Wednesday, November 05, 2003

WHAT THE POP PAPERS SAY: The Presentee Awards Edition:

In the Media Guardian, Dylan Jones - editor of GQ - cast his mind back to The Hit, which we were banging on about a few weeks ago ourselves. His invoking of IPC's short lived young bloke's weekly was in light of Project Tyson, EMAP's still-code named attempt to fuse Heat and FHM and get the lads into the weekly buying thrill. Apparently already nicknamed The Weekly Wank by disgruntled FHMers, we don't really think Tyson is going to be a Hit for the twenty-first century; part of the reason why it never made it into its third month was a tendency to be too wordy and thoughtful (it had a column by Tony Parsons and reviewed theatre) rather than giving space to High Street Honeys and soap actresses (although, of course, back then it would have been Annabelle Collins in her nightie) - in fact, we suspect Tyson will be less The Hit, more Hero. Hero, for those of you too young to care, was a very ginger toe-in-the-water by DC Thompson to produce a brother for its Jackie girl's weekly. Boasting a cover with, um, Glenn Gregory (even back then a star not so much nearing his sell-by date as already in the reduced to clear section), it never got past its first issue. Dylan Jones does, of course, do us all a favour by reminding us that Paul Weller was the first Hit cover star - he was also, if memory serves, the first person to appear on the cover of The Cover, the last-ever attempt to launch a proper music paper in the UK. That managed six weeks, we think.

Anyway, enough of the past. Bang up to date with Q. Britney Spears reckons she's about to knock the semi-naked photoshoots on the head, and that she can only get through them by necking eight cans or so of red bull before disrobing. By our calculations, following the bared bellies for the pre-album promotional tour, her body must consist of 73% by mass caffeine. If Red Bull really did give you wings, she'd be able to fly herself across the Atlantic by now. And here she is again, looking half undressed, on the Q cover. What is it with her and these odd clip-on tie things? She keeps wrecking a perfectly good near-nakedness by adding this accoutrement apparently stolen from the fish counter at Asda. Stop it now.

Jon Bon Jovi comes from the same town as Bugs Bunny [Perth Amboy, New Jersey] which delights him. He also invites Pelle from the Hives to suck his dick, which is an offer Pelle will probably turn down.

Apparently "all the best new bands are Canadian - the Stills, the Hidden Cameras and Broken Social Scene." So now you know.

Martin Trimble, 22-20s singe, thinks the blues are dead. (Presumably they just didn't wake up one morning.)

Offers you'd be best off refusing: 'Win a Kill Bill Holiday to Tokyo.' Spending money and bandages not included.

So, it's the Q Awards, and on paper the shortcomings are even more striking than in the reports - clearly, prizes were awarded on the basis of who'd turn up; and when they ran out of people who'd actually done anything this year, they made up any old award to give them.

So, Blur show up and - astonishingly - we're asked to accept that Think Tank is the best album of the year. Next year, Damon is releasing a demos albumk because he "wanted people to have an insight into the music-making process... to unveil it." Cheers for that, Damon. Next time you're in town, why not pop down and I can unveil my working processes to you, you twat. Because - and I'm guessing here - your songwriting process is to sit down with some drinks and a guitar and pen and paper, knock out the first thing you think of, sniff "Ha, well, doesn't matter what Mr. Coxon thinks anymore" and piss off down the pub and/or a wank.

What's the best single of the year? Check the RSVPs... and it turns out to be Dirrty by Christina. "Kissing a woman is totally different to kissing a man" she muses on her Madonna snog, "it's quite pleasant." This, of course, is absolute toss - especially when you're kissing Madonna, who has a tache that could rival Mark Lawrenson (and has firmer lips, too, we'd guess) and it seems to imply that Christina finds kissing men unpleasant.

Who's that over there in the dark? Duran Duran? Better give 'em a Lifetime Achievement award. Roger Taylor describes being back together as like "putting on an old pair of socks." Which isn't something you'd imagine Nick Rhodes saying.

Muse have turned up? Too young for a lifetime award, too quiet for a best of 2002 award... they'd better have an 'Innovation Award.' Matt says that he stinks of shit and really wants to see A Perfect Circle.

Also keen for an elsewhere, Perry Farrell is planning to head off for a bite to eat with A Perfect Circle (if only Q had thought, they could have tempted them with a prize, too.) Since the Lifetime Achievement has gone, Farrell has to be tempted with a 'Q Icon' award.

But that leaves Robert Smith. He gets a Q Inspiration prize. And moans on about being called goth. You should worry, pal. Wait until you get labelled nu-rock.

By the time Scott Walker appears (for his first awards ceremony since 1967) the names for the fake prizes have run out, so he's lumbered with a special award - which suggests, insultingly, that he's not an icon, inspiration, innovation or achieved anything in his lifetime. My Dad, when he was in the navy, lived through a period where the admiralty tried to boost morale by presenting almost every seaman with a medal. When asked what it was for, the reply would be "for eating spam out of tins." And, apparently, the food at the Q awards wasn't much better, either.

Now, to next year's runners and riders. Brody Dalle used to be convinced that the vacuum cleaner in her cupboard was Frankenstein's bones, and that the house in which she and Tim Armstrong lived in with was haunted. All of this seems to have got mushed together in the reasons for why the marriage failed. Brody takes pride that she stuck out the relationshipfor seven years, despite it being "a difficult fucking marriage, and a struggle for the longest time." It's this confusion between struggle and achievement which seems to be Bordy's defining characteristic (hence last week's NME interview where she seemed determined to portray her rise to the top as a battle).

Talking of people up against the wall, it's that Ryan Adams moment again. "New Orleans was the worst place ever to make a record... there's only two things to do in New Orleans - drink and die." He's only just getting warmed up - or pissed off - here. He's still banging on about the [B]ryan Adams jokes; a full column inch is burned up on it as he fumes that it's not even witty, apparently unaware that people no longer call for 'Summer of 69' because they think they've come up with a new gag, but because they want to see the (over-)reaction. Oh, yes, Adams is back, and he's a bigger jerk than ever. Bitter-beyond-belief about his treatment, he feels he's an "easy target - Fuck Ryan Adams!" Well, yes, Ryan, you are an easy target, but only because you make yourself one, with your silly tantrums, stupid fights with Jack White, not having had the balls to stand up to your record company when they release New York New York while the dust was still settling at Ground Zero... need we go on? Adams tries to explain away his erratic 2002 because "a friend of min was passing away, my mumwas sick... no-one bothered to find out what was going on... it was like 'fuck you - how dare you judge me.' Now, it's true that Adams had a shit year, and nobody would wish that on anyone. But to complain that people are judging you by your behaviour on stage and in interview is a little weak, Ryan. Nobody took the trouble to find out what was going on? If you wanted people to know, you could have told them instead of aiming broadsides at the White Stripes. But even then, at the end of the day, people are going to review your activity on stage, because they've paid to see you, or buy your records. Your life is hard? Fine, cancel the gigs. If not, don't look for special dispentation - if you went into a restaurant and got a pie that tasted like shit, you wouldn't say "Well, the chef's dad's got prostate cancer and his cat's been put down, I'll swallow this, shall I?"

Oh, an article on the Playboy Mansionzzzz...

It's probably just as well Michael Stipe stripped off for the REM photoshoot, when he meets Nick Duerdin he's "wearing clothes even Jarvis Cocker would baulk at."

Asked about Courtney, Stipe says "Courtney is every bit as intelligent as Peter Buck." Which probably means Buck should be restrained for his own good, as Stipe also says La Love is "fine."

["As Q went to press, Courtney Love's closest allies were set to stage an intervention" - didn't Courtney organise one of these for Kurt with, um, less than stellar results? And isn't the word "allies" rather than "friends" an interesting choice?]

Talking of friends of the rich and famous, Britney on Fred Durst: "He came to my house one time and then he left. After that, he continuously - almost every day, left a card in my mailbox." They ask Brit if she wants to be taken seriously. Her reply is "Oh, no. Once you need to be justified, you're setting yourself up to fail."

Reviews - Blink 182 - Blink 182 - "forgettable", 2 (remember - Q gives marks out of 5)
Ryan Adams - Rock & Roll - "isn't a bad album... but never stellar", 3
Ateed - Come To Me - "the Pringles ad singer", 2
Do Make Say Think - Winter Hymn Country Hymn Secret Hymn - "happily, some wrong noises", 3
Kylie - Body Language - "the pop princess proves herself entirely at ease", 4
Pink - Try This - "a keen eye for the next collaborator to further her cause and the ability to sound like Pink no matter what shape her cause takes", 4
Beatles - Let It Be Naked - "stripped down, the songs are cruelly exposed as second raters", 2

Nick Cave would like to be a penguin.

The NME has got its second female cover in two weeks, which surely is some sort of a record for the last ten years. This week, thanks to our wonderful wife, we've consummated a twenty-year courtship with the title and have started to recieve it on subscription. Which means we're going to be doing these for the next fifty-two weeks at least, then.

The Big Picture is Queens of the Stone Age dressed for Halloween. Yes, it's a bit of a light news week - Coldplay have thrown away forty-two songs (by which we presume 'stored them up for b-sides, bonus singles and the inevitable box set in 2013) and, erm, that's it.

Gary Lightbody of Snow Patrol does the CD - Stevie Wonder, the Kids From Fame (Starmaker rather than High Fidelity) and Blackstreet.

Peter Robinson takes on Daniel Bedingfield (played by Rodney Bewes). He wants to own a farm with deer on it, which is kind of sweet.

Radar band: Devendra Banhart. Oh, he's a *character*. Great. A one man Polyphonic Spree, a musical Simon from Brookside. A giggling George Harrison. That's what the world needs now.

Ben & Didz from Cooper Temple Clause like Oceansize - "their bass player John Ellis used to make music for fruit machines."

Kylie's manager moans that the national obsession with Kylie's arse is "ludicrous and poor journalism." Yes, we bet you sob over single column inch, don't you? I'd imagine even while you were arranging that lingerie photo shoot a couple of months back you were thinking "Ah, but will this serious attempt to raise awareness about thongs descend into pisspoor journalism about Kylie's arse?" - and when you were approving the design for the Tussaurd's waxwork, I can imagine you were fretting "what if the tabloids pick up on her arse being stuck up in the air rather than the serious attempt to boost tourism in London?"

Hundred Reasons are apparently only making as much now as they did in their call centre jobs - maybe, but you're able to irritate the fuck out of thousands of people at once now. We're hoping their label decide to outsource their jobs to India in the next couple of weeks.

Here's Ryan Adams again - "there are people who are gonna hate this record and kill me for it." Again, he talks as if this would be part of some anti-Ryan campaign, rather than perhaps some people will think its rubbish because, you know, it's a bit rubbish. "I will always," pledges Ryan, "be a student of Noel Gallagher." A man who thinks he has anything to learn from Noel is a desperate man indeed.

Posters - Adam Ant, Madonna, Thriller, Mozzer, The Cure, Miami Vice and Ghostbusters. It's the 80's, although for some reason it's a Look-In 1980s selection rather than an NME one.

Reviews
live
lostprophets - glasgow garage (ah, a slight change from the Kings Tut lead-off) - "comebacks? piece of piss", 8
22-20s - manchester hop & grape - "a complete sense of unwavering focus", 9

albums
pink - try this - "we're glad she's happy, but couldn't she have locked herself awat with some Sylvia Plath before recording it?", 6
rachels - systems/layers - "for the nocturnal suicidal in the city", 7

singles
sotw - outkast - hey ya - "refuses to acknowledge the existence of either fashion or form"
britney - me against the music -"damper than a goose's gusset"

and, finally, daniel ryan of The Thrills loves Dexys. Kevin Rowland is "the nicest person I've ever met." We presume Daniel must be in some way agoraphobic.


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