Sunday, July 10, 2005

WHAT THE POP PAPERS SAY: Two from the top and the rest from anywhere else, Carol

What with Glastonbury and the Live 8 gigs, we've been having to let Pop Papers rest for a couple of weeks - the two issues of the NME we skipped over were, as you might expect, a Glastonbury Preview and a Glastonbury review. We notice this year, for the first time, that Q have produced a special edition - a rather tatty special edition, that looks like it might have been knocked up at Glastonbury, using recycled bags, to review the events of the weekend. It's a curious affair, almost as if it's designed to appeal to the sort of people who'd never buy Q under any circumstances - and yet, if EMAP believe that the festival's natural supporter is unlikely to want to buy Q's Joss Stone and Jamie Cullum friendly journal, why do they pump cash into sponsoring the event in the first place?

Private Eye has a "Live 8" special, which consists mainly of a few piss-taking photo captions, and a report of incredible piece of tact from Warners: Michael Stipe might want to talk with his label bosses, focusing on their reissue of REM back catalogue to tie in with the band's Live 8 appearance. Not that was too bad in itself, compared with some of the other label's behaviour, but the reissues carried the strapline "Make Poverty History - REM Albums Mid-price"..

The Economist this weeks carries a letter chiding them for being unfair to a musician: the writer is unhappy that last week the paper suggested that Kinky Friedman's campaign for Texan governor was a less-than-serious endeavour.

So, to the NME, which seems to have had another makeover - it's now being printed on some odd shiny paper, which we guess is meant to feel more luxurious than the old paper, but actually brings to mind that Izal toilet roll you used to get in schools - better at redistributing shit than being absorbing. And if you think we're going to follow that set-up to the obvious punchline, you know us better than we think.

This week's paper is your Live 8 souvenir - "The Greatest Gig of All Time", it's being called here, with a photo of Bono hugging Johnny Borrell and Brandon Flowers on the cover. We suspect the picture - judging by Flowers' expression - was snapped some time after he found out the Killers were only getting to contribute one song to the event.

Chris Carloff of Kasabian is asked what he thinks about it all: "You can stil back and be selfish about it but it's a good event. This time it's around the world." (Erm... unlike Live Aid? Did the "Live Aid from London/around the world" jingle lie to us?) "One of the biggest things is the imbalance of wealth, and people sit ehere with all this money." (That he was in the celebs zone, rather than with the plebs, might make this a joke, but we think he was being serious.) "When you've got all that, you've got responsibilities - but you're never going to spend all that money." (No, we're not sure what he means, either).

There's an interview with Bono backstage, where he's asked what difference we can make - Bono claims that "it's what it's already done... the last push is in the next few days, but it's already acomplished so much." There's absolutely no hint from Bono that he's going to be quite happy to accept a few tiny promises, and that this last push was just going to get us as far as some sort of vaguely defined end of a beginning.

Peter Robinson and Charlotte Church bring out the best in each other; Chazza drops off her grandmother's genre of job music - Jump-off bridge, that is; like Badly Frawn Boy; while Peter gives her the chance of getting off with any dead pop star. She chooses Jeff Buckley, for artistic reasons. Then he points out what she's proposing would be necrophilia.

There's a generous tribute to Richard Whiteley written by Pete Cashmore, made all the more remarkable because the NME man was the 35th Countdown champion - he could have been champion of champions, but he fell at the conundrum COMEDYCAR*.

Fear of Music are, apparently, the Mini-Muse; apparently they're managed by "Uncle Graham", which sounds like the sort of thing movies would be made about in the early 1970s to us.

reviews
live
be your own pet - across the UK - It's not actually a review as it's a diary written by the band, but that's okay, although "Jemima buys two pairs of shoes" isn't really going to have people curious to hear their stuff. They should be, though. And we bet they were fucking ace shoes.
weezer - brixton academy - "charge twenty quid for the privilege of watching a band shamble through a set as if it were a practice session"

albums
hard-fi - stars of cctv - "tirelessly inventive, genre-splicing genius", 9
the subways - young for eternity - "stuck between rock and a slightly harder place", 6

tracks
totw - babyshambles - fuck forever - "a pathetic, essential mess"
hot hot heat - middle of nowhere - "cute like a baby's boots"
editors - blood - "low slung Joy Div bass and hollow cowbell clonk"

And finally: you can win the Kaisersaurus. From Glastonbury and off the telly. All for your very own. The question is slightly easier than a Countdown conundrum.

* - Democracy. But you knew that.


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