Saturday, September 14, 2013

Morrissey's autobiography is less interesting than the tale of the autobiography

So, nobody seems any clearer what the hell was going on with the supposed Morrissey autobiography that - if we believe True To You - was already boxed and ready to go when Penguin suddenly had cold feet:

Although Morrissey's Autobiography was set to be available throughout the UK on September 16th, a last-minute content disagreement between Penguin Books and Morrissey has caused the venture to collapse. No review copies were printed, and Morrissey is now in search of a new publisher.
This comes as a bit of a surprise to everyone.

Obviously, a book due to be sold to the public on Monday would have been printed and ready to go; reveiwers would have had the chance to have a look and prepare timely copy. It's hard to see how any "last-minute content disagreement" could occur, given that it's a book, and printed, and those battles would be fought before the presses rolled, not after.

And shops would be expecting it; and an ISBN would have been created; and judicious selections dropped to the friendly press (assuming there is any press still friendly towards the man).

Yet here is a book, the first word of which appears to be that it isn't happening.

What's that, True To You? You have a clarification. Please, clarify matters, and explain these anomalies:
The publication of Morrissey's Autobiography remains with Penguin Books.
This is a deal for the UK and Europe, but Morrissey has no contract with a publisher for the U.S. or any other territory.
As of 13 September, Morrissey and Penguin (UK) remain determined to publish within the next few weeks.
That certainly clarifies matters in no way at all.

Perhaps everyone is getting confused by JOHN Morrissey's long-awaited Local Authority Enforcement book, as that is due in the next few weeks and, apparently, has two chapters dedicated to calling Mike Joyce names.

Could the whole thing be either an elaborate hoax or a terrible misunderstanding?

Possibly. But we do, at least, know that there IS a book, as the cover has been leaked:


Dangerous new disease identified by person who, strictly speaking, isn't a medical professional

Have you got Taylor Swift Syndrome?

A doctor* explains:

Specifically, the singer said she's been drawing more from her own personal tales of love and heartbreak. "I have the Taylor Swift syndrome," she said, laughing. "I write off my own experiences."
* Not, actually, a doctor, but Vali, actually.

Like "restless leg syndrome", I'm not entirely sure this is a condition as such, given that 'writing from your own experiences' is what people are generally told to do when they write, isn't it?


Friday, September 13, 2013

Audiobit: Ray Dolby

Ray Dolby, the man whose name became synonymous with war on bad audio, has died.

At a guess, his name has probably appeared on more closing film credits than any other person.

It's worth noting that besides his huge achievements in audio recording, he'd also played a major part in inventing how videotapes worked. Before he'd even got his first degree. He'd also worked as a UN advisor in India, and helped out the Atomic Energy Authority here while he was a fellow at Cambridge.

It probably is unfair that he's mainly thought of as the bloke who eliminated tape hiss.

Ray Dolby was 80. He died Thursday 12th September.


No moment in the sun, beyond the sun, for the sun

Carl Sagan had wanted to include Here Comes The Sun on the disc of music that was put onto Voyager.

EMI, being EMI, refused on copyright grounds. Perhaps they were afraid The Beatles had signed before contracts stipulated "throughout the known universe"; maybe they feared that you put a track from Abbey Road on a record being floated into space, before you know it, ET would be down the car boot knocking out collections of Greatest Hits.

To be fair, though, it might be better for the universe that EMI said no. Imagine a hyper-intelligent race, billions of miles away, coming across Voyager, working out how to play the disc, and starting with that song. There's a good chance they'd assume it was a warning that a massive star was on a collision course with their planet, isn't there?

[hat-tip to @bowbrick]


Gordon in the morning: Maradona praises Noel Gallagher

Tucked behind the paywall this morning, Gordon Smart has a strange story in which Diego Maradona, out of the I, Ludicrous song, has hailed Noel Gallagher as "God".

Just as you process this, remember Maradona was so fond of mind-altering substances he drugged himself out of football and into hospital, so it's not totally impossible that he's seen the face of God at some point.

However, I'm not sure that this claim is quite the good news Gordon seems to believe it is. I know precious little about football - I'm from Brighton - but even I know that Maradona claimed that it was God who had handled the ball in the World Cup. In effect, he seems to be blaming Noel Gallagher for putting England out the competition.


Thursday, September 12, 2013

Mercury 2013: Apparently a level playing field for Bowie & Bugg

So, the shortlist for the Mercurys was released yesterday, and it's in no way undermined by having found space for both James Blake and Jake Bugg on it.

Obviously, Bowie, who managed to combine a re-entry into music, releasing an album and pulling off a coup de theatre should just be given the prize now - for if the remit of the Mercury is intended to promote the idea of an album as an event, releasing the only album that created a stir beyond the music press surely did that?

Of course, it might not have been as good as the Savages album, but that's not really the point.

Here's the list in full:

Arctic Monkeys - AM
David Bowie - The Next Day
Disclosure - Settle
Foals - Holy Fire
Jake Bugg - Jake Bugg
James Blake - Overgrown
Jon Hopkins - Immunity
Laura Marling - Once I Was An Eagle (pictured)
Laura Mvula - Sing to the Moon
Rudimental - Home
Savages - Silence Yourself
Villagers - Awayland
Has anyone gone to ask One Direction fans if they have any problem with the shortlist?


Gordon in the morning: Paid-for advertisements

What news are you treated to today, should you pay to sneak past The Sun's paywall into Gordon's garden?

You'll read about how Rita Ora is going to do adverts for Rimmel.

Yes, you pays your money, and, er, get to read about other companies' promotional campaigns.


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Vince Gill stands up to douchebags

The Westboro Baptist Church is out a-protesting again; this time turning up at Vince Gill's Kansas City date.

Their beef with Gill is that he got divorced, and then remarried, and thus... sorry, no, I can't quite see how this has anything to do with them at all.

But beef they had.

Gill, though, didn't turn the other cheek: [Trigger warning: video in wrong aspect ratio]

One day Fred Phelps is going to check something in The Bible, and come across the bits about love and forgiveness.


Justin Bieber: He wasn't there again today, I wish, I wish, he'd go away

I've read the headline on this Mail story a few times. It really does claim that Justin Bieber doesn't exist, doesn't it?

I think they mean "which didn't exist", but even if they fixed that, it'd still be a dog of a headline.


Gordon in the morning: Tinie on the wrong side of history

Behind Gordon's paywall, but not far enough behind to protect him, Tinie Tempah is "frolicking with" Page Three Girls.

This might be a good day to sign the No More Page 3 petition. It's a fair bet Tinie hasn't.


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Bob in space

I'm a little lost about this story:

The singer and campaigner Bob Geldof is to travel into space as a passenger on a commercial space flight.

Space Expedition Corporation (SXC) is hoping to launch 100 people into space in 2014 at the cost of $100,000 (£64,000) per ticket.
Isn't this just "very rich man plans terribly expensive joyride in break from lecturing people about poverty"? Or am I missing why this is actually news?


Bossanovaobit: Eydie Gorme

Eydie Gorme, who had hits both solo and with her husband Steve Lawrence, has died.

Gorme and Lawrence were part of the team when The Tonight Show made the leap from local to national schedules. After that came to and end, the pair had a relatively short-lived show of their own. Lawrence's entry into the army put an end to that; Gorme moved to the club circuit and, after he was demobbed, picked up touring with her husband.

Their partnership endured; Lawrence released this yesterday:

“Eydie has been my partner on stage and in life for more than 55 years,” Lawrence said in a statement. “I fell in love with her the moment I saw her and even more the first time I heard her sing. While my personal loss is unimaginable, the world has lost one of the greatest pop vocalists of all time
This, perhaps, remains her best-known moment:

Her name? She'd originally been an Edie, but got so annoyed with people thinking she was Eddie, she adopted a more phonetic approach.

Eydie Gorme was 84.


Those were the days, my friend

I see, ECanadaNow, that you've got the old photo album out.

Photographs of celebrities from their childhood are always interesting to behold.
You know, you're not wrong.
They reveal the humanity and simplicity of famous people sometimes long before handlers, publicists, and managers control their image the person projects in public.
I think there's something in that. So what Canadian star to do want to show us pictures of their younger selves? Celine? KD? Joni?
In the case of singer Justin Bieber...
Justin Bieber? If I wanted to see pictures of a young Justin Bieber, I'd look at current pictures of Justin Bieber.

To be fair, ECanadaNow does briefly acknowledge that the idea that there is a grown-up Bieber to compare the foeto-Bieber with is ridiculous:
who is technically still living his childhood since he’s only 19-years-old. Additionally, the young Bieber has a tendency to not act his age but rather his shoe size. Bieber has recently taken to adding tattoos to this body that give him the graffiti-like appearance of an abandoned school.
... but then they go ahead and do it anyway.

Mind you, you've got to worry for a place that can't tell the difference between this...

... and this

One is an institution which has abandoned all hopes and dreams of education, and the other is a classroom that is no long in use.


Monday, September 09, 2013

Good pop advice

Are you people who were once in band? And getting back together? Is there a lot of press attention because of how your band fell to pieces the first time round? Are you getting a lot of promotion for your comeback?

Here's some advice.

Try not to give the first single a name that's a hostage to fortune.


Gordon in the morning: A dog of a story

If you're curious as to what stories are bubbling away behind Gordon Smart's paywall this morning, you might want to find the cash to read a story about James Arthur getting a puppy.

James Arthur.

Apparently he won the X Factor last year.

This is one of those 'man gets puppy' stories where the celebrity glitz comes from the puppy.


Bauer introduce new job titles

There are no longer programme controllers at Bauer's radio stations.

Oh, no. Now, the people in charge are to be known as Content Controllers.

Sweet jesus.

The other shortlisted titles included "Person who fills the bits where we're not doing adverts" and "Head of budgetary drain".


One Direction: He cannae run wi'out legs

"He cannae run wi'out legs" is, I think, the only piece of football strategy that ever made it into ITV 'tykes-over-coming-ennui-through-painting-a-supporters-club-in-garish-colours' kids drama Murphy's Mob and, as such, I'm certain that every manager rasps this advice into players' ears before they head out for a big match.

Should it be such a surprise, then, that this happened:

That's Aston Villa's Gabby Agbonlahor taking down One Direction/Doncaster Rover's Louis Tomlinson (oh, try typing that with a straight face) during a charity match.

(It's not entirely clear why Tomlinson was playing, as it was supposedly a Celtic team against a Legends team, and 'having signed as some sort of dancing bear with Doncaster' hardly constitutes being a legend, surely?)

Still, nice to see consistency from the One Directioner, whose 'rolling about in agony in front of a crowd' is as convincing as his 'being a musician in front of a crowd' work.

[Thanks to @curiousiguana]


Sunday, September 08, 2013

This week just gone

The best things from No Rock, Stumble-on user's perspective only:

1. Daily Mirror makes up entire story based on tweets from Little Boots and the Saturdays
2. John Doe No. 8 refuses to roll over for the RIAA
3. Guy Hands tells EMI artists to work harder
4. RIP: Jeff Healey
5. Kaiser Chiefs deny they've been canned
6. RIP: Harvey Fuqua
7. Thom Yorke lets Paul McCartney down gently
8. Sex Pistols wring back catalogue dry to make box set
9. Phil Collins angrily denies being a Tory
10. Bloomberg digs about in Bono's finances

This week's interesting releases:


Neko Case - The Worse Things Get...


Download The Worse Things Get



Nine Inch Nails - Hesitation Marks


Download Hesitation Marks



Glasvegas - Later… When The TV Turns To Static


Download Later...



The 1975 - The 1975


Download The 1975



Chelsea Wolfe - Pain Is Beauty


Download Pain Is Beauty