Friday, November 28, 2003

WHAT THE POP PAPERS SAID: The end of an era
Unlike the snowboards down memory lane we've - ahem - enjoyed this week (as a holiday feature ("desperate stopgap") while I've been off giving thanks with the American side of my family, in case you missed the reasoning behind it, this pop papers is one that hasn't been produced with the benefit of hindsight; it's taken from the original home of WTPPS, bsn, from January 1st 2001, and covered the last Melody Maker of them all...

so, this is how it ends then - not with a band, but with a wanker. The last
edition of Melody maker has, perhaps unsurprisingly, got Fred Durst on the

we'll come to the double issues presently, but first... the guest

Louise whatusedtobeineternal appears in the nack on the cover of 19,
apparently in order to protest against the use of fur. We can only speculate
what socio-economic ills she's been against every time she's whacked 'em out
for FHM, then...

Wired finds space amongst the Sade reviews (who said the techno geek needed
help to get dressed, eh?) to report on a curious side-deal struck for the
new, non-corporate Radiohead: apparently, Capitol records struck a deal with
Napster-ape Aimster to promote Kid A. Kept quiet apparently because of EMI's
attempts to sue the arse of file-sharing applications elsewhere, but the
question remains: how much money has actually been pumped into sly promotion
for Yorke and the gang? and isn't all the stealth advertising for Kid A
somehow more insidious than the billboard-and-back page approach of, say,
the Corrs?...

Caroline Sullivan, the usually-reliable Guardian columnist, manages to piss
off both the cultural hawks and the pop kid doves by telling us how to
pronounce, erm, Dido. It rhymes with Fido, apparently...

Skittishly getting drunk on port, The Economist topped a Christmas issue
that saw it adopting the NME's habit of putting explanatory footnotes to
headlines by pointing out helpfully that thirty years of pop culture has
wound up with The Beatles band at number one in the album chart...

Desperate to fill space over Christmas (erm, 'take the pulse of the nation
at the year's end), The Independent's boxing day issue offered up a
selection of heroes and villains. Moby promised not to go into too mmuch
detail about the US elections, before giving us The Americans Can't Count
101. He picked Bono as his hero - also nominated by John Rocha. Because of
all the good work he did to promote the new U2 records (end world debt?
check facts here); Fay Weldon thought Elton John a hero because spending is
the greater good. Well, its two years since he last mawkishly song-fucked
the corpse of a member of the ruling classes, i suppose. Full marks for
honesty to Erik The Eel (some sort of not-very-good swimmer, apparently) for
choosing himself as his own hero.) "Nasty" Nick from Big Brother chose, erm,
Darren from Big Brother as a villain - "he got so much he's done so little"
whines Nick. Erm, mirror broken, is it? Tara Palmer-Tompkinson picked Buzz
Lightyear and Cruella DeVille, but in the world she lives on, they actually
do exist, so thats alright. The same issue featured obituaries of Victor
Borge, The Singing Postman and Jimmy Shand and an appreciation of Kirsty
MacColl. Now, that would be a hell of a jam session, wouldn't it?...

The first FHM of 2001 - look, Alyson Hannigan... aah... ooh... myum myum
myum... sorry, where were we? Oh, yeah, features one of the Appletons who
lives next door to Donna Air. So they pop round and strip off. Still, at
least Donna's finally done something with her hair - no more the frizzy
perm, even if straight hair makes her completely indistinguishable from the
vast majority of blonde women in bras who make up the meat and spuds of your
FHM covers. Not like flame haired willow, of course... and buffy is so much
cooler than Byker Grove...

Now that NME no longers encourages pop stars to dress up in silly outfits
(Damon as Debbie Harry, Ian Bunnyman as Dorothy from Wizard of Oz - hey,
Ian, we really should talk about that...), Smash Hits has filled the gap in
a special bonus issue. Paul from S Club 7 makes an unconvincing Gladiator,
but Atomic Kitten's ability to do Charlie's Angels is probably explained
both by the credit for "digital manipulation" and also, of course, that in
Ian McClusky (ex-OMD guy), they're used to getting dressed in skimpy
costumes and working to the diktats of a rich bloke who nobody can remember
ever having seen. Cruelly, Girl Thing are stopped on their trip back to the
DSS for long enough to dress up as Madonna. Keith and Shane Boyzone are
mocked even more, by being made to be Eminem. They can't of course. Shane
helpfully observes that there are a lot of beautiful women in the music
industry. No shit, sherlock. There are also a lot of tiny brained blokes.
Richard Blackwood cuts out the middle man by dressing as Craig David - apart
perhaps from Ronan Keating dressing as Daniel O'Donnell, could there be a
shorter journey? Erm, yes, actually, as Samantha Mumba is... Samantha Mumba
on Who Wants to be a Millionaire? Billie does the roses in the bath thing
from American Beauty. Blimey, you can see why Chris Evans wants to date her.
(Yes, because he's on the point of being kicked off Virgin now he no longer
owns it and desperately needs to raise his profile...)

Smash hits proper has its Poll Winners list - of the Five best british band,
Britney best dressed female variety. westlife win six awards, none of them
deserved. The spice girls scoop up most of the worsts, though Liam gets sad
loser of 2000 - c'mon, he excaped Patsy and now is dating an All Saint -
can't be that much of a loser...

They say 'all farewells should be sudden' - or at least Richard Ashcroft
did, and clearly it was in the case of Melody Maker, busily trailing next
week's issue and a ten part series starting in an issue it wasn't to live to
see. Could it be that someone at IPC realised that what would have been
Volume 78, Issue 1 was set to have Papa Roach on the front and yanked the
plug out before things got any worse?

In news, Toploader say they've been "lucky" - too right, mate. Go ask Donna
Air what she did to sort her hair out and come back to us and Bis promise to
be busy next year...

They ask Marilyn Manson about the American dream - he explains that he's
trying to destroy rock stardom from the inside. Well, yeah, make it any more
ridiculous and boring and you'll probably have succeeded, pal...

Always having pretended that Mr Agreeable didnt exist in the pop papers, as
it surely is his final column (not in the nme, please god, no) let's slaute
the comedy genius: Coldplay are cunts. Muse are cunts. Toploader are cunts.
Radiohead are cunts. And Eminem is a cunt. How amusing. Cunt.

Matt Belamy from Muse is challenged that re-releasing Muscle Museum was a
cash-in. He wheedles that he was in Japan when it happened. Yeah, yeah,

'Have Oasis become a joke' asks the Maker, apparently ignoring the three
covers they gave this sideshow during their last year...

Roody Womble from Idlewild quite rightly scoffs at the idea that he'd be
worried by the success of Coldplay...

Theres some sort of two page spread that tries to depict rucks in rock as a
London tube map. The sort of thing Select (sniff) used to do incredibly
well, and the Maker, um, couldn't...

Cory Taylor from Slipknot shares the tale of a girl from Australia who
emailed him offering to slash her arm open to let him fuck the wound. Ohand
apparently, he's going to have an even more scary mask made for himself.
Probably a transparent one, then. Interestingly, for a band who are supposed
to be shaking the guts of normal rules, he baulks at someone breaking a real
taboo - nominating (in a Big Brother themed feature) Gary Glitter to be
evicted. Hmmm...

Luke Haines from Black Box Recorder has no such qualms about pleasing the
Daily Mail, suggesting his perfect Xmas bash would be burning down Hamleys
during an outing of sick children...

Phew - Justine Elastica denies ever having gone out with Bob Gillespie, and
says she has no plans whatsoever for next year. Well, next album won't be
due until 2008, will it?...

More recreation of Charlies Angels - this time Sophia Ooberman, Sarah Black
Box and Manda Bis don the outfits. Its suprisingly convincing, although
Manda's kung-fu pose looks more like a member of the Salvation Army who's
left their tamborine at home...

"Evil" from the Bloodhound Gang talks about the maddest moments of 2000. Tee
hee, he went with two women from Hooters at the same time. At the same time.
There was the news, though, that Lupus pissed into Mel C's waterbottle when
they were both on TFI Friday...

Damon Gough out of Baldy Drawn Boy reveals his hat is stuck on with maggots
and mould. Yum. Not that it matters, with that beard nobody's ever gonna
want to take your hat off...

"People who don't like us are immensely strange" says Chris Coldplay. Yeah,
and people who do like you are incredibly, incredibly NORMAL. Maybe Mr.
Agrreeable had a point. He also reckons that Teenage Fanclub "do the sort of
thing we do." If anyone has access to a musicologist, or even a half-deaf 84
year old, and would like to disprove this, we'll be happy to hear...

There's an interesting 'after they were famous' feature - most shocking of
all Leon Mayer of Northern Uproar now works as a hairdresser, and looks like
Josh out of Toploader, but... erm, a sexy version. Fuck. I fancy one of
Northern Uproar. Other gems include Dave Hill out of Slade now being a
councillor, Rick Buckler from the Jam working with antiques (not so very
different from having stuck with Weller, then) and Miki Lush now subediting
Tv Times...

Two pages are spent trying to establish why Hilary Woods won the sexiets
female in Rock award - a JJ72 fan called Paul reckons the band would still
have been succesful even if she'd been a "minger." Paul is, of course,
spectacularly ugly. The editor of The Sport offers her a job in its table
dancing club. Only Tim O'Leary off Brookside actually points out that she
wouldn't stand out of a crowd...

The poster pullouts are all of Radiohead. and all from 2000. so, thats
several pictures of Thom looking grim and trying not to appear like a man
who is now able to buy the whole of the Thames Valley and fill it with

Daphne and Celeste dress up as pop stars - Celeste does eminem, daphne does
fred durst... and run for your lives, Paul Draper confirms that Chad is
still working on his solo stuff...

Gail Porter (some sort of topless model, apparently) reviews the films of
the year and manages to not say anything bad without adding a positive
'but'. She even can't bring herself to slag 'Kevin and Perry Go Large'...

Lauren Laverne does the TV of the year, happily slagging The Royle Family as
"just grim" and pointing out that media poshos sneering at council houses
isn't much of a groundbreaker. And then suggests that the rich cow who won
Millionaire should spend the cash on having her scab removed. And, in six
words, sums up the basic problem with Big Brother: "They were all such
horrible people..."

Four pages of Fred Durst, anyone? Look, he's pretending to piss on the
Christmas tree. Look, he's holding mistletoe... but giving the finger. Ah,
but don't hate him - apparently our hatred will only fuel Limp Bizkit
further, and he says he'll kiss us on the lips if he sees us...

Mark Greaney from JJ72 says the band are going to spend 2001 taking heroin
and cocaine. Sadly, he's only joking...

Albums of the year - Marshall mathers at 1, Coldplay parachutes 2; Badly
Drawn's Bewilderbeast at 3. Daphne and Celeste's 'we didn't...' comes in at
36, one place ahead of Asian Dub Foundation...

Singles of the year - Groovejet/Spiller 1; Stan/Eminem 2; Yellow/Coldplay 3
(eh?). And can anyone explain why Thong Song is at 11 and Opps I Did It
Again down at 46?...

When praised for the line "Dope, guns and fucking in the streets", Brian
Molko immodestly fails to point out that it isn't his...

Kelly Jones whines he doesn't want to be doing fireworks and screams all his
life. Well, go and work in a shitty cheese shop, you ungrateful sod...

and finally, as far as the melody maker is concerned, forever, dougie payne
is in psychobabble. He thinks his life is most like 'The Man Who Fell To
Earth" and would like lack of manners to be illegal...

Sniff. A hastily inserted A5 sheet reads "we're sorry to tell you that this
is the very final weekly issue of Melody Maker. From next week we'll merge
with NME, the world's biggest music weekly... You've been great. Stay

Talking of the NME, its got a double, too. They had the exclusive on that
Manics Cuba gig - apparently, the only place in the world where they could
charge the going rate for a gig and still be worth the money (17pence, of

On has its own top 20 records - At The Drive In at number 1, The For
Carnation at 2 and Sugababes - not Superdrag, dammit - at three with

Spiller is the On Dance single of the year, too...

NME take Muse to the Eden Project in Cornwall. Matt Belamy hates feeling
reliant on people, which is a bit of a bugger seeing as his career hangs on
the whims of several coke-addled music biz execs and a few thousand record

The Charlatans answer reader's questions - my "Tim, will you marry me"
having gone astray, we get instead to find out why he doesn't miss England -
they have Pizza Hut, Starbucks and McDonalds in America as well. Blimey,
you'll get MTV in the States next. But Tim doesn't see him taking a kiddie
to any fast food restaurant soon - "unless you count my dog."...

Norman Cook and, oh god, Anna off Big Brother (are you lot still here? what,
the bus not turned up yet?) look back over the big stories of the year.
Apparently Anna is going to cling to her worn out welcome mat to "go round
the world talking to women" for BBC TV next year. Right. Hats off to Sylvia
Patterson for pointing out to Norman that, yeah, while he may be dead in a
hundred years and so doesn't care if the human race cant last, that his son
might not be. Ah...

Doves go for a pint, and explain there's a boxer on the album cover because
its about "fighting your corner..."

Ash make the paper Christmas lunch, and more of your heroes crumble:
Charlotte believes Mo is the best thing that's ever happened to

Johnny Greenwood does, erm, an interview. Like Radiohead don't do. Hardly
ever. Lets pretend he didn't...

Eminem's mum claims that Slim and Kim's split is all some sort of twisted
media stunt... (surely not?)...

Another Coldplay interview, then. Interest us, Chris: "I'd really like it if
I didn't swear."...

Daphne and Celeste (had NME and MM already merged for this issue?) go buying
presents for people. Brian Molko gets purple nail varnish and a charm
bracelet; britney gets a bottle of virginity restorer - handy, that, she
could keep scoring seven million dollars time and again; and eminem can look
forward to unwrapping a can of penis enlarger...

nme singles of the year 1 - real slim shady/eminem; 2- yellow/coldplay; 3 -
caught out there - kellis. In the lower reaches there's a surprise mention
of saint etienne's heart failed in the back of a taxi...

albums - queens of the stone age are at number one (that'll be us going
"eh?" when it appears in 'Lest We Forget' in a couple of years); XTRMNTR at
2, and PJ Harvey's 'songs from...' at three. As ever, the NME album choices
are more interesting and debatable than the Makers, and (inevitablity) thna
its readers will be...

nme films of the year fails to find a slot for High Fidelty, but does
include Virgin suicides...

tv 2000 places Nasty Nick ahead of Jam and seems to think that awful Judy
Finnegan bra thing was in any way a great moment...

and, more or less, thats it. This edition of what the pop papers say is
dedicated to starcrossed spitfires, who will get a pint of beer each if they
can get their name on the cover of the NMEnwMMfef before next christmas...

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