Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Career Suicide!

So, your band has become one of the biggest sensations of the last year, winning countless awards, being championed by Elton John and performing with the Muppets. What do you do next?

1) "Break" the US
2) Get a ropey new hairdo
3) Piss all your money up the wall
4) Keep your money, but piss on the wall anyway
5) Piss on your money, from on top of the wall
6) Using all of your money, build a wall of piss (Damien Hirst might be able to help here)

Any of the above is accceptable, to be honest. But whatever you do, don't quit the band to work on a 'side project'.

Ana Matronic, we're talking to you.

  • Contact Music: Ana Matronic snubs Scissor Sisters

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  • Wednesday, March 23, 2005

    rOCk and roll

    Whatever else you think of the OC, you've got to admire the way they champion new music.

    The Killers, Beck and Modest Mouse have all appeared on the show, and the soundtrack regularly features relatively unknown UK bands.

    The show even knows that its music is a little bit, shall we say, angsty. In one recent episode, Seth realises: "I listen to the same music as Marissa Cooper? I think I have to kill myself."

    All of this is down to one person - Alexandra Patsavas - who's employed by the programme specifically to oversee the music. "[It was] always intended that music be a character on the show," she tells in a new interview.

    Check it out, bitch.

  • IGN: Music of The O.C.

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  • Monday, March 21, 2005

    Oooh, look! A tree!

    This very pretty picture of a tree is, apparently, what graphics will look like on the Xbox 2.

    I'm sure we can all agree that it is technically accomplished, and a fair improvement over the last generation of console graphics. Ho hum.

    Not so at gamesradar. They've gone slightly overboard:

    "We want Xbox 2 right now and, if you even remotely like games, you should want it too… Imagine how good Halo on Xbox 2 is going to look. It is going to be the most beautiful game in the world, no question."

    That's surely one of the most depressing pieces of games journalism ever written. It's gushing, lacking in perspective, and desperately nerdy. It reads, in fact, like it's come from an internet message board.

    Furthermore, gamesradar seems to be an hormonal teenage boy. It can't wait to run through this beautifully rendered forest "shooting at aliens and other players".

    Yawn! What game hasn't been doing that since 1993?

    Rather than better graphics, the next generation of consoles needs to concentrate on broadening the appeal of games. And, as the Eyetoy and the Nintendo DS prove, visual prowess matters much less in this arena than making games that people can pick up and play.

    So, show me something new. I'm not upgrading my games machine unless it offers something more than "Videogame trees have never looked this good before."

  • gamesradar: New Xbox 2 screens looking Unreal


  • Friday, March 18, 2005

    Godmother of Soul - RIP

    It's barely been reported, but one of the most influential soul singers of the '70s passed away this week.

    Lyn Collins, called 'one of the most sampled female artists of all time' in mindless press agency obituaries, was in fact the most passionate and skillful of James Brown's coterie of R&B vocalists.

    You'll probably know her from the line,
    "It takes two to make a thing go right / It takes two to make it out of sight".

    That ad-lib, from her biggest hit "Think (About It)", was sampled by both Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock, and DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince in the '80s.

    But there's plenty more where that came from, including the sublime "Mr Big Stuff". You should check it out if you can.

  • The Independent: Lyn Collins Obituary
  • Lyn Collins: The Female Preacher

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  • X-Facts

    This could be hopelessy behind the times, but I'd like to direct your attention to the superb Black Melody website:

    Therein, Sir Richard of X talks with his public, revealing manys-a-fact about his recording exploits.

    For example, "Michelle from Liberty X got her arm caught in a pulley when we did the National Lottery."

    Hopefully it'll be be updated soon with tales of hellish debauchery while Rachel Stevens' new single was being 'tracked'.

  • Black Melody: Not Here For Your Entertainment

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  • Wednesday, March 16, 2005

    It's funny because it's true

    Tuesday, March 15, 2005

    Nobody sees the show...

    Something called "The People" reports that the Girls Aloud spring tour will give fans more than they could ever have dreamed may have expected.

    "We're having a banging hardcore tour - just on stage - and then we'll go to bed early," says Cheryl Tweedy.

    Note the quotation marks, which indicate 100% veracity.

  • - VIP

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  • Monday, March 14, 2005

    Which Diva Is This Anyway?

    So, which airbrushed super-diva is this?

    Beyoncé or Mariah Carey?

    You Decide.

    (Click to reveal the 'secret')

    "Like a washing machine, I can wash the clothes"

    You can't wave your hands in the motherfucking air these days, without some skinny white kid doing an 'ironic' cover of a hip-hop classic.

    First we had to put up with Jamie Cullum's execrable "Frontin'", and now Ben Folds has released a download of Dr Dre's "Bitches Ain't Shit" on itunes.

    Luckily, Folds manages to carry the whole thing off with a degree of panache. Possibly becuase he isn't a smug mop-haired twat with ADHD.

    Even better news for Folds fans is that the "Whatever and Ever, Amen" album is being re-issued tomorrow with a whole host of extra tracks. You'll have to import it from the US, though, as there's no release date over here.

  • Ben Folds website

  • Amazon: Buy Whatever and Ever Amen

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  • Friday, March 11, 2005

    Quote of the Day

    "Pluto could have been a strung-out heroin addict," says Pennsylvania Police Sergeant, Dave Kovach

  • Kansas City Star: Clerk laughs away robber in Pluto mask


  • Thursday, March 10, 2005

    Whatever happened to Mr Udagawa?

    Brownwyn Davies, who was lovely in the 80'sIs Kylie returning to Neighbours?

    Sydney's Daily Telegraph reckons she might, possibly, make a cameo apparance on the soap when it celebrates its 20th anniversary later this year.

    This wild speculation is based on the flimsy premise that Delta Goodrem has already returned to film a few scenes for the show. Why this would persuade Kylie to turn up in Erinsborough is anyone's guess. Maybe she's decided to delegate all of her career decisions to a second rate Mariah Carey tribute act from now on.

    The Telegraph also says Natalie Imbruglia will drop in for the anniversary, and I'm pretty sure Holly Valance will be able to find some space in her diary to make an appearance.

    But, in all honesty, the only way they'll get me to start watching Neighbours again is by bringing back Bronwyn. Sigh.

  • Daily Telegraph: Neighbours "Step Back In Time"
  • Daily Telegraph: Delta's back on Ramsay Street

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  • Shocking!

    Since Madonna went all mumsy on us, there's been a sad lack of stars willing to talk about their bedroom activities.

    But - drop your knickers and jump for joy - the embargo appears to have been broken!

    Angelina Jolie has been boasting about lezzing up with her mates to OK! Magazine, and Benicio Del Toro is doing his best to let everyone know he boffed Scarlett Johansson in a lift.

    "It might not be the last time either," he says. Dirty bugger.

  • Sky News: Angelina's girlie sex

  • Ananova: Benicio on lift sex

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  • Tuesday, March 8, 2005



    Samples of a new Sugababes track have surfaced on William Orbit's new website.

    Called 'Spiral', the song features lead vocals from the girls and an unidentified sugabloke (willy ø himself?)

    Very good stuff - and a tasty reminder of why the 'Babes are the Best Thing In British PopTM .

  • William Orbit's website (head for the New Music section).

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  • See this woman nekkid

    This vision of beauty is Britney Spears, who's announced she'll do a photoshoot in the nuddy. Oh joy.

    Apparently, she'll wear nothing but a necklace bought for her by husband Kevin Federline (I hope he's kept the receipt).

    Shocked? Appalled? Interested?
    Thought not.

    Surely the Britney publicity machine can come up with something better than this. She is, after all, the woman who courted controversy with a series of lolita-ish photos by David LaChapelle.

    Dumperdom beckons, don't you think?

  • Contact Music: Britney set to reveal all
  • Britney Gallery

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  • Monday, March 7, 2005

    Just try not to get killed


    Mouthing Off

    The Chinese Government are taking Elton John's tirade against lip-synching to heart.

    Government advisers will meet in Beijing this week to decide whether to criminalise the act of miming to a backing track.

    A penalty for the crime has yet to be decided, but given China's human rights record let's hope they don't take Elton's advice that "anyone who lip-synchs on stage when you pay £75 to see them should be shot," too literally.
  • Chinese adviser urges lip synching ban

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  • Friday, March 4, 2005

    Crumpets and Bubbles!

    That's how Alison Goldfrapp describes the new songs she's recording, before she pauses and corrects herself.

    After careful consideration, she's decided that the third Goldfrapp album actually sounds more like "euphoric crumpets".

    And, as you can see from the picture, Alison is committing this pop opus to tape while wearing a pair of leopardskin pants on her head.

    Hooray for bonkers popstars!
  • LAUNCH: Goldfrapp's new album

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  • Crass Hollywood phrase of the day

    "Kissing Frogs" (verb):
    The process of auditioning thousands of actors to see if one of them will turn into a prince.

    As told by Danny Boyle to the Independent.

  • The Independent Online: Boyle and trouble


  • Thursday, March 3, 2005

    Could you be a silly ho?

    Ever wanted to be the spare part in a top-selling R&B trio?

    Well, TLC are holding open auditions for a new member, starting in New York this Saturday.

    Job requirements: squeaky voice, inability to turn up for interviews, tendency to set fire to things.

  • Hip-hop elements: TLC to hold auditions
  • Sun-Sentinel: TLC look for a triple-threat in Miami

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  • Tuesday, March 1, 2005

    Cough it up

    There really is no such thing as a free lunch (unless you're a koala). reports that the goodie bags given to this year's Oscar winners, which included a $1500 meal voucher, are taxable benefits.

    That means winning an Oscar could set you back up to $50,000.


  • The dark side of Oscar Freebies

  • Guardian: 2005 Goodie Bags

    (NB if you are Renee Zelwegger's lawyer, the headline has nothing to do with bulimia. It is a pun. On taxes. Do you see?)


  • Man or Elephant?

    What is happening to Tony Blair? I think we should be told...

    uality Control

    The latest edition of Q magazine flopped onto my doorstep this morning. Unbelievably, it leads with yet another list of the songs I MUST OWN.

    This is ridiculous. In their relaunch issue 6 months ago, Q's cover story was exactly the same ("The 1,010 songs you must own"). In the interim they've also featured yet another "Top 50 Albums" poll.

    I subscribe to Q because I want to read about music and the people who make music. But Q seems to believe that I'd rather have constant reminders to buy Pet Sounds (I already own it, and it's shit).

    So, if you're looking for some decent music journalism, written by people with genuine passion and enthusiasm for the topic, you should check out Blender.

    It's from the US but maintains a healthy interest in UK bands. The cover stars are the cream of the crop - Gwen, Snoop, U2 - and there's a zeal and humour to the writing which recalls the heyday of Smash Hits and Q itself.

    Best of all, it costs something ridiculous like 50p an issue to import. Hooray!



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