Saturday, May 21, 2011

Pink horses make Pink see red

The people making Selena Gomez's music video insist that painting horses pink didn't hurt them, after Pink (the person, not the colour) spotted the video being made:

P!nk noticed a pink horse and a purple horse on a So Cal beach .... and twittered, "If there are any animal activists around Malibu- at Leo Cabrillo State Beach, there are horses being painted for a stupid music video. Shame."

The pop star continued, "Artists should be more aware and responsible for their actions."
There's a couple of broader points, though - sure, the horses may not have been mistreated, but when you're making pop videos for children, painting creatures sets a bloody bad example. The kiddywinks will see animals painted bright colours and assume that it's okay to paint animals bright colours, and before you know it Tiddles has got half a pot of gloss over him.

More importantly: she's making a video with bright pink horses in. Isn't there even a hint of a taste bar to doing such things?

Darkness at 3AM: Kanye and Elton

The Mirror looks on in Cannes:

Kanye West drives to Elton John party in $1.7 million limited edition Mercedes sports car
You know, Elton would have been just as happy with a bag of chips and a bus trip to the pictures, Kanye.

Gordon in the morning: ... and those who can't, teach

JLS have been spending time with Craig David. (It's not clear why, perhaps he's working as their driver or something.)

CRAIG DAVID has found time in his busy diary to give JLS a masterclass in bedding women.

The Proper Bo singer plied the lads with booze after inviting them round to his bachelor pad in Miami for a chat about pulling girls.
Because, of course, nothing says "active sex life" like having JLS round to drink shandy.
ORITSE said: "We went out for dinner with him. Then we went to his flat to drink a few tequilas.

"There are a lot of pictures of girls on his walls - all over the house. We talked about women loads. He said, 'Just stick with me. I'll take you to all the good places where there are loads of girls.' "
The detail of Craig David living in some sort of flat with pictures cut out of Zoo or Nuts stuck on the wall feels somehow accurate.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Glasgow, you'll have to get by without Pete Doherty this evening

Pete Doherty is back inside after pleading guilty to cocaine possession. But on the not-especially bright side, at least he didn't kill Robin Whitehead. The BBC reports:

Judge David Radford said Doherty had given Ms Whitehead crack cocaine but it was not the cause of her death.

He said: "Police became aware of the relevant evidence because of the investigation which followed the discovery of the sad death of a young woman who had been present at the address where the offences had been committed.

"The offences involved the social supply of crack cocaine in a crack cocaine pipe, which you handed to that person.

"I make it clear though, abundantly clear, that the young woman's death was not caused by that supply of crack cocaine."
Doherty got a six month sentence. His defence lawyer tried to keep him out of jail by arguing that locking Doherty up would cause him to let people down. As if that would somehow be out of character for him.

Little Apples in the air

Apple, agree people who watch the company obsessively, are about to launch their music streaming service (possibly with all four members of the RIAA cartel on board). They've been thinking about it for a long time, claims patently Apple:

In some embodiments, the electronic device could remotely connect to the user's library. In some embodiments, the electronic device could instead or in addition connect to a content source such as (e.g., a content generator or a content point of sale – which could be associated with Apple's iTunes and others like Amazon) to stream the media items. To ensure that devices could only stream media items that the user has purchased or to which the user otherwise has legal access, the content source could require an authentication scheme (e.g., a username and password, or a secure token). In some embodiments, the streamed media items could instead or in addition include missing elements that an electronic device must retrieve and locally store from the user's media library (e.g., remove 3 seconds of every 10 seconds of a media item, such that the missing 3 seconds are retrieved and locally stored on the device from a user's media library).
And to think there were people who thought that compact discs were over-sciencifying listening to songs.

Amazon and Google will mention that Apple aren't the first to market. But then again, the iPod wasn't the first mp3 player to market.

EMI, eMusic come to an agreement

It turns out that having a bank in charge is working out a bit better for EMI. Now the dead wood of Terra Firma are no longer running negotiations, EMI's back catalogue is coming to eMusic.

Bankers might lack shadows, but at least they seem to understand that if you want to sell your music, it's a good idea to have it available where there are customers.

Gordon in the morning: Churning

It's not unusual for Gordon to not bother getting a story, and to have something copied out of a magazine instead, but today is a bit special. The second-lead on Bizarre is just copied out of tomorrow's Sun TV listings magazine. (It's pictures of Michelle Keegan in a nice dress, by the way.)

I know News International is struggling to come up with a cohesive approach to online content, but pinching your own content 24 hours before you publish it is a new one.

Great news for HMV

Well done, HMV - with the agreement of a sale of Waterstones, you've managed to offload the bit of your business that wasn't a total basket-case.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Two directions

Ian Hargreaves' report, publishe yesterday, comes from a standpoint that's familiar - that creative things only happen because creators get financial rewards. It's a world in which the threat of the RIAA - if you stop record labels making money, music will die - is a guiding principle.

However, The Next Web is reporting a start date for Peer-To-Patent UK, a new government scheme which aims to streamline patent law by inviting people around the planet to inspect applications:

You may be wondering what’s in it for these third party experts? Why would they want to feed into the patent examining process? Well, it’s for the same reason anyone in the global community would offer their time and knowledge – it’s for the greater good.
So it looks like the UK Government is now living firmly in a world where it believes nobody will do anything without a clear financial reward, unless it's the UK government who isn't paying any money.

Gordon in the morning: Medical records

There's two things about Richard White's story on Victoria Beckham's birth plan that leads Gordon's caravan off today.

The first is the bloody awful writing:

They have even shortlisted the name Atlanta for their baby girl, due to the hundreds of thousands of airmiles they have notched up flying across the pond.

Posh, 37, had preliminarily booked a C-section at London's private Portland hospital on July 4 - one of the biggest holidays in the US.
More importantly, there's a bigger question of how The Sun knows about all these plans, and why Gordon and Richard thought we needed to know?

Also: Atlanta? If the Beckhams are that frequently flying, why they hell would they be using the Atlanta hub?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Domino Records becomes Domino Radio

Yes, that's Domino Records plotting a week of FM-based radio excitement in London and online.

And you can have a bit of it. Oh, yes:

Then listen up now everybody because Domino Radio invites you all to submit a fine hour of music to us. A great playlist gets an hour slot on Domino Radio. It's that simple.
Of course, if no listener coughs up an hour, they've got some mates in as fallbacks:
Featuring shows by Animal Collective, Hot Chip, The Kills, Franz Ferdinand, No Pain In Pop, Bobby Gillespie, Optimo, Dirty Projectors, Frieze Arts, Robert Wyatt and many others.
It should be an interesting week. Kick off is June 6th.

Aqua back

Aqua - yes, that Aqua - are currently unfurling the slowest reunion in musical history. They reformed in 2007, and have managed a few dates since then. But now, four years into the comeback, they've finally sorted out a comeback single.

They could have tried going a little slower.

Gordon in the morning: James Blunt's favour to his younger self

Don't have sex with famous people, begs James Blunt:

He feels there are folk out there more deserving of a fumble under the covers.

James said: "Aid workers, teachers, doctors, nurses, the military - people who save lives are who you should aim to sleep with.

"Think of it as a reward for what they do for the world."
Military people, you say, James? Weren't you in the army?

It's quite sweet, really: do you suppose his 19 year-old self looked at Will Smith hanging out with sexy people and thought 'if I ever get famous, I'm going to tell the public they should be doing it with soldiers instead'? In fact: do you think that's been his gameplan all along?

In other news, Cheryl Cole is supposedly going to make three movies in Hollywood. You can see why Hollywood couldn't wait to work with the woman from the L'Oreal adverts. I know what you're thinking, but apparently they can add facial expressions and vocal intonation after the shoot.

How radical will the Hargreaves Review be?

Supposedly inspired by Google's insistence to Dave Cameron that they couldn't have started-up in the UK, today Ian Hargeaves' review of intellectual property law will be published.

He's just been on Today talking about it, and an indication of how pointless his findings will be comes from the recommendation that he chose to focus on in the interview. Yes, removing the anomaly that makes ripping CDs you own to iTunes or a Zune illegal is long overdue, but it's hardly a flagship recommendation. It's on a par with when they changed the law allowing people to wave dusters out their house a few years back.

The problem is in Hargreaves' terms of reference, which have been about changing copyright law in order to derive economic, rather than intellectual, benefits. A copyright system which works to allow the spread of ideas will certainly have economic benefits, but one which is cut to fit the existing economy is sure to stifle creative thought.

The Guardian speculated yesterday that Hargreaves might also have something to say about orphan works, with the establishment of a body to represent the vanished parents of these works. Interestingly, Hargreaves didn't mention that this morning on Radio 4 - possibly because the question of 'why should people pay to use material whose owners have let it slide out of their grasp' is almost as tricky as 'what will happen to all this money, then?'

Surely he's not proposing that, while the Treasury is emptying orphan bank accounts into the Chancellor's pockets it also annexes orphan creative works?

We'll find out later today.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

France freezes Three Strikes activity

Things getting worse for the French copyright farmers - the operation of the Hadopi (three strikes) organisation has been frozen after the company charged with doing the snooping part, Trident Media Guard, turned out to not have adequate security. The French authorities say they won't work with TMG until this is sorted, and TMG are the only company doing the work.

Making it worth for TMG, TorrentFreak is reporting this morning that not only has TMG lost control of its own data, but also the data it had picked up through its spying activities. Let's hope, for TMG's sake, that there was nothing in the data that shouldn't have been there.

Mel C hails Victoria Beckham: Pioneer

Mel C applauds trailblazing Posh:

Mel C says she's very proud of her former Spice Girls bandmate Victoria Beckham as she has ''broken down a lot of barriers'' in the fashion world with her self-titled label.
Yes, if it wasn't for the tireless struggles of Victoria Beckham, you'd never see a thin, overpaid woman who doesn't smile working in fashion. Thank god she was able to shatter that glass ceiling.

Hiphopobit: M-Bone

Montae Talbert, who as M-Bone was part of Cali Swing District, has been killed.

Teach Me How to Dougie, the band's surprise mini-craze-creation of last summer, owed much of its success to M-Bone's dance. Buoyed by Bieber and Ryan Seacrest having a go at doing the Dougie, the single made 28 on the mainstream Billboard charts.

The 22 year-old had left the studio where Cali Swag District were recording a debut album when he was shot in what reports say was a drive-by incident. The LA Times says he was driven to hospital, where he died.

Gordon in the morning: Is this, actually, a job?

Now that she's been "eased out" of whatever one it was she was on, Dannii Minogue has plans:

FORMER X Factor star Dannii Minogue could return to talent judging - on a rival BBC show.
"Return to 'talent judging'"? "Every time I think I'm out of the game of listening to someone for a bit and then saying 'that moooved me' or 'you gotta focus', they pull me back in again."

It used to be that those who could did, and those who couldn't would teach. Now, those who can't even teach sit behind a table and read scripted quips about how thrilled they were.

I wonder if Cowell has a "Talent Judge Showdown" format up his sleeve?

Monday, May 16, 2011

Don't tell me it's Ovi

Ovi, Nokia's sub-brand which they slapped on to Comes With Music just before they killed that off, is, in its turn, being axed:

The changeover was announced on Nokia's Ovi blog by editor Pino Bonetti.

He wrote: "The main reason for this change is so we can leverage the high-value of the Nokia master brand to better support future plans to deliver disruptive and compelling mobile experiences globally."
The main motivation for the tidying-up, they say, is to make it easier when Nokia rolls out its exciting Windows 7 phones - you can do spreadsheets on them, you know - with all the access to Microsoft's store. Or so they say.

Really, it's because it's a brand that never captured the imagination. Ovi and out.

Tyler The Creator responds to Tegan And Sara

After Sara from Tegan And Sara sighed, and wrote a considered criticism of the soft ride Tyler The Creator has been getting, Tyler has responded.

Obviously, because he used Twitter as his channel to reply, there might be some nuance lost in his self-defence, but let's see what he has to say:

If Tegan And Sara Need Some Hard Dick, Hit Me Up!
Well done, Tyler. That would be exactly it. Clearly, Tegan and Sara don't actually have a problem with a critical community incapable of standing up to the popular kid when he tries to drag us all back to the 1970s. No, the problem is simply that they need a good seeing to by a proper man.

Can we stop pretending that he's a genius of some sort, now, please?

ContactMusic reveal something surprising about James Bond

Here's something I didn't know - Atmosphere and Octopussy share a common creator:

Ian Curtis wrote James Bond? Then how come there was no Bond girl called Joy Division?

(By the way, if you're interested in Hefner's claim, James Bond was created in 1953 and the first Playboy club opened in 1960. The clubs which Hefner stole the idea of "bunny girls" from, though, The Gaslight, opened in 1953, so it's possible Flemming and Hefner both stole the idea from the same place.)

James Morrison forgets

When approaching the production of his next record - yes, he's made another one - James Morrison wanted to forget.

Yes, James, you make us all want to forget.

Speaking at the Sony Radio Academy Awards, he told BANG Showbiz: "It's my favourite piece of work so far, I tried to forget what I'd learned before and do what I wanted to do in the first place, but I didn't have any experience to do."
Sadly, the things he forgot only seem to include technical stuff. He didn't forget where the studio was, or how to switch it on.

Gordon in the morning: Arse

Given nothing to say, Gordon falls back on saying 'look at that, it's Jennifer Lopez's butt:

Lo and behold lads...
That's pretty much it. A big picture of a woman's bottom, and a nudge, and a wink.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Justin Bieber as popular in Hong Kong as the Pro-Cuts march was

Thank God, there are still some places on the Globe that aren't interested in Justin Bieber.

Or maybe already lost interest.

Eurovision 2011: How did Blue do?

It's probably a measure of just how badly Britain has fared in Eurovision in the recent past that "lost deep in the middle of the table" is considered a good result.

But is it really? Not only were Blue trading on their supposed profile and their "being good at this sort of thing" abilities, but they had been plodding round the continent trying to generate warmth and affection.

So, how are people reacting to their performance?

AOL's Eleven UK reminds the band of a pledge they'd made before the event:

Lee Ryan and friends were far from disgraced but they just couldn't compete with, er... Azerbaijan, who stormed into the lead and took home the prize.

The Blue boys had been second favourites to win the singing contest but ended up in 11th place, three spots behind Irish entry Jedward.

So just one question remains - when are you emigrating boys? You did promise, after all.
Oh, yes. The pledge. Talking to the Daily Mail:
‘If we can get a top five place it will be amazing, says Antony, 29. ‘For us it is just great promotion - a way of showing European fans that Blue are back.’

And if it all goes wrong? ‘We’re emigrating,’ says Antony. ‘I’m going straight to Goa,’ adds his bandmate Simon Webbe, 32.
Sorry, Goa.

MTV insist that Blue do us proud. (What's this "us", American?)

How are the defining doing us proud?
Their performance of I Can was well received but after a good start, they dropped back into 11th place. But their final result of 100 points was 10 times better than last year’s result.
So that was the only hurdle we're talking about here? If Blue were able to score more than 10, that was the result we were looking for?

The Guardian's Carole Cadwalladr is a bit more realistic about the much-hyped Jedward-Blue battle:
And yet, as it transpired, the rest of Europe just really couldn't care any less.
Reasons to celebrate were thin on the ground – Blue finished a really quite poor 11th, and Jedward barely better at eighth – but there were some small crumbs of comfort for opponents of AV. Despite the voting blocs, and the age-old system in which one country votes for its neighbour (with the exception of Ireland who – traitorously, according to the hysterical reaction on Twitter – failed to back Blue) this is what happens when you have, as Eurovision does, an alternative voting system.
The Mail On Sundaytakes national pride where it can find it:
Half of winning Azerbaijan duo Elle and Nikki is mother-of-two from London
Andy Murray thinks he's got it tough with being a British victor or a Scottish failure; imagine either being some weird sort of Eastern European or a half-English winner.

But what did the Mail's Jody Thompson make of the actual British team?
They had put in a brilliant performance of their song I Can, which was written by band members Lee Ryan and Duncan James.
Except, of course, it wasn't; it was written by Ciaron Bell with Ryan and James "helping" in some way.

Jody then takes a massive leap:
Blue meanwhile, who also comprises Antony Costa and Simon Webbe, are among the most successful British artists ever to take part in Eurovision, and were second favourites to win.
Amongst the most successful artists? By coming eleventh? Seriously, Jody?

That's six places lower than Jade managed in 2009; it's lower down the final positions managed by such half-forgotten Eurovision acts as Love City Groove, Francis Ruffelle, Samantha Janus. They matched what was managed by Co-Co.

That's right, Blue's performance puts them on a par with this:

You can hear Time Magazine's William Lee Adams smirking from here:
In the run-up to this year's Eurovision Song Contest, celebrity contestants dominated the headlines and the bookies' odds tables. Britain's boy band Blue — who have sold 13 million records worldwide since 2001 — flew the British flag. And Jedward — the world's most famous set of singing identical twins, who finished sixth on Britain's X-Factor — represented Ireland. But during the grand finale, held Saturday evening in Düsseldorf's Esprit Arena, European voters bypassed all the celebrity hype in favor of Ell & Nikki — two unknowns from Azerbaijan singing a ballad about the madness of love. "I'm just a housewife with two kids," Nikki (real name Nigar Jamal) said at the press conference afterwards. "My only dream was to represent my country."
Surely Jedward are the world's second most famous set of singing identical twins behind Prussian Blue?

Liveblogging for the Telegraph, Neil Midgly thinks he spotted where Blue went wrong:
I can’t help thinking that if Blue had been shirtless on stage, and wearing blue suits in their background pictures, rather than the other way around, they might do better. They’re ever so pretty, but that’s about where it ends, isn’t it? I stick by my pre-show prediction: 17th place for the Royaume-Uni.
He might be right, but I suspect we'd have had more luck if Blue had sat in a house in Wallasey and Ciaron Bell had been on stage.

Still, there's always next year, eh?

[You might like: Eurovision 2011 liveblog]

This week just gone

The most-read stories so far this May, from all-time, have been:

1. Eurovision 2011: Liveblog
2. Morrissey blames Poly Styrene's death for being rude to Dermot O'Leary
3. Seriously? R Kelly, still?
4. Tatu fume about people thinking they're lesbians
5. Tegan and Sara ask why Tyler's getting a free pass
6. The age old question about KT Tunstall
7. McFly without clothes
8. Costa spokesperson Peter Andre opens his own coffee shop
9. What did Mel B make of the death of Osama Bin Laden?
10. Noel Gallagher's powerful wit
This week's interesting new releases were:

Wild Beasts - Smother

Download Smother

Gang Gang Dance - Eye Contact

Download Eye Contact

Okkervil River - I Am Very Far

Download I Am Very Far

Cerys Matthews - Explorer

Download Tir

Miles Kane - Colour Of The Trap

Download Colour Of The Trap

The Webb Sisters - Savages

Download Daylight Crossing

Manchester Orchestra - Simple Math

Download Manchester

The Zombies - Breathe Out, Breathe In

Download Breathe Out, Breathe In

Kate & Annie McGarrigle

Download Matapedia