Saturday, October 05, 2013

Man quits job to go on game show

Apparently someone called Ryan Mathie is on the X Factor this year, and he's quit his job to be part of ITV's improved profit forecast for 2013-14:

Speaking at Louis Walsh's house in the South of France, the 18-year-old hopeful said: "I"m so serious about this competition, I've quit my job to come here.

"If I go home from here, I'll go home with nothing."
That's The Weakest Link, isn't it?

I love the implication there that somehow he's never going to leave Louis Walsh's house, as that would be returning to an empty reality.

Mathie had previously been working for his local council keeping vehicles on the road; apparently Steve Brookstein's already been in touch with them offering his services.

Nothing Compares 2 Feud: Apparently the O'Connor-Cyrus thing is going to roll on a while

While most of the attention has been on Miliband v Dacre, the musical differences between Miley Cyrus and Sinead O'Connor have been bubbling away no less vociferously.

The latest front in the battle has been Sinead's appearance on The Late Late Show on RTE:

Of Cyrus, she said: "I'm not dismissing the records, they are great records. Miley's records are great records. What I feel is that the industry of music does exploit people who are possibly a little too young to know what they are doing.

"I'm asking whether it's appropriate for 20-year-old women to lick sledgehammers for videos in songs which have no lyrical reference to any such thing in them. It's an exploitation of someone too young to understand the dangers."
This does raise the astonishing possibility that if Miley had included an appropriate lyrical reference, Sinead wouldn't have minded the sequences. "Sure, if there had been a line 'lick my hammer till it drips/swing it hard/tweak my nips', then I'd not have been bothered."

At a stretch, given the song is called Wrecking Ball, under Sinead's apparent rule that pop videos must always be like a giddy version of Catchphrase, with the lyrics depicted on screen, the bit of Miley naked on the demolition tool would be alright.

The real shame about the whole fight? It started when Miley announced she'd taken inspiration from Sinead's Nothing Compares 2U video. (By the way, there's nothing in the lyrics of that song about ramming your face close up into somebody else's and blubbing, so maybe that was wrong, too?

The thing about that, though, is that the Nothing Compares video was hardly original in the first place, given its obvious debt to this:

If Miley had merely said she'd been told she was ripping off Godley and Creme's idea, all this unpleasantness could have been avoided.

Friday, October 04, 2013

Little Voice, What Now: Horrocks covers Manchester indie classics

If you didn't already love Jane Horrocks, her low-key project covering tracks by Manchester's indie heroes is surely going to win you over.

She told the Lancashire Evening Telegraph about the plan:

“I thought they were so interesting with female voices, and you heard the lyrics in a different way, and I thought I'd like to do that with a couple of my favourite songs — and these are indeed my favourite songs. I’m a massive fan of Joy Division, I love their music — particularly the lyrics.”
She's going to poke them out via iTunes over the coming weeks, and once she's had a crack at Morrissey and Curtis, she's planning to do Hawkwind and Cabaret Voltaire.

Michael Caine is unavailable for comment.

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Lostprophets call it a day

It's surprising that they've managed to drag on for a year, what with their singer Ian Watkins being accused of raping a baby, but finally Lostprophets have accepted they're a lost cause:

After nearly a year of coming to terms with our heartache, we finally feel ready to announce publicly what we have thought privately for some time. We can no longer continue making or performing music as Lostprophets. Your love and support over the past 15 years has been tremendous, and we'll be forever grateful for all you've given us. As we look forward to the next phase of our lives, we can only hope to be surrounded by people as devoted and inspiring as you guys have been.

Jamie, Lee, Luke, Mike, and Stu
Ian Watkins has denied the charges against him; his trial is due to start on November 25th.

Michael Jackson: AEG cleared

The procession following the death of Michael Jackson continues to march grimly forward, yesterday reaching a key point where a jury decided that AEG weren't responsible for killing him by hiring Conrad Murray.

The New York Times reports:

A California jury decided on Wednesday that Michael Jackson’s final concert promoter, A.E.G. Live, was not responsible for the pop star’s death.

After a five-month trial filled with gruesome details of Jackson’s last days, the case came down to basic questions of contractual relationships and the professional competence of Dr. Conrad Murray, the cardiologist who gave Jackson a fatal dose of the anesthetic propofol four years ago.

After deliberating for about 13 hours over four days, the jury of six men and six women agreed with lawyers for Jackson’s 83-year-old mother, Katherine, that A.E.G. Live had hired Dr. Murray. But they rejected arguments that the doctor was unfit to care for Jackson as he prepared for a series of comeback concerts.
It could have cost AEG USD1.5billion if they'd been found to be culpable. (That's roughly the annual GDP of Belize, if you'd like a meaningless but impressive comparison.)

Refreshingly, the jury decided to treat Michael Jackson as a grown-up who made his own poor decisions.

We're now in a curious place, where Murray is serving a sentence for the involuntary manslaughter of Jackson, but has been found fit to practice. The jury think they can make sense of that, though:
"We felt he was competent," [jury foreman Gregg] Barden said. "That doesn’t mean we felt he was ethical. If ethical was in the question, it might have been a different outcome. In the end, he was very unethical. He did something he shouldn’t have done. "
It's not entirely clear if someone who is unethical is fit to practice, but the jury seemed to think that wasokay.

Barden shakes his head sadly, though:
"There are really no winners in this ... Somebody had to die for us to be here.... It was really a tragic situation."
No winners? As the lawyers pack up and move on to Conrad Murray's appeal hearing, they might disagree, were they not struggling with suitcases packed with money.

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Bookmarks: Lauren Mayberry

Last week, Chvrches' Lauren Mayberry shared this:

Over on The Guardian's music blog, she shares what happened next. It's not exactly edifying:
Comments range from the disgusted and supportive to the offensively vile. My current favourites from the latter category include:

"This isn't rape culture. You'll know rape culture when I'm raping you, bitch"

"I have your address and I will come round to your house and give u anal and you will love it you twat lol"

"Act like a slut, getting treated like a sluy [sic]"

"It's just one of those things you'll need to learn to deal with. If you're easily offended, then maybe the music industry isn't for you"

But why should women "deal" with this? I am incredibly lucky to be doing the job I am doing at the moment – and painfully aware of the fact that I would not be able to make music for a living without people on the internet caring about our band. But does that mean that I need to accept that it's OK for people to make comments like this, because that's how women in my position are spoken to?

Miley Cyrus: something about her performance was choreographed

Here's a surprise. You might want to sit down.

That Miley Cyrus performance at the VMAs? It was intentionally attention grabbing:

‘I just needed to let go of the past in a way, so I felt like I could be the bad b***h I am,’ the 20-year-old said on MTV documentary Miley: The Movement addressing her blinding display with Robin Thicke at the MTV VMAs.

Far from getting carried away, Cyrus instead says she meant every minute of her foam-fingered display.

‘You can watch that performance and think that’s a hot mess,’ she said.

‘But it’s a strategic hot mess. … If I wanted a raunchy sex show, I wouldn’t have been dressed as a damned bear.’
I think even people who haven't heard of Cyrus, or MTV, or possibly even music might raise an objection that no bear dresses like this:
But then Cyrus appears to think we're having trouble keeping up with the masterplan. Even my dead Victorian Great Uncle Hambleton could see that the whole point of Cyrus' performance was to try and flag that she's not Hannah Montana any more.

If Miley thinks she needs a documentary to "reveal" that the idea was to show, erm, that she was a "bad bitch" then you might argue that the performance had failed.

Here's the thing, Miley: if an actor who's just played Lear has to come on stage at the end and go "right, I was pretending I'd gone mad, see?", that would suggest he didn't have much faith in his acting.

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Gordon in the morning: Praise for Gordon

There's a big campaign - designed to promote the idea of newspapers' role in a digital era - which is keen for the people who make papers to come into the limelight. It's been put together by John Lloyd, who met some of those people as part of his research:

Gordon Smart, editor of The Sun’s showbiz column Bizarre, was “well-read, with a great personality”
Didn't John Lloyd used to promote a different view of Sun journalists when he was working on Spitting Image?