Wednesday, October 08, 2003

WHAT THE POP PAPERS SAY: Goth-flavoured edition
"Everyone tells me this is a phase, but it's not," pouts Goth-from-Northampton Anne-Marie. "I know how unhappy I'd be if I dressed normally." Like the girl on BBCi Humberside who talked about her goth fashion, and who didn't seem to realise what she was actually saying when she complained "It's hard to be individual when everyone is dressing like this", AnneMarie doesn't seem to think there's anything strange in being featured in a Times Magazine [Saturday] fashion spread while protesting "I'm rebelling against fashion." No, sweetness, you're just shopping from a rack at the back of Top Shop. The clincher? Her parents love the way she dresses, because they used to be Goths themselves. What exactly are you rebelling against, then?

Twenty-four hours later, The Sunday Times Style supplement is getting excited by rock - "Fashion and music are an item again; and it's pure sex" pants the cover feature. This isn't a report on Atomic Kitten's new clothing line: MK News, the freesheet, seems to have got an exclusive on this - apparently the new AK clothes are "gothic"; good news for Ann Marie, then. Although by 'gothic' they mean black with silver lettering. No, Style is in a froth because of bands dressing like popstars again. So, they tell you how YOU can get the Darkness look (erm... didn't NME have this a few weeks ago?); or dress like Peaches ("you can get most of it in Claire's Accessories"), The Raveonettes ("plain yet very chic") or The White Stripes, who are the "hippest of the hip."

There's no mention of how you can look like NME coverstars Kings of Leon, though - maybe mindful of that athlete from the 70s suing the 118118 people, the Sunday Times was afraid of a lawsuit.

The Big Picture News Story Thing is given over to Jet - they really are determined to try and make us be in any way interested of them, aren't they? Sadly, this attempt to show us what cards they are (they - oh, dammit, here I go again - rubbed the 'N' off the Kings of Leon's dressing room sign... I'd like to apologise if your trousers need dry cleaning after you've enjoyed that gag...) means that a truly harrowing, sum-it-up shot of Courtney (Blanche Dubois) peering desperately out a window is relegated to a smaller slot elsewhere.

Is it just us, or are NME and MTV2 getting really cosy these days? There's a gentle plug for the Gonzo tour, the NME/MTV2 chart, of course, and the MTV2 birthday bash is hailed as the Gig of the Year - albeit it wiht a question mark, of course.

Coldplay have made a behind the scenes video which they'll inflict on us soon. An insider says "they wanted to show what life on the road is like for a band like Coldplay. It takes you places you wouldn't normally go." This reminds us of the offer McDonalds is currently making to let people go into the kitchens - just because something is usually out of sight doesn't make it, well, outtasight. Bands touring are, by and large, caught in a really dull, repetitive cycle of plodding from town to town. It's rare for this routine to be in any way interesting when the band involved has perosnality and vigour. Watching Chris Martin soundcheck and - god help us - choosing items from the rider makes us actually think we'd rather see Calendar Girls instead. Yes, really.

Matthew Jay's death gets a fitting amount of coverage, although some might comment that it's a pity it took falling to his death to get him back in the nme.

the Distillers do the CD thingy - choosing Pixies, Devo and Wire.

This week, it's peter versus peter, as Robinson takes on Brame. Yes you do, the vaguely indie one out of Fame Academy. His former colleague Alex is in the current Sneak, by the way, which promises on the front page "Alex's sexy surprise" - which turns out to be her surprise at seeing someone holding a poster which read 'Alex is Sex'. Back at the NME, PR demolishes PB, but Brame does offer a fitting explanation for what a boy like him was doing in a show like that - comparing it to the other sort of shit jobs you have to do while you're on the toilet circuit. And given the choice between working as a stooge on The Kieltey and Park show and slooshing out the toilets at Burger King, we'd... no, we'd still get the rubber gloves, actually.

Razorlight's Johnny wears a tshirt which says "I hate the new Rock Revolution"; doing this in the pages of the NME is like going into a Catholic Church with a placard reading "I support the Society of Saint Pius X" - while it's rudeness might upset your hosts, it's a pointless railing about something that nobody outside has ever heard of.

Kings of Leon would rather be monkeys than robots, and a confusing misprint has them claiming they were on the "same lake" as Johnny Cash.

The two ex-Sleepy Jacksons are trying to take USD20,000 each off Luke Steele - we can't quite believe there's that much cash swooshing in from their work.

DMX spends an interview behaving like a spoilt kid in a toyshop. I mean, he is in a toyshop during it, as well.

"The more tightly English people embrace their culture, the stranger Americans think they are" warn Hot Hot Heat, as the play alongside Duran and The Cure.

Drummer Posters! Meg White! Um... Karen Carpenter... um...

Thursday really is a shit name for a band, isn't it? I can't quite get over it. But then their graps of words isn't very strong at all - Geoff claims that he returns from tours feeling "secular." Are you sure, Geoff? Not merely a little non-conformist?

reviews
live
cooper temple clause - Islington - "it feels good to walk among them", 7
kinesis - King Tuts - "their balls have dropped", 8
the cramps - astoria - "like an alternate reality Happy Days juke box", 9
the rapture - concorde2 - 'swaggering euphoric nihilism", 8

albums
funeral for a friend - casually dressed and deep in conversation - "our heroes are ordinary", 8
travis - 12 memories - "crass, if truth be told", 6

singles
sotw - 50 Cent - PIMP - "streets"
oddly, Luther Vandross is described as being "back fighting his full weight"... erm... or maybe his label have just stuck a single out from an album he recorded before he fell ill?

Jet (them again) love The Faces. Probably because they came from an era when Love Thy Neighbour was on the telly.

And finally: Marilyn Manson. God of headfuck. Mayor of Nightmares. A challenge to your straight-heads. His tour advert is in the paper. And he's being promoted in this bid to mess with our heads by... Clear Channel. Like, totally endorsed by George Bush's Yes-Man radio outfit. Ooooh. I'm quaking already.


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