Wednesday, March 09, 2005

WHAT THE POP PAPERS SAY: Old Boy, Old Order, New Braves

There's nothing worse than an embittered old queen; once the bright focus of any room and offering the hint of opportunities and possibilities, they waste their talent and spill their promise. Stuck amd aging, they sink deeper and deeper into self-parody, their once legendary wit turning blunt, cruel and bilious - no longer barbs delivered with the confidence of the centre of attention; they sit firing blanks from the edge of stage. Once, the patron saint of the EBQs would have been Norma Desmond, but now, it seems, Boy George has moved to the best rooms on Sunset Blvd. His twilight years now see him granting interviews to those newspapers still interested and doing everything he can to engage: A man with nothing to sell pitching and bitching his empty case. The Times found space for him this week, and George is busily finding fault with everyone. Rosie O'Donnell, for example, who pumped millions into pandering his Broadway dreams for Taboo is "a Pottery Barn lesbian" and "domineering"; George Michael has "propgated the myth that gay men are 'rampant'" - but, erm, Michael was cottaging when he was arrested, it's not like he was making it up - and if you want to talk about playing up to gay stereotypes, who's the endless bitching coming from?; The Queer Eye gays aren't gay enough - "My life is about much more than what my cushions are like or what theatre show I should go to" - which is a bit like complaining that Delia Smith isn't a real woman as not all women spend all their time cooking, surely?. Elton John playing with Eminem would be like George "singing with Pol Pot" - apparently "every gay person with a brain cell found it hideously offensive to see Elton performing with him." Really, George? You don't think some might have thought it was Eminem acknowledging that he'd stepped over the line in the past; that Eminem sharing a stage with Elton was a small step towards understanding and tolerance? And on it goes, with George even reprising his "cup of tea rather than sex" schtick and Radio One not playing his music (good god, he's now the gay Francis Rossi). It's all remorseless, self-pitying, and ultimately a little sad. We can turn the page; it's just a shame George is so stuck on his.

We skipped WTPPS last week, so we'll rush through a double helping of NMEs - last week it was New Order on the cover, probably for the first time since we were at university; inside was the big scoop of an exclusive interview with Pete Doherty - he claimed he's off the smack, and let's hope he is. But the world might want a little more than his word.

Peter Robinson took on Tori Amos, challenging her on if Famous Amos is a made-up person like Captain Birds Eye. But, of course, Captain Birdseye wasn't a made-up person - he was a real bloke, called Clarence, who started making frozen food. Tori didn't know this, so missed out on a chance to win the battle of wits.

Bernard Sumner now calls New Order's most famous track "fucking Blue Monday" because I'm sick of it". Peter Hook, on balance, still enjoys the ride: "we've had a fantastic 27 years. Haven't got a pot to piss in, mind."

Reviews: Live:
REM - Sheffield Hallam Arena, more or less abandoned because of Mike Mills' illness: "Four songs? It's not as if REM's back catalogue is exactly un-acoustic"
Juliette Lewis & The Licks - London Astoria: "a convincing display"
The Tears - London Astoria: "An imperfect landing from a band who still have time to become brilliant"

Albums:
The Arcade Fire - Funeral: "It will do more than capture your heart", 9
Idlewild - Warnings/Promises: "Another rip-off of Document? Far from it", 9

Tracks:
TOTW: Fischerspooner - Just Let It Go: "Wahey!"

And so, on to this weeks NME - the average age of the cover star drops by a third as the Bravery (left to right: Craig from Corrie with Morrissey's hair; Mark Gatiss goes Goth; Shakin Steven's love child; one of Kings Of Leon and a forty-five year old teenage boy).

Oasis' first album is going to be called Don't Believe The Truth and the first single is called Lyla, and Noel believes that Liam has written some... no, it's no good...


Johnny Borrell pops up for his first interview since that wobble and derailing in the US. The paper asks him how he felt about people claiming he'd lost his mind, but he says he doesn't mind because he wasn't. They don't ask him about the "rest of the band don't count" rumours.

There's an interview with Richard Brayshaw. Who he? Well, Richard was using Kazaa to shift paid-for music files about - "it was just for me to use". As a result, though, he's had to pay £1,500 to the BPI after they threatened to sue him - he doesn't think they had a case, but didn't fancy taking them on. He did, however, beat them down from £6,500.

It's a pity Kaiser Chiefs look so much like Menswe@r, isn't it? Ricky Wilson is this week's chunk of meat tossed to Peter Robinson. Ricky tries to distract attention from his shady past (Parva) by claiming that they were going at the same time as The D4 were "getting all the press." Yeah, we remember the heady days when you couldn't move for The D4.

Kathleen Hanna pops up to enthuse over the wonders of new technology and how "it's made Le Tigre's music translate to the ears of rock & roll execs, who'll hopefully help get us heard beyond our limited group of friends." Eh? Kathleen, you get listened to by execs not because you're able to knock up a tune on an iMac, but because you've got a massive audience, a Jane and Bust magazine following, a clearly defined brand and are well known. That's not something that comes packaged with new technology - even GarageBand.

Lou Reed's favourite new crossdresser Antony is in Radar; he might be ours, too - born in Chichester, moved to Sann Jose, and his only lifeline was Smash Hits.

The Bravery are very keen to deny that they aren't a copycat act - although, claims Dirt, "my side project is a Killers cover band."

Equally keen to deny copyist claims are Nine Black Alps - they're not Nirvana Redux, they insist: "I'm more into Sonic Youth and Radiohead" says David.

reviews
live
babyshambles - brixton academy - "[Pete sings] how do choose between death and glory? It's a haunting climax."
keane - bull and gate - "relentless charm"

albums
queens of the stone age - lullabies to paralyze: "Better. Than. Sex", 8
stereophonics - language sex violence other: "maybe it was all Stuart Cable's fault... [they're] sexy, angry, hungry, focused and (generally) intelligent", 7

tracks
totw - british sea power - it ended on an oily stage - "a unique new dawn"
trembling blue stars - "snooze-length"
siobahn fahey - pulsatron - "retro daft glory"


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