Sounds intriguing

Originally a duo, No Bra soon became known for Oberbeck’s habit of intoning sexually charged lyrics in a Nico-esque accent over industrial sounds while standing topless and wearing a moustache.

Just to clarify, Oberbeck is female.

At which point it all sounds most interesting, doesn’t it? A musical experience not to be missed.

Fascinating

Sam Smith has asked fans to refer to them using the pronouns they/them – six months after coming out as non-binary.

In a post to their 13.4 million followers on Instagram, the chart-topping singer-songwriter said they had come to the decision after spending “a lifetime of being at war” with their gender.

Smith, 27, revealed earlier this year that they had questioned their gender and had at one time considered a sex change.

A person who identifies as non-binary does not define themselves exclusively as masculine or feminine and generally prefers they/them pronouns, rather than he/she.

Smith said: “Today is a good day so here goes. I’ve decided I am changing my pronouns to THEY/THEM after a lifetime of being at war with my gender I’ve decided to embrace myself for who I am, inside and out.

And to the extent that you get to define what we call you fine. Do recall that if we call you something else we’re just being impolite, not oppressive.

One question from an old codger though, before being a they Sam Smith was a he or a she?

Hmm, well…..

With John Prine and Willie Nelson among his fans and awards to his name, the Kentucky songwriter is a rising star of country – but he’s dismayed by its fixation on beer and pickup trucks

Beer and pick up trucks are rather important to a lot of people…..

True, it does rather limit the storylines, the truck drove away with my beer, the beer made me drive my truck and so on but they really are important to people.

This is fun

Tetsu Yamauchi

With Kossoff, Kirke, Tetsu and Rabbit
Kossoff, Kirke, Tetsu and Rabbit (1972)
with Free
Heartbreaker (1973)
with the Faces
Coast to Coast: Overture and Beginners (1974)
You Can Make Me Dance, Sing or Anything (1974)

OK, so, been there, done it.

He retired from the music industry in the mid 1990s and moved to the countryside with his family to live a quiet life, refusing to speak to anyone from the press. He considers it juvenile and vain for people his age to still be performing rock and roll, and refused invitations to take part in a Faces reunion.

Hmmm…..

Nice comment from Petula Clark

Billed as “Britain’s Shirley Temple” and “the Singing Sweetheart”, Clark went on to record hundreds of songs for the forces and toured the UK by train. She recalls sleeping in the luggage racks alongside Julie Andrews, three years her senior. “Now, she could really sing,” says Clark. “We’d get off the train, do our little things, get back on and go home. It was fun – and not a lot of kids were having fun.”

If you’ve got someone like that saying you can really sing then I guess you really can sing.

Among the things I didn’t know

What would have happened if John Lennon ended up playing bass?
Alex Johnston

You can hear the answer by listening to ‘The Long and Winding Road’, on which he actually did play bass.

I will simply quote Ian Macdonald’s assessment, from p. 339 of Revolution in the Head:

Recurring wrong notes at 0:28, 2:10 and 3:07; mis-strikes ar 2:39 and 2:52; drop-outs at 2:59 and 3:14; a fumble at 0:19; a vague glissando at 1:03; a missed final push at 3:26.

I’ve just listened to the song, and these are only some of the mistakes Lennon made. As Macdonald points out, at 1:59, as McCartney sings ‘You left me standing here…’, you can hear him grinning at how badly Lennon’s playing.

The secret to music

A man of conservative tastes and values, Reed regarded Jones’s libidinous lifestyle with wariness, but rated him the best male singer British pop music had ever produced. “He loved good lyrics and he liked melodies with a little blues touch, and once you’ve got that, you’re home.”

Yep, sure, you can disagree if you want to. And when you’ve managed to do this…..:

It may have been simple, even corny, but the formula was mightily effective. Reed composed more than 2,000 songs and produced or arranged many more. He wrote hits for Shirley Bassey, Lulu, Petula Clark, Des O’Connor and Sandie Shaw, and in America his songs were covered by Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross, Marvin Gaye and Perry Como.

….then perhaps we’ll consider your opinion on the subject.

And if we’re honest about it if I ever manage to do anything quite as sublime as Delilah – no, I don’t mean write a song, but just achieve any one thing, anything, that matches that excellence – then I’ll still die screaming and insisting it’s not my time yet but content that I had, through chance perhaps, already touched that Hand…..

There’s a reason for this

French rap superstar Niska: ‘American rappers don’t respect our art’

It’s because you’re doing it in French. No, not a comment upon American ignorance of everything non-American. But, dammit, you’re doing it in sodding French!

Cashing in

Avicii’s family announce posthumous album by Swedish DJ

Hmm

Bergling’s family have also announced the creation of the Tim Bergling Foundation, which will benefit organisations supporting groups involved with mental health and suicide prevention. The musician’s net profits from the album will be donated to the charity.

“Net ” is such an interesting word, isn’t it? And as is common in American such foundations, family members do need salaries to run the family foundation.

I knew Doris Day before she was a virgin

A Grammy-nominated rapper who built his reputation on a tough upbringing in Atlanta, Georgia surrounded by drugs and guns is actually British, it has been revealed, as other rap artists share their shock that he may be deported.

US immigration officers detained 21 Savage, whose real name is Sheyaa Bin Abraham-Joseph, on Sunday for allegedly overstaying his visa.

Designing the background to fit current fashion is nothing new in popular music

Alternative lyrics

I ain’t nothin’ but your poontang,
Cryin’ all the time
I ain’t nothin’ but your poontang,
Dryin’ all the time
You ain’t never bust a nut, you ain’t no friend of mine.

Thankfully it was Leiber and Stoller who had that job first time around…..

R Kelly’s sales dropping

Might be about sex allegations, might not be:

R. Kelly has been dropped by his record label following a stream of accusations of sexual abuse of minors.

Perhaps the cause of the dropping might be those allegations but the willingness to do so will be about sales.

Good

Looking at a listing of the Grammys. Just the major three sets of nominations, song, album, record.

I realise that I’ve heard none of the nominations. In fact, haven’t even heard of the majority of them or the artists.

Good.

There might be a change of career coming here

With hundreds of ticket sales, legions of social media followers and adoring messages posted online from teenage fans, Californian metal band Threatin appeared more than ready to conquer the UK music scene.

Venue managers liaised with an apparent booking agent and record label, gladly signing them up in the hope of sell-out crowds.

The reality was a rather different story. This band was unknown, they had no fans and no management.

They toured the country playing to completely empty gig venues and as they did so last week, their story began to unravel.

The band, and in particular the sole permanent member Jered Threatin, has been accused of creating a fake legion of fans in order to land the UK tour.

All done with fake likes on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, apparently.

So, a senior job in social media management here we come, eh?

Deeply unsure of this

Actually, no, sure – reject the idea:

For rock music to survive it will have to cut back on testosterone
John Harris

This is to confuse music played on the traditional rock instruments – guitars and drums – with rock itself. Like saying that stuff on the violin is classical music.

A couple of decent enough recentish rock songs. Both of which are testosterone encapsulated. That actually being the point.

This isn’t to insist that only men can play rock. Nor is it to say that other interesting things can’t be done with the same lineups, instruments. It is though rather to insist that rock actually is that primal scream of testosterone leaking out through eyeballs. That being the it of it, the grandfathers’ shovel of it.

Well, there’s a lot of truth here

‘Devoid of personality’: BBC verdict on early Bowie audition unearthed
A new documentary reveals the scathing dismissal of the BBC Talent Selection Group on one of Bowie’s first groups, the Lower Third

That was DaviD Bowie as Davy Jones.

The audition took place four years before Bowie found fame with his eponymous 1969 album and the single Space Oddity. While the BBC’s decision looks comic in retrospect, no Bowie aficionado would suggest that his mid-60s output contained much intimation of his future genius.

I’ve said this before and there’s a truth to it even if it’s not the whole and entire such. He adopted a personality along the way. There’s much more of Bowie being an actor performing a role in each song – perhaps album, perhaps character across a few – than there is with most. Yes, extremely talented musician and all the rest. But an untrue but useful view is that he performed a series of 3 minute skits in character rather than was “Bowie.”

As to why, well, Davy Jones didn’t cut it, did he?

Err, who cares?

The festival defined noughties pop-punk and united America’s outcasts – but as it shuts for ever, we ask: did it fail to champion diversity?

What would be a diverse music festival? One that had the Boston Pops, Stormzy and The Ramones?

Or are we talking about the unimportant kind of diversity, the skin colour and genital arrangements of those on the stage?