The Saturday Miscellany: How to start a record label; Kate Bush; George Szirtes' bookshelf
How to: Start a record label
By Ally McKay
If you're after free booze and sex, join a band. Running a label is not as glamorous as people think, unless you find beauty in spreadsheets and post office queues. Still interested? Well, I warned you...
1. Find some great music. Sounds obvious but be honest with yourself; is it that great? No. Keep looking. Yes. Right, try to convince the creator to let you release it. This is often easier than you think.
2. To borrow a boxing phrase, you don't get what you deserve in this business, only what you negotiate. No one will beat the door down to buy your record. Get your hands dirty and sell, sell, sell.
3. Remember to have fun. It's only pop music after all.
Ally McKay runs the independent label Cross Keys Records
Rotating column: London weighting
By Gillian Orr
Almost as soon as Kate Bush announced her first concerts since the Seventies – the Twitter backlash began.
The singer had unwittingly aggravated the already taut north/south divide: all 22 shows were to take place at London's Hammersmith Apollo (or whatever they're calling it now).
"Such a shame Kate Bush only playing in London. C'mon Kate, the UK exists outside London!", wrote one angry fan, somewhat justifiably.
As a Londoner, it's easy for me to be dismissive of those complaints. I merely have to hop on the Central Line to get to the show. But think of all the fun you'll have blaring out Never For Ever down the A1 from Sunderland. I say, suck it up. You've waited 35 years for this moment. What's a few more hours on the motorway?
Proposal: TheSmiths reunite with 22 shows in Glasgow to spite smug Londoners like Gillian
By Ellen E Jones
Q. Should I correct other cyclists when they break the rules of the road?
A. Pausing mid-ride to advise fellow cyclists on the highway code sounds to me like the precursor to hideous multi-fatality traffic accident. You wouldn't want that, would you? The irony is just too heavy-handed to be amusing
Micro Extract: Horrors of war
"War, superb as it is, is not a filtering process by which men and nations are purified. There are many people to write you of the noble side, the heroic side, the exalted side. I must write you of what I have seen, the other side, the backwash."
From "The Backwash of war" by Ellen N. La Motte (£8.99, Conway)
Four play: Spy trials*
1. Carl Lody
2. Jose Waldberg
3. Portland spy ring
4. George Blake
* The Rosenbergs are sentenced in the US
Takin' it easy: On the origin of the species
By Larry Ryan
I recently learnt the etymology of the word 'couch potato': there was a group of lazy folk out in California in the 1970s who lived the easy life (ground zero for the ease taking community). One among them, Tom Iacino, used the phrase to describe a friend who was the laziest of all, particularly keen on the couch and the TV - "he had a penchant for laying back and 'viewing'," Iacino told Bon Appetit magazine.
Their quasi-movement kicked against the health freakery of the era. They took part in a local parade with a float featuring "a couple of couches on it; all of us bumming around, going through town" and spawning merchandise. It's like an unwritten backstory for Jeffrey Lebowski. The dudes incarnate. They were the men for their time and place. They abide.
Film Leonardo DiCaprio hunts Tom Hardy
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Free porn websites could be shut down within months, says David Cameron
- 2 Stuart Baggs dies: Apprentice star 'The Brand' found dead aged 27
- 3 Whoopi Goldberg tells Cara Delevingne to suck it up: 'She's not famous. I'M famous'
- 4 1000 people played Foo Fighters simultaneously to try and get them to play their city
- 5 Every club should be like Labour – you can’t join as a new member unless you’re already a member
Why Harry Potter's aged 35, not 26
Black Mass full trailer: Watch an unrecognisable Johnny Depp play notorious US gangster James 'Whitey' Bulger
Top Gear trio Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May heading to Amazon Prime for new car show
Benedict Cumberbatch has 1,480 lines in Hamlet - so what's the secret to actors' memory skills?
Drake responds to Meek Mill's 'diss' track 'Wanna Know' by laughing at the rapper on Instagram
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn – or a return to a Labour government
Labour leadership contender Jeremy Corbyn says 'we can learn a great deal from Karl Marx'
Is Britain really full up? Are migrants taking our jobs? Leading academic answers the most common anti-immigration claims
Public anger after French sunbather beaten up by gang for wearing a bikini in Reims park
Labour leadership: New poll shows party is now even 'less electable' than under Ed Miliband
While we fixate on Calais, the Home Office is quietly deporting dozens of migrants on 'ghost flights'