Saturday, October 26, 2013

Rolling Stone pretends to misunderstand that not all doctors are medical

When Rolling Stone put an alleged terrorist on its front cover to illustrate a perfectly reasonable current affairs story, there was an outrage-bundle so huge you could see it from eight miles away.

However, when Rolling Stone does this...:

As if he hadn't already proved it countless times with his surgically precise songwriting and the healing power of his gift for melody, Elvis Costello can now call himself a doctor of music.
... nobody seems bothered.

Despite the fact that Rolling Stone knows full well that while doctorates and medicine can overlap, they're not exclusive.

And despite the more pressing fact that "his surgically precise songwriting and the healing power of his gift for melody" is perhaps the worst sentence anyone has ever written about music, ever, in the history of ink and noise.

It is such an awful sentence that local police went round to check on the writer, James Sullivan, assuming that the words had been arranged as some sort of desperate cry for help. "It appeared at first" explained Sheriff Madeupski, "that Mr Sullivan was being held against his will and being forced to write about Mr Costello's honorary degree from a Boston school, and tried to signal this through his opening words. Upon investigation, though, it was discovered that he was merely being menaced by a tight deadline and a news story that had no real interest beyond a few alumni of the New England Conservatory."

Thom Yorke challenged over consistency

Thom Yorke, as we all know, despises Spotify. Not quite enough to pull Radiohead music from the service, but certainly enough to keep his less-lucrative side projects away from it.

Writing on Hypebot, though, Eliot Van Buskirk points out an even odder inconsistency in Yorke's position:

Do you know which on-demand services pays less than Spotify per stream, and doesn’t even include a premium version for people who might be willing to pay (although there have been weird rumblings about that)?

YouTube. And Thom Yorke’s Atoms for Peace music is all over that on-demand music service, including in the above video, which includes the entire Atoms For Peace album. XL Recordings, Atoms for Peace’s label, has official versions up there as well.

The last time we ran the calculations, the musical force of nature Psy (remember him?) made about a third of a cent per view from his monetized music on YouTube.
one recent estimate put Spotify payouts to one artist at .4 cents per song.

In other words, regardless of who owns it, Spotify pays out more than YouTube. The two numbers are closer than one might imagine, considering that over six million people pay for Spotify, and nobody pays for YouTube, but there they are.

Michael Jackson: the never-ending battle for his money goes on

The latest person to pitch up to the Jackson estate, writ in hand, is Quincy 'you would have hoped that he was above this sort of thing' Jones, who reckons he's being diddled out of his due:

He says the singer's estate and Sony Music Entertainment improperly re-edited songs to deprive him of royalties and production fees.

Mr Jones says they also broke an agreement giving him the right to remix master recordings for albums released after Jackson's death in 2009.
The Jackson estate are trying to wave it away:
"To the best of its knowledge, Mr Jones has been appropriately compensated over approximately 35 years for his work with Michael," a statement said.
Interesting gambit. "He's been earning money for the work he actually did over three and a half decades; now it's time for us to earn money from something we weren't even involved in for the next four", in short.

Jones is looking for six million quid, or thereabouts. No lawyers at all could be reached for comment, as they were all out shopping for speedboats and gold-encrusted everythings.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Macca chats to Lennon

Apparently Paul McCartney tries to talk to John Lennon when writing new songs. Which is more than he tried to do when John Lennon was alive, so that's the healing started, then.

"If I'm at a point where I go, 'I'm not sure about this,' I'll throw it across the room to John," he says. "He'll say, 'You can't go there, man.' And I'll say, 'You're quite right. How about this?' 'Yeah, that's better.' We'll have a conversation. I don't want to lose that."
It's possibly true. You could imagine a ghostly Lennon nodding earnestly as Paul showed him, say, Dance Around, encouraging Macca to rush down to the studio and record the thing.

And then turning and laughing his spectral heart out at persuading Paul to chip further away at his reputation by pumping out more subpar twaddle.

On the other hand, maybe McCartney's head his post-1980 output, and is simply trying to blame Lennon for making him do it.

Noveltyobit: Manolo Escobar

Manolo Escobar - whose death has been announced - probably deserves to be known as something more than just the bloke who did Y Viva Espana.

To be honest, Y Viba Espana probably deserves to be remembered as something more than just a novelty hit. It's interesting how Escobar's obituaries just glide over how the song was released as Spain was shifting from fascist dictatorship to parliamentary monarchy. A song about letting your hair down and celebrating the joy of being on holiday might reek of cheap sangria and straw donkeys, but a joyous celebration of life lived lightly in a nation which was stepping out of decades of right-wing extremism and extra-judicial killings actually carried more meaning than that. It was novelty, certainly, but not just of the cheap holiday souvenir variety.

To remember just that one song, though (and in the UK, it's probably more recalled in the more tipsy cover version by Sylvia Vrethammar) neglects the rest of his fifty-year career, swapping between Andalusian copla, Spanish pop and a bit of acting as well.

Manolo Escobar was 82; he died Thursday after being ill with colon cancer for some time.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Who over

I know it's an era ending, but it's rather strange to see the NME describe The Who announcing that they'll wind up after their 50th anniversary tour as "quitting". Yeah, only doing a half-century. Fucking lightweight quitters.

Lights Over Paris to become bloke over in B-wing

So, Michael Jackson is making cash by simply being dead. That wasn't an option for Robb "TaLLLLL" University, from the band Lights Over Paris. He came up with a better idea: scamming banks.

The banks never asked how come a man from a minor band appeared to have assets worth USD8million, and so happily loaned him USD11million against those assets. The assets didn't exist; he's been found out.

What makes things worse is that after he'd been caught, and entered a guilty plea, he went out the very next day and tried to raise more money using forged documents.

Unsurprisingly, he's heading off to prison now.

One of the things he did with the ill-gotten gains was buy "a tourbus in the shape of an airplane". That sounds impractical apart from anything - wouldn't the wings get in the way?

Michael Jackson: Doing very nicely, thank you

Not only is the dead Michael Jackson making more money than any other dead celebrity, but he's making more cash than any living pop star, too, according to Forbes.

You know that somewhere, right now, a manager is pulling an anguished face and saying to a fading singer "well, if you really wanted to maximise your earnings potential..."

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Twittergem: Capsule review

I think I know this one, right? Fogged off?


Collateral damage

Presumably because it would incompatible to edit The Scottish Sun and present a show on XFM, Gordon Smart is ending his radio programme.

It never got any clearer how being the editor of The Sun's showbiz section and doing a stint on what still pretends to be an alternative radio station made sense, but let's just move on and pretend it never happened, eh?

This week just gone

To mark the launch of his book, here's the most popular Morrissey stories. Or at least the ones that his name appears in the headline. Jesus, who would have time to go further than that?

1. Morrissey "not racist", says Morrissey [2007]
2. Morrissey sells tshirts promoting Barack Obama [2008]
3. Morrissey meets Tim Jonze; tells him "in England you have no idea where you are" [2007]
4. Liveblog: Morrissey on The One Show [2009]
5. David Letterman ruins Morrissey's throat [2007]
6. Morrissey uses Poly Styrene's death as excuse for dreadful interview [2011]
7. Morrissey fans call for Letterman boycott over spare ribs joke [2007]
8. Morrissey cancels dates [2009]
9. Smiths reunite. Without Morrissey [2005]
10. Morrissey takes on a TV chef [2006]
11. Morrissey collapses on stage in Swindon [2009]
12. Morrissey compares Norwegian killing spree with McDonalds menu [2011]
13. Morrissey shares his views during the London riots [2011]
14. Morrissey turns up to help The Boyfriends' career [2006]
15. Morrissey says sorry… to the Arctic Monkeys [2006]
16. Support band makes small joke at Morrissey's expense; kicked off the tour [2007]
17. Huntingdon Life Sciences respond to Morrissey [2006]
18. Morrissey announces plans to sue the NME [2007]
19. Marr says he's too busy with other emails to talk to Morrissey [2009]
20. Morrissey describes the Chinese as a "subspecies" [2010]

These were the interesting releases:

Kitchens Of Distinction - Folly

Download Folly

Tindersticks - Across Six Leap Years

Download Across Six Years

Cults - Static

Download Static

Four Tet - Beautiful Rewind

Download Beautiful Rewind

Polvo - Siberia

Gary Numan - Splinter

Depeche Mode - Should Be Higher

Download Should Be Higher