WHAT THE POP PAPERS SAY: Another Sunday outing
I mean, what's the bloody point of calling yourself a Postal service if you can't deliver post to people with any degree of accuracy or certainty? We started last week having to deliver a letter to a house in a different street with the same number as ours; we ended this week with a wait for another NME that never came. The Royal Mail is shit, and if I were the Queen, I'd be asking for the name back.
Anyway, this has lead to a curious flopping over of the issues, so the Guardian Fashion special has turned up in the meanwhile: Amy Winehouse is their special model, looking awkward wearing clothes chosen for her by other people, but keen to show her tits and legs. So, modelling career pretty much like her singing career, then.
The new Observer Music Monthly has also arrived - now, curiously, synching with the Woburn Sands Farmer's Market. Their main boast this time round is an interview with Elton John (the OMM, not the Farmer's Market), which they've marked with a cover shot of an out-of-focus shot of Elt. Or it might be Roy Orbison. It promises "Elton John as you've never seen him before", which isn't totally true. Although there is a picture of a dog wearing an Elt access all areas pass, which is something we've not seen before, to be honest.
And, to be fair, for all his faults (which is our code for "Stop hanging out with royals, you loon") he does have a way with a tale that many of the other top drawer stars don't - Michael Jackson's lived, sure, but he can't string a sentence together; McCartney is always too self-editing; Keith Richards has been dead since 1985 but everybody's too polite to say anything. But Elton? An hour in his company is always time well spent - even if we've heard the schtick before, the mental image of Graham Taylor lecturing John about his drinking is one we'd always turn up to hear. And he knows his music - even Elton's more rubbish side, your Cold as Christmases, your Nikitas, have something about them that makes them harder to dismiss than, say, Phil Collins' solo work. They're crafted rather than just banged together. And that's because he came from an age where you could have ten brilliant albums being released at the same time - and he actually went out and bought them. Ten albums. When was there last a week when there were two nine-out-of-ten albums released?
The OMM Top Ten is the best party songs - we've never been to a party where they played Bessie Smith and Black Flag, but we think we'd like to.
The Record Doctor goes to see Mark Lawrenson, and doesn't suggest the Boystown Gang or any cheap shot like that. Instead, it's The Zutons for Lawro. He also liked I Am Kloot.
R Kelly pops in for interview, conceeding that "there are people that love to party. That's me. There are people that love sex. That's me. There are people that make mistakes. That's me also." Yeah, but as mistakes go, forgetting to wipe the tape, that's a biggie, R.
The coming band are The Knife, a brother and sister act making politico-electro. Apparently.
Michael Bracewell contributes a consideration of U2, which is the sort of thing that will please Bono - "Elevation possessed the effective device of a heart-shaped stage, painted red, within which the group could perform. The punning was simple and charming -
U2 were playing from the heart." And so it goes - apparently U2 shows touch "on a secular notion of ritual or ceremony." The other possibility - that they're big, showy, blousy pieces of nonesense tossed together to look impressive but ultimately meaning nothing - doesn't seem to occur to Bracewell, despite the obvious clues that this might be the case in Bono's political career and the music the band have made in the last fifteen or so years.
Paul Morley worries what Razorlight will be like when they're on Letterman. I believe the phrase is "cut away from quickly", Paul.
Peter Robinson offers a pop fact in his John Craven's backpages: there were thirteen members of Poi Dog Pondering.
It's remarkable he had any pop facts left over after squiring the current NME: 1,001 rock facts. 1,001 of the bleeders. It's a fine issue (but then, we would say that, wouldn't we?) and so good, we'd recommend buying it twice. We fucking well had to because of the Post Office and its shortcomings. Handily, and to prove the facts are all there, they're numbered: so 666 is the amount Virgin paid Mariah Carey to get her off their books. Lists are a great thing, and lists of facts are something that rock lends itself to, so, unless you're the sort of person who doesn't understand Scott's Miscellany, there'll be something diverting and fascinating for you here. Even if it is wrong about Mama Cass' heart attack: yes, her heart had been weakened by the weight problems, but it was the strain of the vomitting caused by the ham sandwich that brought on the heart attack that killed her. It just bloody was.
Mike Davies gets to do the CD thing, but since he's got his own radio show, that hardly seems fair (and its got Slayer on it, too)
The posters are from an exhibition of current rock photography: chris martin, the brother cester from jet; the Libertines; scissor sisters, jack and meg and the hives.
soundtrack of our lives - 93 feet east - "a good rock show"
velvet revolver - hammermsith apollo - "they look like they should look, and that's enough"
ratatat - oxford street metro - "a sight so preposterous producing music so touching"
the music - welcome to the north - "a meeting of dance music's communal vibe and rock's bluster", 9
22-20s - 22-20s - "one of the best British rock albums of the year so far", 8
sotw - chromeo - needy girl - "the beats are still very much alive and kicking"
interpol - slow hands - "no recent introduction of Prozac to the new york water supply"
And, finally, HMV are hiring Christmas staff to work "from September to January."
Sunday, September 19, 2004
WHAT THE POP PAPERS SAY: Another Sunday outing