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Major labels are killing music

This is a complete joke, and a lie. (c/o Mat)

Why won’t the so-called record industry just admit that its purely a business and doesn’t give a flying fuck about artistic integrity? For just one argument, what about the indie labels that have benefitted from the international distribution of their artists’ work which would have been unthinkable without the Internet? I know that K Records of Olympia, Washington, for example, have no problem with their records being freely distributed as mp3s as long as they’re sent a note about it. Have they lost any money over it? Nope. In fact, they – and hundreds of labels like them – have probably made more.

Home taping never killed music. Neither will mp3s. If anybody is killing music, it’s the Big Five (or Four, or Three, or whatever the hell it is now).

Panda vs wrestler

Regarding this situation, in my view The World Wrestling Federation was correct in its arguments – there is no mistaking a professional wrestling promotion for an animal welfare charity. And besides, the World Wide Fund for Nature is more recognisable for the panda logo rather than the initials (which, incidently, should be WWFN).

I know there’s a principle at stake, but surely they conceded that principle by changing their name (and therefore their acronym).

I must also point out that this report hasn’t been fact-checked. I mean, the Ultimate Warrior? He left the WWF five years ago.

In Pleasant Company

I really love this Shipping News album, Very Soon, And In Pleasant Company. Somebody at HMV ordered in a pocketful (that’s six copies, for you outsiders) last summer. They sat there untouched for a few weeks till I decided to buy one. One of my better purchase decisions.

There’s always a reason

Regarding this situation: instead of asking how, shouldn’t we be asking why?

A reactionary attitude never solves anything. People don’t abuse themselves just because they can – there’s always a reason.

Ten million posts

This is the 10 millionth post to a Blogger-powered website. It’s actually quite funny too.

This post is probably quite redundant, since everyone and their mother is gonna link to it, but the layout caught my eye. Orange on black. That was the same colour scheme of this site when I launched it back in the day.

Friday Five #6

http://fridayfive.org/

1. Hey, baby, what’s your sign? Do you think it fits you pretty well?

I’m a Gemini. I think I fit the sign very well, rather than the sign fitting me.

2. What’s the worst birthday gift you’ve ever received?

I dunno, probably every year when I was a kid and I used to get clothes (which were practical, in hindsight) rather than toys (which I wanted).

3. What’s the best birthday gift you’ve ever received?

That would probably be the bass guitar I got last year.

4. What’s the best way you’ve celebrated your birthday thus far?

Oh gosh I dunno… none of them thus far stand out in my mind. But I’m still young.

5. What are your plans for this weekend?

Going to see Ocean’s Eleven (no, not that one, this one) tonight, then essay writing tomorrow and hopefully Sunday will be a day of rest.

Nadir

I got the new Abaddon Incarnate album today. I remember talking with Olan about it before they headed over to Sweden to record – must have been last June – he was happy that they were moving in a more grindcore direction and was pretty excited to be working with Mieszko from Nasum. Olan introduced me to Nasum a few months before and I will be eternally grateful for that. I have to say, they did a pretty good job over there. It’s fast, it’s brutal, and the production is pretty punchy, it doesn’t muddy everything up.

Last call

Hall not being very reliable?

We should all know whose fault that is. When Scott Hall toured with New Japan last year, alone, he was on his best behaviour. He could have been downing the sake all night long but no, he was a professional. Then as soon as he’s back with his nWo ‘buddies’, he starts hitting the booze again. The man has problems, and I don’t think being around Nash and company is helping.

Futurama not as good as everyone thinks shocker

Talk about over-reacting.

It appears that the Fox Network has decided not to commission further series of Futurama.

To be honest I can’t really blame them as, with all cult shows, it has a niche audience of hardcore fans and, well, no-one else was that interested. Hell, the only reason The Simpsons is still going is because it long ago transcended the status of being merely a TV show – much like Seinfeld, Friends, etc. etc., even though, ultimately, that’s all it is, merely a TV show.

Futurama was just never that good. Oh sure, there were were some excellent nuggets of writing there, but most of it was mired in cliche. And it couldn’t really do surreality – Homer and co. have that covered, and most of the time it’s very hit-and-miss anyway, and only Family Guy can get away with what it the really crazy shit (although considering its current status this is a bad example).

But, of course, the fan-boys will be fan-boys and they do have to over-react. I mean ‘slashed… into bloody pieces’? ‘Gruesome attack’? All they did was decide not to buy any more episodes. Please people, get a clue.

So many colours

I read about these (c/o NextDraft) earlier this week. First they had green ketchup, now they’ve got blue chips. I seriously doubt that any of these products will be available over here. European children just aren’t that weird.

Friday Five #5

http://fridayfive.org/

1. What was the first thing you ever cooked?

Honestly I have no idea, but it was probably a toasted cheese sandwich. I used to cook them all the time when I was a young ‘un.

2. What’s your signature dish?

I don’t really have one since I only cook for myself. I’ve been cooking a lot of ‘pasta solo’ recently, just tagliatelle or vermicelli, and adding a stir-in sauce after (with a little extra, like chilli sauce, tabasco, oregano, maybe some worcester sauce – I even used teriyaki sauce once and it wasn’t bad, a bit too smoky maybe).

3. Ever had a cooking disaster? (tasted like crap, didn’t work, etc.) Describe.

Well, being frugal, I’ve always been careful in choosing what I want to cook, so I haven’t had the opportunity to really fuck up on a grand scale yet. But I have burned the odd thing on the grill.

4. If skill and money were no object, what would make for your dream meal?

Mmmm right off the top of my head, right now I’d have a huge burger with all the trimmings (hold the tomato) and a side of cheese fries with a garlic or salsa dip (hell, I’ll have both!), and maybe a Mississippi mud pie for dessert. Somewhere like Captain America’s, Thunder Road or Eddie Rocket’s (only on Sth. Anne St, the first and the best) should be able to sort me out on that one.

5. What are you doing this weekend?

I dunno, a fair bit of reading and writing is on the cards, as is a trip into town tomorrow afternoon, and No Way Out is on late Sunday night. I haven’t really given the weekend that much thought.

Making my mind up

I was going to post something about the abortion referendum that we’ll be having here early next month, but to be honest I don’t know anything about it.

Oh yes, I’ve seen all the posters, with the ‘Yes’s and the ‘No’s, but no information. What exactly would I be doing if I tick one box or the other on the voting slip? And really, is this situation simply a matter of ‘yes’ or ‘no’?

I’d like to be able to make an informed decision, not a coerced one. But with stuff like this going on, is it any wonder that I feel bamboozled?

Bob Mould interview

I just read a good interview with ex-Hüsker Dü guitar god Bob Mould (c/o Mat), where he talks about his appreciation for professional wrestling, and his job working as a writer for WCW a few years ago (although the promotion is never mentioned by name).

Incidentally, I was quite surprised to learn recently that WWF Entertainment purchased the WCW brand, its related trademarks, and its entire videotape library (that’s at the very least 12 years worth of weekly television) from AOL Time Warner for a mere $2 million. Surely it was worth more than that. That’s less than a three-year guaranteed contract for a top-level wrestler. Shocking.

Oh yeah, and while I’m here, I must protest that the NY Times registration page is very invasive in its questioning. I’d copy and paste the interview into a new HTML file, but I fear a lawsuit. I suggest lying on the form. It’s not like they’re gonna know, or care.

Plagiarism is bad. Plagiarising yourself is worse.

The new episode of The Simpsons tonight was shit. I mean, the whole corporate religion thing has been done before (methinks the scriptwriters have been listening to Jello Biafra spoken word albums, and then dumbing them down for public consumption), but plagiarising their own material? The ‘short shorts’ thing was bad enough once, and oh guys, Devo wrote more songs than Whip It.

Memo to the producers: Must. Try. Harder.

Kepler

A band named Kepler will be the guests of Godspeed You Black Emperor! at their show here next month. I haven’t really heard their stuff – hey, I only found out they existed this evening – but from what I have heard, they seem quite reminiscent of Mogwai in their quieter moments, which is a good thing. I’m looking forward to seeing them play, even though they’ll be at the Ambassadump, which is a bad thing.

Real ads of genius

Last night, while watching the Superbowl, Sky showed some of the Budweiser Real Men of Genius commercials, which I have to say are the best adverts they’ve ever commissioned. Particularly the pro wrestling costume designer. They’re so good, I can almost forgive them for the whole wasssup thing.

Andy Warhol

There’s a three-part series about the art and life (well, mostly art) of Andy Warhol on Sunday nights on Channel 4 at the moment. Last week was the first part, I didn’t see all of it – I was doing my essay, but I have it on tape – but what I did see was somewhat enlightening, I must say. I’ve never really given Warhol much time, we skimmed over his stuff back in school, in art class (oh, so many years ago…. well, yeah, three years… but oh so many!), but I just didn’t get it.

I do now.

The series ties in with a forthcoming exhibition of Warhol’s work at the Tate Modern in London. That’s something I would love to go to (just a pity it doesn’t say when it is).

I’ve always been jealous of Groves seeing Dali at the Guggenheim in New York. Well, not actually seeing Salvador Dali … you know what I mean … that would be weird, though, if they had the body of Dali there, preserved like Lenin….

And I missed my chance to go to the Tate Modern when I was in London last summer. I will be there again.

Something has reminded me about the impromptu Internet art exhibition thing I was going to do every week. Well, I kinda forgot about it, or making it a regular thing, seeing as it wasn’t really my idea anyway. But I might do it every now and again, and to make it less rip-offish, I shall dub the concept – for my own purposes – GoogleArt. And for this GoogleArt exhibit, I present ‘Andy Warhol’.

While I’m here, here’s another good Warhol link.

Oh boy

Oh boy. Methinks the South Korean authorities have never seen a real English hooligan riot. God help them.

Friday Five #4

http://fridayfive.org/

1. Have you ever had braces? Any other teeth trauma?

When I was 7 (I’m sure I was 7, it was before I went to St. Brigid’s, when I was 8, and after my holiday to Nottingham when I was 6), I was running across the playground after school to meet my mum. It had been raining that day, the ground – which consisted of a matrix of badly-laid concrete slabs – was quite slick. At least I think it had been raining, I have no exact memory. I ran across that yard a lot. Anywho, as I approached the covered bench area acorss the yard, I must have tripped on one of the slabs, for the next thing I remember I was sliding face-first along the ground, grinding my left front tooth into dust. The look on my mum’s face when she saw me wasn’t very comforting (thank goodness I don’t remember it well). The next thing I know I’m at the dentist, some stuff happened (a big light shone in my face, probing with one of those mirror thingies, the usual), I think we went back again some other day, and I ended up eventually with a cap on my tooth, looking basically as it did before, except slightly more translucent. Since then, I’ve had a small chip or two come off the cap, nothing significant though. It’s still holding solid. They did a good job.

I also had braces. I lost all of my baby teeth at quite an early age, but as a result there was some overcrowding, so I had a palette-stretcher for a few months (I think I was 11 when I had that), and then when I was 12 I had train-tracks installed for 8 months, if memory serves me, across the top row. I think I had a retainer as well, but I don’t remember so it mustn’t have scarred me emotionally that much. They didn’t really work as intended, I have a bit of a wave thing going on, and my front teeth stick out a little, but it isn’t really noticeable unless you concentrate. The braces weren’t the trauma I expected them to be. The palette-stretcher was worse since it reduced the area of the inside of my mouth by a third.

And they made lots of casts of my gob, at least two anyway. They stuffed my face with pink clay stuff to make the mould, and I remember the second time I was stuffed up so I couldn’t breathe through my nose and I started to choke. Not good.

2. Ever broken any bones?

Never. I’ve stubbed my toes a thousand times, caught my fingers on doors, the works, but I’ve never broken a bone. I’m blessed.

3. Ever had stitches?

Never, I’ve never had a cut bad enough to need stitches.

4. What are the stories behind some of your (physical) scars?

I have had three definite scars, but they were so small that they’ve faded into obscurity.

The first, a small blotch on left arm, was when a guy at my old art class stabbed me (by accident….. I think) with a pencil. It was quite deep, went through a few layers. I know I saw white before I saw blood, but I assume it was just an inner layer of skin rather than bone. It heeled quickly, but the skin on top stayed milky white for years, with a slight tint of grey that I attributed to residue from the pencil graphite. The scar has faded by now, just looks like a weird freckle if I study the spot.

The others, they were on my left hand, one on the palm and one on the other side, directly opposite. My dog bit me, years ago. They must have faded a while ago, I remember seeing them last year, but they’re gone now.

Right now, I have the remnants of a bad scratch on my right arm. I scaped it off the corner of my computer desk, by the time I realised what I was doing it was too late. I hate those. They close up in minutes but take ages to heal properly.

5. How do you plan to spend your weekend?

I dunno….. I’m going into town shopping tomorrow…. I might go see a movie on Sunday….. it’s one of those weekends when I don’t have any work that needs doing, no deadlines or anything like that, but I have nothing else much worth doing either.