Saturday, July 25, 2015

Chris Brown: now free

Disappointing news for schadenfreude fans: Chris Brown is out of the Philippines:

Journalists saw Brown and around 10 others boarding his private plane parked at an airport hangar, with one taking a selfie before going into the plane.

Tan said Brown obtained the departure clearance at the bureau's extension office and not at the main office in downtown Manila where dozens of journalists were staking out.

She said the clearance was given after "verifying that Chris Brown has no other derogatory record apart from the (immigration lookout bulletin)" that was issued Wednesday.
No other derogatory records? Has she not heard Fortune?

It turns out Jar Jar Binks could have been even worse

According to Ahmed Best, who played the most universally despised figure ever to appear on film (and, yes, that's including Triumph Of The Will), his part in Star Wars nearly went to Michael Jackson:

"Me, Natalie Portman, and George's kids - we were at Wembley Arena at Michael Jackson's concert. We were taken backstage and we met Michael.

"There was Michael and Lisa Marie [Presley]. George introduced me as 'Jar Jar' and I was like, 'That's kind of weird.' Michael was like, 'Oh. OK.' I thought, 'What is going on?'

"After Michael had driven off, we all go back up to a big afterparty. I'm having a drink with George and I said, 'Why did you introduce me as Jar Jar?"

"He said, 'Well, Michael wanted to do the part but he wanted to do it in prosthetics and make-up like Thriller.' George wanted to do it in CGI."
Best's theory is that Lucas didn't want to have Jacko in the film because his presence would have overwhelmed the movie. Which is a bit like someone taking a poo in the kitchen sink but moving the dishcloths first so it doesn't get too unhygienic.

How's Chris Brown getting on in the Philippines?

It sounds like he's not doing well, being held in the country over a contract dispute:

in his third video the 26-year-old was filmed on his knees and saying, "Please, please, let us leave, please,” suggesting Brown was becoming increasingly concerned about his situation. The video was captioned, "OBAMA!!!!!!!!!!" but has since been removed from his page.

Brown also published a series a panicked tweets denying any wrong-doing and claiming he was trapped in a “serious situation” that someone needed to be held accounted for.

I have nothing to do with anything going on right now. I came back to Manila to do a make up show for New Years. I did the show 3 days ago

This is a very serious situation and someone needs to be held accountable for mixing my name up in all this. I've done nothing wrong!!!
If only Chris Brown wasn't such a reprehensible person, it might be possible to feel sorry for him. Instead, it's just amusing. I'm guessing the plan is for him to be held in the country until he's given the nation entertainment to the value of the million dollars they say they paid him for the gig he never played.

Friday, July 24, 2015

No apology needed

There's no need to apologise, Seattle Times. Just no need.

Taylor Swift makes amends. A bit.

Shortly after Taylor Swift called out Apple on their attempts to make artists cover the costs of the three month Apple Music trials, Jason Sheldon pointed out that the terms she imposed on photographers weren't entirely fair, either.

While Apple crumbled overnight in the face of Swift's attacks, Swift has taken longer to respond to Sheldon but her people have just launched a new contract which goes some way to addressing Sheldon's worries.

The new contract does make clear that the camera people keep copyright on the pictures and will be credited if Swift or her team choose to use them on social media but it's still pretty restrictive.

Someone doesn't want Chris Brown to go

This must be a strange feeling for Chris Brown - normally, whenever he turns up people can't wait for him to bugger off again. In the same way the Queen believes all public buildings smell of paint, Brown must assume that everyone in the world is just about to go to bed at every point in time.

But at last, someone is saying 'don't go, Chris Brown. Don't go."

Unfortunately for Brown, it's the Philippines authorities and they're pretty much holding him because of a legal dispute.

Ironically, the dispute that's keeping him in the country is as a result of a time when he didn't turn up before:

Brown’s visit to the Philippines had appeared to be going smoothly after he performed a concert Tuesday evening in front of a crowd in Manila, the capital.

But that same night, authorities issued an order to stop any attempts by him to leave. It was put in place to compel him to pay money that promoters said was owed to them after he failed to appear for a previous appearance scheduled for last New Year’s Eve.
Brown is apparently confused by it all. That's not entirely surprising, though.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Leave it to Bieber

Tori Kelly is gathering on the horizon, with so many US entertainment franchises invested in her (Ameircan Idol, Star Search et al) we're probably not going to be able to avoid her.

I know what you're thinking - how will one so young cope with a sudden rush of fame?

Don't worry, she's got a sponsor:

At least Kelly, 22, doesn't have to feel overwhelmed – she has friends in high places who are eager to help guide her on her journey to pop super-stardom. Unsuspecting role model Justin Bieber took it upon himself to offer the burgeoning pop star – whose first album, Unbreakable Smile, debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 – some advice on handling fame.
Yeah, advice on handling fame from Justin Bieber. I'm presuming we're looking at something along the lines of 'when you egg a house go at least two blocks down and don't do your neighbour' and 'when you're on the live link to give evidence, try and blink a bit so you look normal'.

Actually, here's what he said:
You've just gotta appreciate all these people here supporting you and like that's what it's about. It's about the people and it will go by so fast.
Is Tori sure that was Justin Bieber, only it sounds like my Aunt Maureen after the third Christmas sherry.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Is there any role in life which we can truly say is without value?

Yes. Yes there is:

Pop Star Lily Allen Hires A New Personal Trainer For Her Face
I'm opposed to fracking, but starting to think that anything which hastens the end for a species which has personal trainers for faces might have something going for it.

Three Doors Down - two thumbs up

There's not many occasions Three Doors Down deserve a standing ovation, but this time they do:

Three Doors Down singer Brad Arnold kicked a fan out of a show in Colorado on Tuesday after he spotted him pushing a woman in the audience.

The frontman halted the gig in Broomfield and urged security to escort the rowdy fan out of the venue.

He raged, “Hang on, hang on, hang on. Hey, hey homie. You don’t hit a woman. You just pushed a woman out of the way to get in a fight, you d—!

“Get him the hell out of here.”
It's not cool to hit anyone making your way through a crowd, of course.

Up until today, I'd have argued that being ejected from a Three Doors Down gig would be a badge of honour. Not any more.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Bookmarks: Protest songs

Oh, Edwyn Collins, you might believe there's not enough protest songs, but Tim Worthington is disproving you all over town with his guide to ten of most ineffectual protest songs of all time. It somehow misses off Back To The Planet's Please Don't Fight, but does corral everyone from Bill Oddie to Bros:

Matt and Luke attempt to reverse their Dumper-wards trajectory with an impassioned gospel-inflected ecological plea delivered to some bloke eating crisps, warning that there will be no birds up in the sky unless 'we' stop 'it' now. Presumably the minor landslide of vinyl, cassettes, 'Postermags', badges, t-shirts, leather jackets, pilfered bottle tops and Summer Specials containing bizarre text stories about kidnappers plotting to hold Matt to ransom in 'our 'oliday 'ome' that they had left in their wake did not constitute part of the 'it'.

Do you wonder what music your neighbours like?

Not what music your immediate neighbours like, of course - that, thanks to poor building materials and high density housing you can't help but know as the dull thud of Heart FM trickles through the party wall.

But what music do the people of your town and/or city like? Spotify have created an interactive map which spits out a playlist of tracks favoured by people at any given postcode, and over at Quirker Michael Moran has been looking at it with his beautiful eyes:

For example, Hull's music selection shows quite a lot of love for local band The Beautiful South while down the road in Lincoln they're more promiscuous in their taste, taking in the likes of Spanish DJ Dr Kucho and Bristol duo Blonde.
If I were Spotify, I'd nip over to Hull and check that it's not actually members of The Beautiful South with a room full of iPads trying to boost their royalties, to be honest.

The Quirker piece has the full map, so you can decide - once and for all - which is the most godforsaken musical toiletbowl on the face of the planet.

This week just gone

Hotter than July - the most popular stories from any July:

1. Mariah Carey blames 9/11 for Glitter flopping
2. Noel Gallagher: If I was gay, I'd be the best gay
3. Tony Thompson: Cause of death
4. Mel B drops claims over 'sexual hijinks'
5. Pete Doherty runs to papers over loss of Kate Moss
6. Nick Lachey tries to block pap sex pix
7. Lee Ryan isn't gay
8. Ben Lee only wanted you to look naked
9. Panic At The Disco split
10. Sweden change 'free to copy for personal use' law that 90% of people weren't using anyway

These were last week's new releases:

Veruca Salt - Ghost Notes

Download Ghost Notes

Ezra Furman - Perpetual Motion People

Download Perpetual Motion People

Lucy Rose - Work It Out

Download Work It Out

Four Tet - Morning/Evening

Download Morning/Evening

Little Boots - Working Girl

Download Working Girl