Tuesday, 31 May 2005

Greatest Radio Station on earth

I've been a very happy Audioscrobbler for almost two years now, but it took until mid-March of this year to actually subscribe to the service, pledging a one-off payment of £2 to the cause.

Why oh why would I pay for something I've happily been using for free for over two years, you ask?

In a word - Last. Or more aptly Last.fm, Audioscrobbler's sister site that streams music to you night and day. As your Audioscrobbler plugin sends info to the servers about the music you listen to (as you listen to it), it gets collated and generates musical neighbours based on what you listen to.

If you don't pay-subscribe to Last.fm, you can listen to "profile stations" which are the musical preferences of these generated neighbours. The big problem here is that just because they also love Duran Duran and New Order, they also might love Bolt Thrower or Boyzone, thus disrupting your life with irritating tracks you don't like.

Solution? Pay-subscribe to Last.fm and all of a sudden you have the choice of listening to your own "personal radio station". This option takes tracks from your personal collection of fave tunes and tracks listened to and pumps them back at you. It's the greatest radio station on earth. Every track's a winner and there's no annoying DJ or advertising to listen to.

My only concern is some of the more obscure and Canadian stuff I listen to isn't represented. Oh well. You can't have everything, but you have most of it.

Link: My Last.fm page

Deluded Halliwell

Today's Metro had a wonderful interview with Ginger Spice, the completely self-deluded one.

Of interest, if that's a word is her assertion that she's the most "unmanufactured pop artist you could meet. It freaks people out when they meet me - they are very surprised by what a creative force I am in the studio." Um... yeah. So she actually sings the material other people write. Great.

The best part of the interview was when the interviewer asked "You issued a statement denying you were dropped by your label after malicious rumours appeared on the Internet. Why do you think people write things like that?," to which the waste of space replied, " I ignore it. I don't even talk about it because it feeds it. I just get on with what I do." So, issuing a statement is ignoring it, you dolt?

Why is this woman still allowed to release music?

Links: Metro interview

Wednesday, 25 May 2005

Let Sleeping Roses Lie

After thinly veiled "wouldn't it be nice if" remarks this week, it looks like the darlings of the Madchester scene, The Stone Roses, are getting back together.

If they'd split after their fantastic first album, this news could come with a huge amount of excitement. Likewise, if the seperate members hadn't attempted a solo career, this news would be viewed with a sense of anticipation.

As it is, I can't get any excitement out of this news. Certainly any kudos Ian Brown once had as a solo artist have waned, likewise John Squire and whatever hamfisted band he's cobbled around his once elegiac guitar playing.

The Roses were of a time and place. Manchester late 80s/early 90s. Nowhere is this more apparent than their 1994 Led Zeppelin tribute album which they plied as a second album. Gone was the scene that forged them as well as any of the feeling or inspiration that made the debut album one of the 20th century's standout rock albums.

Will their new stuff be any good? Doubtful, as the rock/guitar scene today is focused more on the 80s influenced art-rock scene like The Killers and Franz f***ing Ferdinand. Maybe they can kick start a new Madchester revival, but as a sceptic, I'm firmly entrenched in the "this is a horrible idea" camp until proven otherwise.

Of course, there's always the cash in argument, but that is WAY too obvious.

Link: Review of The Stone Roses