Saturday, October 04, 2014

Good news! You can stop hiding your iTunes folder when the cops come round

Did you know that it was still, technically, illegal to copy a CD you had bought onto your computer as recently as... jesus, up until last Tuesday.

But now, you are free to take a CD or a DVD and rip it to your digital device.

Providing you're not going to share it with someone else.

And providing you'd paid for that disc in the first place, of course.

And by bought, that's a proper, manufactured copy - not if you slipped Slippery Jake two quid for a CD with "ALL THE BEETLESBEATLES ALBUMS" scrawled on it with a Sharpie.

You might want to hold on to the receipts, in other words.

Watch with No Rock: Johnny Marr

If you're feeling a bit underwhelmed by the what-is-it-now-sixth-or- seventh coming of Johnny Marr, you can cheer yourself up with him doing There Is A Light The Never Goes Out on Sara Cox's show yesterday morning on Radio 2.

Is there an extra level of enjoyment? Why, yes, because inexplicably, Brian Cox and Genesis are sat in front of the camera while Marr plays, with mixed levels of awkwardness. It's very much how I picture Eurovision voting panels to look like.

Friday, October 03, 2014

One Direction literally own 5 Seconds Of Summer

It's like the way BT owns Plusnet, and makes money from people thinking they're sticking it to BT by going to the "alternative": Each member of One Direction has a direct financial stake in 5 Seconds Of Summer.

So those people wondering if One Direction are about to be eclipsed by the Australians, worry not. They're not a challenge; just a subsidiary.

It's not clear if One Direction are attempting to own all bands whose names start with numbers, but Rocky Erickson is currently watching a powerpoint presentation being delivered by a man with a haircut.

Venue bars singer's dog; nobody seems to mind very much

Nell Bryden played Komedia in Brighton the other night. She was going to have her dog - a cockapoo, if you're making notes - backstage, but the venue has a policy of not allowing dogs. So her husband took the dog elsewhere.

Somehow, the Argus has made a story out of this, despite it even barely qualifying as an anecdote.

But fans said she did not let it spoil her performance.
Yes. Not like that time Bono's labradoodle was barred from Wembley Arena and he forgot all the words to With Or Without You, and ran offstage after four songs crying "I can't do it, not knowing that my dog isn't backstage."

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Glastonbury sells out

Alright, not completely, but the first tranche of tickets did (notice each year it's ever more like a share offering - by 2018 there's going to be a Glastonbury Tickets Pathfinder Prospectus...)

They were the the tickets bundled with coach travel; these have to be sold a few days early as the coach stops so bloody far from the festival site you'd be best off setting out now in order to arrive in the decent campsites before anyone else gets there.

The traditional ticket scramble is due for Sunday. It's not clear if they've improved the system for purchase this year, but Twitter say they're confident they can cope with the upswing in complaining tweets from people who get frustrated by the process.

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Anita Baker: How debts mount up

Earlier this year, a Detroit company claimed that Anita Baker owed it USD15,000 in unpaid home improvement work bills.

A lawyer, Jamal Hamood, stepped forward to defend Baker's good name.

He's now suing her for USD150,000, claiming unpaid bills.

I'm not sure she'd be able to afford to defend herself here, as it appears that intervention just increases the bill tenfold.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Who sells the most vinyl?

Amazon. Obviously.

But before we move on from the question, it's interesting to note who else sells vinyl in quantities in the US:

1. Amazon 12.3% of US retail vinyl market
2. Urban Outfitters 8.1%
3. Hastings Entertainment 2.8%
4. Hot Topic 2.4%
5. Trans World Entertainment 2.2%

Yes, there's two clothes shops on that list. (I know Hot Topic would claim they're some sort of alternative lifestyle shop, but they're a clothes shop with a record rack.)

Black Sabbath have one last album left in them

There's going to be one last Black Sabbath album, according to Ozzy:

"So we're going to do one more album, and a final tour. Once the dust settled after the last tour we started discussing the idea, because we were getting asked about it all the time. I said to Sharon 'What's going on? Because if there's no more Sabbath I want to get on with my own thing again' and she came back and said 'Let me look into it'.

"Three weeks later I asked her about it again, and she said 'Oh, I still have to talk to so and so...' and I said 'Sharon, I ain't f**king 21 any more, if we're going to do it I want to do it before I'm 70!'
As you can tell, this will be a vital work of art which is going to happen because of the creative impetus and not, in any way, just happening because Sharon Osborne wants to see if she can get all the members in the same place at the same time, like some sort of metal equivalent of one of these:

Monday, September 29, 2014

Thom Yorke on the internets

It's lovely of Thom Yorke to to release a new record, but the format is a little odd.

Bittorrent bundles? That feels no less hipster-friendly embrace of a shall-we-say-specialised technology than Cassette Store Day.

This was supposed to be the year that BitTorrent Bundles went mainstream, but - although there's some interesting things going on there - the platform still feels very much like a small pool, albeit one that now has a killer whale languishing there. The Yorke album is probably the one chance Bundles has to break through and become a mass product, although there's two challenges here.

The first is whether enough people care about Yorke's solo work to go to the trouble of installing the software and getting past their nerves about things they may have heard about torrenting. It's not entirely clear that Yorke has that heft.

Secondly, even if people do embrace the idea of torrents-you-pay-for, it's going to always be a hard sell to the major labels, who might not unreasonably think that encouraging the take-up and normalisation of torrenting might encourage experimentation beyond the licenced part of the service. Viewed from Sony HQ, selling records through Bittorrent might seem a bit like suggesting that drug dealers also carry aspirin and Calpol - you can see the advantages, but the risks might outweigh them.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Mutya without money

Mutya Buena has been declared bankrupt, apparently due to unpaid taxes.

BBC News tries to cheer her up by suggesting that it's quite the thing these days:

Mutya Buena is the latest in a line of pop stars who have struggled financially.

Blue band members Duncan James, Simon Webbe, Antony Costa have all filed for bankruptcy as have Westlife singer Shane Filan, S Club 7 singers Jo O'Meara and Paul Cattermole and Fazer from N-Dubz.

Kerry Katona from Atomic Kitten has been declared bankrupt twice.
It's like a guest list from a Liberty X gig, isn't it?

This week just gone

Most-read September stories:

1. Apple dump U2 into your iTunes
2. Bono makes it worse
3. Paloma Faith doesn't quite grasp iCloud breach implications
4. RIP Throb
5. Bono inventing a new format to save the album
6. Robin Thicke too out of it to remember writing his rape song
7. RIP Peter Gutteridge
8. Nicki Minaj not welcome back at school
9. Neil McCormick, who knows Bono, on the U2 album
10. Tom Clarke isn't a hobbit

This week's interesting releases:

Laetitia Sadier - Something Shines

Download Something Shines

She Keeps Bees - Eight Houses

Download Eight Houses

St Christopher - Forevermore Starts Here

Download Forevermore Starts Here

Perfume Genius - Too Bright

Download Too Bright

The Drums - Encyclopedia

Download Encyclopedia

Aphex Twin - Syro

Download Syro

Erasure - The Violet Flame

Download The Violet Flame