Saturday, February 01, 2014

Skinny Puppy demand their fee

Having discovered that their music was being used in Guantanamo as part of - remind me, what's the current sanitised phrase for 'torture' they're using at the moment? - Skinny Puppy have sent a bill:

"We heard through a reliable grapevine that our music was being used in Guantanamo Bay prison camps to musically stun or torture people," founder cEvin Key told the Phoenix New Times. "We heard that our music was used on at least four occasions."

"So we thought it would be a good idea to make an invoice to the US government for musical services," Key added.
The surprise is that the team from PRS - who I'd assumed had left no business unbothered for one of their licences - hadn't yet made it to Cuba to insist that the US Military get a little sticker for the door.

A second shot at obscurity

Revenge is a dish best served well past its sell-by date, apparently:

A TALENTED singer, who was once dropped from a hit girlband by Louis Walsh, is to make her TV comeback this weekend.

Cork woman Paula O'Neill (33) will appear on this Sunday's Voice of Ireland, more than a decade after being dumped unceremoniously out of the band Bellefire.

Paula was never given an explanation as to why she was kicked out of the group, co-managed by Louis Walsh, and said that she would love to finally hear an answer.
If, as the Herald claims, she is a talented singer, it'd make sense why she wouldn't have fitted in with Bellefire.

Still, you can understand her continued ire at being kicked out of the band. For the last decade, she's known the pain of not being in a hugely successful pop group.

Which, to be fair, she'd also have known if she'd been in Bellefire.

Friday, January 31, 2014

The Artist Formerly Known As A Litigious Gadfly

Prince had launched a lawsuit demanding millions in damages from defendants, known and unknown, who he believed had been helping distribute unlicenced copies of his music.

It was a move about as popular as his last couple of records, and in the face of a huge backlash, he's backed down. He's trying to spin this as a victory:

On Wednesday, TMZ quoted Prince's attorneys as saying: "Because of the recent pressure, the bootleggers have now taken down the illegal downloads and are no longer engaging in piracy. We recognize the fans craving for as much material as possible, but we’d prefer they get it from us directly than from third parties who are scalpers rather than real fans of our work."
Yes. It's absolutely likely that you'd not have been able to get the links taken down without demanding stupid levels of damages, Mr. Prince.

MTV notices women at gigs, senses a trend

That MTV has a section on its website called Guy Code is bad enough. That it runs stuff like this...:

... is unbelievable.
Why Are There So Many Cute Girls At Metal & Hardcore Concerts Now?
Perhaps, Ethan Fixell, they're there because they like the music?

Or, if you need something a little more chunky to make an article, perhaps they're there because they like the music and had assumed that in 2014 there were a bunch of sexist, sweaty cocklegs at the venues who acted like it was even a thing.

Almost every part of this think-with-your-dick-piece will make first your feet, and then your legs, curl up with horror that a proper media company would run this sort of thing in 2014:
When Dying Fetus, a death metal act not exactly known for catering to female tastes
By this, I suppose, Ethan means that Dying Fetus have no songs about ponies or babies.
... recently came to New York City, the Gramercy Theatre was — shock of shocks — populated with plenty of beautiful ladies.
As a frequenter of such concerts for over a dozen years, I couldn’t believe my eyes. Death metal events are known to be…how do I put this…”vaginally-challenged.”
Vaginally-challenged. I know all writers want to come up with neologisms, but there are some newborn phrases which are crying out to be taken down the canal and put in a burlap sack. The impression of a man standing at a gig saying "hey, there's a shortage of vaginas in here; there must be something challenging these vaginas about coming in..." is an image nobody would want to share, surely?
Is this Dying Fetus crowd a new trend at hardcore and metal shows? And if so, why are so many hot ladies now showing up?
In other words, how has hardcore over come the vagina challenge? It's interesting, by the way, that Fixell only seems interested in the "hot ladies".
My opportunity to get to the bottom of this came when Brooklyn Vegan and Red Bull announced a surprise Pig Destroyer performance at Brooklyn’s Saint Vitus Bar. Once again, my experience-based assumptions were wrong, as neither chaos nor sausage were in excessive abundance at the door.
Sausage! He's an equal opportunities reductivist.
Within a minute of entering the club, I met Sarabeth and Noa, two cute women who were also quick to support my hypothesis: “Oh, I definitely think the [girl-to-guy] ratio is evening out,” said Noa.
You've only been in the club a minute, and already women are rushing to support your hypothesis. Except Noa hasn't, has she? Because first of all, she's talking about the entire gender balance, and isn't engaging with your hypothesis about "cute girls/hot ladies", and secondly, she says that balance is "evening out" - and even the very fact that she has enough experience to judge this pretty much proves there have always been women at these gigs, and they've not just started to appear.
The change isn’t lost on the bands, either. Pig Destroyer bassist John Jarvis told me that while working at the Summer Slaughter Tour (featuring The Dillinger Escape Plan and Cattle Decapitation), he “never saw so many beautiful women before,” also noting happily that “side boob seemed to be a popular theme.”
John Jarvis there, doing his best to try and make gigs hostile places for women. But it's not just the bands who are working on looking at the audience in a creepy way:
Even Jeff, a bouncer at Saint Vitus, has noticed a change in crowd composition in just the two years he’s worked there. “There are more and more women at these shows. Especially more single women in groups. In fact, I’m trying to get laid tonight.”
Reassuring to know that, while he's also there to ensure the crowd are safe, Jeff is also taking the time to try and get to have sex with some of the people he's supposed to be looking after.
Lila and Lyndsay, two attractive female metal vets who have been going to hardcore shows “since Marauder played CBGB” (whenever that was) also confirmed an increasing number of girls at these types of shows.
Ethan, do you not think your entire 'I am an expert in this area and girls are showing up now' article falls apart when you meet women at gigs who have clearly been doing it for longer, and have far more knowledge about the scene, than you?
I asked them why they thought this might be happening.

“Because they wanna meet dudes?” joked Lyndsay.
Perhaps this is all Lyndsay said. Or perhaps a jokey, throwaway reference that fits the tone of the article has been selected.
Joke or not, metal and hardcore music no longer solely appeals to angry misanthropic males with poor social skills.
Yeah, the band gurgling about sideboobs and the bouncers hoping to get laid and the writer banging on about hot ladies really demonstrates that.

Sorry, I'm being unfair. Ethan's doing research, isn't he? Lets see what his 'going to one gig and using that as evidence' sweep turns up.
The guys in the Pig Destroyer pit looked pretty mainstream to me.
Ultimately, shows aren’t as scary as they were 20 or even 10 years ago, back when “mosh pit” was defined as “place to punch / get punched in the face.”
So actually, this article you've written about how there's a bunch of women at gigs is actually a piece about how metal gigs just have a wider appeal lost in a sexist puddle, is it?

By the way, Ethan Fixell is 31 years old. If he really was going to hardcore gigs twenty years ago, maybe the reason he found them frightening wasn't because of the lack of women, but because he was a preteen.
Bouncer Jeff has noticed that these days, “When someone falls, everybody picks ‘em up.”
Yeah, Jeff. You're there trying to get laid. We know you're trying to pick people up.
Punk rock seems to now tolerate a much more supportive vibe. In fact, I twice witnessed Pig Destroyer vocalist J. R. Hayes ask the crowd to give the front row some breathing room, a request which would have been mocked in most hardcore rooms of the ’80s and ’90s.
Again, Fixell's knowledge of what happened at hardcore gigs in the 1980s is incredible for someone who didn't turn 10 until the 1992.
The internet has helped demystify extreme music, making it more accessible and less intimidating. A girl can watch clips from a Napalm Death concert and see that it’s not so scary after all, which makes her much more likely to attend.
Or she might read an article and discover that members of Pig Destroyer are trying to see her tits, and decide to go and see a different band entirely.

Even if he wasn't being so damn patronising, Fixell makes no sense - surely the point of extreme music is to be intimidating to everybody? Maybe these girls watching the clips aren't thinking 'why, providing I tie my bonnet tightly I might be able to attend this concert event and remain alive by the end of it' but just 'wooooah that is fucking wooooaaah I MUST GO AND EXPERIENCE THIS NOW'? Did it occur to Fixell that what the internet has done for hardcore is what it has done for all sorts of musical types - allowed it to find a larger audience by making it easier to discover things you might not have come across otherwise? And that might account for the increasing, less intense audience of all genders?

It sort of has, it turns out, but he only takes the though as far as 'perhaps this has something to do with Pinterest':
And plenty of studies have shown that women are more apt to share photos or videos online than men are, thus creating a quicker spread of the news amongst themselves.
At this point MTV helpfully pastes in a selfie it appears to have lifted from the Facebook page of latex model Dani Divine to illustrate, erm, something.

So far, then, so bad. But it's about to get worse, as Ethan makes the leap from wittering on about women being at gigs to thinking about how we might use this knowledge to hit on them.
Ultimately, it doesn’t matter why cute girls are there — they’re there. So get your ass to a metal, punk or hardcore show. It can be easy to pick up a woman at such a concert if you follow a few quick preparation tips:
Yeah, women at punk gigs are easy to pick up, providing you put in the work beforehand. I'm starting to think Ethan Fixell must assume the Barney episodes of How I Met Your Mother are documentaries.
Dress Slightly Better Than Everyone Else

If you own anything nicer than a Cannibal Corpse shirt and torn jeans, you already have an advantage over your competition. But for God’s sake, it’s still a metal show: Leave the chiffon sweater at home.
Or, on the other hand, the women might be at the gig because they want to listen to the band, and don't care what you're wearing.
Bring A Wingman (Or, Bonus Points, Wingwoman)

Single metal chicks often travel in packs, and it’s easier to approach such a crew with a pal in tow. Plus, it’ll help mask your ulterior motives, you head-bobbing lurker, you.
I think no matter how many wingmen you have, your attempts to clumsily hit on women are stalkery, creepy motives that you're not going to be able to easily mask. The tiny semi is always a give-away.
Get There Early

The show is going to be loud as hell, and you won’t be able to talk to anyone when the music starts playing. Early arrival will help you get a lay of the land, a feel for who’s there and the ability to talk to a woman without screaming at her like the vocalist for a powerviolence band.
I imagine for anyone who is actually following the article with anything other than a depressed horror the phrase "the ability to talk to a woman" is going to sound like a cruel jibe.

But remember, guys: make sure you get there before the music starts and spoils the whole point of going to a gig in the first place.
Bring Extra Pairs Of Earplugs

Offering them to a lady is a great icebreaker, and she’ll appreciate your thoughtfulness. Protecting your ears doesn’t make you less of a man — it demonstrates your caring, paternal instincts. (WARNING: May cause imminent pregnancy.)
Who knew that it was possible to take a sensible precaution, and make turn that into something creepy?
Know Your Sh*t

Noa even offered me a tip of her own: “Don’t assume that [any girl] is there because a guy dragged her there by the hair,” she said. “Assume that she’s into the music. Talk to her like you would talk to any other fan.” A dude into metal or hardcore can fare pretty well at any show.
I think what Noa was trying to say was 'talk to her like she's a person, not a vagina'. But that advice would have come too late.

I think, really, Laura Snapes probably summed this piece up best, and swiftest:

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Lorde: Telegraph readers share their views

After Helmer and the Mail, let's go for the trifecta and see what Telegraph readers make of Lorde's views on the music industry.

Some context; the article quotes Lorde talking about the Faustian pact she's made:

She said she was becoming used to being a public commodity, adding "the fact that I'm getting used to it frightens me".

"There is a difference between attn from fans, which I love, and the constant, often lecherous gaze that I'm subjected to in this industry," she tweeted.

"I know that success comes with a price tag. it just sucks when you see that in your tiny home country where you previously felt safe."
A fairly balanced expression of a horrible situation, right?

Not once the Telegraph readers have got to it:
Steve Moxon • 2 hours ago
She should be so lucky. An ordinary-looker like her goes for stardom to up her chances of getting a 'lecherous gaze' from a high-status guy.
There's never any limit to female hypocrisy.
Yes, that's right. Women who fail to live up to Steve Moxon's high standards of sexual attractiveness would only want to become popstars so a "high status guy" would perve at them.
Andy mx • 3 hours ago
she's not even attractive..... talk about being up your own backside
Why would you even have an opinion on this unless Andy mx found you attractive?

Someone tries to support Lorde:
susieq2u • 5 hours ago
the lecherous gaze she's subjected to in the industry is real and it's from creepy aging pedophiles who are dying to convince her to disrobe... She was the only fully dressed female performer at the Grammys. And her performance was stunning. Hope this kid can stay strong and true to herself.
... and immediately becomes a target:
Steve Moxon susieq2u • an hour ago
This is the definition of paedophilia where the age of the girl is any age younger than yours, then?
Paedophilia is the exclusive sexual interest in pre-pubescents. 'Lorde' [sic] is SEVENTEEN. That's SIX TO SEVEN YEARS POST-PUBERTY.
It's not clear if Steve really doesn't understand the way younger women are presented as even younger than they are in parts of mainstream culture, or - more worryingly - that he believes that paedophilia ceases to be in any way disturbing providing the child has reached puberty. Or if he just gets out a kick of pretending he doesn't understand.

Won't someone think of the children?
Thomas • 5 hours ago
No one asked you to release music to the public, you retard so stfu and think of the starving Africans while you're getting millions for singing a boring song. ARSEHOLE!
Oh. Not quite the children I was thinking of. But, er, yes, how dare you express an opinion about your life when your job doesn't directly feed starving children. (Thomas, perhaps, thinks that every time he calls someone a retard on the Daily Telegraph site, someone gives a child in South Sudan a cup of grain.)

And on and on it rolls:
Rideintothesun • 14 hours ago −
You can't have your cake and eat if comes to mind here love. Post Cobain, it appears to have become a requirement that every aspiring 'alternative' star must, at periodic points of their privileged existence, issue asinine whines about the evils of wouldn't surprise me in the least if this was some sort of contractual obligation. Perhaps she could console herself with the fact that, up until this point, I hadn't heard of her.
Rideintothesun hadn't heard of Lorde until now, but having just discovered her he's managed to decide that she's in some way like Kurt Cobain, working in a vague 'alternative' music style, and decided that her complaint must be completely without basis and probably part of a marketing drive. Just in the few seconds it took to read a very short Telegraph article. Imagine what he'd be able to get out of something more substantial, like three minutes watching one of Lorde's songs.

I know, I know. You shouldn't read the comments on anything, much less papers owned by reclusive twins who live in a castle in the sea. But sometimes you have to dip in, if only to remind yourself that maybe an asteroid striking Earth wouldn't be all bad.

Ellie Goulding wears an outfit

Ellie Goulding played a gig in Cologne earlier in the week. Here's a photo of her doing just that:

How would you describe that outfit?

Hmm. And if you were a shrill, link-baiting former newspaper turned SEO machine like the Daily Mail?
She's not short of admirers: Singer Ellie Goulding takes to the stage wearing bondage-inspired outfit in Germany
Bondage-inspired? In what way (except for 'trying to pick up some murkier Google natural searches') is that bondage-inspired?

It seems the words "bondage-inspired" was, erm, inspired by Perez Hilton describing the outfit thus. So that's a reliable source, then.

Twittergem: Justin Bieber

Roger Helmer, UKIP MEP, has taken a break from pointing out places where it's snowing and saying 'ha! What happened to global warming, eh?' to, er, stand up for Justin Bieber:

I suspect Roger has been so busy attacking renewable energy - he literally tilts at windmills - that he might not have had time to think through that when celebrity stories mention "prescription drugs", they're not suggesting that the person involved had popped down to the local chemist with a script for a packet of Diflucan. Or, indeed, had a prescription at all.

It's unclear if this marks an official UKIP policy on Justin Bieber, although given that Nigel Farage ripped up the last manifesto, it's possible that there are no UKIP policies on anything.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

This was always going to happen

You knew it would happen sooner or later. It doesn't make it any easier.

Madonna turns up, tries desperately to elbow her way into Miley Cyrus narrative.

Onlookers said "it's just like that time she sucked every last ounce of joy out of Britney Spears."

Miley Cyrus fans commented "who's the old lady? Is she like Alma Cogan or someone?"

Kym Marsh to return to music with the help of... hang on, is this a typo?

Is Kym Marsh really planning to relaunch her music career? (If you can call being in Hear'Say a music career in the first place?)

Given that her character in Coronation Street is being so awfully written at the moment, it's easy to see how music might seem a more tempting job. But it's quite a big task to go from the Rovers to the charts again. She'd need help.

What's that, Daily Mirror? She's got help?

Kym Marsh is looking to go from soap star back to pop star with news David Gest is pushing her to relaunch a career in music.
Gest is pairing her up with Candi Staton for a gig he's organising, and sees it leading onto bigger things:
He added: "I think this record will put Kym right back on top of the charts. Candi and Kym will perform a duet together on the closing date of my tour at Gilgamesh in Camden.

"They will be performing Candi's version of 'Suspicious Minds', which was a top 10 hit for her in the UK."
Suspicious Minds peaked at 31 in the UK.

It looks like a typical bit of Gest work - a Marsh/Staton live duet would be an interesting thing and worth mentioning, but as ever, he's overselling it as something that it isn't. I suspect Marsh better prepare herself for another few years of yomping through never-ending rows with Tracy Barlow yet.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Ministry hits trouble

What are your plans for February? Al Jourgensen is spending his in rehab:

My sobriety will not, and I repeat, not knock off my sarcasm. If anything, it will intensify. I appreciate the support from my brother and family. I kicked dope and crack by myself, but I need help on this one, so all your thoughts and prayers are more than welcome."
Al Jourgensen requesting prayers? It must be worse than we thought.

Folkobit: Pete Seeger

Pete Seeger, American legend and folk singer, has died.

The New York Times obituary explains how he was a one-man timeline of the American left:

He sang for the labor movement in the 1940s and 1950s, for civil rights marches and anti-Vietnam War rallies in the 1960s, and for environmental and antiwar causes in the 1970s and beyond. “We Shall Overcome,” which Mr. Seeger adapted from old spirituals, became a civil rights anthem.

USA Today pointed out his unique double, which hopefully will never be repeated:
Seeger is the only singer in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame who was convicted of contempt of Congress. In 1955, he refused to testify about his past membership in the Communist Party. (He later said he quit the party in 1949 and "should have left much earlier. It was stupid of me not to...I thought Stalin was the brave secretary Stalin and had no idea how cruel a leader he was.")
The LA Times captured why folk music attracted the young Seeger:
Seeger fell in love with the old-fashioned five-string banjo. "I liked the rhythms," he said. "I liked the melodies, time-tested by generations of singers." Above all, he said, he liked the words.

"Compared to the trivialities of most popular songs, the words of these songs had all the meat of human life in them," Seeger said. "They sang of heroes, outlaws, murderers, fools. They weren't afraid of being tragic instead of just sentimental.... Above all, they seemed frank, straightforward, honest."
Volksrant remembered that Seeger was passionate to the end:
He continued to write songs, targeting world leaders and environmental pollution, such as in 2010, with a song about the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
How did he see his role? The New York Times went for a simple quote:
“My job,” he said in 2009, “is to show folks there’s a lot of good music in this world, and if used right it may help to save the planet.”
USA Today, though, went with one that had a bit more nuance to it:
"Songs won't save the planet," Seeger told his biographer David Dunlap, author of How Can I Keep From Singing? "But, then, neither will books or speeches...Songs are sneaky things. They can slip across borders. Proliferate in prisons." He liked to quote Plato: "Rulers should be careful about what songs are allowed to be sung."
On Sunday night, Stephen Colbert beat Seeger to the Grammy in the best spoken word category.

Seeger was 94; he died from natural causes in New York.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Listen with No Rock: Chvrches

You'll have seen this elsewhere on the internet, but anyway, you'll be able to enjoy it again, yes? Chvrches cover Bauhaus:

It's for the film Vampire Academy, which used to be Blooddrinkers' Comprehensive until Michael Gove intervened.

Grammys 2014: Daft Punk get lucky

Emmylou Harris, Black Sabbath, Herb Alpert, Led Zeppelin. Nothing says "it's the 1970s" like the 2014 Grammy awards. Even Paul McCartney got a prize, for that Sound City project thing, which made a nice change from the bit of the ceremony which they banged on about The Beatles. Where they reunited The Beatles, or what's left of them. Oh, and The Beatles even got a prize, too. The Beatles.

Oh, sure, there's a few prizes given to Daft Punk, but really, more than ever, this year's Grammys was The Music Industry Nurtures The Artist Who Are At The Heart Of A Catalogue Business Strategy. (Effectively, a prize for Bruno Mars and Michael Buble is the same thing - if not artists who made records twenty years ago, then artists who could have made their records twenty years ago.)

Meanwhile, the long battle for the right to marry the person you love was reduced to a stunt at a music business jolly as Macklemore and Ryan Lewis wheeled in Madonna and Queen Latifah to rush through a Moonie-style mass wedding:

The weddings of 33 couples during the Grammy Awards were legally presided over by Queen Latifah. The rapper-actress-talk show host had to be sworn in as a commissioner by the state of California to perform the ceremony.
"You can call me Queen Commish for a little longer," she joked backstage Sunday night.

Latifah said she's not an ordained minister and her special powers expired at midnight.

"It was something I took very seriously," she said. "That is someone's life commitment to one another, you want to make sure you do it right. That's what sunk in for me."
Yeah. It's someone's life commitment, and how can you take that more seriously by having it squeezed in between Madonna's chorus, the network cutting to commercials and the prize for the least threatening R&B performance?

I know the intention was to be positive, and I know Macklemore and Lewis' song was at least about gender-blind marriage, but god, what a shitty, miserable little stunt; using people's love for each other to shore up an awards ceremony.

I guess we're lucky that the Grammys started a couple of years after Rosa Parks made her stand, otherwise we'd have had buses of all kinds of people being driven round and round the stage to demonstrate just how forward-thinking the horribly conservative music industry is.

Here are the winners in full from last night:
Album of the Year:
Daft Punk, Random Access Memories (Julian Casablancas, DJ Falcon, Todd Edwards, Chilly Gonzales, Giorgio Moroder, Panda Bear, Nile Rodgers, Paul Williams & Pharrell Williams, featured artists; Thomas Bangalter, Julian Casablancas, Guy-Manuel De Homem-Christo, DJ Falcon & Todd Edwards, producers; Peter Franco, Mick Guzauski, Florian Lagatta, Guillaume Le Braz & Daniel Lerner, engineers/mixers; Antoine "Chab" Chabert & Bob Ludwig, mastering engineers)

Record of the Year:
Daft Punk, "Get Lucky" (Thomas Bangalter & Guy-Manuel De Homem-Christo, producers; Peter Franco, Mick Guzauski, Florian Lagatta & Daniel Lerner, engineers/mixers; Antoine "Chab" Chabert & Bob Ludwig, mastering engineers)

Song of the Year:
Lorde, "Royals" (Joel Little & Ella Yelich O'Connor, songwriters)

Best Country Album:
Kacey Musgraves, Same Trailer Different Park

Best Pop Vocal Album:
Bruno Mars, Unorthodox Jukebox

Best Rap/Sung Collaboration:
Jay Z Featuring Justin Timberlake, "Holy Grail"

Best Pop Solo Performance:
Lorde, "Royals"

Best Rock Song:
Dave Grohl, Paul McCartney, Krist Novoselic, and Pat Smear, "Cut Me Some Slack"

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance:
Daft Punk Featuring Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers, "Get Lucky"

Best New Artist:
Macklemore and Ryan Lewis

Best Rock Album:
Led Zeppelin, Celebration Day

Best Metal Performance:
Black Sabbath, "God Is Dead?"

Producer of the Year, Non-Classical:
Pharrell Williams

Best Alternative Music Album:
Vampire Weekend, Modern Vampires of the City

Best Rock Performance:
Imagine Dragons, "Radioactive"

Best Country Song:
Kacey Musgraves, "Merry Go 'Round" (Shane McAnally, Kacey Musgraves and Josh Osborne)

Best Country Solo Performance:
Darius Rucker, "Wagon Wheel"

Best Country Duo/Group Performance:
the Civil Wars, "From This Valley"

Best Music Film:
Paul McCartney, Live Kisses (Jonas Åkerlund, video director; Violaine Etienne, Aron Levine and Scott Rodger, video producers)

Best Music Video:
Justin Timberlake Featuring Jay Z, "Suit and Tie" (David Fincher, video director; Timory King, video producer)

Best Blues Album:
Ben Harper With Charlie Musselwhite, Get Up!

Best R&B Album:
Alicia Keys, Girl on Fire

Best Urban Contemporary Album:
Rihanna, Unapologetic

Best R&B Song:
Justin Timberlake, "Pusher Love Girl" (James Fauntleroy, Jerome Harmon, Timothy Mosley and Justin Timberlake, songwriters)

Best Traditional R&B Performance:
Gary Clark, Jr., "Please Come Home"

Best R&B Performance:
Snarky Puppy With Lalah Hathaway, "Something"

Best Pop Instrumental Album:
Herb Alpert, Steppin' Out

Best Dance Recording:
Zedd Featuring Foxes, "Clarity"

Best Dance/Electronica Album:
Daft Punk, Random Access Memories

Best Rap Performance:
Macklemore and Ryan Lewis Featuring Wanz, "Thrift Shop"

Best Rap Song:
Macklemore and Ryan Lewis Featuring Wanz, "Thrift Shop" (Ben Haggerty and Ryan Lewis, songwriters)

Best Rap Album:
Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, the Heist

Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album:
Michael Bublé, to Be Loved

Best New Age Album:
Laura Sullivan, Love's River

Best Improvised Jazz Solo:
Wayne Shorter, "Orbits"

Best Jazz Vocal Album:
Gregory Porter, Liquid Spirit

Best Jazz Instrumental Album:
Terri Lyne Carrington, Money Jungle: Provocative in Blue

Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album:
Randy Brecker, Wlodek Pawlik Trio and Kalisz Philharmonic, Night in Calisia

Best Latin Jazz Album:
Paquito D'Rivera and Trio Corrente, Song for Maura

Best Gospel/Contemporary Christian Music Performance:
Tasha Cobbs, Break Every Chain

Best Gospel Song:
Tye Tribbett, "If He Did It Before . . . Same God"

Best Contemporary Christian Music Song:
Mandisa, "Overcomer" (David Garcia, Ben Glover and Christopher Stevens, songwriters)

Best Gospel Album:
Tye Tribbett, Greater Than

Best Contemporary Christian Music Album:
Mandisa, Overcomer

Best Latin Pop Album:
Draco Rosa, Vida

Best Latin Rock, Urban or Alternative Album:
La Santa Cecilia, Treinta Días

Best Regional Mexican Music Album (Including Tejano):
Mariachi Divas De Cindy Shea, A Mi Manera

Best Tropical Latin Album:
Pacific Mambo Orchestra, Pacific Mambo Orchestra

Best American Roots Song:
Steve Martin and Edie Brickell, "Love Has Come for You" (Edie Brickell and Steve Martin, songwriters)

Best Americana Album:
Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell, Old Yellow Moon

Best Bluegrass Album:
Del McCoury Band, The Streets of Baltimore

Best Reggae Album:
Ziggy Marley, Ziggy Marley in Concert

Best World Music Album:
Gipsy Kings, Savor Flamenco (tie)

Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Live: Singing for Peace Around the World (tie)

Best Folk Album:
Guy Clark, My Favorite Picture of You

Best Regional Roots Music Album:
Terrance Simien and the Zydeco Experience, Dockside Sessions

Best Children's Album:
Jennifer Gasoi, Throw A Penny In the Wishing Well

Best Spoken Word Album (Includes Poetry, Audio Books and Storytelling):
Stephen Colbert, America Again: Re-becoming the Greatness We Never Weren't

Best Comedy Album:
Kathy Griffin, Calm Down Gurrl

Best Musical theater Album:
Kinky Boots

Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media:
Sound City: Real to Reel

Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media:
Skyfall, Thomas Newman, composer

Best Song Written for Visual Media:
Adele, "Skyfall" (Adele Adkins and Paul Epworth, songwriters)

Best Instrumental Composition:
the Clare Fischer Orchestra, "Pensamientos for Solo Alto Saxophone and Chamber Orchestra" (Clare Fischer, composer)

Best Instrumental Arrangement:
Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band, "on Green Dolphin Street" (Gordon Goodwin, arranger)

Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s):
Bobby McFerrin and Esperanza Spalding, "Swing Low" (Gil Goldstein, arranger)

Best Recording Package:
Reckless Kelly, Long Night Moon (Sarah Dodds and Shauna Dodds, art directors)

Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package:
Paul McCartney and Wings, Wings Over America (Deluxe Edition) (Simon Earith and James Musgrave, art directors)

Best Album Notes:
John Coltrane, Afro Blue Impressions (Remastered and Expanded) (Neil Tesser, album notes writer)

Best Historical Album:
the Rolling Stones, Charlie Is My Darling - Ireland 1965 (Teri Landi, andrew Loog Oldham and Steve Rosenthal, compilation producers; Bob Ludwig, mastering engineer) (tie)

Bill Withers, the Complete Sussex and Columbia Albums (Leo Sacks, compilation producer; Joseph M. Palmaccio, tom Ruff and Mark Wilder, mastering engineers)

Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical:
Daft Punk, Random Access Memories (Peter Franco, Mick Guzauski, Florian Lagatta and Daniel Lerner, engineers; Bob Ludwig, mastering engineer)

Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical:
Lana Del Rey, "Summertime Sadness (Cedric Gervais Remix) (Cedric Gervais, Remixer)

Best Surround Sound Album:
Paul McCartney, Live Kisses (Al Schmitt, surround mix engineer; tommy LiPuma, surround producer)

Best Engineered Album, Classical:
Dawn Upshaw, Maria Schneider, Australian Chamber Orchestra and St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Winter Morning Walks (David Frost, Brian Losch and Tim Martyn, engineers; Tim Martyn, mastering engineer)

Producer of the Year, Classical:
David Frost

Best Orchestral Performance:
Minnesota Orchestra, Sibelius: Symphonies Nos. 1 and 4 (Osmo Vänskä, conductor)

Best Opera Recording:
the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra; the Metropolitan Opera Chorus, Adès: the Tempest (Thomas Adès, conductor; Simon Keenlyside, Isabel Leonard, Audrey Luna and Alan Oke; Luisa Bricetti and Victoria Warivonchick, producers)

Best Choral Performance:
Tui Hirv and Rainer Vilu; Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir; Sinfonietta Riga and Tallinn Chamber Orchestra; Latvian Radio Choir and Vox Clamantis, Pärt: Adam's Lament (Tõnu Kaljuste, conductor)

Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance:
Brad Wells and Roomful of Teeth, Roomful Of Teeth

Best Classical Instrumental Solo:
Albany Symphony, Corigliano: Conjurer - Concerto for Percussionist and String Orchestra (Evelyn Glennie; David Alan Miller, conductor)

Best Classical Vocal Solo:
Maria Schneider; Jay anderson, Frank Kimbrough and Scott Robinson; Australian Chamber Orchestra and St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Winter Morning Walks (Dawn Upshaw)

Best Classical Compendium:
Hindemith: Violinkonzert; Symphonic Metamorphosis; Konzertmusik, Christoph Eschenbach, conductor

Best Contemporary Classical Composition:
Schneider, Maria: Winter Morning Walks, Maria Schneider, composer (Dawn Upshaw, Jay anderson, Frank Kimbrough, Scott Robinson and Australian Chamber Orchestra)
Still, at least Stephen Colbert won.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Let's hope Gary Barlow doesn't turn up and spoil Robbie Williams Day

You know how small towns in America get so excited when something vaguely famous happens that they lose their heads and the mayor declares it "such and such day"?

It couldn't happen here.

Except in Stoke, where it's happening: They're having a Robbie Williams Day:

The arrival of Robbie's milestone occasion, styled across the city as Robbie Day, will trigger an array of civic celebrations, Stoke-on-Trent council officials have said.

The council's leader said that as one of the city's most famous global exports - together with its historic pottery trade - Robbie is dear to the hearts of many in Stoke, not only for remaining true to his Burslem roots but for his local charity work.

Mohammed Pervez said: "He is a global superstar, but one who has always remembered his roots.
Roots, maybe. But in Stoke, there are also routes. Seriously, you can take a trip round the places of Robbie's life:
A tourist trail taking in former homes and locations mentioned in his songs is already running, while a new housing estate being built in the Middleport area will feature streets named after his songs - Angels Way, Candy Lane and Supreme Street.
Sadly no Bongo Bong Boulevard, though.

Actually, the first two are quite good names for streets, but - unless it's a major thoroughfare - Supreme Street is going have a hollow ring to it, isn't it?

Twittergem: Eminem

Can I have your attention, please?

This week just gone

What were the most popular things on No Rock this day last year?

1. Watch: Kimberley Walsh's slightly dodgy National TV Awards performance
2. Black Flag sort-of reunites
3. Michael Jackson never sold as many albums as you might have heard
4. Watch: Paul Weller doing Sunflower
5. RHCP reveal all about their negotiations with Coachella
6. Gerard Way: The Phyllis Pearce connection
7. The baby from Nevermind goes on Buzzcocks
8. Fergie caught in dirty protest
9. Kyle Maclachlan introduces Corinne Bailey Ray
10. Gordon Smart runs an article claiming Victoria Beckham's dog looks like Harvey Keitel. That's how you get to edit the Scottish Sun

You can't tell me these weren't interesting:

Warpaint - Warpaint

Download Warpaint

Mogwai - Rave Tapes

Download Rave Tapes

Sophie Ellis Bextor - Wanderlust

Download Wanderlust

I Break Horses - Chiaroscuro

Download Chiaroscuro