Thursday, March 14, 2002

OKAY. FOR ONE WEEK ONLY. AGAIN. WHAT THE POP PAPERS SAY: Because it'll save me having to repeat myself here, lots.
sometimes, choices are hard. Sometimes, not so. GQ has a double cover option this month, but it's a choice between Kirsten Dunst and Jamiroquai. With the possible exception of Denise Van Outen, there's not a person alive who would chose the twat in a hat over the queen of the screen…

Glamour manages to give away a CD that's probably worth about double the cover price alone - Kylie, Dido, that sort of thing. Handy if your sister is having a party. And she reads New Woman…

Britney "wants a pretty wedding" she tells Elle magazine - whereas, of course, Nerve - currently only living online - says she wants to come clean about the state of her hymen. Whatever you feel about Brit, and the to-ing and fro-ing of her love life with the gormless Justin Timberlake (name like a shoe; intellect like a sandal), at least you can accept that she is a proper Pop Idol. She has it. Last week's Guardian Review took the occasion of the release of Shakira's first album in the UK to point out that "it" is precisely what the quartet of Pop Idols lacked - that Will, Darius, Rick and Gareth had none of the swagger, the spin, the glitter, the "look at me" quality that makes Madonna, Britney, Bowie, Jagger more than just people who sing songs. Not that it'll stop the idiots worshipping false idols, but you would have hoped that by now some sort of burning bush would have been sent as a warning. Instead, the column inches on the most unremarkable of singers still roll on; this week, Will outed himself to the News of the World; Gareth said he was brave in the Mirror; and so it goes on. Unedifying. It's probably not surprising that Burchill came out in favour in the Weekend Guardian…

No wonder Justine wanted out. In a wide-ranging interview with the Observer colour supplement, the most respectable of the Britpop generation gave out on why she's given up, frankly and open - except for the bits she didn't want her Observer reading mum and dad to know about…

HMV has started to stock Careless Talk Costs Lives, the Everett True attempt to do for left-field music writing what Mojo has done for rock. And rather fine it is, too - the fact that discovering a six page interview conducted by the former Legend! and the widow of John Lennon gives you a warm, happy glow probably demonstrates what a poor state the newsagent rock press is in. True manages to spend a large portion of his time with Ono musing on how great he is - surely no other journalist in the world would have managed to mention "The shop assistants wrote a song about me" in a piece about Yoko. "I see Everett is back to his old tricks" says the owner of the fanzine archive in another piece (this man has thirteen years of unread zines piled up in his offices, making it not unlike my bedroom), but it would be unfair to describe CTCL as a fanzine - it's got its faults (ET writes too much) but it's still fine, a place where there's space to ponder why Riot Grrl failed ("Some girls just discovered another cute way to dress hot - If it's just about clothes, we've got back to square one") is to be welcomed…

Mind you, the way the Wire has transformed itself from the sort of well-meaning magazine that wishes it didn't just go to WOMAD for the felafel and Peter Gabriel's sets into the house journal of All Tomorrow's Parties suggests there may actually be a whole sector developing here. Two decades in, The Wire has finally dematured. The current issue boasts a fine Sonic Youth blaggers guide, and Steinski doing the listening to records and commenting pieces…

It's perhaps ironic that in the course of this, he talks about the time 'The Motorcade Sped On' was released in the UK - it was an NME covermount, an ep with Sonic Youth and Sly and Robbie. This week's NME comes with an MTV-funded free video, featuring Starsailor and The Hives. Good, but hardly as jaw-droppingly exciting as what we were used to. In addition, both CTCL and Wire draw heavily on old NME and MM staffers - even Savage Pencil is still there, scribbling away. And as you look around you, from Steven Appleby in The Times on Saturday, to Danny Baker on Five Live, Andrew Collins on Six, Stuart Maconie every fucking where, even the odious Burchill - the whole of British Pop Culture has benefitted from the nme's influence. But it's hard to imagine any of the current crop of writers having much to offer in 2022…

One other off-road recommendation - The Circuit has started charging for its magazine, but the admirable former handbook for the New Acoustic Movement has beefed up its content to make good the deal. The current issue - confusingly called Devil's Music on the front page - even comes with a nifty free CD, complete with Giant Sand and The Handsome Family…

Anyway, what has the World's Second Biggest Selling Rock Weekly got for us? A nice piece of bet-hedging, actually, putting the Streets on the cover (so, if they are massive, the paper can claim "we had them on the cover back when they were nothing"), but sealed inside the giveaway bag so that the incredibly ugly bloke won't put anyone off. Is this the first front cover that nobody has ever seen?…

News goes exclusively behind the scenes at the Oasis video shoot - like we can't imagine what that's going to be lie; System of a Down observe "people don't just hijack planes and commit hari-kari without a reason", believe this to be a subversive thought; Michael Stipe is going to do some vocals for Faultline; Marilyn Manson really has blown it, by bothering to do interviews about how his pisspoor version of Tainted Love is coming out on the same day as Gareth Gates' debut single - Marilyn, a real god of headfuck doesn't spend time fretting about the runner-up on a talent show, honey; the NME wants us to spare a thought for poor Asher D because he's in feltham - ah, suddenly conditions in British prisons are meant to bother us because some stage school dipshit is charged in a connection with an incident where its alleged a gun was used to threaten a traffic warden?…

Gossip without balls: NME sells pill to grizzled party person; Svengali sacks starlet for shag shenanigans; pop star's daughter already havinh facials at five…

At last, the nme have number crunched the poll questions, to discover Inspector Frost fans prefer Moulin Rouge; Muse fans started drinking before they were 14 and radiohead fans are the most likely to own a cat…

new band hell: the mars volta - at the drive-in second wave; desaparecidos - destined to be the most miss-spelled Bright eyes side project; span - another nordic rock band…

How much longer did that "how you will you die" poll say you have left to live? Whatever, not long enough for Sum 41 talking about being totally into S&M bars. Yeah, yeah, yeah, and Jamie Theakston only popped in to use the phone, you wankers…

What do you know about cocaine? asks the government in a two page spread - incredibly pretty people have things to say, almost certainly written for them by a London advertising executive between lines - "My mate hasn't had any for ages and still gets paranoid" says one - she should, because WE KNOW WHERE SHE LIVES. Apparently a Dave Rowntree lookealike doesn't care as long as he's alright for Monday. You look like Dave Rowntree, son, it doesn't matter anyway. The strap line is "If you're wondering how cocaine causes anxiety or paranoia, call us." Paranoid about illegal drug use? Call the government. Yeah, can't see any problem with that…

Michael Douglas either was interested or fake interested in his band, and he gets excited. He's "never felt scared of fame or beauty." For some things, there is money. For everything else, there is Tim Burgess. He is our pop star…

Northern Uproar's Mike Skinner apparently starts all his anecdotes with "The other night I was really fucked…" but the new album isn't about drugs at all. It's about… um, people taking drugs. Did I say Northern Uproar? Sorry, I meant The Streets. Easy slip to make. If anyone calls them The Garage Northside, he'll pull a blade…

Walter from rival schools does the top ten thingy Pink Floyd, The Smiths, The Byrds. Oh, and Langley Schools Music Project, which is - of course - the current *essential* name to drop, don't you know?…

All new, all dumb reviews section: Albums - The Streets - Original Pirate Material ("ordinary life in he midlands", 9); Ian Dury - ten more turnips… ("what Robbie Williams could achieve if his songwriters had musical blood", 7); Giant Sand - Cover Magazine ("… should frighten off any atray Ryan Adams fans", 6); Ali G - 0ST ("multi-layered", 7)

SOTW is Marilyn manson's Tainted Love. Yes, yes, I've checked twice. It is. Steven Wells fault. Several layers down, Satellite's Lighten up the load is WSOTW. In between: Travis. Apparently Flowers in the window was thought - at first - too soppy to be on the album. Hmmm…

live: Doves in Brighton ( "If Fran Healy isn't worried, he should be"); Tommy & the Chauffeur in Blackwood ("quotes Bill Hicks and still sounds uncontrived"); The Vines at the Freebutt in Brighton ("this year's Strokes"); Foo Fighters in Salt Lake ("snatch the gold in crowd-pleasing")

And, finally, from Angst: "Mike Skinner = John Cooper Clarke." Aaaah. Now we see.

...pop papers... is live, weekly as part of the bothsidesnow list
Careless Talk Costs Lives site
Full versions of nme reviews and articles at NME.com
Glamour have a website, too
The Wire issue listings
Justine Frischmann Observer interview
Nerve on Britney's Hymen


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