Saturday, April 26, 2014

Shall we check in with Terry Christian?

I wonder what's on the mind of Word presenter, music writer and Dj Terry Christian these days.

Hey, he might be on Twitter. Let's have a look.

I'm sorry, what?

Even just setting aside for a moment the miserable, life-crushing, bean-counting pettiness of these views, let's just look at the practical proposal. At the point that a couple get married, they will be screened to see if the State will provide for their child. If you assume that's desirable, you would also have to believe that no couple ever has sex without being married first. And all this measure would do is make it less likely that people would ever get married.

But let's not worry about the logic too much, because what's important here is Terry Christian suggesting that people be forced to be screened for purity of their bloodline prior to marriage.

I know what you're thinking - that sounds a bit like a particular strain of political thought. But Terry's ahead of you.

He's a socialist, just one afraid that certain types of relationship might cost the nation money.

But he's a socialist.

He's got the national interest at heart.

I think we can agree on this; it's simply that Terry is some sort of, if you will, National Socialist.

What Terry is talking about here is people with disabilities. Times change, though, and the way we talk about these issues can change; the labels used adapt over time. Perhaps Terry has a phrase rather than "people with disabilities" he'd like to use instead?

"Inbreed kids". Yes, that's probably the sensitive term you're after, Terry.

But isn't this all a little, well, political? Especially given that they'd usually get Mark Lamarr to deal with the slightly more thinky bits on The Word?

I think there's a pretty big flag waving here, Terry.

No, hang on, he really isn't being political.

It's just your prejudices, reader, that makes this into a political discussion. After all, he's only suggesting that, in order to reduce payments from the state, that the state refuses to sanction marriage and obliges everyone who wishes to get married to have a blood test first. It's not like the government introducing rules like that would be in any way a political act, right?

After a little while, Christian appears to rein back from suggesting blood tests for engaged couples, and attempts to recast his policy in what I think feels is a warmer, more consensual light:

Here he is, meeting people half way - we should only be screening people who already have one child with disabilities and stopping them from having any more. A crowd-pleasing 'first inbreed kid free' policy from Terry, if you like. The man is all heart.

Not everyone disagreed with Christian, though: he found some support, which he retweeted to prove he wasn't some sort of nasty man out of step with decent society:

Oh... hang on a moment...

I know what you're thinking: Terry Christian must be totally confident in his data and understanding of the subject to float such a severe-sounding policy. Terry, let's establish your bona fides, shall we?

Christian does indeed have an HND in Applied Biology, which he obtained at Thames Poly at the start of the 1980s. His specialism, though, was microbiology rather than genetics. So not entirely relevant, and certainly not current.

But still, it's a start. And presumably he has some up-to-date evidence, too?

If you need any further footnotes, there's sure to be a bloke down the pub who used to date a physical therapist and a woman he met who once played Etty Darwin in a stage play he can call on, too.

Remember, gentle reader: all Terry wants to do is save your tax money from the grubbing fingers of inbreed kids with kinky parents. Is that really any reason to think of him as grubby, greedy, selfish, horrific skein of a man?

Spotify really hate being compared with iTunes; compare selves with iTunes

You know what really upsets Spotify's head of label relations in Europe, Kevin Brown? It's when people compare his lovely service with iTunes:

"I don’t see iTunes as our primary competitor - that’s YouTube," said Brown, criticising labels that decide to keep albums off Spotify in favour of exclusive deals with iTunes. "We’re still put in the same bucket as iTunes by some labels, whose music then appears on YouTube. That drives me nuts."
Boy, if he hates being compared with iTunes rather than YouTube, this is going to drive him over the edge:
"Some of our partners are saying Spotify is now generating more revenue each month across Continental Europe than iTunes[...]
"Given that download sales are declining and Spotify is growing rapidly, particularly in the UK, it is only a matter of time before Spotify is bigger than iTunes across Europe as a whole."
That's someone inside Spotify putting the service in the same bucket as iTunes. Brown's going to be fighting mad with them, yeah? Who was it who did such a terrible thing?
Spotify's head of label relations in Europe, Kevin Brown, told industry site Music Week.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Avril Lavigne has no mouth; she cannot scream

Surely the worst things about Avril Lavigne's dubious Japanese-themed video is that:

1. She's plodding about five years behind Gwen Stefani's no-less-uncomfortable pillage-and-repackage of Japanese culture as exotica for the the US market


2. The song was co-written by her husband. Yes, that's Chad 'Nickelback' Kroger writing a song about Hello Kitty.

That's enough - band

Not that it's ever stopped them before, but...:

AEROSMITH's JOEY KRAMER Says 'There Is Almost No Reason' For Band To Make Another Studio Album
Almost no reason? Almost no reason?

Stephen Pearcy: Rat leaves sinking RATT

All is not happy in the RATT camp, and founder member Stephen Pearcy has had enough:

"After 30 years creating the band RATT and losing a real brother, Robbin [Crosby, late RATT guitarist], it's time that I personally part ways with the band.

"I am officially done with having anything to do with them due to the constant turmoil, unresolved business, personal attacks/threats in the public forum, and most of all, the disrespect to the fans.

"I'm very content and proud of the legacy and the music I’ve created. This music will live well beyond any of our lifetimes.

"I owe no one anything but a huge heartfelt thank you for coming to the party for the last 30 years.

"With much respect, life goes on and the music I created will continue to be heard for years to come despite the dark clouds that have lingered for far too long.

"I will personally continue to make music and perform live shows."
Remaining RATT member Bobby Blotzer has sighed, rolled his eyes and said "oh, he's off again, is he?":
"To our/my RATT fans and friends... I will say to you guys, I am sorry that I brought you guys into our personal world and turbulation.

"I've been so personally driven to a breaking point with our band being held hostage every year that I've kind of been snapping.

"I wish we were still all four together and doing business as great as we have been doing. Especially last year. This is why it's so nonsensical to me to have this disruption in a business we've built for the last 33 years.

"Reality sits at, Stephen and I have gotten along since his return in '07. Aside from the fact that he basically quits every year. It's been hard to deal with.

"I feel bad that I might have put a dividing line out here, and for that I'm feeling bad about and I, to a certain level, feel the need to apologize to YOU, guys. My words were true, but the words should have stayed in my mind. And again, I state that I was only kidding about this picture thing with Steve, dumb joke.

"You ever done that? Exactly.

"When this news popped today, my phone was blowing up all day while I was trying to enjoy an afternoon with friends and I just lost it. I was going to come home and tear into that release line by line. I read your thoughts and realized that it's time to shut the fuck up. As hard as that feels, because we, the four other guys in this band, did nothing to merit this whole behavior from Stephen.

"Thanks for understanding. You guys know I, we love you so much. RATT is my life and I'll live and die fighting for the mothership.

"My Facebook is going bye-bye here soon. So, look to see what happens in a short time...

"RATT is bigger than the sum of the parts!"
I'm not entirely convinced that Ratt even has enough parts to sum up right now, but still: good news for Ratt fans that the band goes on. Probably.

(You can hear every Ratt fan sighing at the way they were nearly free, but have been dragged back into the band for another go-round.)

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Revelation: Michael Jackson wasn't like other people; front pages held

Besides the heartbreaking detail in the ABC interview with Michael Jackson's bodyguards, the most notable thing is that it was three bodyguards coming forward at once.

Presumably they were grouping together for security.

The three men signed up for personal protection, but the job became much more, they said. Jackson trusted them with his life, his children and his secrets.
Protecting Jacko's secrets, eh? Looks like his choice in bodyguards was as misguided as his taste in doctors.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Apparently Bieber has some sort of hold over Obama, believes CNN

Remember CNN? It's still going, apparently, but doesn't appear to be doing news any more. Right now, it's suggesting that Barack Obama is somehow doing favours for Justin Bieber:

Is Justin Bieber getting special treatment?
By Leigh Ann Caldwell, CNN
Apparently, Obama's allowed Bieber to turn Air Force One into a party plane, and launch his own drone raids on suspected clusters of One Direction fans.

No, hang on; that's not it:
The White House won't comment on a petition signed by more than 270,000 asking for the pop star to be deported for his repeated starring role in famous-people-behaving-badly.
You might not care about the Canadian and his "beliebers," but the 20-year-old's misbehavior and run-ins with the law raise some serious questions about immigration law enforcement. Like, is Bieber getting some serious special treatment?
The White House has better things to do than comment on a prank petition? Why, that's really special treatment.

Leigh Ann Caldwell then spends a long time churning through unrelated statistics about deportation before admitting that, possibly, rather than doing favours for Bieber, Obama probably hasn't deported him because Bieber is legally in the country, has yet to be convicted of any crime and - even if he was - those crimes wouldn't automatically be deportable offences, either:
But fortunately for Bieber -- and possibly the President who would upset millions of teen fans -- is that his DUI is not a deportable offense. His vandalism charge probably isn't either. His assault charge might be, experts say.

Matthew Kolodziej, legislative fellow at the Immigration Policy Center, said Bieber could potentially be charged with a crime of moral turpitude, which he described as "an abstract concept whose definition has expanded over the years."
So, CNN raises a question:
Is Justin Bieber getting special treatment?
... to which is already knew the answer.

Who knew you could can Piers Morgan and still go downhill?

Monday, April 21, 2014

Samsung hope for great things from Milk; mostly milk money

Samsung have created a Pandora-like app for users in America, which has managed a bit over a third of a million downloads since launch last month.

Samsung are quite excited about these numbers, given that it's handset-tied and so not swimming in a vast pool of available users. On the other hand, nobody with a great story to tell obsesses about the number of times an app has been downloaded - akin to selling a house and focusing on the dozens of viewings you had rather than the price you finally obtained.

The other strange smell coming from Milk is that, at the moment, it's a free service without ads, but that doesn't appear to be the long-term plan, with ads and a premium tier coming, inevitably, later on.

The Next Web speculates that this might suggest Samsung sees Milk as a product which will stretch beyond Samsung owners. Because why concentrate on giving your user base a great experience when you could try and cram yourself into an already painfully overcrowded market, eh?

Sunday, April 20, 2014

The Boxing Day to RSD's Christmas

What day follows Record Store Day, year-in, year-out?

Ah, yes, 'rushing to lob everything onto eBay to sell for a healthy profit day'. Very much the cold leftovers from Record Store Day's turkey lunch.

Amongst the spirit-missing money-grubbing, there's someone trying to shake down £400 for the Dave Matthews stuff and Sex Pistols box sets listed with prices well over a hundred quid; David Bowie's 2012 RSD Starman 7" has been bidded up from a start of 99p to - at time of sighing heavily and typing - £101.

This week just gone

The most-read stuff from this year, so far:

1. Liveblog: Brits 2014
2. Armenia enters transphobic contestant into Eurovision
3. Alfie Boe humiliates people who forget to switch their phone off
4. MTV decides women at gigs is a thing; treats them as things
5. Aston Meyygold ruins a man's April 1st
6. Smooth eases out Simon Bates
7. Does Radio 3 really cost more than BBC Three?
8. Jessie J doesn't want to be bisexual any more
9. NME circulation sinks again
10. Young people buying cassettes in huge quantities, apparently

These were this week's interesting releases:

Client - Authority

Download Authority

Liz Green - Haul Away!

Download Haul Away

Smoke Fairies - Smoke Fairies

Download Smoke Fairies

Bob - Leave The Straight Life Behind

The Oh Sees - Drop

Download Drop

Afghan Whigs - Do The Beast

Download Do The Beast

Ben Watt - Hendra

The Secret Sisters - Put Your Needle Down