Saturday, September 07, 2013

Embed and breakfast man: Dance The Slurp

Mention of 7-11 makes the sharing of this mandatory, I think. A novelty single that is so shameful, there's not even a made-up band name on the label:

Rolling Stone: shelf hog

Really interesting post on David Hepworth's blog where he points out that the "terrorist" Rolling Stone issue doubled newsstand sales. To 13,000:

The really interesting thing was this was twice as many as usual, which means that the average issue of Rolling Stone, no matter what superstar, nymphet or American icon is on its cover, no matter how fabulous the cover concept, no matter how expensive the photographer, actually manages to motivate just six and a half thousand Americans to go to the news stand.
Now, it's America, where magazines are sold more through subscription than on the shelves, but that figure of 6,500 is fascinating.

There isn't a supermarket book corner, 7-11 rack or Barnes & Noble display which doesn't carry a couple of issues of each edition Rolling Stone. Even if you cautiously estimate that as 50,000 outlets across the US, with two issues each... that's a hell of a lot of magazines being printed simply to be pulped.

Rockobit: Tommy 'Cosmo' Cosdon

Tommy Cosdon, who swung between two careers as musician and racehorse trainer, has died.

Originally a member of The Sultans, Tommy went on to lead The Counts under his nickname, Cosmo:

He'd go on to form the Shufflin' Dads, and would join various iterations of Soul, Inc; he was still performing last year. And that's alongside building up a jockey school and bloodstock business.

Tommy Cosdon died Friday 6th September; he was 69.

Jessica Simpson has something to say

Why on earth would Jessica Simpson be jealous of Kate Middleton?

(I know, why wouldn't she?)

Pop star Jessica Simpson says she was jealous of Duchess Kate's pregnancy.

The 33-year-old singer, who gave birth to her second child in June, said Kate was glowing throughout her pregnancy, reported Us magazine.

"Kate Middleton was glowing throughout her pregnancy. A lot of pregnant moms were looking at her like, 'How do you do that?!'"
Here's a hint, Jessica: if all you have to worry about is remembering which button you press for the muffin maid, and which you press to summon the butter butler, it's a lot easier to glow.

The real puzzle in this piece, though, is the description of Simspon as a "pop star" - aside from yet-another-Christmas-album, she's not released a record since 2008, and hasn't troubled the top ten in the US since the last millennium. Surely "former" pop star at best?

Friday, September 06, 2013

Embed and breakfast man: The Music Muddle

You're a musician. You need a guiding a hand. But who to turn to?

The answer? Tim Bick, providing insight hard-won through years in the industry...

"When you go into a music shop, as I do, you'll inevitably find someone playing House Of The Rising Sun..."

There's more on YouTube.

[Thanks to @curiousiguana for the tip]

Five Star garden party

You know that episode of Modern Family where one of Spandau Ballet turns up to do a solo gig at one of the houses?

Nothing like that would happen in real life, right?

What's that, Melton Times?

A STAR-STRUCK fan had a birthday bash he’ll never forget when one of the biggest British pop stars of the eighties turned up to sing in his back garden.

Martin Taylor, of Asfordby, was overjoyed when Denise Pearson, lead singer with Five Star and now a solo artist, sang at his 42nd birthday party on Saturday.
Actually it's quite a sweet story - Taylor's a big fan and knows Pearson, so it was a favour for a friend rather than reduced circumstances. But the Melton Times does slightly overboil it:
Renowned as Britain’s answer to the Jackson Five...
Let me just stop you there. "Renowned" is not a synonym for "Desperately marketed as".

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Charles Moore remembers the olden days

Miley's having trouble moving on from something that happened over a week ago, but that's nothing compared to Charles Moore.

Moore still hasn't moved on from that time Russell Brand phoned up Andrew Sachs. The Telegraph's Mandrake column is happy to listen:

Brand thus displayed a peculiar lack of self-awareness when he alluded to Nazi persecution at the GQ [Men of the Year] event, given what Sachs’s own forbears had endured.

Moore drily noted that what Brand and Ross had later subjected Sachs to in their “disgusting” call also amounted to persecution. “I am not convinced that Mr Brand was ever really sorry at all for what he did,” Moore tells me.
Yes, incidentally: that is a grown-up, well-educated man who is idly comparing an ill-judged piece of childishness with the acts of the Nazis. That's surely the proof that will earn Mike Godwin the Nobel.

Miley Cyrus reminds us she did that twerking thing

Miley Cyrus has noticed that people were starting to shut up about her VMA performance, and so has cleared her throat to try and keep people talking about it. This is "breaking her silence", apparently:

Miley Cyrus said: "I don't pay attention to the negative because I've seen this play out so many times."

The 20-year-old was speaking to a crew who are filming the singer for an MTV documentary.
MTV following Miley around, making a documentary about her going on MTV? Ladies and gentlemen, I believe we've got the very first circle twerk in history.
"Madonna's done it. Britney's done it," she said. "Every VMA performance, that's what you're looking for; you're wanting to make history."
Okay, I let the word "documentary" slide, but really: "making history"? At best, you're keeping topical panel games going for a couple of weeks.

Still, nice that there's an admission - however unwittingly - that this was a grab for headlines and not to deliver a great performance. But on that measure alone, Miley fell quite a bit short.

Miley, I served with Britney Spears*. I knew Britney Spears**. Britney Spears was a friend of mine***. Cyrus, you're no Britney Spears****.

* - This isn't true
** - This isn't true, either
*** - This one isn't true, come to that
**** - Truth

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Ministry Of Sound take on Spotify to protect not-so-secret recipe

Ministry of Sound don't really have much of a recorded music business, when you think about it. All it does is scrape together a bunch of other people's singles, bundle 'em up, and flog 'em off.

Trouble is, anyone can create similar bundles of tracks - as a Spotify playlist, for example. And that's what people are doing. And sometimes, they're just emulating the track-listing of MOS collections, and even pointing out that's what they're doing in the name.

This has upset the Ministry. Rather than chuckling "well, we've had two decades of being able to make money out of making mixtapes, which was taking the piss in the first place" and moving on, they're taking legal action, somehow thinking a list of songs is protected by copyright:

“Everyone is talking about curation, but curation has been the cornerstone of our business for the last 20 years,” says [CEO Lohan] Presencer. “If we don’t step up and take some action against a service and users that are dismissing our curation skills as just a list, that opens up the floodgates to anybody who wants to copy what a curator is doing.”
Oh, Lohan. The music industry has spent the time you've been busy shuffling "anthems" into different orders trying to prevent people from helping themselves to the songs themselves; you don't think trying to protect the idea that Jam And Spoon comes after Underworld is a doomed exercise?

Gordon in the morning: Push-button acting

Behind Gordon Smart's impregnable paywall this morning, he's got a story that claims Jenson Button reckons he'd be pretty good if he took up acting as a career.

True, he wasn't the worst thing about this:

But unless he's thinking of making movies with Rory McIlroy as a sidekick to make him seem relatively alright, he might want to stick to his skillset. Jenson, people will always need driving about.

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Lee Ryan: I am not a monster

Have you ever smirked at Lee Ryan? You shouldn't, you know.

Consider yourself warned. Warned, I s... are you still smirking? Stop sniggering at the back.

Radiobit: David Jacobs

There's a lot of love for David Jacobs this morning, after his death yesterday.

Perhaps the best way, from this distance, to understand his influence: he was a Radio One dj before there was a Radio One. He pioneered the UK chart rundown and the record review show. He was playing Elvis when the BBC wasn't even sure that Elvis wasn't toxic.

He broke barriers in a dinner jacket.

Monday, September 02, 2013

For Salon, Springsteen is the new Rolling Stones

Back when The Rolling Stones played Glastonbury, there were slew upon slew of po-faced commentary complaining that people were saying they were old, blissfully ignoring that "The Rolling Stones are old" jokes and observations are almost as old as The Stones themselves.

In fact, @stuartpenney1 dug this out from a 1973 NME:

Now, Salon's EJ Dickson is making the same basic mistake with Bruce Springsteen.

She's filed a bit about how often people tell her that they don't share her love of the Boss. They enumerate reasons:
He's old.
He sucks.
He sucks because he’s old.
He’s old because he sucks.
He sings about being a member of the working class even though he’s made millions and millions of dollars over the past 30 years
“Born in the USA” sucks.
EJ then launches into a spirited defence of his effect, which is mostly fair.

That's not the problem. The problem is the finger-pointing at who dislikes Bruce:
In my 24 years as a die-hard Bruce fan, I have had this conversation approximately eight or nine hundred thousand times. While the people on the other end tend to skew toward a specific demographic — white, male, in a creative profession, dating someone with bangs and an Egon Schiele tattoo — they come from a wide range of socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds, from Bushwick installation artists to a bouncer I met in Ireland, who used his loathing for “Born in the USA” as a launchpad for a diatribe against Michelle Obama and the Gregorian calendar. Yet despite their many differences, these people have two things in common: They’re all around my age (i.e., in their early to mid-20s), and they all loathe Bruce Springsteen. The iron fist of Bruce hatred has come down on millennials, and it has struck even the best and brightest of us.
Now, first of all, using the word "millennials" is, like dressing food with rosemary, seldom an acceptable thing to do in mixed company.

And I don't doubt that EJ does meet young people who struggle to take on board the whole rich/blue collar thing, or share a fundamental misunderstanding of Born In The USA.

But these aren't cavils that have been created by people born in the dying years of the 20th Century.

Thinking Born In The USA is some sort of proud American anthem dates back so far it's believed that someone walking their dog past Bruce's house when he was first writing the song heard a few lines coming through an open window and stood, saluting, like they were at a baseball match. Probably.

And the "he's rich, not working class" trope dates back long before twentysomethings were born - and here, once again, we can call the NME as evidence:
John Peel - not a man to be fazed by a bit of grey in the hair - despised Springsteen, and would often argue with Andy Kershaw about him.

Intense and unfair dislike of the man from New Jersey isn't a new thing the kids have come up with; instead - as hipsters so often do - they've just dusted down something from their parents and are claiming it as theirs.

Sunday, September 01, 2013

Just so we're clear...

Lee Ryan is not a badger:

This week just gone

These were the most-read stories from August:

1. Even Johnny Borrell's own record label sniggers at his low sales
2. Miley Cyrus waves her arse; Daily Mail clears the front page
3. NME pulls off tricky 'decent Reading/Leeds preview issue'
4. Listen: Tears For Fears cover Arcade Fire
5. Even Liam Gallagher's divorce sounds like a Beatles cover version
6. You insult Matt Cardle, you've got Mel C to deal with
7. Bros reunion ahoy… perhaps
8. NME circulation continues to decline
9. Fran Healy is angry with Beyonce
10. Shock: Robbie Williams wears unironed shirt

These were last week's most interesting releases:

Belle & Sebastian - The Third Eye Centre

Download Third Eye Centre

Franz Ferdinand - Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Actions

Download Right Thoughts...

Marc Bolan - At The BBC