Saturday, December 05, 2015

Rockobit: Scott Weiland

One of the saddest things about music commentary are those deaths where you hear the news, and don't feel even a sliver of surprise. So it is with Scott Weiland, found dead on his tour bus, outside a motel, at the age of 48.

The BBC might need to think of a different way of describing how Twitter reacts in circumstances like these:

Tributes have been paid to US singer Scott Weiland, former frontman with Stone Temple Pilots, following his death while on tour in Minnesota.

Slash, with whom Weiland performed in rock supergroup Velvet Revolver, wrote on Twitter that it was "a sad day".

"RIP Scott Weiland," said Dave Kushner, another Velvet Revolver member.
Neither of those, strictly speaking, are tributes. Kushner's tweet is half a step away from being "Kushner marked a news story about Weiland as 'read'"; Slash's is an acknowledgement, but barely more than that.

Which isn't to criticise either of them - 140 characters to capture the scatterbug life of a person they know isn't going to work, so what can you do? But perhaps the question is whether the report is doing more than saying which of his friends had heard the news.

At times, Weiland could be refreshingly honest. Despite telling Rolling Stone this, in 2013:
As far as Velvet Revolver goes, I'd love it if it happened. But it's not something I can count on, and it's not something that I can control. If it happens, it'll happen. It would be a great thing. I know the fans would love to see it, but I respect that Slash has a solo career and he wants it to succeed the same way that I would like my solo career to succeed. Having said that, whether things work out in a timely fashion, and if it's quarterbacked right by the team and we all work together . . . it's all very sensitive right now, but I'd like to do it. It would be fun.
... his BBC obituary recalls a different story:
Set adrift, he recorded a well-received solo album, 12 Bar Blues, and joined the rock supergroup Velvet Revolver - later admitting he did it for the money. "I can't call it the music of my soul," he told Spin magazine.

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

K Records offer you samples

In aid of the UN Refugee Agency, K Records are offering a pay-what-you-want-sampler. Snaffle it down right now.

Taylor Swift shakes it off, rakes it in

Ever wondered what Taylor Swift takes home from a live appearance? Quite a bit:

One thing that is clear is that the concert appears to have made money for everyone involved.

The show earned $843,947 that will be split between the authority — hence taxpayers — and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Bucs get half of the profit under the team's stadium agreement with the authority.

Swift's fans bought $40,784 in merchandise during the show. They sipped and gobbled $244,626 in drinks and food at concession stands. The parents of fans and those old enough to drive paid $124,798 in parking.
That's what everyone else made, of course. Swift would have made at least four million dollars by pocketing the full revenue from the tickets - or, at least, the Corporate Taylor Swift.

It's quite a distance from Suede's current run of dates, which - as Mat Osman explained to a fan hoping for US dates - aren't quite as economically viable:

Via @jamesthegill & Hypebot

Sunday, November 29, 2015

He wasn't called Olly Worse, either

Just returned from Milton Keynes Theatre District where, as part of the switching on of the Christmas Lights, they had an Olly Murs tribute act.

Odd, though, I found myself thinking. He doesn't look much like Olly Murs. In fact, he could just be any old bloke who has got up out the crowd to sing a few songs with warmth more than talent.

In other words: it was one of the most accurate tribute acts I've ever seen.

Somehow Paris attacks have become about Morrissey

And so we turn once again to Morrissey, who has somehow managed to turn the murders in Paris into a thing about him. True To You, the fanzine which effectively functions like Pravda to Morrissey's Kremlin, published this email:

Universal Music, the approach made to David Joseph, since denied by David Joseph

On 18 Nov 2015, at 15:29, Boz Boorer -------------------- wrote:

Dear David,

My name is Boz Boorer and I represent all of the musicians who played

We are shocked that you have made no move this week to promote the
above song (download/special 7-inch/special CD) to support the people
of Paris. Any other artist would be number 1 with this song RIGHT NOW.

Why are you doing nothing? There is no other song in modern music that
aptly supports the people of Paris.

Most sincerely yours




From: John Reid --------------------
Date: November 19, 2015 at 6:39:51 PM GMT-2
To: Boz Boorer --------------------
Subject: Re: Paris

Dear Boz

Thank you for copying your email to me.

I think we all know that this would be an appropriate and compelling gesture.

I spoke with David Joseph today. His position is that owing to Universal having a very close connection to the events, much as they see your point, they are not intending to release any records in response to the tragic events of last Friday. They feel it is too raw for them given the death of one of their staff members and instead they are going to show support and solidarity in other ways, including concerts in Paris later this year by some of their artists.

However, I believe that Universal would licence the song back for eg a release for proceeds to relevant charities (which I assume would be the plan). In short there may be a possibility here but it would have to be a release via a third party. Personally I think there could be a very forceful statement to be made. It will of course require M's input. Have you discussed this with him - I assume so.

If you want me to pursue this, please let me know. Time inevitably is of the essence.

Yours sincerely


John Reid
Russells Solicitors
It's an odd situation to be in, feeling sympathetic towards a major label, but... actually, their line of "it's too soon to do something like this, but let's talk about doing something" seems to be more appropriate a response than an email going "we should be number one by now".

That reference to number one could be put down to clumsy phrasing, were it not for this bit:
There is no other song in modern music that aptly supports the people of Paris.
Not "this song is a love letter to the people of Paris". Not just "this song aptly supports the people of Paris". Not merely "we believe this there is no other song that supports Paris as aptly."

Just an arrogant assertion that there is no other song at all, in the whole of modern music, which supports the people of Paris.

One thing this sorry tale needs less of is fundamentalism.

This week just gone

The most-read November stories:

1. Mercury Prize 2015
2. RIP: Brandon Carlisle
3. This isn't a post about the Bataclan
4. The ticket resale enquiry
5. First homophobic Eurovision contestant announced
6. Mark Seymour tells racists to not use his music
7. Video: Little Joy
8. 15 Step: Other people's best-ofs
9. The 2015 uberpost
10. Clive James on Chvrches

These were this week's interesting releases:

Smoke Fairies - Wild Winter

Download Wild Winter

Ringo Deathstarr - Pure Mood

Download Pure Mood

Beat Happening - Look Around

Download Look Around

The Comsat Angels - Sleep No More

Download Sleep No More