3 November 2002
[books] Why He Died Before He Got Old — Pete Townshend reviews Kurt Cobain’s Journals … ‘The entries are not uninteresting. It is simply that they are devastatingly hard to contemplate. They actually hurt. These are the scribblings of a once beautiful, angry, petulant, spoiled, drug-addled middle-class white boy from a divorced family who just happened, with the help of two of his slightly more stable peers, to make an album hailed as one of the best rock records ever. I sometimes get letters from people who write and draw like Cobain. I put them in a file marked ‘Loonies’, just in case they try to sue me in the future for stealing their ideas.’
19 October 2002
[music] A troubled hero for our times? — profile of Kurt Cobain. ‘… his formative tastes took in soft-rock bands such as Journey and Foreigner …’
6 October 2002
[sunday] Weekend Reading …
  • You Shone Like the Sun — backgrounder and brief interview with Syd Barrett‘Then, a sound in the hall. Has he come in from the back garden? Perhaps it needs mowing, like the front lawn – although, judging by the mound of weeds by the path, he’s been tidying the beds today. I knock again, and hear three heavy steps. The door flies open and he’s standing there. He’s stark naked except for a small, tight pair of bright-blue Y-fronts; bouncing, like the books say he always did, on the balls of his feet. He bars the doorway with one hand on the jamb, the other on the catch. His resemblance to Aleister Crowley in his Cefalu period is uncanny; his stare about as welcoming…’ [Related: Metafilter Thread]
  • Hoax! [Part 1 | Part 2] — Jon Ronson meets America’s Anthrax Hoaxers … ‘Terry first realised that he was in very big trouble when no less a figure than the US Attorney General, John Ashcroft, made a speech about him in a press conference to the world on October 18. Ashcroft announced that the FBI had “arrested Terry Olson for committing a serious crime in connection with terrorist hoaxes”. “What did they charge you with?” I asked him. “Weapons of mass destruction,” he said. “Life imprisonment.” “You must have said to them that Nesquik and sugar aren’t weapons of mass destruction,” I said.’

16 September 2002
[distraction] Well worth the download: Eminem vs. The Smiths. [via]
31 August 2002
[underworld] Look Deeper … ‘It was just silly crap but it hit the spot.’
26 August 2002
[music] Hit Charade — the problem with the music industry … ‘Since 1980, the mainstream music industry has only consolidated: Five companies control CD sales, MTV owns a multi-channel music-TV franchise, and a single company, Clear Channel, dominates both the concert business and Top 40 and rock radio. Ironically, if unsurprisingly, the biz has suffered from its near-monopolistic control. Short-sighted labels and tightly programmed radio have bolstered the success of certain styles and performers but prevented anything fresh from breaking through.’ [via Sore Eyes]
11 August 2002
[food] Grease is the Word — Nigel Slater makes Elvis Presley’s Fried-Peanut-Butter-and-Banana Sandwich … ‘I have known about this sandwich for years but felt that, along with deep-fried Mars bars, monkey brains and fugu fish, this was territory that I did not wish to explore. The fact that the peanut butter was sometimes mixed with strawberry jam, and that the whole heart-stopping snack was then fried in butter, put the seal on it. Still, what the hell. It can’t kill me. So here I am, standing in the kitchen, debating whether this legendary recipe really is the crack cocaine of the sandwich world, and whether I am going to get out of this alive. I so want to just say no, but I like bananas, have a sneaky fondness for white sliced bread, and absolutely adore peanut butter.’
24 July 2002
[comics] Interesting selection of MP3’s from musical collaborations between Alan Moore and Tim Perkins … [via Bugpowder]
30 June 2002
[current playlist] What I was listening to late last night, courtesy of BlogAmp [via]

Beastie Boys – Sure Shot, Oasis – Stop Crying Your Heart Out, Jeff Buckley – Last Goodbye, Prodigy – Out Of Space, Depeche Mode – Never Let Me Down Again, General Public – Tenderness, The Verve – Lucky Man, Samantha Mumba – Body 2 Body, Nelly Furtado – Turn off the Lights, A.O.S. – History (Repeats Itself), Oasis – Stop Crying Your Heart Out, Sophie Ellis Bextor – Murder On The Dancefloor, Oasis – My Big Mouth, Serge Gainsbourg – Bonnie and Clyde, Bryan Ferry – Crazy Love, New Order – True Faith, Ride – Taste, Mint Royale – From Rusholme With Love, The House Of Love – Crush Me, All Saints – Black Coffee, The Monkees – Porpoise Song, Oasis – Whatever.

29 June 2002
[tech] Microsoft Palladium — Start Here:

  • The Big Secret — Steven Levy takes a look behind the scenes at the Palladium Project … ‘Palladium is being offered to the studios and record labels as a way to distribute music and film with “digital rights management” (DRM). This could allow users to exercise “fair use” (like making personal copies of a CD) and publishers could at least start releasing works that cut a compromise between free and locked-down. But a more interesting possibility is that Palladium could help introduce DRM to business and just plain people. “It’s a funny thing,” says Bill Gates. “We came at this thinking about music, but then we realized that e-mail and documents were far more interesting domains.” For instance, Palladium might allow you to send out e-mail so that no one (or only certain people) can copy it or forward it to others. Or you could create Word documents that could be read only in the next week. In all cases, it would be the user, not Microsoft, who sets these policies.’
  • I Told You So — Bob Cringely on Palladium … ‘It may actually make the Internet somewhat safer. But the real purpose of this stuff, I fear, is to take technology owned by nobody (TCP/IP) and replace it with technology owned by Redmond. That’s taking the Internet and turning it into MSN. Oh, and we’ll all have to buy new computers. This is diabolical. If Microsoft is successful, Palladium will give Bill Gates a piece of every transaction of any type while at the same time marginalizing the work of any competitor who doesn’t choose to be Palladium-compliant. So much for Linux and Open Source, but it goes even further than that. So much for Apple and the Macintosh. It’s a militarized network architecture only Dick Cheney could love. ‘
  • Palladium Frequently Asked Questions … On MP3’s: ‘With existing MP3s, you may be all right for some time. But in future, TCPA / Palladium will make it easier to sell music, movies, books and other content packaged so that people can play them on their PCs but not copy them. You might be allowed to lend your copy of some digital music to a friend, but then your own backup copy won’t be playable until your friend gives you the main copy back. Quite possibly you will not be able to lend music at all. (It looks likely that the music publisher will be able to make the rules – and to change them at will by remote control.)’

17 June 2002
[music] Mad For It — interview with Liam Gallagher …

‘…’I’d like to be in a big house in the south of France,’ he decides, staring wistfully up at the stairs that lead towards the pub’s exit, ‘with a deckchair. And the deckchair is outside and I’m in the deckchair just chilling right out. Forever.’ He says he’s looking forward to being 60 in that deckchair in the south of France. Age is not a fear for him. If he’s in that chair outside that house, he says, he won’t even mind going bald. ‘I’ll moan about it, but I won’t be getting a wig. I will not be getting an Elton John. I’ll just get a skinhead and have it large with a goatee, get meself a part in EastEnders where I can shag the barmaid.”

[Related: Vaughan likes Stop Crying Your Heart Out]
27 May 2002
[film] Biggie and Tupac — review of Nick Broomfield’s new Documentary … ‘If James Ellroy wrote a novel about gangster rap, it would be a lot like Biggie and Tupac, teeming with chancers and casualties and underpinned by the threat of death. “You knocking like you scared,” chuckles the bodyguard who opens his door to let Broomfield in. And yet his timid knocking pays dividends.’
26 May 2002
[blogs] Pat — the Scottish journalist and musician has a weblog … ‘pop, politics, technoculture…& scotland’
15 February 2002
[music] Looking for a new England — interview with Billy Bragg … ‘…you say Orwell came up with a list of things he thought were English. What would your list be? “Well, it’s dictated by my cultural background. So Bobby Moore winning the World Cup. It doesn’t mean the same to everyone, I’m aware of that. Chalk horses made in the Bronze Age; Marmite. It’s personal. Englishness is like a mantelpiece that you put things on. We all have that mantelpiece, it’s what you put on that mantelpiece in your soul.”‘
7 February 2002
[tv] Rock the vote — the Guardian’s Political Editor meets Will and Gareth from Pop Idol‘Gareth is 17 and was in his second year, doing his A-levels in Bradford when the Pop Idol opportunity interrupted. He has a painful stammer which he masters with difficulty and the help of his voice coach, Mike, who now travels with him. Gareth ought to be the underdog, except the bookies have him as the favourite to win – out of the original 10,000 wannabes who entered the competition last autumn. Meaning to be helpful, I tell him that Winston Churchill had a lisp and Nye Bevan a stammer. But he appears to have heard of neither of these recording artists. And why should he, I suppose. They are both very dead.’
2 February 2002
[music] The unsinkable Ian Brown‘He orders lunch carefully – no cheese, no pork, no wine (he hasn’t touched alcohol for years: “I can’t get with the taste of liquor”) – and lights a cigarette. “There were about three weeks in 1989 when everyone loved us and no one slagged us,” he recalls with a smile. “I wasn’t on stage to be worshipped or for people to look up to me. I was with the crowd. We started out to finish groups like U2 – that was what it was all about. And they’re still the biggest band in the world, so we failed. We didn’t really do anything, people wore flares for a year or two, d’you know what I mean?” he laughs. “That’s all we did.”‘ [Related: Tanya Headon on Fools Gold / Stone Roses]
21 January 2002
[tv] Go on, Take a Pop — interview with Pop Idol’s Simon Cowell … ‘He seems much more vulnerable than when we first met. I tell him that he surprised me when he said not much in life has made him happy. “I am quite miserable because I’m never satisfied with what I’ve got. You’re always looking for that next high, and that is what I would define as happiness. I go through mood swings and the highs don’t last very long.” He says he gets bored and dissatisfied easily – with women, with work, with life.’
11 January 2002
[reviews] There were a few interesting articles in today’s Guardian…

  • You can’t diddle with the truth — another interview with Ridley Scott on his film Black Hawk Down. ‘The teams on the ground get lost under fire in Mogadishu’s narrow streets, as directions are relayed to them by the helicopters. “The Black Hawks are orbiting in a pattern, clockwise or anti-clockwise, and they can’t diverge from this or they will fly into each other.” This, in his view, “was the real juice of the film”, the place where plot enacted theme – theme being the complexities of intervention in a country like Somalia. “It was like a three-layer chess game.”‘
  • So lonely I could cry — Cameron Crowe writes about his film Vanilla Sky‘Within weeks of finishing this screenplay, there we were on Times Square, an early Sunday morning in November. Tom Cruise as David Aames was racing through the most famous geography on the globe. Utterly alone. Watching the shot as it happened on a video monitor, the whole world of Vanilla Sky was still ahead of us. Lonely. Scary. Promising. Inevitable.’
  • Interview with Adam Ant‘Anyone over 30 belongs to me. Bisexual, male, female, gay, whatever.’
  • Ageless, peerless, Douglas — update on Kirk Douglas‘I see Kirk Douglas still isn’t dead. Remarkably, he’s preparing his next movie, Smack in the Puss, a family affair starring his son Michael, with whom his relationship has always been fiercely competitive, and the next sprig on the dynastic tree, grandson Cameron. The man will never stop, it seems. These days, at 86, bowed and speech-impaired by strokes, and having collapsed again recently on the golf course, he still radiates that fanatical, spartacist determination to live life right into the last ditch, or at least the last water hazard.’

[thanks to whoever left their entire copy of the Guardian on the tube for me today]
2 November 2001
[paul is dead] The Fool on the Hill … Did Paul McCartney expose himself on the Magical Mystery Tour film? ‘The zoom view clearly shows the left coat tail billowing up. There does seem to be a fairly clear image of his penis extending out from under it and pointing to his right at a slightly upward angle. The coloring really adds to the impression: the shaft is darker toned than the head which would be consistent with the coloring of the shaft and head (glans) of a penis. (Yes, unlike most British men, Paul is circumsized.)’ [Related: Paul is Dead, link via Robot Wisdom]
14 August 2001
[random] Pass Notes covers The Girl from Ipanema‘It seems the widow of Antonio Carlos Jobim is still disgruntled about her husband leching after the foxy Brazilian lovely. The heirs to the songwriters’ fortunes say the gently swaying, golden Heloisa has no right to call her shop The Girl from Ipanema.’
13 August 2001
[music] Northern Rock — Miranda Sawyer profiles and interviews New Order. ‘…everything collapsed. New Order came out owing £600,000. Then, in the midst of the carnage, someone found a piece of paper signed by the Factory directors that read: “The musicians own the music and we own nothing.” Which meant that the bands could sign huge publishing deals for all the tunes they’d already written, as well as recording contracts for future music. London records stepped in to claim New Order, “like the cavalry”, says Sumner. Chaos all round. The piece of paper effectively whisked Factory’s only assets away from the hands of the debtees. Sumner remembers going up in front of the liquidators. “They just couldn’t believe this piece of paper existed. But it did. No contract, just this bit of paper. They tried to make out that we’d written it a couple of days earlier, but honest to God we didn’t. But,” he grins, “if it hadn’t existed, we would have written it…”‘
3 August 2001
[mp3] Top 10 Bootleg Napster MP3’s. Eminenya is well worth downloading … ‘The lush celtic strings of Sail Away clash with the vocal from the Real Slim Shady, speeded up by a factor of about three. A nightmare within a dream.’ [via Popbitch]
1 August 2001
[pop] Make your mind up, M’lud — Amusing article about the the court battle between Bobby G from Bucks Fizz and David Van Day from Dollar over who has rights to the name Bucks Fizz. ‘If all this sounds like a particularly bitter lover’s tiff, it is because the two men are former friends and colleagues. Van Day was one of the best-known bubblegum pop stars of the early 80s in his own right as one half of Dollar, an equally peroxide-heavy act which had 14 hits including Oh L’Amour and Mirror Mirror between 1978 and 1983. “We were fifth in a recent TV programme on the world’s top 10 duos,” he says. “Underneath us were people like Ike and Tina Turner.” ‘
13 July 2001
[distractions] Enjoy… Micro Jet Racers [via Dutchbint] and a cover of Voodoo Ray by a Brass Band on [thanks to Oh!SkyLab, original Voodoo Ray].
23 June 2001
[music] Michael Daddino blogs 24 hours of MTV‘R&B videos just delight in nice interiors, don’t they?’
12 May 2001
[distractions] Comedy MP3… Craig David Vs Bagpuss. [via NTK]
24 April 2001
[music] Christopher Walken + Spike Jonze + Fatboy Slim = An Amazing Video… [link via Metafilter — but T mentioned this to me first.]
19 April 2001
[music] Carly Simon gets asked this question a lot…. Who is You’re So Vain about? ‘It always strikes me as funny. That people would be THAT into what I was thinking about, that’s the greatest ego trip anybody could have….that they would be THAT interested in what you were thinking about when you wrote a song. And for that very reason, of course, I can never give it away.’ [Related: Lyrics to You’re So Vain]
7 April 2001
[songs] Eugene Mirman — songs from Eugene, the marvelous crooning child. [via WEF via Plastic]
20 March 2001
[music] Dotmusic have got the video to Gorillaz’ Clint Eastwood on their website… some excellent animation designed by Jaime Hewlett. [personally, I always thought Philip Bond was vastly superior to Hewlett… but what do I know?] ‘Created to accompany the lazy splendour of ‘Clint Eastwood’ from the forthcoming Gorillaz album, the video is the work of Tank Girl mastermind Jamie Hewlett and animators Passion Pictures. Though the project is known to involve Blur’s Damon Albarn and hip hop producer Dan The Automator – responsible for cult favourites Dr Octogon and Handsome Boy Modelling School – the identities of the other members of the band has not been disclosed.’
16 March 2001
[music] Guardian Unlimited interviews Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett about Gorillaz — their ‘Virtual Band’. ‘Tank Girl didn’t even make Hewlett rich. “I made some money,” he says. “You got screwed, mate,” Albarn tells him. “I didn’t get screwed, I mean, Jesus,” retorts Hewlett. “The comic industry just collapsed. But we got to spend the best part of a year hanging out in LA. And we got paid a big lump of cash for it.” Despite a good deal of hype, the 1995 film starring Lori Petty bombed. “I think we always knew it was going to be dreadful.”‘ [Related Link: Gorillaz Website]
8 March 2001
[monkees] Think Diffident. Nice profile of ex-Monkee Mike Nesmith (the one with the wool hats and sideburns)…. ‘The news media, it’s true, sticks to Nesmith’s Monkee-ness like gum on a go-go boot. Never mind that Nez helped invent MTV and country rock, that he published a novel and pioneered a home-video distribution business, and that he cut 13 post-Monkees albums and produced cult film classics like Repo Man. And never mind that Nesmith – who could choose to be as ostentatious and narcissistic as the next gazillionaire rock star – instead carries on the philanthropic traditions of his mother, Bette Graham, the inventor of Liquid Paper typing-correction fluid.’
5 March 2001
[moz] The death of Diana predicted in Morrisey’s music‘Morrissey’s lyrics to THERE IS A LIGHT THAT NEVER GOES OUT from THE QUEEN IS DEAD concern: two people on a date at night in the city driving in a car fantasizing about getting killed in a car crash gripped by fear in an underpass. Over a decade later we have Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed: two people on a date at night in the city driving in a car getting killed in a car crash in an underpass.’ [via Barbelith Underground]
3 March 2001
[the last link] Ending the first year of LMG on a high… Check out Bjork Remix Web. Simply amazing music…. I’m listening to the Magical Mystery Man Mix of Big Time Sensuality… [via Memepool]
15 February 2001
[listening] Burning Bridges – The Mike Curb Congregation. Have I mentioned I’m going to miss Napster? [Can anybody explain to me how this song ever got picked to be the theme to Kelly’s Heroes? How does it relate to WWII caper / heist movie staring Clint Eastwood and Telly Savalas?]
14 February 2001
[music] Intriguing interview with Madonna in the Independent. ‘…she knows that it is almost impossible to acquire genuine class without appearing appallingly nouveau riche – and becoming appallingly nouveau riche is what most pop stars do as soon as they become successful. Madonna has wisely opted for old money, the one thing that new money can’t buy. It’s her Big New Thing: the acquisition of class.’
6 February 2001
[rap] Eminem: Courting controversy, Public Eminem No1 — BBC News and the Sunday Times on Eminem. ‘”I would quite genuinely shoot the little bastard,” said Julie Bindel, founder of the action group Justice for Women and a researcher at the child and women abuse department at North London University. “He is misogynist scum who will influence some women and men. Rather than censor him, though, I wish someone who took offence at his lyrics would leave him in a coma.”‘
10 January 2001
[music] J’Accuse Indie KidsTanya and Tom list why they hate Indie Kids… ‘Indie kids like experimentation, but not too much experimentation. They like extremity, but not too much extremity. They like songs, but they like them to be a bit shy and fuzzed-up and nervous and not too songish. Best of all they like bands which sound comfortingly like the other ones they already know are cool.’
6 January 2001
[comics] Grant Morrison’s website updates…. Morrison on Lennon (in the Digital Ink section): ‘I was in a band at the time Lennon died and we were all huge Beatles fans (to annoy our raincoat-wearing Joy Division-loving peer-group we had the moptop haircuts, the Chelsea boots, the tight trousers, the psychedelic shirts, the guitars etc – see picture) so I was fairly down when my fave moptop was plugged by a madman but…when all was said and done, I’d been raised a punk on ‘Clockwork Orange’ and David Sherwin so when we went onstage with the band that night we began our set by yelling “THIS ONE’S FOR THE LATE GREAT JOHN LENNON! UP HIS FUCKING ARSE!!!!”. Big? No. Clever? No. Pure Pop Genius? I think so.’
4 January 2001
[music] I Hate Music on the Stone Roses‘Attitude apparently consisted of repeating what a good band you are three times in every interview, like Dorothy in The Wizard Of Oz saying “There’s no place like home”. Oh, and if you poured paint over your bandmates it would help too, though this aspect of the Roses’ attitude has been low on imitators. Pathetic, really, but a generation of lazy geezers lapped it up – you don’t have to be good at anything as long as you give it a bit of front. And they all formed bands, the fuckers. Cue the 1990s, the grisly low point of five ghastly decades of British rock music, and it was all the Roses’ fault.’
29 December 2000
[year-end] The Guardian ponders the big questions for 2001‘Any chance Oasis will finally implode for good? British record companies should have a plaque reading “no more heroes” nailed over the front door. Whenever the biz trumpets its latest world-shaking phenomenon, you can guarantee it’ll go straight down the plughole. Richard Ashcroft has tumbled dramatically from rock’n’roll bard to po-faced bore. Ronan Keating has embraced premature middle age with disastrous consequences, and Oasis are only managing to cling on to the gossip columns for all the wrong reasons. Spectators relished Liam Gallagher’s yobbish spats with Robbie Williams and Patsy Kensit’s tearful reports of her life of misery. But the live album, Familiar To Millions, might more accurately have been called Dimly Recalled By Dozens.’
23 December 2000
[music] Eminem Vs Bob The Builder. :) ‘Then I got an email from Tim Ireland (hello Tim) who put one of those dangerous propositions to me; What would happen if Bob took on Eminem in a full on 12 round musical punch up ? Well, armed only with a copy of a computer program called ACID and several cans of bitter I set about the task of sellotaping the two contenders together and a couple of hours later the job was done.’
17 December 2000
[eminem hoax] Another Eminem is dead hoax using Ananova this time… ‘Mathers, who authorities believe was under the influence of alcohol or drugs, was behind the wheel of a Saturn coupe that witnesses say swerved to avoid a slow moving vehicle, then lost control and slammed into a grove of trees. The car was crumpled by the impact, making extraction of Mather’s body very difficult. He was declared dead on the scene by paramedics who arrived a short time later.’ [Related Links: Explanation here?, Ananova link via Wacky Brit]
[hoax] Very well done hoax. Claims that Eminem was killed in car crash. Had me fooled for about a minute this morning….
13 December 2000
[music] Oops! Slim Shady Did It Again. Enimen’s Slim Shady to the tune of Oops! I did it again.
9 December 2000
[burchill] John Lennon? What a phoney! ‘Ah, the Yoko years! Move over Romeo and Juliet, Dante and Beatrice and Jimmy and Janette Krankie, and let this pair of lovers show you how it’s really done! In reality, of course, their alliance was a fetid mess of domestic violence, drug addiction and mutual adultery – hey, if I’d wanted that, I could have got it at home. After the initial provincial excitement of copping off with a “Jap”, as Lennon so frequently referred to his lady love, I think it fair to say that there wasn’t even a great deal of physical attraction – on either side, and who can blame either one after seeing that album cover?’ [Related Links: It’s Fandabidozi! It’s Krankie Web]
7 December 2000
[music] Julian Lennon reflects on John ‘Julian, Lennon’s son from his first marriage, described his father as a “guiding light” who was “sucked into a black hole”. He said he went through “love/hate relationships” with him whether he was there or not. “I wonder what it would have been like if he were alive today,” he wrote. “I guess it would have depended on whether he was `John Lennon’ (Dad) or `John Ono Lennon’ (manipulated lost soul).”‘ [Related Links: News Posting on Julian Lennon’s Website]
5 December 2000
[chat] The Barbelith Underground discuss what will be the next name on Madonna’s t-shirt. Saveloy sez: ‘”Your Mum” is what it will say. When you next see your mum, she’ll be wering a t-shirt that says “Yeah, that’s right, ME.” Later, Madonna will play a gig with EVERYBODY’s mum coming on in turn to do an excruciatingly embarrassing dance, and thus the whole world will be united in humiliation and so drawn together and there will be no more war or death.’
13 November 2000
[listening] Yesterday I listened to Voodoo Ray by A Guy Called Gerald for the first time in years… ‘Riding on the current trend for Acidy sounding tunes, Voodoo Ray charted back in 1989 rising to number 12. Very distinctive with it’s simple bass line, hypnotic vocals and 808 tinkles.’
3 November 2000
[weblogs] Woo-Hoo! Tanya’s back. From I Hate Music on Manic Monday by the Bangles: ‘There are six other obvious words which rhyme with Monday. Sunday is one. Funday and Runday are not. Oh and Suzanna Hoffs can wipe that grin off her face. This burning isn’t an eternal flame, but it lasts long enough to incinerate your shortarse winsomeness.’