Wednesday, January 28, 2004

WHAT THE POP PAPERS SAY: Snow day edition
Monday's G2 had a couple of interesting features on the crossover between music and violence. An interview with Jason Stollsteimer uncovered that the recent pasting he received at the hands of Jack White (if that is what the court decides happened) wasn't the first time he's been physically attacked by him. Apparently, one night, while Stollsteimer was sleeping, the door went and Jason went down, in his boxers, to discover Jack there. Attempted strangulation is alleged to have ensued.

Back in Britain, a visit to Lisa Maffia provides another opportunity for trudging over the still unsettled and unsettling links between the So Solid Crew and guns. "Certain people in the Crew" explains Lisa "have made mistakes, but we're actually a bunch of naive kids." While this may explain away the stage school kids getting banged up for waving guns at traffic wardens, is it really "naivety" to smash a fifteen year old girl's face because she refused to have sex, as Skat D did? And the closing of ranks behind Skat - was that an act of naivety? Lisa, to her credit, at least attempts to address his actions: "There's a reason for everybody's actions; I would never say 'so what?' if a fan was assaulted because it's not 'so what'. But once it's done, it's done. You can't stay on that for the rest of that person's life." Earlier, she'd been providing some edgy street background - ooh, people from where I live get murdered and raped - and so we can only presume that Lisa believes that when killings and rape take place, well, once that's done, it's done, too.

The surprising aspect of the report, though, lays in some backghround detail. The So Solid management team have always been very keen to disassociate the band from the guns which surround them. And yet, on the walls of their management offices, a framed cover of the Evening Standard reporting, erm, Lisa Maffia's proximity to a shooting and an NRA style pro-gun slogan (the one about how if guns are outlawed, only outlaws have guns). Curious mixed messages.

Quiz question: How is Lauren Booth, who filed a report for the New Statesman about her appearance on Richard and Judy to condemn Page Three's "crass sexism" related to Luscious Lozza, the writer for crassly sexist wank-lite magazine Front?

Elsewhere in the Staggers, Richard Cook frets over what you lose when you squeeze tracks into an iPod, saying "stick to vinyl"; oddly, Andrew Martin files a broadly similar piece, only decrying the CD. He has some extra evidence for the rubbishness of CDs, because people string CDs up in the garden to scare birds. Um, Andrew, that's probably more to do with the number of CD ROMs sent to houses by AOL than anybody deciding that their fidelty is less than acceptable.

Onto the NME, then, with the Coral all over the front, promising "the maddest interview ever." For a moment, it seemed as if a band from Liverpool might have got up enough speed to break through the "cheeky chappy laughing through their scouse tears" barrier, but... it's not to be, is it? Look at them in their wacky, wacker tennis gear. And sob.

The Big Picture is Albert Hammond Organ and Cam Muncey from Jet sharing a fag, a way of clearing the air after the recent war of words where The Strokes suggested Jet were shit and Jet suggested that The Strokes had lost all credibility. Clearly, they've both decided that they're right so the war is over.

News: the shortlist for the nme awards has been announced - mostly Radiohead; Chris Martin is attempting to bring the joy and funk of R&B to its knees by bringing his grey, grim fingers over a collaboration with Jamelia; Graham Coxon reckons staying in Blur would have killed him, and bats back claims that Damon wnats to build bridges - "if he does, why do I read about it in the NME?"

Peter Robinson takes on Jake Shears from Scissor Sisters - but the tables are turned as Jake demands to know if Peter thinks he or Eminem is sexier. Before announcing that he doesn't even have time for a wank, so he's stocking up a big load to blow when he gets back to New York. He hopes - don't they stop you taking fully loaded bollocks onto planes now in case you spunk your way into the cockpit?

More fallout from the unfortunate timing of Jimmi Lawrence's suicide co-inciding with the Live Fast Die Young poster pullout on the letters page; this week it's Mark Beaumont who attempts to mop up - apparently, the posters headlined "Live Fast Die Young" was a "celebration of the lives of a bunch of genius musicians who were snatched away from us way too soon." Which, again, may have been how it intended to come across, but the whole "Live fast - die young" packaging doesn't really point in the direction, does it?

Keane are the radar band: when they play, cows gravitate towards the studio. Clever beasts, cows.

Rob harvey and Phil Jordan of The Music loves the Zutons.

So, what is the Coral's worldview? It's very wonky - Blair's a good bloke because "how can he tell Bush to fuck off" (erm, because without the support of Britain the US would have at least been forced to admit they were going it totally alone) "At least Blair sticks up for what he's into" (education, education, education?) "and makes his own decisions... I don't even want to know about that shit..." Er... yeah, thanks, Guys. "All the people who whine that the war is about oil, they'll be the same people going on protests when we run out of oil..." Or, equally, James, they could be the same ones who go on, you know, pro-environment protests. And what on earth would be the point of going on a protest after oil has run out? "What do we want? Blair to make more fossil fuels! When do we want it? Well, to be fair it's going to take a few thousand years..." Cheeky, chirpy and thick as Jerry Lewis' neck. Why must all Liverpool bands turn into Cannon and Ball when they hit the Top 40?

The NME thumbs its nose at the BPI and runs a full page about sources for free music on the net - including the illegal ones - although there is an odd claim that if you right-click on a streaming .wma file you can save it as an mp3.

Twenty reasons why John Lydon is more punk by going on I'm a Celeb than when he was a Sex Pistol, anyone? 18. It's unlikely that the cast will reform in 20 years for some piss-poor karaoke reunion concerts.

Are Snow Patrol the new Coldplay? What sort of question is that to ask in public - you might as well say "Does Gary Lightbody share a hobby with Michael Jackson and tie him to a lamppost on a Plymouth Council Estate.

"I was a smackhead at 16. Who cares?" spits Johnny Borrell from razorlight. He's choosing between following Tom Waits, Rimbaud or U2's career paths (please, don't become Bono) - doubtless if you asked the Coral if they wanted to follow Rimbaud's career, they'd say they didn't fancy the bit fighting in Vietnam but the ammuntion belt is cool.

Eight White Stripes posters, sitting in a row. We're using each one to form the basis of our "Go Solo Now Meg" campaign. There's also a review of the Alexandra Palace show (the place where the now-defunct BBC once broadcasted from, of course) - sometimes they drop to the merely "quite good", 8

other reviews
the zutons, oxford zodiac - "a solar system of their own", 7

scissor sisters - scissor sisters (nicely headlined snip snip hooray, as a pisstake of the sun's pisspoor headline on Shimpman's suicide, we presume) - "unique, yet uniting", 9
bobby conn with the glass gypsies - the homeland - "a manga dave lee roth", 9
lostprohets - start something - "the real sound of progress", 8
sid vicious - too fast to live - "all this moronic empty yabbering should have been buried many years ago", 5

sotw - the von bondies - c'mon c'mon - "rare and brilliant, makes the nme call off it's retro witch-hunt"
shirokuma - moonlight in the afternoon - "makes us want to have sex in dressing-up clothes"

And, finally, what left-field band has Luke Jenner chosen as his "Why I love" band? Nirvana. Apparently you might want to consider buying a record called "Nevermind."

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