Saturday, April 29, 2006


The efforts to try and push Will Young as an actor are continuing, despite his role in Mrs Henderson Presents having caught the eye of no critics at all. Young has signed on with an agency which, the 3AM girls reckon, is "the road to Hollywood stardom".

Even although even the guy who played Trevor Cleaver must have had an agent at some point.

"They look after Willem Dafoe, Nick Nolte and new Bond girl Eva Green," says an insider. "They only look at talented actors. He has three auditions lined up already so it's looking good."

And Kevin Spacey is so impressed by Will's talents he's asked him to act in the next Old Vic fundraiser.

Mind you, if Spacey knew what he was doing, there wouldn't be quite the same desperation for an Old Vic fundraiser in the first place. And, erm, won't Young be doing what he's famous for (singing tolerably well) rather than acting? Singing at a theatre benefit doesn't make you an actor, any more than conducting a charity auction for breast cancer awareness makes you a surgeon.


The Swedish tax man is after Abba's Bjorn Ulvaeus, claiming that his 1984 contracts were little more than a bid to avoid tax. They reckon he owes about six million quid.

He reckons he doesn't:

Bjorn’s lawyer, Sven Rygaard, said they would appeal the ruling.

He said: “We are pretty convinced we will win. They don’t understand.”

In our experience, tax people love being told they're too stupid to understand stuff. We can see an extra million or two being added as we speak...


There's something slightly icky about the reports that Noel Gallagher turned up at the Arctic Monkeys gig and hung about the boys.

We couldn't put our finger on it at first - although the thought "strange man at school gates" kept presenting itself, before we realised what it was reminding us of: it's the indie version of the Madonna-Britney kiss, isn't it?


A breach of bail terms has led to the jailing of Pete Burns - he had been barred from going within the M25 and put on some sort of reverse curfew, and told to stay away from two of his ex-lovers.

Now, he's locked up in a small place with a bunch of dysfunctional misfits. Not for the first time this year, of course.


Poor, misunderstood Jennifer Lopez. She's not, you know, some driven autobot trying to create cash everywhere. She's just creative:

“I think some people see me laughing, having a good time and think, 'Oh, she's so ambitious and everything,' but the thing is that I'm just a creative person.

“I think people believe I'm driven by the money things and all that stuff.
“They get it so mixed up that they forget that I started doing it because I love to perform.”

It's true - who can forget the young Lopez used to market her own ranges of perfume and jeans back when she was 18, just for the hell of it? Now, everyone thinks that Glow by J-Lo is a money-grubbing attempt to spin an extra buck out of her fame, but she's always signed off perfume lines, dammit.


Following on from yesterday's Sun photos of Doherty apparently injecting an unconscious woman with heroin, they've got his uncle on to demand he gets sent down. The possibly self-styled favourite uncle, Philip Michels, tells the paper:

“Why the courts haven’t thrown him in jail yet is beyond me. I hope they are as disgusted by these pictures as me and next time he is in court throw him in jail for at least a year. It’s for his own good if he is ever going to get off heroin.”

It's not entirely that clear-cut, though, is it? There's an argument that sending an addict to prison is like sending a piggy to an apple farm - it's going to feed rather than cure - and although the pictures don't look good, there's a lot of questions about what they actually show: is he injecting the woman? Is she actually unconscious? When were they actually taken?

As if to prove the point that pictures of drug addicts might not always be what they seem, The Sun brings in Pauline Holcroft:

Pauline Holcroft, 56, mum of heroin victim Rachel Whitear, 21, condemned the star.

Rachel was pictured dead on the floor of a bedsit in Exmouth, Devon six years ago.

Pauline said: “Doherty’s behaviour is just sick.”

Rachel, you'll remember, is the cautionary tale whose photo was circulated as evidence of how awful heroin addcition and death from self-inflicted overdose is, before it became clear that the pictures didn't tell the whole story.

Perhaps we should find out what we're looking at before we convict Pete. Perhaps.

Friday, April 28, 2006


We thought the Sharon Osbourne ITV chat show had been a done deal? Now, after they've seen a pilot, the network seems to be cooling on the idea, stressing that "nothing has been commissioned", but admitting they are in some sort of talks.

The other odd factor about all this talk of a teatime chatshow for Osbourne is that ITV is currently making a new series of The Price Is Right with Joe Pasquale, and that has been more-or-less promised the 5pm slot if it performs well.

Curious. Let's hope Shazza hasn't spent that two million quid she'd apparently had in the bag.


As ever, the northern side of the US-Canada border is the place where the most interesting ideas develop: now, a bunch of artists there are trying to create a creative response to the RIAA-IPFI attempts to influence global copyright issues, in effect yelling "not in my name":

The CMCC is united under three key principles:
Suing Our Fans is Destructive and Hypocritical
Artists do not want to sue music fans. The labels have been suing our fans against artists’ will, and laws enabling these suits cannot be justified in artists’ names
Digital Locks are Risky and Counterproductive
Artists do not support using digital locks to increase the labels’ control over the distribution, use and enjoyment of music or laws that prohibit circumvention of such technological measures. Consumers should be able to transfer the music they buy to other formats under a right of fair use, without having to pay twice.
Cultural Policy Should Support Actual Canadian Artists
The vast majority of new Canadian music is not promoted by major labels, which focus mostly on foreign artists. The government should use other policy tools to support actual Canadian artists and a thriving musical and cultural scene.

And this isn't a bunch of schmindies, either - the CMCC is quite a powered grouping:

The CMCC includes some of the most recognizable names in Canadian music, such as Barenaked Ladies, Avril Lavigne, Sarah McLachlan, Chantal Kreviazuk, Sum 41, Stars, Raine Maida (Our Lady Peace), Dave Bidini (Rheostatics), Billy Talent, John K. Samson (Weakerthans), Broken Social Scene, Sloan, Andrew Cash and Bob Wiseman (Co-founder Blue Rodeo).

The RIAA and its worldwide client bodies often insist that they do what they do because they're thinking of the artists. Clearly, that claim is starting to be seriously weakened now.

[Thanks to Donald S for the link]


After a dreadful couple of weeks for Eminem - the divorce-remarriage ending again, his Best Man shooting someone dead and being shot himself - the fightback for positive coverage has started with what amounts to "Did I mention that I'm talking to my Mum again?"

Yes, you did.

This time, though, his PR team are upping the Extreme Makeover Home Edition factor by stressing how ill ole Ma Mathers is:

But now a source close to the family says: “The nightmare Debbie has been going through with her cancer has put everything in perspective.”

Em has agreed to foot the £210,000 bill for his mum’s medical treatment.

Debbie Mathers is very, very ill right now; let's hope this is one time Em doesn't build a bridge only to blow it up with relationship dynamite before the month is out.


America's answer to Jamie Oliver is the perhaps unlikely health crusader 50 Cent, currently campaigning against obese children.

Or maybe not against the children, but the food they eat.

And it's not just because it's harder to shoot a fat bloke as the bullets slow down before they hit something vital.

Centy is going to judge a healthy eating cookery competition thing for kids - something along the lines of the Look-In Young Cook of the Year competition.


There have started to be some mutterings that maybe the Arctic Monkeys aren't really the internet gurus they were made out to be, and rather than cunning e-scamps they're little more than lucky lemurs who happened to fill a slot the press was looking for.

Further proof they might not be quite as at home with a Dell laptop as we're supposed to suppose comes as we find out they demand a TV in their dressing room to watch Eastenders on.

Television? Why don't they just download it from bittorrent? What sort of computer guys are they?


More dismal news from the Pete Doherty world of sliding into hell this morning, as The Sun is running pictures of himinjecting heroin into an unconscious fan.

The paper reckons these pictures are from the last five weeks (reassuringly, it tells its readers that Kate Moss wasn't about at the time) and includes some crack pipes and tourniquets and other such stuff in its portfolio.

What makes it worse for the paper, though, is apparently the social class of the girl sharing Pete's drugs:

The comatose girl is from a middle-class background and idolises Doherty, often visiting him at his flat. She was left on the floor while he and his pals prepared more class A drugs for themselves.

The paper also has a source, which sounds a bit like "someone in the newsroom" to us:

“Doherty will self-destruct. He has no regard for his or anyone else’s safety.

“It’s one thing killing himself, but to inject a young girl as she lies on the floor is a disgrace. He should be in jail.

Clearly, The Sun won't be satisfied until that's where he ends up; and it seems Pete won't be, either. We believe it's called co-dependency.


For some corporate reasons - we imagine it's an attempt to create some sort of "buzz", in a plan designed on a flipchart somewhere - Coke is only going to show the Jack White ad once in the UK.

At 1.55 on a Sunday morning.

Remember, of course, Jack only did the advert not for the piles of cash, but in order to get his love and his music out in the world.

At 1.55am on Channel 4. That's not an extraordinary lot of love, is it?

Thursday, April 27, 2006


Paris Hilton has come across Pink since the Stupid Girls video which took the rise out of Hilton and her labradoodle-touting ilk; now, she's meant to introduce Pink at a pop festival. Ooh, could it be a clash? A fight?

"It could all kick off", said our spy. "Pink is known for her outspoken ways and Paris isn't one to shy away from confrontation."

yeah, we bet Pink is quaking in her spik-heel boots.

Did Paris even know it was meant to be about her? Surely she'd have needed to have had it explained to her?


Funnily enough, we were at heathrow yesterday, although we saw nothing of the exciting scrambling of police dogs sent to break up Snoop's entourage there.

Apparently his squad wanted to get into a business lounge (hey, don't we all?) and when refused entry - why, it was like bedlschnizzleam:

One witness said: "It was absolute chaos - there was broken glass everywhere and it looked like it was on the brink of turning really nasty. It wasn't clear what sparked it but Snoop was livid."

Another said the rapper became incensed with his minders and "was having a real go at them, swearing and being abusive.

"His guys went mad, smashing glass and causing havoc.

"Police were there in a flash, swarming in from all directions with their truncheons at the ready. After a stand-off they were all led away."

If they were that desperate for an upgrade, they should have done what everyone else does and said it was their honeymoon.


For reasons we can't begin to fathom, Elton John and, erm, Freddie Flintoff are going to appear live together.

Singing, rather than playing cricket although we'd imagine that Flintoff's ability to hold a tune would be rather like John's skill facing the Australian bowlers.

Of course the reason is charity. Good, charitable works.

Can't these people ever just give at the office?


Nobody would want to think of Justin Hawkins as a shit-stirring moron, so presumably the reports that he's written (yes) another World Cup song which bangs on about the war must be wrong, surely?

The Sun is quick to pull him up on it - after all, they're only backing a song which has replaced Adolf Hitler's name with Jurgen Klinsmann's. That's not the same thing at all.

Justin's defence?

“The whole point of an England World Cup song is to assert our national identity and talk about the achievements of a great nation.

“Why can’t we commemorate all those men who gave their lives in the name of freedom in the war? And, of course, in this case — to bash The Hun? It’s a national sport.”

In what way does Justin believe that a song sung in falsetto stirring up racial hatred that those men fought to bury is a tribute?

Tuesday, April 25, 2006


Yes, skipping, as part of his keep-fit routine. Apparently he's started offering his guidance on how to play tennis.

British tennis is now so poor, they rely on the bloke from Bush to offer his coaching tips.


We know, we use this headline every bloody time. But Muse have announced details of their comeback single.

Supermassive Black Hole will be "dropped", as the young people have it on June 19th. The next album - still in want of a name, but we're hoping they go with "Kittens! Lovely, lovely kittens" - on July 3rd.


Some of you might think Jonathan Davis from Korn is little more than an inarticulate buffoon. As, indeed, he is. But even inarticulate buffoons are worried about US politics:

"I'm extremely concerned with how conservative America is. America was built on the people having the freedom to do what they want, and it just seems like the Christian right wants to take over and take away everyone's rights on things like abortion and just everything. It's just so fucking conservative it's ridiculous! I mean, I love Europe and I love Australia, places that seem freer to me. People freak out about movies from Europe and pornography, but people should be free to do the fuck what they wanna do and speak what they wanna speak. America has got a lot of fucked-up stuff going on right now. Fucking stupid religious people have gotten power and are trying to change things to the way they like 'em. It's so fucking retarded."

Apparently, when asked if he agreed with Davis' view that his US was "fucking retarded", George W Bush responded "takes one to know one." Thereby being the first time in his political career Bush has ever managed to elevate a discourse.

The "and" in the bit about "movies from Europe and pornography" is puzzling - we know the religious right is a strange beast, but have they really been organising burnings of Mr Hulot's Holiday? "The hardcore pornography is bad enough, but now the Europeans are sending us Manon Des Sources, totally uncensored..."

Despite the fact he can barely string a sentence together, Davis is now on the shortlist for the Democratic nomination for the 2008 race.


Robbie Williams' plans to take part in Soccer Aid are looking in disarray after Robbie "fell downstairs" and hurt his groin.

A source reports "it's not so much the charity aspect, but this was an opportunity for Williams to grandstand in front of a crowd and the likes of Diego Maradonna. It's Maradonna which really hurts, of course, as he's a bit of a hero to Robbie. It's a shame his career ended with him a bloated, drug-wrecked figure of fun, but it would at least have cheered him up to meet Maradonna."

Okay, okay, there was no source.


Thanks to Cait M for bringing The Times' trip to the Whitby Goth weekend to our attention, especially Richard Morrison's faux "tell me son, what is this strange event?" opening:

Then I saw them, looming out of the mist. Hundreds of ghoulish figures in black or funereal purple, their faces as fey as natural yoghurt, their hair as black as Whitby jet, their garb impeccably mid-Victorian but with transsexual embellishments. Fabulous creatures, of every shape and age, gliding through the streets as if summoned to some great vampire ball round the gravestones.

Curiosity overcame me. “What are you?” I asked one. “A Goth,” he replied with a twirl of his mail-order cane and a proud swish of his M&S cape. “But why are there so many of you?” I persisted. He looked stunned by my ignorance. “It’s Whitby Goth Weekend,” he said. “Check out the website.”

You didn't know, Richard? How fortunate you were able to fill two pages of Times2 - why, had it not been Whitby Goth weekend, what did you think you were going to file from there?

Of course, as soon as the obvious is pointed out you see clues all around. Twice a year Whitby goes Goth-mad. Shops, pubs and B&Bs put up “We Welcome Goths” signs. The Whitby Gazette organises a Journalists v Goths football match. Hotels host sales of Goth-gear: lashings of black eyeliner, fishnet stockings and silky corsets... and that’s just in menswear. Bands with names like Zombina and the Skeletones descend on every venue. There’s even a Goth Service in the parish church, with Goth music instead of hymns and a priest preaching a sermon on “self-harm”. I presume he was against it.

Thousands of goths pouring into town during a quiet early spring weekend? You bet your butts they welcome Goths...


He didn't mention Pete Doherty by name, but it's pretty clear who was on Uncle Richard Ashcroft's mind as he issued a dire warning:

"If there's any drug addled rock star out there listening, all you're going to be is a picture on a T-shirt in five years time on some poor kid who thinks you were cool."

"But all you'll be doing is rotting. There'll be worms eating you."

Which, for Pete, would make a welcome change from the bugs crawling under the skin.

On the other hand, if being clean means you churn out stuff like Break The Night With Colour, you might be tempted to turn your back on sobriety.


Surprisingly, the people who paid to see the televised John Lennon seance on US TV got their money shot: why, John Lennon did get in touch:

The voice said to be his was captured at his favourite New York restaurant, La Fortuna,.

British psychic Joe Power said: 'I have no doubt we made contact."

Oh, yeah? If the voice wasn't asking for points, it wouldn't have been him.


Apparenttly, Williams might ruin more than one Take That gig, warns Gary Barlow:

“Robbie is doing more than one gig.

“I don’t know which dates, but he has told MARK OWEN he is definitely coming back.”

Oh, good.


Last night, Kevin Federline launched his comedy rap album with a glittering - okay, slightly reflective - do at Ceasar's Palace. Caeser's Palace, of course, is a place synonomous with ridiculous and costly gambles, so it was the perfect place.

Britney didn't turn up, which the Spearsologists are taking as a sign that the marriage is in trouble. Although, to be honest, not turning up to watch your husband make a tit of himself is surely a kindness, not a snub?


As part of what may be a plan to just swamp Germany's defence with so many substandard world cup songs they get confused and forget to stop England scoring, The Sun has got one, too.

It's a reworking of Bud Flanagan's Who Do You Think You Are Kidding, Mr Hitler, which was used as the theme for Dad's Army. Now, maybe evoking images of the last, creaking line of defence of brave but elderly men might be appropriate, but... oh, god, can we get past the bloody Second World War?

The track has been reworked to be "about" the cup - Hitler has been replaced by Jurgen Klinsmann. Do you see?

Shamefully, though, Geoff Hurst has got himself involved in the whole sorry farrago. He really should know better.


Sorry for the lack of updates yesterday, which was down to Blogger (their problems were so bad even their own status blog was affected).

LABELOBIT: Phil Walden

The death has been announced of Phil Walden, the founder of Capricorn Records.

Walden started out as a manager - he represented Otis Redding, Sam and Dave and Percy Sledge amongst others - but in 1967 he attempted to persuade Atlantic to fund a studio in Maconn, Georgia. Jerry Wexler, then head of Atlantic, persuaded him to helm a label instead. Capricorn was born, starting with Duane Allman and Johnny Jenkins.

A decision to swap distributors in the mid-70s (from Atlantic to Warners), coupled with the disbanding of their lucrative Allman Brothers and a bit of a lean period saw the label hit a financial rough patch. Another change of distro (this time Polygram) failed to lift performance, with Capricorn going bust in 1980. It was the start of a grim period personally for Walden as well.

After beating addictions and depression, Walden persuaded Warners to fund a revival of Capricorn in 1990. Relocated to Athens, Georgia, the label at first pursued a policy of new signings - led by Widespread Panic - but then, funded by the sale of 50% of the company to Mercury, Capricorn started to reissue its legacy recordings.

Walden had fought a long battle with cancer. He died Sunday, aged 66.

Monday, April 24, 2006


The annual Ivor Novello awards for songwriting have been announced, and there's an interesting split between the dully predictable and the obvious faux-indie:

Best song musically and lyrically

* Fix You - Coldplay
* I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor - Arctic Monkeys
* Suddenly I See - KT Tunstall

Best contemporary song

* Dare - Gorillaz
* I Predict A Riot - Kaiser Chiefs
* Wires - Athlete

Best television soundtrack

* A Waste of Shame: The Mystery of Shakespeare and His Sonnets
* Colditz
* Elizabeth I

Best original film score

* The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
* Evil
* Pride and Prejudice

PRS most performed work

* Shiver - Natalie Imbruglia
* Speed of Sound - Coldplay
* You're Beautiful - James Blunt

International hit of the year

* Speed of Sound - Coldplay
* Tripping - Robin Williams
* You're Beautiful - James Blunt

To be presented on the day

* Best-selling UK single
* Album award
* Outstanding Song Collection
* International Achievement
* Classical Music award
* PRS Outstanding Contribution to British Music
* Songwriters of the Year
* Special International Award
* Academy Fellowship

Now, it could just be us, but Natalie Imbruglia's Shiver? Surely if it's on the shortlist that must mean even if it's not the most performed it must be the second or third most performed?


Did it clamber on top of a commercial we managed to miss or something?

Oh, and we know that it was Robbie and not Robin Williams who did Trippin, but we thought the straight cut and paste from the BBC News site was at least more amusing than the thought of Williams being given another prize.


The annual Ivor Novello awards for songwriting have been announced, and there's an interesting split between the dully predictable and the obvious faux-indie:

Best song musically and lyrically

* Fix You - Coldplay
* I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor - Arctic Monkeys
* Suddenly I See - KT Tunstall

Best contemporary song

* Dare - Gorillaz
* I Predict A Riot - Kaiser Chiefs
* Wires - Athlete

Best television soundtrack

* A Waste of Shame: The Mystery of Shakespeare and His Sonnets
* Colditz
* Elizabeth I

Best original film score

* The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
* Evil
* Pride and Prejudice

PRS most performed work

* Shiver - Natalie Imbruglia
* Speed of Sound - Coldplay
* You're Beautiful - James Blunt

International hit of the year

* Speed of Sound - Coldplay
* Tripping - Robin Williams
* You're Beautiful - James Blunt

To be presented on the day

* Best-selling UK single
* Album award
* Outstanding Song Collection
* International Achievement
* Classical Music award
* PRS Outstanding Contribution to British Music
* Songwriters of the Year
* Special International Award
* Academy Fellowship

Now, it could just be us, but Natalie Imbruglia's Shiver? Surely if it's on the shortlist that must mean even if it's not the most performed it must be the second or third most performed?


Did it clamber on top of a commercial we managed to miss or something?

Oh, and we know that it was Robbie and not Robin Williams who did Trippin, but we thought the straight cut and paste from the BBC News site was at least more amusing than the thought of Williams being given another prize.


After all the build-up, Take That reunited in Newcastle last night. And what was it like? Great make-up sex or an awkward meeting?

The sex one, apparently.

Howard Donald kicked things off by apologising for breaking up in the first place:
“This is absolutely beautiful. We’re speechless. We told you in ’95 we’d be together for as long as you wanted but we split up — we’re sorry.
“We upset you and we upset ourselves as well. We are so proud of you and that’s from the heart. It’s a real celebration putting this evening on for you.”

Victoria Newton, who'd grabbed The Sun's tickets, loved it – but then she's never given anything a bad review as far as we can recall:
The non-stop, 90-minute gig was a War Of The Worlds-type spectacular of fire, wind and rain.
Non-stop, in the sense of ending after 90 minutes, she means. And we're not entirely sure if she really expects a Martian invasion to take the form of heavy wind and rain – she must be convinced that she's heading for the sugar mines as soon as there's a thunderstorm.
Like a quality bottle of red wine, Take That have got even better with age. Never Forget? How could we, boys.
Like wine, then, eh?The Manchester Evening News sniffed a different drink in the air:
Mexican waves of women clutching Bacardi breezers swept through the 9,000 strong audience before the Manchester lads came out to a stunning reception.
The MEN, like a lot of the reviews, overplayed the length of the gap since the last Take That gig – you'd have thought they were last out in the 1920s or something:
Camera phones would not have been a major feature of their last live show, more than a decade ago, but they were strongly in evidence tonight as fans grabbed a memento of the evening.
It's equally unlikely that any of the audience at the last dates turned up in hovvercars or went home to lifepods flying above the troposphere, too.
The 3AM Girls in the Mirror was astonished that the audience didn't resemble Cocoon:
the tempo of the show - heavily influenced by lavish Las Vegas productions - was frenetically paced rather than tailored to fans with pacemakers.
Take That split up a decade ago, so most of their fans are going to be – at tops – in their late 20s; it's hardly as if this is Denis Norden's retirement tour.
MegaStar was mesmerised by the enormous Robbie:
And if the boyband didn't manage to recruit the real Robbie, they at least gave the fans a taste of the next best thing - a hologram.

Some would say a computer-generated version of the Robster is preferable to the real thing, but that's just being mean.

Ulster TV at least provided reassurance:
The solo singer, in hologram form, joined the four-piece last night with re-recorded vocals of their number one hit, Could It Be Magic.

He stood still with his hands in his pockets wearing ripped jeans and a camouflage jacket for the intro of the hit, before the other band members took over the song and the hologram faded.

At least he fades, then. The rest of the band didn't, as the The Independent reckoned:
And as they deliver their impressive catalogue of hits the fans sing-along as if it was 1996 again. The atmosphere is rather like a super-sized hen party where the strippers may have attended (there's more than a touch of The Full Monty about the older Take That) but the groom has no intention of actually showing up in the flesh.
But Martin James wasn't entirely convinced:
It's time to stop mourning, girls, the helpline has finally closed, and if the awful Beatles medley doesn't make this that clear, surely nothing will. It's a section of the show which suggests Take That will be enjoying their next comeback tour in 10 years' time on board a cruise ship.
The Guardian, though, was back to the complete overplaying of the distance since they split:
Take That remained an anachronistic experience. You half expected Dan Cruickshank to appear onstage and explain to younger viewers what was going on here.
Yes… that'd be a young audience who are completely incapable of imaginging, say, a Westlife gig.
Still, Alexis Petridis did at least spot that Robbie's presence wasn't restricted to a giant hologram:
a sequence […] mocked the band's manufactured origins - "the boys must always be ambiguous about their sexuality" boomed a voice.


Pixar have an unblemished track record of animated hits, so you'd imagine if they dropped an idea they were developing like it had moved unexpectedly and smelled of fish, that would be a pretty good indication that it was a bad one.

Nevertheless, the other bits of the Disney empire think they know better, so Miramax has rummaged in the Pixar bins and given a fresh life to the proposed Elton John musical Gnomeo and Juliet. Which is Shakespeare retold by gnomes.

Actually: gnomes. Shakespeare. Elton John. Even if it didn't have a 'rejected by Pixar' label stamped to it, you wouldn't, would you?


God knows quite how they've ended up on the net, but the musical contents of one of Pete Doherty's computers have splattered all over the internet - including some previously unheard Libertines stuff.

Of course, just thinking about these files will make the BPI impound your kidneys. Unless you can prove you bought them for a fiver off Pete in a pub.


Those fine moral guardians, the RIAA, are facing yet another federal investigation. Judge Marilyn Hall Patel has ordered Universal and EMI to hand over papers as part of an investigation into whether the labels misled the government during an antitrust probe.

It relates to the earlier enquiry into claims that the big labels had attempted to strangle off legal downloads in order to protect CD sales:

During the investigation, the joint ventures and their record label parents each submitted a "white paper" to the DOJ summarizing their arguments. They also provided documents that included redacted, or blacked out, sections to remove privileged material.

The U.S. Justice Department abandoned the probe in December 2003, citing no evidence of wrongdoing.

Napster investor Hummer Winblad Venture Partners, Bertelsmann's co-defendant in the lawsuit, charged that the arguments offered in the white papers were known to be false or misleading.

In the ruling, Patel said Hummer Winblad provided reasonable cause to believe that information in the white papers was "deliberately misleading."

So while nothing has yet been proved, we're just preparing the ground for the moral equivalence here - now, if downloading an uncleared track is, on the RIAA scale, equal to stealing an album from a shop, then lying to the federal government must be at least akin to setting fire to a naval dockyard.


Robbie Williams, as we know, likes nothing more than girls. Ooh, ladies. So can you imagine how he felt when he was told by Take That manager Nigel Martin-Smith that he couldn't have sex with ladies:

The 32-year-old megastar revealed a gorgeous girl once wanted to get it on with him but was turned away from the band's hotel by their manager Nigel Martin- Smith. Says Rob: "It drove me wild - she wanted to fondle me and everything."

Maybe someone should tell him that now he's not in the band, the ban is lifted and he could, if he wanted, start having sex with ladies.


The continued chipping away of the dignity of the current President of the US: he can't even get a rock star with drug convictions to be thrown out of his hotel.

Bush had his eye on staying in the Royal Suite of the Imperial, Vienna for a summit. But The Rolling Stones had booked the rooms first and weren't going to roll over. The spokesperson is from the Stones, not the White House:

“White House officials had wanted to reserve the suite and all the other rooms on the first floor.

“But Mick and the Stones had already booked every one of them.

Bush’s people seemed to be under the impression that they would just hand over the suites but there was no way Mick was going to do that.”

In unrelated news, the Pentagon has announced it has intelligence that Keith Richards is developing capability to produce weapons of mass destruction and warned it hasn't ruled out military action.

Sunday, April 23, 2006


Our weekly pluckage from the world of YouTube is the whole bunch of Placebo stuff, including the boys on ver Pops and live in Brixton.

It occupies a curious position - we doubt if, say, the BBC have officially sanctioned the TOTP clips, and yet the collection is linked to (and, thus, endorsed) by Placebo's official MySpace site which is, in turn, linked from their record company promo site.

In other words, their record label EMI is happy to point people in the direction of, erm, copyright-busting sites when it suits them. Quite where this leaves their moral arguments is one question, but regardless... oh, they look pretty.


Only by taking a firm line can the RIAA hope to stamp out the scourge of illegal file sharing. It's already tried suing the dead and the prepubescent - now, according to reports in the Rockmart Journal, it's managed to bring legal action against a family which hasn't been file sharing.

Indeed, they don't have internet access.

In fact, they don't have a PC.

It does make you wonder - all those parents who have grudgingly settled a massive bill from the RIAA because they were told their kids had been swapping files: did they just take the RIAA's claims at face value?

If the RIAA is able to be wrong so astonishingly on these occasions, where is its data coming from? It couldn't be that it's just picking out families at random, and assuming that if there's teenagers, there must be a PC, and if there is a PC, there must be file sharing, and if there's filesharing, there will be parents keen to pay up quickly to keep their kids out of court?

Maybe it is a genuine, terrible mistake. Again. But it makes you wonder.


The brilliant thing about hip-hop is that it manages to play a part in creating enormous social problems, but will then rally round to try and slap on a sticky plaster. So, in pretty much the model of the stop the violence movement comes the Hip Hop Summit on Financial Empowerment, where arists like Nas, Alicia Keys and LL Cool J take their bling off and urge people to be careful with money.

Alicia Keys, of course, was the face of the World Gold Council's campaign to encourage people to spend all their money on gold jewellery. So presumbaly she's keen to see people take care of their money to enable them to buy some more expensive bangles.


The uniting of two great houses:
Dannii Minogue. Dating Rick Parfitt's son.


While we do enjoy the Ray Cooney detail of George Michael going to the wrong hotel and alarming a sleeping travelling salesman by hammering at his door assuming he was the bloke he'd met earlier in the evening, Gay man (already arrested for cottaging) enjoys cruising isn't exactly much of a shock, is it?

His cousin Andreas Georgiou has been telling the Sunday Mirror all about it. To, you know, help George:

"Now I'm not there to help and protect him, there is no one in his circle who does that for him like I did."

It's not clear why Andreas believes George shouldn't be able to choose who he has sex with and when, though.

Andreas said: "George cruises. That's what he does. That is a big part of his life. That's what the driving is all about - and that's why George goes out on his own without a driver. He has been cruising for years.

"In George's mind there is no problem with cruising. He's always been that way.

"After the LA incident, George even told me: 'Andreas, that's what I do. I just fancied getting a wank in the afternoon. I get off on it.' And sadly nothing has changed."

It's interesting that Claire King's casual sex with a man she'd just met seems to be okay in the Mirror, but for some reason, Michael's love of casual sex is a character flaw which "sadly" hasn't changed.

Andreas doesn't see much of George these days, he's out of the inner circle - presumably that's why he has to express his concern by selling details of Michael's private life to the papers rather than, say, sending a card at Christmas. We wonder why he's out the loop.

"George may have an open relationship with Kenny [Goss] but with Anselmo it was - and would have stayed - monogamous.

"Anselmo was the love of his life. Kenny is just a partner."

We can't see any hint that maybe he's fallen out with, or over, someone at all.


Poor old Claire King, eh? She's so crushed by (apparently) having had an affair with Bob Geldof while he was still with Paula:

"There have been many people in my life, some famous, some not so famous. It's not my fault that Bob Geldof happens to be one of the most high-profile celebrities in the world."

Yeah, that must be a bugger, what with an autobiography to promote and all.

The pair met up for sex in hotels across the country, with Geldof declaring: "I can't live with you, but I couldn't live without you."

The award-winning actress - who appears in BBC1's Mayo tonight -said Geldof told her he'd written the song Skin On Skin on the Rats' V Deep album for her - with sexually explicit lyrics including the line: "I want to bruise your lips."

Let's not raise our eyebrows and ponder how many lead singers tell their Holiday Inn Express bunk-ups "yeah, track three, side two... that's about you, that is..."

The real puzzle about Claire King is why she never protested when Yorkshire TV changed the character of Kim Tate overnight, therbey completely negating the whole point of her existence (she'd originally been a Frankie Baldwin style character, of a mistress turned devoted family matriarch, but then all of a sudden became a manipulative evil cow, without even so much as a "ow, i have been hit by a picnic table" motivation). Oddly, though, she wants to focus on the fact that she shagged Geldof.

Not that she's telling us because he's famous, you know. Oh, no, she'd be selling her book off the back of him even if he wasn't:

To me he was always Geldof. I would have written about him whether he was famous or not. I'm not intending to cause any trouble - but I couldn't have left him out as he was one of the biggest loves of my life.

"I loved his manner, his Irish accent and the low voice. You never really expected him to laugh and when he did it was such a joy. Geldof and I were irresistibly drawn to one another. It was that strong chemistry which always brought us back together over the years."

Good lord. No doubt he made you feel like a woman for the first time in your life, too?

"Geldof made me feel like a woman for the first time in my life. Afterwards I realised: 'This is what people talk about, the fireworks.' I was a naive 17-year-old and not that experienced sexually. It hadn't really hit me that making love could be so fantastic until I slept with Geldof. He just took control and knew what to do.

"He kept his vest on when we made love."

Claire, honey, a man who wears a vest - never mind leaves it on while shagging - doesn't know what to do.

Still, there must have been pillow talk, yes?

He loved talking about politics. He chatted about Margaret Thatcher a lot. He wasn't keen on her but still admired her.

He wore a vest and then lay there, sweat soaking into his M&S undies, talking about how great the woman who was embarking on destructing the country was? Is it just us, or does anyone else think she might have actually been getting confused between Bobs Geldof and Ferris?


Good lord, even if it was true, surely that's not a thing you'd tell the News Of the World about, even for money?

Jenny Shimizu reckons that Madonna used her as a kind of sex service - Shimizu describes it as being her sex slave but, really, it sounds more like a pizza delivery type deal:

"She spotted me on a casting video and called me out of the blue," said Jenny, 38.

"She asked me to dinner and I went to her house. Nothing happened that night, but we both felt an immediate attraction.

"Then two days later I went back to a party and instantly we both knew that we'd end up in bed together.

"From the age of 14 I'd watched her videos and thought, ‘I'm going to have sex with that gorgeous woman one day.'

"And that night my fantasy came true—again and again and again.

"For hours we explored each other's bodies, kissing every inch. Far from the domineering, sex-crazed woman many think she is, I found her a very gentle lover.

"It wasn't about whips and chains. Madonna wanted someone she could trust to call when she wanted pleasuring right there and then. I was her secret ‘booty call' available any time of the day or night for secret sex sessions."

And, of course, if she didn't arrive hot and within an hour, she had to give Madonna a free garlic bread and small tub of Hagen-Daas as well.

"One time she was doing her Girlie Show tour in Paris and I was in Germany on a photo shoot.

"But she was so desperate to see me she booked me on a flight and demanded I go to her room at the Ritz. I was happy to oblige— this woman exuded raw sex appeal and I couldn't get enough of her.

"At 2am we met in her room as ordered and by 4am I was off, after two hours of slow, passionate sex. That was always how it was. We both gave each other what we wanted till we were satisfied, then I'd leave. It wasn't about an emotional bond, it was about taking each other to the heights of sexual ecstasy.

Just fancy that, eh?

There's much, much more of this sort of thing - at one point Shimizu appears to claim she was juggling Madonna, Angelina Jolie and, erm, Rebecca Loos.

Apparently, she met Loos when Rebecca was making a programme about Hollywood lesbians or something (in a way, the claim that Loos is a television presenter is the most astounding thing about this whole tale). Shimizu married her during the documentary - because the programme wanted to highlight how terrible it was California treated gay marriage as if it was a fake publicity stunt by, erm, having a fake, publicity stunt gay wedding:

Last September Jenny flew to London to spend a week in bed with Rebecca. "We'd do some gardening together then Rebecca would play wife and cook me a paella."

A week in bed after a paella? Hell, if you don't cook those prawns properly, that can happen.


The ten posts which generated the most views on their own this week have been:

1. "I am not a lesbian" wails KT Tunstall
2. Whitney Houston gets an offer of redemption from Bollywood
3. Martin Gilks of the Wonderstuff, RIP
4. Nick Carter denies sexual assault claims
5. Charlotte Church might have a stalker
6. Pete Doherty swerves prison... for now
7. Robbie Williams is replaced with a giant hologram
8. James Brown forced to dance with Robbie
9. Memphis Industries release a free download album
10. Pete Doherty arrested all over again

Try the whole week on one page
or revisit the week before in one post

Hints were dropped as to the suitability of these items for a quick purchase:

Charlatans back to form for album nine

Who cares about the provenance, it's a great girl group album

"I made a promise to a lady..." - The Gift DVD extras reworked as a photostory

Lucksmiths: wit, warmth and wordplay

Dick Gaughan tries for an online poker tie-in artwork effect

The Church's first studio outing since 2004

Catlow's debut is "highly acclaimed by tastemakers across North America" says her label, but don't let that put you off

Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh's solo debut mixing Irish, American folk and a guest spot from Shane McGowan

25 tracks - whatever you think about the punk ethic, it's VFM

No, it's Bill Hicks, not Yoko Ono