Saturday, April 20, 2013

Gordon in the morning: Gaga gear

Gordon Smart wants us to believe that Lady GaGa has been working through a Top gear box set while she's been unwell.

Alright, then. If you say so.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Gordon in the morning: Kasabian not happy

Apparently Kasabian are under the impression they should appear at Glastonbury every year, like mud, Billy Bragg, and those people who steal stuff from tents:

[Tom] said: “I’m not playing second fiddle to those bands. We’re just as good, if not better.

“We’re the ultimate, we’re the headline band. But he didn’t call us, the b******.

“Glastonbury’s on our ‘to-do’ list. All he’s got to do is pick up the phone.

“We’ve got every f***ing right to headline Glastonbury ’cos we’re good enough. It will happen.”
Oh, yes, not just playing at Glastonbury, but headlining the event. By - you will have spotted - right.

It's amusing, actually: Kasabian tend to be the sort of placeholder headliner you'd stick on if you couldn't get your first choice - popular enough to make logistic sense, but not the sort of booking that's thrilling.

Now they're becoming placeholder outragees for the press - not saying Liam-style stupid grand claims, but just squeakily outraged enough to make a headline.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Gothobit: Gary Biddles

Gary Biddles, Cure roadie turned collaborator, has died.

Biddles made deep connections with The Cure - as Slicing Up Eyeballs remembers, he was briefly lead singer during a last-night jam session on the Pornography tour - and was the first call for former Cure members putting together bands. He was co-founder of Fools Dance when Simon Gallup had his time out from the band; after Gallup returned to Robert Smith's side, Biddles joined Lol Tolhurst in exile in the band Presence.

Presence recorded two albums, but the second had never been heard in public until last month, when it turned up on Soundcloud:

Biddles was interviewd by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer a couple of years back.

No details have been made public about Biddles' death.

Collegerockobit: Scott Miller

Scott Miller, leader of Game Theory and Loud Family, has died.

Miller's Game Theory were a plausible-sounding college rock band from the Davis area of San Francisco who found themselves brutally undone by the weight of "the next REM" expectations they were loaded down with.

They nearly broke through to a wider audience with 1987's Lolita Nation, but just as they were poised for success their label went bust and then the band imploded.

Miller moved on to Loud Family, named after the original reality TV family. The band released a series of albums, but struggled from either - depending on which story you believe - an unfashionable connection to college rock, or a intellect too heavy for a general audience.

The band returned from a hiatus in 2006 for one final album, What If It Works?; sadly the question remained moot.

Scott Miller's blog looking at music on a year-by-year basis, Music: What Happened, was turned into a book.

There's a formal statement on the Loud Family website:

I wish it weren't true, but as much as it pains me to write these words, Scott passed away on April 15, 2013. He was a wonderful, loyal friend as well as a brilliant musician, and I will miss him for the rest of my life.

Scott had been planning to start recording a new Game Theory album, Supercalifragile, this summer, and was looking forward to getting back into the studio and reuniting with some of his former collaborators.

If listening to Scott's own music is too painful for you right now, as it is for me, I can tell you that he absolutely loved David Bowie's new album, The Next Day. He found Bowie's late-career resurgence to be hugely inspirational. I'm sure that if there had been a 2013 chapter of Music: What Happened?, one of the songs from that album would have been right at the top.
Scott Miller was 53.

Gordon in the morning: Chop job

Well, this piece from Stephen Moyes in today's Sun is pretty clear:

MICHAEL Jackson’s daughter has vowed to “karate chop” convicted doctor Conrad Murray to make him appear at the family’s trial.
Nothing like making a daughter's distress at a doctor refusing to help her understand her father's very public death into a cartoon.

But still, if you're going to do this, you'd have a good reason for doing it, right? So, where does the 'karate chop' quote come from?
A source said: “Paris wants to kick Murray’s butt. She wants him to explain what pressure he was under to make Michael perform. When she gives evidence she plans to tear him apart.”
Oddly, this unnamed source doesn't even use the words "karate chop", and it's the only quote Moyes uses.

If we assume that there really is a source, and the quote is genuine, it's difficult to see where the karate chopping came from. (If the quote was just made up, that would have been even worse - forgetting to add the actual claim you're using as your headline into the substantiating article.)

There doesn't appear to be anything else on the web where Paris Jackson "vows" to "karate chop" anybody; references to her doing so just lead back to the Sun.

So: a 'news' story which totally fails to explain where this 'vow' was made. Good to see post-Leveson that things are changing at News International.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

How Saturdays get engaged

Wayne Bridge, out of Brighton And Hove Albion, has become engaged to Frankie Out the Saturdays.

Tell us, Frankie, how did he ask for your hand?

Wayne took me to a hotel and he got my dogs involved
Hang on a moment, what?
I didn't know my dogs were there and they came in in little bride and groom outfits.
I'm not entirely sure that walking in your boyfriend in a hotel room with dogs dressed up necessarily means he was planning to ask you to marry him. It could just mean he wasn't expecting you.
And Pixie had the ring around her neck on a ribbon.
You know this sounds... well... odd? Oh, you do.
I think for people who aren't dog fans it's a bit of a weird proposal so I feel like I only want to tell people who like dogs.
I'm not sure you should tell people who like dogs, either. Or even people.

Gordon in the morning: Unlikely opening sentences of our time

Andy Halls has bagged an exclusive:

AFTER coming second on The Voice last year you’d think Bo Bruce would have the world at her feet.
Really, Andy? Given that the person who won The Voice last year vanished like a metal hippo in quicksand, why would anyone think that the runner-up would have had a high profile?

Anyway, Bo is back now, with an album that adds One Of Snow Patrol to the already-powerful prospect of songs by Danny Out The One On The Voice That People Say 'Is He In A Band, Then' About.

But, oh, Bo tells Andy that she wants to shake things up:
What would your dream collaboration be?
Something really out there. I’d really like to do a Chase & Status thing, or Plan B.

Something that’s so far away from what people expect would be really interesting.
Without wanting to be too harsh, I don't think there's any person wandering round with a section of their brain in which they list likely collaborators for Bo Bruce.

In fact, this would be the likely conversation if you tried to do a poll:

- Hi, could I ask who you think the most likely person for Bo Bruce to work with would be?
- Fiona Bruce?
- No, Bo Bruce.
- I don't know who that is. Who is he?
- She. She's a woman.
- How would I know who she'd work with?
- Here's a clue: she took part in a popular reality TV show.
- [Pause] Oh! It's Viglen isn't it?

Monday, April 15, 2013

Coachella: You might wanna be adored, but being known would be a start

The All-New Stone Roses might be quite a big deal in, erm, NME editorial meetings, but not so much at Coachella, the Guardian reports:

If the Coachella line-up looked like a triumph for the legends of British guitar music – Blur! Stone Roses! New Order! – then the reality proved sadly different. Not only were most punters we spoke to confused as to who (or what) the Stone Roses were, the crowd for both Blur and the Roses on the main stage was far smaller than the kind they've been commanding back home. Should we mock the Americans for not "getting" them? Or ourselves, for assuming anyone cared about our musical legends?
Handily, Spinner has an interview with the band's biographer Simon Spence which explains exactly why Americans might see the name 'Stone Roses' and assume somebody has badly mistyped 'Rolling Stones'.

Effectively, a mix of hubris, arrogance and bad timing led the band to develop a reputation amongst the music industry, and no profile at all in the wider America:
When Second Coming was released in 1994, they were in serious disarray but promoting themselves in America was a priority. They hired a high profile American manager, Doug Goldstein, famed for managing Guns N' Roses, and finally embarked on a major promotional push. Geffen's head of PR, Bryn Bridenthal, described it as a disaster. Goldstein was fired after few months later. He told me they band displayed a love-hate relationship with America 'We'd love to be accepted but fuck you if we're not,' he said. Ultimately, anyway, the whole thing was doomed to failure because, even though he was there, Reni had already quit the band.

With a replacement drummer, they did a short nine-date tour of the US in 1995 in support of the album. It was not entirely unsuccessful. It was not, however the success Geffen wanted. You're right, the label spent upward of $4 million on the band. The album, however, peaked at no 47 on the Billboard charts. The President of Geffen, Eddie Rosenblatt, told me the name of the band became a verb: 'The A&R guy brings in a band, and you say, 'Well, is this going to be another Stone Roses?'
But the band remain incredibly popular amongst paunchy middle-aged men from North West England.

Thatcher: Ding Dong results

So, if you were involved with the Ding Dong campaign, you might be thinking you'd succeeded pretty well: the push to get the song charting became a media obsession; front pages in the Mail, Express and Telegraph; BBC management thrown into panic; Charles Moore's confused egg-features caught in puzzled confusion on Question Time. There was even the spectacular contra-campaign which saw Maggie lovers either unwittingly or witlessly buying a punk song that was also an attack on their hero.

As a way of ensuring that the nation was reminded not everyone revered Thatcher, it worked like a charm.

And it even made number two in the charts.

It turns out, though, that the whole thing was a failure.

Luckily, Louise Mensch is on hand to explain why:

Yes, she really did attempt to hijack the name of the anti-racism campaign to hashtag it. Classy.

Did it really matter that the song only got to number two? Probably not, but there's something very Thatcherite, very 'either you're a winner or you're nothing', about the way of viewing the chart position.

But what of the lowly 35 position for I'm In Love With Margaret Thatcher? Was that hashtag hatenothope, then?

Louise doesn't understand much about the charts, it turns out. The Notsensibles campaign kicked off on Friday, which is two and a half days of chart-qualifying sales, not one.

And yet, oddly, while suggesting you had to make adjustments for the short time the Love campaign was running...

Except Thatcher died on Monday and the Ding Song campaign didn't get underway until Tuesday, so, er, it didn't have a full week's sales, either.

This Tweet is even odder:

Weeks of planning? How would the Ding Dong campaign have had weeks to plan? Unless Thatcher had phoned up a couple of months back - "I've just seen a fortune teller who's advised me not to bother getting started on the Borgen box set..."

Except, again, Nik, Ant and Dec's sales ran for a full week. And I think they sold about 10,000 fewer copies.

So, there we have it: Tens of thousands of people buy a record specifically to show a lack of respect for their hero, and yet it's still a victory because Ant And Dec had got to number one with only the top-rated Saturday night TV show.

History is going to judge us all harshly, isn't it?

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Justin Bieber visits the Anne Frank House

Of course, it ends in shallow disaster, as Bieber signs the guest book:

"Truly inspiring to be able to come here. Anne was a great girl. Hopefully she would have been a belieber."
To adapt the words of the publisher who rejected the Diary Of Anne Frank: "The boy doesn't, it seems to me, have a special perception or feeling which would lift that guestbook entry above the 'curiosity' level."

Deftoneobit: Chi Cheng

Chi Cheng, founder member of, and bassist for, The Deftones has died. His mother issued a statement:

This is the hardest thing to write to you. Your love and heart and devotion to Chi was unconditional and amazing.
I know that you will always remember him as a giant of a man on stage with a heart for every one of you.
He was taken to the emegency room and at 3 am today his heart just suddenly stopped. He left this world with me singing songs he liked in his ear.
He fought the good fight.You stood by him sending love daily. He knew that he was very loved and never alone.
I will write more later. I will be going through the oneloveforchi site and any other information may not be reliable.
If you have any stories or messages to share please send them to the onelove site. Please hold Mae and Ming and the siblings and especially Chi’s son, Gabriel in your prayers. It is so hard to let go.
With great love and “Much Respect!” Mom J (and Chi)
Thank you to Phil and for being kind enough to upgrade my server at no charge to handle the increased traffic to so it won’t crash again. We appreciate it so much.
Thank you One Love Fam for your love and support. -Gina Blackmore
Cheng had been semi-comatose for four years following a vicious car accident and subsequent medical complications. Discharged from hospital more than once, his health would take a lurch for the worse and he'd find himself back in.

Chi Cheng was 42; he died yesterday.

Bookmarks: Wire

Over on Sweeping The Nation, there's some lovely Wire from the late 1970s. You should - arf! - dot-dash over there to watch.

Listen with No Rock: Vini Reilly & Dave Haslam

At the start of last month, Dave Haslam interviewed Vini Reilly about his experiences of depression. The event was organised by CALM and the hope is that it'll persuade people to ask for help if they need it. You can find more about depression at the CALM website or can call the national helpline.

This week just gone

The most-read things so far this year:

1. Neil McCormick's Telegraph piece looks a lot like an Observer piece
2. Liveblog: Brits 2013
3. Robbie Williams beileves lack of Mod led to Oasis fall-out
4. We know Kimberley Walsh wasn't lip-synching
5. NME's best singles of 1993
6. RIP: Nic Potter
7. Karftwerk v Communist China
8. Rick's comment on the Thatcher Ding-Dong
9. Simon Cowell snubbed
10. Simon Worrall tribute album

These were this week's interesting releases:

Kurt Vile - Walkin On A Pretty Daze

Download Walkin' On A Pretty Daze

Jello Biafra & The Guantanamo School Of Medicine - White People And The Damage Done

Download White People

OMD - English Electric

Download English Electric

The Knife - Shaking The Habitual

Download Shaking The Habitual