Saturday, October 19, 2013

Pink finds a rule allowing for food to be eaten

Pink's normally quite close to a real person, which makes stories like this disappointing:

Pink gorged on cheesecake and chicken wings during her pregnancy.

The 'True Love' singer loved being pregnant with her daughter Willow, now two, because it meant she could indulge in her favourite fattening snacks without feeling any guilt.
Really? Because under which circumstances should you feel guilty for eating food? Is it only when you're pregnant is there this surprising get-out, or are there other circumstances?

"I've got a veruca - that means I'm able to have cheese on toast without the need to attend confession."

"Having just been a bus crash, I can either trade that in for two pounds of sausages, or a piece of millionaire shortbread - without declaring either on my income tax form."

"Papercut! Jane, send for doughnuts and tell my solicitor to prepare the exemption paperwork."

Later in the interview that Contactmusic is quoting from, Pink does say that she loves her food, but not before a lot about how much exercise she did to get back "into shape" after the birth of her kid.

Because god forbid you just enjoy being a parent and don't worry about your abs for a few months, eh?

NME oversells products

What's this, NME?

Dinosaur Jr have launched their own clothing line.
Really? J Mascis has been up all night fretting over hemlength, has he?
Frontman J Mascis has teamed up with New York clothing company Mishka for a range of band-branded beanie hats, T-shirts and jackets.
Ah, so when you say "launched their own clothing line", you mean "put some band merchandise on sale."

Countryobit: Marc Trovillion

Marc Trovillion, once bassist for Lambchop, has died.

There's a statement from the band:

As he often liked to say, Marc was a charter member of Lambchop. The band’s origins can be traced directly to his Nashville bedroom, where Marc, Kurt Wagner and original guitarist Jim Watkins first got together in 1987 for weekly practices, equipped with only a Casio keyboard, an amp and a mic strapped to the bedpost.
No matter where Lambchop might have been — in smoky practice sessions, packed into a 15-passenger van, or playing the great concert halls of Europe — Marc’s steady, solid bass playing and his innate sense of humor served as the glue that kept Lambchop together. “Buddie T,” as he was known by friends, supplied the band with a steady stream of jokes, off-the-wall stories and whatever beer could be found close to hand. Along with helping to define the band’s sound, he also made his own contributions to Lambchop’s recorded output, including “The Theme From the Neil Miller Show,” the closing track from What Another Man Spills.

Listen to any Lambchop recording up through Is a Woman, and that’s not just Marc’s bass playing you hear — all around the notes, you’re hearing his freewheeling spirit, his love of music, food, drink and people. Though Lambchop eventually swelled to include more than a dozen members, and though Marc himself stopped playing regularly with the band after he relocated to Chattanooga a decade ago, that spirit has always remained a guiding force — and it will continue to as long as Lambchop is a band.

Marc leaves behind a son, Hatch; two brothers; his mother; and all of us who loved him. He will be dearly missed. For those who would like to honor Marc’s memory, a trust has been set up for his son Hatch. Checks can be made out to the Marc Trovillion Legacy Trust and mailed to 825 Kirkwood Ave., Nashville, TN 37204.
Marc's AllMusic Biography is written by the estimable Eugene Chadbourne:
Frankly, the decision to start off by mentioning that this artist is a co-writer of a track entitled "I Sucked My Boss's Dick" is pure sensationalism, flirts with obscenity, and will probably be personally embarrassing to Nashville bassist Marc Trovillion. Yet it is a winning alternative to describing him as a rhythm section player from a city where that species is as common as discarded pine cones in a forest.
Marc Trovillion was 56.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Noel Gallagher has some views

GQ has decided that Noel Gallagher is its Icon Of The Year.

No, I checked, it's definitely from this year. It's unclear what Noel has done that is iconic this year - maybe he had a hand in the death of Thatcher that we shan't discover until the Thirty Year Rule reveals its secrets.

As a thank you to GQ, Noel has given them half-an-hour of his 'drunk nan at Christmas' worldview. Shall we take a look?

On radio promos: "Why have I got to be there at seven in the morning? Who's listening at f***ing seven in the morning? C***s, that's who's."
Perhaps if you weren't fading into pantomime damery, they'd give you a slightly better slot, Noel?

It's interesting that Gallagher seems to have abandoned his man of the people act here; the obvious response - 'those cunts are the ones who get up at six thirty to go out and work to earn they money they spend on seeing you play your stupid Union Jack guitar' - has eluded him.
On the Brit Awards: "You can be sat at a table with a load of people from an insurance company. 'Where you from? Classical label?', 'No. AIG.' 'Well, what the f*** are you doing here?'"
Noel, you've gone to an event organised by that major record labels to sell their products. Who do you think own those labels? Are you assuming they're some sort of mutual organisation? They're owned by shareholders; most of those shareholders will be insurance companies and pension funds and investment banks.

Those people are your bosses. Your role at the Brits - and, really, have you not worked this out after all these years? - is to be a dancing bear for the people who underwrite your career.

I really hope someone from the AIG team leaned over and said "these are the 2013 Brit Awards - what the fuck are you doing here?"

And Noel has a thing to say about books, too:
I only read factual books. I can't think of... I mean, novels are just a waste of f***ing time. I can't suspend belief in reality... I just end up thinking, 'This isn't f***ing true.' I like reading about things that have actually happened. I'm reading this book at the minute - The Kennedy Tapes. It's all about the Cold War, the Cuban Missile Crisis - I can get into that. Thinking, 'Wow, this actually f***ing happened, they came that close to blowing the world up!' But... what f***ing winds me up about books..., like... my missus will come in with a book and it will be titled - and there's a lot of these, you can substitute any word, it's like a Rubik's Cube of shit titles - it'll be entitled The Incontinence Of Elephants. And I'll say "What's that book about?" And she'll say, "Oh it's about a girl and this load of f***ing nutters..." Right... so it's not about elephants, then? Why the f*** is it called The Incontinence Of Elephants? Another one: The Tales Of The Clumsy Beekeeper. What's that about? "Oh it's about the French Revolution." Right, f*** off. If you're writing a book about a child who's locked in a f***ing cupboard during the f***ing Second World War... he's never seen an elephant. Never mind a f***ing giraffe.
On the same basis, I'm launching a class action lawsuit against Noel and The High Flying Birds because there are no birds whatsoever in the band, and nothing particularly high flying about them either. Why didn't he just call the band what it is, Noel Gallagher And Some People Who Have Mortgages.

There's something unsurprising but dispiriting about a songwriter - a fucking songwriter, as Noel would put it - who lacks the ability to even understand the concept of metaphor. At all. A songwriter who cheerfully admits he lacks imagination.

This, then, is GQ's icon - a man happily ill-equipped for his job, and too stupid to realise it.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

There is a title that should never come out: Morrissey - The Autobiography

You spoke in silhouette (but they couldn't name you).

Much excitement today, with the release of the Morrissey autobiography. It's like Harry Potter for the middle-aged; only Harry Potter took several hundred pages to be convinced of his greatness.

Yes, shops have opened at midnight, presumably for people who were afraid that Mozzer: My Struggle might vanish at the first striking of daylight.

The whole bunch of stunt around the launch, though, has surely done more to chip away at the myth more than any book could burnish it? The tacky pretend-strop of a couple of weeks ago, for example: sure, cheaper than advertising but hardly edifying.

And the decision to release on the Penguin Classic imprint doesn't help. I know there's some argument that this is akin to the revival of HMV for his solo albums, but it doesn't quite work. Penguin Classics isn't defunct; it's an imprint that is still going and (used to) have a high barrier to entry.

Letting Moz onto this list diminishes Penguin a bit, but more importantly shows what a dead ear Morrissey has these days. Behaviour that seemed charming when you're a young man who had just written Meat Is Murder looks desperate when you're older and your last single was Something Is Squeezing My Skull.

Going on the Junior Puffin list would have been funny, the sort of swagger you'd expect. Reviving Ptarmigan, Penguin's quiz imprint - that would have been consistent. Penguin Classics? It comes across as lazy bragadoccio.

Let's not lose sight of what this is: it's a cash-in book for the Christmas market; trying to dress it up as something other isn't going to work.

You might once have been the last of the international playboys, alongside Bowie, Devoto and Eno. Now you're just first on the WH Smith signing table wishlist, with Holden, Saunders and Union J.

Bowie has shown this year, once again, that what marks him out is an endless capacity for reinvention.

Stephen Morrissey reinvented himself once, too, as Morrissey. And thank god he did; nobody would wish The Smiths away.

But that one reinvention was all he had; since then, it's just been relaunching and reworking that one idea. It's like getting William Hartnell with every regeneration, only a slightly more pantomimic Hartnell each time.

So have fun, settling scores and tending the grounds of your own memorial pyre. But your lyrics intrigued because they only half-revealed who might be; why throw away your talent for the occluded autobiography by going for the tell-all?

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The cycle of life in action

John Merrick was a sensation; he wasn't like other men.

Michael Jackson was a sensation; he wasn't like other men.

Lady GaGa was a sensation; she wasn't like other women.

John Merrick had a terrible life. He left behind a skeleton.

Michael Jackson had a terrible life. He left behind photos of his head all burned after trying to sell soda.

Michael Jackson tried to buy John Merrick's skeleton.

Lady GaGa is trying to buy the Jackson injury photos.

Showbusiness turns; it then turns again.

French and Saunders machine-gun Lulu to death

Maybe not to death.

Who knew that the Cheltenham Literature Festival's big reveal this year would be that French and Saunders once shot Lulu?

They did. With her consent. But it wasn't supposed to hurt:

She was machine-gunned Pulp Fiction-style by Jennifer and Dawn French for singing her hit Shout too loudly.

The comedy duo picked up machine guns to blast the pop star who had blood pellets hidden in her clothes.

Saunders told the Cheltenham Literature Festival: “Lulu had been warned to keep her arms well away from her body when the blood pellets exploded.”

Unfortunately she left one arm a bit too close and she suffered a wound to her arm the size of a £2 coin and twice as deep."
You'll notice that Jennifer there does a bit of classic victim blaming there - oh, if only Lulu had kept her arms still we wouldn't have put holes in her body. What sort of monster are you, Saunders?

At least Canon and Ball only shot their own kind.

Twittergem: Neko Case

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Motownobit: Maxine Powell

Maxine Powell, who ran Motown's Artist Development Department, has died.

Powell always had one foot in performance and one in deportment - during the 1930s and early 40s, she would perform a one-woman comedy show by night, teach etiquette by day.

She settled in Detroit in 1951, where she opened a banqueting house and started to promote events; she was instrumental in persuading the city's motor industry to include African American models in their advertising.

Amongst the models she worked with was Gwen Gordy Fuqua. The sister of Berry Gordy, Gwen introduced Maxine to Motown, which would become the only label to train its young artists in how to behave.

As the HistoryMakers site tells it:

Powell taught Marvin Gaye posture and how to sing with his eyes open. Diana Ross, The Temptations, and Martha Reeves acknowledge Powell as the one who taught them how to enter a room and work with their fans.
Maxine Powell was 98; she died Monday, 14th October in Southfield, Michigan.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Embed and breakfast man: The Cure

Less keen on Depeche Mode? How about The Cure, then, also from this weekend's Austin City Limits festival:

Embed and breakfast man: Depeche Mode

Depeche Mode played Austin City Limits this weekend. Here's the whole thing:

X Factor: You're wasting your time

Interesting to note that the X Factor is getting Katy Perry and Robin Thicke in next week.

For a show that is supposedly suggesting that fame is down purely to talent, curious that the actual singers they turn to both owe their careers to famous parents.

After 10 years of identifying people with this X Factor, shouldn't there be a big pool of internal celebrity, more than large enough to fill every slot that calls for a big name?

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Katy Perry: Good news for comedy

Apparently Katy Perry has "put her comedy plans on hold" because she's just too busy:

She tells “Jimmy Fallon,” a former “SNL” regular, “I wish I could do some comedy sketches because I love being around comedians, I love the air, I love the kind of craziness… but I have to go all over the world and I’m only one person, I’m not, like, in a band or in a girl group, so I have to delegate my time very carefully.

“I’m, like, picking out the costumes for the dancers, and writing the lyrics, and making sure all the lights are right and everything. I have a great team that really helps me and I couldn’t do it without them, but I am definitely the captain of my ship and everybody reports to me.”
I love the idea that it's being a solo artist which makes the time crunch so profound - yeah, if only she had a bassist or a drummer she could send to do the gigs, she'd be able to be a regular on CopyCats.

Hear'Say managed to combine being in Hear'Say with a Saturday night light entertainment show, which contained elements that were clearly expected to be treated as comedy items. Admittedly, there were more of them, but generally, there was roughly the same total amount of clue had spread across Hear'Say as there is with Perry.

It won't happen for Perry any time soon, though, as at the moment she's incredibly busy being eclipsed by Miley Cyrus at every turn.

Pride of Britain meets brains of pop

Hey, when Nicole Scherzinger turns up at an event that will, in part be honouring one of the most famous teenagers on the planet, it's enough that she turns up, right? You can't expect her to know who she is:

The former Pussycat Dolls singer was conducting interviews before the Pride of Britain awards on Monday (07Oct13) when she was quizzed about the teenage activist, who was being honoured at the event after hitting headlines around the world last October (12), when she was shot in the head by Taliban gunmen opposed to her beliefs about education for girls and women in her native Pakistan.

Scherzinger faltered as she responded, "Malala? I don't know that story that well, but is she still..."

The reporter filled her in on Yousafzai's story and she quickly hailed the youngster, replying, "Amazing. She's a righteous, empowering, powerful woman, and God bless her."
To be fair, you wouldn't expect Nicole to understand every detail of every person who is going to get a prize in the Pride Of Britain Awards, and her main purpose was to make up for the fact that Will I Am was busy, but... it seems rather a gap in your briefings, surely?

This week just gone

Perpetual October: The most read stories from any October that have been read this year:

1. The Daily Mail believes Katy Perry is fat [2010]
2. Kerry Katona makes the Savile story be about her [2012]
3. Glastonbury ticket sales have annual miserable experience [2013]
4. Lostprophets call it a day [2013]
5. Lauren Mayberry kicks back against web sexism [2013]
6. RIP: Paul Walters [2006]
7. Edith Bowman removes clothes to somehow defeat cancer [2007]
8. Gordon Smart and Alex James pissing [2012]
9. Louise Redknap says she won't do bikini shots any more, but happy to talk to Playboy if the money is right
10. McFly 'drag up' on stage

These were last week's interesting new releases:

Sleigh Bells - Bitter Rivals

Download Bitter Rivals

Lee Ranaldo & The Dust - Last Night On Earth

Download Last Night On Earth

Prefab Sprout - Crimson/Red

Download Crimson/Red

Anna Calvi - One Breath

Download One Breath