Friday, January 30, 2015

Babes coming back

Look who's back...

Yep. Babes In Toyland, touring Europe for the first time in 18 years this Spring/Summer:
24 Bristol Trinity Centre
25 Southampton Engine Rooms
26 London O2 Shepherd's Bush Empire
27 Manchester Gorilla
28 Glasgow Oran Mor
29 Barcelona, Spain Primavera Sound Festival
3 Ravenna, Italy Beaches Brew festival

Tom's not Petty over Sam Smith

Sam Smith's lets-call-it-an-unwitting-tribute to Tom Petty's I Won't Back Down, Stay With Me, has led to Petty making a generous statement on his website:

About the Sam Smith thing. Let me say I have never had any hard feelings toward Sam. All my years of songwriting have shown me these things can happen. Most times you catch it before it gets out the studio door but in this case it got by. Sam’s people were very understanding of our predicament and we easily came to an agreement. The word lawsuit was never even said and was never my intention. And no more was to be said about it. How it got out to the press is beyond Sam or myself. Sam did the right thing and I have thought no more about this. A musical accident no more no less. In these times we live in this is hardly news. I wish Sam all the best for his ongoing career. Peace and love to all.
The generosity of the statement almost certainly matched by the generosity of the private settlement.

But there's something ever so slightly tart about the phrase "Sam's people", gently conjuring the image of grown-ups in suits tidying up.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Taylor Swift protects her intellectual sickness

Taylor Swift has registered as trademarks a bunch of phrases which it's not entirely clear are original thoughts.

Vox reports:

Taylor Swift, dominant pop artist and professional businesswoman, has trademarked a slew of phrases related to her October album 1989. These include but are not limited to "Party Like It's 1989," "This Sick Beat," and "Nice to Meet You. Where You Been?"
She's also got "Miley Cyrus - is that still a thing?"; "I think you'll find that's my cheesecake"; "can you tell me where the nearest police station is, sir?" and "if there were nudes in my Instagram account, why would you need to leak them, because I would have already posted them to Instagram, poopyhead."

Sony dumps Omnifone; hooks up with Spotify

Sony is trying again to make 'paying to stream music through Playstations' a thing, killing off its long-running, long-stalled partnership with Omnifone (Music Unlimited, as you've probably forgotten) and is instead going to bake Spotify into the PSN.

The key difference - besides being a service that people have actually heard of - is that Spotify Free will be part of the deal, too; theoretically, Playstation users might get used to using their devices for streaming music via the free tier and decide it's a good enough experience to shell out to kill the adverts.

In addition, Spotify accounts created elsewhere will be accessible through Playstations.

It's an offering that could well see a shift in where people listen; it's not clear yet that it's going to mean a massive payday for Sony.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Sam Smith still complaining about pop stars

You'll recall the last time we came across Sam Smith, he was telling Chaka Khan how terrible modern pop stars (apart from him) are.

He's still banging that particular drum, this time wailing to GQ about how awful they all are:

“I won’t name names, but I will never act like some of the current pop stars have acted toward me,” he tells GQ. “We can be friends, you know? We can. It’s not a competition. There’s space for all of us. There’s always space for good music.”
I don't know what 'good music' has to do with how people relate to Sam Smith; it's a bit like the Burger King complaining he can't find a space to open a branch in town suddenly talking about how there's always room for fine dining.

But why won't existing pop stars worshipembrace Smith as one of their own?

Maybe because he says things like this:
The explanation comes after he says he wants to be a pop star, “but I also don’t want to be a pop star.

“You know, I want to be the biggest star in the world, but I also want to maintain the soulfulness. I don’t want to lose my mind or my humor.”
"I want to maintain the soulfulness".

Interesting, by the way, to see a man who uses any public platform he stumbles onto to wail about how all the other kids are so mean insisting that he doesn't want to lose his senses of humour or perspective.

Here's a phrase to strike fear into your hearts

"Bieber-like". God help us all. It's metastasized.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Shirley Manson: She's electric

Shirley Manson takes being wired into the electricity circuits with trademark good grace:

Greekobit: Demis Roussos

Demis Roussos, Greek pop star, has died.

While it's true he was a icon at home in Greece, you have to have a sneaking suspicion that part of the reason he was so well-known overseas (and remains identifiable thousands of miles from home, forty years after his peak) was because 'big bloke in a thing that looks like a dress' was such an easy, cheap target for a lazy parody.

He also had a brush with terrorism, being on a plane hijacked by Islamic Jihad and Hezbollah in 1985. His 39th birthday passed while he was being held; the hijackers marked the occasion with a cake. It doesn't really take the sting away from the shooting people and dumping corpses on the runway, though.

Roussos was 68 and had suffered from health problems for a long time; he listed Sting as one of his favourite composers.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Sara Lowes has an offer for you

You can preorder Sara Lowes' forthcoming album. If you spend thirty quid, you get a delicious vinyl version, with a download code, and a CD of the last album. There's only 300 on offer, so be quick.

Downloadable: Four Tet

Annie Mac has been giving away a Four Tet download today. Here it is...

Bookmarks: Rosie Gaines

Rosie Gaines, who collaborated with Prince on Diamonds And Pearls, has fallen on hard times - and, although she's not an easy person to help, other musicians are doing their best to give her a hand. The San Fran Chronicle's Lee Hildebrand tells the story:

Friends offered Rosie housing, but she refused every time. Curtis Ohlson, her former husband and bandleader, says that a prominent musician found her a house in Hayward with a piano and a swimming pool.

“I don’t like Hayward. Hayward is evil,” he says she responded.

Moore/Adams - a house divided

The marriage between Ryan Adams and Mandy Moore, which upset a lot of indie purists back in 2008, has been ended.

The divorce is down to "irreconcilable differences". Kind of wish they'd gone with musical differences, but I suppose they weren't in the mood to go for for the punchline.

Mark Feehily now sells coffee from a van

It's only a "side project", says Mark Feehily, as he flogs coffees:

The former boyband member – who raked in a string of hits before the band split up in 2012 – revealed he is now running a catering van, selling crepes and coffees.
The 34-year-old insisted the career move was a “side project”
I'm not sure 'being in a top-selling pop act' and then 'selling coffee at the side of the road' quite counts as a "career move".
...adding: “People were flabbergasted that I was in the van making crepes."
God, yes. Who the hell buys crepes from a van these days?

Sunday, January 25, 2015

This week just gone

The top ten search terms which brought people to No Rock over 2014, mostly:

1. Simon Bates
2. Arctic Monkeys Glyn Jones
3. Erica Lahn
4. Sam Butcher
5. No Rock & Roll Fun
6. Meg White net worth
7. ac entertainment fancorps
8. I hate Coldplay
9. Jaime Harding
10. lil' url generator

Bubbling under: "carla bruni is being mocked mercilessly across france after having recorded arguably the most dreadful david bowie cover of all time"; daddies sauce face; salt and vinegar crisps; what happened to Fred Durst; "share some of your bookmarks with the world, and keep" boyfriend acting distant; what movie won academy award for best picture in 1976

(That last one? Rocky.)

Sleater Kinney - No Cities To Love

Download No Cities To Love

Menace Beach - Ratworld

Download Ratworld

Scandal - Hello World

Download Hello World

Enter Shikari - The Mindsweep

Download The Mindsweep

BC Camplight - How To Die In The North

Download How To Die In The North

Belle & Sebastian - Girls In Peacetime Want To Dance

Download Girls In Peacetime...

The Decemberists - What A Terrible World, What A Beautiful World

Download What A Terrible World...