Musical Revelations Of The Week:

Girl Groups Sounds – One Kiss Can Lead To Another‘ Boxset – A quite brilliant box from Rhino, up to the high standards of the Nuggets sets. It contains four CDs of 60s pop with a female origin. In amongst the tried and testeds lurk some truly wonderful neglected gems. If that wasn’t enough, it comes in a mini-hat box with each CD in a digipack styled like a make-up compact. Splendid. Shown here.
The Beta BandBest Of DVD – Finally picked up the 2DVD set this week as it was less than a tenner. Much to love about the Betas, although it was the case that perhaps not enough people realised this at the time. Well worth getting for the ‘Let It Beta‘ documentary on Disc 2 that follows the band for the entire process of creating ‘Heroes To Zeros‘, their final album. Absolutely warts’n’all, and full of hissy fits and seriously pissed off musicians, it’s compelling viewing.
John PhillipsJohn Phillips (John The Wolfking of LA) – Reissued last year, this country-rock wonder is well worth investigating. Released at the start of the seventies, it’s a wonderfully produced album, with the warmth of sound one associates with that period. Hard to describe adequately, so it might well be worth seeking out some audio clips.

Non-musical Revelations Of The Week:

The Apprentice – It dawned on me this week that all of the remaining contestants are a bit rubbish. Would you have faith in any of them if real money depended on it? Alan (come on, it might catch on) made the point that it wasn’t about being TV presenters, and yet these channels depend entirely on good presenting in order to flog some of the utter arse they wish to peddle to the public. All round excellent media chappie, Andrew Collins, points out on his blog that Katie will be made to suffer in next week’s episode. I can hardly wait.
Big Brother – Only my computer’s frequent inability to perform basic tasks (the key one being – working as a computer) annoys me more than some of the new housemates. Every year I start watching, and every year I get a week in and storm out the room declaring it the biggest waste of time imaginable. Same situation this year. So few of them are even likeable, although presumably that’s the point. So oddly involved with it was I on launch night that I even watched Chris Moyles hosting ‘Big Brother’s Big Mouth‘. When will TV executives realise that he can’t do telly. It just doesn’t suit him. He can be occasionally amusing on the radio, but put a camera in front of him and he becomes the playground bully. If you laugh at his crass generalisations then all will be fine, but if you dare to slip up then he will target you with a personal slight as quickly as the thought can get to his lips. It was horrific viewing and it almost made me want to see more footage of the twins talking instead. Almost.
The Sindy‘s new look – One big paper, one big magazine, one pound. Yeah, this week maybe, but no doubt it’ll be £2.50, or something similarly ridiculous once the hyping stops. I’ve been an Indie reader for the last eight years, and I’ve stuck with it through thick and thin (apart from a brief strike as a result of that awful ‘Sleeping Around’ column), despite its occasionally obsessive environmental front pages and its love of price hikes and all in all I’m happy with what I get. Looking at the relaunched Independent On Sunday this morning was like looking at website content that had been put into the paper. It now has the equivalent of hyperlinks telling you where to go next and the stories can be read in more detail via their website. Not entirely convinced about what they’re trying to achieve, but it all looks quite pretty. Simon Kelner, the editor of The Indie, frequently makes the point that papers are too cheap when you take into account the sheer volume of writing you get in them. While he has a point, you have to wonder how much it’s possible to stretch the definition of value for money. I don’t buy a paper everyday anymore, as a result of the increasing costs. The Indie‘s website is my homepage and I flit about each day, whether I’ve bought a physical copy or not. But constantly hiking the price requires an audience that are resolutely tied into your product. If Indie readers are the sort of people who like the idea of hyperlinks in their newspaper articles, what’s to stop them simply reading the paper on the web instead?