Cover star – White Stripes
1) P77 –part of a 6 page piece on the Finn brothers by David Hepworth.
“In a couple of days they travel to Los Angeles to rehearse for a tour which is confidently expected to do good business, despite neither of them having had a hit in the USA for 15 years.
‘There’s a mysterious subtext with our activities’, says Neil. ‘Every time I’ve toured America recently the records have been selling less but the concerts have been getting bigger. There’s a very avid communuty of people who follow everything and who tapped into the whole lineage of it. It seems that there’s this parallel universe at the moment that you can’t measure on Sound Scan. It’s more community-based and based on word of mouth with people gathering in pubs before shows and staying at each other’s houses.’
2) P4 – second page listing the tracks on the cover mounted CD. This month the tracks include The Handsome Family’s ‘Gail With The Golden Hair’, ‘Wash In The Rain’ by the Bees and ‘If You Know Time’ by Robyn Hitchcock.
3) P56 – the final page of a 3 piece interview with Clive James by Mark Ellen. “There’s an idea that spontaneity is self-expression. and it is to some extent but it’s thoughtful spontaneity. Performers on television are using smaller and smaller vocabularies and less and less verbal dexterity and just getting by on personality. Jonathan Ross is a very verbal man. I’m very fond of him but there won’t be another Jonathan Ross in the next generation the way things are going. There are still a lot of very clever people on television but it’s a swamp of approximate language. Even the news alas.”
4) P95 – a whole page of adverts for 3 different albums. The wonderful ‘Two Way Monologue’ by Sondre Lerche (“Think swoonsome pop…but with a left field twist…”), Tanya Donelly’s ‘Whisky Tango Ghosts’ (4AD say “…might just be her finest record yet…”) and ‘Half Smiles Of The Decomposed’ by Guided By Voices (“…another idiosyncratic rock masterpiece”).
5) P91 – the second page of a double spread review of the reissued ‘Village Green Preservation Society’. Mark Cooper writes that “This is English pastoral but the Kinks still play like a garage band on holiday in a music shop, and the playing and harmonies have a charmingly thrown-together quality that is the signature of the ‘Muswell Hillbillies’ LP. Vocally, Ray is at his most English throughout, straining for the odd note but hitting everything and reminding us that his is the most quintessential of English pop voices, the link between Anthony Newley, David Bowie and Damon Albarn.”
Interesting -there’s a great ‘map’ of Glastonbury 2004 with captions by Mark Ellen and Andrew Harrison. Areas marked on the map include ‘Mound Of The Exhausted’, ‘Valley Of The Millet’s Tents’, ‘Here Be Bean Bags’, ‘Genuine Shepton Mallet Wedding Party’ and ‘Bonfire Of Oasis Fans’ Illusions’.
Sam Raimi waxes lyrical about ‘La Strada’. “Fellini never ceases to amaze me. He’s a master of the human condition, of Rome of course, and just a master of stories. His characters are just great – I love Anthony Quinn performing his terribly lame sideshow, and nobody’s all that impressed! A great little detail in a lovely tragic story – he’s a beast who loves this woman and doesn’t know how to tell her – and that last moment of terrible loneliness, when he realises that all he had was her love and now she’s gone is so powerful.”
Clive James revisits his greatest hits. He once described the young Schwarzenegger as resembling “…a brown condom full of walnuts” and of Rod Stewart, who was wearing striped trousers at the time, “hopping along like a bifurcated marrow.”
Wayne Coyne puts his iPod on shuffle and hears ‘At Last I’m Free by Robert Wyatt, ‘Laughter In The Rain’ by Neil Sedaka (“I cannot be embarrassed. This is fantastic!”), ‘Lovin’ You’ by Minnie Riperton, ‘Una Pistola Per Ringo’ by Morricone (“…insane, ambitious and avant garde…”) and Queen’s ‘Death On Two Legs” (“I think it’s about a shark.”).
Longer article – The White Stripes – by Jason Arnopp