Monday, August 29, 2005

WHAT THE POP PAPERS SAY: How many exclusive Pixies interviews can you count?

Last week's NME (or, rather, what will be the week before last's when the new one comes out on Wednesday) came with a CD put together by "Oasis", but at least the Noel turned up to offer some pithy insights - "usually I don't condone this kind of music [it's Jet, by the way] but they've become our new best friends..."

Hang about Noel - in what way, exactly, do you normally stand against dumbly grandstanding retro heartless pomp poured out by a pair of brothers? They're you, you moron.

But he gets even more deluded when he reaches the Oasis track on the album: It's My Generation. A song which he really believes "we've kind of made it our own, now."

What did surprise us is that Goldie Lookin' Chain are still going. Apparently they can "crack up even the most cynical listener with a killer one liner", reckons Barry Nicholson. Let's try that - here's a line from their new song 'Sister':

"If you leave me now/can I fuck your sister and your best friend?"

Yes, you'd have to be astonishingly cynical to hear that line and sigh heavily, roll your eyes and mutter that you yearn for the days when comedy rap at least got as amusing as Rat Rappin'.

The reviews team were able to catch Eminem at New York, shortly before he sung himself to sleep, and maybe GLC don't seem to be so bad after all. April Long got to see Em's little bit of business where he mentions the tabloids are saying Kevin Federline will be the new Eminem, before - oh, my sides - snorting "Kevin Faggotline."

TOTW for week was Kaiser Chief's I Predict A Riot, which just seems odd, but at least Pete Cashmore found the time to point out that Oasis had taken a bunch of cash in order to help promote Sky Sports - "what does this sound like? Who cares?"

What is quite exciting is that the NME has quietly announced that it's going to be offering free small ads soon - the music mags have badly needed one of these since the demise of Select and Sky; and a good few years back - before the internet, when the small ads were bubbling - we made a load of interesting friends through the NME classifieds column, so we'd love to see its spirit return.

This month's Observer Music Monthly gave the cover to 50 'simply not very good' Cent sucking a lollipop. Centy bangs on over the same old ground - why has he got a stupid car that would be too big if he was farmer? Because that's what success is like - "it drives by on four wheels", apparently. See, we'd say that showing off drives by on four wheels, ourselves, and it's that sort of attempt to create ill-will and crush other people's sense of self-worth and it's that sort of behaviour - grinding other people's faces into their poverty - that creates many of the sort of problems that Cent claims to deplore. But the man's got a biography to sell, and that sort of self-questioning seems to be simply beyond him.

OMM throws together a list of the top 10 musical dynasties - the Shankars at number one edge out the Cash/Carter clan, which would seem to be misordering; and the Osbournes are in the chart at all - why? On the strength of the seven records Kelly sold, probably to herself? The blurb explaining the Ozz Family's entry makes no sense, either: "Kids Kelly and Jack seem almost well-adjusted [eh?] and thank heaven Kelly prefers singing Like A Virgin to War Pigs." Except, of course, Kelly complained that she hated singing pop songs, albeit by way of explaining the stiffing of the first album.

The Record Doctor goes to see Michelle 'sounds like she should be in Liberty X but actually used to be in Eastenders' Ryan: she does make history by becoming the first person to say in print that she "really doesn't like MIA".

For a photoshoot, Jamie Cullum wades out into the middle of a river, and puts his head under the water. No, nothing bad happens, but let's not spoil the moment, shall we? Cullum is worried about the dangers of a backlash: "I don't want to do any dodgy videos this time. If there's a backlash, I want it to be against something I have chosen to do." So, if we've got this right, he doesn't mind us hating his stupid scrambling on top of the piano at the drop of a hat, but he doesn't want us to hate him for his smackable face. He'd be relaxed about us screaming 'destroy, destroy' whenever we think of what he did to The Love Cats, but doesn't want to be despised from here unto the seventh sign because his people got him to do Everlasting Love for Bridget Jones II. That seems fair enough.

Kitty Empire's flash-forward band is CocoRosie, which is effectively if Charmed was a band, and played folk, and weren't vapid.

Paul Morley turns up with a long piece about rock biopics so he's been let off doing the TV review column, which is a pity as we'd been quite looking forward to him having a go at the BBC FOUR Britpop night. And Peter Robinson only gets a half page, which is all wrong.

In the back, Simon Amstell quizes Ricky Wilson - which seems like cheating as usually this page is for a pop star to ask questions of a pop star; Surely Amstell can ask Ricky these questions on his TV show if need be? We do have a soft spot for Amstell, though - if his byline picture was slightly more faded it'd seem like an interview done by a kid who went missing in the mid-70s whose body was found after a three-day search.
This week's NME pledged "the ONLY interview" with the Pixies, which puzzles us who the "exclusive" interview in the previous weekend's Weekend Guardian was actually with, then. In the Guardian, Joey Santiago tells Laura Barton he was so overwhelmed at the reunion with how much he'd missed being in the band that he now sleeps with his drum; in the NME, Black Francis suggests the best reason to go and see them over the other bands at Reading is "there's always a chance Kim and I will end up fighting." He also picks his best festival memory as playing the Crystal Palace Bowl in 1991; we, of course, had left the park just before the band came on. And we would again, you know; we would again.

Most of the NME is given over to previewing Reading - Leeds, and much more to clearing up after the V festival. There, oddly, Oasis dedicated Rock & Roll star to Barry Bulsara, the man convicted of murdering Jill Dando. You have to wonder what's going on in Noel's head, don't you?

While we're delighted that the NME picked Boy Kill Boy as one of the Reading highlights, it did mean, disappointingly, we found out what they looked like.

!!! - The 100 Club - "let's hope he remains a heathen, as motivational speaking's gain would be our loss"
kubichek! - birmingham acadmey 2 - "the exclamation mark is more than justified"
arctic monkeys - birmingham academy - "blw up the bandwagon, tear up the handbook"

kanye west - late regsitration - "the rest of the rap world is playing catch-up", 8
death cab for cutie - plans - "the non-thinking man's coldplay", 4
goldfrapp - supernature - "the musical know how to sway women, men and Morrisseys alike", 8

totw - gorillaz - dare - "animal magic"
viva voce - alive with pressure - "formulaic mess of styles"
princess superstar - perfect - "not perfect, but we like her"
jj72 - coming home - "the only voice in rock less soothing than a car alarm"

And finally, Jim McCabe brings Charlotte Church's appearance in Friday's Guardian Review to our attention: "It's interesting in a scattergun sort of way, although I'm surprised that the lawyers OK'd all the quotes. Or did they?"

She does certainly let rip, and - to be honest - we find it so much easier to like her when she says things like "I can't stand Bob Dylan. He sounds like a freak. And that Chris Martin isn't any good either - he can't do any vibrato, which colours a voice, so he just sounds conversational." Now she's in her stride. "Look, I don't mind Coldplay," she continues, getting increasingly animated. "And I know that style of singing is very modern. But it's a bit wimpy and as soon as one person's done it, they're all fuckin' at it. They're trying to sound like Jeff Buckley, but his voice is outstanding and nobody can be compared to that feller." She also admits to having mimed at an outdoor festival the other week, which is at least more honest than you'd expect from, say, former Spice Girls or sisters of not very good actresses.