Wednesday, July 09, 2003

WHAT THE POP PAPERS SAY: We're ill, dammit, edition

Why on earth would Aware, a one-off special to raise awareness of testicular cancer, choose to put the bloody Appletons on the cover? Was that the furthest up the celeb tree they could find people willing to talk tackle? Or is it the belief that the sight of the now fantastically aged Nic and Nat would make any man reach to cover his scrotum, and while they're there they might check for unusual lumps? Is it because when you think of the Appleton's current male consorts, the phrase 'unusual male lumps' springs to mind? Or 'rancid bollocks'?

Why on earth would Edinburgh Festivals, the one-off special to promote the nation's main arts event, choose to put Kelly Osbourne on the cover? What's she actually going to be doing?

"I'll go to my grave a failed actor" laments Graham Norton in the Radio Times. And this, mind, before that new Carry On starts shooting.

Roger Daltrey pops up again in the Metro, still offering apologia for his mate. Now, he's got all cross because they (a mysterious "those who should know better") said he'd downloaded child porn. Mysteriously, Daltrey claims that Pete Townshend had merely paid money to the company in the pursuit of his research, and that wasn't downloading at all. (Daltrey claims that this is because "the napster case" created a legal defintion of downloading, which is a smokescreen - there was no case against Napster in the United Kingdom, hence no need for a definition; furthermore, had there been a case it would have been in a civil case, and wouldn;t have created any sort of precedent for a criminal case). But what sort of research was Townshend doing? He paid money to a porn company, to "see what they had" and then didn't actually look at any of the pictures? Isn't that rather like a music journalist reviewing gigs off the back of buying a ticket rather than going to the hall? If Rog really wants to help his mate, he might want to look into being quiet for a bit.

The nme comes with the Kings of Leon on the cover, and news leads off with details of the Black rebel Motorcycle Club tour - a full page because it's nme promoted, of course. Smell the corporate synerygy. This week Julian Marshall is listed as "Group News Editor", which seems like he's got his feet under the table, then. He's taken over on a tricky wicket, as there doesn't seem to be much news at all around and many pages to fill. There's only fifty two words on Barry White, mind - admittedly he died quite close to publication deadline, but the man has spent so long at death's door he was on nodding terms with the milkman of Hades, so you'd have thought they'd have had an obit ready to roll.

The White Stripes will be in Steve Coogan's new movie. If the words 'steve coogan' and 'new movie' don't depress you enough, he'll be playing himself. Meg will not, we suspect, be wearing a bra.

Wayne Coyne says he's going to try and get the Flaming Lips and Radiohead to work together, and poses the immortal question: "Why settle for Justin Timberlake when you can have Mick Jagger?" Erm... because Timbo is sexy and lithe, and Jagger has a face made of water-damaged leather sacking?

You can get a free Radio 4 single by ringing a special number - and, no, we're not going to give it to you - go and peek in a newsagents. It is meant to be a sales promotion, after all.

Tim Burgess claims to have seen Gram Parson's ghost; the nme explains "who was Gram Parsons", for all the world like Look-In's explanation 'Who's that Jackie Wilson' way back when. I felt bitterly patronised by that, too.

Signs of the news drought: there's a meaningless thing about someone asking Alex James if he'd like to be the first British Space tourist (eh?) and a claim that Collins Dictionary has included words from the NME. Which it has, but the words - numetal, electroclash, even emo, are hardly coinages by the paper. Collins have lots of other words that the nme has used, you know. Maybe you could write about that next week.

Because when the nme coins genres, it sucks at it : meet Extremo, supposedly the newer, harder answer to numetal. Extremo? It sounds like a drain cleaner. Top Extremo bands are Thrice - who are in it for "the right reasons", which they seem to think is the music rather than blowjobs and Funeral For a Friend, who are being stalked by Paul McCartney and have a ghost in their studio. (That's meant to be hard? Hard would be being stalked by Alesteir Crowley and having chased satan out of your studio).

Congratulations to Peter Robinson, who's had one of his nme articles added to the AS Level syllabus. We're not sure it demanded a full page to report on this, but it's an achievement nevertheless.

Datsuns choose the CD - Cheap Trick, Blondie, Bad Reputation

Mars Volta got called faggots in Texas. But they went to Dr Who conventions - what did they expect? Going to Doctor Who events screams "I'm here and I'm queer."

Interpol like Germany (Porn and Can), Italy (strolling and Morricone), Spain (parties and Lorca), France (fans and Hemmingway) and the UK (networking and the Tate Modern)

Eight posters this week, supposedly voted for by you, the reader - Thom Yorke with a red cross through his face; the Coral in a field; BRMC in a pool; Coldplay's arses; The Libertines ("in happier times" as newspapers would say), Karen O looking edible and, ahem, the White Stripes' feet. Meg needs to get some proper support for those arches.

There's a big piece on the Kings of Leon - which is nice to see, except for the being about Kings of Leon bit. "I don't want people to get tired of us" they worry, several weeks too late.

reviews
albums
sleepy jackson - lovers - "you can feel the pleasure coming off Steele in waves", 8
decal - brightest star - "razory flashes and gothic swooshes", 7
patrick wolf - lycanthropy (they tell us what that means, too - cheers) "truth is always beautiful", 8
nectarine No 9 - society is a carniverous flower - "[like] walking round a drama studio, barefoot, pretending to be animals", 5
manic street preachers - lipstick traces - "the full stop they and we deserved", 8

sotw - burning brides - arctic snow - "a single about simple pleasures"
avril lavigne - losing grip - "horrible, ugly sounding, gripe rock bollocks"
nuforest - "jarvis cocker in character - expect overplay"

live
the datsuns - shepherds bush - "how to make hoary old rock sound essential"
the brunettes - london - "the fities are cool again"

and finally, he's really split opinion - former Melody Maker hack Zane Lowe stands accused of being "the indie Tim Westwood" in Angst.


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