Saturday, November 17, 2012

Ruining two great things at once

Obviously, if you make a crappy jukebox musical out of Jeff Buckley songs, you'd not only want to treat Buckley shabbily; why not beat up another much-loved cultural institution at the same time?

A Jeff Buckley musical is reportedly set to enter development in New York.

The show, titled The Last Goodbye after one of Buckley's best known songs, will be a contemporary telling of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, set to the late singer-songwriter's music and lyrics.
Spoilers: They all die in the end.

I mean, it's obvious. If you can't be arsed to write a few new songs for your musical, why would you be bothered about coming up with a new story?

Arthur revives

After a stop-start sort of existence, well-regarded Arthur magazine (home to Thurston Moore and more) seemed to give up the struggle altogether last year:

Arthur, such as it is, is set to close March 15, 2011.

The Arthur online archive and Store will remain operational for as long as makes sense.

Thank you kindly, and love to all.
But Arthur really is the magazine that you can't kill. Seriously, it'd probably even survive a combination of Al-Fayed and David Montgomery taking it over.

Because it's back, and not only back, but back in print, too:
After a four-year sabbatical (faked death?), your beloved revolutionary sweetheart Arthur returns to print, renewed, refreshed, reinvigorated and in a bold new format: pages as tall and wide as a daily newspaper, printed in color and black and white on compostable newsprint, with ads only on the back cover(s). Amazing!
We thought we heard the Melody Maker stir last week, but it was just gas in the pipes.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Gordon in the morning: Bradley Wiggins keeps it real

Bradley Wiggins is raging that some of his Olympic chums are using their success to build careers. Apparently it's NOT RIGHT:

The cycling legend has not been enjoying the procession of Team GB Olympic heroes basking in the glory of the chat show circuit.

Wiggo said: “I’ve got a good management team who weren’t flogging me to death the moment the Olympics were over.
“So I didn’t go on Jonathan Ross or Chatty Man, because it’s not what it’s ever been about.”
Oddly, I didn't see this attitude in his book, A Man Who Rode A Bike Quickly, which was serialised in The Guardian over what felt like months.

It's also a bit strange that Wiggins complaints about his colleagues getting overexposed on the showbiz circuit appears as, er, the lead story on the showbiz pages of the Sun. How did that happen, eh?
Wiggo made the comments promoting A Year In Yellow — an upcoming Sky documentary screening next week which follows his whirlwind 12 months.
And even Gordon can see that Wiggins might be pushing it a bit:
One gig he did sign up for was hosting duties on BBC2’s Never Mind The Buzzcocks. But the music fanatic had to pull out — after he was knocked off his bike last week.
Yeah - going on Jonathan Ross is somehow not what it's about. But Buzzcocks and a date with Paul Weller? That's exactly what Pheidippides was hoping for.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Bono worries about the fiscal cliff

Bono is looking at the challenge facing the US economy as the Bush tax cuts expire, and frets about the fiscal cliff:

“There’s real jeopardy,” Bono said Wednesday at a discussion at the World Bank with bank President Jim Yong Kim. “I’m still terrified of people wrestling the wheel of this mad lorry that they’re driving off the cliff.”
Bono is afraid that the cuts made as the economy throbs through its change will hurt the poorest.

Interestingly, Bono's focus is on what shouldn't be cut, rather than who should be properly taxed.

Gordon in the morning: This just in - Harry Styles 'a bit of a knob'

Will Sweeny, who claims to be a "childhood pal" of Harry Styles, has been telling Gordon Smart about how they would pass the time:

Will said: “We’d act like complete idiots in public. Harry would go into Tesco, pretend he had Tourette’s and walk around screaming and shouting.
Oh, how hilarious.
“We’d throw things at each other, we’d just create chaos and a bit of a mess. We were told off by security and customers.

“We played this game where you pick something up and launch it over your head without knowing where the other person is — and they’ve got to try to catch it.
The hours must simply have flown by. Except for the people on pisspoor wages who had to clear up after you, you entitled twonk.
“Harry loved it. He was always up for fun, wacky things, having a laugh, and he never cared what people thought.”
What could possibly be more "wacky" than throwing things on the floor, eh? Let's hope swathes of Tesco staff don't turn up at One Direction events and be all "up for fun" there.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

And good reviews cost double

In a move which couldn't be more designed to look like a declining industry grabbing at straws, the Newspaper Licensing Agency is demanding cash from musicians who use review quotes in their publicity. Techdirt has a lot of detail:

The most outrageous example... concerns a small PR company called ElevenTenths, which is effectively one woman, Claire Willis, working form a spare bedroom.... Poor Ms. Willis was collared by the NLA a few months ago, required to fill in forms about her clients and activities, and then received a bill for £23,500.
Willis complained and apparently the NLA "backed down" and offered a deal for "only" £1,588.45.
What happens if a reviewer quotes a line from a song in their review?

Most reviewers, you'll recall, get their records free and swan into gigs without paying, often accompanied by their plus one. That has always seemed a fair deal.

But if the NRA is going to seek retrospective payments for having used lines from reviews, maybe a few musicians should start sending out retrospective demands for all those gig tickets and promo CDs...

No Doubt; No sale

No Doubt aren't having much luck with Looking Hot. First, they blunder with an insensitive video which had to be pulled almost as soon as it was released.

Now, it turns out they only managed to sell 680 copies of the record in the UK, which even in these days isn't enough to scrape into the Top 200.

What if you returned from hiatus and nobody noticed?

Gordon in the morning: Wiping Selena Gomez off

Ah, how sweet. Justin Bieber got Nicki Minaj to include a line about his girlfriend in a rap for his new album:

Justin Bieber, you know I’m a hit ’em with the ether, buns out, wiener, but I gotta keep an eye out for Selena
But oh noes! Justin and Selena have fallen out. This, reports Gordon, means that...
Justin Bieber to bleep ‘er
Gordon's using "bleep 'er" in the sense of 'not having anyone do the rap when he plays the song live', but - hey - you'd have guessed that, right?

Personally, I'd have probably quietly dropped the rap when it had the word "wiener" added in for no apparent reason.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Does Global boss Stephen Miron listen to his own stations?

The Radio Festival is one, which means it's just about time for Global Radio to complain that the BBC is too good for them. Rather than improve their own output, they prefer to demand the BBC enshittifies itself below their level. With the time the BBC is having at the moment, the worry is someone might take them seriously.

Hilariously, Global's Stephen Miron. is convinced the BBC is copying his channels:

Miron said: "Radio 1 is squarely up against Capital, Radio 2 is right up against Heart, Radio 3 against Classic."
Capital is currently playing some chart records. Radio One is hosting a 1xtra themed concert in Manchester.

Heart has just played Beyonce; Radio 2 has got Diana Krall playing a piano session.

Classic FM are soothing listeners with a bit of Chopin; Radio 3 are playing Artie Shaw.

You'd have to have a tin ear to think the stations nearly identical. Mind you, having a tin ear might explain the Global playlists...

BPI puzzled by Google Play

Google is bringing the music store element of Google Play to the UK. Rather than welcoming another legitimate source of digital music, the BPI is feigning confusion:

The UK's biggest record labels say a new, legal music service from Google "doesn't make sense" because its search engine still helps piracy.

The BPI's [British Phonographic Industry's] chief executive Geoff Taylor, said: "We don't think it makes any sense for them to be doing something which does support artists and then, on the other hand, undermine artists by referring consumers to illegal sites."
This is, in effect, the BPI banging on about the way if you search on Google you can find links to music, some of which might not be officially licenced.

Obviously they're going to carry on chewing away at this - I think we've long since passed the point where the BPI/RIAA is suddenly going to understand online behaviour, and that if people want to snaffle tunes without paying, they will always find where to go.

But just look at the concept: pretending it's not worth being able to sell their products to Google's enormous user base, because it's possible to put 'One Direction torrents' into the search engine and get some results.

It's like Yale saying to B&Q "I don't know why you bother selling our locks, when you have crowbars on sale as well."

Oddly, none of this angry confusion has lead to the BPI taking a principled stand and having its labels boycott the sevrice. Almost as if it can understand the difference between two parts of a very large company, and is just pretending it can't.

Gordon in the morning: The sum of its parts

Come! Together! Woah a woahaaa! Come Together!

Gordon's got a scoopy scoop this morning. Muse. The Killers. Together at last:

Meet the Millers: Killers hint at Muse collaboration
The idea of just one overblown work from acts who have long since passed a point where their level of invention could match the scale of their acoustic footprint is thrilling - get over double disappointment in one go.

Hang on, though, Gordon. Is there really a "hint", or have you merely raised the idea of working together and got a polite reply?
THE KILLERS frontman BRANDON FLOWERS reckons there’s a good chance of a collaboration with MUSE.
A good chance? Really?
He said: “We’ve become good friends with Muse. We get along so well, so I’d never rule out working together. We would be trying to outdo each other. It would be spectacular, the choruses would be huge.”
I don't actually see either a hint or a claim there's a good chance this could happen; it's about half a step up from 'there's no law of physics which would make it physically impossible for us to work together'.

Monday, November 12, 2012

MTV EMAs: 2012 winners

Remember the MTV EMAs? The European Music Awards, which were supposed to showcase the distinctive style of music the European service of MTV offered; the local twist to the international brand?

Well, yesterday's prizes handed out in Frankfurt suggests that any last points of difference (beyond the extra carbon footprint) has finally been eroded. The only European winners were One Direction, who are as inexplicably as popular in the US as they are at home [correct at time of writing], resulting in a list which could equally apply either side of the Atlantic.

Here are the winners in full:

Best Female: Taylor Swift
Best Song: Carly Rae Jepsen - Call Me Maybe
Best Male: Justin Bieber
Best Live: Taylor Swift
Best Look: Taylor Swift
Global Icon: Whitney Houston
Best Video: PSY Gangnam Style
Best Worldwide Act: Han Geng (Asia Pacific)
Biggest Fans: One Direction
Best World Stage: Justin Bieber
Best Push (for emerging stars): Carly Rae Jepsen
Best Alternative: Lana Del Rey
Best Electronic: David Guetta
Best Hip Hop: Nicki Minaj
Best New: One Direction
Best Pop: Justin Bieber
Best Rock: Linkin Park

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Paul McCartney sort-of-close-to-being-in-accident

I suppose even if you knew how many near-accidents take place in the sky, you might be slightly interested in an accident that didn't actually happen if Paul McCartney was involved:

The couple avoided a potentially fatal collision with the treetops with only two feet spare when the pilot managed to pull the chartered Sikorsky S-76C helicopter away from the danger and land safely at a nearby airport, reports the The Mail On Sunday.
If you transpose this story to another form of transport, it's akin to the Mail On Sunday running 'Idiot driving like a dick pulls out too sharply in front of Mick Jagger's taxi'.

This week just gone

From right across the site, this is what people have been reading this week:

1. Tatu wonder why everyone thinks they're gay
2. Gordon Smart raises interest in the Tulisa sex tape
3. Neil Young slays the iPod with his Pono
4. Still with the R Kelly sex video thing?
5. Pitbull promises we'll love him when he's dead
6. Gordon Smart announces third season of Sherlock. Nine months after it was announced
7. Every band that played SXSW in 2007
8. AC/DC don't like iTunes. Wonder if they'll go on Pono?
9. Jessie J is doing the establishment's bidding
10. MOBOs give prizes to Emeli Sande