Saturday, July 05, 2014

Jack White: Perhaps this only sounds creepy out of context

Jack White was in Poland yesterday for the Open'er Festival:

Mother said don't come home until you have a Polish wife," the singer announced before a jaunty run through of 'Hotel Yorba', "so I'm on the prowl tonight."
I'm sure that only sounds creepy out of context. Genuinely.

Kanye West goes to Wireless

Kanye West was on the Wireless stage last night. He did break into his act of moaning about his life to play a couple of songs, but mostly it was just the classic stuff:

"The first thing they do is crush you… They control you with lies," he repeatedly declared, adding:

"How many people have had people tell you that you aren't f**kin' awesome?... This is what I'm talking about…. They say, 'I don't know what's wrong with Kanye' and make it sound like I'm a bad person in some way. What have I ever done that was so wrong other than believe in myself?"
I love the idea that West has now become so detached from reality that he assumes that being criticised and "not being told you're fucking awesome" are pretty much the same thing. And that nobody else would know what its like to be discouraged to our face.

There's also some sort of beef which appears to be about not being given free trousers by overpriced designers:
"I'm not going to mention any names but... Nike, Louis Vuitton and Gucci. Don't discriminate against me because I'm a black man making music.

"F**k saving face and what it's supposed to mean, it's about living my dream."
No, sweetie, they don't want to work with you because you're a character off that programme about Karadashian or Honey Boo Boo or the people who cut out money off coupons or whatever.

At least we now know that advertising Nike plimsoles is part of West's dreams. What strange, fevered dreams.

Friday, July 04, 2014

Are you ready to be heartbroken, Lloyd Cole fans?

Lloyd Cole is thinking about withdrawing his music from Spotify for artistic reasons:

“I think I am going to withdraw from Spotify and use it for what it is good for, sampling. If they (record buyers) like it they are going to need to buy it somewhere.”
It's not entirely clear how Cole fans are going to sample his music on Spotify if, erm, he takes his music off Spotify.

But then he doesn't really seem to understand how streaming works:
But is streaming good for the music business?

“So much of our culture is technology driven, it’s ‘I can, therefore I do’ but when your hard drive crashes and you have no back up you might wish you had bought those files as CDs.”
If your hard drive crashes, why would that cause a problem if you're subscribed to a service that streams music?

But it's not really that Cole is worried about the potential wiping out of people's collections. This is about money. Sorry, art. It's about art:
Downloading and then streaming just isn’t the same, he laments.

“The order people listen to a record is very important. Can you imagine Sgt Pepper’s in any other way?”
Yes, I can, because skipping Mr Kite entirely is what everyone does, Lloyd.
Lloyd remembers how he met some of his earliest band members.

“They bought ‘Never mind the bollocks’ (Sex Pistols) when I was about 14, ripped up the sleeve and then safety pinned it back together and then carried it around all day. The way it should be.”
Hmm. It sounds like your band mates had taken a product produced by an artist, and reassembled it in a way that they thought was better. Why is it so bad when people approach a tracklisting in the same way?

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Green scrubs clean

Professor Green, the popular Cluedo character, has deleted his Twitter archive. He explained why:

"Dear the internet, I've got an announcement to make. I'm having a reboot, a digital do-over," he started.

"I've been on Twitter since January 2009, and I'm tired of the digital diarrhoea that has spewed forth from my fingers in the 140 format…

"I've decided to erase my timeline and start over. Over the last five years, I've tweeted over 54,000 times – an average of 27.47 times per day. From last night I've decided to erase my timeline and start over."
He did say that, although he might have deleted that since.

If Green is really serious, he might have to send one of those requests to Google to forget him as, at the moment, there's a load of splatter from his diarrhoea all over the internet.
An awful lot of splatter.
But that's not to say his commentary is always without value.

Death by napkins: Death grips Death Grips

Death Grips have decided they're at their best, and that's a good point to stop:

As the napkin says, there's still a double album to come. But then that will be it.

Unless there's a second announcement scrawled on the back of a McDonalds carry-out bag we've missed, of course.

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Lily Allen has a pop at bloggers

Lily Allen has written a song about music bloggers. Bloggers! In 2014! What's the next subject of her ire going to be - free AOL sign-up discs? Dial-up modem noises?

Anyway, bloggers it is. And she's cross:

Allen talked to Rolling Stone about [URL Badman]'s highly personal inspiration. "I wrote that after I put out the video for 'Hard Out Here' and everyone said I was racist," she said. "I was really alarmed by that reaction. I stand by that video, and I know what my intention was, and I'm sorry that people interpreted it in a different way.
You'd perhaps wonder if so many people misunderstood your intentions if the problem wasn't yours, rather than theirs. But do go on.
A lot of that negative stuff came from females and the feminist blogger scene.
What really pissed me off was the misogynistic, hipster, male bloggers that went after me in a completely different way.
So for some reason the negative stuff from the - uh - "feminist blogger scene" doesn't matter so much as what the misogynistic hipsters were doing.

Now, that could be fair enough - the feminist bloggers might have been making different points, and it's not hard to imagine boy-boy bloggers using the ill-judged Hard Out Here video as an excuse to have a pop at Allen from a different angle.

But if that is the case, then what's the preamble about Hard Out Here about, then? Because that would seem to be two different things. And it'd be more interesting to explore why you don't feel quite so outraged about the feminist critics - it'd be more worthwhile to hear you engage with them instead. But I guess that might be a harder piece of work.

Allen, though, is just so upset at people who always think the worst of others:
"They come to their own conclusions and their mind won't be changed," she continued. "That's the world we live in. I always try to look at people and see the best in them and give them a chance. . . But people that are probably less fortunate look at me and think, 'Well, she's got everything. She's had everything. It's been handed to her on a silver plate.' It's just not true. I've been through some really, really awful things that other people haven't been through. We're all human beings and life is not fucking fair."
"I always try to see the best in them and give them a chance" says Lily, apparently forgetting she's talking about a song which trots through a bunch of attacks about people living in their parents' basements and being afraid of girls. Fair comment, perhaps, but hardly a leap forward to seeing life through other people's eyes.

Downloadable: Hannah Peel

Here's a sweet deal: if you give Hannah Peel your email address, she'll give you a download of her cover of East India Youth's Heaven How Long.

Fair swap, surely? Especially since your email address is being traded elsewhere in return for money a thousand times a day. Make it work for you today.

The helpful reviewers of Amazon: Slap them, they're talking French

Perhaps persuaded by their Glastonbury performance, you might be thinking of buying Reflektor. Thank god Fleece Fire can stop you before you waste your £4:

The lead 'singer' can't hold a note to save his life. And they keep chucking in French just to, y'know, be arty (aka pretentious). Nothing is catchy and the lyrics are too serious. Lighten up guys! Oh, and they just had to have an album cover based on a famous sculpture because they couldn't think of any original ideas on how to express themselves.

Canada isn't too great at giving us great bands. Celine Dion, Avril Lavigne, Justin Bieber, Nickleback. It's all terrible.

Avoid like the absolute plague unless you're partial to having the musical equivalent of icepicks stabbing you in the ears for 75 long, LONG minutes.
- Hey, Regine, what shall we put on the sleeve?
- Hmm. Fresh out of ideas, Win. Let's just go and get a postcard from the gallery and lob that on

What I think is most acute about Fleece's insight is that they know the band are Canadian, but don't seem to know that 'speaking French' is a thing that many Canadians do habitually, not pretentiously.

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Phil Collins surrenders Alamo collection

Back in 2010, you might remember we all discovered that Phil Collins had a massive collection of Alamo memorabilia. The idea of so much American heritage being held in a private collection in Switzerland seemed a little odd to some of us.

It seems like it worried Phil, too. So he's given the whole lot back to the State of Texas.

It's not clear why Phil's decided to hand his stuff over now, although having Ozzy Osborne constantly popping round to piss over your collection is probably off-putting.

The only downside to this is that it gives Texans another chance to be all about how great Texans are. Might have been better if Phil had given the stash to Mexico.

VH1 has questions for Robin Thicke

Given that Robin Thicke is, at best, a howling misogynistic void, was VH1 being brave or satirical when it decided to invite Twitter to ask questions of him?

They must have known.

They must have known.

There's no way they couldn't have known what the outcome would have been.

We've seen so many of these hashtag campaigns now, how would you not know?

Which can only mean one thing.

This is pretty much the result VH1 was expecting.

Which means there's only one logical explanation.

Someone at VH1 came up with a plan to focus all the world's disgust with Robin Thicke into one place. And then make him look at it.

Who knew that VH1 still had a vital role to play in 2014?

Monday, June 30, 2014

Chris Moyles quits

Chris Moyles - who older readers might remember was once Tony Blackburn - is quitting showbusiness, presumably to better concentrate on his used car business.

Speaking at Glastonbury, which he attended for fun rather than work, Moylesy con­­firmed: “I’m retired now. I haven’t got any plans and I’m just having a lot of fun.

"I honestly don’t know what I want to do. I’ve done a lot of time on radio and I’ve put myself out there. So, yes, I’m retired. I get to do things like this, come to Glastonbury and hang out.”
Moyles, if you're putting yourself out there and hanging out, it might be time to think about elasticated waistbands.

This is tragic news, as it suggests we might never hear those exciting other projects he claimed Radio One was lining up for him when they eased him off breakfasts.

Embed and breakfast man: Sia

Fancy watching Sia do a song with the New York Gay Men's Choir? Let us help you with that:

Billy Ocean: Good work for charity

Something now from the 'pop stars doing lovely things' file.

Abby Garner and Linda Arnould put together a Macmillan coffee morning in East Surrey. They had a target of a few hundred pounds, and asked a local holiday park - Bunn Leisure in Selsey - if they could find them some space for the event.

The leisure centre said yes, and that's where it took on a life of its own. The centre staff also got involved, and because the venue was also playing host to Billy Ocean he also pitched in.

Working together, Abby, Linda, the staff at Bunn and Billy Ocean took a target of a few hundred quid and overshot it by... well, a lot. Local businesses chipped in too, and eventually £10,000 was raised. Brilliant work by everyone.

Glastonbury 2014: This morning, possibly

In a hotel somewhere around Bristol, team Kasabian gather in a breakfast room. They spend some time choosing between the complimentary muffins and the complimentary danish. One of them asks for lager. Told he can't have lager, he makes a fuss. A member of the hotel team gets a can of lager from somewhere. One of Kasabian suddenly realises that he's going to have to drink lager with his coco pops. Not for the first time, he wonders if he's made a terrible mistake.

The band sit down at a table in the corner with tablets and newspapers. One speaks.

- So, lads, last night. We closed Glastonbury. We headlined Glastobury. We owned that place. What's the world saying about this new Kasabian era?
- Erm... well, this paper is just all about Dolly Parton.
- Yeah, so's this one.
- This one too.
- They're all about Dolly Parton? What about the internets?
- Well, our fans seem to have chattered about us a bit
- Yeah, but... mostly...
- Yeah, it's mostly about Dolly Parton

You could feel sorry for Kasabian: They wait for years to become top of the bill, and still end up going on five hours after the headline act.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Glastonbury 2014: The view from the sofa II

So Metallica's (admittedly amusing) bear video makes their presence at Glastonbury even more problematic. If the festival's line was "well, we don't want to get involved in people's politics", how does that square with letting the headliners start off with a film that basically treats genuine misgivings about their activities as fuel for yuks?

It's a pity that Metallica's entrance left such a bad taste, as Lars Ulrich's post-gig interview on BBC Two was charming; a man who clearly loves the festival and was enjoying every moment of it.

Still, all the burbling about how astonishing having a metal band in Pilton was pretty redundant given that, across the fields, the Manics were kicking the arse out of You Love Us without the need for anyone to edit Wikipedia to record 'metal at Glasto' as a historic event.

The half-arsed red button downgraded itself to a quarter-arse for Saturday; if the 'look, here's, erm, Newsnight' chunk on Friday was bad, it was going to get worse. For a little while, one of the stages at Glastonbury was apparently showing Family Guy, according to press red. Oh, and for some reason tennis rolled over one stream of the coverage for a large chunk of the early evening, because sports always trumps the arts at the BBC, no matter what Tony Hall might think. (To be fair, sport always trumped news when John Birt was in charge.)

Robert Plant's audience looked to be having the best time of all the crowds - someone nearly shook the very eyes out their head when he started up Whole Lotta Love.

Best outfit? Cate Le Bon's space dress, obviously.

Lana Del Ray struggled a bit - the performance was fine, but it just kinda floated away into the sky. The USP suddenly turning into a disadvantage.

Clean Bandit (or Hollyoaks: The Dance Album) were much better suited to this kind of thing. And they had by far the best way of getting the crowd to bellow along, with a kind of elbows out/kitten cleaning ears stance when participation was required.

Oh, Pixies are still going. It turns out.

"Haw haw, looks like you got a criminal record, son. Haw haw haw."

Since Gordon Smart left Bizarre, there haven't been enough awkwardly posed photos on No Rock.

I've just come across this one, which will help fill that gap:

Apparently something to do with Record Store Day and a record attempt, and not the worst Village People tribute act ever.

This week just gone

The most popular stories from June were:

1. Radio One has mass cull of specialist DJs
2. Rik Mayall: Man of music
3. Jack White is too witty for most people
4. The charts become a streaming pile
5. J-Lo elects to not go to the world cup
6. Glastonbury busy not having opinions on bear hunting, anything much
7. BBC launches music awards that sound a bit like the British Rock And Pop Awards
8. The annual BBC Glasto headcount outrage
9. BBC pick famous Brazilian Stevie Wonder for theme tune to World Cup Of Football
10. Video: Kristeen Young (the support act who TRIED TO KILL MORRISSEY WITH GERMS)

These were the new releases from the week before last, because last week I was in a forest:

Klaxons - Love Frequency

Download Love Frequency

Marc Almond - The Dancing Marquis

Download The Dancing Marquis

Alice Zawadzki - China Lane

Download China Lane