Sunday, March 15, 2009

Featured Artists Coalition

This photo has been disturbing me a for a week on the BBC News website:
Featured Artists
It is a load of musicians who are forming a sort of musicians' union called the The Featured Artists Coalition to protect their rights now that the mainstream music industry is fragmenting.

I'm not sure what is so upsetting about it; I looks like the Band Aid photo from 1984, but this time the musicians are doing it for themselves. Should we be keen to ensure that Nick Beggs from Kajagoogoo is still paid handsomely whenever "Too Shy" is played in Morrisons? Should we sympathise with Robbie Williams, who now wants to wriggle out of his multi-million pound deal with EMI now that the major labels are struggling in the digital age?

In a sense it's a worthy cause; the artist gets more credit for his/her creative output, but it's difficult to stomach when it's coming from Marti frigging Pellow.


Thursday, February 26, 2009

Jim'll Fix It

Yesterday saw the publication of a photo showing the moment when Peter Sutcliffe shook hands with Frank Bruno, after Jim had fixed it for them to meet.
Frank Bruno, Jimmy Saville, Peter Sutcliffe
The picture has brought shock and outrage to the to the Sun readership who are presumably up in arms about the fact that Saville is smoking a cigar in a clearly marked no-smoking area. Disgusting.

Monday, February 23, 2009

My new organ

I went to Sedgefield Car Boot Sale yesterday and picked up this little beauty:
Hofner Organetta 3
It's at least 40 years old, mains powered organ - the proper type with wind blowing round in pipes.


Woodpigeon #3

Woodpigeon, Westgarth Social Club, Middlesbrough.
Last Sunday's Sunday Times pick of the week for music was Woodpigeon at Westgarth Social Club, Middlesbrough. An odd choice, but the Canadian band are playing a European tour and are appearing on all sorts of Radio sessions along the way. The new(ish) album, Treasury Library Canada, is getting good reviews.

This is prime "I was into them first" territorty, but unfortunately, the band turned up with only five members - two short, compared with the last tour. This left them with a thin sound and although it was a pleasant enough experience, they were sonically trumped by the support act, The Miserable Rich.

One audience member was past himself. He would tell anyone nearby that he "couldn't believe they had The Woodpigeons on in Middlesbrough" and said he had come miles to see them - all the way from Darlington.


Monday, February 09, 2009

Level Crossing

Watch this video:

Level Crossing nutters

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Maths - It doesn't add up

Yesterday's big story was the snow but the Conservative party were busy launching a fatuous taskforce to look into the teaching of maths in Britain. The team is to be led by non other than Carol Vorderman, Countdown's former maths spiff.

The idea that a famous person who is good at maths is the best person to advise the Department of Education on how its teachers are to deliver lessons is ludicrous.

I propose further education advisors:
  • Tony 'Baldrick' Robinson - History
  • Michael Palin - Geography
  • Wolf from Gladiators - P.E
  • Richard and Judy - English Literature
  • Ainsley Harriot - Home Economics
  • Bill Oddie - Biology
  • Jeremy Kyle - Sociology
  • oh I give up....

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Friday, January 30, 2009

Ghosts on the ward

Ghosts don't existAs a citizen of the 21st Century, it is surprising how often one has to remind oneself that we are not living in the middle ages. Hospital managers in Derby have called in an exorcist to expunge a ghostly figure who is tormenting staff and patients. Even Radio 4's Today programme saw fit to interview an exorcism expert, who answered the questions without a flicker of embarrassment. Apparently, we need only to pray to put the Roman soldier's spirit to rest; a full exorcism may not be required.

At no point, in any of the journalistic coverage, has anyone remarked that ghosts don't actually exist. The dead don't walk the earth with us and it's all a lot of gammon and spinach.


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

iLife 09

The new version of Apple's iLife software is out today. The new iPhoto not only displays your photos on a map marking where they are taken, it has a face recognition feature which allows it to pick out photos from you library that all contain a certain faces. And it's pretty good at it too.

It spots all sorts of faces:


Twitter This

So now Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand are both Twitter contributors, ably abetted by the comely Jane Goldman. With Stephen Fry on board along with Barack Obama, all we need now is Morrissey, Vic Reeves and Alan Bennett.