Wednesday, June 30, 2004

NO ROCK AND ROLL FUN: Glastonbury edition
One of the joys of co-sponsoring the festival, The Guardian's G2 got to take a bus to Glastonbury, and filled pretty much the whole of its Monday issue with Glasto stuff.

One idea was just to let people walk up and speak their brains. Jake from Scissor Sisters observed that "British people respect their music and their artists more [than in the US]"; Jamie Cullum stated that he's "not pretending to be anything that I'm not" - which is a shame for him; at one point, Billy Bragg, Michael Franti and Alex Kapranos are all on the bus at the same time. Franti was fresh back from Iraq. He must have felt at home in Glastonbury.

Also taking the Badgerline from downtown Baghdad to Pilton was Ghaith Abdul Ahad, the Guardian's Iraqi columnist, who suggests that taking the festival to the banks of the Euphrates might be the way to restire some of its sheen. It's an interesting idea, if only because we'd love to see Melvin Benn and Vince Power having to do their work with security down there.

The reviews are artist-on-artist:
Gary Lightbody of Snow Patrol on Bright Eyes: "One of the lyrics from the songs was 'why do you say you hate wine when you drink it till you are blind?' That made perfect sense today. I wish I could have thought of it last night."

Elbow's Guy Garvey on Franz Ferdinand: "Just blinding. They turned the other stage into the main stage for the duration. They're annoyingly thin."

Badly Drawn Boy on PJ Harvey: "A supremely talented individual. PJ Harvey falls into the genius bracket for me." (Interesting to have a solo artist with a band's name review a band with a solo artist's name).

Tim Rice-Oxley of Keane on The Von Bondies: "it's great to see a band and be really blown away."

The Von Bondies' Jason Stollsteimer on Paul McCartney: "It wasn't The Beatles, but it was as close as this young boy will get to seeing them."

Del Marquis of the Scissor Sisters on Oasis: "I really wanted to like the show, but was turned off by their attitude."

The NME, too, of course, is fresh back from Somerset. When was the last time Paul McCartney was on the cover, eh? Well, yes, last week, but we mean properly, like this week?

There's non-Glastonbury stuff, of course: New Oasis song A Bell Will Ring, heard at Poole (and, apparently, culled after its very next outing) is judged to be "simple with deceptively complex hooks" - which we've read and re-read four times and still don't quite understand. Are the hooks actually complex, in which case it's not simple?

The Thrills announce they're living Andy Warhol's wet dream - which we suspect means that they're being fucked by someone who looks a bit like Andy Warhol, who's paying them for the pleasure, and taking oped pieces in the New York Times to say how great Andy Warhol is.

There's another feature on music downloads, this one a bit more balanced than the last few weeks of Napster, Napster, Rah Rah Rah. Although they don't mention that Napster tracks expire when you stop subscribing, which makes them something less attractive than they'd seem at first. Oxfam's also gets criticised for looking like a website. Erm...

Peter Robinson takes on Ian Astbury. Astbury, poor cock, tries to talk football, moaning about Beckham missing the penalty and saying "Rooney should have taken it." Yeah, the bloke who'd been so badly injured they'd pulled him off the pitch would have been the perfect choice to take an important spot kick. We're more interested in Strictly Come Dancing and even we know that.

Radar band is Sons and Daughters: they've been given a Franz Ferdinand seal of approval, see. As have The Fiery Furnaces. One of whom - Eleanor - may or may not be Alex Karpanos' girlfriend.

The Walkmen's Hamilton Leithauser has very simple hopes for the new album: "I'd very much like some cash. I could definitely use some."

non-Avalon reviews
radio 4 - 93 feet east london - "a revival that couldn't be more timely"
the zutons - rome - "the worst you can say is they have an over-fondness for puns"
modest mouse - shepherds bush empire - "these mice are about to roar"

the ordinary boys - over the counter culture - "consider this record the user's manual to the world you're living in right now", 7
the open - the silent hours - "essentially, it's Bayley's twelve step programme", 8
division of laura lee - does not compute - "a clash of jesus and mary chain moodiness and deus dirtiness", 7

sotw - the hives - walk idiot walk - "they write catchy tunes"
q and not u - x-polynation - "middle ground between... Fugazi... and Prince"
modest mouse - float on - "a college rock 'You Can Call Me Al'"

So, the 24 pages of Glastonbury: Oasis gets four out of five (apparently Liam proves he's a force of nature - yeah, but so is drizzle); Franz Ferdinand are "superfantastich"; Kings of Leon "have not backed down from a challenge the way The Strokes did"; The Subways hold out the prospect of "incestuous three way love triangles" (the nme seem to have spent most of three days obsessed with incest); Scissor Sisters are "the best band on the planet"; the Killers are "the hottest band of the festival"; Hope of the States' Black Dollar Bills "feels startlingly like a manifesto"; Paul McCartney is "wonderfully, emotionally fab"' Razorlight are "like a two year old on a tartrazine bender"; Morrissey "rehabiltated, appreciated", Muse have rock songs so Gigantic, they could "sing in the Pixies" and Orbital only get three thumbs up, for some reason.

Oh, and of course, there's a little signed introduction from Conor, and a picture of Michael Eavis, and a poster of the campsite from the air. There are many traditions.

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