Friday, March 22, 2002

SIX. AGAIN: Just when you're raving about six to your friends, and they're enjoying a live Manics performance, the network sticks on Sting live and friends make excuses and leave. Anyway... another small grip is they don't appear to be archiving Mark Sutherland's pieces, which is a shame, so we've fished today's off the site and bring it you, here, now, forever:
Another Jubilee, and still Johnny Rotten won't let it lie. Yup, the Sex Pistols are reforming and God Save The Queen is being re-released - but is the (ahem) 'fascist regime' of Her Majesty quaking in her boots? Frankly, 'one' doubts it.
Because, while 25 years ago Rotten and company did an excellent job of making the monarchy look like an out-dated anachronism, this time round, the boot would appear to be on the other foot. For a start, an incredible two million people have apparently applied for tickets to Liz's Jubilee concerts.
Will applications for the Pistols' bash be even a tenth of that? Will the charts have to be fixed this time around to keep God Save The Queen off the top spot? Almost certainly not - but that's hardly the point.
At the time, criticising the Royal Family seemed like a genuinely insurrectionary act, and respect to the Pistols for that. As well as for making one of the best albums of all time and spearheading officially the planet's most thrilling rock'n'roll movement.
But, whatever your views on Republicanism, hanging around still banging on about it 25 years later is like flogging a patch of ground where a dead horse used to be and makes the Pistols, rather than the House of Windsor, look like the irrelevant institution desperately in need of moving on.
We've even got a new Sex Pistols - So Solid Crew - at large in the land. They may not be about to make the 2002 equivalent of God Save The Queen, but the sad fact is that Rotten - who, significantly, slagged the Crew off recently - now actually NEEDS the Queen to stay on the throne in order to prolong his pantomime dame routine for a few more years.
If he was honest, he wouldn't re-release God Save The Queen but a remixed version of the Pistols' debut single - retitled Monarchy In The UK.
Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?

NP on 6: Sheila Na Gig - Polly Harvey

STOP YOUR GOBBING: Someone from the Mean Fiddler uberorganisation keeps popping up on six, bemoaning that the So Solids have been dropped from the Homelands bill. Um... but it's you who've dropped them, isn't it? Typical of the Fiddler to try and have it both ways, simultaneously caving in to ver Plod's demands that the Crew don't play, while complaining about it. Choose a line and go with it, don't keep floating about wailing "it's not fair." If you really believe that putting SSC on is the right thing to do, then put them on. If you think it isn't, then don't, and shut the fuck up. If the police then want to take more formal steps to stop the band from being on the bill, then that would be up to them - and it would provide us with a pretty interesting test case, too: how can police happily take money off football clubs for the role they play ensuring no nasties get smuggled into grounds if they're now saying they can't keep guns and violence out of Homelands? Or can they only guarantee no violence at events where no violence is expected?
Oh, and Mean Fiddler blokey - so you "got to see the Sex Pistols", did you? Presumably at a venue that didn't buckle under police pressure.
I think some of SSC are thuggish, and others are coat-tailing on this bad boy image; but I don't think that alone is any reason for people who want to put them on should be forced not to. Clear?

Thursday, March 21, 2002

TIED TO THE 80s: As news reaches us that Adam Ant has "pulled out" of the 80s revival tour planned for later this year, it reminds us that earlier this week there was a story which really did sum up how far Oasis have tumbled. Ant-replacing Hadley was in a scuffle with Liam backstage at a Travis gig, apparently - because Liam was having a pop at Hadley. Time was Oasis strode around having a crack at the biggest bands. Now, they're tugging the ears of bands who - in their own words - really are down to laundromat. Next week: Noel has bitch fight with Carol decker.
Ananova reports - "Tony? Got anything on at the moment? Really?"

NOT QUITE AS CHARMING: The London Evening Standard is reporting that Isaac "son of Bryan" Ferry has been suspended from Eton:
"The son of rock star Bryan Ferry has been suspended from Eton after sending a hate mail to an anti-hunting campaigner.
Keen huntsman Isaac Ferry, 16, fired off an offensive message to Simon Wild, who runs a wildlife rescue service and badger protection group.
It read: "You are a f***ing looser [sic]. Why don't you stop waisting [sic] your time and get a real job/hobby,you c***?"
Mr Wild, of West Sussex Wildlife Protection Group, lodged complaints with the police and Eton, w here fees are £18,000 a year. He said: "The email was very upsetting both to me and my family."
A spokesman for Isaac's father, Roxy Music frontman Bryan, said: "I can confirm that Isaac has been suspended from Eton." Teachers at Eton were said to be "deeply shocked" by the incident."

So they should be - you pay all that money for an education and that's the quality of the hate mail they come up with? Jesus. Of course, the closest thing that Isaac Hayes has to a real job is fannying about on a catwalk, and his hobby consists of ripping up animals, so it's not like he's a spoiled wanker or anything, is it?

NO, REALLY, THIS WEEK IS THE LAST TIME...: Cross-posted, cross-dressed, and cross, cross, cross. It's what the pop papers say:
This week, the New Statesman has considered Slipknot. Careful to avoid a right wing style kneejerk "bad", instead they approach the band from a different angle - why do the kids like this? Unfortunately, the staggers decides that their success is because teenagers feel disaffected and like society has nothing to offer them, which is plain wrong. Firstly, you can't make a blanket statement like that without balancing the rise of the godbotherers like Creed and POD; secondly, because teens will go and watch men make themselves sick by licking dead crows doesn't mean they feel alienated from normal society - how many punks who screamed "No future" in 1977 now work for pension providers? - merely that Slipknot are providing a gross-out freakshow to fill the time before growing up. Sure, a few people run away to join the circus, but most return to everyday life when the big top leaves town...

A letter in Q condemns Tim Burgess for suggesting he had not much of a future when, actually, he was working in the post room at the chemical works which was the only employer in the area. Yeah, Tim - a crappy, poorly paid job in one of the most dangerous factories in the country, forever. You'd never had it so good...

system of a down are on the cover of nme. beard. fuck off...

news has the story that the new oasis album is going to be called Heathen Chemistry. There's a sample of just how acute Noel Gallagher's lyrics are, too: "I'm smoking all my stash/ burning all my cash." Cunt, cunt, cunt...

badly drawn boy has lost the hat because it made him a target of violence - see, sometimes, the threat of violence does work; Gareth Gates has hit back at Marilyn Mans... oh, I really can't be arsed; it's like a war between Portugal and Albania; James Dean Bradfield likes the Vines, and will let us know who else he likes as soon as his PA has told him; Ant & Dec want to record the England 2002 single - perhaps an updated version of something from their back catalogue: Our Defence Sucks, maybe?; Fear Factory have split up - no, seriously, in the last week...

gossip with no name: girl singer cheating on boyfriend, while she's successful again and he... does anyone really need this much kylie detail? ok; rock singer uncertain of band comeback, now going to make porn instead; group's management hiring counsellors to help them now they're being dropped...

"NME asks: Are so solid crew being victimised?" Yes, dammit, bands should be free to smash girl's jaws in, wave guns at traffic wardens, hold shows which become lightning rods for violence and murder without being interfered with. Stop the liberal white hand wringing, nme, and face it - so solid have talked up - and walked - the bad boy thugs with guns image, and now, as they've sew-solid, they're reaping. The nme suggests that because they're multi-racial and entrepreneurial they're great role models (yeah, because you want your bands to be Lord Hanson in khaki pants, don't you?).
Some of their defenders still try to talk of the so-solids being "unlucky" - presumably, as in "Whoops, we've shouted our mouths off about being Gangstas, made videos glorying in violence and waved guns at traffic wardens. Again."...

on bands: down - five beards; ,stereo total - long-upped french/german duo (with a lady woman, and everything) and heron - some sort of singing milkman...

america lets starsailor in; they get mistaken for models, and americans apparently take them far more seriously than british fans...

larry from hundred reasons chooses ten tracks for a cd, includes 'rock with you' by Michael Jackson...

I normally would never advise anyone to bother buying the nme, especially to see a picture of Fran Healy, but the image which accompanies the Travis interview, but Healy is wearing fucking dungarees. He looks like a man who's had a disappointment at a Play School audition. Jesus. Then he says: "Regardless of whether you like us or not, at the moment, we're defining you..." You think, Fran? You think the gnats make the nation; the glint of the sun off a mailbox is the crux of Route 66; the slight scratch of the label as you pull them on is the essence of the pair of jeans? You're an irritant, but you don't define us - we don't need to hate you, you're not worth it. The screaming of a million tormented souls keeps us awake at night, 'Why does it always rain on me' merely makes us turn to another radio station. Don't flatter yourself...

What is system of a down's mission? NME thinks its all confused, and fucked up, and mysterious. BSN thinks its: identify gullible kids. take their money. shave. get slots presenting on NPR...

albums: thirty odd foot of grunts - clarity ("el vez forming Del Amitri", 2); desparecidos - read music/speak english ("cooler than the alaskan vines". 7); gomez - in our gun ("agreeable; difficult to love", 7); richard hell - time ("misfiring talent shines brightly", 6)...

sotw: the mars volta - tremulant ("huge and swirling"); wsotw: chineseburn - shhh dont tell a soul ("makes the only fools and horses theme sound sexy")...

live - peaches in london ("fashion may be fickle, but its got nothing on this lady"); QOTSA in LA ("this band *are* rock'n'roll") and shack ("beautifully shambolic") and the coral ("scooby doo meets 'crazy horses') in Liverpool...

fuck me, as if Virgin's V events weren't bad enough, Virgin Trains are putting on a mini-festival - insert your own "we apologise for the cancellation of Paul Weller's credibility" type joke here...

anyway, that's the nme. wooo.

nme reviews in full on their site, of course

Wednesday, March 20, 2002

so sunday was only one set of bands in the ballroom. no chairs. at least this time I'd had more sleep...

we got there later this time. we missed black dice, but heard saccharine trust while we were getting food. from what I heard I was glad we hadn't made the effort to get there any earlier.

so we went in towards the beginning of the dead c's set. not bad.. until the singer opened his mouth. before he did they were like a more coherent version of the jackie o. motherfuckers (guitars, feedback, noise stuff) but the singer sounded like he was torturing cats in front of the mic. luckily he didn't "sing" very much.

we grabbed a space against the wall and settled in. next up was peaches. holy fuck. she was so fucking cool. she had, like, a giant overhead projector set up and she had brought an artist to draw stuff that appeared on the blank screen behind her while she was singing. it was totally cool. the artist had also brought transparencies already drawn. at one point peaches was standing up on a platform at the back of the stage and the artist put up a drawing of a boxing ring around her. and then put boxing gloves on her hands. during another song she drew a las vegas showgirl style headress on her. she would draw pictures of women with fangs, women aging.. all sorts of stuff. she also brought black cutouts of people having sex in all sorts of combinations to put up during another song. she said this was only the second time they'd performed like that, but I think they should do it every time. I'm totally buying her cd.

next was mike watt's secondmen. they were awesome when mike watt was singing. when the guitarist was.. not so awesome.

everybody pushed forward for stereolab, so we couldn't see anything and stayed sitting on the floor. they sounded cool, though. and played my favorite song of theirs.

and finally, sonic youth. at this point helena and I (nayla stayed home to work on a paper) were so tired from everything that we only stayed for about a half hour. but it was cool. I hope I can see them again when I can be more enthusiastic. I did like what I heard and I'm planning on getting some of their stuff.

AT LAST, IT'S ALL TOMORROWS PARTIES USA: I've been threatening to bring Becky Bamboo's reviews to the BSN site forever, and been thinking in terms of giving her a page. But instead, I've got loads of them sitting on the scrapbook. So, in order to keep up-to-date, I'm using XRRF to bring you: Becky at ATP:
I wanted a good seat for big star and wilco, so we
went to UCLA right at 4 when the first bands went on. luckily they were both playing in the royce theater which has seats. nice padded seats. we settled in 7th row center and began our long vigil.

first guy up was chris lee. nice. fairly forgettable.

then.. deerhoof. lord. the guitarist played about as well as I do (i.e. not at all), the drummer looked like he was having a seizure (at one point he was actually kicking the bass drum), the little keyboard thingie was fine, but the singer couldn't stay in tune. at all. what was merely embarrassingly painful then became hilarious when all of a sudden the singer began screaming like some cut-rate yoko ono. she kept trying to pace the front of the stage but her mic cord was getting caught on the monitors. I was laughing so hard I had to slide down in my seat so everyone wouldn't see me.

next up was destroy all monsters. they started setting up all these bizarre instruments. they had a mannequin torso with a guitar neck coming out of the chest, a set of legs with a saxophone mouthpiece coming out of one foot and a trumpet mouthpiece out of the other, a head and torso with a pipe coming out of the top of the head, and what looked like a giant plastic squeezable bok choy. no, I'm not making this up. the drum set looked like the guy from rush's and then they brought out a scooby doo blanket and set out a bunch of rubber duckies and other sqeeze toys. and what looked like 4 junior high science teachers were hooking up what a telephone switchboard thingie. needless to say we were *very* expectant. I theorized that after the buildup with all the instruments anything other than a set of abba covers was bound to be a disappointment. and indeed, the first song was. so much so that after about a minute or two I fell asleep (in my defense I had gotten up at 5:30 that morning after 3 hours sleep to drive 400 miles to see this shit). the first song went on for about 20 minutes. they'd used up all their time setting up so their next song was their last. it consisted of 3 minutes of the drummer beating a bass drum and yellin about the bruins getting their asses kicked. it featured the immortal phrase "ass-crackin'", which is now my new favorite. do I need to mention that once again (after I woke up) I was laughing hysterically? no? okay. they didn't even get a chance to play any of the funky instruments. some different science teacher came out and played the rubber duckies as they were packing everything up, though. so we did get that.

then califone. I can't decide if I really, really liked them or if I was just so relieved to have actual, decent music up there. I stayed awake during their set, so that's something.

then came some slideshow/guitar feedback/voice sampling thing that would've been much more appropriate as an installation in a museum of modern art. I managed a good 20 minute nap.

next up were the jackie o. motherfuckers. we had high hopes for this band, figuring it was a kickass name, so they were probably awesome. er, wrong yet again. tuneless mumbo-jumbo. after 2 minutes I fell asleep. have I mentioned how happy I was we had comfy seats?

then came papa m who I kept comparing to m ward. and since I absolutely love m ward, papa m didn't impress me all that much. I did enjoy his set, though, and managed to stay awake.

FINALLY. big star. mmm... I got chills. no, really. they just kicked so much ass. as soon as the lights went down the audience was on their feet. everyone was really into it. they played mostly stuff from the first 2 albums. but they did 'I am the cosmos' so I was happy.

at this point helena and nayla took off for the other venue to see aphex twin. as they left the guy next to me said there was a huge line and they probably wouldn't get in. so I wasn't surprised when they came back 10 minutes later. I felt so bad cos aphex twin was basically the whole reason why they came.

wilco came out and started with a new song. there was another new one and 2 from summerteeth, but the rest were from YHF. they only got to play for about anhour. I was a little disappointed, but nayla and helena loved them. so that was good.

Tuesday, March 19, 2002

THIRTY MINUTE PARTY PEOPLE: Moderately amusing guardian piece today, ringing round to find out how much it would cost for various stars to do a birthday party show. Best bit is either that Dannii Minogue comes in at three Bucks Fizzes (which is only one more than there actually is), or that her agent is so desperate for bookings, he calls Dannii direct. Oh, and that he can't recall any of his own talent's songs.
How much for Kylie? - Don't bother with the Rolling Stones. They don't do corporates. Apart from themselves, of course.

Monday, March 18, 2002

SO LONG, THEN...: Saturday's business pages of the Guardian were reporting that a whole slew of second-string acts on EMI labels will be among the 1,000 lay-offs announced this week. Anyone's guess who can go - if Carey gets shipped off, it's clear the axe could swing wholesale. But I'd imagine Williams and Minogue will sleep soundly. Lousie, perhaps (though she's been in abeyance for ages, hasn't she?). Rico, Spiller, Ed Harcourt, MoSoildGold and Relish are probably starting to circle adverts in the Guardian from the Chrysalis line-up. Over at Food, Matthew Jay and Idlewild should both be safe, if Food itself can remain in the new, tightened belt world of EMI. Over at Virgin, you've got to fancy Blue for being sent back to work McDonalds. Apparently, they're webcasting a statement (EMI, Blue) at their website this week. Roll up and place your bets now...
EMI group - bye bye bands...