Anorak » Celebrities Pop culture, news, sport and an off-beat take on the mainstream Mon, 28 Jul 2014 10:24:39 +0000 en-US hourly 1 6 Weird And Fabulous Items Of Band Merchandise Thu, 24 Jul 2014 18:46:47 +0000 TODAY, the world’s press heard about Britney Spears launching a new lingerie line, which just so happens to be called The Intimate Collection.

She announced this by posting a picture of her herself wearing the new range on Instagram. And she looked perfectly lovely in it.

Britter’s range will hit the shelves Stateside on September 9th and Europeans will either have to learn how to use the internet to buy things from abroad, or wait a few days and buy in European shops on September 26th.

That’s not the story though. It got us thinking about band merchandise – not everyone can be classy enough to release a range of tasteful undercrackers.

Most bands don’t veer too far away from t-shirts and mugs, but some go a bit mental. Tenacious D had a specially designated cum-rag fercryinoutloud.

So with that, shall we have a look at some of the weirdest (and therefore best) bits of band merch ever? Feel free to add you own in the comments.



Rammstein Dildo Box

Rammstein released a box-set with a load of dildos in it and, of course, they decided to base the sex toys on their own junk. That’s nice isn’t it?

rammsteindildobox 6 Weird And Fabulous Items Of Band Merchandise



Prodigy Toilet Cover Seat

The Prodigy were dance musicians playing at being punks and when they were big, they decided that they wanted a Prodge toilet cover seat. Heave with me.


prodigy toilet seat 6 Weird And Fabulous Items Of Band Merchandise




Mastodon Bikini

You can buy a bikini of your favourite metal band, Mastodon. That’s not too outrageous or funny. However, look at the seat of the bikini bottoms. Now you’re talking.


12 mastodon 6 Weird And Fabulous Items Of Band Merchandise



Alice Cooper Eyeliner


Alice Cooper is, of course, most famous for his speech about Native Americans in Wayne’s World. He’s also done a load of great music too, all while dressed in horror make-up. With that, it was only right that he got to flog his own brand.


alice cooper eyeliner 6 Weird And Fabulous Items Of Band Merchandise



British Sea Power Cake

Indie band British Sea Power thought they’d treat their fans to some BSP-branded Kendal Mint Cake, which is nice. More bands should feed their fans.


BritishSeaPowerKendalMintCake 6 Weird And Fabulous Items Of Band Merchandise



Kiss Coffin

Kiss – the kings of merch – outdid everyone on Earth when they started selling their ‘Kiss Forever’ coffin. Not planning on dying yet? No worries. The Kiss Coffin also doubles up as a really fancy beer cooler. No shit.


kisscoffin 6 Weird And Fabulous Items Of Band Merchandise

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Watch 1896 Footage Of Life In Palestine Thu, 24 Jul 2014 02:54:18 +0000 IN 1896, French brothers Auguste and Louis Lumière‘s cameramen filmed life in Palestine, then part of the Ottoman Empire. All 500,000 inhabitants were subjects of the Sultan of Constantinople.

 Lobster Films found the reels. Serge Bromberg, the company’s co-founder, explains:

…this year, we have something very special to show. In an antique shop, we have discovered 93 wonderful little camera negatives from c. 1897, all shot in the Middle East (Jerusalem, Palestine, Egypt.[...] etc), that would form an ideal 80 [minute] program of what could be among the earliest films shot in the region still in existence. … They are in wonderful condition … Not a scratch, no decomposition, and those little sprocket holes typical of the films of that year.

This clip is from documentary Palestine: histoire d’une terre 1880-1950.

Spotter: Sabotage Times

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Nu Psych: The new age of psychedelic music Thu, 24 Jul 2014 02:14:32 +0000 BELIEVE it or not, there’s a new age of psychedelic music upon us. Not so much the re-dawning of the age of Aquarius, but rather, a bunch of snotty brats all making experimental pop-music without the need to badger you about some awful political cause.

This is music made to frazzle your brains, rattle your eyes and shake your arse.

And it isn’t just ’60s revivalism either – these bands have managed to capture the ’60s counter culture’s lightning in a bottle, but mixed it up with meths and cough syrup, to make music that can veer wildly from inyerface hooligan garage rock, to Super 8 sunshine jangly pop, to cosmic prog-pop.

Yeah. Prog-pop. That’s definitely a thing now.

And there’s festivals cropping up all over the place, with Manchester’s Psychedelic Fest, and the bigger, spacier Liverpool Psych Fest.

The latter is a MUST for fans of gonzo pop music.

With that, there’s only one thing left to do – enjoy the music. There’s a lot of crate digging to be done and this list is a snapshot, rather than an exhaustive look at the new psychedelic scene, but rest assured, once you get stuck into this lot, you’ll be disappearing down internet worm-holes all night, finding all the newest and bug-eyed bands around.


Guto from SFA and Lindsay Leven join forces to make fuzzy, sunshine psych with a vaguely sinister edge and a load of battered keyboards.

Fat White Family

If you saw Fat White Family’s show at Glastonbury, you’ll know that this band are on self-destruct. The contempt for the audience is only bettered by their contempt for each other. They stink. They’re great. They look like they might not make it through their own sets, but somehow, they do.

Buffalo Killers

Big, hairy power trio, Buffalo Killers have a clutch of excellent LPs under their belts, combining dreamy harmonies over muscular, sexy riffs.

Wolf People

WP mix drone folk with booming prog and mix it with pop to make one helluva racket. They throw everything including the kitchen sink (still filled with pots) at their music. Yes please!


Switching between komische, 90s stoner rock and psych, Mazes are a fun, schizophrenic outfit with two absolutely killer LPs already on the shelves. Tense, punchy and one of the bands you should definitely catch on the circuit.


How do you describe Goat? Well, their approach to music isn’t like most other bands. They’re the sound of every experimental rock record you own being tipped into a blender and then poured directly into your brain through the funnel that someone jammed through your skull. And if you’re not into that, you may as well shuffle off and die.

Stealing Sheep

With elements of Pentangle, United States Of America and Stereolab, Stealing Sheep are one of the most irresistible bands in the UK right now.


If Buffalo Springfield recorded everything in a shed and replaced in-fighting for bottles of cheap red wine, you might end up with something like Woods.


If you like more introspective, weird psychedelic music that stumbles the line between The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band and the dimly lit, mellower moments of the Velvet Underground, then Quilt are the band for you. And they’re fucking magnificent.

September Girls

Dublin’s September Girls are icily cool and dead-eyed in their approach to psych. Less ‘happening in a field’ and more ‘potential riot in an abandoned factory unit’. Echoes of Jesus & Mary Chain clatter into dreamy, popsike vocals. What’s not to love?

Temple Songs

For those of you who like their psychedelic music clinging on by the fingernails, Temple Songs brand of druggy punk-psych are just the ticket. Noisy garage grot to make you get up out of your seat and spill your drink all over yourself.

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FrancaisOK: The brilliant and popular music of France Tue, 22 Jul 2014 14:55:03 +0000 WHAT is France famous for?

Well, the French are well known for amazing food and booze, not to mention being some of the finest smokers on the planet. They’re great at art house cinema, having sexy accents and as the …

WHAT is France famous for?

Well, the French are well known for amazing food and booze, not to mention being some of the finest smokers on the planet. They’re great at art house cinema, having sexy accents and as the Tour De France has shown (see? Topical), some of the most incredible countryside on the planet.

However, often derided is French music. France, we’re told, is rubbish when it comes to making tunes. Ha ha! Says the world. The FRENCH? Pop music? SHUTTUP!

France has been making some of the best, funnest music on the planet for years! Novelty records and holiday camp europop isn’t solely what France is about, so with that, let us look at some of the greatest French music ever produced over the years.

C’est une musique à nos oreilles!

Daft Punk

So, you know all about the robots and that, when they show up, we have a good summer. They control dancefloors just like they control the weather. Here is one of their earlier efforts.


Ace singer-songwriter Camille is definitely someone you need in your life. She makes music out of her own body parts and it sounds like brilliant pop and not at all like Bobby McFerrin.


Cult favourites, Stereolab, create a special kind of hush around people of a certain age. They mixed together space-age cocktail jazz, French library electronics (more on that later) and arch 60s pop to make for one of the most wonderful bands who ever lived.

Serge Gainsbourg

Listen. Serge is more that That Song With The Orgasm In It. SG is a proper genius and madman and France rightly honoured his death with a national day of mourning. Here’s a cut from his utterly sublime ‘Melody Nelson’ LP, which saw Serge teaming up with another French powerhouse, Jean Claude Vannier.


Without anyone noticing, Phoenix became one of the biggest bands in the whole world, headlining festivals and generally conquering the world. Former bandmates of Daft Punk (they were in a band together called ‘Darlin”), they’ve applied their wry take on the world to some of the most gorgeous pop-rock music ever recorded.

Jacques Dutronc

Dutronc was one of France’s first pop heroes, cutting a suave, cheeky figure in the 60s. He was a bigwig at Vogues Disques (arguably France’s greatest record label), wrote songs for others, was a mean actor and Francoise Hardy liked him enough to marry him. Jacques Dutronc may not be a household name outside of French speaking countries, but that’s the fault of the rest of the world.

Les Plastiscines

A new wave of garage punk/ye ye groups exploded around Paris which were known as ‘les bébés rockers’. Les Plastiscines were one of a number of bands that appeared on the excellent ‘Paris Calling’ compilation. Soon, they’d release their debut ‘LP1′ and they never looked back.

Michel Polnareff

Another one of France’s first pop-stars, Polnareff tried his hands at loads of different styles, but his most classy joint is the incredible instro ‘Voyages’.

The Hellboys 

Another of the les bébés rockers, The Hellboys were greasy, leopard print garage punk straight out of the dirty daydreams of The Cramps and Link Wray. Sadly, the lead singer Nikola Acin (a very interesting man worth looking up) died aged just 34 years old.

Cecil Leuter

Britain has the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. France had people like Cecil Leuter to test the limits of early electronics and synthesizers. Some of his music is eerie and spacey… others, like the one below, is unhinged bubbling synth funk. The best bit? His real name was Roger Roger. Leuter, along with other French Library music makers helped to shape pop the world over by showing what was possible with electronic music.


Air took over the world with ‘Moon Safari’ with their retro-futuristic take on pop music. They continued slightly under the radar, by including prog and doing film soundtracks… but they’re still brilliant.

Klub Des Loosers

French hip hop usually means people lazily linking to MC Solaar. Of course, MC Solaar is great, but seeing as he’s guested on Missy Elliot records, he doesn’t need further promotion. So here we are, with Klub Des Loosers, who really should give you the bug to find more French rap.

Mr Oizo

You may remember Oizo as being that guy who gave the world Flat Eric with the Levi’s ad which included ‘Flat Beat’. However, Oizo is one of the most innovative, ferocious music producers on the planet. Check out the incredible, jarring, cut and paste jackhammer that is ‘halfanedit’.

Missed out your favourite French song or band? You know where the comments are.

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Cheryl Cole’s Baby Vanishes Sun, 20 Jul 2014 06:38:23 +0000 COMPARE and contrast the news of Cheryl Cole’s womb in the Daily Star:

July 15:



Screen Shot 2014 07 20 at 08.26.45 Cheryl Coles Baby Vanishes


The Star’s Meg Jorsh wrote:

All bets off on newlywed pop beauty’s nappy news

July 19, the Times speaks with the singer:

Asked if she wanted to be a mum, The X Factor judge said: “Possibly — only possibly… maybe it’s not for me… I’ve got one friend who doesn’t want them — out of all me friends, only one. But I know she doesn’t want them and I know she’ll never have them. She’s not maternal. And so I started questioning… We’ll see. It’s not in me plans.”

Twins it is, then…

PS – didn’t she have a wonder child years ago?

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Woody Allen Was Right! Steak Is Healthy! Sat, 19 Jul 2014 02:51:25 +0000


WAY back in 1973 Woody Allen did a movie called Sleeper, from which comes this little scene above. The idea was that he went to sleep for 200 years and thus has to learn how to deal with his new world that he wakes up in. Sorta a Woody Allen take on Rip Van Winkle.

And the things is that it does seem that he was right. Here’s the latest scientific research on eating steak for example:

Contrary to conventional wisdom, new research suggests that eating lean beef can reduce risk factors for heart disease. The DASH eating plan — Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension — is currently recommended by the American Heart Association to lower blood pressure and reduce risk of heart disease. People following the DASH diet are encouraged to eat fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy and protein predominantly from plant sources. Lean beef can be enjoyed as the predominant protein source in a DASH-like diet, along with fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy, to effectively help lower blood pressure in healthy individuals, new research suggests.

Steak lowers your blood pressure? Exactly and entirely the opposite of what the doctors have been telling us for the past 40 years?

It rather makes you wonder what else they’ve been getting wrong as well, doesn’t it? Maybe sugar isn’t the root of all evil, salt doesn’t cause strokes, and vegetarianism is a pile of crock?

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Listen To David Bowie’s Isolated Vocals for Ziggy Stardust Thu, 17 Jul 2014 11:29:21 +0000  

WHO wants to hear David Bowie’s isolated vocals for Ziggy Stardust?  We do. And you should, too. 



Spotter: Brain Pickings

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The Beatles Tour De Force: Ron Howard Pipes Them Live and Direct To The Masses Wed, 16 Jul 2014 16:30:55 +0000 beatles The Beatles Tour De Force: Ron Howard Pipes Them Live and Direct To The Masses



MOSTLY, The Beatles are not a live band.

Sure, they cut their teeth around Britain and Germany for years, before blowing everyone’s brains out in Australia, Japan and America, but when people think of the Fabs, it is all about the studio.

We’ve seen endless documentaries with George Martin talking about ‘the boys’ and the madcap studio ideas they had (Lennon wanted to be swung from the ceiling, trying to recreate the sound of a thousand monks of a hillside, slice tapes and throwing them in the air to stick them back together again, and all that great stuff), but on film, their live prowess has been somewhat neglected.



Liverpool Empire 1965



And now, Ron Howard –  a long term Beatle nut and Academy Award-winning director, has been tasked to direct and produce an authorised, as-yet-untitled documentary about the touring years of the Fab Four.

These were important years for The Beatles as, during 1960 to 1966, that’s when they travelled the world and conquered hearts and minds.

Howard will interview Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, as well as talk with Yoko Ono and Olivia Harrison. And of course, there’ll be loads of interview footage of John and George being dry as hell in the face of journalists.

“What’s so compelling to me is the perspective that we have now, the chance to really understand the impact that they had on the world,” Howard said. “That six-year period is such a dramatic transformation in terms of global culture and these remarkable four individuals, who were both geniuses and also entirely relatable. That duality is something that is going to be very interesting to explore.”

Howard is joined by Nigel Sinclair, the producer behind the fabulous ‘George Harrison: Living in the Material World’ and the really brilliant ‘No Direction Home: Bob Dylan’

The pair will get to play in the Apple Corps archives as well as source fan-shot amateur video and the like.



Candlestick Park



“We are going to be able to take the Super 8 footage that we found, that was all shot silent. We’ll not only be able to digitally repair a lot of that, but we’ve also been finding the original recordings,” explains Howard. “We can now sync it up and create a concert experience so immersive and so engaging, I believe you’re going to actually feel like you’re somewhere in the Sixties, seeing what it was like to be there, feeling it and hearing it. And as a film director, that’s a fantastic challenge.”



Budokan 66



They’ve apparently found some ‘surprising footage’ from the Beatles’ final concert at San Francisco’s Candlestick Park in 1966.

Howard is also looking at the “multigenerational quality” of Beatles fandom: “I hope we find some of that in the footage,” he says. “We may have a shot of a boy or a girl very early in their life at a concert, and then we may be able to find them today and talk to them, and talk to their grandchildren and see what their relationship is with the Beatles, and understand how multiple generations find tremendous value and relevance in their music.”

The film is scheduled for a late-2015/early 2016 release.



Rooftop Gig


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The BBC Defends Black Music Critcism… And Quite Right Too Tue, 15 Jul 2014 19:30:50 +0000 RECENTLY, the BBC rated the most influential artists in Radio 1Xtra’s Power List. The “UK’s leading black music station” (their words) gave the top honour to Ed Sheeran, who you might recognise as being absolutely not-black and not really making black music.

Wiley, number 16 in the poll, went nuts, accusing Auntie Beeb of representing a “backwards” music industry in Britain. “We influence a man and all of a sudden it turns he has influenced us… Lol,” he wrote.

That’s called Columbusing.


The top 5 was made up of Sheeran, Disclosure, Tinie Tempah, Sam Smith and Rudimental and Austin Daboh BBC Radio 1Xtra’s music manager defended the list:

“Every single day of the week, every single hour of the day we support black artists and other races that make black music sounds. I think that anyone who wants to bring race into the discussion is probably a little bit misguided.”

But here’s a thing – race absolutely plays a part.

Why did 1Xtra become a thing? Well, for a start, when you search for it in Google, it is listed as a “new black music network.” Of course, people who aren’t black can make black music, but there’s something a little depressing about the whole thing: the BBC obviously felt the need to represent black music, PoC and people who enjoy black music, so they set up a dedicated station.

With that, when it comes to heralding the best in black music, you’d hope that the top 5 would be more representative of what’s going on. Sheeran, Disclosure, Sam Smith make music influenced by black music (who doesn’t?), but the BBC wasted an opportunity to shout about the people they felt they needed to represent by setting up a dedicated station for.

The aforementioned are also rotated heavily on Radio 1, so with something that is meant to shine a light on the new, innovative artists that are shaping the music played on 1Xtra, it isn’t so much that they need to be black, but rather, someone in need of the spotlight, as British black artists are often criminally ignored in the UK.

That said, at least the BBC has managed to maintain an entire station dedicated to black music.

A lot of the BBC’s critics – other stations, TV think bubbles and broadsheets – are far guiltier of under-representing black music and, indeed, providing a stick to hit any new black music that comes out (because, as you well know, the only credible black music is 20 to 30 years old and endorsed by the white middle classes – that’s why Biggie and ‘Pac are in common parlance while The Future and A$AP Rocky are all but absent in British mainstream media).

The fact is, the BBC did make a mess of this hot-list, however, they made a mess where they’ve been performing well. 1Xtra is just about the only mainstream media outlet that has kept up with modern soul music, Dirty South hip hop, trap, ratchet digital R&B and more.

Austin Daboh, music manager at 1Xtra, said: “We are a station that cares very deeply about black music. From Stylo G to Fekky these are all acts that were played, supported and guided by 1Xtra, often before anyone else cared.”

“There is definitely a wider debate to be had around the mainstream support for black music. Legitimate concerns have been raised around the pressure some artists feel to compete commercially.”

The naysayers are right to question the BBC’s decision to allow Ed Sheeran to be the face of their black music station, but the rest of the media needs to take a long look at their own stock before accusing anyone else of being racist or otherwise.

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Kidrock: The Best, Worst And Most Confusing Youthful Hits And Misses Tue, 15 Jul 2014 12:01:18 +0000 unlocking the truth Kidrock: The Best, Worst And Most Confusing Youthful Hits And Misses



WHEN you think of children being in bands, you immediately think of the Jackson 5 or Hanson. They’re slick, pro-outfits that have been tutored and taught within an inch of their lives.

That’s not to say they’re bad in any way, but they’re basically making music by adults, aimed at kids. The youthful joy is there, but what about the abandon and awkwardness which makes children such a fascinating prospect?

Well, one band – Unlocking The Truth – have brought all that back.

They’ve done a Warped tour and Coachella, after making an unholy racket in their hometown of Brooklyn. Three ridiculously cool kids making gonzo metal. What’s not to love? Guitarist Malcolm Brickhouse, 13, bassist Alec Atkins, 13, and drummer Jarad Dawkins, 12, have just been snapped up by Sony in a deal said to be worth nearly $2 million.

(More on them here.)

The trio also has a book deal with Penguin and a documentary about them is also due.

So, let’s look at the band and, while we’re at it, check out some of the other brilliant kidrock bands that have existed over the years. Some of it polished, some of it as confusing and brilliant as the children that made it.



Unlocking the Truth

First up, we have UTT’s ‘farewell’ gig, which basically meant they were taking it off the streets and into the studio with all those execs and the like. It might ruin them. It might just make them. We’ll have to wait and see.




Los Dilly Sisters

The Dilly Twins made their name as the pests that drove the gang mad by showing up and playing “ta ra ra boom de ay”. They also cut a tremendously sweet version of the garage punk classic, ‘Sometimes Good Guys Don’t Wear White’, which you can hear below. Gloriously unaccomplished and perfect.




Earth Dies Burning

Earth Dies Burning was formed in ’81 in the San Fernando Valley and made one of the most amazing, unhinged brilliant collections of music ever to grace an ear. Part electronic nervous breakdown, part hardcore, part teenager just screaming until every atom vibrated with frustration, EDB are all that’s great about music distilled into one glorious mess. You can buy their astonishing album here




Wendy & Bonnie

A little more cultured now, and Wendy & Bonnie were a couple of teenagers when they cut their fabulous  album ‘Genesis’. Bad luck blighted their release, with their producer getting murdered and the label that put it out going bankrupt. That didn’t stop Super Furry Animals loving it so much that they sampled the duo on their ‘Hello Sunshine’ song.




Langley Schools Music Project

A school choir is often not something to get excited about, but the music featured on the Langley School Music Project, is. A hippie teacher recorded the kids singing whatever songs they liked best, and they all instinctively went for the melancholy end of 60s pop. The school hall recording adds a DIY Wall of Sound effect to the LP, making it all the more wonderful.




Classroom Projects

While the ‘Langley’ LP saw North American kids being confidently quirky, Trunk Records put out a British counterpart which is more awkward and strange. Veering from British b-movie folk to nightmarish sound collages, to a rousing version of Bright Eyes, to ‘music for cymbals’, the Trunk record is an absolute must for anyone with a curious musical mind. You can buy it here.



Feel free to chip in with your own wonderful outsider records made by talented children. The world’s a better place with record tip-offs in it.

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Your favourite rock star is probably about to die Mon, 14 Jul 2014 21:38:49 +0000 WE’RE getting to a special time in rock ‘n’ roll where the pantheon of Peter Pans is looking more mortal than ever. The music of the babyboomers is finally creaking with age.

Lennon, Joplin, Redding and Gaye all had the …

WE’RE getting to a special time in rock ‘n’ roll where the pantheon of Peter Pans is looking more mortal than ever. The music of the babyboomers is finally creaking with age.

Lennon, Joplin, Redding and Gaye all had the decency to die young, thereby making them immortal. The babyboomers did not feel worried. We’re the rock ‘n’ roll generation! That’s exactly the kind of exciting thing that happens to us! I HOPE I DIE BEFORE I GET OLD, MAN! Just like Keith Moon! Just like Brian Jones!

All the while, the rest of rock ‘n’ roll survived and got old. Just For Men, Facelifts and increasingly younger partners plastered over the cracks in the wall.

Then everyone started dying of old age.

Initially, Syd Barrett and Arthur Lee left and the babyboomers (and their kids) all felt bad, but brushed it all off with “well, they had a pretty crazy life! It was always going to catch up with them at some point! Shine on you crazy diamonds!”

And now everyone is dropping like flies. The sheer volume of dying rockstars over the past decade has been astonishing. Not a week goes by without someone tweeting RIP to one of their favourite musicians dying. They’re all in the 60s and 70s now. They’re old. There’s no escaping it.

This week, Ramones drummer Tommy Ramone shrugged off his mortal coil, leaving zero original Ramones left. Even punk is getting old. No-one is safe.

Of course, there’s a good number of rockstar legends knocking around the circuit, such as Mick ‘n’ Keef, Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder, but there’s something gnawing at the back of fans’ brains about their idols.

They’re nearly dead.

This weekend, fans in the UK watched Neil Young roll back the years. The sad fact is, that is statistically likely to be the last time they see him in person. Neil Young may have said that it is better to burn out than fade away, but fade away he will – he’s not got long left.

The babyboomers are going to watch every single one of their idols die. The Woodstock Generation… the Mods… the dadrockers… for the first time in their lives, they’re faced with the very real possibility of every single thing they like turning into compost before their eyes. And with them will go their own youth.

We’re in the middle of rock music’s retirement, with only bands like The Black Keys, Jack White and Arctic Monkeys still clinging on to the old fashioned idea of ‘rock ‘n’ roll’ to be played in huge stadiums, revering the blues.

This all sounds desperately negative, but if you want to cherish these acts, do it now. Watch their final flings and roll around in nostalgia because, like it or not, the people who invented the teenager, the people that shaped what popular music could achieve, are all this close to joining the choir invisible.

Magazine will beatify these men and women, but soon, they’ll stop being in the present, and soon become very much of the past. And that, for the true spirit of rock ‘n’ roll, is incredibly exciting indeed.

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The Real Problem With Musician’s Tax Avoidance Sat, 12 Jul 2014 19:15:22 +0000  


PA 12766495 The Real Problem With Musicians Tax Avoidance


THERE’S quite the kerfuffle in musicville, after it turned out that a number of wealthy musicians were ferreting their money away in tax avoidance schemes.

Lazy people are vomiting into their hands about how awful it all is, while even lazier fans of said bands are saying “CUH! LIKE YOU WOULDN’T AVOID TAX IF YOU COULD!”, despite the fact most people can’t, don’t and wouldn’t.

All four members of Arctic Monkeys, George Michael, Gary Barlow, Katie Melua have been named as hiding their millions from HMRC.

A secret database leaked to The Times newspaper revealed around 1,600 people who tried to rest £1.2billion through an ‘aggressive tax avoidance scheme’ known as the ‘Liberty’ tax strategy. Seems George Michael tried to shelter £6.2 million through the scheme.

Rockstars having an issue with tax is nothing new – The Rolling Stones dedicated an entire album to it (‘Exile On Main Street’, if you’re wondering) and other artists have cried foul and upped sticks when politicians have gone after their riches.

However, the most infuriating element about this current lot is not really that they’ve avoided paying their tax thanks to a sly accountant. That’s barely the issue at all.

The problem here, is that these people are so thunderously boring with their extra wealth.

A proper rockstar would have the decency to use their money to have decaying manors in South America, wild studios made out of a toasters, clothes made entirely from jewels and crazy religious beliefs that required them to pay money to some shaman from Coventry pretending he’s an Egyptian god.

Instead, in the case of Arctic Monkeys, we’ve got four tedious lads with quiffs and leather jackets. They could be using their money to do something rock-starry and stupid, like make a recording studio that flies around in space, so bands can record albums in zero gravity.

They prefer to just stand their, in their shoes, and say ‘that ol’ rock ‘n’ roll eh?’ at award ceremonies.

At least, in the case of George Michael, he’s got the chutzpah to be so rich and tax-avoidy that he spends his time getting stoned out of his box and hurtling his car face first into a camera shop.

Gary Barlow and Katie Melua have all the tedium and vim of a religious studies teacher sat quietly on a work’s night out, refusing to drink and politely smiling at jokes they don’t understand.

Surely no-one would begrudge these popstars for avoiding tax if they lived their lives more like Elton John in the ’70s, or had Liberace-style wardrobes?

Shape yourselves up rockstars – avoiding tax is one thing, but being a boring git at the same time is quite another.

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The Ultimate Tour De France Playlist Sat, 12 Jul 2014 05:40:00 +0000 kraftwerk The Ultimate Tour De France Playlist


WITH the Tour De France in full swing, nearly killing riders with wet cobbles and craft ale enthusiasts thrilling at the warring riders like teenage Hollyoaks fans, it got us thinking about cycling music.

Of course, the great music to cycle to is anything Kosmiche from Germany. Neu! albums are pretty much designed to sound like streamlined engineering, powered by human muscle.

However, we’re not talking about the things you’d listen to while powering your pedals (besides, you might not want to ride around with earbuds in, for fear of being hit by a combine harvester or something), but rather, the songs dedicated to those that cycle and the magnificent machines themselves!

There’s surprisingly few songs about bikes (seeing as they’ve been around for so much longer than cars and planes, which have endless ditties in their honour), but we’ve waded through them, missed off ‘Daisy Bell’ and the terrible Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Katie Melua numbers, and found some gems!

Have a listen and do add your own in the comments.




Tomorrow ‘My White Bicycle’

Ace British psychedelic band, Tomorrow, made one album and saw their guitarist running off to form Yes. However, while they were around, they made this tribute to the free bicycle movement that took place in Holland in the ’60s. Please note the cute bell ringing sound effect.





Kraftwerk ‘Tour De France’

The greatest tribute to cycling comes from Kraftwerk, and Ralf und Florian are total and utter cycling nuts. During one Manchester show at the Velodrome, when they played ‘Tour De France’, the Team GB cyclists appeared and everyone got a bit emotional.





Pink Floyd ‘Bike’

The Syd-era of The Floyd loved whimsy with an edge. They took mundane things and made them B-movie. ‘Gnome’ should be nice and it isn’t and, likewise, ‘Bike’ is a pleasant ditty with a knife between its teeth. Please don’t ride a bike with a machete in your gob, thanks.





Tom Waits ‘Broken Bicycles’

Rainsoaked Tom wouldn’t write a song about a perfectly functional working bicycle he’d just bought for loads of money from Evans, which leaves us with this dollop of pathos.





Junior Reid ‘Poor Man Transportation’

Junior Reid is one of the finest voices in reggae and provides this lovely paean to the prole’s best vehicle.





Vivian Stanshall ‘Terry Keeps His Clips On’

When Stanshall wasn’t causing mayhem in the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band, he was… well… causing havoc all by himself. And here, we have the wonderful nonsense of ‘Terry Keeps His Clips On’.





Deerhoof ‘Midnight Bicycle Mystery’

One of the more unusual bike songs, but that’s Deerhoof in a nutshell. They’re mental. And we should cheer from the rooftops about bands like this because we need their shade in the light of commercial rock.





Ballboy ‘Olympic Cyclist’

This song does exactly what it says on the tin and is wonderful for it.





Livingston Taylor ‘Bicycle’

This is the most straightforward bicycle song in music history, even down to the cutely dull description of what his helmet is made of.





The Bouncing Souls ‘BMX Song’

Bicycle songs aren’t all commuting and aerodynamism – The Bouncing Souls were all about popping wheelies and buying bikes that are less practical and more fun.





Julie Doiron ‘When The Breaks Get Wet’

A lovely, plaintive song which paints a picture of riding through drizzle. A wonderful snapshot.





Dukes of the Stratosphear ‘Bike Ride To The Moon’

Neo-psychists, Dukes of the Stratosphear were XTC in disguise where they got to play with the dressing up box. Here, they ape Floyd and take a bike ride to the moon. Worth checking those guys out.


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Jimmy Savile Was ‘A Trans-Dimensional Sorcerer Who Harvested Occult Energies’ Fri, 11 Jul 2014 11:25:04 +0000 Jimmy Savile ripper  Jimmy Savile Was A Trans Dimensional Sorcerer Who Harvested Occult Energies


JIMMY Savile, the dead knight of the realm and the papal church accused of being the world’s worst ever sex attacker, the man who knew Charles and Diana’s greatest secret, who invited us to sing-along to the jingle-jangle son, who blow cigar smoke at children trapped in a lift, was a wizard.





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Steven Spielberg Attacked For Hunting Big Game And Smirking Fri, 11 Jul 2014 06:25:01 +0000 stephen speilberg Steven Spielberg Attacked For Hunting Big Game And Smirking

KILL an animal on the web and you get hunted down by the police. Kill an endangered species and pose with the carcass and you get something worse: you get shamed on Facebook.

This week the righteous have been exposing Steven Spielberg for the killer he truly is.

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Spotter: Das Kraftfuttermischwerk

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Insane Clown Posse’s FBI lawsuit is laughed out of town Thu, 10 Jul 2014 05:23:55 +0000 THE Insane Clown Posse are an odd bunch. For starters, they think magnets are powered by witchcraft or something. And their fans? Well, their fans are VERY devoted (seriously – they make fans of The Smiths look like rational, reasonable people without a worrying neediness that burps out of their every pore).

As such, the ICP and their Juggalos are well known.

They’re so well known that the FBI started sniffing around them. Were Juggalos violent and mental and doing all manner of criminal stuff. Probably, but only as much as any group of people who come under any bracket are able or willing to engage in criminal activity.

However, the ICP didn’t like it.

Back in January, Insane Clown Posse and the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan filed a lawsuit against the FBI and the American Justice Department for the “unwarranted and unlawful decision” to tarnish its followers as gang members and subsequently treating them like they were.

American police eh? Bothering people with a heavy hand! Whatever next?

However, U.S. District Judge Robert Cleland has dismissed the Clown Posse’s lawsuit. A 14-page opinion released last week, Cleland noted the FBI’s gang threat assessment “does not recommend any particular course of action for local law enforcement to follow, and instead operates as a descriptive, rather than prescriptive, assessment of nationwide gang trends.”

The initial ICP lawsuit was provoked after the FBI’s report – ‘National Gang Threat Assessment: Emerging Trends’ – classified Juggalos as a “loosely organized hybrid gang,” with warnings that they’d started expanding across the country and were known to “exhibit gang-like behavior and engage in criminal activity and violence.”

You would’ve though a load of white kids who like a rap-metal band would love to be profiled like the rest of hip hop and rap fans!

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The World’s Worst Star Wars Expo Might Just Be The Best Ever (Photos) Tue, 08 Jul 2014 13:16:28 +0000 THE Star Wars exhibition in Wolfsburg, Germany, is face-meltingly good.

As Spolid notes:

Everything looks wrong and creepy. From the horrible lighting and staging to the actual objects. I thought people wouldn’t have to pay to visit such a dodgy exhibition, but I was wrong, tickets cost around $14.”

Of course, that’s a bargain. We’ve seen Star Wars expos before. The trick is to add the unexpected. No easy thing. But the Germans have pulled it off:

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See Andre 3000 as Jimi Hendrix in All Is By My Side Trailer Tue, 08 Jul 2014 06:30:59 +0000 PA 2089552 See Andre 3000 as Jimi Hendrix in All Is By My Side Trailer


ROCK biopics are always fun, even if they’re not always good. There’s been mixed movies, from The Runaways to The Doors, from Ray to What We Do Is Secret. Even the crappy ones are still worth a look because, even if the storytelling and acting is lousy, at least the music will be great.

And so, we’re looking down the barrel of a Jimi Hendrix biopic and there’s a lot riding on it.

Why? Well, Hendrix was a smooth, fascinating character with a preposterous talent and a gentle soul – that’s not easy to capture. Moreover, Outkast’s brilliant Andre 3000/Benjamin is playing the title role. There’s no-one on Earth who wants this to fail.

And now, the first trailer has dropped for Hendrix biopic – All Is By My Side – and after a few teasers, we now get a proper look at Andre 3000′s transformation.

Pleasingly, it looks like we could be on to a winner.

Andre plays a young Hendrix, allowing us to see his journey from Seattle to the UK, and onto global superstardom. With it, we’ll get some politics, some sex and a lot of very loud guitar.

In the clip, we see ‘Dre’s Hendrix say of his music: “For me, it’s colours. I want people to feel the same way I see it.”

Hayley Atwell, Burn Gorman, Imogen Poots and Ruth Negga all co-star, as well as Ashley Charles playing Rolling Stones star Keef Richards.

The film is written and directed by John Ridley, who wrote the script for 12 Years A Slave and it’ll land in the UK on August 8th.

Here’s the trailer. And Andre Benjamin is totally as swoonsome as the late Hendrix.


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REVEALED: The Music Behind The Worst Album Art In The World Mon, 07 Jul 2014 06:43:11 +0000 bad album cover 7 REVEALED: The Music Behind The Worst Album Art In The World


LESS than ten years ago, bad album covers suddenly became a “thing”. Sure, there had always been people like me: longtime vinyl enthusiasts who cherished these unholy creations; but, it took the Internet to really generate a widespread appreciation for the “bad album cover”.

So, as the years went on, and collectors far and wide shared their vinyl oddities, a few particularly bad ones rose to the top. To say they went viral would be a stretch; however, it’s safe to say certain albums gained notoriety. Unfortunately, we only had the covers to mock. The actual recordings remained a mystery. You could only imagine what they sounded like, since the owners of these rare gems generally didn’t share the recordings.

But now we have YouTube, where no stone in the vast pop culture landscape gets unturned, no matter how obscure. At last we can not only look, but also listen. So, come along and take a tour through some well-known bad album covers and get a taste for the music they hold. Be prepared: it’s often breathtakingly disappointing….

Read on…

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Jake Bugg Hates Music Festivals – Doesn’t Mind Sexism Sat, 05 Jul 2014 13:11:32 +0000 PA 19080226 Jake Bugg Hates Music Festivals   Doesnt Mind Sexism


EVEN though you may have guessed it from his permanently surly face (he’s too cool to smile), Jake Bugg has said he hates music festivals.

And who can blame him? It is filled with people who like watching white men with dreadful haircuts play backward facing dadrock who are too cool to sm… wait a minute!

The pint-sized miserablist said:

“I hate music festivals so much, but obviously to be this high up on the line-up and to be playing [at Glastonbury] is a privilege,” he told NME. “But the actual experience of festivals I could really do without.”

Jake Bugg there, headlining at a festival where loads of people want to pour adoration on his gloomy little thatched head.

“This is my third Glastonbury,” he added. “I remember going out onto the Pyramid Stage last year and seeing so many blurred faces. It was much bigger than I thought it was going to be, I couldn’t really believe it to be honest. It was a bit too early for me to care – it was 3pm and it was a bit too early for a show for me. Whereas tonight I’m on pretty late – it’s a big slot for me.”

It seems that Bugg prefers to indulge in a bit of sexism instead, as a new photo of a teaser for some shit or other made its way online this week.

Even when surrounded by naked women, Bugg can’t muster up the enthusiasm for a smile. Even if he hates the sexism of the photo, he seems to hate standing up and holding a guitar as well, which is his job.

Seriously. Look at him. He’s got a face like a ripped couch.

Maybe Bugg is miserable because he has a summer filled with festival appearances ahead of him, with the British Summer Time event in London’s Hyde Park and shows at the Reading & Leeds Festivals.

Someone spike him with pure MDMA before his raincloud envelopes the whole of the Northern Hemisphere.

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Watch Robbie Williams Break A Fan’s Arm In Newcastle Sat, 05 Jul 2014 13:07:28 +0000 IT is always nice to watch someone successful make a fool of themselves. It isn’t their fault we’re all pathetically jealous, but they’ve got such nice and unusual lives, it is pleasing to find out their stuttering bozos like the rest of us.

Robbie Williams gave a glimpse into how ordinary he can be while embarrassingly breaking a fan’s arm after he fell off the stage during his gig at Newcastle.

Of course, Robbie is doing that thing all popstars do when their voice is shot, and doing ‘the standards’. You either go bluesy or swingy if you’re a white singer. Gives a nice air of authenticity while showing everyone that you’ve ‘paid your dues’. It’s also announcing that you’re clean out of ideas and giving up a bit.

Anyway, Our Rob was caught in a video doing some song or other, and he skips across the stage to give a section of the audience a high five.

He then falls into them.

On of those he toppled into was Margaret Nash. Poor Ms Nash, aged 52, got her arm broken by the former Take Thatter and missed the rest of the show and spent the night in hospital.

“You fell on my mam and she’s been in hospital with a broken arm,” said Nash’s daughter, Katie, on Twitter. “You never even said sorry.”

And through it all, Margaret Nash was offered no protection and will forsake Robbie Williams.


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Katie Price Tells Rolf Harris To Reach For The Sky Sat, 05 Jul 2014 07:59:34 +0000 PA 13861985 Katie Price Tells Rolf Harris To Reach For The Sky


THIS week Katie Price was on the radio. She told us:

“I have to confess if there is anything perfect about me, it’s my feet.”

When you look down Katie, those aren’t your feet. Altghough if they are, is this all a peecursor to ‘Feet Sock’ and ‘Feet Stockings’, dressing your feet in go-ahead alternative to bras?

But the better line was saved for her views on the punishment Rolf Harris can expect:

“He won’t be able to watch Sky, or X Factor.”

No. He’ll just sit on his bunk staring at his feet all day….

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‘Sexless’ Rolph Harris Smiles And Shows No Remorse As He Is Jailed Fri, 04 Jul 2014 22:01:22 +0000 A GRINNING Rolf Harris arrived at Southwark Crown Court, London, by car with a large man in bad suit, three other large men in bad clothes, his daughter Bindi and his neice Jenny.


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Harris left court in a Black Maria.


Harris, 84, from Bray in Berkshire, was convicted of nine assaults between 1968 and 1985 – one on a girl aged seven or eight, and the rest on teenagers between 14 and 19. The law at the time put the punishment at a maximum of two years, or five years for victims under 13. The remaining three guilty verdicts were for three counts of indecent assault on Tonya Lee, who has waived her right to anonymity, in 1986 when she was 15, when the maximum penalty had changed to 10 years.



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Mr Justice Sweeney told Harris:

“For well over 50 years you have been a popular entertainer and television personality of international standing, with a speciality in children’s entertainment. The verdicts show that from 1969 to 1986 you were also a sex offender. You have shown no remorse for your crimes at all. Your reputation now lies in ruins, you have been stripped of your honours but you have no one to blame but yourself.”


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One fan refuses to beleive that Harris is a sexual deviant.

But he was

The Times notes that he had a big stash of filth:

The court heard earlier that the crown would not be pursuing Harris on four charges of making indecent images relating to more than 30 photographs thought to have been of children, possibly involving two girls younger than 13, found among thousands of pornographic images on his computer.



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Harris hid in plain view. In 2001, Rebecca Tyrrel wrote in the Telegraph of dear old Rolf:

There is little in the autobiography, other than an early girlfriend from Bassendean who dumped him because he dressed so badly, to suggest that Rolf had had much, if any, experience with women. Alwen Hughes it seems was the first and last – they have been married for 43 years and they have one daughter and a grandchild. And this of course is how it should be. Rolf Harris, the children’s entertainer, the embarrassing father, is, after all, a sexless being…

He is a man so guileless and innocent and unsullied that he couldn’t see the smutty innuendo lurking within the title of his most famous, all time, blockbuster-hit single – ‘Tie Me Kangaroo Down Sport’. Jake the Peg was a man with an extra leg to Rolf – nothing more or less, nothing to giggle at. Smut and Rolf just don’t go together – smut and Rolf is an oxymoron.



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Feast And Famine: Marilyn Monroe Was Not Some Porky Lardbucket, She Was Tiny Fri, 04 Jul 2014 16:25:13 +0000 monroe skinny Feast And Famine: Marilyn Monroe Was Not Some Porky Lardbucket, She Was Tiny


HALF the time we’re told that the entire country is becoming obese, waddling around with dripping rolls of fat hanging from our frames, the other half the time we’re being screamed at for our unhealthy obsession with being thin. And in that latter conversation we’re also always being told that being thin is very unusual and women of the past were never like that. I mean, look at Marilyn Monroe! Hips and tits on ‘er and she was even an actress!

Today it’s Hannah Betts in the Torygraph whining about it:

Chillingly, a US size 000 measures up to a UK size 0, five sizes smaller than a UK size 10, itself on the smallish side in a culture in which the average British woman is a size 16, and the public’s ideal physique a size 12 (according to YouGov). A US size zero measures 25 inches around the waist; a triple zero, a meagre 23 inches.

It can be difficult to visualise the bodies behind such unvital statistics. My eight-year-old nephew, so lean that he can fit into his baby pyjamas, has a waist of 23.5 inches; his lithe nine-year-old sister, measures 24 inches. The girths of these adult women are smaller, despite their being significantly taller, in a way that seems hardly possible. The average triple zero poster girl stands at 5ft 7in. To be so narrow-framed at this scale is to be emaciated.

A petite therapist friend puts matters into perspective. “I am the smallest person in the world and my childlike waist is about 28 inches,” she says. “I have bought UK size 6 clothes from Topshop’s petite range, which is horrifyingly too small, making me wonder if they require ribs to be removed, or whether it is actual children who wear them. I am truly shocked.”

Whine, moan, yawn.

No, let’s get this into perspective. By measuring the clothes that Monroe wore (and your correspondent here has actually seen these clothes live and in real life and can attest that he has checked this out) we can tell what her measurements were:

In fact, the average waist measurement of the four Monroe dresses was a mere 22 inches, according to Lisa Urban, the Hollywood consultant who dressed the mannequins and took measurements for me. Even Monroe’s bust was a modest 34 inches.

That’s not an anecdote. That’s data.

The other actresses’ costumes provided further context. “It’s like half a person,” marveled a visitor at the sight of Claudette Colbert’s gold-lame “Cleopatra” gown (waist 18 inches). “That waist is the size of my thigh,” said a tall, slim man, looking at Carole Lombard’s dress from “No Man of Her Own” (a slight exaggeration — it was 21 inches). Approaching Katharine Hepburn’s “Mary of Scotland” costumes, a plump woman declared with a mixture of envy and disgust, “Another skinny one.”

The pattern she noticed was real. At my request, Urban took waist measurements on garments worn by 16 different stars, from Mary Pickford in 1929 (20 inches) to Barbra Streisand in 1969 (24 inches). The thickest waist she found was Mae West’s 26 inches in “Myra Breckinridge,” when the actress was 77 years old.

Models and actresses being skinny simply isn’t anything new. They’ve always been that shape.

Get used to it.

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One Dimensional Lindsay Lohan to Sue GTA For Turning Her Into A 2D Cartoon Character Fri, 04 Jul 2014 06:46:10 +0000 YOU might think GTA V is the greatest thing since sliced ham, but the game’s Lacey Jonas character has got Lindsay Lohan in a spin alright.

Lacey is a blond celebrity who lives at the Chateau Marment on West Hollywood who is trying to escape the paparazzi all the time and isn’t exactly a virtuous human.

Lindsay Lohan, meanwhile is… well… draw your own conclusions because we don’t want to get involved with her lawyers. Her lawyers a like those badass TV ones. Our lawyers are like Lionel Hutz.

Anyway, LiLo has filed a lawsuit against Take-Two Interactive Software and Rockstar Games, claiming that they used her likeness to create Jonas.

“The portraits of the Plaintiff [Lohan] incorporated her image, likeness, clothing, outfits, Plaintiff’s clothing line products, ensemble in the form of hats, hair style, sunglasses, jean shorts worn by the Plaintiff that were for sale to the public at least two years,” the suit reads.


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Lohan’s suit adds that Take-Two, like everyone else, need to pay her for use of her image.

And, make no bones about it – Lohan wants “serious money” as compensation, or else things are going to get pretty ugly.

At one point in the game, Lacey cries “I’m really famous. I didn’t do anything!”, which would’ve been written around the same time as Lohan’s foray into blanket press coverage when she was getting accused of robbing jewellery, being drunk a lot, hitting paps with her car and… we’ll stop now.

The lawyers you see. Do you think Lacey is based on Lohan? If so, don’t people have the right to lampoon anymore?

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