Monday, June 13, 2005

WHAT THE POP PAPERS SAY: Kelly Jones saves Africa; someone saves Pete Doherty for another few days

It's not so many years ago if you mentioned to someone that a local newsagent was selling pictures of Alex James in skintight rubber, you'd have had a stampede of androgynes heading off down to the counter. Now, though, the Indpendent Saturday magazine can run a full-colour picture of him on the cover of their travel magazine, hugged every inch in a wetsuit, and there's barely a murmur. Some things really kill the ardour, and working with Keith Allen is one of them. The Indie's relationship with James is curious - he writes travel pieces for them on a regular enough basis for them to have dispensed with the "from Blur" bit of his byline; but he's still considered glitzy enough to be called "Alex James" in every reference and picture caption - there's a silent "you know, from Blur" following every one.

Radio Times' stunt issue - and hardly a week goes by when there isn't one these days - attempted to quantify the "most powerful people on radio"; as we've discussed elsewhere, it decided that Jonathan Ross is top of the pile, followed by Terry "shut the fuck up" Wogan, John Humphrys... Chris Moyles comes in at seven, a man so powerful they had to get Mark Goodier from the olden days to offer some lukewarm praise ("when he's on form, he's one of the best in the business"); Danny Baker down at 24 - two places behind Ian McMillan; and, most bemusingly, Colin Murray at 35. There are only thirty-four more powerful people that Murray in British radio?

Last week, we discovered that Conor McNicholas cheerfully admits nothing flogs NMEs like a picture of Pete Doherty, and in today's Media Guardian, GQ editor Dylan Jones suggested that while Tesco might be forcing Nuts and Zoo to hide their covers, the supermarket chain is unlikely to throw a hissy and use its power to force IPC to stop its run of junkie front pages. Good news, as there's an elegantly wasted (alright, just wasted) Doherty on the cover of the current issue.

More scary than Doherty's eyes, though, are the cartoon stills versions of Bloc Party inside - they haven't transferred to being cartoons well; they look like the people Snap, Crackle and Pop would have been if they hadn't been getting decent breakfasts. Or any food, actually. And been sleeping in a skip.

Shirley Manson's psyche is picked at by Peter Robinson, like a starling at a suetblock. "Jesus Christ" says Shirley, "don't tell me the NME's going all soft and starting to think of people's feelings. Bloody hell."

Kelly Jones is given a page to explain why the Stereophonics are playing Live 8. It might have made sense if he'd come up with a reason to convince himself before trying to explain it to us: "All these situations are more about awareness than what public people can do. People might not have a lot of power individually to change a great deal, but as long as people are in the know, I think that is the most powerful thing, because otherwise people are just going to live in the dark..." On behalf of the "public people" can we get an "eh?"

In the course of the 24 hours spent with the NME, Pete Dohertyhas a massive row about pipes and tries to clamber out a car on the way on an airport. At 75 miles an hour. On the motorway. Just imagine the sales for the cover story if they'd not stopped him from opening the door...

There's a big pull out on the new Coldplay album, which tells you everything you need to know about X&Y, and then some more things besides.

This, then, is everything you need to know about the new Coldplay album:

It's by Coldplay.

"Kelly Osbourne's new single is so influenced by us that it's a real vindication" says Danny Hunt from Ladytron - which we're guessing is a cover version of something Steve Strange said. For some reason, Danny - one of electropop's prettiest of boys - has appeared to have taken temporary custody of Dave Grohl's facial hair. We hope he sends it home soon.

arctic monkeys - sheffield boardwalk - "sharp-eyed observation of small town life"
hard-fi - preston 53 degrees - "the hysteria isn't unfounded"

nine black alps - everything is - "of course, it's not as though all the Nirvana-isms have disappeared", 8
the depature - dirty words - "aren't going to be leaving any time soon", 7
the dead 60s - the dead 60s - "cuddling up to an age gone past", 6

totw - the longcut - a quiet life - "properly marvellous, this"
kano - remember me - "most fun funfest"

and that's it for this week...

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