Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Welcome to DanceVine, a new title for Pop Papers - "your independent guide to social dance" it says, establishing itself as a refreshing alternative to, um, those unindependent social dance magazines like Vested Interest Dance. Although about dancing in general, it seems that if you want to get people waggling in modern Britain, you need to be doing salsa. Oxford Adult Education Department is even getting in on the scene, offering salsa classes in the college opposite the Ice Rink; meanwhile, it turns out that the biggest salsa night in the Thames Valley is held at the Basingstoke Conservative Club. I hope they realise that Salsa is an alien music form...

Back on more familiar ground, it's the Poll Issue of NME, which means one of those uneasy winner's parade covers: Alex Kapranos has his arm round Paul McCartney; McCartney has the look of someone who's just realised when this picture gets published he'll have been cuaght out in his "I can't come and watch you in Question Time, i've got to see my chiropractor" white lie; while Brandon Flowers embraces Noel Gallagher with all the enthusiasm of a work experience boy asked to clean the kennels. Noel, meanwhile, just looks weatherbeaten; a great loss to the gang sat outside the bus shelter drinking vinegar.

There's a CD, by the way, which is a winner's one - yeah, it has Green Day, but there's also Streets, Franz Ferdinand, Bloc Party... that's pretty good; it almost makes you not notice that the magazine has gone up ten pence and is now at £1.90.

There's photo coverage of the Towers of London's smashing up a venue. "[The bouncers] told us to stop but we're punk rock stars, we're not going to stop for no bouncers. We carried on because the kids were loving it..." Yes, Dirk, the kids were loving it. But what about the poor sods who had to clear up after? Or the bands who'll find it that little bit harder to persuade places to book them? Punk rock was never about smashing things mindlessly.

Jack White has now turned into Steve from Placebo. It's true, I'm afraid.

Peter Robinson interviews Ozzy Osbourne, and slips in a sly question about how it could be that a guy with a ladder could get past the Osbourne's security to wind up in their bedroom. Apparently they'd "just got back from America" - ah, so that would explain it, then; most security systems won't work if you haven't had a chance to unpack your suitcases. Ozzy then conjures up this image: "I was naked so I was lucky he wasn't gay and didn't jump back in and fuck me in the arse." How did you know he wasn't gay, Ozzy? But, yes, just imagine how sickening it would be if the guy had had sex with one of you and stolen a necklace. Insult to injury.

The Mitchell Brothers - first signing to the Streets label - are starting to realise that, just maybe, they've chosen a duff name: "When people hear our name they think 'Phil and Grant' but we aint no clowns. We're not corny and this is serious." Which makes it a really, really duff name for a great act. Let's hope it doesn't sink 'em.

Talking of which, British Sea Power pop up to Grasmere to do a gig, with James Jam making a pretty good case for them having been ahead of their time - guerilla gigs, intelligence, clubs; all the things which are so modish now, they've been doing for years.

Amongst the awards souveniers: Dita Von Teese calls her husband "Manson", like the sort of woman you used to find in the Home Counties who'd come back from Kenya at Independence who'd only refer to their spouses by their surname. Apparently "Manson" gets really jealous - almost as if he thinks Dita could do much better for herself.

Edith Bowman is starting to look like Shelly from Corrie. I'm sorry, but she is. I wonder if Colin Murray plays mind games with her? "If you want to spend time with that crew from Five Live, fine, I just hoped you'd be a little more... loyal. That's all."

Matt from Muse wants to play gigs so huge he'll need a helicopter to get in to them.

GLC turned up - if everyone gets fifteen minutes, they're well into injury time now, surely? Their jokes don't even make sense: "this tablecloth's been on and off more often than my missus' vibrator" - eh? What does that mean?

McCartney tries to sidestep the Doherty "hero or villain" question before settling on "hero I suspect" - raising the possibility that Pete could follow Paul's career arc. One day we might be able to buy unpleasant ready meals branded Kate Doherty's. Although somehow I suspect we shant.

Noel is apparently considering 'The Ear Has No Memory' as a name for the Oasis album, which sounds like one of Miles Kington's Albanian Proverbs: something which sounds profound at first, but actually are totally meaningless.

Tucked away under a picture of Fearne Cotton is the phrase "the time team (ie NME's sister magazine Uncut) - we don't think we've ever seen the NME claim kinship with Uncut in that way before; we wonder if they're thinking of resurrecting the branding mistake when they tried to pass Vox off as "the NME monthly."

eastern lane - london astoria - "like puppets being torn to pieces by a seven headed cerebus"
the rakes - camden koko - "put their songs on display and torture them for our pleasure"
patrick wolf - london borderline - "pretty darn cute"
willy mason - chalk farm enterprise - "simple folk melodies"

kaiser chiefs - employment - (is it just us, or do the Chiefs look a little too like Menswear for comfort?) - "every track could be a single", 8
mars volta - frances the mute - "doesn't do much ELP and even Led Zep didn't achieve", 7
the house of love - days run away - "nothing here comes close to the early work", 5

totw - the bravery - an honest mistake - "ever so-slightly homosexual"
ambulance ltd - stay where you are - "an organic alternative to prozac"
britney spears - do something - "perfunctory"

And finally: next week they're promising a poster of Noel Gallagher. In 2005. Who for, exactly?