Saturday, October 27, 2007

Can you hear the sound of an orderly queue forming?

Tom Fletcher, out of McFly, has a secret desire: he wants to write for other bands:

I've got so many songs that aren't right for us. My publisher is always asking me to send stuff but I never put my songs out there and tend to concentrate on McFly.

Songs that "aren't right for McFly"? Can this mean Fletcher really knows two-syllable words?

Spice Girls: All for one. Where "one" means "mememe"

The Daily Mail has taken some time to peer into the black heart of the preparations for the Spice Girls tour, and the jostling for position between the various egos.

It suggests that Geri Halliwell's appearance at the initial press conference in a white dress wasn't an accident, but a deliberate 'look at me' effort to break the agreement that all the women would wear matching black (it's not known if Victoria's odd-looking breasts were signed off in advance.)

Meanwhile, Mel B's inability to get herself booted-off Dancing With The Stars is causing rehearsal problems - although not as many as Geri's need to take repeated meditation breaks. On top of which, Victoria is gunning to get the star billing on the dates.

Don't you feel glad you're not Emma Bunton?

Thurston Moore - in the Book Tower

Currently showing on VBS.TV, Thurston Moore showing us - the interwebbed gawping public - round his collection of rare books.

Cerys says no to November

Cerys Matthews has axed her November tour; the good news is that she's shifted the dates to February and added a few. The late winter Welsh tour looks like this:

Swansea Grand Theatre - February 14
Theatr Mwldan, Cardigan - 15 and 16
Aberystwyth Arts Centre - 17
Wyeside Arts Centre, Builth Wells - 19
Muni Arts Centre, Pontypridd - 20
Blake Theatre, Monmouth - 21
Theatr Hafren, Newtown - 22

Non-pornographic image "still not porn" - official

The Crown Prosecution Service have sighed a deep sigh and explained, patiently, that - since Elton John's Nan Goldin wasn't indecent in 2001, it wouldn't be indecent in 2007, either.

Kerrie Bell, head of the CPS Northumbria South Unit, said:

"Even if the photograph was now considered to be indecent, a defendant would be able to raise a legitimate defence, given that the photograph was distributed for the purposes of display in a contemporary art gallery after having been deemed not to be indecent by the earlier investigation.

"Accordingly, I am of the opinion that the evidence is insufficient to justify proceedings for offences of possession or distribution of an indecent photograph."

It is, of course, cheering to discover there's so little real crime in Nothumbria that the police have time to go round raiding art galleries displaying pictures that have previously been declared fine by the CPS.

Donald ducks off

Surprisingly, despite the absence of Howard Donald, you could barely spot the difference in Take That's Vienna gig.

Donald has sustained a chest injury onstage - presumably the choreography was designed to show off his heavy lifting skills - and was in hospital while the others went on with the show:

"I've never had to miss a show before, it's unbelievably frustrating being sat in a hospital when I should be on stage with the guys."

... while desperately hoping that they wouldn't fail to notice his absence.

Friday, October 26, 2007

EMI try something new

Nobody scoffed louder than us when EMI disappeared into the hands of the German motorway network's catering company, but we'll give them this: the new owners are trying to remake their company to fit the 21st century faster than the old labels are.

Latest move: sticking a load of material onto DjDownload, in hi-quality, DRM-free format. Amongst the tracks now added is everything on their sub-label Positiva, the Chemical Brothers, Massive Attack and Radiohead's back catalogues.

Wonder if EMI really wanted to send a signal that they've changed: withdrawing from the RIAA (at least until it stops seeing computers as, at best, an irritant to the core business) would be a bold, year zero move. But one that probably makes economic sense - what does EMI really get from pouring its subs into the organisation?

Kiss off: EMAP dump dance network

MediaGuardian is reporting that EMAP is about to offload Kiss to Global Radio; the idea being that Global will merge the Kiss brand with its own Galaxy network which covers a similar not-especially-challenging dance beat.

Those of you with long memories will recall that the Galaxy stations used to be branded Kiss, under a licence from EMAP, until the publisher took the name away.

It's not thought that the Kiss TV network forms part of the deal.

Pete Doherty doesn't go to jail. Again.

Possession of drugs? Driving illegally? It's not enough to send Doherty to prison - especially since procedural screw-ups meant the court was unable to consider that these latest crimes occurred while Doherty was meant to be on probation.

He's got a fine and a four-month sentence, suspended for two years. He's also been handed a 12 month rehabilitation order and an 18 month supervision order.

It's now up to Pete to show what he makes of all the chances he's been given.

Christmas with the Spice Girls

Tescos must be delighted, as the money they're paying The Spice Girls to appear in an ad is generating acres of coverage, such as Newton's simpering write-up this morning:

A source said: “It’s an amazingly lucrative deal for the girls, and Tesco are thrilled as it’s a real coup. The ads are very funny as the girls insisted it had to be a send-up.”

Yes, it's a "real coup" and not, as you might think "a simple case of them paying a large sum of money in a cash transaction", then.

And how much of a "send-up" is the advert?
The girls are seen sitting on a huge sofa with a sumptuous spread before them — and gold discs on the wall to remind everyone how successful they were.

Goodness. They like a laugh at their own expense (okay, and Tesco's expense), don't they?

Of course, there is something pleasing in the tie-up, with its echo of David Badiel's observation that the Spice Girls were the sort of woman you see working in Tescos and think "they're very attractive... for someone working in Tescos."

Akon continues slide into sitcom

Those of us who were convinced that Akon's disaster-strewn career was all part of a subtle campaign to pitch him as a Terry Scott for a new generation will be unsurprised to hear that he's now been involved in a collapsing tent incident. It's not thought he was actually carrying a tray full of refreshing drinks at the time.

(The canopy actually fell while the stage for his Atlanta Gig was being set up; a couple of people were injured but, we believe, nobody was seriously hurt. The gig, however, has been axed.)

Danzig falls

It's not easy being rock. Glenn Danzig was happily starting the latest Danzig US tour when he fell offstage. Ouch.

His injury was bad enough to lead to cancellation of the following evening's Worcester gig; he's back in action now, but his arm is in a sling.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Oink man squeals

Alan Ellis, the IT expert arrested at the behest of the record labels, has turned up - somewhat surprisingly - in the Daily Telegraph defending his OiNK operation:

“I haven’t done anything wrong. I don’t believe my website breaks the law. They don’t understand how it works.

"The website is very different from how the police are making it out to be. There is no music sold on the site - I am doing nothing wrong.

"When I set up the site I didn’t think I was doing anything illegal and I still don’t. There are 180,000 users and there has been an outcry about what has happened to me.

"People who download music also buy CDs as well. A lot of people download music on the internet to get a taste of it and then later buy the CD.

"But I don’t sell music to people, I just direct them to it. If somebody wants to illegally download music they are going to do it whether my site is there or not.

"If this goes to court it is going to set a huge precedent. It will change the internet as we know it.

"As far as I am aware no-one in Britain has ever been taken to court for running a website like mine. My site is no different to something like Google.

"If Google directed someone to a site they can illegally download music they are doing the same as what I have been accused of. I am not making any Oink users break the law. People don’t pay to use the site.”

Of course, while all this may be true - subject to court opinion - the key question is if Ellis was making cash off the site; on this question, he chose to keep quiet. I suspect he might need to start building a more robust defence of his activities than claiming to be a bit "like Google" if he was making money as an introduction service, especially if reports that membership of the service was predicated on sharing music files with other users are accurate.

The world needs another actor-turned-singer

What a startling surprise. Although Evan Rachel Wood makes a living as an actor, all of a sudden she's decided that, really, she wanted to be a singer all along. Having curious-clown-man Marilyn Manson playing the Anton Rodgers role in their relationship clearly hasn't harmed her chances of getting the inevitable record deal.

We know that labels see these deals as cheap ways of building artist awareness - the power of "you might also know me from..." - but haven't they noticed that, mostly, the reason why actors are actors and not musicians already is because they're better at acting?

How has XFM's dumping of DJs worked?

Not well, according to the latest figures: XFM's audience share in London halved to a tiny 1.2% of listening, reports the latest RAJAR figures.

We expect the bosses at GCap will be hiring some daytime presenters fairly sharpish.

"Keep Richards" says Keef Richards

At his time of life - and with his history - it's no wonder Keith Richards is worried about his local hospital closing down.

Keef is going to join a march protesting at cost-cutting plans to reorganise Sussex hospitals, which would see St Richards possibly having its acute services cutback. As a West Wittering homeowner, this worries Keith.

Of course, Keith might have more effectively ensured the NHS provide wide ranges of services at local level by making sure he and his chums didn't organise their tax lives to minimise the level they contributed to the nation.

Larrikin Love unsplit

The predictions that the times between bands splitting and doing the reunitey tour will eventually be measured in zero are looking more and more on the nail with the news that Patrick Larrikin is rejoining Larrikin Love after a handful of months away.

Of course, this is slightly different to, say, Blue as the reunion is designed to try and give traction to his new project, The Pan I Am, and - to be honest - nobody really noticed that Larrikin Love had split in the first place.

Winehouse on a small wagon

Not only do we now have to struggle with the concept of a drug-free Doherty, they're now rolling out an alcohol-free Amy Winehouse on us.

Although she's only giving up prior to gigs. It's not yet been put to the test of gig versus a little drinkie, but we're not betting on the pledge remaining enforceable for long.

A little bit of Filthy

From the more-than-generous department: Filthy Little Angels have just posted up the first 19 of its releases for your ear-delight needs. Complete with artwork, should you want that too. There's Christmas albums, Grease and Rocky Horror tributes and the lovely Leatherettes and Vichy Government - and much more besides.

Not Simply disbanded

Mick Hucknall has decided the world has had enough of Simply Red:

The 47-year-old said Stay, released last March, would be the group's final studio album, and they would disband after their tour in two years' time.

"I've kind of decided that the 25 years is going to be enough," Hucknall told the Gold radio network.

To be honest, Mick, most people thought that somewhere in the region of three years would have been enough, but at least we're all sort of on the same page now.

You've got to love the belief, though, that the world still has a couple of years interest in Simply Red left in it.

And it's not all good news - he's merely going to plough on as a solo artist. Which, judging by the way Hucknall ran the ship for the last couple of decades, might represent little more than a change in which part of Woolworths his albums are filed in.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Fox in a box

Things are going from bad to worse for Foxy Brown: following a fight at Rikers Island, she's now looking at 76 days in solitary confinement. That means "without an entourage" in prisonspeak.

Great news

Much-beloved of the Marc Riley show on 6Music, Emmy The Great has announced a new single, due the start of December. It's seven inch vinyl, of course, and called Gabriel.

To tide you over until then, this is the great The Great from the Black Cab Sessions:

She's not wearing a seatbelt. Saville would be outraged.

Nostradamus didn't see Judas Priest coming, did he?

Busy, busy in the studio: Rob Halford and his old friends Judas Priest, working on a concept album about Nostradamus. Why Nostradamus?

"(He's) a real man, not like a fantasy that you get in rock and roll and metal. (We're) telling the story of this very controversial human being from 500 years ago, from France, who still resonates all these years later. It's a human story as well as one that you know about from his premonitions."

Well, yes, he was a real man, but he was also a terrible fantasist himself - as you might have spotted with all his vaguely-worded "premonitions", all of which have come true if you use the ample wiggle-room he gave himself. Just because he really existed doesn't make an apocalyptic doom-laden concept album any more inherently less pompous, Mr. Halford.

But then: I wouldn't understand, would I?
"If you don't like metal, if you don't understand metal, you'll never get it. You just won't grasp it. It's very difficult to convert somebody into metal if they don't understand what it means."

And there we were thinking it was just ordinary rock with a midlife crisis.

No Love at Claridges

Apparently, Courtney Love loves staying at Claridges when she's in London.

Claridges, though, aren't that thrilled in return. Not after last time, when she did a bit of damage. The 3AM Girls investigate:

[W]e tried to help out the former Hole singer and rang Claridges on her behalf.

When we mentioned Courtney's name we were told: "We're fully booked for those dates but we can put you on a waiting list."

Bizarrely, when we tried to book a room minutes later for the same dates but under a different name, rooms suddenly became available. In fact, we were told: "There's a choice of suites available."

Goodness... that's almost actual journalism in the 3AM Column. Or possibly just a great advert for Claridges - if you can be sure you won't bump into Courtney over the breakfast buffet, that's got to make it the safest place to stay on London, surely?

Robbie Williams is not living up to John Legend's expectations

With something approaching a poetic mirror-image, John Legend has given a long interview to The Sun. Since nobody here cares much about Legend, the paper has splashed with his opinions on why nobody much cares about Robbue Williams:

“I'm stunned as to why Robbie's not that done well in America."

He then seems to have an epiphany and works out why:
“It's a difficult market to crack. Americans' music taste changes all of the time.

“I'm lucky things have worked out for me.

“I'm glad I'm known for making good music rather than for partying like some people. I also would hate to have a celebrity girlfriend. I do like to party though – I just do it private!"

Hmm... being known for being a vapid partier and unlikely to do the work to crack a big market... who does that sound like?

The gap between headline and story

Did Sarah Harding strip naked for a radio presenter? The Bizarre headline suggests 'yes':

Sarah Harding strips live on air

Blimey. Only... she didn't. What she actually did was show Clyde1's Suzie Maguire some horse-riding injuries:
“Before I knew it her jeans were pulled down and her top lifted as she showed her bruised bottom and back.”

Which, we admit, does sound like an early line from a "readers' true confessions" column, but isn't quite exactly the live, televised titillation the headline hinted at.

Doherty: drug-free and loving it

Despite not having bothered to turn up for the last hearing, Pete Doherty's eventual trip to court has turned out alright for him: he's had the last six months of his drug control order quashed by Judge McIvor:

She told him: "I wish you well."

Outside court Doherty said: "I have just had enough really."

He added: "It's just the beginning, you know what I mean. My life has changed."

Let's hope.

He still has some outstanding drug-addled business, though, as he's due for sentencing on possession and driving charges later on this week.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Spears fears

We were going to headline this 'save the Britney - save the world' but then, as we read the page, we saw they were using "save the popstar - save the world" with a straight face anyway. The "friends" (or, at least, semi-shunned former entouragettes) of Britney Spears have launched a MySpace calling upon us all - all to take part in something akin to a mass-participation cyberintervention:

As concerned friends and former associates of Britney’s, we come to you asking that, instead of adding to the rumor mill, if you are so interested and concerned about her behavior, be active and participate in ways that you can make a difference.

Sitting around and talking about how bad of a person, singer, mother – whatever your thoughts are, these things won’t help change this very broken woman. Help Britney help herself by expressing your concern to those who are largely responsible for her success, and continue to capitalize on her every move.

Below we have outlined our thoughts on how you can begin to help Britney, and help open your eyes to how the industry works. These thoughts apply to everyday life, and aren’t exclusive to the inner functions of the entertainment industry. Having worked in and within the industry, we thought it pertinent to give a minor glimpse on those who most capitalize on entertainers’ successes and even on their "failures".

We feel it best to put some weight on these entities we feel need to be held responsible for allowing Britney, and any “over the edge” entertainer to come back to work when clearly not yet ready to hold down a job. Britney is scared to be out of the public eye because she, for reasons unknown to many of us, has horrible self esteem. She is a beautiful woman with so much potential to really clean up her act for the benefit of her future and that of her family and friends who care about her. Her record label releasing another album of hers so quickly is seeking solely to capitalize on her yet again, when clearly they will be able to capitalize on her whenever they release new music of hers. Britney isn’t going anywhere – look at Lindsay Lohan. Lindsay has taken two months out of her life to center herself, sober up and really change. She has long since been forgotten, and is even going back to work this week on a new movie.

We ask you, as concerned fans, outraged parents, whatever the reason for your interest in Britney’s personal life: make your voice known, be active, don’t just add to the gossip.

Contact MTV and hold them responsible for allowing Britney to come out and really give us all the finger because she knew we’d all be curious to see what she did.

Contact her record label and let them know you’ll buy her album, but not until she is clean and sober and realizes the amazing life she has created for herself.

Contact her music publishing house who is responsible for tracking Britney’s music. Publishing houses pay artists when their music is played on the radio or purchased in stores or on- line or played at live performances such as her MTV disaster.

Contact her management and let them know that they’ll make money together with her for a much longer period of time if she is clean and sober. Management’s role will be constantly in jeopardy if Britney continues to spiral out of control.

Clearly Britney is not in a good state of mind; a judge would not have ordered her children to be taken away from her had she proven to be in a good frame of mind to care for two young children. What makes anyone else think that she will be able to “go on with the show” in the same state of mind?

Ultimately we ask that you show Britney you care about her by being proactive. Let her know by contacting these responsible parties. Let them know you’ll be around to buy her music, her merchandise, etc when she sets a better example of how to be a performer.

In the same respect, contact the record labels or production companies of other stars who you’ve loved bringing into your lives and being entertained by. Be pro active and let these employers know that you feel they need to show extra attention to their at risk employee. As you would with anyone you care about, ask anyone for their help to help people at risk of any sort of addiction remain sober and to help them monitor who their employees associate with. It is every employer’s job to make sure their staff are doing their jobs to the best of their abilities.

We think they mean that Lohan has been "forgiven" rather than "forgotten" - for wouldn't being left alone to live life in public be rather crushing for Spears, a woman who exists solely when the red lights of on air or taping are glowing?

And is saying "tell the managers they can make loads more off her if she's sober" really the way concerned friends would talk? This sounds less like "save Britney", more like "help keep the golden-egg-laying goose in circulation."

Free stuff

With Radiohead effectively allowing you to steal their album, and the Charlatans foisting it on you for free whether you want it or not, the prospect of a free, limited-time single download is slightly less exciting. But the new Verve single is probably worth a listen, if nothing else. And it is being given away free (unless you place a value on your contact details - and you should) by the NME.

DownwardSpiralFrog twitches

The much-hyped, little-seen SpiralFrog ad-supported music download service has done the equivalent of a coma patient twitching and signed a licensing deal with Sony-ATV music. This would ensure that - should anyone ever use their site - songwriters as well as performers would get a share of the non-existent advertising revenues.

It's heartbreaking, like watching someone prepare for a date you know they're going to be stood up on.

New Model Army: Still no bloody rest

New Model Army are pulling on their clogs and heading out for a tour:

Tue November 13 Wolverhampton Wulfren Hall
Wed 14 Glasgow Garage
Thur 15 Aberdeen Lemon Tree
Fri 16 Manchester Academy 2
Sat 17 Leeds Met
Sun 18 Sheffield Corporation
Tue 20 Norwich Waterfront
Wed 21 Cambridge Junction
Thur 22 Brighton Concorde2
Fri 23 Southampton Brook
Sat 24 Oxford Zodiac
Sun 25 Exeter Phoenix Centre
Tue 27 Bristol Thekla
Wed 28 Nottingham Rock City
Thur 29 Northampton Roadmenders
Thur December 20 London Astoria

... and even Boating magazine is having a go

Poor Britney has now sunk so low, even Boating Magazine is ridiculing her. Although, to be fair, they're laughing at her because, erm, she thought that a Portuguese Man O'War was a jellyfish. Just imagine, eh?

Napster makes a desperate call

The sliding official version of Napster has come up with a novel wheeze - it's partnered with AT&T in the US to offer mobile downloads (although not to the phone company's iPhone customers.) The USP? Erm, charging double the price of its main competitors. Two dollars a download.

And, of course, there's normally a carriage charge on top, too.

Who would be stupid enough to pay $2 for a song they could get elsewhere for half that? Unless they live in the UK and have no choice in the matter, obviously.

[Thanks to Michael M for the link]

Sony bounce Britney forward

Because her album hadn't exactly lived up to its name, Sony BMG have brought forward release of Britney's Blackout.

Peter Paphides in The Times has a "world exclusive first review" which, unlike his colleague Victoria Newton's "world exclusive first review" from down the Wapping Corridor in the Sun a couple of weeks ago, is based on actually having heard the finished album:

If truth be told, certain songs wouldn’t have sounded too different if her vocal were totally erased. On Get Naked (I Got A Plan) and Radar her voice is a piece that slots tidily into a finely sculpted piece of burnished future-pop.

Paphides concludes that - since she was a popstar before she was a fully-formed person, it makes sense that her popstardom is the last light in the building to be switched off.

Oink drops its bacon sandwich

In what the IFPI-RIAA is claiming as a major victory, and what others are saying "they've shut the what?", the operator of alleged file-sharing site OiNK has been arrested:

A Cleveland Police spokesman said: "This extremely lucrative and creative scheme consisted of a private file-sharing website being set up. Membership was by invitation only.

"The site allowed the uploading and downloading of pre-release music and media to thousands of members.

"Members paid 'donations' via debit or credit cards, ensuring their continued access to the site."

The arrests took place in Teesside, following a raid on the servers in the Netherlands. IFPI spokespeople claim the site was responsible for "the leaking" of 60 pre-release albums this year:
They were encouraged to distribute recordings in the torrent file format with other OiNK members, and have to keep posting such music to the site to maintain their membership.

"Once an album had been posted on the OiNK website, the users that download that music then passed the content to other websites, forums and blogs, where multiple copies were made.

"Within a few hours of a popular pre-release track being posted on the OiNK site, hundreds of copies can be found further down the illegal online supply chain."

Although, really, it doesn't offer any evidence that OiNK was the point where these albums entered the internet; it seems likely it was just a clearing house that attracted more savvy users who reshared releases found elsewhere.

One of the Razorlights insists he's turning up for work tomorrow, whatever the papers say

Andy Burrows has issued a denial of stories that The Johnny Borrell experience is about to split; it has the ringing confidence of Menzies Campbell's Lib Dem conference speech.

Radiohead: beyond the rainbow

So, the download version of In Rainbows has happened; what about the physical product? The New York Times is reporting that Coran Capshaw's Side One labelette (a side-business to his management of Dave Matthews and others) and XL will release the record in the US and UK respectively. But only for a time: the band are keeping hold of the rights, so the deal will only allow the labels a brief crack of the whip.

Which is only fair - after all, it's not like the labels had to pay for the record to get made, so why should they own the disc?

Alicia Keys: "I had gay hair"

Not, of course, that Alicia Keys would resort to a spot of lazy stereotyping of lesbians, but she reckons people think she's gay because she used to look a bit rough:

"I was definitely rough around the edges. I look back at certain interviews and I'm like, 'Damn! Did I have to look that hard? Did I have to do my hair that way?'

"I could see why people couldn't see the diamond in the rough.

"I didn't take it to heart. I know what I am. I know it's not true."

And, ahem, Alicia, it's not a bad thing to be anyway. Actually.

Punkobit: Paul Fox

Ruts guitarist Paul Fox has died after a fight against cancer.

As with many of the leading lights of the UK punk scene, Paul had originally been a pub rocker. His band - Hit and Run - transformed into The Ruts in 1977 (although they had toyed with the name Malcolm and The Skulking Loafers). Slots with Rock Against Racism and support from John Peel helped the band into the top ten and onto Top of the Pops with Babylon's Burning, but the band ran into the sand after the heroin OD death of singer Malcolm Owen in 1980. The band continued for a while as The Ruts DC.

In Fox's own words, he then disappeared a little off the scene:

There was Ruts DC, and then a couple of bands, but not serious. For a while I was really a bit of a recluse - just the boat and the dog.

He re-emerged in 2002, playing with Savage Circle, before relaunching the Ruts under the name Foxy's Ruts. This latest iteration of the band was a family affair, with Lawrence, Paul's son, playing on drums.

The original Ruts - with Henry Rollins taking on Owen's role - reformed earlier this year for a benefit gig following Fox's cancer diagnosis. The lung cancer, though, proved to be inoperable and Fox died at home on Monday morning.

[Thanks to Ian for the tip]

Caddy chuck: Dylan flogs himself some more

Everything, clearly, is up for grabs in Bob Dylan's world: he's now pocketing cash from Cadillac to appear in an advert for a new model. The ad also includes a plug for XM radio and - in a circular plug-jerk - he's dedicating his next XM radio show to songs about Cadillacs.

Presumably, 6Music will have to drop that episode of Theme Time Radio since it's essentially a long advert?

Monday, October 22, 2007

Borrell "chooses" jogging

Borrell is now telling anyone who'll listen how keeping fit is better than living with Kirsten Dunst:

"I couldn't be happier single,” Borrell told the Sun. “I'm enjoying myself. I'm doing lots of running - keeping fit - and loads more gigs with the band. Everything's going really well."

Yes. That must be much better than having sex with Kirsten Dunst. Yes. Running. We imagine there's lots and lots of running, Johnny. We've seen A Voyage Round My Father. "When you have the dreams, put on a pair of shorts and go for a run..."

Spice Girls' people block tribute show

VH1 had a nifty idea to celebrate - if celebrate is the word - the return of the Spice Girls: a talent show to put together a five-piece tribute act. Trouble is, the Spice Girl bunker got wind of it, sent a few threatening letters and now it isn't going to happen.

Presumably taking a bunch of showbiz wannabes, finding five who fitted a pre-cut "personality-style" template and could sing a bit, and putting them on stage wasn't just trading on the Spice Girls' brand; it was exactly how the Spice Girls were made in the first place. We imagine Fuller was worried VH1 would have ended up with a tribute which outclassed the original.

Cops nick Kid Rock

It's probably not surprising that Kid Rock has been arrested on rumble-related charges "along with five of his entourage" after a fight in an Atlanta Waffle House car park.

What is puzzling, though, is what sort of person goes to a Waffle House with an entourage?

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Exactly how many Tyler Perry fans live in Sacramento

Curious this: a Sacramento CW anchor is forced to give a groveling apology to Tyler Perry and Janet Jackson on-air, after making the "mistake" of assuming that the only really interesting thing Jackson has done in years is getting her tit out on the Superbowl.

The channel had apparently been inundated with complaints that the interview had focused on that rather than the poor new film Jackson and Perry have made - the anchor claimed 19,000 to him alone.

19,000? There are that many people in Sacramento who (a) watch The CW and (b) care enough to send emails? Or, is it more likely that the network has been the target of an orchestrated campaign by people who didn't even see the original interview?

Shall we start a campaign to get that apology withdrawn on-air?

Tupac bodyguard: I was a Fed

Somehow having forgotten to mention it until now, Kevin Hackie has announced that he wasn't just Tupac's bodyguard. Oh, no, he was also undercover FBI.

And possibly being controlled by shape-shifting aliens too, although he'll be saving that for a later book tour.

Hackie seems happy to reveal this, despite now adding "rubbish at being an undercover secret agent" to the earlier charge of being "total disaster at guarding Tupac's body".

Inflated opinions

The now-defunct Sunday People's Visible Panty Line column VIP is claiming responsibility for Gary Barlow's body:

We can't help wondering if GARY BARLOW's super-svelte look is down to us.

The Take That star, 36, revealed his slim bod on BBC1's Friday Night With Jonathan Ross - after our recent mick-take. You look great, Gaz. But don't overdo it...

I wouldn't think it was anything to do with you. Nobody reads the Sunday People, much less builds their life around it.

Divorce gets nasty again; NOTW thrilled

The horrifying prospect of the McCartneys settling their divorce differences amicably having receded, the tabloids have rushed to fill the vacuum with idle speculation. The News of the World is taking the lead:

ANGRY Paul McCartney has hit Heather Mills with a shock cut-price £23million now-or-never ultimatum in a bid to force a settlement in their bitter divorce.


The News of the World has discovered that in what could deliver a mortal blow to Macca's good-guy image, Heather plans to:

FILM a warts-and-all TV series for an American network laying bare her troubled years with the pop icon.

TELL ALL to television chat show queen Oprah Winfrey, revealing every detail about the reasons behind their traumatic split.

SIGN a multi-million-pound book contract to hit back at all the media stories about her vice shame past.

PUSH ahead with a deal for her OWN chat show in the US to cement her status as a rapidly-rising star over there.

A source in Heather's legal team said: "She is NOT ready to sign a confidentiality agreement."

Mind you, if she's flogging all those stories she probably should be offering financial support to Paul, not the other way round.

Mind you, how seriously should you take an article which includes this line:
Top legal brains predict that after slugging it out in court a judicial ruling could prove to be even more disappointing for Heather.

"Top legal brains" have been consulted, have they? Why, exactly, would they have chosen to remain off the record, exactly?

Still, there's good news for Heather: the News has repeated its claims that she was a hooker, which has refreshed the opportunity for her to sue the paper. If she so chose.

Rockobit: Paul Raven

The death has been announced of former Killing Joke bassist Paul Raven.

Born in Wolverhampton in 1961, Raven played bass for Kitsch, a proto-Dogs D'Amour, but his first big break came when he joined Killing Joke, taking over as Youth quit. He stepped down from the band in 1988, rejoining for the band's 1990 Extremities, Dirt & Various Repressed Emotions album. Raven stayed on when the band dropped Jaz Coleman and morphed into Murder Inc. A 1992 Killing Joke reunion saw Youth return, but when the Joke revived in 2003 Raven again took on the bass.

A busy man, Raven also found time to be part of Prong and Godflesh, but perhaps achieved his greatest success after a meeting with Al Jourgensen led to him joining Ministry, a role he relished as it allowed him to bring his political side more to the fore:

"For me politics and punk rock went together. That has been handy about my association with Al and his Bush bashing. I have tried to keep my musical roots intact. I have lived in America so long I feel entitled to state my opinion. 'Maybe I can put a foot on George Bush's ass on his way out of the White House'."

Raven - who was working on a solo project, Mob Research - died of an apparent heart attack in a village on the France/Switzerland border.

Lennox gig interrupted by Grumbleweeds

Talking of eye-catching walk-offs, Annie Lennox fled from the stage during her Boulder gig after spotting a bloke wearing a gas mask and a cape in the crowd.

It's not known if other Grumbleweeds characters, like the poor impression of Jimmy Saville, were also in the audience with Wilf 'Gasmask' Grimshaw.

Lennox is pretty pissed by it all:

"In the 30 years I've been performing, I'm not that easily shaken," she wrote. "The security at the hall were extremely lax, and Mr "Nightmare on Elm Street "( or whatever weird thing was going on in his head) should never have been allowed to get anywhere near. Trust wasn't nice.?I'm usually very patient and easy going with most kinds of behaviour in an audience...but that was really freakish and disturbing, whatever the hell it was. He owes me and my band a fucking apology".

Oooh! A fucking apology, mark you.

This was Boulder, of course, home to Mork and Mindy; you surely have to expect that sort of thing.

We now look forward to constitutional experts debating if the right to wear gas masks to theatres is on a par with bearing arms or shouting 'fire'.

X Factor insults audience intelligence a little bit more

Goodness! Sharon Osbourne (played by Christopher Biggins) has walked out of the X-Factor because of the need to shore up ratings ("because one of her bands got voted off").

And they reckon that Robin Hood is a poorly scripted programme.