Wednesday, November 24, 2004

WHAT THE POP PAPERS SAY: O2 tell you who's cool edition
Elton John is on the cover of this week's Radio Times, nuzzling up to Billy Connolly: "He's the best-kept secret in comedy." Thats what Billy thinks about Elton, although, to be honest, I think most people have had a chuckle at Elton at one time or another. The Post Office advert, for example?

Ewww! Ewww! What the hell is that on the cover of the NME? It's kind of like those things you used to have when you were kids where if you tilted the picture, Mickey Mouse appeared to be juggling or whatever. Only it's got Pete Doherty on it, a big, 3D almost moving Pete Doherty with a moving Swiss Re building behind him. We're torn between thinking that it's pretty cool (have you ever rubbed your nail on one of those? It sounds like pvc and zippers) and a bit rubbish and unnecessary. Certainly, the one on the back - an advert for O2 - is a bit pointless, but we guess the back explains how they funded the front. We're mainly glad we're not a paperboy trying to get the thing through a letterbox.

It's cool list time again, you see, and that counts as a "special issue".

First, though, we've got to get past Thom Yorke being covered in chocolate, making a point about fair trade. And Bono trying to dig himself out of a lot of silly bother over that Band Aid line - oh, how he wishes someone, anyone else had sung it, but, oh, Nigel Goodrich - who Bono really respects - insisted he sang it.

Peter Robinson takes on Charlotte Hatherley, but she's on a bus somewhere else wearing a hat. And she uses Macs, which makes her even more alright in our book.

Duncan Bell shoots off a little early in the opinion column, starting "So, John Peel's barely cold in the ground and his slot is to be filled by Rod Da Bank..." - erm, yes: but only - so far - until Christmas. Oddly Radio One didn't have a spare DJ sitting about in case Peel dies - although we imagine they might have a chap lined up in case one day Moyles wakes up to himself and needs to be taken off to counselling, wailing "My lord, what have I become?" So Rob is a temporary fill-in. He might become permanent - who knows? - but to criticise Radio One for not putting out two hours of dead air three times a week seems a little bit unfair. Still, Bell quickly moves on to suggesting that a better solution to the loss of Peel would be a hiring from Resonance FM, which isn't a bad idea.

Sharing the opinion page, here comes Fran Healy to do his bit for Band Aid: being lectured by Healy on how to make a better world really rankles - and he's excited about the government and The Rough Guide publishers producing a Rough Guide To A Better World, trying to make doing good trendy, like going to Phuket or wearing a poncho. The terrible thing is, I have no doubt he means well, deep in his little heart, but... it all sounds so smug. Saving the world should be sexy and snarling and angry, not polite and thank-you and sponsored by the bloody Rough Guides.

Cool list, then... Graham Coxon is at 50; Simon Neil from Biffy Clyro at 41 (Biffy Clyro are, though, surely just the Wonder Stuff of the new world, as they don't really seem to exist for any other reason than to prop up bills and release singles to fill up space in the corner of review pages); despite having had a year when he returned to the top of everyone's tousseled hair, Robert Smith manages to drop from 27 to 40; Sam Herlihy from Hope of the States is at 34 (owns stinky Converse trainers); Karen O is down to 31 and Jack White falls down to 26. Leila Moss newly enters at number 23: she thinks The Delgados' Emma should be there too, but she isn't. Apparently we're still supposed to be taking Green Day seriously as Billie Joe Armstrong is at 22. The Maggot - from Goldie Lookin' Chain is cooler (12), apparently, than Andre 3000 (13) but not as cool - quite - Dominic Masters (12). Are selfish cunt cool? Martin Tomlinson is at number 9 - last year he was at 49, which means that he's been around a year achieving, um, whatever it is. Apparently, part of his coolness is because he threw shit at Pete Doherty at that Buck House photoshoot (to be honest, that's pretty much the whole of it). And yet - as the cover might suggest - Pete Doherty is top of the tree. So if he's cool, how can throwing shit at him be cool? Isn't that a contradiction? Even more confusing: Carl Barat is also at number one - which means the maths is wrong (as there's a number two as well as an equal number one) - and although we understand the rationale: laurel and hardy; samson and delilah; richard and judy; love and marriage; frank and esther bough - surely the whole story of 2004 was about the splitting; about the choices both made? Surely you can either think Pete, with his drugs and crime and messing people about, is cool; or Carl, with his brave attempts to help his friend and then his even braver decision that his help was making things worse, to turn away, is cool? There are two choices for number one, but they can't both be number one.

the killers - dublin olympia - "the new songs need to stand up"
lcd soundsystem - paris elysee - "whipped-through seven song set"
the research - london infinity - "so twee they make sneering scensters want to vomit"

jay-z/linkin park - collision course - "pointless, unfathomable", 3
nas - street's disciple - "full of revelations", 9

totw - regina spektor - your honour - ""gurgling like a toddler with tourettes"
electric six - radio gaga - "musical syphilis"

Finally... there's more O2 advertising madness as Agen Blue, Delays and Goldie Lookin' Chain are given mobiles to go and take pictures. GLC keep their clothes on, but Agent Blue let not just their school down, not just the sponsors down, but by dropping their trousers, they let themselves down, too.


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