Tuesday, December 16, 2008


There's a terrible fuss-a-brewing about who should be allowed to be Christmas Number One. Fighting it out are that Burke from X Factor and Jeff 'Armbands' Buckley. To be fair, it's only right that Spare Leona Lewis gets her week at number one before throwing herself whole-heartedly into opening shopping centres the length and breadth of the UK for all of next year.

That aside, the point is that the Jeff fans are trying to save the song 'Hallelujah' from being sullied by the hand of X Factor, as if the song itself somehow has feelings, that can be hurt. Fuckwits. If that were the case the poor thing would have been in a foetal position rocking back and forth under a running shower since 1994 after what Jeff did to it. In fact, if you go back far enough and listen to Leonard Cohen's original and use the same thinking, it probably would have been taken into care in 1984 and laughing Len would have been charged with child abuse.

Furthermore, Jeff Buckley described his version as an homage to "the hallelujah of the orgasm". That's right - he decided to record it, by his own admission, after a particularly good wank. That's probably why it sounds so lacklustre.

I've listened to Alexandra Burke's take on it. Or at least the take that Alexandra Burke has been instructed to have on it, and it's no better or worse than Jeff Buckley's. She inevitably does that thing where she takes something that's already soulful and tries to imbue it with soul, creating the soul-cancelling-out effect that you find on most recordings by alleged modern alleged soul alleged singers. Keep it simple, stupid.

Aaaaanyway, all of this is me digressing quite spectacularly, but then, you can't stop me - it's my blog and only the second time I've posted on it this year, so lap it up. What I really need to point out is that the money raised by both the Burke and Buckley versions goes to swell the coffers of SonyBMG Music. Now, it's your choice, but if ever there was an incentive for anyone to steal it off the internet I would have thought that was it.

I'm going to put up Leonard's version from YouTube, mainly because you need to hear the 'original' if you only know any of the bazillion cover versions. I can't help but be reminded of that William Shatner album when I hear it. It really is bad. It's lucky that John Cale sorted it all out, simplified it and made a concise reading from the 84 verses or however many Len wrote for it. Cos after all, it's John Cale's version that everybody uses nowadays as their blueprint for it, eh? His still isn't the best one though. That's Rufus Wainwright's. I don't see you all clamouring to get him to the top of the charts right now though, do I? What's the matter, is he not cool enough for you? There's a certain irony in everybody getting behind Jeff Buckley when he's too dead to appreciate it instead of making the Christmas of a man who's as camp as it.

Oh, before any aggrieved Jeffrey devotees pile in and make a mess of my comments section - word of advice for you. Briefly go away and listen to Tim Buckley doing it properly then come back and we'll talk. 'Cept we won't, cos I don't talk to Jeff Buckley fans.

Leonard Cohen - Hallelujah. I'll tell you what - when that enormous choir bellows in on the chorus, it's beautifully understated. Nice one Len, well judged.

Rufus Wainwright - Hallelujah. Off you go now, Ruf. Go and hustle your way on to the Shrek soundtrack. This video's even got the words so you and your family can get round for a nice game of maudlin karaoke on Christmas morning.

I've enjoyed this. I might start again at it next year. Who knows, I might even put on a gig before I realise I'm absolutely sick to fucking death of it some gigs under the I Look Ill 'umbrella'. That's right - I'M RELAUNCHING THE BRAND. For about a week.

Sunday, March 09, 2008


Rattling on elsewhere about the Cocteau Twins got me looking to see what Wikipedia had to say about them. In the list of Robin Guthrie's collaborations, production and otherwise, I was surprised to see that he'd produced some (first generation) shoegazer's records that I really liked. It makes sense that he would have done, I just didn't know that he had. So... I plan to run you through the entire good, bad and abominable of shoegazing. You are cordially invited to ignore it completely.

Right, first a couple of Guthrie collaborations:

Lush - Deluxe. Lush sounded like this before shoegazing had even been invented. About five years later they made those more obvious records that actually sold some copies. To simpletons.

Chapterhouse - Falling Down. This is my favourite Chapterhouse single. Not my favourite song of theirs, cos that was Die Die Die. Which was never a single. It was given away as a bonus vinyl disc with the early copies of their first album. Therefore the no video for it is fairly unlikely to turn up on youtube. So Falling Down it is. This is from when they went 'a bit baggy'.

By going from Lush to Chapterhouse I've kind of leapfrogged the first REAL shoegazers who were Ride. The first few Ride EPs and their debut album were ace. After that they decided on a policy of just doing good things every now and again. This video for Chelsea Girl, the first song on their first EP has an interview with Andy Bell and Loz Colbert before it. Andy is now the surly bass player in Oasis, despite him being a far better guitarist than anyone in the band. Except Liam. Loz Colbert is now the drummer in the reformed Jesus and Mary Chain. To be fair, he's a fucking brilliant drummer. Another interesting fact is that loads of girls at college used to fancy my friend Ian Turnips because he looked like Mark Gardener from Ride. He's the one doing all of the singing on this. Mark Gardener that is, not Turnips.

Slowdive - Catch the Breeze. People did and still do really LOVE Slowdive. I always thought that they weren't catchy enough vocally. Their first album, Just For a Day, I've never been able to listen to all the way through in one sitting, cos I'm just too bored by about halfway through. That said, I did really like Catch the Breeze. But they stand accused more than anyone of being the biggest perpetrators of The Misunderstanding My Bloody Valentine Mistake.

My most recent shoegazing-revisited obsession has been Moose. This is surprising as they were considered runts of the litter even at the time. Well, everybody's wrong. They were dead good. You're all idiots. To prove it, you're getting three singles.

Moose - Jack (first single)
Moose - Suzanne (ace single)
Moose - This River Will Never Run Dry ('This-is-over. We'd-best-go-a-bit-country' GREATEST single)

Now. Because when I went to see Moose they were supporting Stereolab, I'm putting up Stereolab's finest moment from when they were
a. Nearly shoegazers
b. Not yet really dull
Stereolab - French Disko. Appearing on The Word to give it some context in time. Also because there doesn't appear to be an official video for it. Good performance though.

There are a couple of other candidates in the 'are-they-aren't-they?' shoegazing camp. First up are The Pale Saints. I can't find a good clip of Sight of You or She Rides The Waves, so I'm going with their fantastic cover version of the Nancy Sinatra rarity Kinky Love.

In existence before ANY of the rest of them then outlasting the whole thing by a fair few years were The Boo Radleys. Before they were cracking the UK top ten armed with bad trumpets, they were making great singles like Lazy Day.

The Iron Maiden of shoegazing were The Catherine Wheel. In that they were a bit more rockist than they were ethereal (I got this far without describing something as ethereal. Haven't I did well?) and that one of them was related to Iron Maiden. I don't know which one, but the singer of The Catherine Wheel's name is Rob Dickinson.
The Catherine Wheel - Black Metallic. They got accused of racism for the couplet "It's the colour of your skin. Your skin is black metallic". It was a strange time. If you need to get hold of a copy of this song, it's on the A-side of the Black Metallic single, and on the b-side in various forms of every single Catherine Wheel since then. Their guitarist, Brian Futter, had exceptionally corkscrew hair when they first turned up on Snub TV.

By now, anyone with a fringe, a Fender Jaguar guitar and a chorus and delay pedal had been signed to pretend indies Hut or Dedicated Records. This was not good. Not good at all. Here's Revolver with Heaven Sent an Angel. The only upside of this is that the clip is from the Indie Charts bit of The Chart Show. Mat Flint from Revolver won a Brit Award the year after this in the 'Most Schmindie Singing Ever' category.

It was all done bar the not shouting in the UK. It was over to the USA to see if they could do anything interesting with it. They could, briefly. Medicine were the first band I can remember being described as 'Dreampop', which is American for 'Shoegazing'. This is Aruca from their first EP. At the start you can clearly hear that they have not made The Misunderstanding My Bloody Valentine Mistake.

The Drop Nineteens briefly looked like they could save the whole thing. Sadly, they didn't and life moved on. They did leave us with the song Winona though.

The Misunderstanding My Bloody Valentine Mistake.
Where shoegazing went wrong right across the board was down to the people involved not realising why My Bloody Valentine were great. Pre-Loveless, MBV made records they had an inch-perfect balance of detached melodic sugar-sweet vocals, distant and effects heavy guitars, terrible production and out and out violence in the musical backing. Long has run the debate on which Valentines album is better - Isn't Anything Vs Loveless, but, to quote Paul Calf's video diary, you've set up a false opposition. As superb as Isn't Anything is, the point at which they changed guitar music forever was with the You Made Me Realise EP. From start to finish it's almost perfect. I don't even *like* one of the songs on it, and it's still near flawless. Bands like Slowdive removed the violence. They removed the groove. They removed the bit that made the floppy fringed kids want to throw themselves around beer-sticky dancefloors on a Thursday night. The music lost it's heartbeat.

Here are My Bloody Valentine with You Made Me Realise. The video was directed by Douglas Hart from The Jesus and Mary Chain. Feel surprised that I've skilfully avoided going on at length about their influence in all of this as yet.

In the same way that the shoegazers got MBV wrong, so the post-rock hoardes and the (seriously, I'm not just being silly) Nu-gazers don't understand what was worth bothering with about the shoegazers. Many times now I've had this conversation

"They were amazing. They played one riff for about nine minutes"
"Then what happened?"
"Didn't the crowd at least try to set fire to them on behalf of music everywhere?"
"This country..."

Often I'm told, or it is at least implied with the condescending tone that only the eternally tuneless can manage that I just don't get it with (post-post-post-)post-rock. I do. I get it. It's prog-rock that's more shit. How far away am I so far?

So anyway. That's that all sorted out then. If you want to delve further you could do at lot worse than to click here for the Shoegazeralive blog which, as far as I can make out, is a feller in Brazil uploading entire albums/back catalogues to rapidshare/yousendit services for you to download for nothing. At the time of typing Curve are at the top of the front page there. I left them out on purpose. They were on Dave Stewart's record label. Get in touch via the comments section or email if you feel aggrieved that I've left out Adorable, Smashing Orange, The Ecstasy of St. Theresa or Feral from Newcastle and that it's just unforgivable.

Cheerio then. I'll see you in about a year and a half.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007


I can't think of an occasion when I've managed to cover music and football in one post before. And by managed, I mean needed. And by needed, I mean been foolhardy enough to risk it.

There's a good reason for this, and I can boil it down to a simple equation.

Though it has been attributed to many others, including Elvis Costello and Sammy, the bass player out of Onionhead, I think it was Frank Zappa who originally said "writing about music is like dancing to architecture". Always one for thinking on it's drawing board, Architecture shot back, quick as a flash, "though you'd somehow feel more foolish boogieing to Frank Zappa".

Zappa may be arse-achingly dull, indulgent and, most significantly, dead - but for once, he had a point. Another, less flouncy law is that you never let football within a throw-ins reach of getting musical. Ever.

If we multiply what we shall call The Law of Dancing To Architecture by what we shall call The Law of Hoddle and Waddle's Diamond Lights, we ought to see...

That I should never, under any conceivable circumstances, not even when there's a war on and there's a shortage of musical news stories, be required to write anything that combines the two.


Ram FM are proudly promoting a new song by 11th Hour, though technically that ought to be '11th Hour Featuring Billy Davies'. The song, apparently is "designed to help the Ram's promotion push", which all told must involve some fearsome backwards masking and subliminal messages. On the upside "all profits from the download and sale of the song will go to the 10 charities designated by Derby County for the 2006-07 season". Let's hope that at least one of them is dedicated to helping deaf children live a more comfortable life.
Elvis has left the full-back stranded.

Sunday, February 11, 2007


Considering the relatively short time that we've inhabited Earth a surprisingly early contender for the title of Worst Idea In Human History is the It Should Have Been Number One project.

Now that singles don't have to have a physical (CD/Vinyl/Edison Cylinder) release to count in the charts, these people are taking the opportunity to rig them by getting behind songs that were robbed of their 'rightful' place at the top of the pop charts first time around. With me so far? Good good...

The *main* problem is that the FIRST song that they deem worthy of this treatment is Roll With It by Oasis. Yes. Now relax, cos I have a cunnning plan - and it's just asking for it...

Go here and download Country House by Blur.

Roll With It : It Means
Nothing Tooo Meeeee

Saturday, February 03, 2007


I picked a terrible time to start my blog up again, considering that I'd have to leave it dormant for a week just two days later. I just liked the perfection of it being started up again a year to the day later. Don't think I don't care about you - I've already prepared you this postcard.
Budapest : There may
be surprises yet.

Friday, February 02, 2007


A succession of acts who'd really like Radiohead's level of success have been clamouring for inclusion on KCRW Radio's thrilling new compilation album - There's Something About Radiohead. The 'curator' of the piece and station payola honcho, Canesten Twilight today said , "Everyone wants to be Radiohead. In recent years they've come to define eclecticism, especially if you're unsure of what the word means and you like your definitions very narrow. Apparently on the next album they've attached motion sensors to Thom's wonky eye and are using them to trigger a theremin. Or a Vicodin or something. Well, it's *one* of those instruments that always turn up on their records".

The tracklisting runs:

Damien Rice - Creep (Piano Version)
Flaming Lips - Creep
Four-Tet - Creep (Fragmented Hard-Drive Mix)
R.E.M - Creep
Radiohead - The Sun Has Taken His Hat Off
M. Ward - 2 + 2 = 5
Muse - Creep
Paul Weller - Acquiesce
Gary Jules - Creep (from Donnie Darker:The Revenge)
Joanna Newsom - Creep
Coldplay - Clocks
Jethro Tull - Creep
Robert Wyatt - Shipbuilding.

The album will be leaked for download on February 18th. In stores shortly after the bolt's back on the door of the empty stable.
Tommy Radioneck : Hasn't he
got gorgeous eclectic eyes?

Thursday, February 01, 2007



Nothing lifts my mood more than the news that Sting is about to do something. Except perhaps the sight of Bob Geldof shaking his collection tin on St Peter's Street. Accompanied by Bono playing Bob Marley songs on acoustic guitar. In fact, you're lucky that I managed to stop singing it from the rooftops for long enough to inform you that The Police have reformed to rake it in once more. Sting is taking his top off to practice glistening with sweat as I type.

One great rock music story that I've heard three different versions of is that Stewart Copeland, the drummer from out of The Police hated Sting so much that he had *EITHER* "Sting is a Cunt", "Fuck off Sting" OR Sting's face scrawled on his drum skins to help him hit them harder. What's less widely known is that Andy Summers, the guitarist from out of The Police (it's no mistake - Sting was the bass player from out of Sting's band) painted all of his guitar strings in yellow and black stripes like Sting's jumpers that he got his nickname from in order to lash out at them furiously so that they'd break more while the band were playing sold out stadiums.

If they really needed the money I'd post play.com or amazon links here for Stewart Copeland's Everybody Stares DVD (supposed to be great), Andy Summers' One Train Later book (supposed to be good) or Sting's solo back catalogue (Sting likes it. A lot).
The Stings : His tops do
it voluntarily now.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006


Even though it's still a beta version, Google Video is pretty good for finding music videos/footage on.

I'll be honest, I only really found this out cos there's next to no porn on there.

Let's try the obvious and see what it gives us:
The Beatles
Good, let's try the NEXT biggest band of all time. Shut up:
The Ramones
Probably time to drag ourselves kicking and screaming into this century:
Rilo Kiley
How about them lot what give us the best album of 2004 last year?:
The Arcade Fire
And him that we must thank daily for bringing them to our attention:
What have Lou 'Chuckles' Reed and his merry crew got on there?:
The Velvet Underground

Actually, with that last one you'll find clips of a band seemingly called Phoneless (yeeees... I'm guessing they're European. Well, I say European - I mean French). I only realised that it wasn't the real Velvets when I noticed that they had even less of a drummer than Moe Tucker.

Still, make the most of it before every clip you view is infected with code that redirects your browser to pages trying to flog you pills for your cock.

* - Well, you do if you're Pauly. Ages ago I told you that this was what Google would invent next. You disagreed, asking how it would recognise the content of the video clips. OBVIOUSLY the answer to that was "the same way it does with Google Images", but I got confused and wary cos you invented the internet or something.


All of them are DEAD but have absolute fucking lunatics who believe them to be alive somewhere in the world.

I don't know why I mention it...

Anyway, once again it's the anniversary of the disappearance of Richey Edwards, the Manic Street Preachers' not-plugged-in guitar hero.

His vanishing act is a complete mystery. The last anyone can remember seeing him he was dumping his car at that service station right next to the Severn Bridge. Have you ever been to the Severn Bridge? It's an impressive sight, and that expanse of water underneath it washes straight out to the sea. Honestly, if you slipped off that - you'd be a goner.

Sorry, I digress. I'm always doing that. Where was I? Yeah, Richey Edwards. Dropped his car off by that fancy log flume, didn't have a lot of money or his passport on him. No-one's seen him since. Where could he have got to? Show yourself Richey! Come on you tinker! At least get in touch with your mam - she's got your tea on!

Nope, it's no good, no good at all. We're going to need Scooby Doo for this one. "Hello, Fred? You're in the Mystery Machine? Oh, that's good. Look - are you anywhere near the M48? Good..."
Rikes! He's Read! Heeeeheee-

Of course, you can always go here if you believe I'm being a tad harsh...

Tuesday, January 24, 2006


Many thanks to Steve Domino for pointing out in the comments of the next post down that some new (at least, new to me) MP3s of Television Personalities songs from the forthcoming album My Dark Places have surfaced on Teaching the Indie Kids To Dance Again MP3 blog. Do also take a look at Steve and the other Johnny Domino chaps' superfine Domino Rally MP3 Blog.

Of the two songs 'She Can Stop Traffic' is notably the poppier (a triumph, considering), veering somewhere towards the previously uncharted territory of mantra/playground taunt crossover while 'Ex-Girlfriend Club' might just seem familiar somehow, if a little more harrowing than you remembered it. That said, Daniel Treacy's ready wit is present, as ever, "Don't be fooled by the rocks - I'm still Danny from the block" indeed...


Over at the Domino Records website they're modestly congratulating themselves on The Arctic Monkeys 2nd consecutive UK number one single, when what they SHOULD be doing is chomping at the bit ready to make sure that every set of functioning ears in the world gets to hear the new Television Personalities single that's due in two weeks time. Regardless of whether it's released on 7" vinyl only or not.

It seems that the good folks of the TVPs yahoo group have coped with the anticipation by ALL AT ONCE putting their own bands on MySpace. Now, no offence to them, as they're all simply charming people but this has raised the overall average age of MySpace participants to something like 185 years old. Christ, *I'm* old but I'm still in nappies over in TVP/Yahoo world. Mind you, that's just my own predilection.

So expect gradually to be seeing far fewer pictures on there of him:
and far more pictures of him:

But that's not my point. My point is that you can go and look and listen to them all, 'cos I'm going to do you a massive list jus' down here, like.

The TVPs themselves
(now with songs up. Really good ones at that. You lucky people).

TVP Members past and present:
The Ghosts
Edward Ball
The Times
Teenage Filmstars
Love Corporation
O Level
Graeme W
The Projects

TVP Yahoo Group Folks' Bands
The Container Drivers
Four Volts
Sixty Nine and the Continuous People
The June Brides
Foaming Beauties
The Void
The Catalysts

And just 'cos I didn't want to feel all left out I decided to shamelessly start a music account just to put one song up for the moment at
The Gazthatch Experience

Which ties in nicely - 'cos that song of mine went on Anti-War Robb's Anti-War album that he put together before they didn't listen and the last war broke out (US Oil, not Second World). I've been meaning for ages to point out that you can download the whole thing in it's entirety (artwork an' all) for nothing nowadays by going here. However, you'll find out more about it and see what else the U Rule people are giving away for nuffink on this page.

Phew, all a bit long-winded, weren't it?

Friday, January 20, 2006


That Kevin Bloody Shields from My Bloody Valentine has got a bloody nerve...

He's amongst residents of Hampstead who are complaining about a bar called Room 68 applying for a late licence to allow them to open until 1am.

On the grounds of noise nuisance.

Hmmm... yeeeeeees, Kevin. Let's hope that they don't crank the sound system up so loud that it damages the audience's hearing AND triggers the instinct in the human body that warns of imminent danger whilst all of the staff of the place are safely going about their business wearing earplugs.

You'd have thought that with all of his practice doing interviews that he'd have got the best soundbite in. Unfortunately not. The best Kev could manage was "I really object to being forced to listen to music I don't like while someone else makes money. The worst are Dido remixes". I can't say whether the newspaper edited out anything along the lines of "Her record company rejected mine" or not.

But he was beaten hands down in the quote stakes by local philosophy teacher Donald Hill who offered up "This is a conservation area - believe it or not - not a honky-tonk arena for idiots". I can't say whether the newspaper edited out anything along the lines of "Or ethereal, procrastinating guitar molesters for that matter" or not.
Kevin Shields : Careful! He's
been woken up again...

Wednesday, January 18, 2006


On the subject of when The Smiths were little (below), in the process of winding some metal kidz up today I inadvertantly found the MySpace home of one James Maker.

Who, I type that I can imagine you asking? He was the original go-go dancer for The Smiths until everybody involved pointed out that they really didn't need a go-go dancer/Morrissey decided that there wasn't enough attention to go round sharing it.*

He went on to sing in the band Raymonde and as I've been webstalking the man today, I've discovered that you can buy a couple of their old singles on eBay, or at least you could at the time of me smashing my hands about on this keyboard.

After that, he decided to have a crack at LA-style metal in what was at the time, as far as I'm aware, the first all gay heavy metal band. Legend has it that the people who signed them to EMI Records (only for Mr Maker & co to later reveal their sexual orientation) were so livid at being presented with the problem of marketing a gay rock band to what was then considered (despite the age-old homoeroticism of heavy metal) a very macho/straight audience that they washed their hands of the act. To the point that RPLA were banned from even entering the EMI building.

Oh his MySpace page are demos from 2000. There are four songs up there for you to tilt your ears towards.

Nowadays he goes under the moniker 'James Maker and Noko 440' and states his genre as pop/ambient. Newer material will see release soon either on iTunes or on that quaint old CD format that people used to go crazy for.

You might think that the picture below is amusing with it's 99p sticker, but you try finding a picture of RPLA, let alone one of The Smiths onstage with their go-go dancer on Google images...
RPLA : I see no reason why Saxon
fans wouldn't lap it up.

Shortly after my regrettable bout of recollecting it occured to me that I probably ought to write a book containing all of the old trivia that I know and save putting you, dear reader (singular) through it.

* - Delete according to which story you believe.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006


There's some curious old footage of The Smiths behaving decidedly less than effortlessly cool on The Tube here.

The resolution is a bit on the poor side so there are some good bits where Morrissey's face takes on an alien quality.

The cutting between the schoolchildren asking the questions and Morrissey or Johnny Marr is seamless as well. At no point did I get the impression that there was no way that they were going to get Steven Patrick to sit in a classroom full of grubby schoolchildren for real. To be honest, on reflection it now seems surprising that they got him to agree to stand next to that little lad when they did 'Panic' on Top of the Pops.

The best bit is possibly when they edit in the kids singing 'This Charming Man' in unison over the wrong part of the song.
Pesky Kid : Billy Liability

Sunday, January 15, 2006


Anyone who knows anything knows how good the Japanese are at archiving stuff. Often pointless stuff, admittedly, but stuff nonetheless.

Go here to have a look at a superb collection of old compact cassettes. Then, when you've finally been drawn in and are shouting "I've got that one! I've got the second CUD album on that!" to an empty room, stop for one moment and take in fully the fact that you're getting excited about a load of digital images of cassette tapes. Then perhaps spend an hour or two seriously thinking about your life.

My second question about this collection, obviously after "Why?", is - how on earth did they get them captured in that resolution?

Tape : For the record, my favourite one

Thursday, January 12, 2006


The Concretes have released details of a new single preceding a new album. Called 'Chosen One' it's out on February 27th. A week later the album 'In Colour' drops hits the streets is in the racks gets released.

It's well worth visiting their website as they have loads of interesting downloads of songs, videos and interesting animations and stuff. And pictures of them birds from out of The Concretes. Phwoar!


This settlement has been reached in the Sony BMG vs The Music Listening World spyware/malicious content copy protected CDs case (as it's surely technically known).

Now, forgive me, but isn't that just one huge slapped wrist? Especially when you take into account that users can forego the cash refund and get 'more downloads'? More digital copies? Costing Sony what? Precisely nothing?

Is there any proviso to ensure that Sony BMG make it known that this is available to those whose computers they put at risk? What if you're a computer user who *isn't* connected to the internet? What good are your free downloads to you then? I could keep going. Oh, I will...

Exactly what system are they providing to access your downloads? Do you have to register with them? 'Cos given their recent dodgy history of having a quick shufty around your computing activities I'd say that handing over any information to them was less than wise.

Presumably, if they ever catch up with my P2P activites I can just offer the bands in question the money I've theoretically saved and offer them a quick root 'round my MP3 collection?

So, yes, a settlement that probably goes into millions that they'll likely be insured against anyway. Truly, it's a victory for the man in the street...
Sony BMG : They'll think twice
after a telling off like that.

UPDATE : You might want to have a look at this 'Letter To Our Valued Customers', mind you. Though of more use might be this 'list of infected titles'. About which, it occurs to me - will the copies of those albums with the XCP copy protection on them now become collecter's items? Shall I go and play merry hell with them? Shall I? Shall I?

UPDATED UPDATE : Admittedly, perhaps I should have looked through everything before I vented my spleen, but I really wanted to catch my disgust in full flow. Go here to see the mechanics of their exchange programme. It's interesting, cos I see that you *don't* in fact have to register for your downloads as they'll send you a link to the MP3s. Can anyone see what's going to happen with that? If you *are* one of the poor unfortunates that

1. Purchased any of the CDs in that list and
2. Subsequently had it nearly fuck your computer for you:

DO feel free to post the links to those MP3s in the comments section here.*

Most interesting is the fact that 'Life' by Ricky Martin and 'Days in Memphis' by Peter Gallagher contain the copy protection warning, but not the actual rogue software. You can exchange those for a copy without the lazy, overlooked-the-details-of-it packaging. You really should. If you've got more than one CD in that list - I recommend sending them individually, at Sony's expense. You can take them to a UPS store OR have UPS come and pick them up from your house. Which option do you think I implore you to use?

* - as I've previously established, it's the kiss of death for any suggestion I ever make on here that even remotely involves the 'comments section'.