Thursday, June 06, 2002

SECOND OF THE DAY: This week's helping of the pop papers:
A trip to Borders results in a copy of Maximum Rock & Roll, and further disillusionment with the state of the British pop press - sure, it's messy black type on newsprint, and it has its shortcomings - an almost fanatical scepticism about online music writing, for example - but it's singlemindedness on what it listens to is unmatched in a willingness to write about any and everything. Seriously - since September 11th, what has the NME given us? A couple of pages the week it happened, the odd crass comment from the Gallaghers, and a few lines about the name of a Primal Scream track. Of course, the response from Kings Reach Tower would be "we're only a music paper", but even Coldplay have grasped that music is made in a context. Apparently, there may only be a couple of Pop Papers before the first exchange of nuclear weapons. This is, to judge by the nme, a possibility that doesn't affect music. Not until Thom Yorke says it does, anyway. So, then, reading MR&R is thrilling, but painful. There's nothing like this in the UK, and that's our loss...

Talking of losses being in the UK, how is it that the British edition of Esquire costs more than the imported US edition? Especially since the US edition boasts Kirsten Dunst on its cover? Of course, KD is on the cover of everything - after all, who wants to look at Toby Maguire? - but that, as so often, isn't the point. All this for £2.75. Maybe time for the OFT to look into magazine pricing as well...

Talking of economics of magazines, the latest attempt to turn a profit is on display at Arena - while many titles are traking the plunge and going handbag (backpack?) sized, rather than do this and pass the savings on the reader, Arena have elected to shave a couple of centimetres off the issue size and keep the price the same. They've also downsized from having a Kirsten to giving Milla Jovovich on the front - well, they know their readership, we suppose, and if they keep on like this, they'll be able to take them all out for lunch soon. The EMAP stable is hiding behind the inexplicably popular Heat magazine and the now-seventh age FHM, but its portfolio is looking thinner and thinner each month. Time for another shake out...

"You'll never guess what I'm up to now" promises Kym Marsh from the cover of OK. Guess? We can barely remember who you are...

Real popstars in Sleaze Nation with the Yeah Yeah Yeahs - perhaps. "Cute killers, their name and logo, were invented by Karen and Nick before they'd written one song." As soon as the universities reconvene, we shall discuss if this makes them any, less or more manufactured than Ms Marsh's former factory, HearSay. Also in SN: Peaches. Equally great noise as the YYY, equally image conscious. When the universities reconvene, we shall debate just why the quiet calculations of the Yeahs and Peaches (and, of course, the White Stripes) means so much more than the antics of Fischerspooner - "Less Is More" and "Having the tunes to back it up" may form the central planks of our argument...

Fischerspooner are trailed on the front of the nme, which wisely seems to have dropped its plans to make this week's issue a Jubilee Special, and equally wisely hasn't given them a front page - one Andrew WK in a year is clearly enough. Instead, the glossy hat is thrown behind the Libertines, who at least look like a Great Rock Band. Unfortunately, the GRB they look like is Supergrass, but its a start...

news leads off with a ho-hum thing about Los Bros Oasis hauling an idea for an Osbournes-alike round the TV stations of the land - pity where it's at has closed, isn't it?; a report from the Fischerspooner event - it's a mark of how dull they actually are that Casey Spooner saying "I'm here to get laid" is treated as being outrageous - Casey, every fucking twonk in a band from The Farm to the Stones is in it to get laid; Jonathon 'Korn' Davis is going to open a museum about serial killers - lets hope he gets one of the relatives of, say, Fred West's victims along to say a few words at the opening; Creamfields are throwing good money after a Dublin leg of the loss-making festival; sales of the forest gig Pulp tickets are so bad jarvis has been reduced to crawling through small bamboo tubes to try and raise interest; the Whites' wedding certificate is - as you'll have seen here - on the web, apparently; oh, and here's John Lydon - god, what a boring fuck you've turned into, son. "I am more famous than the Queen" - no you're not, you dipshit. She's on the coins and the stamps. You're on a tatty boxset, a couple of punk compilations and the middle slot on I Love 1977. He then bangs on about how shit the Strokes are, before he actually realises who he's talking about. Then when he does, he moans that Julian *looks* like a junkie. Still, he does strop off that he doesn't give two fucks about what the NME thinks. Not till after he's completed his interview like a good little promo-tour monkey, of course...

How scary, how frightening, how anti-establishment are Korn? The ad for their new album is one of those co-promos for a record store. Korn. Untouchables. Available at Woolworths. Korn promoting Woolies? Just like Richard Whiteley and that nice Joe Brown...

Miss Black America! In On! (Slogan: Tomorrow's stars today. Meaning: Bands who should have had front pages last year) MBA say "We have come to ruin your day." Somehow, you doubt they'll be endorsing WH Smiths anytime soon. There's also Fallacy and Fusion, brit hip hoppers...

Oh God. *More* Fischerspooner? "I'd rather pretend to be famous than actually be really famous" says Casey. You need have no worries on that score, mush...

There's a cut and paste thing about Things People Have Said About E. The NME's line on the drug? A spectacular piece of "Is this okay, AOL?" fence sitting, calling on all parties to, um, consider their drug policy. Right. That's a ringing, um...

Stoke on Trent appears to have appointed itself Music City...

"The Band" explain the Libertines "could have been called The Albion, but it's a shit name for a band" - and for a football team, let me tell you...

albums: that woolies-supported Korn effort ("moments when it sprouts wings", 8); Ms Dynamite - a little deeper ("it all goes a bit... well, name any slick US R&B type", 6); v/a - future rock & roll ("so now it hurts [but has] extraoridinary moments", 8)...

sotw is Nelly - Hot In here ("possibly the sauciest record ever"); there is no worst. brian molko's alpinestars type thing is in, though - "a rather grand slab of gnarled cyber-rock", but of course, you'll have read that on the bsh months ago, wouldn't you?...

live: a in norwich ("there's no malice, no snide edge"); the breeders in dublin ("bumblingly elegant"); early deadlines...

and we've been meaning to point out for the last few weeks that Angst isn't called Angst anymore, it's been renamed NMEmail - geddit? - presumably because the NME likes mentioning its name, in capitals where possible, and because there's no room for angst in the shiny new nme world. Which is, he sighed, where we came in...


1 comment:

Naomi McLD said...

5 years ago. really?

6/10 for Ms Dynamiteee?
And then she won the Mercury Prize.

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