Wednesday, January 29, 2003

What the pop papers say: Sniff the edge of war edition

WHAT THE POP PAPERS SAY: Sniff the edge of war edition
Both Wired and, in its Digital Special Report, The Economist have latched on to why the Big Record Labels are probably onto a loser fighting copying on domestic machines - that Sony Inc is not going to ruin the chances of its Electronics Division flogging CD Burners by allowing its music division to disable them. The harsh fact, of course, is that Sony bought the music industry because it wanted stuff to be available for its CD players - it wasn't so much interested in the profits afforded by having a slice of Creation, but in the money it could generate by getting Creation buyers out to buy its machines. So, when the bosses of the labels whine about all the people downloading, and ripping, and sharing, *their* bosses smile a little smile and turn their curve up higher. Sure, the few pence from a Robbie Williams album would be nice, but the dollars from the MP3 Walkman are better.

Private Eye has had a really interesting correspondence - telling a tale of an album released over a decade ago; it's a concept album about a rockstar whose career - forged in writing rock operas - hits the skids. He consoles himself by plugging in to a futuristic sounding network which allows people all over the globe to communicate with each other, and strikes up a relationship with a twelve year old girl. The girl turns out to be a journalist who publishes details of this latter day Humbert Humbert's daliance. Yet it turns out in the end it was all a publicity stunt by the musician all along. The writer of this work of fiction? Um, Pete Townshend.

On the same subject, in the same title, the Celeb strip (how did they let it be ruined by the recent Harry Enfield series?) works well:
Gary Bloke: Bloody Internet - I wish I'd never heard of it. This latest stuff people are saying about me... it's stupefying... I've been called all sorts of things in the past but never *this* before. I mean, to me, the abuse of children is just totally incomprehensible... and the fact is, I need to research it so I can make sense of it in my own mind as a victim myself... [checks computer screen] ... like what does 'minging' mean? Some kid's called me that on my website..."

The nme, then, has, um, Kelly Osbourne - who Dotmusic rightly file under 'pop' - promising "the most kick-ass interview you'll read this year" - presumably gambling that anyone who's interested in KO is hugely unlikely to attempt to read anything more challenging than a Kelly read anyway. We shall see.

Page three and four news apparently thinks that The NME Awards Tour is the most important thing in the world, finding space to mention the cringe-making intrusion of supposed capatain of alt-rock at Radio One Colin Murray coming on stage dressed as a bloody parrot.

In actual news: Polly Harvey plays new stuff in Australia ; Australian press slam Vines for being "not very good" at Big Day Out - "Craig seemed completely oblivious to even being onstage", apparently - can anyone calculate how many elephant tranqs that must have taken?; Billy Corgan is going to wear a wig and appear in a film - my, his life is glorious; Coldplay dedicate song to "the most beautiful woman in the world" - somehow, Gwyneth Paltrow got the idea that they meant her; Eve is currently developing a sitcom which is going to "draw on her real-life" - "one of my friends that will be with me every second of the day is gay... I know a lot of people haven't seen me in a comedic light" she concludes, correctly. Even more so with the belief that Having A Gay Friend is going to be funny in itself; Ash had to call in an exorcist to generate publicity for their forthcoming documentally ("exorcise the ghosts of 29 people from the film set"); Kim Howells - having had a pop at rappers and modern artists - finally hits the spot by having a go at Robbie Williams; Adidas have cashed-in on the death of Jam Master Jay by releasing a special plimsole ("cashed in on the death of Jam Master Jay by releasing a special trainer"); Tupac narrates the film of his own life story - which, seeing as he's dead at the end of it, really is a twist to make American Beauty look hackneyed; Damon Albarn attempts to raise interest in the New Blur by dropping hints about the replacement for Coxon - "a guitarist from a well known band from the North of England"; the NME tries to get interested, but really, it's no "member of a cult chart-topping 80's pop act", is it?; Courtney Love cites Kelly Osbourne as an inspiration for her own album - presumably in that seeing the bar has been lowered has allowed her to knock out any old shite knowing it'll be lapped up; Har Mar Superstar - NME says "superstar of the moment"; "writes dirty songs for J-Lo" - well, he has, but they came back with a polite rejection letter - we say Andrew WK03; Fatboy Slim won't host another Big beach Boutique - doubtless he's afraid it might finish off the West Pier once and for all; the BBC have made a documentary about the Appletons - jesus, the BBC will give money for any old pile of shite that shuffles up, won't they? There's an organisation whose quality control has gone right out the window*; Tom Morello and Serj Tankian have created axisofjustice.org which is a one size fits all style protest group

The Faint burn a CD in easyinternetcafe baiting defiance of the rules, man - choosing to include Fugazi, The Beat, The Cure and Beethoven...

Token New Band: Junior Senior. "We wanna make something new like Wham Meets Motown" - so, that would be covers of Love Machine, then.

From The 'It seemed a good idea when we trailed it, so we'd better run with this now' file comes... drummers are the new lead singers. Because there's, um, Dave Grohl and... um... they can't even fill a double page spread having to top it up with "outrageous things pop stars have said." John lennon said the Beatles were more popular than Jesus, you know.

50 Cent was stabbed by Ja Rule. Fascinating.

Good Charlotte. Ah, they're Christian Rock, and they think The Strokes are irrelevant. I wouldn't mind testing the strength of Billy's faith, mind.

Dashboard Confessional - apparently inspiring to legions of emo-to-punk fans. Dull as Mandelson in pro-war mode in interview, though.

"If the only thing kids can say about me is that I'm fat, then I've got it pretty fucking easy" brazens Kelly Osbourne. The funny thing is, you know, I've seen a lot of criticism of KO, and none of it has been because she's fat - probably because she isn't, is she? The criticism is more of "You're a talentless chancer who has hustled a supporting role in a ridiculously over-rated 'reality' TV show who's trying to simultaneously walk the role of a rock rebel when you're relying totally on Daddy AND pocketing all the cash you can get your fingers into from any old mass-market crap and the likes of Pepsi." The accompanying photo shoot cruelly adds an extra layer to this - by running nine pictures on one page, we now also have "and you only have one facial expression - fucking gormless", too. So, is this fair criticism? Well... yes. She wanted to call the album Buy Me; the label insisted on Shut Up. Even her rock rebellion is being plotted by men in suits.

reviews - albums
nick cave and the bad seeds - nocturama - "what the Velvet Underground would have sounded like if they'd been psychopaths", 8
johnny marr and the healers - boomslang - "you expect more... this leaves you feeling cheated", 5
asian dub foundation - enemy of the enemy - "the musical equivalent of a blue touchpaper being lit", 7

singles
sotw - the datsuns - harmonic generator - "referencing 70's rock that referenced the 50's"
justin timberlake - cry me a river - "a waterfall of tears"
good charlotte - lifestyles of the rich and famous - "[like] if you're a pensioner, Mega City Four"

live
interpol - detroit - "paul pulls off his gothy sound without sounding like a vampire-obsessed dullard"
dashboard confessional - London Metro - This Ruined Puzzle is "like the complete scripts of Dawson's Creek compressed into one song"
The 20-20s - London Dublin Castle - "taking the new US blue(s)print and redrawing it afresh"

shamefully, a long overdue piece on Disabled access at venues is shoved to the back (maybe they were trying to make an ironic point?) and only appears because someone - apparently Scope - paid

and finally, there's an advert for the Placebo tour. The new look might take a spot of adjustment...

*- a rare in-joke. Sorry.


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