Saturday, June 25, 2011

Turntable turns off

Turntable.FM, the music sharing-streaming-discovery service which has had everyone excited for the last week, has blocked the world except the US from using its service.

We’re very sorry, but while we would love to let you in and rock out with us, we need to currently restrict turntable access to only the United States due to licensing constraints.

We are working very hard to try and and get you in as soon as possible.

If you believe this is a mistake and you are located in the United States, please e-mail help [at sign] turntable dot fm

Again, sorry, and we hope to see you soon.

Billy Chasen
When it says "licensing" it means "the legal workaround we're using to avoid the need for a license".

Bookmarks - Internet stuff: Lou Reed

It's not all Glastonbury today. I suggest you have a quick look at Lou Reed's New York Mysteries, as drawn by Krent Able:

Look, we're sophisticated, urbane intellectuals. We don't need to eat food that's had monkey shit scraped off the top of it

[Thanks to @daniel_orton]

Glastonbury 2011: Crushing dissent, deflating balloons,

The Telegraph headline on the story about the U2 tax protest is almost as disgraceful as the way the festival behaved:

Violent scenes break out in the crowd at U2’s long-awaited Glastonbury debut
Well, yes, there was a scuffle - but a scuffle as guards wrestled protestors to the ground and deflated their balloon:
As Bono and his bandmates took to the Pyramid Stage, activists from direct action group Art Uncut inflated a 20ft balloon emblazoned with the message “U Pay Your Tax 2”.

But as the campaigners tried to release it over the 50,000-strong crowd, a team of 10 security guards wrestled them to the ground before deflating the balloon and taking it away.
Even the Telegraph's own report makes it clear that if there was a problem here, it was heavy-handed security:
The intervention by security after U2’s opening song Until The End Of The World sparked angry clashes with 30 or more protesters.

Several protesters were pinned against a fence near the Pyramid Stage after attempting to hold on to the balloon. There were no arrests.
There were no arrests because these weren't police. They weren't police because having a balloon with a mildly amusing, gently satirical message on isn't a crime.

Michael Eavis should be feeling pretty ashamed this morning; if Glastonbury has become a festival where security guards rough you up for taking part in a political debate, then what's the point?

[Part of Glastonbury 2011 full coverage]

Glastonbuy 2011: Press round-up

The miserable weather made it hard for press photographers to find much to celebrate on site yesterday, so Gordon Smart in The Sun is reduced to running a blurry photo of Professor Green with a cardboard cup of beer:

The rapper - who is headlining the East Dance Tent tonight - intends to make the most of every minute at the festival.
He does, eh?
"But if it rains, I'm just going to stay in the Winnebago, drink rum, play cards and watch it all on TV."
Ah, yes. The classic festival experience of sitting in a caravan playing canasta.

Still, the Winnebago will at least help with time on site, right?
He said: "I've got on it on Thursday, then off Friday, then on it Saturday and on it again on Sunday."
Oh. So he's making the most of every moment, except Friday. Also, that suggests that although Gordon posted this today, and claimed he'd had the conversation with Green yesterday, he couldn't possibly have done. Is the photo really worth smudging the chronology?

The Mail has a tiresome report from "a middle-aged, middle-class mother". Yes, it runs through every bloody Glasto cliche you can think of:
The final tipping point? My wellington boot has literally been sucked off my foot by sticky mud, leaving me in my socks and up to my ankles in gelatinous brown goo.
Julie Lawrence is the Mail's woman crying "in the Portaloos" (did the Mail's legal team not get the regular missive from Portakabin insisting that their trademark not be used as a generic?).

It turns out she's not even a Glastonbury virgin:
Back then, still in my 20s, during the infamous mud bath of 1997, I laughed and trudged along with the best of them. Forget the mud and yucky toilets — sprirituality and music was what it was really all about, wasn’t it?
But now - why, she thinks she must have been as mad as Melanie Philips to enjoy it at all:
I want to shout: ‘Come on, ladies, what are we doing here in our dotage? This is NOT FUN!’ My back is protesting and every ounce of my being is screaming for a sit-down, a nice cup of tea and slice of fruit cake. What do these other middle-class mums have that I do not? Have I grown old before my time?
What do the other people there have that you don't? How about 'a genuine reason for being there other than filing an article that could have been knocked together in a Costa Coffee on Temple Meads station', Julie.

In the Mail tomorrow: Someone who doesn't really like tennis goes to Wimbledon and whines about how it's full of tennis.

The Express, meanwhile, builds its coverage around the cultural highlight of the day:
WAYNE Rooney and his wife Coleen waded into the mud of Glastonbury yesterday in wellies.
Hats off to the inept Express web operation, by the way, which still isn't convinced the U2 gig will happen:
Last night U2 were due to play a long-awaited headline gig at the event, attended by 170,000 revellers.
But, obviously, we won't find out if that happened until the Sunday Express goes to print.

In another part of the Richard Desmond empire - the only-slightly-porny part - the Daily Star is also fixated on Wayne and Colleen, but puts its sister title to shame by doing some Actual Journalism about their arrival:
A guard said: “Wayne seemed in good spirits even though he and Coleen had already got soaked.”
See? It's not a real story unless you talk to an eyewitness.

The Mirror seems to be struggling to make sense of it all:
IT seems Chipmunk’s dietary requirements at Glastonbury were no problem at all. After bringing the house down opening The Other Stage, he tweeted: “GLASTO was HAAAAM!!!!”

And cheese, I hope.
Sarah Tetteh got a byline for that.

The Telegraph had a secret weapon for the U2 set. Their man, Neil McCormick, knows Bono. Yes, he seldom mentions it, so it might be a bit of a surprise to discover that. But this once, he was prepared to use his connections:
Backstage insight from Neil McCormick:

Twitter: Nice to watch Bono signalling & encouraging band from behind the stage. They've got a sneaky keyboard player round back too.

Twitter: Road crew, gtr techs all on their toes for this one, problem solving, shouting at one another. Looks seamless out front. #U2 #glasto
It's not entirely clear how Neil could have been delivering "backstage insight" while also able to explain how it looked from the front.

I'll return to the Telegraph's coverage in a separate post, by the way.

The Guardian wryly reports a flop in the fields:
Mobile phone company, and Glastonbury music partner, Orange, had a cunning ruse to get punters interested in its wares. It sent a 6ft 8in "appy man" to Glastonbury to roam around the site. Festival-goers were challenged to find this man, with the prize potentially being tickets to the side of the Pyramid stage. Clues as to appy man's location were to be posted "on the official Glasto App and via Twitter", Orange wrote.

Alas, the punters the Guardian spoke to were unaware of appy man's existence, let alone whereabouts. This reporter did find appy man, mostly because his PR man was loudly alerting passersby to his presence.

A quick look at the @appy_man twitter feed revealed 500 people had signed up for clues as to his location – or 0.25% of expected Glastonbury attendees.
The idea that people have better things to do at Glastonbury is heartwarming.

Although the presence of a mobile phone company as "music partner" really does look odd given all those claims about Glastonbury isn't sponsored...

Glastonbury 2011: Legal highs and lows

Yesterday, Micheal Eavis was bristly. Well, he's always bristly, what with the beard and all, but mainly he was bristly about the idea of testing Glasto waste water to see what was in it, drug wise.

Today, festival organisers are busily co-operating with police testing produce on sale in the site to see what's in it, drug-wise:

Police spokesman Paul Bunt said: "Because there are so many new drugs, we know very little about them."
He said it was "essential" festival organizers co-operate with the project, adding there were a number of legal high shops on the Glastonbury site.
The BBC report on this testing of legal highs doesn't quite answer all the questions it raises:
Police at Glastonbury have set up an off-site lab to test "legal highs" seized at the festival.

It comes after a rise in unidentified drugs found at large music events across the UK.

The Forensic Early Warning System allows government scientists to analyse and detect traces of potentially harmful and illegal substances.

Police remove drugs seized at Glastonbury to a laboratory located several miles off site where they are tested, identified and catalogued.
What this doesn't explain is by what right the police are "seizing" substances that, by their own admission, they can't identify.

Yes, there needs to be something done to stop dubious crap being sold in shiny wraps, but letting police look at something, go "dunno what that is" and seize it seems to be an odd process to follow.
[Bunt] said shop owners had worked with police to narrow down the range of merchandise they sold to make sure their products did not contain illegal or harmful substances.

It was a "condition of their entry", he added.
So if the sellers are co-operating, is it just the word "seize" is wrong? It sounds as if the people selling this stuff are as keen to know what it is they're selling as the police are, and are co-operating. Which might be a positive, collaborative way of working. So why frame it as if there's bad guys being thwarted here?

[Part of Glastonbury 2011 full coverage]

Glastonbury 2011: View from the sofa - U2

Strange scheduling on the BBC, who split U2's set across BBC Two and Four. Presumably the thinking here was that U2 were too big not to get live space on BBC Two, but not so big that Jeremy Paxman was going to make way for them. Or maybe the idea of jumping across channels midway was to offer a set-up for an easy I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For - Is BBC Four Further Up The EPG Than SkyLivingIt+1? gag.

I imagine if you like U2 then you would have been happy with the set they played. After all, if you still like U2 in 2011, you're not going to be overly worried about the actual quality, are you?

Kudos, by the way, to @hungoverdrawn for spotting the autocue.

Let's focus instead on the post-set interview, where the band shuffled in to be grilled by Jo Whiley and Zane Lowe.

Jo, naturally, offered some soft questions delivered in a gentle fashion; Zane also had soft questions, but shouted them into Bono's face. It wasn't so much good cop, bad cop as good cop, good cop (but one with personal space issues).

You wouldn't have expected a roasting, but it seemed slightly odd that neither Jo nor Zane had any curiosity about the protests about U2's tax arrangements that had been focused on their Glastonbury appearance. Instead, Jo trilled about how she loved the way the rain had fallen on Bono's glasses.

Larry Mullen did appear for a long while to have been stuffed; when, eventually, he was brought into the conversation he was at least refreshing. While Bono had bored on about how spiritual everything was, and how brave they'd all been, and that the crowd had made flags specifically for U2, Mullen just grumped. He complained about how wet it all was, and how far away the audience had been from the stage. Neither Zane or Jo made much effort to engage him after that, but I warmed a little bit more to Larry last night.

He'd apparently missed the briefing that U2 playing the festival was to be treated as something akin to Larry Olivier doing a walk-on in Coronation Street, and just grumbled a bit about it. It was like suddenly finding a piece of honest gristle in a circle-jerk soup.

[Part of Glastonbury 2011 full coverage]

Glastonbury 2011: View from the sofa - Morrissey

Who would have thought that the first act to really cope well with the demands of Glastonbury would be grumpy old Morrissey, eh? He managed to get through his set without accidentally upsetting Koreans or Belgians, somehow worked in a costume change and was, if not exactly triumphant, at least managing a worthy away win.

And it felt great to watch on TV, despite his curmudgeonly, knowing change of line in the Satellite Of Love cover to "I cannot stand TV". On a good day, Morrissey is three-parts showmanship to one-part canker, and this felt like a good day for him.

Highlight? Well, his backing band weren't The Smiths but even so, the reading of Meat Is Murder was wonderful. Introduced by a mild jibe at Cameron's desire to keep animals in circuses ("what a silly twit"), and dripping in blood-red lights and a genuine, growly, jowly anger that the Smiths-era Mozzer's range couldn't have included.

This Charming Man wasn't quite such a triumph. But then, his backing band aren't The Smiths.

[Part of Glastonbury 2011 full coverage]

Glastonbury 2011: View from the sofa - Various bands

This year's BBC coverage from Glastonbury seems a little flat this year - the first slew of bands shown on BBC Three seemed to floating away, over the heads of the audience.

Two Door Cinema Club plugged away bravely but ineffectively, like a Public School headmaster trying to stop a fight in a borstal; Fleet Foxes could have been trapped in the old Whistle Test studio for all the sense of a live audience there was. Biffy Clyro at least worked up a bit of a sweat and a bit of audience reaction, but even then it was clear you'd have been much better off being there, and everyone would have been better off in a smaller venue with a back wall.

The stage that's working best on TV is the Introducing stage, mainly thanks to the cameras being right up the band's noses. Noah And The Whale have never looked more like two 11th Doctor cosplayers flanked by a pair of Jarvis Cockers, but they sounded great.

The BBC coverage is a mixed bag. First - at least so far - there's very little of the tedious films of "this is Jocasta's first Glastonbury, we gave her a camera" variety. That's a good thing.

Secondly, 6Music is doing brilliant work - although did I really hear it right that they're burning performances to CD and running them across the to the makeshift studio in order to play them out on air? Can that really be the case? Let's hope the CD burner keeps going, or else by the end of the weekend Shaun Keavney's going to have to stand in the front row with a Dictaphone in his outstretched arm.

The trouble with the swathes of 6Music coverage is that most of the presenters who you'd like to see on TV are busy or knackered - it was well past midnight before I spotted Lauren Laverne and Mark Radcliffe on-screen, for example. Which means BBC Three is being anchored by Fearne Cotton and Reggie Yates.

Now, it's possible to argue into the face of the Daily Mail that the number of BBC staff sent to Glastonbury is justified by it being one of the UK's premier cultural events. It's a bit harder to make that case when Fearne Cotton and Reggie Yates are given the job of anchoring the thing.

The studio - certainly for BBC Three - feels a bit distant from events, too. We've come a long way from the time when, by law, any coverage of Glastonbury had to be anchored from a studio containing hay bales, but it might have been nice if there'd been at least some sense of connection with the events being anchored.

Still, for all these quibbles, it's lovely to able to dip in and out of the festival. Thank you, BBC.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Daily Mail drives coach, horses, large camera van through Pink's request

Twenty-four hours ago, Pink asked politely to be left alone by the Paparazzi.

The Mail has clearly seen the request, because it reprints large chunks of the post on its website today.

Not the bits about not wanting cameramen forcing lens into her kids' face, or the requests to not be hassled. No, the Mail doesn't find space for those bits, because it needs to leave space for a large number of snatched photos of Pink's baby.

Perhaps if Paul Dacre wants to stop people pointing out that he is a horrible, horrible person he should stop his newspaper being such a cynical, heartless beast.

Glastonbury 2011: Quick morning press round-up

The Mail has heartbreaking news:

Glaston-buried: Fans drown in sea of mud and the music hasn't even started yet
Hang about, though - nobody has yet drowned. Which is lucky. It turns out the Mail headline should have been 'photos of pretty young women in wellingtons'.

Unusually for the the Telegraph, it has ignored the chance to print pictures of teenage girls and gone instead with a muddy bloke:
Some visitors were doing their best to have fun in Britain's biggest mudbath - and teenage reveller Tom Wilder ensured the cheers started early at Glastonbury.

The 17-year-old's giant puddle slide was becoming the festival's first cult hit with a day to spare before the main acts take to the Pyramid Stage.
Well, I suppose it's better than Bono.

The Times is unreachable.

[Part of Glastonbury 2011 full coverage]

Glastonbury 2011: No drug test run-off

Dr John Ramsey is a disappointed man this weekend. No, he didn't buy tickets for the festival thinking it was some sort of Prince gig; he's a scientist from ULU and wanted to do some analysis on sewage from the site to see if there were any traces of drugs:

"It would have been a golden opportunity to test the technology and find out the actual levels of the use of 'legal highs' and new psychoactive compounds," he said.

He said that Glastonbury, with its ethos that "British law applies, but the rules of society are a little bit different, a little bit freer" provided the ideal demographic.
Seems fair enough, right? But Eavis has said no.
Festival's founder Michael Eavis said in a statement: "The drug culture these days has changed beyond belief. What a cheek to even suggest there's a problem."
Erm, Michael: police had made 34 drug arrests by Wednesday.

But even if people didn't take drugs at Glastonbury, why would you not let Dr Ramsey have a bit of poo? If you're convinced the place is cleaner than Emily Bishop's conscience, surely you'd welcome the chance for a university-endorsed report saying that there's not so much as a hint of LemSip in the portaloos?

[Part of Glastonbury 2011 full coverage]

Glastonbury 2011: For Prince, it's 150,000 people bitterly disappointed in a field

It's not really a surprise that Prince has an inflated sense of his own importance. But his anti-Glastonbury snark in the Guardian is still amusing:

Next weekend, Prince is back in Europe – this interview is to promote his headlining appearance at the Heinken Open'er festival in Poland – but he bats away an inquiry about the annual Glastonbury rumours. "They use my name to sell the festival," he glowers. "It's illegal. I've never spoken to anyone about doing that concert, ever."
Yes, every year. They open the booking website, the counter barely clicks over, and so Emily Eavis whispers to a journalist that Prince is headlining and - bingo - the ticket page goes down.

If Glastonbury were somehow using Prince's name to sell tickets, yes, it would be illegal. But they don't. I love the idea of Prince sitting at home on the last Monday in June convinced that thousands of people had been tricked into tramping over to Somerset on the off-chance of seeing a live version of When Doves Cry ruined by some over-active noodling.

[Part of Glastonbury 2011 full coverage]

Glastonbury 2011: Closing the gate after the cows have bolted

Michael Eavis is a bit worried:

Michael Eavis is reportedly worried that Glastonbury is becoming too middle class and elitist.

The festival's founder has allegedly blamed the cause on the regular A list attendees, which include Kate Moss, and has vowed to prevent perceptions of the event becoming too elitist.
Yes, this is a story that's been published this week, and not in the early 1990s. In 2013, it's possible that Eavis might notice that Glastonbury is a bit muddy.

So, Eavis blames Kate Moss for this:
"Michael feels Glastonbury has already become too middle class and gentrified, and is adamant that the festival continues to attract a range of ages, ethnicites and classes," a source told The Mirror.

"Not just showbiz wannabes. Kate has been a great patron of the festival over the years but Michael believes the last couple of festivals have become too much about the Kate Moss show - and not enough about grass-roots music."
Yes, it's the presence of Kate Moss in the VIP area. Not the massive ticket pricehikes; or the presence of shops selling mobile phones on site or the booking of dinner party headliners like U2 and Coldplay. It's all Kate Moss.

It's taken him over a decade to notice the problem. It's going to take a while longer for him to work out the causes. It might be too late to even fix.

[Part of Glastonbury 2011 full coverage]

Twittergem: Andrew Collins

Overheard, Glastonbury 1989, Dad to bored 8-year-old during Bhundu Boys: "Listen to it, Jason, it's VERY GOOD MUSIC!"
- @AndrewCollins

Even MySpace's parents don't care about their kid any more

You know who else is following the herd narrative on MySpace? The people who created MySpace. Bloomberg Business Week kicks the corpse:

"After we left, the guys that took over were never Myspace users," says [Former MySpace CEO Chris] DeWolfe, who now runs a startup called MindJolt. "They didn't have it in their DNA."
DeWolfe still has a Myspace page, but he doesn't check it much. When he does, he says, he cringes. "I'm a little disappointed in the music product, given that we spent so much time and effort to get more music licenses than anyone in the world. I haven't seen Myspace Music evolve how it should have."
It's noteworthy that DeWolfe implies that there's still a way that MySpace music could solve the site's problems. It's equally noteworthy that DeWolfe might be involved with the bid to take MySpace off Rupert's hands.

Gordon in the morning: Mr Roarke! The plane, the plane!

Howard Donald has bought a seaplane, although he can't fly.

Yes, a seaplane. This might show that Donald has more money than sense, although you can't help feeling that might have been the case ever since his parents doubled his pocket money to 80p a week.

The Sun has a photo:

Just so you're clear, though:
Flight of fanciable ... how hunky Howard Donald may look in plane. We've added TT livery
Yes, it's another fabulous Sun mock-up.

Howard's plane story is filed by Colin Robertson, raising the intriguing possibility that Gordon might be down on Worthy Farm. Gordon has a suggestion about Glastonbury, too:
Glastonbury punters, and folk watching on the telly, can find out who's playing on what stage by downloading my Bizarre App, which features a special festival guide. The app is free for 30 days, then just £1.19 a month.
Righto - so, if you're at the festival, you might want to navigate round with an app designed to alert you to when Lindsay Lohan has filmed a commercial or Katy Perry has had a nipslip. If you're at home, you... er, would want to know who is on what stage when to... um, help with watching TV where the coverage is mostly recorded and not reliant on stages to navigate. £1.19 well spent.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Pink versus the Paparazzi

Pink has flogged photos of her baby to the media. But... it's not for money (she's given the cash to charity). It's in a bid to try and get the photographers out her baby buggy:

We will be donating the money to children's' charities, among them one of our favorites, the Ronald McDonald House, an organization that houses and cares for the families of sick children so they can be together during treatment, as well as Autism Speaks.

Like any parents, we believe our little girl deserves the right to have privacy and be protected, but unfortunately, this media climate doesn't seem to provide for that. I feel so grateful that after many years of hard work, music and motorcycles have elevated both Carey and me to such a place that the public has supported us in building our life and lifestyle together. We recognize that celebrity has its upsides and downsides and do our best to manage just being people without hiring stylists and bodyguards before one of us goes to the store to buy some milk. I've seen some photos of myself that make me smile and some that make me less smiley. But you see, it's one thing to harass and stalk us, the adults, the celebrity that signed up for this life, but children should be protected and safe. There should be a clear distinction between us.

In EVERY other country that I recall, children's faces are blurred out in magazine photos. Why is USA the only country that continues to financially incentivize intrusive paparazzi behavior to capitalize on photos of babies, infants and children?
It's not, of course, only the US. Happens a lot in the UK, too. I wonder if Gordon will mention this in his column tomorrow?
Here's the bottom line: we don't want you to take our little girl's picture. We don't want you to one day follow our little girl home from school. We don't want our little girl's picture in a magazine or on a blog. If you take or publish her picture, it is against our wishes, and without our consent as parents, as people.
That's a fairly explicit 'don't do it' request.

You won't see any snatched photos of Pink's baby on the Daily Mail website, though. They promised to never buy any more pap snaps way back in 1997 after the death of Diana:
"The proprietor of the Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday and Evening Standard announced last night that his papers will not in future purchase pictures taken by paparazzi

Viscount Rothermere, chairman of the Daily Mail and General Trust plc said: 'I am, and always have been, an admirer of Diana, Princess of Wales, and nagged my editors to protect her so far as they could against her powerful enemies.

In view of Earl Spencer's strong words and my own sense of outrage, I have instructed my editors no 'paparazzi' pictures are to be purchased without my knowledge and consent.'"
Hang about, though... there's loads of long lens shots of Pink and family here. Presumably Viscount Rothermere must have okayed each one of those personally?

Metallica: Everyone gets a bag with a torch, a CurlyWurly, a book of stamps...

Yes, you might want to make it sound amazing, Metallica Official Website:

"It all started when Kirk mentioned that his next-door neighbor had invited us to play at his party in San Francisco and we figured, 'Why not?' After all, it has been quite some time since we've played in our hometown, and we haven't exactly been getting out a lot lately.

"Well, it turns out that Kirk's neighbor, Marc Benioff, is the top dog at a 'small' company called and his shindig actually lasts for four days and hosts over 30,000 people!
...but however you try to spin it, you're doing a corporate sales meeting. Better stock up on the complimentary copies of the Daily Express. Oooh, it's a good paper.

Embed and breakfast man: Tift Merritt

There's a lushly illustrated piece over on Brooklyn Vegan recording Tift Merritt's show in Madison Square Park.

Fancy a taste? Here's See You On The Moon:

[Buy: See You On The Moon]
[More at Brooklyn Vegan]

Glastonbury 2011: U2 fight! Oh... no, they don't

Spinner have an eyecatching headline on their story about U2 prepping to spoil Glastonbury:

U2 Are Infighting About Glastonbury Appearance
Infighting? Blimey - could we about to see a split? Is it band tension that a group cannot survive?

Er, no. It's a headline that the story cannot support:
the band has been fervently discussing, dissecting, constructing -- and deconstructing -- the setlist. "Everybody seems to have a slightly different opinion, which is not good news," admits Mullen.
Ah. So it's not "infighting", it's everyone having a slightly different opinion. Oh, leave it, Larry, it's not worth it.

[Part of Glastonbury 2011 coverage]

Gordon in the morning: Crimes and allegations

Curious - Bizarre does carry Richard White's story that Amy Winehouse was "pushed back" on stage in Belgrade when she tried to leave - complete with the official denial:

But he denied Zoe's claims that Amy was pushed on stage and said she voluntarily walked on with a friend.
Yes, it has the story, but you wouldn't know from looking at the front page of Bizarre, which instead makes space for the sentencing of Blake Fielder-Civil to prison.

Gordon is on hand to co-author the claims that Louis Walsh is being investigated over claims of a sexual assault. Walsh denies the claims, and it shan't detain us here, but it's worth reading the first paragraph of the report for a classic piece of Sun writing:
X FACTOR judge Louis Walsh is being probed by police over claims he indecently assaulted a young dad in a nightclub toilet.
"Young dad" is, of course, code for "normal, heterosexual male who has fathered children and so clearly wouldn't be in the toilet looking for that sort of thing, if that's what you're thinking".

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Glastonbury 2011: When is it on the Red Button?

Usefully, the BBC Internet Blog has published a sort of schedule for what will be tucked away behind Press Red during the Glastonbury weekend. They split it out across the three days, but actually it's the same every day:

music from Pyramid, Other, John Peel, West Holts and BBC Introducing stages. Chunks of performance (approx 30 mins-ish each band) from the main stages, and individual songs from some BBC Introducing new bands
And then there's going to be single band sets every day from Monday to Friday the next week.

Having to battle with tennis, you only get this bounty some of the time:
Sky/ Freesat/ Virgin Media:
Fri 24th June, 7:00pm-2:00am
Sat 25th June, 4:00pm-6:00am
Sun 26th June, 4:00pm-2:00am

Fri 24th June, 7:00pm-2:00am
Sat 25th June, 4:00pm-6:00am
Sun 26th June, 6:00am-11:50am & 4:40pm-2:00am

Sky/ Freesat/ Virgin Media:
Mon 27th June, 6:00am-11:15am & 7:30pm-6:00am
Tue 28th June, 6:00am-11:15am & 6:30pm-6:00am
Wed 29th June, 6:00am-11:15am & 6:30pm-6:00am
Thu 30th June, 6:00am-11:15am & 6:30pm-6:00am
Fri 1st July, 6:00am-11:15am & 6:30pm-4:00am

Mon 27th June, 6:00am-11:15am & 9:10pm-6:00am
Tue 28th June, 6:00am-11:15am & 9:10pm-6:00am
Wed 29th June, 6:00am-11:15am & 9:10pm-6:00am
Thu 30th June, 6:00am-11:15am & 9:10pm-6:00am
Fri 1st July, 6:00am-11:15am & 9:10pm-4:00am

[Part of Glastonbury 2011 coverage]

Glastonbury 2011: David Hepworth spots the flaw

The whole post should be read, but David Hepworth sums up what's wrong with Glastonbury now in the title alone:

People used to go to rock festivals to escape the things they now find at rock festivals
And then, on top, they bring U2 in.

Glastonbury 2011: Beyonce takes on the Queen

To be fair to Gordon, the covers Beyonce is planning to do down on the farm aren't that secret, given that she'd played both of them in her warm-up gig in France.

The Guardian has this nugget about her performance:

The singer's Glastonbury set will feature as part of the BET awards in America on Sunday night, with her performance beamed live via satelite from Somerset.
The whole set? Or just a part of it? And will it really be live? Because I'm not sure I'd want to have to try and sync the needs to the Pyramid Stage with the needs of an American award show...

Gordon in the morning: The Bionic Bono

Gordon gets himself in the mood for Glastonbury by fawning a bit over Bono:

U2 will introduce "BONO 2.0" to 170,000 punters when they headline Glastonbury on Friday.

The band were forced to pull out of the festival last year when the star was rushed to hospital in Munich for surgery on his spine.

But now they'll play the Pyramid Stage with a bionic frontman.
Bono might be the Six Million Dollar Frontman, but you can bet every one of those dollars will be channeled through a low-tax regime.

It's his new back, you see:
When talking about his rebuilt back - he slipped a disc last May during tour rehearsals - Bono has also been joking about his "vorsprung durch technik" and calling himself "Robo-Bono".
Yes, yes, I know Gordon has just written a line which makes no grammatical sense, but he's not very certain when he's writing in one language, so we should let it go.

U2 are apparently nervous about ruining this year's Glastonbury ("headlining the Pyramid stage"):
Sticksman LARRY MULLEN JR admitted this week: "We're out of our comfort zone and that's important for us.

"Despite everything we have something to prove. It's about the songs.

"Is it comfortable? Not necessarily. But we're getting back to our roots."
Sticksman? Really?

This lack of comfort is down to having to play on a stage that doesn't have a sixty squillion pound set on it. Yikes, eh, Larry - you might have to rely on the music rather than the spectacle.

Gordon also takes the time to ruin Beyonce's surprises:
Beyonce's been rehearsing KINGS OF LEON's Sex On Fire and QUEEN's Bohemian Rhapsody ahead of her slot on Sunday.

She's a very brave woman taking on that FREDDIE MERCURY anthem...
Brave? Bohemian Rhapsody has been covered by everybody from Fuzzbox to The Kings Singers. In fact...

It's even been done by machines. Perhaps Bono might like to see what a real robo-musician looks like?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

You remember how angry the sexualisation of culture makes the Daily Mail?

Better not show the Mail this, then, it'll blow a fuse:

Last month pop star Rihanna shocked when she pulled a female fan on stage and gave her an aggressive lap dance.

And it seems that Britney Spears has taken inspiration from the 23-year-old Bajan singer as she gave one lucky male fan the dance of his life at the Los Angeles show of her Femme Fatale tour, last night.

In a black and nude lace basque and fishnet stockings, the 29-year-old wrapped her legs around the man and teased him with a feather boa.
Yes, of course, it's the Daily Mail at it again with the double standards.

A fortnight ago, the Mail was fuming about Rihanna on the television:
Some shows – most infamously last year's lascivious Rihanna act during the X Factor final on ITV – sparked a huge number of complaints by parents concerned that exposure to such inappropriate material is having a harmful effect on their children, forcing them to grow up far too soon.

That is why the Mail so warmly welcomes the upcoming publication of the Review of the Commercialisation and Sexualisation of Childhood by Reg Bailey, the chief executive of the Mothers' Union, and congratulates David Cameron for commissioning it.

As well as making it harder for children to access internet pornography, and tightening the rules on the sale of explicit teenage magazines, the report will demand that broadcasters stop sailing 'close to the edge of compliance' with the watershed and start behaving in a responsible, family-oriented manner.
And yet here we are, on the internet, looking at the Mail publishing photos of Britney Spears lapdancing with a fan. And describing them, too. Oh, and for good measure, printing photos of, erm, Rihanna lapdancing too.

Must we fling this filth, etc, etc?

Four Turntables and a likely label moan

All Things D has been scrabbling about to work out how sharing-surprising-streaming music service Turntable works without a deal with the majors.

It reckons it's because, although you can choose what you want to listen to, you can't control the choices - which means its a bit like radio.

Peter Kafka sees a potential knock for the turntable:

The risk for Turntable is the same one every music start-up without label deals faces: Not that a court will find them guilty of something, but that they’ll have to spend a lot of time and money on lawyers.

And while it seems blindingly obvious that is a great thing for the music business — it lets music fans tell other music fans about music they like, the best possible advertising — I wouldn’t put it past a label or two to gripe about the service. Particularly if it makes the leap from the digerati into the mainstream.
For the time being, though, it's worth checking out. Go have a look. You can be sure a load of lawyers are.

[Thanks to Michael M]

Downloadable: CSS

Ooh, just when I was mentally shifting CSS into the "I guess they went and got proper jobs or something" file, who returns but CSS?

This track is Hits Me Like A Rock, and it's basically them yelling "back". With a slight hint of macarena.

It really could go on as a Spanish-holiday summer hit with no further make-up.

Dave Davis: Dreamreader

For reasons that I can't still can't quite follow, Dave Davis of The Kinks is offering to interpret your dreams.

So, for example, "BJ" reports a tumultuous night being forced to feed tasmanian devils to American Indians who turned out to be "European gypsies" while horses watched on from the trees. Even with the gypsies starting to assault BJ's neighbours, Davies chooses to ignore the possibility that her subconscious might be a little bit racist and instead ponders the horses:

The fact that the horses were in trees could be symbolic of needing to branch out or achieve new heights in some aspect of your life. Although what these two images combined together make me think of is the phrase 'coming down off your high horse." Either you or someone close to you, taking a superior attitude in a situation that calls for a more grounded approach?
Really, Dave? Do dreams effectively do little more than the big screen in Catchphrase, over-literally dispensing idiom and figures of speech in simplistic images?

It's good, but it's not right.

And what of the Native Americans who turn into gypsies?
The appearance of the Native Americans, a race given to living close to the land and being more in touch with the spiritual world seems to point to this dream being about some sort of crisis of faith, either in the literal sense or in the figurative sense or losing you faith in someone important to you.
He doesn't mention the gypsies. Perhaps Dave thought about the "little bit racist" interpretation and didn't want to be rude.

Anyway, have you had a strange dream, and really can't keep it to yourself? Have you really tried to keep it to yourself? Really, really? Still can't? Why not send it to Dave, and see what it all "means"?

I'm hoping it's all a playful hat-tip to Jason Donovan's long-running Any Dream Will Do column in Smash Hits.
Jason says: That'll do

[Discovered in @alexispetridis Twitter feed]

Gordon in the morning: Wringing hands

In the run-up to Amy Winehouse's gig in Belgrade, it looked very much like Gordon Smart was being fed stories from her management with thumbs very much up.

And today, it looks like things haven't changed, as Amy retires "for years" and Gordon runs a piece which clearly and carefully makes it clear that, you know, you can't blame management for this:

RAY COSBERT has always refused to tell her how to live her life - arguing it's not his place to do so.

But for the sake of her health he's stepped in and has retired her from performing "indefinitely".
But why does it keep happening? Why can't her family sort things out?

Ask any parent who has been through the horror of having a son or daughter with addiction issues - they will tell you how hard it is to intervene.

But it's time for extreme measures.

Ray has dedicated more than a decade of his life to making the hugely talented singer he calls "my girl" a success.

But he's not her dad or a sibling and how do you tell a millionaire how to live her personal life?
Perhaps Gordon is sockpuppeting a valid point - although surely the point last week where her team was telling the hotels not to serve her any alcohol was something of an indication they knew that Winehouse wasn't very firmly on the wagon. Shouldn't they have told the gig organisers she wasn't coming, rather than risk that somehow she'd not find some booze somewhere?

And when she wobbled up to go on stage, why didn't someone step in then? Yes, there would have been the minor hit of an Amy Cancels Again story, but that wouldn't have been as bad as what did happen.

Funnily enough, while Gordon considers the role of manager and family, he doesn't even seem to consider the effects on her of her every doing being picked up and amplified in the papers. We're all a bit complicit, aren't we?

Monday, June 20, 2011

Feeling lonely? Kerrang are waiting for you

An email arrives from Peter D, bringing news of a new entrant to the overcrowded online dating scene:

This is genius. Spotty youths sat in their dark bedroom listening to My Chemical Romance, their only companion are the black walls they thought were a great idea but will be a bugger to paint over when mum and dad rent out their room. Lets introduce a dating service for these people.
Yes, it's Kerrang dating. More precisely, it's Kerrang Radio dating, so not quite the magazine readership alone (with the emphasis on alone) - which would probably consist of 500 entries in the Men Seeking Women Who Look Exactly Like Her Out Of Paramore But Not As Scary category, and nothing else.

There is something really a bit nasty about how Kerrang Dating has options for men seeking women, and women seeking men. Doesn't Kerrang have any gay listeners?

It turns out that this might just be a Bauer Radio dating site, with everyone tossed into one pot and just presented through a interface with varying logos. They try to pretend that you're joining a specific interest group, but it doesn't quite work...

Look at Radio City dating, for example:
See? You're only going to meet people from Merseyside or Cheshire, Radio City's target service area. Brilliant - no timewasting with people who live miles away, right?

Except... what's this list of new members saying?
Surprisingly, for a dating site which restricts itself to introducing you just to people in the Liverpool and Chester areas, it seems to have a lot of far-flung new members.

And tucked away in the terms and conditions, there's this:
The Service is offered through and accessible through a number of other websites in addition to the Site. By registering with the Site you acknowledge and accept that all Content that you post to the site may be searchable and available to users of the Service who access it via different web sites from the Site. You further acknowledge and accept that other members of the Service that you may view and communicate with via the Service may have registered with and accessed the Service through a number of different web sites.
So pity the poor Kerrang head, signing up in the hope that, at last, they might meet someone who understands them (and looks a bit like her out of Paramore), only to wind up being hooked up with someone who listens to Magic FM.


Embed and breakfast man: Milk Maid

And you know that Mazes tour? Milk Maid are the support, doing noises like this:

That track, Not Me, is on the just-released album Yucca.

When you write about Milk Maid, you are legally obliged to mention one of them is Martin, now officially ex-Nine Black Alps, although you are free to decide if you believe this is obvious from the music, or not detectable at all.

Downloadable: Mazes

To celebrate the release of the new single, Summer Hits, Mazes have lobbed out a freebie:

That's a demo version of Brunswick Stack, that is.

While we're at it, here's the October tour dates for the band:

03-OCT Mon LEEDS Nation Of Shopkeepers
04-OCT Tue MANCHESTER The Kings Arms
05-OCT Wed EDINBURGH Sneaky Petes
06-OCT Thu GLASGOW Captains Rest
07-OCT Fri NEWCASTLE Dog & Parrot
08-OCT Sat LANCASTER Library
09-OCT Sun NOTTINGHAM Spanky Van Dykes
11-OCT Tue OXFORD Jericho
12-OCT Wed BIRMINGHAM The Hare & Hounds
13-OCT Thu LONDON Lexington
14-OCT Fri BRIGHTON The Hope

Big news

Apparently being carried aloft a one-off comeback date in 2008 that is still spinning outwards, Mr Big are releasing a new album. Mr Big.

They're selling VIP packages to their American tour at nearly $200 a throw.

Mr. Big. in 2011.

Bookmarks - Internet stuff: Adele and Aidan Moffat

Aidan Moffat brings I'm No Expert out of retirement on The Quietus because he's worried about Adele:

"I hate to turn up out of the blue uninvited,
But I couldn't stay away, I couldn't fight it,"

Turn up out of the blue? Okay, so that means you knew where to find me, so you’re likely to be either at my work, which is mental, or at my house, which is even worse. If you’re at my house and I’m in, that means I’m not working, and if I’m not working then my wife probably isn’t either. Which means she’s at home, listening at the window and wondering who the mad weirdo with the sad eyes at the door is. Maybe she’s even pregnant now, or she could be breastfeeding our first child as I stand here listening to you emote at the front door. And maybe she’s about to phone the police or the Samaritans, or maybe you’re about to get a slap – trust me, don’t ever mess with a new mother.

Gordon in the morning: The second Mrs Gallagher

Vanished from Bizarre like a Russian general who had laughed at Stalin's moustache is Carl Stroud, the "Digital editor", and his piece on Amy Winehouse's Belgrade meltdown. It's been replaced - at least in front page orthodoxy - by a bit saying similar things written by Richard White. Gordon's two stories predicting a sober Winehouse have returned to the 'related stories' box (though no others, and certainly not Stroud's piece), as a line has been developed which tries to explain why Smart could believe things would be fine, and they weren't:

[I]t is thought she had a secret stash of booze on the set in Belgrade, Serbia. A source said: "In the run up to the show she was disappearing. By the time she got on stage she was on another planet."
In the run-up to the gig, it looked a little like Winehouse's management had been planting an "it's alright" narrative in the column; this morning, it appears the "it wasn't our *ahem* their fault, ooh she's wily" tale has been dropped off.

I don't normally wade into the comments section of Bizarre, but it's worth remembering the audience Gordon is writing for. Pinkstone offered this up:
Don't know about back to back IT SHOULD BE MONEY BACK TO BACK
Um... the song is called Back To Black. But otherwise... um... well done on being able to use the caps lock.

Gordon, it appears, was more bothered by Noel Gallagher's wedding to Sara MacDonald, providing a warm write-up of the affair.

In fact, it's so warm, it misses out entirely the only real noteworthy aspect of the day: the non-appearance of Liam Gallagher.

To be fair, not pointing that out is a small kindness, focusing on the positives of the day and not jumping on a grim fact and blowing it up. If only Smart treated all the people he wrote about like that, and not just his mates.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Gordon in the morning: Amy Sunday special

Yes, it's Sunday, but someone called Carl Stroud with the title "Bizarre Digital Editor" has popped up to post about Amy Winehouse's drunken disaster in Belgrade.

Perhaps because he's digital editor, Stroud was smart enough to ensure that he didn't publish the piece with the usual "related stories" box appearing, otherwise he'd have pulled in the last couple of weeks' stories from Gordon which failed to predict this happening.

Gordon had reassured readers that she was fine:

Amy Winehouse gets clinic OK

SINGER AMY WINEHOUSE was "raring to go" last night after checking out of a rehab clinic.
Although there'd been a wobble, Smart revealed that boozing was out for the tour:
REHAB singer AMY WINEHOUSE has been banned from boozing on her forthcoming European tour.

The star's management have told hotel staff in Belgrade, Serbia - where she opens on June 18 - to remove all alcohol from rooms booked by troubled Amy and her entourage.
Under a large picture of himself, a breathless Gordon reported on her warm-up and revealed that everything was going to be fine:
Winehouse's secret,
sober comeback

And unlike her old routine of slurring the words, gobbing everywhere and passing out, she was cracking jokes between songs like a Seventies TV comedian.
To be fair, it's clear from a close reading of the piece that Gordon was only giving the impression he was at the event, relying on - naturally - "a source" to supply the detail:
A source at the gig said: "Gone was the fragile, volatile and unpredictable Amy. She wasn't knocking back vodka on stage - and she definitely hadn't stopped by at the off-licence on her way to the gig."
Perhaps most embarrassing for Gordon, though, was the piece he filed yesterday morning:
AMY WINEHOUSE's long-suffering roadies will spend today searching Belgrade for cocoa and slippers.

The Love Is A Losing Game singer has asked not to headline at a festival gig in the Serbian capital this evening - so she can get to bed early.
A source said: "Amy seems to be serious about cleaning up this time. Instead of partying she wants to relax and enjoy her trip."
Given that exclusive insight from the boss, it's perhaps very wise of Stroud to not have linked to it from the tales of how the Belgrade gig actually played out:
The crazed songbird reportedly infuriated gig goers in the Serbian capital Belgrade with her disastrous performance.

She is said to have mumbled her way through parts of songs and stumbled across the stage before, at one point, throwing her microphone to the floor.

Certain times saw her leave the stage altogether - leaving her band to fill in, it has been claimed.

And many of the 20,000 short-changed fans, who had paid up to £40 to see her in a country with some of the lowest wages in Europe, made their anger clear.
Let's hope they hadn't bought their tickets on the promise of Gordon that Winehouse would be nipping home early for a cosy night with cocoa and slippers.

Glastonbury 2011: The uberpost

Tracking all the bits of coverage of the 2011 Glastonbury Festival.

Sunday 19th June
Weather forecast: sunny and dry, dammit.

Wednesday 22nd June
Gordon Smart introduces the RoboBono
BET - live from Somerset
David Hepworth points out the flaw in modern festivals
When is it on the Red Button?

Thursday 23rd June
U2 fight. No they don't

Friday 24th June
Gordon Smart suggests you navigate Worthy Farm with, erm, the Bizarre app
Kate Moss ruined Glastonbury - official
Prince claims Glasto uses his name
No drugs in Glasto pee, claims Eavis
Morning press round-up

Saturday 25th June
View from the sofa - selection box
View from the sofa - Morrissey
View from the sofa - U2
Legal highs and lows
Press round-up - Orange squashed
Security guards rough up protesters at U2 set

Sunday 26th June
Man found dead on-site
View from the sofa - Saturday
Press round-up - Why be beastly to U2?
David Cameron's assocation chair named as man found dead on-site
Christopher Shale's damning report published in today's Mail On Sunday

Monday 27th June
View from the sofa - Sunday
Press round-up - where were Q?
Zane Lowe ruins it for everyone by liking something else

Friday 1st July
One in three tune in

Glastonbury 2011: What's the weather going to be for the Glastonbury Festival?

According to, it looks like it's going to be another disappointingly dry Glastonbury this year. (Disappointing from the perspective of those of us watching it at home - where's the fun if the audience aren't crotch deep in mud?)

From Tuesday through to Saturday, the prediction is for a mixture of sun and cloud, with some showers on Sunday. Temperatures will be a slightly fresh 14 Celsius on Saturday.

Somewhat incongruously, you can find Worthy Farm on the Zoopla property website. There can't be many house listings with that sort of photo on their page...

Saxobit: Clarence Clemons

Clarence Clemons, the E-Street saxophonist, has died.

Clemons is, perhaps, most widely known for having been asked if he'd been rehearsing real hard in order to secure a new saxophone from Santa; a stepping into the titular spotlight moment from his forty years playing sax for Springsteen. It's clear, though, that Springsteen's sound would have very different without Clemons - it's arguable that Clarence's saxophone was the breezy counterpoint which kept the darker side of Bruce in check. At least for long enough to satisfy radio programmers and the sort of people who buy Top 40 singles.

Springsteen was the amongst the first to post condolences:

It is with overwhelming sadness that we inform our friends and fans that at 7:00 tonight, Saturday, June 18, our beloved friend and bandmate, Clarence Clemons passed away. The cause was complications from his stroke of last Sunday, June 12th.

Bruce Springsteen said of Clarence: Clarence lived a wonderful life. He carried within him a love of people that made them love him. He created a wondrous and extended family. He loved the saxophone, loved our fans and gave everything he had every night he stepped on stage. His loss is immeasurable and we are honored and thankful to have known him and had the opportunity to stand beside him for nearly forty years. He was my great friend, my partner, and with Clarence at my side, my band and I were able to tell a story far deeper than those simply contained in our music. His life, his memory, and his love will live on in that story and in our band.
Given how often it appeared on tv at the time - I suspect mainly on programmes where Jonathan King was involved - I was surprised on checking to discover that Clemons' duet with Jackson Browne, You're A Friend Of Mine, never made it into the UK charts.

Clarence Clemons & Jackson Browne - You by jpdc11
Clemons worked more recently with Lady GaGa; he also had a small but lucrative side career as an actor. While his musical work started out at the gritty end and ended up in GaGa pop, his acting went in the opposite direction - he kicked off with a role in sugary Diff'rent Strokes, and worked his way towards a bit in The Wire.

Clemons was hospitalised last week after a stroke; he died yesterday in Florida. He was 69.

This week just gone

The ten most popular Glastonbury posts of all time:

1. 2007 uberpost
2. 2007 weather forecast
3. 2009: Video: Neil Young live [*Had* been yanked from YouTube for a long time...]
4. 2009: Review: Lady GaGa
5. 2010: Ticket sale debacle
6. 2007: YouTube video selection box
7. 2009: Review: Bruce Springsteen
8. 2009: Video: Bloc Party
9. 2008: Video: MGMT
10. 2008 uberpost

These things were interesting, and new:

Emmy The Great - Virtue

Download Emmy The Great

Sons And Daughters - Mirror Mirror

Download Mirror Mirror

Lucy Ward - Adelphi Has To Fly

Nerina Pallot - Year Of The Wolf

Download Year Of The Wolf

Vetiver - The Errant Charm

Download The Errant Charm

Sophie Ellis Bextor - Make A Scene

Download Make A Scene

Wu Lyf - Go Tell Fire To The Mountain

Download Go Tell...

Gary Numan - Replicas live