Saturday, June 26, 2010

Gordon in the morning: Cheryl Cole comes into contact with ordinary person

In what is - it seems - a major breach of security, Cheryl Cole has met a member of the public in a lift:

The roly-poly brunette sneaked past bouncers at X Factor London auditions.

A show source said: "Everyone was getting the lift up to the judges' changing rooms and then this big girl got in.

"We were like, 'Who are you?' and she said she was a fan of Cheryl's. She was soon bundled out and security started grilling everyone about how she got in there."

You've got to admire the sense of entitlement that you've developed when seeing a person you don't recognise sharing a lift means you set your people on the them.

Nice of both the "show source" and The Sun to have a go at the woman's weight - I suspect nobody at the paper has ever seen this person who he blithely describes as "roly poly".

Still, it's wise for security to be careful about this incident - sometimes, when Cheryl Cole meets ordinary people, she ends up beating the crap out of them.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Glastonbury 2010: Prince Charles headlines

There's some stuff in the papers today about Prince Charles causing some embarrassment at Glastonbury.

The idea of Charles tramping round Glastonbury, surely, is embarrassing enough - although now he's amazingly discovered that he's amazingly related to Robert Patinson off The Cosby Vampires, maybe he's trying to dig deeper into pop culture.

Still, this is supposedly the big gaffe:

Prince Charles put his foot in it at the Glastonbury Festival yesterday when he asked an Australian if he was an illegal immigrant.

The prince made the remark to Nick Wardle, 22, during a visit to the site of this weekend's music extravaganza in Somerset.

Cheeky Nick approached the prince and said: "Hello mate, I'm Nick from Australia. I'm working at the festival."

Prince Charles replied: "I would never have guessed. I hope you have a permit to work over here."

In other words, he didn't accuse anyone of being an illegal immigrant. He didn't even accuse anyone of being an undocumented worker. What this appears to be, instead, is Charles having a crack at topical humour. Clunking, mildly offensive topical humour, perhaps, but if ITV was still doing NewsKnight, the Prince would certainly have been booked.

Nick Wardle, sharp as a knife, shot back "I know, it's terrible when someone comes from overseas and steals the top jobs. Like, our Head Of State doesn't even live in the bloody country."

Actually, he didn't:
Nick replied: "Yes I do, mate."

Nick told the Mirror he thought it was funny, but that doesn't seem to have stopped the paper going on about it being a gaffe.

Mind you, there could be some mileage in this idea - George Osborne's looking for ways to fund the corporation tax cuts he's got planned; royals meet lots of people. Getting them to check people's papers as they go around could save a fortune. I look forward to the Queen going along the line at the Royal Variety: "Hello - you're not claiming benefits too, are you? Hello, can I check your tax return..."

Gordon in the morning: Genealogy OMGzzzz

Gordon is superhyperexcited this morning all about the RPATZ:

TWILIGHT vampire hunk ROBERT PATTINSON has a surprising blood relative - the real Dracula.

There isn't actually a 'real' Dracula, just a person who helped inspire the stories, but do carry on.
The actor is a distant nephew of blood-thirsty 15th-century Transylvanian Vlad the Impaler, who inspired the Dracula novel by Bram Stoker.

A distant nephew, you say? Really?
And in an even stranger twist,...

...Vlad The Impaler was also a rotten actor who made up for lack of talent by staring a bit and then taking his shirt off? No?
...the connecting link between Vlad and British Robert, nicknamed R-Patz...

... is being talked up in a bid to promote his new film, Young Vampires In Love?
...could be the ROYAL FAMILY.

Genealogists say Robert, 24 - vampire Edward Cullen in the hit movies - is distant cousins with princes William and Harry on their father Prince Charles's side.

This is, of course, flim-flam of the highest degree. Given that there weren't many people around in the 1500s, and the half a millennium or so since then, everyone can probably claim a distant kinship with most of the people who were around at the time. And most people could, if pushed, go far enough back and then come forward in a way which - shock - would reveal that we're related to the Royals. Even Prince Harry could probably find some sort of blood link with Prince Charles if he looked hard enough.
Amazingly, Twilight author STEPHENIE MEYER is also a distant cousin to the British princes, meaning she shares a link to Vlad.

It's not "amazing". It's barely interesting, but it's not amazing. Stop being easily amazed.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Frank Sidebottom: There are good, good people

No sooner had the news about Chris Sievey's finances been made public, than people started rallying round. There's now enough money for a proper, fitting send-off, and hopefully some left over to help out his family.

ASCAP loses it; starts to throw things at Creative Commons licences

Creative Commons is a good thing, right? If you want to use a CC licence, you can, and it's great; if you'd rather use a traditional copyright, then that's your choice. You can even mix both. Choice. Good thing, right?

Not if your business involves collecting copyright fees and then eventually distributing them. The US collection agency, ASCAP, has started to raise a fighting fund. Boing Boing:

Memehacker, and composer Mike Rugnetta just received a note from the collecting society ASCAP soliciting funds to fight Creative Commons, Public Knowledge, and the EFF. According to ASCAP, these organizations are mobilizing to undermine ASCAP members' copyrights because they want all music to be free. Which, if you know anything about the kind of nuanced reform work these organizations do, is a pretty gross exaggeration. The letter reads like a McCarty-era scaremongering pitch to solicit funds from composers and musicians bewildered by the current pace of music industry evolution.

The letters - in two parts on Twitpic - are more cram full o'paranoid lies than there are bubbles in an Aero bar:
[Creative Commons, Public Knowledge and the EFF] say they are advocates of consumer rights, but the truth is these groups simply do not want to pay for the use of our music.

The pitch is for people to give more money to ASCAP to campaign against CC licences, somehow.

ASCAP are trying to persuade Congress that there should be a law against people choosing to allow people to use stuff they've made without the need for a collection agency to get involved. And, brilliantly, to fund this, ASCAP are asking the members who they have passed cash to give it back to them.

It would be hilarious if it wasn't so hatefully confused.

Naturally, the people at ASCAP aren't idiots. They know that wailing that a few, small organisations are going to ruin them won't fool any of their members - even Slayer would see through that one. So they add a line to the mix describing the troops ranging against copyright:
... and technology companies with deep pockets.

Unnamed technology companies, of course, because if they named one of these supposed companies, even ASCAP know they'd be laughed at even more heartily.

ASCAP haven't said exactly how they'll spend the funds they hope to raise, but suggestions include whitewashing their windows and thousands and thousands rolls of foil.

Michael Jackson 'died from not being Muslim' says Jermaine

Jermaine Jackson knows what killed Michael Jackson, and points the finger firmly at Jackson not being Islamic:

“I felt that if Michael would have embraced Islam he would still be here today and I say that for many reasons,” said Jermaine in an interview to be broadcast on the BBC World Service on Friday.

“Why? Because when you are 100 per cent clear in your mind as to who you are and what you are and why you are and everybody around you, then things change in a way that’s better for you. It’s just having that strength. God is so powerful.”

Oh, no, hang on - it was living in America which did for him:
Jermaine, 55, also said that he had wanted Michael to get out of America because it was “having a cherry-picking time on my brother”.

He continued: “The love that they are giving my brother now he is dead, is the love they should have shown him when he was alive.”

Don't be silly, Jermaine - if they'd have shown him all this love when he was alive, he would have got the money.

Gordon in the morning: Kylie on the pyramid stage

Gordon is confidently predicting that Kylie will turn up at Glastonbury after all, as the Scissor Sisters throw the kitchen sink at their set to try and restart their careers:

Kylie will perform single All The Lovers with the uber-camp pop band. And, as I revealed yesterday, they have invited SIR IAN McKELLEN to perform with them, too.

Meanwhile, the fawning is back full-on for Diana Vickers:
The chart-topping youngster got stuck into the Pimm's at her management firm Modest's summer party in London on Tuesday.

And I'd have done the same, if I'd just landed a quarter-of-a-million quid publishing agreement with Universal.

It's sterling work for Vickers and proves she can pen a mean tune.

Well, no it doesn't - signing a deal doesn't prove anything; the proof is if you're able to earn the money mentioned on the contract.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

PJ (or was it Duncan) misses out

With all the horrors of the modern world, thank God the BBC keeps a sense of perspective:

TV star Declan Donnelly misses England World Cup goal

It's hard to believe, isn't it?
TV star Declan Donnelly was amongst hundreds of football fans in London who missed England's all-important World Cup goal after a power cut.

You see, Duncan (or was he PJ?) has to be like the rest of us when the electricity stops flowing. But still gets the top billing on the news report. The other hundreds? Well, they've never been in Byker Grove, have they?

Chris Sievey's family say there's no money for a funeral

More heartbreaking news from Manchester, as Frank Sidebottom's children say they haven't got the money to bury their father properly. The Manchester Evening News reports:

Chris leaves sons Stirling, 31, and Harry, 18, and daughter Asher, 30. Stirling said the family have been in discussion with hospital bereavement officers and a funeral director.

He said: “My father has not left any money behind and we are struggling to try and sort his funeral out. He spent money as it came in and was always a man for the moment. He never planned ahead. We have spoken to a funeral director and the sort of figures that they are talking about are too high.

“We would not know how to go about getting that sort of money at the moment. They said that applying for a pauper's funeral would be an option.

“He would not want us worrying about trying to sort it all out. We would not want our dad to have a pauper's funeral but we would not want something over the top for him too. Just something simple and dignified.”

Radio 2 DJ Mark Radcliffe, who played alongside Chris in the Frank Sidebottom Oh Blimey Big Band in the 1980s, said a pauper's funeral would be a tragedy. He said: “Something needs to be organised to give Chris the send-off that he deserves. It would be tragic for a man who brought so much enjoyment and laughter to the region to have a pauper's funeral.”

After the MEN published the original report, it updated the story to suggest that a campaign is already under way to raise the money needed for a fitting send-off.

Hey! Ho! You owe! Ramones drummer sues

Marky Ramone, the Ramones drummer, is angry. He thought he'd done a deal five years ago to ensure that he got his fair share of the Ramones royalties. Now, though, he reckons he's been diddled. Ping! Off he fires a lawsuit, demanding the USD175,000 he reckons he's been stiffed.

Plus, of course, a million on top in punitive damages. Of course.

Elvis Costello gives away his guitar

It's believed he has a spare, though.

Elvis Costello has donated his guitar to the Picket, which is going to use it to support youth music projects. By raffling it off.

Which is nice: everyone gets a chance to own it, rather than the highest bidder. They should have done that with that Manet painting.

BPI sends a letter to Google

The BPI has served Google with a DCMA notice calling on them to drop links to what the music industry cartel are sites holding unlicensed copies of various songs. Including Scouting For Girls, which seems unlikely.

The DCMA notice seems to be a little confused between a webpage and a website - isn't a webpage, BPI - but there's another point here which suggests the BPI aren't getting it right.

We have identified the following links that are available via Google's
search engine, and request the following links be removed as soon as
possible as they directly link to sound recordings owned by our members.

So say the BPI. Except the sort of link they offer doesn't "directly link" - they're links like this one:
(don't worry, there's no music there any more) - which is a page which holds another link to the sound recordings. I know it's a small thing, but it does nothing to give the impression that the BPI have any idea what they're talking about.

There's one other thing: the songs have all vanished on the hosting sites - presumably as a result of either DCMA takedowns or the hosts intervening unilaterally. So what is to be gained by getting Google to take down the links? Wouldn't it be better for the record labels for searches for unlicensed files to return pages that just shrug and go 'not here', making it a frustrating experience for people trying to save a few pence?

Isn't forcing Google to drop links to pages which don't host the files any more making it easier to find dodgy versions of the songs? Is that really what the BPI want?

Gordon in the morning: Death comes as the end

Under a clunking "aupopsy" pun, Gordon reveals that Lady GaGa is working up with Gunther Von Hagens. Or, as Gordon puts it:

LADY GAGA has come up with a way to make her live shows even more shocking - having dead bodies on stage.

The singer is teaming up with corpse-preserving scientist GUNTHER VON HAGENS to spice up her already blood-soaked Monster Ball Tour.

Actually, it turns out that she hasn't "teamed up" with him at all, merely decided it might be interesting and sent him an email and "is hoping to see him".

I suspect Von Hagens might gently point out that he uses real bodies in an educational way, and not as props to make people go "OMFG like that is so cool11!!!!1"

Still, imagine that: using a load of old, dead stuff to try and pad out something that's meant to be entertaining.

Gordon also has stories about Kelly Brook, Victoria Beckham watching a DVD and Liz Hurley wearing a low-cut dress.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Denver has some sort of rating

Someone - and the 9News report doesn't actually say whom - has come up with a semi-meaningless figure to measure the 'creative vitality' of US cities, leading to this sort of conclusion:

A new study says Denver's music scene is bigger than once thought, ranking high with the likes of Los Angeles, New Orleans and Seattle.

Denver's Creative Vitality Index, or CIV, is 2.33. The national average was reported to be 1, and cities like Los Angles and Seattle received CIV's of 4.24 and 2.06 respectively.

I'm not sure I even understand how Creative Vitality Index gets shortened to CIV rather than CVI, much less how this number is arrived at.
According to the study, there are about 2,300 music-related jobs in Denver, which is higher than Seattle and New Orleans on a per-capita basis.

Denver is home to 44 music venues and at least 60 more mixed-use venues that offer live music every night of the week, and according to the study, the total gross sales for all the venues in the Mile High City averaged a minimum of $2.3 million a night.

That would imply that Denver music venues are taking USD839million a year. Which, if true, is probably a far better indication of Denver's creativity than a made-up number.

Twittergem: Lady GaGa

via @moogyboobles:

Haha! The local council are putting on Lady Gaga lessons at the sports centre in the summer.

I can't even begin to imagine what would be on the syllabus...

We Are The Physics: It's your votes that count

Oh, you had me at "clapometer":

We Are The Physics are hosting a one-off gig in Glasgow this weekend (26th June) to premiere new material from their as-yet unfinished second album, the follow-up to 2008's debut 'We Are The Physics Are OK At Music'.

During the gig at Bar Bloc, fans will be asked to rate a set of new songs "using a sophisticated pen/paper/interrogation process, as well as a home-made Clap-o-meter".

You just have to hope the ghost of Hughie Green doesn't find out...

Peter Murphy becomes children's entertainer

Having Peter Murphy turn up in the Twilight movies is akin to getting Tony Benn in to sit in on your school council. Sure, he can do the job, but it only points up how low-powered the surroundings are.

The press release which thinks its selling the appearance only really stresses what a lousy idea this is:

Murphy’s last film appearance was in 1983 when Bauhaus performed “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” in the opening credit sequence of Tony Scott’s vampire thriller The Hunger starring David Bowie, Catherine De Neuve and Susan Sarandon.

And now he's going to be Twilight II: Eclipse, which is adapted from the book by Stephanie Meyer, which in turn is adapted from putting Anne Rice novels in a machine that drains them of any interest.

Here's The Hunger:

And here's Twilight:

You Say Party will party on

After the death of Devon Clifford earlier this year, You Say Party have been thinking through their options.

Today, the issued a statement. They're going to party on, but never say die:

To all of our fans and supporters,

Heartfelt thanks for all the messages of love and condolences that you have sent since Devon's passing. We have drawn a lot of strength from these as we navigate this difficult time. Losing Devon has been a profound loss for the family this band has grown to become. We have taken some time out of the spotlight these last few months to heal, process, reflect and re-evaluate the future of this band.

We have talked at great length with each other and our families and friends about the future. Devon's parents have encouraged us to continue on and given us their blessing. It is their opinion (as well as ours) that Devon would never have wanted his death to end the band. He would have wanted us to continue on.

In the time between Devon's passing and this statement, we have all reflected upon our personal lives. Krista has decided that her time with us has come to an end as she no longer desires the long drives, poor sleeps and revolting selection of road food. Instead she's choosing a home, a garden, some gluten-free baking and a proper education. We will miss Krista very much and she remains a part of our lives.

We have turned to our good friends and former tour-mates Robert Andow and Bobby Siadat of Vancouver band "Gang Violence” to play keyboards and drums. This new line up will continue the tradition of excellent live shows and sweaty dance floors, with new strength and a renewed commitment to music and touring. The 5 of us look forward to carrying the spirit of our friend Devon with us everywhere.

The cancelled European tour is being rescheduled for this fall and we will announce the dates as soon as possible. We are also planning select shows for the rest of 2010.

Out of respect for Devon and the evolution of life, today we announce that we will no longer be known as "You Say Party! We Say Die!" but instead as simply "You Say Party".

Lately, we’ve been thinking a lot about the words and meanings we've spoken through our music. To return you to the core message of our band, we present the first track "There is XXXX (Within My Heart)" as the next single in North America.

With XXXX and light.

It can't have been an easy decision; you'd have to wish them all the best for the future.

Even Europe can't stand The Final Countdown

Presumably, had John Norum have been able to see the future, he might not have had such a cool reaction when Joey Tempest introduced The Final Countdown at a Europe rehearsal session:

"When Joey first played us the demo, I was one of those who said, 'Are you mad? This isn't what we're about.' It had synthesizers all over it, and we were more into THIN LIZZY, UFO and DEEP PURPLE. But the song did grow on me."

Given that it's the one song which has kept them in work and bread for thirty years, you can imagine how you might grow to like the song. But only a bit, as he doesn't het much to do:
"As a guitarist, there's not much for me to do on that song. Sure, there's a Ritchie Blackmore-type solo, but that's it. Yet when you see the crowd reaction… well, it does make it all worthwhile. I suppose this is a song that now belongs to the world.

"We've never dropped 'The Final Countdown' from our set, and I doubt we ever will I can just imagine how angry our fans would be!"

Given that it's the only song people are paying to see, yes, I imagine they would be somewhat vexed.

Gordon in the morning: It's about football as well

Some footballer going on about how much he loves Oasis at length? Somehow, as Gordon was reaching for the massive spike, he slipped and it's leading the page today.

Full declaration, though: this line did make me smile:

LIONEL MESSI - the planet's most special footballer since ARCHIE GEMMILL

- although given the love of Kasabian, he might not be making a joke selecting a hoofer for special praise.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Global rip Heart out of local radio

Just when you think that Global are done making local radio rubbish, they announce new plans to make it even more rubbish. Ofcom has allowed them to cut the number of Heart stations from 33 to 15.

Yes, what were once local radio stations are now going to become something else entirely - vaguely distant radio, perhaps?

Ashley Tabor, the Global Radio founder and Global Group chief executive, said Ofcom's regulatory change "enables commercial radio to organise itself more efficiently and take advantage of new technology to enable our people to work smarter".

"Although this has meant some brave decisions for our business, these changes considerably strengthen our company by providing listeners with higher quality programming and our customers with a far superior service," Tabor added.

Yes. Because why would you want to listen to programming from where you live, when you could tune in to something coming from the other side of the country?

It's fascinating to see Tabor use the phrase "enable our people to work smarter", an irritating and empty cliche which even the hardest-hearted management wonk dropped from their repertoire around the same time as 'do more with less' was recognised to be little more than a polite way of yelling 'do more work for less money' at a browbeaten staff.

Let's take a look at what this all means by seeing what they're doing here in Milton Keynes. What used to be Horizon Radio was turned into Heart Milton Keynes a while ago, and now will become Heart Home Counties:
Another new station, Heart Home Counties, will be made up of four Heart stations currently broadcasting from Northampton, Milton Keynes, Bedford and Dunstable.

Because of the changes, Heart is going to double its local news - to one whole minute every hour. But, erm, it's quadrupling the area it covers. So, in effect, you're going to wind up getting half as much local news as you used to.

This is what Global believe to be "higher quality programming".

And 'Home Counties'? Seriously, who calls where they live The Home Counties? Unless you're taking part in Round Britain Quiz, it's not a phrase that people really use in every day life. And Northamptonshire isn't even one of the Home Counties anyway.

Things get worse diagonally across the nation:
Four more stations in Wales and the north-west of England will become Heart North-West and Wales, broadcasting out of Wrexham.

Granada used to have to try and pretend that there was some sort of connection between Chester, Rhyl and Skelmersdale because of an accident of geography. But there isn't, not really, and this sort of 'draw a line around some places and that's a coherent region' approach shows exactly how much contempt Global have for their audiences.

How much longer till the 15 fall into a quasi-national, single blob, then?

Papermaicheobit: Frank Sidebottom

Heartbreaking news this evening, I'm afraid, as Chris Sievey, of the Freshies and Frank Sidebottom fame, has died.

The Freshies's big moment came with the hit I'm In Love With The Girl On The Manchester Virgin Megastore Checkout Desk, re-recorded with 'Virgin' replaced by 'Certain' to avoid BBC restrictions on advertising. But it was the creation of a fan from Timperley, Frank Sidebottom, and an entire fantasy world centred on his large, paper-maiche head that would be the basis of a twenty-five year career.

Frank Sidebottom turned up all over the place - guest slots on Radio Five's Hit On The North; bits for short-lived proto-Viz Oink comic; anything that Tony Wilson was doing. He did a track for the NME's Sgt Pepper Knew My Family album, part of a slew of records which usually could be obtained by mail order from Marc Riley's In Tape. And although not really a children's entertainer, Frank would often pop up adding to the general chaos on ITV Saturday morning kids' shows of varying quality.

Good-natured, always in-character, and self-assured at keeping a cast of supporting characters spinning, in Frank Sidebottom Chris created something very special indeed.

He'd been ill for a while - last month he had a tumor removed from his chest - and was found collapsed at home very early this morning. Chris was taken to hospital, but died shortly afterwards.

Here's Frank at the Bull And Gate doing a Manchester Medley:

It's usual when we lose an entertainer to say they're irreplaceable, but in the case of Frank, you know he is. He really is.

Gordon in the morning: Here he comes again

Gordon is - briefly - bang on the money this morning:

YOU would be forgiven for thinking that little JOE McELDERRY had slipped into obscurity after winning The X Factor last year.

Thats, erm, because he's slipped back into obscurity.

He has, however, to trudge through the motions of putting out a record, and, keen to keep the Cowell/ITV axis happy, Smart tries to pretend that this is going to be an event:
The Geordie lad is jetting out to LA to put together his masterpiece, and the wait will soon be over.

He told me he is expected to have it all wrapped up and ready for release in October.

Yes, the wait. I bet HMV are sick of people popping in like that old chocolate advert going "any news yet?" All over the nation, piggy banks groan under the weight of pennies saved in the Joe McWhateveritwas album fund.

But Gordon has more:
In an interesting twist of fate, Joe could find himself going up against his former rival OLLY MURS in the charts.

That has to be the most inaccurate use of the word "interesting" in recorded history.

Two people? Releasing an album within a few months of each other? That would be...
X Factor runner-up Olly is also due to have something out around that time. That will make for a good old-fashioned chart battle.

Perhaps, Gordon. Although a fight for the number 37 slot is hardly going to bring the camera crews running.

In other parts of Gordon's forest, there's a lot of Murdochy-cross-promotion of Russell Brand's appearance in The Simpsons. This is treated as if it's something incredible, rather than now a job which occurs shortly after your second appearance on Leno and shortly before the first invite to a Pro-Celebrity Horseshoe Toss.

Still, he's following in a long line of cameos, isn't he, Gordon?
But his latest acting achievement puts him up there with movie greats like MARLON BRANDO ... he's bagged a role in The Simpsons.

That's odd. Brando never actually played himself in The Simpsons, he was just Dan Castellaneta doing a silly voice. Why would Gordon single out Brando rather than, say, Tom Hanks or Coldplay or... hang about, what's the headline?
New Brand'oh

And, more importantly, it secures priceless bragging rights over close pal NOEL GALLAGHER, who has only ever been yellow with hangover pain.

I suspect that simply Americans knowing who he is gives Brand that power, Gordon.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Freebutt weekend: Nina Nastasia

More delights from the under-threat Brighton venue:

[Buy: Nina Nastasia - Outlaster]

[Part of The Freebutt weekend]

Michael Jackson: Finally, someone pays

AEG and the Michael Jackson estate are busily trying to make their grudging, belated, inadequate payment towards the massive costs of the Jacko back catalogue relaunch party ("memorial event") appear as an act of unprecedented generosity:

AEG President Timothy J. Leiweke and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said Friday in a joint statement that $1 million will be provided to the city's general fund, and the rest of the money will go to the Los Angeles Police Foundation for crime-fighting equipment.

"It was important to us that all parties agreed that this was not an obligation but a choice we believed was important to make at a time when thousands of city employees are being reduced," Leiweke said in the release.

The 'rest of the money' is $300,000. In total, the payment from AEG and the estate doesn't even cover the overtime the residents of LA had to pay police to look after the concert; and it's barely a smidge of the profits made from people buying Jackson records when he died.

Perhaps now AEG have had a chance to choose to do the right thing, it's time for them to be asked to make up the rest of the costs?

This week just gone

The stats tell me that these have been the most-read individual stories over the last seven days. Yes, bloody R Kelly still leading the field:

1. R Kelly's homemade sex video 'to be shown' to court
2. McFly take their trousers off for GAY audience
3. AC DC on iTunes? You won't find it
4. News Of The World counts up BBC crew heading for Glastonbury, declares outrage
5. Lily Allen arrives in France with different clothes on
6. Freebutt threatened with having to axe live music
7. Jeremy Hunt's plans for copyright
8. Von Sudenfed and Mark E Smith come together
9. KT Tunstall: Is she gay or straight or what?
10. Mick Karn is very, very ill indeed

These releases were the most interesting of the week:

We Are Scientists - Barbara

Download Barbara

The Chemical Brothers - Further

Download Further

Robyn - Body Talk (Part One)

Download Body Talk

Devo - Something For Everybody

Download Something For Everybody

Sandy Denny & Sandy Denny and The Strawbs - All Our Own Work

Download Sandy Denny at the BBC

Uffie - Sex Dreams And Denim Jeans

Download Sex Dreams

Suzanne Vega - Close Up Volume 1: Love Songs

Download Songs In Red And Grey