Saturday, February 11, 2012

Very rich man says 'something must be done'

If I'm reading this story from CNN correctly, it looks like 50 Cent is using the starving of Kenya and Somalia to boost his businesses:

Jackson has pledged to provide one billion meals for the hungry, and is donating a meal from every sale of a new energy drink, Street King, according to the World Food Programme.
Using people in need of food to flog cans of pointless "energy drink"? Perhaps it's an art statement.

Gordon in the morning: It's just like the 1960s, except the 2010s jarring note

Gordon's story about Paul McCartney's invovlement in the next series of Mad Men is a little confused.

First, he's writing music:

Paul McCartney writes for hit telly series
But then, he's not actually writing, just licensing tracks:
The show's producers felt his new album mainly of American classics, Kisses On The Bottom, would be perfect for the show and moved swiftly to sign a deal.
But even that makes no sense - why would a series that pays attention to period detail the way Sun photographers pay attention to the cast of The Only Way Is Essex want Macca's new stuff? If you're trying to give a feel of the 1960s, how does McCartney's frankly-not-very-good collection of karaoke-filtered mostly 1930s stuff fit in?

Friday, February 10, 2012

Record labels pirate football game

Oh, dear, major labels - don't you realise that copyright theft is a SERIOUS CRIME? Do we need to send Britney Spears over to remind you that illegally streaming a football game at a VEVO party is no different from stealing a CD from a store? Tut. Tut. Tut.

TechCrunch's Jason Kincaid saw ESPN streaming from an unlicensed feed:

My hunch is that the team hooked up a computer to the TVs throughout the venue so that they could accomplish this synchronized star-caressing — then, rather than rework their entire setup just to play the football game for a few hours, they opted for the easier route and looked for a stream on the web.

Which perfectly underscores everything wrong with the media industry’s approach to piracy. They’ve long made out pirates to be lawless thieves who think they’re entitled to receive everything for free.

But the reality is far less black-and-white. Sure, there are some people who will duck the bill when they can — but many of them were never going to buy the content they downloaded in the first place. And a huge swath of ‘pirates’ are driven to their ways because it’s easier to stream or download something via an illegal site, not because they’re averse to paying for content. Stick a bunch of DRM and ads in front of the media they’ve already paid for, and they may opt to go with the path of least resistance next time.
VEVO stutter that, you know, it's probably not them:
As for who actually decided to play the stream, or why, VEVO says the public had access to the computer being used so they can’t say for sure who exactly was responsible. Which is dubious (and almost certainly spin) — there was clearly someone actively controlling the computer, because they refreshed it when the connection stalled, and I’m pretty sure it wasn’t a random attendee who was taking the helm. Must have been one of those nasty pirates.
Now, remind me: what is the attitude of the music industry when someone says that somebody else must have been using the computer at the time of an illegal download? Like in the case of Patricia Santangelo, when the RIAA insisted that because she owned the house the computer alleged to have shared unlicensed files was in, she was liable.

I'm sure VEVO executives will be handing themselves in at the local cop shop. After all, piracy is a serious crime. They will want to be punished to the full extent of the laws their colleagues have had created.

Gordon in the morning: Crazy demands

Gordon has got hold of MIA's backstage rider. You'd better strap yourself in:

CRACKPOT singer M.I.A has one of the weirdest gig riders I've seen.
That's setting the bar high. Cher wanted a room for her wigs; Iggy Pop insisted on a copy of USA Today with a story about morbidly obese people in it. And, hey, Gordon, you must have heard of some pretty extreme demands before, too, yeah?
One of the backstage demands for her 2011 tour tops Mariah Carey's request for bendy straws and Duran Duran's lavish demands for rare French cheese
Straws and cheese? Jesus, you don't get out much, do you?

Still, what could MIA have called for that would put into the shade Prince's insistence that everything be covered in clear plastic wrap?
According to a copy of the rider, as well as mixed nuts and cheese the singer demanded: "Three female extras for each show, each between 20 and 25 years old."

The girls all needed to have "stage presence and groove to the music on stage for the full duration of the show wearing full covered burkas".
Erm... dancers? For the actual show? Isn't that a bit like saying 'Wayne Rooney is a nutter; he makes them give him shoes with studs on before he'll even consider going on the pitch'?

So is there anything on the rider at all that is a crazy demand?
The star also asks for a bottle of powerful booze absinthe to be provided at every location.
A bottle of booze. Admittedly, a rather sophomoric choice of booze, but it's hardly on a par with Madonna calling for brand new toilet seats, is it?

Thursday, February 09, 2012


iLike - once the thundering coming big beast of online music - closed down on Tuesday. No, hardly anyone else noticed, either.

Why did it die?

Hypebot has this:

"It’s sad to see a social music site that once boasted 60 million users (more than Spotify, or Pinterest), reduced to nothing," Partovi told Geek Wire. Rupert Murdoch squandered a lot of tech assets under his management, the fall of iLike is just scratching the surface. Given how much money Rupert makes off spreading the evil cancer of Fox 'News,' I think he deserves the bad rap he gets for this mismanagement."

"But much of iLike’s demise is also due to radical changes in the Facebook platform. If you look at the top Facebook apps of 2007 – iLike, Flixster, Slide, RockYou, SGN, Zynga, only one of them evolved enough to survive these changes, the rest died like guinea pigs."
Given the bad time Murdoch is having right now, the buggering up on iLike constitutes merely the seventeenth most humble day of his life.

What do you do when Bono says no?

What do you do when Bono and U2 grimly refuse you the rights to use a song, forcing you to pull out of a film festival?


Moral: There is always a way round the self-importance of Bono.

[Thanks to Michael M for the tip]

Gordon in the morning: Lemon

It turns out this morning that Gordon doesn't even recognise a photo of himself:

Gordon, you've confused yourself with Keith Lemon - it's easy to tell the difference: Keith Lemon is a made-up character, with a childish obsession with women's bodies and a pathetic tendency to fawn around celebrities, whereas Gordon Smart uses his real name.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Now that's what I call throwing your weight about

The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing had been enjoying some success with their Now That's What I Call Steampunk album.

Enough success, indeed, to bring down the ire of EMI upon their behatted heads. As Steampunk Chronicle, erm, chronicles it:

It seems that EMI records have taken offense with Now That's What I Call Steampunk, Vol.1, the 2010 release by British steamrockers The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing. EMI has copyright on the name "Now That's What I Call Music" and has also released other compilations under the "Now That's What I Call" moniker.
The album was yanked off iTunes, and the band have reluctantly renamed the record The Steampunk Album That Cannot Be Named For Legal Reasons.

But hold on a moment - how can EMI claim to own "Now That's What I Call..." in its entirety?

As Wikipedia (correctly, in this case) points out:
The series took its name from a 1920s advertising poster hanging in an office for Danish meat products which showed a pig listening to a whistling cockerel.
So EMI claim to own copyright on a phrase they pinched from an out-of-copyright work by someone else entirely.

I suspect they would insist their claim is based on trademarks rather than copyright, but it's still a bit rich to rip off soembody's advertising slogan and then say that nobody else can do the same.

[Thanks to Scary Boots for the tip]

Gordon in the morning: Commercial break

A man who makes crisp adverts has made a crisp advert, reports Gordon Smart.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Juno shortlist: A world where Avril Lavigne can still get on a shortlist

The shortlist for the Juno awards has been revealed. The fan's choice category looks more like a 'can you think of a Canadian act' round in Pointless. I'm surprised Rush aren't on there:


Arcade Fire

Avril Lavigne

City and Colour



Ginette Reno


Justin Bieber

Michael Bublé



City and Colour
Fragile Bird

Hedley Universal

Johnny Reid
Let's Go Higher

When We Stand Together

The Sheepdogs
I Don't Know

Mylo Xyloto

Lady Gaga
Born This Way

Sorry For Party Rocking



Avril Lavigne
Goodbye Lullabye

Take Care

Justin Bieber
Under the Mistletoe

Michael Bublé

Here And Now

City and Colour
Michael Bublé

Down With Webster
Sam Roberts Band

Alyssa Reid
Dan Mangan
Diamond Rings
Lindi Ortega


Hey Rosetta!
Mother Mother
The Rural Alberta Advantage
The Sheepdogs


Dallas Green
Dan Mangan
Jim Cuddy
Ron Sexsmith


Doc Walker
16 & 1

High Valley
High Valley

Jason McCoy

Jimmy Rankin
Forget About the World

Terri Clark
Roots and Wings


Cuff The Duke
Morning Comes


Jenn Grant
Honeymoon Punch

Jim Cuddy
Skyscraper Soul

Ron Sexsmith
Long Player Late Bloomer


Braids, Native Speaker

Dan Mangan, Oh Fortune

Destroyer, Kaputt

F***ed Up, David Comes To Life

Timber Timbre, Creep On Creepin On


Avril Lavigne, Goodbye Lullaby

Down With Webster, Time To Win Vol. II

Hedley, Storms

Lights, Siberia

Marianas Trench, Ever After


Arkells, Michigan Left

Matthew Good, Lights of Endangered Species

Sam Roberts Band, Collider

Sloan, The Double Cross

The Sheepdogs, Learn & Burn


Diana Panton, To Brazil With Love

Fern Lindzon, Two Kites

Sonia Johnson, Le carré de nos amours

Sophie Milman, In The Moonlight

The Nylons, Skin Tight


Chris Tarry, Rest of the Story

Colin Stetson, New History Warfare Vol. 2: Judges

François Bourassa Quartet, Idiosyncrasie

Hilario Duran & Jane Bunnett, Cuban Rhapsody

Phil Dwyer Orchestra feat. Mark Fewer, Changing Seasons


Dave Young Quintet, Aspects of Oscar

David Braid, Verge

Kirk MacDonald Orchestra, Deep Shadows

Mike Murley Septet, Still Rollin

Oliver Jones, Live In Baden


Andrew Collins, Cats & Dogs

Colin Stetson, New History Warfare Vol. 2: Judges

L'Orkestre des Pas Perdus, L¹Âge du cuivre

Stretch Orchestra, Stretch Orchestra


Catherine Major, Le désert des solitudes

Coeur de Pirate, Blonde

Fred Pellerin, C¹est un monde

Jérôme Minière, Le vrai le faux

Malajube, La caverne


Bobs & Lolo, Connecting the Dots

Charlie Hope, Songs, Stories and Friends: Let's Go Play!

Eddie Douglas, Sleepy Sky Lullaby

Music with BRIAN, Everyone

Vocal Paint, My Butterfly/A Capella Lullabies


Canadian Brass, Brahms On Brass

Louis Lortie, Louis Lortie Plays Liszt

Marc-André Hamelin, Liszt Piano Sonata

New Orford String Quartet, Schubert & Beethoven

Susan Hoeppner, American Flute Masterpieces



Alexandre Da Costa/Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, Daugherty : Fire and Blood

James Ehnes Chandos, Bartók Voilin Concertos

Jean-Guihen Queyras, Vivaldi Cello Concertos

Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Orchestre Métropolitain, Bruckner 4

Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Orchestre Métropolitain, Florent Schmidt- La tragédie de salomé


Jane Archibald;

Orchestre Symphonique Bienne; Thomas Rösner ATMA*Naxos

Haydn Arias

Karina Gauvin - Marie-Nicole Lemieux Naive*Naxos

Handel: Streams of Pleasure

Le Nouvel Opéra ATMA*Naxos

Caldara : La Conversione di Clodoveo

Marie-Josée Lord; Orchestre Métropolitain; Giuseppe Pietraroia ATMA*Naxos

Marie-Josée Lord

Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra & Daniel Taylor Analekta*Sélect

J.S. Bach: Cantatas 70 & 154; Concerto 1060; Orchestral Suite No. 2


Ann Southam, Glass Houses #5

Derek Charke, Sepia Fragments

Heather Schmidt, Piano Concerto No. 2

Jacques Hétu, String Quartet No. 2

Jeffrey Ryan, Fugitive Colours


Classified, Handshakes and Middle Fingers

D-Sisive, Jonestown 2: Jimmy Go Bye Bye

Drake, Take Care

Kardinal Offishall, Anywhere (Ol¹ Time Killin¹ Part.2)

Swollen Members, Daggermouth


Anjulie, Brand New Chick

Deadmau5, Aural Psynapse

Duck Sauce, Barbara Streisand

Martin Solveig & Dragonette, Hello

Mia Martina, Devotion



Jully Black, Set it Off ft. Kardinal Offishall

Karl Wolf Lone Wolf, Ghetto Love ft. Kardinal Offishall

Melanie Fiona, Gone And Never Coming Back

Robin Thicke, Pretty Lil Heart ft. Lil Wayne


Bruthers of Different Muthers, Speakers of Tomorrow

Donny Parenteau, To Whom It May Concern

Flying Down Thunder and Rise Ashen Balanced, One Nation

Murray Porter, Songs Lived & Life Played

Randy Wood, The Gift of Life


Bruce Cockburn, Small Source of Comfort

Craig Cardiff, Floods & Fires

Dave Gunning, A Tribute To John Allan Cameron

David Francey, Late Edition

Lindi Ortega, Little Red Boots


Good Lovelies, Let The Rain Fall

The Deep Dark Woods, The Place I Left Behind

The Once Borealis, Row Upon Row Of The People We Know

The Wailin' Jennys, Bright Morning Stars

Twilight Hotel, When The Wolves Go Blind


Bill Johnson, Still Blue

David Gogo, Soul Bender

Harrison Kennedy, Shame The Devil

MonkeyJunk, To Behold

Suzie Vinnick, Me + Mabel


Downhere Centricity, On The Altar of Love

Hawk Nelson, Crazy Love

Jon Bauer, Forevermore

Kellie Loder, Imperfections & Directions

Sky Terminal, Don't Close Your Eyes


Aboulaye Kone et Bolo Kan, Afo Gné

Aline Morales, Flores, Tambores e Amores

Azam Ali, From Night To The Edge Of Day

Kiran Ahluwalia, Aam Zameen : common ground

Socalled, Sleepover


Bob Rock

Brian Howes

David Foster

Noah Shebib


Chris Shreenan-Dyck

David Travers-Smith

George Seara

Jeff Wolpert

Michael Phillip Wojewoda


John JP Poliquin - The Stand - MOTHER MOTHER

Jon Busby - Rows of Houses - DAN MANGAN


Michael Maxxis - Good Day At The Races -HOLLERADO

Mike Roberts - Rumbleseat - THE SADIES


Arthur Oskan, A Little More Than Everything

Austra, Feel It Break

Azari & III, Azari & III

Junior Boys, It¹s All True

Tim Hecker, Ravendeath, 1972


Anvil, Juggernaut of Justice

Cauldron Earache, Burning Fortune

Devin Townsend Project, Deconstruction

F**k The Facts, Die Miserable

MIA will personally pay to keep story alive

Just as the world was starting to go 'actually, it was just a quick flip of the bird', there's been an attempt to try and keep the story going by the revelation that MIA might be personally liable:

According to TMZ however, MIA signed a contract with the NFL pledging to compensate the league for any fine imposed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

It is claimed that in ensuring MIA signed the agreement, the NFL hopes to dissuade future performers from similar acts in the future.
The NFL apparently signed a similar deal with NBC. The idea being that NBC pay the fine, claim it back from NFL, who then try to get the money back from MIA.

This does all rather presuppose that (a) any of these agreements actually took place and can be upheld and (b) there is any fine anyway.

Still, at least one good thing has come out of it all: Madonna apparently has the hump:
"Madonna wasn't impressed. She prides herself on professionalism. MIA did nothing similar in rehearsals," a source told the publication.

"Nobody knew she was going to pull this stunt. Madonna wanted to put on a world-beating performance. But everyone ended up talking about this girl's middle finger."
I think the medical term for this 'upstageditis'.

Gordon in the morning: Who really won the Superbowl?

Not Madonna, who managed to be upstaged by MIA's finger.

Not MIA, who clearly thought she was subverting something; a bit like a seaside donkey pooping on the prom forgetting he's still carrying a tourist from the ghost train to the gift shop.

No, Gordon reveals the real winner of Superbowl Sunday:

Rock hero Justin Hawkins from The Darkness was given a 90-second slot during half time in a Samsung advert for the new Galaxy phone.

He appeared on screen in a pink and white jumpsuit. As his guitar dropped from the sky he sang I Believe In A Thing Called Love. Downloads of the song have gone through the roof since.
The Darkness. Number one in the "American rock charts*". In 2012.

I don't think anyone would have bet on that happening this time last year.

* - I suspect this claim is intentionally vague.

Monday, February 06, 2012

First night: Madonna at the Superbowl

Last night, while America recharged its glasses and flushed its toilets, Madonna popped up to do something from the new album at the Superbowl.

How did it go down?

The LA Times' Randall Roberts was left breathless with the audacity:

Think about it. In less than 10 minutes, America watched marching warriors pulling a massive chariot; faux trumpeters announcing the arrival of Madonna; a man name Redfoo with a ridiculously large afro fronting a duo called LMFAO; a polyglot British-Sri Lankan rapper slyly flipping the bird at the camera; a cartoonish multiple-personality Nicki Minaj; and a charismatic Buddha of a singer with a golden voice in one of the best bandleader outfits ever created, to say nothing of his stunning black choir robe.
Audacious, but...
But despite its success AND extravagance, this whole halftime package most of all was little more than an ingeniously well planned — and shockingly transparent — advertisement for "MDNA," and not much more.
It's a little hard to get outraged at the idea of the Superbowl being used to flog stuff. Not least because if you do get outraged, you're then legally obliged to add "this outrage is brought to you by Bud Light - the official beer of mild outrage at Superbowl XLVI."

MTV's John Mitchell also saw MIA's finger:
The pom-poms Madonna promised surfaced when she lit into her new single, "Give Me All Your Luvin," along with a blonde Nicki Minaj and a, ahem, bird-flipping M.I.A.. That's right, the lone bit of controversy around the often provocative Madonna's Super Bowl show will most likely have to do with the Sri Lankan singer briefly flipping off the camera. The otherwise slickly produced show went off without a hitch.
There's a lot of that in the reviews - how slick, how well-oiled it was, how well-choreographed. So that finger has taken on massive significance as it turns out to be the only interesting thing that happened. The Press Association tries to ramp it up as NBC struggles to play it down:
The Super Bowl, shown on NBC this year, is routinely viewed by more than 100 million people, the biggest TV event of the year. "We apologise for the inappropriate gesture that aired during half-time," NBC spokesman Christopher McCloskey said. "It was a spontaneous gesture that our delay system caught late."
The screen briefly went blurred after MIA's gesture in what was a late attempt - by less than a second - to cut out the camera shot. The National Football League (NFL), which produces the show, had no immediate comment.
The fnal verdict, though? As Reuter's Tim Molloy at the end of the performance, the ball would not have moved one yard in either direction:
Twitter responses were fiercely split, but it's hard to imagine what she could have done differently to win over the non-fans. If you like Madonna, chances are you liked her wild, genre-twisting performance. If you don't, you probably didn't.

Gordon in the morning: Noel Gallagher's clarification

Here's some oddness: Gordon has got hold of both Noel's interview with the Mail On Sunday yesterday, and the blog entry where Noel tries to fix some of the damage.

Let's first see what Noel had to say:

There is a headline that implies that I am of the opinion that the years spent under the rule of that soon to be dead granny, Maggie Thatcher, was good for the soul. I've read the story and I must say it's very misleading; any great working class art, fashion, youth culture etc came to be IN SPITE of that woman and her warped right wing views and NOT BECAUSE of them. Also for the record, on the day that she dies we will party like it's 1989. Just so you know.
Funnily enough, a lot of people are already saying 'well, there you go, then, he was misquoted'.

Except, you'll note that Noel doesn't actually claim to be misquoted. Just disagrees with the way the story was presented by the Mail.

Certainly, while Gordon notes Noel's clarification, he still runs it under the headline:
Noel Gallagher: Kids had work ethic under Maggie
...but I'm no Margaret Thatcher fan
and fillets out the key quote:
Noel said: "We were brought up under Margaret Thatcher.

"There was a work ethic — if you were unemployed, the obsession was to find work.
He said: "Under Thatcher, who ruled us with an iron rod, great art was made. Amazing designers and musicians. Acid house was born. Very colourful and progressive."
Noel's blog entry doesn't even engage with the private school or work ethic stuff; in fact, the only thing he seeks to "clarify" is whether the creative boom was in spite of, or because of. Interestingly, he's actually withdrawing the only thing he got right - you can't have a creative reaction to a thing unless it's because of that thing.

Gallagher could have used his blog to engage with the political points of the piece; instead he just wishes an old woman with Alzheimer's dead. He's hoping he can segment his audience; segment his messages. It's no wonder he hates Twitter.

But why would you give an interview to the Mail On Sunday, and say those things, in the first place, Noel?

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Bookmarks: Internet stuff - Liz Phair

I've not written about Lana Del Ray much, mainly because I've struggled with the idea that there's anything much that needs to be said - the whole thing just feels a little too frictionless; all backstory and no plot. Noticeable without being noteworthy. And, apart from a moment when I had to scrape my eyebrows off the ceiling at Prospect magazine, of all places, both throwing in the "gangsta Nancy Sinatra" quote and getting it wrong (it's not a self-description), much of what has been written about her has suffered from the same difficulty finding any point on which to stand in order to move the earth. Yes, yes, manufactured - but both mechanically recovered chicken and the Boeing Dreamliner are manufactured, but they're not the same thing.

All of which is by way of lining up this: the first thing that I've read on Lana Del Ray that I've made it to the end of. I'm not sure I'd expect 'Video Games' to appear at the end of a line on Only Connect that started with 'Fuck And Run', but Liz Phair, writing in the Wall Street Journal, reckons it fits:

I have a lot to say about her, but no sound bites. You see, Lana Del Rey is exactly what I was hoping to inspire when I took on the male rock establishment almost twenty years ago with my debut record, “Exile In Guyville.”

Let me break it down for you: she’s writing herself into existence. She’s giving herself a part to play because, God knows, no one else will and she wants to matter in this life. As far as I can tell, it’s working. I went straight to iTunes and bought her new release “Born To Die” in toto (how often do I do that??) because it was more than a collection of songs or a performance, it was a phenomenon. Maybe all the more so because she’s not overwhelmingly talented. The minute I hear the whisperings of “how dare she,” I’m interested. I don’t have to like it, it doesn’t have to be worthy.

Noel Gallagher: People always drift to the right as they become richer. Sorry, older.

Noel Gallagher pops up in the Mail On Sunday today, giving an interview that will probably excite Mail On Sunday readers:

'It was all better under Thatcher': Noel Gallagher on Britain's glory days, turning his back on drugs and the end of Oasis
Mail readers - who probably believe that Gallagher is some sort of role model to young people - will dance with delight; they might even see this as some sort of rock capitulation. Instead, it's a very rich man sounding like a very rich man.

There was a slim hope that he was just making a misguided claim that rotten government is good for culture, and there is a bit of that:
‘Under Thatcher, who ruled us with an iron rod,’ he says, ‘great art was made. Amazing designers and musicians. Acid house was born. Very colourful and progressive.’
I can't quite remember which member of the Tory cabinet it was who represented the birthplace of acid house - was it David Waddington or Douglas Hurd who had the Chicago seat?

Now, it's inarguable that great art was made during the Thatcher era, but to suggest that that makes the Thatcher era great is just stupid. Everyone can agree that For The Good Of The Cause is a damn-near perfect short story, but it doesn't really make the Stalin era look good from a distance.

And Gallagher isn't just going for the 'it might have been shit, but Ghost Town was a tune' nostalgia. Oh, no; he's going for full-on blue rinse:
'We were brought up under Thatcher,’ Noel Gallagher is saying.
‘There was a work ethic – if you were unemployed, the obsession was to find work.'
No, I've double-checked; this hasn't fallen into the page due to a mix-up with Jeremy Clarkson's copy.

Where do you start? Do you start with the obvious fact that the "work ethic" was a employer/ruling class construct that attempted to use religious imagery in order to impose a rigid pattern on the workforce?

Or that while people want to work, any inherent desire to find labour tends to get crushed out of you when the places your family have relied on for work for generations are closed down as the political class undermines the nation's manufacturing base?

And if there was "the obsession to find work" why was there all the compulsion to take any job that was introduced under Thatcher?

Indeed, the idea that 'back in my day, people would go out and hunt down work' sounds almost exactly like Tebbit's 'on his bike' speech, which supposedly was aimed at the working class during the Thatcher era for not doing that.

But remind us, Noel, what were you doing when you were unemployed in Manchester during the Thatcher years?
"I used to play arcade games when I was on the dole in Manchester," Gallagher continued. "Playing Defender."
Presumably he thought that if you got to level 4 of Asteroids there was a guaranteed job in it?

And on his own blog, Noel paints a picture of his life in 1980s Manchester that doesn't quite sound like a man obsessed with finding work:
Woke up yesterday with a naughty hangover. Felt like a dead shit. It was still raining. What the fuck? Didn't do much. Stared out the window watching the rain. Reminded me of being on the dole back home in Manchester in the '80s.
Well, yes, apart from that obsession with finding work, eh, Noel?

Perhaps Noel should read what this chap has to say, for a slightly-less rose-tinted view of what Thatcher really meant for the working class:
"I remember the 70s constantly being winter in Manchester and the Irish community in Manchester closing ranks because of the IRA bombings in Birmingham and Manchester, and you know the bin-workers' strike, all wrapped up in it... They were violent times. Violence at home and violence at football matches."
One of his strongest memories is collecting the dole every week with his dad and seeing his friends there, too. "That was the Maggie Thatcher age - everyone was there with their dad."
That was Noel Gallagher talking to the Guardian in 2008.

To be fair, most of Noel's blether is fuelled by a clear total ignorance of what the world is like beyond his cocktail circuit. He defends sending his kids to private school by pointing to the local education system's problems:
There were riot police outside our local school the other morning. Turns out there’d been a stabbing. Rival gangs. We shouldn’t need riot police at schools. This is Maida Vale. This isn’t Handsworth or Tottenham, do you know what I mean?
Noel, sweetheart, have you heard of Philip Lawrence? Do you know where his school, the school he was stabbed outside, was? You moved to the site of one of the most horrible school stabbing incidents in recent British history, and are surprised that there is violence in local schools?

Gallagher's other defence for taking his children out the state system is also a bit alarming:
‘I don’t want them coming home speaking like Ali G.'
I'm not sure Noel is clever enough to come up with a coded way of saying 'I don't want my kids to come home speaking like they're black children', which means we could be generous and assume that he's really, really worried about correct grammar and received pronunciation. That would be it, right?

If one good thing can come out of this, perhaps it will be that the NME will finally stop pretending that Gallagher is any more relevant or interesting than Jagger, Collins or Lydon. Or any different to them.

This week just gone

Top ten - seriously - snow-related stories of all time:

1. One of Snow Patrol gets arrested
2. Gary Lighbody announces an extra band
3. A snow day edition of What The Pop Papers Say - presumably written on a day when it had snowed.
4. Gennaro Castaldo predicts Snow Patrol's first number one with Chasing Cars (It got to six.)
5. Young Jeezy's snowman tshirt creates drug panic
6. On a snowy day, Gordon Smart is reduced to running old snaps of Simon Cowell
7. Mariah Carey claims she frolics in the snow in a bikini
8. Former Snow Patroller warns early reviews of his band will bang on about Snow Patrol (I'm not sure there were any reviews at all.)
9. Geldof insists the 2004 retread of Band Aid "will be remembered"
10. Test Icicles have a half-arsed split

These were this week's interesting releases:

Darren Hayman - January Songs

Download January Songs

Django Django - Django Django

Download Django Django

FREE DOWNLOAD: Default (Tom Furse Remix)

Errors - Have Some Faith In Magic

Download Have Some Faith In Magic

Alex Chilton - Free Again: The 1970s Sessions

Download Free Again

2 Bears - Be Strong

Download Be Strong