Wednesday, February 27, 2002

FOR ONE WEEK ONLY: Usually, if you want bothsidesnow's What the Pop Papers Say review, you have to be subscribed to the list. But because I wanted to say some things about the Carling Awards, this week I'm folding the mail into XRRF, too. And you can't stop me.
Time magazine's cover this week: Bono. Headline: Can Bono Save The World? Answer: Don't be so fucking stupid. If anyone worried that the cobbling together of the AOL Time Warner megalith would mean that standards at Time would slip, there's your proof. More worrying is the way this gives more puff to Bono's self-importance balloon...

Having closed L&K, BBC magazines are about to launch It's Hot, a junior Heat. Not to be confused with Monkey, the junior Heat being developed by the Heat team, or Hot Stars, the attempt to appeal to the Heat generation that comes with OK! Or, of course, with Star, which was an attempt to make a junior version of Hello, closed by the BBC. So, having closed a junior version of Hello, the BBC are trying to launch a junior version of Heat, which was... um, a twentysomething version of Hello...

This month The Face has Shaggy and Ali G on the cover. What is The Face now? What is it for? Why? Why?...

The nme has The Strokes (or the nme's Jordan) on the cover. And a little picture of Lostprophets saying "move over Linkin Park, we're the zeitgeist" - look, two are giving two fingers, and one is giving one finger. Ooooh, mummy, the zeitgeist is rude...

so, do you know what time of the year it is, janice? It's poll time... here are the winners from the Bra... opps, the Beer-supported NME poll:

Band of the year: The Strokes
Album of the year: Is This It?
Best New Act: The Strokes

Interestingly, though, W**K didn't register in the 'new act' poll. Clearly, the readers aren't DOING AS THEY ARE TOLD.

Best solo artist: Ian Brown

They're taking the piss, aren't they? Ian Brown? What scale are people voting on here - "Hmmm, there's Kylie, PJ Harvey... no, Ian Brown. He's the one..."

Musical Event of the Year: The Carling Weekend

This is what used to be called the Reading Festival, before Vince 'Glasto is safe in our hands' Power sold it as a pot to piss in. The sponsors of the nme awards are... oh, Carling. Strangely, the rival Tenents sponsored T in the Park didn't even make the shorlist

Best Live Venue: Brixton Academy

Is it just us, or does it seem that the NME tends to review more events here than anywhere else?

Best Radio Show: Evening Session

Strange that Christian O'Connell, who was so pisspoor he almost killed Juice singlehanded, was a runner-up

Single of the Year: Ash - Burn Baby Burn

Well, you can argue, but you can't complain

Best Dance Act: Basement Jaxx

Dance you can think to, of course. nmeland's distance from dance illustrated by the appearance of Fatboy Slim in the runners-up

Best HipHop/Rap act: Missy E

Well, duh...

Best Pop Act: Kylie

Also known as 'Smash Hits Poll Winners Party' category

Best Music Video: Pyramid Song - radiohead

No, no, there must be some mistake - radiohead don't make videos, do they? Surely you mean 'Best culturally guying blipvert', don't you?

Best R&B/Soul Act: Aaliyah

"Unfortunately, aaliyah can't be with us..."

Best Metal group: Lostprophets

Two single fingers and vagina symbol in the accompanying photo. No Dursty in sight.

Best film: Moulin Rouge

American Pie II was shortlisted. Does anyone remember when NME readers, um, read?

Godlike genius award: Nick Kent & Pennie Smith

Nick kent must have been delighted to get this. Its like awarding the Nobel Prize for Literature in the middle of the Ronald McDonald Colour-Me-Clown competition prizegiving

Villain of the year: Osama Bin Laden
Hero of the year: New York Emergency Services

By numbers, isn't it?. The album of the year, of course, includes a searing condemnation of New York City Cops. Hmmm.

But we've saved the best 'til last -
Best website:

stick it up your fucking arse, nme. Any self-respecting organisation would have put their raffle ticket back in the box and insisted it got drawn again...

still, respect to Matt Lucas and David Williams for their indie-piss takes. Lucas as Meg White is uncanny...

other news: nme trumpeting sales rise - "best for five years", they trill. The rises were less than one half of one per cent over six months, and point six percent over the year as a whole. This being a year in which they had no direct competition at all, of course; glasto goes on - strangely, Eavis says he's in charge of the music, and Mean Fiddler in charge of security. Hmmm, but who's in charge of the stuff in between - the markets, the sponsorships, the bits that make money?; Oasis are going to play a gig in some parks in London. Other parks are available, so don't worry; The Doves are the latest band to try to pull the "single available for one day only" scam - no it won't be, deleting it on the day of release merely means that once the large piles left around on shop shelves are finally flogged off, there won't be any more pressed. That is all...

gossip which the hacks couldn't work out who it was about when they read it on popbitch: dance star proposed to his girlfriend cause he didn't want to be left out; welsh stadium rock band writes letters to Teletext when his band are slagged off (gotta be one of the Manics, surely?); over-sized singer smells...

and who do we have in on? american head charge - more nu metal. how splendid; timo maas - some sort of german dance act; jetplane landing - punk climbs from ruins of cuckoo. No women. Kylie, you'll still be needed for next year's awards...

Lostprophets think POD being on CD:UK is evidence of people "coming round to our way of thinking" - which would be, what? We need something to throw to the pack while Fred The Flowerman Durst blows in the wind?...

In the midst of all this, there is Cornershop. A nice piece, they lament the lack of good bands and sound like people who are enjoying themselves. For a moment, you remember why you love music, and the people who make it...

Princess Superstar does the ten-tracks for a CD thingy. She says music should be free, which means you're free to go and pinch bad babysitter from the shop. She also chooses Karma Police and Station to Station. Can she come to tea?...

How do you make a perfect animated group? Asks the NME. How do you fill two pages on a slow week? asks the readers...

"New" section alert - it's The Critics. Which is, um, the reviews section with a slightly different layout. It looks crisper, but - oh, I dunno - somehow more suited to an A4 magazine format than a tabloid. Oh, and they have less words than ever before in them. What do we have, then?

Albums: ...AYWKUBTTOD - source tags & codes ("killing can wait for another day. For now, we dance", 8); Teenage Fanclub & Jad Fair - words of wisdom and hope ("a throwback",6)

Singles. Strangely, the nme are now getting lots of people to do the singles, and they cover two and a half pages. This is very, very wrong. Lots of singles is good, but what value is a single of the week (Hundred Reasons - If I could) when it's been chosen at some sort of random, rather than by someone working their way through the pile of new things? Plus, it means that when two single reviews are linked together, they're actually split up. There is, however, a worst single prize now, and this week it is Jennifer Lopez's remix thing...

live: strokes at leeds uni ("for now, no-one can touch them"); kittie in camden ("it's dark and hell is hot"); Pet Shop Boys at the Astoria ("pedestrian") Um, nothing at the Brixton Academy. Oh...

there are four fanzines in the classifieds - signs of a resurgence (Ok, one is True To You, but...)

I'll bet thats our sean in angst, you know.

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