Saturday, September 21, 2013

Planet Bluegrass will rise again

Amongst the thousands of properties hit by the horrific floods in Colorado was Planet Bluegrass in Lyons, home of the RockyGrass bluegrass festival.

They're pledging to rebuild:

Organizers hope the main festival stage will require refurbishing only, as will Ferguson's house, which is on the ranch property and was hit with 4 feet of water and mud. They plan to restore the bathhouses in the same location and having the offices rebuilt by Thanksgiving. The Wildflower Pavilion venue "took a big hit," Eyster said.

"But we're 100 percent committed that on July 25-27, we will be in Lyons and Rocky- Grass will happen that weekend," he said. "Just on the emotional power alone, it'll be the best RockyGrass ever. It has to be."
There's a lot of demand around for support following the floods, but if you'd like to help Planet Bluegrass get back on its feet, there's an online fundraiser and they'd be delighted with anything you could afford to chip in.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Smiths shuts down This Charming Charlie

So the amusing mash-up of Smiths lyrics and Peanuts frames is being hounded off the web, because copyright:
The Smiths’ licensing company (Universal Music Publishing Group) has started requesting posts be removed from This Charming Charlie. So far 6 posts have been removed, and it is increasing every hour. If you like the page, please save copies of the comics to your own computer. I will repost the images on my personal site.
To be fair to Universal Music, there's clearly a fundamental threat to their business because I've certainly stopped buying Smiths records now that I can read a single line of a song in a speech bubble coming from Linus' mouth. Obviously.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Gram Parsons: Answering David Hepworth's question

$1000 in 1973 is roughly the equivalent of $5289 in 2013. [Source: Wolfram Alpha/US consumer price index]

The average spending on a wedding in the US today is $28,082 [Source: Association of Bridal Consultants]

So, cheap by modern standards.

But what of 1973 itself?

Steven Rubio has shared the costs of his 1973 wedding - $111.53. But...
It was an inexpensive wedding, even in 1973 dollars. She saved money by making her own wedding dress (and my wedding shirt). We got married by a friend who was a judge, in a public park, so no expenses there.
So, the $1000 wedding wasn't expensive compared with modern weddings, but it certainly wasn't a barebones budget. Flash for the time, then?

But there's more...

The piece on the song suggests the $1000 was just the cost of a dress:
The longer version probably had very little of the mystery that distinguishes the surviving version. Fong-Torres links the lyrics of the song to a specific biographical circumstance: Parsons was engaged to Nancy Marthai Ross and took her to his favorite couturier--Nudie Cohen of Nudie's Rodeo Tailors--to have a dress made, but Ross had reservations about and never paid for the $1000 wedding dress.
If the song really is just about the dress costing a thousand, given the 2013 average price of a dress is just $1,211 [source: The Knot survey], that makes it a very expensive wedding indeed.

MTV EMAs shortlist reveals acts prepared to travel to Amsterdam

Oh, MTV's European Music Awards shortlist has been released, revealing who MTV's European PR team think has enough heft to persuade people to watch a music programme on a channel normal dedicated to two reality formats being wrung dry.

If only there was some sort of press release which could, in a pithy phrase, capture a sense of if this is an event which celebrates the new, the challenging and exciting; or merely is the same faces dancing through the same empty struts.

Hang on: what's this?

Empty struts it is, then.

For the record, here's the dullest list in the world in full:
Bruno Mars – Locked Out Of Heaven
Daft Punk – Get Lucky (ft. Pharrell Williams)
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – Thrift Shop (ft. Wanz)
Rihanna – Diamonds
Robin Thicke – Blurred Lines (ft. T.I. & Pharrell)

Justin Bieber
Katy Perry
Miley Cyrus
One Direction
Taylor Swift

Katy Perry
Lady Gaga
Miley Cyrus
Selena Gomez
Taylor Swift

Bruno Mars
Jay Z
Justin Bieber
Justin Timberlake

Green Day
Justin Timberlake
Taylor Swift

Icona Pop
Imagine Dragons
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

Justin Timberlake – Mirrors
Lady Gaga – Applause
Miley Cyrus – Wrecking Ball
Robin Thicke – Blurred Lines (ft. T.I. & Pharrell)
Thirty Seconds To Mars – Up In The Air

Black Sabbath
Green Day
Kings Of Leon
Queens Of The Stone Age
The Killers

Arctic Monkeys
Fall Out Boy
Franz Ferdinand
Thirty Seconds To Mars

Jay Z
Kanye West
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

Afrojack Avicii
Calvin Harris
Daft Punk

Tokio Hotel
Thirty Seconds To Mars
One Direction
Justin Bieber
Lady Gaga

Harry Styles
Justin Timberlake
Lady Gaga
Rita Ora

Karmin (October 2012)
Rudimental (November 2012)
Imagine Dragons (January 2013)
A$AP Rocky (February 2013)
Bastille (March 2013)
Austin Mahone (April 2013)
Bridgit Mendler (May 2013)
Tom Odell (June 2013)
Iggy Azalea (July 2013)
Icona Pop (August 2013)
Twenty One Pilots (September 2013)

Alicia Keys – WS Manchester 2012
fun. – WS Rock Am Ring 2013
Garbage - WS Mexico 2012
Green Day – WS Rock Am Ring 2013
Jason Mraz – WS Live In Myanmar 2012
Jessie J – WS Malta 2013
Linkin Park – WS Mexico 2012
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – WS Wireless 2013
No Doubt – WS Frankfurt 2012
Paramore – WS Rock Am Ring 2013
Rita Ora – WS Malta 2013
Robin Thicke – WS Malaysia 2013
Snoop Lion – WS Durban 2013
The Black Keys – WS NY Webster City Hall 2012
The Killers – WS Big Day Out 2013
Alicia Keys. ALICIA KEYS.

One other observation: Isn't it incredible how quickly a list with fun. on sounds dated?

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Muse help with the mopping out

Muse played Denver last night; they handed over the profits from merch sales to the Colorado Flood Relief effort.

Good work, Muse.

How Hollywood works

- Should we really consider Bieber for Robin in the new Superman movie?
- Can the kid act?
- Maybe he won't even be interested
- Perhaps we should send him a script
- No way; the kid's a loose canon. We can't be sure that he won't leak details.
- I've got a solution; if we plaster his name across the script, he won't be able to leak it, as it'll be obvious where the leak's from
- Genius. Make it so.

Twenty four hours later...

- Uh... boss...?

Britney Spears: Resident evils

Britney Spears is putting down roots in Las Vegas. Kind-of:

The singer finally ended weeks of buzz and made it official Tuesday morning, with an appearance on Good Morning America. On Dec. 27, the now 31-year-old former teen star will begin a two-year residency at Planet Hollywood, performing 50 shows over that period.
She's going to a burger bar one a fortnight. Is that a residency? On that basis, I'm currently about four years into a residency at Pizza Express.

Seriously: if it's popping in from time to time, it's not a residency, is it? Seriously, she could fit in half-a-dozen of her trademark Vegas marriages between shows. Not just the weddings; the whole marriage.
She said that her upcoming show would mix old and new hits, with an atmosphere that's part dance club, part theater.
Or "doing a cabaret", as it's known.
"We wanted the environment to be that way so people could come and have a good time and stand up and feel like they're in the show with me," Spears said. "I love Vegas. The energy here is really, really good."
"We didn't want them to have chairs. Or anything else they could throw. I love Madison Square Garden - change if they turn us down - because some vaguely-defined variable is quantifiable in some equally vague way" read Britney from a card, yesterday.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Bob Geldof can now drive his sheep over bridges

Yesterday, Bob Geldof was given the freedom of the City of London:

Singer Bob Geldof received the Freedom of the City of London in recognition of his services to music and outstanding contribution to International social justice and peace.
I bet there was a phonecall or two:
- Yeah, Bob's thrilled, but he says can you include a mention of his services to music? ... No, music... The Boomtown Rats? The Vegetarians of Love? ... oh, you haven't? ... look, have you got Google there? Try searching for the Boomtown Rats...

Apparently, he doesn't really have the right to drive sheep over bridges; and it's probably a moot point if he'd be entitled to a silken rope should he ever find himself being hanged in the city.

Peter Saville has to eat, you know

Apparently, Peter Saville is going to design a logo for Kanye West:

We’re looking at ways of writing ‘Kanye West,’” he said. “What does ‘Kanye’ and ‘Kanye West’ look like written down?”
It's possible this suggests he isn't bothering to bring his strongest approach to the job - "that bloke out of Keeping Up With The Cardigans wants a logo? How about we write his name down? That'd do it."

Even so, it's like discovering Gainsborough has signed on to rework the Laughing Cow brand.
Kanye talked with Saville about Cassandre’s 1961 logo for Yves Saint Laurent. “He said to me: ‘You’re Cassandre’,” Saville said. “He wants a YSL”.
Surely the kindest thing to say to this is "Kanye, you are not Yves Saint Laurent. You might want to have a think about Chris Ayer's work for Chuck E Cheese."

Monday, September 16, 2013

PETA versus Perry

PETA have issued a statement about Katy Perry's Roar video. Of course they're not happy. PETA only issue statements when they're unhappy:

“Animals used for entertainment endure horrific cruelty and suffer from extreme confinement and violent training methods,” a PETA spokesman said in a statement. “They often become stressed and anxious when hauled around and forced into unfamiliar or frightening situations.”

The group, long-critical of animal rights practices in Hollywood, suspects Perry worked with animal exhibitor Serengeti Ranch on the “Roar” video which, according to PETA, “has been inspected by the US Department of Agriculture 22 times since 2001.”
PETA - whose twin aims are persuading celebrities to take their clothes off and killing hundreds of healthy animals every year, had once been pleased with Perry because she was a celebrity vegetarian.

Trouble is, when people adopt poses because they're fashionable, they're just as likely to take up a contrary stance when fashion dictates. PETA might be discovering the weakness in their business model.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Nirvana: Choosing your words

Bruce Pavitt wanted to recall how he could see the end coming for Nirvana. Which is fine, he was running their label. But could he have chosen his words more carefully?:

Nirvana were "pretty lifeless" at the end of their career.

The 'Heart Shaped Box' band's live shows were known for being past paced, ferocious and full of energy, but by Christmas 1993 - four months before frontman Kurt Cobain committed suicide - their former record label boss Bruce Pavitt could see signs of burnout.
Pretty lifeless maybe not the words you want to use about a band which ended when their leader killed himself.

This week just gone

The things most-read this summer, by regular visitors (rather than one-time visitors):

1. The Face's Best Recordings of 1983
2. Westwood waves goodbye to Radio One
3. Thom Yorke pulls less lucrative tracks off Spotify
4. Misbeggoten misheard lyrics
5. Miley Cyrus waves her arse; hopes people notice
6. NME pulls off difficult 'festival preview that's interesting to people not going to festival' issue
7. Daft Punk condoms 'not a thing'
8. Jody Watley returns
9. Gordon Smart trumpets Bros reunion
10. Muse claim they bribe officials to ignore fire regulations

These were the interesting releases:

Summer Camp - Summer Camp

Download Tales Of Us

Goldfrapp - Tales Of Us

Download Tales Of Us

Emiliana Torrini - Tookah

Download Tookah

Willard Grant Conspiracy - Ghost Republic

Download Willard Grant Conspiracy