Tuesday, 24 February 2004

The Ramblings of a Jackass

WASHINGTON - JULY 20, 2001: (FILE PHOTO) Jack ...Image by Getty Images via Daylife

While not particuarly music-based, the rambling of arch Jackass Jack Valenti, head of the Motion Picture Association of America, are always good to poke fun at.

This is the knob-head who thought the idea of DVDs was so bad he'd have to make up another format. Anyone remember DIVX, that blot on the techology landscape that didn't even last a year? Didn't think so.

Anyway, his new foot-in-mouth rambling comes hot on the heels of 321 Studios being told to stop selling their DVD copying software. 321 argue that they're just helping customers who want to backup expensive discs, especially children's (as they are prone to being covered in all sorts of children friendly substances, like jam and mud).

What is Jack-ass Valenti's response? "If you buy a DVD you have a copy. If you want a backup copy you buy another one.'' I'd like to see good ole Jack go and tell this to a single mother who's having trouble keeping food on the table and has made sacrifices to buy one or two DVDs for her kids so she make dinner without being harrassed.

Valenti, you truly are a jackass.

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The Miserablist is Back!

Cover of "You Are The Quarry (Gatefold)"Cover of You Are The Quarry (Gatefold)

Good news to anyone who grew up in the 80s, wore black and had a pair of NHS specs. Mozza is back. After seven years, his new album "You Are The Quarry" is seeing the light of day May 17th.

It's to be-preceded by a single "Irish Blood, English Heart" which is to hit stores a week before. Both releases are being put out by Attack! Records, a subsidiary of the increasingly popular Sanctuary Records.

To celebrate the upcoming release, Mozza is playing a one-off gig in Manchester on May 22. This homecoming show is the first for the LA-based performer in 12 years and the first UK gig since his celebrated Albert Hall shows last October.

What do we have to say about this? Well, the last couple of studio albums showed the poet of a generation running out of ideas. Sales were down and his relevance was coming into question at every turn. The man who brought us essential listening like "Your Arsenal" and "Viva Hate" just didn't seem to be speaking for his generation anymore.

There's been quite a few previews of the upcoming material (most famously on the Janice Long Show on Radio 2 a few months back) and it sounds as strong as ever. Hopefully these past few years have rejuvinated the man and we can see him fighting fit once more.

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Monday, 23 February 2004

End of an era?

Reports today say that WH Smith are going to stop selling CD singles. Great. The record industry shoots themselves in the foot* and now all is going to hell in a handbag. Problem is, there are now fewer and fewer places to get the last great bastion of the UK record industry.

The US phased out the single years ago and their record market is crap to say the least. All you get are albums. No great lost b-sides or killer remixes (yes, not all remixes are great, but sometimes a single can be retuned as a Radio Mix into something quite special) and those who do want them have to pay a King's Ransom for the UK/EU imports.

Where this leaves everything is still up in the air, but one thing is sure, if the downturn in sales don't kill off the single, the lack of support by retailers definitely will.

Not a good day.

* other reports which list loads of problems the record industry have got themselves into state that the decline of the single can be traced back to radio sourcing singles up to 6 weeks before a track is released in the shops. A large percentage of people who would buy it have, at that point, heard it to death and don't want it.