Hard News by Russell Brown


.... and the Rock 'n' Roll

To the enormous amusement of everyone who knows him (and probably a few people who don't), Karl from CactusLab inadvertently got himself caught up the mystifying business of Vodafone's disappearing HTC Magic "Google phone". That's Karl, there, with the candy floss and the topless body-painted models.

It was at the "black and white" launch party for the phone, as noted in the Sunday gossip pages and blogged about by Ben Gracewood. But Vodafone asked Ben to take down his photographs of the event, and it appears that the presence of the painted laydeez created brand dissonance for Google. The phone was suddenly withdrawn.

The phone is back now, as are Ben's pictures -- one of which in particular explains why Google might have been pissed with Vodafone: my well-thumbed copy of Rules for Using Naked Painted Ladies at Promotional Launches quite clearly says that you should run it by your powerful and important global partner before you slap its brand across the torso of a (semi) naked woman.

I presume a copy of the manual has been forwarded to the PR firm involved.


This is nice. Beck has convened a musicians' gathering called Record Club, where he and his mates tackle a classic album in a day. Supposedly, they almost did Digital Underground's Sex Packets, but plumped for The Velvet Underground and Nico. There are videos here and here, and MP3s here.

On Hype Machine, multiple versions of The Cure's 'Just Like Heaven', including one by Dinosaur Jr. This house emphatically loves the Watson Twins' version more than any other (yes, more than the original). There's also MP3s from a live session late last year, where they play that and a medley that includes 'Ain't No Sunshine'. Here's the video from that session:

Only You - The Watson Twins from LaundroMatinee on Vimeo.

The BBC has been busily removing clips from its Glastonbury 2009 coverage from YouTube -- it was broadcast, and can still be viewed via iPlayer but, of course only if you're in Britain. You may be able to get your friends to send it to you in very small pieces on the internet.

But fans really need to see the seriously epic version of 'Keep On Rockin' in the Free World' laid down by Neil Young. So here it is, squashed down to an 82MB .m4v file (I tried smaller versions and different formats, but they sucked -- it'll play in QuickTime or iTunes, and on your iPod or iPhone) for today only. Right-click to save the file.

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