Word #32

Issue 32

October 2005

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Cover star – Roger Waters

Word shuffle

1)      P66 – final page of six on Roger Waters. When asked by Mark Ellen if he ever regrets leaving the group, he gives the following answer:

“Not for one single second. There were times…like when I was in Cincinnati and I was playing to 3,000 in a half-empty arena, and the Pink Floyd were playing to 80,000 people the next night – this was the Radio Kaos tour, it was 1987. I felt like Henry the Fifth – ‘We happy few, we band of brothers. For he today that sheds his blood with me shall be my brother’ – meaning that because there are only a few of them there it is sweeter. Because of the camaraderie. And there was definitely that feeling from the 3, 000 people that were there. I felt a huge kind of kinship with them. And I felt that the 80, 000 people the next night were not, you know, getting it. It was a cobbled-together facsimile of the work I used to do and they would probably never understand that they were being short-changed. And they still are. There’s still quite a large number of people who don’t understand the difference between ‘Dark Side Of The Moon’ and ‘The Division Bell’. They can’t tell one from the other. They don’t get it!”

2)      P89 – from a nine page feature by Andy Gill about Martin Scorsese’s study of Dylan, ‘No Direction Home.’

“The footage from the Newport Festival performances of 1963, 1964 and 1965 provides a sped-up, jump-cut depiction of how Dylan rapidly outgrew the folk scene. In 1963, he’s the bashful young pretender, led on stage by Queen Joan, before closing the festival singing ‘Blowing In The Wind’ in front of a backing group that includes Joan Baez, Pete Seeger and Peter, Paul & Mary. In 1964 he’s the reigning prince but he’s also become public property, introduced gracelessly with, “You know him, he’s yours – Bob Dylan!” And in 1965, he makes it all too clear that they don’t know him, and he isn’t theirs, when he appears with a backing group built around the Butterfield Blues Band.”

3)      P33 – an advert for Orange Premier. They promise extras like “an appointment with a Phone Trainer to help you get the most out of your phone like setting up email on it.”

4)      P74 – the first of a four page feature on Alfred Hitchcock by Christopher Bray. Here he discusses Hitchcock’s early film, ‘The Lodger’.

“Hitchcock’s harsh, expressionist lighting and shadowy, angular set-design are way ahead of their time. And what would become Hitchcock’s trademark men and metaphysic – the shady looking innocence of guilt, the psychopathology of sex and murder – all these are already firmly in place. He would go on to make better films than ‘The Lodger’, but he would rarely stray far from the territory so precisely demarcated.”

5)      P131 – 2nd page of review of the ‘Threads’ DVD by Christopher Bray. “…the second half owes perhaps more than it ought to David Bowie’s ‘Diamond Dogs’. Thought it is considerably less melodramatic than the Dame’s rum future vision, something of his operatic ham obtrudes nonetheless. Where Bowie gave us ‘Fleas the size of rats’ sucking on ‘rats the size of cats’, Hines and Jackson serve up the image of a handful of grimy survivors hacking and hawking their way through a dead sheep atop the moors of the Peak District.”

Interesting – from ‘How To Read A Press Release’: ‘Distinctive vocals’ – he/she can’t sing, ‘Re-released by popular demand’ – we’ve got a phone advert, ‘Sophomore Album’ – silly phrase used only in press releases to make ‘second album’ sound more American and therefore more interesting. Sophomore year is your second at an American college but strangely nobody ever follows their ‘sophomore effort’ with ‘junior year’ or ‘senior year’ albums.

In the ‘Word Of Mouth’ section Ricky Wilson off of The Kaiser Chefs recommends ‘You Are The Quarry’ by Morrissey, declaring it to be the best album of the previous year. Humphrey Lyttleton talks about his recent involvement with Radiohead on ‘Kid A’. “We didn’t know what they wanted; they didn’t know what they wanted – so we worked towards each other for seven hours, eventually Johnny taking over the piano to better understand the shape of the composition. Thom suggested we go and have something to eat and then come back and do some more, but I told him we had it. Seven hours, my cheeks were like a bloodhound, sort of drooping – and they played it back and thought it sounded fine.”

Jude Rogers reviews ‘Coles Corner’ by Richard Hawley. “It opens with a swooping, sad string melody that sounds like it’s spent 50 years locked in a closet following the closure of The Light Programme.”
Stephen Fry is asked by Andrew Harrison for a reaction to Angus Deayton’s sacking on ‘Have I Got New For You’ and says, “I thought it was a moral mistake to fire Angus. I thought it was cheesy and prefect-y and cowardly and pusillanimous. If they’d have waited a week they could have weathered it. And it was bad for the show. I still think it is.”

And we learn that Alison Goldfrapp’s “…graduation piece was a miked-up cow which she milked, amplifying its peristaltic gurglings through a sound system while she yodelled.”

Longer article – Nick Bradshaw writes about the changing face of literary genres.

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Word #31

Issue 31

September 2005

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Cover star – Noel Gallagher

Word shuffle

1)      P16 – 1 of a 4 page spread about photographs of The Beatles by Jane Bown. She had 2 hours with them while they waited in a little room to play a show in 1963 at the Granada theatre in East Ham. “At one point, someone suggested I leave and Ringo said “Oh let her stay, we like her!”

2)      P34 – an article about Emily Turner whose grandfather invented the Vox amp. “I was about nine when I realised he was rather special. It was Christmas at my grandparents’ bungalow in Rye, East Sussex, and our family was singing the harmonies to ‘Blue Moon’ while he recorded us on his 8 track. While we hummed into microphones, he laid his Hawaiian guitar on his lap and played along at a volume that made the windows flex. As my nan screamed at him to turn it down from behind a 1950s lounge bar which was covered in fairy lights and a myriad of weird instruments, I remember thinking that this was not your normal festive family gathering.”

3)      P40 – a two page advert for Loreal’s anti-dandruff shampoo. It hs a unique formula and contains the magic ingredients ‘Actirox’ and ‘Equaderm’ apparently.

4)      P68 – part of a four pager on the recently reformed Pixies by David Cavanagh. There’s a top 15 of tracks by them in the sidebar which includes ‘Here Comes Your Man’ (“the band mutate into a 1964 beat group”), ‘Havalina’ (“a tune so dreamlike it could be murmured into a sea shell”) and ‘Where Is My Mind?’ (“moved its singer to tears when he saw it in ‘Fight Club”).

5)      P125 – review of Sharon Waxman’s book ‘Rebels On The Backlot’ by Christopher Bray. “The biggest question Waxman unintentionally raises is: How vile do you have to be to be a movie director? Just about everyone here is a nasty piece of work. Fame and fortune having been achieved for Tarantino, for instance, he drops all the friends who helped him when he was a nobody and refuses to take calls even from his own mother. Paul Thomas Anderson, the man behind ‘Boogie Nights’ and ‘Magnolia’ turns out to be an insensitive know-it-all, contemptuous of criticism.”

Interesting – David Hepworth writes an obituary for Long John Baldry. “He livened up a journey to a gig by indicating a passing scout troop: “Ooh, look, dear! Trade!”

In the ‘Word of Mouth’ section, we learn: that Lemmy appreciates Enya (“I like the way she merges her melodies with the piano. I’m a big fan of piano and vocals, because I’m denied them with my band! In fact, I’d recommend pretty much anything she’s done”), that Stewart Lee’s favourite book of all time is ‘Marriage Of Heaven And Hell’ by William Blake (“I ripped it off for ‘Jerry Springer:The Opera’ so all the born-again Christians should pick on a dead poet instead of us”) and that Roots Manuva is a fan of Kano’s ‘Home Sweet Home album (“Kano is making music that could sit comfortably with The Stooges or Frank Sinatra or The Stone Roses. He’s an achieved writer”).

Siouxsie Sioux talks about the split of the Banshees. “I suppose I kind of thought in the back of my mind that it would be great if we wanted to get the band back together again and do a new album. But there seems to be this unspoken resentment.” She hasn’t spoken to Steve Severin in a year. “We have go-betweens,” she smiles. “It’s sad, isn’t it?”

Bananarama reveal that in 1986 they ‘d turned to Malcolm McClaren for advice.His idea was for them to record a song called “Don’t Touch Me Down There Daddy”. Keren says “I couldn’t ever sing that song in front of my mother and I’m never going to be able to work with this man.”

Noel Gallagher confirms that the apocryphal tale is true and that Liam did get a massive strop on when he realised that Spinal Tap were actors. “You mean they’re not real?”

“No, Liam, they’re American actors.”

“Fuck off!”

“No, they’re American.”

“Fuckin’ WANKERS!”

And off he went! And we were kind of expecting him to come back with a beer or summat, whereas it was: ‘No, he’s fucked off!’ He had the right arse.”

And in the ‘Word To The Wise’ section, Elvis Costello advises the readers to never get their teeth fixed. “The gap in the middle is probably a crucial part of the sound of my voice. It’s supposed to indicate sensuality? Really? Well, there’s a few other singers with gaps in their teeth – Ray Davies, Madonna.”

 

Longer article – A celebration of ‘New Yorker’ magazine by Andrew Collins.

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