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Who’s that girl now? Madonna in the UK

It never rains but it pours, Madonna must have thought as she took her MDMA tour to Hyde Park this week. As the rain which has characterised this ‘summer’ pelted the festive right out of the audience, Madge produced a show which provoked a critical downpour all of its own. Reviews universally slammed the poor sound, which was possibly beyond her control. What was more worrying for the material girl were those which questioned her relevance as an artist in 2012.

She can’t really complain, mind you. She seems to be doing the same thing herself.

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Re-issue, repackage, extra track and a tacky badge – the 10 best compilations

Discovering every nook and cranny of a band is a fulfilling task. It’s also a long one and, really, who has the time? Luckily for you, Howlin’ Whippet is here to point us towards the best compilation albums one can get hold of. Time saved!

Compilation albums are a bit of a strange beast. Often thought of as the poor cousin by ‘proper fans’, they’re nonetheless often a quick fix for those of us who try to leave the fanboy stuff back with the acne lotion.

Being the music snob/nazi that I proudly am, I can see the point of the purity of the actual album. For yes, that’s the way our heroes wanted it to be listened to. It’s a piece of art, a whole, an organic thing.

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Weezer fans offer band $20m for ‘deluxe break-up’

Ah, the internet and the freedom it affords nutters. From the file marked ‘is this news?’, a campaign has been started calling for Weezer to split up.

The campaign, organised by Seattle resident James Burns, is offering $10million for the band to call it a day. Burns said he was not a Weezer fan, but was “tired” of his friends being “disappointed” by their recent releases. “Friends”. Aye.

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Con-fusion – BBC and collaborations

Sex changes are an odd thing, aren’t they? People who are convinced they’ve been born into the wrong sex. Even though, clearly, they have no frame of reference for being the other way round and carrying the opposing type of equipment. Progress being what it is and all, we are now able to take a boy and make a girl with more precision than with a cauterized cleaver. But it does beg a host of ethical questions. You could speculate on whether it is, in fact, such a good idea. Just because we can do something doesn’t mean that we should.

This is a notion I wish someone would tell the BBC. Now, a lot of people slag off the Beeb, but you won’t see that here. Well, not much of it anyway. The BBC provide a fantastic service that no commercial outlet would. Especially in radio, where they seem willing to cater for people with an IQ in double digits. But sister stations Radio 2 and 6 Music have a little bee in their bonnet at the moment about ‘unique’ collaborations. Continue reading

Have we seen the end of the Uber-Act?

BSThe first time I remember hearing about Bruce Springsteen was when he arrived in Britain to play the on his gargantuan ‘Born in the USA’ tour in 1984. It was on the front page of The Sun that his tour had arrived and he was due to play Wembley Stadium that week. It was, incontrovertibly, a big thing. Cameramen were stationed outside his hotel (in those pre-paparazzi days, they would be actual press photographers from actual newspapers; still most likely sleazy bastards, but at least gainfully employed.) There were pictures of him jogging with his entourage; everything about it screamed ‘this is an event.’

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Yes, We Can! – Optimistic Rock Hopes in the Obama Era

We are, in these isles, a cynical bunch. There are myriad factors behind this fact, but a fact it surely is. Yet even in Britain, one can detect the spreading of a little bit of optimism after last weeks US Election.

One week on, it still feels a tad surreal but no less amazing. That America could put aside it’s history and reject prejudice to elect a black man proves we live in special times; it proves that anything can happen.

I thought I’d take a moment to look at what could happen in music now that the glass ceiling has been shattered, now that the old rules don’t apply. This stuff will happen. I believe! *

(*I don’t.)

Madonna releases a new album and does not appear on the cover in her underwear.

Oasis release a new album which is universally hailed as being better than the first two.

Amy Winehouse marries Lembit Opik and renounces sex, drugs and rock’n’roll in favour of greener environmental policies and appearing in low-rent magazines discussing their love.

When asked his views on a pressing issue of the day, Bono replies ‘it’s not for me to judge. I really don’t want to ram my opinions down anyone’s throat.’

Bryan Ferry rejects his label’s overtures to release a Best Of.

Queen and Paul Rogers look at each other and say ‘seriously, what the fuck were we thinking?’

Robbie Williams finally faces up to it. You know what I’m talking about.

So does Morrissey.

Chris Martin sits through a whole interview without reacting in the same way as a Guantanamo Bay inmate undergoing waterboarding.

Glasvegas admit they were formed for a bet and donate all their earnings to the Proclaimers and the Jesus and Mary Chain.

The Bedingfields are found in a crack alley, smoking from a pipe and huddling against a dead rat for warmth.

The Verve realise what we all did a year ago and just give up.

A shite indie band from the 90’s announces a tour and doesn’t sell out mind-bogglingly big venues.

The Rolling Stones don’t tour.

An edition of Q Magazine contains a reviews section containing less than 25 four-star reviews.

George Michael refrains from humping unemployed builders in public parks for up to twenty minutes.

Slap bass becomes the next big thing and every club reverberates to the Seinfieldesque boinging.

Simon Le Bon is elected MP for Sedgefield after a close-run by-election. He gets in a platform of ‘Girls on film’.

Jo Whiley presents Glastonbury without mentioning ‘the vibe’ 876 times. On the first night.

Blaming him for the collapse of his marriage, Preston from The Ordinary Boys vows to hunt down and butcher Simon Amstell.

Goths cheer up.

Duffy makes a genuinely soulful album which in no way sounds like an ersatz 60’s album knocked up in 20 minutes by a cynical producer looking to fleece braindead halfwits out of a tenner in Tesco.

The religious rap movement meets the religious right movement to form the religious rap and right movement. Artists are sickened by their own albums and campaign successfully to have themselves banned from Wal-Mart, stating they are a danger to the youth of America.

All About Eve reform with Juliette Reagan replaced by Sarah Palin.

A politician is actually honest about what’s on his iPod rather than pretending to like the Arctic Monkeys.

Rod Stewart just fucks off and gives us all peace.

Hey, all these things could happen! Any others?

Making The World A Better Place Pop Star Stylee

By Contributor Scant Regard;

“You say you want a revolution” sang John Lennon.  And, in some ways at least, we think everyone does want to save the world. This is truest for a certain breed of music star, fuelled by a strange mix of ego and hubris, er sorry, humility. So here we recount for your delectation our favourite politicised, ranting celebs who think they can make us all better people (not whilst I have breath in my body, mind).

Bono

Everyone has a friend of a friend who paid ungodly sums of money to see U2 on their last tour, only to be accosted by the little Irish arsewit demanding we hand over our hard earned to save Africa. Fair enough really, serves them right for paying to see U2, I say. That said, if I was Africa I’d be suing the perma-sunglass-wearing-leprechaun-with-the-badly-dyed-hair for setting back the cause of the third world debt by 10 years. Does the common man want to be lectured by a multi-millionaire on why it’s all our fault? No. Does the discerning music fan want to see Bono on their telly any more than is strictly necessary (and that is not a lot)? Definitely not.

Elton John

Ah, old Reg has done more for AIDS awareness than Freddie Mercury, despite having the good fortune (for him) of not contracting it when he was a single closeted gay man in the 70s. Seriously, he has. He throws a big party for all his rich pals where they turn up wearing enough diamonds to fund research until a cure for everything is found, and a few times a decade he holds a jumble sale of all the clothes he doesn’t want any more (for that, read all the clothes Elton-John’s-partner David Furnish has told him his arse looks fat in, which you’d assume are all of them). And for this he gets a sodding knighthood. Well, it wasn’t for Tiny Dancer, was it??

Geri Halliwell

Old Ginger Spice, the original (if you listen to her) feminist. Emmiline Pankhurst, who the fuck are you? Geri’s invention of “girl power” prompted the United Nations to make her a special envoy in the late nineties. And what did she then give the under-privileged girls of the world? Peace signs, yoga and anorexia. Oh, and ginger hair dye. Aye, cheers. The starving masses of the third world salute you.

Annie Lennox

Christ, where do we start. There is a certain breed of middle-aged and middle-class moron who has nothing but total respect for her, to paraphrase Half Man Half Biscuit. And they should all be lined up against the wall and taken out along with her. But she only comes out of retirement to get her photo taken with babies in Malawi and sing at charity concerts, you cry? I have only two things to say about this:

1. Using charity and babies in Malawi to warm up your frozen corpse of a career is terrible.
2. Madonna did it better.

Now, fuck off.

Now, I’m not a total misanthrope, so I’m sure I’ve missed some. Your tuppence worth, therefore, is invited and encouraged….