Wednesday, August 14, 2002

WHAT THE POP PAPERS SAY - SCIENCE IS ROCK EDITION:
Rock Sound is a bloody odd magazine. Its articles all seem to come from one of three angles - either they read like nearly-translated pieces (possibly from the original dutch?); or the writer appears to be a decent, music loving sort who'll cling to any attempt to write about anything other than Puddle of Mudd; or else the bit will be a hagiography as heartfelt but incoherent as the bands they write about. Although its a curious hybrid, some of the results are pretty good - My Vitriol are played My Bloody Valentine and Ride tracks (the Ride causes them to spit that they've been compared to the Oxford boys in the past - although it was from Carnival of Light, which is hardly fair); Shirley Manson displays irritation with the way the boys talk about her (not for the first time in an interview, either) and ponders what happened to female -fronted pop ("where are they? Skin, Cerys, Elastica... they've all gone")...

But what's most fascinating is the chat with Mani of Primal Scream. A lot less defensive than Bobby, he might not have actually been briefed on the party line over the change of title for Bomb The Pentagon, and so his explanation rings more plausibly: "It got played at a few gigs last summer, but we decided to rewrite the chorus and retitle it after what happened, otherwise we might have had the CIA trying to knock us off [nervous laughter]. We don't want to be seen glorifying that, because it's just innocent people dying." In effect, then, the Primals realised that Bombing the Pentagon wasn't such a jolly wheeze, and chose instead to climb down. Nobody could blame them for that...

"If you're rock & roll, you don't need to get wasted" says Dave of InMe. His words in Rock Sound might chime with Blur's Alex James, who disgraces himself in the New Statesman diary by not behaving disgracefully. Tales of playing bridge and how dreadfully common the South of France has become for holidays conclude with the observation that "scientists are the new rock and roll stars" - well, what with predicitions of apocalypse and panic inducing anthrax attacks, they're certainly the new punks...

While rock stars are content to have their music made into ear-filling mush. In a fine bit for the Guardian Review, Alexis Petredis and Phil Tagg (excitingly described as 'music scientist', which, if Alex James is to be believed, makes him the Most Rock & Roll Person in the world) took a voyage through the aural background music. You hope the Starbucks assistant who confided once the official four hour Starbucks tape ends, he plays his own stuff didn't get into trouble. A few more spirited workers like that, and the 'bucks might have avoided the awkward charging-fire-crews-for-water incident on September 11th. Pub chains defend enforcing music centrally by claiming they don't let the staff choose the furniture or the pictures, so why let them choose the music? Yes, Rat and Parrot. You make sure you crush the last piece of humanity out of your staff before we set foot in there again... can you stop them having independent thought as well?...

Most depressing item of the week is a feature on Hugh Goldsmith of Innocent Records in Music Week. He "talent spotted" Billie Piper Evans from a picture ad on the front of the title in 1997. She was plugging Smash Hits, he, of course, decided to thrust her on us not knowing if she could sing or dance. Admittedly, the fact she can't do either didn't hold her back, but even so... couldn't he at least make the effort of wandering about a couple of stage schools?...

What links Billie Piper and The Music? Both have bad hair on their first front pages - the Music grace the cover of nme this week, if 'grace' is the word...

news: there's a picture of julian casablancas on crutches; a picture of the cab that Noel Gallagher crashed in; lots of outraged from Americans who paid to see Oasis being fairly shite in america. More excitingly, there's one of the Vines with his shirt off (and it's Craig) but Eyan's gone off home; meanwhile, the Libertine's people indulge in more damage limitation following their spat; Phil Spector has produced Starsailor tracks - which is akin to Santa helping out the tooth fairy; turns out two of the strokes and one of the Cooper Temple Clause went to a posh, expensive school in Switzerland - so, being in a band is a huge risk for you then, isn't it?; So Solid have denied being involved in an attack on a woman in their villa in Aiya Nappa - the woman was asked for oral sex, and hit when she refused; that's not the sort of behaviour we'd expect from the band, is it?; C-Span are pissed off that Eminem used subterfuge to get footage for his shows, but decided not to get too upset - probably because its the most people who've ever seen C-Span stuff in history...

on bands: the bandits - Liverpool's delgados (or second generation The Stairs) and Interpol (the indie Men In Black)...

V2002 warrants a mere page - boy, festivals are so over, aren't they?...

Kelly Osbourne is famous for being the daughter of a man who used to be in a pop group and who now is incapable of operating a television or taking a joke. Beyond that, she is incredibly ordinary - and I don't mean in a "she's down to earth, isn't she" way - I just mean: she is ordinary. There is a two page interview with, basically, your mate's sister...

This is better - The Datsuns. Yesity yes. They complain at having Dolf D Datsun's voice compared to Bruce Dickinson - but at least its not "Meatloaf"...

Isn't Truth Hurts a crap name for a solo artist? Hello, Mrs Hurts, is your truth coming out to play (nb: this joke was worn out when we stole it off John Walters in the 80's). Apparently Dre gave her the name. When asked 'why?' she says 'You can't tell?' and then starts to bang on about her nipples instead...

A couple of weeks ago, Nancy Banks-Smith observed a drama about Churchill's wilderness years ended with the words 'Churchill went on to lead his country to victory in war", and said "You suddenly realise: there are people who don't know this." You might feel the same way about an articvle that has the whole "Elvis recorded a birthday record for his mother" tale in it. (NME's level is now on a par with Look-In's 'the story of...' picture strip...

Back to now, and back to the Music - Robert Music couldn't cope with September 11th, until his parents sat him down and told him you can't worry for everybody. His reaction? "I don't care about what is - I care about what should be."..

albums: queens of the stone age - songs for the deaf ("the feel odd hit of summer", 9); liars - they threw us all in a trench ("spookier than ARE weapons", 8); sleater-kinney - one beat ("S-K keep it wild", 7): interpol - turn on the bright lights ("the dark's vital signs... interpreted", 8); kaito - montigola underground ("exhuming guitar music's past has rarely sounded so fun", 6)...

sotw is LCD soundsystem - losing my edge ("original. respect"); in its wake are the tide is high - atomic kitten (why can't jenny just put them away?"); oober,am - beany bean (good to have 'em back"); tompaulin - give me ariot in the summertime ("chumbawamba on life support")
Oh, and art department - we know its the same white label every time...

live: moby in toronto ("the last third scrapes perfection"); the pattern in WC1 ("we'd love to applaud, but its not de riggeur"); electralane at london ladyfest (foru smart women taking original steps"); liars ("all you need to know") and miss black america ("one big yawn") in glasgow...

matt bellamy out of muse does the CD thingy - Rage against the machine and the beach boys...

and that, then, would be it for this week...


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