Saturday, March 02, 2013

Some men have short dicks. Get over it.

There's currently proposals in Finland to strengthen rape laws, which has upset men like this who feel that there's something ridiculous about the idea that simply not having consented to sex means you're being raped.

The blog is depressing, as are the comments beneath. But there is something extraordinary contained within. Suddenly, in between cock-wearers raging at how unfair the idea of asking the person you're fucking if it's okay, and suggesting that perhaps "violence" would somehow be the appropriate response, out of nowhere anonymous pipes up:

An example of the kind of idiocy we are surrounded with:

"This single, which involves a woman mocking the size of a man's penis, was also released in a toned down version replacing the word "dick" with "short" (the song was also released under the censored title "Short Short Man").[1] Co-writer Manfred Mohr told the Los Angeles Times that the point of the song was to attract attention. "We figured there were all these songs by men bashing women and treating women like sex objects. So we decided a song that turned the tables on men might attract some attention."[2] According to the vocalist Sandra Gillette, the point of the song is to "strike back at all the women-bashing songs in pop, especially in rap." [2]"

From subchapter "Content":
Yes, that's someone who not only is still angry about a song that came out twenty years ago, but also seems to have completely missed the point that it was designed to get the rise out of people like him. Even while posting a piece from Wikipedia that explains that that was the point.

Maybe, though, anonymous has a point. How can men thrive when, once every couple of decades, an attempt is made to reflect back the inherent sexism of a large part of Western culture? That's just going to make those very, very tiny dinkies shrink ever further.

Won't someone think of the child-men?

Gordon in the morning: Star of the Brits 2013 says Brits was boring

This morning, Robbie Williams is expanding on how dull the Brits were:

He said: “It’s a lot of back-slapping."
Yes, Robbie. An industry-created awards ceremony handing out awards to people selected by the industry, mainly designed to increase sales would tend to consist of back-slapping. That's surely not news to you, is it? The Brits have been running like this since 1977.

Do you have a counterplan, Mr Williams?
I think people should be entertained.
Actually, for the Brits that does sound like a pretty out-there idea.

It's not clear if Williams has yet thought through the implications of his 'there's no Santa' moment - if he has yet to realise the constant booking and feting of Take That & himself is a major symptom of the problem.
“I was backstage and it was dead — it might as well have been a dentists’ convention."
Actually, a dentists' convention might have been a bit more interesting, as it wouldn't have been the same bloody dentists who turn up to every possible event of this sort. Watching root canal work might be preferable to watching Emeli Sande traipse through the album again.

Williams then goes on to list the same list of things that everyone lists when they say how great the Brits were:
I’m from 1996 and 1997 where there was CHUMBAWAMBA throwing a bucket of water in JOHN PRESCOTT’s face...
That was a thing that wasn't really "entertaining" for the audience as it wasn't shown as part of the ceremony.
or JARVIS COCKER getting up on stage and then being thrown off when MICHAEL JACKSON was on
Again, that didn't entertain people directly, as by the time the awards show was made to air, Jarvis' stage invasion had been edited out.
Wasn't that a bloke who was living in the 1960s objecting to getting a prize from a man famous in the 1980s? On a par with, say, a dental surgeon refusing to accept a prize handed out by a hygienist.
or me offering LIAM GALLAGHER out
Nobody other than you even remembers that happening, Robbie.

The trouble with this is that the incidents he mentions - mostly - happened during the height of the control-freakery period, when they didn't even show the programme live lest something happen. You can't force 'things' to occur, and if you try... well, you'll end up with James Corden presiding over a dental convention.

Friday, March 01, 2013

Scott Weiland currently at denial stage

Scott Weiland - recently fired again from The Stone Temple Pilots - is finding it as hard to believe he's been canned as the rest of us find it hard to believe the Stone Temple Pilots are still going:

"I learned of my supposed 'termination' from Stone Temple Pilots this morning by reading about it in the press," the band's on-again, off-again lead singer said in a statement obtained by E! News.

"Not sure how I can be 'terminated' from a band that I founded, fronted and co-wrote many of its biggest hits, but that's something for the lawyers to figure out. In the meantime, I'm looking forward to seeing all of my fans on my solo tour which starts this Friday."
Sacked? Who's been sacked?
"No one has ever fired anybody in STP," the 45-year-old rocker continued. "We're like a family. It's also a partnership. I started the band. We've always kept things going. We've taken time off before. They've done their own projects and I fully support that. No one has been fired and I haven't quit. That's all hearsay."
Heh, you just don't understand what the guys are like. They're always with the jokes - 'you're fired, you're sacked, we pissed in that before you came in, here's a restraining order...'

This just in: He's now at the stage where he believes it's a cunning plan:
Weiland said, "STP is not broken up. It's a whole thing to try to boost ticket sales."
Has Scott paused to think through why pretending to break up and dump Weiland would make people more likely to buy tickets?

Gordon in the morning: Hat fight

Poor Gordon tries this morning to scrape some sort of story out of the NME Awards, and is reduced to trying to plump up someone sniggering at a hat:

LIAM GALLAGHER has picked a few unwise scraps over the years – one in Germany left him without any front teeth.

And after the NME gongs at London’s Troxy on Wednesday night he bit off more than he could chew yet again with IDRIS ELBA.
An onlooker said: “Liam was in full rock’n’roll swagger mode.

“He bowled up to the party after midnight and made his presence felt pretty quickly.
What did he do?
“Then he had a few words with Idris, poking fun at his bobble hat among other things. Idris looked like he was going to flatten him — they were on completely different wavelengths.
Or perhaps he just thought Gallagher was a bit of a knob. You're trying to have a night out, and all of a sudden the 1990s turn up, drunk and shouting.

Still... here's a flashpoint. Tell us, onlooker, what happened next?
They were toe-to-toe at one point.
Um... yeah. It's a noisy club. If you're going to have a go at someone's hat, you'd have to be close enough for them to hear you.
Neither of them backed down.
No quarter given, none sought. It's all kikcing off. Right?
Idris was in a good mood, so left it, which was probably for the best. Liam left soon after.
So... this story is 'Liam made a snarky comment about a hat'.

Hardly Keith Moon, is it?

Radio 2/10

Anger over at Radio 2, where plans by management to score all DJs out of ten has sparked a revolt:

The proposal proved short-lived – DJs were said to have treated it with disdain, with one station insider describing it as "astonishing it was suggested at all".

"It's reducing the whole thing to numbers," said another BBC source. "The idea that you can measure the success of a programme by a series of integers, it feels as if you are being treated like a child.

"The things that really matter aren't measurable. A presenter could hit all their numbers and still have a dull programme. Or they could miss all the targets but be making great radio."
Good god, if you start to rate DJs out of ten, where would that craziness lead? You might start to try and decide what the best record in the nation is by comparing the number of sales, drawing up some sort of chart. It'd never work.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Gordon in the morning: Spice Girls split (again) (if they're actually getting back together)

This morning, Gordon Smart reports that Victoria Beckham has left The Spice Girls.

What? You didn't realise the band was a going concern at the moment?

No, no, you misunderstand. She's quit the band next year.

What? You didn't realise the Spice Girls were playing dates next year?

Gordon explains:

An Aussie radio host claimed the band plan to tour Down Under in 2014 – and went on to say that a “very reliable source” had promised Victoria would be very much part of the gigs.

But a spokesman for the fashion designer yesterday denied Posh would be involved in a possible tour.
So that's someone denying the possibility that Beckham would be part of a tour that we only have an "Australian radio host's" word is happening.

(Not even a name for the radio presenter, Gord? Was he talking off-the-record on-the-air?)

NME Awards 2013: A Rolling Stones awards

Two prizes for the Rolling Stones, including the claim that The Rolling Stones were the best live band in action last year. It's long been suggested that there's little difference between the NME and the Brit Awards; this year, the NME has actually gone further and become more backward looking and conservative than the official industry-endorsed prize giving.

Even when the prizes are going to acts formed this side of the millennium, it feels like a drag. Biffy Clyro might look like the best band in the world if you're finding a bunch of tax exiles a source of onstage thrills; Amy Lee and Matt Bellamy might have taken the Prom King and Queen prizes of "hottest" at any point in the last ten years.

Florence And The Machine is the best solo artist, which might be true if your electorate consists entirely of people who choose soundtracks for mobile phone company adverts.

It's not often you look at One Direction getting a dis and find yourself thinking 'actually, the high ground from which you're throwing rocks at Harry Styles isn't especially high, people'.

The winners in full:

Best British Band
Winner: Biffy Clyro

Best International Band
Winner: The Killers

Best Solo Artist
Winner: Florence + The Machine

Best New Band
Winner: Palma Violets

Best Live Band
Winner: Rolling Stones

Best Album
Winner: The Maccabees – 'Given To The Wild'

Best Track
Winner: Foals – 'Inhaler'

Dancefloor Anthem
Winner: Calvin Harris feat. Florence – 'Sweet Nothing'

Best Video
Winner: Arctic Monkeys – 'R U Mine'

Best TVShow
Winner: 'Fresh Meat'

Best Festival
Winner: Reading & Leeds

Best Music Film
Winner: 'Crossfire Hurricane' – Rolling Stones

Best Reissue
Winner: Blur – '21'

Best Twitter
Winner: Alana Haim, Haim (@babyhaim)

Best Book
Winner: Mike Skinner, The Story Of The Streets

Music Moment Of The Year
Winner: Olympics opening ceremony

Hero Of The Year
Winner: Barack Obama

Villain Of The Year
Winner: Harry Styles

Best Small Festival
Winner: Festival No.6

Worst Band
Winner: One Direction

Best Fan Community
Winner: Muse

Best Film
Winner: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Hottest Man
Matt Bellamy

Hottest Woman
Amy Lee

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Morrissey: Don't ask, don't tell, no need

Morrissey might be too ill to play gigs, but he's not so unwell that it's stopped him saying preposterous things.

It turns out he believes that straight people cause wars:

"War, I thought, was the most negative aspect of male heterosexuality,” he said. “If more men were homosexual, there would be no wars, because homosexual men would never kill other men, whereas heterosexual men love killing other men.”
This might come as something of a newsflash to, amongst others, Ken Halliwell, who would be surprised to discover he was straight all along.

Still, it's not like Morrissey's thought his thoughts through, is it? Why would there have been such a struggle to repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell if there were no gay soldiers?

Doubtless Moz believes himself to be essaying a positive stereotype, but it's just that - a stereotype. It would be lovely to think that gay people were predestined to be all about the love and the hugs, but as Mozzer should know full well that some gay men can be just as big thugs as some straight men can be.

[In place of a hat-tip for the link, a mention that Michael Moran is currently enduring a Twitter silence for Comic Relief. You could give him some money, too.]

Brits 2013: On everyone's lips

They came up with a great wheeze at the Brits - this year, their website has hosted a Twitter index, designed to show how the expensive awards ceremony has added buzz to the artists involved.

Unfortunately, it really just shows the opposite.

Here's the tracker for the best band nominees:

The green line is One Direction. The yellow one, which you can see gets a tiny little pulse, is Muse. The others... well, the others are there somewhere.

Perhaps that's a little unfair - there are always a gazillion tweets about One Direction, so they've stretched the scale of the graph and crushed any other group's fluctuations. Let's take a different category, with lower peaks. Here's the breakthrough category:

Blue is Ben Howard, purple is Rita Ora. So, yes, Ben Howard did get a massive boost during the event - mostly hostile 'who the hell is this?' and 'some sort of wet dishtowel has dropped over my television' tweets - and then vanishes again.

One last one: album of the year (these are tweets about the artists, not the albums themselves):

Sande's in blue; yellow is Mumford & Sons; green is Paloma Faith and purple is Plan B.

If the idea was to demonstrate to BPI members that the awards generates a short, sharp spike in interest, but only for a couple of artists, the graphs do their job. Somehow don't think that was the plan, though.

Gordon in the morning: Liam! He'll tell us what to do!

There's a photo from the Beady Eye album sessions on Gordon's pages this morning:

LIAM GALLAGHER’s dour face could well be the result of watching this year’s boring Brits.
Yeah, boring Brits. I blame the sponsors, like, ooh... what was the newspaper column that was involved again?

Anyway, Gordon finds Liam laid back and able to take criticism:
But judging from this snap, the singer seems to be taking whatever is bothering him in his stride.

If by "in his stride" you mean "ignoring the nosie and fuss around him and wondering what pudding will be this evening", I guess you could be right.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Justin Timberlake wants to go epic

Timberlake wants to keep going, it turns out:

Timberlake, who recently revealed the eight-minute long single 'Mirrors', told Capital FM that his attitude towards long songs is similar to that of some of the biggest bands in the world. "When we were making the record I said, 'If Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin can do 10-minute songs and Queen can do 10-minute songs then why can't we?' We'll figure out the radio edits later."
Without wanting to hurry Justin to a conclusion - that would be the job of the producer who let him down - isn't the difference that Floyd and Zep were making album tracks for an audience that would be quite happy to sit and listen for just as long as it took for the track to finish, or until they needed to eat all the cookies; whereas Justin is making songs for an audience and an era who view a runtime of anything over four minutes as "this track will last for most of the rest of your life".

Sort out the radio edits later? Justin, your role is to deliver the radio edit, and hope it can be edited down to soundtrack a perfume advert later.

Music industry orders a very small cake and a tiny glass of sherry to celebrate

It feels like I've been doing this blog for ages - mainly because I have - and not once in all the time I've been writing has the music industry ever experienced a growth in sales.

It hasn't, in fact, since 1999.

2012, then, was a transformative year.

Sure, it was only a 0.3% growth in sales, but when your business has shrunk every year this century, that's what good news looks like.

Hear the sound of Distant Drums

Simon Worrall, who drummed with the Paris Angels, died suddenly and cruelly in 2011.

In his memory, some of his friends have come together to create a tribute album, with the hopes of raising a bunch of cash to help Clint and Hector Boon's Hector's Care Chair Fund, a Manchester hospital kid's charity. The aim is to provide comfortable chairs for mothers of premature babies to be able to spend time for "kangaroo care" with their children.

There's all sorts of interesting people involved with the album, including Mani, Mark Burgess, the Thrush Puppies, Dubsex, Martin Stephenson... come on, surely the name "Thrush Puppies" is enough to make you want this, right?

If you need further convincing, here's a sample:

Here's a bit from the Bandcamp page for the project:

BIG SI, as everyone knew him, was the friendly drummer in Paris Angels, who passed away in October 2011. Si was big in stature ~ at 6'4" ~ and big in personality. To give you a handle on him, he was a mixture between Keith Moon and Tommy Cooper ~ a merry prankster that always had a one-liner ready for everyone and all situations. He was never punctual and sometimes infuriating, but you could never stay mad with him because he had a heart of gold and a rapier-like wit to match.
The album is out on March 4th. But you could give money now, if you wanted.

All killer, no filler. Okay, some filler

Down in the comments on the Donna Allen album being a little padded, Chris Brown asks:

Did you ever see that best of Indeep where half the tracks are sound effects?
I hadn't, but this is what the internet is for.

Not only did Indeep pad out The Collection with about half-a-dozen sound effects, but someone at Amazon rather hopefully expects you might want to buy them as individual mp3 files at 69 pence a pop.

The highlight would be twelve seconds called "toilet flushing", which seems to consist mostly of silence.

The good news is the toilet went solo shortly after recording its part for this album, and will be out supporting Lawson on their US dates later this year.

Gordon in the morning: And the Oscar for furthest missing of the point goes to...

Yes, the idea of the We Saw Your Boobs song was to parody the idea of what "Seth McFarlane hosts the Oscars" would be like. Although you can't help noticing that even by doing the song in the massive quote marks of 'beamed back as a warning from history' doesn't disguise a massive attempt to have the cake of snickering about breasts while eating it from an ironic distance.

The selection of the breasts was worse - even if the cloak of metahumour had been drawn more successfully round McFarlane's shoulders, when the giggling is about, say, Hilary Swank acting out a real rape that happened to a real person, or Scarlett Johansson having her phone hacked and her privacy violated (a crime which resulted in someone getting a ten year sentence), you're in the middle of an act which should probably never have got as far as being pitched at a planning meeting.

But there's a further circle of degradation to ride round. This morning, Gordon Smart - I presume still chuckling "heh... boobs" - has slapped together a gallery of all the boobs mentioned in the song. (Except - oddly - Scarlett's. It's almost as if phone hacking isn't seen as a fit topic to joke about at News International.)

McFarlane, at least, can claim he was trying to be funny. What exactly is Gordon trying to do?

Monday, February 25, 2013

Soulobit: Otis 'Damon' Harris

Otis 'Damon' Harris, who was with the Temptations for four years in the early 70s, has died.

Surprisingly, before Harris had joined the band, he'd been working as a member of a Temptations tribute act, The Young Tempts. Indeed, he was so young that the band were unsure about taking him on - he was born nearly a decade after his co-workers. They did give him a shot, though - and it was at this point he adopted Damon as a name, as there was already an Otis in the group.

He lasted four years, before being fired for making awkward public statements. (In 1975. Twitter didn't invent that.)

In those four years, though, he left a mark - including taking the lead on this sumptuous track:

After he left, he got back with The Young Tempts, renaming themselves Impact. The name was slightly inappropriate, as - after failing to make much of one - Impact split in 1977. Harris continued as a solo artist for a short period before retiring from music and heading back to college.

He did come out of retirement during the 1990s, touring in various forms of Temptations legacy groups.

After being diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2000, Harris set up an initially successful cancer foundation; however the Damon Harris Cancer Foundation appears to have fallen by the wayside. It had its IRS exempt status removed after failing to submit accounts three years running.

However, Harris didn't let up on the campaigning, working hard to raise awareness of prostate cancer. StandUp2Cancer spoke to him about the work:

He was determined to get out the word, especially to African-American men, that the stigma associated with prostate cancer testing and the potential side effects of treatment were not justified. That, yes, having prostate cancer “isn’t the easiest thing in the world,” but it’s a much better option than, say, dying.

Harris’ biggest mission is to take prostate cancer out of the dark, and not just in support groups. He wants to make it as much of an open topic among men of all ages – not just elderly men – as breast cancer is with women. “Look,” he told me, “This is not a matter for a particular age or demographic. It’s a matter for people. Period.”
Otis "Damon" Harris died on Fenruary 18th in Baltimore. He was 62.

And then they realised they were no longer little Fall Out Boys. They were little Fall Out Men.

Pete Wentz announces the succesful launch of the Fall Out Boy: All Growed Up franchise:

He said: ''When we got on stage in Chicago, it was crazy. It was a rush, because we honestly didn't think people would care, and that's the truth. But it felt like we didn't miss a beat.

''It's so early in the process and things are happening so much faster than we thought; the first time you do things, there's no instruction book.

''It's not like 'Oh, OK, you shouldn't act like an idiot.' We're all more appreciative and we've all grown up a bit. It's cool to do Fall Out Boy as Fall Out Men.''
They honestly didn't think people would care, although they'd booked dates in three continents just in case.

Gordon in the morning: Fizzy

This morning, Gordon Smart seems to be running a nothing story about Beyonce simply as an excuse to crowbar in her Pepsi advert:

THIS could be good news for BEYONCE fans.
Thousands were left disappointed at the weekend after tickets to her UK tour sold out in just 12 minutes.

But you can bet that isn’t the last of it and she’ll play another big gig this summer.

And no doubt she will be bringing loads of promotional Pepsi stuff with her, like this pop art-style ad, below right.
I suppose you could, at a stretch, suggest the ticket sales story was worth a report, but the Sun had already run one, and this happened on Saturday, so if it was news, surely it should have appeared in The News Of The World Whoops No It's Not Called That Since We Were Caught Listening To A Murdered Child's Phone Calls On Sunday?

So what's with the unpaid Pepsi ad? Could it be an attempt to sweeten relations with Team Beyonce after Saturday's somewhat less than positive story on the tickets?

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Unexpected re-release of the week: Donna Allen

I usually restrict todoing a tweet about the most unexpected re-release of the week, but Donna Allen's Perfect Timing is worthy of a closer look.

You'll probably best remember Donna Allen from this single - which was, genuinely, a thing of wonder:

But BBR might be worried the rest of Allen's career, and thus the rest of this album, might not chime so strongly in the memory.

So here's how they've dealt with that, as they expanded the tracklist from the original:

1. Serious
2. Sweet Somebody
3. Satisfied
4. Daydreams
5. Wild Nights
6. Perfect Timing
7. Bit By Bit
8. Another Affair
9. Bad Love
10. Serious (12 Inch Extended Remix Bonus Track)
11. Satisfied (12 Inch Long Version Remix Bonus Track)
12. Sweet Somebody (12 Inch Dance Mix Bonus Track)
13. Serious (Single Version Bonus Track)
14. Satisfied (Single Version Bonus Track)
15. Sweet Somebody (Single Version Bonus Tracks)
16. Serious (12 Inch Delirious Mix Bonus Track)

Yes, that's Serious four times. 25% of the tracks. And just three songs account for 62.5% of the entire tracklisting. My love, tell me: are you serious?

[Buy: Perfect Timing]

This week just gone

The most-read stories in the last seven days:

1. Liveblog: The Brits
2. YouTube views added to Hot 100
3. RIP: Mindy McCready
4. Brits plan to stretch things out to last a week
5. RIP: Kevin Ayers
6. BMG buys Sanctuary
7. Sort-of liveblog: Last Mark & Lard show ever
8. Operation Podium finally reports; suggests keeping Operation Podium going
9. Gordon Smart surprised couple who split up don't share Valentines
10. Picket paints out City of Culture legacy mural

These were the interesting releases:

Dutch Uncles - Dutch Uncles

Download Dutch Uncles

Milky Wimpshake - Heart And Soul In The Milky Way

Download Heart And Soul...

Mazes - Ores & Minerals

Download Ores & Minerals

The Brilliant Corners - Heart On Your Sleeve

Download Somebody Up There Likes Me

Bonnie 'Prince' Billy - What The Brothers Sang

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Push The Sky Away

Download Push The Sky Away

Camper Van Beethoven - La Costa Perdida

Download La Costa Perdida

Mighty Mighty - Pop Can

Download A Good Day For Ray