Saturday, August 24, 2013

Filmobit: Gilbert Taylor

Gilbert Taylor has died.

Amongst the many, many other credits in his long career, Taylor was cinematographer on A Hard Day's Night.

Beyond that, though, he did the cinematography for the slightly less-celebrated Ferry Cross The Mersey:

Rather optimistically described as Gerry And The Pacemaker's "first full length picture".

Somewhere between the two extremes was It's Trad Dad, perhaps the greatest film David Jacobs ever made:

But the greatest contribution to the rock/movie crossover genre Taylor made was the splendid Tommy The Toredaor. Together, preserved for all time, Sid James and Tommy Steele:

I Collect, I Reject: Engraved double dongs

Yeah, tshirts are nice. Fridge magnets? They're okay. But for top-notch band stuff, turn to Kurt Braunohler.

He's not just sending out double-headed dongs.

Oh, no. He's engraving personalised messages onto those double-headed dongs.

Makes your One Direction socks look a bit lacking, right?

Friday, August 23, 2013

PRobit: Norman Winter

Norman Winter, former head of Press for MCA/Universal and the PR to Michael Jackson, has died.

Winter was doing the press for Jackson at the time of Thriller, which would be enough for a career in itself; but his client list just rolls on and on:

Neil Diamond, Bob Dylan, Billy Joel, Janet Jackson, Queen, Rick James, Barry White, Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Who, AC/DC, Steppenwolf, Meatloaf, Johnny Rivers, the Jefferson Airplane's Marty Balin, Christopher Cross, Bobby Ross Avila, Donny Osmond, Garth Brooks, Herb Alpert, Paul Anka, Phil Ramone, James Brown, Marvin Gaye, Bootsy Collins, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, Brian McKnight, Outkast, Usher, Jimmy Cliff, Steve Martin, Joan Collins, Arsenio Hall, Morris Day and gospel luminaries Jennifer Knapp and Deniece Williams.
And that's before you get to the rap artists.
Eazy-E, Dr. Dre, Babyface and Bangin' On Wax (the Bloods & Crips collaboration), Domino, Bone Thugs - N - Harmony and Eddie Griffin.
And the Latin artists.
Emmanuel, Lucia Mendez, Chichi Peralta, Renegade, Luis Cardenas and the Golden Eagle Awards
I've lifted those client lists from Billboard; it's worth noting that Billboard merely cut and pasted a big chunk of them direct from Winter's own website.

That website also recalls the time Winter introduced Elton John to the US:
A real London bus. Whoever would have thought?

Norman Winter died from complications related to Lewy Body dementia on Thursday, 22nd August.

Fran Healy is pissed at Beyonce

Travis shared a backstage area with Beyonce at a festival. Or they tried to:

Healy tells the Daily Record, "Beyonce locked down the entire backstage area for an hour. Everyone was affected. You'd ask, 'Can I just go there?' and they'd say, 'No. You can't cross this little street'.

"Everyone was just following orders from the gang. I guess that's how Americans do it but it's not how we do it in the U.K. She was headlining the main stage and was half an hour late. The whole area was cut off as if there had been a nuclear disaster."
It's true. Fran never behaved like that when he was famous.

Kasey Anderson changes his plea to guilty

The long, strange story of Kasey Anderson, the West Memphis Three benefit that wasn't and the astute music experts who dumped money into a fraud is drawing to a close, as Anderson changed his plea on wire fraud to guilty.

If you've a moment or two, read Ryan White's piece on Anderson on Oregon Live, where he attempts to unpick a tale featuring impersonation of Springsteen's manager; an unlikely Bruce-GaGa duet; a "non-kickstarter Kickstarter" and "usual rock-star confusion".

Gordon in the morning: Robbie Williams shock

This morning, those paying for The Sun's website will be nodding at each other, and agreeing they were acute to make such an investment. For they can read this story:

Robbie Williams in unironed shirt
...while those on the outside can only wondered about the details.

Every penny spent on The Sun+ is a penny wisely spent, clearly.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Twittergem: Sid Griffin

Brandy runs dry

The sad story of Brandy coming onstage in a 90,000 seater South African venue to find just 40 people waiting is, well, quite sad. After all, this is the woman who was responsible for the 52nd best selling R&B album in the US last year. She's still quite a big deal.

Her most recent album, Two Eleven, even got a South African release. Albeit without much of a splash, but it least it came out.

There are attempts to put on a brave face:

Singer Kabomo tweeted: "Brandy performed to an empty stadium. With the stadium lights on. She sulked after two songs and walked off. reported he later said: "People didn't know there was a concert after the games. No one knew Brandy was around. Maybe a 40 people audience."
Or, possibly, people knew there was a Brandy gig coming, and rapidly made alternative arrangements.

Bookmarks: Sly And The Family Stone

Cynthia Robinson, founding member of the Family Stone, talks to NPR about the process of putting the band together:

Stone himself acknowledged in a 2009 interview with KCRW that he had in mind a mix of race and gender. That mission wasn't always easy: Jerry Martini says he remembers a point when Stone was pressured by the Black Panthers to kick the white members out of the band.

"I was in the airport when they approached and they told me to get ... out of the way," Martini says. "Sly always, always stood up for me, and in many instances, he saved my butt. When I got hit a couple times ... he just stood there ready to fight."

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Lief Garrett wanders into empty barn, pledging to shutter door

Leif Garrett is worried about Justin Bieber:

Garrett is telling Bieber not to follow in his footsteps.

"Do not believe your own publicity," Garrett told Bieber, via Fox News. "Sussing out who your real friends are is full-time work. Every scum bag, every drug dealer, every chicken hawk wants a piece of you."
Interestingly, the Windsor Star doesn't even raise a weary head at Garrett's suggestion that Bieber might be at risk from predatory gay men - either to challenge the stereotype, or to ask if Lief had something he'd like to share.

Given Bieber is already - brace yourself - five years into his career, this advice might be coming a little late. Especially since Garrett advising Bieber has overtones of a Dutch Prime Minister warning Hitler to not let power go to his head:
Garrett admitted the craziest thing he ever did was "fly Nicolette Sheridan to New Zealand and brought a diamond. We were toasting her being there with champagne. I dropped the diamond into her glass and she almost swallowed the diamond."
See, here's the problem Leif: you're looking Bieber in the eye (let's pretend you are), telling him 'I went crazy - I bought a plane ticket AND some jewellery.'

Bieber's already pissing on people, Leif. He's threatening to "beat the fuck" out of people. He's taking monkeys to airports and abandoning them there. He's trying to subsume Anne Frank into his fanbase.

While I don't doubt your genuine concern, I can't help thinking you're about three or four years too late with the 'try and keep a handle on it' advice.

Gordon in the morning: Cover story

What do you get for your money if you pay to read Gordon's column on the Sun website today?

He'll tell you about Victoria Beckham's photo on the cover of Australian Vogue.

But you can see that for free on the Australian Vogue website.

The choice is yours.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Gordon in the morning: Evening special

He's not all bad. This is a lovely gesture:

Unclear if anyone had to sign up for The Sun+ first.

Listen with No Rock: Tears For Fears

Tears For Fears covering Arcade Fire, anybody? Here you go:

The Fears (or "The Fears" as nobody calls them) explained why they've done this:

"Having appreciated artists like Kanye West, Katy Perry, Kimbra, Nas, Gary Jules/Michael Andrews, Adam Lambert & Dizzee Rascal covering & sampling our songs over the past years, we agreed that some reciprocal cross-generational love was in order. We decided to give Arcade Fire a twist of TFF. Enjoy."
You've got to tip your hat to Curt and Roland - only they could over-intellectualise 'doing a cover version'.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Gordon in the morning: Money well spent

As you know, Gordon's excellent coverage has been taken, along with the rest of The Sun's business, behind a mighty paywall.

So, what does your money get you this morning?

Gordon's big story is that he went on televison and then he played football with his friend James and then James did score a goal and so Gordon lost but he had fun anyway and it was on the television.

Could there be any more compelling argument to dig into your pockets than knowing you can see someone burbling on about their part in a light spot of TV filler that anyone who might have given a half-hearted honk about would have seen on Saturday anyway?

Sunday, August 18, 2013

How does Liam Gallagher do a divorce?

Like everything, he makes it sound like a disappointing attempt to copy something The Beatles have already done: He's hired the lawyer who did Paul McCartney's divorce.

Mel C furious on Matt Cardle's behalf

They've knocked together some sort of new promo film for the next series of X Factor - I suppose based on that one they've already been showing; the one that would have been called a megamix in the past. The one that actually manages to make you go 'maybe Swagger Jagger wasn't that bad at all'.

Trouble is, they've forgotten to put Matt Cardle in it.

Mel C is fuming about that:

“I think it's really f***ing rude the way they have left him out.

“He was such a great ­winner and he’s gone on to do brilliant things. Matt’s possibly one of the best winners on the show.”
If you're wondering where Mel has got the impression that Matt has been doing brilliant things, it helps to know that he's done a duet with her.

It's certainly true that Matt is right up there in the top ten winners of the series, which has had ten winners.

When asked why they left Cardle out of the film, a spokesperson for the X Factor looked blank, scratched his head and said "what's that? Is that Steve Brookstein?"

This week just gone

The most popular pieces on Facebook so far this year:

1. Neil McCormick writes for the Telegraph (a bit that reads like something from The Observer)
2. Johnny Borrell's low sales gently mocked by own label
3. Simon Worrall's benefit album released
4. American right outraged at current affairs cover on current affairs magazine
5. Who was the man with the iPad at Niles Rodger's Glastonbury set?
6. NME's 1993 best singles revisited
7. Vince Cable pours money into doomed DRM projects
8. Rolling Stones at Glastonbury: The aftermath
9. Bouncers at venue set pop quiz to gain entry
10. Michelle Shocked claims she was 'misunderstood' when being hateful about gay people

These were this week's interesting releases:

Glen Campbell - See You There

Download See You There

Washed Out - Paracosm

Download Paracosm

Vuvuvvultures - Push / Pull

Download Push/Pull

Capercaillie - At The Heart Of It All

Download At The Heart Of It All