Saturday, May 04, 2013

Festivals: All yesterday's parties

A quick note on the passing of the holiday camp iteration of All Tomorrow's Parties, and two perspectives on it.

Catriona Gray in the New Statesman sees a positive:

Founder Barry Hogan’s desire to preserve the festival’s authenticity – by calling a halt to it before it has a chance to stale or mutate into another commercial-driven affair – is manifested in his unusual choice of headliner for the final weekend: eighties alt-rock band Loop, who are temporarily reforming for the event.
The Quietus, though, suggests it might have been a slightly more hard-nosed business decision:
Somewhat melancholy news reaches the Quietus offices this morning in the form of an email informing us that long-running festival hosts All Tomorrow's Parties are "calling time" on the holiday camp editions of the festival. The aim, they say, is to "allow ATP to focus on their growing schedule of city and international based events in 2014 and beyond."

Festivals: Hop off

The spirits which kicked in to start a die-back on the UK's overloaded festival circuit are back again this year, with not even the prospect of My Bloody Valentine being able to shift tickets for the Hop Festival:

[Promoter Vince] Power said: "We have worked very hard to try to make it work but it has proved too much a of mountain to climb and despite fighting hard, circumstances are such that based on poor ticket sales and the forecast selling rate substantial losses would be made.

"It is a surprise for us that after eight weeks of heavy marketing and with such a great bill that we have to cancel, though we are convinced this does not reflect on the artists, it highlights the poor economic climate."
Possibly the poor economic climate; possibly the return of Glastonbury. Probably oversupply.

Metalobit: Jeff Hanneman

Jeff Hanneman, one of the founders of Slayer, has died.

CBC has gathered a collection of fellow rockers reactions.

Interestingly, most were indistinguishable from the sort of tribute you'd see if Jeff from the Sandwich Shop died:

Ryan Adams "tribute" was, if you look closely, factually correct without being emotionally involved:

Dave Mustaine was quite poetic:

The New York Times obituary was a little more clear-eyed:
Mr. Hanneman wrote about serial killers and terrorists, rapists and dead women. The release of the band’s albums was sometimes delayed by record labels’ concern about graphic lyrics and cover art.

Mr. Hanneman wrote perhaps the band’s best-known song, “Angel of Death,” from Slayer’s breakthrough 1986 album, “Reign in Blood,” produced by Rick Rubin. The song describes torturous experimental surgeries performed by the Nazi physician Joseph Mengele at the Auschwitz concentration camp during World War II. Some critics have accused the band members of being Nazis and racists; Mr. Hanneman said Slayer was simply interested in history and evil.
The LA Times made Hanneman fight for space with John Williamson. (Interesting to note that Williamson's clothing-and-sex-optional 1970s resort probably generated more genuine moral panic than Slayer ever managed, despite trying harder.) But as the LA Times obituary stressed, boy, did Slayer want to shock:
"We write the songs that we do because that's what we like," Hanneman told Hilburn. "But they are just stories — not things we actually do or recommend anyone else go out and do. Take the song 'Piece by Piece,' about chopping up somebody. To us, it's like a horror movie. It's fun because [the songs and movies] shock you. The kids get into it on the same level we do. They know it is just a story and just fun."
The Washington Post couldn't help noticing it's hard to mourn someone obsessed with death:
Fans took to social media to declare “#HellAwaits“ — referring to the band’s 1985 album “Hell Awaits” — in 140-character eulogies that somehow managed to feel warmhearted. On the excellent metal blog Bazillion Points, Hanneman was fondly remembered as “grumpy, withdrawn, and antisocial,” a guy who once spent 30 delighted minutes “watching people trip over a sidewalk pothole on the streets of Manhattan.”

These aren’t the usual warm fuzzies that come pouring out when we lose a trailblazing artist, but the disorienting nature of the discussion feels true to Slayer’s gift for scrambling our senses. Hanneman’s band will most likely be remembered for its sensational lyrics about violence, mortality and the blood encrusted pits of h-e-double-hockey-sticks, but the true legacy of Slayer’s frenetic music is its ability to approximate the confusion of danger — that blurry, breathtaking space between life and death.
Classic Rock magazine dug into its archive to report on the spider bite which, ultimately, would be responsible for Hanneman's death:
In 2011 Hanneman told Classic Rock how he was bitten by a spider in his hot tub. “I didn’t even feel it – but an hour later I knew I was ill. I could see the flesh corrupting. I got to the emergency room and thank God the nurse knew straight away what it was.

“At that point I was an hour away from death. Unbelievably the doctor was a Slayer fan. He said: ‘First I am going to save your life. Then I am going to save your arm. Then I am going to save your career.’”

He underwent a series of skin grafts and had continued to receive physiotherapy.
Just as a sidenote, with so much competition for attention for the metal fan, it's surprising that both Kerrang and Metal Hammer's websites did little beyond a quick round-up of posts from Twitter and a short obituary. It's as if you'd gone to the Spectator site after Thatcher died and just got a brief newsline written by an intern.

The last word, fittingly, to the official Slayer site:
Our Brother
Jeff Hanneman,
May He Rest In Peace
(1964 - 2013)

Friday, May 03, 2013

Embed and breakfast man: Pins

This is Pins, playing yesterday (I think it was yesterday) in the Parr Street Studios for Bidolito:

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Daft Punk: Hold the front page

Contact Music has breaking news:

Just be thankful the Meerkats don't have a song...

The 20 most-played tracks on TV commercials last year? It's a chart:

Position Work Title Writer Advert Performed By
1 Over There George M. Cohan Go Compare N/A
2 Y.M.C.A Edward Willis, Jacques Morali, Henri Belolo N/A
3 Eliza's Aria Elena Kats-Chernin Lloyd's TSB Elena Kats-Chernin (Wild Swans ballet)
4 Spinnin' Mike Lindsay, Corynne Elliott, Pat Marks, Jason Richards Sky Speech Debelle
5 Primavera Ludovico Einaudi Santander Ludovico Einaudi
6 The Universal Damon Albarn, Graham Coxon, Steven James, David Rowntree British Gas Blur
7 Shine Gary Barlow, Paul Donald, Paul Robson, Jason Orange, Mark Owen Morrisons Take That
8 Here Come the Girls Allen Toussaint Boots Sugarbabes
9 Rescue Me Carl Smith, Raynard Miner British Gas Fontella Bass
10 Have Love Will Travel Richard Berry LV Insurance The Sonics
11 Young Folks Peter Moren, John Eriksson, Bjorn Yttling Homebase Peter, Bjorn, and John
12 Bring Me Sunshine Sylvia Dee, Arthur Kent Coca-Cola Willie Nelson
13 Busy Olly Murs, Martin Brammer, Adam Argyle Marks & Spencer Olly Murs
14 Our House Graham Nash B & Q Amber State (cover of Crosby Stills & Nash)
15 Give a Little Love Damian Katkhuda Asda The Mostar Diving Club
16 The Snow Prelude No 3 in C Major Ludovico Einaudi Nationwide Ludovico Einaudi
17 Welcome Home Benjamin P Cooper Nikon Radical Face
18 It's a Good Day Dave Barbour, Peggy Lee Garnier Peggy Lee
19 Barcarolle Jacques Offenbach , Jack Byfield Barclays Arr: Keith J Blainville
20 Ain't No Mountain High Enough Nickolas Ashford, Valerie Simpson DHL Created by Paul Epworth ft Vula Malinga.
I'm sure the massive royalty cheque will be welcome for Speech Debelle, who most people won't remember from having won the Mercury music prize.

Gordon in the morning: Liam threatens to quit

Liam Gallagher. Well known for writing verbal cheques that bounce, and I fear this one will prove equally valueless, but he's threatening to quit if... something:

He said: “If we’re barking up the wrong tree with this record, I don’t know if I can be ar*ed with barking up it again.

“I’ll never be a plumber, I’ll never be a fashion designer.

“Maybe I’d just sail off into the distance and enjoy my life, instead of worrying about what some spotty little t*** from Hastings thinks about the record.”
Oh, people's poet, don't die.

Happily for Liam, there's no actual description of what success would look like, and there's enough middle-aged Oasis fans who will be delighted with another chunk of more of the same to count BE as a glorious success.

And even if you look to sales, with Different Gear, Still Speeding, Do You See The Subtle DRUG References only managing to scrape to 140,000 copies in two years, even a mild retail success could be seen as a marvellous result.

Much as I'd love to see Liam exit, pursued by spoty youths from Hastings, I fear these words will merely be forgotten as he grimly ploughs on to the difficult third album.

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Liam Gallagher's kids are, it turns out, typical kids

Here's some heartwarming news: Liam Gallagher's children are like other children:

He said: ''It's got to the stage where my kids sneak off and go, 'You're not walking with me man.' I'm like, 'Hey, I'm a f***ing cool dad!' 'No you're not.' 'I f***ing am. All your mates think I'm cool anyway...' 'They think you're a bit of a d**k actually' It seems I've got a lot of work to do.''
It's not entirely clear what "work" Liam plans to make himself seem cool to thirteen year-olds; I'm hoping it's wearing a baseball cap back-to-front and using teen slang all the time.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

I know you'll have been worrying...

"How has Peter Andre out of ITV2's Peter Andre Walks Around A Bit reacted to the news that JLS are splitting?"

That's the question that keeps me awake at night, and I'm sure you've felt it too. Police estimate that seventy-four per cent of road accidents this last week have been caused by drowsy drivers, who had spent the night awake wondering.

Wonder no more, for Andre has broken his silence:

Writing in his new! magazine column, he said: ''I'm sad that JLS have split up, but I can understand why they wanted to go out on a high.
You have a connection with the boys, don't you, Pete?
''I'm good mates with all the lads from JLS and want to wish them the best of luck. Marvin Humes even invited me to his and Rochelle's wedding last year, but I couldn't go. I was gutted!''
That wasn't the one I was thinking of.
Peter added: ''Oritse Williams is now being managed by Claire Powell, who manages me, and I know she's got lots of exciting stuff lined up for him. Being under the same management means we'll probably get to hang out lots, which I'm looking forward to.''
I'm sure you'll be hanging out loads and loads. Although, frankly, Claire's thinking of buying a tumble drier, so it's more likely you'll be putting Ortise's laundry into a machine. But still, exciting times, eh?

Gordon in the morning: Unlikely claims

Caroline McGuire meets Little Mix:

Leigh-Anne: A lot of girls tell us we’re their inspiration and role models and that is just from us being ourselves.

I think parents see us as their kids’ role models as well because of the inspirational lyrics that we write. Maybe that’s part of it — they love Change Your Life out there because of the message it has. We’ve had parents come up and thank us for giving their children someone to look up to. That’s an amazing feeling.
Really? Really?

Monday, April 29, 2013

You might like: Uncool

A new music magazine? In 2013? That pays its contributors? Can it really be?

Yes, it can: introducing Uncool:

Here’s what you’ll find inside:

Punk Rock Princesses: A Case For Something Corporate by Devon Maloney
Dangerously In Love: My Decade With Beyonce by Jamieson Cox
Repeat Offenders: Pressing Play, Over And Over Again by Harley Brown
Guiltless Pleasures: Imagining A Post-Snob World by David Greenwald, Simon Vozick-Levinson and Lindsay Zoladz
Miss You Like Crazy: Canada’s Lost Boy Bands by Melody Lau
He Ain’t Even Know It: On Rick Ross, Rap And Responsibility by Henry Adaso
I Don’t Want To Come Back Down From This (Sound)Cloud by Taleen Kalenderian
Why Bother? Talking To Myself About Weezer by Jillian Mapes
It's Three-NinetyNine American, which at current exchange rates is about two fifty in GBP or 198 in Kyrgyzstani Som; pdf only.

Writers being paid. Worth supporting.

Gordon in the morning: Gallagher wears out his welcome

For the first time since their cashback, sorry, comeback, it's possible to feel sorry for The Stone Roses: They've got Liam Gallagher troubles:

A source close to both camps said: “It’s all gone a bit sour recently with Liam and The Roses. There was an ugly incident in Dubai when Liam said a few things that were totally out of order. It didn’t go down well at all.

“Ian, John and Reni are all low-profile lads and don’t subscribe to aggro of any sort.

“They were also getting a little bit p***ed off with him ballooning on the side of the stage every time they played a gig. He had to be escorted off at one show and put behind the mixing desk because he was making such a scene.

“He was then slung out of there for spilling beer on the desk.

“He was generally being a bit of a nob — and The Roses can’t be ar*ed with the panto-mime.”
Just while that sinks in, what sort of person censors "pissed" by taking out three letters but "arsed" by just removing the "s"? What's the point of just taking the "s" out of there anywhere?

The idea of Ian, John and Reni "not subscribing to aggro of any sort" is an interesting one. Not sure how far that flight attendant who was told she was going to have her hands chopped off, or Paul Birch, for that matter.

Still, you've got to feel sorry for the band. Liam's already killed off one Manchester heritage cash-cow; surely he won't bring the Roses down as well?

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Ministry ends, and this time it's final

Sure, Ministry have wound up operations before - they stopped work towards the end of the last decade, picking up again in this - but this time it sounds like Al Jourgensen really is wrapping up for good. He told Noisey why:

Tragically, Ministry's final creative hour with [Mike] Scaccia came right before they broke for the holidays. Three days after leaving the Ministry sessions in El Paso, in the early hours of December 23, Scaccia suffered heart failure onstage while performing with his other band, Rigor Mortis, and was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital. Scaccia’s death both devastated and motivated Jourgensen.

“Mikey was my best friend in the world and there’s no Ministry without him,” he says. “But I know the music we recorded together during the last weeks of his life had to be released to honor him. So after his funeral, I locked myself in my studio and turned the songs we had recorded into the best and last Ministry record anyone will ever here. I can’t do it without Mikey and I don’t want to. So yes, this will be Ministry’s last album.”
The last album is titled From Beer To Eternity, which is a pun which would, frankly, embarrass a late-period episode of Only Fools And Horses.

Harry Styles: The Sunday Mirror would quite like to apologise

Hey, Sunday Mirror. Haven't you got something to say to Harry Styles?

Go on.

Two weeks ago we published an article about Harry Styles from One Direction under the front page headline “Harry’s Boozy Night with Lapdancer”

In that article we claimed that Harry was extremely drunk in a nightclub and had an “intimate” encounter with a lapdancer while he was there.

We also claimed that Harry was out of control. We now accept that this story and the claim that Harry was out of control is untrue.

We would like to apologise to Harry for the distress we caused him by what we published.
Pretty unusually, this apology has a byline:
Ben Rankin is deputy editor of
Not quite sure why an online editor is writing an apology for an article on the paper, or indeed how anyone would construct that final sentence.

This week just gone

10 things from the archive that were read just once this week:

1. Listen with No Rock: Dead Can Dance
2. Gary Barlow closes his record label
3. RIP: MJ Drone
4. Gordon Smart's 2009 "celebrity" golf tournament
5. Pet Shop Boys insist their song about Lady GaGa isn't about Lady GaGa
6. Pete Waterman complains he can't even see his YouTube payments when put inside his millions
7. Rachel Stevens Duece Bigelow sequel role in full
8. RIP: Johnnie Wilder Jr
9. The News Of The World attempts to shock Kate Moss into dumping Pete Doherty
10. Cerys Matthews goes into the jungle

These were this week's interesting releases:

Sweet Baboo - Ships

Download Ships

Miss Kittin - Calling From The Stars

Download Calling From The Stars

Marcella Detroit - The Vehicle

Download The Vehicle

Dead Can Dance - In Concert

Download In Concert

Phoenix - Bankrupt!

Download Bankrupt

Gary Numan - Dead Moon Falling

Download Dead Moon Falling

Hunter Valentine - Collide And Conquer