Saturday, August 29, 2015

The €20 love note

You might have come across the story of the love note scrawled on a €20 note:

Leech went on to explain that they eventually broke up and Megan met someone else. "After I saw the €20 note on a FB post, I called her," he said. "She told me she had written it on a note she used to pay into one of my gigs about 6 months ago. I didn't know she was there. She told me she thought I'd get the cash directly but I obviously didn't. She took it that I didn't want to talk.

"So, now we're in touch again but the situation is quite different.”
Perhaps the most touching aspect of this story is that Megan somehow thinks an artist at a gig is going to see any of the money from his gig by the time he comes off stage.

The lights are going out all over the VMAs. We shall not see them lit again in our lifetime.

MTV are still doing the VMAs, which is in itself a weird thing - MTV's target demographic must be puzzled that every so often the 'I Live In An Area Where Republicans Defunded Sex Ed Lessons' marathons are put on hold to celebrate pop videos. I suppose it's no odder than those times ITV suddenly decide to show the Evening Standard Theatre Awards, though.

Anyway, they're doing it again, only this time it's turned into war. Presumably in a bid to get picked up by History Channel next year.

Entertainment Tonight have taped the words 'Press' on their windcheaters, and are reporting from the frontline:

In July, Minaj went on a Twitter rant about how "Anaconda" was snubbed for a Video of the Year nomination at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards, as well as her and Beyonce's song "Feeling Myself."

"If your video celebrates women with very slim bodies, you will be nominated for vid of the year," she tweeted. "If I was a different 'kind' of artist, 'Anaconda' would be nominated for best choreo and vid of the year as well."

She also accused the VMAs of body shaming, posting that "black women influence pop culture so much but are rarely rewarded for it."
There's a lot to unpick there - MTV might point to the number of prizes Beyonce picked up last year, including the Michael Jackson lifetime achievement style award; detractors would nod and suggest that you have to be Beyonce to fight your way into events like that while Miley Cyrus just has to shed some clothes and kiss a powertool or two and gets escorted to the top table.

Miley Cyrus. Talking of whom, she's this year's MTV VMA host, and she's fired back:
Cyrus, who is hosting Sunday's VMAs, tells the New York Times that Minaj went about this all wrong.

"If you want to make it about race, there’s a way you could do that. But don’t make it just about yourself," the 22-year-old singer said. "Say: 'This is the reason why I think it’s important to be nominated. There’s girls everywhere with this body type.'"

Cyrus claims that Minaj lost focus of the issue at hand. "You made it about you. Not to sound like a b**ch, but that’s like, 'Eh, I didn’t get my VMA.'"
I don't think that's entirely fair, but you have to at least admit Cyrus has positioned herself well from a political perspective - in effect, she's totally agreed with Minaj that the people giving her large sums of cash to present an awards show have excluded women from a certain background, but also spun out from it a personal attack which will keep all the prepublicity flowing without risking her job at the podium.

I think that's either cold-hearted capitalism, or consummate professionalism.

Friday, August 28, 2015

X axed: XFM to shed last vestiges of what it was

A grim additional email from Popbitch this morning, which builds on yesterday's story that XFM was about to be rebranded Capital Rocks.

It's not going to be called Capital Rocks - presumably because it's not a fucking paving company operating out of Bexleyheath - but it is going to have a new name:

Starting on 21st September, it's going to be Radio X.
There are already a bunch of Radio Xes, of course, most notably in Grand Theft Auto.

But as Popbitch continues, the change of name isn't as bad as it could have been:
One of the ideas floated (but thankfully dropped) was to give the station a "no females" policy, with "Man Size Music" suggested as the new slogan.
Yes, the brains that run Capital did really think that adopting the much-maligned strategy used by Nestle to turn the Yorkie bar from a relatively unpleasant hunk of inedible chocolate into a flashpoint in the gender wars was the way to rebrand its alt rock station.

Mind you, when you read this bit...:
With Chris Moyles at breakfast, followed by Vernon Kay. Jonny Vaughn gets the nod for drivetime. And Ricky "The Voice" Wilson is in for a weekend show.
... you do have to ask yourself how far the "no females" policy was actually abandoned. It doesn't sound like that page of the flipchart was ripped up, does it?

Monday, August 24, 2015

One Direction split

The news, of course, has rumbled through the day: One Direction have announced they're going to sort-of split, or at least go on hiatus, to allow the individual members to experiment with a solo career and find out how it feels to get a number 29 chart hit for a few months.

Someone's making a nice quid or two out of it, though:

Unscrupulous sellers are cashing in on the shock announcement from the group, which includes Wolverhampton-born Liam Payne and Harry Styles, from Redditch.

The Barclaycard Arena is already a complete sell out for Saturday October 10 and the following two nights have just a few tickets left, 1D fans will have to scramble to be among the Birmingham crowds.

Ticket prices are more than three times the price of the original face value tickets, with users of the popular ticket selling site selling tickets for prices of up to £1,298.
People prepared to pay over a grand to see them must be some sort of mega-fan, although not so mega that they were that arsed about getting tickets when they only cost fifty quid.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Nicki Minaj: The age we live in now

Madame Tussauds in Las Vegas has had to issue a statement asking visitors to not take photos of themselves fucking Nicki Minaj's waxwork from behind:

It's an "interactive immersive experience" too far. It's curious that the venue is worried about disrespecting the waxwork, though, rather than disrespecting the person depicted in the waxwork.

Kathleen Hanna is relaxed about pop star feminism

When Taylor Swift, or similar, talks about feminism, it might not be your mother's feminism, or your elder sister's. But is that a problem?

Kathleen Hanna isn't sure that it is:

I remember back in the Nineties being like, “We’re being commodified,” so I understand people being like, “We don’t want feminism to become this fashion that has nothing behind it.” But I’m not really worried about that. When somebody that’s a huge megastar that has so many young fans, like Taylor Swift or Miley Cyrus or Beyoncé, comes out and says, “I’m a feminist,” I mean, that’s the sound of hundreds of thousands of girls typing the word into the Internet.
In other words: Taylor Swift Feminism is a gateway. And any entry point is to be welcomed.

Pop stars in not exactly reduced circumstances

There's an odd little piece in the spitewrapper that is the Mail On Sunday this morning - it's a glorified puff piece for some sort of timesharey/homeswapping deal. But what's fascinating is that the frontman for the operation is Marcus Vere.

Marcus Vere.

"Eighties pop star Marcus Vere".

We'll save you the Googling - he was in Living In A Box. Which does at least allow the Mail a sort-of joke:

He found fame with a song about ‘living in a cardboard box’, but musician Marcus Vere can now live in a variety of what he describes as ‘grandiose and luxuriant boxes’ all around the world.
Oddly, this isn't the first time Vere has popped up to enthuse over the project. Last year he was trilling about it in the Telegraph:
One member is music producer Marcus Vere, a former member of the 1980s band Living in a Box, whose 17th century thatched cottage in the Cotswolds is almost entirely booked up this summer. In return, he and his family have enjoyed free accommodation all over the world.

“We save thousands this way. As a family of five, you’re looking at nearly £5,000 even for economy tickets to fly to the US these days, so we’re happy to take any benefits we can from having a house in the Cotswolds to subside our holiday accommodation costs. This summer, we’re staying at the Trump Hotel & Tower on Central Park.”
He also popped up in the London Evening Standard enthusing over the service:
London musician and X Factor songwriter Marcus Vere, the keyboard player in Eighties band Living in a Box, owns a striking five-bedroom holiday home in the Cotswolds with his wife Laetitia, where they enjoy time with their children JJ, Giselle and Nina, aged 13, 11 and nine.
Now, it's possible that Vere just loves the service so much he can't stop talking about it. Because if he was promoting the service in return for some sort of consideration, they'd mention that in the articles, right?

Buckcherry sex toys empire set to expand

Did you know that Buckcherry market their own range of sex toys? I'm assuming their dildos, if they're anything like their music, will be a bit disappointing - you can see what they're trying to do, but it's not very satisfying and nowhere near hard enough.

Still, their popular with their fans, according to the band's Josh Todd:

The band has its own line of sex toys, Crazy Bitch Toys. Are the products hot sellers?

Yes! We have a dildo, condoms and are working on adding a vibrator and butt-plug. People like us to sign them, usually. I hope they use them. We have some things in the works though it’s too soon to talk about them.
I'm not sure I'd use the phrase "we have some things in the works" when talking about sex toy development.

The idea that Buckcherry are busily trying to design a butt-plug is somehow cheering. Or at least more cheering than the thought they might be writing more songs.

This week just gone

On this day in No Rock history:

2014: Apparently doing the ice bucket challenge led to Lily Allen selling gig tickets
2013: Fran Healy was upset by Beyonce's backstage demands
2012: Zayn Malik quit Twitter
2011: EMI lost its court case against mp3locker
2010: Someone was selling a toilet that John Lennon might once have pooped in
2005: Turkmenistan bans recorded music

These were the interesting releases this week:

Sweet Baboo - The Boombox Ballads

Download Boombox Ballads

Grace Potter - Midnight

Download Midnight