Saturday, November 07, 2015

Nick McCabe is literally a NIMBY

Nick McCabe, out of Verve and The Verve, has recently moved to Shropshire. He's not entirely happy, though, as builders are trying to smash into his view:

The site, between the Beechfields estate and the A41 Newport Bypass, is one of 100 areas supposed to be protected from development by Telford & Wrekin Council.

But that has not stopped developers Redrow from consulting the estate’s residents on a scheme for two, three and four bedroom houses.
McCabe is worried:
“When I was growing up I would be climbing trees and playing outside with friends, rather than sat at home watching TV and that is what I want for my son,” said Mr McCabe, 44
When you were a kid, Nick, there were only three channels and little choice but to go outside. It's not entirely clear that a field out the back is the thing that will swing the difference between playing on an X Box or not.

Busta Rhymes admits his crimes

Busta Rhymes has pleaded guilty to the most dull crime in the world, that of throwing a protein drink at a gym employee who wouldn't let him film his workouts. The case didn't come before a jury, because, jesus, who could give a hoot about it, seriously?:

On August 5th, Rhymes threw a protein shake at a Steel Gym employee who ran the gym's front desk, a culmination of two days of arguments between Rhymes and the victim. After the rapper wasn't allowed to bring in a videographer to tape his workouts, Rhymes returned the following day and once again got into a heated disagreement with the employee. After purchasing the beverage – later confirmed to be a chocolate-flavored Muscle Milk – the rapper splashed water in the employee's face, who responded by throwing water back in Rhymes' direction.
The Muscle Milk ended up being thrown at the gym bloke, giving him a tiny cut.

Rhymes will attend anger management classes as part of a plea deal. Let's hope he doesn't try to take a videographer to film his anger managing. And the incident won't appear on Rhymes' record:
"The criminal charges, especially charging him with a felony, was a bunch of bull," Rhymes' lawyer Scott Leemon told the New York Times. "Busta and I are glad the district attorney's office agreed to drop all the criminal charges."
Hmm. Sounds like someone else could do with some help to manage their anger.

Ozzy Osbourne apologises for pissing on the Alamo

Perhaps the most creative thing Ozzy has ever done in his career advertising butter substitutes and staggering around a house in perpetual confusion like some sort of highly-drugged performing bear is pissing on the Alamo.

Now, he's said sorry for doing that. Although he's not doing it through contrition, but to help promote a godawful history programme he's doing for The History Channel:

Osbourne told 'The Pulse of Radio' "Anything past World War II, I'm clueless. I'm kind of up on World War II 'cause I was born a couple of years after. So I know quite a lot about World War II and Hitler and the Nazis and all that."

"But anything from before or after I don't know anything about. So we're going to Mount Rushmore, we're going to the abandoned silos where you guys, America used to have their Minutemen missiles and all that. It's quite educational for me, actually."
This is bollocksy stuff - you don't really need to understand the history of a national monument to decide not to piss all over it. Museums and visitor attractions, it's fairly safe to assume, aren't really set up on a dual mission - there's no sign outside Mesa Verde saying "understand the Ancestral Puebloans a little better, or take a dump if you've never heard of them".

More to the point, given how wasted Osbourne was during those years, even if he'd been at an animatronic reconstruction of the Yalta Conference, it's likely he'd still have whizzed all over it, despite remembering when Nazis weren't quite history.

Osbourne has yet to apologise for I Can't Believe It's Not Butter.

SXSW killer gets life

A jury has found Rashad Owens guilty of capital murder.

Owens drove his car into crowds at last year's SXSW, killing four and injuring dozens. His defence team argued that he hadn't intended to kill, but had merely panicked after being chased by police, but jurors were convinced by prosecution arguments that, had this been true, he would have stopped when he started hitting people. Owens had actually sped up once he hit the crowd.

He will spend life in prison without the possibility of parole.

There's a new Coldplay album, everyone

At first, I assumed this from the BBC website was an early review of A Head Full Of Dreams:

- but then I realised that there's going to be a lot more boring songs on the album than that.

There was a useful capsule review on Twitter, though:

Horrifying as this news is, it makes a bit of sense and you can't help wishing that maybe Coldplay and Oasis had merged back in the early days of the century, so we could have concentrated on avoiding just one lumbering beast.

Could the prospect be made any less appealing, though, than this hooking up of Gallagher with Coldplay? Oh, yes. Yes, it can:
Coldplay have explained how Guns N' Roses influenced their new track 'Adventure Of A Lifetime'.
Now, you're probably thinking what I did - "presumably like Guns N Roses they realised they'd reached the end of what their basic talents would allow, and decided to try and disguise it with overblown pomposity?" - but that's not quite it:
Martin continued: "I’d been begging Jonny [Buckland] our guitarist for years to make a riff that I like as much as 'Sweet Child O' Mine' by Guns N' Roses, then he showed me that one, and I was like, 'That's it!' So those elements all came together, and we just wanted to kind of embrace our love of joyful music and sort of let it free."
"Why don't you write something I like as much as Sweet Child O' Mine" shows a surprising level of self-awareness on Martin's part, assuming that he realises he's admitting that nothing Coldplay have yet recorded is as good as that. (To be fair, he could also ask Buckland why he doesn't do something as good as Matchstalk Men And Matchstalk Cats And Dogs for the same reason.)

So, a bright new Coldplay album out at the start of December. Start practising your "oh, this gift is just what I wanted" faces, gang.

Punkobit: Brandon Carlisle

Brandon Carlisle, drummer with Teenage Bottlerocket, has died.

His twin and co-Bottlerocket Ray Carlisle announced on Facebook:

With a heavy heart I regret to inform everyone that my twin brother Brandon Carlisle didn't make it. This is the saddest day of my life. I'm having a difficult time accepting the reality of all of this. We lost Brandon. I don't even know what to write. I feel so sad. I'm going to come up with something better to say when I'm more collected. I will let everyone know when and where the funeral will be. The amount of support Brandon has gotten during the last 72 hours has been crazy! Thank you to everyone for the kind words and prayers for my brother and for my family. So many good vibes were sent our way and it really helped all of us through everything. I can't stop crying.
Brandon had been found in a coma by his roommate on Tuesday; a crowdsourced medical bills page had been established.

Teenage Bottlerocket formed in Laramie, Wyoming in 2001. Ray recalled the band's early days in an interview with Vanyaland earlier this year:
My brother Brandon and I were in a band called Homeless Wonders and we started out sort of sounding like Screeching Weasel, then we got into ska music so we were writing songs that sounded like Less Than Jake and Slapstick and when the band broke up we were doing something in the veil of Fugazi and At The Drive-In. We sort of saw the scene follow that and we got mixed up as far as writing music was concerned because we were mixed up thinking that showing off how good you were at your instrument and using words in your lyrics that people didn’t understand. A lot of things started to be prevalent in the scene and we thought it was OK to that too.

When we started Teenage Bottlerocket, we were just like “Screw that, we’re gonna wear leather jackets, we’re putting our Chuck Taylors back on and we’re writing songs that are meaningful to us and it’s gonna sound like this.” We stuck to a three chord format and since it was a new band at the time we knew we had the opportunity to sound like whatever the hell we wanted to sound like. Especially in Colorado and Wyoming, we came out in a time where people we like “Oh my god, you guys sound like that, what’s this?”. The older people like Chad Price in All and our friends in The Nobodys down in Colorado Springs, they all paid attention right away. They were all like “Holy crap, we really love this new 7″, this new band you have is sensational.” A lot of those older guys encouraged us to keep on going and it meant the world to us that people like Chad Price liked our band. Like you said, I think Teenage Bottlerocket came across at a time where whole Ramones three chord thing was done. That kind of helps inspire the songs as well.
The band has released six albums and toured with NOFX and the Mighty Mighty Bosstones. They were also part of last year's Warped Tour - something that the earlier version of the band might have raised a surprised eyebrow at.

Brandon had another band, That Guy, for whom he sang.

Friday, November 06, 2015


The lovely Ash boys are currently offering one of those tracks-for-emails deals whereby you drop off an email, and they give you a small acoustic collection from their new album.

Monday, November 02, 2015

Stone Roses drag out new announcement like they dragged out that second album

Mysterious (not that mysterious) posters have appeared around Manchester, causing Stone Roses fans to forget how bad Ian Brown's voice is live all over again. Look-In ("NME") reports:

Fans of The Stone Roses are speculating this morning about activity from the band after a series of posters carrying the band's lemon logo appeared around Manchester.

Images of the lemon, which has appeared on the band's posters and album artwork in the past, have appeared around Manchester with sightings confirmed at Close barber's shop on Greater Ancoats Street and the Vinyl Revival record store on Hilton Street.

Eagle eyed fans have spotted that there are 16 lemons on each poster and are speculating that this means an announcement about 2016 is imminent.
Well, yes. Of course it's going to be about 2016, unless they're going to haul ass in a very non-Stone Roses way.
The posters appear in several shops in the Northern Quarter area of the city. One shop keeper told Manchester Evening News that he had been "sworn to secrecy about an announcement due in the next 24 hours".
Telling the MEN that there's an announcement coming in 24 hours isn't really suggesting you've got the hang of this "sworn to secrecy" business.

Of course, last time round, it was Gordon Smart who got most excited. Is he excited now?
Gordon Smart, editor of the Scottish Sun, has also speculated that two gigs at Manchester City's Etihad Stadium could be in the pipeline. "I've felt a disturbance in the force @thestonerosesofficial blue seats, two nights, baggy jeans and a beanie hat...", he wrote on Instagram.
So two nights at Man City's ground, then? That's probably ruined all the speculation, hasn't it?

Sunday, November 01, 2015

Touting is okay if you're a business, right?

The business of "secondary ticketing" - which might look like touting to you or I, except it's done by men in suits sitting in offices rather than shady looking blokes outside stations bellowing "One Direction BIIIIII OR SELLLL" - is being investigated by the government right now.

The Line of Best Fit has everything you need to know, including the depressing likely outcome:

Unfortunately, it looks like a lot of major businesses and MPs are already attempting to sweep the consulation under the carpet, thus removing the public's right to share their opinion. Sajid Javid - the UK's Business Secretary, no less - even describes touts as "classic entrepreneurs".
Philip Davies is also expressing his opinions:
He says of secondary ticketing regulations: "Needless intervention is not the answer and will only serve to drive many consumers away from safe online platforms and into the arms of street touts."
Davies, you might remember, is the hooting arse-arrangement who most recently filibustered to stop carers being able to park free at hospitals, so it's perhaps unsurprising that someone incapable of compassion is going to bring much to the table in the way of common sense.

TLOBF also report on another shady bit of activity:
StubHub is also resorting to unscrupulous practices. They've created Fan Freedom UK to lobby for further reforms - and, apparently, "analysis of their Twitter shows that over 90% of their followers are fake".
Now, Fan Freedom started out as US thing - hilariously, they've allowed their domain name to lapse in the last couple of days, but has a grab, and they're still active on Facebook. They have a discussion policy which includes a ban of spam, which is ironic for an organisation which is basically one huge advert. They have a petition, which - while acknowledging their origins as floating on a sea of StubHub cash, starts by enthusing over their supporters:
Fan Freedom is supported by more than 150,000 live event fans, and is backed by leading consumer and business organizations such as the American Conservative Union, National Consumers League, Consumer Action, the Institute for Liberty, and the League of Fans.
Yes, that's right. Almost as if they forgot the whole "we're the voice of the fans" schtick, they start their list of supporters with a right-wing lobbying organisation.

What of the British cousin? They actually have managed to keep control of their own website, so that's a plus.
Fan Freedom UK is an organisation dedicated to fighting for the consumer rights of fans, specifically around ticketing issues. As part of this, we represent all kinds of people who enjoy live entertainment – from fans who sit in the rain week in and week out to watch their team, to music fans who stay out until the early hours to enjoy the bands they love.
From the fans who get up in the middle of the night to check their money is still there, to the fans who spend a lot of time talking to accountants and lobbyists to protect the money they love.

Like their American model, though, they don't do very much to hide the fact that they're actually a bunch of lobbyists - there's a proud "supported by Parliament Street" banner on their site, and Parliament Street are a swivel-eyed right-wing thinky tank:
We are a think tank rooted in the values of freedom. We think beyond the current policy agenda and look towards the debates that are likely to be formed by the next generation in government. We don’t have a corporate view beyond our values.
They're chaired by Craig Rimmer, who, his bio proudly proclaims:
He was Head of Information at Conservative Central Office during William Hague’s leadership.
You'll remember amongst the "information" that came out of the Tory party during what I suppose we could loosely describe as Hague's leadership was the claim that voting for Tony Blair would result in the abandonment of the pound. This was only a marginally less credible claim about losing pounds than those of Marjorie Dawes.

So, somehow, on both sides of the Atlantic, the authentic voice of people who go to gigs seems to be being filtered through extremely well-paid lobbyists, all of whom are hell-bent on right-wing, state-shrinking policies.

If these "voices" get their way, it's not going to make secondary ticketing any better. We're more likely to end up with only secondary agencies being allowed to buy tickets directly. To save us from the touts, of course.

Stop this bollocks from happening by adding your actual voice to the consultation. Don't let right wing thinky tanks steal your front row slot.

This week just gone

The most-read October things:

1. The Mercury Prize shortlist
2. Ugly Kid Joe have returned
3. What the pop papers say: NME bigs Moyles
4. Lauren Mayberry doesn't want your proposals
5. Joe Elliott doesn't like streaming
6. RIP: Carey Lander
7. The iPod is 14
8. RIP: Joe Moss
9. Gene Simmons doesn't like the modern world
10. RIP: Jim Diamond

These were the interesting releases from the Friday before:

Mogwai - Central Belters

Download Central Belters

Julien Baker - Sprained Ankle

Download Sprained Ankle

Various - Liverpool International Festival Of Psychedelia Presents Pyzk

Joanna Newsom - Divers

Download Divers

Tracey Thorn - Solo

Download Solo

Beach House - Thank Your Lucky Stars

Download Thank Your Lucky Stars