Wednesday, December 04, 2002

What the pop papers say: Free badges edition

Mel C is back with a new look and a new image, announces Now - and inside pictures her with a man, which is, blimey, a major new image. Apparently, she's looked at engagement rings through a window with him, and everything. Now thinks this will put the rumours about her sexuality to bed. Um... maybe bisexuality doesn't exist after all, then. Maybe it's just us...?

Sophie Ellis Bextor has got the cover of Harpers and Queen, and establishes her credentials as The Closest Thing We Have To Pink by revealing that she wanted to turn up at her PETA anti-fur shoot wearing a fake fur just to see people's faces. See, Moby - it's possible to have a sense of humour about these things?...

Maximum Rock & Roll's 'Inevitable War' edition has reached Britain, with its regular corps of correspondents being asked to give their opinion on attacking Iraq. Oddly, nobody there seems that keen. However, the title is quite happy to launch a small attack on Punk Planet, running a piece condemning it for not being honest enough to call itself "Indie Rock Planet." Fulminating with rage over the misuse of the word "punk" is fine, but aren't MR&R leaving themselve open to the same charge - after all, there's not much room for rock and roll in between its punk columns and punk distros...

Loaded (we got it for 80p, and it comes with a Snickers Cruncher, alright) can be boiled down to just one decent music observation - that Badly Drawn Boy is the Oxfam Elton John; beyond that, it's pretty much all boiling down. The 80p coupon we found in an abandoned copy of the Daily Star and, frankly, it looks like most of their articles were created in the same way these days - 'someone who left Corrie eight months ago in cheap knickers' is hardly on a par with Tracy Shaw straddling a giant marrow, is it?...

Q, the only magazine that comes out on a lunar monthly cycle (13 and not 12 issues a year) spends Christmas with a copy of the 200 Rudest Songs ever - apparently, they're so hard up for material they include Mansun's Stripper Vicar as one, which is hardly rude, is it?...

What is rude is Paul Simon's Me and Julio Down By The Schoolyard - all that illegal sexual activity. "Is it gay?" asks a reader. Paul Simon, frustratingly, didn't actually have any particular act in mind when he wrote the song, or so he claims. Bah...

The main meat of Q is the 100 Greatest Albums Ever. They last ran this poll five years ago, when Radiohead won. This time round, Nirvana's Nevermind took the biscuit, which suggests the Q readership have slipped from mildly depressed to suicidal in half a decade. Somehow, people have the gall to suggest that Coldplay's Rush of Blood To The Head - which was released about thirty two seconds ago - has stood the test of time and should be in the list; the test of time being, apparently, the length of time it takes to get home and play half the album. The futilty of voting for recent albums is demonstrated in the tolling bell recording the records that were in the '97 rundown, but not in the new list - Placebo's debut and Texas' White on Blonde apparently not quite the timeless classics people seemed to insist they once were. Surprisingly, and sadly, Pulp's Different Class has had to make way for the likes of Ryan Adams and The Strereophonics...

One other thing puzzles us - Never Mind The Bollocks in the Top 10? It wasn't the first, and it isn't even all that good, so why do people keep insisting its anything more than a Model T Ford type of record - terribly, terribly dated, of historical interest but hardly a Lexus...

the nme has got free badges, remember - we're telling you, it's the sniff of going monthly. We got "your band is shit", an nme logo, and what appears to be the Jesus Jones logo. The cover has got The Streets on, so its not even going to be satisfy using the pins to poke eyes out...

news starts with a spot of promotion for nme endeavours; 'could liam be the surprise christmas number one?' No.; Oasis are being supported by (german courts permitting) the bandits, the stand, electric soft parade (presumably no grimy sub-beatles beatles were free that night?) and, oh fuck off, ocean colour scene; julian casablancas jumped into the crowd and nearly recreated the Ayatollah Khommeni's funeral as people grabbed at his by then naked butt; the Osbournes are back - in episode one, they go to have dinner with the president, which, I'm sorry, marks them out as cunts as big as Noel. The nme seems to think it's got some sort of "exclusive" about the first episode of the new series, which is funny, seeing as its already aired in the states and been seen by seven million people; "Following his success in Gorillaz, it's believed Damon [Albarn] has no wish for Blur to continue" - so, it's over, then, although that's surely on a par with "having had a comic strip in Look-In, Jarvis Cocker decided to stop doing music" or something; Jet deny they've signed a GBP1.2m deal - don't worry, petals, we didn't believe you had; Chris Martin has written more secret messages on his hand - it doesn't make you mysterious and deep, you twat, it makes you like some sort of walking Where's Wally puzzle; Outkast are to attempt to cash-in on 8mile("follow the success of Eminem's movie") with one of their own; The Coral are going to release two albums next year - probably overheard someone in their record label saying "we give 'em nine months"; P Diddy wants to run for President - well, can't be worse than the current shower; Elijah Woods from the Boring Tolkein Movie is going to have a part in a forthcoming Flaming Lips film while Marilyn Manson is going to be the devil opposite Gary Oldman in a new movie; The White Stripes have done a gig in Transylvania, which shows they're not scared of vampires. Its also unlikely that Jack is scared of Ryan Adams, who's called him "a little girl" - a curious term of abuse from a man whose record label seems determined to market him squarely to an audience of little girls. Adams continues that he was asked to be in that movie that Jack's doing, he did, and he turned them down, and besides, he'd rather be touring and he's a singer not an actor anyway and Jack White smells of poo...

April Long and Jolie Lash win a small cash prize or choice of fruit from our display for taking Escapology up to some Americans and asking them what they think: "sounds like Lenny Kravitz... they might appreciate him more on Mars... he's ripped off every living cheese artist... horrendous... his voice isn't real good... trying too hard to be liked... reminds me of a Dave Matthews spin-off." Classic. Eighty Million well spent, EMI...

the rapture pretend they're burning a CD full of Hawkwind, Jungle Brothers, Bob Dylan and Barry White...

hot new bands - the basement - most notable for having a drummer called declan macmanus, which is, of course, elvis costello's name; and the raveonettes (not, of course, ravonettes) whose singer is called Sharin Foo. Get over it, they're going to be around for a long time...

that mystery indie cock turns out to belong to pete of Kill City. Right, when you said "who's this cock?" we thought you meant the penis he was holding, not the man himself...

there's a poll form to allow you to help programme the nme carling awards, erm, vote for the nme reader's poll...

James Oldham catches up with Winona Ryder, whose last major appearance in the nme was when she turned up in the middle of the paper's lost weekend with Courtney Love. Oh, hang about. It's actually that article again. Presumably if she'd shouted through the window during a Replacements interview, they'd have had enough for an NME Originals special...

The Coral have gone to the states, and - unlike everybody else - seem to realise that the US doesn't owe them anything. Their attitude - "we'll move here for six months if we have to" - should bring tears of joy to their record label and already puts them over the likes of Robbie Williams and Charlotte Church in the likelihood of actually selling records there. (Yes, we know what we said a few paragraphs back - that was a joke...)

also in america: mike skinner. we like the streets. he met his girlfriend at a gig (the chemical brothers) and would give George Bush a book (awareness)...

reviews - albums:
system of a down - steal this album - "queen meets rage against the machine in a metal production of Godspell", 7
mariah carey - charmbraclet - "health restored by rainbows", 3
snoop dogg - paid tha cost to be da bo$$ - "incredibly sharp return", 8
faust - patchwork - 1971 - 2002 - "a good, well paced into for beginners", 8

singles
sotw - ja rule - thug lovin - "despite whooping like a wounded seal"
plus - pink - family portrait - "dark, miserable, bleak and claustraphobic. Happy Christmas from pink"
the fall - the fall vs 2003 - "like a crocodile, only nastier, and without so many teeth"
the cheeky girls - cheeky song (touch my bum) - "cold, sloppy dog wank"

live
lcd - EC2 - "lipgloss is melting all over the floor"
good charlotte - highbury garage - "so deliciously fucking bad"
ms dynamite - wc2 cc club - "a star"
avril lavigne - wc2 astoria - "the onstage presence of a mic stand"

even more bemusing than why the nme is bothering to run pictures of chimps meeting Liam Gallagher ("half way through I realise - I'm having a conversation with Liam Gallagher" - boy, what a pity BBC4 wasn't there to record that meeting of minds) is whether they really are getting so few of them that they're reduced to printing a picture of two but ugly nobodies gurning as they listen to an oasis gig. Jesus. Hang about, though, one's got their eyes open. Where are those badge pins...?


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