stating he was no longer
willing to perform in Throbbing Gristle and returned to his home in New York.

Cosey, Sleazy & Chris have concluded that once more, and for the time being,
Throbbing Gristle has Ceased to Exist, at least as a live entity.

Therefore, and with deepest apologies, TG must cancel their scheduled
performance at Archa Theatre, in Prague, Czech Republic on 30th October.
It being too short notice to offer an alternative set.

In order not to disappoint fans of the old quartet, Cosey, Peter & Chris
have offered to perform live under the name X-TG at Arena Del Sole, Bologna, Italy
on 2nd November & at Casa Musica, Porto, Portugal on 5th November.

We hope fans will appreciate and enjoy this new project and the trio is looking
forward to performing exciting new and radical electronic musics together.

Refunds are available for the Prague performance,
other refunds are at the discretion of the promoter.
XTG is quite an inspired name for thinking on the spot, you'd have to say. We'll hold our breath for the name-calling and acrimonious backstory.

Embed and breakfast man: Broken Social Scene

Unions of pop and opera aren't entirely well-starred; Macca turning up with his Liddypool Oratorio Wacker; Elton John wearing a wig; that Passengers thing with U2 and Pavarotti.

Here's something a bit more successful: Broken Social Scene playing a benefit with, and for, the Canadian Opera Company.

You'd have thought that the only musicians in worse need of cash than opera musicians would be indie musicians, which makes the gesture even more generous.

[via Pitchfork]

Embed and breakfast man: The Victorian English Gentleman's Club

Three-in-a-bed video sexual thrills from VEGC:

That's Parrot, by the way.

[Buy: Parrot for 79p]

Get well soon, Danny Baker

We're extraordinarily fond of Danny Baker here, and so while yesterday's announcement of cancer wasn't entirely unexpected (the reference to "radioactive medicine" during one of the sporadic London shows was a bit of a big hint), it's still quite horrible news.

All the best, Candyman.

By the way: Narrow The Angle has a lovely bit about Mr B.

Gordon in the morning: Loss

Curiously, although he reprints most of the official statement from Lily Allen's spokesperson this morning, Gordon Smart leaves out the last line.

The bit that says:

"The couple ask that their privacy be respected and that they be left alone at this deeply distressing time. No further comment will be made."
Of course, given that he's splashing a miscarriage all over his gossip column, slathered in mawkisness and faux empathy, it's perhaps unsurprising he thought he should edit out the bit he was ignoring. I mean, you don't want to be seen to be being unseemly, do you?

There's another curiosity in the coverage, with the official statement - pretty much universally reported has having been issued by Murray Chalmers, Allen's PR - being described by Gordon as if he'd had an off-the-record briefing:
Lily's sad news was revealed yesterday by an aide who spoke of the couple's "deep distress".
Murray Chalmers issued a statement. Perhaps Gordon is just so used to running stories without any attribution, he's forgotten how to credit on-the-record coverage.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Elton John retires from pop

Given that he's only managed a top ten hit once in the last five years, and his best chart position he's managed with the last five singles was 138, Elton John's 'retirement' from pop is a bit like a three-legged horse ruling itself out for the National. If you don't count Candle In The Wind Diana Remix, he's not managed to make the US Top Ten since 1994.

Still, it's time, says Elt:

He told GQ: "Look, I'm 63. I don't want to be on VH1 or MTV. I'm not going to compete with JLS or Lady GaGa. I'm at that stage where I don't think I can write pop music anymore. I can't sit down and do a proper rock song. It was okay when I was 25 or 26, but not anymore.

"I like to do my little side projects like Scissor Sisters and have fun, but I don't think Elton John will be putting any pop singles out."
Amusingly, given that Paul McCartney is in today's Sun saying how brilliant modern music is, Elton disagrees:
John recently claimed that modern-day songwriters are "pretty awful" and that current pop music "isn't very inspiring".
I wonder how Elton John and Paul McCartney can have such differing views of the state of modern music? (Clue: sales of The Captain And The Kid v Memory Almost Full).

Gordon in the morning: Paul McCartney is pushing a new old record

God, how quickly did Lady GaGa go from GaGa to blahblah?

Flaming GaGa beheads Barbie
PVC-clad Pokerface singer bites head off doll and plays burning piano at Belfast gig
Doll beheading, you say? Burning pianos? Really? GaGa's the Zimbabwean dollar of performance at all then, suffering from the effects of rampant over-inflation.

Meanwhile, Paul McCartney has been giving his Macca-Thumbs-aloft to new music:
SIR PAUL McCARTNEY reckons music is as good now, if not better, as it was in his songwriting prime.

THE BEATLES icon has backed bands such as KINGS OF LEON, KASABIAN and rapper PLAN B as something for modern music fans to shout about.
Really? Kasabian, Paul?

McCartney is so excited by the modern music scene he's, erm, pushing a 1973 record as the perfect Christmas gift. No wonder he's applauding Kings Of Leon - it's a bit like someone selling Waterhouse prints going "but you know what - posters with 3D computer-generated cartoon characters on are brilliant, too."

There's a lot going on in this attempt by McCartney, Gordon and two out of Kasabian to "recreate" the Band On The Run sleeve:
Not least the question: do Kasabian ever get to shake Gordon off, or is he always turning up as soon as they open the front door: "where are you going now?"

Sunday, October 31, 2010

A last shake of the Cape

I hadn't heard that Adelaide's Cape had split up earlier this year, which is quite sad news. Dustbowl Records are selling off the last few copies of Last Sleep In Albion right now for cheap.

Here's a taste of what that means:
Adelaide's Cape - Curled by thebluewalrus
Actually, I say "split" - it's probably not splitting if you're one person, is it? Except in the "here comes the police, let's split" sense.

This week just gone

The most-read stories from October 2010 were:

1. Glastonbury shut-outs 'moaning'
2. Someone pretending to be Michael Eavis has a go at SeeTickets
3. RIAA distressed to find out Google isn't going to do their job for nothing
4. Cheryl Cole has trouble dating
5. Anti-Defamation League calls Roger Waters anti-semitic while admitting that he isn't
6. Daily Mail prints sexy Katy Perry pictures just to say she looks fat
7. Resonance FM drops Max Tundra
8. RIP Solomon Burke
9. Rob Dickins says music costs too much; "Shhh" go former colleagues
10. Astronaut sues Dido

These were this week's curious-smelling releases:

Giant Sand - Blurry Blue Mountain

Download Blurry Blue Mountain

The Fall - The Wonderful and Frightening World of...

Download The Wonderful and Frightening World

Lauren Pritchard - Wasted In Jackson

Download Wasted In Jackson

Marc Almond - Stranger Things

Download Stranger Things

Mary Hopkin - Postcard

Download Stranger Things

Cowboy Junkies - Renmin Park

The Concretes - Wywh

Download Wywh