JoeBusiness ::: Rylan, Peperami And The Cult Of Fame

CBB

 

So Celebrity Big Brother is on at the moment which means we’re being exposed to yet another couple of weeks of vacuous desperation and indignity. The Reality TV phenomenon became a hideous parody of even itself long ago and every year the ‘Celebrity’ Big Brother house is re-populated with Reality ‘Stars’ and this year is no different. Not only is there Spencer and Heidi or ‘Speidi’, as they’re known by the tabloids, from hit US show The Hills but Rylan Clark. Ohhhh Rylan, hello again. Despite having the demeanour of a camp, goth Peperami, Rylan seems to be immensely popula. Most of you will know him as being the crap but funny one on last year’s X Factor but that was not his TV debut, oh no. He also finished second on the Sky Living series Signed by Katie Price which was a show that sought someone not even with a particular talent but just generally to be represented by Katie and her management agency for… ummm… just being on telly I think? However, before even this Rylan cropped up as a ‘talking head’ on John Bishop’s Britain, the sort of gig aspiring actors and models are offered just for that all-important ‘exposure’, and in a similar role on other shows, so it seems his quest for the limelight has gone on for many years, if not his entire life. Herein lies my point, that Rylan Clark, without knowing it I’m sure, is entirely representative of the overwhelming trend in popular culture over the last decade and that is, the desire for fame without achievement.

 

He went on last year’s X Factor, having previously cast himself as a ‘model’, and I’m sure he knew he was bad at singing, as did everyone else but it didn’t matter because he was on telly! He just wanted to be on TV for the sake of it, so upon leaving X Factor took a gimmick-inspired stint on Daybreak as a presenter – he was rubbish and the entire scenario was a source of intense irritation to all the presenters I spoke to and probably terror for any watching children as he leered towards the screen like a biker version of the Child Catcher. He then promptly signed up for Celebrity Big Brother. So now we have a man who is famous for having no talent on a format initially meant to make stars of fame-hungry people but on the version specifically intended to have already famous people on it, that also happens to be presented by a former contestant and no one thinks the whole Reality TV thing has gone too far!?

 

I know I’m a bit of a hypocrite because I interview these people on a regular basis and generally get on with them and I don’t seek to attack reality TV stars as people, it’s rather the sad trend they represent and it’s enormous influence on every aspect of modern society. The gestation for this article began when I was reading a piece about legendary ultra-method actor Daniel-Day Lewis in Time Magazine, where it talked of him staying in character between takes for his Oscar-winning turn as the severely disabled Irish painter and writer Christy Brown in My Left Foot, including being carried and even fed by members of cast and crew. While reading this fantastic profile it occurred to me it’s been so long since I read, or heard on the radio, or saw on TV some ‘entertainment news’ that wasn’t about a lovelorn member of the TOWIE cast, an X Factor bust up or a shock elimination from Dancing on Ice and yet here was a man who represents how and why fame should be realised – through dedication, commitment and the honing of a special talent, not making a tit of yourself on telly so that The Sun can take a picture of you next time you’re pissed outside Mahiki.

 

I’m sure Rylan’s not a bad person but he entirely encapsulates something that is endemic in modern society, that people want to be famous despite not having achieved anything. In the past fame was a by-product of talent, whether it be singing, sport, acting or anything really but now people just want to have their picture in the paper, go to faux glamorous parties and befriend other ‘celebrities’ without having done anything to warrant the attention and I think this is deeply, deeply unhealthy. An entire generation of kids and more worryingly many adults, just want to be famous and dedicate their ambitions to the pursuit of attention at all costs, rather than doing something they’re good at, they enjoy or that’s worthwhile. These should be the considerations when choosing a career path, not the warped version of reality that is ‘fame’. On the other hand there is a glamour model called Lacey Banghard in this year’s house and she’s got massive knockers! So sit back, relax, turn your brain off and your TV on.

Published on IAmMusic.TV, 17th Jan 2013

JoeBusiness ::: Harry Styles Gets Boozy With Jacuzzi Floozy…Or Does He?

Harry and Taylor 3

 

So here, sadly, we are. Just 48 days after the JoeBusiness article that covered the blossoming romance between Harry Styles and Taylor Swift, it’s over. Apparently they had a blazing row and the relationship is now over. Oh well, it’s a shame for them but as I mentioned in the original article, their personal lives are personal so I’m sure they had their reasons.

 

What I take umbrage with is, is the angle almost all of the press have gone with, which is a half-baked tale of Harry jetting off to Sir Richard Branson’s luxury Necker Island, which is true (also how annoying is it that he gets to do that?) and then cavorting with a Bravo TV (Huh?) presenter by the name of Hermione Way (Ummm?). Now they may have cavorted, romped or even found themselves in a comprising embrace but in none of the articles I read is there any bloody proof! One unnamed source from The Sun (bound to be a bastion of reliability then) claimed: “There was a lot of flirting in the tub and Hermione was loving the attention as they necked champagne and gobbled sushi.” Sorry what!? That conjures the image of a couple of squatting Gollums, slopping champers down their faces while picking bits of manky fish from the frothing waters of the hot tub. What a supremely un-erotic or suggestive phrase ‘gobbled sushi’ is! I’m aware this may not seem like a big deal but I took one look at the picture of Harry sitting in the Jacuzzi, three places away from the young lady in question, behaving totally innocently and it made me feel rather sorry for him. That’s right, I feel sorry for hunky, millionaire heart throb Harry Styles… I think my compassion gland ain’t be working properly cos I couldn’t give a toss about the orphans! Joking… It’s not so much the story in particular but the wider problem it represents.

 

Harry and Taylor have broken up and there’s no suggestion of infidelity on the part of the pube-headed lothario, which has deeply upset the press as that’s what they were desperately hoping for but never ones to let the truth get in the way of a good story, some showbiz reporters began beavering away (something it’s unclear whether Harry was doing on the island!) to create the most salacious story possible from a very limited array of facts. I’m surprised I haven’t yet seen a headline that reads something like: ‘Harry knobs bird in posh bath, Taylor sad, what a stud/bastard!’ or at the very least ‘Harry gets boozy with Jacuzzi floozy!’

 

To paraphrase Michael Corleone, I am part of the same hypocrisy and make my living presenting or writing about the world of entertainment but facts are very important to me as firstly, the idea of getting something wrong, whether in an interview or an article, is deeply embarrassing and also it’s a way of saying ‘I am a professional and I care about getting things right.’ However, I don’t know what these people are being asked to do by their editors and those they report to and I’m lucky enough to work for people who, while wanting the best possible reaction to any piece of work, also value the truth and journalistic integrity. Also, you’ll be amazed to discover, sex sells so I suppose the urge to give the people what they want must be too strong.

 

I’m sure I’m guilty of conjecture or innuendo when I haven’t had all the information and I’m sure it was all just so I could pen an infantile line I couldn’t resist, at some innocent celebrity’s expense but I can honestly say I’ve never used ‘an inside source’, ‘a friend’ or ‘a source close to the star’ or any other spurious euphemism for utter made-up waffle to give a juicy and apposite quote and the fact that this device is still so flagrantly used does make me wonder if it’s right but also in a country where, rightly, the sanctity of sources is valued, what’s to be done?

Published on IAmMusic.TV, 10th Jan 2013

JoeBusiness ::: New Year’s Eve, NYC And Sexy DJs

Times Square 2

Happy New Year!!! So Christmas has been and gone and everyone’s a little bit fatter and a little bit poorer. I for one am relieved by the end of party season, it’s a great time of year but it’s nice to be able to think ‘Ooh, I don’t have to drink alcohol for a few days now!’… Well you don’t have to anyway but come on, this country functions on inappropriate boozing.

The end of party season is of course signalled by New Year’s Eve. A lot of people slag off New Year’s saying every venue is much more expensive to get into. True. Everywhere is more busy than usual. True again. And finally that the expectation never matches the reality. Hmmmm, maybe but I have a solution to all these quibbles. STAY IN! Your only two options on this night are to go out, as most people will do, or to stay in. If you find the prospect of the latter too boring then don’t moan about the former! The problem with New Year’s Eve is not that the expectation doesn’t match up to the reality but rather that people’s expectations are too high. Treat it as just a night out, where the prerequisites are being with your mates, listening to music you like (or can at least dance to) and, in my case, the presence of members of the opposite sex with whom you can share adroit witticisms or at the very least venereal diseases. Joking!… I never share my venereal diseases, they’re too precious to me. However, for some reason people believe every NYE is going to be like The Hangover and then proceed to moan when it’s not. I started to have some cracking nights on 31st December when I began treating it like any other night out and on that note, thanks to Kanaloa in St. Paul’s where I spent this NYE and one a couple of years back for tolerating my slick moves on the dancefloor and giving me a free Hawaiian garland on entry… What more could you want?

Between Christmas and New Year I was lucky enough to go to New York. It’s the second time I’ve been and if you ever get the chance to go then I can’t recommend it enough, it’s amazing. Everything from the dizzying lights of Times Square to the fist-sized meatballs of Little Italy is an experience for anyone, let alone those who’ve grown up on American movie culture, for whom the entire experience is like being on a film set.

However, what I want to talk about is a novel idea they’ve hit on over there which is models… who are also DJs! Ummm do you like music? Yes. Well do you also like fit women? Of course! Well here’s an idea for ya! A company called STADJ provides this service (no they’re not paying me to write this, the experience just had a rather, ahem, ‘stirring’ effect on me) and I am only aware of it as when I returned to my hotel on the final night of the trip, weary and a little frightened by the attentions of a shop assistant named Shalom at Bloomingdales who, whenever I even glanced at an item, proclaimed ‘That looks sooo cute on you!’ Why thank you Shalom and while cuteness is of paramount importance to me a) If everything looks ‘cute’ then how on earth do I choose and b) Can you stop f**ing following me, it’s been 45 minutes and I’m starting to sweat and not in the good way! But anyway, I got back to the hotel lobby planning to sit down and have a little rest but as I walked in I saw one of the most beautiful women I’ve ever seen behind a set of CD decks and was mesmerised. I proceeded to bore the rest of my party over the next couple of hours by reiterating how lovely this young lady was and how great it was that she’s a DJ. After picking up a flyer I discovered this company has a whole roster of female models/DJs that play all over New York and it begged the question ‘Why has no one else thought of this?’ It appeals to the base nature of men who will do almost anything to see a pretty girl (I’d also like to point out she was a talented DJ too, DJ Sierra I believe she’s called) and I believe the same premise would work with women too, although probably to a lesser extent as women are, by nature, more complicated and thoughtful creatures than grunting cavemen such as myself. You could call it ‘Hunks play Funk’, ‘Funky Hunks’ or ‘Let this Hunk cover you in…’ well you get the idea.

Published on IAmMusic.TV, 5th Jan 2013

JoeBusiness ::: The Festive Special, Christmas Number Ones And Spontaneous Dancing

Mariah Carey Christmas

Welcome to the JoeBusiness festive special!!! BOSH! I love Christmas. What’s not to love? Everyone basically thinks ‘Right, I’m not going to do any work until January and am just going to get drunk instead.’ And nobody cares!

This time of year also means the Christmas song. I love Christmas songs: nothing religious (sorry Cliff, I’m just not into it) or preachy and serious, I’m talking something you can boogy to. Fairytale of New York. Yes! All I Want for Christmas. YES! Last Christmas. Oh George give it to me YEEEE…. Oh no, it’s gone everywhere and now the keyboard’s all sticky… Sorry I’m drinking Eggnog as I write this. It’s also the time of the year when we have the traditional race for Christmas number 1, usually contested by the winner of that year’s X Factor, the Christmas classics – The Pogues, Mariah Carey etc and an evocative song for a good cause. In terms of the latter, last year’s track was from The Military Wives Choir and this year’s is by The Justice Collective (including Sir Paul McCartney and Robbie Williams) and is in aid of the families of the victims of the Hillsborough disaster, to help them cover their legal fees as they continue to pursue justice for their lost loved ones. Now it goes without saying what a good cause that is and at the time of writing (Wednesday 19th December) they are leading the midweek charts.

However, the point I’m trying to make is that the Christmas No. 1 should invoke the spirit of this time of year. Whether it’s people’s sense of charity being stimulated by a record or drinking Baileys and dancing in your Mum’s kitchen, this week’s charts aren’t just about the most popular new song. I wish James Arthur the best of luck, Impossible is a good song (although I prefer the original) but you’re not going to be driving along in your car, on the 8th December in a couple of years’ time, hear that come on the radio and to your own surprise start belting it out at the top of your lungs and realise that BOOM! That’s the moment you got in the Christmas spirit and it was that song that got you there. It was Driving Home for Christmas that got me this year and I went straight home and got the tree out. Christmas songs bring back memories of a time of year when anything goes. I remember doing an unprovoked dance routine in my Nan’s dining room to Smokey Robinson’s Tracks of my Tears (not a Christmas song, I know, but it was in amongst a festive compilation), something that would’ve been treated with suspicion and concern at any other time of year but instead was greeted by rapturous applause… I was 22 years old. But that’s what Christmas is all about, being able to do whatever you want as long as it’s not normal or serious and that’s what a Christmas song should bring out in you. It should be something that couldn’t make it into the charts in any other week and is basically shorthand for ‘Go on, behave like an irresponsible goon for a few days, we’re all doing it!’ Not a recent pop song that reminds you that oh no, after December 31st there’s an actual real world with jobs and bills where people aren’t made content by a pair of novelty antlers on an unwilling dog! It’s the effect of a Christmas song that’s important and that’s why this week belongs to them.

This is the time of year to play songs on repeat that you absolutely wouldn’t at any other time, eat 1kg of pistachios at 10am (guilty) and wear jumpers that would most likely get you a red nose pulsating with pain rather than Christmas cheer in another season (take the photo of me with this article as a prime example). So go out and buy The Justice Collective single, or Mariah Carey or East 17, just don’t buy Rihanna, Will.i.Am featuring Britney or James Arthur! Buy them the week after if you want, because this week we’re drinking snowballs in the morning and having a dance off with our aunty!

Thank you for reading and having a wonderful Christmas and a great New Year.

There will be no JoeBusiness next week as I’m off on holiday in New York, practising my camp English charms on wide-eyed Alabama farm girls and trying my utmost to encourage them to make bad decisions. However, I’ll be back in the first week of January with a New Year’s Eve special.

Published on IAmMusic.TV, 20th Dec 2012

JoeBusiness ::: Being Nice To Movie Stars And Why The X Factor Has Lost It’s X Factor

Tom Cruise fans

I met Tom Cruise this week. I interviewed him at the world premiere of his new movie, Jack Reacher. I’m not showing off, it’s just a fact… Ok we’ll I’m showing off a bit. He’s very good-looking and very charismatic… and quite short. However, it was difficult for me to reconcile the man in front of me, who was answering my questions in an articulate and thoughtful way, with the man who has spent more time in the headlines in recent years due to his personal life and his religion rather than his movies. When he flashed his dazzling smile at me and shook my hand with what seemed like genuine warmth, I found myself thinking there’s absolutely no way this man could have any character traits other than good ones. Now I’m never normally star-struck and I wasn’t here either, it’s just the impression I got from the man.

There are two options here. Either a) He’s a nice man and should be judged at face value or b) He has a certain ‘X Factor’, a quality few have and like a tiny Jedi, he uses this to bamboozle those he meets and make it impossible for them to question his inherent goodness. If it’s the latter, then is this something all huge stars have, which explains why despite very questionable behaviour they stay on top? It’s a conspiracy! But I think it’s option ‘a’. He’s a nice man and yet, as human beings are complicated creatures, he has different facets to his personality. The man I saw spent three hours with fans in the freezing cold, ignoring the requests of various PR reps to go inside and chatted warmly to press. Apparently he also gives a lot to charity, is well-known for his kindness and I (being a child) was especially impressed to find out he insists on doing all his own stunts and totalled 9 cars trying to shoot one chase sequence in this movie. I’m not sure why we choose to focus on the negatives in the lives of the rich and famous. We all do it. I’d much rather hear about a salacious Las Vegas romp than an act of human kindness and I suppose that’s part of human nature, wishing to see strife on the part of those more fortunate than ourselves. From an evolutionary perspective I suppose seeing weakness in the ‘Alpha’ presents the possibility of our own ascendancy and let’s face it, humans aren’t far off being scrabbling little predators. But what else makes us human is conscience and reason so maybe next time we’re about to judge someone we’ve never met, don’t. Because let’s face it, what’s Tom Cruise actually done wrong? He prescribes to a religion that most of us don’t understand and that’s his right. It’s not he’s a Nazi, in which case we’d be well within our rights to say: ‘Yeah Tom, that is actually pretty bad… What? No I don’t care that you’re nice to your fans, you support racial genocide so really, I can’t be your mate.’

So leave Tom alone. He smiled at me and now we’re best mates alright!? By the way have you heard of Scientology, Tom was telling me all about it and it sounds great, so…

In other news, the X Factor final was last weekend and now we have another new popstar. Yay! This one’s called James Arthur and he used to be poor but now Dermot read his name out, some silver confetti fell out the sky and he went on Daybreak so everything’s better.

I agree with Ricky Gervais that we don’t need any more popstars but there will always be people who want to be singers so the idea of something that gives talent a platform must be a good thing… but that’s not really what the X Factor does. It gives middle of the road pop music a platform. Even this year’s winner complained at various times about not being able to express himself artistically or perform his own material and he’s right. Urban music is the most important current musical art form and yet there’s never been a rapper (Mischa B doesn’t count) gain prominence from the show. It feels like a medium that’s outmoded and irrelevant and the fact that, despite it’s well-publicised decline, it still gets around 10 million viewers a week astounds me. Maybe James will be a trailblazer and use his record deal and the exposure to fulfil his own artistic ambitions but I doubt it. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with mainstream pop music, I love it but there are other types of music out there and it seems the X Factor has forgotten that.

Next week is the JoeBusiness Christmas special and I promise I’ll try to be suitably light-hearted and festive… although it’ll blatantly end up being another pseudo-philosophical lecture…

Published on IAmMusic.TV, 15th Dec 2012

JoeBusiness ::: A Right Royal Fuss About Nothing, Tulisa’s Album And TOWIE Tank

William and Kate

This week the nation has been celebrating. YAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYY!!! Because (DRUMROLL PLEASE!)… Prince William and Kate Middleton are having a baby. Oh… Why? I don’t mean why are they having a baby, that’s their business. And herein lies my point. It has always been utterly beyond me why anybody cares what the Royal Family does. I don’t mean this in the sense that I wish them ill, just that I don’t really care what they do. I wish the happy couple well, as I do any couple who find they’re expecting, it must be wonderful. I also wish Kate a speedy recovery as she is apparently poorly in hospital at the moment. However, my point is why do people bestow extra importance on an event where none is warranted? Every new baby is as important as any other, as are the parents expecting them. No hereditary system of arbitrary privilege can change that. At the end of the day we’re all just chimps with pants on. Last week I wrote about the lack of personality in music and I understand why people are interested in the lives of musicians, actors and ‘celebrities’. I personally am not interested in the birth of Beyonce and Jay-Z’s daughter (Blue Ivy), although again I wish them well, but I am more interested in what Jay-Z thinks about ‘this’ or says about ‘that’. This is because he is responsible for a body of work that I admire, that has a wider impact on popular culture and hence I can contextualise him. The same with actors or anyone else creative, whether you like them or not you know what they do and therefore they have a context and a significance. The Royal Family just are. They stand on things and wave, cut ribbons and live in big houses. I understand the fascination with Royals of the past, when they were genuine political players but the lesson of history and how often the ruling families have changed (bloodily or otherwise) in any given society show you that there is no divinity in it, or anything that makes the Windsors better than anyone else. They just happen to be the lucky lot who were there at the end when people decided to stop killing each other for the right to sit in the fancy chair and wear the shiny hat. Listen, their charity work is great but it’s not something that a person who actually has a purpose couldn’t do and the fact that they are worth so much to the economy through tourism is fantastic too and I am not passing judgement on the Royals or those who like them… I just don’t get it and the idea that the current adoration of them might make other people forget that they are no more or less important than them concerns me. Innnn other less preachy news, grouchy JoeBusiness regular Tulisa is back in headlines as her debut solo album The Female Boss has shifted just 7,000 copies in it’s first two days since release (Taylor Swift’s RED did over 1.2 million units in it’s first week in the US alone) and is looking like finishing outside the Top 20 at the end of it’s first week. This is despite Tulisa not only being on the X Factor as a judge but performing on last Sunday’s results show, normally a platform that carries even the crappest album to chart success and often to a Number 1 slot. I have a theory why Tulisa’s album may have flopped… maybe, just maybe, people don’t like Tulisa! I don’t mind her either way to be honest. Yeah she’s too quick to bite when people take a pop at her and is a bit confrontational (we get it, you’ve got balls… metaphorically… I hope) but she says what she thinks (even if a lot of it is ill-thought out nonsense) and at least she’s not scared to be herself. However, maybe the simpering fluffiness-fest that is primetime pre-watershed weekend TV isn’t ready for that, which is a shame. But I tell you what, if things carry on like this it looks like ‘The Female Boss’ might have to start making some redundancies… Sweaty Geoff from HR can go first surely? He picks his nose at his desk and keeps trying to take sneaky camera phone pictures down Audrey’s blouse the yob! And finally, a poll on The Sun’s website has found that 93% of those who watched the live episode of The Only Way is Essex thought it was the worst TV show EVER! I’ve interviewed a lot of the cast members of TOWIE and by and large I liked them but I confess I’m not surprised. Well when you put a group of people who manage to make highly choreographed fatuous babbling look tough, in a situation where skill, timing and awareness are necessary then of course they’re going to balls it up… or not… as who knows what the producers wanted to get out of this exercise. Maybe [shock, horror!] some publicity?

Published on IAmMusic.TV, 5th Dec 2012

JoeBusiness ::: The Rolling Stones Vs Cheryl Cole And The Death Of Personality

Cheryl Cole

This week I had the pleasure of watching the new Rolling Stones film, Crossfire Hurricane. If you haven’t seen it, then I suggest you watch it. The film charts the meteoric rise of the band from the Blues clubs of West London in the early 60s, to inciting riots at every gig by sheer virtue of their popularity and leaving sodden upholstery in every venue they played due to the number of female fans who wet themselves in excitement (this is a genuine claim from Keith Richards in the film.) It follows their astonishing American success, drug-taking, changes in line-up including the tragic death of Brian Jones and other low points such as the Altamont concert of 1969 that I was previously unaware of. This film left a distinct impression on me, as did interviewing Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood at the world premiere a couple of weeks ago, and has made me extremely interested in the Stones but more than anything it left me nostalgic for an era where the creators of popular music had, or rather were allowed to show, personality.

This was heightened as, by coincidence, I also watched Cheryl Cole: Access All Areas this week (I know, I’m a pretty wild guy!) and was genuinely more shocked when Cheryl used the ‘F word’ than when Mick Jagger, about to go on stage in New York, declared to a lackey in a manner most people reserve for pointing out they’ve run out of post-it notes, ‘Right we’re going to need some bottles of water, whisky and a lot more coke’ and proceeded to hoover the latter up his nostril as everyone around him did the same. And that says it all about modern pop music. I like the stuff, can’t get enough of it to be honest but generally for the tracks I’m fond of I won’t like the person making it. The reaction they all elicit is apathy and I’m sure this is intentional on the part of the record labels. I had this same discussion with a musician this week and we agreed that while all these pop artists must have a personality, they are unable to show it. I regularly see rappers on TV, who I was aware of before they were signed by major labels and for better or worse had bags of charisma, talking and behaving in the most banal and uninteresting terms and I’m sure this is down to the image they are being asked to promote.

Music is making more money than ever (not necessarily for the artists) and musicians are being asked to be a ‘hit’ makers and nothing else. I know music has, sadly, always come down to the cash but the removal of personality is, in my opinion, a sign of something more sinister. My conclusion is that the labels enforce this personality embargo to make artists more easily replaceable. If the Stones, Tupac or Nirvana had decided they didn’t want to toe the party line what on earth would the label execs have done? In the case of the latter two, due to the tragic deaths of Tupac and Kurt Cobain, the point was proven and they were never replaced but if Cheryl Cole, Justin Bieber or One Direction stopped making tunes then all that would happen is Kimberley Walsh would get to step up, Conor Maynard would get flown to the States and Union J would win the X Factor.

There are a few bastions of the old school left and I don’t think America suffers from this problem anywhere near as much as we do in the UK. America has Lil’ Wayne, Eminem and Nicki Minaj (who has created a bizarre image from her own imagination) and who do we have? Example, who is regularly labelled ‘controversial’ or ‘outspoken’ for calling it how he sees it, which is his prerogative… as a human being!

I’m not having a go at the artists I’ve mentioned, I like their music and I’m not saying they lack personality. My problem is with the people who stop them showing it. I think music is enriched by knowing more about the people responsible for it but then of course there’s the possibility that might make us dislike them and not want to buy their records… and we couldn’t have that now… could we?

Published on IAmMusic.TV, 5th Dec 2012

JoeBusiness ::: Guilty Pleasures, Pervy Puppets And As Always, Tulisa

Taylor Swift

Welcome back to another week of JoeBusiness. I feel like in the opening few weeks all I’ve been doing is moaning about celebrities (let’s face it, it’s more fun) so just to prove I can, this week I am going to talk about things I like.

Now there are two songs that I have been playing relentlessly and I’m proud to admit, belting out at the top of my lungs when they’re on the radio. However, these two songs may not win me many friends among the hardcore of music journalists, tirelessly unearthing and helping to promote brand new genuine talent, but here they are anyway… One Direction’s and Taylor Swift’s new singles are GOOD! There, I’ve said it, I feel so liberated. This must be what ‘coming out’ feels like except obviously much more emotionally draining and important for a person’s development. One Direction’s ‘Little Things’ is a total departure from the bouncy pop of their previous offerings and is a slow, acoustic guitar-accompanied love song extolling the virtues of a mystery woman by highlighting her small insecurities and idiosyncrasies and in fact stating that it is these things that make her lovable. This all makes a lot more sense when you find out the song was written by the brilliant Ed Sheeran and despite the cheesy video and the incredibly annoying looking at each other while they perform it (has anyone else noticed that!?) it gives One Direction a level of credibility with an older and more discerning audience.

Taylor Swift’s latest offering is the incredibly catchy pop-rock track ‘I Knew You Were Trouble’. The music sensation’s new album Red shifted more than 1.2 million units in it’s opening week, making it the fastest selling album of the year. Hence, it’s less of a revelation for the undoubtedly talented Swift to make a good song but the fact that both these tracks are my guilty pleasures this week allows me to segue very neatly into the big showbiz story of the week and that is that 1D’s Harry and guitar-toting musical leviathan Taylor are dating!

‘WOOOOOHOOOOOOO!’ I hear you cry. No? Maybe on the inside. Of course their personal lives are just that, personal but given what tabloid fodder this romance is bound to be I thought it was worth mentioning. The pair already had a fledgling romance earlier this year which ended when Harry was seen, to the shock of possibly a few isolated Amazonian tribes people, snogging another girl. However, apparently Swifty is ready to give him another chance and the pair were seen getting close on both the set of the UK and US X Factor. Taylor has had relationships with some very famous hunks indeed, including Jake Gylenhall and Taylor Lautner, while Harry’s approach to fame is much more about quantity not quality… And frankly, I can’t blame him. And so we come to what I don’t get about the whole thing. Taylor is a beautiful, talented and (from what I’ve seen in interviews) charming young lady who’s entire being seems focused on the pursuit of romantic happiness while Harry is an 18 year old lad in the biggest boy band in the world. Hence, why is she not off pursuing a meaningful and fulfilling relationship with some chiselled intellectual and why is he not continuing his well-publicised mission to build a life-sized replica of the Taj Mahal out of knickers??? But aaah, the heart wants what it wants and I genuinely wish them the best of luck but with Talyor apparently buying a house round the corner from the mop-haired emperor of booty in North London (presumably more Hampstead than Seven Sisters Road), something she did with ex’s Conor Kennedy, Jake Gylenhall and John Mayer so for better or worse, expect to be reading plenty more about these two in the coming weeks.

On to queen of the headlines Tulisa and the famous bait-taker… I said ‘bait’ not ‘bite’, oh don’t be disgusting, has had a ruddy good pop at some ‘haters’ on Twitter. This comes after Krystal Benjamin (great name) tried to warn the X Factor judge off footballer boyfriend Danny Simpson, saying he had cheated on her and would cheat on the N-Dubz star too. This prompted a barrage of abusive and often confused Tweets from Tulisa, my favourite being:

‘To b this much in the public eye & scrutinised & still be myself..COMPLETELY!If u think u know me from what u read, u know nothin at all..’

You’re right, I don’t know much Tulisa but I do know you don’t put much stock in grammar [insert mental image of me doing a snide smirk to myself]. I just think it’s about time that Tulisa, when confronted with what are undeniably irritating tabloid stories, just takes a moment to consider that she is talented, beautiful, rich and successful and the time may have come in her life to simply rise above it all… Either that or give the lippy tart a Camden headbutt from us T!

And finally, the bloke who voices Elmo on Sesame Street has been accused of being a sex criminal… Just felt the need to share that.

JoeBusiness ::: Twilight, Ke$ha’s ‘Special Friends’ And I’m A Celebrity

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 Premiere - London

Hello and welcome to the inevitable Twilight edition of JoeBusiness. Whether you’re a ‘TwiHard’ or, as I am, Twying your best to ignore it you simply cannot avoid the fact that the final instalment of the supernatural saga is out this week. There have been premieres all over the world, Leicester Square was shut down on Wednesday, and teenage girls and their very patient mothers have been camping out for days to catch a glimpse of the stars. In Leicester Square these dedicated little vamp enthusiasts have been placed behind metal fencing, for who’s safety I’m not sure, but it does give the impression of walking past a prison camp. For anyone unwittingly showing their incredulity at why anyone would go through such an ordeal to maybe get a fingertip on Taylor Lautner’s coiffured bonce the scene would be reminiscent of that bit in Jurassic Park where the raptors approach the edge of the cage with their unblinking yellow eyes… unnerving stuff.

Although I don’t understand it, I don’t have an issue with this level of fandom, it just rather perplexes me in the sense that the three central protagonists of the Twilight saga are so fundamentally unlikeable. Bella is a moany little twerp, who’s intent on pursuing a relationship with Edward with no regard for the feelings of her family and simultaneously leading Jacob on. Edward, unfathomably, manages to be a bloodthirsty monster, representing one of the most base and ancient fears of mankind and yet still be boring, constantly moralising and mooning over Bella (God knows why). Now we come to Jacob, the most likeable of the trio but still a muppet for his consistent pursuit of the unpleasant Bella. I am aware that the teenage girls who make up the core demographic of ‘TwiHards’ are prescribing to a paradigm of chivalric values that they simply don’t see in their male classmates, who think the height of courtship is to fart on their hand and gallantly offer the lady in question a sample (legends!) but as women have been finding out for centuries, these perfect men don’t exist so more often than not you’ll have to settle for stinky palm, who’ll grow up to be a perfectly nice bloke and a lot more fun than Edward or Jacob.

I know I’m not the target market and hence the fact it’s lost on me is of little consequence to the execs at Lionsgate when they’re constructing life-sized jumbo jets out of $100 bills but the way I approach the characters in Twilight is to imagine going for a drink with them… You know that despite being out with two vampires and a werewolf you’d be forking out 50ps to play Who Wants to be a Millionaire on the quiz machine just to have something to talk about… And I bet Edward wouldn’t even drink… bell end.

Innnn other news, Ke$ha, a woman who has built an entire career on auto-tuning and innuendo has admitted she has no time for a relationship and hence has taken many lovers across the globe to satisfy her voracious needs. Fair enough. I just hope her and Harry Styles are never left alone together, as a vortex capable of destroying the universe would surely be created and we’d all be sucked into a rather sticky black hole, doomed to wonder through a parallel reality with nothing but What Makes You Beautiful and Tik Tok playing on loop while we’re forced to watch them copulate like Greek gods atop Olympus.

And finally another series of ITV mainstay I’m A Celebrity has started, featuring the standard bunch of ‘Oh, it’s that bloke off…ummm..hang on I’ll get it’s. Pick of the bunch are darts legend Eric Bristoe, lonely male viewer fodder Helen Flanagan and Tory MP Nadine Dorries. A lot has already been said about the presence of someone who’s wages are paid by the taxpayer on the show means we’ll all know she can’t possibly be working on the behalf of her constituents but she said she has gone on there so the public will be able to identify with MPs and to highlight important issues like ummmm abortion…

I’m not entirely sure how chowing down on a marsupial’s gonads is going to make us all think carefully about a deeply divisive and sensitive issue but being  the elected representative of the people I guess she knows better than me.

That’s it for this week. Sorry if it was a bit ‘ranty’… As always, if you want to have a chat about any of it or suggest any stories for next week please get in touch with the details below.

Published on IAmMusic.TV, 15th Nov 2012

JoeBusiness ::: US Election, R-Patz’s Weird Kissing And Example Annoys Wigan

Katy Perry - vote Obama

Welcome back to JoeBusiness and we kick off in week 2 with a story about a little-publicised election in the US. Barack Obama defeated the brilliantly-named Republican cyborg Mitt Romney to be re-elected as President for another 4 year term. But we don’t care about the effect on the global economy; how effective Obama will actually be in implementing his policies with the Repubicans still holding a majority in the House of Representatives; or indeed the long-term future of the Republican Party and it’s policies in a country who’s ethnic and social make-up no longer bears relevance to it’s outlook. Oh no no no… we care about celeb reaction and those famous little dingbats have been Tweeting in their droves!

Lady Gaga proclaimed herself ‘…proud to be American tonight’, Rihanna (who’s from Barbados…not America) wrote ‘Put one in da air for the Prez!!!’ … Clearly literacy needs to be high on the agenda Barack. There were numerous other pleased celebs, including Jay-Z and Beyonce, Katy Perry and famed rabbit roasting connoisseur Hugh Hefner (apparently he’s a very keen chef). Obama’s victory Tweet (@BarackObama) reading simply ‘Four more years’ and including a picture of him and the first lady hugging became the most Retweeted ever. The same picture broke the record for most ‘Like’s on Facebook.

However one public figure who wasn’t best pleased was gazillionaire Donald Trump who lamented Romney’s defeat by saying ‘Our country is now in serious and unprecedented trouble…like never before.’…. Ummm American Civil War, The Great Depression, GEORGE W. BUSH!!!! Ring any bells Donald? Anyway the joke’s on him because his second name is still a word schoolchildren use to mean fart, so there.

In other news, with another blooming Twilight film on the way (Breaking Dawn Part 2, out November 15th), the cast have been doing the rounds on the chat shows and vamp hunk Robert Pattinson made an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live show where he announced he was an extraordinarily loud kisser! He later admitted to having partaken of a few vodkas backstage before coming on. Unfortunately Pattinson and grumpy Twilight co-star Kristen Stewart aren’t going to talk about their tempestuous off-screen relationship during any of the promotion for the movie… If I didn’t know better I would say studio execs and publicists cook up all this tripe to create a buzz around a very dull little franchise… But I do know better so OMG I can’t wait to see if R-Patz and K-Stew stay together because they totes make such a cute couple etc etc.

‘Rapper causes offence, people shocked!’ That’s right, rapper Pitbull has caused controversy as his latest video for yet another thoughtful and soul-searching tune, Don’t Stop the Party, has been banned from TV in the US as it features among other travesties, fully nude women, provocative stroking and product placement of a well-known vodka. THAT MONSTER!!! Oh and the video’s below… for research purposes and that yeah?

And finally Example, never one to avoid saying what he thinks, has managed to offend the entire town of Wigan after observing on Twitter that most of the abuse he gets seems to come from natives of the town famous for it’s pies (it is, look it up). He was then, of course, subjected to further abuse and even death threats before making the front page of the Wigan Evening Post under the headline ‘Bad Example’ (see what they did there?) So while American rappers get into trouble for having too many babes in their birthday suits in videos, our home-grown ones go to war with northern mill towns… God bless this realm!

Published on IAMMusic.TV, 8th Nov 2012