Wednesday, March 10, 2004

WHAT THE POP PAPERS SAY: Think of it like a powercut edition
The nme's big picture this week is from the Libertines live gig, with Carl and Pete apparently creating a shaft of light as they touch. It's a bit of a grimey photo but could have been worth it for the little gimmick of the flashpoint. But for some reason, there's also a grimy Libertines live shot on the cover of the nme as well; all horrible and indistinct and a bit forgettable. It's probably tied in with the paper's slightly odd claim that the 'tines are "the 21st century Sex Pistols", which means - what, precisely? They're a bunch of low-aiming puppets being moved around by a trouser salesman? They'll be squeezing their bellies into bondage trousers in fifteen years for an ill-advised comeback? Pete will be on Celebrity Squares sometime just before Peak Oil meltdown? The curiosu thing is we think the NME means it as a mark of praise, but coming so soon after their issue supposedly dedicated to reminding everyone what a fuck-up Sid Vicious was, it ocmes across as slightly double-edged. As is, to be honest, Alan McGee's claim in the main article that the Libertines are "the most culturally significant band I've ever worked with." (Althoug maybe he's going to be their Mclaren. Pete deals with that pretty well: "Has there ever been a musician of cultural significance who's been aware they're significant?" (Um... BB King? Billi Holliday? Even Ringo must have a had an idea?); he goes on to make an interesting suggestion as to why The Libs are being embraced so warmly: "Maybe we romanticise what our parents wanted to escape from. We've reversed the idea of living out a fantasy. We're, like, fantasising out a living."

Other news: Noel Gallagher has sacked Death In Vegas from production duties on the new Oasis album - so, he's now producing as well as drumming. The construction of a giant plywood plane is expected to begin any day now; Hope of The States have announced they intend to carry on despite the death of Jimmi Lawrence; there's a really confusing story about the discovery of some songs that john lennon had on a jukebox that they've tried to say is its like finding his iPod.

Blink 182 do the pretend CD: Metallica, Buzzcocks and Frank Sinatra.

Peter takes on Peter as Andre struggles with Robinson. It's like watching that jellyfish thing at the end of Starship Troopers being caught in the big net: PR tells PA that he's got a mysterious grill; PA appears to miss the joke. He then introduces Andre to the concept of bagpiping. And Andre tells a tale about someone assuming Andre Agassi was his brother.

We're not sure about this Brit Pack thing - the union jack flying V guitar, the hackneyed name; it doesn't seem like much to get excited over. But the bands - 22-20s, Delays, Ordinary Boys, The Zutons - are something to get mildly frothing. Just as The Libertines deserve better than the sex Pistols, these bands should surely be getting a bit more of a pitch than something that sounds like the Select britpop issue rinsed out and given a second spin.

Signs of the NME's possible repositioning as a different sort of music magazine - offering more commentary than in the past - come with a feature on Bands Playing Shite Gigs (off the back of the Puddle of Mudd debacle) and an Independent-style, it-takes-five-writers spread on the Dangermouse Grey Album. Next week, we're promised 'Will Jack White Go To Jail' - clearly, Jack's guilty plea came as a surprise to them, too, then.

The best thing in the Gram Parsons feature is NME former hack telling a story about being mistaken for Nick Kent and having his shirt ruined. The shirt, you see, Roy had bought from a shop Gram had recommended and... hey, come back...

ash - oxford zodiac - "they get consistently better each time they come back", 8
stellastarr* - glasgow king tuts -"you could cut glass on shaun's titties", 9
big boi - camden electric ballroom - "furious staccato", 7

dangermouse - grey album - "a truly great pop record", 10
hot hot heat/ the red light sting - split - "the red light sting are here to save the day", 4
bumblebeez - red printz - "a sassier chicks on speed", 7

sotw 0 graham coxon - freakin out -"the quiet man with glasses has raised the bar"
bucci bag - more lemonade - "not a good thing"

and finally, Melissa Auf Der Maur loves Ric Ocasek, who apparently once told her "you're the woman I've waited for to sing Drive." Man, is an ego the size of Rhode Island mandatory for members of the Smashing Pumpkins.

And, finally, the radio times spends an entire page talking with Sharon Osbourne about her daytime chat show, and yet neither side thinks to mention it's been dropped like a burrito with a bug-ridden dog's eyeball peeking out of it.

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