Saturday, December 12, 2009

Queen refuses to be penpals with Pink

Pink has been writing some letters. But not getting anywhere with them:

She told Q magazine: "I wrote to him to protest about fox hunting and I figured he would be this stuffy, privileged a**hole. But he's like a redneck from the south.

"If you're brought up shooting and hunting animals, if you really think it's second nature and you're blasting away then it's hard to see the other point of view. You need educating."

It's nice to show an interest - although, frankly, you might want to concentrate more on the other animals which William legally blasts to death for a laugh.

The Queen? The Queen's no better:
She once penned a letter to William's grandmother Queen Elizabeth about the use of bear skin hats on her guards and was disappointed not to receive a response.

She revealed: "To be truthful I was really surprised I didn't get a reply to that one. I wasn't just writing in and complaining, and it certainly was not a publicity stunt.

"I actually proposed a plan. Stella McCartney had designed theses replacement hats for the guards using fake fur. I felt we were solving the problem for her and offering a viable solution. But she never wrote back. Maybe she doesn't have any of my stuff on her iPod."

Perhaps she doesn't have your stuff on her iPod. Or maybe she got a letter saying "Hey, Stella McCartney has designed some cruelty-free bearskins - wanna see?" and put it quietly to one side.

Venuewatch: Brighton loses two pub venues

The collapse of Pubs N Bars has lead to two Brighton pubs closing down, both of which had been venues for live music. The Dyke Tavern and The Hobgoblin in York Place were shut on Thursday by Grant Thornton, who are trying to salvage the company's assets.

Punch - owners of the fabric of the Hobgoblin - are planning to reopen their pub with a temporary landlord; three further Pubs N Bars outlets The Good Companions, the Tamplins Ale House and The Winner are still trading as normal.

Glastonbury 2010: Football stops bands

Glastonbury organisers - or, at least, Emily Eavis - are fretting about what to do with the World Cup of Football matches which clash with next year's festivals.

Back in the past, a healthy "well, these people have paid a ton of cash for an arts and music festival, so presumably if they were that interested in the football they'd have stayed at home to watch the bloody football" might have prevailed. But that line has long since vanished - mainly because hardly anyone actually seems to go to Glastonbury for the music any more.

I still have horrific nightmares following the time they stuck Jimmy Hill - wearing his St George bow tie - on the massive screen during The World Cup Of Football in France 1998.

Still, Glastonbury wouldn't be Glastonbury without a messy compromise, and while they're thinking of showing the Wednesday match on the screens at the Pyramid stage, they're not planning to do so on Saturday:

The potential England match on Saturday (26th) will be held while the festival is in full swing, so it won’t be possible to show the football on the Pyramid Stage screens, though it is possible that it will be shown elsewhere on the Glastonbury site such as on the cinema screen.

Wednesday is the first night, when the field is opening, and based on all projections, should be a match that has little influence on England's chances. Saturday, if England are playing, will be while the festival is rammed, and be a knock-out moment.

In other words, if the match does take place on Saturday and England are taking part, it's going to have a lot of people wanting to see it. Just sticking it on in one of the smaller corners of the site will result in a large number of people heading in the same direction at the same time. I hope they've thought through the implications. Back in 1998, there was nearly a nasty crush until organisers decided at the last moment to stick the match on the Pyramid stage screens as well.

Lily Allen sparks... what, exactly?

Yes, yes, it's against the law and she probably shouldn't have done it, but did Lily Allen lighting a fag on stage really "ruin" paying customers' nights?

This all took place at the Liverpool Echo Arena:

Dad-of-two David Hall, 52, who attended the gig said once Lily started smoking others around him joined in.

Mr Hall, a carer from Irby, Wirral, told the ECHO: “Lily sucked a puff of a fag and I thought maybe she’s feeling a bit tense but that was the trigger for people’s cigarettes to come out. They thought ‘because she’s doing it, so can I’. But the cigarettes were waving about in my children’s faces.”

God, that must have really ruined their enjoyment of the usual smells of a large gig - stale body odour, stale beer and wet dog. And were there really cigarettes waving about in your children's faces? In their faces?

Yes, it's a bit of a shame; yes, it's even a breach of a law. But 'someone smoked a cigarette quite near my child' isn't really the sort of thing that demands interviews with the local paper, is it?

Still, cash-strapped Liverpool City Council won't be wasting their time on this, will they?
A spokesman from Liverpool City Council said: “After seeing pictures of Lily Allen’s ECHO arena performance, we are investigating. Officers are in the process of following up witness statements to verify if the pictures are genuine.”

To see if they're genuine? Liverpool City Council really believe there might be people photoshopping smoking ciggies into pictures of Lily Allen? And they're carrying out an investigation to see if the photos are genuine? I really hope this doesn't take people off the vital task of searching for the bricks of Ringo Starr's old house.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Axl Rose issues dull statement about having his photo taken

Do you really need to stick out a release when you've been quite near a scuffle?

“Axl Rose, lead singer for the legendary rock group Guns N’ Roses, was unhurt last evening when he was accosted by an unruly group of paparazzi at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

“At the time of the incident, Mr. Rose was en-route to Taipei, Taiwan, to kick-off Guns N’ Roses’ tour of Southeast Asia including shows in Taiwan, Korea and Japan.

“Mr. Rose, who was about to enter a security checkpoint at LAX when the altercation took place, was approached by a group of unchecked and unruly photographers who became aggressive with the singer and female members of the traveling group.

“Mr. Rose was not injured during the unprovoked attack and was able to board his flight without further incident.”

It doesn't actually include the words "during the occurrence, a carton of milk was upended and Mr. Rose's hat was knocked from his head", but this seems to be the area of incident we're in.

Kirsty MacColl's mother ends campaign

Nine years after the death of Kirsty MacColl, her mother Jean is dropping the campaign to find out what really happened:

[H]aving finally exhausted all legal avenues to bring to justice the man she believes is responsible for the death, Guillermo González Nova, one of Mexico's wealthiest businessmen, Jean has abandoned the Justice for Kirsty campaign which has sustained her through intense grief.

The campaign raised funds through "the most wonderful fans" to pay for the costly expenses of Jean's legal battle. "But it felt dishonest to go on, to keep asking for money, when we don't feel we've got a chance," she said.

Although she is winding up the campaign, it doesn't mean that Jean has accepted the frankly risible official findings into her death, nor that she'd not be interested in any development which might get closer to the truth.

Streaming now: Tortoise

Somewhat unexpectedly, Tortoise turned up on Today this morning, with an exclusive track.

Take That everywhere you go

There's already a prize for being the most-played act on radio - it's called a large cheque from PRS - but there's a second one, too: the Neilson Most Played Artist. It's some sort of trophy or cup or something, and this year Take That have got to find room for it:

DJ Mark Goodier, who presented the award, said: ''This act has not just had one career - they've done it twice and they're bigger now than they ever were.

''Without them, our radio stations would sound very different.''

Would they? Really? There's much to love about Take That, but I'm not sure I'd make any claims that they've changed the sound of the nation. Not even commercial radio. Without them, you might hear the words "and that was Take That" not as often, but I think it's fair to say radio would still sound pretty much the same.

[You might also like the slowly-growing best of lists post]

Miley Cyrus drop-out brings Karen O Grammy nomination

While Chris Moyles remains miles away from the Brits, Karen O has just had her Where The Wild Things Are track All Is Love appear on the Grammy shortlist after Miley Cyrus is dumped. Interscope's Matt LaMotte explains:

Hope you are all well. In an unexpected twist, one of the announced Grammy
candidates for Best Song written for a Soundtrack has been disqualified
after the fact (Miley Cyris in fact).

The nomination then goes to the song with the next-highest initial vote
count, which is Karen O and the Kids’ “All is Love”.

It's not known why Miley Cyrus has been disqualified, although there are rumours she was dropped because, while her song qualified on the words "song", "written", "for", and "soundtrack", it failed on "a" and "best".

Other rumours suggest that older members of the Grammy academy were outraged to discover Cyrus has been passing off the work of Hannah Montana as her own.

Gordon in the morning: Prize speculation

We all know the problem of having a difficult little space to fill. Most of us would eat a biscuit or an apple.

Gordon fills his space by lobbing in this sort of thing:

CHRIS MOYLES could be in the running for TWO Brit Awards.

Could he? Really?

Well, yes, in the sense that he's released an unfunny comedy album in the qualifying period, and like anyone else who has released a record, of whatever quality, he's "in the running".

In much the same way that a bloke who turns up at the London Marathon dressed as a lobster is in with a chance of winning the race.

Still, having set up an unlikely outcome, Gordon is quick to be the first to rubbish the idea:
I suspect sense will prevail and he won't get the nominations.

Space filled. Story made up and destroyed within four sentences. Good work, Gordon.

Robert Wyatt: Todaydream Believer

Amongst the guest editors announced to cover the Today period through the quiet post-Christmas period: Robert Wyatt.

Possibly not the first time a communist has produced the programme, if you're to believe the paranoid scrabblings of the security services.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Resistance is more than futile

There are some press communiques that are just so heart-warming, they're worth cut-and-pasting and leaving in full:


Avril Lavigne is a bitch. When she's not gloating about her totally undeserved success or berating and sneering at young mothers, she is attempting to steal men from loving happy relationships.

Do not worry. Everybody Was In The French Resistance....Now have the "motherfucking princess" in their réticule.

Everybody Was In The French Resistance...Now are correcting the mistakes of pop songs past. So far they have defended the belittled blue-collar worker from Kanye West's "Gold Digger," told Gerry and the Pacemakers that in fact it is okay to walk alone, dumped the manipulative Martha Reeves on behalf of poor Jimmy Mack and have taken the misguided instructions of a 17th century ballad to its logical conclusion.


And unlike U2, they actually recorded their album in Joshua Tree (and didn’t just get their photograph taken next to one).

Everybody Was In The French Resistance… Now is Eddie Argos from Art Brut and Dyan Valdés from The Blood Arm.

Tracklisting :

1. Creeque Allies

Response to “Creeque Alley” by the Mamas and the Papas

“Creeque Alley” by the Mamas and the Papas is the story of the late sixties West Coast folk scene and the formation of their own band in the midst of it. “Creeque Allies” is the story of the early forties French resistance scene and the formation of the freedom fighters who eventually drove the Nazis out of France.

2. G.I.R.L.F.R.E.N (You Know I’ve Got A)

Response to “Girlfriend” made famous by Avril Lavigne

Pop songs have traditionally been “boy meets girl,” “girl meets boy,” “boy/girl overcome a problem,” or “boy/girl break up” – in the last decade or so, there has been an alarming new archetype in pop songwriting: “girl steals other girl’s boyfriend.” This is a divisive message to send to young girls everywhere, and songs like “Girlfriend” (see also “You Belong With Me” by Taylor Swift) only teach young women that they can derive more worth and status from stealing each others’ boyfriends than they can from realizing their own achievements.

3. (I’m So) Waldo P. Emerson Jones

Response to “Waldo P. Emerson Jones” made famous by the Archies

The Archies can’t figure out Waldo P. Emerson Jones, a new character on the block who impresses all of their girlfriends and generally shows everyone up. The Everybody Was In The French Resistance … Now! version tells Waldo’s side – he was a little-known “nerd” at their school who spent the summer reinventing himself and came back with added confidence, a new haircut and a much cooler name (Waldo P. Emerson Jones is clearly not the name his mother gave him).

4. The Scarborough Affaire

Response to “Scarborough Fair,” traditional

The singer of the 17th-century ballad “Scarborough Fair” instructs the listener to locate his former lover and charge her with a series of impossible tasks. The Everybody Was In The French Resistance…Now response takes his unreasonable demands to their logical conclusion.

5. Billie’s Genes

Response to “Billie Jean” by Michael Jackson

The kid is your son.

6. Think Twice (It’s Not Alright)

Response to “Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright” by Bob Dylan

Breaking up is hard. Not everyone can be as tough as Bob Dylan, who claims that he needs to “travel on” when his lover wastes his “precious time.” Everybody Was In The French Resistance … Now! have read between the lines, and have rewritten the song based on how Bob Dylan most likely actually felt when he bid “fare thee well.”

7. Hey! It’s Jimmy Mack

Response to “Jimmy Mack” made famous by Martha Reeves and the Vendellas

Jimmy Mack heard Martha’s song. So he’s never coming back.

8. He’s a “Rebel”

Response to “He’s A Rebel” made famous by the Crystals

The Crystals sang a love song to “dangerous” men. Everybody Was In The French Resistance … Now! opened up the conversation to other men, who see through the “rebel” schtick and argue that it’s all just an act.

9. Coal Digger

Response to “Gold Digger” by Kanye West

Kanye West patronizes the chip-shop janitor who is working his way towards cooking the fries. Everybody Was In The French Resistance … Now! know that the janitor is just working to make ends meet until he gets his shit together and releases a hit record.

10. My Way (Is Not Always the Best Way)

Response to “My Way” made famous by Frank Sinatra

Paul Anka admires a selfish man’s death-bed declaration that living his life according to his own convictions and desires alone is enough. Everybody Was In The French Resistance … Now! think that one should take others’ opinions into consideration.

11. Superglue

Response to “Vaseline” by Elastica

If Elastica had used superglue instead of vaseline (or for that matter, heroin) maybe they would have stuck together.

12. Walk Alone

Response to “You’ll Never Walk Alone” made famous by Gerry and the Pacemakers

Gerry and the Pacemakers (and all of Liverpool) are terrified of being alone. Everybody Was In The French Resistance… Now are comfortable with their own company.

Fixin’ the Charts, Volume One (COOKCD512) is a companion piece to all of these pop songs, but can be appreciated as a work in its own right. Pop music transmits all of our culture’s most valued ideals from one generation to the next; let’s make sure we get it right. Vive le Resistance!

Downloadable: You Say Party We Say Die

Let's take this in reverse order. First, YSPWSD are doing a Canada & US tour early next year:

15-Jan - Nelson, BC - Spirit Bar
21-Jan - Kamloops, BC - The Plaza
22-Jan - Vancouver, BC - The Orpheum w/ Phoenix
27-Jan Surrey, BC - Olympic show w/ Tokyo Police Club, Wintersleep
09-Mar - Seattle, WA - Chop Suey
10-Mar - Portland, OR - Doug Fir
12-Mar - San Fran, CA - Bottom Of the Hill
13-Mar - Los Angeles, CA - Echoplex
15-Mar - Phoenix, AZ - Rhythm Room
17-Mar - Austin, TX - SXSW
18-Mar - Austin, TX - SXSW
19-Mar - Austin, TX - SXSW
21-Mar - Memphis, TN - Hi Tone
22-Mar - Atlanta, GA - The Earl
23-Mar - Charlotte, NC - Snug Harbor
24-Mar - Baltimore, MD - Ottobar
26-Mar - New York, NY - Knitting Factory
27-Mar - Boston, MA - TT The Bears
29-Mar - New York, NY - Piano's
30-Mar - Detroit, MI - Pike Room
31-Mar - Chicago, IL - Empty Bottle

There's a new album, too, XXXX (not a great title for the Google years), and - as a little taste - a free sample track, Dark Days.

Galaxy told to shut up about iTunes

The commercial radio network chart show - now called - has been told off by Ofcom for mentioning iTunes too much.

During the programme, listeners have been encouraged to head over to iTunes to buy downloads and "influence the chart" right up to the last minute. Ofcom has decided that this went a bit too far, and told them to stop doing it. ("Thus ruining its raison d'etre", as Simon T observes - indeed, there does seem to be a desire to earn whatever the referral fee is these days.)

Ofcom accepted that reference to “the iTunes top ten” was editorially justified as a means to explain the specific source and nature of the Big Top 40 chart’s top ten places. Likewise, Ofcom accepted that an occasional reference to the Big Top 40 chart being “powered by iTunes” could be editorially justified as a means to explain the nature of the entire chart, which was influenced by iTunes as a data source. However, Ofcom did not consider that the repeated references throughout the programme to iTunes (whether referring to the top ten or the chart more generally) served any further purpose and therefore appeared gratuitous. Ofcom considered there was insufficient editorial justification for the sheer number and frequency of these references.

What's equally interesting is that iTunes only "powers" the Top 10 of the chart:
While the top ten of the Big Top 40 chart reflect iTunes’ top singles download sales, positions 11 to 40 in the chart are informed by iTunes sales data but ultimately decided by Global Radio.

In other words, if I'm reading that correctly, three quarters of the chart is just made up? What sort of chart is this, anyway?

Also interesting is that Ofcom don't seem to have bothered themselves by asking if the claim that buying some downloads in the last hour of sales is really going to have any influence on the chart - set against a week's sales nationwide?

Amnesty secure release for Portishead track

Brand new Portishead stuff today, as they release a new track, Chase The Tear via 7Digital. The money you pass through secure servers will wind up supporting the good things that Amnesty International do. The circle is full of the virtues.

Downloadable: Lady GaGa featuring Dashius Clay

Oh, sure, it's all a sneaky way to get you to sign up to Electroqueer's Facebook page, but EQ are offering a free slice of GaGa/Clay action.

NB: They see this as a gateway drug.

Gordon in the morning: Men's shirt, short skirt

Is it too early for some crossdressing news?

LILY ALLEN has been appearing on stage in a variety of skimpy costumes for the last year.

But she looked as if she'd raided boyfriend SAM COOPER's wardrobe before this gig at the O2 in Dublin on Tuesday.

Yes, Gordon reports this morning that Lily Allen is "all boy-ed up".

By which he means she's wearing a waistcoat (surely unisex since about 1923) and a hat.

Still, at least he didn't get Rhodri Philips to write up the outfit - Rod got a photo of Cheryl Cole wearing something vaguely Chinese-inspired and immediately knew what he had to say:
CHERYL Cole is full of Eastern promise in an Oriental-style outfit for her TV special.

Full of Eastern Promise? Let's hope there's no dark catsuits elsewhere, otherwise we're going to get a "who knows the secret of the black magic box" before the end of the week.

I'm trying to decide what news fills me most full of dread and loathing: JLS going back into the studio or plans for a Jackson 4 tour. One is more than one more than required; the other one less than needed.

Fading bruise

Bruise Violet have announced details of their farewell show. It's 18th December at Chuco’s Justice Center in Inglewood - handy for Los Angeles readers of No Rock. Of which there are (checks details) plans to recruit a couple soon.

For the rest of us, we'll just have to pretend:

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Tony Hadley says history ended around the time of Through The Barricades

He can remember when it was all movements round here:

Spandau Ballet singer Tony Hadley has revealed he thinks there have been no musical movements since the New Romantic phase in the 80s.

Tony Hadley claims there have been no musical movements since the 80s.

The Spandau Ballet singer believes the New Romantic era - which his band were a prominent part of - was the last type of music that interlinked with fashion to create a whole way of being.

This might come as some surprise to goths, shoegazers, garage fans, acid housers and Britpoppers, amongst others.

Gordon in the morning: Can 400,000 people be wrong?

You could almost feel sorry for Gordon this morning. Normally, his job is quite simple: you cheer for the popular, boo the unpopular, and effectively reflect back the reader's prejudices. Breasts? Hurrah! Druggies? Booooooo!

But what when approaching half a million people are organising to try and get Rage Against The Machine to block the X Factor number one?

The X Factor is popular.

But this is popular.

What side do you come down on?

Quick, Gordon. Can you find a way to have a pop at the BBC while you decide what to do?

On its release in February 1993 then Radio 1 DJ BRUNO BROOKES bungled by playing an uncensored version of it during his Top 40 countdown show.

The BBC were flooded by complaints from listeners stunned by the sheer volume of F-words the track contains.

Really? "Hello, BBC? I'm ringing to complain about the number of times the word 'fuck' was on the top 40. I wouldn't have minded a half dozen, maybe even ten, but this is just too many."

Still, Gordon has had some time to think: can you fudge your way out of this, not upsetting Cowell's PR team, while not appearing to side against a popular uprising?
I'm a huge fan of X Factor. It's a fantastic TV show which unites families around the box.

But it is a shame we've lost the traditional race for the festive No1.

I love you, Mr Cowell, but... oh, Christmas is a time for the kids, isn't it?
And Simon Cowell has picked MILEY CYRUS tune The Climb for the winner's song this year. It could be a WESTLIFE reject.

But I'm still betting that JOE McELDERRY will be the one releasing it.

... and that's the end of the piece. It's like he kind of forgot to come to a conclusion about the story he was actually writing and just switched back into X factor mode.

You've got to love the complaint that the song sounds like a Westlife reject, though - by the time it's gone through whatever sausage-meat-and-cosmetic unit gets to sing it, anything would sound like a Westlife reject. Look at the dead-fish song from last year.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

What do you call someone who takes 300,000 songs without paying?

Answer? A major label.

Turns out, while the music companies have been pushing to have file sharers thrown in debtor's prison, they've been quite happily releasing tracks they don't own. Getting on for a third of a million tracks:

The claims arise from a longstanding practice of the recording industry in Canada, described in the lawsuit as "exploit now, pay later if at all." It involves the use of works that are often included in compilation CDs (ie. the top dance tracks of 2009) or live recordings. The record labels create, press, distribute and sell the CDs, but do not obtain the necessary copyright licences.

There's now to be a class action lawsuit against the labels in Canada.

Quite right, too: it's like stealing, isn't it?

Bye, 'meem: MySpace dismantles Imeem

MySpace has, effectively, switched off Imeem and slapped in a redirect to MySpace music. Which is why they bought it, fair enough, but does raise the question about what's going to happen to people who were using Imeem as an audio equivalent of YouTube?

Does the MySpace FAQ help?

MySpace Music acquired certain assets of imeem, and will spend the next few weeks properly integrating aspects of the site within the MySpace Music community. Features and functionality that you loved at imeem will soon find their way onto MySpace, and compliment our existing platform alongside free full-song streaming, artist profiles, music videos, and much, much more.

But what about audio you might have uploaded yourself? That seems to have just vanished. Not music, not the glitzy stuff, but you can't help feeling its a bit like buying AudioBoo and deciding you're only going to keep any animal noises that might be there.

[via Hypebot]

Morrissey continues to be unwell

He's starting to make the Queen Mother during the last years of her life look like Paula Radcliffe: Morrissey has 'blown out his voice' and cancelled two dates on his US tour.

There is, of course, a conspiratorial undertow, after he quit the stage in Vegas after less than an hour:

[R]umours are circulating that Morrissey had been offended by drunken audience members who had been fighting amongst themselves and vomiting in the venue.

Really? Only he's playing Vegas. It's not like the audience is going to comprise too many of the bespectacled fans who still peddle themselves round Salford in search of the Lads' Club. In Vegas, throwing up in the audience is considered polite, a sign that you really enjoyed all the free food you crammed down before losing all your money and being forced instead to go and watch some English dude wailing about unfunny jokes or somesuch.

Pete Doherty arrested. Again.

Pete Doherty is writing a comparative guide to the arrest techniques of European policemen. That's the only possible explanation for his enthusiastic ability to get his collar felt everywhere he goes.

Latest arrest is in Berlin, apparently related to the throwing of a bottle. Of some sort.

He's the Shelley of our age, you know.

Darkness at 3AM: Heirs to Lord Cud-lip

This is a genuine headline from today's Daily Mirror:

Gordon in the morning: Lee Cain goes to the Royal Variety

There's two schools of thought about Lady GaGa playing the Royal Variety Performance - one is that it's somehow a subversive gesture, sneaking the counterculture right into Her Majesty's face; the other is that it marks the GaGa tipping point where she has completed the journey from apparent edgy outsider to mainstream light entertainer.

Put it this way: You're not going to see Frank Carson introduce Peaches to Prince Philip, no matter how much you'd like to.

Still, Lee Cain dutifully covers the story like it's some sort of cultureclash. But somewhat oddly:

OUTRAGEOUS LADY GAGA wins the Queen's seal of approval last night as she curtsies for her at the Royal Variety Performance.

In other words, the Queen met her in a line-up. Did Lee really think there was a chance Elizabeth would say "Frankly, Poker Face has been over-exposed and you'd never get Peaches meeting me"?
The Poker Face star, 23, was sporting a red PVC suit and 20ft cloak topped with a regal Elizabethan-style ruff.

It was baggy, Lee. Even if you've never worn fetish clothing yourself, surely you know that catsuits are skintight?
GaGa greeted the crowd by saying: "Good evening Blackpool. Let me hear you rattle your jewellery."

Strangely, there's no explanation of this comment, leaving the delicious question of if Smart and his team just assumed that their readership would get the reference (not the usual Bizarre behaviour, where every utterance is explained in flash-card simple terms) or if they just didn't get it themselves.

Just one point: If GaGa was truly edgy, she'd not have done the jewelery schtick; she'd have come on with a reference to never having played such an ornate garage.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Rock sick list: Rivers Cuomo

Yesterday, Rivers Cuomo's tour bus had a smash and he got all injured. Three cracked ribs after the bus had skidded on the ice.

Today, with his ribs hurting, Weezer have pulled all their December dates.

You can still buy their stuff in SuperPoke Pets, should you wish.

Dr Feelgood: Movies and music

Julien Temple's made a movie about Doctor Feelgood, which will provide some winter cheer to (mainly) men of a (mostly) certain age. Even more likely to cause a gentle, gleeful, pub-rockist jig is the planned launch event:

A ground breaking rock ‘n’ roll cinema event live from Camden‘s Koko
Julien Temple‘s ‘Oil City Confidential’ film on the legendary Dr Feelgood,
with a live show by Wilko Johnson and very special guests.

Go on, then: here's the trailer:

Shrinking royalty

You might have seen this last week on Gizmodo, and at the time James M pointed it out to me but it fell off my 'to do' list - Tim Quirk from Too Much Joy shares his digital royalty statement from Warners.

It's best read against the backdrop of that repeated mantra from the majors, insisting that everything they do they do for the artists:

Our IODA royalties during that time had totaled about $12,000 – not a princely sum, but enough to suggest that the total haul over the same period from our major label material should be at least that much, if not two to five times more.
So I was naively excited when I opened the envelope. And my answer was right there on the first page. In five years, our three albums earned us a grand total of… $62.47

Quirk's conclusion is that Warners aren't evil, just too busy with larger sums to be able to cope with providing the information and keeping an eye on the detail. Which might be true, up to a point.

But don't all companies have a duty to be careful with money? Especially since Warners treats Too Much Joy as unrecouped, and so the money goes towards paying off an irredeemable debt. If a bank managed to mislay money from a customer instead of setting it against a negative balance, the bank would have questions to answer. Warner's attitude of 'it doesn't really matter, you owe us' isn't good enough.

There's a connected question of how come IODA is sending cheques in five figures while Warners is offering sums barely into double-digits. There's an obvious answer, isn't there?

Downloadable: Rough Shop

It's Christmas. Well, actually, it isn't, not for a couple of weeks yet, but everyone else seems to have started, so we'll join in.

Here's a couple of tracks from St Louis' band Rough Shop: Just Because It Was Christmas and The Big Man Under The Tree.

If you like those, there's morte where that came from. Though not for free. We've already established that it isn't Christmas - but the eleven track album is a fine investment.

If Copenhagen fails...

You know:


... maybe our extinction could come as a welcome relief.

ABC welcomes back Adam Lambert

Oh, that whole faux-blow-job thing? Let's just put that behind us, trills ABC:

Apparently ABC is not done with the singer and “American Idol” runner-up Adam Lambert, below, just yet. Barbara Walters will showcase him in an interview and performance on “The View” on Thursday as well as on her “Ten Most Fascinating People of 2009” special on Wednesday night, both on ABC, The Associated Press reported.

It's nice they're letting him come back on their channel, but one of the ten most fascinating people of the year? Are ABC just easily fascinated? Who are the other nine going to be?

Gordon in the morning: Coldplay go to church

This morning - under the crunching Coldpray headline - Gordon reports that Coldplay are recording in a church. They're not, they're recording in a deconsecrated building, but it's near enough:

COLDPLAY are holed up in a dilapidated north London church crafting a new album.

The fellas only finished their latest leg of their gruelling world tour in September but they are back at the coal face again.

With all this holing-up and gruelling tours and coal faces, it's almost as if this piece was written by Clippy, the Microsoft Word paperclip. And it's not just Gordon churning through the cliches - surprisingly, even his "sources" are, too:
A source said: "The band are keen to make hay while the sun shines.

"They have hit a rich vein with their songwriting and feel more creative than ever."

... before adding "after all, a stitch in time saves nine and many a mickle makes a... many a muckle? Mickle? Mackle?"

It's hard to imagine a "more creative than ever" Coldplay. That really sounds special, doesn't it?

So why are they working in an old building?
Frontman CHRIS MARTIN is concerned the band are being seen as a huge stadium act and totally inaccessible for their loyal fans.

So he has devised a plan with rock deity Eno and bandmates JONNY BUCKLAND, GUY BERRYMAN and WILL CHAMPION to record a stripped-down, more acoustic collection in the eerie church.

Ah yes - "we're not distant, look - you can buy a record we made in an old church." That makes sense. It's like those fathers in Hollywood movies who try to pretend they're not distant parents by handing a soft toy to the kid as they fly between business meetings.

Perhaps Gordon is just easily pleased?

It could be:
OUTRAGEOUS American singer Lady GaGa nearly stole the show on X Factor - wearing horns and sitting on the TOILET.

Out-rage-ous. Or, perhaps, a clear rip-off of Ted Bovis' old "famous people on the toilet" routine.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Amazon's secet plan: Time to dust off 'clicks and mortar'

The Sunday Times is claiming this morning that Amazon are looking to open shops in the UK:

One source familiar with Amazon’s proposals said: “When Amazon was just selling books and CDs that fitted easily through the letterbox it was fine to be a web-only business, but now it has branched out into everything from children’s bikes to electricals it believes it could boost sales by having stores that offer a collection point for shoppers. It will probably be an Argos-style operation.”

By "Argos-style operation" you hope the source doesn't mean "combining the experience of queuing to buy train tickets in a busy branch-line station with the atmosphere of claiming Income Support in an area of high unemployment during the mid 1980s".

There's a degree of common sense about this, until you remember the reason why everyone likes Amazon is because it doesn't involve shuffling through a shop and having to force an assistant to help you. You do wonder if the idea is to allow customers to have somewhere to pick up stuff, why don't they just do a deal with a company that already has a national network of shops. The Post Office, perhaps - or how about seeing Lloyds Banking Group would like to do something useful in return for a small fee?

Bluesobit: Jack Rose

Jack Rose, drone guitarist turned bluesman, has died, reports Arthur Mag.

Born in Virginia, Rose was a member of drone act Pelt, working with them across and through their stop-go activity during the 1990s. In 2000, he started to release work under his own name, and taking a totally different direction - a little bit ragtime here, a little bit country there. His career got a boost after an endorsement from Devendra Banhart (a position on the 2004 compilation Golden Apples Of The Sun) and The Wire, who selected his Raag Manifestos as one of 2005's best albums.

His ninth solo album, Jack Rose and The Black Twig Pickers, was released earlier this year. "Jack Rose and The Black Twig Pickers tell it well, from their side of the ocean, without making an effort to be accessible, palatable, academic or lo-fi. It’s a big fuck you to the gentrification (and homogenisation) of traditional American folk music," reckoned the Strangeglue review.

Jack Rose, who was 38, died from a heart attack on Saturday, December 5th.

This is him in action:

DAB off-air: Luckily nobody noticed

The commercial DAB national network fell off the air earlier today.

Of course, it's cruel to say nobody noticed: Digital Spy forum members noticed. But many people on Digital Spy only listen to the radio in the hope there's going to be a massive technical failure, so they won't be upset.

This week just gone

What downloads have people been searching for this year? This is the top ten 'download' requests from No Rock:

1. Radiohead
2. Noisettes When You Were Young
3. Neil Young Glastonbury
4. Bruce Springsteen Glastonbury 2009
5. Noisettes Live Lounge
6. Manson (not clear if this is Charles, Marilyn or mis-spelt Chester pop)
7. Neko Case Middle Cyclone
8. Taylor Mitchell
9. R Kelly sex tape (even here, eh?)
10. The XX

These were the few releases not squeezed out by Christmas gubbins:

Jesca Hoop - Hunting My Dress

download Silverscreen Demos

Rough Trade Shops Indiepop 2009

download Indiepop 2009

Kathryn Tickell - Best Of

download The Gathering

Hue And Cry - Xmasday

download Xmasday