Saturday, April 09, 2011

Longpigs Weekend: On And On

This is the "American Version" of what a YouTube commenter calls the "greatest love song of all time":

[Part of Longpigs weekend]

RIAA get to double-dip on Limewire files

Obviously, copyright law has little in common with natural justice, but the ruling this week that the RIAA can get paid twice for the same infringement seems to take the idea to a whole new level.

Paidcontent explains:

As part of a massive litigation campaign began in 2003, the RIAA sued tens of thousands of individual downloaders who used Limewire and other services. Those include relatively small settlements of several thousand dollars each for 104 songs that were downloaded by individuals from Limewire, and are also in the RIAA’s big list of tracks it wants the service to pay damages for. Defense lawyers for Limewire argued that such “double dipping” shouldn’t be allowed. Even though copyright law allows statutory damages of up to $150,000 per work, those can only be collected for each work once, the file-sharing service said. But the judge rejected that argument and RIAA lawyers will be able to get statutory damages for all infringed tracks, even ones it has already collected for from individuals.
The RIAA really do see Limewire as the gift that keeps on giving. Isn't getting repeated payments off the back of a transgression closer to what a blackmailer does, rather than a justice system?

Longpigs Weekend: Never Mind The Buzzcocks

Oh, how much younger we all were then; from the early days of Never Mind The Buzzcocks, Crispin Hunt attempting to decipher Meat Loaf lyrics:

[A slight bonus for the Longpigs weekend]

Embed and breakfast man: Longpigs

The other great Sheffield band of their generation, and deserving more than just being a footnote in articles about Richard Hawley, let's spend some time looking at Longpigs.

Somewhat surprisingly, Crispin Hunt doesn't merit his own entry in Wikipedia. Even Geraldine Newman has an entry in Wikipedia; why Hunt's time leading the Longpigs and subsequent career working with the good, the bad, and Newton Faulkner since doesn't make him significant enough isn't clear.

So, after four solid years of singles, which, without ever quite making it to the toppermost of the poppermost managed a fairly distinguished series of chart placings, it all just crumbled away. Dee Boyle quit; their label imploded; America had decided it didn't really care for British bands that much.

It's astonishing that we're able to generate bands as good as Longpigs, and then more-or-less ignore them. We're like people signing up for allotments and only realising we never went back to harvest them when the council sends us the letter telling us they're taking the land back.

Let's kick off with She Said from TFI Friday. If ever you need to define a British band by its time, place, and never-quite-living-up-to-potential, the first question to ask is 'did they appear on TFI Friday?'

The Sun Is Often Out
Mobile Home

Longpigs online
Last FM

More to come this weekend
Crispin Hunt on Never Mind The Buzzcocks
On And On
The Frank Sonata
Lost Myself
Jesus Christ Live

Gordon in the morning: Jagger japes

Gordon Smart reports that Mick Jagger and David Bowie are working on a comedy movie.

Oddly, the only mention of David Bowie in the entire report is this:

The ROLLING STONES legend penned a script with the help of old pal DAVID BOWIE about a couple of hellraising rock'n'roll managers set in the mid-Sixties.
And then, despite a massive photo of Bowie, he's never mentioned again.

Perhaps he realised how awful the project sounded and bailed before the third paragraph.

Why, you might wonder, is Mick doing this? Gordon has an answer:
After watching old chart rivals SIR PAUL McCARTNEY and GEORGE MICHAEL send themselves up for Comic Relief, he thought it was finally time to get his Ha Ha's out.
Presumably if he'd tuned in for a different bit of Comic Relief, we'd be reading some half-formed mutterings about his plans to cook for the Prime Minister.

Apart from the Comic Relief thing being totally made up, when, exactly, were George Michael and Mick Jagger chart rivals?

There's an unnamed source, of course:
"He's well up for a cameo role, to show he's not the serious businessman a lot of people think he is all the time."
Yes, that's right. The first thing people think of when they hear the name "Mick Jagger" is "serious businessman". If only he could be a bit more like Victor Kiam.

Gordon ends with some advice:
I reckon he should put himself up for a SMITHY sketch for Sport Relief with JAMES CORDEN.

Even better if they throw in a few gags about his little fella.
Yes. There's nothing the world needs more than watching James Corden making jokes about Mick Jagger's wrinkly old friend. And then after doing the Keith Richards jokes, doing some about his cock.

Friday, April 08, 2011

I collect, I reject: Courtney Love's clobber

Good news for people making wrong soup: Courtney Love is selling off her unwanted clothes.

Some are only previously owned by her; others are expressly described as having been worn by her.

I'll say this for her: she has excellent shoes.

Dylan keeps Chinese government happy at worst possible time

The decision of Bob Dylan to play only those songs that the Beijing government approved of always looked a bit weak.

Playing that approved list of songs while the same government had Ai Weiwei spirited away? That seems somewhat less than heroic.

The Spectator's David Blackburn is quite laid back about Dylan's silence:

Given that it’s nearly 50 years since Dylan purposefully stopped being the ‘voice of conscience’, his reticence does not come as a shock.
Except, of course, Dylan hasn't done any such thing, never missing a chance to turn up at the White House to hook himself up to the achievements of the Civil Rights Movement.
And, as David Aaronovitch observes in today’s Times, why should Dylan do what we are too timid and politic to do?
Here's a suggestion, David and David - because we haven't been invited to play a gig approved by the people who have locked Weiwei up. I can say, fairly certainly, that even if I attempted to interest people in the news that I wasn't going to play the Beijing Academy, nobody would turn up.

Yes, our governments have been as grubby and spineless as normal, but whoever thought that "Bob Dylan is no more useless and unprincipled than William Hague" would be a phrase that he would ever aspire to?
Besides, what could he achieve?
A small amount of media focus on the wrongdoings of the Chinese state? A small crowd of the rich Chinese who'd paid for the tickets realising that they can't expect to enjoy visits from Bob Dylan and similar artists while dissidents disappear? A bit more than doing bugger all would?
Dylan’s words might be welcome to some Western ears...
Well, that would be a start - not looking like a self-obsessed, amoral, money-grubbing chimp dancing to whims of Beijing might be a positive move.
... but he’s just one man selling records.
And when did simply having a massive audience and a global platform ever count for anything, eh?
He does not command divisions, even in the metaphorical sense. Human rights violations in China are for governments to challenge. Perhaps Dylan's silence expresses that.
Perhaps. You don't really believe that, though, do you, David? If Dylan wanted to say 'look, I'm just a humble singer of songs, I'm not going to get involved in politics as that's for governments to do', he could have said that. But he'd presumably not bother, as it would sound like a weaselly statement trying to smudge over the grisly spectacle of having to turn up his amp to drown out the cries of tortured dissidents (no wonder Dylan went electric - can you imagine trying to drown that out with an acoustic guitar?).

Even if Dylan had stepped down from being the voice of a generation's conscience when it stopped being convenient, are we supposed to accept that he also detached his personal conscience as well?

What the pop papers say: The real Ramones

I'm wondering if NME ought to try taking a leaf out of Whizzer And Chips, and turning itself into two magazines in one. That way, you could have one bit with the stuff that it churns out which we could generously call 'rock heritage' (or 'shouldn't this be in Uncut?' bits), and another which has the generous coverage of artists from whom we haven't yet heard enough.

This week's cover goes to the Arctic Monkeys, and probably should. It's just in the middle of a run which goes Beady Eye - Arctic Monkeys - Foo Fighters; so an editorial decision which makes sense based on the article being promoted ends up looking like just another churn-through of the same old faces.

The interview is billed as "the exclusive album interview", but at the end there's a trail for another interview in two weeks where Alex Turner will talk about the songs on the album. So, erm, presumably that's the other exclusive album interview, then.

What we seem to have is a band who have reached something of the bottom of the ideas bucket. Krissi Murison - yes, the editor's out getting her fingers inky - observes that some of the songs on the new album are a bit opaque. Alex nods:
"Something I've discovered as I've gone on is that it's cool to let the words sometimes take more of a back seat. I think there's two types of songs, where some of the I want people to, like, understand where it is ... Then there's other things ... where it's much more vague, and I kind of want to keep it that way. I always think of some Bowie tunes that do that, things like Five Years, you're right there with him, and other things like that tune Lady Grinning Soul, it's sort of describing this woman, obviously, but you don't know where you are with it."

I know, I know. You're thinking that that is quite a statement - the claim that Lady Grinning Soul is somehow 'vague' is fascinating and so obviously wrong that it calls out for further exploration. But there's also the comparison of what seems like some 'will-this-do' half-formed lyrics to Bowie's use of sideways language to conjure an image - there's a burning 'really, Alex? You think that's the same thing?' hanging there. Or maybe we just want to hear Turner being pushed a little further, to try and explore how the lyrics on the new album live up to his claims, to see if he's not just trying to reverse-out an excuse for not really having had much to say this time round. Earlier in the interview, the band were discussing how they've grown and changed their sound, so perhaps there's a question about if Turner is really able to write words that fit with a band heading in a different musical direction.

Which of these follow-ups does Krissi go with?

None. She just moves on to the next question.


Also in the Uncut part of the magazine this week, there's a big splash on The Ramones. But - good news - the NME have got interview time with Debbie Harry. Excellent, a chance for someone with intimate knowledge of the Ramones to share her insights, right?

Uh... no. Harry is crammed away on the back pages (being charming and funny, admittedly) and so the Ramones are strained through the opinions of The Strokes. Because if you don't have a band from a decade ago acting as sponsors, why else would you write about a band from four decades back, eh?

In the Chips style 'good bits' pull out, there's Anna Calvi, where she's actually able to talk about her lyrics (and, funnily enough, about David Bowie) in a way that doesn't sound stilted and a nice bit with Katy B, who still likes travelling on night buses.

Over in the reviews section, there's signs of worrying grade inflation. Nearly everything gets seven or higher; only the Pigeon Detectives pick up six and just one album, out of all this week's releases, gets less than five. That's Beardyman, and even though the review screams "two at best", there's still a large four at the foot of the piece.

Next week, it's the Foo Fighters. It could be any next week from the last hundred years, couldn't it?

Gennaro Castaldo Watch: Adele of a record

Adele's only-slightly-less-impressive-because-the-charts-have-less-meaning-now chart achievements of the last few weeks has given Gennaro Castaldo something to think about other than whether there'll be enough money left to order Closing Down Sale posters:

"Adele is one of those increasingly rare artists who has the talent and appeal to reach beyond her typical fanbase and connect with a much broader audience," says HMV spokesman Gennaro Castaldo. "She's now enjoying a wonderful virtuous circle where her continuing success feeds in to more coverage and even greater word of mouth, which, in turn, keeps the sales clocking up."
"... at least, to judge by the figures on the Amazon site."

Are artists who reach beyond a "typical fanbase" really increasingly rare, or is that just how the world seems when you're stood at the back of a shop peering desperately out into an empty High Street?

It's not like Adele is crossing over from gospel, country or skacore anyway - she might be a very good mainstream artist, but she's still a mainstream artist. Surely her current success is down in part to having done a very good job of creating an album intended to have mass appeal rather than target a specific corner of the genre-box?

RCRDLBL wnt rgstrn

The only music company that you can play Only Connect with, RCRDLBL, are introducing registration and user accounts.

As ever, when this sort of thing happens, it's because it's great for you:

We want to give you more of the music you love, the way you want it. All you'll have to do is register for a free RCRD LBL account that will help you organize, download and share all your favorite new music. This small change will help enhance the site for you — you'll be able to create genre preferences and customize your email subscriptions, as well as have access to exclusives first.

Thanks for rocking with us! We're excited to give you even more free music!
I suspect the subtext is that is about making it easier to sell advertising and other services from the site. But then, isn't everything?

Grammys 2012: Bad news for lovers of long lists and scrolling

Having suddenly noticed that they're running a rambling, never-ending competition the Grammys are having a bit of a cull, shrinking from 109 categories to 79.

They're not bringing polka back, in other words.

There's two approaches they're using to get the numbers down. The first is by insisting that the category under consideration is worthy of giving prizes. So longlists must now contain at least 40 entrants; if a category can only come up with 25 to 39 entrants, they shrink it so that the nominations will only go to three entrants.

That speeds things up a little.

If there are fewer than 25 entries, though, the category simply won't happen. That's quite a big change. More interestingly, if a category goes three years without being able to hit the not-at-all-arbitrary 25 entrants, it will cease to exist.

It's not entirely clear what's meant to happen if a category becomes unfashionable for a few years and then suddenly shoots back into vogue - say, if 'best cajun or zydeco record' has a lean few years, only for Lady GaGa and Beady Eye to go cajun and start a revival, there doesn't seem to be a mechanism for that category to re-enter the awards.

It's a fair idea, though - if you can't find enough tracks, albums or acts to make it a real competition perhaps the award becomes a bit meaningless. It's not totally a way to use maths to force out minority music and allow a bit more time to focus on Justin Beiber.

The other change is much more significant, though: the Grammys have abolished gender. Male and female prizes - such as 'best male pop performance' and 'best female pop performance' - have been merged to create one category, 'best solo pop performance'.

This is long-overdue, somewhat radical and quite noteworthy. Somewhat surprisingly, it doesn't even merit a mention in the official release about the changes to the categories - it's as if the Provisional Government had focused on the detail of changes to the relationship between the civil service and the duma and didn't bother mentioning the whole abdication of Nicholas II.

It makes sense in the 21st century - what's important is 'who's the best singer' rather than 'who's the best singer who stands up to pee, and who is the best singer who sits down' - but you can understand the nerves at the Academy as they roll out this change. This isn't about telling Bluegrass musicians they're going to have to shape up; this is actually cutting categories that record labels care about.

Suddenly, instead of having a prize for GaGa and a prize for Bruno Mars, they're going to be fighting for a single prize. And I'm using "prize" in the sense of "airtime on network television" here. (In the case of the 2011 awards, I think it's fairly clear that Bruno Mars would not have had to interrupt his drinking to head for the stage.)

You could never imagine the Oscars doing that - even though they should.

We're still a few years away from the Grammys dropping all the album categories, but for now, this does feel like a big, brave thing to do. Even if they still have 79 categories.

Gordon in the morning: The Press Complaints what now?

Once again, Gordon Smart breaches the Press Complaints Commission code of practice, particularly this bit:

Editors must not use the fame, notoriety or position of a parent or guardian as sole justification for publishing details of a child’s private life.
Why else would 'David Banda goes to watch a football match' - with a photo - be in the paper were it not solely for the fame of Madonna?

Given that the PCC code is as weak as a lemony drink, you'd think that Smart would at least be able to comply with it. Given that he ignores it so often, you'd think that something might be said.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Steve Penk deploys the Osmonds

Steve Penk's The Revolution radio station isn't just there to encourage suicidal people to kill themselves.

Now, it's also the home of Donny Osmond.

Penk sees this as quite the feather in his cap:

Penk added that research on social media sites, such as Facebook, illustrated that Osmond has firm fans in the region - “the data clearly shows the people of the North West are the most passionate about Donny and his amazing forty-plus year career,” Penk opined.
Perhaps, Steve, but I think you'll find that's North West Utah, not North West England.

You have to wonder what the "data" Penk gathered from Facebook was - did he set up a 'People of Oldham who bought Crazy Horses page', counted up all the likes, and then compared it with 'People of Winterbourne Zelston who bought Crazy Horses'?

Still, while Penk might have searched Twitter to, uh, prove the business case, he's lucky that it doesn't look like Donny Googled 'Steve Penk'. Or his radio station, come to that.

Gordon in the morning: Monkey and Seahorse reunion

One of the certainties about music is that the deep, deep animosity between Ian Brown and John Squire meant that The Stone Roses, at least, would never grub back together for a reunion. A reunion which would, inevitably, cancel out the warm feelings a generation have towards the Roses. Or at least those feelings which had survived the awful live performances and Coming Second or whatever that other record was called.

Until now. Squire and Brown have buried the past, and talk has turned, inevitability, to another part of your youth being exhumed and made disappointing.

Gordon Smart does warn, though:

The only stumbling block they now face is pinning down former drummer RENI, which is about as easy as trapping mercury, according to my Manc pals.
As we discovered with Mel C, though, putting your faith in one person to spare us all doesn't work outside of Bruce Willis movies.

Smart, of course, can't see any reason why this shouldn't be treated as great news:
A Roses reunion will be something very special indeed. Getting tickets for the gig will be another problem altogether.
Fair dealing to Gordon Smart, though, this is an actual, interesting scoop he has here. Assuming it's true and it happens, of course.

On the bright side, at this rate there's going to be Daphne And Celeste reunion sometime around Autumn.

In related news, the bloke who played Bez in 24 Hour Party People is currently casting for a movie about Spike Island:
[Director] Tom Green said: “This is a raw and truly authentic rites-of-passage story.

“It’s full of the humour, heartache, dreams and fears of being part of a brotherhood of mates, and set to the greatest record ever written.

“The Roses died in ’95. This is the resurrection.”
There is, I suspect, someone wishing even harder than most of us that Brown and Squire talking again doesn't lead to the Roses playing again.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Katy Perry stares into fan's eyes, projects something into the blankness

What do you see, Katy Perry, when you look from the stage?

"It turns me on to stare someone deep in their eyes," she tells MTV News of looking out into the audience every night on her tour. "Sometimes I see all kinds of emotions. It's a lot of emotion.

"It's lovely, too, because I love people that are passionate about life and music in general," she continued. "Music has been such a helping tool for me to get through so many things. That's why I write a lot of times, is to continue to evolve as a person, and I can see the same thing has happened with other people; they've just adopted the song for themselves."
Yes, Katy. Your music really is a helping tool. It's a helping tool generating all kinds of emotion. An evolving, emotional helping tool. One of those tools. You can get it for your Dremel, I understand.

European Commission appoints copyright industry lobbyist to copyright job

Now, I'm sure that Maria Martin-Prat is a fine, upstanding person. But someone who has taken money from the copyright industry - as Deputy General Counsel and Director of Legal Policy and Regulatory Affairs for the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry - should not be running the European Commission's copyright unit.

Given that she will be responding to requests from a cartel which paid her well in the very recent past, how can her judgements be trusted? The only way she could do her job would be to excuse herself from any decision relating to any of the IFPI member companies - which in effect would turn her full-time role into a part-time job whose hours would be so short she could probably sign on for Job Seekers' Allowance at the same time.

Did I listen to pop music because I was miserable? Or was I miserable because I listened to pop music?

I'm glad you asked. Brian Primack at the University of Pittsburgh has been investigating teenage depression and music, and is starting to form an answer:

[He] says it's more likely that depressed teenagers are turning to music for solace, rather than music being the cause of the mental illness. "They don't feel like doing anything," Primack says. "They don't have a lot of energy, and this is a place where they can go and they don't have to perform."
How did Primarck study this, you might be wondering:
They called 106 teenagers on special cellphones as many as 60 times over eight weeks and asked what they were doing.
Yeah, I think I might be exhibiting signs of being a bit off my game if I was constantly getting calls on a "special" phone asking me what I was up to.
The teenagers listened to music 9 percent of the time on average. Those who listened to lots of music were 8 times more likely to be depressed than those who didn't listen very much.

By contrast, teenagers who read were far less likely to be diagnosed with depression.
Presumably, if you read books while listening to music, you'll be in some sort of mental balance.

[Full study results here]

Embed and breakfast man: Wire

From last night's Late Night With Jimmy Fallon. Wire. Actual Wire, doing Red Barked Trees:

[Buy Wire - Red Barked Tree album]

[via The Audio Perv]

Drummerobit: Scott Columbus

Scott Columbus, former drummer with Manowar, has died, says former bandmate Ross Friedman.

Columbus joined the band shortly after their first headlining European tour; he remained a member until 2008 when he "agreed to disagree on a few points of interest" with band leader Joey DeMaio. He remained on good terms with some of the band, though, still playing with Friedman; officially, he was just taking time out following "personal tragedies" but he made it pretty clear to Classic Rock that there was more to it than that:

Well, you can refer to a few questions ago when I agreed to disagree with Mr DeMaio. In other words, maybe that’s a question he will answer if you ask him. I am not in the band. Period. There you go.
He'd previously had a spell out of the band in the early 90s; he again would dismiss the official version of his time out as a convenient fiction.

Scott Columbus was 54.

Gordon in the morning: Woman wears dress

A new low today - actually, that's unfair, it's more a further bump along the bottom - as Gordon struggles to write something, anything, to make it look like there's a reason to run photos promoting Fearne Cotton's catalogue shopping business.

Is that a Cotton dress Fearne?
Ouch. Mind you, it's good news for Helen Viscose-Polyester as she embarks on her showbusiness career, as there's now something to aspire to.

Oh, and it's only a couple of weeks since Gordon generously ran another adv... sorry, story, about the Very range. Featuring Cotton in some clothes.

Ferry unwell

Some grim news this morning:Bryan Ferry is in hospital. There's been a brief statement:

The spokesman said: "Bryan has been feeling rough for some time and he felt event worse today. So, he thought it was best for the doctors to look into it. We’re all obviously very concerned for him."
Ferry's people seem to be playing it down; the Daily Mail has him as being "seriously ill". Let's hope it's just the Mail over-reacting.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Lady GaGa thinks she's Southampton Football Club

Lady GaGa continues her downward spiral from hero to Madonna-wrapped-in-meat with an attempt to force photographers to give her their work:

In addition to standard release restrictions regarding the use of images shot at her concerts, the document states that any photos taken at the show become the property of Lady Gaga. This an especially bold demand as the government has established that copyright exists the moment when a work is created, which in this case is the moment when a photographer clicks their shutter button.
According to Rolling Stone, there's actually a less-restrictive release being presented to photographers from larger organisations. That makes it look even worse - not just an attempt to grab rights, but a calculated attempt to only grab the rights from smaller organisations who don't have the power to fight back.

It's starting to look a lot like the funny smell wasn't coming from the meat dress.

Absolute on the market?

Not very much backing up its claims, but Radio Today is pretty certain the current owners of Absolute Radio are looking for a buyer.

Bookmarks - Internet stuff: Amazon cloud

Bascha watches the record industry squawk as Amazon allow you to swap a hard drive at your house for a hard drive in the cloud, and sighs a long sigh:

I do not think that Sony and their ilk would be, shall we say, opposed to having one giant virtualized pool of everyone’s music resources. One place where you stored every music file you owned? That would make it eerily simple to monitor music consumption. To identify misappropriation.

The problem is that the major music labels do not own Amazon’s pool, and they don’t have means to see inside it. Google and others, it’s been suggested, were in talks with the labels to negotiate terms for very similar technologies. Licensing terms could kick back for music stored, monetarily and--most likely--in data and assurances. In addition to the fees they already paid for music sold.

[Thanks to Michael M for the tip]

While we're talking about the CRIA

Is it any wonder the musicians of Canada are left bumbling about in the world of the new-fangled internets? The CRIA website suggests that there's nobody there with a computer, much less a grasp of the internet.

Here's the front page of its website, a few moments ago:

The most recent "news" update is from May last year.

That's not as bad as if you follow the "recently published" link, though:

November 2007. That's recent? Bloody hell, there are acts in the Canadian chart who were born after that most recent article went live.

How can the CRIA ever hope to understand the internet when it seems incapable of even using it as a basic communications tool?

Manager confuses advert with real life; confuses corrections with attacks

Here's a sad tale. The manager of One Soul Thrust was doodling about online, stuck his band's name in a torrent search engine, and discovered that 100,000 people were online, busily sharing One Soul Thrust's music.

He was outraged - and wrote a post about it for his Cameron Tilbury Publicity website:

According to Cameron Tilbury, the band's manager, "This is not a victimless crime. No artist--whether they're international superstars or not--should be ripped off like this. But it really affects the smaller, independent artists the most since they rely on grants, loans and investors, and already live pretty close to the edge. Illegally downloading over 100,000 copies of an album is no different than stealing the pysical copies of the cd out of a warehouse or retail outlet. I wish there was a way to stop it."
Trouble is, as Torrentfreak patiently explained, what Cameron was looking at wasn't 100,000 people sharing his music. He was looking at an advert which had taken his search time, and presented it alongside a totally made-up number to make it look like the torrent was popular.

The funny thing is, Cameron's original post contained a suggestion that rats were being smelled:
"We're flattered that people could love our music that much, but this is really tough to take," says ONE SOUL THRUST's lead vocalist Salem Jones. "While I question the exact precision of these numbers--pirates are dishonest by nature--it appears they reflect a strong enough version of reality to bring a serious issue to light."
What Salem Jones had twigged was just how unlikely the numbers sounded.

However, when Torrentfreak and others pointed out his basic error, Cameron didn't react well:
This past week, it all hit the fan. On the Facebook page, "Balanced Copyright For Canada," one blogger outright accused us of lying. He even said that he had talked to the band's "pr guy." This is a lie. He had not talked to anyone in the band regarding the story--and he had not talked to me--if he had, he would know that I am the band's manager, not their "pr guy." If he wants to call me a bad manager, or criticize the music--hey, that's fine. That's opinion...and he is entitled to that. However, he has no place questioning our integrity...without even asking for comment. He hid behind a cute name on his blog. My name is out there for everyone to see and so is One Soul Thrust's. The CRIA is backing our position and so are politicians who are involved with Bill 32 (the proposed Canadian law meant to crack down on, among other things, internet piracy of music.)

We have been accused of lying and we have been abused for our position. We have also had requests for our evidence from torrent sites which actually support illegal downloading--and even more offensively, publish charts of the top illegally downloaded music, movies, etc. We will not comply with people who's only agenda is to support piracy. We feel that there is no way to win an argument with those people. We want to make it clear that we will be more than happy to provide our evidence to journalists who are interested in writing a balanced story and actually speak to the parties involved for their opinion and comment.
It's disturbing if the CRIA really is backing a position of a man who has fundamentally got his facts wrong - and surely even politicians are supporting the copyright rah-rahing without endorsing his mistake?

Yesterday, Cameron was back on, realising that he had suggested his numbers might be wrong:
In our original release we questioned the validity of the numbers: "says ONE SOUL THRUST''S lead vocalist Salem Jones. 'While I question the exact precision of these numbers--pirates are dishonest by nature--it appears they reflect a strong enough version of reality to bring a serious issue to light.'"

Sure enough, it would appear that not only are the downloads on pirate sites illegal, but their numbers are pretty shady too.
He now seems to be upset that they were saying there were torrents when there weren't. He's pissed off at not having his music shared.
One thing that has been made abundantly clear, is that if an artist sticks out their neck in defence of an honest day's work, they will be the subject of a malicious attack. I personally am being attacked on Twitter, Facebook, email and even Skype. And why? Because a debut album by an independent Canadian band is listed on torrent sites around the world and we had the audacity to point that out.
Except you're not really being "attacked"; people were trying to engage with your claim and pointed out it was wrong. You might have been made to look a little stupid, but that's down to you.

And your record wasn't on a torrent site (as far as Torrentfreak could tell), which is kind of important.

It's a little sad. He doesn't understand the internet, and when someone tries to help him, he reacts with jabbing attacks. If One Squat Thrust or whatever they're called still have faith in their manager, they might want to suggest he spends some time listening to people who understand the modern world rather than trying to rail against ghost thieves.

[Hattip: Boing Boing]

If you've taped the Glee v Kings Of Leon match, look away now

It's hard to work up too much energy over the Kings Of Leon v Glee feud; it's a bit like Kasabian going to war with Tickle On The Tum, only with a bigger budget and Perez Hilton replacing Bill Oddie.

But apparently the great war - when Kings Of Leon refused Glee the permission to sell their songs to a large, seemingly endlessly gullible audience, and Ryan Murphy had a little stampy-foot hissy about it.

But it's all over now, as Ryan Murphy has been to NASA and discovered the world doesn't rotate round his late-period Dawson's Creek with singing show:

"I didn't speak with as much clarity as I would have liked," he said on the set of Glee Friday afternoon. "Who am I to say 'F--k you?' That's not what I meant. I completely understand when artists don't want a show or another artist to interpret their songs. In fact, I respect it. It's their personal work and I'd feel the same way. We get turned down all the time and I've don't fight it or even go back after a rejection."
So, much as the Tories tend to not quite apologise for getting things wrong, but blame us for a lack of comprehension, Murphy explains that when he said "fuck you", he wasn't being entirely clear.

That makes sense - a long, rambling statement like "fuck you" is difficult to grasp - even now, I'm not sure exactly what he could possibly have meant by it. If only he could have been a little clearer, perhaps by dropping one of the words in the phrase.

Still, it's peace of a sort - and who is the United Nations in this rapprochement?

Dave Grohl, apparently. He'd sided with the Kings Of Leon, and that seems to have been good enough for Murphy:
. "I've never felt that if you don't give Glee your music, there's something diabolical about you," says Murphy. "To the contrary: I support artists and what they choose to do... I think Kings of Leon are cool as shit. The Foo Fighters are brilliant. We'd love to do one if their songs, if they were ever interested. But if it's not their thing, then OK. I personally wish them luck will still listen to their music."
How big of him to promise to still listen to the Foos, even if they don't want their songs lip-synced.

Truly, the world has achieved a new level of reasonableness.

Gordon in the morning: Wedding announcement

This morning, Gordon Smart announces an extra wedding in a busy schedule:

If you were thinking PRINCE WILLIAM's nuptials were shaping up to be the booziest...
Eh? Who would be thinking "you know what, I bet the bloody King Of Tonga is going to get bladdered at William's wedding. I can't wait to see how shitfaced the Archbishop Of York is that day. The Mall is just going to be a river of privileged vomit"?
...or ED MILIBAND's the "must-have" invite - you'd be wrong.
Well, yes, if you really thought that, I think you'd be very, very wrong indeed.

But what is this wedding that is going to be more desirable than - yes - even the chance to stand around awkwardly while David Miliband fields questions about how he's been this last few months?
Former OASIS star NOEL GALLAGHER and fiancée SARA MacDONALD are tying the knot in the most rock 'n' roll ceremony of 2011.
Gordon has a "source" who stresses how low key this ceremony will be:
"Noel secretly asked Sara to marry him on her birthday last October. He's not one for making a big scene. This is the man who kept his leather jacket on when his lad Donovan was born."
That's not actually 'not making a fuss', that's 'behaving like some sort of cock in a midlife crisis'.

Smart doesn't seem to have spotted that his "source" contradicts his claim that this will be the most boisterous wedding of the year; presumably if he had he'd have simply made up a totally different source.

But do continue, "a source":
"They have been living like they are married for years anyway, but now they have a family together Noel thought it was the right time to do the romantic thing."
Their first child was born in 2007, but apparently this didn't constitute 'being a family', then.

Gordon finishes with a little anecdote:
I hear he bumped into MARK WAHLBERG in Toys R Us in Hollywood the other day.

That's something that doesn't happen very often when he's getting the milk in Waitrose in north London.
Yes, I suspect he doesn't ever bump into anyone in the Hollywood branch of Toys R Us when he's in a Waitrose in a totally different country. Or did you just forget to have a sub look at that paragraph?

HMV: 'Actually, it's even worse than we thought'

Mixed news from HMV this morning, which has just issued a third profits warning so far this year.

But alongside marking down its expected profits from £38million to £30million, it has announced that it's been given a couple of extra months to get itself in order - lending tests will now happen at the start of July rather than the end of April.

Admittedly, this is a roundabout way of saying that it's not actually able to meet the demands of its lenders this month, which is less good - "the school says not to worry as I can do a retake in the winter" isn't an educational achievement in itself.

What's not clear, though, is what the chain intends to do with the time it has bought itself.

Monday, April 04, 2011

MySpace up for sale from Wednesday, says corporate sibling

The Wall Street Journal's All Things D reckons that, given that nobody is showing much interest, the process of dumping MySpace into the marketplace will start midweek.

In any case, whoever buys Myspace needs a lot of patience, which seems to have run out at News Corp., where top execs take turns bashing it to shareholders.

That’s no surprise. After a laudable though glacial redesign as a music and entertainment hub last fall, traffic has declined 44 percent in a recent month from a year ago, to 37.7 million unique visitors in the U.S.

Worse still, the News Corp. unit that houses Myspace showed an operating loss of $156 million in the recent quarter, mostly related to a severe drop-off of advertising revenue at the site.

That plunge in fortunes will surely have an impact on the price buyers are willing to pay for the once iconic brand.
It's possible that the end result will be a partnership with NewsCorp - which is like having joint ownership of a hungry but unlovable dog which used to be a really cute puppy.

Or they'll just give the site to the first person to renew their Times digital subscription. Anything could happen.

My Mom, My Flag, My 94.9: Danny Baker's coming back...

BBC London have shared some happy news:

"Cats and kittens, great and good, riff and raff, hot ginger and dynamite.

Last Friday while watching yet two more dubious DVD's - "And The Same To You" an atrocious 1960 boxing farce starring Brian Rix and "Not So Dusty" a pretty good 1956 romp about a couple of dustmen starring Bill Owen - I realized things could not go on like this forever, sweet though the living was. What was I doing with my life?

With some trepidation I opened my old trunk of showbiz memorabilia that dates my career from my very first TV appearance as the toddler on the Dickie Henderson Show right up to the Good Attendance rosette I received last year from the Gillard Radio Award People for showing up every year at their big night for no apparent reason. Fighting back a tear I was suddenly overwhelmed at just how good this business had been to an old hoofer like me. I saw new perspective on the reviews of my work that I had previously seen as negative: terms like "washed up" "leper of the airwaves" and "over Radio Two's dead body" began to have a new meaning for me. A challenge if you will. Surely at just 61, I had something more to offer than another busted flush like the Cat & Dog Super Bowl and endless days watching "What A Carve Up"?

Therefore I intend to un-retire again. I shall return to BBC London on Monday April 18th at 3pm to give it another go. I realize this will reduce Steve Wright's overall audience figures by more than 300 but it's a tough game we're in Steve. It's just a few vowels from Radio To Rodeo you know.

Likewise it is not my intention to do a "Jay Leno" to Gary Crowley but, down in his heart, he knew this day would come. That he is one of the richest men in British Broadcasting should bring him some succor. I am also endorsing his push to purchase Heart FM and make it an "All Mod. All Day." station.

Anyway, unless the medics make some last gasp cruel objection, that's how it is.

The 18th at 3. Not the other way round.

Croaky, thinner but none the wiser,

Hats may, at your discretion, be worn on the side of your heads.

Sony Awards 2011: The shortlist

Interesting that the Gordon Brown/Jeremy Vine interview has made this year's Sony Radio Awards shortlist - it was a great piece of political theatre (and certainly the only time Radio 2 has made it onto the Daily Show), but the real story was in the webcam image rather than the interview itself - presumably this is the first time a Sony Award shortlist place has been won by pictures rather than the audio? Oddly, the interview doesn't appear on the best use of multiplatform shortlist, which would appear to suggest that Absolute Radio's iPhone apps are better than any interview which appeared on radio last year.

I'm sure Stuart Maconie bears no ill-will, but it seems a bit unfair that Mark Radcliffe makes the music personality shortlist and he doesn't; especially since Nicky Campbell and Sheila Fogarty are jointly nominated in the speech personality category.

Danny Baker pops up in the speech section, despite still effectively doing the same programmes that he was doing when he won DJ awards. Let's put that down to him being uncategorisable, shall we?

And for those of you keeping count, it's TalkSport's turn to be listed in the Best National Station in the 'look, it's not all about the BBC' slot.

Nomnomnoms in full:

Music radio personality of the year

Chris Moyles - BBC Radio 1

Frank Skinner - Avalon for Absolute Radio

Jarvis Cocker - BBC 6 Music

Ronnie Wood - Absolute Radio for Absolute Radio & Absolute Classic Rock

Scott Mills - BBC Radio 1

Music broadcaster of the year

Mark Radcliffe - Smooth Operations (Productions) Ltd for BBC Radio 2

MistaJam - BBC Radio 1Xtra

Paul Gambaccini - Howlett Media Productions & others for BBC Radio 2, BBC Radio 4 and BBC World Service

Ricky Ross - BBC Radio Scotland

Zane Lowe - BBC Radio 1

Speech radio personality of the year

Danny Baker - Campbell Davison Media (for BBC Radio 5 live)/ BBC London for BBC Radio 5 live & BBC London 94.9

Frank Skinner - Avalon for Absolute Radio

Nicky Campbell & Shelagh Fogarty - BBC Radio 5 live

Pete Price - Radio City 96.7

Stephen Nolan –BBC Radio 5 live & BBC Radio Ulster

Speech broadcaster of the year

Anne Diamond - BBC Radio Berkshire

Jeremy Vine - BBC Radio 2

Komla Dumor - BBC World Service News & Current Affairs for BBC World Service

Liz Green - BBC Radio Leeds

Victoria Derbyshire - BBC Radio 5 live

News journalist of the year

Jill McGivering - BBC World Service News & BBC Newsgathering for BBC World Service

Jim Reed, BBC Radio 1 Newsbeat - BBC News for BBC Radio 1

Matthew Price –BBC Newsgathering for BBC Radio 4

Norman Smith - BBC Political Programmes for BBC Radio 4

Real Radio Yorkshire News Team - Real Radio Yorkshire/News for Real Radio Yorkshire

Best on-air contributor

Annabel Port - Absolute Radio

Ed Palmer & Simon Buschenfeld - Heart Network Comedy for the Heart Network

Mark Kermode - BBC Radio 5 live

Moira Stuart - BBC Radio 2

Steve Levine - Magnum Opus Broadcasting Ltd for BBC Radio 2 & BBC 6Music

Best interview

Danny Baker interviews Sir Elton John - Campbell Davison Media for BBC Radio 5 live

Jeremy Vine interviews Gordon Brown - BBC Radio 2

John Humphrys interviews Julian Assange – Today for BBC Radio 4

John Wilson interviews Peter Mandelson - BBC Radio Documentaries for BBC Radio 4

Neil Fox interviews Robbie Williams - Magic 105.4

Best use of branded content

95.8 Capital FM: Cadbury Spots v Stripes - Global Radio for 95.8 Capital FM

Alex Masterley on Classic FM - Classic FM

Rock 'N' Roll Football Live with Sky Sports - USP for Absolute Radio & Absolute Radio Extra

The Wadworth World Pub Quiz Championship on Absolute Radio - Absolute Radio

XFM: Lost Takeover - Global Radio for XFM London & XFM Manchester

Best single promo/commercial

Capital's Summertime Ball Mash-up - 95.8 Capital FM

Eastenders - BBC Radio Cross Trails / Redbee Media for BBC Radio 1, BBC Radio 2, BBC Local Radio & BBC Regional Radio

MFR Christmas Toy Appeal 2010 - Moray Firth Radio (MFR)

The BBC Proms - BBC World Service

The Haunting Sounds of the Vuvuzela -JWT London for Capital FM

Best promotional/advertising campaign

Capital's Summertime Ball - I Can't Wait To See.... - 95.8 Capital FM

Faces For Radio - Absolute Radio

Stuart Hall's Wonderful World Cup on 5 live - BBC Radio 5 live

The FIFA World Cup 2010, South Africa on talkSPORT - talkSPORT Creative for talkSPORT

The Winter Olympics on the BBC - Fresh Air Production for BBC Radio Cross Trails on BBC Radio 1, BBC Radio 2, BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio 5 live & BBC Local Radio

Best competition

Beat The Star - Heart West Midlands

Fiver Fever - Real Radio Yorkshire

Magic's Mystery Voices - Magic 105.4

Pink Custard Days - Wyvern

The Pulp Ticket Giveaway - Absolute Radio

Best station imaging

95.8 Capital FM

BBC Radio 5 live & 5 live sports extra - BBC Radio 5 live

Kiss 100 - Kiss 100 & Pure Tonic Media for Kiss 100

talkSPORT - talkSPORT Creative for talkSPORT

The Absolute Radio Network

Best music special

Lenny Henry's Musical Journey To South Africa - Just Radio Ltd for BBC Radio 4

Neil Sedaka, The Music Of My Life - BBC Radio 2

The John Bonham Story - TBI Media for BBC 6 Music

The Man Machine - USP Content for BBC Radio 2

UB40 - Absolute Radio for Absolute Radio & Absolute 80s

Best news special

Coventry Blitz Special - Quidem Midlands Ltd for 96.2 Touch FM

Raoul Moat, The Final Hours - Real Radio North East for Real Radio

The Brown Years - BBC Westminster for BBC Radio 4

The Reunion: Hurricane Katrina - Whistledown Productions for BBC Radio 4

World Stories: Afghanistan's Dancing Boys - BBC Audio & Music Factual/Uzbek Service for BBC World Service

Best feature

Between The Ears: The Haunted Moustache - BBC Radio Documentaries for BBC Radio 3

Heel, Toe, Step Together - Falling Tree Productions for BBC Radio 4

International Radio 1: Bobby Friction at Burning Man - BBC Radio 1

Sound of Snow and Ice - Loftus Audio/Rockethouse Productions for BBC World Service

Wireless Kenny Everett - Howlett Media Productions for BBC Radio 2

Best comedy

Just A Minute - BBC Radio Comedy for BBC Radio 4

Rhod Gilbert's Bulging Barrel of Laughs - BBC Radio Comedy for BBC Radio 2

The Jason Byrne Show - BBC Radio Comedy for BBC Radio 2

The Unbelievable Truth - Random Entertainment for BBC Radio 4

Tom Wrigglesworth's Open Return Letter To Richard Branson - BBC Radio Comedy for BBC Radio 4

Best drama

Every Child Matters - BBC Radio Drama Manchester for BBC Radio 4

In For A Penny - Tempest Productions for BBC Radio Scotland

Murder In Samarkand - Greenpoint Films for BBC Radio 4

RIP Boy - Red Production Company for BBC Radio 4

The Recordist - BBC Bristol for BBC Radio 4

Best use of multiplatform

A History of the World In 100 Objects - BBC Radio 4 interactive for BBC Radio 4

Absolute Radio's Mobile Apps - Absolute Radio

BBC Introducing - BBC Audio & Music for BBC Radio 1, BBC 6Music, BBC Asian Network, BBC Radio 1Xtra, BBC Radio 3, BBC Local Radio & BBC Radio 2

Beyond the Blitz on BBC Coventry & Warwickshire - BBC Coventry & Warwickshire

Covering the Tube Strike - BBC London 94.9

Station programmer of the year

Ian Walker - Jack FM

Matt Deegan - Fun Kids

Moz Dee - talkSPORT

Station of the year (up to 300,000)

Central FM (103.1 FM)

Isle Of Wight Radio

KCC Live

Station of the year (300,000 - 1 million)

BBC Radio Cumbria

BBC Radio Derby

BBC Somerset

Station of the year (1 Million plus)

105.4 Real Radio North West

BBC London 94.9

Radio City 96.7

Digital station of the year

BBC Radio 1Xtra

Fun Kids

Planet Rock

UK station of the year

BBC Radio 3

BBC Radio 4


Gordon in the morning: Woman dances to popular song at party

Really, Gordon? Susan Boyle dancing to a well-worn Guns N Roses track at a party not only so surprising that you get your people to make this:

... but also led your column with the, uh, "story"?

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Holy Fuck banned from the listings

Like most people, I like to spend Sunday lunchtime catching up with recent judgements from the Advertising Standards Authority, and discovered last month they upheld a complaint about an advert in The Guardian Guide which included Holy Fuck in the listings:

The ASA noted that the word "HOLYFUCK" was the name of the advertised band and we also noted that the Guide was targeted at older teens and adults. However, we considered that, because it was placed in an entertainment listings supplement to a national newspaper, the ad was likely to be seen by a wide variety of readers including children. We considered, in that context, that the name "HOLYFUCK" was likely to cause serious or widespread offence to some readers.
Effectively, it's made it impossible to promote a Holy Fuck gig with advertising anywhere in the UK. Blimey. Or, indeed, holy fuck.

Bookmarks - Internet stuff: Rolling Stones

Ian Rankin pops in to The Spectator to celebrate the 50th anniversary of The Rolling Stones:

When I first heard the Rolling Stones, I hated them. The album was Let It Bleed. It belonged to my sister’s boyfriend. He had paid one pound-nineteen-and-eleven for it at a record shop in Kirkcaldy. It came with a poster, and the sleeve was interesting. I’d no idea who Delia Smith was, but she’d done a good job of that cake. I was a bit of a poster fanatic – my tiny bedroom was plastered with them, including the ceiling. I got them from the weekly music paper Sounds. There was a free colour poster in the middle pages of every issue. I didn’t know who half the bands were, but the posters went on the wall. Not the Let It Bleed poster though – that was already adorning my sister’s boyfriend’s bedroom.

Downloadable: Architecture In Helsinki

Always lovely to get something nice from Architecture In Helsinki; even lovelier when it's for free. Oh, and did we mention it's a Clock Opera remix?

See? Lovely.

This week just gone

The most-read March 2011 stories were:

1. V.ox not homophobic, according to Wikipedia, band
2. RIP - Loleatta Holloway
3. Mail worries about the filth we fling at our pop kids, illustrates with the sort of filth
4. Bon Jovi accuses Steve Jobs of killing music
5. Do our job for us, say Maroon 5
6. Endemol buys Holy Moly
7. Bob Dylan allows Chinese government to choose his set list
8. Lily Allen defends OMG It's Peaches Geldof
9. Lily Allen mildly disrupted by train cancellation; person dies
10. If you do newspapers, we'll make records, The Guardian tells Radiohead

These interesting things were released:

King Creosote & Jon Hopkins - Diamond Mine

Download Diamond Mine

Midlake - Late Night Tales

Download Late Night Tales

Ladytron - Best Of

Download Best Of

Asha Bhosle & Shujaat Khan - Naina Lagai Ke

Download Naina Lagai Ke

The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart - Belong

Download Belong

The Radioheads - The King Of Limbs

Download The King Of Limbs

The Saints - All Times Through Paradise

Download All Times...