Friday, March 13, 2015

Do you wonder what Conor McNicholas is up to these days?

What happens to former NME editors?

Conor McNicholas, he of the double Andrew WK cover era, is doing this sort of thing:

Businesses need to "get radical" and change the structure of their business if they are to succeed in the new networked world, according to Conor McNicholas, the chief executive at AllTogetherNow.
McNicholas used the example of Barclays setting up an editorial board to bring together the different communications departments. He worked with Barclays at his previous employer Redwood.

Barclays put a router at the centre of the business with a representative from each department that met weekly to sign off joint actions.
He said: "At the heart of the editorial board is the concept of a shared culture. It creates a neutral space that allows those involved to bring opportunities or projects to the group and work on them together, no more meeting on your turf or mine."

McNicholas encouraged delegates to embrace the new networked world and "start kicking the shins" of the way things have always been done.
One day you're telling people that Party Hard is the greatest thing ever; the next you're punting a minor change in the comms strategy at a big bank as the revolution of our lifetimes. That's life right there, isn't it?

CORRECTION: This post would have worked a lot better if Conor McNicholas had been editing the NME at the time of the Andrew WK cover; actually it was Ben Knowles. And to be totally fair, he did put Fucked Up on the cover.

Madonna now peers with Status Quo

Oh, dear. Madonna now finds herself rubbing shoulders with Cliff Richard and Status Quo, shut out of the Radio One playlist and waah-waahing that it's sooooo unfair:

Pop star Madonna has called Radio 1 "discriminatory and unfair" after it declined to play her latest single.

Living For Love failed to make the station's playlist, which dictates its most-played songs, when it was released last month, leading to accusations of ageism from the 56-year-old's fans.

Speaking to The Sun, Madonna said she was "shocked" by her exclusion.

"I was like, 'Wait a second. Shouldn't it be to do with whether you wrote a good, catchy pop song?"
Come on, Madge, if you were being judged on quality alone, you'd not have been heard on Radio One since 1999.

It's hard to admit, obviously, but you're just not relevant to the target Radio One audience. It's not because of your age. It's because you sound tired.

In the Guardian a couple of weeks ago, David Connor - who saw Madonna play the Haçienda - summed up the problem she faces before she even faced it:
This story still definitely impresses people. I now teach electrical installation to 16- to 19-year-olds and, whenever I’ve mentioned it, they ask, “Who’s Madonna?” Although one of them once piped up, “I know who she is – she’s that old bird.”

I think Status Quo demanded some sort of parliamentary enquiry or something. You could try that.

It won't do any good, but it's important to keep busy as you enter your golden years.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Old pals under pressure

Blurred credit lines

I suppose that's going to have wiped the Happy off Pharrell Williams' face, as a US court rule he and Robin Thicke ripped off Marvin Gaye.

A jury decided that the music in rohyp-hop hit Blurred Lines was lifted from Gaye, and ordered a payment of nearly five million quid in damages to go to Gaye's estate.

Presumably, Gaye's family will spend most of this money on legal fees trying to get his name taken off the credits again.

Because that's not much of a victory, is it? Sure, you've got the proof that you were plagiarised, but now that crappy song is going to carry a credit that Marvin Gaye helped write it.

It's like you've broken into your the office your boss uses, and done a massive anonymous poo in the middle of their desk. But then discover that Molly from accounts is saying that she did it. You'd feel obligated to put everyone right, no matter how much you don't really want to be associated with the still-steaming turd. It might be an unpleasant pile of stinky old cack, but you'd be damned if someone else is going to pass it off as their work.

There's the potential for more problems for Thicke and Williams, as now the question of who wrote the music has been settled, they're at risk of being sued by the Friends Of Roman Polanski for lifting the lyrics from them.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Holy No'Moly

After 13 years of being the slicker alternative to Popbitch/the thinking person's Perez Hilton, Holy Moly is closing down.

Us apologise after misidentifying Kanye West as the loudest clown in town. A bit.

At the end of last week, Shirley Manson did a massive post to Facebook saying... well, this:

Dear He who shall remain nameless,

It is with great sadness that I read your email today.

Clearly you have forgotten or are just generally unaware, that in business it is always wise to be kind and respectful in your day to day dealings with other people. Especially those you have never met.

You just never know when you might meet that person who has been at the receiving end of your disrespect for indeed you may have to come on bended knee to that person later on down the line because they hold on to something of value that you need to get your greasy hands on.

What alarms me more than anything about your nasty little barbs is that you are in the business of representing artists interests and yet you are clearly unaware that not all musicians are obsessed with the charts or being famous.

That some of us do not value ourselves by the number of mainstream "hits" we have enjoyed .

That some of us just enjoy making music and having a long lifespan of a career without having to dance as fast as we can, or be the loudest clown in town or be having to hitch ourselves to the latest ,greatest, freshest sound in order to remain "on top" .

There are some of us who just like to live the way WE see fit. Make the music WE feel passionate about. Music that feels authentic to who we are and where we are in our lives.

There are even some of us who do not believe that being famous is the holy grail or the answer to a beautiful, meaningful and rewarding life.

Clearly you are unable to wrap your head around the idea that some musicians actually prefer NOT having to perform on Children's TV shows. Who do NOT want to be gossiped about in the popularity contest columns. Who most definitively do NOT want to be chased by paparazzi and who do NOT want to put their family name to some shitty , poorly made product in order to build a "brand" and who most definately do NOT want to go out every night, dressed up to the nines to the opening of an envelope.

SO allow me to make my choices as I see fit without having to endure your childish and un-evolved criticism.

As you so rightly pointed out, there are plenty of talented people in the world who will sell their grannies to serve your desires.

So now then sir, that all said,
Go F#CK yourself.
The "nameless" bit in the opening line is so frustrating if you're trying to stir up a beef, so a lot of publications - the charge led by Us - assumed that it must be Kanye West. After all, Shirl had a pop at West recently, and... well, if a gossip magazine can't think about more than one thing at a time, the same must be true of everyone, right?

Trouble is, it wasn't about Kanye. So Shirley took to Facebook again:
I would just like to state for the record that my post from a few days ago which has been heisted today by US Weekly and then consequently glommed onto by a variety of so called news sources had absolutely NOTHING to do with Kanye West whatsoever.

It was directed towards a completely unknown industry insider who had in my opinion been rather offensive in his dealings with me last week.

I take great exception to US Weekly rushing to assume who this aforementioned post was directed towards. Instead of doing their due diligence which in my opinion is their journalistic duty, they have instead made lazy, potentially libelous assumptions which I find completely offensive and entirely inaccurate.

Modern journalism in most cases these days, barely resembles the craft that was once practiced with such care, skill and integrity. Instead we are stuck with provocative scandal mongers who will stoop at nothing in an effort to drive people to their web sites.

Ignore all the stupidity and get on with your lives my friends.

I fully intend to do the same.
Be well.
(You know that somewhere there's a man reading that going 'calling me a loud clown is one thing, but now you've called me an 'unknown' - well, that's going too far, young lady. That's going too far.')

So Us have backed down:
UPDATE: An earlier version of this story stated — erroneously — that Manson had written her Facebook post specifically about Kanye West. A rep for the singer reached out to Us Weekly to clarify that the anonymous subject of Manson’s note was not, in fact, the rapper. Us regrets the error.
They regret the error.

Though not enough to bother changing the headline on the story:
Shirley Manson Trashes Unnamed Enemy as the "Loudest Clown in Town" -- Is She Talking About Kanye West?
No. No, she isn't. In the first paragraph under this headline, you apologise for saying that she was.

An error, of course, they regret.

Although not enough to actually change this image caption either:
Shirley Manson ripped Kanye West yet again on Facebook, calling Kim Kardashian's husband "the loudest clown in town" -- find out what set her off here.
That's quite a piece of work there, then, Us:
From the top, then:
Headline: Implies it might be Kanye West
Image: Says it is Kanye West
First para: Says it isn't Kanye West.

Good work, everyone.

Listen with No Rock: Molly Wilkinson

The wonderful Molly Wilkinson has just shared a cover of Dirty Old Town, which is a lovely way to start the morning.

Monday, March 09, 2015

Mergermania: Franz Ferdinand & Sparks unite

Not since Marxism Today merged with the New Statesman has there been a coming together so unexpected, but so provocative. There's going to be a tour, too.

Iggy quits. Except she doesn't.

Oh, say it ain't so, Inquisitr:

Iggy Azalea Leaves Social Media: Pop Star Deletes Her Instagram Account
Really? Her Instagram account deleted? Really?

Erm, not really. She's just handed the keys to her management. For a "break".

You'd think that 'artist whose image is built around being outspoken no longer controlling her own Instagram account so that her management can control what messages are put out under her name' is actually a far more compelling story than 'artist deletes account', wouldn't you?

Sunday, March 08, 2015

Popular music might have just died

Remember when pop stars used to swish around, doing interesting and exciting stuff?

Remember when you wanted to be a pop star?

Remember that?

Ed Sheeran and Sam Smith have a bet on to see who can lose a stone in weight fastest.

It gets worse:

According to sources, 6ft 2in Stay With Me singer Sam, 22 – who has ­struggled with his weight since childhood – has enlisted the help of a hypnotist and top Harley Street nutritionist.
This is meant to be pop. It sounds like a b-story from Downton Abbey.

Eurovision 2015: The UK chooses this year's gallant losers

Here, then, is the track picked for the UK's Eurovision entry - Still In Love With You, by Electro Velvet:

Remember the name. It'll come in handy if you ever find yourself on Pointless in 2017.

It's not a terrible thing. Well, not totally terrible. If Jive Bunny was still alive, it'd possibly even feel a bit contemporary.

Actually, yes. It is terrible, isn't it? It doesn't only sound dated, but the nostalgia it's striving for is, itself, dated. "Hey, Europe, remember 25 years ago when there was a lot of people remembering this sort of thing?"

Yes, it's come to this. We're entering something that could have just failed to make the cut for Bugsy Malone.

Instead, let's praise the wisdom of Andreas Kummert - selected to represent the German nation in the finals, he suddenly remembered that he didn't want to do that.

This week just gone

What people read last week:

1. What the pop papers say: Noel, again, naturally
2. What would happen if you took all the men-only acts out of Reading?
3. That last Mark and Lard show. Yes, still
4. Garbage announce 20th anniversary of Queer
5. Bates axed by Smooth
6. Great Escape could actually run with no all-men acts
7. The Chart Show moves; it's not about the chart show
8. James Bay explains his hat is like a suit he wears to work
9. Slum Of Legs et al to play Brighton bank holiday
10. 5 Seconds Of Summer name not even quite as inventive as it sounded

These emerged:

Purity Ring - Another Eternity

Download Another Eternity

Swervedriver - I Wasn't Born To Lose You

Download I Wasn't Born To...

Gang Of Four - What Happens Next

Download What Happens Next

Jon Hopkins - Late Night Tales

Download Late Night Tales