Friday, January 10, 2014

Tom Morello has a new solo album, self-awareness

Hey, this sounds GREAT:

Yeah, I'd imagine it's quite easy to compare a solo Morello record with Hendrix. Hendrix has been dead nearly half a century; I imagine Morello's album will stink like something that's been dead since 1970, too.

James Arthur isn't a homophobe any more

Perhaps he's been to one of those places where they pray your gay(hatred) away, as James Arthur isn't a homophobe any more:

"This one will hopefully get played on the radio," the tattooed Middlesbrough lad in the Deirdre Barlow specs says, introducing new single Get Down, "'cause I'm not a homophobe any more."
He's joking, of course. Because, after all, he insisted that he wasn't a homophobe in the first place, because homophobic bullshit somehow doesn't count if it's in a shit rap.

James Arthur isn't a homophobe any more. No more than he was, anyway.

Brits 2014: The nominations

It's considered bad luck to not have your Christmas decorations down by the time the Brit Awards shortlist is released, so let's hope your tree is packed away.

Moving a large pile of baubles to one side, let's see what we've got this year.

Katy Perry, Ellie Goulding, Bruno Mars and Bastille are all going to play the event.

In totally unconnected news, Katy Perry, Ellie Goulding, Bruno Mars and Bastille have all been nominated.

For some reason, they've produced a shortlist for Critic's Choice, even although they announce the winner of that prize at the same time as the shortlist - so, congratulations Sam Smith; bad luck to Chloe Howl and Ella Eyre. Especially to Chloe Howl, who must be wondering why critics have favoured Sam Smith's plodding-about-in-a-dead-mans-coat over her work. It's like a fun fair losing out to a domino table.

Smith presumably helped through his work with Disclosure, whose name ripples through the shortlists alongside that of Bastille. It's actually quite positive to see this - two names that I don't think you'd have been able to predict having such resonance this time last year.

Elsewhere it's business as usual: Lady GaGa, despite her only having done a shit record last year. Pink, despite her not having done any records at all. Bruno Mars, despite him being Bruno Mars.

That godawful One Direction One Way Or Another record has somehow been picked as one of the best singles of the year.

It's unclear what's more surprising - that Olly Murs is considered to have made one of the best singles of 2013, or that - if we accept this as a fact - he's not considered to be one of the best male solo artists of the year.

Anyway, here's the slim pickings that some poor sods will have to weigh against each other in full:

British Male Solo Artist
David Bowie
Jake Bugg
James Blake
John Newman
Tom Odell

British Female Solo Artist
Ellie Goulding
Jessie J
Laura Marling
Laura Mvula

British Group
Arctic Monkeys
One Direction

British Breakthrough Act
Laura Mvula
London Grammar
Tom Odell

Critics' Choice
Sam Smith

Chlöe Howl
Ella Eyre

British Single
Bastille - 'Pompeii'
Calvin Harris/Ellie Goulding - 'I Need Your Love'
Disclosure ft AlunaGeorge - 'White Noise'
Ellie Goulding - 'Burn'
John Newman - 'Love Me Again'
Naughty Boy ft Sam Smith - 'La La La'
Olly Murs - 'Dear Darlin''
One Direction - 'One Way or Another (Teenage Kicks)'
Passenger - 'Let Her Go'
Rudimental ft Ella Eyre - 'Waiting All Night'

British Album of the Year
Arctic Monkeys - AM
Bastille - Bad Blood
David Bowie - The Next Day
Disclosure - Settle
Rudimental - Home

British Producer of the Year
Ethan Johns
Flood (Mark Ellis) & Alan Moulder
Paul Epworth

International Male Solo Artist
Bruno Mars
John Grant
Justin Timberlake

International Female Solo Artist
Janelle Monae
Katy Perry
Lady Gaga

International Group
Arcade Fire
Daft Punk
Kings of Leon
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
The Kings Of Leon. Nobody actually likes the Kings Of Leon, do they? They just exist to pad out this sort of thing.

Now, time to try and shove tinsel into a tube.

Thursday, January 09, 2014

Did Tom Jones mention he knew Elvis?

With a new series of The Voice about to start - with, apparently, a bizarre cameo appearance from our old friend Showbiz With Zoe Showbiz Griffin's Zoe Showbiz Griffin - the artists are doing their warm ups.

For Tom Jones, this means running out some name-dropping practice:

Speaking to radio station Magic 105.4, Tom said: ''I knew Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley very well.

''I did an album of Frank Sinatra type things and Elvis listened and said, 'Tom I heard that thing' and I said ... 'Yeah and?' Elvis said, 'We leave that to Frank Sinatra, we don't go there'.''
'No, seriously, Tom, don't go there. I did a song that I did a 'scoobydoobydoo' bit in, and the next morning two of my cars were burned out and there was a bullet in my mailbox. Seriously, Tom. Leave. It. To. Frank.'

Fortunately, knowing Frank Sinatra really well as well, as Tom did, there was a balancing view:
But the 73-year-old star said Frank was complimentary about people comparing Tom to him and wanted him to step into his shoes, as long as he didn't record rock music.

Tom recalled: ''Then, when I do something a little more rocky, Frank would say: 'Tom, when I go and they [management] ask me who could replace me, I say you! So don't go making records like that!'.''
This must have been tricky for Tom. Elvis - who he knew well - saying one thing. Sinatra - who (did he mention?) he knew well - offering a different opinion.

Fortunately, Tom was able to find a third way by capturing the 'butternut squash with a face drawn on doing sex songs' market for himself.

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Lily Allen's bitcoin bargain

Showing the sort of nous she brought to the clothes business, Lily Allen missed out on a great deal:

Although maybe she wasn't making such a bad decision.

After all, five years ago, "hundreds of thousands of bitcoins" would have been almost the entire supply of bitcoins, and even three and a half years ago, you'd need to scrape together 10,000 of the coins to buy a couple of pizzas.

So even if you move the timescale so the eyebrow raising bit is not the number of bitcoins on offer, but someone wanting to stream a gig in Second Life, the value of the offer would have been fairly small. Especially considering this was a point when Allen had quit, or sort of quit, music.

All rather odd.

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Madonna cleans up party mess

A couple of days ago, Madge stuck up an instagram of her kid, Rocco (named after To Rococo Rot, of course). He was holding a bottle of gin.

He is, of course, thirteen.

The internet tutted, and Madonna tutted back:

Despite not showing any of the three boys drinking the alcohol, Madonna was criticised by fans commenting that the image was irresponsible. Responding to the comments, she replied by posting another picture with the caption: "No one was drinking we were just having fun! Calm down and get a sense of humor! Don't start the year off with judgement!"
Ah yes, the fun old game of standing around with a bottle of gin you don't intend to drink at all. I bet a few games of that have been played in family homes this Christmas, right?

Still, nobody can accuse Madonna of not practicing what she preaches. Posting a picture of your kid with a huge bottle of gin really is not having any judgement at the start of the year.

Lady GaGa reaches 'Courtney Love with cellphone at 5am' stage of career

There's not been a video yet for Do What U Want, the collaboration between Lady GaGa and R Kelly. Most people have assumed that its because the song is such a clunking disaster that it has a helpline number for worried relatives to call, but it turns out there's... reasons.

Do tell us, GaGa. Trigger warning - grammar abuse:

It is late because, just like with the Applause video unfortunately, I was given a week to plan and execute it.
Oh, it's someone else's fault. Never mind, eh.

Hang on. She hasn't finished.
It is very devastating for someone like me, I devote every moment of my life to creating fantasies for you.
Remember this is in the context of a horrible song that manages to conjure up images of having R Kelly jizz in your face.
All my my most successful videos were planned over a period of time when I was rested and my creativity was honored.
It's not just she only had a week to do it in, but it sounds like one of the interns bungled the ceremony where they kill the goats to honour her muse.
Those who have betrayed me gravely mismanaged my time and health and left me on my own to damage control any problems that ensued as a result.
You had someone to manage your health? How did that work? "Okay, GaGa, I've booked your pancreas in for a scrub at 9.30 on Friday, and I'm just emailing you now a spreadsheet of your sneezing schedule for the rest of the month. The phlegmy ones are marked in green on that."

Still, to be fair, whoever has left her "damage controlling" on her own has quite badly let her down. Because there's more.
Millions of dollars are not enough for some people. They want billions. Then they need trillions.
"On the bright side, sooner or later they'll want sextillions, and that's got 'sex' in it, which I could make an album about."
I was not enough for some people.
And yet here we are, with the entire world yelling 'that's enough, GaGa'.
They wanted more.
They wanted more. They wanted more more. They wanted More More More. They would not be satisfied until GaGa covered Andrea True Connection.
I am very grateful to the photographers and designers who have always stood by me to make sure my fans are never aware of the things that happen behind the scenes, but unfortunately after my surgery I was too sick, too tired, and too sad to control the damage on my own.
Yes, thank god for all those people who worked so hard to keep the curtains drawn while you were, erm, keeping the curtains drawn entirely by yourself.

By the way, GaGa - great job of keeping those persnicketty management issues out of the public eye.
My label was not aware that this was going on.
Hang about, is the damage obvious to all or not? What?
The next few months of ARTPOP will truly be its beginning.
Artpop really is The Big Society of albums, isn't it? Nobody really knows what it all means, it clearly wasn't the big success everyone was banking on, and it's now in a constant cycle of relaunches.
Because those who did not care about ARTPOP's success are now gone, and the dreams I have been planning can now come to fruition.
A dream can't fruit, can it? And you don't really plan a dream, do you? It's interesting to see how GaGa's authentic voice makes her sound like someone culled early in a series of The Apprentice, isn't it?
Please forgive me that I did not foresee this coming, I never thought after all the years of hard work that those I called friends and partners would ever care so little at a time I needed them the most.
It's okay Gags, I don't think anyone was expecting this.
Give me a chance to show you the meaning of seeing art all around you.
You do realise that everyone can see art all around them, don't you? It's not like a superpower you get when you rub your undercarriage with half a pound of luncheon meat.
Open your hearts to me again that I may show you the joy of us coming together through our talents, that we are stronger as a unit than when we are alone. Let me be for you the Goddess that I know I truly am, let me show you the visions that have been in my mind for two years. I love you.
You're apologising for not having yet delivered a video for a terrible song. Why has this note suddenly turned into Ted Mosby trying to win back a high school girlfriend?
Forgive me monsters. Forgive me ARTPOP. You are my whole world.
You know those people who badly let you down, Lady GaGa? I'm presuming you have a list. You might want to add anyone who you showed this to who went "yeah, that sounds OK" before you published it.

The thing, surely, is that she's just written a long, rambling apology for not making a video for a track, when really she should be going door-to-door to personally make amends for having made the record in the first place.

Monday, January 06, 2014

Something bad happens near celebrity

Oh, Daily Mail, how your values work:

Yes, if you die in a horrific inferno, you too might find your name getting a lower billing than the fact that LeAnn Rimes was nearby.