Thursday, June 06, 2002

LAST WEEK, SHE SAID...: Last week's pop papers fell down a blogger-crack over the bank holiday, so here it is again...
It seems every month is a further fall from grace (or at least, a step from the zeitgeist) for the Face. Once it jumped and skipped like a taut young Russian gymnast, now it skeeters about with a grasp as sure as Boris Yeltsin two hours after closing time. It's an indication of how far its fallen that this month it celebrates the Jubilee/25th anniversary of punk (yes, we got that if the Queen had been around for 50 years, that means that the McClaren self-mythologising department had been running for 25) and - oh, my god - front pages the return of the Prodigy. The elevation of Popbitch bloke to the editor seems to confirm that The Face now thrives merely on talking about the sorts of things that weekend colour supplement editors believe young people are interested in (Eminem, Prodigy, Punk) and that to make any sense, it should be approached as a publishing equivalent of the "I love..." TV franchise. ("That Eminem was mad, wasn't he...?")

Of course, if the Face was looking at 2002, it would be just as scary, as you know they'd fall for Fischerspooner's press releases. Luckily, Alexis Petri-dish in the Guardian didn't take the pills they were handing out for their London debut, and was prepared to call a man in sequined underpants mime walking against the wind by its name - not a provocative new sound, but "a bad musical based on the lives of the 80s pop stars - Springtime for Heaven 17". The same edition of the Guardian's birthday column reveals the scary fact that Tony Hadley is only 13 years younger than Ron Wood...

It's that time of the year when FHM readers reveal their hands, and with it, the sad state of their masturbatory fantasies - the 100 Sexiest Women (amongst 13 year old boys and the recently divorced). Anna Kournokovia wins - strangely, she seems to have convinced men that she's sexy in the same way she's convinced the sporting world she's a tennis player (i.e. despite the evidence of people's own eyes and so on). Worse, Rachel Stevens is apparently the sexiest woamn in music. Attractive, yes, and possibly the sexiest woman in pop... but... c'mon: you'd rather Tori Amos, wouldn't you?...

So, onto the nme then, apparently late while it was being put into bags so the me-too Fly (Bring it on) could be added to the mix. the June edition does have a very sexy Tim Burgess on the cover. "I like listening to hiphop and looking at cows" he says. God, couldn't you just eat him with a spoon? The Coral claim to be the most exciting new band in the country - um, sorry, guys, after a year you have to stop claiming to be New, and accept that you're starting to fall behind the hype. And just why does Cardiff have its listings in The North section? Shouldn't they at least call the edition "The North & Wales"? Still, its nice to see a bit of regionalia in the music press - it reminds us of the days when there'd be two regional editions of the TVTimes cheek by jowl in branches of WHSmiths on ITV border areas. (This will probably form the basis of next month's Face front cover)...

The nme proper has the Vines on the cover, thereby being the first nme in months to have an act both vibrant and sexy on the first page...

news leads off with an argument between Norman Housemartin and Damon Seymour - probably about a comb, we'd imagine; The Libertines are likely to go into the Top 40 despite not being played on daytime radio because of swearies - so, that's a shock, then. Hold the front pages for "Free poster propels Aaron Carter into top ten" revelations next week, nme; Primal Scream have changed the name of Bomb The Pentagon to I'm Glad Tim McVeigh Got The Creche(*); September 11th also changed the Coldplay album - sadly, not from "whiney shit", though. And, apparently recording it in Liverpool made Chris Martin think again about hanging out with celebs. Presumably because "hanging out with celebs" in Liverpool means snorting coke with Ned Waste and the clumsy one out of China Crisis, which would make us think about staying in a little more, too; The bizarre sight of Joe Strummer telling kids to pay £100 for Glasto tickets instead of sneaking in reminds us just what punk did for us - fuck all; is it too cheap to say that the headline "Alien Ant Farm Crash Horror" refers to the line "the band survived"? Or too tacky to suggest that the driver might have been the first suicide attacker for art's sake?; Placebo have started to work on their fourth album, including a track called cavity search. The album is expected in mid-2003, so expect to read posts on bsh saying how good it is ("it's good"; "it's very good"; "it's great") sometime around the end of this september; the nme does two pages about the world cup, the general standard of which can be surmised from them asking Jason from A to predict the score of England versus Nigeria; the nme has finally caught up with that story about Limp Bizkit's search for a replacement for Wes being a crock of cheap publicity and bitter dream-crushing...

on bands: "we went from a pub in Blackburn to playing in front of 1,500 people" brags Gallagher-endorsed Mick Spencer from the 'burn - yes, a band named after the place they come from - scarily, they also sound and look like the similary-uninspired The Farm; heavily advertised Easyworld also appear. You know how people speculate on what would have happened if Cleopatra's nose had been a little bit longer? Well, this is the just slightly less attractive Ash...

American Head Charge - why do they make me think of a cross between The Spice Girls and Slipknot? Their worst drug experience was snorting bad coke in Europe that turned out to be heroin. If you buy their record, this might be repeated. On the other hand, it might go top ten. Decisions, decisions...

The best thing about Jimmy Eat World's tour round the States was, of course, Jay Leno saying he thinks Rival Schools are "Y'know, more meaningful" - when mainstream america has the better gags, it's time for EMO to stop...

What ten tracks would Jon Spencer Blues Explosion put on a CD? ODB, the grateful dead, and you'd better hope you never get invited on their tourbus, little girl...

"I've read about Iggy Pop. He made loud music and didn't like wearing a shirt. Can we go to Wendys now?" - in this week of Fuck Off Now, Again, Sex Pistols, thank god the Vines are more interested in Music than digging up the corpses of Sid and Johnny. The Vines might just be the one to bet on, you know...

albums: liberty x - thinking it over ("the people who do that sort of thing have assembled 14 strong tracks", 8); eminem - the eminem show ("expansive without being pompous; its flaws are small", 9); Jesus and mary chain - 21 singles ("the stuff of rock & roll's essential lexicon", 9); easyworld - this is where I stand ("only two responses to living in eastbourne - act old like toploader, or kick up a racket [like easyworld]", 6)...

singles: sotw the libertines - "a new dawn has come, and What A Waster is its breakfast show jingle"; no worst single - strange in a day when Will Young's Light My Fire is up for review...

live - fischerspooner in new york. This is interesting, actually, in light of Alexis Petredis' london review (above) - see, the nme have been talking Fs up in a way that's going to leave them with even more egg on their face than the non-arrival of Andrew WK. And, clearly, they're rubbish; art school wank times sigue sigue sputnik minus the excuse of at least being first. But the nme can't just say "Look, they're another Minty. Sorry." Instead, we get Alex Needham trying to argue that pisspoor trousers and 14 year old shock is "one in the eye for the keeping it real brigade" - sorry, Alex. Oasis fans don't care, and the boa bunnies want something more than a couple of ideas pinched from early spandau ballet videos to raise our interest...

other live: electric soft parade at the astoria ("confidence in them is not misplaced - if only they had some of their own"); Billy Childish in Tufnell Park ("like 1945 never happened"); Rammstein in the docklands ("a new standard. If the next band you see don't have flame throwers, boo them.")...

finally, from angst: Shaz osbourne is sue lawley in leather.
* - actually, it's called Rise now because they don't "want to be political"**
** - actually, it's because apparently calling for people to be murdered isn't quite so cool when people have been murdered


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