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.