WHAT THE POP PAPERS SAY: Eventual edition
Last week's Guardian Online had an interesting feature about the way blogs are changing the traditional music press.
No, no, they didn't, since you ask. But we're not bitter or anything about it. But instead, let's talk about how damn great that new tabloid Independet looks... yeah, that's the paper of the future. Oh, yes indeed.
Seriously, they wrung the admission out of Conor McNicholas that the nme is being influenced by the bloggers, which is perhaps why the paper is starting to allow its writers to have their personalities back.
In the New Statesman, Andrew Billen uses the Arena Imagine Imagine documentary to give Lennon a further beating about the head, quoting Robert Elms, a man I find it difficult to love under normal circumstances, but whose destruction of the egoiest of the Beatles' dreariest of ballads makes me feel, well, tumescent: "It's the sort of thing Miss World contestants say. It's not the politics of the left, or anything else. It's the politics of the infants school." To illustrate his point, a little girl at Lennon's old school decided she liked the line "above us only sky" - "because it's true."
So, the NME has finally made it thirty-five miles up the road to Milton Keynes, dragging its feet under the weight of a student supplement. In MK, of course, we do our universities without having the actual students - a splendid concept, but one which does rather screw your chances of seeing Interpol playing in the place. There's the first part of one of those competitions that reek of grandmothers and the Daily Express, where you have to collect tokens. The prize is having "your rent paid for a year" - up to a whopping GBP2100. (2900 in London) - great news if you're living in, well, poverty. The great cities of this country are represented by their clubs, venues, pubs,shops, local heroes and a token popstar. So you get Belfast (Snow Patrol, Rusty Zip); Birmingham (Broadcast, the Carling Academy); Brighton (Eighties B-Line Matchbox Disaster, erm, Julie Burchill); Bristol (Chikinki, The Thekla); Cambridge (The Broken family Band, The Corn Exchange); Cardiff (Funeral for a Friend, Oz Bar); Dublin (Bell X1; BT2); Edinburgh (Degrassi, Fopp - the one with a licensed bar); Exeter (The Buffseed, Lo-fi-hi-fi); Glasgow (Dogs Die In Hot Cars; the 13th note); Leeds (The Blueskins; Countdown); Liverpool (The Bandits and - it's finally happened - Keith's); London (The Beatings, thinking yourself at the centre of the freaking bloody universe and being all hoity-toity and having a tube); Manchester (Longview; The Apollo); Newcastle (The Futureheads; Crash Punk Rock); Nottingham (Hell is for Heroes; Rock City); Oxford (Winnebago deal, the Zodiac); Sheffield (Pink Grease, The Leadmill) and Southampton (Delays, Five-o-store). It's a much better student guide than the last couple, mainly because they're not trying to be yet another fresher's magazine (there's a couple of 'don't worry if you're a bit glum' pieces, but they're brief) and concentrate on giving some useful pointers. If you're local to any of these places, you now know where to avoid for the next three months.
The NME proper, then, has got The Darkness on the cover. What's that - third? fourth? - and still no interview.
The problem of the Big Picture format to kick of the news is starting to show itself - what if there aint a big picture? This week's shot is a fuzzy picture of Brody Distiller, um, smoking a fag. Whee, rock and roll.
In other news, Kings of Leon talk about knowing the Strokes, knowing Jet, knowing the White Stripes... it's a bit like Taki's column without the racism. Except for Jet, of course. The White Stripes think their new video is the "best ever" - no, no, not the poledancing one. There's mounting excitement that there might be two Kylie LPs in the works - or at least a new Kylie and ones by Holly, Dannii, Delta and Stefan.
Gruff Rhys does the fake CD thing - Urusei Yatsura, Amen corner and Tippa Irie (yes, 'Hello Darling)
This week, it's Peter Robinson v Jack Osbourne. It's like reading Lord Hutton investigating a tiny child.
In the past, we suspect that ten new British bands would make the basis of a special edition. Now, it's just a two-page spread and about three words from each. Take a bow - quickly - The Glitterati, The Open, The Ordinary Boys, Keane, Kid Symphony, Your Code Name Is Milo, Kasabian, Hal, My Red Cell and Eastern Lane. Ten bands. Forty faces. All male, all white.
In the absence of a Darkness interview, in order to fill space, they fall back on interviewing Mark Spitz of Spin.
Mind you, it's a wonder the nme wants to interview anyone these days: Damien Rice snaps that talking to the paper is "bollocks. The whole entertainment industry is just a pile of shite, really." Blimey. Let's hope he never tries to get a job in it.
Noble, of British Sea Power, points out that "the great crested grebe looks exactly like Bernard Butler".
Barry Nicolson puts it to Josh Homme that his desert albums are the sort of lousy ideas stoned students come up with. "it's all of those things without being any of them" he explains.
Thrice want to thow piss at Fred Durst and do the Loveline thing - it's been a while since we've seen that getting a plug in the pop press; back in the dreampop era no shoey interview was complete without a report on Rachel Goswell being asked about masturbation by KROQ's audience.
Pull-out posters: Paul Simonon. Dolf Datsun, Flea, Carlos Interpol, Nick Oliveri, Sid Vicious, Mani and McCartney. Mmmm. Bassists.
Razorlight - Borderline - "there's only one Johnny Borrell", 8
Suede, ICA - "camper than Graham Norton in a Tutu", 7
Har Mar Superstar - Garage - "a preening wonder", 8
the distillers - coral fang - "Brody has made herself the most important new rock star in the world", 8
belle and sebastian - dear catastrophe waitress - "it thrums with a new found confidence", 8
finley quaye - much more than much love - "tired and irretrievably pleasant", 3
the electric soft parade - the american adventure - "a record that could sink manhattan", 9
robbie williams - live at knebworth - "doesn't even have no regrets", 4
sotw - 12:51 - "we've missed you boys"
beyonce - baby boy - "telexes in her vocals"
dmx - where's the hood at - "a problem with homosexuals"
And, finally, Didz from Cooper Temple Clause loves Blondie: "I've still got a crush on her, I suppose."
Thursday, October 02, 2003
WHAT THE POP PAPERS SAY: Eventual edition