Posts Tagged ‘Radio’

NewsGush – Russell Resigns, Tabloids Triumph

October 30, 2008

Just to draw a line under this sorry saga (and if you haven’t been in the slightest bit interested, I apologise for the recent Brand-related news triptych), the last few days of complete stupidity and insanity have ended with Russell Brand quitting his post at the BBC. 

Taking the bullet for his friend, Jonathan Ross, in other words. Let’s not forget that it was the older of the two who blurted out the initial offending sentence.

I suppose, in some senses, Brand has also taken the hit on behalf of the BBC who, it has to be said, have behaved like disorganised buffoons throughout this farrago. They shouldn’t have put the recording out in the first place. They should have organised a public apology on behalf of all parties immediately and they should have ignored all the tabloid speculation.

But the real arseholes in this Kafkaesque trial by second hand information are – as usual – the tabloid press. Without the Mail picking up on the story and hypocritically running it endlessly (thus, presumably, adding to Mr Sachs’ embarassment) and without printing tittilating pictures of the supposed ‘fuckee’, this wouldn’t have reached the ridiculous heights it broached.

The Sun also went crazy with the story – as did all the tabloids including those with a more limited circulation – your London Lites, your citywide Metros. All expressing outrage whilst regurgitating the point of Mr. Sachs embarassment. Bizarre, eh?

To compound the weirdness, it seems Georgina Baillie has now signed up with Max Clifford – a day or so after he dumped Katona as a client. Some people are admiring of the girls guile and pluck. From where I’m sitting, it looks suspiciously like she’s exploiting the situation for personal gain. Exploiting her grandfather’s initial embarassment and milking this fabricated ‘shame’ for all its worth. I can’t believe that, by now, she’s still red-faced. Not with all those offers coming in.

The other aspect of this so-called scandal that makes it so very 2008 is the way information spread. Without Youtube, without messageboards and blogs, people wouldn’t have formed an opinion so quickly. The replay wouldn’t be available, so unless you’d taped it it’d all be hearsay.

It’s impossible to quantify whether this made the situation worse for the presenters and the BBC, but it certainly intensified the atmosphere. The web was alive with chitter and chatter and gasbag opinion. Mail readers suddenly found reason to comment on the Guardian messageboard. The papers and their websites couldn’t keep up with the bloggers who were formulating opinions left right and centre – and this aspect of the incident is something we should expect to see a lot more of in the future.

All in all, the ultimate tragedy of the whole affair is that, as a result of a very silly, vaguely amusing and massively ill-considered gag, the conservative element in the press and in the blogosphere has somehow managed to force the hand of the BBC using the most questionable tactics imaginable. They’ve also managed to make one of my favourite podcasters – a genuine talent, I feel – resign over what amounts to very little. I think that’s depressing.

It seems one squawking idiot can’t change a thing, but multiply him by a few thousand using the latest technology and soon enough you won’t be able to hear yourself think.

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NewsGush – Sachs, Scandal and the Sack

October 28, 2008

I was trying to avoid bringing this up as I don’t believe it deserves the oxygen of publicity – especially after the Daily bloody Mail have got their idiot paws all over it. They were bound to when there’re images of the Satanic Sluts involved. Anything that tittilates the readers whilst giving them a heart attack, right?

You know the drill – Jonathan Ross appeared on Russell Brand’s Radio 2 show, Russell Brand got ridiculously over-excited, silly phone calls were made, a nice old man called Andrew Sachs who we all remember as Manuel got upset.

The dust settles. One week later, The Daily Mail make an issue of it. Suddenly complaints are made in their hundreds and there are calls for sackings.

I’m getting stuck into a debate over here at Andrew Collins’ blog. My view is that this isn’t front page news, nobody should be sacked and that the Daily Mail is a toilet-rag.

Anyone think differently?

One Second Review – Alphabeat: Fascination

August 20, 2008

Is it just me, or (apart from being bloody awful) does this:

Sound worryingly like this:

?

Is this the start of a new trend?

What’s next? Nick Cave doing the theme to Button Moon? Slayer covering Wacaday

It’s the beginning of the end.

One other thing:

The George Lamb Podcast – 6 Music

June 24, 2008

George Lamb 

I’ve never had a worse morning. I got hit by a car once, walking down High Holborn on the way to work. I’ve vomited my stomach lining into a gutter at 8am due to an apocalyptic hangover while my shirt sleeves dangled about my wrists. Then there was the time I mistakenly locked my better half in the flat, and the time a water pipe burst and flooded the carpet and there’s also the time a swift flew into my front room through an open window at dawn and proceeded to dump birdshits all over the fittings.

All of these pale in comparison, wilt into insignificance and transform into memories of better times when I think back to this morning, June 24th 2008 and the 50 minutes I spent with George Lamb and his zany pals in their 6 Music podcast as I rode the bus into work. My headphones have never had to handle such drudgery.

Lamb and his cronies get a lot of stick for their banter-based show. A lot of people have accused 6 Music of selling out in going for a populist option when they appointed the ex-T4 and current Big Brother’s Big Mouth host.

Conversely, Lamb has been lavished with a Sony award for his services. Mind you, looking at the competition, Jonathan King could have returned to the airwaves and beaten Lamb as the other nominees were largely small-fry. Lamb was the only DJ on the list who’s regularly on national radio and who has adverts on the TV plugging his show. Apart from Kelly Osbourne, who everyone hates anyway.

I like 6 Music, but I’m not precious about it. I find the DJs are occasionally a little bit too muso for my liking but more often than not, one song in three is half decent. 6 Music is undoubtedly a good thing.

The appointment of Lamb for three hours a day is not something that ever bothered me, what with old muggins ‘ere being at work all day and only ever tuning in to the station in the morning or evening. I watched the furore develop from afar – websites starting up decrying the Lambster, other websites starting up and championing him. All this fuss over a Channel 4 presenter with a new radio show? It reminded me of Russell Brand’s ascent from Big Brother’s Big Mouth presenter to small-time superstar – buried deep in the late night schedules then rising on the strength of his popularity to greater heights on the strength of goodwill. Brand hasn’t got websites devoted to disliking him, but he’s certainly got detractors. Maybe this was what Lamb was experiencing… I wanted to give him a chance, at least. So I downloaded his new podcast. Is George Lamb an exciting new voice?

In the event, no. 50 minutes of Lamb’s podcast, with music removed for legal reasons, has confirmed that we’re not dealing with a Russell Brand phenomenon here. We’re not dealing with a Dermot O’Leary either. We’re not even dealing with a Vernon fucking Kaye. We’re dealing with an inept, unfunny shambles fronted by a man with a haircut for a personality and backed by the bottomless cackling of his posse of berks.

I can’t begin to describe how inane it all is. Not inane in the sense of something going nowhere but everyone enjoying the ride. Inane in that nothing is being achieved. No humour. No anger. No sadness. Just nothing. Just minutes, seconds and milliseconds popping by and never coming back as Lamb stutters his way through heavy-handed links, nicked jokes that weren’t funny the first time round and interviews with people who, like the rest of us, are just too smart to find any of this shit funny.

We start off with Lamb and his producer gloating about their award by way of introduction. Giggling at their own jokes, they talk like little kids with catchphrases they’ve invented for the playground that’ll last for a day of bullying before evaporating like humourless silent fart-puffs. Then we’re into the main content. I think it’s a week’s worth of content – 15 hours then – all condensed into 50 minutes (which says a lot considering Adam & Joe manage 30 minutes of material from three hours and Collins and Herring get a solid hour from improvising).

Anyway, here are the standout bits:

  • They work their way into a feature where they’re asking people to call in if their name is Aubrey. Sure enough, two people called Aubrey call in. There are no laughs to be found. One Aubrey says his name helps him to get the girls. The other is the Editor of Total Film and he plugs his magazine. The world continues to rotate.
  • A film review feature with ‘Philippe De Barnsely’ is essentially a northern man talking with scant knowledge about any of the films he’s just seen. Lamb and his pals ask him how many fags he smokes a day. He replies that he smokes two packets. Everyone laughs and I can’t work out why – because northerners smoke fags? There are no laughs to be found here, either. By now you’re weeping stomach acid from dilated tear ducts and the babble in your ears refuses to stop.
  • An interview with The Rascals, a solid enough Wirrall based beat combo. Lamb makes some stereotypical scouser gags when he’s not stumbling over his scripted lines and finds himself able to form a coherent sentence. The Rascals man is affable and basically says ‘yeah!’ a lot as he’s not given time to respond to any of the jibes. They play a song which is cut out due to licensing laws at the BBC. This makes this whole slot completely pointless.
  • Lamb and his Producer giggle and snigger, unable to speak as they promote their smashing idea for an anti-festival called… wait for it… Give-it-a-rest-ival! A brilliant play on words that thoroughly deserves three or four minutes of uninterrupted, self-satisfied chortling at their own brilliant gag – one an eleven year old would abandon on the grounds of utter moribundity.
  • A chat with an unremarkable member of the unremarkable band Dirty Pretty Things results in him agreeing not to appear at their non-festival which, in case we’d forgotten, is called the Give-It-A-Restival. A joke which bears repeating five or six times in case you still hadn’t figured out the subtle wordplay. By now the listener with a functioning brain is praying for the frontal lobotomy his fellow listeners must’ve endured to put up with this shit.
  • Finally, an interview with a sheep-shearing expert powers the highly amusing observation that Alan Shearer’s name has semantic similarities to the term ‘sheep-shearing’. The interviewee is baffled and is clearly wondering precisely what it is that’s meant to be so funny. So am I, as it happens. This section goes on for days. Rigor mortis begins to set in.

And then it’s over. It feels like days have passed. You’re more wrinkly than you were before – as though you’ve bathed for weeks in someone else’s urine.

I’m only glad I didn’t subscribe, as that might’ve aided their ride up the iTunes podcast charts.  According to the blurb, ‘it took a while but the podcast is finally here’. So we have to ask ourselves why did it take a while?

The idea of podcasts from the BBC is that existing radio shows are pared down to the essentials. Music is removed so that the banter can be distilled and the jokes will rule the roost. Problem is, with Lamb there are no jokes. There isn’t really any banter either – it’s just a few borrowed catchphrases being repeated back and forth as the crew pat one another on the back. The process would involve choosing which smug guffaw to include over which conceited cackle… so editing this must’ve been a nightmare akin to polishing the proverbial turd.

I urge you to continue in your ignorance of George Lamb.

Scouting For Girls – Elvis Ain’t Dead

January 22, 2008

The video starts with an 8-year-old boy getting out of bed; suddenly he’s playing the keyboards!! Actually, for someone of his age he’s jolly good (if he’s not miming to his dad doing it!) I bet he’ll be going to stage school when he’s older, even if he is miming!!! Ahahahahaj (really, he’s a good mime, but he may actually be doing it!!! Ar har).

There are parts when the boy is singing and frowning and being all-serious and between you and me, like he’s playing with his willie very fast, but he’s not, he’s just playing the keyboards! Phew, I bet his mum was pleased, I should imagine she’d be jolly cross if he was doing that sort of thing. Not that there would be any mess, I don’t think he’s old enough. Lets not think about that as it’s disgusting and people like that should be killed.

Anyway, we see the boy out and about on his own – this was nerve-racking for me because I’m not sure if he knows about the Green Cross Code yet – and this is where things get a bit dark. He’s still frowning and looks a little confused. This made me sad 😦

I hope he gives Childline a telephone-call. Poor boy. What if his mum hasn’t given him change for the phone box? Arrrgghhhh, danger.

I didn’t like this video because it made me feel sad and I was worried the boy might be sad as well 😦 The music of this boy isn’t very good either and it isn’t realistic. Also, I couldn’t understand what the boy was trying to do??? But he’s still very good at playing the keyboards for a boy (or miming ahahahahahahashi;)

Btw, Elvis is dead so this boy is a porky-pie liar as well. My mum H8’s lyers (liars)

BYE