Monday, December 31, 2001


From slightly scrappy starts, we grew like this:

07 January 2001

14 January 2001

21 January 2001

28 January 2001

04 February 2001

11 February 2001

18 February 2001

04 March 2001

18 March 2001

25 March 2001

22 April 2001

29 April 2001

06 May 2001

20 May 2001

03 June 2001

10 June 2001

17 June 2001

01 July 2001

08 July 2001

15 July 2001

02 September 2001

14 October 2001

21 October 2001

28 October 2001

04 November 2001

11 November 2001

25 November 2001

09 December 2001

16 December 2001

30 December 2001

And, yes, we've fixed this...

Friday, December 21, 2001

SXSW LINE UP: Chicks on Speed, Beulah, Clinic, all going to be doing the 2002 Souht by SouthWest festival - following on from a year when the Blake Babies reformed. Makes the Glasto line-up look tame, doesn't it?

ILL WIND: Amazon's hot music chart reporting that Big Country's entered the most requested albums chart - albeit at number 99. Checking on the 'customers who bought' links, and ignoring other Adamson-related stuff (nothing by the Skids, mind you) throws up that Adamsonites also enjoy history at both ends of the brow, with Sharpe and Schama both being checked through alongside the CD. And the Shrek DVD.
Meanwhile, checking out what people who bought the obviously stocking-orientated Robbie Williams "I slaughter sinatra" Swing When You're Winning CD doesn't surprise. They are as awful as you'd expect. Robbie jostles for sack space with Gabrielle, Sting and S-Club7; while the literature that will be flicked on Christmas day runs the gamut of Grisham to the William's biog, Delia to Oliver. Happy days.

Fran Healy announces to the world that he wants to impregnate his girlfriend. "Maybe we could have talked about this first" she muses. They're getting married because "it's traditional", apparently.

Dave Matthews, Sheryl Crow, Train all to play the Winter Olympics. "We didn't want anything that seemed to be more exciting than long distance ski-ing" explain organisers.

Scott Weiland admits "I'm wife-beating scum"

Korn announce new album and this time "it's recorded using higher sampling rate", apparently

Breeders comeback latest

Concert for Choice line-up apparently hit by the existence of more attractive Sepven related charidees - this year, it's Bruce Hornsby and Ani DiFranco

Hats off to Merseymart for overstatement. They report the 2002 summer pops is going to be the "greatest ever." Considering in the past couple of years they've had Dylan, Elton and Chuck Berry, then, surely, there must be huge acts coming next year? "Supertramp are already booked" breathes the local freesheet...

Melanie Blatt used fake bottom for mobile phone advert

And finally, Guardian Media Monkey reports: "Monkey imagined that relationships between style mags and their feature-fodder should be based on Patsy 'n' Edina style schmoozing and an all-round warm glow of mutual happiness. So imagine our surprise at a terse editor's letter in the January edition of the Face, which accuses the UK's newest garage phenomenon, So Solid Crew, of bigotry and theft. "In October, So Solid Crew - on one level, the brightest stars to emerge this year - turned out for their Face cover shoot," writes editor Johnny Davis. "They started their interview by asking the journalist if he was gay" andfinished, he claimed, by disappearing with £4,000 worth of ski jackets and trainers. Phew. Anything else you'd like to get off your chest, Johnny?"

Thursday, December 20, 2001

Bowie divorces Virgin; tells Iman: "The bank's with me, my manager's with me - I'm going it alone."

In the wake of Stuart Adamson, BBC News mulls over other stars who disappeared. Don't you think 'Marvin Gaye - The Ostend years' would make a great movie? The Manics continued "albeit in a more stable fashion" after Richey's disappearance. That'd be the lower centre of gravity, of course...

Meanwhile, a strangely moving piece from the ever reliable friend of a friend of Stuart Adamson...

(Small) stadium tribute planned to Adamson, although manager admits "it's not what he would have wanted"...

Another Scots popstar found: Marti Pellow resurfaces in Beckindale...

...while Lemmy having trouble coming to terms with George Harrison's death.
"The last one to hit me like this was Sid Vicious" he tells Kerrang. It's not that all the deaths in between wouldn't have upset him, just he was too pissed then to notice.

.. and Kurt's mum is disgusted with Nirvana's attempts to sue Courtney...

Collaborations we could happily have done without: Ryan Adams and... him out of Starsailor

Coldplay announce next album "inspired by September 11th." Chris Martin says the new songs "tell people not to be afraid." Of course you shouldn't be afraid - because even if you do die in the name of some peversion of a fundamentalist creed, there'll always be some bunch of ideaed-out twats who'll seize your tragedy to fill their artistic void...

Bloke jailed for crashing Missy Elliot's car. Presumably for his own protection.

Wednesday, December 12, 2001

PUT YOUR BRITS AWAY: Britney in trouble with her new movie, apparently, as test audiences find Crossroads too "raunchy", leading to reshoots of certain scenes. Where are they testing these things? Amish Country?
Dotmusic reports - and provides a link to a story headlined "Britney gives relief", which may be worth checking out in light of this news. And that, in turn, links to "Britney goes into action"...

BLOW-UP: In a way, you could almost feel sorry for The Coup, who would have remained a fairly obscure hip hop band were it not for the accident of history that saw their Party Music album have an image of them blowing up the World Trade Centre slated for release in September. Suddenly, they find themselves having to try and explain away a dumbcool exploding image with some sort of coherent political stance. For its review of 2001, the NME gives them the chance. They speak to Boots, and apparently he's suing a British newspaper for claiming he has links with Muslim fundamentalists. Well, yes, that's fair enough But just listen to the flip-flop of a half-eaten thought that passes for the politics of the Coup: "We do support violent revolution but the point is here is that there has always been a difference between a revolution by the people, which takes hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people to do, and a terrorist act, which is completely different. If you look at the writings of Lenin and Mao, they're always against terrorist acts." [NB: this is wrong, anyway - see Lenin's words and Mao's , for example] This comes after Boots has condemned the bombing of Kabul. But hang about... if terrorism is okay when it's got the support of large numbers of people, then shouldn't the US bombing of Afghanistan be okay, then? Or Israeli attacks on... come back...

Thursday, November 29, 2001

WK A PLANT: MORE EVIDENCE: In this weeks surprisingly good NME stars-pose-questions for Macca piece, party-loving Trojan Horse Andrew WK chooses to ask Paul if "raising a family" was his greatest achievement. (For comparison, Marilyn Manson asks how Paul felt about Chuckie Manson's love of Helter Skelter, and Britney asks about having a young family while being hugely famous and busy). bsn says: Don't be surprised when WK runs for Senate in a decade... for the right.
By the way, the NME has changed all its pages, so the links up to this point don't work anymore. Cheers, NME.

DURST THOU DARE QUESTION ME? The sad story of the person who died at the Big Day Out continues to rumble on, with the inquest in Australia throwing up some interesting questions. Apparently the Bizkit are upset that the press keeps choosing to play up the band's alleged contribution to the problem rather than their worrying about security beforehand. This is interesting, since if Durst and his bandmates had been so worried about the arrangements made for their fan's safety before the gig, when the situation got nasty why did they then decide to encourage the crowd to abuse the bouncers who were trying to help? (The inquest has heard that volunteer front of house staff were punched, kicked and roundly attacked as they struggled to rescue people from the crush at the front, egged on by the balding thirtysomething youth icon.) Can anyone answer the band's question as to why the press may be a little more interested in what the band while one of their fans was having the life crushed out of her, rather than what they said before the show. (A parallel would be if someone said "The brakes look dodgy on this car" and thought that would let them off if they then drove it into a bus queue). Also, and I should stress that I've not been able to see the original text of the statement (strangely missing from their website), but I understand that before the gig it was security and not safety that was exercising them - in other words, not how safe the fans would be, but how safe they would be.
It's also telling that the band appear to have not bothered to even mention the claims made at the inquest that Fred's announcement that he'd gone to see the fan as she lay in hospital was, erm, actually a lie.

Tuesday, November 13, 2001

Fred Durst to visit Ground Zero to get "inspiration" - no comment needed

Wednesday, November 07, 2001

THAT'LL BE WHY SHE'S ONLY GOT PLASTIC TITS RATHER THAN THE REAL THING: According to the World Press Review on Today this morning, USA Today have ripped into Brit this morning because (I'm paraphrasing here) she's trying to sound all sexy and experienced, but in fact, she comes across like she's not really sure what she's doing.
I can't help but wonder if that's by design rather than accident, as a way of trying to keep the schoolie innocent air while simultaneously being sexualised. Keeping her just a step away from having a *threatening* sexuality...
And, of course, there's that song called "I'm not a girl; not yet a woman."

Friday, November 02, 2001

Peel - John Peel tells the story about weeping on the motorway when Peter "Hello, mates" Powell played Teenage Kicks. Again. And its still great.

Rossiter - Martin Rossiter does the 'home entertainment' column. It's all refined good taste, you know...

Cashback - Johnny Cash back in hospital. (Even if you don't care, follow the link and look under the "news" heading on the right of the page - "Johnny Cash shakes it all about" next, then?)

Life on earth - Westlife defend Lee "elephants are dying" Ryan's comments about the attack on New York. "He says The Sun took him out of context." A small prize for anyone who can explain a context in which "Who gives a fuck about New York when elephants are dying" wouldn't be crass and stupid. A further prize to anyone who can explain how the Sun were able to take him out of context in a live webchat. Westlife say they hope the situation in Afghanistan gets back to normal as soon as possible - so, that would be a repressive regime supplying heroin through the Russian mafia while its own people starve, refusing to allow people to have televisions, a complete lack of rights for women at all, and a debilitating civil war, then? Mind you, its not all bad, as at least the Taliban ban on music would spare the Afghanis the new Westlife album.

Tuesday, October 30, 2001

SHARE UPDATE: People who count such things are saying that half as many people are swapping music files online compared with this time last year, although that doesn't throw any light on whether the numbers of actual files are falling or not. The inheritor services to Napster don't have as many users, which would imply fewer tracks zinging back and forth, but it's possible that now the sharers have receeded to the most hardcore of users, so files per head could have increased. Whatever, the record companies told us that their business was being affected by file-swapping, so a massive fall in file-swapping must mean their business is improving, right?
EMI lose another executive - apparently not, then...

SPLIT UPDATE: Tim Booth is going to quit James after this tour; Neil Hannon is going solo. Can you say "Midlife crisis"?

PARRYS, TEXAS: So, Sharleen from Texas is putting music on hold to concentrate on developing an acting career, is she? Well, who could turn down the chance to act opposite Ed Furlong? And since he's worked with the absurd Arnie, its not like she's going to be the worst person to share a screen with him, is it? Apparently, she was offered the part Nicole Kidman played in Moulin Rouge, which would have at least made that single with Ewan Mcgregor a bit more bearable, and a lot more Scottish.
Singer to play detective, reports bbc - interestingly classified neither as a "film" or "music" story, but simply "showbiz"

Tuesday, October 23, 2001

WEB PERVERTS: Michael Jackson is going to do an online chat with his fans. Hmmm... maybe there is something in those panics about perverts preying on children online...
NME reports - yes, but will he keep the face mask on?

SHED SEVEN: from an email I've just written:
I quite like some shed seven. but... they're kind of like a butcher's shop. You know why they were there, but they've been a bit left behind by the tide of things, and while you wouldn't shut them down, you kind of wish they'd go and retrain as something else, and change the shop into a nice cafe that does something like hot chocolate with cream.

WK, II: So, they're desperate to build some sort of myth around Andrew WK, and guess what? There's now a backstory, suggesting that Andrew was named after a murderer who impressed his prison guard dad (oh, really? a prison guard who makes a hero of a guy on death row?) and that the WK stands for the White Killer. Now, what was I saying about him being a right-wing trojan horse?

IF YOU DON'T WANT SO MANY PEOPLE TO GO, LET US LET MORE PEOPLE COME:The artist update are reporting the following:
Organisers of the Glastonbury Festival want a license to increase the size of the festival crowd by 30,000 to around 135,000. The extra tickets, they say, will provide funding for tighter security – every year several festival goers gatecrash the event, but next year organiser Michael Eavis is planning to spend £1.5m on a new 12ft steel fence to discourage them. Council officials estimated that at June 2000’s event, there were approximately 100,000 more people than was allowed for by the festival’s entertainment’s license, and Michael Eavis was fined £6,000 as a result. According to a festival spokesperson, a new license is crucial for ensuring the survival of the festival – if the application is successful, another 20,000 tickets will be on sale for the 2002 festival, with the remaining 10,000 used for traders, staff and stewards. The license hearing is planned for November 29.
So - just pausing for a moment to lift our hats at that "every year several festivcal goers gatecrash the event" (in 1999, it was about 100,000 according to some estimates) - the idea is that, to stop there being a dangerous number of people inside, you have to, um, increase the number of people inside. The logic here depends on the "increased security" being able to cope with the additional numbers inside the event, as well as the presumably not reduced demands placed by attempted freeloaders. Without wanting to make Eavis' life harder, it's hoped that the licensing authorities will examine the proposals for increased security closely. If all they're thinking of doing is boosting the number of ill-trained people taking fivers for turning a blind eye up by the green field, it's clear the proposal will be unworkable. Anyone who's been to Glastonbury will know about the shortcomings of the security in previous years. Lets hope the plan isn't just the same on a broader scale.

Wednesday, October 17, 2001

AMAZON IF YOU LIKE... YOU MAY LIKE...: Interestingly, according to amazon, people who buy Andrew WK have also bought The White Stripes. So, that'd be people who really do what the nme tells them.

ELLIS-BEXTOR FANS FIGHT "WANK" SLUR: Is asking Sophie E-B if she frigs herself really disrespecting her? And is it that perverted? Some of her fans seem to think so:
That 'Do you Frik Yourself thread in full - having fun at a pop star's expense? That's so wrong.

WK - TROJAN HORSE: While doing this week's pop press review (goes out live on bothsidesnow on a Wednesday, and I'll probably get round to archiving it someday on the site) it started to become clearer and clearer that Andrew WK is nothing more than a right-winger dressed up as a rocker - hard working, disciplined, using the language of the military and vaguely Christian iconography and pro-life asides. Thats why the record sounds like its designed to be played at American Football matches to Bud-drinking masses. Because it is. The PMRC has finally twigged it - if you want to defeat your enemy, sing his song. The jocks are in ascendency, and the nme is helping them.

THINGS IN MUSIC I HATE: Number One: How much do I hate people who call "entry fee" or "ticket price" "door tax." It's not door tax, is it? It's an entry fee, for which you get to go in. A simple purchase. Tax implies its being imposed, which of course it fucking well isn't. If you don't want to go in, you don't pay it.

Oh, and unless you live in a country where the currency is the dollar, putting "Door Tax $2" or whatever makes you look a shabby, car-coat wearing twatty shyster.

Friday, September 07, 2001

Free Charlatans CD this week, with... um, the Daily Telegraph... Right...

SAVE THE SUGDENS: The whole Farm Aid thing has started to blow up in everyone's faces - U2 and the Williams moaned at for not taking part, while vegetarians attack Coldplay and Toploader for getting in on Animal Slaughterers in Need. But all of this misses the main point, which is - why is the event happening at all? Admittedly, farmers have had a rough time of it recently (dating probably from about the time they started to feed buckets of ground up sheeps brains to sheep), but then so have a lot of small businesses. A lot of them may have gone out of business, and sure, its a tragedy for the indivduals involved, but one of the things about being self-employed is that you take that risk. Its just the guy who ran the greengrocers round the corner from me didn't get his flaky business propped up by huges influxes of government support. "The supermarkets pay us next to nothing for our meat, and then sell it for huge prices" moan the farmers, as if its our fault they've done deals that are getting them stuffed, like Year 5 pupils running to the dinnerlady because they've realised selling their Dairylea Lunchables to Big Tony for five pence wasn't such a good deal - what makes it more insulting is that that's been the situation for years now, and yet every time the farmers fall for it. Let's face it guys - a semi-essential industry unable to support itself for generations without huge subsidy, hit harder by a mixture of disasters brought on in part by themselves, in part by their colleagues in the industry, and occasionaly by natural events running against them. Sounds familar? You bet, and yet can you imagine anyone seriously suggesting we have charity gigs in aid of the Train Operating Companies?

WAKING UP AND RUBBING EYES: - yes, we've been doing other things, okay? But now we're back with this... the MTV video awards, 2001
Best Hip Hop Video: Outkast – ‘Ms Jackson’
Best Direction in a video: Fatboy Slim – ‘Weapon Of Choice’
Best Dance video: N’Sync - ‘Pop’
Best Male video: Moby ft. Gwen Stefani – ‘South Side’
Best Female video: Eve ft Gwen Stefani – ‘Let Me Blow Your Mind’
Best New Artist in a video: Alicia Keys – ‘Fallin'
MTV2 Award: Mudvayne
Best Pop video: N’Sync – ‘Pop’
Best Rock video: Limp Bizkit – ‘Rollin'
Breakthrough Video: Fatboy Slim – ‘Weapon Of Choice’
Best Group in a video: N’Sync – ‘Pop’
Best Rap video: Nelly – ‘Ride Wit Me’
Best R'n'B video: Destiny’s Child – ‘Survivor’
Best Art Direction: Fatboy Slim – ‘Weapon Of Choice’
Best Special Effects in a video: Robbie Williams – ‘Rock DJ’
Best Video from a film: Moulin Rouge – ‘Lady Marmalade’
Best Cinematography: Fatboy Slim: ‘Weapon Of Choice’
Best Choreography: Fatboy Slim – ‘Weapon Of Choice’
Best Editing: Fatboy Slim – ‘Weapon Of Choice’
Viewers Choice Award: N’Sync – ‘Pop’
Video Of The Year: Moulin Rouge – ‘Lady Marmalade’

You'd have to raise an eyebrow at Weapon of Choice being described as a "breakthrough" video - in what way? Because there's a celeb in it? Or because there's flying in it? And, in addition, in what way is Lady Marmalade a "video from a film"? Simply because its a track on a soundtrack - surely Christina isn't actually in her pants in the film? Strictly speaking, this award should go to Atomic Kitten's Eternal Flame video, which at least does make use of the film that it is child to - although the whole concept of the cover, the film and the award seems to be one best forgotten.

Tuesday, July 17, 2001

Following on from Defenestration last week, this week The Archers have been paying homage to Cerys, although whether Hayley - in real-life Jasper Carrott's daughter - could really be mistaken for her is a moot point...

IT GETS WORSE: As if attempting to keep a quarter of a million people away from Newcastle, pretending that it was going to be The Love Weekend all along, and trying to stop the message boards from filling over with angry messages, for Radio One things go from bad to worse, as the network got knocked off the air this afternoon. Maye Andy Parfitt was attempting to keep it at home.

YOU CAN JUDGE A CD BY THE COMPANY IT KEEPS: A brief survey of things that Amazon purchasers of albums also buy.

Coldplay - Parachutes purchasers also bought:

* The Invisible Band: Audio CD ~ Travis
* All That You Can't Leave Behind: Audio CD ~ U2
* Just Enough Education to Perform: Audio CD ~ Stereophonics

* Captain Corelli's Mandolin: Paperback ~ Louis de Bernieres
* McCarthy's Bar: Paperback ~ Pete McCarthy
* Comic Relief: Quidditch Through the Ages: Paperback ~ J.K. Rowling, Kennilworthy Whisp

Well, not many surprises there, really - Coldplay fans also like Travis, Stereophonics and U2. No Oasis, though? Maybe an oversight. The books perhaps less obvious, although "obvious" in the broader sense. Except for Pete McCarthy's book. Thats gotta be rogue result, hasn't it?

Kellis - Kaleidescope

* Your Woman: Audio CD ~ Sunshine Anderson
* Can't Take Me Home: Audio CD ~ Pink
* Who is Jill Scott?: Audio CD ~ Jill Scott

* McCarthy's Bar: Paperback ~ Pete McCarthy
* White Teeth: Paperback ~ Zadie Smith
* Turning Thirty: Paperback ~ Mike Gayle

McCARTHY'S Bar again? Either there's one person doing all their shopping on Amazon, or else Pete is going to be sitting prettier than at any time since the axing of As It Happens. The CDs? Perhaps less easy to guess in advance, but no more surprising for that.

The Best of Max Bygraves

* The Best of Jimmy Young: Audio CD ~ Jimmy Young
* The Best of Anne Shelton: Audio CD ~ Anne Shelton
* The Essential Frank Ifield Collection: Audio CD ~ Frank Ifield

IS IT because their eyes are giving out, or they've seen it all before? For whatever reason, Max Bygraves fans appear to not bother themselves with that reading business. Who knew that Jimmy Young records were still selling?

MORE LOVE LOST:This from the Radio 1 website, a statement from Mr. P:
"Statement from Andy Parfitt, Controller Radio 1, Mon 16 July, noon: Suggestions of an alternative "unofficial" Love Parade would not be a good idea at all. It could prejudice the future of Love Parade in the UK forever. I understand how disappointed people are but to clog up the centre of Newcastle next weekend would be counter productive, if anything went wrong clubbers would be blamed, and the reputation of Dance and Dance fans, who made last year's event such a success, would be damaged. In those circumstances it would be hard for any local authority to look favourably on Love Parade in years to come. Radio 1's advice is, if you don't have a ticket for an indoor event, to stay at home and listen. I've asked moderators at our website not to put up messages that are just encouraging people to travel to Newcastle. "
So, pick the bones out of that one. Firstly, its okay to clog up the centre of Newcastle, providing its for Radio One's benefit, but not if its just people having fun? And remember, kids, its simply the image of dance fans he's worried about, not that if (and, as it looks increasingly likely, when) something nasty kicks off, that it'll look godawful for his station.
More disturbingly, of course, there's the whole "Stay in your homes" tone of his message - look, pal, you're the one who made the bad judgement call of trying to push this whole thing through - its been clear for months that the council were cool, at best, on the whole idea; and with the recent riots in the north it was obvious they'd be less keen than ever. Nevertheless, Radio One has been banging on about "come to Newcastle, it'll be great" for the past month, without any certainty there'd be anything for people to come to. Its a bit late to now start to supress people's "lets go anyway" messages, don't you think?

LOVE PARADE DE-RAILED: Hopefully the cancellation of the Love Parade may make Radio One think twice before cooking up any more of these half-baked mega events. The one saving grace of Newcastle pulling the glorified fete-with-disco would have been that the station would have stopped banging on about the event every three or four minutes (the final straw was the way they'd play the jingle over any dance track towards the end of last week), except, of course, now the "new arrangements" are being trumpted every opportunity - or rather, the desperate attempts to scrape egg from face. Interesting to hear Andy Parfitt on Today this morning, trying to spin the event inro a PR success, while simultaneously not pissing off the city council. The official Radio One controller's line came out, then as "There's still going to be lots happening, there's plenty of tickets still available, only don't come."
Of course, the days of the Roadshow are over, but maybe the expensive and embarrassing collapse of the Love Parade may refocus the station's efforts on providing entertainment for smaller crowds at places that tend to get missed off by the commercial events. The Roadshow at Eastbourne was the only thing that happened for non-pensionners in Eastbourne, ever, and as such the gift of Steve Wright to 80s teenagers was special. Love Parade smacks of an attempt to take on Creamfields and Homelands, and as such tastes bitter. Why not do a season of Saturday night specials in smaller towns throughout the summer? Probably spend the same budget, and wouldn't Fatboy Slim in Carlisle and Jon Carter in Worthing mean more to the audience, and be better payback for those towns' licence fee payers than a big, showy event in one location for one night?

Monday, July 16, 2001

NOW WE'RE SQUEAKY CLEAN... ISH: NeedToKnow has helpfully transcribed the two versions of D12's purple hills/pills, showing that apparently the broadcasters are being left to pick ther "fucks" out for themselves. Full version here

Friday, July 13, 2001

SCARY: What links Justine Frischmann to some slightly odd-shaped Cybermen?Dare you find out?

THE SMILE ALBUM: The Washington Post has theories about why rock stars never smile in photos...
• The blues: Rock bands have been channeling the jaded spirit of original bluesmen since the beginning. The Rolling Stones, for one, were heavily influenced by musicians like Little Walter, a short-tempered harmonica player who drank incessantly and died after a street fight. (There's a Little Walter song on the band's "12 X 5" album of 1964, the same year the band toured with the Chicago legend.) Bluesmen, of course, were a pretty bummed-out lot, either because their labels had bilked them of royalties or they'd been two-timed by big-legged women.

• British dental problems: There's also a very good chance that the Stones, and just about every other influential English band, simply had bad teeth.

• Bob Dylan: Dylan brought gravitas to pop music, and that gravitas wiped the grin off the faces of pop stars. Including the Beatles, who wore mostly mischievous smiles during their years of collarless suits and group bows and who gradually explored moods and shadows as they became acquainted with Dylan. "I'm a Loser" is considered the first Dylan-influenced John Lennon song, a number that, at least lyrically, U-turns from the sunniness of early hits, like "She Loves You" and "I Want to Hold Your Hand."

• The baby boomers: The baby boomers are behind every trend, demographic and otherwise, so they belong on this list just in case.

• Grunge: Under this hypothesis, the non-smile has been around for many years, but became firmly embedded in the etiquette book of rock mannerisms only after grunge arrived in the early '90s. It wasn't merely that the most famous writer and purveyor of grunge, Kurt Cobain, was depressed enough to commit suicide. The entire grunge ethic, both in fashion and attitude, countered the hair-metal notion that rock stars were somehow different; underneath Cobain's workaday flannel shirt lurked the idea that rock stars were beset by the same anxieties as their fans, who could find those same shirts in an L.L. Bean catalogue.

• Dean and Brando: Forget about Nirvana. "Everything is descended from James Dean and Marlon Brando," says Kenny Laguna, a journeyman song producer and longtime manager of Joan Jett. The lone wolf, the whiny and slouchy outsider, the archetype of the misunderstood punk, comes from these two actors, he claims, and they had enormous influence on people like Dion and Elvis Presley, whose film debut in "Love Me Tender" in 1956 was scorned by some critics as a tacky impersonation.

"It's also about menace," Laguna says. "The invisible difference between rock and pop is that menace. It's that attitude. There are a ton of bands that have menace now, but so much of it is fake. A guy like Marilyn Manson -- it's like he studied it in high school."

Full article - while its still on line

Wednesday, July 11, 2001

ABOUT TIME, TOO: Catatonia website in update shock. Although all they've done is changed the front page and put a sign up box and thats about it. Meanwhile, Billie's website remains "under reconstruction" - not unlike when your neighbourhood shop gets a paint job three days before it closes.

Nice to hear Defenestration getting a mention on the Archers this week...

NEW NEW ORDER: Hmmm... so what to make of that new New Order single? Nice to have Gillian - if, indeed, Gillian it is - doing a bit more vocally, but on the whole... and although we shouldn't make snap judgements... it sounds like an old New Order album track. Not bad, just... once New Order singles soared and swooped. This makes you go "well, at least they're not diluting the brand." Maybe it'll grow on me. Maybe. We'll see.

Friday, July 06, 2001

PERHAPS ITS AN HOMAGE: The Roger Sanchez Another Chance video is pretty good, but, man, is it just a copy of the Daft Punk dog video. Which should mean it was rubbish, but maybe the original Spike Jonze idea was so strong it can stand a couple of similar remakes before it gets all too painful.

HMV sale: So, another mega sale at HMV, and although both them and Virgin do the same thing almost year-round now - some of the unsold singles are starting to look as unkempt as an alcoholic who's spent a night under an electrostatic bush - but you can always find some ways of spending silly amounts of money if you want to. Finally got The Auteurs debut album on CD (ah, back for when I used to refuse to duplicate purchases and play into the record shop hands, and dropping beneath a tenner made Madness three cd box set hit my price point.
Madness, Madness. Great band, but I find it hard to say that. Mainly because of the nutty dance, which was the sort of dance that even the geeky kids would attempt. I hated the way people treated them like they were just gormless cunts, when there was a stench of misery rising from them. "Stop doing that stupid duck-landing-on-the-sun dance" I wanted to cry, "and listen to the bloody lyrics." But I never did. Maybe I was just a bad, bad child. That's possible.
Bought a couple of other things, too - the Joy Division substance (again, replicating an earlier vinyl purchase. To my delight, this was two quid cheaper than the more recent Joy Div comp, despite the newer one having fewer tracks, and a crappier sleeve.

OH, SURPRISE FUCKING SURPRISE: Why, yes, they did find some extra New Order tickets hidden down the back of the Ottoman. Which must piss off the people in the original queue who were told there weren't any left. I'm still not sure why this practice is thought of as being a good thing - "rather than give the ticket to this person, who's queued patiently, we'll pretend there's none left and give it to someone later on who didn't bother to queue but happened to be in the right place at the right time when we let on..."

Thursday, June 21, 2001

NO SELL: So, that New Order gig sold out in about three seconds, then. Unless the people at Liverpool Olympia come up with a way of getting more people in, in the way that Earls Court have suddenly come up with a way of getting extra people into the Madonna gig there.
Music365: More Madonna Tickets Go On Sale - oh, yes? Earls Court suddenly realise they've got extra space, or is it just a market-forcing hold back of tickets?

SO, HOW EXACTLY IS NAPSTER KILLING MUSIC?: So, despite all this so called piracy and theivery, there's been increases way above inflation in royalties this year. So, where, exactly in Napster and audiogalaxy hitting people hard, then?
BBC: record royalties - "piracy is a worry" says industry figure, as they stuff their bras with tenners

Wednesday, June 20, 2001

NEW STUFF ONLINE: For some reason, its taken a fucking age, but there's a load of new stuff at bothsidesnow - a 1981 vintage Smash Hits, for example, and Brian Molko's very own gallery. Go on, give it a sniff.

THE JUNE OVERHAUL HAS BEEN FUELLED BY... stuff we've enjoyed hearing while we kept inadvertently deleting the altered images lyric page
Snake River Conspiracy - How Soon Is Now?
Controv Smiths cover version, complete with amazing Dark Angel aping video
Ciccone - Leg It, It's the Rozzers
Octane whipperpunk sniffer track (vaguely reminiscent of 'Caught by the fuzz')
Janaury - I Heard Myself In You
Still miss Sarah records? Yeah, me too...
Dirty Harry- Nothing Really Matters
Brassy-esque, Boss Hogg stylings. Lambasted in today's NME
Four Storey - I'm Still Waiting
Chocolate-eating misery beauty
Kings of Convenience - Winning a Battle, Losing a War
I'd always written KoC off before, but this makes me think I may have been more hasty than a NASDAQ investor in 1999
Stereolab - Captain Easychord
Traditional Stereolab fare, which is a good thing
Antiproduct - Best Day of Your Life
I cant remember anything about this, just that I love it
Mekon with Marc Almond - Dead Mans Curve
Having brought Roxanne Shante back, and managed to make her sound now, Mekon's now done it with Marc Almond

Tuesday, June 19, 2001

punkrockbowling - for people who like to listen to punk rock as they bowl
oi jesus - skinheads for jesus
Widdie - there's old anne claiming she couldn't muster support, while since November 2000 no fewer than two people have signed up to her fan list. Still, at least she's got a group, more than Hague has

Monday, June 18, 2001

THOUGH...: Just as I published that I got an email claiming that Moyles is using Le Hammond Inferno as backing for his quiz. Would be great if (a) that turns out to be true, and (b) he stops shouting long enough for anyone to hear it. Anyway, it'll all pour cash into the coffers of the good people at invicta hifi so thats a good thing.

DID I MENTION?: Chris Moyles must die. No, really. Highlight today - he was taking the piss out of Steve Wright. Because, apparently, it was just him and his posse talking. The difference being, beardie, that at least Wright's posse had people the quality of Phil Cornwell, Lisa Tarbuck and Richard Easter in it, whereas what have you got? Someone who pranced about in their pants and still only got a single page in FHM (they give that to begging students) and a bloke who clearly would rather be elsewhere and will, I swear, one day kill you. With a spoon. Which is a long and painful death, I can tell you. Oh, and by the way: downloading themes from TV Cream and playing them isn't any substitute for preparing your show properly.
I'm quite warming to nemone, actually, but then I did like emma freud's show. Is that so wrong?

YOU ARE OLD, FATHER FRED: As if to prove that this shouty rock is a young person's game, daddy Durst has had to cancel the rest of Limp Bizkit's tour because he's only gorn and put his back out. Leave it to the youngsters, daddio. Or at least Thurston and Kim, who do it with dignity.

FURTHER: The erotica listmania spreads - now someone's asked me to kick off a similar project on kenickie. An early worried response has been "What if one of them is lurking on the list?" - yeah, like I so don't want Lauren to know that I fancy her. Or Emmy. Or Marie. Apparently, Emmy-Kate is now working on a make-up counter.

Friday, June 15, 2001

WHY I LOVE THE ELASTICA LIST: Whereas some lists are so strictly on topic as to be as exciting as talking to an autistic child about their train number collections, the elastica list has always been a sparkier, more fun place to while away the working day. Having led to the hijacking of knickers list last year, changing it from a "buy my pants, they'll smell vaguely of my cunt" site to a home for bizarre underwear related conversation, in response to a less-sassy member's whining about the creation of another "what is your ultimate Elastica fantasy" poll there's been developed a multiple-writer piece of rolling erotica. So far, Justine's had her leather trouser rubbage inspected, several coathangers have been wasted and a wardrobe broken...

TIMMY VALENTINE: Oh, they're back, baby. Charlatans to play low-key warm up in Wrexham (raising the possibility of Dexadrina and Tim in the same place at the same time) and new website all looking spiffy... but where is the music? We want new music, dammit. New. Now. Music.

STONE BY STONE, INCH BY INCH: At first, didn't think that much to the new Catatonia single - but after a couple of hearings, its really grown on me. I dunno if this means the band should be worried, though - I'm the only person I know who liked Equally Cursed..., and if the first couple of listens left me cold and lukewarm respectively, how will the new single find a place in colder hearts?
karaoke queens - bsn catatonia spin-off
bsn cerys gallery
new tour dates
catatonia official site - still reporting "Karaoke Queen" as next single

TRUE FAITH: Bizarre but apparently true - New Order are going to make their comeback at Liverpool's Olympia, a venue so obscure even veteran Liverpool musos were going "where the fuck is that?" yesterday. Adding to the general confusion (at time of upload) the olympia site is returning the web equivalent of "could you wait outside please", while the Google cached version offers the prospect of entry for four quid, or sixteen quid if you get your tea, too...

ITS ALL ABOUT THE EYELINER: The usually reliable Sean ExRental put us onto Corporation Blend, and while we don't know what they sound like, we do know that they're gorgeous, and, according to the travisgonnadie list, they're so good they will make you have to go home and change your undergarments. Yay.

IT'S COMING UP TO A QUARTER PAST ONE: Now that Sky's Digiboxes can swap channels for you, and Paramount are re-running Seinfeld while I'm at work (or, more accurately, riding an over-crammed Arriva bus to nowhere), I'm catching lots of tantalising bits of other channels in the gap between video clicking on, and channel swapping over. Like, yesterday, there was just this so cute looking chap sat on TOTP@play, being interviewed... Yum. Wayne out of Thirteen:13. The band came across as nice lads, too, and were polite enough to only look mildly discomforted when compared to Travis and Coldplay
Thirteen:13 site - sigh... when will bands stop using their press releases as biogs?

Thursday, June 07, 2001

CD REVIEWS UP: Proof that reviewing records isn't the cakewalk you think it - we spent an evening at ink listening to new stuff from the Bunnymen, Muse, JJ72 and others... and there was very little stuff in there to make your heart sing. The Bunnymen album in particular was a real disappointment.
Bunnymen review and links to others

WEBRING DAY: This indieblog webring looks to be pretty edge-of-the-foil box:


previous -
next -

COINCIDENCE IS THE LITTLE CHEF THAT MAKES US STOP ON THE JOURNEY OF LIFE: Just as I was wondering if it'd be worth firing up blogger to record how quickly and deeply the new Catatonia track stone by stone had grown on me, it came on the radio, so I figure now I'm obligated, don't you? What sounded on first hearing to merely be overblown now is clearly anthemic and quite, quite beautiful. And I find myself in agreement with Chris Moyles, which is a pain but these things unite us.

Tuesday, June 05, 2001

CHRIS MOYLES, YOU ARE A TALENTLESS BUFFOON and your acolytes should hang their heads in guffaw-shame

TAKING THE PISS: Currently taking the piss, quite clearly:
Travis - the new single is laughable, even by their standards. "Sing, sing, sing, for the love you bring, sing, sing sing" sounds like nothing so much as Baldrick's "boom, boom, boom" poem
Basement Jaxx - oh, yeah, aint they smart? No, they've just released a single S Club 7 would blush to lipsynch to...

EMI CD DOWNLOAD DEAL DONE: - within the year, apparently, we'll be able to download radiohead cds without ever having to leave the house. Which is good news for people who like Radiohead CDs, it has to be said.

Saturday, May 26, 2001

YAHOO SEARCH QUERY: So, I just idly typed "mascara music" into Yahoogroups search engine earlier, and it suggested I might be looking for groups about Tanita Tickaram. I can assure you I wasn't...

Life Without Buildings

Tuesday, May 08, 2001

WHO'S GOT THE MILLION QUID TACKLE?: In a rare burst of equal ops, Music365 has followed up it's "How much would you pay to put Mylene Popstar's tits in your magazine" survey by getting the editor of Euroboy to, ahem, size-up bloke popstar's attractiveness to the gay "community" -in cash terms. Thus, we learn that Robbie Williams is apparently worth five million quid, and Noel and Danny Hear'Say together may get a million, but he fully expects Noel to have fallen back on a career of porn anyway in a few years. Tom Jones is too "specialist", Lenny Kravitz is a "straight women's fantasy" - not any of the straight women we know, mate; and Liam plus Noel would cost the same as Liam on its own.
The prices in full - So, Ronan: Not butch enough; Stephen Gateley, however, is?

UNINTENTIONAL HILARITY: Or, ignoring mote and beam jibes, we pick on smaller, poorly written websites: Ash - currently, they're from Northern Ireland...

BLANK HOLIDAY: Amongst the falling-overs this bank holiday weekend have been Music Choice on Sky - which never got beyond the opening page (for the first time since the reformat, I've been glad the new system won't let me deselect the ghost Alt Rock channel), and anything bothsidesnow web-related, including ink magazine's site. Which is a bit of a pain. On the plus side, X-fm have been playing I-Monster heavily, the perfect soundtrack to a dreamy, sunny bank holiday Monday.

Wednesday, May 02, 2001

"YOU CAN SEE ALL THAT FOR A SHILLING": Steven Sheilds, editor of so-classy-it's-wipe-clean stroke mag Mayfair, has been asked by Music 365 to price up, erm, pop totty according to what he'd be happy to shell out to get 'em on the top shelf. So we learn that the girls from Hear'Say are worth half a million if they'd touch each other up, but a few quid on their own; Madonna has flashed herself out of the market and if Kylie wants to unlock her five million value, "we'd have to see a bit of minge." Poor sales of the recent album shouldn't upset the Spice Girls - if they can persuade Gerri to be hogtied and slapped on the arse until it's as red as her shiny pink face (and, lets face it, someone persuaded her to do the equally undignified Its Raining Men cover), they can bank two million.
"I'd like some hot tonguing action" - yeah, wouldn't we all...
Usual modelling rates - so, thats where the term "continental breakfast" comes from...

Tuesday, May 01, 2001

SONY, HAPPY PEOPLE: At last night's Sony awards (the self-styled British Radio Oscars, of course), Radio 2 won Station of the Year while Mark and Lard took the daily music award or somesuch. But Radio One did pretty feebly, perhaps deservedly being frozen out after twelve months of developing shows based on presenters as faceless and talentless as they are usually surnameless. C'mon, for example: Nemone is sitting in for Jo Wylie, who is on maternity leave (at least a move forward from the time then-controller Johnny Beirling asked Janice Long if she could juggle a half hour show and being a mother.) Who is Nemone? What makes it more frustrating is Simon Mayo left the station expecting a swift debut at Five Live, only to be held off starting by the delay to the election...

Friday, April 27, 2001

SHUT UP, YOU'RE AN EMBARRASMENT: Thank god for that Christopher Walken video for the Fatboy Slim single. At least it means that that side of the single is getting the attention, rather than the dire *69... Talking of *69, which was also an REM, what on earth was that Peter Buck airrage incident all about? Clearly he must have got over-excited watching the Foo Fighters video or something. Are *69 the band still going? I liked them. My head hurts.

LISTENING POST: Our ears, our ears. Recently we've become fond of Dreampop Guitars and Girlsolider Radio over at Live365 - shoe and SHOO! respectively. When we're not burning the company cash, the newlook Music Choice alt rock channel is still as good as ever - although we could have done without 20 minutes of Semisonic last night. As we write, it's Madder Rose thats filling our cortex. Yum...

WE'RE #1, SO WHY TRY HARDER?: Sorry, Sleater-Kinney fans, XRRF is the number one return when you search No Rock And Roll Fun on Google. Which means, of course, yay for us.

Thursday, April 26, 2001

AND MORE NAPSTER...: "Look, global sales of records have fallen" cries Music Week, "this proves how disatorous Napster has been..." Bollocks, if it proves anything its how shite music is now. The UK saw sales rise, helped mainly by another round of Beatles hawking, while although there was a huge decline in US singles sales, this could be because there was nothing of interest to the target singles market. Thats if there is a target singles market anymore. When I was a kid, I bought singles because I could just about stretch my pocket money to fit them. Albums were a rare treat, made possible by Christmas cash or allowing great aunties to kiss me without flinching or wiping. Kids born on the right sides of the tracks in the US these days have a greater weekly disposable income than many Independent sovereign states, and are just as able to go out and buy an album as a single. Providing there's something they want. They could just as easily buy a peregrine falcon or a discarded cattle-cull calf.
Anyway, US music sales were down just 1.5% year on year. In '98 and '99, they rose nine and four percent respectively. If a rising stock market trundled slightly backwards after ten years of continuous growth, it would be explained away as a "correction" rather than an indication of the end of the world, and so it would be here, were it not a handy stick to pass to the judge to beat Napster with. Set in the wider context of an American economy generally regarded as entering the "fucked" stage of the economic cycle, a small dip in sales should be praised as God smiling down on the industry. Not, of course, that it will.
Can copyright theft be constitutional? - FT article on Digital Millennium Copyright Act coming to court
FT reports ringtones seen as "new Napster" - yeah, because why would people buy a CD when they can have five seconds of something resembling the tune clanged out in tinny tones everytime someone rings for a chat?

MAYBE SHINK SHOULD HANDLE THE PRESS: Yes, forget the International Record Companies whining about Napster - they should just run off copies of Shinkansen's Why CDs cost money article and sit back...

CREATIVE THINKINGS: Nice to see Broadcast have been nominated in the Music Week creative awards, for their sleeve designs. Even if they probably will lose out to Robbie Williams and his lot of money but no idea teaser campaign type things...

Tuesday, April 24, 2001

AND WE'RE BACK: For those of you who care, you might have noticed xrrf has been quiet of late - I've been off doing things that are even more interesting than speculating on pop-related stuff. Sorry if you've felt abandoned. Things we've missed have included Robbie Williams claiming he'd lied about sex with Geri, Geri saying she was thinking of becoming a lesbian, and Scott Mills announcing he was gay. Yes you do, four am, on Radio One. Yes you do.

Thursday, March 29, 2001

INDIE "NOT SCHMINDIE", SAYS MINISTRY: From the department of "We could have told you that", the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (or Ministry of things your parents dont believe are real jobs) has issued a report suggesting that indie labels who want to expand should explore other options rather than just getting into bed with a major. Next week: "Feeding cows to cows not that wise an idea", says Maff...

TRIBUTES BECOME EPITAPHS: We could almost forgive the good people at dotmusic for their clogging of the entire music world's email blocks with promo for the Dury tribute album, but the downside is that what will be recorded as Kirsty MacColl's last performance is included. To review her delivery of Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick while simultaneously not speaking ill of the dead would be nigh on impossible. A drunk prison officer with mittens wearing sweatpants would have more chance of finding the right key... But its all, of course, for charity...
Gateway to dotmusic's mini site - thank god the panties are new...

Thursday, March 22, 2001

AT LEAST WE NOW KNOW...: So, that's why there ain't no party like an S Club Party. The sad thing is, the obvious set-up publicity scam is so creaky, they'd even have rejected it as a plot for Miami 7 - even down to the bone thrown (oh yes) to that lucrative gay audience - c'mon, they were found with a spliff - whats with the strip search if not to provide gay pop boys with a few days worth of punchlines?

Wednesday, March 21, 2001

BITTER, ME?: The catty pay-off of Alan McGee's review of David Cavanagh's Creation book has been well-reported (Martin Carr is rubbish! Nyah!) but the whole piece is worth reading, if only for the repeated mantra of "Paolo Hewitt's Book" - apparently the Bible to Cavanagh's Story of O. Surely McGee can't be trying to diss the book because its not always positive? Surely not...
Poptones - the McGee review - so, was Creation about selling out to Sony Records and retiring with a big fat cheque, Al? And that The Legend! jibe - thats just going too far...

Tuesday, March 20, 2001

Popstars: Why? In god's name, why?

Thursday, March 08, 2001

ACTS IN THE COURT: As if all the ongoing Napster fun isn't enough to make you actually believe that Record Companies are the spawn of Satan, and so on, more court action this week offers further evidence. Garbage are joining Courtney Love in attempting to use California Labour laws to break contracts with Universal, while Dave and Helen Balfe, co-founders of Food, are in London's busy High Court alledging sharp practice on the part of EMI. The Balfes claim that EMI released limited run Japanese only CDs by Blur and Shampoo to avoid having to pay them their share of royalties on full-run albums. When Food was sold to EMI, the deal being that the Balfes would receive a share in the first two albums by each band released by EMI. Regardless of what the High Court finds in terms of contract law, this sort of manoeuvering is worth writing down on a prompt card to bring out the next time record companies sob into their chianti about how they're only worried about their talent's income when they attack Napster. Winningly, news also broke this week that Mainics drummer Sean Moore - the sexy alternative to Real Paul Merton - was one of the Napster users blocked ont he orders of Sony for having copies of erm, his own ,music on his own computer.

Sunday, March 04, 2001

THE BRITS: Its taken a while before I could actually even acknowledge the horror of this botched awards ceremony. If Coldplay are the best band in Britain, then clearly we might as well embrace European integration as quickly as we possibly can, don't you think? Still, nice to see both sides now won a Grammy...

Saturday, February 24, 2001

THE LITTLE GIRLS UNDERSTAND: More on Eminem, as we compile this, Any Answers is taking calls - the first on Marshall starts with the words "I have never heard his records, but as a gay man..."; then another makes the statement "Either he's homophobic and misogynistic, or he's not..." - or, how about, he's playing a part and ACTING? D'oh. Thank god they found space to read out emails from a couple of teenage girls who basically DO get it - yes, his lyrics are ugly, isn't life the same, though?

BRAGG ON EMINEM: "[Eminem is] the authentic voice of the schoolyard bully. Thats what he is, a loudmouthed bully" - Billy Bragg on Any Questions, BBC Radio 4, 23-2-01. Asked if he'd ever written a song with lyrics that people might find offensive, Bragg replied "Tories, hopefully"

Tuesday, February 20, 2001

KITTENS AGAIN?: Atomic Kitten are number one for the third week running, which probably comes as much of a surprise to them as it does to us, don't you think? Even though the market has been fairly slow, and the Argos Appletons (thanks, popbitch) are probably getting sales that would only have guaranteed a top thirty slot and a quick trip back to working Hope Street before Christmas, to hang on to the slot for three weeks is a remarkable achievement. They're busily re-recording their stiffkitten debut album with yummy new material featuring interchangable new member in the hope that this snow-in-July success may actually feed through to some sort of profit centre...

Passing observation, number 455: That new Turin Brakes single is good, but not a patch on The Boss

Friday, February 16, 2001

NOBODY MAKES the EFFORT: Even with the Maker dead, the NME has still managed to lose nearly one in ten of its readers in the past six months - and if we assume that at least some MM people have transferred to the big brother, that would imply the flight from NME has been even greater. Mike Soutar has said that the magazine will "broaden" its appeal (Atomic Kitten posters? Patsy's tits?) and that after two years of looking after, it's time to give some attention to the magazine. This we take as an admission of how shit the paper's been for the last couple of years.
Media Guardian - you're a monopoly, so why head for the overcrowded dance market?

Bradford - Boys Will Be Boys
anything by The Siddeleys
Brighton and Hove Albion's FA Cup single
anything by The Charlottes
Ride - Ride Mindfuck

MAYO'S GONE OFF: Today, really, marks the end of some sort of era as Simon Mayo - the only major player to have survived the Bannister years unscathed - removed his headphones for the last time prior to his move from Radio One to Five Live. Amongst the 'surprises' on his last show was Diane Oxenberry and Rod McKenzie - erstwhile brekafast show cohosts - reappearing, and, good god, The Proclaimers doing their first live programme on Radio One since, ooh, the days of Liz Kershaw at the very least. Sniff. I'll miss you, Simon...

Monday, February 12, 2001

LOU BOOKS: Lou Wener - yes, you do, out of Sleeper is apparently re-inventing herself as a novelist. Her new publisher has been quoted as saying that she's "not laddish, but more like Nick Hornby." So, that'd be not laddish in the style of a writer who specialises in football, record shops and commitmentphobia, then.

Just said to me, as I play Clare Grogan: "These are all student bands that you're playing..." Sigh. If only...

LOVE MISSILE ON CHICKEN IN THE BASKET: Nice to see Sigue Sigue Sputnik back, especially since their self-aggrandisment is still in place despite having taken something of a knock having been laughed off the face of the charts back in the 80's. Talking to the press at the weekend, Degville and co claimed their resurrection came when they discovered in 1996 that there were "5,000" Sigue Sigue Sputnik sites on the web. Bizarrely, accoding to Yahoo!, 4,993 of these must have gone out of business in the past five years - maybe they were all hosted on redhotant or something. What's quite sweet is the Sputniks are clearly hoping that nobody will notice the band is playing on the same circuit as The Christians and Tony Hadley.

YOU'RE NOT JUST BUYING A STEPS ALBUM, YOU'RE PAYING FOR OUR MISTAKES: The DTI has followed the European Commission and announced another investigation into the pricing of CDs in the UK. While the EC is staring beadily at how come little silver discs cost so much more on this side of the Atlantic, the DTI are investigating the discrepancy between UK and continental prices. The BPI is blowing dust off the "subsidising new artists" argument even as we speak, we expect.

DECEPTIVE ENDING: Deceptive records, home to the lax-emperors Elastica and others, has decided to call it a day. Presumably couldn't face another five year wait for Justine to cobble some tracks together again.
Deceptive online - hey, we've closed, why worry about misfiring frames?
also calling it a day is the Internet Underground Music Achive, which is unplugging its equipment following parent eMusic's cash crisis.
Announcement of closure - though check out the front page. They use a picture of Titanic, because, in our sense of proportion, the closure of an MP3 dump is akin the to drowning of hundreds of people

NO ANGLE: Dido, interviewed on Smash Hits TV, and asked about being nominated for a Brit, admitted that the whole thing was ridiculous -"the album wasn't even out", she observed. Which is pretty much what we said, so Dido gets a 'too honest for her own good' ten out of ten rating.

Friday, February 09, 2001

YOU'RE OLDER THAN YOU THINK: Walking into work this morning, I was listening to a randomy selected tape, which turned out to be the 1996 Festive Fifty. It's five years, then, since Bis' debut single Kandy Pop and Underworld did Born Slippy. The grave is calling, louder than you thought...

EXCITING THING: In the course of this page, you'll get a chance to see the words "one", "first" and "single" all in a row - marked with an asterisk. How cool is that?

SITE UPDATE: bothsidesnow, the briefs inside which this and sister blog conduct unbecoming swing, has just sprung online with a full new look for 2001, and a much expanded service. The first 22 entries in Village of the Band are now online, the gallery has been expanded and the links section has had a major overhaul. Along the way, there's pictures of Norman Cook - the bus, Sarah Record's farewell kiss and other delights and surprises.

GALLAGHER: NOW ITS A LOVE PENTAGRAM: Today's Mirror has a barely-concealed baps shot of Patsy Kensit on the front page with the headline "Look at what you're missing, Liam" - yes, but we recall that godawful Face photoshoot while they were still together - look at what you had, the pair of you. Anyway, Patsy's spilled her guts to Arena about what life was really like with Liam. Surprise, surprise, he was a slack-panted dickhead. The "bombshell" in the piece was Kensit - former pea commercial star - announcing that there's another Gallagher sprog about, child of Lisa Moorish. The kid had been credited to Justin Elastica on the label, thereby making that indie world even smaller yet. Moorish worked with Oasis on the War Child project, and is perhaps best known for her cover of Wham's I'm Your Man, a track which rocketed into the charts when George Michael popped up to offer backing vocals and Andrew Ridgeley didn't. For what little is known about Moorish - besides her frankly puzzling taste in men - visit the Ultimate Lost Bands List.

WHAT HAVE I DONE TO DESERVE THIS? : Want to really impress your date this Valentine's Day? How about not following Puff Daddy's lead. The be-docked one took time out from cultivating his image as more sinned against than sinning to arrange a treat for sweetheart Jennifer Lopez - a live seranade from Luther Vandross. Which raises the question - is that what these people really listen to when they're not working? And should Nicole Appleton be expecting a visit from Joe Longthorne sometime soon?

POP JOBWATCH: Sad news this week that the Afghan Whigs have decided to call it a day, but thats sort of balanced by reports that Soft Cell are being recharged. Also back from the dead, Gary Numan turned in his first Peel Session since 1980 on Wednesday, getting a muted but respectable response on the Peel egroup. Heading back to the dead are the rag-tag of Popstars rejects who look set to have their attempt to cash in on their five minutes of fame scuppered. Talking of ITV's dire dirgeosoap (why won't anyone admit this? Its like watching a tomato canning factory, only with self-obsessed tomatoes), the jostling to cash in is now well underway. Granada Media Group has been forced to drop its share of the dead cert number one first single* to save itself from falling foul of ITC rules on promotional tie-ins, but keeps a share of future earnings; The Sun got hold of the maligned Girl Thing doing their version of the band's first single, only to be told if they put it up on their website, the single of choice will be changed - just as InnerSpin got dumped when the name leaked out; but shrewedest cash-in so far goes to Bravo, who have mysteriously chosen to resurrect their Dolls House webcam voyeur site in the week when one of the PapSters was reported as having been a previous inhabitant. Sitting at home ruefully sucking a thoughtful tooth, meanwhile, will be Girl Thing, freshly dropped now that their svengalis has more fresh flesh to play with.

BILLIE FRIGHT LAW: Of course, there's nothing funny at all in the Billie court case. Nothing at all. Although you have to perhaps have a sly smile that Juliet Peter's beef with the pert and powdery one was that "she'd looked at her in a funny way." Apparently, Peters had threatened to leave Billie's head in the north of the country, and the body in a forest somewhere in the south. Hampshire Police refuse to confirm they had got sniffer dogs on standby.

MORE EMINEM: Well, Eminem's played one UK gig, and so far there doesn't seem to be an increase in bigotry in the country as a whole (we're using the popular measure of how strong the Tories look in the polls, multiplied by Paul "its not racist to call them niggers" Daniels' ticket sales). Its interesting watching Tatchell and his OutRage chums frothing about Eminem, while completely failing to raise a word at the press coverage of the story they've helped feed which has been, genuinely, homophobic. For example, The Star's coverage of the discovery that young Slim was booked into a hotel in Manchester's Gay Village was a classic example of 'Gay Man' = 'Anal rapist' propaganda, and more likely to raise an attitude of hatred than any number of Eminem tracks, even on the most selective of listens. Clearly, Tatchell and his crew can't tell the difference between an act and a political statement. Lets hope he never sees Romper Stomper, or that'll be Russell Crowe's visits to the UK blighted.
Meanwhile, Tonight with Trevor McDonald may have secured yet another interview with Ma Eminem, but it was Radio 4's Today who got the grandmother. "He can't even eat a small sandwich without a crowd forming" she said, providing a perfect summation of the madness of celebrity.
Guardian news coverage - Hmmm, an NUS representative talking about "how Manchester is proud of its diversity." How long have you lived there, then? Morrissey? A band changing its name from Joy Division to New Order? Shaun Ryder? Ian Brown?
It takes TWO Guardian journalists to cover a gig now, apparently - "repellent but compelling" story - if you;re going to brag about having the first review, you might want to encourage your journos to file before the Guardian...
... or the Daily Telegraph - Victoria and David in the front row? Somehow, I dont think so...
OutRage diss Eminem:
"The Grammy and Brit Award judges are two-faced hypocrites. They would never give air-time, let alone an award nomination, to a singer who fantasised about the murder of black people" - lucky for Mick Jagger Brown Sugar stops at thumping and raping black slaves, then.
"If Eminem rapped about killing blacks, cutting their throats, suffocating them in the boot of a car and dumping their bodies in a river, he would be hounded out of the music industry. By nominating him for an award, the judges are signaling their toleration of misogyny and homophobia". Anyone get the impression OutRage have only (half) listened to Stan, by any chance?

Tuesday, February 06, 2001

SPONTANE TIME AGAIN: Richard Spontaneous, big eyed crouching leadster of Ricky Spontane has done a solo album, titled Richard the First, and there's going to be a tour too ending, inevitably at Liverpool Magnet. You'd probably enjoy them if you like Bis-y type things and ideas in pop, but to make sure visit their site and listen. Here.

Wednesday, January 31, 2001

FOR THOSE ABOUT TO ROCK...: Test marketing is about to start for a "rock lifestyle" magazine, taking up the slack at EMAP now they've axed Select - god alone knows what the content will be, but it all points to further misery in the wake of the Bizkit number one. My god, what the hell is going on with music at the moment? Only Arab Strap can save us now. Not sure what to make of their new sleeve, either... doubtless an attempt to stay the hand of Beavises and trick them into buying something more worthwhile... though it'll probably bugger their chances of getting a gig at Sheffield Uni...

NO SHADY ON CAMPUS: In a move that makes you put your head in your hands and weep, Sheffield University have purged Eminem, on the grounds of "homophobia." The latest NME reports that the student radio station has been barred from playing any of his records, while the student paper has been barred from reviewing Em's output. No word yet on CD burnings, but we'll keep you posted. Ironically, the Union LGB society apparently thinks the ban is preposterous. We haven't had as much fun since student unions in the 80's attempted to ban Blur gigs because of their naked Hippo-back woman sleeve...
Quick! Ban the Barenaked Ladies - stop the demeaning name from sullying the halls...

Tuesday, January 30, 2001

RUBY RETURNS: Another "where the hell have you been, then?" return, as Ruby returns after four years not doing much. Led by ex-Silverfisher Lesley Rankine, Ruby made that there Tiny Meat track about little willies, and are just all-round excellent. Lesley's left Seattle and moved back to Britain, and the new website has that so-zeitgeisty toy of the 21C, a 'remix the tracks for yourself' slot. Hoo-bleedin'-rah. Now all we need is something from Kevin Sheilds, other than the sound of him honking in the background of a Primal Scream party. Oh, yeah, the band have pitched up on Martin Carr's Wichita Recordings label, which seems to be where the best bits of the Creation diaspora are making their homes.
Ruby website. Go on, mix it

LIVIN' IT UP WHEN I'M GOIN' DOWN: Following a drunken bet that went wrong, Rosie Wilby, long-term favourite and woman of Ormskirk, is finding herself having to cover Aerosmith's Love In An Elevator in Stoke Newington's Due South. Which we would pay large cash sums for an MP3 of. And while we're on the subject, there's free Wilby stuff available on covermount CDs coming with the next issues of Breakthru and Rock and Reel.
Wilby - Queen of the sparkly parka scene

Monday, January 29, 2001

THEY'LL BE MAKING US PAY FOR WATER NEXT: Napster announces plans to levy membership fee, then. Not clear yet if this is good news for Metallica, or just really, really good news for other peer to peer file sharing platfroms.
BBC News reports - yeah, but this still won't allow record companies a raking-off percentage, will it?
Wired News: 70% said they'd pay a subscription fee - yeah, right; the only thing holding people back from paying for Napster downloads in the past was they just didn't know who to make the cheques out to...

Sunday, January 28, 2001

AS THE STARS GO OUT: They've just played Dubstar on Music Choice, and a tear almost formed in my cold, hard cynical eye. Only almost, somehow I dont think they'd want me to be sat here crying quietly to myself. Someday, I'd like to have the cash to establish a kind of petting-zoo record label - one which was dedicated to collecting the bands that splinter in the face of a record deal that gets terminated. For less than the cost of two Robbie Williams videos, it'd probably be enough to set up a label that won't function as a career-building organisation (not that Island et al do that these days anyway) but would provide the money for records to be made, with a guarantee that they'd actually be released at the end of it. Until then, we'll just have to watch bands like Dubstar head crumbling off, shuffling towards New Deal interviews and a lifetime of saying "No, seriously, I've got a copy of the album we made upstairs somewhere..."

Saturday, January 27, 2001

VH1-2: Although as a half hour of telly, Morrissey (The more you ignore me...) followed by The Cure (Love Cats), Silver Sun (Too Much Too Little Too Late), Cast (I'm so lonely), Stereo MCs (Connected), The The (Beaten Generation) and Hurricane Numbver One (Only The Sun and Mail Will Survive) may be an interesting and not altogether unpleasant prospect, this - at 10 this morning - was the make-up of MTV2's Alternative Music Television, a self-proclaimed showcase for "the best new videos." If this is the vanguard, god help us for the rest of the year.

HIP -OPERA: The phrase may be being used for that woman out of Destiny's Child making a rap Carmen (Malcolm McClaren will be spinning in his grave), but never mind that, its already here in the form of the truly extraoridnary Lina. If you haven't heard the incredible Playa no more, you really should - the sort of vocal gymnastic leaping that Mariah Carey or Whitney actually think they're doing, and proving that singing for the sake of it can work. Pity about the cringe-summoning fuck-mime in the video, though.

ROCK CHICK: One of the great joys of the tabloids is the way they manage to apply a veneer of fame to almost anyone. This week, some posh bint who's been dropped by some over-privileged aristocrat was languishing under "Rock Chick Dumped" headlines. Turns out she was a session singer who appeared on Murray 'brother of Giles off Buffy' Head's One Night In Bangkok single back when Chess was the new rock and roll - i.e before the phrase "the new rock and roll" had been coined. Anyone seen any more obscure clinging to the running board of celebrity?
CORRECTION: Turns out you really shouldn't believe what you read in the tabloids - the 1NIB she appeared on wasn't even that one. Um, hanging out with Cradle of Filth and appearing in porn movies that like to pretend they ain't, that'd be nearer: - nope, still none the wiser...

CD RIP-OFF "SHOCK": Its an ongoing moan, but now the European Commission is set to investigate the cost of CDs. It's pretty well acknowledged that the shiny bits of plastic are considerably more expensive than in America - where the prices are already under investigation - and the ridiculous price was established when CDs were introduced, at the expense of consumers and artists. Expect lots of high profile bleating from record labels about how much it costs to develop an artist, and so on. Then wave your napster-grilled CDRs at them, and laugh. And ask them how many careers they actually bother to develop nowadays anyway. And everything. And wonder how come CDs are still clearly overpriced in a year's time. (Go look in Virign at their constant, never ending deals - this isn;t over-stock or anything, everything will still be bringing in a profit...)

Woodbine - Neskwik
PJ Harvey - Nina In Ecstacy 2 (rediscovered obscure classic)
Caroline Alexander - Fake the Blame
and the new, not really working Loose Ends live in front of a studio audience - where Paul Daniels is currently available

Friday, January 26, 2001

REALLY, ADAM?: Adam Rickitt, still being descirbed as "Corrie Hunk" in the tabloids, despite not having set foot in Weatherfield since Ena's hairnet's last outing, has admitted that his singles were pretty shitty. Yeah, Adam, we kind of spotted that. What's the point in fessing up now, then? Can this be an attempt to reposition yourself in the market now that the pecs are starting to droop a bit, by any chance? Surely not...

Thursday, January 25, 2001

BIAFRA BAN UPHELD: A San Francisco Superior Court has upheld the jury decision last year which found Jello Biafra guilty of defrauding the rest of the Dead Kennedys, firmly adding Biafra to the Morrisey List of popstars who've ripped off their mates. Biafra, Morrissey, Tony Hadley - now there's the makings of an interesting dinner party. Cash and ownership of the DK's recordings now reverts to the rest of the band from Alternative Tentacles, with the prospect of rare and unreleased stuff, much digital remastering (oh, yeah, we so need the crystal sound on a punk classic, don't we?) and so on to come.
Music 365 reports - don't any drummers check what the deal is when they're signing contracts?
Alternative Tentacles webpage - proudly drawing parallels between the Police bringing a case against the Crucifucks, and a punk band suing one of their own...

STAR RAPPED: The BBC been forced to tighten its cross-promotion rules following complaints from IPC over onair promos for Star and Eve. Star, the teenie Hello-clone launched a few months back, has come in for a particular heckling. Live & Kicking, the dwindling BBC1 Saturday morning strand which is reduced to trying to excite viewers by offering the Wet and Messy prospect of Katy Hill getting gunged, has been instructed to alter its Star segment, to prevent "confusion" between the magazine and the slot. And how, we wonder, could anyone think that a slot that used the name, masthead and visual styling of the magazine could ever be mistaken for a promo.
MediaGuardian report - thank god nobody reads Live & Kicking magazine...

IT WAS THE MUSIC WHAT MADE ME DO IT: Unpleasant story, unpleasant ending, as parents of a girl murdered and then necrophiliated attempt to blame... Slayer, of course. In perhaps the nastiest case of grieving parents seeking to hold musicians responsible for other people's actions, the parents of Elyse Pahler have launched a civil action against the band and their label, claiming they bear some of the responsibility for her death. The band and Sony records are claiming First Ammendment.'s first Slayer story in three years - "the craziness to turn professional" defence again, then, eh?
Meanwhile, in the UK, Eminem's role as bogeyman number one has been shored up by a coroner, who descibed Marsh's references to death as "a bit off." Delivering a verdict of suicide in the case of the death of a 17 year old man from Devon, Coroner Hamish Turner noted the suicide note had been written under a copy of the lyrics of Rock Bottom. "It struck me as pretty miserable stuff. [Suicide David Hurcombe] was obviously a bit affected by this."
Because, like, there's no way he'd have been listening to the music because he was depressed, right? - NME helpfully provides click throughs so that you, too, can buy the music that killed the man...

SIMIAN PERCUSSIVE NONESENSE: Monkey Steals The Drum are about to release a single on Shifty Disco called 'Injured birds' which sort of sounds like a pussy cat's idea of a sweet gift. You really should think about buying it. Oh, and this comes from their mailout:
This show also coincides with the release of our second single 'Injured Birds' under Oxford based label 'Shifty Disco.' The first 20 people through the doors at this particular show will receive a free 'Shifty Disco' promo
CD, and will get straight to the bar with minimum hassle.

MSTD website
Lomax website

CLARIFICATION, THEN: EMI have issued a statement denying that Louise has been dropped. Why, they're even about to release a Greatest Hit album. That's not at all sounding like a contractual obligation thing, then...
NME report - and if that's not enough there'll probably be a live album, and a rarities collection...

Wednesday, January 24, 2001

IN A WORLD WHERE YOU CAN FORGET ASKING IF A BLOKE WHO'S GIVEN YOU A MILLION QUID FOR A PASSPORT, MAYBE THIS ISN'T SO FARFETCHED: Both Ocean Colour Scene and Shed Seven have told the NME they didn't know that there was any sort of problem with Nestle products, following outpourings of tut last week when they were found to have accepted offers to appear on a chocolate bar related promotion. Personally, we're quite fond of the Nescafe speciality coffees and butter Polos, and aren't entirely sure that forcing Nestle to divest its sub saharan baby milk interests would actually make much of a difference, but we wouldn't accept sponsorship cash from Nestle 'cause it'd fuck people off. So, nul points to Cast, OCS and Shed Seven for presentation, then. Not for the first time. While OCS and Shed 7 tracks have been pulled from the Aero-branded CD, fans of the faded britpop bands who also want to register their support for the Swiss Multinational will be pleased to hear virtually identical CDs are currently available on packets of Nestle Golden and Cinnamon Grahams. Oh, and while the whole country may be pissing themselves at Cast et al trying to claim they didn't spot the baby milk action campaigns, look to your own laurrels - last year James, OCS and Shed Seven all appeared on CDs that came with Crosse & Blackwell Snack Stops. And nobody said a dicky bird.*
baby milk action - You sure you've not heard about this, Rick Witter?
nestle - Food for life. Unless you're a sub-Saharan African baby, of course...

Tuesday, January 23, 2001

FAVOURITE FALLEN IDOL: Lousie appears in the last Melody Maker poster special sharing a drink with Brian Molko. Less than a month later, she's dropped by her record company. Coincidence? We think not.

OOH, MANSON, GET YOU: Marilyn 'look, eyeliner, look, cold meats' Manson has arrived in the UK, which would be almost the dullest thing to mention were it not for the reaction of our old friend, the bonkers jesus people who spent all day camped outside the Manchester Evening News Arena in order to (i) pray for his soul; (ii) tell him they loved him and (iii) give him a Christian rock CD - the last of which seems to be a bit heavy in punishment for a bit of light godmocking. Talking to, protestor Dennis Wriggley said that they knew Manson was going to be mocking god during his show because they'd all read about him avidly in the pop press. (Sadly, there's clearly not enough Christians left in the country to keep Melody Maker and Select going.) Right, so that's not a second-hand viewpoint, then.
Mansonwatch: MM has also visited a (gosh) fetish club, clad outrageously in, um, a cowboy hat. So far, no portents of impending evil have been recorded in the country.
Hey, kids, don't spit at bibles... - thank god he's not read the autobiography...

NEW MANICS GO ALL NEW LABOUR: The NME is offering a chance to hear the new Manic Street Preachers single
'so why so sad', eh?
it's sleeper attempting to recreate the Spector wall of sound with medium density fibreboard. Sounding like a band so desperate for a new direction, they'd follow an egg wagon along a country lane. is saying "not what we expected" - in the sense, presumably, that the manics have never done 'pleasant but vacuous' before.

Monday, January 22, 2001

ALAN McGEE "QUITE GOOD" SHOCK: Yes, shockingly, Alan's Poptones Radio 4 show - confusingly on XFM - is pretty good. Alan and his slapstick sidekick fill the airwaves with stuff, displaying better taste than on his currently recurring picks for MTV2, which is a bit Melody Maker nurock heavy. They even gave repeated plays to the mighty TLC after getting complaints the first time they played them. Downside: Only on for an hour, on up against Peel, and, erm, shouldn't XFM be this eclectic all the time?
X FM - available online and also to 4.5 million houses through Sky Digital Channel 924

HATFULL OF HOLLOW: He may not be rolling on the floor of a hospital after all, but on the evidence of the GREAT BIG HAT worn by Alan Ant on I heart 1981 on Saturday, he may have already torn his hair out. A great edition of the nostalgiafest, with Kim Wilde saying she was jealous of Clare Grogan, Clare admitting she stole her kid sister's clothes for Top of the Pops, Toyah speculating on how she could have been singing about thunder in the mountains while Shakin' Stevens "was singing about a door" and John Taylor still looking as dream-flake filled as ever. What we learned was: Kim Wilde thought the outfit she worse in The Second Time video was like "bondage" - which would make the inflatable on Cheggers Plays Pop some sort of dungeon; David Jason is a good sport, finding time to pop in to do some voicing for Dangermouse and that nobody had the sense to send Miranda Sawyer a Valentines Card. Disturbingly, the I Heart slot next week has got Holocaust Day memorial programming in it, offering the worrying prospect of Jamie Theakston muttering "What was all that about? That Hitler was a right nutter..."

Friday, January 19, 2001

DO YOU GET MATERNITY RIGHTS IN A POP GROUP?: Last Thursday, Kerry Katona was trilling away to the Liverpool Echo about how - like The Spice Girls - she was planning on returning to work with Atomic Kitten after she'd given birth to the spawn of the devil Westlife baby she's currently impregnated with. Yesterday, it was announced that she was leaving the band and - in a move not unlike inviting Miss Boo onto the management team - one of the surplus members of Precious will be taking her place. New Kitten will be Jenny Frost, a "friend of Prince Andrew", apparently. Not since The Three Degrees had their career buggered by being labelled Charles Windsor's favourite act has there been such a dismal trio/royal crossover.
Music365 reports - "the bubbly scouser hopes for a career in TV" - so, erm, why won't you return to your old job?

Thursday, January 18, 2001

REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL: Kristen Hersh is coming back to Britain, and theres a whole new album.
Pixies Bsides compilation album thingy
Ladytron out on tour supporting Soulwax
Hilary Wood's black hair

HMM, THE PHRASE "SUDDENLY AVAILABLE" RESONATES: Nicole Appleton and Kate "what was all that about?" Thornton are at the forefront of BBC3, it seems, doing a travel series set in Canada. Looks like BBC is going to be the BBC's version of Canada itself - clean, fresh, hugely expensive, difficult to get into and not that far from something similar but more succesful. Aimed at 16-34 year olds, the channel is going to have lots of exciting new content like, ahem, This Life and They Think Its All Legover. Oh.
Media Guardian: Whats on BBC3 On the Hour news? Now, if that *was* Chris Morris...
"A cross between Thelma and Louise and Priscilla, Queen of the Desert" - okay, so which one is the bloke dressed up as a woman?
BBC4 - now, that sounds more like it...
New C-BBC channels - "The Rolling Newsround Network" - why not go the whole hog and let Kate take over BBC Parliament

Tuesday, January 16, 2001

Coldplay ('Parachutes' )
Radiohead ('Kid A')
Robbie Williams ('Sing When You're Winning')
Craig David ('Born To Do It')
David Gray ('Lost Songs')

Setting the tone for a crap collection of nominations, I'd guess I'd have to plump for Kid A as the lesser of the evil, evil list - certainly giving Coldplay an award would only encourage another twelve months of grey-faced indie whine. And I'd like to hear Davina McCall or whoever say "Radiohead *could* have been with us tonight, but they're not, they're hiidng in a cupboard upstairs..."
Best guess: Robbie Williams, I'm afraid.

Fatboy Slim
Craig David
Artful Dodger

Moloko should pick this up, since Fatboy Bus' album was so slim (hahahahaha) it wasn't true. The likely winner, though, will be Craig David...

PJ Harvey

Dido? What the fuck for? All she did in the Uk last year was provide a single verse for a US artist's hit, and, erm, thats it. PJ Harvey gets the XR&R vote, but the Brit awards people will probably give Sade the award for services to Overcoming Heroin

All Saints

Toploader? Surely some mistake. Moloko are probably just too quirky (read: good) to get the win they deserve, so put your money on All Saints. ("We're sorry they couldn't all be here tonight, but they can't stand the sight of each other...")

Badly Drawn Boy
Robbie Williams
Fatboy Slim
David Gray
Craig David

We fear it'll be Robbie, though it should be BDB...

Kylie Minogue
Jill Scott
Britney Spears

By any rating, its got to go to Britney, hasn't it? Hasn't it?

Savage Garden

I may well go and kill myself now. Its not often you can say "I hope its the Corrs" and mean it. I'm guessing Wetlife will get it though...

Ricky Martin
Wyclef Jean
Ronan Keating

Wyclef Jean is incredibly straight, isn't he? He likes women. Not boys. That wouldn't be like him at all, oh no, not at all... Eminem may lose votes because of him being, apparently, a gay-killing murderer - he locked his girlfriend up in a trunk and drove off a bridge, you know. He must have, because he said so. Ronan or Sisqo may carry it off...

Jill Scott
Lene Marlin

Pink? Lene Marlin? Didn't htey baggage carrousel their careers? "Hello... byeee..." Kelis *should* win, if there was any morality in the world, but chances are it'll be pisslife again...


Atomic Kitten
Point Break
Richard Blackwood

Blackwood? Fuck off. How can a man who has such little talent, if police found it on him they wouldn't even bother to caution him, keep getting these accolades? Lolly? A1 have it in the bag, but Atomic Kitten are our choice...

Badly Drawn Boy
Death In Vegas

DEATH IN VEGAS, of course... Toploader aren't even indie, no matter how you shag their mothers, but will probably get the award to put on their mantlepeice, next to the latest Readers Digest and that model airplane they never got a chance to finish last year, what with it being so crazy...

Craig David
DJ Luck & MC Neat
Sweet Female Attitude
MJ Cole

Craig David will already be working on his acceptance speech here - the words "I shagged her up the bum on Thursday. Twice." will be included. Sweet Female Attitude *should* get it...

Artful Dodger
Oxide & Neutrino

Chicane? They worked with bloody Bryan Adams, for christ sake... Artful Dodger, maybe. or perhaps this'll be the one they give to Sonique...

Little Voice
American Beauty
Billy Elliot
The Beach
The Virgin Suicides

The Virgin Suicides was the best Soundtrack - as in, worked best for the movie it accompanied - but the best album surely would have to be Little Voice? Dont you think?