Word #15

Issue 15

May 2004

Cover star – Franz Ferdinand

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Word shuffle

1)      P77 – full page photo of Franz Ferdinand to go with the accompanying interview.  Proper shirts and trousers and precise haircuts abound.

2)      P49 – 2 half page adverts for acts on the Rough Trade label. The first is plugging the ‘For Lovers’ single by Wolfman featuring Peter Doherty. There was an ‘enhanced CD’ release featuring the video – and if you don’t know what enhanced CDs were, ask your grandparents. The second ad is for The Delays’ debut album.

3)      P92 – the various albums reviewed include 6 Michael Nyman soundtracks ( Jude Rogers believes they work better without the films where “they get clogged up with too much imagery”), ‘The Final Cut’ (David Quantick calls it “the Pink Floyd album for people who don’t like Pink Floyd“) and ‘The Blue Jukebox ‘ by Chris Rea (described by Paul Du Noyer as mellow and jazzy but lacking any tension).

4)      P81 – another page from the Franz Ferdinand piece by Miranda Sawyer.

“We have a chat about song-writing. The LP moves from first into second person with ease: when Alex and Nick come up with songs, they write about people they know and situations that have actually happened. So, the album characters aren’t Kinks/Blur broad-brush stereotypes, but real people: Jacqueline, Ivor, Gregor in ‘Jacqueline’; Michael in ‘Michael’. ‘Do these people know who they are? Well, yes, because we use their proper names’, says Alex.”

The Ivor in ‘Jacqueline’ is Ivor Cutler – given his complete disregard of pop and rock music, I’ll wager Ivor was ignorant of his appearance.

5)      P99 – the ‘Personal Shopper’ with John Hegley. He recommends Nic Jones’ album ‘The Noah’s Ark Trap’, the ‘Bad Poetry Quarterly’ fanzine (“plenty of poor crossings-out with passionately poor photocopying”), the work of Raymond Chandler and Josef Skvrecky’s book ‘The Bass Saxophone’.

“The Nazis banned jazz and prescribed the use of traditional instruments – not the saxophone – with double basses always bowed. There’s a scene in a café in an occupied village where the locals are jazzing it up, with a lookout on the door. On the approach of the Nazis, the alarm is sounded, the saxophones go under the seats and out come the accordions and waltzes.”

Interesting – Rob Fitzpatrick declares his compulsion to use eBay for buying “really rubbish records” such as ‘Arthur’s Theme’ by Christopher Cross and Foreigner’s ‘I Wanna Know What Love Is’. “What the hell am I doing spending money on chart singles I felt stupid for liking in 1985?” Sheryl Garrat’s worst eBay experience was when she sold “an early issue of iD magazine to a man in Brazil who seemed to see our £40 exchange as the start of a relationship. A blizzard of emails followed, with pictures attached. He seemed to have lost his clothes. It wasn’t big or clever.”

There’s a 4 page article giving thumb-nail details of various musical genres. Here are a few samples.

  • Alt. Country – Country-ish sound made by pasty-faced guitar bands who pose for photographs in trailer parks.”
  • “Soft rock – Music for eight-track cartridges.”
  • “Underground – Useful prefix for any music that doesn’t sell an awful lot.”

Jimmy Carr reveals that he’s a big fan of Lloyd Cole – “partly because I look like him.”

There’s a new regular feature called ‘myPod’ to explain all about this new digital music revolution. Questions answered by Doctor Digital include “How do I transfer the music from my iPod to my PC or Mac?” and “I’ve got an old PC without a FireWire plug. I really want an iPod. Can I get a FireWire card to put in it, or do I need a whole new computer?”

Longer article – David Hepworth’s observation that teenagers are no longer the distinct group they once were.

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