Saturday, February 22, 2014

Chris Moyles: Would you buy a used car from this man?

The really odd thing about Chris Moyles' tax scam - where he signed papers during his tenure as breakfast show presenter on Radio One claiming to be a second hand car dealer for tax purposes - is how would anyone think this a good idea in the first place?

The only possibility is that Moyles' accountant actually does double-up as a second-hand car salesperson. Let's hope he's better at flogging Ladas than doing sums.

Let's enjoy those Moyles 'apology' tweets, shall we?

"I take full responsibility for this matter, by, erm, saying someone else told me to do it and I don't have the expert tax knowledge to grasp that pretending to be selling second hand cars while presenting one of the highest profile radio programmes in Europe wasn't entirely legitimate. I mean, that's the sort of thing you'd need years of professional experience to understand, right, when you sign a piece of paper that says 'I make a living selling second hand cars' despite not ever having done so much as hung a piney tree in a 1996 Skoda, that you might be claiming something that isn't true. But, yeah, full responsibility up until that point."

Justin Bieber's ring of fire

Sure, this is what they say:

Justin Bieber's new home is being closely guarded by police officers.

Law enforcement officials in Atlanta, Georgia are sending patrol cars to the 19-year-old star's house, which he has rented from music producer Dallas Austin for three months as he continues to search for his dream home to buy in the city, several times a day to make sure his fans don't get too close for the singer's comfort.
I suspect, though, the Georgia police have encircled Bieber's house not to keep fans out, but to ensure they can keep him in. The last thing Atlanta needs is a Bieber wandering round getting up to overfunded preteen antics.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Shirley Manson is Kim Gordon, who is Tori Amos

It turns out that Buzzfeed's which whatever thing are you quiz might not be based on 100% scientific accuracy:

Moriarty is also hopping mad after being told he was Una Stubbs when he too which Sherlock character are you?

[Lifted almost shamelessly from Slate]

Embed and breakfast man: Dum Dum Girls

Ah, let's cleanse our palette with a virtually brand-new video from the Dum Dum Girls, shall we?

As a bonus, here's the band on Letterman from last month:

Brits 2014: The morning after

A couple of thoughts as the 2014 circus passes into history.

First: If Kate Moss mumbling something about Scotland is the most outrageous thing to happen, congratulations: your awards ceremony is officially moribund.

There is an interesting point, though: if Scotland does break from the UK, would it have an influence on the Brits?

Not really. None of last night's winners are Scottish. None of the performers were Scottish. I don't think any of the award presenters were Scottish.

Bowie might have been better off sending the message 'Scotland, join us' rather than 'stay with us'.

For the record, here's the full list of winners:
British Male Solo Artist - David Bowie

British Female Solo Artist - Ellie Goulding

British Group - Arctic Monkeys

British Breakthrough Act - Bastille

British Single - "Waiting All Night" by Rudimental ft. Ella Eyre

British Album Of The Year - AM by Arctic Monkeys

Best Video – One Direction

International Male Solo Artist - Bruno Mars

International Female Solo Artist - Lorde

International Group - Daft Punk

Global Success - One Direction

Critics' Choice - Sam Smith

British Producer Of The Year - Flood & Alan Moulder

Today just tried to draw the Arctic Monkeys on the Scotland issue, and got rewarded with one of those sub-Lennon "witicisms" rather than an answer. Their desire to not say anything upsetting confirms they've passed a certain point in their career - the Muse Horizon - where they just turn up with album after album that sounds a bit like the last one; the record business assumes they're some sort of edgy, alternative act; and everyone does very nicely out of this drifting along. Apart from the fans.


You can see Prince thinking "aaaand this is why I don't do this sort of thing."

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Brits 2014: Liveblog

Welcome to the No Rock & Roll Fun Brits liveblog. For younger viewers, a liveblog is like a bunch of tweets, but without anyone reading them.

The red carpet is underway - this year the Osbournes are being delivered flat-packed, and assembled inside the O2, but there's still plenty for the masses to see.

Angus Deayton sharing a joke with rubber-faced comedian Phil Cool; Robin Nedwell out of that band that Denis managed on Corrie. And June Sarpong, with nobody quite sure why she's there, repeating a tradition now stretching back ten years.

Actually, BBC News just had a chat with Lily Allen on the red carpet. That's where the barrier of expectations has been set for the evening, everybody.

If you fancy staring at a bunch of logos, the Daily Mirror has a rather stuttery livestream of arrivals. At the moment, the old Independent Television For Schools And Colleges countdown logo has arrived and is posing for photos:

As we wait for people to drift by the Mirror's camera - ooh, look, there's a bored girl texting - here's a quick catch-up on what we can expect.

Yes, that. God help us all.

ITV2 also have a live red carpet "event", although that's even less slick than the Mirror's, and is going out on proper television, too.

So this morning, Robbie Williams was being quoted on the Radio 4 Today programme bemoaning that nothing exciting happened last year. Given he was one of the performers, and could have done something exciting had he chosen to, that seemed a bit rich.

Alexis Petridis tried to probe this 'boring' problem a bit more deeply in yesterday's Guardian:
In the runup to this year's Brit awards, the organisation's new chairman, Christian Tattersfield, has struck a bullish, even combative note.

He acknowledges that last year's event was a pretty dull evening for all concerned – "last year could have been better … we lacked superstars… so that took a bit of the edge off". Nevertheless, he is not a man given to fondly recalling the Brits of the past. Then it was a "shambles", now it is "an important event of gravitas, rather than just a shoddy knees-up".

"We needed to stop the mayhem," Tattersfield says, before offering assurances to anyone who thinks all this talk of gravitas suggests that 2014's ceremony, heading to us on Wednesday, promises to be as dull as its predecessor. "James Corden wants to put in a performance as host that creates the excitement we all talk about. We're saying to James, 'Go for it – let's all have some fun.'"
This is the problem: for viewers, a Brits watercooler moment would end in the words "and he got punched in the face, but even frame-by-frame on Sky Plus it wasn't clear if it was Holly Walsh who hit him or not"; but for the organisers, it'd be "... and then Jamie Cullum and Emeli Sande were joined on stage by Sting, and he had his zither with him."

Rizzle Kicks interviewing Rick Astley on ITV2, there.

The big story today - bigger, even, than PopJustice liveblogging whether to liveblog - has been the cheesy attempts Mastercard made to get some leverage from sponsoring tonight's event.

In effect, they asked journalists to wank on a webcam for tickets; the good seats where you could see Kylie needed a cumshot.

More or less:
The email reportedly from House PR reads: “Firstly as part of our Priceless Surprise we are putting on cars to take guests directly to the awards – we will be booking your car to take both yourself and Katy from the office at 4:30pm. Are you happy with these details?

“In addition – in return for this ticket we would like to ask that you agree to the following…” It then lists a number of conditions.

Dawbell, who handle the official PR for the Brit Awards told The Independent: “We’ve made no such asks of our invited media, which are the majority of journalists attending. This request has come from Mastercard’s PR company.”
It even suggested the words attendees might like to tweet, both from their personal accounts, and their publication's twitterfeed.

How did that work out for you, Mastercard?

Elsewhere on Twitter, people are posting pictures of One Direction arriving at last year's ceremony to wind up One Direction fans. Frankly, though, given the live pictures are of James Corden hugging both Rizzle and Kicks out of Rizzle Kicks, you'd be better off with a photo from happier times.

ITV2 now getting older people to listen to this year's albums because it's funny, right? David Bowie is nominated and is 67.

Keith Lemmon's turned up. Time to take a short break for tea.


Is this a SUPERSECRETREFERENCE that PRINCE has reformed TIME for a SUPERSECRETPERFORMANCE or merely someone missing the word "what" from the start of a Tweet?

To be honest, you can't remember Ben Howard three minutes after seeing him (does he wear a hat?), never mind twelve months on.

Yes, Five Seconds Of Summer are attending the event. I literally cannot express how this makes me feel. No... hang on... it's not I can't express it; it's just not making me feel anything.

We're nearly there. The tension is building. I ill-advisedly went with linguine and now have sauce on my face.

James Corden is presenting for the fifth time this year - he did one with his comedy partner Horne, and the other three with a growing sense of desperation. He says its the last time, but he might just be trying to get us on side.

Usual warning about flashing lights, and we're in with The Arctic Monkeys. Oh, with big flaming letters. Still doing the fire thing in lieu of spectacle, are you, Brits?

Alex Turner is wearing a jacket made from Crunchie wrappers.

It's not exactly a barnstorming start. More like a minor squall over a shed. Everyone is watching very politely, though.

It's a stage in the middle of lots of chairs and tables layout this year, which means the entire audience is sitting down. Live coverage of supper.

Shhh... James Corden's coming on.

hahahahahahahahahah HE'S ON FIRE

James tells us that British acts have taken the world by storm over the last twelve months. Really? If you bet without One Direction?

"How good were the Arctic Monkeys?" Meh, actually.

It's the biggest and coolest line-up on the Brits, apparently.

Ooh, we at home can vote for one of the awards. Video of the year, via Twitter. How very modern.


Shortlist: John Newman, Ellie Goulding, Naughty Boy, Calvin Harris and One Direction.

There's not really any point in voting, is there? It's basically inviting One Direction fans to choke up Twitter, thereby preventing people from moaning about the show there. Cunning.

Prince has come on to present an award. He's wearing a big hat and accompanied by his band.

Hahahahahahahahaha Corden does a selfie.

For younger viewers, Prince once had a hit with a cover of Tom Jones' Kiss.

It's the female solo artist.

Shortlist: Goulding, Mvula, Marling, Birdy, Jessie J

Surprise! It's Ellie "playing tonight" Goulding. Whoever would have thought?

Goulding looks like she's regretting her choice of dress and shoes as she makes heavy weather of coming to the stage Goulding thanks the people around her who have their hearts in what she does. Sounds messy.

First break of the night.

By the way: I know Kiss wasn't a Tom Jones' song; it was by Age Of Chance.

Good god, no; the adverts are the only respite we get. This is probably the only national event which is improved by ITV stopping to flog M&Ms every five minutes.

Over on Twitter at the moment, One Direction fans are noticeably struggling with the voting instructions for the video prize.


Apparently this is a reference to football.

They're really dragging out the Kylie break bumpers, aren't they?

"The atmosphere here is electric" says James Corden, an original thought a lesser presenter might not have been able to put into words.

Katy Perry is coming on to do her turn now. Remember she was slagging off Miley Cyrus for being too sexualised, so let's see what she's got planned.

She thinks she's come on as Cleopatra, but really she looks like someone trying to do Susannah Hoffs for an 80s themed fancy dress night.

Perry is being pulled round the stage on a small trolley, like a singing bunch of sandbags.

Oh, she's taken off her coat and is now doing her dance routine in a skintight leotard.

I say dancing. It's mostly standing and pointing.

Her backing dancers are now twerking their tushes off. See, Miley? It's not cheap if you pay someone else to do it.

ITV try for an audience reaction shot, but it's just the tops of lots of heads sat at tables.

International male solo artist. It's Kylie and Pharrell.

Kylie is in something that looks like a Toto Coleolo binliner original; Pharrell invites the audience to make some noise for Kylie, like they might have been cheering him.

Shortlist: Bruno Mars; Eminem; Drake; John Grant; Justin Timberlake

For younger viewers, Justin Timberlake is the man who invented MySpace, which was like Facebook with colouring pens.

Bruno Mars wins, and brings an small entourage with him to pick up the award - all of whom are probably capable of making records more engaging than Mars seems capable of. If I were John Grant - and frankly, I could be, as he's so anonymous - I'd be feeling cheated.

Oh, what's that, Bruno? You're playing tonight? And you won a prize? What are the odds?

We're not doing the first album nomination - Derek Bowie's The Next Day. There's a little film with some words and things.

Onto Breakthrough - Tinie Tempah and Fearne Cotton are coming on. Not to one of Tinie's songs, oddly.

Fearne is wearing one of those foil blankets you get when you complete a marathon.

Shortlist: Odell, London Grammar, Bastille, Mvula, Disclosure

Bastille - who I think might be playing tonight - get the prize. "Their name derives from Bastille Day" a helpful voice informs us, in case you thought they couldn't spell the name of the sweets properly.

"This is so unexpected". Really? You had a 20% chance. Can't be that surprising.

"Look who I'm sat with" says James Corden, who's sitting down with One Direction at a table. Corden does a joke about Justin Bieber being raped in prison.

Another break.

I suspect half of the people who have to show up because its their job are playing Candy Crush. Actually, judging by the lack of atmosphere in the room, it's possible everyone is on the phone there.

Bruno Mars is doing the song in return for his award. Corden calls him "the finest showman in the world right now"; but then Corden hasn't seen that Chinese Elvis impersonator in Tunbridge Wells.

What does it say on Mars' hat? Angel Kitty?
I haven't really noticed the song. It's like a vegan version of the Jackson 5.

The song just stops.

Corden does a joke that suggests that Bruno Mars might be uncomfortable around gay men.

Next album is Rudimental. Unlike Bowie, they talk in their little film. THEY NEED IT MORE. Don't show them that you need it, boys. Act aloof. Cold. Like the big, cold, empty O2.

"We wrote it as music, not as a genre" they explain, helpfully. Which is lucky, as their producer doesn't know how to read genre.

Lily Allen is back, trotting on to give British Group.

Shortlist: Arctic Monkeys; Bastille; Disclosure; Rudimental; One Direction.

Tell us Lily, who is it?

Arctic Monkeys! Who played earlier this evening! So surprise!

Alex is no longer wearing his golden jacket. There's a laconic acceptance speech that will at least please the prioducers as they keep on schedule.

Critic's Choice now, or the 'who will labels pour money into until you're sick of them'.

It's Sam Smith.

Sam Smith was the lead character in the sitcom Goodnight Sweetheart, where he was played by Nicholas Lyndhurst.


I'm not saying anything.

We're back from the third break, in time for the Global Success award, or the 'please come, One Direction, we'll make up a prize for you.'

Rosie Huntington Thingymy is going to do the honours here.

I really hope Arctic Monkeys fans take to Twitter to complain about One Direction winning this over their band.

Rosie announces One Direction like it was a surprise. Even after showing a film of them.


Styles trots on late saying he was having a wee.


They're putting Beyonce on halfway through? Really? I know they don't want to have to fade her down for the news but... surely this is peaking way too soon?

Beyonce wants us to sing along with her. Mostly she's on a massive screen behind her own head, which is like watching a grainy TOTP performance on a TV on the other side of a pub.

But it's Beyonce. She's the first thing this evening where it doesn't matter the room is full of Universal's accountants eating pies.

And she's got a glittery dress that actually glitters on screen.


Yes. Way, way, too good for this.

Noooooo! Come back Beyonce. Don't leave us with... with... this Cordenism.

Best British Single. Katy Perry is going to give the prize away. She does a plug for her tour.

Shorlist: Rudimental; Calvin Harris; Disclosure; Bastille; Naughty Boy; Olly Murs; Passenger; John Newman; Ellie Goulding; One Direction.

The winner is Rudimental. Katy Perry nods her approval, in that 'I'm not quite sure who they are but I'm sure it's a good choice' way that parents often do when you talk about music.

Rudimental "didn't expect this". Everyone turned up with low expectations tonight, then, and to be fair most of the evening hasn't let them down.

The Arctic Monkeys try to summon up some enthusiasm for talking about the record in their best album film. They don't quite manage it.

Apparently football and music are now in a state of war.

Another break.

Disclosure and Lorde are teaming up. It's like a crazy two-for-one deal, like at Dominos on a Tuesday when you can have a pizza and another pizza that's a bit different but still basically a pizza for the price of one.

There's a strange Lorde-face-made-out-of-lights hovering over the stage. That's got to be off-putting.

It's pleasant enough, but...

AlunaGeorge turning up doesn't quite cut it.

Bastille's little film about the album what they made now on.

And we're on to International Group.

Shortlist: Daft Punk, Haim, Kings Of Leon, Arcade Fire, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

Nicole Sherzzzinger announces Daft Punk, who cannot be with us tonight because they've got better things to do. Nile Rodgers comes on, though, and he's playing tonight, so that keeps things square, right?

For younger viewers, Nile Rodgers was the bloke who got in the way of the guy with the iPad at Glastonbury.

Rodgers claims the award as belonging to everyone connected with the record, which is a bit like he's elbowing his way in.

Corden is with Kylie. He's doing a bit of business about the name of her album. Because it sounds like she wants hier to kiss him.

Kylie tries to look like she's enjoying being ribbed about being single.

More commercials.


The what isn't difficult, surely? It's the why, isn't it?

Good lord, apparently they're still making The Only Way Is Essex.

The last of the best album film goes to Disclosure - "everyone on blogs was getting so excited". Yeah. You'll find that about people with blogs. But what do they know?

Goulding up now - Corden says she "really came into her own with her second album". I suppose getting to the end of the first one and still having a record deal is something of an achievement in its own right these days.

Goulding dressed like Miss Havisham but with a giant guitar.

No, hold on, she removed the demure top layer to reveal a bra top and hot pants. SHE WAS DRESSED ALL SEXY UNDERNEATH. Why has nobody ever thought of that provocative move before?

This song really only exists to soundtrack an advert for one of those summer holidays where you have to do things, doesn't it? Shot of people rock climbing - "burn burn" - shot of people walking down beach - "burn burn".

British male now, with Noel Gallagher dragged up to present it. Sadly not in the 'wearing drag' sense.

He goes straight to nominations with all the charm of a man asking the owner of a red Fiat to move their car as it's blocking the back door.

Shorlist: Bugg; Odell; Blake; Newman; Bowie.

Ironically for a man who appeared with a mask covering his face, David Bowie wins against the faceless interchangable hordes.

Kate Moss comes on to accept to Bowie's behalf. David's given her something impenetrable to read. Everyone's a bit confused.

They're picking up the pace all of a sudden. Nick Grimshaw to do international female. "Can we have a round of applause for James Corden? Bloody killing it..."

Nominations: Perry, Monae, Pink, Lorde, Lady GaGa

Lady GaGa! I remember her! Wasn't she one of the scissor sisters?

Lorde wins the prize, though. Oddly, she was performing a few moments ago.

Lorde says she feels like her brain's exploding. Actually, is that Lorde or has Darlene from Roseanne nipped on stage to pick up the prize?

Corden is now sitting with Pharrell and Rodgers, doing some jokes about his hat. I hope they spin this out into a sitcom.

Oh, god. Keith Lemon has now appeared - BUT HE'S WEARING A HAT TOO. My sides are in danger of overflowing like the Thames did.

Everything shambles into some more commercials.


Just when they'd picked up the pace, too.

I suspect Niles is muttering to Pharrell now "are you sure Prince is closing the show tonight? Because if I'm hanging around here and it's just some bullshit whey-faced British boy singing a plaintive song about his broken heart, I swear to god I'm going to throw this table at his head..."

Still half an hour to go. Be strong, everyone.

The programme has now started to sink so badly David Cameron is announcing that there's an open chequebook to help survivors.

Jimmy Carr has come on, to demonstrate how you might want to host a show like this. Although his Cowell joke falls flat.

It's the video of the year award - you'll recall the uninspiring shortlist was farted out at the start of the show for One Direction fans to rig the votes. So what's happened?

One Direction win.

That's such a surprising surprise.

One Direction get a round of applause for James Corden. Perhaps he's got a disease and everyone's being supernice to him.

Time for a collaboration. Again. Bastille and Rudimental playing together. It's like when people made mash-ups, isn't it? For younger viewers, mash-ups were two songs that were unconvincingly slopped together to create something that could be used to demonstrate the phrase "less than the sum of its parts".

Actually, this could be worse. But it'd have still been better if they'd both done their songs in full. They could have dropped... well, almost anything, to make space for that.

And if you're just tuning in to ITV to see the News At Ten, everyone already watching ITV really wishes they'd be about to see the News At Ten, too. But life isn't like that.

The final award of the night. The sweetest words in the English language.

It's Emil And The Detetcive Sande to present the best album award - because you can't do a show on telly without her turning up.

Will it be Bowie again? Has he more words for Kate Moss to read out about the Scotland referendum?

No, it's the Arctic Monkeys, thereby closing the circle of the band who played first picking up the last award.

They're over the show by now. We're all over the show by now.

Alex just babbles a bit. He could be deliberately trying to see if he can push the show over time single-handed, which is the first thing in any way interesting to happen tonight.

Jesus. Corden is at a table which appears to be stuffed with the cast of Pointless Celebrities - Rizzle Kicks, Tom Daley, Rita Ora, Harry H Corbett, Olive from On The Buses, Nadine Dorries...

They're going for a break before the closing number. They're TAKING A BREAK BEFORE DOING THE BIG FINISH.

By the time they get to the 398th trail for Ant And Dec, half the room at the O2 will be queueing for their coats and the other half will be minesweeping the leftover lagers from the expensive tables.

More breaking awards news:

"The panel were impressed wiht Stewart's ability to read a headline about the Cambridge Guided busway for the 79th consecutive day without looking as bored as the audience."

I've just realised that there have been hardly any music ads in the breaks tonight - there's just been one for Pharrell's album, but more or less everything else has been not music. If even the music industry can't be fagged to advertise in the Brits, what IS the point?

Pharrell and Niles are doing the closing number, then. Not Prince. Which is a bit of a shame as Prince had made his band turn up carrying their instruments at the start of the show. Maybe he was just waiting to be asked, guys.

I've still yet to have it convincingly explained to me why Pharrell is wearing Dudley Do-right's hat.

They've finished with enough time to do a highlights package. In fact, given how few highlights there were, they've got more than enough time to do a highlights package.

The voiceover at the end suggests that all that was missing was Ant And Dec. Perhaps. It was crying out for a bit more atmosphere and surprise.

We have made it through - thank you for the comments, and the plugs on Twitter. I'm now choosing cinnamon rolls over the ITV2 aftershow. I hope God can forgive me.

Twittergem: Michael Jackson

Retronaut finds a meeting of minds:

Benny: I'm well known for chasing around scantily-clad people young enough to be my children
Michael: Oh, Benny, I've had that problem too. I'll give you the number of my lawyer.

Charlotte Church wishes she'd pulled her butt out

Following Charlotte Church's John Peel lecture, pointing out the way women are mostly treated by much of the music industry, there's been an attempt at pulling together a backlash based on her having done stage shows in latex and been part of the Rear Of The Year contest.

(That this is precisely Church's point, that young women are encouraged to do this sort of thing by the people who are paid to advise them, seems to have floated over some heads.)

So Church finds herself having to defend herself for things she did when she was 16, an age when most of us are still trying to figure out how to get access to cheap cider:

. However, Church now acknowledges her comments betray her "double standards" as she posed for Britain's Rear of the Year contest in 2002, but she still blames her advisers for not telling her to pull out of the competition.

Church tells British newspaper The Times, "It was sort of double standards in a certain way, because I did Rear of the Year when I was 16, which was a ridiculous choice, a stupid thing to do but, you know, there was a whole host of people that I was working with who should have said, 'Woah, woah, woah. You shouldn't do this. This is bad. You're 16, for f**k's sake.'"
It's interesting that this gloss, from WENN, decides to focus on Charlotte's reference to double standards rather than the more crucial bit about grown men telling a sixteen year old to stick her arse out for the cameras.

The Birmingham Mail gets to know Bill Drummond

Oh, dear. The Birmingham Mail struggles to capture Bill Drummond:

A chart-topping pop star turned artist who famously burned a million pounds is launching a world tour by creating a sculpture from 400 daffodils – under Spaghetti Junction.

Madcap Bill Drummond, once half of eccentric dance duo The KLF, has announced he will arrive in Birmingham on March 13 along the Grand Union Canal on a raft made from his bed, before building the floral display.
"Madcap"? "Eccentric"? I suppose we should be thankful they didn't go with "bonkers" or "crazy".

Although I'm pretty certain the KLF ice cream van had a sign "you don't have to be mad to collaborate with Extreme Noise Terror at the Brits, but it helps". Pretty certain that was there.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Devobit: Bob Casale

Sad news from Devo, as founder member Bob Casale has died:

Abba explain the sequinned jumpsuits

So it turns out Abba wore those godawful stage clothes as a tax dodge:

According to Abba: The Official Photo Book, published to mark 40 years since they won Eurovision with Waterloo, the band's style was influenced in part by laws that allowed the cost of outfits to be deducted against tax – so long as the costumes were so outrageous they could not possibly be worn on the street.
So if you have a bunch of clothes that nobody in their right minds would be seen wearing under normal circumstances, you save a bunch on tax? Finally, Liam Gallagher's Pretty Green range is explained.

Chart to be inundated by rising tide of streams

Apparently, last night at a Radio Academy event, Radio 1's George Ergatoudis let slip plans for the UK charts to count plays on streaming services as part of the calculations.

The cynic might wonder how come it hasn't happened yet, given that it's February 2014 and not, say, 1998 or 1965.

The supercynic might just express surprise that they're still making a chart of records to play on the radio.

The hypercynic, though, would just wonder if including figures from Spotify and the others is just a cunning way of disguising how few sales it takes to get into the charts these days.

South Korea takes public domain content back into copyright

Another victory for gloabalisation: In order to allow Australian businesses to swallow up South Korean assets ("to seal a free trade agreement"), the two countries have agreed to harmonise their copyright rules.

Currently, in Australia, copyright is "life of author + 70 years". In South Korea, it's "life of author + 50 years".

Guess which direction the harmonisation is running. Go on, guess.

Yes, great news for the corpses of South Korean artists: their ability to earn money while they're decomposing has been extended another 20 years.

A mouldering corpse in Suwon said "this is brilliant news. Obviously, having had all my flesh long since eaten by worms, I have to spend a lot of money on clothes to keep my skeleton warm. I look forward to getting royalty cheques long into the future. Does this still apply if the North invade?"

Rock sick list: Percy Sledge

Percy Sledge isn't doing well, it turns out. He's pulled out of a UK tour as he's having treatment for liver cancer.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Brits 2014: The artist formerly known as above this sort of thing

Prince has been confirmed as playing the Brit awards this week.

In other news, ITN have sighed and moved Wednesday's News At Ten back to around 3am on Thursday morning.

Joe McElddery: So much win

There's something crushing about Joe McElderly's CV as detailed by the Lincolnshire Echo:

Joe rose to fame when he won the sixth series of the ITV show The X Factor in 2009 and he returned to TV screens in 2011 where he was the winner of the second series of the ITV show Pop Star to Opera Star.

Most recently the star appeared in Channel 4's latest reality show The Jump where he triumphed over journalist Donal MacIntyre in the live final.
While, obviously, there's a question about how long you can only ever appear on TV in celebrity game shows and still count as a celebrity, you've got to admire Joe's winning streak. Obviously not in music, as he's playing the Skegness Embassy, but that could be the point.

Perhaps he should stop worrying about the music altogether, and just fill up his time bouncing from Splash to Celebrity Pointless to that one which is a bit like Bargain Hunt but isn't, only with celebrities. He seems to be good at that sort of thing.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

This week just gone

The most-read stuff from whenever, this week:

1. The return of the Prince
2. NME figures continue to drop
3. KT Tunstall and her lesbian suspenders
4. Beck kind of a dick about being called a dick
5. INXS singer sleeps in a car
6. Shirley Collins returns to live performance
7. Tiny, tiny royalty cheques
8. RIP: Santiago Feliu
9. Morrissey, Tom and Cliff: Is it really so strange?
10. Harry Styles is the new John Lennon

This were this week's interesting releases:

Fanfarlo - Let's Go Extinct

Nina Persson - Animal Heart

Download Animal Heart

Tinariwen - Emmaar

Download Emmaar

Let's Wrestle - Let's Wrestle

Download Let's Wrestle

Cibo Matto - Hotel Valentine

Download Hotel Valentine

Temples - Sun Structures

Download Sun Structures

Roseanne Cash - The River & The Thread

Download The River & The Thread

Neil Finn - Dizzy Heights

Download Dizzy Heights