Friday, June 08, 2012

Guitarobit: Bob Welch

Former member of Fleetwood Mac Bob Welch has died, apparently of self-inflicted gunshot wounds.

His Guardian obituary contains one of those sad lines of a life almost lived:

Fleetwood Mac's career took off in the mid-70s after Welch left the band. Dreams was a number one in 1977, as was Don't Stop.
He did go on to other success - both as a solo artist, with the band Paris, and as a songwriter. His exclusion from the band always seemed to be a cause of bemusement to him rather than rancour.

Welch had been unwell for some time; he was 56.

Metal defeats "church"

Westboro Baptist Church (motto: "what would Jesus do if he was a tossy blowhard?") had planned a protest to bring their fantastically ill-considered interpretation of scripture to Olympia High School.

They'd reckoned, though, without the power of metal - one of the students at the school is Michale Parent, lead singer with metal band Tatarus. He asked himself "what would Dio do?":

"I believe it is pretty Metal when you keep in mind what the WBB is all about. For example when they went to Ronnie James Dio's funereal, they called him evil and a hell dweller for creating Heavy Metal music. If you are a true heavy metal enthusiast you know that RJD is one of the most kindhearted individuals in Heavy Metal music. I did think about how Dio would act if he was still alive today and he would just treat them with love."
(The quote comes from a press release; I think the band has earned the right to a bit of a brag, don't you?)

A swiftly-organised counterprotest lovebombed the "church" with love-positive pop; the hate was drowned out by love and one can be chalked up to rock. A happy ending.

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Samsung plots iTunes killer; world mutters "really? that's nice, dear"

Samsung have become the latest company to burn through cash thinking that the way to defeat iTunes is to create something pretty similar to iTunes.

Oh, hang on though, Samsung think they've got a USP:

If that sounds limiting, Kang says Samsung is working to get it to as many places as possible - including Samsung's audio docks and its fridge range, allowing you to manage your music listening while you get a cold glass of milk.
Oh, god, it's the annual return of the internet-connected fridge, whereby people who know better suggest the world is waiting for their fridges to do more than keep the sodding cheese fresh.

Samsung want people to pay ten quid a month for the service; if people didn't already have a massive stack of digital music they'd already paid for, maybe they might. But as it is? They won't.

Fear Factory dump drummer; get wicked

Fear Factory seem to have missed an opportunity. Their new album, The Industrialist, is about a machine which becomes sentient, so you'd have thought when fans started complaining about the use of a drum machine, it would have given them a perfect explanation - a matching of form and function.

Instead, Burton C Bell launches into a dull defence:

"On the past records, we've always had a drummer to record, but when does a drummer stop being a drummer? Because everything that person records goes into Pro Tools and it's fixed perfectly and the sound that was recorded isn't even used. All the sound is sampled. It basically becomes the program. So we basically eliminated the drummer. And we thought, if we're gonna do that anyway, let's just use a drum program. So we did it."
I'm not entirely sure people who write music about how machines will take over have much credibility if they think "well, there's some post production work done on the drums, so we mug as well use a robot" and don't think through the logic of that position... Isn't all their work subjected to post-production? Do you really need any flesh to make a cyber rock record at all?

How you can see the NME has lost its character

The new NME wants its readers to vote for the best Bowie song ever.

The last time the NME was inviting readers to vote for a Bowie song, it was an attempt to have some fun at the expense of Bowie's 'vote for my setlist' poll. It attempted to rig a victory for The Laughing Gnome.

Which magazine would you rather be reading?

Gordon in the morning: I bet you look good on the dancefloor

Nothing is an indicator that gravity's tractor beam has got your career firmly locked in its pull than calls from the reality TV researchers, like buzzards sniffing trouble and hoping to get you while there's still some fresh flesh to feast on.

Still, Noel Gallagher is trying to put a brave face on the call from Strictly:

Last night High Flying Birds frontman Noel said: “I’m flattered. I’d have done it an’ all as I’ve recently mastered the sticky task of c***** while dancing.

“Sadly though, I’m a bit busy. Maybe next time... ”
Very wise to not slam the phone down too quickly, Noel. The next offer will be bug-eating in the jungles...

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Doowopobit: Herb Reed

Herb Reed, the last original platter, has died.

Reed quit the band in 1969, starting his own rival version; he was legally given the right to be the official version of The Platters in the 1990s, but was then stripped of the rights in 2002, reverting to being the leader of A Platters, not The Platters. He was the only Platter to be on every single track they recorded, though, which morally makes him the definitive Platter. Or the only Platter that matters.

Reed was 83. He died in Boston.

Rod Stewart announces plans to ruin Christmas

It might only be June, but already people in the music industry are working hard on plans to spoil Christmas.

In the list of 'things the world really doesn't need', how high is the idea of a Rod Stewart Christmas album? Seriously, there's no way that idea could be any worse.

The festive record will apparently include several all-star duets, including a collaboration with crooner Michael Buble.
I stand corrected.

Monday, June 04, 2012

Fascist party sues Madonna over being linked to fascists

The Front National in France is claiming it intends to sue Madonna after a backdrop video for her new tour superimposes a swastika on Marine Le Pen's forehead:

Contacted by the 20 Minutes freesheet, the FN said that Le Pen had not had time to watch the video on Friday because she was writing a speech for a rally in Paris that evening.

But a party official called it “incredible” and said that the party’s lawyer, Wallerand de Saint-Just, had been asked to look into what legal action could be taken over it.

“We’ll make money with the case we’re going to bring,” an anonymous source told 20 Minutes.

Le Pen said on Sunday that the party would be watching very closely to see if Madonna uses the video when she performs in Paris on the 14 July national holiday and in Nice on 21 August, without saying whether she will be taking legal action.
In other news, the ghost of Adolf Hitler, whose face appears seconds after Le Pen's, said that he is considering legal action at being associated with her.

Usher apparently beating women off with a stick

I suppose you should perhaps be impressed that Usher is honest enough to say that being currently famous means he gets to have sex with people who wouldn't normally look at him twice. Although I'm not sure he realised that was what he was saying:

"There's great benefit that comes with it [being famous]. We can't ignore this thing! Wherever I go I will have some attraction, I can't run away from who I am."
Yes, he is trying to suggest that, oh, it's such a trial.
"But it's very hard, like, Man, there's lights everywhere. And some women I've been able to experience or relate to or date or merge with, they run from it."
Yes, he did say "merge with". Usher doesn't have empty, meaningless sex. He's found a way to make that even more hollow.