The Null Device


Recently, David Bridie released a new album, probably his best solo work. Unfortunately, he's signed to EMI, so it never came out in Red Book format. Bridie doesn't have enough clout with EMI to get them to release a legit Red Book pressing that rips on your Linux box, doesn't kill your iMac and plays on your iPod, so he has taken matters into his own hands.

Here is the word from EMI Australia's projects manager for new media. "The new David Bridie CD has been released on a Copy Controlled CD. It has an embedded player that will allow you to play the CD on the PC so it is not impossible to play the CD on a PC." This obviously doesn't apply to all and so is still a pain. I apologize in this. I'm not a big enough seller to determine policy. If anyone so desires, send me an email, and I'll burn a copy off the master and send out with the artwork in return for a cheque for the cost of the CD in the store so that you can still enjoy listening to music the way to which you are accustomed. Hopefully this will not get too out of hand, and I won't be spending 6 hours a day in the Enormodome burning CDs.

Bravo to David Bridie; it's good to know that there are artists with the courage and integrity to take a stand like this. I'll definitely be sending him a cheque.

Incidentally, having heard the album, I strongly advise people to take him up on the offer. Hotel Radio is a great mix of Not Drowning-esque songwriting and world-class glitchy electronics (from Nick Littlemore). However, the version in the shops is corrupt, and such chicanery should not be encouraged.

(Speaking of EMI releases, I saw a limited edition version of the new Blur in PolyEster; it comes in a red book (like the Amnesiac limited edition, only smaller and with a Banksy stencil on the front), and appears to be, appropriately enough, a perfectly kosher Red Book disc. Chances are the regular version will be fux0red like every other EMI release made in Australia.)

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The BBC has a guide to current teenage subcultures. Interesting that in the UK, mooks are called "nu metallers", Ben Sherman shirts are considered a clubber thing (I suppose that's because the '90s Britpop Mod revival is ancient history), and Camden is considered a "Goth Mecca". (When I was in London last year, I saw all of about two goths in 3 weeks; I thought that particular meme-complex had died out through overexposure over there by now.)

They're listening to
  • Independent 'Alternative' Music, from small independent labels in pressings of say 100 straight out of Reykjavik
  • Garage Rock like The Strokes, The White Stripes, Yeah Yeah Yeahs
  • Old indie classics - The Velvet Underground, The Smiths, Nirvana, The Pixies

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Surprise, surprise: an advisor of Tony Blair's government has admitted that the invasion of Iraq was about oil. "I don't think the war would have happened if Iraq didn't have the second-largest oil reserves in the world," Sir Jonathan Porritt, head of the Sustainable Development Commission and author of glossy popular "environment" books with forewords by Prince Charles, said in a Sky News TV interview. The "weapons of mass destruction" appear to have been a polite fiction, as gentlemen don't like to admit amongst themselves that they're motivated by rapacious greed. (via NWD)


Apparently the Pope thinks that George W. Bush may be the Antichrist. Mind you, there probably are many Bush supporters who think the same of the Pope.

Bush's blood lust, his repeated commitment to Christian beliefs, and his constant references to "evil doers," in the eyes of many devout Catholic leaders, bear all the hallmarks of the one warned about in the Book of Revelations - the anti-Christ. People close to the Pope claim that amid these concerns, the Pontiff wishes he was younger and in better health to confront the possibility that Bush may represent the person prophesized in Revelations.

Hmmm... if you portray the Bush administration as a "blood cult" in Christian garb, the telegenic, massively popular "people's President" does make a convincing Antichrist figure. (Mind you, I'm an atheist, so what would I know?) (via NWD)


The next time you're pumping cheap gasoline into your SUV, spare a thought for the at least 2,300 or so civilians in Baghdad, many of them women and children, who nobly (and involuntarily) made the ultimate sacrifice for your right to do so.

The battle for Baghdad cost the lives of at least 1,101 Iraqi civilians, many of them women and children, according to records at the city's 19 largest hospitals.
The hospital records say that another 1,255 dead were "probably" civilians, including many women and children.
Uncounted others who died never made it to hospitals and now are buried in shallow graves that have been dug throughout the city - in cemeteries, back yards, hospital gardens, city parks and mosque grounds.
More than 6,800 civilians were wounded, the hospital records show.

Whichever way you count it, that's a lot of dead people who shouldn't be dead. Let's hope that the survivors like eating Big Macs, watching pay-per-view Disney films and paying Monsanto for their drinking water enough to make it all worthwhile.

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