Sunday, March 18, 2007

Phil Spector Murder Trial

Phil Spector's muder trial is due to start on Mondayin LA:


The murder trial of pioneering rock producer Phil Spector finally begins on Monday, more than four years after a B-movie actress was found shot to death at his castle-like mansion outside Los Angeles.

The trial, delayed repeatedly since Spector was indicted in 2003, will be shown on live television amid fascination with the 1960s musical genius turned recluse who once described himself as having "devils that fight inside me."

Fifty news organizations applied for a seat in the Los Angeles courtroom for the biggest celebrity trial since pop star Michael Jackson's 2005 acquittal on child molestation charges.

I really don't think he's going to get off you know, life without parole is what I expect as the sentence. Rich white guys just don't get the death sentence.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Liz Hurley Wedding: The Menu

As if we needed to know what was being fed to hte guests at Liz Hurley's wedding:

Actress Elizabeth Hurley is feeding her wedding guests obscure regional Indian cuisine adapted to the scarcity of the desert and rarely found in curry houses in the West.

Hurley is celebrating her wedding to Indian businessman Arun Nayar in Jodhpur, the main city of the arid Marwar region bordering India's Great Thar Desert, where people have mastered ekeing hearty meals out of a parched land.

"You have to develop a taste for it," said Kiran Arora, executive chef at Jodhpur's Taj Hari Mahal hotel, where some of Hurley's guests are staying. "They are all very simple dishes."

Most items on the menu will be unfamiliar to people used to eating tandoori fare at Western curry houses. Marwari food is traditionally vegetarian, though it has been broadened in recent times to include meat dishes.

The cuisine developed in one of the hottest corners of India, the Rajasthan province, in an age when cows were plentiful but refrigerators not yet invented, so milk and its products had to be used up quickly.

Lashings of sweet buttermilk are used instead of water, which is scarce, to make gravies and sauces in many of the dishes that will be served to Hurley's guests on Friday at the Meherangarh Fort, said Arora, whose colleagues have been planning the meals.

Dal bhati churma is perhaps the quintessential Marwari dish, in which tough, wheat dumplings are bashed into crumbs and mixed into a soup of savory lentils.

Whear dumplings and lentil soup. Oooooh, yum yum I don't think.

Record Companies and Digital

The really doesn't sound like a sensible business strategy for the record companies faced with the digital revolution: Do nothing.


Record labels need the digital music market to take off. So why aren't they helping it any?

Physical CD sales have been in decline for the last five years, and according to various estimates are expected to fall another 15%-20% again this year. And while digital revenue is on the rise, it is not yet reversing the trend. Sony BMG global digital business president Thomas Hesse says that if physical revenue drops by 15%, digital revenue must rise by 60% to compensate. This year, he expects net revenue to fall.

So what are labels doing other than licensing their music to digital services that they hope will become successful? According to many service providers and industry analysts, the answer is -- nothing.

"There's no plan, no sense of direction," one digital retailer executive says. "They're just hoping somebody is going to figure all this out for them."

To date, that somebody has been Apple -- its iTunes store commands 70% of all digital music sales and the iPod around 80% of all digital music devices. Yet, record labels are the first to point out that Apple can't reverse their falling fortunes on its own. They need more services selling more music to more people. And although labels have tried to support potential competitors to iTunes, such as Microsoft's Zune bid, these services are merely limping along.

There's only one way this would make sense. Stop signing new artists altogether, slim the company right down and live off the residuals. Otherwise, they've got to find some way of dealing with it.