Saturday, June 18, 2011

NME TV: The second least-popular channel in the country

There's a lovely table on Broken TV tabulating the popularity of UK TV channels. Based on the average figures for the ten most popular programmes broadcast in May 2011, most of the ratings for music channels are quite grim - only 4Music scrapes into the Top 50, with ratings of 98,425 viewers.

The once mighty MTV is at 52, behind NickJr 2.

At one point, The Box was going to change how we related to television and could at least call on drunk people watching overnight to shore it up; now, it's just the 110th most popular channel in the UK, with a figure a bit over 22,000. MTV Base is only 500 viewers ahead of BBC Parliament. But the further you fall down the list, the more once-famous music brands gather. Smash Hits? 15,000 viewers. Magic? 11,000. Q? 5,350.

But at the bottom of the bottom, with only WTF TV keeping it from getting mud on its ass, is NME TV. 4,950 viewers. And remember, that's the average of the ten best performances during May, implying there must be great acres of time when nobody at all is tuning in.

Adding salt to the wound, the great rival Kerrang is at least managing an average in the five figures. Just.

Apple to "ban" something, claims The Sun

The Sun headline on the story about Apple filing a patent to 'prevent' iPhone cameras working at gigs is a little shouty:

Apple to 'ban iPhone gig filming'
And doesn't quite match up to the story underneath.

What Apple have done is file a patent describing a system which would allow a venue to install equipment which could detect iPhones in the house, and then block the cameras in them:
If an iPhone were held up and used to film during a concert infra-red sensors would detect it.

These sensors would then contact the iPhone and automatically disable its camera function.

People would still be able to send text messages and make calls.
Is it just me, or would everyone rather than disabled the ability to make calls and send text messages during the set?

Clearly, this is one of the most stupid ideas Apple has ever come up with - yes, stupider than the Newton. Not only does "this phone won't work in a concert" sound like a compelling reason to buy a different phone, but the complicated system relies on the venue's equipment being able to contact the iPhone. So you just flick the device into airplane mode, it stops sending and receiving messages, and how then will the supersensor switch the camera off?

Why even bother?
The new technology is seen as an attempt to protect the interests of event organisers and broadcasters who have exclusive rights to concerts.
Yes, DVD sales of gigs must be really hurt by someone sticking small chunks of the gig filmed from one position, with lots of bits of people's heads in the way, on a wobbly, tiny camera onto YouTube. That's a genuine fear.

The paper speculates that this is really intended to allow Apple to show willing to the copyright industry when negotiating iTunes rights.

Hmm... a totally useless but expensive system it can sell venues, and a good but meaningless story to tell rights holders? Perhaps Apple's idea isn't so stupid after all...

[UPDATE: Codepope explains in the comments why switching off airplane mode wouldn't work...]

Disappear Here: Where did they go?

The sight of ill-prepared people with a sense of entitlement slapping together godawful magazines on this week' Apprentice made me wonder: whatever did happen to Disappear Here, Peaches Geldof's vanity mag project?

Back in 2008, when it launched, there were bold plans:

"Vice magazine started as a free giveaway and now it's an international brand," Geldof explains. "It's got tours, bars and TV shows. That would be easy for us to emulate. James [Brown] knows Vince Power and consults for AMC concerts, who organise the V festivals, and we're both always being asked to give our names and contacts to various ventures. Now we'll be able to do it for ourselves."
Brown, who probably should have known better, was keen to keep it all youthful - he wanted it written by schoolkids:
"I think it would be great if our inbox filled up at 4pm when all our contributors got out of school," he says. "I knew more about what the NME should be doing when I was 16 than when I was actually working for it."
And he wanted it all new, fresh, young, vibrant - like monkeyglands for the brain:
"Nothing in this magazine comes from the PR industry - it's basically Peaches and other young journalists raving about stuff they love," Brown adds. "My main criterion was - if I've heard of it, it probably shouldn't go in. I had doubts about interviewing Billy Childish because he's been around for such a long time, but Peaches said he was Kurt Cobain's big influence and we should feature him, so we did."
I think this probably sums up the hopeless lack of direction that characterised the magazine. Setting a bar of 'if I've heard of it, it doesn't go in' is a lumpen idea, but at least it's an idea.

But then if Billy Childish gets in because he influenced Kurt Cobain, wasn't that relying on James Brown having heard of Kurt Cobain? So surely that feature would have failed on two counts, then. To say nothing of this being 2008, which was fourteen years after Cobain had shot himself; which would have been before the birth of most of the people Brown wanted to be writing for, never mind reading, the title.

The whole thing had somehow crawled out of an MTV reality show, where Peaches had shown real people what it was like to work in a magazine. This was, in itself, a strange concept, like calling in George Osborne to teach people to do cardiac massage. After the series had finished, Brown and Geldof just thought the idea of the magazine was too good to not pour money into launching.

Despite all the signs, it did make it to a second issue, although as the magazine's staff was quick to point out to the Guardian's Marina Hyde, Peaches somehow had become detached:
All of a sudden, my correspondent declines to be drawn any further, and a formal statement from Andy Varley, co-publisher of Disappear Here, arrives in my inbox.

"Peaches is very much involved in the magazine," this reads, "and is a director and equal shareholder of Disappear Here Ltd along with myself and James Brown. Peaches, James and I made a joint decision that she should not be listed in the editorial credits for the Spring/Summer edition as she has not written anything and Peaches would never attribute her name to something which wasn't her own work. The editorial team at Disappear Here are incredibly talented and we are all exceptionally pleased with the current issue."
Varley, besides being one of the backers of Disappear Here, was also managing Peaches.

So, would she back on board for issue three?

Sadly, the world would never find out, for although the website is still there, it looks like everything, um, disappeared sometime around the Spring of 2009.

Wonderfully, you can still buy a subscription - there's a Paypal form waiting to take your money - but given the long hiatus between issues I thought I should first find out when the third edition would be coming, so emailed the subscriptions email address to find out.

After a few short hours, a reply:
This message was created automatically by mail delivery software.

A message that you sent could not be delivered to one or more of
its recipients. This is a permanent error. The following addresses
quota exceeded
But there are signs of life, for there on the front page is a "latest comment" - and, why, it appears to date from this week:
Alas, though, arriving at the comments area the visitor feels the lurching disappoint of the submarine crew in On The Beach when they discover the radio signals they've been chasing are little more than a mechanical echo of a dead world:
To be fair, the 19th of October 2009 was actually a Monday, so it's only a little bit misleading.

Still, the fact you can still send them money for the next three issues must mean there's still some life there, right? I mean, James Brown and Peaches Geldof wouldn't leave a website up with a cash register on take money if they didn't intend to make good on the deal, would they?

But for now, the website says Hello, but the whole escapade seems to have long since completed its goodbyes:

Gordon in the morning: Alleged victim support

Gordon pulls off something of a journalistic coup this morning, taking a story about an alleged serious crime and somehow ending up with the image of a dog shitting on Robbie Williams' head.

Gordon claims that - being mates - after hearing about the business outside her house earlier this week, Williams was straight on the phone to Joss Stone to invite her over in order to cheer her up.

Given that there was a whole lot of space to pad out, and even if News International lawyers might be a bit shaky on privacy law they're at least sharp on speculation about cases currently before the courts, Gordon was left trying to imagine how Robbie Williams might go about cheering up Joss Stone:

He is still very protective of her and no doubt did his Alan Partridge impressions in a bid to get a smirk out of her.
Er, no doubt. Let's hope he didn't do the bit where Alan is chased through a rural landscape by the mentalist, though.

Still, you can't entirely take away the sting of a tough week just by pretending to be Steve Coogan. What other comic gems does Robbie have in his arsenal, Gordon?
Resting his dogs on his head is another of his trademark gags.
I'm not entirely sure I can even picture what that might mean. Obviously, I can picture it, but not in any way that makes me go "oh, that's a gag."

Gordon, clearly, also realises that it's an act which might need something:
But that's only funny if one follows through, surely?
Thus we go from true crime to the idea of dog crap sliding down Robbie Williams' face. Surely the Pulitzer Committee are watching?

Friday, June 17, 2011

Polaris Music Prize: Jealous glances at Canada

The longlist for the Polaris Music Prize has been released:

Arcade Fire - The Suburbs
Austra - Feel It Break
Braids - Native Speaker
Black Mountain - Wilderness Heart
Buck 65 - 20 Odd Years
Louise Burns - Mellow Drama
D-Sisive - Jonestown 2: Jimmy Go Bye Bye
The Dears - Degeneration Street
Destroyer - Kaputt
Diamond Rings - Special Affections
Dirty Beaches - Badlands
Luke Doucet and the White Falcon - Steel City Trawler
Eternia & MoSS - At Last
Galaxie - Tigre Et Diesel
Jenn Grant - Honeymoon Punch
Tim Hecker - Ravedeath, 1972
Hey Rosetta - Seeds
Hooded Fang - Album
Imaginary Cities - Temporary Resident
Land of Talk - Cloak and Cipher
Little Scream - The Golden Record
The Luyas - Too Beautiful to Work
Malajube - La Caverne
Miracle Fortress - Was I the Wave?
One Hundred Dollars - Songs of Man
Doug Paisley - Constant Companion
PS I Love You - Meet Me at the Muster Station
Daniel Romano - Sleep Beneath the Willow
The Rural Alberta Advantage - Departing
Ron Sexsmith - Long Player Late Bloomer
Shotgun Jimmie - Transistor Sister
Sloan - The Double Cross
Frederick Squire - March 12
Stars - The Five Ghosts
Colin Stetson - New History Warfare Vol. 2: Judges
Timber Timbre - Creep On Creepin' On
The Weeknd - House of Balloons
Women - Public Strain
Neil Young - Le Noise
Young Galaxy - Shapeshifting

I suspect that the Mercury longlist will look a little pasty in comparison.

Plucking one from a lovely list, here's The Rural Alberta Advantage doing Stamp, from Departing:

The Rural Alberta Advantage - Stamp from Saddle Creek on Vimeo.

Gordon in the morning: Giving the finger

Gordon is excited by some fashion-forward news:

Yesterday the singer [Lady GaGa] partied in Paris again, wearing just her undercrackers and a pair of gloves, cleverly designed to show her long red talons.
Here are those gloves:
Yes, Gordon's got excited by the "clever design" of, erm, fingerless gloves.

(And for the record "just her undercrackers" turns out to be hotpants, tights and a bra top.)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Should have gone to Spect-haters (sorry)

It can't be often that TMZ reacts to a story in the Financial Times, but it's all over David Mamet's interview with the pink 'un.

Mamet is working on a biopic about Phil Spector, and he told the paper he doesn't think Spector is a killer:

"I don't think [Spector] is guilty. I definitely think there is reasonable doubt ... they should never have sent him away ... If he'd just been a regular citizen, they never would have indicted him."
I'm not sure that Mamet really understands the way "regular citizens" with shot people in their hallways are treated by police - generally they get less room for doubt than Spector did.

Anyway, TMZ reports that friends of Lana Clarkson, the woman he shot in the face, are unhappy:
Clarkson's friends have banded together -- and have fired off a letter to the director, claiming his comments were "mind-boggling and wrong in so many ways."

According to the letter, obtained by TMZ, the group's main concern is that "the loathsome, lying, gun-abusing convicted murderer of our friend Lana Clarkson will be portrayed with some kind of sympathy."

Lana's friends want to remind Mamet -- whose upcoming film stars Al Pacino and Bette Midler -- that Spector was CONVICTED by a jury of his peers ... and plead, "Please refrain from rewriting history for 'creative license.'"
"Jury of his peers" isn't quite right - they had trouble barking up a dozen hair-addled crazy music geniuses, especially as Arthur Brown was already busy that week.

You can understand Clarkson's friends being upset, but there's a slightly alarming suggestion in their letter than once a jury has handed down its verdict, then you can no longer discuss the facts of the case. There's a lot of people who should never have been in prison who have been sent there by a jury of their peers. If Mamet believes he has a case, he should at least be allowed to explore it.

How you show mutual respect

Trouble behind the scenes at The Voice?. No no no, reassures ContactMusic:

Christina Aguilera has put to rest rumours of a feud with Adam Levine by recording a track with his band Maroon 5.

The stars, both currently serving as judges on hit U.S. talent show The Voice, have ended speculation they don't get along by collaborating on new song Moves Like Jagger.
Oh, yes. It's scientifically impossible for two people who hate each other to appear on the same record. It has never, ever happened in the history of recorded sound.

Men accused of attempting to get blood out of a Stone

The strange tale of the two Mancunians apparently found outside Joss Stone's house has arrived in the criminal justice system:

Two men are due to appear in court over an alleged plot to harm and rob the singer Joss Stone at her Devon home.

Kevin Liverpool, 33, and Junior Bradshaw, 30, are due before Exeter magistrates later charged with conspiracy to commit grievous bodily harm and conspiracy to commit robbery.
So it'll be up to a court to decide what was fact, and how much of the story was wild speculation.

Gordon in the morning: What's wrong with Glastonbury in a single tweet

Graeme, younger brother of Wayne Rooney, is heading to Worthy Farm:

Graeme tweeted yesterday: "Cnt wait 4 glasto with @WayneRooney, boozeville yerrrrrrrrrrrrrr." But within minutes of the tweet going online it was mysteriously removed.
I'm sure everyone who wanted to go and watch the bands or comedy or other acts and failed to get tickets will be delighted knowing that there's plenty of room for rich people to get drunk, something they clearly couldn't do anywhere else in the world.

Still, Gordon doesn't see a problem:
Wayne, who is in Barbados with wife COLEEN, is a big music fan. He splashed out thousands having his favourite band STEREOPHONICS play at his 2008 wedding in Italy.
Those two sentences point in very different directions.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Bookmarks - Internet stuff: Triple J

Everett True, over on Collapse Board isn't impressed that Triple J can only find three women to sit in the best Australian albums chart, but have found a competition for the ladies to run on the side:

Female musicians are represented (at number 30) by Sarah Blasko and – much, much lower down the list – by Kylie Minogue and Sia. And that – the odd band-member aside – is it. Three female acts in a 100.

Simultaneously, they’re asking listeners and the general public to vote for their favourite Hottest Australian Musicians Of All Time. Female, natch.

It’s beyond parody, really.

Gordon in the morning: Unarranged monkey business

Aperback Writer
Macca will team up with Gorillaz
Is that true, Gordon?
Macca is on the promotional trail for the re-release of his solo albums McCartney I and II - and revealed his admiration for the talents of Damon and his Gorillaz co-star, artist JAMIE HEWLETT.

He said: "We have kind of talked - nothing serious but I like what they do. It's got near a couple of times but we never had the time."
So it's not "will", more a case of "would have liked to". There's no "will", except for unnamed people in both camps making vague, could-have-been-written-at-The-Sun-newsdesk suggestions that there's no reason it won't happen in the morning.

Still, it hasn't stopped Gordon getting a mock-up together. This, apparently, is "how Paul McCartney might look with Gorillaz":
It's not clear why McCartney would appear as a cartoon, when other collaborators don't. Nor why he'd be drawn in a totally different style. Or why he'd be badly out of focus.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Embed and breakfast man: The Kills

Yes, The Kills. And all acoustic, too:

John Myers suggests Newsbeat everywhere, all the time

To be honest, the John Myers review of music radio seems to have struggled to come up with any way of improving value for money across the main BBC pop stations. Instead, it seems to have become fixated on the news service:

It also criticised Radio 2 for employing newsreaders who read a brief hourly news update but then did "little else until the next hour's bulletin".

The review questioned whether Radio 1's Newsbeat programme, which broadcasts a 15-minute bulletin twice a day – as well as hourly news updates – needed to employ 52 full-time staff, and said compliance procedures tightened up in the wake of the "Sachsgate" scandal had run out of control. The Newsbeat team also makes news for Radio 1Xtra.

The report, by former commercial radio executive John Myers, was commissioned by the BBC's director of audio and music, Tim Davie, to investigate opportunities for cost savings across Radio 1 and Radio 2, as well as their digital sister stations, 1Xtra and BBC 6 Music.
Once, Radio 1 and Radio 2 did share news output - that's the reason why Radio 1 does its news at half-past the hour, and you can see a superficial attraction in rolling Newsbeat out to 2 and 6 as well. Except Newsbeat does a bloody good job of serving a specific audience, and it's an audience which isn't the 6Music or Radio 2 audience. You could, perhaps, share news between 6 and 2 - but would that save very much? Or, arguably, Radio 2 could comfortably take the Radio 4 summaries through much of the day. But Newsbeat trying to make their own programmes and Radio 2? It's a bit like suggesting you could have the same team make Newsnight and the evening bulletins for BBC News Channel - you could, but you'd probably end up with the same number of people doing it in order to make it work.

Myers also suggests all four stations sharing a physical space. Because nothing saves money like yet another relocation of staff. (It's not clear what he'd do about programmes which come from elsewhere in the nations - march Radcliffe down south at the end of a pitchfork?)

Gordon in the morning: Whoever would have guessed

Gordon's read something astonishing in Heat (no, really, he's copying stuff out of Heat):

Jeff [Haddad], who negotiated Nicole [Scherzinger]'s X Factor deal, said: "Simon Cowell always wanted her as a judge. There was never a question that she wouldn't get it.

"I had long discussions with Simon about her judging the US show and she was always a front-runner for that job.

"Cheryl's name never came into it. Cheryl was just being used as a cog in the wheel to cause hype and publicise the show. Nicole was never supposed to be a host.
Goodness, all a stunt? Doesn't that just shake your faith in the whole Cowell franchise.

Obviously, there's a denial:
An X Factor spokesperson dismissed the claims as "complete and utter rubbish".
Don't worry, everyone: in a couple of weeks there'll be a claim from Haddad that he was having a mental health episode.

Still, interesting to see Gordon run a piece knocking the Cowell machine. Biting the hand that feeds him exclusives.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Clarence Clemons has a stroke; media has an angle

That Clarence Clemons is seriously ill is bad news enough; that his illness is being reported almost entirely through the prism of a tweet from Lady GaGa is depressing.

Copyright: Won't someone think of the artists

Helienne Lindvall has filed for the Guardian from the World Copyright Summit.

First up, EC commissioner Neelie Kroes gets a bit of a kicking:

Kroes said she believed in supporting creators, and that she had a vision of a Europe where artists could really make a living from their art – a dream that would apparently come true if we were more like the US where, she pointed out, 50% of record company revenue in 2010 came from digital sources compared to a mere 20% in Europe. I don't think music creators give a hoot if their royalties come from digital or physical. In fact, many American artists and songwriters envy the fact that people in the UK still buy physical records.
Do they? Really? Surely Helienne doesn't believe this is going to remain the case forever?
"Technology gives us a global audience but not yet the means to support the creation of it," said Maureen Duffy. "Instead it is in danger of encouraging an amateur or cottage industry, leaving the professional practice of the arts to those who get financial support from the state, or those with private patrons."
Is that true? Has there ever been a point in human history where creativity hasn't either relied on being a spare-time endeavour, or else upon the support of a patron, state or corporate? Authors have relied on publishers handing out advances, a few lucky musicians have clutched contracts from Capitol or Go Discs. The pretence that, up until Tim Berners-Lee spoiled it all with his computers, artists were able to take their wares direct to the audience in the way prelapsarian artisans sold their baskets and home-squeezed ciders.

If anything, digital makes it easier for smaller artists to sell direct, as they no longer need to pony up for record pressings, or deal with numerous retail outlets.
Robert Levine, author of the forthcoming book Free Ride, subtitled How Digital Parasites Are Destroying the Culture Business, and How the Culture Business Can Fight Back. He compared the internet's open distribution system with cable television's closed distribution. "Cable encourages quality competition while the internet encourages payment competition. Cable channel AMC produces quality shows like Mad Men and creates jobs. The internet, on the other hand, has the Huffington Post, where authors have to write for free," he explained. It was clear which one he preferred.
Robert Levine clearly doesn't own a TV, if he believes that American cable channels are full of Mad Men type programmes. And, erm, aren't TV programmes the sort of thing that can be easily distributed through the internet, which is killing creativity? And doesn't TV have acres of programming where the contributors do it for nothing, while the internet has at least a few companies where people are being paid for producing content?
Levine also criticised those claiming piracy was a matter of free speech. "Taking something without permission is not an example of freedom of expression." In fact, he said, copyright is the engine of free expression. "It's an economic issue in ideological drag."
Well, yes, he's half right - it is an economic issue, and the basic lesson of economics is this: No matter how much you might wish it otherwise, the value of a product which is endlessly, flawlessly, reproducible will tend towards zero. Sure, if you can find a cheap way of protecting that product, you can stop that happening.

But there isn't one. The costs of trying to protect individual files of music from trading at a modal price of zero are way too high.

There are things you can do: charge for ease of acquisition. Rely on goodwill and people's desire to chip in. Find people who need large swathes of music and charge by the yard.

If you don't understand that, you're going to find yourself going to events year after year where you try to think up ways to pretend its still 1954. You're standing in the forest, smelling the flames, and wondering if you built an extra wooden wall between the fire and your cabin, you can save your house.

Gordon in the morning: Past tents

Hasn't the story about Lily Allen doing a Glastonbury honeymoon already been round the world twice?

A Glastonbury insider said: "They'll have easy access to all mod-cons. They can feel like they're camping, but there will be no roughing it."
Isn't the "feel" of camping precisely the "roughing it" bit?

Wonderland: Shh, don't say "anyone remember The Thunderbugs"

A piece in the Mail's You magazine yesterday "introduced" Wonderland:

Fresh faces, high hopes and an Airstream trailer… Jane Gordon hits the road with Louis Walsh’s latest protégées on a video shoot in the Californian desert – and is charmed by the girl band that everyone’s talking about
Actually, hardly anybody is talking about them - this is already a relaunch of the band who were first spotted (again, not by many) on some godawful ITV2 programme about Louis Walsh and Kian Egan.

There was, back then, an "open audition" which somehow, out of the thousands who took part, managed to turn up Kian Egan's wife as one of the final members - what are the odds, eh?

Now, there's a struggle to try and get the band to sell some records without an unwatched ITV2 programme to help:
Louis and Kian (who co-manage the girls) have taken time to develop their sound –the nearest comparison any of them can come up with is the American girl group the Dixie Chicks – and with a major investment from their record company Mercury (who signed them in April 2009 and report very high pre-sales for their debut album Wonderland) they are being hailed as the biggest and most talented act to emerge from Ireland since the Corrs.
Really? Has Ireland got such a terrible problem that 'an album just outside the Amazon Top 50' become the biggest thing since 1990?

A clumsily manufactured Irish band who, if you struggled, you might say were a bit like a poppy country act? This is just B*Witched, isn't it?

There's something quite nice about the idea of a "girl" band with some members closer to thirty than thirteen, and who shudder - at this stage - at the very idea of wearing PVC minidresses. Sadly, though, I suspect either the innocence will disappear, or the band will.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Bookmarks - Internet stuff: Pete Doherty

In case you've not seen it yet, there's a strong piece in today's Observer which removes what leaves of any sheen on Pete Doherty's character. Former friend, producer and collaborator Jake Fior explains what it's like to be in Doherty's orbit:

On Sunday 24 January 2010, [Robin Whitehead] died from a suspected drug overdose in the Hackney flat where she had been filming Doherty and his friend, another musician, Pete Wolfe, whom Fior had previously managed. Last month, Doherty was sentenced to six months in prison for possession of class A drugs, and Wolfe 12 months, for possession and supply of class A drugs, a conviction secured by damning evidence filmed by Whitehead on the weekend of her death. It is Doherty's third prison sentence since 2003, and follows multiple fines, court appearances, spells in rehab and broken promises to clean up his act. "The media are calling this a tragedy," says Fior, speaking before the pair received their sentence. "But for a brilliant, beautiful, vibrant 27-year-old girl to have gone into that flat and not come out, it is not a tragedy, it's an obscenity."

Britain's Got Talent mole "not a mole"

Following on from the original long posting on claiming that Britain's Got Talent was a fix, there's been a second posting.

Making the story even more twisted, this post claims to be by the original anonymous poster, explaining that the original post was a symptom of illness:

I live with Bipolar Disorder. The last 5/6 weeks have been particularly difficult to manage, as I have been experiencing 'rapid-cycling', with mood swings every 2 or 3 days, taking me from deep depression into hyper-mania and then back again. It's an extremely confusing and horrible way to live.
The whole BGT thing became much worse; I was convinced a document had been "planted" in my mind. It was a document of such importance, it would prove to the nation how they have been "conned", but worse, how "evil" Simon Cowell really was. Things are so fucked-up in my head, I thought I was the only person who have this "knowledge" and I had been "choosen" to tell the world. More importantly, I *needed* to save a kid from the "evil" clutches of Simon Cowell. People will probably laugh at this, but to me, at the time, it was fucking terrifying!
Now, perhaps the second post is by the original poster. And perhaps he is ill. And maybe the original post did come entirely out of an episode.

Although some of the content of the original post - like the interesting involvement of the Gunns and a birthday party - seem a little surprising to have just bubbled up from mental health issues.

But this reads more like someone trying to retrospectively cover their tracks - especially this line:
Even if the authorities wanted to catch-up with me, I doubt they'd be able to, as I always mask my true IP Address with someone elses. So that doesn't bother me too much.
Hmm. "Yeah, even if there's someone's IP address it'll be somebody else's" is a curious phrase. A lot of people mask their IP addresses, admittedly, but this sounds like the poster expects the original post to have a traceable IP address attached to it, but wants the curious to ignore that as having been faked.

Simon Cowell has reported this posting to the police, too. I doubt if they're any clearer what, or who, or how much truth there is in these story than any of the rest of us are.

Grindcoreobit: Seth Putnam

Seth Putnam, lead singer with Anal Cunt, has died.

Putnam formed Anal Cunt in Massachusetts in 1988; it's seen members come and go and then come back again over an eight-album career. Even if you'd not come across them before, you might conclude from the name that the band is set up to be deliberately awkward - they claimed they would send copies of their albums to inappropriate magazines just to get bad reviews.

Supposedly, the band was meant to last for a single demo tape; it was an in-joke which somehow found an audience and, even more suprisingly, picked up some actual music across the decade and a half.

This, in their prime, is what they sounded like:

Seth Putnam was 43; he's believed to have died from a heart attack. The death was announced by the band's publicist.

Alice Cooper: Golf, and not golf

Alice Cooper's well-documented love of golf causes some sort of problem. How does what is perhaps the world's dullest activity fit with the carefully marketed stage image of Alice Cooper?

He's got a workaround:

He told BANG Showbiz: "Alice hates golf. Alice the character hates golf. I love golf but he hates it. That's why I'll never do a golf DVD - nobody wants to see me play golf, they want to see Alice play golf, but he hates it."
This sounds a bit like a child trying to blame their imaginary friend for doing something wrong. Except it's the imaginary friend who is in the right.

Boyzone: Louis Walsh finally comes round to our way of thinking

Louis Walsh has washed his hands of Boyzone and told them to split up, according to the News Of The World this morning. Digital Spy has paid to peek over Murdoch's paywall:

Low ticket sales for their latest tour and Ronan Keating's affair with a dancer were blamed for the move, the News of the World reports.

"Louis has told Boyzone they're finished. Ronan doesn't want to accept it but without Louis they have no chance," a source said. "The affair changed everything for many fans. It destroyed the family-friendly image that made the band popular.

"They kept a diehard fanbase but the 'Brother' tour earlier this year wasn't a big success. Louis didn't bother seeing a single show. [They] just couldn't compete with the Take That comeback and lots of tickets weren't sold. So Louis decided it was the right time for the band to finish."
You suspect that Keating's extra-curricular diddlings have nothing to do with the decision, but gave the News Of The World a chance to lob some sex into a story which otherwise would be "clapped-out old warhorse put out of its misery".

The downside is that Boyzone are choosing to plough on anyway. It's not like any of them have got proper jobs they could do instead, is it?

Kerrang Awards 2011

Really? They're only getting round to giving Alice Cooper the lifetime achievement award right now?

There's not much to say, really about the full list of winners:

Asking Alexandria

Black Veil Brides


30 Seconds To Mars - Hurricane

My Chemical Romance - Na Na Na

Biffy Clyro

Bring Me The Horizon - There Is A Hell...

All Time Low

You Me At Six

30 Seconds To Mars

Ozzy Osbourne


Def Leppard

Alice Cooper
Not much to say, except... doesn't sound like awards being given from a vibrant genre, does it?

It's all yours, Tom Araya

In the week of the Kerrang Awards, it's hard to imagine of a greater honour that could be presented to a noisy-music-maker, but Chile have come up with a nice gift for Slayer's Tom Araya.


Okay, not quite that, but he has been given the freedom of Vina Del Mar in Chile.

Araya was born there, and lived there until his family moved to the US when he was five years old. You'll note that this is roughly the length of time Ringo lived in his first home - clearly Chileans feel those early years are more significant than Liverpool City Council does.

Tom was quite sweet about the honour:
"I think it's awesome," said Araya during a press conference. "I'm kind of speechless; I don't what to say. They're probably gonna change the locks when they give me the key!

"You see other people receive rewards like that, but it's usually people of political status or someone that's really done something for the community or done something important," he added. "All I can say is thank you."
There is, of course, a risk that having said that Slayer "isn't important" Tom will have offended Slayer fans around the world.

[Vina Del Mar photo by Bracani...Antonio under CC-BY-NC-SA licence]

This week just gone

Half-way through the year - what have been the most-read stories so far from 2011?

1. Liveblog: Brits 2011
2. Billy Corgan's attempts at passing off band member as cover star fall apart
3. Rolling Stone tries to clarify what Justin Bieber meant about abortion
4. Tegan And Sara say enough with Tyler The Creator
5. Jessie J: She's an illuminati plot, you know
6. Liveblog: Eurovision 2011
7. Morrissey uses Poly Styrene to explain rudeness to Dermot
8. Razorlight reveal an exciting new look
9. Mail gets annoyed that it takes people to broadcast Glastonbury
10. Domino launches radio station

These came out this week... interesting...?

Battles - Gloss Drop

Download Gloss Drop

Fucked Up - David Comes To Life

Download David Comes To Life

Middle East - I Want That You Are Always Happy

Download I Want...

Arctic Monkeys - Suck It And See

Download Suck It And See

Depeche Mode - Remixes 2

Download Remixes 2

Suede - Dog Man Star

Download Dog Man Star

Mickey Newbury - An American Trilogy

Download An American Trilogy