Tuesday, 30 November 2004

Band Aid II (second entry not about the crap PWL version)

For those of you frustrated at the crapness of Band Aid 20, there's some comedy in sight... and you can still help charity!

The website BandAidDilemma is urging fans of real music to buy as many copies of the single as possible and destroy them, on camera, in amusing ways and send in the resulting images.

Now that's charity worth giving to with the bonus of not having to listen to the new crappy remake.

Monday, 29 November 2004

Band Aid

1984's Band Aid single was of a time, an era, a political climate.

2004's Band Aid is a pisstake and should be seen as such.

With the single's release today, many are glowing about how this latest stab at charity will be Christmas number One, thus making the world a safer, happier, more charitable place. That's without the media-created cat fight between Bono and that Darkness guy over who'll sing what line.

One of the numerous websites covering the non-event of today's single release interviewed an obviously overeager member of staff at HMV.

This hack purports that the new version will sell a million copies "if it captures the imagination like the original". With radio stations up and down the country banning it due to it's overwhelming duffness, I can only one form of imagination it's capturing.

He then goes on the further claim, "In 1984, people bought multiple copies to give to family and friends as presents. If the same happens this year, sales could even exceed two million."

In 1984, charity among popstars was a new thing, seeing people dying on TV was a new thing, the singles chart was a thriving entity, yada yada yada.

I am actually tempted to place a bet with William Hill that something worth being Number One at Christmas will.

Friday, 19 November 2004

Depeche Mode new album

For a few days, the official Depeche Mode website was taunting fans with an announcement, saying "it suffices to say that fans will be happy with this impending announcement".

Message boards and Usenet lit up with rumours - Alan Wilder coming back? Another "please forgive us" from Mute over cocking up yet something else? Appeasement from the band in the way of free rare remixes as MP3s?


The band are getting back together in January to record a new album. That's the news.


They also announced their latest victim... or "producer" as they call him. Ben Hillier will be responsible for piecing together the dregs of Martin and Dave's writing in an attempt to form some semblance of a coherent album package. If Mark "LFO" Bell's attempt behind the mixing desk is anything to go by, Hillier's better off running for the hills, the monumental unthanking task he has in front of him.

With all the repackaged material that Mute's putting out - remix packages and DVDs and such - you kinda get the idea that the new album is the band's last kick at the can.

Now if only Recoil would release another album, Alan Wilder remains the band's musical genius.

Where did all the band aids go?

With the latest travesty of music calling itself Band Aid 20, it makes you wonder where Band Aids 3 - 19 ended up. Thankfully FreakyTrigger has unearthed the dirt on the lost children of Band Aid.

One can't help that any of these alternate versions would be better than the dross that is Band Aid 20.

Still, it's going to be fun over the next six months to cross off the Band Aid 20 roster as each act fades into obscurity. Pens at the ready!

Tuesday, 9 November 2004

U2 leak

Ages ago when The Edge mislaid his work in progress copy of U2's new album, the band vowed that if it showed up online, they'd put the album onto iTunes right away... in light of the U2 iPod, I can't help thinking that was more self promotion of their iTunes deal than anything else.

Proof? Well, the album's readily available right now on the internet, but as the U2 iPod has been announced, do they really need to rush release the album onto iTunes? Nah. The postering's been done, the iPod is on it's way.

Besides, the version of the album available to download is more than likely the finished album, as opposed to the Edge copy (which is probably still under the seat of his car as we speak).

Suede bets are off

Anyone hoping the new Brett Anderson/Bernard Butler project would be called Suede are in for a shock. The duo have formed a new band and are calling themselves The Tears. That also puts paid to a McAlmont & Butler style naming as well then.

The jury's still out on whether they're upcoming appearance at Heaven will be chock full of Butler-era Suede tunes or not.

How to make money and screw your label

Pearl Jam have done it, Dave Matthews has done it, "The Dead" and "The Hip" have done it. They've all let their fans tape/bootleg their shows, hoping to create a show swapping industry.

However, most of those fans can and have then gone on to sell these shows for incredibly inflated sums of money.

Now, in an interesting initiative, Queen are making loads of bootlegs available to fans as downloads for a fiver a time. According to the Guardian, the initiative, spearheaded by mop-haired guitarist Brian May, will eventually see over 100 live shows available to fans.

No word on how much EMI will skim off the top, but it can't be much as they only own the sound recordings of the albums and singles. They've given Queen their blessing regardless, not that they could have stopped it, even if they'd wanted.

Here's hoping other bands get into the act, and fans can stop paying upwards of £20 for hard to find live tracks.

-- Link: Buy a bootleg

Copyright infringment... and everyone's happy!

Cult fave US indie band The Postal Service ("Such Great Heights") got themselves into a bit of bother lately, when the USPS - that's the United States Postal Service to you and me - decided to issue their label SubPop with a cease-and-desist order.

According to a report from the New York Times, "though [the USPS] were very, very flattered that we were using the name, they need to enforce their copyright." Not exactly the screw everyone ethos of punk.

The problem seems to have been solved with the USPS "granting a free license to use the name in exchange for working to promote using the mail". Apparently all future copies of the Postal Service's albums will mention this arrangement and the USPS will in return sell copies of the albums in their outlets.

Sometimes things do work out for everyone involved.

U2 really REALLY want you to hear their music

It seems that U2 are going to any measure possible to get their new album heard. This coming TV season in the US, they're teaming up with CSI and The OC to air new mixes of album tracks from their Nuclear Bomb album.

"Vertigo" has already been played on CSI, and no doubt in an iTunes ad during the show, and a new mix of the track will feature on CSI's 100th episode. Meanwhile, a new mix of "Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own" will feature in The O.C.

According to G. Marq Roswell of 35 Sound, who supervises sound for CSI, "When a group like U2, who are so notoriously careful with licensing their music, agrees to rollout three tracks on a show like CSI, that's huge."

All I can say is thank God ITV lost the Premiership, so we don't have to suffer that God awful "Beautiful Day" track anymore.