Saturday, May 28, 2005


Also having a good day in court: The BoDeans, getting a court to accept their pleas that their former manager Mark McCraw hadn't lived up to the standards expected of record business management people (and that's not that high, if we're honest); they've been awarded USD200,000.

They have no plans to share it with The Bodines, their homophonical indie non-nemesises.


The now defunct Cleveland International Records has just beaten Sony in a legal case revolving round Bat Out of Hell. In a bid to settle a royalties dispute, Sony had promised to feature the label's logo on Bat Out of Hell (as well as writing a USD6.7million cheque); a year later, the logo hadn't appeared. Sony claimed it was a cock-up rather than a planned slight, but the courts have ordered them to pay the legacy companies USD5 million to make up.

Sony says it will appeal. Bet it won't take them a year to get round to doing that.


It sounds like it was done in a way that doesn't really do much to counter the popular impression that Robert Smith is a bit a canute, as The Cure slims down to a three-piece. Roger O'Donnell is out:

What is done is done however it happened. I was in a group and now I'm not ..... Thanks to everyone who has emailed me, I will reply to you all and I wish The Cure all the success they deserve.

Also receiving a copy of Coping With Redundancy was Perry Bamonte:

I'm really overwhelmed by the amount of fans who have written to me and you and to all the Cure websites - I never knew I had that much of an impact or how important a part of The Cure I was for so many people. Please pass on my thanks to everyone for their suport and compliments and their best wishes for my future. I wish the band well and bear no grudge. I have no definite plans at this time but will inform you if I become involved in any other projects. Once again - Thank You!

O'Donnell came to hear about Smith's decision to move forward with just Simon Gallup and Jason Cooper when he logged on to a Cure fansite and saw there were live dates about which he knew nothing.

There are some tantalising hints that Steve Severin might be helping Smith beef up the live performances as an outcome of the work they've been doing to remaster their The Glove album:

"It is true that we are talking again, but I haven't spoken to Robert since this story broke," Severin tells "All I know is that we are working together on making the most exciting remaster of 'Blue Sunshine' possible."


More widdle-stained pants at Viacom, fast shaping itself up to win a reputation as better at censorship than the Stalins. They'd booked Nine Inch Nails for the MTV Movie Awards, but then insisted that Trent couldn't stomp about in front of George Bush backdrop. Trent responded with a statement, and a pull-out:

"Apparently the image of our president is as offensive to MTV as it is to me."


Victoria Beckham has a cunning plan to seize her place at the top of the pop tree:

Victoria Beckham is going back to her one true love - singing. But after getting burnt in the past, she's releasing her next track under another name. She told my mole, "I've recorded a number of tracks and I'm proud of them. This way, though, we can land a genuine hit and then, when it IS a hit, I'll reveal my true identity." Look out for one, called Dreaming Over You, on the dance floor soon...

There's only two flaws with VB's plan here. The first is that the reason why her records have been flopping is that they've been so shit, even with the support of her brand, they've left people cold. Removing your name is only going to make it worse.

More important, it's probably best not to tell everyone the name of the record that you're going to be releasing secretly before you release it, Victoria.


You'd have hoped that by now the FCC would have started to calm down, over a year after the nipple-you-couldn't-actually-see was accidently-on-purpose revealed to a watching nation. But, of course, there's a dog, and it's got it's bone, and it ain't giving up. The knock-on effect of a government censor with the sensibilities of the maiden aunt of a Victorian country vicar is a bunch of broadcasters who'd rather axe their staff than risk having to defend them. Latest victim of the McCarthy-meets-Whitehouse age is Arthur Chi'en, of WCBS-TV. Having had a live report crashed by two gormfree corpses promoting the Opie and Anthony radio show, Chi'en turned after his slot was over and asked them why they didn't just fuck off. Only his channel hadn't taken him off air at that point. Chi'en apologised almost instantly, but it had no effect. Rather than complain to the satellite radio station who'd sent two synaptically-disconnected lard-shapes to try and disrupt his broadcast, or getting straight on the phone to the FCC to point out that it had been a slip caused by a reporter genuinely believing he was off air, and with every right to be fuming, WCBS-TV fired Chi'en. Most of New York think that W-CBS has made a mistake, reports the New York Times:

Some of his colleagues were dismayed. So were people whom he covered for Channel 2 and, before that, for NY1 News. Mr. Chi'en, a respected reporter, specialized in transportation news. Letters of protest have been sent to WCBS by representatives of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the Transport Workers Union and the Straphangers Campaign. Most days, you can't get those groups to agree on a lunch order.

Nobody is about to nominate Mr. Chi'en for a Peabody Award. Punish him and even suspend him, say supporters like Tom Kelly, the transportation authority's communications director. But dismissal in this situation is "outrageous," Mr. Kelly said in a letter to WCBS.

WCBS, and its parent Viacom, though, seem to think this shabby, craven treatment of its own staff is somehow acceptable:

Mr. Chi'en is "a terrific young talent," said Fred Reynolds, president and chief executive of the Viacom Television Stations Group. All the same, "Arthur committed the most egregious incident on air that I have ever seen."

Station managers are not running scared, Mr. Reynolds said, but "there is zero tolerance" for this breach of the rules. To him, the punishment fits the crime, which he likened to road rage. On air, "you just can't lose your cool," he said.

Fred Reynolds, clearly, hasn't seen very much television in his lifetime if this is "the most egregious incident" he's ever seen - although, having seen CBS programming, it would explain a lot if the bloke in charge doesn't actually watch any TV at all. He also doesn't seem to have given any weight to the clear fact that Chi'en didn't think he was on air at all - indeed, despite enormous provocation from Opie and Dopey's three-senses-short snark-pushers, he kept his cool all the way through his report. Fred Reynolds might like to bore on about "zero-tolerance", but it's clear that this is just a lazy comfort blanket to cover up the zero-spine at the top of Viacom these days.


The world will look at Britain just before seven tomorrow night, sigh, and remove all traces of Cool Britannia-era from its shelves and its hearts, as the Crazy Frog becomes number one; the first ever novelty single without a single ounce of novelty. At least with the Chicken Song there had been an attempt to create a parody of the Agadoo-style of hit; at least Agadoo existed, briefly, in a venue where it could make sense (for what else do you do in a theme-bar in Cleethorpes but flail about pushing imaginary pineapples while you wait for your better half, Dave, to finish his fight outside the lavs and get you a Tia Maria from the bar?). But the Crazy Frog? In light of Malcolm McClaren wading into the debate ("Listen to this song and you can hear the death knell of the traditional music industry"), MetaFilter debate if it's true. We're not sure the claim that this is the first ringtone/pop crossover to be a success - there was that Sugarbabes single that was little more than an excuse for the ringtone, but this is probably the first time when there's been little more than ringtone itself on offer. (Imagine - you can now have the sound of your telephone ringing even when NOBODY WANTS TO TALK TO YOU. Handy, of course, because if you've got the Crazy Frog ringtone it's almost certain you're the sort of person who has no friends anyway.)

Meanwhile, Jonny's site sees the victory of the Frog as a vindication of Slipknot:

Slipknot were right. People = shit

People also = fucking morons that should be burnt at the stake

Or, at the very least, train operators should herd people with Crazy Frog enabled phones into a special carriage. Possibly a wobbly one with very loose doors.

In interests of balance: Some people do actually seem to like it. Although they're not very eloquent about why.

Having said which, the anti-froggers aren't especially eloquent, either, but what they lack in eloquence they more than make up for in passion:

did i miss something. The british music buying public has lost all sense. some fucking idiot does an impersonation of his mates moped. and ends up with a no1 single. WHY??? I cannot stress just how much this pisses me off. but right now i'm just too incandescent with rage to write any more WITHOUT HAMMERING THE SHIT OUT OF MY DAMNED KEYBAORD.

Alex Thomson, meanwhile, appeals for calm on NYLPM:

At which point a Crazy Frog single (and there's another coming out in a couple of weeks I think, so this could go on all summer, but more likely will dry up overnight and we'll all be wondering what the fuss was about) will look like a quaint anachronism.

Really? I don't think so - we still shake under the weight of coverage of "whatever happened to the St Winnifred's School Choir" and jokes about Renee and Renato. However soon this storm passes, the Crazy Frog has battered himself into the fabric of British Pop History; his appearance on nostalgia shows and VH1 'bad song' weekends for all eternity is assured, I'm afraid. The account of itself given by the UK in 2005 is small, blue, and infantile.


With Big Brother getting underway last night on Channel 4, the music would would have to come up with something pretty special to draw the tabloid's attentions away from the self-loving self-abasers. What could it do?

Sending Victoria Beckham and David off on a six-hour bender seems to have done it. It's not clear why they went out for the non-stop sip-slop, although perhaps they were celebrating the Spice Girls reunion - at long last, Victoria's in with a shout of not being the worst singer on a record again (Double check that Geri's definite, yes?); or maybe they were trying to make the most of Happy Hours before they disappear in a bid to control binge drinking. Not, of course, with all their cash from endorsing any old shit that will pay them, they need to restrict themselves to drinking while you can get bottles for a quid.

Perhaps, though, they were just drinking to numb the pain of being rich and famous. It's not all it's cracked up to be, you know. The latest celeb to moan about how it really sucks is, um, Cliff Richard, bitching to the Daily Express about the "vicious price of fame":

You can understand Cliff being so hurt by fame - just think, if he hadn't earned all those thousands and thousands of pounds, he might never have found himself owning that Carribean hideaway and inviting Tony Blair to stay. Curse fame, for without it, Cliff would have been free to get a miserable job, enjoyed the struggles of being caught in the Tory unemployment boom of the 1980s, and spent sleepless nights worrying about how he might find the rent for the month. You are such a cruel mistress, Dame Fortune.

Friday, May 27, 2005


The BBC's 2005 Glastonbury website is up and running, complete this year with an RSS feed. And with the BBC strike threat to the event seemingly lifted, it should be possible to enjoy the event from the comfiness of your sofa and/or desktop without having to risk sleeping in a tent.

The only question: Do we get Gill Mills this year?


Well done, former 80s pop star hero Kim Wilde - she's picked up a gold medal for her new career; the one designing gardens rather than the one flogging cheap vitamins. She's all aglow with her Chelsea Flower Show prize:

"I'm absolutely delighted with my achievement. I visit Chelsea Flower Show every year and it really is a dream come true for me to have won gold for my first show garden here."

Alan Titchmarsh is rumoured to be planning a counterstike by releasing a single.


Rob O'B emails us with a tale of Glastonbury ticket woes:

You seem fond of criticising the Glastonbury ticketing nonsense
(rightly so, I must say), so I thought I'd let you know about my
horrible afternoon.

I managed to get tickets in the first batch, however two of my friends
weren't so lucky, and after the Glasto organisers insisted that there
definitely wouldn't be any more tickets released, they were resigned
to missing out.

Jump to this afternoon, when we found out that there was a new batch
onsale. They were either unreachable or stuck on a bus, so I offered
to buy the tickets for them. Went through fine, got a confirmation
email, we're all made up, etc...

Then, when looking at the eFestivals forum, I find out that because
i'd used the same debit card for both orders (even though the four
ticket holders were all under different addresses), the second lot
would be cancelled. Phoned Aloud to check, and they confirmed it, even
after i'd offered to use a different card. I told the operator that I
was going to go and cry and he laughed at me. By that point all of the
resales had gone.

There's no specific mention made in the terms and conditions regarding
multiple transactions on one debit card (it just makes a rather vague
mention of 'one pair of tickets per person), so we're a bit gutted.
I'm still pleased that i'll be able to go, but feel really sorry for
my friends. I can sort-of understand why the debit card thing is in
place (for touts and that), but the way these tickets have been
released, murky t&cs and restrictive post-confirmation processing mean
that it's a bit of a kick in the teeth.

Given that Watchdog isn't on air at the moment, I thought i'd moan
about it to you. Anyway, keep up the good work.

From our non-Watchdog perspective (we never really took to the post Hugh Scully changes) we'd say the not-entirely-helpful attitude of the Aloud bloke stinks more than a little, too. The sudden appearance of these "extra tickets" - which we guess were the ones taken off people on a semi-capricious whim - is a bit off; and then to lose them on the basis of a rule that makes no sense in the first place (TWO tickets per debit card? How would the Eavises feel if, say, they could only pay for two covers per debit card at a restaurant? Probably, we'd imagine, a bit ticked off at such an impractical suggestion.) Sorry you didn't get your tix, Rob...


Good grief, it's bad enough that they've nearly elected Bush twice, the Americans have given Mariah Carey a 16th number one. That's just two behind Elvis, and four behind The Beatles.

Never mind your duties under Kyoto, surely it's time the US government looked into getting the purchasing of pointless diva-warblage under control.


It's taken thirty-six years, but American cops have finally concluded the investigation into the Altamont Stabbing. They re-opened the case a couple of years ago to look into claims that there had been a second person involved in the bloody stabbing at the Rolling Stones gig (third, if you count Meredith Hunter, who was involved by being stabbed to death.) Alan Pasaro, who killed Hunter, was acquitted of the killing - the jury accepted he'd acted in self-defence after Hunter waved a gun at him. Watching the film of the incident slowed down (and for it to take two years to view it must have been slowed down quite considerably), though, has convinced the cops there was nobody else involved.


Corey Clark, the bloke who claims that he'd done some backstage work with Paula Abdul during his time as a contestant on American Idol, isn't happy; during the final the show included a jokey piece claiming that Simon Cowell was having an affair with himself. Clark, of course, rather than having a quiet snicker, has decided to feel that he's been slighted:

"We're reminded once again last night in front of millions of viewers that not only are they not taking it seriously, but they don't feel as though we should take it seriously," Clark's spokesman, Jed Wallace, told AP Radio on Thursday.

"It's simply baffling to me that Fox would actually resurrect this controversy by doing something like that," said Wallace, calling it a "slap in the face."

Hmm. A bloke goes on a karaoke programme, shags an 80s pop star, and then tries to flog the story to anyone who'd listen. Erm... what, exactly, are we meant to be taking seriously here?


In some sort of survey underwritten by one of those companies which produces wan lagers, Robbie Williams has been named the best live solo artist. We've double checked, and that is "of all time", rather than "called Robbie". These people have a vote in elections, you know.

U2 came top in the band section.


Pete Doherty's been quiet for a while but suddenly has a pressing need for cash ("is out giving interviews again") - and, apparently, has claimed that his house has been bugged:

"I found a bug, a hidden camera, in my house. I don't want to talk about it, it's being investigated... I'm a bit paranoid."

Although didn't we hear a week or so ago that he'd been kicked out his house and was living in a B&B? And, besides, why would anyone bother to bug Doherty when he'll turn up and do a tell-all interview if you give him a few quid.

Like, for example, when told the Mirror that he's going to try and bounce Kate into a quickie wedding:

"We're driving through Gretna Green next weekend, so who knows? I might be able to persuade her..."

Of course, there's no real reason why Pete would want to rush Kate down the aisle, faster than you can say "Don't you think we should a pre-nup" other than pure romance.

Pete also told the Mirror that the opiates implants are working:

"It's been three months now and my implants are bio-degradable. It gets easier but the implants are only for heroin... It's not all drugs," he ended ominously.

Pete also claimed that he's relying on Kate for support because of an almost unbelievably extraordinary divvying-up of the royalties from the last Libs album:

"I just got the royalties through from the second Libertines album. The others all got £90,000. I got £500 and I'm skint."

Did we say almost unbelievable? Actually, scratch the "almost", there.


Obviously, we love Sleater-Kinney here - the name above the shop shows that. So, we're pretty excited to be able to announce that you can stream the new album the woods and listen to samples and the odd track in its entirety. Then you can go buy the thing to love forever.


Drowned In Sound call them - splendidly - slomoindie; and they're back: Joy Zipper have a new album and a whole new tour.

First, the dates - all in June:

8 Brighton Concord 2
9 Cardiff Clwb Ifor Bach
11 Liverpool Univesity
12 Birmingham Accademy
14 Manchester Late Room
15 Glasgow King Tutts
17 Camden Koko

The album, The Heartlight Set, is out on June 6th


We're not quite sure the Daily Express has actually thought through what the story on the front of the paper today actually means:

"I want to be a father again and I'm having a lot of fun trying," says Rod Stewart - in other word, older man has unprotected sex with partner. That's news?

Interestingly, the front pages don't seem that thrilled by the confirmation that there is going to be a second Live Aid - partly because the press attention is elsewhere, watching Liverpool cart the European Cup around the city; partly because as soon as you hear the word "Sting" it becomes a lot less exciting, and probably as much because Bob's really bungled the PR with this one; he should have been announcing it as soon as it started to leak out, because now it's like "Yeah? Didn't they announce that last week?"


Coming to DVD, in the midst of next month's DVD releases:

The first season of the Partridge Family on DVD
. Now, whatever you feel about them, it does mean one thing: The young David Cassidy.

Thursday, May 26, 2005


We're a little confused about the now-official Live 8 gig: on one hand, Geldof insists it musn't be called Live Aid II, on the other, Geldof implies it, well, is Live Aid Part II:

"What started 20 years ago is coming to a political point in a few weeks," said Geldof. "There's more than a chance that the boys and girls with guitars will finally get to turn the world on its axis. What we do in the next five weeks is seriously, properly, historically, politically important."

Steady on Bob, don't undersell yourself. Further indications that this is a continuation of the first Live Aid is the inclusion of Sting. Doubtless Annie Lennox is sitting by the phone.


Excitement aplenty down at Swaffham - the organisers of the carnival claim to be about to seal a deal with a "major pop star" to open their event on July 17th. They're keeping very tight-lipped about who this major pop star might be.

We're betting its Kim Gordon. And she'd make a kick-ass best jam judge.


Judge Melville has slapped down an attempt by the prosecution in the Jackson trial to use a photo of Jacko's cock and a drawing done by the kid he paid off back in 1993. Melville, wincing slightly, said it was best left alone:

"I'm going to deny the request to bring in the evidence of the blemished penis," Melville said. "The prejudicial effect would far outweigh the probative value," he added alliteratively.

The prosecution will be allowed to show videotape of Gavin's interview with cops, in a bid to counter the defence claims that he changed his story; as a result, the defence has requested the right to requestion the kid and the attorney who first referred Gavin to a psychologist. The trial isn't done yet.


So, apparently, these are the awards at the Ivors, or the Novellos, or whatever they like to be known as (That's the Mister Novellos to you):

Toxic - Cathy Dennis/ Bloodshy/ Henrik Jonback/ Avant

So, Britney sort of wins something, although she'll be too busy having sex with Kevin Federline four times an hour much to care - oddly, that's how often some radio stations played Toxic, too.

Take Me Out - Robert Hardy/Alex Kapranos/Nick Mccarthy/Paul Thomson (Franz Ferdinand)

They've won so many awards this year, we're already starting to think that their acceptance speeches aren't as good as they used to be.

Enduring Love - Jeremy Sams

Sir John Tavener

Do They Know Its Christmas? - Bob Geldof KBE/ Midge Ure

Does Bob really insist on having his KBE included in his official credit? That's a little needy... anyway, you can't really argue with this, as the prize is based in counting rather than opinion. Crazy Frog next year, then...

Dry Your Eyes - Mike Skinner (The Streets)

I wonder if Mike and Alex carve the territory up between themselves - "You take the best album, I'll have the single from them, and we'll swap for the next awards, yeah?"

Blackpool -Rob Lane

Vertigo - Bono/ The Edge/ Larry Mullen Jr/ Adam Clayton (U2)

Wonder if this is one that Bono would have considered taking the 12.5 mill payoff for?

Robert Smith (The Cure)

The citation reads in part "for rising above his hairstyle and managing to string a teenage pouting fit into a thirty year career"

Tim Rice-Oxley, Tom Chaplin, Richard Hughes (Keane)

Giving hope to Starsailor, of course.

Mark Mcclelland, Jonny Quinn, Iain Archer, Nathan Connolly, Gary Lightbody
(Final Straw By Snow Patrol)

Now, of course, they're just being silly. Perhaps, in the same way that EMI expected there to have been a Coldplay album by now, the Novellos had a nasty hole they had to fill in a hurry...

Simon Le Bon, Nick Rhodes, Andy Taylor, John Taylor, Roger Taylor (Duran Duran)

Nobody said anything about "recent contribution", did they?

Brian May, Freddie Mercury, John Deacon, Roger Taylor (Queen)

It's odd that selling that collection for a handfull of west end coins doesn't disqualify you from this, isn't it?

Lou Reed

Yes, Special, but he's loved, and how many of us can truly say that?

Sir Mick Jagger & Keith Richards

It really buggers belief they haven't given this award to them years ago, surely?


We were just reading through Andrew Collins' blog when we stumbled across this bit:

"Another appointment after 6 Music, this time by cab to an empty office building in Old Street where BBC4 were shooting a documentary about the NME."

We imagine this is going to be a history of (and we can already smell the BBC press office sulphur burning on this one: "influential weekly", "shaped the music world as we know it", "features Johnny Cigarettes"), but we really hope it's actually going to be a drama. With Wayne Rooney as Stephen Wells.


God, spare us from people sticking out records under pseudonyms in a desperate bid to be loved by an audience who would naturally shun them. Like, for example, Paul McCartney, who has stood up and cried "I am Twin Freaks", "I am behind Really Love You, with The Freelance Hellraiser." Yes, Macca's gone all secret identity on us. It's not known if Macca has a costume to go with this secret other self, but our team of graphics experts came up with how he might look if he does*:

Image hosted by

* - okay, we googled on "crap superhero"


Naturally, Kylie cancelling Glasto was unavoidable, but... moving The Killers up to close the entire festival? It's a bold move (one the band have yet to confirm) but... it's more a slip back to the 1980s, when the final band on Sunday was designed to allow chunks of the audience to slip away early instead of hanging around, isn't it?


Oasis probably came to rue their decision to save having to share a stage with another band, giving the "support slot" to the European Cup match between Liverpool and AC Milan; not only did Liverpool blow Oasis off stage, but they over-ran by over an hour keeping Noel, Liam and the "Yessir, Noel"s off the stage. It's a curious decision, to elect to have a television warm-up your crowd - an acknowledgement from Noel that your current Oasis fan isn't really that interested in music at all, we suppose.


There's bad news for Beth Orton fans, as she's decided she won't be able to make her July 5th date at Somerset House in London - recording the new album is taking longer than originally planned, apparently. We're not entirely clear why that means she couldn't take one night off to run through a few songs, but we're sure there are all sorts of matters we can't begin to grasp.

Meanwhile, a bunch of extra tickets have been made available for the other gigs in the series, which run as follows:
May 6 Doves

7 Queens Of The Stone Age

8 Super Furry Animals

9 The Mars Volta

10 Sigur Ros

11 Bright Eyes plus The Faint

12 Bloc Party plus The Kills & The Cribs

13 Los Lobos / Orishas

Meanwhile, it seems a Beth Orton compilation came out last year, which we're not entirely sure we heard of at the time; and maddeningly, they didn't call it 'The Best Bit', which is what we would have done: instead, they went with Pass In Time. Does that mean we're cheesier than record company marketeers?


The latest rumour is that Justin Timberlake is gay, in the sense that he's been approached to play a gay character in an upcoming series of Will and Grace. Nobody has confirmed this yet, but...

Image hosted by

... surely he's been practising for this role for the last few years?


Melanie B isn't in the least bit interested in promoting her forthcoming album - presumably because she knows the way the wind is blowing on that one. Oddly, considering The Sun is pushing the Spices reunion as a done deal, she's meant to be turning her back on music in favour of "her sitcom". (Actually, music has just been in touch and asked us to point out that it turned its back on her first.)

Yes, apparently she's shooting a sitcom, which will keep her busy for however long it takes to make three half-hours and have a meeting with grim-faced network executives carrying a metaphorical axe.


A few years back, Status Quo went to see their solicitors in some sort of confused belief that they had a legal right to have their records played on Radio One. They weren't merely laughed out of court, but marched back in so they could be laughed out of court all over again. Now, Motley Crue are suing NBC as, apparently, somewhere in the constitution there's a bit which suggests NBC has no right to decide who does and doesn't appear on its programmes.

This all stems from Vince Neil saying "fuck" on the New Year's Eve Leno special - apparently, Neil didn't realise the programme he was on was live; (the word "wit" should presumably be added to his expletive for a working definition); NBC decided that it really didn't want to have the Crue on any of its shows anymore; sadly they took the decision because they're being cowed by the FCC and not on artistic grounds. Anyway, being America, it's all going to court, because - hey - it's a free speech issue:

The lawsuit accuses NBC of singling out the group, saying network officials stopped short of banning other artists who swore on-air, including U2 frontman Bono, who used the same expletive at last year's Golden Globe Awards.

"This is about fair and equal treatment. We have a right to be treated in the same way as other artists who have made the same mistake," bassist Nikki Sixx said in a statement.

The band are seeking to have the ban lifted, and to get compensation for "lost record sales" - although, frankly, boys, the fewer people who get to see your arthritic reunion, the more records you'll be likely to sell. You should be compensating NBC.

Neil recently went into business as a vinter (no, really - flogging wines is a really great career choice for someone who killed a bloke because he was driving while pissed) so it's not like he really needs the money, is it?

If the Crue win the case, it would almost certainly mean anyone could pitch up at the NBC studios to exercise their constitutional right to bellow "ballsack" and "gashy smudges" on their network.


We've been quite happy using a mix of UKNova and Yotoshi, but now there's another option: an official Bittorrent search engine. It's not entirely stable or swift at the moment, but it's always nice to have options.


If you had any doubt who the creative powerhouse of Blur was, all you have to do is compare this:

Damon's cartoon band

with this:

Graham's solo work

Anyway, it's clear that - however he wants to try and dress it up, Damon knows that Blur needs Graham far more than it needs him:

“I grew up with Graham and it’s really confusing when you grow apart from someone who you grew up with. I’ve only got a sister so I did consider him for many years to be like my brother and it’s a real shame that there’s been such a breakdown in communication.

”But as far as playing again live I can’t play any other stuff that he worked (on) without him. I feel that there’s a horrible hole in the sound if he’s not there and obviously if we could get back or move forward to a time when everyone felt comfortable again… I don’t quite understand why there’s such a tension because when we actually meet in a room together, all of us, we all get on fine.”

In the meantime, of course, there's always comic cuts to play with - Noodles and Murdoch and Mr. Jinks and... God, he really needs to win Graham back over, doesn't he?


Mel B's mutterings that there could be a Spice Girl reunion; a huge charidee gig in the offing - could this be the way for the scraps of the band to reunite without seeming like solo failures and desperate, money-grubbing hacks?

The Sun seems to think so. Oddly, the paper doesn't seem to think this is a good thing.


It's not entirely surpising that a school in Ipswich has banned pupils from making their own friendship bracelets on "health and safety grounds" - the sort of tiresome edict ambulance-chasing personal injury "lawyers" cause to be all too common - but what is surprising is the craze for "scoubies" at Cliff Lane Primary School appears to have been inspired by Sacha Distel:

"... the name Scoubidou came from the late French singer Sacha Distel, who scored his first hit with the song of the same name in 1958. The website says that one night a group of Distel's fans, invaded his hotel room and presented him with an object made of electrical wire, which they christened a Scoubidou in his honour."

On this basis, Ipswich should brace itself for the arrival of Teddy Boys in its schools sometime around the end of the decade.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005


It's a quirk of going to look at monkeys and postmen all over the place that this week's pop papers is looking at the NME just gone, but that's the way it goes. This weeks, by the way, features Meg White interviewing Jack; last week's featured exclusive stills from the new video. Jack White has got some even worse facial hair going on.

In the coverage of the Pete Doherty documentary (which showed on Channel 4 to a general level of boredom), its described as being the film "which landed Pete in jail" - although, surely, it was beating the shit out of Max Carlish which did that?

D12's Bizarre gets the Peter Robinson treatment, which is on a par with interviewing Mickey Pearce or Paul from Cheers; barely supporting cast level affairs.

Paul Stokes makes an impassioned plea for ticket scalping to be made illegal, but actually cross-references a separate controversy by accident: he refers to Glasto's ID card as being "government-endorsed." Only, actually, as the Guardian reported, despite what the adverts for CitizenCard had claimed, they've never been approved, backed, or otherwise given a thumbs-up by the Home Office or any other branch of government. CitizenCard also was forced to admit that its claims to be supported by "most banks" also was untrue. Not entirely sure how a company that's supposed to vouch for other's bona fides can be quite so loose with its own claims.

"We think the Bravery are shit. They sound like a boyband that's been indied up" spits Leila Moss out the Duke Spirit, and although we have a soft spot for the Bravery, we're too scared to disagree. "We're a proper fucking band. We lug our own equipment around," she says. Although she should just tell other people to do that for her. They'd say yes.

oasis - london astoria - "a new sense of humour has seeped into the music"
the pipettes - camden barfly - "it's a giggle"
gang gang dance - london spitz - "primitive freestyle pop"
the paddingtons - london silhouette/100 club - "the moshpit broils; chaos looms"

the white stripes - get behind me satan - "the real, strange, artistic deal", 8
art brut - bang bang rock and roll - "might whiff at first of evil irony, but...", 7
kelly osbourne - sleeping in the nothing - "the worst effluence of 80s disco pop", 4

totw - the magic numbers - forever lost - "soon to be as popular as food"
teenage fanclub - fallen leaves - "layered with lush strums"

so, since then, there's been other stuff: The Kaiser Chiefs are everywhere, aren't they? The Guardian Guide reckons they're the Victoria Wood of art-pop, but to be honest every time we hear their single we like them and their Madness/Gene fusion just a little bit less. And they say things in interview like (Nick) "I prefer going to gay bars with my girlfriend because you never get a group of lads going 'woooahy'" and (Ricky) "Gay men have all the best fun. They can wear the best clothes, go to the best clubs, snog the best-looking boys. I'm stuck with girls. Come on! Throw a couple of boys my way" - which is both irfuriating and stupid. And meaningless. Brett Anderson is still being clobbered ten years on for the entirely reasonable "bisexual man who's never had a gay experience" comment, but nobody seems to be in any way bothered at this bunch of lazy, insulting bollocks. Ricky, if you're straight, why would you be jealous of men kissing the best looking boys? And isn't "gay men - they're so stylish" as equally tired and knuckle-headed as "black men have such great rythym"?

It was Observer Music Monthly Sunday; the issue was based around Charlotte Church; the OMM, it seems, is happy to buy in to the belief that Chazza is, indeed,"groundbreaking" and "visionary." Groundbreaking? Even Aled Jones released a rock CD, it's not the first time someone's tried to shift from the sacred to the profane; it might be that Church is about to pull off a remarkable transition, but with all the press coverage being front-loaded, we don't get the impression anyone at the label is convinced the music is going to carry itself. Much of her interview with Barbara Ellen churns around the tabloid stories; explaining why she had to hit this ex-boyfriend, and so on."It might not be too much of a leap to imagine her being hailed the 'female Robbie'" muses Ellen; oddly, she doesn't seem to realise that, depressingly, that's very likely the outcome.

The "most X-rated records ever" forms the top 10 - Serge and Jane at number one; no placing at all for the Moors Murderers' Free Myra Hindley.

The record doctor pops down to see Sally Lindsay, who's Shelley in Corrie - she loved MIA (in common with all the reviewers and none of the record buying public) and Kirsty MacColl.

"I always enjoyed the transgender songs" says Patti Smith, before, disappointingly, concluding "my work does not reflect my sexual preferences. It's about my freedom as an artist."

And finally: Paul Morley takes VH2's 'The Next Song You Hear Will Be Great' too literaly. It was Oasis. Disappointment tastes of bitter experience.


The defence in the Jackson trial has rested its case following the appearance of Chris Tucker; it seems all the a-list names the defence were throwing about at the start of the trial aren't going to be called upon after all, then.


It's fake, plasticky, and can't string a sentence together.

Yes, the new Robbie Williams waxwork is just like the real thing. Apparently, his eyes twinkle if you play him one of his own songs, making it the world's first ever conceited twat waxwork. Uncannily lifelike.


I'll bet the Neighbours production team are kicking themselves stupid for not having agreed to let Kylie film an insert in London for the 20th anniversary programme, what with how things are turning out. Rather shamefully, they're now trying to hitch onto the breast-cancer-wagon by including a radio playing I Should Be So Lucky in the episode:

"She can't make it for the 20th anniversary but this is our way of saying thanks to her and get well soon," a show boss explained.

... rather than "sorry we told you to piss off last month", then?

In other Kylie news, Sid "Sidiot" Rosenburg has been axed by New York's WFAN breakfast show after making gags about how Kylie would look while getting chemo. He'd managed to hang on through previous crises, including calling the USA Women's soccer team "juiced-up dykes" and a spot of rehab, but it turns out that he's gone too far this time. Although, oddly, not so far that the station has totally sacked him, as he's still going to do a lunchtime show; presumably on the basis that he's not been quite so offended at dinner time. Yet.


Oddly enough, James Skelly of The Coral doesn't get stopped in the street much:

"I go to every Liverpool home game and I've never been recognised."

Other people who don't get recognised at the match are the bloke who runs the greengrocery concession in the Huyton Kwik Save, Frank Stiggins, 63, of West Derby Village and Christian Bale. Not that Christian Bale.

Surprisingly good new album from The Coral


Blogger ate three of our Jackson posts in a row, so we guessed that might be a sign and gave it a rest; but now we'll pick up the story as the trial looks to be winding to a conclusion. The best hoot so far was the judge allowing Larry King to make the journey all the way down to Santa Barbara before saying "actually, we won't take your testimony"; Macauly Culkin popped up to deny that anything untoward happened and two of Jacko's cousins who claimed they saw Gavin masturbating when Jackson wasn't around. Which doesn't really seem to help much - "young boy masturbates" isn't much of a silver bullet of a character reference; and the cheerful admission by the cousins that they watched the kid wanking does again raise the "what sort of circus tent was this ranch" question.

Jay Leno was allowed to give testimony, but he did seem to give a lleg-up to the prosecution when he revealed the Arvizos had never actually asked him for any cash; the defence have to cling to Leno's vague mutterings that there was something "false" about the boy when he spoke to him on the phone. Back at work, Leno did a "you might know me from the TV" monologue:

"Well, I just got back from testifying. I don't want to say it was hot up there in Santa Maria, but Michael Jackson was asking boys what they'd do for a a Klondike Bar. ... I'll tell you, you know, it was really odd walking into that courtroom today because I realized it was the first time I had seen Michael since I was 12. ... I'll tell you, you know the worst part about testifying, I had to follow the chimp. The witness chair was a mess. It was awful. What an awful thing. ... Actually, there was one kind of embarrassing moment when I took the stand and they asked me to point to the defendant and I pointed out La Toya. ... I tell you one thing, though, seriously, you know what's amazing about being in the same room with Michael Jackson, in person he almost looks life-like. ... Well, there's a lot of talk about Michael Jackson, if he's acquitted he wants to leave the country as soon as the trial's over. That's what they said. One report says he wants to go to Africa and disappear. He want's to disappear in Africa. Africa? I think he has a better chance of disappearing in Sweden. ... Well, after, what, 12 weeks of trial Michael Jackson's attorneys, they have finally admitted that Michael slept with children, but it was about love not sex. Which just goes to prove that line works for all guys. ... Here's an odd story. An 11-year-old boy has been called two different times for jury duty. Got called the first time when he was 3 and again, now he's 11. An 11-year-old on jury duty. That sounds like Michael Jackson's worst nightmare, doesn't it?"

You'll just have to imagine the guffaws of the crowd bussed in from Little Gibblington, Texas, for yourself.

It's been confirmed that Jackson won't be saying anything in his own defence - maybe he's just not convinced he's innocent enough?


There's quite a line-up being brewed, stewed and generally screwed together for this Saturday's Gotham 6 (it's at Camden Koko from 3pm); as well as the Cruxshadows, Scary Bitches and Venus Fly Trap, gothuberlords Clan of Xymox are doing the headline business. Blimey.


No, it's not a story about Madonna muttering that maybe it's time for her "first" facelift, apparently Defying Gravity is the new album's title.

They're trying to talk up a storm of excitement:

"Madonna has played her new material to Warner label bosses for the first time and they love it. There is a rockier edge and the usual electronic influence. The label are really excited and reckon it is full of hit singles."

"The usual electronic influence" - have we missed Madonna: The Kraftwerk years? Of course, Warners wouldn't be desperately keen to push this as the greatest thing since, well, Madonna was good because of their really poor share performnce so far, would they?


Interest in the unbelievable plans to bulldoze a giant chunk of the Dingle, in opposition to the wishes of people who live there, has been raised by last week's Tonight With Trevor McDonald special which showed that the few houses that aren't sound can be brought up to code for roughly the same as it would cost to knock them down; there's also, of course, a cultural angle with the mention that amongst the buildings to be destroyed is the birthplace of Ringo Starr. The "partnership" organisation panting to create some profits ("building land") for their chums ("partners") in the construction industry has issued a 'you can't stop progress' statement:

"We understand the cultural significance of Ringo's birthplace and are proposing innovative ways of reflecting this in any future development."

"Proposing innovative ways" - what would that be, then? Naming one of the ticky-tacky streets Ringo Starr street? Or how about some sort of plaque?

"I'm sure that Ringo would welcome proposals to improve the quality of housing and potential investment of millions of pounds in the area where he grew up."

The Newheartlands Pathfinder Scheme, you'll note, is only guessing what Ringo would want (but then, making the false claim that wasting hundreds of thousands knocking down perfectly good homes is the way you improve the quality of housing is already stretching it). Oddly, they didn't ask him. Indeed, Ringo doesn't welcome the plan at all:

"Why are they knocking them down? If it is economically viable, they should do them up. Are they going to knock out the centre of Liverpool again? That's what they did before. They moved everybody to high-rise apartments outside the city and forgot to rebuild."

The irony, of course, is that last week Liverpool completed the last demolition of the towers built in that frenzy to "improve the quality of housing". You might wonder where the leadership is in a city on the point of destroying another tourist attraction (Ringo's old home is quite a draw, and precisely the sort of thing that could be used to draw investment into an area in a way that a few dozen sub-suburban homes won't). They're fighting amongst themselves. Council leader Mike Storey and Chief Executive David Henshaw are having the mother of all turf wars while the place falls to pieces around them.


He's kind of almost on-topic, as he was namechecked by Pop Will Eat Itself alongside Into The Groove(y), and the whole theme of artists against giant multinationals fits, so we'll just lob this in sideways:Alan Moore was so pissed off with the shit film they made of V For Vendetta and constant meddling in League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, he's taken the comic away from DC. Of course, he's got the reputation to take such a step, but if enough of the big names in any branch of the arts are prepared to say "enough", the multinationals will have little choice but to start to treat everyone a little more fairly.


It's astonishingly honest for the Daily Mirror to warn its readers in the top right hand corner in this fashion, but surely it's not going to help sell any papers?

Victoria Beckham naked? We're sure it's a tastefully arranged photo, so you wouldn't be able to see where her breasts would have been.


It's clear that, with the likes of Ladytron, Charlotte Hatherley, the Dresden Dolls and Boy Kill Boy lined up, the best Reading/Leeds strategy is to stay in the new bands tent:

Friday Reading/ Saturday Leeds - Ladytron, Charlotte Hatherley, Saul Williams, The National, Mando Diao, The Paddingtons, We Are Scientists, The Blood Arm, Cherubs, Two Gallants, The Rogers Sisters and Fell City Girl.

Saturday Reading/Sunday Leeds - The Go! Team, The Raveonettes, Sleater Kinney, Caesars, Yeti, Dogs, Arctic Monkeys, Mystery Jets, 747’s, Clor and Neon.

Sunday Reading/FridayLeeds - Echo & The Bunnymen, Adam Green, The Dresden Dolls, Engineers, Amusement Parks on Fire, Komakino, Towers Of London, The Rifles, Battle, Every Move A Picture, Young Offenders Institute, Boy Kill Boy and Forward Russia.

Ladytron's Sugar, currently available to pre-order

Scrummy Boy Kill Boy limited single

Charlotte's debut solo

Tuesday, May 24, 2005


If you like noizepunx, then there's good news: Dirtblonde are off on tour round the UK:

27th May – International Pop Overthrow, The Cavern
Club, Liverpool
29th May - Crosby Music Festival
5th June - Dublin Castle, London
8th June - Zanzibar Liverpool
18th June - The Common Place, Leeds (Ladyfest Benefit)
23rd June - Upstairs @ the Garage, London
8th July – The Citadel, St. Helens
22nd July – Feedback , Lancaster
10th August – Death Disco, London
4th October - The Attik, Leicester

(There's somewhat of a gap between those last two). If you don't know if you'd really like that sort of thing, you might want to try their free single download to fall giddily in love with them.


For the first time in ages, there's actually some last-minute Glasto headline speculation fun: who will headline Sunday night? The Scissor Sisters have said it won't be them, though. We'd have bet on it being Coldplay were they not already down to headline another night; usual fill-ins Pulp are in no state to be drafted in, so it's all still up for grabs.


It's been the talk of the web, but a well-oiled publicity machine is attempting to crush the rumour that Beyonce has sacked her Dad for some sort of dalliance with one of her backing dancers. Indeed, no lesser power than Sanctuary CEO Merck Mercuriadis has come down from the moutain to do some statementising:

“Contrary to recent reports, Beyonce has not made a change in management. Her father Mathew Knowles continues to be her manager and he continues to be employed and have our support as the President of Sanctuary Urban.”

Beyonce's representatives have also issued a denial. In fact, the only person who hasn't popped up yet to tell us there's nothing to see here, and to move along is Matthew Knowles himself. A "friend of Beyonce" hasn't exactly helped, either:

A “friend of Beyonce” also told the Daily News that the singer’s daddy is still her employee, stating they "don't have the greatest relationship. But ... he's still working for her."


One of Canada's foremost country singer-songwriters, Terry Carisse, has died at the age of 62.

Born in Ottawa in 1946, as a teenager Carisse played as singer and guitarist in a number of local bands, but it was his way with creating instead of carrying a tune which would initially make his name. In the early 70s, he formed a partnership with Bruce Rawlins which lead to the production of standards including Hello Mom, Old Loves Never Die and Kentucky Turn Your Back. Their work was recorded by a mix of artists, including the Dutch country act Esther Tims and the Swede Teddy Nelson. Around the turn of the 80s, Carisse started to build a second reputation as a singer; during the decade he would dominate the male vocalist section of the Canadian Big Country Awards. In 1989, he was inducted into the Ottawa Country Music Hall of Fame.

Carisse is survived by his wife Aija and sons Steven, Chris and Sean. He died on Sunday from cancer.


Well, Nick Carter, so long as you believe your solo career was worth it, that's surely all that matters? Just because everyone else in the world views your post-Backstreet career as a waste of good plastic, spitshields and a perfectly serviceable Frisco Burger bus boy, if it meant something to you, that's just fine.

Apparently, it was all about the journey anyway:

"The solo career was something I wanted to try and I did it. To be honest, it was pretty lonely and I really missed the guys. But it was still a great experience for me."

It wouldn't have been quite so lonely if anyone had actually turned up for the gigs, though, would it?


Apparently, Charlotte Church turned down the golden opportunity to sing at Jordan and Peter Andre's wedding. Not because it was little more than a maelstrom of promotional whordom, but because Charlotte used to have a crush on Andre. And, apparently, it would be... um, no, we were holding this news story and it just collapsed into a bunch of Heat-haze.


We're a little surprised at how previous the FA appear to be in securing the services of Kasabian to write the World Cup song for 2006; it's still far from clear England will be in the World Cup next summer, and it's touch-and-go if Kasabian will be, surely? We're far from convinced that the Kasabian songwriting effort is guaranteed to be the official song - we suspect the FA was all "go away, do what you like, have fun, whatever" rather than taking time off from sleeping with each other's secretaries to actually come up and sign a proper deal. However, recent years have shown they don't have a half-assed clue about choosing an act to write a song anyone can care about, so it is possible they really did tell Serge Pizzorno and the boys to go off and thinking of rhymes for Rooney (which is tricky) or "angry-headed potato-faced bus-sheltering striker" (which would be a bit easier).


It's almost worth it to see the look on Chris Martin's face, but no; the horror of the Crazy Frog beating anything to number one is too deep to even enjoy the image of Bono ringing up Chris:

- Hi, Chris, it's Bono Vox from international act U2 here
- Oh, hi, Bono...
awkward silence
... I mean, Mr. Vox... what can I do for you?
- Well, Chris, as you know, I'm currently saving Africa single-handed at the same time as fronting the world's biggest band on an enormous tour, and I had spoken to you earlier about you accompanying me to have tea and cakes with George Bush and Tony Blair, my close personal friends.
- Ooh, yes, I'm very excited about that...
- Well, you can't come now
- Wh...?
- Sorry, Chris, we need to be high impact, high visibility and Coldplay are Oldplay. I'm going to take someone a little more now, a little more yes, a little more Bono to the G8 instead...
- Not the fucking Franz Ferdinands?
- Nope, I'm going with the Crazy Frog. Only his strange motorbike impression can help us cut through the mountains of red tape and ensure we get the Bono Statue b... I mean, Africa free of debt and, uh, you know... that whatsisname... poetry...
- Poverty?
- That's the monkey. Knew you'd understand, kiddo. Give my love to Renee...

Some "chart expert" (seems to be a PR chap from HMV, according to a lazyGoogle) seems to be delighted with the news that we've managed to find a way down from Oasis at number one:

"Music purists might not be too happy at the prospect of the Crazy Frog outselling Coldplay, but it shouldn't come as that much of a surprise when you consider its huge novelty appeal and the massive amount of exposure its currently getting.

”Kids obviously find it cute and cool, but students and even office workers seem to be drawn to its rather kitsch, ironic appeal. The only real issue is whether the record label can press enough copies to keep up with the huge demand that we're seeing right now."

'kids' can be forgiven for being childish, although I can't imagine any child over the age of about six getting thrilled by the Frog, but "students and even office workers" should know better. The thing is, there's nothing attractive about the frog and there's certainly no irony there at all - if anyone can find any shard of anything to say other than "it's a stupid noise which morons are paying over shedloads of cash to have follow them around, apparently in a rush to ensure that there is a working example of how fools and their money are soon parted", we'll award them a Regis Chair of Popular Culture, a couple of sacks of porter and book token.


It's probably only a matter of hours before someone from 1, Infinite Loop turns up to stop this sort of thing, but currently available online is MLiPod, a plug-in deeley which lets you choose to use Winamp5 instead of iTunes to play about with the content of your iPod. It's just been overhauled to work with iPod shuffles as well.


Ah, the power of the idle word said in an unguarded moment: now, all of a sudden, the nation is girding itself for the Stone Roses reunion after John Squire suggested in jest it might make a fitting replacement for Kylie on Sunday night. Apart from anything, Ian Brown is already booked to be headlining one of the further-flung stages at the same time. And... frankly, the Stone Roses live aren't really going to send people home from Glastonbury with a shiver running down their spine - there's a difference between being a witness to history and morbid curiosity.


Some bad news for the Phil Spector defense team, trying to spare him in the trial arising from the death of Lana Clarkson in his mansion. An LA judge has allowed the prosecution leave to call four women who claim Spector mucked about with pointing guns at them too, in order to create an air of "it was only a matter of time before this sort of thing happened". Spector's team claims that there was "no case here" wasn't as compelling as the prosecution's claims that the similarities made it fair to hear the stories of women such as Stephanie Jennings and Dorothy Melvin.

Melvin said Spector accused her of being a snoop and a thief when they were dating in 1989 or 1990 and chased her out of his house while holding a shotgun. "I heard him running down the drive and then I heard the pump of a shotgun," she told the grand jury.

You can see why the defense would have been keen to try and keep her out the court room...


Like some sort of testament to bearing a grudge forever, Mike Love is refusing to attend the Beach Boys hoopla today. Brian Wilson and Al Jardine are popping down to the opening of a memorial at the Wilson boy's old family home. Love, though, won't go. Toys out the sandpit, then.


The one-man proof that wit, charm and intelligence aren't hereditary, Otis Ferry, is on trial with his chinless chums over the time they bumbled in to the House of Commons chamber. The prosecution claim that their break-in followed "substantial planning", which makes it all the more bemusing that when the hoorays made it on to the floor of the Commons they didn't have a single thing to say other than making some noises.

The case continues.


We'd think twice before going to a restaurant owned by Sean Combs - Puff Diddy as was - especially if we were a lightning rod for misery and pain, but then Bobby Brown doesn'y seem to have the power of thinking through things in advance. So he and his chums went down to Justin's Restaurant (is Justin yet another of Diddy Daddy's ever-changing names?) and an evening out turned into a multiple stabbing, with two of Brown's yes men getting themselves into a fight with members 0f a "black mafia family". Unfortunately, the battling at a bar sort-of-works against the meticulous attempts to repair Brown's image with the Being Bobby Brown series he was in town to promote in the first place:

"The series, shot documentary-style, also allows fans and critics alike to see the real Bobby Brown -- as a family man and husband, apart from the headline scandals and allegations that have plagued, and at times overshadowed, the successful musician's career."

Monday, May 23, 2005


We're enjoying the news that Tina "S Club" Barrett is "snubbing" David Schwimmer - in other words, the former children's TV star once had a date with the multi-millionaire, he's back in the country, and she says she's "not that fussed" about meeting him. In other words, oddly, he's not been in touch suggesting they see if that old magic is still there, then.

In other S Club News, Tina has ruled out the possibility of a quick return to temp work (she's going to put herself through the autohumiliation of a solo album first) and of an S-Club reunion. She says:

"...we wouldn't do a reunion like the Spice Girls. It wouldn't work."

In other words, they would get back together like a shot, but nobody is interested enough to underwrite it.


A sad story from Australia: Adam Rust of Adelaide band Superlux has been killed while on honeymoon in Tasmania. His wife of just a week, Jennifer, is in a "serious but stable" condition.


Somebody offered Bono and U2 twelve and a half million to use Where The Streets Have No Name on a commercial (who, we wonder? Nike? Microsoft?) and the band turned them down, which might have been a honourable and wise thing to do, were it not for Bono deciding to seize this opportunity to tell us all about how honourable and wise he had been:

"We almost did. We sat down. I know from my work in Africa what £12.5 million could buy. It was very hard to walk away from £12.5 million.

"So we thought, `We'll give the money away.' But if we tell people we're giving the money away, it sounds pompous. So we'll just give it away, and take the hit. That's what we agreed.
[Although, actually, not having twelve and a half million, and then still not having twelve and a half million is not taking a hit, as you're not losing anything, apart from the opportunity to get that much publicity]

"But if a show is a little off, and there's a hole, that's the one song we can guarantee that God will walk through the room as soon as we play it. So the idea that when we played it, people would go, 'That's the such-and-such commercial,' we couldn't live with it. Had it been a cool thing, or didn't have a bad association, or it was a different song, we might've done it."

This is a really nice piece of mediawork by Mr. Bono - he's getting all the kudos for not giving USD12.5 million to charity. And we all get a little extra chance to look at how pure and good he is.


The worst thing about Charlotte Church completing her album is that we're now going to have to endure her promoting the bloody thing; it's clear the label aren't entirely sure the rock-angel isn't going to be a guaranteed winner and so the promo-tour is going to be about managing expectations downwards. So, for example, Charlotte's key message is that the album is "like Marmite" - in other words, you'll either love it or hate it. On the other hand, the album is also like Marmite in the sense that it's thick, gloopy, hard to stomach too much at one sitting and you'll really need something to drink after having some. And when you see Marmite, you instantly wonder what it'd be like having it spread.


It's all terrible for the BBC - not only have a large number of their staff not turned up for work today, taking strike action in protest at Mark Thompson's plans to sack everyone except for himself, but Billie Piper is suggesting she won't turn up for work ever again:

Billie intends to follow all those other TV-and-Pop stars who've traipsed off to LA to become the biggest names in shoeshining and so won't be running about with the new Doctor Who for long. This move - technically known as "doing a Mumba" - means she's being pencilled in for a 2008 series of I'm A Celebrity. Assuming ITV is still going in 2008.

The Morning Star, of course, is delighted at a strike that people will notice is happening:

- although we're not quite sure that the BBC has been brought to its knees. The more honest headline "newspaper review slots doubled in length by mass walkout" wouldn't have been quite as splashy. You'll notice that the Star has gone colour today, which really does seem wrong - it's like them deciding to launch a Saturday supplement to attract upscale watch adverts and Jaguar ads.


You might need a moment or two to breathe deeply to get over the horror of yet another celebrity reversioning of a reality TV format, but there is something quite enticing about the plans for Celebrity Faking It. Four former Blue Peter presenters (at the moment it seems only Peter Duncan has been announced) are going to try and pass themselves off as an Abba tribute band. There is a flaw in the concept here: how, exactly, does one convince anybody that you are a genuine tribute band; it's like being a genuine forgery, surely? But we do hope this means we get to see Janet Ellis in a white jumpsuit.


The Darkness have lost their second-most distinctive member, with Slash-to-Justin's-Axl Frankie Poullain packing up his tache and quitting the band.

Of course, of course: it's musical differences, says the statement:

"With immediate effect, bass player, Frankie Poullain, is no longer a member of The Darkness. Remaining members have cited musical differences as the reason for his departure. A replacement will be announced within coming months."

They already know who they want to step into the bass player role, but they need the next few months for him to get his moustache up to speed.


Looks like the Big Four might not be able to count on a compliant courts in at least one country: President of the French magistrates association Dominique Barella is calling for the decrimilization of personal use trading of copyright items:

"We are in the process of creating a cultural rupture between a younger generation that uses the technologies that companies and societies have made available, such as the iPod, file download software, peer-to-peer networks, etc.," Judge Dominique Barella told Wired News. "It's like condemning people for driving too fast after selling them cars that go 250 kmh."

We suspect the RIAA response to this would be to suggest that the metaphorical cars be crushed, and the roads ploughed up, and the drivers still left to swing from gibbets. Oh, and indeed, the French Entertainment industry has got together to be outraged en masse. They sent a whining letter to the French Minister of Justice, Dominique Perben:

"We are surprised and shocked that the president of the magistrates union, given the level of influence he has on his (judicial) colleagues, can publish in the press a call to not criminally sanction criminal acts, which contradicts the intentions of government bodies," the letter read. The letter also thanked the minister in advance for "taking actions that he deems appropriate."

Hang about... is that Vivendi-Universal et al calling for the executive to interfere in the deliberations of the judiciary? Obviously, that would normally be unthinkable, but, hey, we're taliking about half-a-dozen unsold copies of Finding Nemo on DVD here. Barella, of course, is unrepetant, insisting that efforts would be much better spent on going after counterfeiters. Indeed, Barella suggests that the entertainment industry might be scoring a huge own-goal by heading after twelve year old girls with quarter-full MP3 players:

"The resources of the police and judges are exhausted by these small cases, and do not take care of the large international (counterfeiting) rings."

In other words, every time the music industry spends its own and taxpayer's cash and money pursuing a teenage downloader, there's three blokes happily loading large boxes of hookey David Bowie LPs into the back of a Toyota Camino to flog down the carboot.

Sunday, May 22, 2005


After the incident a couple of weeks ago when, you'll recall, he didn't take an overdose, Brian Harvey has been taken to hospital again; he was found collapsed at home at about three this morning. Police aren't investigating any wrongdoing.

Apparently he's currently boyfriend of Emma B (the model, not the dj) who is dug in on the Farm reality show; Channel 5 don't appear to have told her her boyfriend's in hospital yet, if we're reading this correctly:

A spokeswoman for the programme said: "We are trying to clarify details of the events of today.

"Once we have those details, in consultation with her family, we will put Emma in contact with her family as a priority."