Saturday, February 05, 2011

Yo La Tengo: It should be based on who's the hungriest

The fans loved it at first when - after the spinner told them to - Yo La Tengo started to work through a Seinfeld script (The Chinese Restaurant episode, to be precise). For some, the novelty wore off quite quickly. But they did come on and do some music afterwards. And...

Ira Kaplan does do a great Jerry Seinfeld.

Downloadable: Cowboy Junkies

As they prepare to dole out an album of songs by Vic Chesnutt - oh, yes, they are - The Cowboy Junkies are offering this little box with a free mp3 in:

Glastonbury 2011: Brilliant news

The headliners for this year's Glastonbury Festival are going to be Coldplay.

Now, that might not sound like brilliant news.

But the chances are you're more likely to not have spent £200 on a ticket to see Coldplay.

Not having Glastonbury tickets has just become a whole lot sweeter.

Jon Spencer Blues Explosion to play Superbowl

Aside from the news that Simon Cowell is going to appear in a Superbowl advert to push the US version of the X Factor (that's quite a big bet riding on the show right there), the most interesting Superbowl advert is probably this one:

It's a car advert, a car advert for a car you can't buy yet, and possibly the dullest creative idea you can imagine - "hey, the car's called a Beetle, because it looks like a beetle, so why don't we do an advert which makes it look like a beetle?"

But on the other hand: Jon Spencer Blues Explosion covering Black Betty.

The great thing about it being on YouTube is you don't have to sit through the sport to see it. The 21st century is brilliant.

Gordon in the morning: Calling for cuts

It is pretty outrageous that Surrey Police have the time and money to provide an escort to Katie Price. I'm not sure I'm quite as outraged as Gordon Smart is, though:

WATCHING Jordan bleating on about Press intrusion in her fly-on-the-wall show is bad enough for my blood pressure.

But this footage of the fame-hungry imbecile being given the privilege of a police escort nearly caused my first heart attack. It's a disgusting, shameful waste of police time and taxpayers' money.

A member of Jordan's camp is said to have alerted Surrey Police when Jordan felt a rolling roadblock was required.

I wonder if that was before or after he or she tipped off photographers about her next skiing holiday?
Ah, so Jordan is a "fame-hungry imbecile", then?

I wonder who it is who is her feeder, then? Perhaps Gordon should have a word with the Showbusiness editor at the newspaper which ran just shy of 1000 stories on her last year. And is already up to twelve stories about her just five days into February.

Friday, February 04, 2011

Life after Death: DFA reunion statement

Why are Death From Above 1979 getting back together? Why? Why?

Numerology, it turns out. Or so they'd have us believe:

It's been 5 years since Death From Above 1979 played a show, 10 years since Jesse played me the first demos & 11 years since we sat in his parents basement and played so loud we knocked the china off the shelves upstairs. 11 seems to be a YES number for me. Though I am usually a pretty rational guy, if I have something on my mind and I see an 11 somewhere, I know I’m on the right path.

It’s one of my last remaining superstitions. 2011 has a nice ring to it & if you’re so inclined, it may be the last year ever! So why not say YES? Why not say YES to Coachella? Why not say YES to playing the music we designed to be an undeniable source of power? Why not say YES to stirring up a writhing pit of sweaty humans? YES to riots! YES to heavy music! YES instead of maybe, and YES to make death your adviser and remind yourself always, that this is not a dress rehearsal. This is the big show.

Jesse and I have decided that what we can do together should not be denied.

Together again, as was always the intention, as a collaboration.

The collision of two different worlds.

As this all takes shape, we will reveal it to you.

All of it happening, as it always has, in our own way.

Thank you all for sharing in our excitement!


Where people listen

Virtualmusic have attempted to track the various sizes of traffic to American-facing online music services in a heat map. This is what they came up with:

Click for bigger, and to see the methodology used.

Red services are shrinking year-on-year, green growing. And there's a few areas left out - YouTube, whose music videos create a box three times the size of everything put together; iTunes can't count because it's not a website; and MySpace because it's impossible to quantify which parts of the MySpace traffic is heading there for music.

Interesting things to note includes that Last FM has seen an uptick - despite having become a lot less flexible in how you can listen; AOL and eMusic have also grown audience in difficult years, and the figures here suggest that MOG is in the sort of decline that content points to.

South Africans rip up cables with bare hands to try and stop U2 gig

The police think that it's copper thieves who just happen to have pinched the cables around the FNB stadium in Johannesburg, coincidentally putting the U2 gig there next week at risk.

I suspect it's much more likely that the intention was to try and put the U2 gig at risk, and taking the cables was a means to an end.

MySpace continues to drain Murdoch's pockets

You could almost feel sorry for Rupert, as between the takeover referals, and the Sky Sexism, and the ruling on EU sports bundles, and The Daily being a pointless cash-drain, and everything.

Obviously, what with him being all Blofeldy, it's actually impossible to feel sympathy. But look: Here's more misery for him, as MySpace loses $275million in a quarter:

News Corp. COO Chase Carey told analysts,

"The new MySpace has been very well received by the market and we have some very encouraging metrics. But the plan to allow MySpace to reach its full potential may be best achieved under a new owner."
"Yeah, nice little runner this MySpace" he continued, walking round it and kicking the wheels. "You interested in buying it? We could do a deal. I mean, obviously there's a lot of interest, and with something like this it'll go quickly, so don't hang around. I'll throw in The Daily, too, sweeten the deal."

Gordon in the morning: Left out of the love-in

Poor McFly:

McFLY will be watching the Brits this month in a bit of a rage.

The lads - DANNY JONES, TOM FLETCHER, DOUGIE POYNTER and HARRY JUDD - are miffed they don't get invited to big award shows.

Harry said: "It's frustrating that we don't get included in those types of things."
It must be frustrating, Harry. But why just the Brits? There are loads of awards shows you don't stand a tinker's trumpet of winning but don't get invited to. Surely you'd be just as appropriate a guest for The eLearning Awards, or the Petrochemical Industry Heroes Of 2010. After all, you're not really working in the same business as the people there, either.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

White Stripes: This wasn't the idea, of course

The decision to announce a formal split of The White Stripes wasn't, I'm sure, a cunning ruse designed to spark a sale of catalogue albums. But boy, it worked out that way.

Heh-heh-heh-he said 'comeback'

Suggesting that the creative cupboard at MTV now contains only crumbs and silverfish, Beavis And Butthead is being readied for a comeback.

Yes, that'll work. Given that most of MTV's target audience would barely have been able to string a sentence together the last time Beavis failed to string a sentence together, it seems hard to believe that the network could come up with a more misplaced and misjudged revival to pad its hours out with.

In addition, the network confirmed that its new Teen Wolf series will debut June 5.
I stand corrected.

Africa Oi, Pay

Some sad news from Liverpool, where the increasing success of the free Africa Oyé festival means it can be free no longer. The Echo explains:

Up to 50,000 people attended the weekend last year and now the Oyé has been told health and safety issues means it will need a licence to run the 2011 event.

With security, fencing, toilet facilities and box office staff as well as bringing together top bands from Africa and the Caribbean, it means it could cost around £100,000 to put on this year’s festival.
Last year's festival put £1.3million into the Merseyside economy; if we weren't living in an age of economic illiteracy, you might expect central or local government to chip in to cover costs in order to bring that much cash in. Instead, this year, numbers attending will be less than half, so the boost for the local economy is going to be much smaller. A pity.

Webb on the internet

I'm not sure Jimmy Webb's analysis of modern songwriting is quite right - he says there's no more pure songwriters, but there are, surely? Writing for production line bands and game show winners, perhaps, but they're still there, polishing a line to turn a dollar.

But, still, in this video from Today, he's spot-on about American Idol and plays a bit of Wichita Lineman.

Gordon in the morning: The Monkey house

Gordon has vague reports from LA this morning, where the Arctic Monkeys are busy recording a new album.

That's a dull story, so instead, Gordon and "a source" worry about how they're getting on with the neighbours:

A source said: "There was a suggestion that the neighbours might not be pleased about a band moving in.

"But most of the locals are bang-up for a good time. They're young, rich, party-loving and keen to make friends with the lads.

"One even offered six figures for the lads to play at their garden party but the group refused. The line, 'We're not performing monkeys' was said to have been used."
That 'was said to have been used' suggests that even as Gordon was making it up, he was starting to regret it. I wonder if there was anything about 'arctic responses' in the first draft.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

The Primitives. They're back, you know.

You can hear the new Primitives single on the new How Does It Feel To Be Loved podcast.

The White whom?

[via @dickon_edwards]

What the pop papers say: Drugzzzzz

This week's NME in short: Heh heh heh they woz all on drugggzzz lolz!!!1!.

They're calling it:

the funniest list you'll read all year
- which bodes ill, as the paper is sliding back into just churning out increasingly ill-conceived lists when it runs out of ideas. And if this is as funny as we can expect, it's going to be quite dry come August.

So this week, when to mark landing a back page ad for the remastered Screamadelica ("to mark an interview with Bobby Gillespie") the NME lists "the 50 druggiest albums ever". Screamadelica is number one, which is both lucky and like, hey, proof of something, right, because this is somehow a scientific study.

Snurkle! It's like a list of records on drugs, on drugs. Or, more likely, on lager, because the concept and execution smacks (no, really, no pun intended) of a Friday night pub conversation where somebody forgot to lose the beermat they'd scribbled the chart down on.

Still, at least it does mean there's a mention of Spacemen 3 in the NME, which doesn't happen often enough.

And the Screamdelica piece would have been enough for an issue without putting a stupid chart at the front of it. Even if it's a little more Uncut than NME.

The White Stripes stop

To be honest, despite the live album, we'd more or less assumed that The White Stripes had already split up, but now it's official:

“The reason is not due to artistic differences or lack of wanting to continue, nor any health issues as both Meg and Jack are feeling fine and in good health,” the two said in their statement. “It’s for a myriad of reasons, but mostly to preserve what is beautiful and special about the band and have it stay that way.”
"Third Man Records will continue to put out unreleased live and studio recordings from the White Stripes in their Vault subscription record club, as well as through regular channels.”
“The White Stripes do not belong to Meg and Jack anymore. The White Stripes belong to you now and you can do with it whatever you want. The beauty of art and music is that it can last forever if people want it to. Thank you for sharing this experience. Your involvement will never be lost on us and we are truly grateful.”
Although that last segment might sound like they've just slapped a creative commons licence on their back catalogue, I suspect you might find yourself arguing a difficult case if you started to sell your own Stripes 'best of' - "Jack White told me it belongs to me..."

The White Stripes site has crashed following the announcement. Or perhaps it just went offline to preserve what was special about the website.

Global close Radio Mercury as was

As the shakeout of Global's policy of replacing local stations with centrally-networked programming continues, someone in London has spotted that if you live in Crawley you can hear their Gold service on the old Capital and Southern Sound AM frequencies, as well as the local old Mercury one.

So it's decided to dump the Crawley version.

I suspect that as few people complained when the local programming went, hardly anyone will be bothered by a transmitter being switched off.

Hunt suddenly realises DEA won't work

To be fair, it's not entirely Jeremy Hunt's fault that the Digital Economy Bill is pointless and unworkable, what with it having been rushed through in the dying days of the last government, but I'm still not entirely sure why he stood up at the time and said 'this bill is riddled with holes, but, oh, go on, let's make it law'.

Having got the DEA onto the statute book, Hunt is now looking at easing it off by asking Ofcom to review if the powers it's been given and plans to somehow chase file sharers off the internet can work:

"I have no problem with the principle of blocking access to websites used exclusively for facilitating illegal downloading of content," Mr Hunt said. "But it is not clear whether the site-blocking provisions in the Act could work in practice so I have asked Ofcom to address this question."
Here's a clue, Jeremy: They won't. You might remember people telling you this back when you were helping make this act law less than a year ago.

Embed and breakfast man: Interpol

From last night's Last Call... Interpol give Evil:

[Buy: Interpol - Interpol]
[via: The Audio Perv]

Gordon in the morning: It's meant to be funny?

An awkward photo of Gordon standing holding a prize? It can only mean he's stolen a prize.

Hang on, no, apparently it's his. He went to the Loaded Comedy Awards - surely the fourth or fifth most important comedy awards, and known (by nobody) as the LAFTAs and came away with a prize:
I won the gong for the third year on the trot. Clarkson will be hurt. It's the one the Top Gear host has always wanted.
Having won a comedy prize, Gordon decided to do a little joke. Did you spot it?

Perhaps the judges - understandably - have mistaken Bizarre column for a comedy effort where a thirteen year-old boy has somehow found himself writing captions for paparazzi shots?

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Whiley shoves out Radcliffe & Maconie

Radio 2 and 6Music are having a reshuffle, the headline of which has been Jo Whiley taking over the Radcliffe & Maconie slot on Radio 2 in the evenings.

But it's not entirely bad news: The increasingly detached Nemone programme in the 6Music schedules is being junked, and Mark and Stuart are going to set up home in the 1 to 4 slot. That's a whole lot more of them on the air, and a pretty good line-up for daytimes on 6 now - Laverne-Radcliffe&Maconie-Lamacq-Riley-Coe. If they could fix breakfast, that would be an all time great schedule.

Nemone's moving to a weekend breakfast show or something.

Jo Whiley is finally giving up on Radio 1 - after seventeen years - to concentrate on her new Radio 2 show. She's thrilled:

"As well as supporting my love of music, Radio 1 have also supported and accommodated me bringing three further children into the world, something, as a woman, I will always be grateful for.

"Last year Radio 2, the BBC's other great music station, asked me to present their In Concert programme on Thursday evenings, hosting live shows by the likes of Paolo Nutini, Gary Barlow and the Manic Street Preachers which has proved to be much fun. "
The words 'Paolo Nutini' and 'fun' don't often appear in the same sentence. And I'm sure 6Music and Radio 3 will be delighted to hear that Radio 2 is "the BBC's other great music station", even as they try to figure out what that means they are.

The shuffling about leaves Weekend afternoons empty on Radio 1; a slot into which the wonderful Huw Stephens is going to step.

Citigroup grab EMI

The Terra Firma dream is over: Citi have seized control of EMI in lieu of unpaid debts.

Naturally, Citi are convinced it's the best thing all round:

Citi vice chairman Stephen Volk said EMI now had a strong balance sheet and "the ability to invest in and grow its business".

"This is a positive development for EMI, its employees, artists, songwriters and suppliers. EMI is an iconic business and we are completely supportive of both its management and its strategy," he added.
Wow. The one thing you can say about EMI is that it's been poorly managed and pursuing a rubbish strategy for the last few years - otherwise it wouldn't have defaulted on its loans and been taken over by Citi in the first place. It's a bit like someone trying to rescue a drowning man and saying that they'd like the drowner to continue with the flailing and vanishing under water.

The Citi takeover does relieve some of the debt Terra Firma larded onto EMI - now the company just owes £1.2bn instead of £3.4bn. That's good news - now EMI is just lumbering under an unimaginable debt instead of an unconscionable one.

Citi will be looking for a buyer. Good luck with that, Citi. For the time being, EMI will be run by bankers who don't understand it instead of by financial experts who don't understand it.

Terra Firma is still considering appealing against the findings of the New York court which said that Citi hadn't defrauded them when helping the EMI sale. If they do, that might make it harder for Citi to sell EMI on until that question is settled.

Gordon in the morning: Adele meets her public

More from Gordon today on the public, as Adele adjusts to fame:

IF ADELE was a footballer Chelsea would be trying to sign her for £50million in the transfer window.
Well, no; the FA wouldn't allow her to play at a senior level for a team like Chelsea. I suppose they might consider her for the Chelsea Ladies team (Chelsea Ladies?) but given that it's a semi-pro side, they'd be unlikely to pay such a large... oh, hang on. It's topical whimsy, isn't it?
But rather than soccer agents cashing in on her talents, "eBay weirdos" have been trying to drum up unusual memorabilia to sell on t'internet
Yes, he's still calling it t'internet.

The phrase "eBay weirdos" is built on very slim grounds:
The singer explained: "The other day I was up north and there were these - well, I don't think they were fans actually, they were like eBayers."
So, actually, Adele isn't even sure they were getting stuff to sell. So are they weirdos?
"I'd be at the venue, they'd be there. I'd leave the venue and they'd be there. Then they started taking pictures of my dog doing a s*** and stuff like that. It was really weird."

Adele added: "I was on my own taking Louis out for a walk. One of them just got in the lift with me and I got really panicky."
So, yes, you can see that that might be alarming - but is there really any evidence that there was anything "weird" about this bloke who just wanted an autograph? Recently, every time a fan has got a little too over-excited about meeting somebody famous Gordon is quick to suggest they might be some sort of nutter - which, of course, just fuels a cycle of well-known people coming to see over-pushy fans as mentally unstable threats.

But what of the photographs of the dog pooping? Gordon latches on that:
She rumbled one fan taking pictures of her dog Louis Armstrong doing its toilet.
Rumbled? Didn't she just "see" them? And clearly the example of the shitting hound was used by Adele as a shorthand, but Gordon makes it sound like she's got some sort of celeb canine scat stalker. Selling the pictures on eBay.

There are people who hang around singers taking pictures of them doing everyday things in order to sell them, but they're not eBayers. They're the people who sell you photos, Gordon.

Still, there's a world of difference between you and some sort of stalky weirdo, right? Oh... hang on, Gordon's still typing:
Adele has a mysterious new boyfriend who she describes as a "wannabe comedian".

He'd have to be, to cope with the "one-woman Carry On film" as her pals describe her.

She added: "It's early days. He wants to be a comedian. He makes me laugh. We're still getting on, so yeah, it's nice."

Do you know the identity of Adele's comedian boyfriend? And don't ring up and say SID JAMES.
Well done, Gordon. Only you could start an article with faux-concern that Adele is being surrounded by strangers trying to make money off her by grabbing her secrets, and then end it by calling for strangers to make money by revealing her secrets.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Punkobit: John Garrighan

Absolute Punk is reporting the death of John Garrighan.

Garrighan was just 14 when he formed The Berlin Project, a Philadelphia punk outfit which Yahoo Music advises readers - with a straight face - to not confuse with Berlin of Take My Breath Away fame.

Originally a ska-punk band, by their third single The Berlin Project was adjusting to the public taste for gentle emoage. The change worked well for them - they found a slot on a Warped tour and built an audience, but it wasn't until 2003 that Gerrighan found a line-up and a sound that he felt comfortable with. The Things We Say is probably the closest Gerrighan came to capturing his 14 year-old self on record. Whether the effort of getting there proved too much, or this was all that he wanted the band to achieve, the band split in 2005 after the last of the Things promo dates.

Absolute Punk's Jason Tate reports that Gerrighan had recently been working on new material with Derek Woodz.

Downloadable: Fleet Foxes

Thanks to the lovely Subpop people, here's a taste: Helplessness Blues.

A taste being of the new Fleet Foxes album; it's also going to be called Helplessness Blues, and it'll be available, it says, in May.

It sounds like it's finished, so god alone knows why we're going to have wait another third of a year, having waited three years. I'm sure it'll be worth it when it gets here... but... couldn't we just have it now?

Chart Blog closes

It's ahem taken us a couple of weeks to get around to mentioning this, but better late than never: Fraser NelsonMcAlpine's always-amusing Chart Blog on the BBC site has closed.

*On the plus side, it does mean I don't have to review the new Aggro Santos single. *HIGHFIVE*
It doesn't look, unlike most of the other vanishing useful things the BBC are having to kill, as if it's cuts-driven. But it will be missed.

UPDATE: Not Fraser Nelson. That's what you get when you're reading your RSS feed and Twitterstream at the same time.

Proms gone

We're going to hear a lot of this sort of thing over the next few years: the BBC has axed the Electric Proms as the government's licence fee settlement doesn't leave the money for them:

[Radio 2 controller Bob] Shennan said: "In the current climate, we are faced with making difficult decisions, including how best to deliver high-quality live music programming throughout the year in light of continuing efficiency savings.

"I feel that Radio 2 can achieve the same impact of the Electric Proms in an alternative, more cost-effective way. I'm disappointed that the lifetime of Electric Proms has come to an end, but very proud of its fantastically rewarding run of creating new moments in music for the past five years."
Radio 2's head of music Jeff Smith has stressed how the network will still be doing lots of live music, just not this.

To be fair, the Electric Proms had become a little showy - what had started out as a range of events with lots of interesting, newer and smaller acts had, by last year, turned into a production number with the sort of names you can see from space. Which must have been a nightmare to organise. I'd suspect that the costs of just lowering Elton John into place could fund an entire month of Friday Night Is Music Night. I'm not sure the Electric Proms will be especially missed, or mourned.

Composerobit: Milton Babbitt

In a grim day for composers, the death has been announced of electronic pioneer and musical academic Milton Babbitt.

Babbitt was born in 1916, immersing himself in jazz to the point of studying composition at Princeton University under Roger Sessions.

Describing himself as a maximalist, Babbitt created works by stringing together intricately-engineered small units of music. Embracing the possibilities of magnetic tape and machine generated sounds in the 1950s, Babbitt believed the only way forward was for composers to work within the protective embrace of universities. Here, freed from the unpleasant influences of the outside world, he wrote in High Fidelity, proper work could be done:

I dare suggest that the composer would do himself and his music an immediate and eventual service by total, resolute, and voluntary withdrawal from this public world to one of private performance and electronic media, with its very real possibility of complete elimination of the public and social aspects of musical composition. By so doing, the separation between the domains would be defined beyond any possibility of confusion of categories, and the composer would be free to pursue a private life of professional achievement, as opposed to a public life of unprofessional compromise and exhibitionism.
It's an idea. What do you reckon the chances are of persuading Hunt and Cable that we need a few philosophical composers in the UK university sector?

Babbitt's friend, Paul Lansky, announced his death through Facebook:
“I’m sorry to report that Milton Babbitt died this morning at age 94. He was a great and important composer, and a dear friend, colleague and teacher."
Quite a life; quite an epitaph.

You like a little Boy George?

To mark ten years since the last ill-starred reunion, and thirty-one years since they started, Boy George is going to grind his teeth through another Culture Club comeback next year.

As, indeed, shall we all.

Is this just a cash-in on the nostalgia market?

Yes, of course it is, but to try and pretend it's not, there's going to be a whole new album. Oh, good.

Jessie J "not shapeshifting lizard or anything" - official

Suspicions that Jessie J is the Pontins Lady GaGa are growing as she continues to churn through the GaGa playbook. She's just reached the insane rumour that she's part of an Illuminati conspiracy bit. DigitalSpy sees all:

The singer, who released the music video for her new single 'Price Tag' yesterday, rubbished suggestions that she supports the purported conspiratorial organisation after making a hand gesture in the clip often recognised as a symbol of allegiance to the group.
I've never quite got the thinking behind claims that a super, super secret society would from time to time forget it's a super, super secret society and have one of its people go round making their secret symbols in pop videos, or building a secret facility, disguising it as an airport, and then covering it all with signs saying 'Look! Conspiracy going on here'.

Naturally, Jessie J denies it all:
Moments after the clip premiered, she tweeted: "lmao at the illuminati comments on 'price tag'. Jheeze people im doing the 'OK' sign over my eye. No 666 round here round here... No thank you (sic)."

She later insisted: "No I do not believe in the Illuminati nor am I involves in it. Fact. Lol."
BUT HOW CAN YOU NOT BE INVOLVES IN IT IF YOU DON'T BELIEVE IN IT, EH? EH? YOU SAY THERE'S NOTHING TO BE INVOLVES IN, SO WHY WOULD YOU SAY YOU ARE NOT INVOLVES? Also Jheeze is like not being able to say Jesus because the words will burn your Illuminati lips and... oh, just go and make a dress out of bacon.

Scoreobit: John Barry

John Barry, who scored 11 James Bond movies and Born Free, has died after a long period of ill-health.

Born John Barry Prendergast, his key musical decision point came when he started his national service. Knowing a little bit of trumpet, Barry elected to join the army band. Here, he learned how to arrange music. When those adverts say the army will teach you skills for life, they seldom mention that it could include teaching you how to become on the preeminent film composers of your generation, do they?

After the army, he formed his own band, the John Barry Seven, who achieved a level of success but it was an invitation to provide a score for Dr No, the first of the Bond franchise movies, which really made him.

Dr No wasn't his first movie soundtrack - he'd written for a number of films before, starting with 1959's Beat Girl - but his work for Bond made him. Heavily in demand, he'd write for The Knack, The Ipcress File, Born Free, Midnight Cowboy and The Black Hole. He wrote for so many soundtracks, we'd bet even he had forgotten some of them - Young Joe The Forgotten Kennedy, anyone?

He also wrote for theatre and TV, and created a musical based on Brighton Rock. Graham Greene had helped out on that project, writing a few lyrics; Barry had had the delicate task of explaining to Greene that his words weren't up to snuff.

Barry's last film score was for 2001's Enigma. He died yesterday following a heart attack; he was 77.

Gordon in the morning: In which Noel Gallagher comes off well

No Rock loves nothing more than discovering yet another layer of stupidity lingering in the beast which used to be Oasis, so it's something of a surprise whenever Noel does the right thing.

I'd be surprised if Liam did the right thing, too, but haven't yet had the opportunity to check on this. If it happens, I'll let you know.

So, Noel - embarking on his solo career - discovered someone else had registered ten years ago.

Yes, it's a bit odd that nobody in the Gallagher operation had spotted this before, but what might have been grounds for a nasty legal wrangle came to a more elegant end:

Noel took matters into his own hands last week. He paid for the Spaniard to fly to London, put him up in a plush hotel and met him in person to thunder out a deal.

And after some serious haggling, and a few Oasis anecdotes, the chancer changed his demands from tens of thousands of pounds - to some signed memorabilia and guest list action at Noel's next solo gigs.
I'm assuming the owner of the domain was a Noel Gallagher fan, and that the guest list places won't constitute cruel and unusual punishment.

Fair play to Noel - the traditional route for this sort of event involves lawyers and threats and misery and expense and ill-feeling. Yes, I'm starting the week praising Noel Gallagher's cool head. Blimey.

In other Oasis news:
Meanwhile, The Roller, the debut single from LIAM's new outfit Beady Eye, crashed into the charts at No31 yesterday.
It turns out the millions Liam thinks adores him number just a few thousand.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

James Blunt's dad defends his posh son

Yesterday's Guardian picked up on James Blunt's mum saying it was unfair to pick on her son for being posh, and drafted in Blunt's dad as well.

He decided it was just like racism:

Blunt's father, also a retired army officer, told the Guardian later that his wife had contacted the BBC because "she was so fired up" about the issue and thought coverage of it had been "so one-sided".

He supported her compliants of inverse snobbery. "It's ridiculous," said Charles Blount. "The key question is not about [someone's] background; it's to do with their talent. It's like racism or anything else: people should be judged on their talent, not their background."
Yes, it's like racism. That's exactly it. Having someone say 'your upbringing has given you connections and a confidence that has made it easier for you to obtain a record contract from companies run by people who share your background' is virtually the same as an English Defence League march.

Eurovision 2011: UK declares defeat before a note is played

It's understandable, the last thing the BBC wants as it attempts to eke out what little Jeremy Hunt has left it with is to have to stage the 2012 Eurovision, but isn't this move making the desire to lose a little obvious?

Pop group Blue will represent the UK in the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest, it has been announced.

The group, best known for hits such as One Love and All Rise, will sing their new single I Can for the competition in Dusseldorf, Germany this year.
Not even, you'll note, a qualifying round. Not so much as the choice of another song they might have had kicking around.

Kudos to them for going with a song called I Can, though, with its myriad of possible responses: You Won't; You Shouldn't; You Can't.

Simon Webbe is excited:
Simon Webbe of the band said: "I've always wanted to represent my country, so this is a truly exciting experience for Blue."
If you wanted to represent your country, couldn't you have taken up Korfball or something?

Still, it's a vital task they're performing for the UK - if they screw up and somehow win it, it's going to be a big knock to next year's Doctor Who budget.

Blue, we're counting on you - go out and do what you do best. Go out there and perform as badly as you've ever performed. Go out there and flop.

This week just gone

Where are you? The ten countries with most No Rock readers in January:

1. UK
2. US
3. Canada
4. Germany
5. Australia
6. South Korea
7. Brazil
8. France
9. Ireland
10. Italy

These were interesting, and new:

The Joy Formidable - The Big Roar

Download The Big Roar

Joan As Police Woman - The Deep Field

Download The Deep Field

Iron And Wine - Kiss Each Other Clean

Download Kiss Each Other Clean

The Gang Of Four - Content

Download Content

The Mummers - Mink Hollow Road

Download Mink Hollow Road

Cold war Kids - Mine Is Yours

Download Mine Is Yours

Adele - 21

Download 21

The Fall - This Nation's Saving Grace [Omnibus]

Download This Nation's Saving Grace