Saturday, May 22, 2010

TFC on the radio

Set your alarms-on-phones type things: Teenage Fanclub are doing a session for Vic Galloway on Bank Holiday Monday. BBC Radio Scotland.

Madonna unhappy with Malawi

I'm often quite hard on Madonna, so fair play to her for not mincing her words about the sentences handed by Malawian courts to two gay men.

Tiwonge Chimbalanga and Steven Monjeza have been sentenced to 14 years' hard labour for gross indecency. Of the being gay sort.

Madonna is shaking her head:

"I am shocked and saddened by the decision made by the Malawian court, which sent two innocent men to prison," Madonna said Friday in a statement posted on her web site.

"Malawi took a giant step backward," the singer continued. "The world is filled with pain and suffering; therefore, we must support out basic human right to love and be loved."

"I call upon the progressive men and women of Malawi - and around the world - to challenge this decision in the name of human dignity and equal rights for all," Madonna said.

Of course, she is a little compromised - after all, she was quite happy for the Malawian courts to ignore the basic rights of people when she swooped in to collect children. And while it's great that she's standing up for gay rights in Malawi, it sits uncomfortably with her attempts to establish the New York brand of Kabbalah in the country - a cult which is quite happy to call homosexuality a sin. Because that'll help.

Adam Ant back in hospital

It seemed like this was where we were heading a couple of weeks ago, when people were more concerned with trying to stop discussion of his performances than seeing if Adam needed help. Adam Ant has been sectioned:

The 55-year-old musician, according to The Music Fix (TMF) website, announced to his fans that he was in the hospital and asked that they send him postcards.

“Please don’t come down here as it may upset the staff who have been really pleasant,” said Ant’s message. “I am having a well earned rest at Her Majesty’s Pleasure and am painting and continuing being an art student. I have a great view and am considering gigs later in the year.”

Adam appears to have had a breakdown during a charity gig, which involved shouting obscenities at Christians.

The Christians he'd been shouting at had been booing him just moments before, but as far as we can tell none of them have been sectioned yet. One man being rude to lots is nuts; lots of people being rude to one man is feedback.

Gordon in the morning: Will I Aint

Gordon's henchman Sean Hamilton has met up with Will.I.Am. And Billy sobbed like a teenager on the third pint, because nobody wants to have the sex with him:

I was always the homie, the friend, rather than the lover.

"I'd have a crush on a girl and she'd say, 'I don't know, Will, I see you as my brother'."

I think we've all been around long enough to know a nicely wrapped 'not if you were the last man on Earth' when we hear one.

But Am isn't unattractive, he's got a bob or two, and he dresses quite well. Why would women find his advances the moment when they reach for the bargepole? What do you say, Will, that tanks your chances?
"I'm not a gold digger, I'm a boob digger. I like boobs."

Ah. Stuff like that would probably do it.

Bookmarks - Internet stuff: Caitlin Moran meets Lady GaGa

She's one of the smartest, most entertaining women in the world. And she went to meet Lady GaGa. Caitlin Moran meets Lady GaGa in today's Times. It's a wonderful, wonderful interview, and you really must read it all. A taste:

Would you play for the Pope, if he asked you?

“Yeah,” Gaga says. There’s a pause. Perhaps she considers her current stage show, and the section where her male dancers grab their gigantic, fake white penises, and bounce them off their palms to Boys Boys Boys.

“Well. I’d do an acoustic show for the Pope,” she amends.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Mel B returns to TV

Great news for anyone who has ever had a desire to punish their eyeballs: Mel B is going to make a 'reality' series about her life:

Mel B has signed up to star in a reality TV series about her life in Los Angeles, for the Style Network.

The Mel B Project will follow her life with her producer husband Stephen Belafonte and her two daughters.

Episode one: parking cars. Episode two: pumping gas.

It gets worse:
The former Spice Girl and her husband will be executive producers of the show, which is being described as a "docu-comedy".

A docucomedy. Where 'docu' is a Latin word meaning 'programme entirely unaware of the absence of any', of course.
President of the Style Network Salaam Coleman Smith said: "Mel B is confident, hilarious and outrageously entertaining.

"We love that Mel has evolved her image and sought new challenges throughout her career while also taking on the ups, downs that come with motherhood and marriage."

Nobody thought to ask him how her image had evolved. Perhaps he means that she once stood in a group shouting 'look at me' and now she stands on her own shouting it?

Bono goes a bit Jack Duckworth

"Ooooh... The Edge, me back's gone...."

Bono's put his back out rehearsing for the next U2 world ticket-sales endeavour.

OMD launch a new album

While Andy McCluskey was 'busying' himself making Kerry Katona famous - and, cheers for that, Andy - the world wondered if he might not be be better off spending his time and energy creating some new OMD stuff instead.

We're about to find out, as OMD prepare to launch History of Modern, their first record since 1986. But will it be more culturally valuable than Atomic Kitten covering The Tide Is High?

Gennaro Castaldo Watch: An astonishing new world awaits

Who is this turning up at the Music Tank event, Never Mind the Box Set: The Album Post-iTunes? Why, HMV's future-facing one-man knowopolis Gennaro Castaldo:

An audience member Gennaro Castaldo, head of press and PR at U.K. entertainment retailer HMV, disclosed that HMV customers will "soon be able to buy the physical [release] and find a digital file also waiting for them when they get home." He agreed HMV would need the labels' support for such a strategy.

Yes, Gennaro - presuming they've given all their details over to HMV. Or they could just go home and slip the disc into their computer and, why, they'd find a digital file waiting for them already. Given that ripping a CD is one of the easiest things you can do with a computer, is anyone really going to be bothered to hand over email details to HMV to save the no-effort?

Fundamentalists plan to spread a bit more misery

The fuddled-headed hate-splodges of the Westboro Baptist Church have decided to take time out from pissing on the funerals of dead soldiers to make Christians look terrible at Ronnie James Dio's funeral. Their beef is down to him being, you know, a Satanist. Probably:

“WBC to picket this public memorial to remind you who worship that old Serpent, Satan, that your time is very short.

“You know 67 year old, Satan-worshiping (or at least one of their enablers) Ronnie James Dio (of showing his devil horns to the world each time he goes in public) Black Sabbath fame is dead, right? We’ll be there!

“Just because the chances of any of God’s elect being amongst this group of heavy metal sycophants is slim to none does not mean they should not get some good words.

“Yes, it is true that Ozzy Osbourne did “accidentally” bite off the head of a bat, but THAT is the least of their sins (little nasties!), they currently do not do that, but they throw raw meat to the audience and encourage violence of EVERY FORM!

“Here you have the list of admitted sins of this now dead and in hell pervert:

“1) He hates his neighbor(s) starting with Ozzy Osbourne, and continuing down to his pornography star niece Gen Padova!

“2) He hates God. Pay especial attention to the fact that he changed his original sir name from Padova to Dio, which means God in Italian.

“3)Ronnie the simpleton enabled, and encouraged Sorceries: everything he was about including the little finger horn thing (he got this from his mother which is an incantation to ward off the “evil eye”) to the drugs, bloody raw meat and his fellowship with those pentagon necklace wearing freakish band members.

“Yes, Ronnie James Padova (NOT DIO) is currently residing in hell. When all those who worship him and his false gods meet him in hell it will be just like this: Isaiah 2:12 For the day of the LORD of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low: Isaiah 14:11 Thy pomp is brought down to the grave, and the noise of thy viols: the worm is spread under thee, and the worms cover thee.

“Praise God all ye, His people. The Great Day of the Lord draws nigh. AMEN!"

If the greatest day of God makes these befuddled gospites keep quiet for ten minutes, let's hope it turns up soon.

It's confusing that their first point of dissent with Dio is that he hated his neighbours - presumably in direct contradiction of the Commandments - while announcing plans to go and funnel hate at their neighbours.

Bret Michaels: One hell of a warning

USA Today are reporting that Bret Michaels is back in hospital after having a 'warning' stroke.

You've got to ask: if a stroke is the warning, what the hell is it warning about?

Ivor winners in full

The curious Ivor awards - for songwriters and, this year, for Noel Gallagher's heores - have been dolled out, and here's who took them home:

Song: Daniel
Writer/s: Natasha Khan
Performed By: Bat for Lashes
UK Publisher/s: Chrysalis Music

Song: The Fear
Writer/s: Lily Allen / Greg Kurstin
Performed By: Lily Allen
UK Publisher/s: Universal Music Publishing / EMI Music Publishing

Broadcast: Desperate Romantics
Composer: Daniel Pemberton
UK Publisher/s: Moncur Street Music

Album: Sunny Side Up
Writer/s: Paolo Nutini
Performed By: Paolo Nutini
UK Publisher/s: Warner/Chappell Music

Song: The Fear
Writer/s: Lily Allen / Greg Kurstin
Performed By: Lily Allen
UK Publisher/s: Universal Music Publishing / EMI Music Publishing

Film: Ice Age 3: Dawn of the Dinosaurs
Composer: John Powell
UK Publisher/s: EMI Music Publishing

Game: Killzone 2
Composer/s: Joris de Man
Developer: Guerrilla Games
UK Publisher/s: Sony Computer Entertainment Europe

Imogen Heap

Paul Weller

Trevor Horn

Lily Allen and Greg Kurstin

Neil Sedaka

Sir Tim Rice

Sir Peter Maxwell Davies

Johnny Marr

It's still never convincingly been explained to me why the song that is best musically and lyrically isn't the best song. Obviously, Daniel is a better song than The Fear, but I'm not clear what criteria the Ivors have used to decide this. "The Fear has the best music, and the best lyrics, but it's totally the wrong length and has a terrible title"?

I'm also wondering if the organisation needs to rethink the 'most played' prize - I'm sure The Fear did get played more than anything else last year, but only because it was used as a bed by everyone editing together a package for any purpose at all. Maybe the prize should only go to the 'most played in full' song?

Hunt won't undo DEA

Anyone hoping for the Conservative and Liberal Democrat Government might unpick the rushed-through Digital Economy Act might as well be using their wishes for a magic bucket or for that Clare Grogan solo record to be released. It isn't going to happen. Jeremy Hunt has confirmed:

“We’re not going to repeal it,” the new UK government’s Conservative culture secretary Jeremy Hunt told paidContent:UK.

Funny that, given that as it was passing through Parliament Hunt insisted that great chunks of the Digital Economy Bill were terrible, terrible pieces of legislation:
I want to say plainly to the Government that, while we recognise that some parts of the Bill will have to be let through if we are to avoid serious damage to the economy, other parts of it are totally unacceptable, and we will use every parliamentary means at our disposal to remove them.

Apart from, you know, repealing the Act if they get into power.

Gordon in the morning: Far, far away

Ewan McGregor has been sharing the impact watching Star Wars had on him as kid, and as a man:

The married actor said Leia, played by CARRIE FISHER, 53, was his first passion.

He added: "I've spent many years deeply, deeply in love with Leia - as a character and actress."

Why did Gordon mention Ewan was married there? Is he implying there's some degree of cheating involved in carrying a torch for somebody in a film? That McGregor is no better than Ronan Keating?

You have to suspect that the only reason for the story appearing at all is the headline:
Leia? I'd really like to lay 'er

Do you... oh, yes, you do geddit, I see.

Meanwhile, Gordon went to the Ivors where - heh heh - Noel Gallagher was quite the wit:
LORD NOEL GALLAGHER was on reliably mickey-taking form at the Ivors as he had a sly pop at ANNIE LENNOX.

Annie Lennox? Quite the cutting-edge target. I'm sure he's working on a routine about digital watches as we speak. But do carry on, Gordon: share the witticism with us.
Annie used her time on the podium to say what a hard time female artists have in the male-dominated music industry.
[Later Noel] declared: "I am a man. A man in rock. People ask what it's like to be a man in rock and I say, 'It's aaaalllright'."

It makes the lay 'er gag seem almost sophisticated, doesn't it?

Thursday, May 20, 2010

RIAA promote file-sharing websites

Oh, sure, the idea was to point at evil, file-sharing websites and say "look how terrible these people are." But did the RIAA not realise that issuing a list of the 'worst' file-sharing offenders will do nothing other than promote the ones people haven't already heard of.

So there's the familiar: Rapidshare, ISOHunt, The Pirate Bay. But I'm sure and will be thrilled that the major labels have effectively provided them with hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of free advertising.

The sixth site on the list was Baidu. Yes, the search engine that dominates China:

Hundreds and thousands of times
for her I searched in chaos
suddenly, I turned by chance
to where the lights were waning
and there she stood.

Good luck with taking on Baidu, RIAA. If you have success there, you'll be going on to try and stop the wind from blowing in the finals.

Rolo Tomassi in store

Rolo Tomassi. Rough Trade East, in London. May 27th. Like this, only with closer walls:

That's I Love Turbulence live at the Leeds Cockpit.

[Pre-Buy: Cosmology]

Gordon in the morning: Booth, hiss

There's only one story in the big-box-at-the-top of the Bizarre homepage this morning, a we're at war style proposition. What can it be?

After changing out of her stage clothes into a red mini dress, Cheryl - who split with love rat hubby ASHLEY COLE in February - joined Will [Mr I.Am] in the DJ booth and didn't leave his side for the rest of the night.

The pair cuddled and danced together in full view of the other guests but were careful to keep people guessing about the full extent of their relationship.

They were cuddling and kissing but "kept people guessing"? What do you mean, Gordon? They didn't shag each other up their respective chute-holes in the nightclub?

Still, 'Cheryl and William in a DJ box' is enough for The Sun to have a punning attempt at the nature of their relationship:
Will and Cheryl have decks

'Decks'? Do you see? I suppose we should be offering up a silent prayer of thanks they didn't go with 'drops his needle in the groove'.

In other Girls Aloud non-news, Gordon senses something's up:
MORE trouble could be brewing in the Girls Aloud camp.

SARAH HARDING missed bandmate Cheryl Cole's gig to see GRACE JONES just across town.

Yes. If you don't go to every single gig your bandmate does, and choose instead to see a one-off date by a living legend, it's clearly some sort of snub. Clearly.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Embed and breakfast man: The Drums

The Drums - they're like The Field Mice you don't get punched in the face for liking. This is the single Forever And Ever Amen, a pretaste of the self-titled album which is out in a week or two:

[Prebuy: The Drums]

Embed and breakfast man: The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart

How high are they? Higher than Primal Scream, who were only Higher Than The Sun. Higher than the edge of the known Universe. Higher than the stars:

[Buy: The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart]

Embed and breakfast man: Kathryn Williams

Here's a fresh treat - dripping wet still from the edit block, it's the new Kathryn Williams single, Just A Feeling:

[Buy The Quickening]

Elvis Costello: I don't want to go Tel Aviv

Elvis Costello has decided that he won't play his Israel gigs after all:

It is after considerable contemplation that I have lately arrived at the decision that I must withdraw from the two performances scheduled in Israel on the 30th of June and the 1st of July.

One lives in hope that music is more than mere noise, filling up idle time, whether intending to elate or lament.

Then there are occasions when merely having your name added to a concert schedule may be interpreted as a political act that resonates more than anything that might be sung and it may be assumed that one has no mind for the suffering of the innocent.

I must believe that the audience for the coming concerts would have contained many people who question the policies of their government on settlement and deplore conditions that visit intimidation, humiliation or much worse on Palestinian civilians in the name of national security.

I am also keenly aware of the sensitivity of these themes in the wake of so many despicable acts of violence perpetrated in the name of liberation.

Some will regard all of this an unknowable without personal experience but if these subjects are actually too grave and complex to be addressed in a concert, then it is also quite impossible to simply look the other way.

I offer my sincere apologies for any disappointment to the advance ticket holders as well as to the organizers.

My thanks also go to the members of the Israeli media with whom I had most rewarding and illuminating conversations. They may regard these exchanges as a waste of their time but they were of great value and help to me in gaining an appreciation of the cultural scene.

I hope it is possible to understand that I am not taking this decision lightly or so I may stand beneath any banner, nor is it one in which I imagine myself to possess any unique or eternal truth.

It is a matter of instinct and conscience.

It has been necessary to dial out the falsehoods of propaganda, the double game and hysterical language of politics, the vanity and self-righteousness of public communiqués from cranks in order to eventually sift through my own conflicted thoughts.

I have come to the following conclusions.

One must at least consider any rational argument that comes before the appeal of more desperate means.

Sometimes a silence in music is better than adding to the static and so an end to it.

I cannot imagine receiving another invitation to perform in Israel, which is a matter of regret but I can imagine a better time when I would not be writing this.

With the hope for peace and understanding.

James M raises two cheers:
Having committed some crass errors in recent years (appearing in a car ad on US TV, signing up to an exclusive deal with a credit card firm for his US gigs --if you didn't have that card, you couldn't buy a ticket, etc.), it's time to commend Costello for his decision. However, some may ask what took him so long to reach his decision when Israeli policies & actions in the Palestinian Territories have long been reported, even in the US media.

Agreed. It's curious why he needed "contemplation" to come to this decision and couldn't have come to it before booking the gig and selling the tickets.

A generous view might be that Costello thought that simply avoiding playing Israel would gather no press, while booking the events and cancelling them would offer a platform for him to offer a view on the Middle East.

A cynic might just think he hoped he could get away with it, and only weaseled out when he found out it wouldn't fly.

Given that the first time I ever heard the word Palestine was in a Costello song, it seems unlikely that he simply hadn't realised there was a problem in advance.

Gordon in the morning: Five years old

The Jonas Brothers inviting the Beckham kids to appear in a pop video sets Gordon Smart dreaming of the future:

And it could definitely be the start of something very profitable - not that the family need the dosh.

The God-fearing Jonas Brothers - who all famously vowed to stay off sex before marriage - are very wealthy young men. They've sold more than eight million albums since finding fame in 2005.

If the Beckham boys grow up to follow in their footsteps they could earn their own fortunes.

But they might not be so keen on vowing to remain virgins...

You know, for a moment there I could have sworn that Gordon was speculating on the future sex life of three kids, the youngest of whom is five years old. But that would be so inappropriate it would never have found its way into a family newspaper, would it?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Spotify unveil their the revamp

A couple of weeks ago, Spotify were promising a big new approach, and they've just announced what it will look like:

First up is Spotify Unlimited, which offers you round-the-clock, ad-free access to Spotify on your computer. Create playlists, build your own library, share music with friends - and all for only €5 a month.

Also available from today is Spotify Open. Open offers new Spotify users the chance to try out the service without the need for an invite, giving access to millions of tracks for up to 20 hours every month - that’s equivalent to listening to 25 albums or 300 tracks EVERY month!

The first one is curious - it suggests that they're having difficulty getting people to sign up for the full-subscription model, and so have come up with a lite package which does everything the full subs do, except for the mobile bit. Initial instinct is that it's not cheap enough to persuade people to change, and they've probably got the offering the wrong way round - I could see people interested in a mobile-only subscription, but doubt a mildly cheaper desktop-only version will do much to drive sign-ups.

The stripped-down, invite-avoiding free version, though, might work - allow people to find out exactly what's on offer, make them yearn for your product, and then say 'now you must pay'. It works for smack dealers, why shouldn't it work for Spotify?

I do wonder if the cut-off point for free is going to work for them - I'm not about to slam Spotify for being too generous, but if you really want people to sample and then pay, you might want to think about not setting the paypoint higher than 'more than enough for most users'.

Gordon in the morning: Butt mutterings

Kylie Minogue wants people to know that her famous arse isn't really her famous arse:

Talking about her butt, Kylie admitted: "I really don't know what all the fuss is about.

"It's all smoke and mirrors. I get a lot of help to look like that in my videos."

This isn't the first time she's pointed out that the bottom you see in her videos isn't the bottom she carries about in her knickers. But it's useful to be reminded.

So, Gordon, now you know what you're looking at is basically a drawing of a bottom, I bet you feel a bit silly, right?
You know what, I don't care if Kylie has had a bit of trickery to help her out.

She's still got a backside that every man has enjoyed looking at over the years.

"You know, I don't care if you're really a child-eating lizard who is just making me think you look like Angelina Jolie. Because you still look like Angelina Jolie to me."

Monday, May 17, 2010

Marilyn Manson to make a movie

Who knew that Liam Gallagher getting involved with a Beatles film wouldn't be the most heart-sinkingly obvious tie-in of the year. Marilyn Manson is going to star in a slashy gore movie.

Splatter Sisters, it's going to be called. David Gordon Green is producing:

"This is a role Marilyn Manson was born to play and, with Evan Rachel Wood bringing dramatic gravity to the ensemble, I have no doubt this will take the horror genre to a new level," Green said.

On the plus side, it hasn't started filming yet, so there's a possibility that we'll all be wiped out by an asteroid before Claudia Winkelman has to review this.

Morocco welcomes Elton John

Religious screechers' attempts to get Elton John disinvited from playing Rabat's Mawazine World Rhythms festival have been rebuffed, and he'll still going to go.

"We asked the government to exclude this person from the list of artists invited to this festival. This man -- sorry, I should say this person, not this man -- is known for bragging about his homosexuality," said Mustapha Ramid, a leading parliamentarian from the opposition Islamist PJD party.

"Morocco is an Islamic state where stages should not used to allow a person with such a degree of debauchery to perform because we have to shield the young from such influences," said Ramid.

Given that Morocco is known as the place where Joe Orton would go to pick up young men, it might be a bit late to start trying to salvage the image of the country.

You've got to love Mustapha's "this man, oooh, no, he's not a man at all" gag. Although if John isn't a man, then surely there's no way he could cause a problem having sex with men? Hasn't really thought this through, has he?

Still, the festival is having none of it:
"Elton John is one of the best artists in the world. He is great and extraordinary when he appears on stage. That's why we invite him and welcome him to the Mawazine festival," festival director Aziz Daki told Reuters.

"The private life of a singer is not our business. We do not invite singers and artists after assessing their private lives."

That's great - although, apparently, they don't invite singers on the basis of their recent work, either.

Happy IDAHO, everybody. Happy IDAHO.

Downloadable: Kele

He's dropped his surname, and now he's dropping the charges on the Tenderoni XXXChange Dub. Free, for you, from RCRDLBL.

RIAA defeat LimeWire

After just four years, the RIAA looks likely to secure victory in closing down LimeWire, the filesharing service your grandpa used to use back in the past. Last week, a judge in New York granted a summary judgement in the major label's favour.

The RIAA is planning to seek damages of $150,000 per instance of unlicensed downloading, which will run into silly money that Limewire simply don't have.

There were still people using LimeWire, so it's not totally a Pyrrhic Victory. But it's probably not as significant as the RIAA are spinning it, and it certainly wasn't worth the money they've spent on it.

LimeWire are trying to continue to engage with the music industry, to leverage their brand into a legal service (because that worked out well for Napster, right?).

Gordon in the morning: What does this mean?

It's early, but even if I were wide awake I think I'd be struggling with this:

PREGNANT X Factor star Dannii Minogue knows how to dress as a heavy - and so does her boyfriend Kris Smith.

The Aussie singer, 38 - due to give birth in July - covered her bump in a smock on a trip out in Melbourne.

Gordon goes on to say that Kris Smith wore sunglasses and a jacket, which made him look like "a bouncer", which makes some sort of sense. But how is "wearing a smock" dressing like a heavy? Although it's not a smock, it's a blouse. And isn't wearing a shirt a fairly ordinary thing for a woman, pregnant or no, to do? Surely writing for The Sun doesn't lead you to believe that most women walk around without shirts?

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Update: Ronnie James Dio

Sadly, real life has caught up with the internet. Ronnie James Dio died earlier today:

Message from Wendy Dio

Today my heart is broken, Ronnie passed away at 7:45am 16th May. Many, many friends and family were able to say their private good-byes before he peacefully passed away. Ronnie knew how much he was loved by all. We so appreciate the love and support that you have all given us. Please give us a few days of privacy to deal with this terrible loss. Please know he loved you all and his music will live on forever.

- Wendy Dio

Streaming now: The Cure

Generous bunch of streamable stuff over at the site promoting The Cure's re-release of Disintegration.

Liam Gallagher denies plans to become movie moghul

After Liam Gallagher has done his work on turning that book about The Beatles into a film, he's quitting the film business:

Gallagher said the memoir had held "biblical" meaning for his former bandmates but he said he has no plans to carry on making films after the project, reports the Press Association.

"I'm not going into films, this is the last thing for me," he said yesterday (May 14) alongside collaborator Andrew Eaton of Revolution Films: "I mean I'm not going to get sucked into that. I'm going to do this one thing because I like it, and I've got the opportunity to do it, and Andrew's going to make it happen, and that's it."

That might change, of course, if Liam should ever read a second book.

EMI extend long, slow death a few more months

It's looking likely that Guy Hands has managed to just about scrape together the cash to keep hold of EMI for a little while longer. USD105million, all of which will go into the debt pit that Terra Firma has dug, and all of which just keeps the beast limping on until March next year.

Meanwhile, with the cash they can get going on feeding the debt, no word on what EMI intends to do for actual money. I'm sure there's a plan, though, right?

The dog that bit Vanessa Carlton won't die

Some good news: Bella won't be killed, despite having bitten Vanessa Carlton.

The pit-bull had been due to be euthanised on Friday, after his owner said he was unable to afford the requirements for keeping a pitbull that's already had a taste of mid-market musician blood. The State was afraid that they couldn't guarantee that Bella wouldn't start hunting down Michelle Branch next.

Neighbours and friends - of the dog, presumably, rather than wispy female-lit-lite singer-songwriters - have stepped in to fund the necessary safeguards.

The smaller Pink: set cut back in Brighton

Running order troubles at Brighton's Great Escape Festival, with headliners The Big Pink only getting thirty minutes by the time they got on stage.

It's lucky that Groove Armada weren't playing there; they came on stage across town thirty minutes late, so they'd have only had time for a quick "Brighton - are you ready to noodle for a bit?" before the "goodnight, Corn Exchange."

Over at the Concorde2, Sleigh Bells invited fans onto the stage, which the NME reports as being some sort of a problem:

With minimal security at the venue, staff were forced to chase those members of the audience who did make it past them around the stage, while the Brooklyn duo carried on playing the track regardless.

I've never been entirely sure why security throw people off stage when they've been explicitly invited on by the artists. It just seems rude. You'd have to hope they don't go on to work on The Price Is Right - "I don't care if Mr Carrey told you to come on down, my boss says you're to stay in your seat."

Whigfield: Ronnie James did not Die-o

Although he's still ill, and still in hospital, the internet has been a little previous in writing off Ronnie James Dio:

"I am at the hospital and Ronnie has NOT passed away!!!! He is not doing good, but he is not dead.

"I will let you know if anything changes.

"Thank you for your concern."

- his wife, Wendy Dio, should know better than the internet.

Watch with No Rock: The XX

If you missed The XX doing the BBC's election theme (titled 'Bring Back King Arthur As I'm Pretty Sure An Election Result Not Preceded By Rick Wakeman Doesn't Count'), you can enjoy it on the Newsnight website.

This week just gone

Most read stories from this month, so far:

1. Lloyd-Webber and Cowell endorse Cameron
2. Rykodisc launch DCMA take-down order against their own servers
3. Listen: Pony Pony Run Run
4. Phil Collins loves The Alamo so much, he takes parts of it home
5. Peter Andre: Deep discounting
6. Diana Vickers upsets Gordon Smart
7. German Court clears Rapidshare
8. Chris Moyles works up 'Beth Ditto is fat' routine
9. The XX turn up live on Newsnight
10. U2 have influenced music. Just not in a good way.

This week's worthy-of-investigation releases:

Broken Social Scene - Forgiveness Rock Record

Download Forgiveness Rock Record

Foals - Total Life Forever

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Mary Chapin Carpenter - The Age Of Miracles

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The National - High Violet

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UNKLE - Where Did The Night Fall superbox

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Olafur Arnalds - ... And They Have Escaped The Weight Of Darkness

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Holy Fuck - Latin

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Neu! - Vinyl Box Set