Saturday, March 19, 2016

Did Madonna "humiliate" a fan? Erm...

The Madonna tour of Australia isn't going well - she's been turning up late and - as a sympathetic post on Boy Culture admits - hasn't been entirely helping to calm thing down:

Madonna hasn't exactly discouraged the narrative. There's no good reason even an elaborate tour such as hers can't get it together to avoid hours-long delays, and she should just apologize rather than making light of it (“It’s you people that get here early that’s the problem. Just come late and I won’t have to come early.”). Once the media circulated stories that she was tipsy, she didn't really need to drink from a flask, even if only a moron would miss the theatricality of what she was doing. Only Madonna could give a totally free show in which she sings many songs she'd never before sung live and have the resulting press focus on her drinking a single Cosmo.
But one of the outrages turns out to not be quite what it seemed at first. A girl was invited onstage and, during the course of her time in the spotlight, a tit popped out. Or, as the narrative has it:
WTF! Madonna humiliates her fan…exposes her breast on stage

The 57-year-old pop star while performing on her tour invited a young female fan on stage and exposed her breast in the glare of the large crowd. You can see the poor girl’s shock.
That site - news7ng - was so concerned at the poor girl's humiliation it, erm, published photos.

The write-up makes it sound like Madge ripped the girl's top off, although what happened sounds like an accident. And was the fan humiliated?

Actually, no. The "girl" turns out to be a person with a name and everything, and Josephine Georgiou wasn't going to be shamed to fit a story:
Georgiou defended Madonna, insisting the whole thing was an accident. She said to The Project, "I was wearing a leather corset with nipple rings on it, she was holding on to the ring. As she was talking, she was moving, it was tugged a bit, but I didn't mind and then one was too much."

Though many were making a big deal about the situation, Georgiou was not one bit embarrassed. She told the Courier Mail, "Only I get to decide if I’m humiliated or not — why would people assume I am humiliated by my own breast, nipple, or body? I didn’t realize my boob was such a big deal — it was nothing to me.”

We live in a post-genre world, maybe

Peter Robinson's bit in yesterday's Guardian suggesting we live in a world where genres are meaningless was in interesting read:

Last summer, a survey by “millennial insight agency” Ypulse surveyed 1,000 young adults. When asked about their favourite artists, many respondents couldn’t answer, not through ambivalence but because, it was concluded, “this generation is interested in so many music genres and artists”.

It found that while millennials are passionate about music (76% within the 13- to 17-year-old bracket said they wouldn’t be able to last a week without it), 79% of 13- to 32-year-olds said their tastes didn’t fall into one specific music genre. Just 11% said that they only listened to one genre of music. “It seems,” Ypulse noted when it published its findings, “that millennials are a genre-less generation”.

And you can see what he's getting at - people are less hung up on a pop/indie/urban distinction around what they're listening to. And, in part, that's down to the ease of discovery and consumption:
Samuel Potts, Columbia Records’ head of radio, puts YouTube at the heart of this. “Millennials or ‘digital natives’ are the first generation to literally have the entirety of the world’s music at their fingertips,” he reasons. “This influences the creators but also young fans in terms of taste. Online culture is inherently global, so genres that were distinct and contained to geographical locations are now cross-pollinated throughout the world. As a result, you get artists like 19-year-old Raury, who’s championed by the likes of Kanye and André 3000, and cites everyone from Bon Iver to Phil Collins as an influence.”
You can actually see the point where this starts to unravel - the idea that we're "cross-pollinating across the world" by bringing together Phil Collins and Kanye West. They literally mark the extremes of the entire global history of music.

What the article is really about is the less eyecatching suggestion that the mainstream has got a bit wider and a bit less regimented:
Even on The X Factor, acts were increasingly praised for their authenticity and their credibility; in auditions, songs by the likes of Kings Of Leon replaced Westlife’s Flying Without Wings.
This does require you to have believed that The Kings Of Leon were that much more credible than Westlife to begin with. And, sure, you might hear Sex On Fire on the X Factor, but that's about as far as it goes.
Perhaps if someone does Mauritia Mayer as their blind audition on The Voice, or Simbinbino gets covered by The 1975, maybe then we'll talk.

Because if we really were in this post-genre world, the news about Adele headlining Glastonbury wouldn't have had such a violently negative reaction.

The Avalanche falls: How Record Store Day closed a shop

Edinburgh record store Avalanche is closing up - and, ironically, it's partly the success of Record Store Day that is to blame.

In a blog on the shop's site, the grim story of how the revival of vinyl sales has turned out to bite the ass of the very stores which kept going through the lean times:

Then there is another dilemma. We go on social media and say this will without doubt be one of our albums of the year and many of our followers will simply go to FOPP or HMV and buy it because they are nearer. But there is more.

When the Frightened Rabbit album was announced I immediately received enquiries as to whether there would be an Avalanche or indies special. We had sold 110 out of 500 of the last limited vinyl. At the time HMV/FOPP were in administration and only stocking important titles on CD. Vinyl was not considered an important enough format for any artist even when they were playing an in-store as Frightened Rabbit were. I was fairly sure but not certain that this time there was no special format something that was recently confirmed. Meanwhile fans were encouraged to buy from the band’s Warners website with the vinyl a bargain £12.99 for a signed copy. Again as I suspected this is actually less than the cost to a shop who would expect to sell it for £16.99. Want a signed CD ? That will be Amazon or the band website at a price this time just above cost.
And where vinyl was once an audiophile treat, it has become so commonplace again that the sense of special event doesn't make sense; nor is vinyl any more bringing footfall:
Never mind the week before has some great releases. Explosions In The Sky with a limited vinyl except that their UK label put it on sale ages ago at again a price below cost. The Last Shadow Puppets also have a limited vinyl but you can be sure their label will email the entire LSP/Arctic Monkeys fan base to sell directly and if previous emails are anything to go by not even mention it will be available in shops. That leaves us with a limited indies only Mogwai vinyl which shops are at least given a fair chance to sell.

Depressing as all this might be for a shop like myself it is nothing compared to the Record Store Day list for this year. Given the fantastic rosters many record companies and labels have what shops have been offered is a huge disappointment but not a great surprise given vinyl reissues were once an unusual occurrence whereas they now appear every week. Collectors will still buy the artists they collect but it is no wonder so many shops are asking what people are looking for as it is impossible to guess what these once a year customers will buy.
And in news that isn't unrelated at all:
Sainsbury’s has announced it’s going to be selling vinyl albums from Monday March 21.

The supermarket will sell LPs for the first time since the 1980s following the success of Adele’s 25 which sold over 300,000 in the retailer’s stores.
We hear a lot about how vinyl is back. Not entirely convinced its back to such an extent that the market can sustain supermarkets muscling in.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Cameron gets briefing on Rita Ora to make him look in touch

What's worse than a politician who shoehorns in references to pop culture to try and "connect" with the "electorate"?

A politician whose advisors give him those references to drop in. David Laws says David Cameron was prepped to know who the cool pop stars with "the kids" (or, at least, ITV executives) were:

DAVID Cameron got a top-secret briefing on Rita Ora to make sure he could show off his common touch.

The PM was filled in on the pop star’s chart success so he could show off his knowledge in interviews.

Aides namechecked Rita just as she hit No.1 with I Will Never Let You Down.
I think The Sun is probably overselling this as a "top secret briefing" - it's unlikely he was taken to a COBRA committee to be shown ten seconds of the Never Let You Down video.

I hope they're still doing this. I really like the idea of someone tasked with having to sit down Dave at Friday teatime for the latest charts.

Losing your virginity at 59

Your gig virginity, that is - this is a clip from this week's You And Yours:

This week just gone

So far this year… the most-read 2016 stories:

1. Liveblog: Brits 2016
2. James Blunt tries to be queer positive
3. Beyonce confuses the right wing
4. RIP: Vi Subversa
5. Time buys MySpace
6. RIP: Mark B
7. RIP: David Bowie
8. Louise Mensch moves The Las to Manchester
9. Kesha reminds us what a terrible place the music industry is
10. NME awards 2016

Last week's interesting releases:

Nada Surf - You Know Who You Are

Download You Know Who You Are

Poliça - United Crushers

Download United Crushers

Låpsley - Long Way Home

Download Long Way Home

Lorettta Lynn - Full Circle

Download Full Circle

Violent Femmes - We Can Do Anything

Download We Can Do Anything

M Ward - More Rain

Download More Rain

Andy Bell - Torsten The Beautiful Libertine

Download Torsten