Saturday, July 01, 2006

Week in pop (or not again) June 21st 2006

Richard Ashcroft was arrested this week after apparently bursting into a youth club and drunkenly demanding he be allowed to work with the children.
The former Verve star is reported to have been "close to tears" and in a dishevelled state when he entered The Bridge club in Chippenham, Wiltshire on Monday evening.
Ashcroft is reported to have offered his services to the children, before swearing and refusing to leave, prompting staff to call the police.
He was taken into custody by local officers and given an £80 fixed penalty fine for disorderly behaviour, reports The Sun.
An 'eyewitness' told the UK tabloid: "He was very strung out and close to tears at one point. He kept saying he wanted to work with kids, that he wanted to do 'good things'.
"He wasn't aggressive, in fact he was quite charming and friendly. He kept hugging some staff and kids.
"But when the police arrived he was almost begging to be arrested. They told him to go quietly but he wouldn't."

- Not much news in the world of pop at the minute, or more importantly I have been spending a lot more time watching the footy than browsing the music pages to write this column. Nevertheless, I had to pull this one up for sheer comedy value. I guess Ashcroft has grown a bit restless now that the British press have stopped proclaiming him as some kind of post-Oasis messiah figure, so he had to get himself in the papers again. But surely there was a better way of doing it than getting shitface drunk and clattering into some social group, proposing his services as some kind of saviour to today's lost youth! Silly fucking bastard! Do you think he's feeling guilty after finally realising that all the bog-tedious campfire Britpop that he's put out since 'A Northern Soul' is totally devoid of any meaning beyond 'let's get mashed and fall in love'??? Rich, if you want to do the youth of today a favour (as well as the rest of us) then pack up your acoustic guitar and go live under a rock somewhere, you greasy malnourished twat!

Boy George has criticised his community service punishment of sweeping leaves in a New York park, saying a charity concert would have been more worthwhile.
The former Culture Club frontman, whose real name is George O'Dowd, had wanted to put on a show to raise money for an Aids organisation as part of his sentence for wasting police time.
But an angry judge at Manhattan Criminal Court ruled earlier this month that he should do the same sort of task as everybody else. And he warned O'Dowd that if he did not complete his five days' raking duty by the end of August, he would be jailed.
"It would have been more useful to make 30 grand with a concert, rather than be prancing around in a park. I could have raised some money, could have done something that would have helped," O'Dowd told the Press Association.
O'Dowd said of the leaf raking, which he will do in August at an unspecified park in the city: "I don't care about doing cleaning up. My mum was a cleaner. I've always been a scrubber."

- Of all the fucking cheek!! So this flabby old has-been gets caught wasting the police's time, dodges his court hearing and then refuses to comply with his sentence because the judge had the temerity to ask him to do something other than put on a pink wig and prance around on stage one more time??? That's supposed to be your JOB you c*nt!!! What sort of punishment would that be??? Why don't you just ask them to send you on holiday to the Bahamas and have done with it?? And besides, how exactly is one Boy George concert going to raise 'thirty grand'?? Do you seriously think punters are actually going to part with their hard earned cash to watch you ponce around in an ill-fitting kimono performing tenth-grade reggae covers, spin woefully outdated techno or waddle around lip-synching to that fuck awful pop music you used to churn out with Culture Club??? Get this fatso - the 80's revival has been and gone, you aren't going to make thirty fucking pence off a reunion show, let alone thirty grand!! The Culture Club reunion didn't work back when you tried it in the late 90's and it certainly ain't going to work now! Shut up and knuckle down to some hard work for the first time in your life you hapless fucking queen! And quit trying to flash your working class credentials too - your mum may have been a 'scrubber' but if you've been one all your life then how did you finance that smack habit back in the 80's??? Cleaning fucking drainpipes??? Face it George, you're spoilt showbiz brat who's never got his fingers dirty (apart from when you had them shoved up your drummer's arse) so shut your yap and rake some fucking leaves already!! What fucking sauce!!! They should have stuck this bald c*nt up a chimney, except they probably couldn't find one that he would fit into!

LONDON (Reuters) - More than 40 years after the Beatles and the Rolling Stones featured on the first edition, the BBC is to scrap the country's longest-running music television show, "Top of the Pops".
From its 1964 launch at the height of Beatlemania, the weekly countdown of top-selling singles has tracked the ever-changing musical tastes of the younger generation.
The rise of 24-hour music TV channels such as MTV and Internet downloads sounded the death knell for the show.
At its peak, it attracted audiences of tens of millions in Britain and nearly 100 other countries.
But the BBC said the show could not compete with rivals which let viewers "consume music of their choice any time night or day".

- Too fucking right. I mean, I used to love TOTP back in the day but looking back, the only reason so many people tuned in for it was because there was literally nothing else to watch in the way of music on TV. Apart, that is, from the infinitely superior ITV Chart Show on Saturday lunchtimes. They dispensed with so-called 'live performances' entirely and just showed the videos, which were always tons more interesting to watch that some bunch of muppets jiggling about miming to a backing track. Plus, they had the Rock/Indie/Dance chart which could throw up some seriously underground stuff whilst you were still in your pyjamas. I remember seeing the video for Sepultura's 'Under Siege' on that show at about midday when I was eleven. Hardcore!! TOTP had some good moments, but it was becoming one of those things that people were hanging on to out of nostalgia rather than it being genuinely any good. And when they started trying to mix in interviews, special features and all that it just got even worse. The thing these days is, as the BBC rightly admits, anyone can look up any live performance or music video they want on the net these days, without having to wait for some programmer to decide to show it on Thursday teatime. Fair play for lying down in the face of progress though - I remember when they flushed out all the old fogies from Radio 1 in the 90's and some of them put up a proper fight about it, which just made it all the more hilarious.

There hasn't been much else going on in showbiz, apart from Nicole Kidman getting married and I don't want to talk about that. BUT there has been plenty of exciting football to watch, and seeing as I've been off work recently I have far much to say about that, so here we go :

England - I'm not going to throw in my ten cents' worth on how crap/great England are, I'm just glad they're still in the competition as I write this (just before France vs Spain in the second round). The British press reaction seems to be either puff-chested pride and blind allegiance to the team's capacity to 'do it again' (The Sun) or self-flagellating criticism of the team, its fans, its manager, British culture in general and how there's really nothing to get excited about when there's war and famine and all that going on everywhere (The Guardian). I went back to Leeds for my brother's birthday this weekend and it was weird to see how many people have got their flags out - those fucking things are EVERYWHERE. You'd think we'd already won the bloody thing. And if that weren't enough, there seems to be ten million times as many shite football theme records as last time we played in a major tournament. Still, I think we've not been all that bad so far and as long as we go further than the French, I'm happy with whatever.

Argentina - Everybody's been practically soiling their draws at how great these guys are, and they are indeed godlike in their wonderfulness. If you didn't see Esteban Cambiasso's goal against Serbia & Montenegro, go look it up and check it out (along with the twenty odd passes that preceded it). However, Mexico gave 'em a good run for their money and I bet the Germans will too. Having said that, I'd love to see the Argies win it, they have the team with the most real champions in it and they look like they can take it all the way this time.

Brazil - Fuck Brazil. Ronaldo is one fat knacker these days, Ronaldinho is blatantly over-rated and the rest of them are no better than a million other players currently in the tournament. And what's with all this backheel bullshit? Just cos Ronaldinho can run over the ball and ping it back to someone between his feet, it means every other flash bastard in the tournament has to try it too - and half the time it just ends up going straight to the opponents anyway. Bloody show offs. Shevchenko and Drogba are blatantly better than anyone on the Brazilian team, yet they're never given the same amount of respect and that chews complete arse. The only good thing about Brazil is that they have a player called Kaka which never ceases to amuse me.

Germany - I didn't complete this entry when I first started it and so I had time to watch the Germans knock out Argentina on fucking penalties last night before getting back on the job. What a swizz. I appreciate that the Germans are all about efficiency but they're no way as interesting to watch as half the other teams. Plus, they blatantly play to the ref and try to get the opposition carded for nowt. Obviously the Klinsmann influence there. OK, they're a good side but does anyone apart from the Germans themselves actually want to see these guys win?

Italy - What can you say about this bunch of greasy fucking drama queens that hasn't been said before? Don't get me wrong, I have a lot of time for the Italian people and their culture, but their football team are a bunch of twats. When they're not goalhanging and diving in the box, they're sticking in the most devious fouls on the opposition (y'all see that elbow on Brian McKnight?) or bitching about how it's all a conspiracy against them when they lose. I don't wanna see the Germans win the competition, but when it comes down to a choice between them and this bunch of wankers I know who I'm going for.

France - Let me just point out that nobody in Paris dared walk the streets in a France shirt until they beat Spain - everyone was keeping a low profile and pretending like they didn't care about les Bleus anymore after the first match against Switzerland, yet when they knocked out Spain suddenly they all got the shirts out of the wardrobe and honked their car horns all night. OK, I suppose I was glad to see them back in the competition cos the frogs had been acting so fed up for ages about how their team was under-acheiving, so it's good to give 'em something to cheer about. I hope they tonk Brazil so England can play them in the semis.

Portugal - OK, it's no foregone conclusion that England will beat this lot later today as I write this, but with two players suspended and Cristiano Ronaldo with a fucked leg, I reckon we have a decent chance. That game against Holland was pretty terrible, but I admit I enjoyed watching it all kick off - the World Cup isn't complete without a proper ruck between two teams that really hate each other, and the Dutch always seem to be involved somewhere along the line. But the Portugese gave as good as they got in that last match - Figo should have got a red card for that headbutt, or a second yellow for simulation when he got Boulharouz sent off for an inexistant clonk in the face. Shame Deco won't be playing today as he's a cracking player, but you see the way he and his team-mates behaved in the Holland game and you understand why they're suspended. Scolari even had the cojones to ask that Fifa cancel out his first yellow for that slice on Jonny Heitinga cos the Dutch weren't playing nice. Big Phil, I hope we do you good and proper today dude.

Holland - If Portugal were bad in that last game, these guys were worse - when they weren't hacking the fuck out of the Portugese (thanks for Ronaldo though), they were diving every chance they got and if things turned out nasty, I reckon the Dutch started it. Shame we didn't get to see some Ruud or it might have turned out differently. I reckon Holland are always destined to blow their wad before they get to the end of the tournament just cos they're so used to it - they're always going to underacheive and they probably prefer it that way. I still hold a grudge against them for knocking out Ivory Coast too.

Ukraine - Not only did these guys play some blinding football (they had some super chances and there were touches in their passing and dribbling that were streets ahead of anyone else), they also look like a bunch of Def Leppard roadies and have the most horrible looking kit ever - fluorescent yellow?? Looks like the sort of stuff you could pick up for three quid at Poundstretcher!! But all this adds up to these guys looking like the hardest, most streetwise bunch of oiks in the competition (even if Shevchenko looks a bit like Justin Timberlake) and you naturally want them to beat all the pretty boy teams just to level things out. Bummer that they lost against Italy but I think these guys gave a really good showing;

Spain - Talk about pissing on your chips! Why start so magnificently if you're going to fuck up in the second round against the French of all people! Again, this is a case of dropping your wad WAY too early in the competition. Shame though, cos these guys had some killer moves and they look cool too. Maybe next time, but then again probably not.

Ghana - They played pretty well in the first round and it was cool to see them go through above the Czechs. Still, you gotta be able to finish if you're going to knock anyone else out. I would have liked to see what it was like in the streets of Accra when they beat the USA to go through. Must have been one wild mother of a night.

Ivory Coast - Total total bummer to have these guys lined up against Argentina in their first match - we should have seen that one in the quarters instead. They rocked but they went out too early.

Mexixo - These guys look like they'd rip your head off if you crossed them pendejo! Shame they had to go out too. Heinze should have got a red card against them in the second round, and then they might have come through (but that would have taken out the Argies even earlier so I'm glad they didn't).

Australia - They weren't THAT good but I still thought they got dicked out against Italy on that penalty. Should have squashed them when they had the chance cobbers.

And with that, I'm gonna take in some more quarter final action. Fingers crossed for England France in the semis , ├ža serait un match d'enfer mon grand!!