Friday, May 20, 2005


So, that was why she swallowed her worries about the size of the hat her bethrothed was wearing when they exchanged vows: Renee Zellweger is thrilled her new marriage gives her a chance to get on MTV:

"I'll get on MTV. Life just keeps getting better."

Erm... Renee, love, you've been on MTV already; you appeared constantly in the Geri Halliwell It's Raining Men video. Now, you might prefer to forget that, but we've got long, long memories. But at least you didn't have to have sex with Geri to get on TV that time.


Time Out, or "Well, if City Limits doesn't publish any more, it'll have to do" as it's known to people outside London, has polled its team of writers to decide what would have been the best gig in London, ever. This is what they came up with:

1. The Clash at The Rainbow Theatre, May 9, 1977

2. Brian Wilson plays Smile at Royal Festival Hall, February 20, 2004

3. Stevie Wonder at The Rainbow Theatre, February 24, 1974

4. Rolling Stones at The Crawdaddy Club, Richmond, April 28, 1963

5. Duke Ellington at London Palladium, June 12, 1933

6. N*E*R*D with Justin Timberlake at Brixton Academy, November 9, 2003

7. Bob Marley at Lyceum Ballroom, July 17, 1975

8. The Smiths at Jubilee Gardens, June 10, 1984

9. White Stripes at Camden Dingwalls, July 30, 2001

10.The Beatles at The Pigalle, Piccadilly, April 21, 1963

Now, I'm dubious about how many of their writers can claim to have authoratative first hand knowledge about many of these gigs - perhaps The Clash at the Rainbow isn't stretching it too much, but Duke Ellington in 1933? Even the Spectator would be finding it tricky to scare up some staff who saw that. We're reminded of the comment Spike made about how busy the crucifixion would have been if all the vampires who claimed to be in Golgotha that day had been. Unless, of course, Time Out is preferring to go on what they've been told rather than what they know, which surely means all this survey would do is to shore up further an "accepted" list of what "the greatest ever gigs" were...


Apparently, Javine has got a "sore throat"; she's stopped doing interviews prior to Eurovision, and is hoping that it doesn't spoil her performance tomorrow night...


We haven't had a chance to go through Revelations yet, but we're convinced that there's something in it about how - just prior to the whore of Babylon and the chaps on horses, we should be keeping an eye open for the crumbling of a billion vapid bands. And, lo, it's coming to pass: both Cookie and Phixx shed members in the last thirty-six hours or so.

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Phixx have shed Nikk, who may or may not have been the gay "one" out of Phixx. He'd been holding on in the vain hope that there might have been another seventeen series of Hit Me Baby One More Time, by which time they'd have been so desperate for contestants they'd have been letting virtually anyone on.

Cookie have had to come to terms with Nicola Ward deciding she can't take it any more; she's returned to work with Audrey at the salon. Nicola first shot to, uh, her status on one of the Pop Idol/Star type shows, and she seems from the Cookie websites to have been the most popular of the band, although that doesn't really say very much. Happily, she's chosen to quit while the band are supporting girls aloud on tour and seventeen days before they're due to release their single. Luckily, after an exhaustive audition process ("what's yer dress size?"), they've found someone called Aimie Flack to replace her. So, like, nobody will notice.


Okay, we're being a bit tabloidesque here. But the farmland on which the festival has been held for thirty five years has been put on the market with a likely price of GBP1.5million. The festival's future is pretty secure in the short-term, as Mean Fiddler/Clear Channel has got a lease until 2010, and Melvin Benn is convinced the new owner wouldn't want to ask them to leave, either:

"The most profitable activity on the farm is the festival. So the chances of us not being asked there are pretty slim. But should that not be the case, we'll find another bit of grass."

Yes, Reading must be full of communities keen to have a rock festival on their land.


Someone's pinched ten grand's worth of stuff from Kate Moss' car. But no, let's not all jump to conclusions, shall we? Apparently it was "two yobs."

The curiosity is that Moss hasn't called police - which is strange, as unless you report these things you can't make an insurance claim:

Model Kate, 31, found out later in the day but did not bother telling police. A neighbour in St John's Wood, North London, said: "She was upset at losing her jacket and boots. But she said it was not worth calling police as there's nothing they would do."

Mind you, if you leave two and a half grands worth of boots in your car, as Moss apparently did, you can probably afford to be a bit blase about property.

Moss, for some reason, drives a Land Rover, which must be really useful with those dirt tracks round St John's Wood.


We're not going to hold our breath waiting for Jamaica to do anything about hate dancehall - the courts seem pretty powerless to take action against the sort of things they actually care about. Sizzla had been convicted of swearing on stage, but failed to turn up for the community service ordered by the court. As a result, he was sentenced to 15 days in prison, but on appeal this was reduced to a fine of USD32.79. However, Sizzla may yet get his chance to find out what it's like sharing a cramped cell with other guys - the police are still investigating a bunch of guns they found on his property.


When we saw the "new " Crazy Frog advert was advertising in a break half-way through Corrie, ITV's most pricey slot, we turned to each other and asked "How many of the bloody things must they be expecting to sell to make that worthwhile?" And when it turned up in the next break, and the next, and the next, we got slightly scared. We're used to adverts up the other end of the EPG filling up with "text Sweet1 for the ringtone, text Sweet2 for the poly..." ads, but to see such a swamping of the mainstream channels with these ads is quite crushing - presumably about 75% of the nation's GDP is going to be generated by the noise of a stupid kid pretending to be a motorbike this year. It seems, though, that we're not the only ones to have seen the advert once too often: the Advertising Standards Authority have received hundreds of calls from viewers begging them to make it stop.

The advert doesn't even make any sense - "the crazy frog is back in town and on the run"? But if it's on the run, why has it come back into town? Why doesn't it go somewhere else? And if it;s trying to avoid someone, why doesn't it shut the fuck up?

Thursday, May 19, 2005


The White Stripes are heading deep into Europe for a tour:

* Moscow Mekanika (June 26)
* St Petersburg Manezh Kadetskogo Korpusa (27)
* Tallin Club Hollywood (29)
* Riga Dream Factory (30)
* Kalinigrad Vagonka (July 1)
* Prague Archa (3)
* Zagreb Stara Klaonica (5)
* Ljubljana Krizanke (6)
* Gdynia Heineken Open’er Festival (9)
* Novi Sad Exit Festival (10)
* Thessaloniki Theatro Gis (12)
* Athens Olympic Beach Volleyball Stadium (13)

Military style drumming and red uniforms? They'll fit in a treat.


The Eurovision semi-finals have just this minute finished, and the bosses of RTE will be breathing a hefty sigh of relief - Ireland haven't even made it into the final this year; their Dennis Pennis-a-like didn't manage to warm the hearts of the dedicated heat-watching Europeans and was left on the sidelines. It's going to be a great night on Saturday, though, especially when the Norway entry comes up to do their thing: if you saw tonight, you'll know what to expect. If you saw the episode of Dear John where Tosh from the Bill was a washed-up singer, you'll also have some idea...


Lindsay Lohan Stains Dress After Night Of Clubbing


It's long been the accepted wisdom that the chances of the Beatles getting back together (when they were still alive) were a strictly "over my dead body" affair, although then they wouldn't have still been alive anyway. However, May Pang, who filled in for Yoko Ono while Lennon and Yoko were on a break, claims that John Lennon never wanted the split to be permanent:

Though John and Paul did not write many songs together, they had always been sounding boards for each other's ideas and he missed that. He was always saying, 'I wonder what Paul is up to," Femalefirst quoted May as saying.

"I remember him saying, 'Do you think I should write with Paul again?' and I said, 'Absolutely, you should do it because it seems you want to. As solo performers you are good but together you can't be beaten,"

The odd thing, of course, was that Pang was Lennon's confidant in 1973, so if he really had been keen to work with Paul, he'd have to have been really procrastinating what with not getting round to telling Paul in the next decade. And it's slightly odd that nobody else seems to have got the impression that John was keen to hook up with Macca again.

We suspect what might have happened is - since she shagging John after he split with Yoko, and before he got back together with Yoko - May came in and heard the end of a phone conversation where John was saying "God, we really should get back together - can you imagine how great that would be?" and when she challenged him he thought quickly and claimed "oh, that wasn't Yoko; I was talking to Paul... yes, Paul..."

We'll find out if our hunch is correct the more Pang reveals about her life with John. If she's saying "John not only wanted to work with Paul again, but he was keen for Paul to wear rubber knickers and bite his nipples", you'll know we're on the right lines.


Everyone will be happy to hear that Whitney Houston has been released from rehab, especially drug dealers in Hollywood. The bad news is that she's headed straight for a recording studio, with the intention of making a new record. The idea is that, as she's been through hell over the last year, she now wants to put the rest of us through it.


This is going to come as a shock to everyone: Bobby Brown has been arrested on drugs charges. Drugs and traffic charges, although not, as far as we know, drug trafficing.

The small pile of trouble he's in includes possession of marijuana, speeding, driving without a licence and having no proof of insurance - although, to be frank, if he didn't have a licence it's hugely unlikely he'd have insurance, surely?

UPDATE: We've just noticed that despite being a latest headline on the Ananova site, this story is dated November 2002 - along with all the other stories they're reporting right now (Starsailor to record second album, Escapology heading for number one, Boy George still marginally famous). We don't know if their database has gone wild, or if it's some instant-nostalgia I Love 2002 type affair...


In a move which will doubtless have Big George, presenter of Three Counties Radio Milton Keynes opt-out breakfast, trembling like a lead, Christian O'Connell has declared war on every breakfast programme in Britain. Except Terry Wogan:

"Terry Wogan [on BBC Radio 2] is in a league of his own. But anyone else is fair game. British radio has got brilliant and varied breakfast shows, but not doing what I'm doing."

So, it's a battle to the death for second place, then. We're not sure how it is that O'Connell is convinced laddish humour doesn't exist on breakfast radio anywhere else, but then he is on the radio at breakfast so probably hasn't heard Chris Moyles.

O'Connell is especially proud of the Bounty Hunter feature:

Bounty Hunter involves listeners approaching celebrities on the street and asking them be interviewed by O'Connell in return for a £10,000 donation to the charity of their choice.

It is testament to his appeal that celebrities have been falling over themselves to get on what is a niche London station, with Brooke Shields, Kevin Spacey, Alice Cooper, Roger Moore, Sir Ian McKellen and Steven Spielberg among the contestants.

Hmm... we're not sure it's so much O'Connell's appeal as the ten grand for the charities that pulls them in, actually.

Of course, the big question is who will take over the breakfast slot on X-FM. Well, a fairly big question, if you live in London and don't care for Heart or Capital much.

GCap's Graham Bryce, who is responsible for developing Xfm, says it's "business as usual" at the station and that it will continue to "build on and encourage new talent", adding that its DJ roster includes Ricky Gervais, Lauren Laverne, Jimmy Carr and Justin Lee Collins.

We love the implication that Ricky Gervais might be interested in doing the breakfast shift almost as much as the implication that anyone would be in the least interested in listening to Jimmy Carr while they're showering.

IT'S THAT TIME AGAIN: The most successful artists of all time

Yep, it's time to decide if you can squeak another year out of the dog-eared British Hit Singles sat on your bookshelf, or if it's time to upgrade, as the 2005 Guiness World Records British Hit Singles & Albums lands with an ever-increasing thud onto the bookshop tables of the nation.

(Or you could click here to buy one, too)
. In keeping with the Guinness habit, they've slapped a gaudy cover onto it, and it's a "special collector's edition" to mark the 1,000th number one - although it's not very clear. Collectors of what? The Hit Singles books? But surely they'd keep every one anyway? And last year's innovation, which was to admit nobody much bought the separate albums edition, has been repeated, so you get all the charting records in one book.

Most importantly, of course, they've crunched some numbers for the press release. This time, they've added up all the weeks spent by bands on the albums and singles charts, and produced a top 100 acts:

1. Elvis Presley 2,463
2. Cliff Richard 1,972
3. The Beatles 1,749
4. Queen 1,725
5. Madonna 1,653
6. Elton John 1,615
7. The Shadows 1,578
8. Michael Jackson 1,477
9. David Bowie 1,459
10. U2 1,402
11. Rod Stewart 1,381
12. Frank Sinatra 1,332
13. Diana Ross 1,303
14. Dire Straits 1,255
15. Simon And Garfunkel 1,201
16. The Rolling Stones 1,173
17. Abba 1,137
18. Fleetwood Mac 1,103
19. Phil Collins 1,062
20. Paul McCartney 983
21. Pink Floyd 966
22. UB40 955
23. Meat Loaf 941
24. Tom Jones 915
25. Status Quo 890
26. Simply Red 849
27. The Beach Boys 845
28. Oasis 836
29. Stevie Wonder 807
30. The Carpenters 776
31. The Bee Gees 767
32. REM 761
33. Bob Dylan 755
34. Tina Turner 755
35. Prince 748
36. Jim Reeves 730
37. Neil Diamond 727
38. Bob Marley and The Wailers 713
39. Eric Clapton 705
40. Whitney Houston 698
41. Andy Williams 685
42. Eurythmics 684
43. Robbie Williams 682
44. Madness 682
45. Genesis 681
46. Barbra Streisand 678
47. Bruce Springsteen 670
48. Mike Oldfield 664
49. Celine Dion 661
50. Bon Jovi 660
51. Lionel Richie 655
52. Bryan Adams 652
53. Duran Duran 648
54. Electric Light Orchestra 648
55. Kylie Minogue 646
56. George Michael 627
57. Shirley Bassey 620
58. The Pet Shop Boys 596
59. Roy Orbison 593
60. Mariah Carey 588
61. Roxy Music 585
62. The Four Tops 574
63. Janet Jackson 567
64. The Police 558
65. Sting 553
66. John Lennon 544
67. Simple Minds 544
68. Cher 540
69. Erasure 535
70. The Supremes 535
71. Buddy Holly 529
72. The Eagles 528
73. Perry Como 526
74. Guns N’ Roses 525
75. Blondie 523
76. Engelbert Humperdinck 507
77. Donna Summer 503
78. Billy Joel 500
79. Led Zeppelin 497
80. Wet Wet Wet 496
81. Slade 491
82. Barry Manilow 491
83. The Who 480
84. Stereophonics 477
85. Chris Rea 477
86. The Everly Brothers 474
87. The Hollies 472
88. T.Rex 468
89. The Corrs 467
90. Bryan Ferry 46
91. Red Hot Chili Peppers 455
92. Blur 454
93. The Beautiful South 450
94. Luther Vandross 450
95. James Last 450
96. Kate Bush 449
97. The Moody Blues 449
98. George Benson 442
99. Hot Chocolate 436
100. Shakin’ Stevens 435

The conflation of singles and albums throws up some interesting little points - James Last making it into the chart almost entirely on the basis of albums, and his 450 week total must certainly have been helped by his habit of releasing two or three albums of his "party" re-imaginings of recent hits and standards every week around the start of the eighties; Oasis standing proud at 28 while Blur languish towards the bottom at 92 probably will soothe some of Noel's hurt at being beaten in that head-to-head chart battle. Shakin' Stevens' claims the other week that he was the most successful Welsh chart act ever is disproved (he's at 100; Tom Jones is at 24 - although, of course, Shaky's Best Of is still in the Top 10). Elvis might reign supreme, and Cliff pick up the biggest UK act (again, helped by a long career) - but Paul McCartney could legitmately add his 983 weeks to The Beatles' 1,749 weeks to crush all comers.

We think, though, the most frightening fact is UB40: 955 weeks on the chart; more than REM, Stevie Wonder, Prince...


If you're already thinking that the weekend seems to far away and fancy a spot of playing about, or simply want to bookmark a couple of sites for later, frequent visits to cnet's mp3 archive and Amazon's full list of its top free downloads could fill up an iPod without ever once contributing to an RIAA grandee's share options. At the moment, Amazon is shifting loads of Aimee Man, Bloc Party and Arcade Fire, while Tim Burgess, the Postal Service and Bright Eyes are giving it away like a wife in a fish market at Cnet.


There's still more mileage in the Kylie story, although since the story hasn't really moved on since "Kylie has breast cancer", the papers don't have a great deal to say. The Express merely copies yesterday's Mail angle, and marshalls some people who've come out the other side to be inspiring:

And the Mirror, um, has this:

Nuns! Nuns! Whatever next?

Curiously, the Daily Telegraph is offering "the best of Nirvana" as a download for a fiver - the Telegraph? Downloads? Nirvana? Can this all be right?

Wednesday, May 18, 2005


You'll recall Avril Lavigne's high-minded pledge that "I won't wear skanky clothes that show my booty, my belly or my boobs. If i were selling my body, i would wear that stuff, but i'm selling my music" and the way she's managed to stick to it, even when it means covering up her breasts with a Hooters tshirt. Well, you'll be pleased to hear she's still fighting the righteous fight, ensuring she doesn't actually appear with her tits out for her Penthouse interview:

It's good she wouldn't ever sell herself on her young, lithe body - otherwise she'd not appear in such serious minded music magazines and might start to court the five-fingered shuffle market. Go Av!


Haven't seen the official midweek figures yet, but the constantly updating Amazon sales chart suggests that Lyla is managing a sluggish mid-20s position in the overall rankings. Not exactly setting the world aflame, then.


With the news that Pete and Geoff are leaving Virgin's breakfast show - where they'd achieved the rare accolade of being a show on the network that people had heard of - bosses at the station have been quick to find someone who could fill the gap. But where would they find someone who nobody actually listens to, but have heard of? They didn't have far to search: Christian O'Connell has quit XFM to head into the virtual obscurity of AM pop radio.

It seems a much better fit for O'Connell than his previous two jobs on stations at least notionally more interested in music than making knob gags, although we're not quite sure we believe Christian when he says this:

"I can't wait to reach out to the country and beckon them to join me each morning with the combination of my show and the music we all love. Virgin Radio is a huge station, with a huge reputation. It's the station I have always wanted to be on, I am an avid listener and fan. It's a dream come true and I cannot wait."

Yeah, Christian - what wannabe radio presenter doesn't dream of being on the mighty 1215 metres on the medium wave? It's like a footballer saying "I always wanted to play for Bolton, even when i was a kid."


Yes, there are going to be "listening parties" for the new Oasis album across the UK as well as around the US. Apparently, at one of the following, they're going to play the last album instead to see if anybody notices or cares:

Brighton Snide Audio on May 24 at roughly 10pm
+ Cardiff Popscene Ifor Bach on 25 at roughly 9:30pm
+ Coventry The Phoenix on 25 at roughly 9pm
+ Nottingham Tuned Rock City on 26 at roughly 9:30pm
+ Aberdeen Triple Kirks Exodus on 27 at roughly 9pm
+ Birmingham Ramshackle Academy on 27 at roughly 10pm
+ Bradford FND Escape @ Bradford University on 27 at roughly 10pm
+ Bristol Ramshackle Academy on 27 at roughly 10pm
+ Edinburgh Evol The Liquid Room on 27 at roughly 10:30pm
+ Exeter Collision Timepiece on 27 at roughly 10pm
+ Glasgow The Tuesday Club Presents Tom Tom on 27 at roughly 6pm
+ Leeds The Session The Cockpit on 27 at roughly 10pm
+ Hull Spiders on 28 at roughly 9:30pm
+ Liverpool Electric The Krazy House on 28 at roughly 8pm
+ Manchester Roadhouse on 28 at roughly 11am
+ Newcastle Rata Metro Arena on 28 at roughly 10:30pm
+ Norwich Meltdown Waterfront on 28 at roughly 10pm
+ Portsmouth Chaos South Parade Pier on 28 at roughly 10pm
+ Sheffield Sonic Boom Leadmill on 28 at roughly 10pm
+ Wolves Full On Little Civic on 28 at roughly 8pm

Of course, you could just get it off Bittorrent if you're that bothered by it.


Nine Black Alps had been going off on tour round the UK this May, but Sam Forrest has fallen ill and the tour has been axed. The debut album has been put back a week, to, and will now appear on June 13th. But you can still pre-order it:

... and enjoy an extra seven days of prickling anticpation


While it's great that Ronan Keating raises lots of cash to help fund research into breast cancer, it might be a good idea for someone to take him to one side and suggest it might be best if he leaves the expert stuff to, well, an expert, as his reaction to the Kylie news shows:

"Kylie's such a young woman it's unbelievable[..]
People think breast cancer is an older woman's disease, but it's not. Everyone needs to be very aware of this and get regular check-ups.

So, if everyone needs to be aware that breast cancer does affect young women - as many as one in every twenty cases is a woman under the age of 40 - in what way does suggesting that Kylie having breast cancer is "unbelievable" because she's "such a young woman"? Isn't the most positive thing that can come out of Kylie's illness that it's a strong chance to press the case that it's all too believable that women in their 30s get breast cancer and should be checking themselves?


We wouldn't want you to assume that Gwen Steffani was the sort of person who'd take a brief to "design her own fashion line" as an excuse to slap a lazy label on as much as possible in order to squeeze every drop of cash from those people who follow her every move. Furthermore, you shouldn't think that shoe-horning the Harajuku thing into the "affordable" line is a bid to flatter Japanese girls into parting with their families' hard-earned Yen. No, the USD250 Harajuku Lovers digital camera is a proper, well-considered addition to the world of products. And not a tiresome cash-in at all. There's also going to be knickers and, well, anything else that can find a slot for itself in Target.


Curious, isn't it? Chris Martin claims to be really worried about the millions living in poverty, inching by on less than a dollar a day, if they're lucky. And yet he still whines about the "slavery" of having to kow-tow to EMI and its shareholders:

"I think shareholders are the great evil of this modern world," Martin told Reuters before a concert at Manhattan's Beacon Theatre. But however uncomfortable Martin is with what he called "the slavery that we are all under to shareholders," the reception to Coldplay's third studio album will be closely watched by EMI shareholders.

Aw, bless - poor Chris is enslaved by having to bang out a couple of tunes for the corporate behemoth. And all that cheque-cashing that springs from that. It's funny, you know, but compared to being a cockle-picker in Morecambe Bay or a sex worker being bounced around Europe, the slavery doesn't actually sound that bad:

"It's very strange for us that we spent 18 months in the studio just trying to make songs that make us feel a certain way and then suddenly become part of this corporate machine," Martin said backstage.

Of course, it's easy for us to take the piss out of Chris, but let's not forget that he really is in a position of slavery - it's not like he can just walk away and not make any more records for EMI, not while the company holds his family hostage. Not while he has no money of his own, nowhere to go if he leaves the company. Not while EMI would beat him if he doesn't work hard enough, and might well beat him anyway.


Truly, she is the people's pop princess. The death of Kylie Minogue has united the British papers in grief:

- although neither the Independent nor the Morning Star care enough, it seems. Oh, hang on, she's not actually dead, is she?

We were surprised that the Telegraph decided not to run with a picture of Kylie in showgirl gear - it says something about the gravity of the situation they elected to go with a Jackie O modern suffering pic instead. Albeit balanced with Nigella Lawson in a low-cut frock.

The tabs, on the whole, are pretty upbeat. The Mirror has Kylie pledging that "I'll beat it just like my dad":

- although we'd not known she'd ever beaten her dad. The Sun, of course, knows what we can all do to help:

Wear a wristband - that'll show it.

For some reason, the Daily Express has chosen to run a photo which seems to be from about seventy years ago:

And the Mail has decided to offer some advice - chin up, Kylie:

The Daily Star cannot look away from the dark shadow hanging over the future, however:

Yes, the morons who have polluted their mobile phones with the "crazy" frog ringtone are about to pollute the charts with a spin-off single. Makes Is This The Way To Amarillo seem like a joy, doesn't it?

But even the Star is upbeat about Kylie's future. Indeed, the real reason why the UK media is treating the news about Kylie's illness as if she'd died is precisely because she's not going to, not now, not like this. It'd be really brilliant for Kylie to see such a range of positive, upbeat coverage.

Unfortunately, she's in Australia, Which isn't being quite so positive:

Tuesday, May 17, 2005


Paramount Comedy Channel's Inconceivable website has been tracking down a naked baby - not to help Pete Townshend with his research project, but to try and find out what happened to the kid on the cover of Nevermind. Spencer Elden, who's now fourteen, apparently was only used because stock photography of a baby under water would have cost too much. Now, we know we never resist the chance to poke major labels with a stick, but how buttmean must Geffen have been to refuse to pony up for a snap from Corbis for an album which sold seventy squillion copies? Anyway, Elden isn't that bothered that half the world has seen him naked; he has a nice sideline in being the kid off the cover of Nevermind going


Unsurprisingly, the Office of Fair Trading has decided, after listening to the complaints of the indie sector that the terms on which the physical sales and downloads sales charts have been merged is unfair, that there is no case to answer.

The OFT spokeswoman said the file on the combined chart was now closed.

She said: "Based on the information provided, we do not have reasonable grounds to suspect that the Competition Act 1998 has been infringed by the decision by OCC or OCC's shareholders to launch a combined physical and download chart now, in the present form."

So, that's alright then. Let's not hear any suggestion that the main part of the OFT's remit is to ensure that status quos are upheld. That would be uncharitable.


Wendy James is going to go to Cambridge to play a gig at the Man In The Moon on May 28th. She's coming across the Atlantic to do that. Let's not count how many gallons of aviation fuel could have been saved if they'd invited someone local in to spread an air of slightly disappointed moistness.


Coldplay have announced an enormous tour of Northern American ampitheatres, bearpits and theme parks:

Toronto Air Canada Centre August 2; Montreal Bell Centre 3; Hartford Meadows Music Theater 4; Mansfield Tweeter Center 6; Camden Tweeter Center at The Waterfront 7; Cincinnati Riverbend Music Center 9; Burgettstown Post-Gazette Pavilion at Star Lake 11; Noblesville Verizon Wireless Music Center 12; East Troy Alpine Valley Music Theatre 13; Auburn White River Amphitheatre 16; Ridgefield Amphitheatre at Clark County 17; San Francisco Shoreline Amphitheatre 19; Irvine Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre 20; Albuquerque Journal Pavilion 24; Phoenix Cricket Pavilion 25; Chula Vista Coors Amphitheatre 26; Clarkston DTE Energy Music Theatre 30; Columbus Germain Amphitheater 31; Darien Lake Six Flags Performing Arts Center September 1; Holmdel PNC Bank Arts Center 3; New York Madison Square Garden 6; Charlotte Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre 9; Raleigh Alltel Pavilion at Walnut Creek 10; West Palm Beach Sound Advice Amphitheatre 13; Tampa Ford Amphitheatre 14; Pelham Verizon Wireless Music Center 16; Maryland Heights UMB Bank Pavilion 17; Antioch Starwood Amphitheatre 18; Minneapolis Target Center 20; Bonner Springs Verizon Wireless Amphitheater 21; Dallas Smirnoff Music Centre 23; The Woodlands Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion 24; Austin City Limits Music Festival 25; Atlanta Philips Arena 28; Virginia Beach Verizon Wireless Virginia Beach Amphitheater 29; Bristow Nissan Pavilion at Stone Ridge 30

Lucky old Denver... no Coldplay gig.


In their first joint TV interview, Britney Spears and Kevin Federline had a talk with Ellen on her daytime chat show. You know the one, the one which kicked Sharon Osbourne's threadbare effort, then kicked it some more, dragged it round the backyard, pushed its head down the toilet and then kicked it just the once more. Ellen gave the pair of them a pram with a DVD player in, because, of course, money will be a bit of a struggle for the Federlines:

Actually, when we say the two of them had a talk, Britney talked - Kevin just sort of grunted:

"I'm just happy with who I'm with. I love her and everything else is whatever."

What a great loss to the debating society young Kevin was.


If you thought the coverage of Kylie was a little extragant - she's got breast cancer, she's not actually died - then you might want to recallibrate your medical over-reaction scale with the news that Kelly Osbourne slipped over and broke her finger in Sweden:

A friend said: "Kelly was in a lot of pain and has been told to rest. She was very frightened but experts have reassured her she will be on the go again soon."

Now, we're sure snapping any part of your body does hurt like a chilli douche, but "she was very frightened" - of what, precisely? Does she believe that bones are like dominos and if one snaps it leads to a chain reaction where your skeleton crumbles to dust in a matter of hours? Does she have a crucial need for the broken finger? "I thought I might never be able to text insults again?" And since when did a broken finger require an enormous level of bedrest? Don't they just strap up your finger and send you on your way? "Now, Ms Osbourne, try not to flip anyone off for the next few days, and steer clear of the Yellow Pages as it's too soon to let your fingers do the walking."


So now, thanks to car-crashing reality TV show detailing Britney and Fender Kevinline's romance, we know how the proposal happened. The couple were on a plane returning from a gig in Ireland - Britney had been singing, Kevin had been putting out towels for the team - when Britney instructed ("asked") Kevin to marry her. He said no. A few minutes later, he came up to her and asked her to marry him. It's said that he'd spent the time in between reflecting, and trying to do a sum on a piece of paper ("All of Britney's Money divided by two =?"). She said yes, alright, then, and - since she'd already found out thar airline captains weren't allowed to perform legal wedding ceremonies when she'd tried to get married to the guy who brings round the cushions just after take-off - Britney started to make plans for the wedding. Looking at sweatshirt catalogues, finding out exactly how many people a KFC bargain bucket can feed, leaving messages saying "Oh, Christina, are you still single?" and so on.


The news isn't all that grim from the Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster: they've lost a member, but the band will remain a going concern.Andy Huxley, who has been playing guitar while Guy McKnight juddered and ground his teeth, has announced he's leaving:

“The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster are the greatest band in the UK and will become the greatest band in the world. I, meanwhile, have decided to pursue my chosen path as the greatest King Buzzo impersonator on earth.”

We look forward to him telling the people down the dole that that's his new career path.

Prices of 80sMBLD albums such as this one have not risen on the news, as thousands of fans fail to show up desperate to claim a lasting souvenier of the way they were

The splendidly named Rick Fownes has joined the band, who are currently preparing for their new job opening for System of Down across Europe. We're starting to see why Huxley decided to quit.


In a desperate bid to (a) try and make America care and (b) try and make the launch of a new Oasis album feel a little bit more like an event, the way it used to, the band's label have lined up a whole heap of US listening parties. We love the way this is being reported as something Oasis have done, as if Noel had been on the phone to the Atlanta Cobb Place mall trying to book a CD player and a crate of Vimto.

Oasis listening party. It's on a par with a celebration of hair lice, isn't it?


Just a step away from getting a room in a Linton Travel Tavern, Pete Doherty has been booted out his flat because the landlord couldn't stand the constant partying. (And, we'd guess, because he was tired of having a drug addled bloke living in his pension fund.) Now Doherty is splitting his time between the bed and breakfast on the corner and, apparently, "Kate Moss' place" - you would have thought if they were going to get married next month, as the tabloids would have us believe, he'd have moved in to her gaff permanently, wouldn't you?


Poor Scott Weiland, who has been so upset by newspaper coverage of his various doings, he's been forced to issue a statement:

"Lately I have felt an increasing need to set the record straight since false information and gross distortions continue to get proliferated through the media in many forms by dishonest and disingenuous writers/journalists who are supported by their publications. It is not a crusade for the truth, it is a realization that the neo-tabloidism sells magazines, but also...wrecks marriages...wrecks families...wrecks careers...wrecks lives!!!"

"Yeah, there is probably some writer, critic or journarazzi that's saying to himself or among others, 'Oh, poor rock stars, oh, poor celebrities.' Well, fuck off! Does doing what I love to do give you a right to put a bull's eye on my back?' Does is give you the right to make it open season on anyone of notoriety? If you're a motherfucker and you still answer yes what about about the ones that really suffer from your selfish lies and deceit, the children, the wives, the parents, and the friends!? That can not be justified...period.
"Dedicated to Mike S. You were the inspiration and muse for this little thought.

P.S. Velvet Revolver Sticks Together Despite Unstable Pasts' from the publication Newark Star Ledger written by Jay Lusting

I never auditioned for this band nor any other band. Nor was I ever settled on.

If you want to find out how I in fact did come to the band then do your homework instead of continuing to perpetrate bullshit."

Good god, Scott - you're pissed off by something in the Newark Star Ledger? Do you really have little better to do with your time than stick your name into Google - "Hey, the Heywards Heath Leader have spelt my name wrong again."

We especially like the "does doing what I love to do give you the right to put a bull's eye on my back" - by "what I love" we presume he means shedloads of drugs.

And, yes, we are here saying "Oh, poor celebrities." Because, Scott, you can make music without being famous; celebrity isn't a side effect of playing an instrument and singing - celebrity is what happens when you throw yourself into the marketing machine of a major label, happily play along when the coverage is good and the cash is flowing in. Tabloids don't write about you because you're a musician. They write about you because you embraced their world. And there's nobody in this century who doesn't understand the nature of the pact they make the minute they do that. It's no good crying like a baby when Satan comes to cash in the contract.


The Coldplay it's okay to like, Radiohead, are back in the studio, according to websites on the internet. Even so, it's unlikely we'll have anything tangible from the new sessions in time for the gifting period of Christmas.


The most surprising thing about the news that Trent Reznor has been relieved of millions - it's claimed - is that even after years of being robbed blind, he's still got three million dollars worth of assets. Presumably it's off the back of tshirt sales. Anyway, as happens so often, it's down to the accountant and former friend John Malm. In court yesterday, Reznor claimed that Malm bounced him in to signing a deal which gave Malm 20% - but twenty per cent of Reznor's earnings before tax.

But is it fair for Reznor to whine? He did sign the deal, and it's not like anyone tied him up and forced him. Actually, he'd probably be happier being tied up and forced. There's just something a little odd about seeing Reznor put on a suit and tie, wash the 'FUCKPIGS' off his briefcase and pop into the straight world to try and get his cash back.

Everything - even light S&Mpop - is just a business.


Ian Brown might get what he wished for, as Kylie's Glastonbury headline set is now looking in doubt - although that'll be the least of her worries. Kylie's been diagnosed with breast cancer and is going to be remaining in Melbourne for treatment. She's postponed the Australian leg of her Showgirl tour, and issued a statement:

"Hopefully all will work out fine and I'll be back with you all again soon. I was so looking forward to bringing the Showgirl tour to Australian audiences, and am sorry to have to disappoint my fans."

Even the hardest faced of music fans will be wishing her well today, although Dannii will be spending much of the time trying to get Emily Eavis' number off directory enquiries to see if they need a fill-in, and Delta Goodrem will be cackling "Ha! At long last now it's Kylie following in my footsteps."


Interestingly, Bob "why would I want to do something I did 20 years ago" Geldof appears to have already signed a deal with the BBC to broadcast the Live8 gig that he's been claiming exists only in other people's kite-flying imagination. Even more bemusingly, the event which supposedly doesn't actually exist is apparently in danger of being hit by the BBC strike action, according to the Daily Mirror:

Those evil unions - planning to hit a charity concert even before anyone's supposed to know it's going to happen.

Monday, May 16, 2005


After Karen O's recent nipping off to do guest vocals elsewhere, she's now returned to the Yeah Yeah Yeahs fold and they're now working on the second album.

Of course, it's going to be "totally different" to Fever To Tell, she says:

"There is some acoustic guitar - a first - and Brian [Chase] has been studying tabla, so we may throw some of that in there, too…YYY campfire singalongs, YYYs go rustic. We've only just begun, and we're playing around with new ideas. YYYs have never done a studio album before, where we write all the songs in the studio. This is a radically different process with radically different results — or not. Too early to identify what direction it is going."

We're not sure we're that desperate to hear a C&W YYY, but we'll give them the benefit of the doubt for now...


There's perhaps one of the most confusing political spats of all time currently under way in Israel, where the Foreign Minister, his wife, the ambassador to Washington and his wife seem to be involved in some sort of childish point-scoring that dates back to when Madonna was in Israel last year. Maddy was there to promote tourism to the country - we believe the slogan was 'who was Rachel Corrie, again?' - and Judy Nir-Moses, the wife of the foreign minister really wanted to meet her. Only she wasn't invited. It set off a chain of such ill-feeling that Danny Ayalon, the Israeli ambassador (or "bloke who picks up the huge cheques from the White House", to give him his official title) somehow conspired to ensure that Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom missed out on an invite to nip in to see President Bush.

Good God, people - George Bush and Madonna? You're having a piss-battle over not getting the chance to hang out with two of the most crushing dullards of modern times? Any sane person would pretend to have to go to their dentist's funeral rather than have to make small talk with Madonna, while more than five minutes in Bush's company is enough to require half a day inside a conversational decompression chamber. Look at bloody Cheney - look at the eyes of a man who has no choice but to sit listening to Georgie chunter on for hour after hour. And you're complaining because you were spared that?


Join us for another dip into Fred Durst's blog, if you dare:

Today has been a long time coming
we would like to thank all of you who have gone out of your way to pick up The Unquestionable Truth Part 1 as well as any other previous LImp Bizkit music in the past.

Since the album limped into the charts at 24 in the States, you could probably get round and thank all the people who went to buy it personally, Fred. (Ryan Adams was only two places behind with the entry for Cold Roses, and he's hardly a major selling force).

our hearts and souls have made Limp Bizkit what it is today and we have truly lived every single second of this with you. regardless of the clouds that turn up we have realized without the rain there would be no growth. we are grateful for every single fucking thing that we have encountered along this journey. if not for the real lives of the members of limp we would not feel as if we even had anything to write music about. our music is a broad collection and an interpretation of these feelings.

Grateful for everything? The fan being crushed to death while you were goading the audience? The claims that you'd visited her in hospital when actually you hadn't? Refusing to go in person to the inquest? We know that you're meant to make lemonade when life gives you lemons, but you're surely not telling us that you try to convert deadly nightshade into a juicy drink too, are you, Fred?

let this one settle for a minute. it is not a first listen experience for most and we feel proud about that. it wasn't a first listen at all for me, but as the days continue TUTP1 has grown on me and is now making sense in ways i had never dreamed. we are all just channels for something more than we can comprehend at times. stepping back and getting perspective definitely helps to realize this.

Now, that's kind-of-ominous. The man who made the record and knew what to expect (and, presumably, had heard demos and rehearsals) didn't like his own record the first time he heard it. We wonder what it was that made him change his mind - perhaps the sound of cashregisters ringing.

Damn, we wish Noel Gallagher kept a blog.


We wonder if newly-minted couple Suzanne 'Hearsay' Shaw and Zak 'Northern Line' Lichman have actually discovered yet that they both used in to be in slightly, if briefly, successful bands. It's an incredible coincidence.


Ah, you could almost mistake Chris Martin for a little sweetie, couldn't you? He's worried that people are so fascinated by celebrity that they neglect the finer things in life:

The singer said the public ignored great books, music and architecture because people were more interested in celebrities reports the Evening Standard.

"Everything is subservient to this idea of celebrity. Great things get ignored because they're not famous enough but people can tell you who's dating who," he said.

Yes, all the people who read the 3am Girls would, if they did not exist, direct their time instead towards Pushkin. And how many times have you been stood behind someone in the queue at Sainsburys and seen them slip their copy of The Lives of the Great Composers back to make space in their basket for a copy of Heat.

More puzzlingly, if Martin finds celeb culture so horrific, why does he fuel it through things like the Make Poverty History campaign - something that wouldn't exist (in anything like its present form) were it not for the very celeb culture he disdains.


A combination of a press release claiming that rebecca loos and abi titmuss "have the hots for each other" and the looming of the Eurovision song contest combine to make us wonder: whatever happened to Tatu, the pretend lesbians? Well, freed from the need to pretend they spent their evenings sharing post-Soviet strap-ons and giggling, and freed from the clutches of their svengali manager, they're about to release their second album. And it's called People - Invalids. Do you see? We're all invalids. God, why do we bovver? We're going to our rooooms.

According to apparently Babel-fished reports:

Yulia and Lena grew instantly up and they understood a lot - about themselves, and about the world around them. It turned out that there are so many things around those we could be related to and not only to be observed then from a distance, as many people do through their entire life. Those things are wanted to be sung about, not only this - they need to be sung of! Tatu will sing about such things in their new album "Person- invalids".

The worrying thing is, that makes more sense than Fred Durst's blog ever managed.

We're not certain, but we think Steve Jobs might be slipping them a few quid, too:

They are friends. They support each other, although their free time shcedules are different. Lena spends her free time in the company of the greatest (i.e. – she reads books), and Yulia in the company of her American friends and recently bought Macintosh Power-book - fellow of all creative souls of the world. All mortal users of the Windows platform are left with their envy: Yulia uses all advantages of the progressive Mac platform, which is quick, classy, bugs-free. Now the pulse of the world is under her fingertips 24/7 - as Americans say. The most stressful stage of the recording is already behind, therefore a pair of weeks ago, Tatu made a one-week break in their "American" life and dove in the Moscow spring. In spite of a cosmopolitic charachter of their artistry, the girls miss Moscow, which remains the dearest city for them.

Quick, classy, bugs-free. Ah, if only the same could be said of Misses Titmuss and Loos...


Graham Coxon is about to stick out another album - he's preparing it now for an autumn release. And this one is going to be slushy:

“All songs concern the dreaded ‘L.O.V.E’ from falling in love, splitting up, jealousy, unfaithfulness, lust, everything really.”

Coxon has, of course, been involved in producing songs about love before, during his time with Blur; the novelty this time is they won't just be songs about Justine Frischmann.


Whenever technology presents the major labels with an attempt to make some quick cash, their reaction is always the same: a long series of meetings to decide how they can ensure they get enough DRM into the mix to ensure they can make supernormal profits, by which time it's too late, too late. The latest initiative crushed by them is the often-touted CD burning booth: offering the chance to activate the whole back catalogue and snare people who have neither the time nor the desire to go online and buy music from the internet stores. Only the big labels are putting such restrictions on the music that it's proving difficult to see where it could make a profit (the fact the costs quoted for putting in a booth - up to USD35,000 for what is basically a PC with a CD burner - doesn't help):

As it turns out, each major label is licensing music for kiosks with its own set of strings attached.

For example, Universal Music Group wants kiosks to use only special blank CDs sold by General Electric that, depending on who you ask, cost two to five times as much as normal blank CDs.

And EMI Music wants the cover art printed on paper to be installed as the front sleeve of the jewelbox. Another major is said to have limitations on when and how much music can be made available for in-store burning.

"Each content company has its own set of rules, which when explained makes sense. But when you put them all together, it's a mess" -- and an expensive one, Mike Dreese says. The CEO of Brighton, Mass.-based Newbury Comics is a member of the CD-burning task force of the National Assn. of Recording Merchandisers.

The companies could be flogging hundreds of thousands of copies of albums it could never persuade a store to stock right now. Not megabucks, but a tidy profit. Once again, though, they're choosing to piss away opportunity.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

WHAT THE POP PAPERS SAY: In the air tonight

"A condescending, contradictory and hypocritical piece by an ex-NME writer. I think I see a pattern. Perhaps NME journalists are programmed?" - so ponders Craig McAndrew on this week's Guardian Weekend letters page. It's been that sort of week for the NME - Conor McNicholas picked up an award for editor of the year at the PPA awards prompting the Drowned In Sound message boards to snort. "It's just Smash Hits" complained one poster, which is confusing - did they mean Smash Hits now, which seems unlikely, as even if you don't like the NME now there's no real way you can confuse it with the desperately, twisting and largely empty gloss-no-words Shits; or did they mean Smash Hits during its imperial phase, when it lovingly crafted a fully-formed universe which organised the way a generation related to its popstars? Because that would be a shit insult, really.

The cause for the waspish McAndrew to put pen to paper was last weekend's piece by former NME writer Sarah Dempster admitting she handed back her IPC epaulettes because she liked music she wasn't supposed to like. "Most of my previous, NME-driven favourites have been eclipsed - Muse, Interpol, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and countless other zeitgeist-reliant, unoriginal, ne'er-do-wells superseded by the likes of Yes, Hawkwind, Black Sabbath and Roxy Music." It's curious that Dempster felt she couldn't write for the NME and like music beyond the names which appear on the front page (the paper has always been at its best when it's had a handle on how the spurting blood of the new was pumped by the heart of rock history) - but then, the main bulk of her article is attempting to suggest that it's not such a bad thing to like the music of Phil Collins. Which isn't just something you shouldn't admit to in the NME offices; it's something you should never admit to in print, in your diary, to your friends, or at all. Saying "the bloke who did Su-su-sudio is alright, actually" is on a par with not being able to identify the current Prime Minister or get the year right when nurse asks you.

"If all people think I'm capable of is Stairway To Heaven" observes Robert Plant in the current Radio Times, "then frankly, I'm doomed."
The funny thing is, of course, that it took him too long to notice.

Kim Wilde has enjoyed one of the most bizarre journeys of our age: where once she caused outrage by appearing on the front of Smash Hits with - shock - acne, this week she's on the cover of The Lady, the paper for gentlewomen of a certain age. Which allows us to trot out again one of the first snatches of Coronation Street dialogue we remember, when Bet was picking up Mrs. Walker's weekly from the old Kabin (when it was still in Rosamund Street): "The Lady... if there was one called The Duchess, she'd take it three times a week..."

The NME, then, has got Dave Grohl, smoking, on the cover - Dave is alarming, as he seems to get younger with each passing year, which might be why he's trying cigarettes: perhaps it's in the hope that the aging effects of ciggies will cancel out the effects of whatever faustian pact it is he's made. The rest of the Foo Fighters are also on the cover - um, Tim, Tam and Tina or whatever they're called.

The Kaiser Chiefs are being flown across Europe in their own, exclusive private jet (it's chartered from BA, they're not bloody Kasabian), and they proudly show it off in a two-page spread. In three years time, when you're puzzling how the band managed to have all those hits and yet still claim to be potless, remember this moment.

Babyshambles are pictured as they reach the end of the production of their debut album. It's interesting that Adam Fieck, the drummer, seems to be doing more and more of the press interviews these days - an attempt to try and make the band seem more than just Pete Doherty in case, well, he's not on hand to push the finished product? Part of a plan to try and downplay the impression that it just one bloke and some musicians making up the backing? Or is it just that Doherty's not around to do the pre-launch press?

How record companies can't cope with new technology, part 377: The Sony response to the Oasis album appearing (apparently accidently) early on the German iTunes site was, erm, to force them to take it down. After it had been available for 24 hours. Thereby creating an instant vacuum into which unauthorised copies flowed. Great work, Sony. The only reason why the whole web hasn't collapsed under the weight of Oasis filesharing is because the new album is so lame.

Ian Brown is fulminating about Kylie being on the main stage at Glastonbury at the same time he's on the third stage from the back. "Glastonbury is supposed to be the last bastion of the alternative against the mainstream" he moaned, apparently unaware that the Orange-sponsored event, co-owned by Clear Channel, has for the last couple of years been busily promoting the likes of Oasis, Joss Stone and Norah Jones.

Peter Robinson nibbles Noddy's nut, and in return Mr. Holder is kinder to the paper than the rest of the world is: "put me on the cover... it's still got a reputation, NME. Brand names are always worth something, Peter." Mind you, these days he is advertising a brand of nuts that nobody has ever heard of.

Tammy, Tommy and Terry from the Foos trot out the standard Sleeperbloke response to the suggestion that they are little more than three extra faces eating up coverspace which otherwise could be given to Mr. Grohl: "Foo Fighters began as Dave's vision, so there is something cohesive about how the whole thing works... if we took collective decisions on everything we'd probably end up squabbling and turning into Metallica." Which is, of course, why nobody will ever give true democracy a try. Even Switzerland would turn into the Republic of Metallica if the votes really were that important. Not that Dave is, like, insanely in charge, he claims: "I'll take directions from the others every now and again." There's going to be a but. "But I'm the one that's in the driving seat."

Its quarter of a century since Ian Curtis killed himself, and to celebrate - it's what he would have wanted, a party - the NME offers 25 things you never knew about him. Amongst them: Ian never had to face his fear of flying because the band travelled to their European tour by hovercraft and under regressive hypnotism, he told Bernard (who was doing the hypnotism) that he'd been a Frenchman in the 17th Century.

the ordinary boys - southend/bournemouth - "if everyone loved their jobs as much, the world would be a happier place"
funeral for a friend - give it a name festival, london - "ass-puncturing"

coldplay - x&y - "confident, bold, ambitious", 9 (see, Sarah Dempster; you probably could have come in with But Seriously and still held your head up high)
maximo park - a certain trigger - "energetic and cleverly crafted", 7

hot hot heat - goodnight goodnight - "like the Strokes [would sound] if they gave a shit any more"
quuen adreena - medicine jar - "ho-hum goth toss"
scout niblett - kidnapped by neptune - "inane mad woman at the back of the bus"

And, finally, Napster have taken out a full page advert which is more than a little disturbing: their strange and increasingly alarming cat logo is peering over the top of a changing room where a girl wearing only a pair of knickers is apparently trying to remember why she came out clothes shopping without a bra on. Although since she's stood there with the door of her cubicle wide open, maybe she wouldn't be that bothered about a pervert digitised cat tomming over her tits anyway. It's all a bit seedy and not entirely that connected to downloading music files.


We've been sitting on the 2005 Sony Awards - they're literally like the 'Plumber of the Year' Awards, only for Radio - since they were announced at the start of this week, partly because BT have screwed up our broadband (did we mention that?) but also because it was the most puzzling list of prizes we've seen given out since the Grand National in 1978, when the prizes were given to the horses with the snappiest legs instead of the fastest runners.

Here, as is traditional, is the list of winners:

THE DAILY MUSIC SHOW OF THE YEAR: Kerrang! 105.2 Drivetime with Lucio: Kerrang! 105.2

Now, there you are already, an indication of how the bemusing range of categories result in bizarre range of contradictions - if Zane Lowe is the Specialist music expert of the year, and the best person at broadcasting music, how on earth can he not be doing the daily music show of the year? Likewise, the next bunch of awards are even more puzzling:

THE BREAKFAST SHOW OF THE YEAR: Christian O’Connell’s Breakfast Show: Xfm
THE ENTERTAINMENT AWARD: Christian O’Connell’s Breakfast Show: Xfm
THE COMPETITION AWARD: Christian O’Connell’s Rock School: Xfm
THE DJ OF THE YEAR: Danny Baker: BBC London 94.9

Now, even if we set aside our puzzlement at the giving of prizes to Christian O'Connell - he left us cold when he was doing local radio in Liverpool, and we've got chillier and chillier whenever we hear his XFM stuff - but if CO'C is doing the breakfast show of the year, then how can Danny Baker be a better DJ, doing the same slot in the same market. And Baker isn't even a DJ at the moment. (Although his show is far better than CO'C's. Of course, now that the BBC is finally putting the Bake's show on Listen Again, Danny has announced he's quitting; at least until the autumn.

THE WEEKLY MUSIC SHOW OF THE YEAR: The Selector: Somethin’ Else for FCUK FM

We've not heard this, we don't think, but most of what we have heard from FCUK has sounded like it's been done in the bottom of a zinc bucket.

THE 'MUSIC SPECIAL' AWARD: Teenage Dreams So Hard To Beat: BBC Speech & Campaigns for Radio 1

This, of course, was a tribute to John Peel, who also got a "minutes noise" tribute at the start of the awards ceremony.

Now comes a run of speech prizes:

THE NEWS PROGRAMME OF THE YEAR: Vote Friction: Unique the production company for BBC Radio 1
THE NEWS OUTPUT AWARD: The Beslan Seige: BBC World Service News & Current Affairs & Newsgathering for BBC World Service
THE NEWS STORY AWARD: The Tsunami: BBC Radio News for Five Live
THE SPORTS AWARD: City Till I Die: BBC Radio York
THE SPEECH AWARD: Beyond Belief - Islam and Women: BBC Religion and Ethics for Radio 4
THE FEATURE AWARD: Missing The Message: Unique the production company for BBC Radio 1
THE SHORT FORM FEATURE AWARD: Blind Man’s Beauty: BBC Radio and Music Factual for Radio 4
THE INFORMATION AWARD: Unhappy Hour: Viking FM News Team for Viking FM & Magic 1161
THE DRAMA AWARD: Laughter In The Dark: Catherine Bailey Productions for BBC Radio 3
THE COMEDY AWARD: The National Theatre Of Brent’s Complete And Utter History: Of The Mona Lisa: Above the Title Productions for Radio 4
THE EVENT AWARD: The Drive Show: D-Day Anniversary: BBC Radio Kent
THE INTERACTIVE RADIO AWARD: Three Counties Breakfast: BBC Three Counties Radio
THE COMMUNITY AWARD: The Stephen Nolan Show: BBC Radio Ulster Factual for Radio Ulster
THE PROMO AWARD: A77 Guardian Angel Campaign: West Sound Commercial Production: for West Sound, West FM & SouthWest Sound FM
THE STATION PROGRAMMER OF THE YEAR: Richard Maddock: Radio City 96.7
STATION OF THE YEAR • UNDER 300,000: BBC Radio Foyle
STATION OF THE YEAR • 300,000 - 1 MILLION: BBC Three Counties Radio
THE 2004 AWARD: UK Radio Aid
THE GOLD AWARD: Steve Wright

So, Radio 2 has won back the title as best station in the country, continuing a run of handing the prize between them and Radio 4. It's nice to see a prize for Capital Disney, which is at least encouraging the commercial sector to invest in children's radio, but we're not sure we've ever met anyone who's ever heard it.

But really: Christian O'Connell? Why? What is it people see in him?


As you'll know, the supposed cuckolding of Justin Timberlake reported by Fox news' sister paper, The Sun, has prompted Cameron Diaz to set her legal attack dogs on the paper. Meanwhile - and thanks to the person who posted this in our comments section; we think it deserves a higher profile, the guy who was photographed kissing her has blogged about being monstered by the tabloids. He's called Shane Nickerson, and this just a sample:

I relaxed a bit. Maybe this was just a desperate magazine fishing for a story. Maybe they weren't actually going to run this, but were snooping around to see if there was anything to drudge up. Maybe I was panicking over nothing. My voicemail ring beeped from my cellphone. I called it:

"Hey Shane, it's Derek. I just got a call from The National Enquirer about you and Cameron Diaz. I told them nothing. me."

Motherfucker! How the hell did they...? Why Derek? Derek is in the show I used to do at Improv Olympic. Derek and I have known each other for about 7 years, but he's just such a random person in my life to call. We perform together and occasionally I'll see him at a party. I knew then that that they were using my website to find out who I know. My e-mail alert went off. I checked it:

Hey, can you call me? The Natl. Enquirer just called me about a story they
are doing about YOU. Not that I had anything to say to them, but I did get the information about the story from the reporter if you want it. ~JM

Jessica, "The Ninja" Stover? I JUST met her like two weeks ago at Wil's show. What kind of reporting are these guys doing?

It's more than worth reading the whole piece.


It looks like 50 Cent is going to manage to avoid jail following the time he jumped into a crowd and attacked three women at one of his own gigs. "Fiddy", as apparently he doesn't mind being known, has agreed to anger management courses, and a range of other bits and bobs that pretty much come down to being tutted at. If he doesn't make an anti-violence video he could be called back to court and sent to prison.


There's always been more than a hint of the Seaside Special about Dido - for all her appearing in Eminem videos and having a brother with connections to the dance music nodoscenti, she's never seemed to be much more than a variety turn with a decent haircut. Indeed, we were half expecting The Two Ronnies Sketchbook to have a "Ladies and Gentlemen, Miss Dido" moment (that it was Katie Melua instead probably shows exactly what we mean here). And now, as if to prove our point, she's seriously considering an offer for a Celine Dion style Las Vegas residency. Never has an act so desperately cried out to be supported by a conjuror and a plate of chicken and chips.


The death has been announced of Jimmy Martin, memeber of the Bluegrass Boys. Inspired by Bill Monroe, Martin played with the Bluegrass Boys during the mid-50s before spinning off his own act, The Sunny Mountain Boys. The band worked with Decca records for nearly two decades, recording a slew of bluegrass standards, including Widow Maker, The Sunnyside of the Mountain, and Hold watcha Got. He was inducted into the Bluegrass Association's Hall of Honor in 1995, and, according to George Goehl's liner notes for the album accompanying a 2003 documentary about Martin's life, he managed to improve on his idol's work:

"Jimmy's strong, high vocal range pushed (Bill) Monroe's tenor up into the sky, helping shape what has become known as the 'high lonesome sound."

Over a long career, he collaborated with a huge range of artists, included a stint with the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band; his are the first vocals to appear on the Dirt Band's 1972 Will The Circle Be Unbroken album.

Martin was diagnosed with bladder cancer a year ago; the 77 year-old died on Saturday.

King of Bluegrass, Jimmy Martin's biopic, is currently available on DVD


We're hoping she'll either do it rolling her stupid piano in front of her, or else dressed up as a giant chicken or something, but for some reason Vanessa Carlton's signing up for the New York Marathon has been turned into a photo opportunity. Despite her already being halfway to the 'whatever happened to...' segment of Entertainment Weekly, and despite the signing-up being done online, so removing any sense of theatre or glitz from an already slightly dull happening:

We're assured she is signing up for the New York marathon there. On the other hand, she could just be checking to see if she's had any luck shifting those 20,000 unsold copies of her album on Ebay yet.


We're not sure how 3Hive do it - possibly they have a whole underground city full of children spending all day banging away at the web to provide a harvest of tasty free mp3 downloads, but they come up with excellent stuff so often we're not sure they can be quite human. Anyway, this weekend, for those of you who aren't waiting for BT to take a month to move broadband from one house to another two metres apart, they've got a bunch of His Name Is Alive downloads. We've always thought that while The Pixies are the 4AD that everyone knows, and the Cocteaus the 4AD that everyone thinks is the typical act for the label, it's HNIA that is the closest to the spirit of the label. Enjoy.