Wednesday, November 13, 2002

What the pop papers say: Donkey meets shrimp edition

As if those lifetime achievement awards don't already make you feel like the Grim Reaper has invited all your friends together for your last night on earth, how creeped out must Bernie Taupin have been when he and Elton won their Music Industry Trust award last week? Music Week reports that a pre-recorded video shown to mark the occasion featured Lonnie Donegan saying "Bernie, I haven't spent enough time with you. Do pop round and say hello." Donegan had died earlier that day. Music Week also reports that, by some sort of quirk that I can't follow, Westlife's new number one isn't a new entry, but the biggest leap in chart history, from 196 last week to number one this week...

anyway, nme, what do you have for me? the strokes on the cover. Is it just me, or does Nikolai look like a second string character from the early days of Grange Hill? Not Micahel Doyle, mind, one of the goody-goody sorts, like the one who was Joseph in the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat they did?...

news starts with eminem movie sales, which is somewhat stale, isn't it? Apparently eminem is being dubbed the 'hip-hop James Dean' - isn't that Daniel Beddingfeld?; there's three pages wrung out of going backstage at a Strokes gig - the justification for the cover as well. Imagine what the nme would be like if it got fucked by Meg White - the entire issue, Bring It On and a week on would probably be given over; the nme claims that the P-Cutta album was "eerily prescient" in the light of the shooting of Jam Master Jay, despite it, erm, not mentioning anything at all about Run DMC at all' the Nirvana top 20 placed Lithium as The Best Nirvana Track Ever amongst those who could be bothered to vote; Robbie Williams is going to be beaten to death by one-legged music fans using their own prosthetics - hundreds have applied, and a special competition is to be held to choose the lucky swinger-winners. Oh, sorry, that's "will play four nights at Knebworth." Fran Healy is fed up with the music industry and wants to get away from it. The extent to which we should be celebrating this news is determined by the way he's told the nme about how fed up he is with the whole music industry circus, which is like telling a prostitute how much you hate paying for sex; Pink is using back projections of dead musicians at her current live show - you wonder if she can't be persuaded to include Robbie in there; Sharon Osbourne may be "the new Jerry Springer" - the new Christine Hamilton, more like; the Libertines imitated Tracey Corkhill and had a tongue-tied and tactless meeting with Morrissey; America has gone Jackass crazy - don't worry, American readers who aren't brain dead, we're coming to save you; the next White Stripes album is going to be called Elephant. As in a big thing in a room that nobody will mention... no, we won't do another Meg bra joke here; Man Tits Meets Shrimp as Craig Nicholls meets up with Matt Bellamy in historic hook-up...

after years, nme has abandoned On and replaced it with Hot New Band, scattering "new bands through the magazine" - while we're a little disappointed that the paper once again feels the need to change a feature name for something a little more obvious, the decision to feature more than two new acts a week is to be welcomed with a small cocktail reception and a pianist. Disturbingly, though, the new format echoes the old Melody Maker Breakers slot. Anyway, Hot New Bands this week are Mercury Tilt Switch - dundee emo; Burning Brides - Suzi Quatro meets The Strokes. Oh, hang about, there's only two. Like there were in On. Oh.

Pete from the Libertines does choose ten tracks, and they include Billie Holiday, The Smiths, The Las and the Only Ones. Can we have him to tea?...

Jarvis Cocker talks "exclusively" to the nme - presumably the longer, more interesting piece in Snug didn't count for some reason. However, his perspective on This Is Hardcore is worth the hire of the room: "Commercial suicide. It still gives me the shivers. When I look back at the period, it was pretty intense and I wasn't feeling well mentally or physically. The fact we managed to get the song out of it doesn't make it worthwhile, but there's something special about the song because of that, a weird atmosphere."...

Tenacious D. Uh, guys - this is like having Bionic Santa in your magazine...

Following on from 50 Cool People, this week's snip-and-clip piece is 100 Greatest Singles of All Time voted for by NME staff and celebrating the 50th anniversary of the singles chart, which was an nme innovation - a phrase you don't hear much these days. Ironically, a lot of the pieces about the tracks are supported by the original nme reviews. Nearly all of the reviews are longer than the current appreciations. If you need to know: Love Will Tear Us Apart - Joy Division; Smells Like Teen Spirit - Nirvana; Anarchy In The UK - Sex Pistols. Smiths in at 7 (This Charming Man); Bowie at 5 (Heroes, oddly) and Oasis? Oasis are at 8, but with Live Forever, which is at least understandable. 3D from Massive Attack (Unfinished Sympathy, 10) feels the need to point out that the video for Bittersweet Symphony was a pastiche of theirs - no shit, 3D? Hey, and the Major Tom in Ashes to Ashes (did not chart) is the same character as in Space Oddity (did not chart). From the 'are you sure?' corner - The Hives Get Free better than How Soon Is Now? and two Strokes singles. Mmmm, lucky the birthday of the chart wasn't a few weeks ago, otherwise Andrew WK would have been in there...

review: albums
missy elliott - under construction - "she's a work in progress", 8
robbie williams - escapology - "while eminem is the voice of a generation, robbie williams is just the voice of robbie williams", 3
the used - the used - "kelly osbourne's beau's band", 2
tlc - 3d - "a monster record in the Frankenstein sense", 4

singles: sotw is liam lynch - united states of whatever
suede - obsessions - "may be suede's last half-decent single"
les flames - wrong - "lets hear it for the daft punks"

live - bright eyes/desaparecidos at the cmj - "I think we're headed for somewhere even darker"
alternative 3 - hope & anchor - islington we mention this only because its got a "1st NME review" logo on it, which is another thing they've brought in from the Melody Maker. Were was that downward spiral heading again?
the electric soft parade - newcastle uni - "a crutch for those who remain hungover from britpop"

and finally: from enmail - "Gareth Gates tops the charts, but is he more important than the White Stripes?" asks Jarvis 2.0 from Polygon. Sadly, yeah, he is to most people, Jarvis 2.0

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