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?

The sad demise of the crumhorn

But if the children aren’t forced to learn the crumhorn then how will we all collect our Arts Council subsidies for pieces that require the crumhorn?

They are the big beasts of the orchestra, famous for their booming depths and resounding crescendos.

But the days of the oboe, bassoon, french horn and tuba could be numbered, an arts chief has warned, as interest from the younger generations has dwindled to such a low that the instruments now risk becoming extinct.

Lucy Noble, the Royal Albert Hall’s artistic and commercial director, has blamed the demise of these orchestral instruments on the fact that the “YouTube generation” has less exposure to live music.

There is actually an easy answer here. The process of learning to play an instrument comes in two parts. Learning the instrument and learning music. Once that second is learned then it’s very, very, much easier to learn another of the first. So, change the relative wages for these instruments an we’ll get, say, clarinettists or saxophone players lining up to perform on the contrabassoon. It’s really not necessary to start at age 5 on one in order to be able to play it when 25 you know.

Modern language is really rather good, isn’t it?

Katy Perry had ‘situational depression’ after Witness album

Katy Perry says she had “bouts of situational depression” following the release of her latest album.

Witness reached number six in the UK charts when it was released in 2017, while her two previous records both reached number one.

The 33-year-old says she’d put a lot of “validity” into the public reaction, “and the public didn’t react in the way I had expected, which broke my heart”.

What is meant is that Katy felt a bit sad after releasing an album which was a bit shit and failed to sell in the expected train loads.

Well, OK, and what should the reaction have been?

Nihilist punks not all that bright

Then in April 1988, Bertin and some band members – mostly drug addicts, and several infected with the HIV virus – mounted a major armed robbery with the aim of spending the cash before they died.

They successfully pulled off the heist, stealing 12 million francs (almost €2 million) from a Brinks deposit in Toulouse, western France. No-one was injured in the robbery.

In jeans and a grey shirt, Bertin told the Toulouse court that the heist had taken two years to prepare in order to avoid violence. Despite their anarchist ways, the court was told that the band carried out a “quasi-military” operation to such an extent that police first through they were dealing with hardened gangsters.

However, the group then gave the game away somewhat by ringing the local newspaper to boast of their feat.

Sigh.

A vague thought about Noel Gallagher

The sneering about Oasis was that he was using discarded Beatles middle eights to build entire songs around.

Harsh but fair.

Having just listened to Holy Mountain from the new album it appears that he’s moved on to using drum tracks from The Sweet. Maybe Ram Jam.

Progress.

This might well disqualify a music critic

What Holmstrom remembers of AC/DC is the band’s bone-simple, timeless approach. “They certainly weren’t your traditional heavy metal band,” he notes. “The heavy metal of the mid-70s was a ponderous, bombastic, slow music. They were a high-energy rock & roll band and, before the Sex Pistols changed the image of punk rock from faster and louder to a more political and anthemic music, AC/DC could be classified as punk.” Holmstrom continues, “Then again, so were the Bay City Rollers, Alice Cooper, the Stooges, the New York Dolls, Eddie and the Hot Rods, and hundreds more bands.

The Bay City Rollers as punk?

Hmm.

Glam for teenies rather more, no?

A good innings

You could argue for the rest of your life about what constitutes the first rock’n’roll record and, indeed, on the internet, there are people prepared to do that. An exhaustive 82-track 2011 compilation comes up with candidates for the title, with varying degrees of plausibility, and with tunes dating back to 1915.

But Fats Domino’s 1949 single The Fat Man has a stronger claim than most. Based on Junkers’ Blues, a 1940 track originally recorded by Champion Jack Dupree, there’s almost nothing to it. A pounding, unchanging backbeat and an insistent bass pulse; Domino on piano, playing in a style noticeably more aggressively than that of his peers; saxes and guitar buried so deep in the mix that you barely even spot them until the song’s finale; some falsetto scat singing and three verses that replace Junkers’ Blues’ references to cocaine, reefers and heroin with lyrics that laud both Domino’s bulk and his irresistible sexual abilities: “I weigh two hundred pounds, all the girls love me, because I know my way around.” It sold a million copies and transformed Domino overnight from the pianist in Billy Diamond’s Solid Senders, a locally popular New Orleans band, into a star.

That’s some record sales there:

Fats Domino, the New Orleans rhythm and blues singer whose hits include Blueberry Hill and Ain’t That a Shame, has died aged 89 of natural causes.

Domino, born in 1928 and one of nine siblings, left school at 14 to take on work in a bedspring factory – but went on to sell over 110m records in a career that took off in the mid-1950s, having learned piano on an upright a cousin left in his New Orleans family home.

I think, and am open to correction here, that the reason he doesn’t appear at the top of the lists of records sold is that most of these were 78s and then 45s, not albums.

Quite, quite, astonishing

The only uncomfortable bit of the night was its title: We Are Manchester. I looked around the Arena and saw almost exclusively white faces. You could blame it on the guitar bands, to whose charms the BAME community has largely remained immune. But high up on the bill was Bugzy Malone, a young black grime artist who raps about Manchester’s 0161 dial code, despite almost certainly never using a landline. Thirty-three per cent of the local population is not white. Where were they?

Music bill to appeal to largely white audience has largely white audience.

Amazing, eh?

And don’t you just love the incredibly racist assumption that darker people would all turn up because there’s a darker person on the bill?