Wednesday, April 13, 2005

WHAT THE POP PAPERS SAY: Catch-up edition

As has been pointed out to us, we missed last week's pop papers, which we always blame on the Royal Mail. Which is a pity, because it was a rather good issue. Despite the cover looking like the sort of tossed-together one you would get in the mid-90s - a picture of Jack White off a milk carton, an odd competition (win a year of beer) and a strange, almost mystical pointless claim (725 gigs listed!).

The best thing of all was an interview with Bono, fresh from the San Diego launch of the new tour, talking a mixture of rubbish ("the new album is innocence regained" - what does that mean? Surely the only way you can regain innocence is to lose all your knowledge and experience? Is this the U2 Alzheimer's album?) and a stance which couldn't be self-effacing if the starving millions depended on it: "The first album is becoming a bit of a cult for bands like the Killers who talk about it... San Diego is a naval town, they've lost people in the conflict and I felt for them. It was important to mark it." And how did they "mark it"? By playing Bullet The Blue Sky. That'll make the Bush widows feel better, Bono.

Elsewhere, Damon Albarn passed the Britpop baton to the Kaiser Chiefs - apparently he hadn't noticed that Graham Coxon had picked up the baton and taken it with him when he left; what he actually passed to the Kaiser Chiefs was an engraved tankard from the Good Mixer; Shaun Ryder was given a chance to clear up his homphobic statements of the past by Peter Robinson (resuting in desperate "Shaun, wind it up now" cries in the background). The Radar band was Snow White - "we are a Pop band" - who come in easy-to-shag pieces.

And, a quick glance at last week's reviews (Garbage's Bleed Like Me got a six - "stuck on the same synthetic treadmill"; TOTW was - no, really - Oasis' Lyla) and we bound onto this week.

Inspired by the news that George Bush has only 250 tunes on his iPod, the Daily Telegraph pokes about to find what British politicians are listening to: Tory shadow arts and media spokesperson John Whittingdale is a big fan of Judas Priest (one dinosaur to another). Lib Dem Sarah Teather claims Kylie and Ella, and then goes and spoils it all by admitting to a fondness for Robbie Williams' version of Somethin' Stupid. And Labour's Peter Hain just sucks up to his Welsh voters by pretending to like the Manics and the Stereophonics.

This week's NME has got Bloc Party on the cover and a report from the Franz Ferdinand date at Daltrey's cancer trust gig: new songs ahoy; and there's a first hearing of Blue Orchid, the start of the new White Stripes campaign - "other lyrics, most of which are inaudible... could be a sideswipe at the Von Bondies Jason Stollsteimer". Not that again, surely?

Carl Barat turns up to talk about what he's been up to - retuning himself, apparently.

Howlin Pelle Almqvist wrestles Peter Robinson, naked - remember when the Hives were pretty much all we had to cling to? And now they're a throwaway bit. Pelle suggests that Eastenders is "basically Jesus in the UK", but frankly, nothing could be more bemusingly funny than his terrible, terrible moustache.

The letters page turns up another problem with the Glastonbury ticket sale this year: They boasted a nice, shiny, international phone number, which people excitedly called at nice, shiny international phone rates, only to be asked for a UK debit card to be able to buy tickets. That's a fine level of planning there.

Barry Nicolson suggests that young NME readers who wish to do well should forget the revision, skip university and go form a band or start a label. Clearly, the staff at Kings Reach Tower are looking forward to the prospect of having to pull together another student special this year as much as everyone else is looking forward to reading it.

Why does one of VHS or Beta look like he's been misdirected on his way to a film set for 'Adventures of a Randy Plumber Number 6'?

"I don't think" suggests Gordon Bloc Party "we have people who specifically are after our bodies."
"I think we've already prevented that with our reputation as being shy geeks" agrees Russell.
Oh, boys, that only makes you cuter, dammit.

The Cribs are pulling in a lot of celeb endorsements - or rather Blazer Boy from Kaiser Chiefs likes them, which doesn't count in our book.

Returning from wherever they've been, it's Hot Hot Heat. Paul Hawley denies being a miserable bastard - "it's a question of being realistic." The question being, of course, if HHH are ever going to sell enough records to recoup the half a million bucks they've spent making the new album. That's about 250,000 grand. You could make a hell of an album with that sort of cash. Hawley doesn't give a glow of confidence that they've spent their money wisely.

Hard-Fi snarl that they don't see Razorlight as their competition; they see "fucking U2 as competition." Yes, we'd imagine that Bono is quaking in his boots right now.

reviews
live
system of a down and nine inch nails' astoria shows are pitched against each other: Trent Reznor "reclaims Hurt from Johnny Cash"; SOAD "come over like a Viking pre-sex ritual." Victory to Trent, then
joanna newsom - queen elizabeth hall - "a rare joy to watch a visionary at work"
the departure - glasgow barfly - "what's exciting is imagining what they'll sound like a year from now"

albums
hal - hal - "for many, a dose of sugar too far", 7
mariah carey - the emancipation of mimi - "the most shocking thing is how ravaged her voice sounds", 2

tracks
totw- the rakes - retreat - "the rakes' progress aint over yet"
chromeo - needy girl - "like a two man UN peace treaty"
forward, russia - nine - "among many ace things to come out of Leeds right now"
the tears - refugees - "guitars perfrom the aural equivalent of a turkey twizzler" (no, we're not sure either - we think he likes it, but since a turkey twizzler is made from the bits of turkey they steam of rotting beaks and some lard, we're can't be certain).

Happy now?


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