Friday, April 01, 2016

Beatlesobit: Fred Arnold

Really, this is just a plug for an article over at The Arkansas Times, recording the death of Fred Arnold. The story starts as an everyday tragedy - homeless man becomes the 467th person to die in a car accident in the state in 2015 - but becomes much more:

[His friend Walter Durst] said that Arnold, who often went by the nickname Billy, had once owned a set of iconic record stores in Charleston, S.C., where he had also been a radio show host and an active promoter of punk bands in the 1980s. He said he'd visited London, Cuba and Russia (that his politics "bordered on Communist") and had also briefly lived in Colorado, as he preferred a colder climate. He said that Arnold had suffered a number of strokes in recent years, exacerbating many of his other problems. The letter, though, grew stranger as it went on. Durst claimed, for instance, that Arnold had known all the members of The Beatles, and had been particularly good friends with John Lennon and Yoko Ono. That after Lennon's death, Arnold and Ono had continued to correspond and had remained close friends. "It was one of the hardest things I have ever done," he wrote, "when I had to write to Yoko to tell her of Fred's death."

The tide wasn't as strong as Jay-Z was told

Oh, poor Jay-Z. He's currently threatening to sue the people who sold him Tidal, as it turns out that he might not have been buying quite what he expected:

"It became clear after taking control of TIDAL and conducting our own audit that the total number of subscribers was actually well below the 540,000 reported to us by the prior owners," Tidal said in a statement sent to Variety. "As a result, we have now served legal notice to parties involved in the sale."

Norwegian press reports relayed by Music Business Worldwide estimate that Tidal wants about $15 million back; the company declined to comment on these specifics.
There may be, at the heart of this, an attempt to make the weak figures they've managed so far (about three million subscribers) seem a little better if it's coming from a lower starting point.

Just a little better, though.

Bieberwatch (or, rather, Bieberlisten)

As promoted by Popbitch, there's a handy new site which keeps track of whether Capital FM is playing Justin Bieber:

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Mariah Carey marks a new point

Today, we put down our small-dog-in-a-handbag and call on our hat attendant to raise our bejewelled hat to Mariah Carey, who has managed to reach a point where she's so overpriced and showy even Harrods think she's a bit much.

Chris Brown hasn't reminded us for a while how charming he is

Who knew it was possible to make a young woman's attempted suicide worse? Chris Brown has managed it, though:

Since Kehlani made the post, Chris Brown had his say on the matter after after saying that Kyrie Irving of the Cleveland Cavaliers basketball team was one of the ‘few good guys left’. He went on to condemn Kehlani in an extremely strong tweet which claimed that she was ‘doing shit for sympathy’.
Coming from a man literally as he was doing shit for attention, that's quite a claim.

I think we all decided long ago that Brown was the human embodiment of the noise made by a spoon caught in a waste disposal unit; his latest low need detain us no further than to ensure that anyone who continues to support him is also avoided.

Shirley Manson's starting point facing closure

After decades of neglect by the council, and (possibly made-up) figures of a million quids' worth of repairs, Inch Community Centre in Edinburgh is threatened with closure.

It's the place where a young Shirley Manson first learned to play.

And surprise, surprise - the building is being flogged off to a private developer.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

What do they know of Brit-pop, who only Britpop know?

Radio X - the radio station that used to be known as XFM - has polled its listeners to find the best song ever.

We wish they hadn't:

"Wonderwall" is the best British song of all time; at least, so say the listeners of Radio X.

More than 50,000 votes were cast for the music station's inaugural Best of British poll (via RadioToday); which saw Oasis utterly dominate the results, occupying all four of the top positions. "Don't Look Back in Anger" came in at number two, "Champagne Supernova" at three, and "Live Forever" at four.
Normally, this sort of thing pukes up a list of Beatles titles so I suppose there's some sort of progress that we've moved on to people pretending to be the Beatles.

Here's the full chart:
1. "Wonderwall", Oasis
2. "Don’t Look Back In Anger", Oasis
3. "Champagne Supernova", Oasis
4. "Live Forever", Oasis
5. "I Am The Resurrection", The Stone Roses
6. "I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor", Arctic Monkeys
7. "Heroes", David Bowie
8. "Life On Mars?", David Bowie
9. "Bittersweet Symphony", The Verve
10. "Gimme Shelter", The Rolling Stones
11. "One Day Like This", Elbow
12. "Bohemian Rhapsody", Queen
13. "Hey Jude", The Beatles
14. "Common People", Pulp
15. "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out", The Smiths
16. "Slide Away", Oasis
17. "Fool’s Gold", The Stone Roses
18. "How Soon Is Now", The Smiths
19. "A Day In The Life", The Beatles
20. "Love Will Tear Us Apart", Joy Division
Hang on; don't sob yet. There's worse to come:
The poll also revealed how its presenters voted; DJ Chris Moyles plumping for Coldplay's "Viva La Vida", while Vernon Kay backed The Sex Pistols' "Anarchy in the UK"
Vernon Kay. Anarchy In The UK. Obviously, this does make sense - The Sex Pistols and Vernon Kay are both about as threatening to the status quo as each other. But you know that Vernon and his agent probably had a ten minute conversation before deciding to go with such an edgy option.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Chvrches supporting Rape Crisis fundraising

Lauren Mayberry is supporting a fundraising campaign by Rape Crisis in Glasgow. It's worth your support - not because of the endorsement, but because of this:

Isobel Kerr, Rape Crisis Glasgow manager, said: “Over the past few years the number of women seeking help has gone up. For example, last year we processed about 5,500 calls through the centre and all these calls were support and advocacy related. This was an increase of 25 per cent on the year before. However, for the year that we are in at the moment, which doesn’t finish until the end of March, we have had 10,500 calls so we’ve had a 100 per cent increase on the previous year already.

“Our figures for this year are going to be just under 800 survivors who need medium- to long-term support – that’s individuals and that means that they have access to someone face-to-face and they can use the drop in and our group work programme.

“We support survivors but we also support their families and because we work with very young women, some as young as 13, it is not unusual for us to be supporting a young woman and her mum and dad.

“In order to meet the demand at the moment we need to raise another £50,000 because our waiting lists are getting longer.

“We have around 50 women sitting waiting to see a worker and they are probably going to wait a couple of months at least. It is just unacceptable and not fair.”
Here's how you can donate.

Ticket fraud is growing

Hey, guess what? As buying tickets for big events becomes ever more a process of sitting staring at the messages servers make when they're overloaded, ticket-related cons are on the rise. Whoeverwouldhavethought, eh?

People in their twenties are most likely to be affected by buying tickets that don't exist:

Chris Greany, Police National Coordinator for Economic Crime, added: “The fact that people in their twenties are most likely to fall victim to ticket fraud is concerning as this is the age-group who are known to be most ‘cyber-savvy’. If this group is falling victim it suggests that the fraudulent tickets sellers are very convincing and have the ability to exploit just about every type of internet user.”
It's perhaps a sign of the struggle we're up against that the man in charge of fighting ticket fraud seems surprised that the demographic most likely to be going to gigs is most likely to be hit by ticket fraud; although it seems in part that he's bought the 'digital native' bollocks which implies that somehow being able to use a touchscreen means you have magic powers allowing you to avoid negative experiences online.

Where is JB from JLS now?

You have to love Jonathan Benjamin Gill out of JLS. He's a huge traditionalist, it turns out, as - like so many pop stars of the 60s and 70s - he's bought a farm. He now pops up in the Daily Telegraph talking about deer farming:

He ‘definitely didn’t want to do music’ after JLS. When I ask why, he falls back on Zen media babble: ‘I value relationships probably more than anything else.’ He is married to the dancer Chloe Tangney. They have a one-year-old son called Ace. Instead he chose farming. His first pig was a rescue animal from the RSPCA called Ginger. (I didn’t know people abused pigs, but apparently they do.) Ginger is ‘cheeky… If she was a musician she would be the biggest diva ever.’ Now he has six breeding sows and two boars, one of which is ‘quite docile’, and some chickens. He sold 160 turkeys at Christmas; they were, he says, ‘brilliant’, with the kind of enthusiasm you do not expect to end with a decapitation.
Who would ever have imagined that being in JLS would make mucking out dozens upon dozens of turkeys seem like an attractive career choice?

It's a shit business, say Queensryche

Oh, you think you have it tough, in your job with no security and such a weak pension scheme you're still going to have to turn up to punch the clock when you're actually dead? Try being a rock star, mate. Listen to poor old Todd La Torre out of Queensryche complaining about his treadmill:

The glory days where you could take an entire year off and write and record, and you could earn a good, substantial living off of publishing, those days are gone. And so, you can still earn decent money… not like that. You're not selling millions of albums. Nobody's going gold unless you're a pop star. And so we have to try to find the writing and recording in between when we're touring. And, unfortunately, it becomes this cycle of… I think we'll probably do a record every two years, because by the time you try to promote and tour on it, there just isn't that ample time to take a year off and write and record. So it's kind of a two-year cycle, I think, for us, and for a lot of bands.
It's lovely that he assumes that the inability to Queensryche to make enough money to only tour every so often is because of shifts in the music industry, and not because Queensryche might no longer be quite the premium product. He's a bit like a shopkeeper trying to flog week-old milk blaming the state of the dairy industry in the UK for the need to mark down the price.

Mariah Carey stays solid. Just from a distance.

Mariah Carey was supposed to play Brussels last night. Faced with the opportunity to carry on as normal, she, erm, chose not to:

I love my fans in Brussels and at this time I am being advised to cancel my show for the safety of my fans, my band, crew and everyone involved with the tour. I hope to see you soon and send my prayers and eternal love, laughter and light to my Lambs.
Oddly, nobody seemed to be advising Jess Glynne or Johnny Hallyday to cancel. I wonder where the advice came from.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

This week just gone

Five years ago - what people put in their faces:

1. Billy Corgan tried a joke; people fact check joke
2. Tatu don't understand why people think they're gay
3. Armenian-British band Vox say they're not homophobic
4. RIP: Loletta Holloway
5. Phil Collins quits the drumming
6. Jon Bon Jovi says Steve Jobs killed music
7. Daily Mail prints pictures of 15 year old who looks older, while worrying about Rihanna and pornification
8. Maroon 5 to project fans into their studio
9. Ashley Judd once sent a necklace to KD Lang
10. Bob Dylan lets the Chinese government OK his set list

Last week's interesting releases:

The Magnetic Fields - Prospect Of Skelmersdale

Download Prospect Of Skelmersdale

Meilyr Jones - 2013

Download 2013

Bitchin Bajas and "Bonnie" "Pr'in'ce" "Billy" - Epic Jammers And Fortunate Little Ditties

Download Epic Jammers...

Primal Scream - Chaosmosis

Download Chaosmosis

James - Girl At The End Of The World

Download Girl At The End Of The World

Underworld - Barbara, Barbara, We Face A Shining Future

Download Barbara, Barbara...