Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Standing in the way of control.

Well that was a short-lived crisis. Came home today and the internet was working again! Praise be!

Anyway, on with the show. FYI: This week's Single Of The Week...

Robyn - The Rakamonie EP (Konichiwa Records)

I don't know what triggered the decision to 'launch' Robyn in the UK almost two years after her latest album was released everywhere else (her appearance on the Basement Jaxx record, probably), but it may well be too little, too late for the record-buying public. They're all philestines though, because Robyn, as any of the enlightened will attest, is one of the biggest, brightest shining stars in the pop world. The lead track on this five-song taster, 'Konichiwa Bitches', is justification enough for that bold statement. It's a strutting, hypersexual, three-minute wonder that chews you up and spits you out, leaving you feeling a little dirty, but with a filthy smile, suggesting that, although you've clearly been used, you obviously fucking loved it.

The other four tracks here are great too; three covers (Teddybears' 'Cobrastyle', Saul Williams' 'List Of Demands', with Jenny Wilson, and a barmy, piano-heavy run-through of Prince's 'Jack U Off') and a stark, beautiful new version of her already heartbreaking 'Be Mine'. Don't sleep on Robyn, she may well change your attitudes towards pop music.

Although you could argue that it's a complete non-story these days, the latest horrendous snafu in a long line of horrendous snafus by NME has made me laugh. A lot. More for the repercussions than the actual outcome of the fuck-up, which has seen the increasingly laughable music weekly shoot itself in the foot by angering half of the population. Not to mention seeing the very people they were trying to praise turn on them before the fickle bastards even thought about knocking them down.

In case you didn't already know, NME printed their annual Cool List last week, awarding The Gossip singer, Beth Ditto the number one spot. Straight away, I smelled a backhanded gesture (the words that Ditto herself has since used to describe the award), especially because half of the top ten were also women (Kate Jackson of The Long Blondes, Lovefoxxx of CSS, Karen O and Lily Allen were the others). Then, I spotted NME on the shelves of a newsagent in town, totally expecting to see La Ditto snarling back at me.

But she wasn't there. Instead, the cover featured a rather standard photo of Muse, with the Cool List ladies ghettoised to a side banner. This showed the prominence of women in the cool list up for the cynical concession it actually was. In the year that Pete Doherty and Carl Barat were joint number one, NME had two special covers, one Pete, one Carl, but both with snazzy (read cheap-looking) hologram covers. Lily, Beth and Kate got an inset, next to Matt Bellamy's face.

I suppose that we shouldn't have expected more from them, seeing that that insufferable prick, Conor McNicholas is still editor-in-chief, but to completely forget that courage helps in backing up convictions when they had made, by their standards, a bold decision, is just absolutely spineless. It then transpired that the pic of the three women that covers about four square inches on the final cover was (surprise, surprise!) originally supposed to be the cover (with Muse relegated to second place), before being pulled at the last minute.

The shit has been flying ever since, with Ditto labelling NME "cowards" and Allen proclaiming them "wankers" in one of her outspoken MySpace blogs. Lily hits the nail on the head when she says that the whole endeavour is "patronising", but really, who gives a fuck about being 'cool' these days? It's such an outmoded concept that brings to mind (for me, at least) preening, posing tosspots more concerned with how they look than the music they're making. Which just about sums up the NME ethos in 2006.

Rant over.

Now for some music...

Sandie Shaw - Reviewing The Situation (mp3) (Just because it's ace)

My My - Propain (mp3) (I've been listening to the My My album, Songs For The Gentle a lot lately and this is one of my favourites.)

Also, our friends over at Twentyfourhours have the new Carl Craig remix of Brazilian Girls. Go get it!

More news as we have it,



Blogger jonthebeef said...

I was number 51 in the list. Buggers.

7:59 pm  
Blogger James said...

Ha! I was actually in the list. Did I not tell you that I'm the drummer from The Fratellis? Not a lot of people know that...

8:05 pm  

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