Wednesday, May 05, 2004

WHAT THE POP PAPERS SAY: Back at the 'regular' time edition
First, belated second birthday greetings to Inform, the sexy little Liverpool A5 listings and arts magazine - it’s virtually impossible to keep a mag going on Merseyside without the Echo attempting to undercut you and advertisers deciding not to pay, and to do it so well is quite a feat in itself.

This week’s NME has got Matt Bellamy, staring back from the cover like one of Buffy’s less challenging opponents. It’s been a while - you could almost have forgotten they existed (well, actually, not, with the face-smashing thing, but you get the point). Though not as easily as you could have let the Prodigy slip through your memory sacks; the Big Picture features Liam Howlett holding up a CD which he says “proves” the new Prodge album is finished. However, we can get the Conjuring Sheep to hold up a CD and claim that it’s a brand new album from Doctor John, but it’s not quite the same as, you know, releasing a record. Howlett’s upbeat about the prospects for new one, though: “Nobody’s stepped on my toes since the last album, and now this album is here to step on everyone else’s” he claims, apparently blissfully unaware most people are going to have to Google to even remember the last album.

More hard work: The Libertines have hired security guards for their studios, supposedly to stop Carl and Pete from killing each other - we reckon its more Carl’s afraid he’s going to wake up and find the video gone again. The Beastie Boys have condemned Bush as a “sick fuck” and a “moron” - so at least they’re using words he’ll understand. And the Razorlights are looking for a new drummer because the old one couldn’t keep up (either that, or he saw Spinal tap and got nervous.)

The Zutons burn a CD: Roy Orbison, Parliament and Benny Goodman.

There’s been some suggestions running about of late that maybe Jason Von Bondie’s “I was punched by Jack White” routine is turning into the Detroit Rock equivalent of Martin Bryce’s “It has to be said, I did save a child’s life.” It might be time, Jason, to be brave and stop dining out on the story. He’s up against Peter Robinson, and manages to edge the conversation round to facial injuries pretty quickly. We bet his mam has a car sticker: “Ask me about my son’s punch from Loretta Lynn’s Producer.”

There’s a really odd promotional tie-in column (promoting Liptons Ice Tea, which is actually quite nice) going on about “bands people thought would be dire” - see, it’s the don’t knock it until you try it schtick. Apparently Keane are the Ice Tea of current British Indie. We hope this is going to lead to a rash of pieces comparing bands to drinks - Coldplay as Dasani, anyone?

Radar band is The Rakes, who do 22 Grand Job, a song named after the amount a “moderately well-paid job” would pay these days.

Curiously, Matt from Muse is quick to remind everyone that the band isn’t political, while simultaneously claiming the malign influence of Blair and Bush is what motivates much of their songwriting. He offers Rage as a better model for politico-rock, “bringing unknown causes to the public eye”, although with the shamingly low turnouts in Western democracy these days, you could argue that Voting is pretty much getting an unknown cause.

There’s a nice Through the Keyhole bit, with pictures of popstar houses - that perennial bsn concern - and the inevitable “who lives in a house like this?” question. You get to see The Libertines’ gaff, which is a bloody hovel, and discover that the Zutons apparently live on a table top and only drink takeaway coffee.

Posters this week is a bunch of Vintage Rock posters - pretend you were at Woodstock! Claim to have seen the MC5! Wonder why The Libertines count as “vintage”!

Tim Jonze gets an iPod; his girlfriend makes it sleep on the sofa and it forces him to listen to the Tindersticks. It’s clearly trying to split them up.

the bronx - amsterdam paradiso - “a different kind of hot fucking”, 7
the concretes - 100 club - “songs come and go in a glacial throb”, 7
supergrass - nothumbria university - “no one makes music as fun as they do”, 9

morrissey - you are the quarry - “solid, occassionally spectacular... a triumph of faith over industry cycnicism”, 8
keane - hopes and fears - “bedshaped will rule the radio dial from end to end”, 7
hot chip - coming on strong - “a collection of oddball DIY pop songs”, 8

sotw - morrissey - irish blood, english heart - “stupendously well-put together”
goldfrapp - strict machine - “should be number one immediately”

And finally, Harry Hill likes Beck. You’ve got to have a system, and so on.

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