Friday, March 28, 2014

Maximum Rock & Roll dig out old Black Flag review; set off firecrackers

Thirty years ago, MRR reviewed Black Flag's My War. Tim Yo wasn't impressed:

To me, it sounds like BLACK FLAG doing an imitation of IRON MAIDEN imitating BLACK FLAG on a bad day. The shorter songs are rarely exciting, and the three on the B-side are sheer torture. I know depression and pain are hallmarks of BLACK FLAG's delivery, but boredom too? (TY)
Of course, thirty years ago, there wasn't an internet for staunch-defenders-of-that-particular-Black-Flag-line-up to 'have their "say"' on. Their whiny responses were just shouted at paper, and who would know they fundamentally disagreed with those views from that?

The magazine has fixed that problem by putting the review online, thereby giving people the chance to argue against a three decade old review:
Greg Ayotte Side 2 always. You're a very close minded punk, it's about freedom of expression for a punk band, not playing at the speed of light. It has been such a huge influence, side 2 the main focus. Hell, it created grunge, which has influenced all rock music since. Everything after slip it in is pretty much crap but to compare my war to any iron maiden is just ignorance...

Chadd Heath Yeah, that's one shitty and completely wrong review and i hope that person was "fired" or whatever they do at MRR.
Is the review really more wrong than hoping the magazine sacked its own publisher and founder for writing it? Hard to calibrate that one.

Coming up next week: MMR unseals the long-stilled Rapeman debate, pretends to be surprised when it kicks off.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Pharrell Williams calls the next election

It's Hillary Clinton in 2016, according to Pharrell Williams:

Let me tell you why Hillary's going to win. Everywhere you go in this country, you have red and blue. You got the Democrats; you got the Republicans. You got the Bloods; you got the Crips. Everything is red and blue in this country. You know what else is red and blue? Blood. Blood is blue in your body until air hits it, and then it turns red. That means there's unity. There's gonna be unity. So when you think about a night where there's late-night talk-show hosts and it's mostly women, that's a different world. Right? A world where seventy-five percent of the prime ministers and the presidents were women: That's a different world. That's gonna happen, and it's gonna happen when Hillary wins. Because you know what? No matter how staunch of a supporter you are of no-abortion, whatever you are: You're a woman, and there's no way in the world you're going to vote for somebody that's going to try to tell you what to do with your body. When we are a country and we are a species that has had a martian Rover traveling up and down the crevices of this planet looking for water and ice, okay, and we've had a space station that's been orbiting our planet for sixteen years—but we still got legislation trying to tell women what to do with their bodies? Hillary's gonna win. Listen, I'm reaching out to her right now. She's gonna win.
Yes. That makes absolute sense - after all, what sort of woman would ever vote for a person who was going to reduce abortion access?

After all, if women were going to support the idea of harder, fewer, more difficult abortions, you'd see, I don't know, nuns or something picketing clinics, right? And that'd be a crazy thought.

In effect, Williams is suggesting that - when it comes to the ballot box - there's no way Michelle Bachmann would vote against Hillary Clinton.

It might be a very large hat, but he's still talking through it.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Managerobit: Jill Sinclair

A grim press release from SPZ:

With deep regret, the SPZ Group and the Horn family announce that Jill Sinclair passed away on Saturday 22 March 2014, aged 61.

Wife of Trevor Horn and mother of Ally, Aaron, William and Gabriella, Jill co-founded the SPZ Group in 1984. She quickly became one of the most successful managers, and headed up some of the most successful publishing, record label and studio businesses, in UK music history.

She died peacefully at home in London, from cancer.

On behalf of the whole family, Trevor Horn, comments: "Jill was an inspiration in every aspect of her life, as my wife and as the mother of our children. She had an adventurous, maverick spirit and built up music businesses - and made her way through life - successfully and independently, and always on her own terms. She will be sorely missed."

A funeral was held on Monday 24 March. The family ask that no flowers are sent, preferring donations to the Royal Hospital for Neuro-Disability (, Cancer Research (, or the JTJ Trust Fund (

No further statement or comment is available at this time.
Jill has been seriously injured in a shooting accident in 2006; she spent three years in a coma and according to Horn, in 2006 "the only expression she can show is of discomfort."

In 1999, Horn and Jill did a 'my partner and me' interview for The Independent, where they spoke about their relationships, professional and personal:
We got married but didn't go into business together for a year or two [says Trveor]. When my partner left me on my own, I said to Jill: "The good thing is that you can manage me now." Fifteen seconds after I appointed her, she told me I would have to give up trying to be an artist and concentrate on being a producer. She thought I could be the best producer in the world.
[Jill says] I never had any doubts that Trevor would be an enormous success, but it was only when I was named Businesswoman of the Year that I thought about my own career at all. I had just worked and never had a plot. When I did some training recently, the guy said: "What do you want to achieve?" That stumped me. World peace? I've no pretensions to be able to write or sing. I sing all the time, but heaven help us if my career depended on it.

I've learnt from Trevor. He's not one for confrontation; he's a dreamer. I'm more pragmatic, I've never been much of a one for subtlety, but these days I'm much more patient and able to see things from the other point of view. I think the strength of the partnership is that we both do such different jobs. We get things wrong but we both know that we are doing our utmost. We're both forgiving. And there isn't anyone I'd rather be with.

Not for the first time, Cerys Matthews is right

Stirring news in the battle for our BBC from the new Radio Times:

The BBC has a new champion in the form of a glamorous full-throated female lead singer of a majorly successful Welsh rock band from the 1990s.
I'm presuming this is Ann from Ectogram we're talking about here? Oh, hang on, no:
Cerys Matthews, solo artist and former lead singer of the band Catatonia today told that the British public needs to stand up for the BBC – or risk losing it.

“We all need to defend the BBC,” she said at today’s launch of a raft of new arts programmes.

“We should all see it as our BBC. We need to remind everybody that we all own it.”
Obviously, being employed by 6Music means she's not totally unbiased, but Cerys Matthews is right.

Martin, Paltrow go their separate ways

I'm guessing, like me, you didn't sleep well last night, as the words "Coldplay break-up album" kept churning through your mind like a horrified heartbeat every time you closed your eyes.

Obviously, the news of a couple separating, especially when they have a young family is always a sad thing, but...

Conscious Uncoupling

It is with hearts full of sadness that we have decided to separate. We have been working hard for well over a year, some of it together, some of it separated, to see what might have been possible between us, and we have come to the conclusion that while we love each other very much we will remain separate. We are, however, and always will be a family, and in many ways we are closer than we have ever been. We are parents first and foremost, to two incredibly wonderful children and we ask for their and our space and privacy to be respected at this difficult time. We have always conducted our relationship privately, and we hope that as we consciously uncouple and coparent, we will be able to continue in the same manner.

Gwyneth & Chris
How can they manage to make even their divorce into a vomit-inducing festival of tweeness?

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Even James Arthur hates @jamesarthur23

Did you know James Arthur is still going? And still on Twitter.

Obviously, he's not totally allowed to do his own tweets, but the poor sod tasked with sending tweets on his behalf is having an uphill struggle, as Complete Music Update has snickered at:

Arthur’s ‘people’ tweeted: “Well it’s next Sunday peeps – and we think your mum would #LOVE a copy of #JamesArthurTheAlbum. Don’t you? JA HQ”, to which the man himself responded: “HQ please stop writing things like ‘we think you would #LOVE this and that’ or ‘everybody #GETDOWN and buy this…’ It’s embarrassing”, and “Stick to promoting Paul Potts please. Thanks. #LOVE”.
Arthur's solution was to suggest putting a superfan in charge of the Twitter account. But surely if there is such a thing as a James Arthur superfan, they'd be tweeting to themselves?

By the way, your mum phoned. She just wanted to stress that she really doesn't want a copy of James Arthur's album, and if you even think about getting one for her, you're out the will.

Worried people worry about Bieber; discretely point to price list

Oh, won't someone think of the children? After Justin Bieber, the singer based on the popular range of Justin Bieber dolls, stuck a photo of himself having a ciggie on the internet, a company has issued a press release:

Troubled Pop Star Justin Bieber Irresponsibly Glamorizes Smoking
It's an odd press release, though. It's come from a company which helps separate people from both their cigarettes and money, which might explain why a large chunk of it at the start sounds like it's coming from FOREST, the pro-lung cancer pressure group:
Canadian pop musician and singer-songwriter Justin Bieber seems to idolizes James Dean's living life in the fast lane persona. Bieber is seen sitting against a brick wall wearing a white t-shirt rolled up to reveal his tattoo sleeves, as an unlit cigarette dangles from his lips. On March 20th, Us Weekly reported, Justin uploaded the rebellious smoking picture to his Instagram page of 14.8 million followers with a caption saying, "Don't ask me if I smoke ciggys cuz I don't."
Sounds kinda sexy, right - obviously if you ignore that it's Justin Bieber.

It's almost as if the anti-smoking therapy group is trying to ensure everyone sees the images of Bieber, albeit with a sorrowful shake of the head further down the press release. It couldn't be that - while not wanting people to take up a life of furtively sucking on Capstan full strength in a windswept shelter round by the delivery hatch - they're aware that if Justin did encourage a few kids to try it, that could well provide business for them in the future.

Obviously, that would be a cynical reading of the press release. And whoever looked for cynicism in a press release?

Monday, March 24, 2014

GAWRobit: Dave Brockie

Dave Brockie, who as Oderus Urungus created and led GWAR, has died. His manager confirmed the news:

"It is with a saddened heart that I confirm my dear friend Dave Brockie, artist, musician, and lead singer of GWAR, passed away at approximately 6:50 p.m. EST Sunday, March 23, 2014. His body was found Sunday by his bandmate at his home in Richmond, Virginia. Richmond authorities have confirmed his death and next of kin has been notified. A full autopsy will be performed. He was 50 years old, born August 30, 1963.

"My main focus right now is to look after my bandmates and his family.

"More information regarding his death shall be released as the details are confirmed."
Here's GWAR appearing on The Joan Rivers show:

[Related: RIP: Cory Smoot]

People notice Chancellor adds VAT to downloads. A year too late.

There's a smattering of panic at the news that Osborne is adding VAT to downloads from places like iTunes and the other, less successful, stores.

People who are reacting now do realise that, while it's true Osborne has done this, he did it in the 2013 budget and this year merely repeated it, right?

Paloma Faith: Pop stars are dead

Pop stars? THERE ARE NO POP STARS, screams Paloma Faith:

Paloma Faith thinks David Bowie is the last great pop star.

The 'Can't Rely On You' singer reckons pop is dead because of social media and fans know too much about their idols.

She told the Daily Star newspaper: "There's no mystery or excitement about being a pop star any more.

"People know everything now, there's no stone unturned with social media."
It's not often that I feel the need to defend Madonna, but... surely Madonna? Maybe even GaGa? Or Perry? Can you really say they're not proper pop stars?

Meanwhile, a 1980s teenager writes: "yeah, we weren't motivated to know every last scrap of information about our heroes. We'd never buy magazines about them; and certainly when Look-In tried to provide information files on the stars, we'd insist our local newsagents redacting the data points in case we found out what sort of things our pop stars liked to eat or watch."

Faith hasn't quite finished:
She said: "It was brilliant that David Bowie won a BRIT Award and totally deserved, he's an incredible artist and the last of a generation."
She may have said something else, but everyone ran off to read the Kate Bush gig announcement at this point and her words were left hanging in the air.

Bruno Mars discovers his own knock-off CDs

Bruno Mars has been playing some dates in Thailand, and during some downtime, popped into a local market. He found some bootleg copies of his own records there:

He also posted a picture of himself smiling as he showed off four pirated CDs of his own music. "Got these Bootleg CDs #WhatayaGonnaDo? #Bangkok," he wrote.

It also appeared that the vendor was not aware that Bruno Mars was checking out his pirated products.
Apparently Mars went up to the stall holder, showed him the CDs and said "I think these are a bit dodgy"; to which the market guy replied "yeah, mate, I agree but you can see why the record company wanted a slicker Michael Buble, can't you?"

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Twittergem: Metal

Lorde gig location of first post-Phelps counter-protest

For reasons that are probably down to misreading the Bible quite extravagantly, the Westboro Baptist Church turned up to protest at Lorde's gig in Kansas City. (Perhaps they think that the Southern Hemisphere and the underworld are the same place, or maybe they believe that Lord Of The Rings was a documentary and anyone hailing from New Zealand is going to be some sort of malevolent goblin. Who knows?)

Anyway, this is the first time the Westboro Church have got their placards out since founding hate-frond Fred Phelps went to put his interpretation of the scriptures to the test, and as such there was a new form of counter-protest:

According to Kansas City’s KSHB Channel 41, the stridently anti-LGBT demonstrators were met with a counter-protest outside a concert by New Zealander pop sensation Lorde. The counter-protesters held up a banner that said, “Sorry for your loss,” a message of condolence to the church members, many of whom are relatives of the late Rev. Phelps.
Obviously, this puzzled the Baptists, who live under the belief that hearing of a person's death is an excuse to work out exactly how they were part of a sodomitocracy and arrange a loud presence at their funeral to share this knowledge.
Westboro members — who reportedly ousted Phelps from his own congregation earlier this year — pretended to not understand the message.

“I don’t even know what they’re saying,” said longtime WBC member Steve Drain.
Westboro Baptist Church member doesn't recognise a compassionate, gentle message. The world isn't entirely surprised.

Armenia enter homophobic, transphobic tosspot into Eurovision

Aram MP3, who is going to represent Armenia in this year's Eurovision, turns out to be a bit of an asshat. Especially when asked about Austria's Conchita Wurst. Unzipped has been following the depressing story:

On 20th March, during press conference with local reporters, similar remarks repeated again.

Reporters also asked about his opinion of Austrian representative Conchita Wurst. Aram MP3 confessed smiling: ‘it will be difficult’.

“I just realised that, after all, we will be on the same stage, because as part of the Eurovision all participants perform one song together. If you want to know my position, when I pass next to Kom aygi [Unzipped: cruising park in downtown Yerevan frequented by gay men and particularly trans sex workers], I speed up my car. In this case [re Conchita], I will try to somehow put up with.”
After the 'hold on what' reaction to this, Aram said he was only saying these things to "make journalists laugh". (Because, you know, homophobia is fine if you're only doing it for a punchline.)

Artmika at Unzipped, noting how Aram MP3 is bookie's favourite, sees the irony:
I will not be voting for Aram MP3, because I simply cannot vote for someone with such views. You decide yourself. But if he wins, I will be only happy to see "gay parade" Eurovision coming to Armenia, although it would be ironic that a person with such questionable views would make this happened.
Aram has also suggested that "we will help her to eventually decide whether she is a woman or man". Which sounds threatening on top of being transphobic.

This week just gone

Most read things from all of No Rock in the last seven days:

1. Merchandise brand Kiss object to rules of tourist attraction R&R Hall Of Fame
2. Alesha Dixon makes a smell
3. KT Tunstall blames her braces for sexuality confusion
4. Kylie quits the Voice (they reckon)
5. RIP: Gary Burger
6. Jesus kicked off Chris Evans show; former Archbishop upset
7. The last Mark and Lard show in full
8. Who was Poor Old Soul about?
9. Kylie makes a video like she's a twelve year old boy
10. Melissa Etheridge back at work after cancer. (Yes, this is from 2005)

These were the interesting new releases:

Dean Wareham - Dean Wareham

Download Love Letters

Jasmine Minks - Cut Me Deep

Johnny Foreigner - You Can Do Better

Download You Can Do Better

Metronomy - Love Letters

Download Love Letters

Joan As Police Woman - The Classic

Download The Classic

Mø - No Mythologies To Follow

Download No Myhtologies To Follow

Micha P Hinson - And The Nothing

Download Micha P Hinson

Solvent - New Ways: Music From The Documentary I Dream Of Wires

Download New Ways