Saturday, April 23, 2016

Bookmarks: After Prince

The Open University's OpenLearn Live service has pulled together a collection of some of the more thoughtful responses to the sudden death of Prince.

Also worth your time: New York Mag on how Prince helped editors when he changed his name to the symbol:

Prince did the only thing you could do in that situation: He had a custom-designed font distributed to news outlets on a floppy disk.

The Prince font substituted his symbol for what would otherwise be a capital P. In addition, the font was also made available for download on CompuServe. It was accompanied by a stern letter featuring both usage and installation instructions.
You may have heard a lot of the tribute radio programmes that were broadcast on Friday night. But if you haven't caught Radio 4's The World Tonight, it's worth it for the interview with sound engineer Susan Rogers. You can listen to that here.

On the other hand... not everyone covered themselves in glory.

The Daily Mirror should be ashamed of its "Prince found dead in party mansion" headline on Thursday night online - nothing factually incorrect, but the inference was clear and unwelcome. Not as bad as Fox News, though, which spoke loudly about how the mansion was being treated "as a crime scene". The story, surely, was big enough to not need extra nudges and winks.

Hey, want to know how to destroy festival experiences a little bit more?

A PR message aimed at festival goers arrives digitally.

There is no doubt that experiencing the Stagecoach Country Music Festival is an extraordinary and memorable experience
The Turnpike Troubadours are on the bill, which - to be honest - gives me doubts. But do go on.
But, the driving and traffic can turn an amazing experience into an unforgettable hassle.
This is a California festival, so maybe they've got a point. Perhaps we should think about getting public transport? Are you a bus company?
Freeways getting out of LA and San Diego will always be congested on Friday afternoon and getting out of the festival area on Monday can back up the 10 Freeway for hours.
You're not going to suggest a bus, are you? Perhaps this will be about not being a twit and turning up just before the thing starts and leaving as soon as it's over?
The best option to ensure an overall amazing weekend is to...
book a private jet to Stagecoach Festival.
Yeah, as if festival costs haven't already run out of control enough, you can burn through cash and the planet by chartering a plane to fly.

To a country music festival.

It's what Loretta would have wanted.

But hold on a minute... the festival doesn't take place at an airport, does it?
When you fly with Pacific Coast Jet, we land at Bermuda Dunes Airport, just minutes from Stagecoach Festival grounds.
Fifteen minutes. When there's no traffic.
We can also arrange ground transportation to conveniently deliver you right to your hotel or other accommodations.
Ground transportation. That kind of sounds like you'll be going on roads.
On Monday morning, we'll arrange pick up on your schedule and you'll fly right over the massive traffic jam on the freeway below.
The massive traffic jam which, somehow, you will have magically been able to get through in order to get to the airport.

Still, it's a useful warning: if you go to the Stagecoach Festival, you'll be rubbing shoulders with the sort of entitled dicks who try to buy their way out of traffic jams.

Thursday, April 21, 2016



Bugger that, and bugger this year.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Let's not inflict Wireless on Finsbury Park

Last year's Wireless Festival was a bit of a nightmare. For two weeks, a huge chunk of Finsbury Park was put behind a massive fence. Ironically, this meant local people couldn't use their park, but didn't mean that Festival goers couldn't use the local area.

And use it they did:

The fence of a local school playground had to be wrapped in protective plastic as festival goers were urinating through it while children were in school.
The Friends Of Finsbury Park don't mind the idea of a festival taking place in the park, they just don't want such a huge festival.

They're trying to raise money to bring legal action against their local council:
We want to stop Wireless Festival in Finsbury Park. We understand that council budgets have been slashed so there is less money to spend, but the Park already makes income for the council from smaller events such as the circus and funfairs, and location filming. We’d like Haringey Council to be open and transparent about how much the park costs to run and maintain, what income it generates without large scale events, and work with us to find alternative, more imaginative, streams of income which are more appropriate in type and scale for our wonderful Park, and inclusive of the local community.
You'd have to wish them luck. And maybe throw them a quid or two.

Is there any way Ticketmaster could become any more Monopolyesque?

Yes, yes there is.

As if the Ticketmaster behemoth hadn't rolled over enough of the music industry, they're teaming up with similar monolithic control block Facebook:

“At Ticketmaster, we’re continuing to build our platforms to make it easier to get tickets into the hands of fans. Ticketmaster integrates with key partners that make the buying experience simpler for fans and are complimentary to our artist and venue clients,” said the Live Nation-owned company.

“We recognise that Facebook delivers on scale and discovery. At Ticketmaster, we have the security and convenience of mobile verified ticket transaction technology. Together we are able to provide a seamless experience allowing the fan to purchase at the point of event discovery.

“Fans can discover an event and purchase a ticket within one experience.”
In future iterations, Facebook will just bill you and deliver the tickets without waiting for any interaction because IT KNOWS BETTER THAN YOU WHAT YOU WILL LIKE.

By 2019, Facebook/Ticketmaster will have the process down to a point where it will remove money from your bank account in return for automatically posting a message about how much you would have enjoyed the concert, without the need for you to be involved. A ten per cent fee will be levied on top for this service.

The police don't listen to Lily Allen

Lily Allen's story about being stalked is enough to make anyone sit up and take notice:

“This guy came steaming in and I didn’t know who he was. I recoiled and he ripped the duvet off, calling me a ‘fucking bitch’ and yelling about where his dad is.”

The man had an object stuffed inside his jacket that Allen is convinced was a knife. She believes he was caught off-guard when he found she was not alone, and her friend was able to shove the man out of the house as she ran to check her children were safe. “There was this second outside my kids’ room when I was terrified to go in, in case of what I might find.”
I say make anyone sit up. The police - who were already aware that Allen was being stalked - were surprisingly relaxed:
The police told Allen the intruder was probably someone who had stumbled into the wrong flat after too much to drink. “For me, it was too much of a coincidence that the only night I had left the shutters up, this man came in. I believe he had been spending a lot of time out there in my garden, watching.”

Calling the police back the next day, Allen told them she thought the intruder could be the same man who had been threatening her. “But they were uncomfortable with the idea. Then I realised my handbag was missing and the change in atmosphere was palpable, it was like a sigh of relief: ‘now it’s burglary – we understand that’.”
Yeah. "The shutters". Lily Allen was living a life where she was having to lock herself in her own home behind metal shutters.

She'd had a bunch of letters that she'd previously passed to the police, which you might think would be useful evidence when prosecuting this sort of crime:
“I wrote to the police and asked why they weren’t using these letters going back to 2009, and then I got a short note saying they had been destroyed ‘according to police protocol’. No apology, no explanation.”
Allen - as she points out - is neither low-profile, not backwards at coming forwards. And she knows the man who tormented her needed help, not punishment. Eventually, the stalker was brought to trial. The uncomfortable question is: what would have happened if it hadn't been Lily Allen? Someone without the strength to push through a system which appears to just be confused by the nature of the crime it's being asked to investigate.

This week just gone

The releases from the Friday before last:

Future Of The Left - The Peace And Truce Of...

Download The Peace And Truce...

Teleman - Brilliant Sanity

Download Brilliant Sanity

Ben Watt - Fever Dream

Download Fever Dream

Misty Miller - The Whole Family Is Worried

Download The Whole Family Is Worried

The Associates - The Very Best Of The Associates