Saturday, February 12, 2011

Avril Lavigne sticks to her word

You'll recall Avril Lavigne's pledge, back in 2003I won't wear skanky clothes that show off my booty, my belly or boobs".

But, of course, the workaround to that rule is, if the clothes that show off your booty, your belly and your boobs have been chosen by Italian Vogue.

Lady GaGa: What is she planning?

MTV News think there's only one question about Lady GaGa at the Grammys:

Well... let's hope she doesn't, first of all, but if it is what she's planning to do, I'm guessing she'll wear a hat made of honey and invite a hungry bear dressed in a wedding veil onto the stage.

Embed and breakfast man: The Voluntary Butler Scheme

The Voluntary Butler Scheme is back. There's a new ep at 'coming soon' status, but already you can look at it:

But you know what else? Dan Le Sac has done a remix, and you can take that away to put in your mp3-compatible music player or other device:

Gordon in the morning: Dachshund news

Who knew that Liam Gallagher loved little dogs so much? Turns out he does:

He ranted: "Extinction of sausage dogs? I will prevent that! When I'm back in England I am gonna buy 900 of them. I am gonna prevent them from downfall."
He's not, but it is a lovely image of Liam trying to take 900 dogs for a walk.

It does appear that dachshunds are suffering as Germans turn to other breeds. The 2007 report from Der Spiegel also offers this little nugget:
And the Japanese national football team brought one to Germany for the 2006 World Cup as a mascot. They called him Erwin Rommel, after the German World War II field marshal, who was also known as the "Desert Fox."
The Japanese world cup team had a mascot named after a Nazi? Was that entirely wise?

Back in Primrose Hill, Liam stops being interesting and starts to bang on about how he used to be in Oasis, you know:
"Thinking about touring with Oasis again in ten years makes me vomit. What should a reunion be good for? Why break up with a band, just to come back together and play old songs?"
Gordon has a suggestion:
I reckon about £10million is a decent reason.
Did Mr Smart just backtalk Liam? I think he did.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Lady GaGa: The warning sign

I like Lady GaGa. Who doesn't, eh?

This is worrying, though: the cover of today's Daily Record with GaGa proclaiming "I am the greatest performer, entertainer and singer of our age."

No you're not. And even if you were, the moment people start to believe that stuff is when they start the cultural slump. Like trying to pass off old Madonna records as their new material, for instance.

Sony threatens to take its music off iTunes at some point; 'what's a Sony?' asks world

A couple of weeks back, Apple kicked the Sony ebooks reader off its app store - a childish and unnecessary move, and just the sort of tat to which you'd expect a tit.

And here comes the tit, with Sony threatening to pull its catalogue from the iTunes store:

Michal Ephraim, chief executive of Sony Computer Entertainment, spoke with Australia's The Age about the impending launch of its Music Unlimited service in that country. Music Unlimited debuted in late 2010, and Sony hopes the streaming subscription product will take on Apple's iTunes by offering a different approach to digital music sales.
Music Unlimited might "take on" iTunes, in the sort of way that radio play competes with milkmen whistling, or an octopus takes on the concept of cottages.

Of course, Sony aren't quite so silly as to actually say they're going now - iTunes accounts for 25% of all US music sales, online and offline, and even Sony know in their hearts that if their songs aren't iTunes, customers will look at other tunes, not other online market places. But, oh, a man can dream:
But in the future, Ephraim hopes that iTunes isn't even part of the equation. He questioned whether Sony would need to partner with Apple and sell music through iTunes if its new service gains enough traction.

"If we do [get mass take-up], then does Sony Music need to provide content to iTunes?" he said. "Currently we do. We have to provide it to iTunes as that's the format right now."

He continued: "Publishers are being held ransom by Apple and they are looking for other delivery systems, and we are waiting to see what the next three to five years will hold."
The "holding to ransom" by Apple, you'll remember, involved building a music store and player infrastructure that created a digital sales business at a time when the only practical way of getting hold of music online was to not pay for it. Perhaps when Apple applied the lifebelt they pushed it on too tightly.

Hosni Mubarak: My part in his downfall

John Rentoul has a useful feature on on his twitter feed where he lists questions to which the answer can only be no.

He's just nominated this question from the New Statesman:

Wyclef Jean's contribution to the Egyptian revolution

Is the Haitian rapper the real reason behind Mubarak's exit?
Of course he isn't, and it's as insulting as the frequent claims of David Hasselhoff to have somehow brought down the Berlin Wall. But why would you think Jean was responsible at all, Susannah Butter and Victoria Mitchell?
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Wyclef Jean's contribution to the Egyptian revolution

Posted by Susannah Butter and Victoria Mitchell - 11 February 2011 17:45

Is the Haitian rapper the real reason behind Mubarak's exit?

When not fermenting revolution in north African states or running for president in Haiti, Wyclef Jean is a rapper. Photo: Getty Images.

The Egyptian people triumphed today - but not without a little help from former Fugees rapper and erstwhile Haitian presidential candidate, Wyclef Jean.

The rapper uploaded his song "'Freedom' (Song for Egypt)" onto YouTube this morning. This afternoon, Hosni Mubarak stepped down. Coincidence?

I will, however, offer a full and frank apology if two weeks of protests and the deaths of hundreds failed to move Mubarak but a bandwagon-jumping tune from Wyclef Jean made he give up.

Gordon in the morning: Looking in to it

It's the Brits next Tuesday, with James Corden presenting solo for the first time.

Maybe it won't be so bad. Maybe we're all booking sessions on Wednesday to have our toes uncurled that we won't actually need.

Gordon, I understand you have news from the backstage preparations. How is it going?

The Gavin & Stacey star has been handed the best dressing room - next door to Bajan beauty RIHANNA at the O2 Arena in London.

And Big Dog James has made himself at home, drilling a little hole in the wall with a screwdriver to make sure he can keep an eye on her preparations for the bash on Tuesday.
I might need to bring forward my toe-decurling.
A source backstage said: "James has already been getting in the spirit of things with his antics behind the scenes.

"When he found out Rihanna was next door, he thought it would be a laugh to customise his backstage area with a little peephole."
Ha ha ha, yes. What could be more funny than that, eh? It's like that hilarious time Chuck Berry trashed his reputation and wound up paying out over a million in compensation after peeping on peeing women.

I know it's meant to be a joke, but the idea that this is funny rather than incredibly creepy doesn't bode well for next week.

Oh, but apparently, we can't say that, can we, Gordon?
On a more serious note...
More serious than sexual harassment? This must be serious indeed.
I hear James has donated his £50k fee for presenting the ITV show to Comic Relief. That's a really generous gesture and a great one-finger salute to those who have criticised his selection as the master of ceremonies.
It's a nice, fairly generous thing to do, but why does it make the choice of Corden to present any less awful than it was?

- Was it really a good idea to get Nick Griffin to host this year's Pride Of Britain awards?
- Oh, it's fine; he's giving his fee to charity
- Oh, that's alright then

The awfulness of the year he co-hosted with Horne wasn't because people sat at home thinking "they're being paid for this". It was because they were being awful.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Guitar Hero franchise cashed in

You'd have hoped that Activision would have been a bit more creative with the way it killed off the Guitar Hero game - rather than just mumbling out an announcement at an earnings call, couldn't they have said that the franchise had been found floating in a swimming pool after a heavy party? Isn't that how guitar heroes are supposed to go?

Following on from the news that MTV had decided Rock Band was a declining proposition a few weeks back, it's looking a lot like those music business executives who thought that selling music to be hit small plastic guitars to was a long-term safe bet were about as with-it as Lunar Jet Man.

Music Week hopes to take the long view

There's some changes in both staff and direction at Music Week, as Roy Greenslade reports:

The previous editor, Paul Williams, has become "head of business analysis", and Michael Gubbins has been brought in above him as "director of content."

Of much more significance is the development of an editorial strategy that recognises the changes in both the music industry and the media industry
This seems quite wise, but feels a little late - accepting that the web breaks news faster and that when people sit down with a publication, they're looking for something worth sitting down with.

The risk for Music Week is the outcome of taking a long, hard look at the music business is going to result in uncomfortable reading for the music business. And they're the key audience both for sales and advertising. It's going to be a tricky job to pull off, taking people's money while telling them they're going wrong.

But at least Music Week understands their pain:
[Gubbins] cannot be other than aware of its problematic print sales. In the years 1997/8 its ABC sale was 12,503. In 2009/10, that was down to 5,218, and is thought to have slipped further in recent months.
It can't help that the number of people working in the traditional industry has been tanking, can it?

Gordon in the morning: Jeez, it's not like it was hot knives

You might have missed "last year's bong scandal" with Miley Cyrus at the centre. In short, in a bid to try and shift her image away from being Hannah Montana off the pencil cases and bedspreads, Miley allowed herself to have her photo taken on, near, by or possibly in a bong. The outrage, of course, was supposed to try and reposition her as edgy - in much the same way that the new Aguilera At C&A stage costumes are meant to.

A bong. I think even the Early Learning Centre sell bongs in the 'My First Works' range, and in Western Culture the bong is most associated with nervous students desperately trying to work out how they should be pretending they're feeling something.

Still, a tiny spat happened. But clearly, it didn't do enough to shift Miley's image, so she's now issued an apology to try and remind people that she's, like, so about the edge:

She said: "I'm not perfect... I made a mistake.

"I'm disappointed in myself for disappointing my fans."
That, you'll have spotted, isn't actually an apology at all, and not even an admission of disappointment at doing the drucks.

Obviously, it's not as weak as the Project Merlin agreement with the banks, but it's still pretty weak. Strong enough for Gordon, though, who appends one, italicised word underneath:
It's not clear what Gordon means by this quite - she should be disappointed in herself? She did disappoint her fans? That she did make a mistake? That she isn't perfect?

Or did he just cut and paste something from a 'Cyrus apology' press release, assume it was an actual apology, and slapped on a bare-minimum ending without offering too many hostages to fortune the next time he gives someone Cyrus's age the caner of the year award.

Before we move on, let's just spend a moment mourning the current state of Sun headlines. This one went out under this:
Miley Cyrus says she was b-ong
B-ong? What the hell are they smoking in Wapping?

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Wentz-Simpson: the divorce

Ashlee Simpson and Pete Wentz have announced their divorce, citing irreconcilable difficulties in getting themselves into the gossip columns.

A spokesman for Pete Wentz said "oh, this so unfair, you just don't understand" and stomped upstairs to play Limp Bizkit.

Glastonbury 2011: Dropping the b-bomb

Beyonce could headline Glastonbury - Telegraph headline

-I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
-Why, so can I, or so can any man; But will they come when you do call for them?

But it's undeniable. Beyonce could headline Glastonbury. She could get a job in a chip shop in Burnage.

Gordon in the morning: Apparently losing a game show doesn't make you famous

Heartbreaking tales of how cruel the world can be today, as somebody called Rebecca Ferguson fails to get a table in a busy restaurant:

The X Factor runner-up was denied a table in London's Chinawhite club after a waitress didn't recognise her.
Oh, but there's more:
The snub comes after PAIJE RICHARDSON and KATIE WAISSEL found themselves stuck outside the VIP area at the Brits nominations last month.
Most of the world would be wondering what they were doing at the Brits, rather than at the Brits but outside the VIP "area".

Still, chilling, I'm sure you'd agree.

In the same boat is Stigsy Jones, who would totally have won his heat on Total Wipeout if he'd not been pushed off that wall with the little boxing gloves. He told us, exclusively:
"Yeah, I went down the chip shop last night and winked at the woman behind the counter and said 'any chance of slipping an extra pickled egg in there, love?' and she did - but then she rings up 67p on the till! I mean, is my money not fucking good enough? Well... yes, it was, actually, because she took it. But I've been on telly, me. I shouldn't be paying for pickled eggs like I was some doctor or scientist."

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Judge points out DEA probably won't work

Judge Birss has issued a ruling in the Patents County Court which effectively makes the DEA copyright rules unworkable when based on an IP address:

In a ruling in the Patents county court, Birss asked: "Does the process of identifying an IP address in this way establish that any infringement of copyright has taken place by anyone related to that IP address at all?"

He said that the assertion did not hold up: "Even if it is proof of infringement by somebody, merely identifying that an IP address has been involved with infringement [does not make it] clear to me that the person identified must be infringing one way or another. The fact that someone may have infringed does not mean the particular named defendant has done so."
Birss doesn't say that it can't be proved, but that there is no case law which means the owner of a connection can automatically be held responsible for all the activity on that connection. That, though, should be enough to make anyone think twice before embarking on action - any legal adventure is likely to be long, drawn-out, expensive and lacking any certainty of success.

Bookmarks - Internet stuff: Piracy

Fred Wilson spends a lot on music. He's a brilliant customer. He's the sort of person the music industry would have to keep sweet. So how come he was forced to "steal" music? It's a story of how the music industry really isn't ready for 1995 yet:

Then I searched the Internet for the record [The new Streets album]. It was not even listed in iTunes or emusic. It was listed on Amazon US as an import that would be available on Feb 15th, but only in CD form. I'm not buying plastic just to rip the files and throw it out. Seeing as it was an import, I searched Amazon UK. And there I found the record in mp3 form for 4 pounds. It was going to be released on Feb 4th. I made a mental note to come back and get it when it was released.

I got around to doing that today. I clicked on "buy with one click" and was greeted with this nonsense ["Sorry, you can't buy outside the UK" message]

[via Charles Arthur in the Guardian]

Warners reports: Not brilliant figures

Warner Music Group is being talked about as a possible purchaser for EMI when Citi are done with it. But given their own struggles, would cutting the number of majors to three just be a shortcut to cutting them to two?

Digital Revenue Represented 37% of U.S. Recorded Music Revenue in the Quarter
That's good, right?

Not really, because the share is rising mainly because other sales are falling. It's all about the loss:
Net loss was $0.12 per diluted share compared to net loss of $0.11 per diluted share in the prior-year quarter. The Quarterly Severance Charges had a $0.07 per diluted share impact in the current quarter and a $0.03 per diluted share impact in the prior-year quarter.
Net loss was $18million
So, all a bit grim. But, hey, great times are just around the corner:
"While industry pressures and a highly competitive release schedule limited our results in the first quarter, we're confident that our disciplined A&R investments, successful revenue diversification and innovative digital strategies will drive WMG's long-term growth," said Edgar Bronfman, Jr., Warner Music Group's Chairman and CEO.
The 'first' quarter for Warners is, of course, the bit that includes Christmas. In other words, the bit where you should be making the money for the year. Let's hope their A&R is finding magic elves.

Transmitting now: Gil Scott-Heron and the Jamie XX

If you have a new-ish phone, and somehow manage to get in the range of a transmitter, you can listen to We're New Here.

Which is this:

Welcome to the Gil Scott-Heron and Jamie xx "We're New Here" Album Transmitter.

We are transmitting the album from several locations across the globe. To be able to listen, all you need to do is go to from your smartphone when you're within range of one of the transmitters.

This receiver relies on HTML5 technologies, so will only work on recent smartphones (including iPhones, iPods, iPads and Android phones running OS 2.3).

If you are having issues please contact

"We're New Here" by Gil Scott-Heron and Jamie xx is released 21st February on XL Recordings.
It looks like you'll struggle to hear it if you're in Colchester. Until it's out to buy, of course.

Downloadable: Cut Copy

As the Cut Copy Zonoscope launch continues to roll, if you scamper over to RCRD LBL you can download Take Me Over in a Midnight Magic remix style. For free.

Downloadable: The Streets

Over on The Guardian, you can download, for free, Close The Book, the Street's farewell single.

Gordon in the morning: Don't tread on an ant

There's nothing much swilling round the Bizarre pages from this morning, so let's go back and look at something published during yesterday and buried way, way down the page.

Adam Ant has fallen out with Liam Gallagher, and with good reason:

The singer - who's battled mental illness in recent years - enlisted Liam's BEADY EYE bandmate ANDY BELL to play bass on one track that appears on his new record Adam Ant Is The Blueblack Hussar In Marrying The Gunner's Daughter.

As a result, Adam claims Liam attempted to ban him from using the tune, warning there would be "trouble" if his demand was ignored.
Does Liam think he's Bradley Hardacre or something? Isn't stopping Andy Bell from working with whom he chooses - the effective upshot of Gallagher's demands - restraint of trade? Isn't it understandable that Bell might want to use his talents in a way that stretches him rather than just providing plodding back-up for a one-man auto-erotic tribute band?

Bizarre sounds sympathetic to Ant's health problems, by the way:
He suffers from bipolar disorder and has been unable to work for much of the past decade, thanks largely to the medication he was on.
Although if Gordon and his team know that Ant has had health problems, it makes it all the more mystifying why the last time they wrote about him it was under this headline:
Adam Ant's bonkers rant
Seems the Sun learned nothing from that Frank Bruno 'bonkers' headline after all.

Monday, February 07, 2011

Rihanna: Come On? Come off it

The supposed relabeling of Rihanna's S&M as Come On for our delicate British ears isn't a move endorsed by the woman herself, reckosn MTV News:

It all starts with the brand-new U.K. Top 40 Singles chart, which is compiled by the British-based Official Charts Company and unveiled every Sunday on Radio 1. In this week's chart, "S&M" officially debuts, but, strangely enough, it does so with the title "Come On." It's not clear who made the change — the OCC, the BBC or perhaps even Rihanna's record label, Island Def Jam — or even why, but that hardly mattered to RiRi, who took to her Twitter account to express her outrage.

"Are you f---ing kidding me??? I'm on it!" she wrote in one tweet after being asked by a fan about the new title. When asked by another fan if she was OK with the change, she replied, "Absolutely Not!"
Except... certainly right now, the Radio One website lists the song as, erm, S&M (Come On).

Still, the whole record and video screeches 'look over here' so much, a little bit more "excitement" can't hurt, can it?

Not the end, but perhaps the first of the Last.FM

For the time being, in the UK, Last FM on the web remains free, but the service has announced it is going to start charging for mobile.

Now, I like Last.FM, but charging for a service where you can't control what track you're going to hear, or even what band is coming next?

Last FM's Matthew Hawn even claims they don't really need the money:

"We think that the best experience is ad-free," said Mr Hawn,'s head of product.

"It's not that we're losing buckets of money on our service... but we're trying to make rational decisions about our business model."
If Last FM really believes the best experience is ad-free, then wouldn't the "rational decision" be to launch a paid-for ad-free version alongside the free, ad-supported edition?

Last FM is pretty good for a freebie; but surely if you just want songs you might well like coming at you in a random order, you've got the radio?

Kabeedies for free

What could be better than a new Kabeedies single?

How about a free, new Kabeedies single?

NME for sale?

Reports in the Telegraph this morning suggests that Time Warner is taking a close look at flogging off all or some of IPC:

However, sources familiar with the situation cautioned on speculation about a sale of the whole of IPC, saying a full sale was "unlikely" at this stage.
Still, if we worked at the NME, we'd be keeping an eye open for people coming round measuring up for curtains.

Jay Kay can't listen to the radio

Modern music? Ooh, it's just rubbish, I don't know how young people can listen to it, says great uncle Jay Kay:

"There's just too much manufactured nonsense for me these days - lads in boybands who are getting a wage from the label.

"I consider myself very lucky indeed to have had the career I have. I listen to the radio now and you can't tell artists apart."
And there's no tunes any more, and you can't make out the words. And the clothes they wear! Like nothing you've ever seen. What time is Countdown on?

Actually, we do agree with him on one point: he is bloody lucky to have had the career he did.

Gordon in the morning: Dubz in their boots

Hasn't the 'N-Dubz about to break America' story been running for about half a forever now? Jesus, even Just Good Friends finally got a resolution faster than this one.

Today, Gordon tells us that they're just about to head off for that meeting with Def Jam that it feels like they've been poised on the edge of since the early days of the Reagan presidency.

Oh, and they're had some slightly smarter clothes bought for them to make their next video in:

They show the threads off in the video for latest single Morning Star, which is released on March 13.

Dappy said: "Fazer and I have been inspired to wear more tailored suits and smart jackets. You have to evolve."
This, of course, is the use of the word "inspired" to mean "told to".

What's lovely about this, though, is that it does inspire this caption, under a photo of Dappy apparently looking out to sea:
New clobber ... Dappy looks all over Facebook and the status says a smart new look
What does that even mean? It sounds like a great-grandparent trying to engage with a young person using knowledge scraped together from something they saw on Tonight With Trevor McDonald and old Punch cartoons.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Rockobit: Gary Moore

BBC News is reporting the death of Gary Moore, formerly of Thin Lizzy.

Born in Belfast in 1952, Moore was inspired by a mix of Elvis, The Beatles and John Mayall as he was starting to develop his guitar style. Peter Green took Moore under his tutelage, and gave him the space and confidence to develop his style.

Moore's first proper band was Skid Row, with whom he made three albums for CBS. More importantly for him, joining the group brought him to Dublin and gave him his first taste of working with Phil Lynott.

He'd reunite with Phil shortly after his spell in Skid Row ended, taking over from Eric Bell in Thin Lizzy. Although arguably the band that he's most famous for beyond his fanbase, Moore never achieved tenure in the Lizzy. Instead, he did three short stints.

Really, Moore was a solo artist - he'd tried a short run at doing it himself before joining Thin Lizzy the first time; arguably, his first solo hit, 1979's Parisienne Walkways, featured Phil Lynott doing vocals so wasn't entirely that distant from being in Thin Lizzy. He got back together with Phil in 1985, too, for this:

But really, the key sound of solo Moore was Blues with a dash of celtic rock. A series of albums and tours over thirty years explored blues sounds from pretty much every angle; he also presented programmes retelling the blues for Planet Rock.

There were other collaborations, too - with Skunk Anansie's Cass Lewis and Primal Scream's Darrin Mooney there was Scars, an early 2000s power-pop experiment; the slightly more high end partnership with Ginger Baker and Jack Bruce, BBM, released one album in 1994.

Gary Moore was 58. His death early on Sunday morning was announced by his manager, Adam Parsons.

Sophie B and the GOP

Boy Culture blogger Matthew Rettenmund was disappointed when he found out that Sophie B Hawkins was playing a CPAC event. Albeit, the GOProud Republican group for ill-advised right-wing gays and lesbians, but a right-wing event nevertheless.

So he thought he'd ask why she was doing this. Her people sent a polite reply:

I manage Sophie and Lisa Lori sent me your email re Sophie and GoProud. She is not supporting their beliefs but trying to build a bridge so we can all talk and be humans over party. They invited her to play for free. She said she would, if they recognized she is an artist and is going as an artist not taking sides, but being open for them to emjoy her music as humans."
Rettenmund remains puzzled:
Why is it always liberal-minded people who feel they have to build bridges to people who are so contemptuous of their ideals? No conservative artist would play a climate-change awareness party, let alone the equivalent of CPAC.
I suspect the answer might lay in the phrase "liberal-minded people", but it does seem a bit strange. The CPAC audience is going to be turning up to see the likes of Ann Coulter; what sort of bridge does Sophie think she's going to be able to construct during her set?

One Direction; almost as few songs

One Direction - persistent X Factor run-off band - went to Oxford to play a gig. There was an air of excitement.

The excitement kind of vanished after they only played for four songs before going off to count their money.

Twenty minutes. Now, to you or I, twenty minutes of One Direction might seem like they'd delighted us for long enough. But if you actually like the band, and had handed over hard-earned pounds to see them, you might feel miffed.

Craig Pitson, who runs promoter Soundwave Live, can't see why people are upset:

But Craig Pitson, director of Soundwave Live, said the event was always billed as 'One Direction Plus Support Acts and Live DJ’.
Right. But, generally, all gigs have at least one support act and someone flinging on records during the changeovers. At most gigs, though, the headline band play more than an ep's worth of music.
He said: “The support acts are there to create a show, otherwise it would literally be the headline performance and that, I agree, would be a complete waste of money and source of disappointment to those attending."
Well, not really - if people were paying to see the headline act, they'd probably rather see the headline act play a set, rather than a few. I don't think anyone ever comes out of a gig saying "if only the band I'd paid to see had played a few fewer songs to allow the unbilled support a bit more time. And I could have heard the unnamed DJ play records all night."
“We didn't just randomly throw support acts on stage, we carefully selected Oxford's finest up and coming talent.

“We take great pride in supporting and showcasing young artists from Oxford and we will continue to do so.”
I'm sure you do, and that's great and a positive thing to do. But given you didn't even tell people who the support acts would be when promoting the gig it's fair to assume the audience weren't there to see them play. And nearly every gig I've paid to see has a support act. The presence of a support act doesn't mean you should expect a fun size headline set.
[H]e added: “The time, effort and work which goes into these shows is vast, and although we appreciate feedback from all attendees, the show at The Regal was one of the best atmospheres ever to hit Oxford."
The show was an atmosphere. It hit Oxford. Meteorologists have confirmed that the bestness of that atmosphere certainly put it in the top five atmospheres that Oxford has ever been hit by.

It is possible that One Direction only know four songs.

Cheryl Cole: Make your mind up, Sunday Mirror

So, Dean Piper, did Cheryl Cole "pull out", like the headline claims, or did she "come close to pulling out" as the story says?

Answer: she came close to. But 'woman catches later plane to well-paid job' is a less eye-catching headline.

Antony Costa gets cock out in public

There are two remarkable things about the Sunday Mirror's photos of Antony Costa pissing over a cash machine.

The first is that he appears to be using a cash machine at all, which makes you wonder where he's getting money - had he picked up a couple of shifts over Christmas as some sort of elf at grotto?

Secondly: he's drawing out cash, pissing over his own feet and yakking on a mobile phone, all at once. Which really does show those of us who believed him barely capable of doing one thing at a time were totally wrong.

Still: handy to remember if you ever meet him - the UK's great Eurovision hope is more than likely to have piss on his shoes. Class.

Copyright industry threaten to cut Google off from internet

Here's why sending automated letters to unlicensed file sharers is a terrible thing to do.

the MPAA have sent Google letters claiming that employees are sharing movies, and warning:

“Copyright infringement also violates your ISP’s terms of service and could lead to limitation or suspension of your Internet service. You should take immediate action to prevent your Internet account from being used for illegal activities,” the movie companies write in various letters.
Google's ISP might decide to cut it off. Losing the revenue from - what, they must have, like three dial-up accounts at the very least?

The more the copyright industry churn out things like this, which makes it clear there's not even a poorly-paid person checking on the claims they're making, the more they undermine their genuine concerns.

This week just gone

The most popular January stories were:

1. Razorcut's new image. At least wait until they've gone before guffawing
2. Billy Bragg's nieghbours targeted by far right
3. Rihanna caught thinking; Gordon Smart diagnoses depresssion
4. Ten years
5. Radio One abandons rock, claims NME
6. RIP: John Garrighan
7. Music industry considers plan of selling music
8. RIP: Gerry Rafferty
9. Dire Straits' faggot catches up with them
10. HMV to close 60 stores

These were the releases considered interesting:

Hannah Peel - The Broken Wave

Download The Broken Wave

Ebsen & The Witch - Violet Cries

Download Violet Cries

Deerhoof - Deerhoof vs Evil

Download vs Evil

The Go! Team - Rolling Blackouts

Download Rolling Blackouts

Chapel Club - Palace

Download Palace

Abigail Washburn - City Of Refuge

Download City Of Refuge

The Music - Singles 2001-2005

Download Singles