Wednesday, April 02, 2003

WHAT THE POP PAPERS SAY: The Bistro edition, II
We love nothing more than a bitter man in the music industry - or so we thought. Then we read Mark Goodier’s interview in the FT Creative Business, and decided that better was a bitter man trying to be ever so ‘umble. Goodier - who somehow managed to fuck-up a multi-million pound radio production company - is especially good with the faint praise damnation stick he waggles at the man who followed him at the helm of Radio One - as the FT pointed out, he implies that if Wes Butters tries hard, he might get up to being quite good one day.

Bang has yet to turn up in Liverpool, so all we have to go on is the review on PlayLouder. PlayLouder hate it, with what could be described as passion. In fact, their contempt for the title makes us want to see if Bang really could be that bad.

Counting down slowly, Careless Talk Costs Lives is now at number five, with supposedly just four more until they’ll take stock and either fold and walk away, or decide they’ve changed the face of music journalism. Luckily, they may not be toiling in vain - this issue is not only the best yet, it’s the first that really feels like a coherent project. And the paper it’s printed on smells delicious. Or maybe its the ink. Whatever, as well as looking lovely, and reading well, it smells gorgeous. When did you last sniff the NME? In his editorial, Everett True rails against a company which re-runs a ten year old article you’d had a gentleman’s agreement would never appear again - I’m assuming we’re talking about the Christmas ‘Kurt’s last christmas’ article from the nme here. Daniel Johnston is now in his forties, you know. Scary, innit? Twink are interviewed about their concept-album-for-kids about a rabbit - Hoppity Jones - who falls asleep in the woods and wakes up to find the forest a stranger place after night. John Robb meets Crass who know what to value from the past, and why “What the Beatles did was confirm the political element [to rock music]” - and are amusing about the attempts of perpetual Tory fall Guy Tim Eggar’s attempts to prosecute the band during their anti-Falklands War campaign era. Karen O is interviewed while monumentally stoned; the oddest point is when Nick yeah yeah yeah says “the hissy fits are the only band I’d slag off” but “hissy fits” are blacked out. Curious. A brief taste of this issue can’t do it justice: buy. You must.

“What’s wrong with cannibalism?” ask the Murderdolls in a desperate attempt to shock us until our hair falls out. Well, for a start, cultures where the eating of human flesh is common experience a high rate of a disease somewhat akin to mad cow disease. Kerrang territory we’re in here, of course - a world where Cradle of Filth still gets talked about the way Transdifffusion talk about the BBC-1 globe. But this week, it’s worth the swallowing to get hold of this week. Well, if you like Placebo. Brian on the cover, and four pages of Molko inside, talking about the way the band is seen and his reputation for being an awkward bastard. “I suppose our fans are a lot more interesting than Sting fans. Or Gareth Gates.” There’s also speculation they pissed Fred Durst off by being “a bit more faggy” when they met him. Curious. Equally curious, by the way, is the tortuous attempt to review The Donnas live - “they’re in their pyjamas on the cover of the album! but they rock hard!” - suggesting that the common assumption metal writers work from is that it is impossible to hold more than one idea at once; but it’s odd that even so they haven’t realised you can want to rock out and get laid at the same time. Even if you’re a GIRL.

The NME comes with Bring It On - The Faint (Omaha’s Placebo, apparently); The Rogers Sisters; Rocket Science; Northern State; The Icarus Line; The Warlocks and the 80s Matchbox B-Line Disaster. Once again, the small freebie punches above its weight in terms of new thrills. Its churlish to complain that these bands should really be getting weighed in the main paper, not stuck out in some sort of side-saddle potting shed. But it won’t stop us.

The paper proper has got the White Stripes on the cover, and comes with FREE POSTERS. A pin-up of Avril Lavigne - she’s giving us the finger; oh, isn’t she real; then Jeff Buckley; him out of Coldplay still doing the killer’s writing on his hands; the Datsuns - probably in response to the demands of their ker-azy Street team; the Yeah yeah yeahs and Craig Vines (a CTCL hate figure, but we’d do him) and, erm, The Beatles and... a poster for Donnie Darko.

News: Apparently people bothered to email the NME to complain about radiohead’s decision to call their new album Lesbians Against Bush or whatever they’re going wit. Seriously, the nme want us to believe that calling the album ‘Hail to the thief’ is the “biggest anti-war statement yet” - yeah, really knocks the three million people marching in London into the shade, doesn’t it? The paper redeems itself by printing some of the emails, mind - “Remember, Thom, if it wasn’t for us Americans and our ‘corrupt’ government, you’d be speaking German right now” - erm, what part did George W play in the fight against Hitler? Must have missed that; The Strokes are at work on their follow-up album - Albert hammond reports “It’s magical, rocking and interesting - everything is new”; The Libertines played a gig in their front room, in an odd life imitates lame Doritios advert

The Raveonettes are CD making - Gram Parsons, Suicide, The Kills, Richie Valens, Buddy Holly. Do *you* think about death much?

The Applicators say you can date them if you buy them shoes and there’s a brief chat with Hot Hot Heat as their fame start to spiral.

The Rapture admit to having been big fans of Duran Duran back in fourth grade - Nick Rhodes really is the name to drop this year, isn’t he?

Jack and Meg are a bit frustrating, actually: there’s a brown-nose to Ms Kidmann - “to be so popular and beautiful at the same time must pose so many challenges for her” and then, asked about the war, Jack cops out “we’re musicians and songwriters and I’d rather not even bother with having an opinion about it.” Knob.

athlete = vehicles and animals - “Toploader fans - you might have found your new favourite band”, 4
mew - frengers - “glorious”, 8
they came from the stars, I saw them - what are we doing here? - “screaming for a song that takes itself seriously”, 5

sotw - the faint - against suicide - “the place where duran meet marilyn manson” (see?)
qotsa - go with the flow - “satanic chanting”

interpol - london astoria - “they create a whole world”
harry - manchester night and day - “the no-cock revolution found its ringleader”
ladytron -camden electric ballroom - “the girls are cranking up the dial”

and finally: the new NME originals is Madchester. God, Ian Brown always was an ugly figurehead, wasn’t he?

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