Saturday, February 01, 2003

Doesn't that bite your butt?

The Insane Clown Posse... they always seemed like they were the exact opposite of The Housemartins. And, indeed they were. The Housemartins claimed to be Christians, and weren't. Now, the ICP are outed - they seemed to be anti-christs, but... they were fish fingers all along.


You ain't never seen the rage of a Canadian. Frustrated by Bruce Springsteen's pulling of a Winnipeg gig "because there'd be no time to get the stage to Ottawa", the good citizens of that place are intending to hurl eggs at the Boss' convoy as it drives past.

We're just a little confused as to how Bruce's people could have managed to arrange a gig without realising that they had no time to make the logistics work in the first place. Surely they're not that inexperienced, are they?
But, yes. Egg on Bruce's face.

Kyla and Sarah's Big Day Out

bsn's answer to Tegan and Sara risk life, limb and anti-capitalist purity to see PJ, the Vines et al...

before we get too far, we'd like to have a whinge. since when did the big day out become so damn commercial? no, really, when? when we first started going to the big day out, it was an indie kid's haven: lovely indie, goth and punk kids everywhere; lots of quality music; freedom to do what one wanted, and just a great, fun day out. this year, it was an excruciatingly commerical event. we didn't go last year because the line up was shite, but if the event was anything like this year's, we're not sorry we missed it. it has gone from indie kid haven to land of the trendies. while we were lining up to get in the gates, there was a group of punky girls behind us, with torn tartan clothing, many body piercings, and political slogans written on their clothing and body in permanent marker. to the left of us, there was a group of avril lavigne-type girls: prissy blonde hair; short tartan skirts from supre; ties, and doc martens. one of the avril lavigne girls turns to her friend, and says, "wow, look at those girls. they've, like, written on themselves! that is SO cool!!" it was hard to decide whether to be amused or horrified. once in the gates, however, it became clear we should be horrified. very horrified. trendies EVERYWHERE. one girl who particularly caught our collective eye was a girl wearing a pair of designer pants; a boob tube, and a pair of those trendy platform flip flop things. also, during augie march, there were a couple of girls standing next to us [AND TALKING REALLY FUCKING LOUDLY] who were dressed from head to toe in roxy. wearing flip flops. like, hello? this isn't the beach or the shopping mall. it's the bloody big day out. you wear comfortable clothes that you're not scared to get dirty and smelly. not designer clothes. pffft.

also, we've never seen such blatant advertising in our lives. seriously, it was disgusting. other than the bands, there was nothing indie about it. it was haven for the trendies and big companies. there was justin timberlake wannabes with water spray things advertising levis, and people dressed up as sperm advertising saturn condoms [although that latter one was somewhat amusing]. and carnival rides. carnival rides at the big day out. feesh...

but, on to the bands... we'll start with augie march, because they were the first band we watched the whole set of. they were on the jjj essential stage, so we had to move around from the main arena to watch them. sarah had never heard anyhing by them before, and was happily converted by their wonderful lovely perfomance. thankfully, they played mostly songs from their debut album, 'sunset studies', which was good for kyla as she STILL hasn't been able to afford to get their new album, 'strange bird'. they played 'sunset studies'; 'the hole in your roof'; 'the good gardener'; another song from 'sunset studies' that kyla couldn't name because she seldom reads the track list, and a few songs from the new album, including a really twangy, foot stomping track that they closed with [we think it was, possibly, called 'strange bird']. and were wonderful, despite many technical difficulties including crackling speakery things, and a really shit sound techie who couldn't balance the sounds correctly. and they were funny. as ever. actually, we were surprised by the large number of people who turned out to watch augie march, as we'd previously believed them to be a band that only kyla had heard of.

the vines were the next band we watched for the whole set. we made a drunk blonde friend during the band on the orange stage before them, millencolin [who were quite shite, might we add]. he came out of the mosh, nearly passed out and fell on us about fifty times, and we had to save him from falling over and getting trampled for most of millencolin. then he disappeared into the mosh. also, during millencolin, sarah nearly got into fights with two guys who were considerably larger than her. the mosh was full of trendies who clearly didn't understand mosh ettiquette, and we were about ready to kill every single one of them. also, there were a bunch of stick figure trendy girls in flip flops who obviously didn't grasp the concept of a mosh. so we let them through, only to watch them try to push their way out about ten minutes later. yes, we are cruel, but damn it was funny.

but back to the vines... craig was wearing a pretty ordinary pair of jeans that were broken at the back and a greenish t-shirt. he wears jeans well, though. his hair was lovely and shiney, but clearly unbrushed, as it stuck up at the back and spent most of the set covering his pretty little face. and he's tiny. we'd never realised this before. mm. but lovely... anyway, about half way through their first song, sarah pointed out that craig had come on stage with a wet patch on his crotch. this we found greatly amusing. his antics are nothing less than weird. he lasted about three songs before he felt the need to smash up a guitar, and then he smashed up a guitar after nearly every song to follow. at some stage, he put a cigarrette in his mouth to light it, then realised he had to sing, thus opening his mouth and dropping the cigarette. he had various objects thrown at him from the crowd, but failed to notice. he nearly ran into the bass player on a number of occasions; fell into the drum kit, and nearly knackered himself when he attempted to do a morrissey and lay singing across the speakers. and then he decided to just lay over the speaker with his arse in the air. but that is what made the performance immensely cool. he's a nutter, and he makes faces when he sings. and when he speaks. and you can't understand what he's saying when he's speaking, just as you can't understand what he's saying when he's singing. and he didn't even look drunk or stoned! just... normal. it was bizarre. but totally cool. they departed playing 'get free', and craig smashed up the drums and the amps before making his way off stage.

pj harvey, then. we caught the last part of the living end so we could get a good spot, and then had to sit through the shite queens of the stone age performance. polly was wearing an interesting combo. kyla thinks it may have been suede, but sarah thinks it may have been corduroy. it was a brown hot pants/vesty thing combo, which was covered with shiney ornamentations and such. she wore a pair of knee lace up boots, and her hair was in ringlets. she was wearing much lipstick, of course, and looked immensely lovely. she is also tiny. we always knew this, but were shocked at exactly how tiny she was. she opened with 'to bring you my love', and played songs from all her albums, but most of them came from 'stories from the city, stories from the sea' and 'the four track demos'. there was a boy that looked like a girl standing next to kyla, and behind sarah was this stupid drunk cow who kept screaming, "peeee-jaaaay! peee-jaaay haaarvey! peee-jaaay rocks!" and hitting us in the head. [every time she hit kyla, she thought she'd hit sarah, and would give sarah a rather rough rub on the head and go, "SORRRYYYYYY!"] she was quite irritating. after pj had finished her set, she stood there for about five minutes screaming, "sheeeeeela-na-gig! play sheela-na-gig! sheeeeela! peee-jaay roooocks!"

sick of being treated like crap by teenies and drunks, sarah and kyla made the wise decision to leave after pj harvey's set, before the foo fighters came on and we got either crushed or into a fight.

cool things collected at the big day included: sarah's authentic 1980s depeche mode badge [it made her day]; the smiths badges; the vines and pj harvey t-shirts; sunburn; much dirt, and a cool chinaman hat, which was lost during millencolin when a drunk moron decided he was going to try and crowd surf when he wasn't in the mosh. moron.
the end.

Friday, January 31, 2003

Franklin less than frank

They're having trouble getting Aretha Franklin to talk about the fire in her house - even though she's not suspected of doing anything wrong. An investigation into the razing of her USD1.6m home found that accelerant had been used in three places in the building. They're now having to subpoeana reet to get her to talk.

Tittle-tattle sheet

MediaGuardian has got hold of a dummy copy of Richard 'Wanko' Desmond's new Evening Mail - intended to be given away to commuters at London Stations, assuming any survive the journey on the underground - and leaving aside that it looks like some harrassed designer has been trying to approximate the feel of a loss making Shropshire weekly paper from the 70's, the most curious thing is the fake story on the front - that the west end loves Madonna (or "please like us, celebrity" begs newspaper publisher) and a frankly puzzling fascination with the Cheeky Girls.

So, not only can we cope with snow better than the capital, but us lot in the provinces can take pride that we're smarter than the apparent average Londoner.

Gwen Steffani is a bag

Well, sort of. She's launching a range of handbags and wallets as a prelude to bringing out a whole load of clothes in her, um, distinctive style. The stuff is marked with "Gwen's favourite words" (music, angel, baby, love and lamb, apparently rather than gwen, gwen, gwen and gwen).

Blues in C

No Rock has always had a lot of time for Mel C - or The Only One That Could Sing Spice. We like her cause she tried to talk about things other than "my new clothing line"/ "my footballer boyfriend"/ "my me me", and cheerfully admitted that she didn't really know very much about, say, homelessness so was only talking about her impressions.

We didn't like it that she got it so much in the neck for 'If That Were Me', where she tried to imagine the unimaginable; if Geri had decided to have dealt with homelessness, she'd have been prancing about under Waterloo Bridge in a bra top and hotpants spouting half-confused statistics, wouldn't she?

Anyway, Mel has told Marie Claire about being depressed - not, you'll note, written two volumes of autobiography about it. And we love her even more.

Hidey hidey

Curiously for a man whose profile is so low he's even more obscure than some bloke off that bemusing hairdressing thing on E4, Andrew WK apparently feels the need to hide away to record a second album. Presumably he's afraid that pro-lifers might campaign outside if they knew where he was - after all, the first one was a terrible abortion of sound, wasn't it?

Grinning goths flog flights

Lastminute's mail out this week is subject lined (we were going to say "subjected" but that seems equally wrong) 'It's friday we're in love'. Surely Martha Lane Fox isn't a closet Cure fan, is she?

Missing person report

We've been contacted by Aaron, who is as disappointed as we are that the overhaul at six music has left Sean Hughes without a show. He wondered what Sean's up to now. We don't know - do you? Email us with sightings.

Thursday, January 30, 2003

But this doesn't make any difference, Pete

"Pete Townshend says he can prove he isn't a paedophile" announced six music news, subtly ignoring the important fact that you can't - as Baghdad may or may not be demonstrating - prove a negative. Of course, what Pete's website actually says is that he believes he can now prove that he wrote to the Internet Watch Foundation last year. This is insignificant - firstly, his initial contact is claimed for August 2002, well after the first arrests of kiddie porn users were being announced, and years after he claims he started downloading child porn.

More importantly, Pete Townshend isn't being accused by anybody of being a paedophile; the criminal act in question is of downloading child porn. He's admitted himself he paid to see child porn - there's room for debate over his motives, and if what he looked at should be illegal - but lets not pretend that telling the police you've stolen some fags means that you haven't broken the law.

Resurrection shuffle

Yes, its great that 6Music have revived Roundtable, and its wonderful that Andrew Collins is in charge... but couldn't they have really given us what we want, and given us Collins and Maconie's Hit Parade instead?

He's only just realised?

Interesting piece on Tommy Mottola, ousted head of Sony Records and ousted husband of Mariah Carey. You'll recall he was going to set up a record label? Well, guess what - it's going to be a full service affair, where the artists will sign away a portion of all earnings, not just their recorded music earnings. It's unclear if acts will also have to have sex with Mottola, like Carey did, of course.

In a hole

You have to enjoy the wriggling sight of AOL Time Warner posting a USD100bn loss. Or, as they might need to get used to it, USD0.1tn.

Ted Turner's resigned to concentrate on "philanthropic" endeavours - well, he's clearly now an expert at running a not for profit operation, isn't he? But what's especially curious is that the real drain - Connie and her AOL division - are losing the organisation cash while Warners Music bit is actually making money. If you can square this with the 'internet costing record labels profits' argument, we'd love to hear from you.

Doing it, inevitably, for the kids

Pop princess (TM) Kylie popped into a hospital for sick kiddies - no S Club Junior gags please - to cheer them up at the weekend. Isn't she, to quote Mr Wonder, lovely? Undercover reports that Kylie's Dad is suffering from "prostrate cancer" - which we presume is one that lays you out?

Never mind how much you got for your soul, what's the going rate for artistic credibility?

Chrissie Hynde is doing vocal work for Fifty Odd Foot of Grunts, the sub-dogstar "side project" for brawling actor Russell Crowe. Worse, they're suggesting 50OFOG might support the Pretenders on their next US tour. Although I spose that'll give Pretenders fans a few extra minutes to sort out the babysitter and find a place to park the SUV.

Wednesday, January 29, 2003

Gay men - your time has come

The Eurovision Song Contest faces the axe because there isn't enough cash in Latvia to mount the festival. Although how cancelling it will help, we're not sure - as if there's no winner in 2003, surely it'll have to be held in the country of the winner of the last contest - which would be Latvia. Maybe they should just ask Ireland to hold it again. Or just get the Gay People to pass round the hat. I'm sure the pink pound could save the Contest yet.

What the pop papers say: Sniff the edge of war edition

WHAT THE POP PAPERS SAY: Sniff the edge of war edition
Both Wired and, in its Digital Special Report, The Economist have latched on to why the Big Record Labels are probably onto a loser fighting copying on domestic machines - that Sony Inc is not going to ruin the chances of its Electronics Division flogging CD Burners by allowing its music division to disable them. The harsh fact, of course, is that Sony bought the music industry because it wanted stuff to be available for its CD players - it wasn't so much interested in the profits afforded by having a slice of Creation, but in the money it could generate by getting Creation buyers out to buy its machines. So, when the bosses of the labels whine about all the people downloading, and ripping, and sharing, *their* bosses smile a little smile and turn their curve up higher. Sure, the few pence from a Robbie Williams album would be nice, but the dollars from the MP3 Walkman are better.

Private Eye has had a really interesting correspondence - telling a tale of an album released over a decade ago; it's a concept album about a rockstar whose career - forged in writing rock operas - hits the skids. He consoles himself by plugging in to a futuristic sounding network which allows people all over the globe to communicate with each other, and strikes up a relationship with a twelve year old girl. The girl turns out to be a journalist who publishes details of this latter day Humbert Humbert's daliance. Yet it turns out in the end it was all a publicity stunt by the musician all along. The writer of this work of fiction? Um, Pete Townshend.

On the same subject, in the same title, the Celeb strip (how did they let it be ruined by the recent Harry Enfield series?) works well:
Gary Bloke: Bloody Internet - I wish I'd never heard of it. This latest stuff people are saying about me... it's stupefying... I've been called all sorts of things in the past but never *this* before. I mean, to me, the abuse of children is just totally incomprehensible... and the fact is, I need to research it so I can make sense of it in my own mind as a victim myself... [checks computer screen] ... like what does 'minging' mean? Some kid's called me that on my website..."

The nme, then, has, um, Kelly Osbourne - who Dotmusic rightly file under 'pop' - promising "the most kick-ass interview you'll read this year" - presumably gambling that anyone who's interested in KO is hugely unlikely to attempt to read anything more challenging than a Kelly read anyway. We shall see.

Page three and four news apparently thinks that The NME Awards Tour is the most important thing in the world, finding space to mention the cringe-making intrusion of supposed capatain of alt-rock at Radio One Colin Murray coming on stage dressed as a bloody parrot.

In actual news: Polly Harvey plays new stuff in Australia ; Australian press slam Vines for being "not very good" at Big Day Out - "Craig seemed completely oblivious to even being onstage", apparently - can anyone calculate how many elephant tranqs that must have taken?; Billy Corgan is going to wear a wig and appear in a film - my, his life is glorious; Coldplay dedicate song to "the most beautiful woman in the world" - somehow, Gwyneth Paltrow got the idea that they meant her; Eve is currently developing a sitcom which is going to "draw on her real-life" - "one of my friends that will be with me every second of the day is gay... I know a lot of people haven't seen me in a comedic light" she concludes, correctly. Even more so with the belief that Having A Gay Friend is going to be funny in itself; Ash had to call in an exorcist to generate publicity for their forthcoming documentally ("exorcise the ghosts of 29 people from the film set"); Kim Howells - having had a pop at rappers and modern artists - finally hits the spot by having a go at Robbie Williams; Adidas have cashed-in on the death of Jam Master Jay by releasing a special plimsole ("cashed in on the death of Jam Master Jay by releasing a special trainer"); Tupac narrates the film of his own life story - which, seeing as he's dead at the end of it, really is a twist to make American Beauty look hackneyed; Damon Albarn attempts to raise interest in the New Blur by dropping hints about the replacement for Coxon - "a guitarist from a well known band from the North of England"; the NME tries to get interested, but really, it's no "member of a cult chart-topping 80's pop act", is it?; Courtney Love cites Kelly Osbourne as an inspiration for her own album - presumably in that seeing the bar has been lowered has allowed her to knock out any old shite knowing it'll be lapped up; Har Mar Superstar - NME says "superstar of the moment"; "writes dirty songs for J-Lo" - well, he has, but they came back with a polite rejection letter - we say Andrew WK03; Fatboy Slim won't host another Big beach Boutique - doubtless he's afraid it might finish off the West Pier once and for all; the BBC have made a documentary about the Appletons - jesus, the BBC will give money for any old pile of shite that shuffles up, won't they? There's an organisation whose quality control has gone right out the window*; Tom Morello and Serj Tankian have created which is a one size fits all style protest group

The Faint burn a CD in easyinternetcafe baiting defiance of the rules, man - choosing to include Fugazi, The Beat, The Cure and Beethoven...

Token New Band: Junior Senior. "We wanna make something new like Wham Meets Motown" - so, that would be covers of Love Machine, then.

From The 'It seemed a good idea when we trailed it, so we'd better run with this now' file comes... drummers are the new lead singers. Because there's, um, Dave Grohl and... um... they can't even fill a double page spread having to top it up with "outrageous things pop stars have said." John lennon said the Beatles were more popular than Jesus, you know.

50 Cent was stabbed by Ja Rule. Fascinating.

Good Charlotte. Ah, they're Christian Rock, and they think The Strokes are irrelevant. I wouldn't mind testing the strength of Billy's faith, mind.

Dashboard Confessional - apparently inspiring to legions of emo-to-punk fans. Dull as Mandelson in pro-war mode in interview, though.

"If the only thing kids can say about me is that I'm fat, then I've got it pretty fucking easy" brazens Kelly Osbourne. The funny thing is, you know, I've seen a lot of criticism of KO, and none of it has been because she's fat - probably because she isn't, is she? The criticism is more of "You're a talentless chancer who has hustled a supporting role in a ridiculously over-rated 'reality' TV show who's trying to simultaneously walk the role of a rock rebel when you're relying totally on Daddy AND pocketing all the cash you can get your fingers into from any old mass-market crap and the likes of Pepsi." The accompanying photo shoot cruelly adds an extra layer to this - by running nine pictures on one page, we now also have "and you only have one facial expression - fucking gormless", too. So, is this fair criticism? Well... yes. She wanted to call the album Buy Me; the label insisted on Shut Up. Even her rock rebellion is being plotted by men in suits.

reviews - albums
nick cave and the bad seeds - nocturama - "what the Velvet Underground would have sounded like if they'd been psychopaths", 8
johnny marr and the healers - boomslang - "you expect more... this leaves you feeling cheated", 5
asian dub foundation - enemy of the enemy - "the musical equivalent of a blue touchpaper being lit", 7

sotw - the datsuns - harmonic generator - "referencing 70's rock that referenced the 50's"
justin timberlake - cry me a river - "a waterfall of tears"
good charlotte - lifestyles of the rich and famous - "[like] if you're a pensioner, Mega City Four"

interpol - detroit - "paul pulls off his gothy sound without sounding like a vampire-obsessed dullard"
dashboard confessional - London Metro - This Ruined Puzzle is "like the complete scripts of Dawson's Creek compressed into one song"
The 20-20s - London Dublin Castle - "taking the new US blue(s)print and redrawing it afresh"

shamefully, a long overdue piece on Disabled access at venues is shoved to the back (maybe they were trying to make an ironic point?) and only appears because someone - apparently Scope - paid

and finally, there's an advert for the Placebo tour. The new look might take a spot of adjustment...

*- a rare in-joke. Sorry.

You could have one-thousandth of a war for that

If you had to piss away three million quid as quickly as possible - perhaps if your life suddenly turned into a real version of Brewster's Millions - you could do worse than spend the cash trying to advertise Virgin Radio.

The BBC spoof Radio Active used to bill itself as 'Britain's First National Local Radio Station'; with its ever-changing breakfast show "star presenters" (now Pete Mitchell and Geoff Lloyd - who they?), quality AM network with confusing non-standard frequency across the whole of the country, a music format that's been pissed about with so many times it's now apparently chasing that elusive audience who value Pink and, erm, Queen, Virgin is clearly the second.

Jesus, it must be great, to be Kate

There are a couple of curious things about this Ananova story - Kate Lawler admits she snogged Blue singer; firstly - "I broke off a relationship because, um, the boy was attractive to women" just doesn't ring true, does it?; secondly, I'm hugely pleased that it took me ages to remember who Kate Lawler actually was. She was in Big Brother last year. So, nobody, then.

Take that, you bustards

It's almost certainly doomed, but you've got to love Kazaa's countersuit against record labels - the crux of which is "You're trying to put us out of business, but you haven't given us the opportunity to offer legal downloads." Let's not pretend, though, a legitimate Kazaa would work (remember when Napster had its conversion?) but it's probably worth a try.
[Thanks for the pointer to Kellie]

What goes ha-ha-bonk?

Remember the 80's reporting that Killing Joke are back in the studio, with a new album and a one hundred date tour - one hundred of the things - written on Jaz Coleman's Puppy Love 2003 Calendar in pencil.

Aguilera: No, please like me

I wonder if anyone mentioned to Christina that playing G-A-Y isn't a mark of approval from the left field audience, it's merely a staging post on the long, twisting path from Famous Person to Camp Icon. And, we should stress, we're using camp here in its proper sense here, of "tragically unaware of their own tragedy." After all, the coming attractions at the night include such extinguished luminaries as Appleton and Lisa Stansfield.

We've been mulling for a while, by the way, just how Christina has been able to get away with calling herself Xtina for so long without anyone waving for a foul. After all, using "X" for "Christ" is long established practice in Latin - hence, of course, Xmas - but is Ms Aguilera really comparing herself to Christ? Really?

Tuesday, January 28, 2003

Another video marathon

It's been a while since No Rock last sat and watched the video channels - some new ones have come on stream, so fuelled by Kahula-flavoured coffee, we swallow hard and grab the remote:
MTV - Nick Carter - Help Me
The vj (they don’t call them that anymore, do they?) makes a lame joke about “being stuck at the back of a queue in McDonalds”) - Nick shouldn’t worry - a few more lame ass tracks like this, and he’ll be right in front of the queue. Right in front of the customers.

MTV Hits - Zoe Birkett - treat me like a lady
“Tonight, Matthew (um, Davina) I’m going to be Janet Jackson.” Zoe clearly thinks she’s having fun so we should all, too. The trouble is, she’s neither nasty nor fastidious enough to be Ms Jackson, so you just get her bouncing about in a cheap gold top to a not-very-good anthem wannabe. The real end result of the Popstars/Academy stranglehold on pop is that we now get a procession of acts who still behave like they’re auditioning on a rainy Sunday afternoon along with six thousand other people. There’s no star quality, as all they have to be good at is talent shows.

sadly, the advert for T-mobile has more imagination lavished on it than Zoe’s “career” - machines not working getting smashed up. Violorific. MTV channels seem to be showing a lot more commercials these days - probably because they don’t get as much from Sky per viewer as they used to. And then when the long ad break ends, there’s ads-dressed-as-programmes in the form of plugs for MTv related tours.

Eventually, we get
Avril Lavigne - Sk8r Boi
“He was a boy, she was a girl - can i make it any clearer than that?” Only in a world where Limp Bizkit pass for metal could this Tiffany retread ever be mistaken for punk, or punkish, or punkette. The end - a hired helicopter pretends to be the police coming to break up the impromptu street ‘gig’ - deserves to be stored in some sort of hall of infamy...

VH1 - elton john - sorry seems to be the hardest word
It’s the 100 greatest men day today. mercifully, this at least isn’t the version with Blue on; just elton in some scary shoulder pads, looking rather sad. Then, at six...

u2 - beautiful day
It is a mark of how low ambition is at VH1 that they can’t think of a better way to fill time than day after day of spurious Top 100s; that they can’t think of a better U2 track than beautiful day; that they can’t think of five men better than Bono. Jesus, there’s three in the phrase “The rest of U2”, for Christ’s sake.

VH1 Classic - elvis costello - she
How does elvis choose which cover versions to record? Do you suppose he just gets out the Guiness Book of British Hit Singles and a pin? The trouble is, see, Elvis has a careworn voice, and matching it up with a downbeat tune sucks the life and joy out of a room so much that calling on Satan won’t help - he won’t come to you, the room is that bleak. Next time, someone get him to do Put On A Happy Face.

Actually, what I was saying about MTV channels getting very advert heavy? Not in MTV2’s case. Indeed, you’d have to have your wits about you to realise that the channel went commercial about a year ago. Like a whorehouse called the Camilla Parker Brothel, no matter how attractive they try and make themselves, nobody seems to want to take the opportunity afforded by MTV2 to get their message across to the largest group of disaffected male youths 18 - 34 offered outside of Kerranng. You’d have thought that a soap company might want to run three minutes of “If you want a real girlfriend, try fucking washing” advert. Good Charlotte turn up. What is this - Avril Lavigne’s younger brothers?

MTV Base - eminem - lose yourself
This you know, of course. I’m going to have to flip because the “music, the movement” bit is one of those hooks that sinks into my head like fishbait and will never leave

MTV Dance
No, sorry, I’m not waiting half my life for the ads to finish. Especially when they’re doing competitions like “what is the day after today called?”

This is the ‘new’ MTV channel created for Freeview - basically trying to cram all the MTV channels into one slot, they’ve come up with the plan of trying to pretend there’s a natural progression of music through the day - so kids watch at breakfast, and they’ll show S Club Juniors; then it’s older audiences during the day, then more kids, and so on until midnight when it’s just smelly perverts and they’ll show S Club Juniors. The trouble is, of course, that people watching Music Video Channels during the day tend not have the sort of life that requires any progression - nobody who gawps at MTV Dance at two in the afternoon is expecting kids back home in an hour, or a partner back in three, or anyone to call, ever, until the guy they stole their last ounce off finds out where they live.
And TMF - The Music Factory - is the sort of shit name that bright eyed Squarial-pushers BSB used to give to channels. And look what happened to them.

Madonna - Don’ Tell Me
Maddy, we wouldn’t bother. If you think this sort of drum-hum will do, you’re clearly not listening to anybody anyway.

The Box - J Lo and LL Cool J - all i have
No, J, no no no - don’t do that thing where you half close your eyes and pout at the camera - it’s not sultry, it makes you look like you’re having a little hissy fit. It’s curious pairing LL Cool J with J-Lo - presumably LL’s interest in butts has given them common ground. Unfortunately, this is one of those times when Jennifer wants to sing rather than do the trilly little thing that makes Aint It Funny so perfect pop perky. There is a bit where she looks at her mobile phone which is displaying “LL Calling” - which seems to be an odd way to program your (video) boyfriend’s details in, don’t you think? I’m trying to imagine them having sex together; him grunting “Oh, LL is there” and her rasping “You’re pleasing the management...”

Kiss - Justin Timberlake - Cry Me A River
Justin’s wearing an anorak for much of this video - clearly, having tried desperately to interest the gay audience, he’s now making a bid for the trainspotters, the ramblers, and the bus number collectors. The non-threatening but ultimately meaningless track - not, sadly, that Cry me A River - suggests this as well.

Smash Hits TV - Darius - Colourblind
Magic are doing At The Movies - again. The reliance of the EMAP stations on theme weeks (Kiss are doing Eminem week; SH it’s Pink week) is something curious - does anyone really rush home with a spring in their step thinking “Magic are showing some pop videos of songs featured on the soundtrack of movies” - which, thanks to the delights of cross-media ownership, could be virtually any bloody song anyway. In this case, Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes Up Where We Belong. Which is, of course,a sign to...

Q - Sugababes - Stronger
This was, of course, a double a-side with the Powerpuff Girls track, wasn’t it? Back in the day when double a sides did, indeed, have two sides, the existence of two lead songs suggested the band, faced with a choice between two excellent pieces of music, really didn’t want to condemn something that they felt to be genius to B-side status. Nowadays, two lead tracks just means they hope that the inclusion of two titles may make up for the fact that neither are strong enough to be worth the effort on their own.
Even if you didn’t know, you’d be able to spot the Atomic Kittenette in this video, wouldn’t you?

Kerrang -
They’re running down their Top 10 Most selected. Liam Lynch is described as “fantastically sarcastic”, which seems to be letting him off way too lightly
Bowling For Soup - Bitch Song
One day, one of these nu-rock acts will discover a sense of humour and record an album called “Here Are The Old Men”

Chart Show TV - The Prodigy - Smack My Bitch Up
They say its the album chart, but god alone knows what album might be in the chart with this on it. And the fact its the uncut version of the video - fucking, tits and arses at teatime - suggests that maybe someone at TCSTV has made a bit of mistake. It’s a woman all along - betcha didn’t see that coming.
The Proge video has butts and breasts, and it’s followed by Craig David, thereby raising the very real possibility of a punchline involving “cunt” of some sort.

The Hits - Jurgen Vries - Brave New World
It’s Charlotte Church all along - betcha didn’t see that coming. Thing is, everyone seems to be so amazed that Charlotte Church has made a not-opera record that nobody has actually noticed that its not very good. The singing doesn’t exactly stretch her talent any; and even if it did, the mix is so horrible you wouldn’t be able to tell.
The Hits is EMAP’s answer to TMF, of course, but at least lets the viewers choose the tracks to save the need for tortuous programming nonesense.

P-Rock - 4 Foot Fingers - something or other
Another new-ish channel; this is a bit punkier than the other rock channels, which means that it tends to wind up playing an awful lot of very low budget videos indeed; like an open access channel with singing, or Iraqi Tv when it’s broadcasting tributes to Saddam. The other problem is that most of its playlist comprises of not very good punk bands. Seriously, we’ve never made it through long enough to find out if they show commercials or not.

Classic FM TV - Vannessa Mae
Of course its Vanessa Bloody Mae. The Tatu its okay to like, of course. Then she takes her final bow, and Bobby McFerrin comes on. Hes got a lot less irritating since Dont Worry Be Happy. Not enough to be forgiven, but at least he’s heading in the right direction.

The sausage machine

You might remember a few weeks ago we mentioned - in passing - the apparent size of Ronan Keating's erection in a pop video. We're delighted, then, to have been cited on Bulge Report - and, you know, they're right - we did have no idea that Ronan's penis was already a hot topic of public debate.

With all the frothing

We hugely recomend you visit Google Images and run a search on Tatu.

Adding to her long list of crimes against rock

The duck face toy; the nanny calling the police; now - Kelly Flogs Pepsi [Real] - are you really sure she's rock and roll?


We're a little curious as to how the court has decided that Easyinternet "allowed" customers to download copyrighted music - for a precise USD8.16.

Did the BPI have evidence that Easyinternet encouraged customers to download the material? Did it prove that Easyinternet knew what was being downloaded? Not from what we can see on the reports. We think the judgement is flawed - if Easy had indeed been suggesting to its customers "give us a quid, and take home a Craig David", we could see the BPI's point. Instead, it looks like they've not been able to kick the people they want, so they've gone for an easy target instead.

COTTON TOPS DALY: For the first time in recorded history - well, in a while - the BBC have reached parity with ITV on the Saturday morning front. Also a 17% share of available audience for both is hardly Swap Shop meets Tiswas in ratings clash terms.

WE ARE RESIGNING: Tatu are number one in the midweeks.
Jesus, what's wrong with Britain? If you want schoolgirl lesbian porn without the need to go to a shop and buy schoolgirl lesbian porn, why not order some through the Internet?
You find yourself wondering if they're taking credit card details of everyone who buys Tatu, don't you?

They know what they're doing, I guess

But any magazine outside of the Richard Desmond stable that chooses the name Wink deserves everything they get.

There is no antidote

Good news for people who (i) have some money and (ii) really like music, as Snakebite City Eleven is ready for you to have delivered to your home. Then you can put on its wonderful collection of hideously-beautiful pop bands (Ex Rental, Vic Twenty, Deadbeat Radicals, Motormark), slip yourself into a jump-suit made out of bubble wrap, and roll around your house in pure joy.

Wrist or neck

The Coral have had to rearrange their tour dates because Lee Southall has developed tendonitis - in his neck, says nme, but the official site reports his injury is in his wrist. Now then, what could a young boy be doing to develop a wrist condition that happens when you make repeated, rapid movements?

Far from Ja-Panning

No Rock is delighted to welcome Phillip Scowen, who went to see the Manics this Sunday at Tokyo Bay NK Hall:
So we take the train out on a Sunday afternoon past the commuter tower blocks, the docks, factories and warehouses into Chiba, the prefecture east of Tokyo, towards Disneyland. It's a chilly, bright winter afternoon. From the train we see the odd baseball ground, cropped grass burnt dry and yellow by the winter sunshine.

We spend an hour or so wandering the aisles of the Carrefour hypermarket in Makuhari and then get the train back ten minutes or so to Maihama. From there it's a five minute shuttle bus ride to Disneyland, and the NK Hall is next to Mickey's pad.

It's my first time at this opulent modern arena (maybe 4-5000 capacity). The standing area stage front is sold out, but a few tickets are available upstairs in the arc of seats. We're up there in a nice position with an unrestricted view. It's dark and chilly, unusual for a modern Tokyo building.

Gigs start much earlier here, especially on Sunday. Doors open at 4.30 and support act Kururi come on an hour later to the sounds of Les Voix Bulgares.
They're a Japanese indie quartet who I've seen a couple of times on Viewsic (a Japanese music channel). The singer's a modest, engaging chap who introduces the band and says it's the first time he's been out here to Tokyo Bay, how he enjoyed riding the monorail and how he could see the staff of Ratworld (as he calls it) milling around smoking near the entrance of Goofy's gaff. The music veers from lengthy post-rock workouts to anthemic mid-paced rockers. It doesn't do a lot for me, although I like the way they huddle together on the stage, probably keeping warm, and I'm taken with the lead axeman's Flying V. The guys finish with with their best song, redolent of Going Blank Again-era Ride. Guitars slash and choruses soar, my kind of thing.

The Manics pre-arrival tape gives us gems like "Ceremony", "Lazyitis" and "Bank Robber" and I get another Kirin beer. Then they're on, no fanfare, they kind of slink on to the stage. This is the last date of a four-show Japanese tour (you can get teeshirts with "Nagoya Fukuoka Osaka Tokyo" on the back) and they are going home tomorrow.

James sports a smart red shirt, Sean is in a hat and dwarfed by his kit, and the Wire is glorious in a skirt, vest and long thick socks pulled up way over the knee. How tall he is.

Simply, what a great band they are, and what an incendiary show they played here. I'm kicking myself for not having seen them live before this. Because this was exceptional. "Motorcycle" and "You Stole the Sun" blaze a trail before JDB gets us singing the intro to "Masses", which is awesome. "Motown Junk" is dedicated to "all those who came to see us on our early tours when we played the likes of Club Citta". I missed the absent trumpet solo on "Kevin Carter" (couldn't they find a trumpet player here to do it?) but James played it on his guitar anyway. Wire fluffs the spoken introduction to "Tsumarni" (as he puts it) but nobody minds, and JDB puts on an acoustic for a heartbreaking "Ocean Spray". "Faster" hits hard, and is for "Mr Richard Edwards", and by the final half hour of "Roses", "Everlasting", "Everything Must Go", "Tolerate", "Design" and "You Love Us", we upstairs are out of our seats and roaring along. James is sweating and puffing a bit between songs, he's giving everything, as are the other two, and the extra chaps on keyboard and percussion - they do sterling work. Mitch Ikeda is brought on before "Stay Beautiful" and talks about "beautiful eyes, so beautiful".

Throughout the show the band look so up for it - I can't believe they're planning to split up any time soon. All night James does this funny one-legged dance around the stage, just making it back to his mic in time for the choruses. Nicky does his scissor jumps and smashes his bass at the end. James ribs him about eating too many fried shrimp the night before and then says he's hungry himself. "A Design For Life" is introduced as a "traditional Welsh song about fucking" and tears the roof off. I haven't roared so much in weeks.

No encore. No need, as David Brent would say. James thanks us for being "fucking lovely", hoists the Wire on to his shoulders and carries him offstage. Incredible show.

She's come to her senses

Good news over the weekend that Britney kicked Fred Durst quickly into touch - after a single evening, apparently, suggesting that either Fred's supply of rohypnol was quickly exhausted, or else Britney said "You made like you were some bad boy rebel, but you're just a celeb-obsessed middle aged jerk in search of a career move" - which seems also to have been the opinion of many of the hardcore (snurkle) Bizkit fans.
Cheer up, Fred - if past form is anything to go by, Christina does everything Britney does, ony two months later and with her tits hanging out. Something to look forward to come Easter, then.

Monday, January 27, 2003

Fruit ripens

Good to see that Strangefruit is back to full health - although we're praying for an end to the red-on-green text.

Twat sticks

The bloke shoved into the gap between Lamacq and Lowe, Colin Murray, proved he was an even bigger dick than we thought by running on stage at a Polyphonic Spree gig dressed as a parrot. He was doing it for Born Sloppy, apparently. Well done, Murray. Not even Mark Goodier made a knob of himself in that way.

Dozier diddled

Of course, nobody would object to Lamont Dozier getting eights cent a download, as he asks for in the LA Times. But there's two points missing from his article - first: has he seen his income fall since people started "stealing" music off the internet?

And, secondly, why hasn't he stopped to ask the people he's doubtless paying large cash sums to manage his affairs why it's only in the last couple of months they've started to get round to making legitimate downloads available?

It's all very well moaning at music fans, but for the first million or so downloads of Stop In The Name of Love, there was no alternative, was there?

Arcing about dancetecture

We don't need to revisit everything Flaskaland has covered, but if you've not come across Barbara yet, it's worth spending a short while catching up with her work; it's cheerleading for intelligent music writing.

No rock and war fun

We were interested to read Anthony Easton's NYLPM piece about the Dixie Chick's new song; a heart-mushing tale of a young wife turned young widow by the death of her football hero husband in a pointless foreign war.

Is this the same Dixie Chicks who turned up yesterday to do the National Anthem at the Superbowl, watched by dozens and dozens of combat ready troops while fireworks recreated the raid over Baghdad? Interesting opening ceremony - only a few tanks short of a Soviet era May Day parade. And what was Celine Dion doing trilling about America? Um, when you say "your land", don't you mean "the country next door"?

What a terrible misunderstanding

It turns out that that bloke who's accused of stalking Britney wasn't. It was all a bit of a mix up. Indeed, why would he have been stalking - he's famous.

EMI jerked off; junk not far off?

Strange goings-on at EMI as they mull the possibility of a merger with BMG. They're threatening legal action over a broker's report which suggested investors should sell EMI stock (a record company knee-jerk calling the lawyers in? How unusual); chances are they'll be less than happy with US credit brokers Standard & Poor marking down the value of its long-term credit status to one notch above "junk."

On the other hand, they did reckon that the company was stable and not bad as an investment. The S&P mark-down may lead to the cost of loans EMI takes out to be increased.

Hello, we used to stand for something

Doubtless they'll suggest that if Sylvia Plath were alive today she'd be flogging lampshades in ironic spots for Homebase, but we're still not-quite-as-amazed-as-we-would-have-been-five-years-ago to see the Manics music being used on a commercial. And in such a Fisher-Price snap together way, too - 'Australia' advertising holidays in Australia hardly being the greatest act of inventiveness. How long before Ryvita pop up asking to use 4st 7lbs? Maybe now the Halifax is baiting the big four, NatWestMidlandBarclaysLloyds might give Howard something new to sing. This is my truth - we now accept all major credit cards.

Papers, Pleas

The mysterious missing Neptunes have been found - they've not been nominated for a Grammy because um, nobody bothered to enter them for anything. The greatest awards-related cock-up since Once More With Feeling was left off the Grammy voting slip.

The Sunday Telegraph - the world's leading rock weekly

I don't know if it ever caused him a moment's pause, but isn't there something delicious in Noel Gallagher giving an interview to the Sunday Telegraph? It's probably the last audience in the world where the tired antics of the Indie Monkeys seem in any way like a challenge to authority.

Highlights include the considered attack on Kylie ("I don't understand why people buy her fuckin' records. Because they're shit." said the Ken Tynan of our day); the entire record industry ('It's them dressing up Christina Aguilera so she looks like some fuckin' tart from fuckin' Newcastle" - yes, the only person who looks worse than Christina is the mother of your kid, Noel, with her naked in fluffy shoes Elle shoot) and much more besides.

Liam, for example, is tellingly described as "... just staring blankly 'cos he hasn't got anything to say."

He's obviously the (limited) brains behind Oasis, and you have to admire his self-belief, I suppose (grudgingly). But still - dining out on past glories with nothing left to say. It's an unedifying sight.

We hope to mention C**** P*** again

But we're just a little confused at the Sunday Times' "look! we know all the names" piece... how can a chart-topping 1980s band also be a cult band?

Foo, it's getting hot in here

Goodness from the Foo Fighters, taking time off from suggesting that HIV and Aids have nothing to do with each other, as they drop fireworks from Aussie shows and give savings to firefighters.

WHY I LOVE IT: POPJUSTICE: Who but the very justest of the pops would manage to unearth the schoolie Sophie Ellis-Bextor's school magazine contribution? Apparently putting on make-up makes her feel like Bananaman. Hmmm.

Jenny not separated from the block

No matter what you heard, Jennifer Lopez has not been killed in a car crash. It's merely a Whigfield.

Why Kelly Osbourne will never be a rock and a roll hero, part 776

Yes, she went out. Yes, she drank a little too much (we're guessing a couple of Babychams and a Idris Shandy). And yes, she was ill. So far, so rock, albeit lame. But then, who called for help? Her nanny. If Kelly Osbourne is a rock chick, then, that would make The Lost Prince the very god of hellfire. I hope the NME isn't about to run a hugely embarrassing and fawning piece about her...