Cover star – iPods
1) P18 – Rob Fitzpatrick meets No Doubt and unearths various bits of trivia. e.g “They think that the Midlands are cooler than California – Ska was huge in southern California in the early to mid 80’s. “People still talked about 1979 when The Specials played at The Whiskey like it was the second coming”, says Tony (Kanal – the bassist).”
2) P20– Andrew Collins writes about some of the worst ever movies. He includes ‘The Avengers’ which I remember enjoying at the time and ‘Carry On Columbus’ which was an attempt to revive the Carry On brand using ‘alternative’ comedians. Collins notes that it “was like dressing a corpse in a clown costume and saying ‘It’s what he would have wanted.”
3) P101– page of album reviews. ‘Carbon Glacier by Lauren Veirs is reviewed by Jude Rogers and Dorain Lynskey reviews ‘Winning Days’ by The Vines. Roger’s summary is that “there’s much here suggesting calibre and sophistication, and a talent that looks set to unfurl.” Lynskey notes that “…frontman Craig Nicholls…has toned down his horrendous stage school caricature of an anguished rock icon”.
4) P47 – a Word guide to the correct pronunciation of exotically named celebs or bands tagline – “avoid awards night faux -pas”. “Tea Leoni: Tay-Uh Leoni, !!!: CHIK CHIK CHIK, Ryan Phillippe: Ryan Fil-uh-pee and Thandie Newton: Tan-dy Newton”
5) P52– final page of a very enjoyable 6 page article by Peter Paphides on Andy Partridge. “Partridge’s predicament (the difficulties that arose when Todd Rundgren produced ‘Skylarking’) elicits little sympathy when relayed to The Lilac Time’s Stephen Duffy, whose ‘And Love For All’ album was produced by the XTC frontman. ‘When we started working together, the Todd experience was still fresh in Andy’s mind. He would go on about what a controlling egomaniac Todd was, and then proceeded to do with us what Todd had done to him. He used his genius to push us into things we couldn’t do, just so he could prove that he could do them better. It was a little detrimental to the group’s self-esteem.”
Interesting – Stuart Maconie recounts the wonderful tale of his 4 days on the road with Napalm Death, undertaken for an NME article. “All bands have on-tour catchphrases. The astute journalist will quietly, speedily assimilate them and and use them when appropriate. Napalm Death had one catchphrase – ‘I’m seriously weakened’ – and the drummer used it in every sentence, with the bullish confidence of the truly unfunny. He clearly thought this was up there with Shaw and Wilde and each time he said it he would gurn and nudge, as if to point up his wit. Before we had got to Newport Pagnell services, I wanted to kill him. I thought of little else. My hands twitched.”
Anastacia (tagline – straight from golden era Smash His – ‘the large lunged pop vamp’) declares her love for Coldplay. “The music’s really exciting and I think he’s an amazing, eloquent lyricist.”
The article featured on the cover in which 110 songs are recommended is an interesting read that throws up some inspired choices. Alex Kapranos chooses ‘Achoo’ by Sparks. Danny Baker chooses ‘Page 43’ by Crosby & Nash saying that it’s “not only the most sumptuous and peculiar track of its time, as the years go on, it reveals itself to be shot through with Great Truth, perhaps The Only Truth”. Robert Sandall gets an honourable mention for choosing ‘Detachable Penis’ by King Missile.
And it’s nice to see a whole page of the album review section given over to ‘Next’, a collection of covers of Jacques Brel songs. Toby Manning writes that “Brel is almost a Gallic Lou Reed, his innate romanticism allied to a dark cynicism, his mischevious wit balanced by morbidity, together with an earthiness that all combined is almost the definition of art rock.”
Longer article –There were several contenders for scanning in this issue. The Andy Partridge article came close but I ended up choosing Paul Du Noyer’s early interview with Amy Winehouse. She’s talking to an experienced music journalist after releasing only one album yet she has so much confidence and attitude. You can also see her frailties at this early stage and wish that things had turned out differently.