to be heavily into hip-hop, understand the push/pull it enacts, you
can't be fascistic about it, which is why the holier than thou
attitude taken on by much of the uk hip-hop underground (trying to
put pop in a cage where it can be looked at but not touched) -
and, i suppose, that of our transatlantic counterparts as well - irks
― Izzie, Friday, 22 June 2001 00:00 (11 years ago) Permalink
― Patrick, Friday, 22 June 2001 00:00 (11 years ago) Permalink
― DG, Monday, 25 June 2001 00:00 (11 years ago) Permalink
― Tom, Tuesday, 26 June 2001 00:00 (11 years ago) Permalink
NME freelancers are being told to sign these horrible new agreements.
Say, for example, someone gets to do a feature with Destiny's Child.
The writer turns in a pretty good interview but has some material left
over. The LA Weekly or someone asks for that writer to file a piece on
same. Under the terms of the NME's new agreement, they wouldn't be able
to because the NME would own, forever, the TAPE of the interview and
any other out-takes.
Any freelance who doesn't sign does not get any more work from the
paper/website. They are paid something like 15p a word for work they
do, which is a lot less than you can get for selling interviews to the
American market or a British newspaper, and they have none of the
benefits of being on staff, usually no retainer even. It's patently
unfair to ask those without job security to agree to such terms, and 20
writers are looking into a potential case against IPC for restraint of
trade/intellectual property rights etc. If you want to know more, Tom,
ask Angus Batey to fill you in. I think he was the one who went to the
Guardian in the first place.
The best part of the story DG's quoting? 'Mr Sutherland was unavailable
for comment.' Now there's a great big fuckin' first!
― suzy, Tuesday, 26 June 2001 00:00 (11 years ago) Permalink
― Robin Carmody, Tuesday, 26 June 2001 00:00 (11 years ago) Permalink
― DG, Tuesday, 26 June 2001 00:00 (11 years ago) Permalink
Media Guardian Feb 2001
I would think that if the NME dropped below 50,000 a week then
questions would be asked about its future.
Sounds closed at around around 39,000 sales in 1991, Melody Maker
closed at 32,500 sales in Dec 2000.
However much I dislike NME's music direction in 2001 To lose 20,000
sales from Feb 2001 to the end of the year, is unlikely.
― DJ Martian, Tuesday, 26 June 2001 00:00 (11 years ago) Permalink
― Andrew L, Tuesday, 26 June 2001 00:00 (11 years ago) Permalink
When the Guardian went online it sent around a fait accompli letter to
anyone submitting freelance work that said The Guardian owned the
reprint rights on each piece submitted; notification of this fact
equalled an expectation of compliance. A lot of people stopped dealing
with them afterward because the freelance rate did not rise one jot.
What's going on at the NME is about a million times worse, and might be
one reason the thing appears to be written by monkeys and Muppets these
days - good writers often have annoying characteristics like principles
and the tendency to disagree with the logic of their 'superiors' at
I don't think the NME will go down the pan because the site gets a
gazillion hits every week. Brand manager is the perfect job for an
Oxbridge, sexist skinhead Muppet like Sutherland, the job can do
Do the freelancers laugh at the Travis, Stereophonics, The Strokes
and Linkin Park front covers ..like the rest of us?
Who decides on the NME front covers Sutherland or Knowles or 16 year
old work experience kids on a focus market research panel?
I want to identify blame.
Also I noticed that Mojo are seeking a new editor at the mo Advert
― masonic boom, Tuesday, 26 June 2001 00:00 (11 years ago) Permalink
But did you see the piece Keith Cameron wrote on Travis for the
Guardian Weekend? I found it frighteningly ambivalent, as though he
was just *describing* the situation where they have got so big, and
he just didn't seem motivated to speak out against it. Maybe age has
hit him where it hurts, but his pro-Oasis rhetoric wasn't what I
wanted to read from the NME *at all* in 1995.
Mark Sutherland - a pompey fan - well that is suprising.
Definitely the editor, after feedback in editorial meetings, with
pressure from upstairs. Yes, the freelancers do often laugh themselves
sick at the choices made by the above. I actually don't think they're
focus groupies at the NME (and anyway, no focus group I've ever been
privy to asks for specifics about content, more general areas or should
the spine be book-bound rather than stapled, yada yada). That's Emap's
department: a pal of mine who once edited one of their music mags was
rung on Boxing Day by the big cheese to be told if his cover choice
didn't pan out, heads would roll.
Also, access is controlled by PR's who grant exclusives based on the
promise of A Cover ('my client will not get out of bed for less than
5000 words') and how arsey the paper's tone has been to the other
artists they represent. NME will generally be in the same queue for
coverage as Mixmag, The Face, Q, Mojo. Dazed and Confused. i-D and
Sleazenation choose who to cover based on sneakier means; getting early
access to photographs because one of their people, say Wolfgang
Tillmans or Juergen Teller or Corinne Day, has done a shoot
(photographers have much, much better phone books than most editors).
If style mags have the photos, then they have a powerful bargaining
tool with the PRs who represent the artiste. No PR company would get
angry at a 'cool' photographer for this kind of scoop, as they lend the
artiste cred and in many cases get commissions from the record company
Hate to be all insider/media ho' about this, but I think it's my duty,
after 10 years' experience of these matters, to put that to use
demystifying the media's methods.
That was the eye-opening thing inside books like _Powder_ - not the
"Oh my god, rock stars are perverted, and singer/songwriters are
ego-ridden gits" bit of it, but the insider (manager) information on
how things like "cover articles" get handed out.
Then again, I suppose knowing too much can really leave a distaste in
the mouth. If someone chose to do a Popstars style expose on how even
the "indie"s are completely mechanised, I think I would move to Alaska
with ProTools and never leave the house again.
BTW my first job in London was, you guessed it, NME freelancer. I ran
away to join the Riot Grrrls, as any sensible female would.
― gareth, Wednesday, 27 June 2001 00:00 (11 years ago) Permalink
I would be interested in hearing your experiences of Riot Grrl, and
whether you think it and its daughters have accomplished anything, but
that's probably another thread.
Funny thing about "The Press" is... most musicians are unable to
separate "The Press" (a faceless, corporate entity controlled by Brand
Directors in IPC Towers) from the individual, badly paid, often
cynical freelancers that are sent to review and/or interview them.
Remember that musicians have been as badly burned by the Suits
Upstairs as the freelancers have been, they just don't know it. (And
― masonic boom, Wednesday, 27 June 2001 00:00 (11 years ago) Permalink
― mark s, Wednesday, 27 June 2001 00:00 (11 years ago) Permalink
― Tom, Wednesday, 27 June 2001 00:00 (11 years ago) Permalink
Upmarket? Rolling Stone? What the blinkin' 'eck?
― masonic boom, Thursday, 28 June 2001 00:00 (11 years ago) Permalink
― suzy, Thursday, 28 June 2001 00:00 (11 years ago) Permalink
It's all games.
Anyone got anything on David Lister? Name = familiar. Every time I read that Zappa quote (always quoted by eeevil sold-out pea-
brains like Simon Hoggart) I find I despise FZ more.
― mark s, Thursday, 28 June 2001 00:00 (11 years ago) Permalink
― suzy, Thursday, 28 June 2001 00:00 (11 years ago) Permalink
Circulation is dropping, but the website is increasing... so why the
heck don't they take advantage of the nature of the internet to
increase it even further beyond just a print version of the reviews,
and a live news feed? Oh, I'm going to start ranting again, see
remarks on the "what do you want from the press" thread.
― DJ Martian, Friday, 13 July 2001 00:00 (11 years ago) Permalink
NME's editor Ben Knowles will be online to answer your questions
from 4pm next Thursday. Should be interesting. So if you want to
know why Elbow haven't been on the cover yet or why he persists with
a bobbed hairdo log on and all will be revealed!
thats Thursday 19h July @ 4pm - if you want to grill Ben Knowles.
― DJ Martian, Saturday, 14 July 2001 00:00 (11 years ago) Permalink
― DG, Sunday, 15 July 2001 00:00 (11 years ago) Permalink
― Marcello Carlin, Thursday, 17 January 2002 01:00 (11 years ago) Permalink
One still gets the feeling that this is the usual stage in the NME cycle when nothing much is happening in whiteboy guitar land and black music and non-music issues get reasonably good cover until the next Roses/Mondays/Oasis comes along.
-- Marcello Carlin, Wednesday, 4 April 2001 00:00 (6 years ago) Bookmark Link
This dude knows what's popping
― Dom Passantino, Wednesday, 12 December 2007 11:45 (5 years ago) Permalink
I'm still wondering why he persisted with a bobbed hair log on!
― Mark G, Wednesday, 12 December 2007 11:47 (5 years ago) Permalink
(Ben Knowles, that is, not Marcello)
If I had 50p for every sneering comment I've had off the recording artists I know re. The Press I'd be very wealthy indeed.
― Noodle Vague, Wednesday, 12 December 2007 11:48 (5 years ago) Permalink
Suzy gives good wealthy.
― Dingbod Kesterson, Wednesday, 12 December 2007 11:56 (5 years ago) Permalink
I love how Dom is now grinding Suzy's axe six years on.
― Matt DC, Wednesday, 12 December 2007 11:58 (5 years ago) Permalink
guys, how do i meet "cougars"?
― Dom Passantino, Wednesday, 12 December 2007 11:58 (5 years ago) Permalink
I AM NOT DOM'S SOCK-PUPPET
― Noodle Vague, Wednesday, 12 December 2007 11:59 (5 years ago) Permalink
― electricsound, Wednesday, 12 December 2007 12:03 (5 years ago) Permalink
-- Matt DC, Wednesday, 12 December 2007 11:58 (9 minutes ago) Bookmark Link
-- Dom Passantino, Wednesday, 12 December 2007 11:58 (8 minutes ago) Bookmark Link
^^^this is the funniest ilm post in a while
― Dom Passantino, Wednesday, 12 December 2007 12:07 (5 years ago) Permalink
― DJ Mencap, Wednesday, 12 December 2007 12:07 (5 years ago) Permalink
NME doesn't get good until it gives up trying to appeal to the kids and instead starts writing about the same kind of stuff that Mojo does.
― Geir Hongro, Wednesday, 12 December 2007 12:45 (5 years ago) Permalink
The Beano doesn't get good until it gives up trying to appeal to the kids and instead starts writing about the same kind of stuff that Angling Times does.
― Dingbod Kesterson, Wednesday, 12 December 2007 12:49 (5 years ago) Permalink
― That one guy that hit it and quit it, Wednesday, 12 December 2007 12:50 (5 years ago) Permalink