Saturday, November 28, 2015

It's the monthly "Top Of The Pops revival" moment

As has happened probably ever three hours since Top of The Pops was axed, we're going through a 'they're going to bring back Top Of The Pops' period. Except it's not bringing back TOTP, as Ben Cooper tried to explain:

He said: "I am working hard with Bob Shennan, asking, 'What are the ingredients that would work for today?'

"When people ask about whether Top of the Pops is coming back, what they are really saying is, 'When can we get a once-a-week primetime BBC1 music slot?'

"I have had this conversation with agents, independent production companies, and with Simon Cowell a few weeks back."
The appearance of Simon Cowell in the discussions suggest we're not really talking about Top Of The Pops, right?
He said: "With The Voice going to ITV, that does give you an opportunity, a moment in history, to go, 'Right, let's crack this, what can we do to bring the music and entertainment together for a primetime BBC1 audience? That's the Holy Grail!

"The music industry would like a weekly moment to showcase the best new British music."
I'd be more tempted, were I a tabloid editor, to suggest they sound more like they're reviving something closer to House Party or Swap Shop, if indeed anything.

The Mail, of course, has its own take:
Not entirely sure why Gary Glitter is included in there. Or, indeed, if that trio are such a problem, the BBC has carried on doing Top Of The Pops on Christmas Day for the last couple of years. Still, I'm sure it makes sense to the Mail.

It's not Long Lost Family

The International Business Times oversells the Minogue duet:

I know for a fact they've met up at the odd Christmas, and I'm sure there was an awkward encounter at a cousin's wedding back in 1997...

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

15 Step: Other people's lists

An annual amalgamation of other people's attempts at best-of lists. And, perhaps, the odd worst-of, too.

Part of 15 Step
Last updated 04-01-16

Aux's worst songs of 2015:
Sam Smith - Writing's On The Wall
Neil Young - Monsanto Years
Bloc Party - The Love Within
Hopsin - Fly
Magic! - #sundayfunday
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis - Downtown
Matt & Kim - Hoodie On
Nate Ruess - Ah Ha
American Authors - Go Big Or Go Home

Billboard's Hot 100 of 2015:
5. Maroon 5 - Sugar
4. Fetty Wap - Trap Queen
3. Wiz Khalifa featuring Charlie Puth - See You Again
2. Ed Sheeran - Thinking Out Loud
1. Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars - Uptown Funk

DoubleJ's best albums of 2015:
5. Tame Impala - Currents
4. Bjork - Vulnicura
3. Hiatus Kaiyote – Choose Your Weapon
2. Sufjan Stevens – Carrie & Lowell
1. Father John Misty – I Love You, Honeybear

Drowned In Sound's 10 Shows that shook 2015:
Peter Hook & The Light, Macclesfield Christ Church
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, Glastonbury
Wolf Alice, Best Kept Secret
Ride, Oxford O2
A Place To Bury Strangers, Nottingham Bodega
Thousand Yard Stare, London Borderline
Pinkshinyultrablast / Flyying Colours / Eyre Llew, Nottingham Maze
The Zombies, Brighton Great Escape

Robyn Gallagher's 10 good New Zealand pop tunes:
Disclousure featuring Lorde - Magnets
Avalanche City - Inside Out
MAALA - Touch
Gin Wigmore - New Rush
Jackie Thomas - Until The Last Goodbye
Ginny Blackmore - Under My Feet
Beau Monga - King And Queen
Stan Walker featuring Samantha Jade - Start Again
#kiwiscurebatten - Team Ball Player Thing
Six60 - White Lines

Layla Gibbon's Best of the year via Maximum Rock N Roll:
G.L.O.S.S. – Girls Living Outside Society’s Shit EP
Beef Jerk – Tragic LP
Exit Order – Take the Bait EP
Ausmuteants / Lumpy And The Dumpers – split flexi
Departmentstore Santas – LP
Pleasure Leftists – The Woods of Heaven LP
L Voag – The Way Out LP+7” / Milk From Cheltenham – Triptych of Poisoners LP
X_X – CD / Don Howland – Life Is a Nightmare LP
Century Palm – “Valley Cyan/Accept”
Spary Paint – Dopers LP

Gorilla vs Bear's songs of 2015:
5. Jamie XX - I Know There's Gonna Be (Good Times)
4. Grimes - Kill vs Maim
3. Metro Thuggin - Free Gucci
2. D'Angelo - The Charade
1. Grimes - Realiti

The Guardian's best albums of 2015:
5. Björk - Vulnicura
4. Julia Holter - Have You in My Wilderness
3. Father John Misty - I Love You, Honeybear
2. Sufjan Stevens - Carrie & Lowell
1. Kendrick Lamar - To Pimp a Butterfly

Independent Music Monday's Spotify Playlist of the best independent tracks of 2015 - a taste of the selections:
Sleater-Kinney - A New Wave
The Bresnard Lakes - Golden Lion
Pony Pony Run Run - Alright
Braids - Miniskirt

Liv Loren's Top 5 Best & Worst Songs of 2015:

Mojo's Best albums:
5. Jim O'Rourke - Simple Songs
4. Tame Impala - Currents
3. New Order - Music Complete
2. Kendrick Lamar - To Pimp a Butterfly
1. Julia Holter - Have You in My Wilderness

NME's Albums of the year:
5. Tame Impala - Currents
4. Wolf Alice - My Love Is Cool
3. Jamie XX - In Colour
2. Kendrick Lamar - To Pimp A Butterfly
1. Grimes - Art Angels

Paste's best songs:
5. Father John Misty – Chateau Lobby #4 (in C for Two Virgins)
4. Natalie Prass – My Baby Don’t Understand Me
3. The Mountain Goats – Legend of Chavo Guerro
2. Kendrick Lamar – King Kunta
1. Courtney Barnett – Pedestrian At Best

Pitchfork's lyrics of the year - A taste of the selections:
"We're all gonna die"
— Sufjan Stevens, "Fourth of July"
"Put me on a pedestal and I'll only disappoint you"
— Courtney Barnett, "Pedestrian at Best"
"She runnin' away from my weed like it farted"
— Young Thug, "Never Had It"

Spin's best hip-hop albums of the year:
5. Earl Sweatshirt - I Don't Like Shit, I Don't Go Outside
4. Drake - If You're Reading This, You're Too Late
3. Future - Dirty Sprite 2
2. Vince Staples - Summertime '06
1. Kendrick Lamar - To Pimp A Butterfly

Q Best Album:
Noel Gallagher & The High Flying Birds - Chasing Yesterday

15 Step: The uberpost

It's only a month until Christmas, which means it's time for us to start trying to scrape the year into some sort of shape. The first step in that is this annual post, which holds together all the other posts. And is never that exciting when it first goes live.

Some great albums from 2015
Other people's best-of lists
Those we lost

The year in review:

Lest we forget:

Martyn Ware: The National Trust

Martyn Ware out of Heaven 17 et al has been collaborating with The National Trust on a sea-themed artwork. It's easier to explore than explain, so go have a look and a poke about.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Mark Seymour tells racists to get lost

Hunters And Collectors heard that their music was being used by racist wank-gerbils Reclaim Australia. Mark Seymour isn't having it:

I've just been informed that 'Reclaim Australia' are using 'Holy Grail' at their rallies.
Let me be clear. 'Reclaim Australia' is a racist organisation.
We stand together with refugees and asylum seekers the world over.
We are opposed to bigotry, race hate and fascism.
'Reclaim Australia' has no place in Australian Society.
This has had the happy side effect of leading his racist fans to out themselves, and withdraw from being his fan. For example, one prime toothbucket called Jake Myers swept in to slap this out of his keyboard:
Fuck you Mark , just burnt my hunters albums , are you fucking blind to what's going on in the world stop being politically correct and have some balls, at least reclaim are doing and saying something, yes it mightn't be the best way of doing things but at they are trying , this is what shits me about Australia these days everybody is to fucking soft and afraid of offending someone, fuck I'm cranky.
First of all, clearly if Seymour had been too scared to offend people, he wouldn't have had a pop at the brain offsets which calls themselves Reclaim Australia.

Secondly, and more importantly, you've burned your Hunters albums, have you, Jake? Really? You set fire to them, did you? It's funny, because I don't smell burning plastic coming off that post. I smell something, but not that.

Barack Obama to work with Coldplay

For the best part of a decade, Fox News and the people who watch it as if it was a news channel have done their best to besmirch Barack Obama's name.

Now he's doing their work for them, by working with Coldplay:

The gospel anthem, which Barack sang at the funeral of Charleston shooting victim Clementa C. Pinckney earlier this year, is an interlude on the band’s highly-anticipated seventh album.

Chris revealed: “We have a tiny clip of the President singing Amazing Grace at that church. Because of the historical significance of what he did and also that that song being about, ‘I’m lost but now I’m found’.”

A source close to the band added: “Barack Obama wouldn’t let just anyone feature his vocals on the record, especially considering what a deeply emotional moment it was for him.

“But he clearly loves Coldplay and is happy to be a part of their music history. The band were obviously thrilled.

“They needed to get permission from Obama himself and the Charleston church it was recorded in.”
Yes, Coldplay have taken a key moment in #blacklivesmatter and turned into a marketing stunt.

Even Glen Beck couldn't have seen Obama signing up for that, surely?

Embed and breakfast man: Pins

Ooh... there's a new Pins video:

Bookmarks: Chvrches

I'm pleased that I've lived long enough to see Clive James write about Chrvches, but I'm delighted that he lived long enough to write about them:

Young pop stars now are born knowing how the web drives the cashflow. That, apparently, is why Chvrches spell their name with a “v” instead of a “u”: when you Google them, you won’t get anyone else. Originally they were two ordinary-looking young blokes, but they were lucky enough to be joined by an extraordinary-looking young lady who could sing. Lauren Mayberry has an enchanting voice with a face to fit, and millions of hormonally tormented young men all over the world think there has never been anything like her, while millions of envious young women think that this must be history’s first case of a rebel angel dressed as if she didn’t give a damn.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Lil Boosie apparently has a problem that isn't ours

Lil Boosie - who, clearly, was at the back of the queue when hip hop handles were being handed out - has a problem with All The Gays on his TV:

Since I’ve came home ever time I turn on the Tv some gay sh*t on I try to watch love n hip hop (gay sh*t)tried to watch empire (gay sh*t) walked n on a cartoon doing gay sh*t a f*ckin cartoon kids watch tv,” he wrote.

The rapper added, “I guess next they go have a f*cking gay channel for kids saying if U want to be gay watch this tune n smh f*cked up world n my eyes ( but everybody don’t agree smh).
This from his Instagram account.

Oh, where to begin? Where to begin? Poor Lil Boosie, just wants to watch TV and there's a cartoon doing gay shit which kids might watch. WON'T SOMEONE THINK OF THE CHILDREN?

Boosie is 33 - which explains why he prefers not to be known as Lil Boosie any more, although as a man in his 30s his preferred name, Boosie Badazz, is even more toe-curling. Also, it's sad, being 33 and still not knowing that (a) gay things happen and (b) if you really are that uptight, you can switch off the TV and (c) that if you don't want to switch off your TV, that's okay, because gay, bi and other queer themes are still rarer than anyone who actually gives a shit about what Lil Boosie thinks about TV.

Funny. He's worrying about kids perhaps seeing that it's okay to be gay. This from a man who cheerfully makes songs about shooting people out of revenge. Funny, that.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Beakyobit: Keith Mitchell

He'll be remembered for his acting rather than his strange pop career, of course: Keith Mitchell has died.

The story of Captain Beaky is probably more interesting than the tale of Captain Beaky as sung by Mitchell.

On the long-lost Captain Beaky website, Jeremy Lloyd tells how Keith, a freak accident and Start The Week came together in 1977 to give Beaky wings:

"Keith and I met when we were working together in Robert and Elizabeth at The Lyric. He being the leading man while I clanked on and off stage in Household Cavalry armour, as a dotty lover of his girlfriend's sister. To pass the time I would scribble about the trials and tribulations of a lonely frog or a penniless French mouse (both situations closely akin to my circumstances at the time) and Keith, an excellent artist with a great sense of humour, illustrated them. Our collaboration ceased abruptly when the Management allowed me to appear in a film, on the condition I would be back for the evening performance. All my part required was that I should stand in front of a
cannon and be shot. The explosion blew me across the studio, resulting in a lot of surgery and a get well slowly card from my understudy. I convalesced for part of the time in Jamaica and wrote Dilys the Dachshund on the back of an old record cover, which I received intact, minus Joe Loss's Greatest Hits, 12 years later.

"The reason I was suddenly trying to recover the poems was due to Lance Percival reading one on the radio show 'Start the Week'. A publisher expressed interest, but I was told that at least 30 would be required to make up a book. About this time I got a call from Keith: could he read some on a TV show? Delighted, and please could I have them back? Fate was obviously taking a hand, for a few days later I met Jonathan Rowlands, whom I had known in LA when I was writing 'Laugh In'. I discovered that together with his partner, Hugh Murphy, his company had produced the Sir John Betjeman albums, of which he gave me copies. I was enchanted by Jim Parker's music, to which the poems were read, and showed him mine. In between writing 'Are You Being Served?', Jim, Hugh and I worked together for a year, with me writing new poems, Jim composing the music and Hugh producing the album. I still find it hard to believe that these characters have come to life as a book and a record album, but they have and I'm delighted as they are."
For younger readers: in case it's not obvious, Start The Week was a very different sort of programme in 1977.

The album didn't set the world alight; but in 1980, it was to get a second wind from Radio 1. Which was also a different sort of place in those days.

Tony Blackburn played it first on Radio One - in his internal exile on Junior Choice era; Noel Edmonds then grabbed the record and played it on his Sunday morning proto-House Party show. This snowballed into a Hissing Sid Is Innocent campaign - borrowing both from the George Davis Is Innocent graffiti protests, and the Who Shot JR tropes of the same era. It was enough to catapult Beaky - and with it, Keith Mitchell - into the Top Five.

Embed & Breakfast Man: Little Joy

That rundown of ten years ago reminded us that we miss Little Joy, the Strokes spin-off project...

Officially, they're on hiatus (because no band ever ends these days, does it? Even when the lead singer is punching the face of the drummer, their manager is booking the comeback tour), but they've not done anything since 2009. There's still a MySpace page for them.

This week just gone

Five years ago - the most read stories this day in 2010:

1. R Kelly sex video to get an airing in court
2. Underworld cover King Creosote (sort-of, except it wasn't and has now gone)
3. Kenny Everett dug up, cut up
4. McFly remove their pants
5. Gordon Smart fixates on Dolly Parton's breasts
6. Other people's best-of-2010 lists
7. The American Music Awards
8. Amy Lee describes how she'd kill Britney Spears
9. Strokes side project to include Binki Shapiro
10. Gordon Smart creates chart battle between Take That & Foster & Allen; world ignores it

These were, well, recent-ish releases:

Jeffrey Lewis & Los Bolts - Manhattan

Download Los Bolts

The Chills - Silver Bullets

Download Silver Bullets

Ryan Adams - 1989

Download 1989

El Vy - Return To The Moon

Download Return To The Moon