Saturday, April 27, 2013

Gordon in the morning: R Kelly is grounded

As ever, credit where it's due. The headline on Gordon's story about R Kelly being too scared to get into a plane is good:

I Believe I Can Fly ...but I won’t
It's not all bad.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Countryobit: George Jones

George Jones, dead at 81

Justin Bieber: My drug hell

Here's the most interesting bit about 'young pop star might use recreational drugs' story:

Police spokesman Lars Bystrom said a small amount of drugs and a stun gun had been found when officers raided the empty bus parked under the Globen concert venue in Stockholm, where the singer was performing on Wednesday.

He declined to identify the drug, saying it had been "sent to a laboratory for an analysis".

Police acted after smelling marijuana coming from inside the bus when it was parked outside the hotel where the singer was staying.
"We smelled dope, really strongly, from inside the bus so we went and searched the bus that the smell of cannabis was pouring out of. But I don't think we should tell you what drugs we found on the weed bus."

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Venuewatch: Gibson Ampitheatre

This summer, the Gibson (né Universal) Ampitheatre in LA ends its lease, and closes. NPR reports:

The mid-sized space with was loved by everyone from head bangers to heads of state for its intimate setting with superior sound. Bob Dylan, David Bowie, Madonna, Kanye West, the Grateful Dead and many other major artists performed there.

Other headliners included Presidents Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush.
"Head bangers to heads of state". Nice work.

So, when the doors shut this summer, and after the bulldozers have moved in, what shall we get in return?
The closure makes way for the "Wizarding World of Harry Potter," an attraction that's part of a major theme park and studio expansion by property owner NBCUniversal.
Really? Is that a good idea in the longer term? Isn't this a bit like building WillowWorld or The Black Hole Experience?

Gordon in the morning: We've already established what you are, Liam Gallagher, now we're just haggling about price

Liam Gallagher has opened negotiations for an Oasis comeback:

he said: “Listen, it’ll happen when it happens, but it ain’t a f***ing game — it’s the real deal.

“I read a lot of people going, ‘Oh, it’s just a blag, innit? So they can get some more noughts on their big f***ing comeback.’

“But I’m still me and he’s gonna be him.

“I ain’t changing for a million f***ing pounds... I might do it for £30million.”
So, an opening of thirty million. I'm suggesting a kickstarter to raise forty million, to be used to buy a guarantee of no reunion, and also for Beaky Eye shutting up shop as well.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

There's no part of this headline that won't make you weep

SLIPKNOT Drummer Working On New Project

Liam Gallagher doesn't take well to criticism

For some happy to offer his opinion, tutored or not, Liam Gallagher's a bit thin-skinned when on the other side. Apparently he finds it tiresome to be criticised:

He said: "I'm sick of fucking idiots saying I can't sing, you know what I mean? So I thought fuck this, no effects, none of that double tracking as much. Let’s get in there bare, this is how I sound, man. This is how my voice sounds so hopefully people will like it and get off my fucking back...It’s how I sound round the fucking house or on the back of a camel or whatever."
Liam, kitten, nobody says you can't sing. They just say you shouldn't.

Muse fly the flag for Imperial Japan

It's nice - or perhaps "nice" - to have a lunkheaded flag controversy without it being either a Nazi German or Confederate American flag.

Muse managed to lob the flag of Imperial Japan into the video for Panic Station.

It's probably the worst possible time to accidentally be promoting Japan's expansionist past.

Muse yanked the video, re-edited it, and apologised:

Muse wrote an apology on Twitter which read: “Sorry for the mistake re the intro graphics for the Panic Station video. We are fixing it now.”
This is why every band should employ a historian.

Scared To Get Happy tracklist locked down

I don't know why I'm so insanely excited about a compilation album that consists mostly of tracks I already own. Perhaps it's because Cherry Red have effectively curated a collection which spans, for me, roughly what got me through puberty-to-University.

They've not called it that, of course. They've called it Scared To Get Happy. And that's special too.

Jesus, they've made an album which, if you play it through in order, one moment you're listening to Bradford's Skin Storm; the next, you've got The Charlottes.

Here's that tracklist in full:

Disc 1:
1. THE WILD SWANS Revolutionary Spirit
Zoo, 1982
2. GIRLS AT OUR BEST! Getting Nowhere Fast
Record, 1980
3. ART OBJECTS Showing Off To Impress The Girls
Heartbeat, 1980
4. THE PALE FOUNTAINS (There’s Always) Something On My Mind
Operation Twilight/Les Disques du Crépuscule, 1982
5. JOSEF K The Missionary
Les Disques du Crépuscule, 1982
Cherry Red, 1982
7. BLUE ORCHIDS Dumb Magician
Rough Trade, 1982
8. MARINE GIRLS Don’t Come Back
Cherry Red, 1983
9. FIRE ENGINES Candyskin
Pop:Aural, 1981
10. TV21 Ambition
Powbeat, 1980
11. DOLLY MIXTURE Everything And More
Respond, 1982
12. THE NIGHTINGALES Paraffin Brain
Cherry Red, 1982
13. SCARS All About You
Pre, 1981
14. JANE It’s A Fine Day
Cherry Red, 1983
15. THE FARMER’S BOYS I Think I Need Help
Waap, 1982
16. THE ROOM Things Have Learnt To Walk That Ought To Crawl
Red Flame, 1982
17. WEEKEND Summerdays
Rough Trade, 1982
18. PREFAB SPROUT Lions In My Own Garden (Exit Someone)
Candle, 1982; reissued Kitchenware, 1984
19. THE LINES Nerve Pylon
Red, 1980
Cherry Red, 1982
21. THE HIGSONS The Lost And The Lonely
Waap, 1981
22. BLACK Human Features
Rox, 1981
23. THE DAINTEES Roll On Summertime
Kitchenware, 1983
24. THE BLUEBELLS Happy Birthday
Lyntone, 1982
25. TRIXIE’S BIG RED MOTORBIKE Norman And Narcissus
Lobby Ludd, 1983
26. TV PERSONALITIES A Picture Of Dorian Gray (Live)
Creation Artifact, 1982

Disc 2:
1. HURRAH! The Sun Shines Here
Kitchenware, 1982
2. FANTASTIC SOMETHING If She Doesn’t Smile (It’ll Rain)
Cherry Red, 1983
3. PULP Everybody’s Problem
Red Rhino, 1983
Previously unissued
No Strings, 1983
Cherry Red, 1984
7. DEL AMITRI Sense Sickness
No Strings, 1983
8. FRIENDS AGAIN Honey At The Core
Moonboot, 1983
9. AZTEC CAMERA Oblivious
Rough Trade, 1983
10. LLOYD COLE & THE COMMOTIONS Are You Ready To Be Heartbroken (Indie Version)
LC, 1983
11. THE CHERRY BOYS Kardomah Café
Crash, 1983
12. IN EMBRACE This Brilliant Evening
Cherry Red, 1985
Rough Trade, 1984
Food, 1984
15. THE JAZZ BUTCHER Southern Mark Smith
Glass, 1983
16. THE JASMINE MINKS Where The Traffic Goes
Creation, 1984
17. THE HIT PARADE Forever
JSH, 1984
18. THE JUNE BRIDES Every Conversation
Pink, 1984
Creation, 1984
20. JAMES Hymn From A Village
Factory, 1985
21. THE JESUS & MARY CHAIN Just Like Honey (Demo Oct ’84)
Blanco Y Negro, 1985
22. BIFF BANG POW! The Chocolate Elephant Man
Creation, 1985
23. YEAH YEAH NOH Temple Of Convenience
In Tape, 1985
24. THE BODINES God Bless
Creation, 1985
25. BIG FLAME Debra
Ron Johnson, 1985
26. THE LOFT Up The Hill And Down The Slope
Creation, 1985

Disc 3:
1. PRIMAL SCREAM Velocity Girl
Creation, 1985
2. THE WEDDING PRESENT Go Out And Get ’Em, Boy!
Reception/City Slang, 1985
3. THE PRIMITIVES Thru The Flowers
Lazy, 1986
53rd & 3rd, 1986
Subway Organisation, 1985
6. THE MIGHTY LEMON DROPS Something Happens
Dreamworld, 1985
Vindaloo, not originally released, 1986
8. MIGHTY MIGHTY Is There Anyone Out There?
Girlie, 1986
9. THE SOUP DRAGONS Quite Content
Subway Organisation, unreleased, 1986
10. McCARTHY Red Sleeping Beauty
Pink, 1986
11. AGE OF CHANCE Motorcity
Riot Bible, 1985
12. THE CHESTERFIELDS Completely And Utterly
Subway Organisation, 1986
Pink, 1986
14. THE SERVANTS Loggerheads
Head, not originally released, 1986
15. THE CLOSE LOBSTERS Don’t Worry (Demo)
Not originally released, 1986
16. POP WILL EAT ITSELF Sick Little Girl
Desperate, 1986
17. RAZORCUTS Big Pink Cake
Subway Organisation, 1986
Demon, 1986
Creation, 1986
Pink, 1986
21. TALULAH GOSH Beatnik Boy
53rd & 3rd, 1986
22. THE DENTISTS She Dazzled Me With Basil
Tambourine, 1986
Factory, 1986
24. THE GROOVE FARM Baby Blue Marine (Alternative Version)
Raving Pop Blast, not originally released, 1987
Narodnik, 1986
26. ROSEMARY’S CHILDREN (Whatever Happened To) Alice?
el, 1986
27. 14 ICED BEARS Balloon Song
Frank, 1987
28. THE WONDER STUFF A Wonderful Day
Far Out, 1986

Disc 4:
Creation, 1987
2. THE SHAMEN Something About You
Moksha, 1987
3. THE BACHELOR PAD The Albums Of Jack
Warholasound, 1987
4. GOL GAPPAS Albert Parker
el, 1986
Dreamworld, 1987
6. WHIRL Heaven Forbid
Playroom Discs, 1987
SS20, 1987
Subway Organisation, 1988
9. THE WAKE Gruesome Castle
Factory, 1988
10. THIS POISON! Engine Failure
Reception, 1987
Darling Buds, 1987
53rd & 3rd, 1987
13. THE WALTONES She Looks Right Through Me
Medium Cool, 1987
14. THE ROSEHIPS Room In Your Heart
Subway Organisation, 1987
15. APPLE BOUTIQUE Love Resistance
Creation, 1987
16. LAUGH Take Your Time Yeah!
Remorse, 1987
17. THE RAW HERBS She’s A Nurse But She's Alright
Medium Cool, 1987
In Tape, 1987
19. THE CLOUDS Tranquil
Subway Organisation, 1987
20. THE GROOVY LITTLE NUMBERS You Make My Head Explode
53rd & 3rd, 1987
21. THE SIDDELEYS My Favourite Wet Wednesday Afternoon
Medium Cool, 1987
22. RUMBLEFISH Tug-Boat Line
Pink, 1987
23. THE HEPBURNS The World Is
Cherry Red, 1987
24. BUBBLEGUM SPLASH One Of Those Things
Subway Organisation, 1987
25. THE CORN DOLLIES Be Small Again
Medium Cool, 1987
el, 1987
27. THE LA's Son Of A Gun (Demo)
Not originally released, 1987

Disc 5:
1. THE STONE ROSES The Hardest Thing In The World
Silvertone, 1988
2. INSPIRAL CARPETS Keep The Circle Around
Playtime, 1988
3. THE POOH STICKS Indiepop Ain’t Noise Pollution
Fierce, 1988
Sarah, 1988
5. CUD Only (A Prawn In Whitby)
Imaginary, 1989
6. THE POPGUNS Landslide
Medium Cool, 1989
7. ONE THOUSAND VIOLINS All Aboard The Love-Mobile
Immaculate, 1988
8. ANOTHER SUNNY DAY I’m In Love With A Girl Who Doesn’t Know I Exist
Sarah, 1988
9. EAST VILLAGE Strawberry Window
Sub Aqua, 1988
10. BAD DREAM FANCY DRESS Choirboys Gas (Hack The Cassock)
el, 1988
11. RODNEY ALLEN Circle Line
Subway Organisation, 1988
12. THE ORCHIDS I’ve Got A Habit
Sarah, 1988
13. BRADFORD Skin Storm
Village, 1988
14. THE CHARLOTTES Are You Happy Now
Subway, 1989
15. THE CLAIM Picking Up The Bitter Little Pieces
Esurient Communications, 1989
16. THE POPPYHEADS Dreamabout
Sarah, 1988
17. THE SUN AND THE MOON Adam’s Song (Pour Fenella)
Midnight Music, 1988
18. THE McTELLS Jesse Man Rae
Frank, 1988
19. THE WOULD-BE-GOODS Cecil Beaton’s Scrapbook
el, 1988
20. THE DESERT WOLVES Speak To Me Rochelle
Ugly Man, 1988
21. THE RAIN Dry The Rain
Medium Cool, 1988
22. BLOW UP Forever Holiday
Cherry Red, 1989
23. THE FANATICS Suburban Love Songs
Chapter 22, 1989
Big Round, 1989
25. THE SEERS Sun Is In The Sky
Hedd, 1989
26. THE TELESCOPES Perfect Needle
What Goes On, 1989
27. THE BOO RADLEYS Catweazle
Action, 1989

Blimey. How tantalising is that?

JLS: Coming to ITV2 sometime around 2016

JLS have announced their intention to star in the 2016 season of ITV2's The Big Reunion, and are taking the first step by splitting at the end of their current tour.

There's an official statement on their website:

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Which is a fitting way to say goodbye. Or possibly just a sign that a thousand distraught youngsters are hitting the server at the same time.

Happily, Newsbeat copied down the statement:
In a statement on their official website they thanked their fans.

"We wanted to make sure that you heard it from the four of us, that we have decided to bring our time as a band to an end," the statement said.

"Goodbye; The Greatest Hits Tour will be the last time that we will perform together as a 4 and we want to make sure that this tour is the best ever and that we end on a high! We will always remain brothers and friends and we will always be your boys.

We want to look at this final year as a celebration of all that we have achieved together. We hope you can look back and remember all the great moments that you have been responsible for

"Thanks to all of you guys, your support, your dedication and you have changed our lives forever. We wouldn't be where we are today without you."
The phrase "the last time we perform together as a 4" is both grating in its use of the numeral and puzzling - what does that actually mean? There might a bunch of three- and two-member variants of the group? They're going to draft in Matt Cardle to turn themselves into a five?

It can't be musical differences, so perhaps it's just down to puberty.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Kim Gordon's advice for dealing with a break-up

As shared with Elle:

"We never got to the point where we could just get rid of her so I could decide what I wanted to do," Gordon says. "Thurston was carrying on this whole double life with her. He was really like a lost soul." Moore moved out. Gordon stayed home and listened to a lot of hip-hop. "Rap music is really good when you’re traumatized," she says.

Popobit: Christina Amphlett

Her name might not be instantly recognisable, but you'll know her voice, and you'll know her voice from this song:

Christina formed The Divinyls with Mark McEntee after being introduced in a Sydney car park. A period of gigging on the pub circuit followed, before Amphlett landed a role in the film Monkey Grip, bringing with her a collection of her band's songs for the soundtrack.

The international breakthrough came with I Touch Myself - a hit in Australia, America and Britain. It could have been a solid base for a glittering career, but the record label managed to screw things up and the ensuing spat meant that, outside their home market, the band never capitalised on its success. Even after Virgin dropped them, BMG proved to be no more nurturing a home, not even bothering to release the Underworld album in the US.

The band split in 1997 after the core of McEntee and Amphlett fell out; they reunited in 2006 for an ARIA Hall Of Fame performance which then became a fully-fledged comeback.

Amphlett was diagnosed with MS in 2007; the Divinyls continued until 2009 when things just fell apart a bit.

In 2010, Amphlett announced she had also been diagnosed with cancer. She died on April 21st in New York; she was 53.

Gordon in the morning: Liam on a dog

There's a story from Jack Royston on Bizarre today that has lead the MSPaint whizzes at The Sun to come up with this, erm, image:

Apparently, then Liam got so drunk he tried to ride a dog. Although for some reason the newspaper has photoshopped him trying to shag the back of a dog's head.

He also tried to do a runner from the pub, Ye Olde White Bear in Hampstead And Highgate's trendy Hampstead, before settling the bill:

The manager, who asked not to be named, chased Liam down the street, waving the bill. He said: “After £300 of drink you forget things. He was happy to pay straight away when I caught up with him.”
Yes, manager of Ye Olde White Bear in Hampstead. You retain your anonymity by not letting them use your name.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Baseball Diamond knocks it out the park

It's been a tough week in Boston.

Things are starting to get back to normal, with baseball resuming yesterday evening. There's a tradition at the Red Sox of singing Sweet Caroline, and as a gesture of solidarity their rival teams had been singing the song as well this week. Last night, Neil Diamond turned up in Boston to join in:

Diamond’s rep tells The Hollywood Reporter as soon as the singer heard the Red Sox game was going to happen, he felt a need to be there. He took a red-eye flight with his wife, Katie McNeil, from Los Angeles to Boston and made his way to Fenway directly from the airport in time for the game's opening ceremony.

"I was humbled and honored to be in Boston and to be able to personally thank and express my gratitude to the first responders and law enforcement officers,” Diamond said through his rep,
A lovely, warm gesture at the end of a cold, hard week.

Twitter Music: Hashtag why

Whenever anything attached to the internet announces with a flourish that it's adding socially-powered music discovery to the mix, it makes sense to mark the date in your diary. It'll help you be accurate when you say "this is where the rot set in".

Remember when MySpace suddenly decided that it was about music?

Remember Ping?

No, no, the Apple one.

I shan't even ask if you remember ComesWithMusic, as unless you were responsible for putting the write-off onto the balance sheet, you won't.

So it's with a look of concern that I hear Twitter announcing #Music. I have to ask: Twitter, are you alright?

It's not that it's a terrible idea. It's just... pointless. Tell us about the service, ABC News:

The Popular page shows you new music that's trending across Twitter while the Emerging tab shows "hidden talent found in tweets."
At a low level, this could be interesting - it might be a way of unpicking that mess of North-West based indie acts who seem to all be in each other's line-ups. But that's not how it's going to work, is it?

CDBaby are upbeat:
Twitter #Music is a new web and iPhone-based app that allows users to discover new music by emerging artists who are trending (or “surfacing”) on Twitter.
CDBaby doesn't see any irony in illustrating this with a screen grab which comprises of artists you'll certainly have heard of:

And a close-up of this undiscovered talent:

To be fair, there is an emerging music option, which does throw up some surprises, but in the format of a grid of 140 pictures of artists that are (apparently) getting a lot of Tweet attention. I suppose this could count as a music discovery tool, although quite how you're meant to sift the faces into discovering something within them isn't clear - "if you find this person's avatar attractive, you should listen to a clip of their music"?

Still, at the moment The Pastels and Purity Ring are both there, so it's not all bad.

But in effect, what you have is yet another chart. That's counting rather than social. What else is there?

Back to ABCNews:
The Suggested tab shows artists you might like based on the artists you follow on the service and who they follow.
I'm puzzled by this. How does Twitter define an "artist"? I follow quite a few gifted musicians who don't self-identify as musicians on their Twitter feed - some have day jobs that are the main focus of their account; some just assume you'll know they're the bassist in Billy's Boots; others play music of which they are deeply ashamed. Does Twitter just ignore this chunk of their base?

Likewise, does only the official Saturdays account count, while Frankie Out The Saturdays deep love for Atrax Morgue gets overlooked?

More significantly, many of the most heavily trafficed artist accounts are "looked after" by management or labels, which opens up an easy way for this feature to be gamed.

Even without gaming, the relying on 'who you follow, and who they follow' means there's not much hope this is going to reveal astonishing new acts to you. Genuinely, at the moment, Twitter is suggesting that I might want to check out some dude called David Bowie.

Thanks for your advice, Twitter.

What else do they have, ABC?
And finally the #NowPlaying tab shows songs your friends are listening to or tweeting about.
One of the things that nearly killed Twitter back when it started was people setting up their accounts to automatically tweet every song that came into their ears. People calmed down on doing that, so why build a whole page that attempts to recreate the experience?

There's another problem with this, though: people on Twitter aren't my friends.

I don't mean that I don't have friends who are on Twitter, nor, indeed, that I haven't made firm friends with people I have stumbled across on Twitter.

Some of the people on Twitter are my friends, then. But there's an important but.

Alongside them, there are people I follow who I don't care for much, or fundamentally disagree with, or would throw bread rolls at were I to see them in the street. (Only soft rolls, and I have terrible aim.)

I do this because Twitter is a great place to hear views you normally wouldn't be exposed to, and talk about things with people who don't share you worldview. It's that which makes Twitter valuable.

So while pulverising the recommendations of my friends on Twitter into some sort of 'try this' paste could be vaguely interesting (although couldn't I just see what they tweeted?), but my recommendations would also include the passions of Louise Mensch and Roger Helmer and someone who loves the Mayor Of London and Nadine Dorries and... oh, jesus, the UKIP councillor from my ward.

In other words, Twitter is going to be spinning its hard drives all day and all night to suggest that the only track I really need to listen to is I'm In Love With Margaret Thatcher.

(That's better than Facebook, which seems convinced I might want to watch Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels - and that's based on an algorithm that starts with people I might have been drinking with.)

So: a system of dubious value and obscure point. I know Twitter needs to find a way to make money to keep going, but really: I'd rather give them a fiver a year than have them create something like this.

This week just gone

The most-read April stories so far:

1. Thatcher Ding Dong ding dong
2. Cowell snubbed as played-out, formulaic TV shows overlooked by awards
3. Government finds money to piss away on DRM and an IP warning system
4. Video: Snapdragons - Dole Boys On Futons
5. RIP: Gary Biddles
6. Bobby Gillespie uses TopShop marketing job to complain about youth culture
7. Express gets angry about Ding Dong before anything happens
8. Listen: Vini Reilly talks about his depression
9. Thatcher fans choose Thatcher-mocking song as pro-Thatcher campaign tune
10. Justin Bieber visist Anne Frank's house

These were this week's interesting releases:

Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Mosquito

Download Mosquito

Iron And Wine - Ghost On Ghost

Download Mosquito

Ian McCulloch - Holy Ghosts

Download Holy Ghosts

Steve Earle - The Low Highway

Download The Low Highway

We Are Smug & Darren Hayes - We Are Smug

Download We Are Smug