Saturday, September 17, 2011

Kelis racist incident suddenly moves a few hundred miles south

The incident that Kelis reported on Twitter where she was racially abused in a London airport? It now turns out she was in Spain:

"Just to clarify, because apparently there's been some confusion, I was in the UK (as always) this time for Bestival (which was great)," she wrote. "I took a flight from Gatwick (airport) back to Spain so for those fact checkers that is approximately a two and a half to three hour flight.

She added: "I landed in Spain and that's when the fat pink faced British guy who was on the plane with me called me a slave and (told me) to call him sir. It was at passport control. I didn't think to make that clear at the time because I was shaken and furious. Now you know."
You'll note the dig at "fact checkers", by which she means those tiresome types who, erm, pointed out that her story wasn't straight.

Now, it's fair enough that you might be angry and annoyed and tweet something opaque - but Kelis had already returned to the subject once when challenged on her sweeping statements about racism in the UK, and neglected to mention the important location of the alleged incident.

And it does make a massive difference to the story whether this happened in London or Spain - part of the complaint was the man behind the passport control counter merely repeated the first bloke's "Kunta Kinte" jibe as if he was amused by it. If you're building an argument about how racism is rife and undiscussed in the UK, using the actions of a Spanish civil servant as part of your evidence would seem to undermine your case somewhat.

[Thanks to Peter D in the comments]

Sinead O'Connor not having a good time

I'm not an expert in therapy, but a session in which your patient is so upset by what you say to them they go home and start tweeting about how they'd like to kill themselves seems a bit of a failure, doesn't it?

That's what happened to Sinead O'Connor last night, who appears to have been made so guilty over talking about sex in public that she took to Twitter to muse about how she might kill herself if she could do it in a way that her children didn't notice. Sounds a bit like it's the therapist who has the issues they need to work through more than O'Connor.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Feds claim Universal label offices used for drug dealing

There's an idea that Guy Hands didn't think of during his time at EMI: using the label offices to ship drugs.

According to DOJ documents published by The Smoking Gun, Interscope, part of the Universal collection of labels, was sucked into the heart of a multimillion drugs shipping outfit when its offices were used as a hub:

Department of Justice prosecutors this week provided defense lawyers with shipping records detailing “pickups and deliveries” made at Interscope’s Los Angeles office by a cargo firm that was used to transport the music cases, which were alternately stuffed with kilos of cocaine and upwards of $1 million in cash.

A year-long Drug Enforcement Administration investigation has resulted in the indictment of James Rosemond on 18 felony charges, which could result in a sentence of life in prison for the 46-year-old rap music manager.
There's no suggestion that the label itself was anything other than an innocent patsy in the operation.

Gordon in the morning: Even he doesn't believe this one

Even working for News International, there must be times when Gordon Smart pauses and thinks "this made-up bollocks is beneath the standards of our organisation". Today must have been one of those days:

EVER since Brad Pitt starred in Snatch as gypsy slugger Mickey O'Neil, smashing up Gorgeous George, he has had a soft spot for the traveller community.

So much so, he now wants to make a movie about Big Fat Gypsy Weddings tough-nut Paddy Doherty.
Smart must know that absolutely everyone who reads this will think "Brad Pitt is never going to make a film about Paddy Doherty. Ever." Perhaps Google has created a filter that will flag up a story without any actual truth in it, and Gordon wanted to see what how it works.

Gamely, though, he even has a crack at casting:
After Brad's turn in Guy Ritchie film Snatch in 2000, he would be perfect as Paddy.

Mickey Rourke or Sly Stallone could convince too. Or for a cheaper option, Brad could call Wolf from Gladiators.
Or why not Mike Tyson? He'd be about as convincing as this story is.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Stone Temple Pilots fall silent

Stone Temple Pilots have axed their US tour halfway through; Scott Weiland's vocal cords are almost literally in pieces. If they pressed on with this tour, he might never be able to sing again. And that would be a bad thing. (Stone Temple Pilot's perspective only.)

Bookmarks - Internet stuff: Protest pop

Fennerpearson offers a thoughtful post about about mixing pop and politics:

Chris’s view was that the pop song – and, to cut a long argument short, [the PJ Harvey album] *is* a pop album – was not the right vehicle to discuss war. Although Chris is a headmaster now, he was once an English teacher, so – impressed by my own improvisation – I riposted with the world war one poets. It transpires, however, that they *agonised* over whether it was appropriate to record the horrors of war in a contrived form.

Victoria Newton: A kind of homecomng

Those of you who have been reading No Rock for a while will remember that back before Gordon Smart's dismal showbiz coverage, Bizarre was the awful kingdom of Victoria Newton. Her high spot was having to run a humiliating apology to Nigel Martin-Smith after she ran Robbie William's lyrical attack on the man.

More recently, she'd been plying her trade at the now-defunct News Of The World. But unlike some other staffers there who were offered jobs in the middle of nowhere, Newton has been given a job right at the heart of Wapping. She's now going to edit the Saturday edition of the paper. Virtue, clearly, brings its own reward.

Elton dumped and fuming

Hell hath no fury like a fabulous celebrity scorned. Elton John was supposed to go on a dinner date with a banker, Spencer Lodge.

Not in a skulky, behind David Furnish's back sort of date. This was one that Lodge had bought in one of Elton's charity auctions.

But it turns out you can't trust Lodge. Imagine that - a banker who doesn't stick to his word. The money never turned up, and now Elton is pursuing legal action:

[A] source close to Sir Elton said: ‘Both David and Elton, and everyone involved with the EJAF are really angry about this.

‘Elton is not personally hounding the man and demanding the cash, but he is fully supportive of the legal proceedings to benefit the charity,’ the Daily Mirror reported.
I love the reassurance that Elton isn't personally turning up at Lodge's house, yelling through the letterbox.

[Thanks to Michael M]

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Kelis hates us so much right now

It is, of course, wrong and unforgivable that an idiot at an airport had a go at Kelis. The Mail's coverage doesn't actually help, either:

American singer Kelis has launched into an angry Twitter tirade against Britain after she was allegedly subjected to racial abuse in a London airport.

The 32-year-old was waiting at passport control at one of the capital's airports when she was apparently labelled a 'slave' by a middle-aged white man.
The Mail's standfirst - which is all most of its readers will have read before leaping down to the comment forms - neglects some of the fine detail which appears further down. The "disgusting Nigerian" comment, for example, which is just horrible.

I think we might have to take issue, though, with Kelis' decision to use this one incident as an exemplar of race relations in 21st Century Britain:
'I didn't say anything at the time of the riots in London for a lot of reasons. But I am in London all the time and today I'm gonna say that the racial issues in the UK are disgusting.

'Its racially decades behind progression because everything is swept under the rug. People don't talk about it. People don't fight about it. Not mentioning a problem doesn't make it go away.'
Hmm. So, Kelis could have said things at the time of the riots, but didn't. Perhaps because the riots and looters were from a wide range of backgrounds?

I'm sure the organisers of Love Music Hate Racism, or RISE, or Kick Racism Out Of Football, or all of the other groups fighting racism in all sorts of fields will be surprised to hear that there's no fighting against xenophobia; likewise, given how often the Mail runs stories about how much "political correctness" there is in the UK, with its going mad all the time, I doubt the right would entirely recognise a Britain in which casual racism doesn't create a storm.

There's too many people like the guy behnd Kelis at the airport. And I don't think we can deny her right to be pissed off and angry. But later on, when people responded "aren't you American? Isn't there a bit of a problem there, too?" she ploughed on:
'[Americans] are the poster child for racial inequality even still with a black president. But its NO SECRET! And that I can fight against. I can try to prepare and teach my son. Because its out there. But you can't fight for or against something no one is willing to talk about or even admit exist.'
Isn't pretending the British don't talk about racism a bit... well, of lazy stereotyping?

[Thanks to Michael M]

Monday, September 12, 2011

Gordon in the morning: Justin Bieber has a life plan

It's a bit like being a careers teacher or something, as Gordon hears Justin's hopes for the future:

"By 25 or 26 I want to see myself, like, married or start looking for a family."
It's odd that he says "start looking for a family" rather than "starting a family", almost as if he expects that he'll have to collect the pieces. Like Doctor Who stickers.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

UKIP about to get knocked down again

I know they're just the BNP, but played for laughs, but who at UKIP thought it would be a good idea to use Chumbawamba as their conference theme song?

Former singer Dunstan Bruce is fuming over the politician's unauthorised use of the pro-anarchy song and admits he will consult lawyers if it continues.

He tells Britain's The Guardian, "This song being used by Ukip is so wrong. I am absolutely appalled that this grubby little organisation are stealing our song to use for their own ends. It's beyond the pale and if they use it again we will consider legal action."

Chumbawamba star Alice Nutter adds, "If ever there was gross misuse of a band's music this is it."
It was Chumbawamba, Farrage. Why would you think that there would be common ground?

Mind you, can you really defend a song about anarchy by going to the courts?

Cliff's law

Of course the copyright extension in recorded music has gone through. But there is one small thing we can do. We can still name it:

A spokesman at one body sounded pained when I referred to the "Cliff Richard law".

"Think of the hard-up session musicians not Cliff Richard," he told me, claiming that thousands of struggling artists would now be guaranteed a pension.
This is, naturally, bollocks, as most hard-up session musicians are hard-up because they have their rights bought out when they make the recording.

But the idea that calling the theft of half-century old records from the public domain "the Cliff Richard Law" upsets the copyright industry makes it imperative that we always, always call it the Cliff Richard Law.

This week just gone

The most-read pieces last week:

1. Video: Mary Magaret O'Hara - Peanuts
2. Tatu can't understand why everyone thought they were gay
3. The Popjustice £20 Music Prize
4. Video: Mary Margaret O'Hara - When You Know Why You're Happy
5. Jessie J has never heard of PJ Harvey
6. AC/DC remain off iTunes
7. Just Can't Get Enough - Thirty years on
8. Gordon Smart goes to the GQ Awards
9. Pixie Lott says her music is her own
10. Kasabian eat microwave rice

These were the interesting releases:

Stephin Merritt - Obscurities

Download Obscurities

The Drums - Portamento

Download Portamento

Male Bonding - Endless Now

Download Endless Now

Kittie - I've Failed You

Download I've Failed You

Grouplove - Never Trust A Happy Song

Download Never Trust A Happy Song

Julie Fowlis - Mar A Tha Mo Chridhe

Download Mar A Tha Mo Chridhe

Eliane Elias - Light My Fire

Download Light My Fire