Wednesday, January 08, 2003

What the pop papers say

We would like to bow our heads in respect for the Beatles Monthly, which has, after forty years, ceased publication. Not because they've lost sales, nor advertising. But because they thought, after hundreds of issues, there remained nothing to say on their subject. What a perfect, wonderful editorial decision. If they'd been a dance music magazine they'd have taken the running out of things to say as a sign it was time to become a more general lifestyle magazine and start running sex surveys, of course, but they've shown us all the high ground. Although a nagging doubt remains maybe they were just scared of the prospect of having to run a Ringo obituary.

Elsehwere, there's just a single chop on the mixed grill of pop papers this week, and it's pretty thin fare as the advertising dries up in the post-Christmas market. The nme has - probably for the last time - Joe Strummer on the cover. It's a special "tribute" issue, see?

It's odd that someone who did so much manages to generate such lame tributes - Steve Jones manages to observe that "he was a big part of the whole punk movement" which is less a eulogy, more a clue on Jeopardy. Moby suggests that the Clash were so amazing and wonderful "people are often tempted to take them for granted" - yes, Moby. Is that why you think people look the other way when you enter a room, is it? You're so glorious, people have no choice but to take you for granted. Riiiight.

If you value passionate writing about music, you'll want this week's paper for Steve Sutherland's piece about Joe, his death and his life. A taste: "How come the world hasn't stopped? How come Paul Weller's still shopping for hats? I saw him only ten minutes ago trying on a trilby." A shame it takes the extinguishing of a life for the paper to find the space and a voice for such a piece.

Ms Dynamite says she'd like to run for office. Scarily, Gary Bushell is saying he'll run for London mayor if she'll be his running mate (we suspect this could be Bushell's desperate bid to disassociate himself from the support offered by the odious twats at the BNP for his mooted UK Independence party campaign); The Vines have started work on their next album - presumably by putting each other into headlocks and gentle face-slapping; The Beatings have built a studio for Kevin Shields in a bid to get him to produce their new album - is that all it took?

We'd hoped you'd have to at least stand naked in the woods muttering incantations before he'd even listen to your demo; acres of rumour boil down to this: Reading/Leeds - Audioslave, Metallica, Nickelback; T in the Park - REM, Coldplay, Travis; V2003 - Foo Fighters, Coldplay, David Gray; Glastonbury - REM, Dolly Parton; Eminem is worried he might be getting too big for his own good - the name of this sport is backlash surfing, you know; Flea from the Red Hot Chilli Peppers dressed up as santa for a gig - and no, not merely by slipping a red stocking on his cock; the Cooper Temple Clause have got a heavier, sexier new sound and slightly more hair; Starsailor's new album is taking shape in a studio - we believe it might be curling out slowly.

Soledad Brothers, they only get ten tracks, and squander their choices on The Datsuns and UTFO and Bauhaus. Actually, they don't squander them at all, do they?

New Band: Ty Cobb, BRMC-endorsed soothe-rock

The NME's Top 20 live events of 2003 doesn't appear to be hampered by the fact nothing much beyond February has been planned yet, but it does give a chance to plug NME Awrds Tour, NME Awards Shows...

Panjabi MC gets a page - so that's the Anglo Asian quota for the year filled, then; and I hope I never have to see another picture of the Faint who look like the Raelians have been mucking about with Duran Duran's sperm.

The Music suggest "Music's not about being fucking cool, is it?" which is a good one - next they'll try to tell us they're not interested in getting laid or snorting cocaine off Samantha Mumba's ass. It turns out, scarily, that the band have become penfriends with Tony Wilson. Maybe he was hoping they'd give him some money.

Oh... I get it... when Nas says he's God's son, it isn't cause he thinks he's like Jesus, its because we're all God's children. See?

In another highlight, Jack White meets Arthur Lee. They suggest its an interview, but its more Jack occasionally getting a word into the Lee stream of consciousness. Sadly, Lee comes across a slightly more bitter man than you'd have hoped. He invented punk, you know, and Hendrix and when he comes off stage, his pants are sweating, not like that Mick Jagger, whose underwear is bone dry. And so on.

reviews - albums (or LPs, as they still sometimes get called)
various - more music from 8 mile - "deliver[s] more than you've any right to expect of a second soundtrack album", 9
threnody ensemble - timbre hollow - "intelligent, sumptuous music", 8
2pac - better dayz - "time has moved on. A luxury not afforded Tupac, unfortunately", 4

sotw - the eighties matchbox b-line disaster - pyschosis safari - "indie rock horror show"
kelly osbourne - shut up - "like a pertulant Mini Pops siouxsie"
50 cent - wanksta - "hooks only big enough to hang a small coat"

starsailor - warrington parr hall - "coldplay like elongation"
audioslave - new york - "noisy passion and lumbering riffs never go out of favour"
primal scream - brixton academy - "if this was a bad night..."

on the letters page, the editor uses the word "gynophobia." Of course its Swells. The sad thing is, he doesn't really have much to get his teeth into these days - the best the mailbag can do is offer a letter that says Pink is a fat bitch with a fat arse. Which isn't, whatever you may think about Pink, true, is it?

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