Monday, February 28, 2005

Download chart delayed! Because it is shit!

The British Phonographic Industry (BPI, or CARTEL for short) has obviously been reading my blog.

Just three weeks after my well-argued and not at all rambling diatribe on the download charts, they've decided to delay incorporating downloads into the official UK Top 40.

Actually, it probably has more to do with the fact they're trying to squeeze more money out of people downloading music at exactly the same time as the European Commission is investigating the suspiciously high prices of those downloads in the UK.

Aren't multinational corporations marvellous?

  • BBC NEWS: Download chart debut is delayed
  • Top music labels try to raise prices for downloads
  • The Register: Europe probes 'rip off' Apple iTunes pricing

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  • Old News!!!

    It's like someone pressed 'pause' on the news when I left the country. Two weeks off work and the headlines are all the same: "Government debates ridiculous infringement of our human rights", "Boring Prince will marry boring lady", "Pope still not dead".

    Has the music news been any more entertaining? Frankly, yes.

    This is what I missed:

  • Joss Stone tells Robbie to shove it.
    "I liked you when I was eight, but I've grown out of it", the twirly-barneted diva told Robbie. Haven't we all, love?

  • Michael Stipe has blue snot
    It's true, I tells ya.

  • Neptunes: The honeymoon is finally over
    They are to take production credits on Jamie Cullum's new album, tentatively titled "Slap my fat, self-satisfied, tit-face"

  • Alanis - Go USA!
    Always one to be contrary, Alanis Morissette has become an US citizen just as thousands of forward-thinking citizens flee in the other direction.

  • Phwoar!
    Natalie Imbruglia's new website has 'gone live', as they used to say in 1987. Lots of gorgeous new pictures samples from her fantastic new album, which is out next month.

    Normal service is now resumed.

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  • Sunday, February 27, 2005

    Shake it

    Back... and it looks like my inability to buy the Girls Aloud single this week has robbed them of the top spot.

    I shall console myself with this shot from their video, which is the very pinnacle of pop achievement in 2005.

    Click for 'full motion'

  • UK Top 40 charts (GA are at 4, bah!)

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  • Monday, February 14, 2005

    Bye Bye

    We're off to Cyprus for a bit, so there'll be no updates for a week or so.

    Don't rob the house while we're away, please.


    Ahhh, the Grammys. There are only 179 categories, so there's a tiny tiny chance your favourite artists might not be "honoured".

    You could cut the tension with a spork.

    Last night the phenomenally dull Usher won 85 separate awards, or something. And Prince got a nod for still being alive (some people had forgotten).

    However, Basement Jaxx & Britney got gongs, so it wasn't all bad.

    Actually, it was all bad. The Black Eyed Peas were voted Best Rap Performance for "Let's Get It Started", which contains the year's worst lyrics:

    Inch by inch,
    with a new solution.
    Transmit hips,
    with no delusion.

    Why, Lord? Why?


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  • Friday, February 11, 2005

    Brit Awards Picture Special

    Natalie Imbruglia: Shocked!

    Heidi & Keisha Sugababe:
    Suck in those stomachs!

    Girls Aloud: Windswept!

    Gwen Stefani: Sunburnt!

    Kelly Osbourne: Oh, the humanity!

  • Brit Awards

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  • Thursday, February 10, 2005

    London Underground : The Song

    Wednesday, February 9, 2005

    Game & Watch & Web

    Is it a game? Or is it a watch?

    Well, it clearly isn't a watch. How would you strap it to your wrist?

    But Donkey Kong is a game. The only game worth owning when I was nine years old. Everyone wanted it; I used to stare at it through the glass counter in Leisureworld; Like most people, I ended up with a useless Casio ripoff (neither game nor watch, to be honest).

    But now I can finally get to play Donkey Kong without having to give it back, thanks to some magic internet wizard.

    I love him (or her).

  • 4 color rebellion: Game & Watch Emulators

  • Game and Watch


  • Evil parrot

    America has thousands of TV shows dedicated to cute animals, usually called things like "Golly, gosh, gee: Animals can be so darned goofy!"

    Personally, I've never seen the attraction of the endless clips of cats playing pool, dogs barking at their reflection, and frogs surprising babies. But this clip, from something called "Pet Stars", made me laugh out loud.

    Keep watching for Einstein the parrot "doing evil" about half way through.

  • Pet Stars


  • Tuesday, February 8, 2005


    Life is so cruel! While pop mong Daniel has managed to escape two separate car crashes virtually unscathed, his glamourpuss sister Natasha has been horribly disfigured by the Joker out of Batman.

    Or she's dressed up like a Chinese tart for her new video.

    You decide.

  • Natasha goes for 'geisha girl' look

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  • Smash Hits

    Daniel Bedingfield has been in another car crash! And survived!!

    A big truck slammed into Daniel's car when he pulled onto the hard shoulder of the M6 to get a CD out of the boot. Apparently, the driver retraining course he took after his previous accident didn't teach him that stopping on a motorway is illegal

    Anyway, the crash happened as Dan was on his way to rehearsals for the Brit Awards, where he's doing a duet with Natasha. The rumour is they'll cover a Prince song.

    Undoubtedly they'll do something sappy like "Diamonds and Pearls", but how much would you pay to hear them perform "Sister"? Sample lyric: "My sister never made love to anyone else but me / She's the reason for my sexuality".

  • IOL: Bedingfield survives second car smash

  • Prince Lyrics: Sister

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  • Monday, February 7, 2005

    Download this!

    Downloading music is very bad. Unless it is very good. Record companies still can't really decide what they think.

    Is downloading the heinous end to their stranglehold over consumer's tastes? Or is it a brilliant moneymaker - where songs cost the same as before, but the company doesn't have to invest in pesky things like cover art, advertising and shovelling eighteen tons of coke up their noses?

    It looks like they're slowly veering towards the latter point of view, as legal downloads are being included in the Billboard Singles chart for the first time. Frankly, this doesn't really matter as the US "Hot 100" singles is largely made up anyway, including ephemeral statistics like airplay and requests as well as actual physical sales.

    The bad news is that the UK charts are planning a similar move later this year. For while most US homes have broadband, the UK download charts are dominated by indie-nerd students (someone probably told them that Nestlé are killing babies with Kazaa and Soulseek).

    Look at today's top sellers:


    Stereophonics - Dakota


    Green Day - Boulevard Of Broken Dreams

    (Athelete's anthem to dreariness, Wires, is in the top ten twice, for fuck's sake)


    Chemical Brothers - Galvanize


    Gwen Stefani - What You Waiting For?

    (Admittedly a great song - but who's downloading it 10 weeks after it came out?)

    So, here's the plan: We hack into the legal download sites, force the Tweenies to number one for 18 weeks, and then watch in glee as Wes Butters explodes.


  • BBC: Downloads enter US singles chart

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  • Sunday, February 6, 2005

    Look at the pretty flower

    Yesterday we spent a fantastic, if out-of-character, day at Kew Gardens' Orchid Festival.

    Apart from the stunningly alluring flowers, you get to pretend you're in the tropics for an hour before you step back into the icy February London air.

    If you get the chance, I highly recommend grabbing a couple of hours (with a camera) at Kew before the exhibition ends next month.

  • Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew: The irresistible Beauty of Orchids

  • Thursday, February 3, 2005

    The lemonade lezzer theme continues...

    If you had only £7.50(+ p&p) to spend on your beloved's Valentine gift, what would you buy?

    You could pop over to ebay, where "ajh-art" is offering a home made Valentine's card.

    Beautifully rendered on heavyweight paper, it features the eternally romantic image of Madonna and Britney's gruesome MTV snog.

    Is there a better way to say "I love you"? If there is, I can't think of it.

  • eBay: Madonna Britney Kiss Valentines Card (anonimously sent) [sic]
    (worringly, ajh-art's last six sales were signed portraits of Margaret Thatcher)

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  • Forbidden Love: Permission Granted

    Latin America's two most gorgeous famous actresses in a lesbian love tryst - can it be true? Spanish tabloid magazine ¡Mira! promises that it is!

    Click on the picture for their shocking, lurid exposé.

  • Totally stolen from

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  • Wednesday, February 2, 2005

    A little bit more Jacko

    I know I shouldn't be so interested in this media circus, but there's a great article summing up the basics of the Michael Jackson trial at the Toronto Star. Have a look.

  • The Star: The end of innocence

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  • Abdul takes credit and biscuit

    Paula Abdul just can't seem to make up her mind. Yesterday she said she wanted to pursue a career in comedy. Today, she wants to get back into the recording industry.

    Luckily, she's already proved she can combine the two by taking credit for Kylie Minogue's entire career.

    "She couldn't get signed to a worldwide deal. She entered for the first time ever on the UK charts [at] No. 1 on a song I wrote," says Abdul.


  • Daily Telegraph: Show-off Paula gets fans in a spin

  • New Kerala: Simon Cowell wanted sex with Paula Abdul

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  • Tuesday, February 1, 2005

    Over before it began

    He's only a baby, but Leonardio DiCaprio has snagged a lifetime achievement award at the Sundance film festival.

    I actually find that pretty scary, as I'm actually 12 days older than DiCaprio. And I haven't even starred in any overblown historical dramas or painted Kate Winslet like I paint those French Girls (the Cheeky Girls are French, aren't they?).

    So where do DiCaprio and I go from here? I'm not sure either of us can match our terrifying overachievement thus far. Although I do need a bath tonight.

  • Yahoo! News: DiCaprio Gets Lifetime Achievement Award

  • Golly, Gee, Wow

    I heard the fantastic new Basement Jaxx single on Radio 1 about a fortnight ago, only to have Zane Lowe tell me I had to wait til March 14th to actually own it.

    Luckily, I have found a illegal download preview of the song on the internet, which will keep my ipod happy for the weeks to come.

  • Fluxblog: Basment Jaxx

  • Basment Jaxx website

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  • Shouty and the other two SPLIT!!!

    The diet Destiny's Child, Mis-Teeq, have split up. Which is a great shame, as they were actually a decent British pop act.

    The blame must lie at the door of Telstar, who went bankrupt and left the band with nothing to show for their eighteen million appearances on TOTP Saturday.

    Mis-teeq: I will miss your finely crafted pop/r&b tunes with the occasional deranged shouty bit on the m.i.c.

  • CBBC Newsround: Mis-Teeq split after eight years

  • Popjustice: Tribute

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  • Don't Stop 'Til You Get Him Off

    Sorry for the double entendre. But, to be honest, the whole Jacko case seems to be based on double entendres, insinuation and innuendo.

    Obviously, we'll find out more as the trial unfolds, but the pre-trial legal documents uncovered by the smoking gun don’t seem to provide a strong case for either the defense or the prosecution.

    So much, I suppose, depends on the jury… and finding 12 people who haven't already got an opinion on this case should prove to be the hardest task of all.

  • The Smoking Gun: The case against Michael Jackson

  • Michael Jackson issues pre-trial statement: "(with video)"

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