Saturday, September 15, 2012

The Stooges think they know what we want

Why are The Stooges making a new album?

Experts aren't certain, but the best bet is that Iggy Pop is finding time sitting heavy on his hands since they replaced him with animated dogs in the insurance adverts. It's possible the album won't see the light of day if Pop gets round to clearing out the crawl space before winter.

NME says "defaced..."

You'll have seen on the Internet those Chris Brown albums where someone has stuck "warning: this man beats women" labels on them.

So has the NME:

Shoppers at HMV stores in London have reported that copies of Chris Brown's new album, 'Fortune', have been defaced with advisory labels warning people not to buy the LP because he "beats women".
Defaced, NME? Improved, surely?

Noel Gallagher to starving kiddies: You're on your own

Okay, maybe Noel didn't exactly say that; he was just reaching for a firm way of saying "no" when asked about Oasis reforming:

Then asked if he would consider reforming Oasis, he said: "Not even if all the starving children in the world depended on it.
To be honest, I've never really thought of Noel as caring overmuch for the starving kids of the world so this is hardly definitive. It's not like he said "not if it meant relegation for Man United" or something important to him.

Besides, he reckons he has nothing to prove:
I know it's the done thing these days and what people do, but it's not what I do. I know bands reform and 'They're bigger than they ever were' and 'They're more successful than they ever were', but Oasis were one of the biggest bands in the world.
Oh, Noel, we know the reforming of bands has little to do with the size of the band, and everything to do with the size of the member's overdrafts.

But it's true, Oasis were one of the biggest bands in the world, assuming you ignore America and bands that were able to play venues bigger than the back room in a Denny's in America.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Listen with No Rock: Dead Can Dance

Available here, and mostly everywhere: Opium, the forthcoming single from Dead Can Dance:

Gordon in the morning: Misjudgement

This morning Gordon carries an interview with Robbie Williams designed to promote Williams' new range of overpriced trousers. Except, somehow, it comes out like this:

How would anyone involved think it appropriate to build a 'buy some clothes' piece around somebody else's tragedy? I don't doubt the sincerity of the sentiments, but it feels incredibly tacky when written down with a final paragraph about Williams' new single.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Gordon in the morning: Rolling closing credits in the deep

Gordon pulls together a bunch of creepy-stalkery details on Adele's movements that he thinks links her to the next Bond movie:

She first hinted that she’d been offered the 007 spot in a chat with Jonathan Ross last year.

Soon after that Adele started preliminary sessions with producer Paul Epworth.

Her visit to the historic Abbey Road facilities suggests she’s been recording with Thomas Newman, the man director Sam Mendes has hired to take charge of the Bond music.
"Also, I found a dog-eared copy of the novelisation of Moonraker lying on her bedside cabinet, and I collected some hair from her hairbrush which I used to make a locket which... uh... no, forget the hair bit."

But hang on a moment, is Smart really piecing this together?
BOND bosses are being more secretive than MI6 over who will sing over the closing credits of the latest 007 flick Skyfall.
The appearance of the word "closing" there is curious - wouldn't the normal assumption be that you'd be hiding in the bins watching Adele record the opening theme? Unless, of course, you weren't really using deductive skills and were just trying to disguise some sort of leak.

Mercury rising

The big news about this year's Mercury Music Prize is that the long tradition of a gentle-fluff from Jools Holland as the winner is announced has come to an end; from now on, Lauren Laverne will be at the podium trying to explain to the young winner what this "cheque" thing she's just given them is. Or maybe it'll be all modern now, and they'll contactless technology to transfer the prize money.

There's a knock-on, of course, as now Lauren is going to be trying to keep the room interested after the third bottle of wine, the BBC are going to need a new host for the TV coverage. I understand Jools Holland's become free on that night.

Anyway, there's no point in having a presenter without a competition. Here's the shortlist and odds:

Richard Hawley: 'Standing At The Sky's Edge' – 4/1
Plan B: ‘Ill Manors’ – 4/1
Alt-J (∆): 'An Awesome Wave' – Odds 5/1
Django Django: 'Django Django' – 5/1
The Maccabees: 'Given To The Wild' – 7/1
Jessie Ware: 'Devotion' – 7/1
Ben Howard – ‘Every Kingdom’ 8/1
Michael Kiwanuka: 'Home Again' – 8/1
Lianne La Havas – ‘Is Your Love Big Enough’ – 8/1
Field Music: ‘Plum’ – 10/1
Roller Trio – ‘Roller Trio’ – 10/1
Sam Lee – ‘Ground Of Its Own’ – 10/1
The odds - from William Hill - suggest that whoever did them didn't really have much of an idea what they were doing. "The jazzy one probably won't win, will it? But what if it does? I'll give that the same odds as the folky one. Shit, but what if this year is the one they give it to the token album to pretend it's not about having a token album. I know, I'll just group everything round six-ish to one and hope.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


Alan McGee is, reckons Louder Than War, thinking of bringing back Creation:

Rumours have increased in the last hour though as Gun Club Cemetery (who we featured as a New Band of the Day yesterday, interviewing Alex Lowe) tweeting they have signed to Creation.

It’s rumour at the moment with the only signs the legendary label, once home to Oasis, Super Furry Animals and others, is back in business coming from the band and their manager.
A revival of Creation? Wasn't that what we were all praying for? Admittedly, we were praying for it at the time it was still going and mostly just churning out Oasis records and hanging out with Tony Blair, not recently.

There is a pressing problem, though: if you look at the back of any Creation re-release, it states clearly that Creation is wholly-owned by Sony.

Admittedly, they don't really care for it overmuch - never mind that the Creation Soup albums are out of print, Amazon have lazily lobbed all the Ride re-releases into the store under the impression that each record is called, erm, The Catalogue:

But own it they do - McGee got, apparently, £30million for the bit Sony didn't own when things were wound up, and although the soundtrack to Creation biopic Upside Down was supposedly released on a revival of Creation last year, it was really just Sony being adorable and pretending, like when Kelloggs put a 1950s version of Snap, Crackle and Pop on the cereal packet to frighten kids.

Is McGee going to, then, buy back Creation? At the time Sony bought it it was apparently worth £60million - clearly the value would have sunk since then, and he could buy it back without the catalogue, but even so that seems like a lot of investment just to allow Gun Club Cemetery to put out a record with a word that meant something to their fathers' generation in the middle.

I imagine McGee could turn up at Sony's offices and resurrect the label from within its failing empire. But 'wholly owned subsidiary of an electronics manufacturer' wouldn't really be the Creation myth that anyone would expect to be played into, would it?

McGee could follow both Branson and Tony Wilson and, with his baby off working for the conglomerates, he could create a Creation form of V2 or Factory Too. This sort of thing always ends in disappointment, though.

Like the time Harry Corrbett had sold Sooty to his son, decided he didn't like retirement and started doing the odd show. Matthew sued his own dad's ass.

Because Matthew knew, once you've flogged your dream to the highest bidder, it's been flogged.

So there's ways Creation could come back. But the real question would have to be: why would you bother?

On the other hand: if he revived Elevation, that would be audacious.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Counting Spots

Grizzly Bear were on the Twitter at the weekend, more-in-sorrow-than-angering at Spotify. The band's problem with Spotify isn't the usual kvetch of the tiny portion of a cent generated by each listen, but rather that nobody knows how well you're doing there:

Darren Hemmings over at Music Ally confirms that the locked-up Spotify data helps nobody:
I can’t speak for the USA, but certainly here in the UK its long been an open secret that Radio 1 – the kingmaker of stations as regards most campaigns aspiring to big sales – looked at YouTube plays almost exclusively as an indicator of buzz. In recent times, that has changed slightly and the open secret now is that R1 looks at Next Big Sound’s publicly available data to measure how a band is faring in terms of plays, fan growth etc. That’s deeply flawed (for too many reasons to go into now), but at least better than just looking at YouTube.
Spotify does have this data, and for people like myself it is certainly an important metric for my clients. The data is also now fed to the OCC, where a streaming chart is finally available to reflect mass trends. However at those early stages where you have a new single and you want to prove to radio (or promoters) that it is getting a load of plays, they do not feature.
It's a fair argument that if part of the reason to offset disappointment at the 'low' royalty rate is that you're getting exposure, you should at least be able to have an idea of what that's worth.

I say they didn't complain about the money. Of course they did:

... but:

The closing closing ceremony: make it stop

So, that's London 2012, then, ending a little earlier than expected to make room for a Coldplay concert.

The first part was well-executed, and managed to remain coherent. Speaking personally, it didn't do much for me.fter a two-week party, why did we get dumped in a post-apocalypse? They were even scorching the ground at one point, which is pretty grisly image to throw into the closing party for an event that's brought the world together. Pity Seb Coe didn't exercise the wisdom of Arsites on that particular idea.

So, in my mind, fireplay and juggling is right up there with clowns and balloon animals, but you couldn't argue that it wasn't epic; couldn't deny they filled the space.

But Coldplay? Oh. How many songs in was it before you realised that they weren't going to go away?

Even Emeli Sande - overworked at the Olympics closing - didn't stink the place up quite like Coldplay did. You know there's something gone wrong when the man at the heart of an event floating on a sea of goodwill unseen in London since VE night is still having to beg the audience to "make some noise".

"At least it's not Jessie J doing two songs" pinged Twitter, bravely, but that's the problem. Nobody would mind Coldplay turning up to do a couple of songs*, and then Jessie J doing a couple of songs, and then someone else. But an entire Coldplay gig?

Sure, logistically there's an obvious advantage in having one band run across the whole event. But for the same reason if you're organising a reception for dozens of people, you want to make sure you've got a choice of flavours. Keep everyone happy. And offer a bit of texture for the evening. Motorhead, maybe. Julie Fowlis. You could make your own list.

Because what happened was the focus on the Paralympics and the Paralympians started to ebb away as the event felt more and more like an event about Coldplay. Even the appearance of Rihanna and Jay-Z smacked of 'look at Chris Martin's famous friends' rather than a dash of variety.

The past fortnight didn't feel like it should have ended with an extended promo for just one band. And that would have been true whatever band it was.

*- well, we'd have bitched throughout the two songs, but you know what I mean.

Gordon in the morning: Jerk

This, apparently, is a thing:

LUDACRIS has a taste for London restaurant Jerk City since he’s been over in the UK working on The Fast And The Furious 6.

Rather than head for posh grub in the capital the rapper has been regularly visiting the Caribbean eaterie in Soho – and has been trying to persuade his movie castmates to go with him.

It definitely beats a Big Mac.
Apart from the warning about a sixth movie in the Fast And The Furious franchise, why does this warrant a mention? It's not even like Smart has a picture of Ludacris wiping his fingers on a napkin. And what does "regularly" mean? Does he go every day? Has he been twice?

Also: "eaterie"? Is the ghost of PG Wodehouse sub-editing The Sun at the moment? (Probably not, as Plum would have spelled it correctly - one eatery, many eateries.)

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Bookmarks: Brother Beyond

Out On Blue Six suggests that "basically, Brother Beyond were Stock Aitken And Waterman's Charlatans."

Bookmarks: The Raveonettes

The Raveonettes have had the bejesus interviewed out of them on NPR:

Foo: "I think people are under the impression that we are a very retro, vintage band — that we sort of stick to those decades of the '50s or '60s. But we've always been a band that really embraced technology. We've always had a lot of samples, and we don't stay true to [dated methods] of production as such, you know, to only play with vintage instruments. I think our music has always been combining all the decades, really."

This week just gone

Last Sunday, we spent 24 hours celebrating the work and life of Hal David. Some tracks were more popular than others. Here's the top ten:

1. We Have All The Time In The World covered by My Bloody Valentine
2. Johnny Get Angry covered by KD Lang
3. Alfie covered by Everything But The Girl
4. Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head covered by the Manic Street Preachers
5. 24 Hours From Tulsa covered by Gene Pitney
6. I'll Never Fall In Love Again covered by Emmylou Harris
7. The Look Of Love covered by The Zombies
8. Say A Little Prayer covered by Bomb The Bass
9. Walk On By covered by The Stranglers
10. Close To You covered by The Muppets

These were the alluring new releases:

Malka Spigel - Every Day Is Like The First

Download Every Day Is Like The First

Cat Power - Sun

Download Sun

The Vaccines - Come Of Age

Download Come Of Age

Two Gallants - The Bloom And The Blight

Download The Bloom And The Blight

Stars - North

Deerhoof - Break-up Song

Download Break-Up Song

The Orb & "Lee" "Scratch" "Perry" - The Orbserver In The Star House

Download The Orbserver...

Various - Late Night Tales: Metronomy

Download Late Night Tales