Monday, December 31, 2012

The 2012 inch remix: Vale 2012

Those we lost this year:

Warda Aldazairia, singer
Frank Barsalona, promoter
Eddie Blazonczyk, polka star
Dave Brubeck, jazz hero
Celso Chavez, guitarist, Possum Dixon
Dick Clark, creator and presenter of American Bandstand
Don Cornelius, creator and presenter of Soul Train
Hal David, songwriter
Carl Davis, creator, The Chicago Sound
Michael Davis, bassist, MC5
Josie DeCarlo, inspiration for Josie (and the Pussycats)
Bill Dees, songwriter
Rob Doherty, guitarist, Into Eternity
Bill Doss, tremor controller, Olivia Tremor Control
Donald Dunn, bassist, Booker T & The MGs
Jo Dunne, guitarist, We've Got A Fuzzbox And We're Gonna Use It
Jimmy Ellis, singer, The Trammps
Robin Gibb, one of the Bee Gees
Ronald "RB" Greaves, singer
Andy Griffith, actor and country singer
Greg Ham, multi-isntrumentalist, Men At Work
Levon Helm, singer & drummer, The Band
Brian Hibbard, singer, The Flying Pickets
Paul Hickey, manager, Erasure
Whitney Houston, singer
Etta James, singer
Scott Johnson, drum tech
Mitch Lucker, singer, Suicide Solution
Davy Jones, Monkee
Peter Jones, drummer, Crowded House
John Levy, manager
Everett Lilly, mandolinist, The Lilly Brothers
Jon Lord, keyboardist, Deep Purple
Andrew Love, saxophonist, Memphis Horns
Joe Maher, Flowered Up
Thomas Marth, saxophonist
Jim Marshall, founder, Marshall's amplifiers
James McClaren, editor and music blogger
Ronnie Montrose, guitarist, Montrose
Frances Preston, CEO, BMI
Herb Reed, singer, The Platters
Christopher Reimer, guitarist, Women
Winston Riley, producer
Mike Scaccia, guitarist, Ministry & Rigor Mortis
Brian Selby, founder, Selectadisc
Tony Sly, singer, No Need For A Name
Joe South, songwriter
Donna Summer, disco hero
Stuart Swanlund, guitarist, Marshall Tucker Band
Bert Weedon, guitar hero
Bob Welch, guitarist, Fleetwood Mac
Kitty Wells, country singer
Andy Williams, singer
Adam Yauch, Beastie boy

[Part of 2012 inch remix]

The 2012 inch remix: Interesting releases

[Part of the 2012 inch remix]

The 2012 inch remix: December

A curious Christmas-time tale: the mystery of the vanishing record company views.

Bad idea - a Justin Bieber sitcom. Badder idea - The Bank Of England revealed some people wanted Robbie Williams' face on ten pound notes. That would result in more money being burned than the KLF ever managed.

Deezer went (partially) ad-free and HMV edged towards the end.

Duff McKagan doesn't care about money, but he isn't going to give your money back. Justin Bieber's boss was upset that the Grammys ignored him.

One of Talulah Gosh won the Turner Prize. Really.

[Part of the 2012 inch remix]

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Welsh music might vanish from the BBC

Well... not quite, but over 300 Welsh Language artists who have decided that PRS wasn't working well for them have set up their own rights agency, Eos. As the Cardiff City Hall clock chimes in the New Year, the PRS deal ends and broadcasters will have to make deals with the new group.

Trouble is, although S4C have just come to an agreement, the BBC has yet to sign anything. Which means, in the short-term at least, there could be a big hole in Welsh music on TV and radio.

Gary Barlow closes label so his money can spend more time with his family

Who even remembered that Gary Barlow had set up a record label?

He doesn't any more, as he's folded it.

He told The Sun it was just a time thing:

"It's been a very difficult decision but it came down to time. I've had a lot going on recently and I want to spend more time with my family."
It seems the four million quid he'd lost on the adventure had slipped his mind as easily as it had seeped out of Future's balance sheets.

It's hard to believe that a label featuring such delights as Aggro Santos and Emma's Imagination - winner of Sky's Must Be The Music, of course - could grind to a halt.

Let's just cast our mind back to how it was in the early days, when Gordon Smart predicted great things:

SIMON COWELL had better look out – a talented, younger and more popular music mogul is shaping up to steal his crown.

Industry insiders at the bash revealed GARY BARLOW has been given his own record label by his Universal bosses so he can snap up hot new acts.

He has already started work signing his first artist – a young male singer – and the lucky lad is now working with Gary and songwriting pal CATHY DENNIS.

The lucrative agreement is Gary’s reward from Universal’s head honcho LUCIAN GRAINGE for the amazing success of TAKE THAT’s comeback.

An industry source said last night: “It’s a masterstroke. With Gary’s incredible writing ability and contacts, the acts will be in the best possible hands.”
Oh, Lucian. How you must be wishing you'd just got him a really nice vase as a reward instead.

Oh, Kate, Kate, Kate, it's Commander for you, not hate, hate, hate

At some point while I was flying home, Kate Bush was given a CBE. Which means she now outranks Annie Lennox, a mere OBE.

It's usual when someone gets an award to mention the lot of good work they do for charity, so here's Kate doing a lot of good work for charity:

Ewan McGregor got an OBE, which is more than enough reason to remember his major contribution to music: [NB: Might include Ewan's lightsaber.]

The 2012 inch remix: November

Epic let Death Grips go after the band gave away their record. Pitbull believes we'll have to wait for him to die before we can appreciate him. And probably longer than that.

Fox News watched a fundraiser, thought it was a political advert. Mick Jagger saw an audience, saw sitting ducks to fleece. If you can fleece a duck.

The Newspaper Licencing Agency believes you should pay to quote a review. Martin Gore believes Simon Cowell should be shot. Not violently, though.

The Jimmy Savile scandal might just have done for the Top Of The Pops reruns. Radio One finally let Vernon Kay move on. Tax dodging Gary Barlow got a prize.

Avalanche Records is to close, but Arthur magazine is back.

After the Nirvana musical comes the Tim Buckley one. With added Shakespeare.

Neil Young has an iTunes killer: Pono. The BPI will understand that, although it pretended to be confounded by Google Play and tried to close down one of the many routes to the Pirate Bay they'd missed.

No Doubt didn't have a stellar comeback. But even they'd be cheered up by Coldplay going on a three year hiatus. And Noel Gallagher following them.

A long-standing popular story on No Rock ceased to be accurate, as AC/DC joined iTunes.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

The 2012 inch remix: October

The New Statesman asked why the NME has so many dead people on its cover.

Getty have come up with a way of turning Soundcloud into money, Blavatnik bought into Deezer and Simon Fuller is thinking of buying the EMI cold cuts.

If we're to believe Spotify, 1 in 3 people can think of a song that's better than sex.

Marilyn Manson and Rob Zombie were touring together. Well, not so much together.

Primark has become a record shop. Channel 4 is lining up a chart show. Did we slip back to 1982?

Or possibly 1952: HMV told its female staff to wear skirts.

The ideas for a Nirvana jukebox musical got aired in court. Coachella offered to drop meat if the Smiths would reform. Liam Gallagher made it through 23 minutes of a George Michael gig.

LiveNation don't want to put gigs on in Hyde Park any more. James Blunt doesn't want to make music any more.

Well done, Madonna. Go to a city still traumatised by a mass shooting in a cinema, and pretend to shoot the audience.

We can all relax, though: Kate really does love William, because Cheryl Cole is prepared to vouch for her.

[Part of 2012 inch remix]

Friday, December 28, 2012

The 2012 inch remix: September

Political Scrapbook suddenly remembered Gary Barlow and Dave "Dave" Cameron's school competition, but wasn't sure if they did. NME suddenly remembered their 60th birthday was six months earlier, and had a belated celebration.

Grant Shapps' photo op saving Ringo Starr's house was a wee bit undermined when it turned out he'd signed the papers to have it demolished. Up the road, Manchester City Council blew half a million on an Alicia Keys gig.

Lady GaGa's meat dress is heading to a museum. Not the stew it would be perfect for. Brian May would rather animals be kept alive, so he called for a cultural boycott of badger cull areas.

Madonna decided to help Obama by, erm, calling him a Muslim.

You know who's lazy? Rappers, says Chuck D. You know who's disgusting? Gay people, said Paris Hilton.

Guilfest announced it was calling it a day.

Marilyn Manson got a letter from the man whose name he stole. Professor Green got gently mocked on Twitter, and so unleashed a hate mob in return.

One Direction admit they owe a debt to the Clash.

After Universal promised to flog off much of the value, the US and the EU agreed to the EMI takeover. After years, Lyor Cohen quit Warners and MySpace announced plans for another relaunch.

[Part of 2012 inch remix]

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Telegraph sees hope for HMV

There's some cheerful news for HMV today, as the Telegraph has some words of encouragement about the chain's future:

It is understood Universal is liable for the rent on approximately 40 HMV stores after buying the retailer's former parent company EMI earlier this year. The rent liabilities highlight the close relationship between HMV and its suppliers, which are trying to support the retailer with a series of initiatives.

EMI guaranteed rental agreements on HMV stores when the retailer was spun out of the record label in 1998. It is understood that Universal then assumed these guarantees when it acquired troubled EMI.
Obviously this is good news of the 'you need chemo, but you look good in a hat' variety.

First, it's not actually anything to do with the core business - not about selling things, merely suggesting that as the decline continues the's a bit more strength in the props.

Secondly, Universal are obviously only one supplier to the chain - they might have an interest in keeping the thing alive (beyond the cash all the majors are pumping in to help Nipper keep his nose above water), but why would the other labels - or studios, or manufacturers of games or headphones - give a raspberry fart about how much extra hurt Universal would feel if the store vanished?

Sure, Universal has its mitts on a massive share of the music business, but if a store could survive by its catalogue alone, there would be Universal-branded shops on the high street.

Finally, the fact that the bill will only sting Universal if no new tenants are found for the stores - true, times are tough. But these are the 40 stores which HMV have stuck with since being spun out of EMI in the last century. Presumably the reason why these branches haven't moved or been closed already is because they're in great locations - Universal are underwriting the best bits of the network. And a good location for HMV is probably going to be no worse for a Sainsburys Local. It's hugely unlikely that Universal would have to pick up the tab for every place.

In short, then: less "good news for HMV", more "mildly discomforting news for Universal but they can always do with more tax write off".

Apart from anything: the likely cost of writing off an HMV failure would have been factored into the price Universal paid for EMI this year.

The 2012 inch remix: August

Marilyn Manson drew swears on his face to "stop" the paparazzi photographing him. Madonna fell out with Elton John for some reason and a shocked world discovered U2 are an influence on Muse.

Even Lil Wayne is bored of Lil Wayne. Shaggy doesn't appear in the charts these days because the charts don't deserve him, apparently.

Simon Fox left HMV while there was still an HMV to leave.

Gibson got a piddly little fine for their part in destroying Madagascar and Newt Gingrich decided not to fight Survivor after misappropriating Eye Of The Tiger.

The person responsible for commissioning The Voice couldn't remember the winner's name. But who can? Voice judge Will I Am became the first act to have his music debuted on Mars; as a result bookmakers shortened the odds on an angry invasion of Martians.

The Jazz Butcher are making a new record. Also returning was Jaz Coleman, who didn't even realise he was missing. Slowdive could return, theoretically.

Morrissey didn't care for the Olympics. Pink made a small joke about Chris Brown, and got death threats as a result.

In Liverpool, after the Mathew Street festival was cancelled, it sounds like it might never return.

[Part of the 2012 inch remix]

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Bookmarks: Taylor Swift

We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together. But what is the identity of the "indie record", exactly? A Careless Man's Careless Daughter has gone all Sherlock. Here's a taste of the working being shown:

were there any more recently released indie records floating around during their relationship that might have been the indie record that was much cooler than taylor swift’s? let us confront the pitchfork top albums of 2011

The 2012 inch remix: July

Part of my formative years, Rounder Records in Brighton announced it was closing.

In our only pie chart of the year, we illustrated the Clap Your Hands Say Yeah split. In their attempt to cope with the deluge of music news, Drowned In Sound decided to stop trying.

Destiny's Child are going to reform. Maybe. One day. But Codeine are definitely back.

Jaz Coleman vanished rather than take part in a gig with The Mission. Al Jourgensen made it to the stage, but not through his set.

Because their old label was being a dick about things, Def Leppard covered their own music. Elsewhere, Meat Load is still pursuing a bloke who used to be a Meat Loaf lookalike.

The Bloc festival dissolved in chaos, Springsteen's Hyde Park gig was cut not-exactly-short and floods did for the Stock Aitken And Waterman show. A Slipknot gig ended when Corey Taylor had a little nap during the set.

Global Radio decided to extend their radio brands into the dying world of music video television. Headphone manufacturer Beats bought MOG for some reason. Perhaps they thought they were buying Meg And Mog?

Kate Moss turns out to not really have written the Babyshambles song she wrote. Plan B did a photoshoot wearing a Skrewdriver tshirt, but it was okay because skinheads and hoodies are the same, you see?

I'm going to assume that the Stacey Solomon 'Curb Your Enthusiasm' style sitcom Gordon Smart announced is still in development. Likewise the idea for using Chris Moyles which Radio One supposedly had.

Chumbawamba won't be getting up again.

[Part of the 2012 inch remix]

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

The 2012 inch remix: June

Which organisation made the greatest contribution to music this year? Delta Airlines, who lost Ed Sheeran's guitars.

In a bid to try and stay afloat, HMV offloaded its venues business. Plans to tour the finalists from The Voice fell apart due to lack of interest.

Briefly, Elvis' crypt was on sale. Briefly, Ringo Starr's house was saved again.

Ween split, but forgot to let each other know. Hundred Reasons split with such force, Cable got back together briefly as a result.

In the war between Morrissey and the NME, Morrissey won. In a battle between Dio and Westboro Baptist "Church", Dio won. Elsewhere, the French Front National threatened to sue Madonna over suggestions that their fascism was somehow fascist.

The Stone Roses tried to snaffle photographers' copyright.

Tesco bought We7. Samsung announced an iTunes killer which looked a lot like a fridge. Because it was a fridge. Ping did die, though.

Billy Corgan pronounced music dead, killed by the internet. Shirley Manson saw signs of life.

Usher thinks he's in with a chance of an Oscar.

[Part of the 2012 inch remix]

Monday, December 24, 2012

Rockobit: Mike Scaccia

Mike Scaccia, founder member of Rigor Mortis, has died after collapsing on stage.

Scaccia was playing with Ministry - who he joined in 1989, long after that band had abandoned their synthpop roots and more than met Scaccia's death metal halfway. He appears to have suffered a sudden heart attack brought on by heart disease.

Al Jourgensen posted a message on the Ministry website:

Scaccia was also, sometimes, a member of Jourgensen and Jello Biafra's sideproject Lard, getting a co-writers credit on Mangoat:

Mike Scaccia was 47.

The 2012 inch remix: May

Eurovision! Go Hump! Oh... Hump.

Beyonce was recognised for her, erm, journalism while Tulisa called winning FHM's sexiest woman "self-indulgent".

Courtney Love lost Kurt Cobain's face.

Ola Ray finally got properly paid for screaming in the Thriller video. She could spend some of the money buying Michael Jackson's hair.

The RIAA are sloppy with their takedown notices and BPI attempts to close down The Pirate Bay boosted visitor numbers by millions. EMI were more successful pushing mp3tunes into bankruptcy.

ViaGoGo put their taxes in the hands of the Swiss authorities.

The BBC suggested what it might have to cut to make ends meet; the Mail raged that some of the cash they did have was spent playing Gary Glitter tracks.

Mark Ronson told Village Voice Amy Winehouse was "freaked out" by Adele's success. Only he didn't, actually. An earlier claim of misquotation, NME versus Morrissey, appeared to be heading for the High Court.

The company who served papers on the Beastie Boys the day before Adam Yauch died at least had the good grace to look a bit ashamed.

Sainsburys started selling downloads, hoping that nectar points would be an iTunes killer. (Spoiler: They're not.) Don't worry, though, Samsung are going to have a go at killing iTunes, too.

The end of Handsome Furs was announced.

And The Stone Roses came back. Oh.

[Part of the 2012 inch remix]

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Dodgy tenners

Exciting news from the NME:

The Beatles, Mick Jagger and Robbie Williams are among the names being considered to appear on the new £10 banknote, it has been revealed.
Except, that's not quite true. What has happened is the Bank Of England has released a list of 150 names which have been suggested by members of the public as brilliant ideas for who should be on the ten pound note.

The NME might believe this is the BOE considering the names; I suspect the real reason the list has been released is so that people can snigger at the stupidity of suggesting gurning old Williams being in every pocket in the land.

Record labels lose odd-smelling YouTube views

YouTube have been tidying up view figures, removing dubious counts.

Who has been especially hit by this purge o'views?

Why, record labels. The Daily Dot reports:

Universal's channel is the one that took the biggest hit. According to figures compiled by the YouTube statistics analysts at SocialBlade, the record company's YouTube channel lost more than 1 billion views from its preexisting tally of 7 billion views Tuesday.

Sony/BMG was the second largest sufferer, dropping more than 850 million views in one day, bringing its total number of views to a mere 2.3 million. RCA, which got off scot free by comparison, dipped 159 million views. Its tally now sits more modestly at 120 million views.
Of course, there's no evidence of wrong-doing, and Google is known for its caprice in how it handles, well, everything.

But it does look as if, once again, the labels haven't quite been living up to the virtues they expect the rest of us to achieve.

[UPDATE: Billboard thinks it can account for nearly all the lost views. The "nearly" is significant]

The 2012 inch remix: April

Excitingly, the bloke who claimed George Michael's street was haunted by a ghost vampire turned up in the comments to swear his story was true. Despite ghosts, vampires and George Michael all being fictional characters.

When the original One Direction objected to the Cowell outfit lifting their name, overreacting fans sent death threats. Capital Radio, though, declared One Direction dead to them after the band accidentally thanked Radio One for an award the limp commercial network had given them.

The difficulty in living during a shift between funding models is it's hard to tell if digital royalties overtaking club and pub royalties is a good thing or not. HMV decided it might have been hasty when it dumped selling vinyl.

The NME decided not to give Pete Doherty too hard a time when they met him. Meanwhile, Krissi Murison announced she was off to the Sunday Times.

Axl Rose decided not to go to the GNR Rock And Roll Hall of Fame induction. But he wanted to make sure everyone noticed. John Lydon equally drew a lot of attention to a record he didn't want anyone to buy.

Bob Geldof wanted us to know about investment opportunities. Madonna's first week album sales weren't too bad. The second week sales stank, though.

Ominously, Blur started to drop hints that their short return might extend indefinitelty. Kasabian hopefully suggested they were a bit like Radiohead.

Plan B called for disadvantaged kids to be given a chance. And then gave a hand to one of Made In Chelsea to launch a music career. Peter Andre's second career as a restaurateur, though, ran into trouble.

Sonisphere axed itself.

Joni Mitchell quit music to work for people with a rare condition and ill-health put paid to Sinead O'Connor's touring plans.

Grooveshark tried to pretend it was dropping EMI music because three major labels was more cartel-like than four. George Martin described the EMI takeover as "the worst thing music has ever faced".

[Part of the 2012 inch remix]

Saturday, December 22, 2012

The 2012 inch remix: March

Getting Englebert Humperdinck to represent the UK at Eurovision? What could possibly go wrong?

You'd have thought Liverpudlians, of all people, would know not to expect the Las to turn up.

Ugly headphone makers Beats bought unloved music website MOG. Warner Brothers came up with a plan to allow people to visit shops to have DVDs ripped for them while Sony belatedly knocked together a digital strategy. Unfortunately, that was too late to stop Michael Jackson's back catalogue being hacked from their servers.

The story of how Gordon Smart came to claim Sarah Harding loved physics was a thing of joy and beauty; the bullying of Tulisa into apologising for being violated was less so.

Royalty agency ASCAP gives a terrible deal to smaller artists.

Jet split while Easy reformed. Had you been missing them? Josh Homme started a fight to stop Kyuss reforming and, er, undermining the name.

Boston tried to ban the mosh pit and South Korea banned children from Lady GaGa.

The NME elected Kasabian kings of the world but David Cameron prefers Thin Lizzy.

ViaGoGo carefully explained why their tout-like busines wasn't actually touting and Alex James tried to explain why the failure of Alex James' Cheesfest wasn't really down to him.

Miley Cyrus killed off God, for once and for all. God fought back by having his tiresome cheerleaders at the Westboro Baptist Church take on Radiohead.

[Part of the 2012 inch remix]

Friday, December 21, 2012

The 2012 inch remix: February

"It were so much better under Thatcher" sighed Noel Gallagher, who then spent much of the month issuing explanations from his castle about how people didn't understand his simplistic brand of politics.

The Decemberists were heroes forever after calling the Susan G Komen foundation on their lurch to right-wing opposition to women's health. Less wonderfully, Fifty Cent tried to flog his energy drink off the backs of the starving.

Hotpants Romance came back from hiatus, and Tim Burgess put his balls where his mouth is.

VEVO blustered after someone was spotted illegally streaming ESPN at their party. Piracy's bad, didn't you hear? After Bono refused permission to use U2's music for a project, people just worked round him, but no such luck for Now Thats What I Call Steampunk when EMI claimed to own a phrase it stole from a poster in the first place.

Channel 4 investigated dodgy secondary ticket market ViaGoGo. ViaGoGo were not happy at this. Adele won at the Brits, but not well enough to be allowed to finish her speech. Brian May was unahppy, too, because he'd not been invited to play the Jubilee.

It turned out to everyone's surprise that the real story from the death of Whitney Houston was actually about Celine Dion. It wasn't, of course; it was about how much money Sony could squeeze from the corpse.

The already tired-looking Chris Moyles started to see the Today programme challenging his position as second most listened to breakfast show. And although you could hear the cries of "stink" from space, Madonna pretended to not know what people were saying about WE.

iLike quietly closed down, and some people thought they spotted MySpace's toes moving.

NME sales fell to just below 28,000 just in time for the 60th birthday.

Somebody sent us the form you have to fill out if you want to put a gig on in Bedfordshire. It's hefty.

[Part of 2012 inch remix]

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Deezer attempts to take on Spotify

Deezer is keen to take on Spotify, and figures that giving stuff away is the way to go:

"Our ad-supported service is a necessary trigger to drive global change by bringing music subscription to mass audiences worldwide," [Deezer CEO Axel] Dauchez added.

"Our aim here is to encourage music fans to try us, driving ad-supported service listeners to switch to paid subscription over time. Once they have properly experienced Deezer, people do not go back."
Although the trial service fires adverts between songs, which isn't really a sense of what the paid service is like - it's like trying to decide if you'd be great at dating someone by hanging out with them in a supermarket queue.

The 2012 inch remix: January

David Bowie turned 65.

Briefly, the So Solid Crew were gifted new members.

Paris Hilton relaunched her music career - this time, she's going to pretend to be a DJ.

Gordon Smart reported excitedlty about the big Amy Winehouse tribute gig - he did warn it might be pay-per-view, though, so big would it be. Odd that it hasn't happened yet, especially since Gordon spent so long explaining to Lord Leveson how he got his stories and made sure they were genuine.

Rupert Murdoch-backed streaming music service Beyond Oblivion closed without a single track ever having been streamed. At the same time, the BPI had some positive figures to report but appear to have forgotten how to talk about anything other than how BAD piracy is. HMV revealed it had a terrible Christmas, and set about closing stores with a suspiciously identical lament for each of them.

Warners issued a DCMA claim that a silent video used their soundtrack.

Alan McGee offered a formal apology for having fucked up Ride's career by introducing toxic influences. Elsewhere, Kid Rock apologised for smoking in a no smoking venue.

Kelly Clarkson endorsed Ron Paul. And then did some research into him, and decided she didn't after all. Mick Jagger chose to quit rather than appear to like Cameron.

Graham Norton devoted an entire show to Madonna, but it made for a long hour.

The name which had served BRMB perfectly well for years in Birmingham was dropped. The Big Chill decided it couldn't compete with the Olympics.

The Hard Rock Cafe killed cats. At least Beyonce and Jay-Z didn't go quite that far to avoid poor parents when having their first child.

This is the first in a daily series of monthly reviews of 2012.

[Part of the 2012 inch remix]

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Young strengthens Pono with, er, trademarks

Give Neil Young credit, he's happy to push on with his fundamentally flawed Pono adventure.

He's registered some trademarks. Rolling Stone has had a look:

Evidence of Neil Young's latest move to brand and market Pono, his forthcoming music service featuring high-resolution master downloads of songs, can be found in his recent federal trademark applications for a pair of slogans – "Pono Promise" and "21st Century Digital" – which reside on Pono's website.

The latest trademark applications, filed this month, refer to "cases for audio tuners, audio receivers, amplifiers, tape players, compact disc players, MP3 controllers/players, audio mixers, audio speakers in the nature of music studio monitors, microphones, audio speakers, compact discs, audio tapes, portable computers, antennas, phonographic record players, audio recording equipment," according to documents on file with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
That's the ticket, Neil - make sure nobody tries to hitch a free ride on your downward spiral.

Pirate Party UK ducks fight with BPI

The Pirate Party UK has closed its proxy access to The Pirate Bay, rather than face a ruinous battle with the major labels.

The decision came after the BPI chose to make its battle personal - rather than attacking the party, the BPI chose to take action against six individual members of the organisation.

Obviously, the BPI is legally within its rights to do this, but it distorts the battle - a well-funded music industry business against private individuals stacks the odds completely in the favour of the business, making it effectively an impossible fight.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Downloadable: Wayne Hussey

Have you seen those black feather Christmas trees? It's like the Winterval is finally opening up to Goths. And the Goths are opening up to Christmas. Look:

Yes, Wayne Hussey does White Christmas. Here's a bit of his reason why:

O come all ye faithful………
Just wanted to wish a very merry Christmas and happy new year to you and your loved ones and as a token of my gratitude for your continued support for both myself and The Mission I have recorded a Christmas song just for you which is available as a free download from
If only Bing was still around for a duet. That'd be a Christmas special.

[via Slicing Up Eyeballs]

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Leave It To Bieber

Remember the Fred Durst sitcom? Of course not, it never got made because it was a terrible idea. But simply being a terrible idea isn't enough to stop a sitcom - indeed, the figures for Two And A Half Men show that no matter how awful the idea, it could still be a hit.

So we can only hope that scheduling conflicts will spare us the current idea being dragged down the stairwells of ABC: Justin Bieber: The sitcom.

"Hey, Englishman" said an unnamed ABC executive struggling with a flipchart that merely had the words "BeiberBieber" and "laugh track" written on it. "You're from a nation where Mrs Browns Boys wins prizes, so we'll take no sitcom lessons from you, thank you."

Actually, here's a thought: given the Office translated so successfully to the US, why don't ABC just pick up the scripts for Gervais' Life's Too Short and remake it shot-for-shot with Bieber in the lead? It couldn't be any worse than the original, could it?

Reopening The House Of Love

I'm not entirely a fan of getting excited simply because a band has told us what the name of a forthcoming album might be, or shown us the cover art. It's like waiting for food in a restaurant but they bring you the plates out first - "see; we will serve it on this".

I'll make an exception, though, and give a mild squeak for the sighting of this:

Bickers. Chadwick. New House Of Love album next year. Squeee.