Saturday, July 30, 2011

Morrissey 'explains' his Norwegian comments

I suppose, to be fair to Morrissey, for once he's admitting he said what he said. But he's trying to weasel his way out of it, just the same:

The recent killings in Norway were horrific. As usual in such cases, the media give the killer exactly what he wants: worldwide fame.
And you know what, linking the killer to Colonel Saunders is just the way to work against that, right?
We aren't told the names of the people who were killed - almost as if they are not considered to be important enough
That's just a lie. There's been, rightly, acres of coverage about the murdered. Either Morrissey doesn't know this, in which case he's an idiot, or he does, and he's just being cynical.
yet the media frenzy to turn the killer into a Jack The Ripper star is .... repulsive. He should be un-named, not photographed, and quietly led away.
A fair point - psychologists repeatedly say that showing photographs of mass-murderes repeatedly in news reports is unhelpful and can inspire further, similar attacks.

But what has this to do with what Morrissey said on stage? How does saying 'there are a lot of dead, but it's nothing compared to what McDonalds did' in any way restore the balance between the murdered and the murderer? Is shrugging and saying 'well, it's not as bad as the slaughter for a bargain bucket' reclaiming the names of the dead?
The comment I made onstage at Warsaw could be further explained this way: Millions of beings are routinely murdered every single day in order to fund profits for McDonalds and KFCruelty, but because these murders are protected by laws, we are asked to feel indifferent about the killings, and to not even dare question them.

If you quite rightly feel horrified at the Norway killings, then it surely naturally follows that you feel horror at the murder of ANY innocent being. You cannot ignore animal suffering simply because animals "are not us."
This is fairly standard Morrissey - as we said earlier in the week, to claim to be both a massive Smiths fan and surprised that Morrissey believes that there's a moral equivalence between mass murder and industrial farming is to suggest you've not been paying attention.

But the original problem was less about what he said, and more about the timing - before any of the victims had been laid to rest; while police were still unable to say if they'd found all the dead or not. It was the lack of empathy and sympathy that stank worse than a sewer under a McDonalds; that this wasn't the time.

Morrissey had managed to issue a statement which both ignores the problem of his original remarks, and adds a whole new slew of offensive and fallacious self-justifications instead.

Shut up, man. Just shut the fuck up.

Poppunkobit: Ryan Shaw

Ryan Shaw, singer, guitarist and songwriter with The Early Strike, died on Tuesday.

Shaw had been diagnosed with pediatric cancer DSRCT in 2007, and had remained in the band despite periods of pain and serious illness.

The Flordia-Texas punk band had completed two Vans Warped Tours, and a self-titled album had a release in early 2009. Work on a follow-up had been started, with David J Holman producing.

Ryan Shaw was 22. A fundraiser for pediatric cancer in his memory has been set up through PayPal.

Schooly D pulled in to Norwegian slaughter

What's the difference between Schooly D and Melanie Phillips?

Where Mel was approvingly included in Anders Breivik's moronfesto, Schooly D's lyrics turn up as an example of what is bad about hip-hop. Phawker explains:

Breivik includes a slightly bastardized version of John P McWhorter’s 2003 anti-rap diatribe How Hip-Hop Holds Blacks Back, which singles out a few of the most sensational lines from Schooly D’s proto-gangsta rap classic “PSK What Does It Mean?” to illustrate the toxicity of hip-hop.
Breivik, naturally, is bending his evidence to fit his worldview, and doesn't include the lines where D realises guns are bad, and turns to rapping instead.

Schooly D is going to make an official statement next week, but Phawker sums it all up rather nicely:
If we were in his shoes we would say this: I am not interested in lectures about the negative effect of rap lyrics on society from mass murderers. Period. End of story.

Bookmarks - Internet stuff: Black Swan

Nice, brief New York Times piece on the city's pioneering Black Swan records:

In early 1921, Pace struck out on his own, taking most of the office staff with him to found Pace Phonograph Company — its first office was in his home on West 138th Street — and starting Black Swan Records. It was aimed at recording black performers at a time when many big record companies would not. Pace’s goal was to challenge white stereotypes by recording not just comic and blues songs, but also sacred and operatic music and serious ballads. Du Bois was one of Black Swan’s directors.

Gordon in the morning: What if you took a holiday and nobody noticed?

Beyonce has been talking about her year off.

No, apparently, she'd taken a year off. I can't say I'd noticed, either.

Gordon pitches it, hilariously, as "a gap year":

But unlike most people in their twenties, the singer didn't spend her sabbatical enjoying Amsterdam's "herbal" cafes or meeting Toadfish on the Neighbours set in Melbourne, Australia.

When you're one of the world's biggest pop stars you can afford a more pampered "cultural" experience.
This mainly appears to have consisted of visiting museums and tourist locations like the Great Wall of China, which you're actually able to do even if you're not in the Forbes rich list.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Darkness at 3AM: Noel buys a radiogram

Apparently convinced he's ninety years old, Noel Gallagher has tried to make a purchase. The Mirror has the details:

“I went to Selfridges and asked for a ghetto blaster. The guy looked at me like I was asking for an obsolete part of a spaceship.

“I was going, ‘You know? Handle, two speakers, put a CD in and you get music?’ Eventually, the guy said: ‘CD? We’ve got iPod docks.’ What’s going on?”
Actually, if you were looking for obsolete parts of spaceships, wouldn't that be futuristic rather than retro?

You've got to love that plaintive 'what's going on?', as if iPods were somehow newfangled devices and hadn't been around for ten years. I wonder how Noel is getting on with digital switchover? Has he lost BBC Two?

This just in: Selfridges have released CCTV footage of Gallagher attempting to make his purchase:

Gordon in the morning: Blazering squad

Fazer - the one out of N-Dubz who can do his own laces - is "doing a fashion line". No rubbish, mind:

e said: "I am working on some visual boards at the moment, for my own high-end clothing line.

"Hopefully we'll start promoting it next year. It's going to be exclusively Fazer. I want to set the standards high - no rubbish.

"Everything is going to have a tailored feel to it - fitted jackets, fitted shirts, jeans and blazers."
Yes, there's nothing ill-judged in a clothing range aimed at the high-fashion end of the N-Dubz audience. How does one fit a Red Bull pocket into a tailored blazer?

Thursday, July 28, 2011

E! pokes its face into a baby

E! has published a long lens photo of Pink carrying her daughter.

Despite being obviously shot by a stalker-with-a-camera, E! write about it as if they'd been invited to tea:

Cuteness alert!

Punk rock queen Pink and her hubby, Carey Hart, have been keeping baby Willow Sage out of the spotlight, save for the one time they released their own family portrait to the press.

But the protective new mama was ready to drop the curtain as she and her 1-month-old daughter were spotted stepping out together in Malibu.

We're keeping our fingers crossed for more Pink family outings because her baby is just too adorable. All together now: Awww!
They were out doing family things. They were not putting themselves in the spotlight.

What makes E! even more scummy is that in the middle of this article, they actually link to their own article where Pink asks paparazzi to not invade her kid's childhood. They link to it. While ignoring it.

Morrissey: Burger off

Doubtless it's only a couple of hours until we get the "I was misquoted/you misunderstand me", but Morrissey's clumping lack of sensitivity has done it again:

The singer allegedly made the comments during a gig in Warsaw on Sunday (July 24), before playing The Smiths song 'Meat Is Murder'. Morrissey apparently said:

We all live in a murderous world, as the events in Norway have shown, with 97 dead. Though that is nothing compared to what happens in McDonald's and Kentucky Fried Shit every day.
That the man believes there's an equivalence between homicide and industrial meat production shouldn't come as any surprise - he was introducing a song which says that. (Oddly, people who profess to be his fans are affecting shock that these are his beliefs, which is a bit like life-long Aleister Crowley followers going "wooah, back up - what's this about the devil?")

The problem is that a man who once built an industry around his sensitivity is so incapable of judging the appropriate time and place for sharing his viewpoints.

Again, though, nobody who has watched his spiral into being the Vegan Richard Littlejohn can really be surprised that he seems to lost any power of empathy.

The death of dozens of children isn't a "teaching moment" for the world to learn a bit more about the joys of Quorn.

Let's stop looking at him. Let's just turn our eyes away.

Gordon in the morning: Time to drag the body about a bit

The Sun has tried to be dignified following the death of Amy Winehouse, but it's been half a week, dammit; they can't keep that up forever.

Today, Lia Nicholls ("Bizarre Deputy Editor") and Lucy Connolly run a story which appears to be based on the eulogy Mitch Benn gave at Amy's funeral. Claiming it was down to "a family source", there's rather a lot on what may or may not have killed Amy, supposedly all revealed during the funeral.

Although sometimes the "family source" becomes "a source close to Amy's family", which aren't quite the same thing. And apparently not so close as to care about the family's desire for the media to treat the funeral as a private affair.

Charmingly, after having apparently ignored the family's request for the funeral to remain amongst friends and relatives, the pair then add a bit which effectively contradicts Mitch's eulogy suggestion that Winehouse had been sober for three weeks before she died, and that it was withdrawal rather than addiction which killed her.

There's also a report from outside Amy's house:

DRUNKEN yobs "paying tribute" to Amy have been causing havoc outside her house.
Havoc, you say?
One neighbour said: "People have been getting drunk on the square. If a fight broke out who knows what could happen?"
So, no fights have broken out, then?

What does the neighbour actually fear might happen anyway? A full-blown riot? The collapse of polite society? The summoning of a thousand angry dragons?

This sounds more like "a bit of a nuisance" rather than "havoc", surely?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

What the pop papers say: What the pop papers don't say

Given how often it gets things wrong, it's only fair to say that this week's NME cover is spot on:

I don't think there's been a wordless cover since the Morrissey one back in the 80s - back when they liked Morrissey.

Downloadable: Is This It? (Not quite)

Ten years on from the release of Is This It, Stereogum have rounded up a bunch of bands to produce a tribute-y, cover-y thing.

It runs from Homebase's Peter Bjorn and John doing the title track, through to Computer Magic doing Take It Or Leave It. Go download, and remember to say "thank you, Stereogum".

Gennaro Castaldo Watch: Now, thrill to the visuals

Something novel for Watch, as Gennaro appears on video. He's talking about the upswing in sales of Amy Winehouse's back catalogue, trying to not look too delighted at selling records in such circumstances. Well done to the BBC crew who shot this for finding an angle which makes HMV look like a record shop.

Gennaro also popped up on CNN, from where a fact-hungry New Zealand Herald took down his words:

Spokesperson Gennaro Castaldo, from British music retailer HMV, told CNN: "There was an initial spike in downloads on Saturday evening as people heard the news, and then on Sunday when stores were open, we had a lot of people coming in.

"It repeats a pattern seen when other artists have died," he said. "Time and again, when someone passes away, you see a huge surge of interest in their current album, and also in other items in their catalogue.

"People want a tangible connection to the artist - they want their own little piece of Amy to hold on to."
"Their current album and also in other items in their catalogue" - he means "their records", or, if you must "all their records".

I'm not entirely sure this is true - when a high-profile artist dies a high-profile death, like Amy Winehouse or Michael Jackson, there's a surge, which is fed in part by characters like Castaldo turning up to talk about the spike. But surely when most musicians die, there's barely any noticeable change to sales levels?

Gordon in the morning: On the brink

Yes, yes, the failure of the Democrats and Republicans to come to an agreement on the US budget ceiling is worrying, but as nothing compared to the threat to something more fundamental to our civilisation: The next series of Pete Andre Wanders About Mugging To Camera While ITV Desperately Hopes He Says Something About Jordan. Gordon's colleague Colin Robertson has a steadying drink and brings us the latest:

PETER Andre was last night ready to pull the plug on his TV show after a split in his management company.

The singer is due to start filming scenes for fly-on-the-wall ITV2 documentary The Next Chapter in the next three weeks.

But insiders say he's reluctant to start work with the two sides at war.
Although this isn't a "war", just a tiresome spat between the people who run Can Management - think Gepetto with a grudge against literacy. Still, it's guaranteed that the behind the scenes bad blood will be a thousand times more interesting than anything that might wind up on screen. I wonder if the BBC could dust down Blood On The Carpet for a special episode?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Things to do in Denver...

First up, go to Dora's. No, no... go to Senor Ric's. Then Dora's.

Second: It's Titwrench this week, Thursday-Friday-Saturday.

"We thought the name was catchy" explains the collective.

Lots of bands, and much more. Including the mighty Married In Berdichv:

But go to Senor Rics after, okay?

Gordon in the morning: Noel Gallagher Catchphrase

This morning, Gordon pastes the new Noel Gallagher video into a page. But, of course, he's being paid to be a journalistwriter so he has to provide some sort of text to go with it.

So, like a flailing contestant on Catchphrase, he blurts out what he can see happening on-screen:

The promo to The Death Of You And Me is set in a dusty, American desert motel.

Noel is seen sitting in a diner booth before throwing the young woman into the water.

She then escapes the drudgery of work by joining a caravan of travelling musicians.
It's good, but it's not right. Actually, it's not even that good.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Amy Winehouse and the reality of addiction

Not everything written about Amy Winehouse is terrible, or self-serving, or misjudged. Steer clear of anything that features Katy Perry and her "I know someone who knew Amy quite well" spotlight-hogging, and instead read Deborah Cohen's piece for the British Medical Journal:

I’d been to several festivals where she’d played — or tried to. Incoherent and stumbling, close-ups on large screens beamed out a small pale girl whose wrinkled skin belied her age.

People turned, tutted, walked away. Some jeered and booed. Others stood and watched wide-eyed in horror. (Some wide-eyed from ingesting a similar cocktail of class As and booze — their drug consumption not having turned bad.)

You have to question the wisdom of thrusting such a vulnerable person onto a stage—trial by rather hypocritical festival going crowd. Sympathy, on the whole, was notable by its absence.

But for all those whose every woe or entry into an expensive rehab clinic is an opportunity for a front page exclusive, there are thousands more whose lives are beset by addictions away from the camera lens.

The Priory, with its en-suite bathrooms and lush surroundings, has become synonymous with the excesses of celebrity lifestyle—it’s detox luxe. But if someone who does have the means to afford tailored addiction treatment gets sucked back in once they find themselves surrounded by coked-up liggers again, what about all those who find themselves relying on an already fragmented drug service?

Look East, look at me

While I was writing that bit about Alex James, Look East wheeled on an item featuring a man in Bury St Edmunds who runs a rehab clinic, Focus 12. He claimed he'd discussed treatment for Amy with her Dad, Mitch, but nothing came of it. "If she'd got help, she'd have been alive today", apparently.

The nasty implication that ignoring his outstretched hand led directly to the grave notwithstanding, you'd have to think that Winehouse might have been better off not attending a clinic run by a man who would appear on television yammering away about private discussions he'd supposedly had about e health before she was even laid to rest.

You probably think this song is about you: Alex James

There are, amongst those who have drunk heavily, or taken drugs to excess, two sorts of people. Those who hear of the death of Amy Winehouse and think "there, but for the grace of God", and those who hear of the death of Amy Winehouse and think "quick, get me my publicist".

To be fair, Alex James probably thought he was bringing special insight. He wasn't, though, he was just trying to push himself to the heart of the story. Oh, and he was writing for The Sun, as well:

James wrote in the The Sun today (July 25) that Winehouse’s death was “shocking”, saying: “Her death is sickeningly sad, and it could easily have happened to me.”

He suggested that maybe if she had been a relationship with the right person, “this would not have happened”.
The Sun! Jesus, if you really must cram your cakehole into the story, at least find a place that isn't part of a company that has been merrily hacking into her cellphone to turn up at clinics at the same time as her.

Zune uses Winehouse death as a marketing opportunity

Presumbly, now there's a post mortem scheduled, Microsoft thought the official mourning period was over and it was okay to try and sell few downloads off the corpse. The Wall reports:

The @tweetbox360 Twitter account, which is run by the Microsoft UK PR team, tweeted this morning: “Remember Amy Winehouse by downloading the ground-breaking ‘Back to Black’ over at Zune”.

The account has since been inundated with complaints accusing it of being opportunistic, of feeding on Amy Winehouse’s corpse, of appalling taste, being a “scumbag” and of shocking marketing.
It should be pointed out that iTunes also pulled a similar stunt, and much more quickly, when it splashed Winehouse all over the store front on Saturday night. Arguably, acknowledging people would have been searching the store for her music anyway and making it easier to find is slightly less ghoulish than using her death to try and market your entire store as a way of "memorialising" Winehouse, but it's a slim distinction and neither Microsoft or Apple have come out of this with their dignity intact.

Amy Winehouse: She was like a plumber

Full credit to @TheMichaelMoran for discovering this ill-judged response to Amy Winehouse's death on HuffPo. Tricia Fox has something to say:

Unlike others, I won't be picking apart her chosen lifestyle, nor will I be judging her. She made her own choices and, although it would appear that these choices ultimately led to her death, they were hers to make.

For small business owners there is, however, a lot to be learned from Amy's untimely death.

This is like a small business equivalent of one of those Thoughts For The Day where a priest will suggest that, in a sense, Jesus was like Manchester United, or we're all a bit like a bottle of mineral water.
Although rarely referred to as such, most musical artists and celebrities are businesses in their own right. In fact, for all those detractors out there that say that being "self-employed" is not a "proper" business, think again. This successful business model is one that has been proven time and time again.
Has anyone ever said that being self-employed isn't a proper business? Worryingly, I'm not sure the business part of this piece works any better than the attempt to hook it into Amy's death.
But whether you are a pop star, a plumber or a business consultant, the same rules still apply: you are the product. And if that's the case, you are going to need to take really good care for yourself if you want your business to succeed.
It's true: if you're a plumber, and your label is demanding a tour and a third album, you better not develop a psychological problem like addiction. Hang on...

Fox then tells Amy's story again, throwing in a couple of businessy terms like "brand", before trying to hammer in a business parallel:
There are so many parallels here in business. A young business starts well, and gets busy. The business owner frequently ignores their own health, swapping trips to the gym for an extra couple of hours in the office, eating takeaway dinners instead of healthy home cooked food, scrimping on sleep and generally running themselves into the ground.

This cycle of personal abandonment all leads to poor decision-making in business. Recruiting too many staff (usually the wrong ones) too quickly. Missing deadlines. Not responding to customers. Falling behind with the business finances.

And then the wheels fall off. This is the business equivalent of being booed off stage.
Is it? Do people rush to put up YouTube videos of you not returning calls? Does The Sun spread 'Jim The Plumber fails to make sure petty cash tin topped up' over three pages?

Fox's advice? You know, be careful or something.
And today, in honour of Amy Winehouse, I am going to go to the gym. For the first time in about six months. She's just reminded me why I should.
Yes. That's what she would have wanted.

Seriously, you're suggesting that Amy's enormous problems of addiction and abandonment and god knows what else are a bit like a plumber skipping a few trips to play on a running-on-the-spot machine?

Gordon in the morning: Picking over the bones

How frustrating it must have been for Gordon Smart, Amy Winehouse's death coming at the worst possible time for a daily newspaper. Still, there's much mawkish and intrusive speculation he can still rake through - were there drugs at the scene? how long before the body was found?

Alastair Taylor has been charged with trying to suddenly bend the carefully constructed Bizarre narrative around Blake Fielder-Civil into something with more gravitas.:

AMY Winehouse's jailed ex-husband broke down in tears after learning of her death, and admitted yesterday: "I'm beyond inconsolable ... my tears won't dry."
I say "gravitas". I'm misusing the term, obviously. Is there a word for "written in the sort of voice Simon Bates would use for an Our Tune about cancer?"

So, Blake has hastily been recast from 'no better than a Kray' to a sort of Lenny Godber.

Fielder-Civil's current partner, Sarah Aspin, is given way too much space:
Sarah added: "I think Amy could not get over the fact that Blake and I had had our son Jack. I think it hit her pretty hard."
Obviously, nobody knows, and probably will never know, what it was that had been running through Amy's head these last few weeks, months, years and maybe seeing her ex sort-of sort out his life (except for the whole prison-for-burglary-and-firearms thing) was an influence. Trouble is, written down and printed in a newspaper, it sound a bit like you're gloating.

They also drag out Blake's mother to have a little wail about how, if only her boy wasn't banged up, things might have been different:
Georgette Civil said he would feel he "should have been there" for Amy during her battle with drink and drugs instead of being locked up.
He only got sent down last month. And even if we generously assume he could have made a difference, suppose he has turned up, hanging out with Amy, "trying to help". Would The Sun have reacted with delight? Somehow, I suspect not.

Mini liveblog: Alan McGee & Marc Marot on Today

Following the death of Amy Winehouse, Today has just hosted Marc Marot and Alan McGee wondering if management and labels could do something to help, rather than enable, self-destructive artists:

Marc goes first, calling for a change to how the music industry does business to stop putting pressure on artists:

"Recording contracts have a ticking clock attached to them - a three year cycle of hard, hard work. It's a cycle that has a contractual option at the end; there's enormous pressure on the artist to keep repeating themselves. There's no way to take time out."

He proposes a mechanism allowing the contract to be suspended. "The problem is who arbitrates"

Alan McGee says it's a reasonable idea, but "only you can get yourself clean". In other words, it's no good having a break clause because if the person doesn't want to clean up their act, it won't be invoked.

He's also a bit more clear-eyed about how much management can do in the face of an addict.

Marc's suggestion, though, is that touring and recording increases stress and - though he doesn't quite say it - puts the addict into a world knee-deep in drugs.

He praises Island for having tried to wean Amy Winehouse off drugs and alcohol.

Marc is one of the great guys, agrees Alan, but says that there aren't many like him. Blame culture is part of this nation, says McGee - you can't really blame management for someone who wants to destroy themselves.

Marc says there's a bigger problem: how do you tell a star 'no'? "Try telling someone who has sold 21 million records 'no' agrees Alan McGee.

We're not much further forward, apart from appearing to decide there's nothing management can do. Which doesn't feel entirely right.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Phil Collins doesn't like music

Not really a surprise, is it, that Phil Collins doesn't like music:

“I actually don’t like music that much,” Phil Collins admits at the Glenfiddich Mojo Awards. “I don’t really listen to music. My youngest daughter, Lily, she’ll play me stuff and I’ll say, 'Wow, that’s great, who’s that? But, really, no.”
If he liked music, he wouldn't have treated it so badly, would he?

Bookmarks - Internet stuff: Elton John

Does every single charity shop in the country have a copy of A Single Man? A Single Tumblr believes so, and is setting out to find out.

Tweetback: Minidiscs

In response to yesterday's piece on the end of portable minidiscs, @theealex responded:

i still use my MD recorder very regularly - it's essential for field recording
If I were you, Alex, I'd try and grab a spare. (Or a machine that uses flash memory?)

This does remind me of a time, towards the end of the last decade, when I was doing a thing for a UK commercial radio station which meant lots of mutual-interviewing with other stations around Europe. We arrived in Prague, at a voluntary, part-time station, and settled down to do the recording.

The volunteer looked a bit embarrassed as he rummaged in his pocket and pulled out a minidisc recorder - "I'm sorry, this must seem a really basic, outdated way of doing things" he mumbled.

Which made it awkward for us, as we then had to drag out an antediluvian compact cassette Marantz recorder, which was twice the size of a pulpit Bible and three times as heavy. Our Czech friend was nice enough to try and hide his disappointment.

Woot-ton: Struggling to cope with large events

If you thought that one of the few glimmers of comfort in the death of Amy Winehouse was that the News Of The World was no longer around to "react", there's still Dan Wootton to cope with.

A quick look at his twitter feed shows a little foot being stamped that broadcasters were still leading the news with the Neo-Nazi terrorism in Norway:

I agree RT @jamesro47: Terribly depressing news about amy winehouse and utterly remarkable neither itv or bbc bulletins lead on it
Winehouse's death was a horrible event (and one covered in some depth, certainly by the BBC) but thinking it should be the lead story over the near hundred deaths in Norway shows a lack of perspective that perhaps shouldn't surprise us.

Wooton got some stick, as a few minutes later, he tweeted this:
Wish we could debate the news agenda without personal abuse. People are allowed to express their opinions on what should lead the news.
Waaah! Not fair! Stop picking on me!

Although Wootton had got some personal abuse - people helpfully pointing out he's a bellend and a total clown, that sort of thing - most of it was just angry.

Like the tweet from @Im_MelanieMouse:
@danwootton quite frankly with that opinion you shouldn't be allowed to work in the news industry. You are a disgrace to real journalists.
Wootton didn't actually manage to put together a counter-argument (mainly because there isn't one) so instead decided to show that he actually understands the news industry even less than we thought:
@j4ylw Well Sky News did. And the BBC News Channel for a period
Apparently Dan doesn't understand the difference between a channel covering breaking news, and a bulletin collecting the main stories of the day for a general audience.

To make matters worse, Sky decided that Dan would be the best person to review the papers this morning.

Yes, Sky News wound up with Dan Wootton trying to offer a view about the Norway shootings. To be frank, he wouldn't have been first choice if the news had only been about Amy Winehouse.

How dreadful was it? Believe it or not, it was so bad that Gordon Smart took to Twitter to berate Dan:
@danwootton "I" "I" "I" "I" , "I've been on a flight when tragedy happened", "I got stick on Twitter" - FFS!! 92 dead and Amy gone? Mawkish
Dan responded:
@gordonsmart Know you struggle with hard news. Get back to Kasabian and Noel ass kissing.
Again, you'll note, he doesn't have an argument as such.

Gordon Smart again:
@danwootton how's that campaign to get Blue back on the radio going? Is it really a former showbiz ed's job to be on discussing a massacre?

Wotton tried a response:
@gordonsmart Yes yes I know you hate pop music. Weird given you edit a pop column. Think that was Sky News' decision, not mine.
You know you're in trouble when Gordon Smart is able to drop on you from the moral high ground. For Wootton to blame Sky News for asking him in the first place is weak - yes, a terrible decision from The House Of Burley but, particularly after Twitter had given you a slapping for your weak judgement on the two stories, you perhaps should have declined gracefully. Just because you're invited on to a programme doesn't mean you're obliged to go.

[Thanks to readyartbrut for the tip]

This week just gone

The most-read 2011 stories so far this year:

1. Liveblog: Brits 2011
2. Glastonbury 2011: Mail starts counting BBC staff
3. Billy Corgan's attempts to pass band member off as cover star fail
4. Jessie J: She's an illuminati puppet
5. Rolling Stone try to clarify Bieber's abortion views; make things worse
6. Tegan And Sara say 'enough with the Tyler, now'
7. Liveblog: Eurovision 2011
8. Morrissey blunt to O'Leary; blames death of Poly Styrene
9. Johnny Borrell unveils a bold new look. World snickers.
10. Domino Records launches a radio station

These were interesting, and new:

Peter Murphy - Should The World Fail To Fall Apart

Download Should The World...

Rufus Wainwright - House Of Rufus 19 disc box set

Download Songs For Lulu

Various - Story Of Blue Beat 1960

Mickey Newbury - An American Trilogy

Download An American Trilogy

Lots of Macaroni And Cheese