Friday, 31 July 2009

I Like... Predictions / THE LIBERTINES AGAIN IN 2010

Say it with me, "The Libertines again in 2010."
That's right. I'm saying it; at some point next year The Libertines will reunite.
Not only that but I bet there will be new material too. I'm guessing a short EP followed by a long player.
Bilo and Biggles won't be able to resist or deny it for much longer.
Watch this space.

Thursday, 30 July 2009

I Like... Girl Power / Out With The Old & In With The New

The new editor of NME has been announced: Krissi Murison.

The last time I was on work experience with NME, it was her final week there as deputy editor before leaving for New York to become NYLON's New Music Director. People were making speeches, getting all teary and presenting gifts. It was all so lovely until a fellow workie (who's name I never did come to know, I just had to nudge her and call her "mate" when I wanted to indicate it was time to go to lunch) kept making noise and pretty much ruined the sentimental moment by getting all up in Miss Murison's face trying to get contact details for NYLON. Finally, someone snapped and told her she was being inappropriate and then the unnamed workie breaks into tears and drops the bomb, "I have autism but didn't mention it on my CV or application form."

Bloody hell. That was uncomfortable. At that point I grabbed my things, thanked the people I had worked with that week and ran.

Anyway, I think Krisi Murison is an excellent choice of editor. She is to be NME's 11th editor and the first female to take the reins in the title's 57 year history. It's quite the understatement to say that her rise to editor is encouraging and inspiring for an aspiring journalist like myself; she went from lowly work experience kid to junoir staff writer, then onto new bands editor, then features editor and finally deputy editor in just six years. The definition of impressive. And now she's all set to take over on 1st Sepetmber.

Saturday, 25 July 2009

I Like... Effort / Peter Doherty - Broken Love Song

Pete Doherty's new video is so cute. It acutally looks like some effort has gone into it. He does a little bit of acting (mostly forlorn gazes) and paces around. Plus it seems as though they went all out by spending the whole production budget on gallons of water. Actually, in order to make rain show up on camera, milk is added to water to make it more visible; fact. (Anyone else who has ever been on the 'Earthquake!' ride in Universal Studios will already know this)

Anyway, this is far better than his last poor excuse for a music video. The meeting for this video to throw around some creative ideas must have gone thusly:

"We should probably just put him in a suit and hat and let him mime at the camera. Pete will be wearing that anyway and we can just film it in the kitchen or something.”

“Yeah, but let’s mix it up a bit and do some filming outside. I’ve got a football in the boot of my car. Let’s just get some footage of Pete having a kick about.”

“Good idea. Really original, but we need something to keep people watching right until the end. Something kind of taboo... I know: a gay kiss! It has nothing to do with the lyrical content of the song or the previous events in this so far hum-drum video but no one watches MTV anymore, and when you do turn it on they only show The Hills anyway.”

Skip to 3.25 mark for the lip locking action.

Sunday, 19 July 2009

I Like... D.I.Y / Make Your Own - Greatest Hits

Who wouldn't want to receive this?

I made this CD for a friend with a serious musical-taste deficiency. I mean, we're talking about someone who went to a John Barrowmen concert ALONE a little while ago. Shameful. However, the same friend also gained distinction in his first year exams at Oxford University (studying Medicine) so I'm pretty sure there's a direct correlation between me giving him this gift of enlightenment and his academic success. No need to thank me.

This is the first in a series of "There's Nothing Better Than..." compilation CDs. They're going to be the new "Now That's What I Call Music".

Friday, 17 July 2009

I Like... Merchandise / Michael Jackson OFFICIAL Goods for Sale

Some are saying it’s in bad taste, but I think it makes sense to release the memorabilia that I and many others were going to spend a small fortune on over the next few months. I looked in my diary today and saw where I had written down “August 1st – Michael Jackson @ O2!” I drew a little heart too. I feel sick looking at it now.

If you are going to buy something with Jackson’s beautiful visage on it, please buy something official. Don’t give your money to any twat with iron-on transfers, plain t-shirts and an ebay account; go to
http://michaeljacksonmerch.sparkart.net/ and invest in some of the good shit they have on offer.

Apparently it had all been approved by MJ himself, which I don’t doubt as throughout his career his merchandise was second to none; he turned himself into a commercially viable brand and therefore putting his face or name to anything meant $$$.

Here are the gems I’ll be investing in.

T-shirts – there are some beauties available.

Dancing Feet - This is a classic. Nothing else is needed here. The name. The shoes. The socks. The magic.

Rainbow - I’m quite freaked out by anything bearing the words “This Is It”; it’s just way too sinister. However, the vibrant rainbow of colour against that unmistakeable silhouette is rather eye-catching. I think that is a true sign of super-stardom; when you are recognisable by shadow alone.

Numbered Event - These shirts are strictly limited edition. Each night a new version of this shirt would have been sold for one night only with a number on the back commemorating the number of the show the adoring crowd would have been blessed to see. So whichever night you may have been dreaming of seeing Jackson, the t-shirt will be available 24 hours only. I am waiting for my #9 shirt.
Accessories

Bracelet - This is all girly and cute, so I want one. It looks like a knock-off Tiffany bracelet but is way better because of the regal engraving on the padlock. I’ll take it.

Playing cards – I thought ‘Chase the Ace’ couldn’t get any better, but clearly I was wrong.


Sleeping Mask – This is C.O.O.L. I will be wearing this on my transatlantic flight in August; I will sleep well knowing how good I look and knowing how much entertainment those around me will derive from it. 

Thursday, 9 July 2009

I Like... Making My Point / NME Letter of the Week



What can I say? When I'm right, I'm right.
My letter is pretty much the best thing in NME this week.
If you, like me, are also a true MJ fan, I suggest you head to your nearest newsstand and invest in the one-off Smash Hits tribute issue.

It's the only "commemorative" magazine worth buying as they've simply complied material from their archives; cute posters, lyrics, a phenomenal write-up on the launch of the Bad Tour in Japan (1987) and an interview from 1982. Plus on the back inside page is one of my all-time favourite Jackson images
Also, be sure to check out the cover of Q. The image is so striking. I stood and examined it, for what a healthy by-stander would call "a worrying amount of time", yesterday.

Other action true Jackson fans can and should take is to send angry emails to the editor of OK! The message that just left my outbox will probably land me with a restraining order but I'm OK! with that. They violated him last week on the cover and have now turned to his children this week: inappropriate and unnecessary.

Monday, 6 July 2009

I Hate... Relativism / Universal Beauty Truths

When it comes to personal appearance we can pretend it’s all subjective and act like looks don’t matter, but when it comes down to basics we’re all striving for the same things and looking for the same staple attributes in potential partners. Forget Relativism – here are the five universal, absolute and unchanging truths about beauty. I challenge you to defy them.


1) Sharp Cheek Bones

What is it about good bone structure that simply exudes beauty? I don’t know, hollow faces are just hot. Hands up if you would never have dreamed of wasting 117 minutes on Twilight if it hadn’t have meant 117 minutes of swooning over RPattz face? Would Kate Moss have ever banged Johnny Deep or been a Vogue cover girl a record breaking 26 times without razor sharp bone structure? Of course not: Twilight would have deservedly flopped and Mossy would just be an average wonk-eyed, chain-smoking Croydon gal. You’ve either got it or you don’t; no amount of surgery will ever be able to replicate the mouth-watering desirability of high, sculpted cheek bones. I suppose heroin could give you that concave-cheeked look but I’m pretty sure a whole load of other unwanted side-effects go along with the territory.

2) Clear Skin

This one is obvious; the connotations of cleanliness and good health are what preserve a clear complexion as the pinnacle of good looks. If it wasn’t for acne we’d all be lookers with no need for make-up or Photoshop. But Mother Nature is the biggest bitch of them all and will undoubtedly ruin your life at some point with blemishes.

3) Unwanted Facial and Body Hair

Having to remove unattractive, stubborn hair is a fact of life. GET OVER IT. There’s nothing sadder than a girl of college age with dark hair who still hasn’t accepted that she’s going to have to wax her upper lip - you owe it to yourself to remove it and to those around you who have the difficult task of trying not to stare straight at it. Plus there’s always that one girl at school who refuses to shave her legs: the one from my school days said she wasn’t going to remove even one strand of hair from her entire body until she was married. Good luck finding an eligible partner who isn’t repulsed by you. Equally disheartening are boys who don’t ask their dad’s for a razor quite early enough. You know, they have that creepy, wispy kind of facial hair sprouting out of their chins. Pluck up the courage to have man-chats or pluck out each individual, offending hair.

4) Classical Good Looks

Make-up trends are exactly that: transient, temporary and made to forget. Garish colours may seem like a good idea and easy way to make yourself seem more interesting, eye-catching or forward thinking but you know that everyone else thinks you look like a dick and deep down, you know it too. Quite quickly you’ll realise there is nothing wrong with being conventionally pretty: lashings of mascara makes your eyes all big and beautiful, a touch of blusher makes you appear fresh and vibrant and the subconscious psychology behind wearing lipstick and gloss is that it makes one’s mouth appear to resemble a wet vagina. I don’t know if that’s true but I guess it makes sense.
5) Gentlemen Prefer a Hair Colour That Suits Your Complexion

Whether you’re, blonde, brunette or a redhead, there’s just no need to stray from what your genes have bestowed upon you. By all means, enhance whatever you’ve got: go from dirty blonde to platinum or carrot top ginger to smoky red but never try to change category .Your new hair colour will not suit your skin tone, your roots will become the bane of your existence and the curtains will not match the carpet.

Saturday, 4 July 2009

I Hate... Change / Conor McNicholas

I know, I’m really behind with this (but clearly have had other things on my mind lately); NME editor, Conor McNicholas, has resigned.

He’s had a rather fantastic seven year run as editor, and despite him branding my beloved Morrissey a racist all over again in 2007, I like him and find his freckles and obscure dress sense seem to prevent him from ever ageing. He’s a good guy. While on work experience at NME I’ve delivered his breakfast to him, trudged to Waterloo in torrential rain, with only a broken umbrella and suede boots, to pick up his weekly reading materials (I’m pretty sure I had a brief bout of trench foot after that) and chased him around for a Q&A session for days – he finally agreed to it in exchange for a cup of tea.

Whilst having our friendly and laid back chat (well that’s how he was, but I was sweating profusely with nerves) he told me all about how he ended up with the greatest job in the world: he intended to study Geography at Cambridge, but sub-standard A-Level results put an end to that. So instead he went to Manchester University to read Philosophy, purely for the reason that he loved The Hacienda. He worked on the student paper and had to write the horoscopes section as no one else wanted to. He finished university with an “alright” grade and then went on to contribute to numerous now defunct dance music magazines. He gained editorship at NME after being internally hired from fellow IPC publication Muzik.

He has won a whole bunch of prizes for his good work (Entertainment Magazine Editor of the Year, Editor of the Year and Music Magazine of the Year) and is also currently Chairman of the British Society of Magazine Editors. He is now set to take over as editor of Top Gear Magazine (I wasn’t even aware such a thing existed).

The last time I saw him was at Radio 1’s Big Weekend eating a bag of doughnuts and was talking to me about Akon and N-Dubz. I’m not sure if he will still be at NME in August when I’m due to revisit for another work experience stint so I want to wish him the best of luck and thank him for making NME my favorite magazine and allowing me on work experience on numerous occasions where I have learnt so much over the past couple of years.

Reading NME is what made me want to be a music journalist and ignited my overly keen interest in magazine publication, and therefore gave me some sense of direction for my future career aspirations.

Friday, 3 July 2009

I Like... Blur (Kind of) / Holding out your heart, To people who never really, Care how you are

I’m not really that into Blur. I only know the glaringly obvious hits and vastly enjoy Coffee & TV's lyrics and video. I saw a “Making Of...” that video and it was actually a fully-grown man wearing the milk carton outfit dancing in front of a green screen. Clever.

It was odd, they came onstage all reformed and friends again, but the crowd didn’t seem massively bowled over or bothered by seeing their weathered but jubilant faces. I prefer obsessive fandom that borders on unhealthy; that’s what being a fan is all about.

So since I’m big on Brit Pop nostalgia, I can simply relay the classics they played:-
- She’s So High
- Girls & Boys (the video for that song made me feel quite uneasy as a child)
- Coffee & TV
- Park Life (Phil Daniels made a cameo – whaaay)
- Country House (funny, since Alex James owns a home in the Cotswolds, sells cheese and occasionally appears on Classic FM these days)
- Tender (made me feel a little bit warm inside)
- Song 2 (thought they would have made more of it but kept it short and sweet)
- This is a Low (I saw Damon Albarn and Graham Coxon perform this as a subdued, suicidal duet at the NME Awards and wasn’t sure what all the fuss was about)
- There’s No Other Way
- Beetlebum
- End of a Century
When they played songs I knew I was all >

That’s only half the set list, but the rest washed over me in a pleasant way, “like a delicious cake as opposed to a bag of drugs.”

I Hate... 25th June 2009 / Michael Jackson

A blog, Twitter or Facebook status is not an appropriate medium for grief.