Wednesday, January 31, 2018

How Many Careers Have Been Ruined?

We have seen an outpouring of ink over the legitimate claim that numerous actresses have seen their careers ruined because they wouldn't have sex with powerful men. This is endemic to every walk of life. The music industry will catch up to the film industry, if only because that would be the right thing to do.

Stacey Solomon has a story to tell:

The former X Factor contestant and TV presenter said she felt unable to progress in her music career following the incident

Stacey Solomon has said that she was sexually propositioned by a big music producer in order to ‘further her career’.

Speaking as a panelist on Loose Women today (January 31), Solomon discussed an incident that took place while she was attempting to make and distribute music in another country.

The former X Factor contestant said the producer had asked for “some alone time to get to know each other better” while working, after her appearance on the ITV singing competition.

“I remember going out to a different country to work on a record and hopefully distribute it,” Solomon said. “And I met somebody who was really big – a music producer – who could help me distribute it and get on board and make a huge difference.

“That person asked if I wanted some alone time at dinner to get to know each other better.”

Despite initially thinking that producer was joking, the singer realised that the remark was “a real invitation of ‘if you come with me I can help you’”.

Solomon continued by saying she then knew she wasn’t going to be able to “further my career”.

There are going to be more stories and more fallout from this. I think it is imperative to believe and support everyone who comes forward. Yes, due process is important, but we, as a culture, have been conditioned to think women are liars. That has to change.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Mark E. Smith 1957-2018

Mark E. Smith is going to be impossible to properly eulogize. He was a figure very much of his own construction and design. It might have been a shambles all around him, but that's what made it all work.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Andy Will Never Go Against Johnny

There was something a bit suspect about this from the very beginning:

The former bassist of the iconic Manchester band has said he was "deeply saddened" that "false statements" had been made on his behalf

Andy Rourke has denied being involved in the newly-announced ‘Classically Smiths’ concert series.

The series, which is set to showcase a classical re-imagining of the music of The Smiths, had initially been billed as featuring former Smiths drummer Mike Joyce, bassist Rourke and second guitarist Craig Gannon. The three were set to be joined by the Manchester Camerata Orchestra for shows in London, Manchester, and Edinburgh before setting out on a full UK tour.

However, Rourke has now denied his involvement in the ‘Classically Smiths’ series. In a statement provided to NME, Rourke said that he was “deeply saddened” that “false statements” had been made on his behalf.

No one is interested in such a thing, and if they are, oh well. I don't see any scenario where Andy Rourke goes against anything that Johnny Marr does not wish to be a part of. I get that there is almost zero expectation of anything resembling a Smiths reunion, but this struck me as something weird and out of left field.

UPDATE: And, just like that, the whole thing fizzles out.

It was announced on 22 January that Rourke, along with Smiths drummer Mike Joyce and Craig Gannon – who briefly replaced Rourke on bass in 1986, before playing rhythm guitar for a spell – would perform classical versions of Smiths songs with the Manchester Camerata orchestra. Joyce said he was “massively excited to be playing with Andy and Craig again”, and Rourke said he was “thrilled and excited to be involved in Classically Smiths”.

But Rourke called the announcement “false statements”, adding: “At no time did I give my consent for anyone in connection with this Classically Smiths project to act on my behalf or my name, and nothing was ever confirmed, approved or contracted by me or my team.” His representative called the quotes “100% fabricated and without approval”. Lead singer Morrissey and lead guitarist Johnny Marr are not due to appear at the concerts, and have not released their own statements about them.

Joyce then announced he was no longer involved in the project. “I entered into agreement in good faith to perform these shows with Andy Rourke and Craig Gannon,” he said in a statement. “Unfortunately it became apparent very late that Andy would not be taking part... After much deliberation and soul searching I have decided that without Andy, an integral part of why I agreed to take part in the first place, I have come to this difficult decision. I still believe the shows and concept to be a fantastic idea and wish them all the success they deserve.”

Friday, January 19, 2018

The Tragedy of Losing Tom Petty

The loss of Tom Petty could easily have been avoided if he had been provided access to painkillers that wouldn't fucking kill him:

Our family sat together this morning with the Medical Examiner – Coroner’s office and we were informed of their final analysis that Tom Petty passed away due to an accidental drug overdose as a result of taking a variety of medications. 

Unfortunately Tom’s body suffered from many serious ailments including emphysema, knee problems and most significantly a fractured hip. 

Despite this painful injury he insisted on keeping his commitment to his fans and he toured for 53 dates with a fractured hip and, as he did, it worsened to a more serious injury.

On the day he died he was informed his hip had graduated to a full on break and it is our feeling that the pain was simply unbearable and was the cause for his over use of medication.

We knew before the report was shared with us that he was prescribed various pain medications for a multitude of issues including Fentanyl patches and we feel confident that this was, as the coroner found, an unfortunate accident. 

As a family we recognize this report may spark a further discussion on the opioid crisis and we feel that it is a healthy and necessary discussion and we hope in some way this report can save lives. Many people who overdose begin with a legitimate injury or simply do not understand the potency and deadly nature of these medications.

As a country, we are not in a place where we can have an adult conversation about opioids because the Trump regime has, literally, put an ignorant, useless man child in a position of responsibility with regards to solving this problem. It will take a complete flushing out of everything Trump related to get us to a point where we can tackle this problem.

We have a dysfunctional government that won't regulate a drug industry so drunk on profits, they'll never have a sober moment again. We have a crisis on our hands and no one is doing anything. Hey, add that to the pile of things that won't get solved or worked on until we pass through this era with another piece of our hearts ripped out.

So far, we've lost Tom Petty and Prince to opioids or to complications with misusing these drugs. On top of that, we have lose countless other people, and that's an American tragedy.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

The Masterplan

I have always thought of The Masterplan as the fourth Oasis album, and I have never regarded it as a throw-away record or a mere compilation. The inclusion of "The Swamp Song" and "I Am the Walrus" notwithstanding, the whole thing should have been their followup to Be Here Now and it should have been promoted and marketed as a standalone record. Of all the Britpop era bands, no one had better B-sides than Oasis.

I would love to see it come out in a deluxe edition, one that gathers up all of the B-sides from the first half-decade of Oasis in the studio. Seven or eight CDs of that stuff would be fantastic.

Another rant for the future - where is my triple disc Oasis Live at the BBC? Why doesn't this exist yet?

Released at the end of the whole Creation Records era, The Masterplan is as strong as the first two Oasis albums and holds its own among all the rest. You can hear the chaos of the thing right away, and it's a brilliant, glorious mess. The songs are incredibly strong and this is what makes it an absolute classic for me. I can't understand why these were considered  this record was consigned to the B-side of anything.

First of all, the song itself is the reason why I think you can make this argument. "The Masterplan" is the one that got away. It should have led off Be Here Now but it didn't. It should have been its own thing, but it wasn't. This is an example of someone tossing away their best work without a care in the world.

Then we have "Acquiesce" and "Half the World Away." They should have been singles in their own right. What a waste.

These three songs are enough structure around which you can build a whole album. Why they left "It's Better People" off this is an enduring mystery that I'm the only one who cares about, but still. I'd love to see this expanded and elevated to album status. It sold three million copies worldwide, for crying out loud. If it sold that right now, we'd regard it as a proper masterpiece.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Dolores O'Riordan

This is very tragic and very sad:

LONDON — Dolores O'Riordan, lead singer of Irish band The Cranberries, has died. She was 46.

Publicist Lindsey Holmes says O'Riordan died suddenly Monday in London, where she was recording. The cause of death wasn't immediately available.

Holmes says the singer's family is "devastated" by the news.


Merriweather Post Pavilion Collapses

The important thing is, no one was injured:

The roof of Columbia music venue Merriweather Post Pavilion collapsed early Saturday morning, possibly because of strong winds, officials said.

The roof that covers the amphitheater’s stage and seating was in the midst of being raised by about 20 feet over a period of months, part of a larger renovation project at the amphitheater. It was near its final position when the collapse occurred, leaving the venue’s stage standing surrounded by wreckage.

No one was injured, a Howard County fire spokeswoman said.

The collapse occurred as a strong cold front passed through the region, but the National Weather Service received no reports of severe wind gusts, meteorologist Kevin Witt said. The strongest gust recorded overnight at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport was about 45 mph, at about 2 a.m.

Here's what the venue looked like before the collapse:

Merriweather is an historic venue for live music. The good news out of all of this is that the facility will be completely rebuilt and ready for the season ahead.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Why is Radiohead Going After Lana Del Rey?

Anyone who has ever used an F chord should probably run and hide because Radiohead's lawyers are going to come after them:

Lana Del Rey has responded to reports that she is being sued by Radiohead for copyright infringement.

This weekend, it was alleged that the ‘Born To Die’ singer was accused of copying elements of their 1993 hit ‘Creep’ on her ‘Lust For Life’ album track ‘Get Free’. It’s the final song on the number one record, which also includes the single ‘Love’.

According to The Sun, “both teams are trying to thrash it out behind the scenes to prevent it going to court.”

The source added: “It’s understood that Radiohead’s team are hoping for the band to either receive compensation or be credited on the list of songwriters to receive royalties.”

I say, go to court.

The songs, while similar, are certainly not identical. Radiohead's Creep is based on the formula that the Pixies used--soft, then loud, with crunchy guitars and dark subject matter. And, since it came out on 1993, you could even lay it at the feet of grunge.

Lana Del Rey's track uses a very similar chord progression, but, to me, this is not a rip-off by any stretch of the imagination. What throws people is the pace of the song. Suffice it to say, without the distorted, slashing guitar break before the chorus, no one would remember Creep at all. Lana Del Rey didn't copy the most identifiable aspect of Radiohead's song.

This has to be something the lawyers cooked up. Why would anyone in Radiohead need to go after Del Rey's money? This is crazy. She should have never offered them a penny and she should have forced them to sue her in open court. I hope their suit crashes and I hope she wins.


Well, is there a lawsuit or not? Is there a dispute or not? If Lana Del Rey says that she's being sued, why would anyone doubt that? Apparently, she isn't being sued. She's being shaken down, or that's what it looks like to me.

Who the hell knows? This article does not shed any light on the matter, other than pointing out Radiohead did, in fact, steal Creep from the Hollies.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Wonderwall is Tricky

A little sympathy for the devil here, please:

Liam Gallagher has admitted that he still can’t play ‘Wonderwall’ by Oasis on guitar.

While hailing the huge 1995 hit from their seminal second album ‘(What’s the Story) Morning Glory?’ as “a big song everywhere all around the world”, the former Oasis frontman turned solo star confessed that he himself still can’t play it – unlike his son Gene.

“I don’t even know how to play it on guitar, man, that is the joke,” he told The Herald Sun.  “My kid can play it, but seriously, I can’t.

“Gene’s still in sixth form but he’s desperate to be in a band. He plays guitar and drums, he’s on the lookout for band members. I’ve not heard him sing, but he’s got the attitude and the look for sure. He’s a good little guitar player; he’s better than me. I mean, I can’t play, but he’s good.”

Wonderwall is one that I love to play, but I can't get through it without messing up. I love the fact that you can put a capo on the second fret and anchor yourself to the bottom two strings. It's deceptively easy, but I know what Liam is getting at. If you can't do the up and down strumming perfectly, it's a mess.

Anyway, if you're Liam, you find a person who can play it and sing along. And that's just the chords, by the way. Forget about the accents and the lead part.