Cover star – Bruce Springsteen
1) P127– David Hepworth identifies “Nine moments that make ‘Sideways’ the replay-friendly DVD of the year”. Here’s one of them: “Miles finally screws up his courage and calls his agent to find that the publishers have decided not to put his book out. ‘Sideways’ has these poignant details utterly nailed. In the cellphone world in which we live, bad news calls like these invariably seem to be taken or made in car parks.”
2) P98 – Andrew Collins reviews Gorillaz’ second album. “His (Albarn’s) nemesis is Noel Gallagher, who’s been making the same album over and over again since ‘Definitely Maybe’ and is allowed to rest on threadbare laurels by dint of goodwill in the bank. Albarn meanwhile has constantly pushed in a firework display of directions, against what he acknowledges are his own technical limitations, daring to fail at every turn.”
3) P125 – DVDs reviewed are ‘Birth’ (“alleged supernatural thriller is a stillborn bore”), ‘Carla’s Song’, ‘Dead Man’s Shoes’ (“…as Richard’s simple-minded brother, Anthony, Toby Kebbell says hardly a word throughout the film, but emanates a luminous delicacy – constantly swerving away from the world as if it might hurt him – that’s utterly eloquent”) and ‘Garden State’.
4) P12 –A full page advert from HMV for Season 2 of ‘Northern Exposure’ which “finally makes it to DVD” after being originally broadcast in 1992.
5) P113 –a page of album reviews. Jonathan Rice’s ‘Trouble Is Real’ (“music for summer days, relaxing in the outdoors and thinking about love…”), Hal’s debut album and the 7th LP by Herman Düne, ‘Not On Top’. Steve Yates writes that “David-Ivar Herman Düne sings with a near-perfect mid-Western twang several notches up the vocal register, rather like Neil Young. But where Young’s Canadian falsetto dripped sincerity, Herman Düne sounds like he’s singing with a wry, though slightly uncomprehending grin; so when, for instance, he complains, “they stabbed me and beat up my ass” on ‘Whatever Burns The Best Baby’, you momentarily wonder what on earth those thugs had against his poor donkey.”
Aimee Mann rarely listens to music. “Well, we had a CD player that was a DVD player, then it broke. And we don’t watch DVDs either.”
David Hepworth reviews the excellent book ‘Our Hidden Lives’ by Simon Garfield. It collects various diary entries of six British people living in the period immediately after World War Two. It includes the thoughts of “… a Sheffield housewife pining for news of South Africa, a London pensioner given to lurching into poetry, a retired antique dealer who was forever trying to lure young men to his house for improving talks – but their energy alone qualifies them to speak for and about this lost age. It is by turns funny, sad, strange, angry and surprising; I’d recommend it to anyone with the smallest interest in social history, or, for that matter, people.”
The Rocking Vicar’s parishioners chip in with suggestions for Single-Use Songwords. The Stranglers are mentioned for their use of ‘gerrymander’ in ‘Nuclear Device’, Steely Dan, of course, garner many entries (‘libations’, helix’ and ‘roulade’ are just a few) and Lou Reed scores a point with ‘circumlocution’.
We learn that Steve Lamacq is a big fan of ‘Colossal Youth’ by Young Marble Giants. “A record I’ve loved for ages. They took that jagged, atonal guitar sound of the Gang Of Four and reapplied it to simple two-minute pop songs, and it still sounds great.
Word’s writers turn their attention to the worst autobiography titles of all time:
“Learning To Fly by Victoria Beckham is typical self help twaddle from someone who thinks that giving her kids names that are more appropriate for greyhounds is ‘flying'”
“So Me by Graham Norton. Can an autobiography be too pleased with itself? Apparently so.”
And the winner is… “Trowel And Error by Alan Titchmarsh. Somethings are so bad they’re good. This is so bad we’ve been reading it aloud at people who arrive late at the office late in the morning, as punishment.”
A great example of the kind of article that ‘Word’ used to do so well. An enthusiastic reappraisal of overlooked gems from various musicians and writers.