Week in rock

Pete Townshend apparently had a shitty week last week, and chose to express it by lashing out at The White Stripes and talking up the importance of the bloated carcass that is The Who of today. What’s the matter, Pete? The good’s gone? The guitarist attacked the garage rock duo’s musicianship, saying in an interview that he “could probably outdo The White Stripes with a guitar and a fucking drum machine.” Later, he revealed that The Who will be bootlegging their entire upcoming European tour, translating it into DVD, CD, podcast and digital formats, and donating the proceeds to charity. “Every show we play is bootlegged by someone. With Roger’s OK already given I intend to bootleg Who shows myself and give the proceeds to charity,” Townshend said on the official Who net site.

“In addition,” the statement continued, “we will webcast a live stream of 30 minutes featuring at least one LIVE number by The Who from every show for 99c. Proceeds to local health, children’s and street charities.”

Maybe some of the proceeds should go to the “Pete Townshend Grammar Fund for the Prevention of Sentence Fragments.” In addition, Townshend said that the band would webcast an entire show, and elaborated with a stream of invective. “Why are we doing this? BECAUSE WE FUCKING WELL CAN. Will it make us look good? WE DON’T GIVE A FUCK. (I can still be rather crude in my old age, you will probably have noticed.) If you are a corporate sponsor considering sponsoring The Who in this mammoth FIRST EVER tour webcast venture, get your head out of your arse and walk towards us. We are about to take off.” Come on, Pete. Is that kind of language really appropriate for someone raising money for children’s charities?


Good news from the U.K., as singer-songwriter James Blunt is banned from a radio station, even after bringing home two Ivor Novello awards last week. What those are is anyone’s guess, but the important thing is that listeners of England’s Essex FM will, as of Monday, never be subjected to Blunt’s piece of shit hits “You’re Beautiful” and “Goodbye My Lover.”

Goodbye my lover? More like “Goodbye My Liver” because of the amount I have to drink to drown out your shitty warbling! Ha! Bad puns aside, despite suspicion that the station pulled Blunt due to his post-award comments aimed at his detractors (in which he told them to “switch off”), it turns out that the move was actually based on extensive market research that told them audiences were as sick of Blunt as I am. The station’s program controller, Chris Cotton, revealed more in an interview with U.K. daily The Independent. “Quite often there will be popular artists that people are starting to grow weary of. This time, the number of specific comments about James Blunt were more than we have ever seen for one particular artist.” Ha! It’s great when market research vindicates my bitter, under-researched opinion! Cotton continued to put Blunt in the trashcan with his further statements: “It was quite staggering. People said, ‘Can you get rid of him?’ ‘Can you ban him?’ Even people who say they are fans of his songs go on to express that they’re sick of it.” In fact, when the station even brought up the idea on the air, the switchboards were flooded with requests to indeed give that fucking charlatan Blunt the ax.

“The amount of feedback is enormous, so it looks like there’ll be a pretty long-term ban.” But the real clincher was Cotton’s encouragement to other stations to join Essex FM in their ban. “While his songs have been very popular,” the program controller said, “there is a tremendous amount of industry pressure to play certain artists frequently. Often this can be out of step with the audience’s tastes, which results in songs being overplayed. We’re happy to stand up to this pressure. We encourage other radio stations to take the same step.” Cheers to you, Mr. Cotton, on behalf of lovers of tasteful music everywhere.