Wednesday, March 05, 2003

WHAT THE POP PAPERS SAY: First Bistro edition:
From this week, WTPPS will be posted sometime during Wednesday evening...
It’s probably an indication of how little the Brits mean now that the magazine which showed the most interest in the awards wasn’t Smash Hits, or even Heat, but Now. Now, of course, the celeb magazine for people who get their hair done Mondays when your rinse is half price, not to be confused with Now, the fabled, failed attempt to create a British Newsweek, nor, indeed, New, Richard Desmond’s latest attempt to mop up every single slightly dim reader - following on from the back door Hello, OK and the vegan Heat that is Hot Stars. As a newsagent explains to a confused pensioner clutching a copy in a MediaWeek cartoon: “You asked for a copy of Now; that *is* a copy of Now.”

Gareth Gates is on half of the covers of the Radio Times, sitting in a bath of baked beans (inside credit: “thanks to Heinz”) in the name of charity. It’s a handy indication of how plastic and half-hearted Gates is in everything he does that even this bogstandard fund-raising stunt is screwed up - he keeps all his clothes on, for licky’s sake. He doesn’t even put his shoulders under the sauce. Lightweight. More impressive is Flog It’s Paul Martin. He might now be fronting the poor man’s Bargain Hunt, but he used to drum for the Quireboys and Dogs D’Amour, you know.

The Radio Times also proudly announces that, in its opinion, Reborn In The USA (failed Popstars get a second chance, trying to crack America) is probably going to be won by Mark Shaw, the devastatingly handsome former lead singer of Then Jericho. “Cobblers to it not being a competition” barracks Shaw “I want people off the bus as quick as possible.” The RT quotes odds of 7-1, and suggests you keep your eyes on him, as he might just win. Except, of course, before the RT had hit the streets, Shaw had left the show “by mutual consent” with the production team. He didn’t make it to the end of the first day.

Another listings magazine, another questionable decision - The Guardian Guide writes about Live Forever. David Stubbs - who, as a writer for the Melody Maker is still wanted by the Royal Commission investigating the footsoldiers of the Oasis years - thinks that it’s a bit rum trying to get excited about the period, but this doesn’t stop them putting it on the cover, which actually says more by accident than the article itself does - it’s a cartoon parody of the Vanity Fair ‘London Swings Again’ Liam and Patsy cover, only this time they’re split up. The caption says “how the britpop dream faded’, implying that we’re meant to view this as a picutre depciting the morning after. Except, of course, it sums up everything that was shit about the period - Liam, trophy wives, half-light Vanity Fair journalists deciding to write about a place and the place lapping it up. C’mon, would a really cool city get excited about being told by some American mag they were it? [Clue: would anyone like to see the cuttings showing how the local media on Merseyside purred with joy that the tatler - the bloody Tatler - decided Liverpool was, if you’ll forgive me, Livercool?]

Talking of cool - here’s the NME. Cool! Sexy! Drunk! Yes, its Karen O. Hurrah!

News: radiohead to play an ‘intimate’ UK tour, by which they mean places where you fewer than four car parks at the venue; Fatboy Slim is going to play Brighton racecourse - cut ‘im, Pinky; Steve-O took! his! trousers! off! He is hella crazy, isn’t he? One crazy guy. Why is it, if he came from Continental Europe, he’d be the figure of fun he should be (by which we mean laughing at, not with) but for some reason they think we’re interested as he’s American?; Robbie Williams now so desperate to crack America, he’s going to try and convince Linda Perry he’s a gay woman, too; Belle & sebastian are going to play a charity show, which seems a bit wrong - a jumble sale we could see, but a pop music gig?; BRMC’s next album to be “more raw and natural”, which suggests that they just can’t be arsed to work on it very much; Kelly Osbourne had to be rescued from a tongue lashing by - jesus - avril lavigne’s drummer (rock rating: zero, and falling) and then Pink made her cry. Seems Kelly hoped that she wouldn’t hold how she went gobbing off about the Pinkster [behind her back, of course] against her. Pink did. Kelly go sob sob sob. (rock rating: minus one, and falling); someone pretending to be Liam Howlett is ripping people off around the US; Jack White has posted a bemusing thing on the Stripes website that tsks tsks downloaders of the new album because, erm, they’re impatient and “we want you to have it when we want you to have it.” Apparently, there are six covers for the thing “so meg and I know where you got it from.” Because...? He doesn’t explain why it’s important. Maybe he could have saved the effort by looking at the country the person lives in.

My Morning Jacket choose the CD tracks - George Harrison, AC\DC and Bjork.

New act: Dizzee Rascal - “the future of UK garage” - “My attitude towards girls stinks” he says

There;s a handy get-to-know-The-Kills checklist - 3. Alison once didn’t eat for six months, surviving on a diet of lemon-flavoured drinks

Here’s little Evan Dando. He’s wearing a badly drawn boy hat. Keep walking, boy.

James Skelly from The Coral blags all about the next album - apparently the quirkiness is being phased out for a darker spell.

Karen O can look a bit like Bobby gillespie from the wrong angle, can’t she? Apparently, she’s quit New York and headed for rural New Jersey - it’ll be interesting to see what that does to her music in the next twelve months. Syd Barrett, of course, lives in the countryside; but then again, when Toyah moved to the sticks she started to campaign against foreign people being allowed to live near her. So you never know.

It’s apparently ten years since the NME staff voted Pet Sounds the best thing that’s ever been made in an album stylee. They did it all again this week - now, the greatest album ever is The Stone Roses. What this shows, more than anything, is the average age of an NME staffer. Doolittle (Pixies) is at 2; pet sounds 3; marquee moon - curiously - at 4; and revolver at five. Thats the Beatles album, not the shoegazing band;The Strokes Is This It at seven seems like an oddly over-enthusiastic measure in 2003; by 2013 it’s likely to provoke questions of “Is what it?” Oddest entry of them all would be Hejira by Joni Mitchell at 93. But, unbelievably, at 69 - I Get Wet. Sweetgwen, you lost with Andrew WK. Will you please give it up? We bet James Skelly is wishing he hadn’t decided to tell the paper his favourite album is Popped In, Souled Out by Wet Wet Wet, though. Emily ‘daughter of’ Eavis chooses The Clash’s London Calling because “they’re just so important.” It sounds to us like a “please like me” choice.

afi - sing the sorrow - “enormous sound and ambition”, 8
melanie c - reason - “called reason, otherwise there wouldn’t be one”, 4
the kills - keep on your mean side - “a glow to their dischord”, 8
junior senior - dddon’t stop the beat - “a mess, but a good mess”, 8
the sex maniacs - mean as hell - “best British punk rock album in ages”, 8

sotw - 50 cent - in da club - “makes thug life sound like the good life again”
ladytron - blue jeans - “no black mark against them”
jennifer lopez - all i have - “quality, high produced street soul”

nas - london astoria - “cranks up intensity with each passing song”
ex-models - cardiff barfly - “new yokr evolution at work”
jet - sydney annandale hotel - “disco sucks, rock and roll reigns supreme”

and that’s it. we’re going to turn back to the front page and stare again now.

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