Wednesday, April 30, 2003

WHAT THE POP PAPERS SAY: For some reason, it's the breast edition:
Being on the continent allows us to catch up with Bravo, the German Smash Hits, against a backdrop of claims that 'local pop' is, for the first time since the Beatles, on the up again. Maybe it is - the continental music channels are jostling to position themselves as the home of "local music"; even MTV, the channel which was once as American as the head of the Iraqi government. But Bravo paints a slightly different picture - while it does find space for Jeanette ("hello, I have no clothes"), the 'local' acts most prominently featured are the winner of the German version of Pop Idol (and if we thought Will was a man promoted way beyond the extent of his charisma, Germany's version - who bears an uncanny resemblance to Jenny Eclair - makes Mr. Young look like a young Sinatra) and the German Big Brother contestant most willing to flash boobs to try and win the big prize.

More curiously, while Bravo always was slightly racier than its Anglo-saxon cousin, in the last few years it seems to have pushed its boundaries further. Thus, in the 'real life' segment, not only do the tales-to-chill-your-blood of drugs and streewalkers now feature the protaginists with their shirts off for no reason (do you really need your tits out to inject crack?) but, under the guise of educational featuring, readers are invited to photograph themselves naked. In the UK, you ask a fifteen year old girl to strip off for publication, you wind up sharing a small room with Pete Townsend. On the continent, you get filed in the kid's magazine titles. We're not sure which side of La Manche has got it wrong.

Talking of naked teens and back in the UK, CosmoGirl promises a feature revealing "another side of Christina Aguilera" - which, seeing as we're familiar with her butt, her internal piercings and every one of her waffle-lite opinions makes us wonder. CosmoGirl has undergone a spot of panic dieting, too, we note - now down to that handbag size which looked fresh and vibrant when Glamour came up with the shape, but now merely gives off the feeling you get when you pick up those Beano Mini Libraries.

Still, at least girls have handbags. Jack, the new-ish James Brown title, seems to be floundering finding enough men wanting a title to slide into their purses. The admission that the title isn't hitting its targets and is thinking again about contents surprised nobody; they'd been desperately fiddling with the wrapping for the last couple of issues, having abandoned the pledge not to do Loaded-style chix pix.

Another cover story: Heat last week carried a strapline about "boob jobs" on its front page. That's except, of course, for the versions of the magazine produced for those bloody irritating adverts, where the phrase was replaced with "plastic surgery." Doubtless 'boob' considered too racy during the Corrie watering slot.

But then, you never know who's going to turn out to be all shy and coy. The Guardian's radio review column noted that when the part-time God of Headfuck co-hosted on Mary Anne Hobbes' latenight radio show, his image took another blow when a caller asked him what his favourite position was. Instead of giving us The Sort Of The The GofHf would say - maybe 'goat on top; mother underneath' say - Marilyn blustered and audibly blushed before stammering "they're all pretty great", like a virgin who's been too nervous to even peek at More's position of the fortnight to at least be able to bluff his way through a couple of playground conversations. We'd always assumed the whole Manson schtick was over-compensation. Maybe it's not compensatory enough.

Is it really Bring It On time again? Hope of the States, the Hidden Cameras, Hot Hot Heat, The Mooney Suzuki, The Seconds (Brian Yeah Yeah Yeah's Foo Fighters), the Applicators and The Raveonettes are the acts carefully kept away from the proper magazine like heavy smokers from Toronto being led away from the World Health Organisation HQ.

NME proper has got an interview with Thom Yorke, a man who always says stuff you can believe in, like "I'm not doing interviews any more", for example. Of course its on the bloody cover - indeed, all other bands have been expunged from the cover. It's rather like a 1980s edition of the magazine. In that respect.

News: Jack White got one of his fantasies to come true with loretta lynn - singing with her, we should point out; Keith Flint has got a new band which he's named after himself - presumably making it easier for his frazzled brain to remember; in a desperate face-saving bid to try and salvage some dignity from the inevitable riposte to Madonna's cack-handed download posing (her site was hacked and her new album given away), a spokesperson said "this is all part and parcel of putting out big records" - really? We can't think of any other official site which has been hijacked to hand out free copies of the title, but we'd like to see it become commonplace - metallica have got something new coming out soon, haven't they?; gwen stefani is working on a solo project - yeah, apparently there were some blokes in No Doubt [factcheck please]; Zane Lowe chats about his plans for the Evening Session, which sounds like he's going to be a really unsafe pair of hands. Which is what you need in that role, of course.

Hell is for Heroes do the CD - public enemy, slayer, fugazi

Kieran from the Cooper Temple Clause once dressed up as a mole.

Turbonegro really do look like kids trying to dress up as the Village People, don't they? Hank Von Helvete announces he's signed three pairs of boobs in the last ten days, which at a breast every tenth mealtime isn't much of a boast, is it?

"Do you remember Primal Scream? All you used to read about them was drugs, drugs, drugs" recalls Peter from the Dandy Warhols. Which is true, but then there was a time when no matter what the Dandys said, the papers merely focused on two things: Zia's left breast, and her right one. Now the band are working with Nick Rhodes. Presumably the Vodaphone funds wouldn't run to David Sylvian.

Thom Yorke says he'd like to run for Prime Minister. He also says he didn't realise until listening back to the new album how angry it all was, suggesting that he didn't set out to write a work that replaced their usual angst with kvetch; that it just somehow happened. But maybe thats what a politician-muso would want you to believe. That its all somehow organic rather than ordered.

The 100 Greatest Rock and Roll Films ever? They've been stretchy with what they'll count - A Clockwork Orange may have inspired more stupid stage costumes than anything this side of Leigh Bowery, but it's surely most noteworthy for its refusal to shackle itself to the dating game of a rock soundtrack. And to include Jackass The Movie on a list of 100 Greatest Anythings immedeatly undermines whatever case it is you're setting out to make. And what, no Grease?

We're not sure about this new Jarvis Cocker side project Relaxed Muscle - yes, on paper it sounds like it has a charming Phoenix Nights air to it, but also, on paper it comes across as a little too arch. We shall see.

harry - the trouble with... - "fucking boring", 2
blur - think tank - "no sense of urgency and ambition", 8
puretone - stuck in a grove - "remember Olive? no?", 4
martin l gore - counterfeit 2 - "go back to counting your money", 2

sotw - dandy warhols - we used to be friends - "synthetic chatter"
shed seven - why can't I be you? - "who is funding this band's career?"

the vines - astoria - "a band that matter when so many don't"
radio 4- cardiff barfly - "gang of four + the clash"
the nme don't review many gigs these days, do they?

and, finally:
"The headline, 'Dixie Sluts fight on with naked defiance', on our front page yesterday, should have had quotation marks round the first two words" - Guardian Corrections and Clarifications, 26th April 2003.

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