Posts from 25th May 2004

May 04

RIAA v Nielsen FITE!

FT + New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 476 views

RIAA v Nielsen FITE!
A companion to the ingenuous “oo downloads might be good for us” piece linked by Tom below, is an article from Kensei News earlier this month.

According to Soundscan, the service that Nielsen runs to measure actual Point of Sale purchases, there has been a 10% increase in music sales since last year (US stats). This seems to contradict RIAA president Cary Sherman’s “7% decrease in revenue since last year”!

The discrepancy arises from the RIAA only measuring SHIPPED units, not SOLD units. File sharing, rather than being the scapegoat for losses in revenue, is actually being “blamed” for fewer returns. Fewer returns?! Hallelujah! The HOLY GRAIL of consumer distribution. Lower percentage returns = more profitable product. Thank you file sharing! Or whatever the hell is causing all this.

Music industry recovering: biz gropes for explanation

FT + New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 430 views

Music industry recovering: biz gropes for explanation“I have a theory that there is something about these services such as iTunes and Napster which is sparking an interest in music which is leading to increase physical sales.” – so you’re saying that downloads encourage people to “get excited about music again” and buy records? Oh, wait, not just any downloads of course – only the legal ones!

new products corner (not nicked from the Grocer honest)

Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 1,131 views

new products corner (not nicked from the Grocer honest)

new ice creams for the summer – Yorkie and Toffee crisp from Nestle (that’s pronounced Nessels)

new walkers flavours (limited edition)
greek kebab
Tomato and Basil
feta cheese

An Austrian company is making a chocolate orange liquer

Bottles of Dasani = available for 99p on e-bay, but T-shirts are 45 quid!

Why are you running down that corridor aimlessly.

Do You SeePost a comment • 183 views

Why are you running down that corridor aimlessly.
Because we want to, because we want to.

The BBC Health News website

Proven By SciencePost a comment • 305 views

The BBC Health News website seems obsessed with doctors clothes. Nary two weeks after the ground breaking Doctors Shouldn’t Wear Jeans story we have the more frightening Ties Carry Deadly Diseases. There is a vague point in the second story, ties are probably washed 1% of the times the shirts or even suits are cleaned. Nevertheless, teh danger only really manifests when you dip the end of your Homer Simpson tie into a gaping wound, and I thing even the dumbest doctor would avoid this.

So why is the BBC so interested in the sartorial issues of doctors. It can only be for one reason. They want to maintain realism in their numerous hospital based soap operas. So look forward to tieless, denimless, and soon to be naked doctors in Holby City & Casualty by the end of the year.

Tanya’s Round of Rubbish: Bomb The Bass

I Hate Music1 comment • 563 views

Oh, I know people pronounce it bass as in bass guitar, but originally it was Bomb The Bass, to rhyme with ass which describes Tim Simenon perfectly. A man with little musical talent, he became aware in the mid-eighties that computers and samplers were at an advanced enough level to let any joker who pressed a few buttons make a novelty record. He went ahead and did just that with Beat Dis, only to be surprised when the British public thought it was serious. Fair enough, it lacked the humour of any decent novelty single, instead content in looping the same vocals and melodies endlessly. But instead the British public should have ignored it, saving us from later “epics” such as Bug Powder Dust and Neneh Cherry.

So what did Simenon have againt Bass Bitter that he wanted to bomb it so. Perhaps it was the appropriation of the red triangle as a logo for the brand that annoyed him so. You see the red triangle, being an international symbol for DANGER! would have been idea strung around teh neck of anyone who dallied with samplers and the like, and Tim wanted to destroy any such hint. Of course the British public may not have taken this hint, but they soon took the hint in general, leaving Tim to fiddle quietly at home. Bombed out, you might say.


Do You SeePost a comment • 841 views

Lookee here Sight’n’Sound. The Godfather is a different film to The Godfather Part II. As such you cannot just roll them into one film to make up for the fact nothing as recent got any votes at all and to sneak something new into your top ten.

That said I first saw Godfather II jumbled up as part of some Coppola sanctioned mini-series extended edition. In this version much of G2* is shown before the Godfather, choices made after the fact but nevertheless completely change the feel of the piece. As a film Godfather II sanctioned the highbrow sequel, and even worse – the prequel. As a work on its own it owes all of its epic status to its predecessor, and the large (some say immense) shadow of Marlon Brando’s Don Vito Corleone hangs over it. And should we all have the compliment of Bob De Niro playing us in our younger days. Unless of course we looked like a young Marlon Brando in our younger days.

The flip-flopping of the parallel storylines offer up a few too many neat comparisons but perhaps that is what this film has going for it most. It is good, neat storytelling, highlighted and sometimes overblown in its obviousness. Not to say that the performances aren’t subtle (though a lot of them aren’t). But I still think of it affectionately as part of a mini-series, and this list is not the Top 100 mini-series. The Godfather is not in the list by the way. We’re fair chopping through the canon.

*G2 is a good appellation for it, since like the Guardian’s tabloid section it is less obsessed with the new, more obsessed with historic detail and generally is the bit people go to first. And probably has the TV pages in it.


Proven By SciencePost a comment • 319 views


The curse of “Of course”.

The Brown WedgePost a comment • 391 views

The curse of “Of course”. The urge to write “of course” during an essay or a piece is one which comes out of pure arrogance. It is suggesting that you know something that everyone knows, appealing to the intelligence of the reader and hence shaming them when your obscure fact does not leap out at them. “Of course” is needless, pointless as an appelation – and hubris. It also has a much better chance at flaggin up an error, as in this case from the Judith Hawley review of Armand Marie Leroi’s Mutants in the Guardian Review this Saturday.

In a highly quotable dictum in this thought-provoking and aphoristic book, Armand Leroi declares: “We are all mutants. But some of us are more mutant than others.” The expression recalls, of course, Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four…

Of course I make this kind of error all the time.

EDDIE COCHRAN – “Three Steps To Heaven”

Popular32 comments • 3,152 views

#102, 25 June 1960

An admission – you won’t be surprised to learn that I don’t like rock and roll much. There are major exceptions (Jerry Lee!), and I’ve patiently sat and made myself appreciate a lot of it, but it doesn’t move me and never has.

It’s not that it sounds dated now, just pickled. Some of the things that make it good pop music – its spontaneity and intimacy – don’t survive the aspic of respect well. Others – its good humour and lightness – are more unexpected and welcome, since they’ve gone missing from the history books (themselves now yellowing) that paint rock and roll as a music of energy and teenage threat. There’s little harder to recapture than an energy or a shock, which is maybe why so much writing about rock keeps trying. The reverence and belief that leads people to keep fan sites and magazines for Eddie Cochran alive is something you either feel or you don’t, and I don’t. “Three Steps To Heaven” is a bright song and Cochran sells it well – it’s just that I can’t find a way in, can’t get past the thin glass case and museum hush I create around it. My compliments to those who can.