Has The NME Got Good?

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On the cover recently - Popstars, Missy Elliot, the Miami Dance Conference, and a big non-music theme issue.....isn't this pretty much what we've all been saying the NME *should* be doing (Gorillaz aside)?

The question I suppose is - has anyone actually read it?

Tom, Wednesday, 4 April 2001 00:00 (seventeen 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. As an ancient relic of a human being, I remember all this happening in the mid-'80s when the likes of Stuart Cosgrove and James Brown loudly proclaimed hip-hop and house (and, ahem, "sonic theft merchants," i.e. M/A/R/R/S sampling three seconds of the Last Poets) the future, and sad C86 indie in its deserved grave. Then the ABC figures came in and the Shop Assistants replaced Schoolly-D on the cover once again. I sadly suspect that this will remain the case, as Gavin and Emma in their halls of residence will remain listening to the pelvis-dead likes of StarKloot and Turin Convenience when it all boils down. The other problem is that NME lacks the visionary writer to bolt everything together - there is certainly no Burchill, Morley or even Baker on the current payroll, and one has to rely on old rep reliables like SWells and Stubbs for insight and interest. Still, no argument that Eve's "Scorpion" is a knockout masterpiece of an album, and looking forward to the new Avalanches and Mogwai LPs as well as the forthcoming Shuggie Otis reissue. Life trundles on (P.S.: memo to Danny out of Hear'Say - lose the losers and do a cover of "Make The Woman Love Me" with Kevin Shields as producer. Guaranteed number one).

Marcello Carlin, Wednesday, 4 April 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

Eve's still not close to Aalyiah or Rah Digga really, though.

The patronage of Eve by a Cure-loving (for the record, behind the Smith as the 2nd worse band of the 80s for me, and I was only about seven at the time) OLD and BALD Grandad is the most patronisingly reader-chasing and insulting thing NME have ever done in my memory.

NME's crap right now. They're not taking any real risks despite (as always) proclaiming to: if they were to really devour the zeigeist, they'd swap the four page LP section with the half-page dance section.

NME's sad populism-chasing (as opposed to, say Musik and 7's populism facing) is as embarrassing as it can get for a 20 year old pop freak weaned on the UK inkies. Perhaps for some of the older readers of this forum it's different, but for me, it's a stab in the dark with a 1/2 knife.

For people really in tune with "The Kids", NME should cover: Zed Bias, DJ Dee Kline, Stanton Warriors, Life Without Buildings, Timbaland, Swizz Beats, Leaf and Strut Records, and Ty and the whole Big Dada stable in greater depth.

Izzie, Wednesday, 4 April 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

I meant Smiths and 1/2", sorry.

Izzie, Wednesday, 4 April 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

I don't know what 'kids' you know, but none I know would be interested in any of that.

DG, Wednesday, 4 April 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

Where do you hang out?

Izzie, Wednesday, 4 April 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

Not the same places as you, evidently.

DG, Wednesday, 4 April 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

Perhaps. But that's what people want round my way.

Izzie, Wednesday, 4 April 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

Well, its not Romford then.

DG, Wednesday, 4 April 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

Yes.

But that's your problem, not mine.

Izzie, Wednesday, 4 April 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

Well, obviously.

DG, Wednesday, 4 April 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

SO ABOUT THE NME, THEN.

*ahem*

Sounds like they're just trendchasing to me. I wouldn't worry either way.

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 4 April 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

A preface: my sister has a subscription to the NME -- I don't want anyone to get the idea that I actually buy the rag. But I do browse it every now and again, and lately I've noticed that they've been namechecking a lot of the artists that get talked about on FT: the Avalanches, Missy, a lot of pro-pop talk, etc. The difference though, is that the NME doesn't really have anything interesting to say about anything. For the most part (barring Stubbs, maybe) the writing is so poor that it really doesn't matter what artists or subjects they cover. And judging by the letters page, the readers are for the most part so dull I'm sure they will be writing letters of outrage over the lack of OCS coverage and things will be back to normal in no time.

Oh, and btw the recent rap issue was laughable. Isn't this the same magazine that condemned rap for years and years for sexism and homophobia, but now is praising it to the skies because a white rapper has made it palatable? Aside from Missy, when was the last time a black artist was on the cover?

Nicole, Thursday, 5 April 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

My view is a pragmatic one. There's currently only one weekly paper on the market, which is the NME. Its influence is now very minor but still probably greater than the influence of anything comparable on or offline.

The NME should front-cover Life Without Buildings and Zed Bias, maybe. But to leap from a Stereophonics diet to that kind of stuff would be too much too soon, and minor artists need a context in which to be understood anyhow. The current trend - to cover exciting, young music and to not assume that said music has to be a) rock, b) unrelated to everything else people do - is a positive one. You still get the feeling that everything's being seen in a rock light - look, look, it's drugs, dance music is hedonistic like rock! But even so it's a step up.

Yes, it's cyclical. But the NME in the mid-80s was good, and it would be nice for the NME in the early-00s to be good too, for however long it lasts. The big danger as Nicole rightly suggests is that it will hardly last at all as people drop it immediately. (Sales of the NME notoriously drop when black artists get on the cover).

The other thing Nicole says which I totally agree with is the writing quality thing. I bought the Missy issue and while it was refreshing to read the interview there didn't seem to be much meat otherwise, Peter Robinson's entertaining singles column aside.

From a personal POV, though obviously FT is nothing to do with any of this it's satisfying to feel like I backed the 'right horse' as it were, though the pro-pop bit is only a bit of what we're about.

Tom, Thursday, 5 April 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

I don't think a Life Without Buildings feature would make the NME any better. To me thier just about as good as all that Star Sailor/Turin Breaks crap. Life Without Buildings = Turret's syndrome sufferer shouting over banal indie rock instrumentals. I find Chicks on Speed satisfy any of my needs for slighly edgy pop punk.

I think it's nice that the NME comes out weekly, and so it's got that over american music mags, but the NME (and the rest of the british media) seem only to listen when there's a loud record promoter on the other end of the phone, whereas underground buzz/excitement is enough to get a review into spin or magnet.

marianna maclean, Thursday, 5 April 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

Read the NME today - Swells bit on stalking was readable, good to see Ludacris + co - but next week it's 'BRITAIN'S MOST EXCITING NEW BAND - STARSAILOR'(The band that made Alfie look good on the NME tour).The Miami feature was poor but I must admit that the live and albums selections are getting better.I want a weekly music paper to concentrate more on the ephermeral one-offs, singles and stuff that monthly mags can't do. Why no regular in-depth articles on British Hip-hop outside London - we have North Starz,P-Dog,Just Us - a decent scene has grown up around local talent.I refuse to pin my hopes on the fuckin' Strokes - VU live at Max's worshippin' guitar fascists - aargh pass the sedative!

Geordie Racer, Thursday, 5 April 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

playlouder report Mogwai attack the NME April 5th

Mogwai's Stuart Braithwaite has hit out at UK music weekly NME, branding them "pompous, disgusting and patronising".

"No, nothing shocks me anymore and that paper's just got really bad."

DJ Martian, Thursday, 5 April 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

That article "2fkd 2care" was stupid, I mean the results had zero validity. They didn't talk to kids who don't go out! And they also have a feature about people and their mobile phones. It's good sometimes, they cover alot of different things. So, 6.4 out of 10.

jel, Thursday, 5 April 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

What was that "2fkd" article about, jel ?

Patrick, Thursday, 5 April 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

Glad to see you here, Marcello! Your letters in the MM were so good that you really should have actually written for them, full-time ...

Of course, the NME has *always* aimed at students, ever since about 1970 when it very nearly went under after the arrival of new magazines aiming at the pop market which it had covered in the 60s, and oriented itself towards what was then laughingly called "progressive music". Since then it has reflected the narrowest and most up-its-own-arse aspect of university common-room prejudices (all those 70s ELP fans' letters sneering at The Sweet and calling Kraftwerk obscure bollocks were echoed in the anti-dance kneejerkery of some Smiths fans, the anti-intellectualism of the Roses / Mondays worshippers, the smug cawing over the worthlessness of hip-hop integrated into Oasism, and now everything about the whole Starsailor / Alfie / Turin Brakes axis), but sporadically come into its own and run free. The last couple of months have indeed seen a minor revival - the hip-hop issue *was* pathetically "let's get with the trend", but better that than pretending that dying British indie is the only way forward. And the stuff on Missy Elliot and the Miami Dance Conference *has* been refreshing; it's good to see the NME taking a pro-pop line for once. The "state of Britain's youth" issue was mildly alarmist sensation / event-seeking, but had a few good points.

However I share Tom and Marcello's fears that commercial pressures and the vestiges of indie-kid narrow-mindedness will work against these signs of life.

Robin Carmody, Thursday, 5 April 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

The "2fkd" article was about Britain's Youth Today. With emphasis on the capital letters.

Robin Carmody, Thursday, 5 April 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

I've been reading the NME and MM since I was a boy (alright, since I was 13 then and I'm 31 now so...) and as others have said, the paper always goes through phases just like the music it covers does. Unfortunately, the writers at the moment are as cackhanded as the pretty non-descript music they are having to write about. If I see one more fawning article on friggin Starsailor I'll scream (see forthcoming article I'm writing for FT, I WILL finish it, I WILL finish it - I promised Tom...). I have to admit I've read the NME through thick and thin but over the last year I've just given up on it and I've stopped buying it altogether. I still read it avidly (the chap next to me in work buys it anyway) but nothing INSPIRES me, there's no writers there who make you want to rush out and hear something new. They don't have the wit and style of older writers (whether it be Morley or Reynolds - I know, he wrote for MM, I'm just proving my point, OK?) Music is now seen as such a peripheral thing that lazy and sloppy writing is excused because 'well, the music isn't important anyway'. It IS important, and the writing should be good and inspiring, but writing about Muse taking magic mushrooms and the Miami dance conference in such a boring way does not inspire.

Anyway, enough moaning.

Rob M, Thursday, 5 April 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

The NME covering pop is just stupid, like Smash Hits running articles on Belle & Sebastian.

The NME feels very pleased with having outlasted Sounds and the Maker, but a gut feeling tells me it will no longer be with us in five years time.

Pihkalboy, Tuesday, 10 April 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

Tom E said: 'isn't this pretty much what we've all been saying the NME *should* be doing?'.

Who is 'we' here? A very select group, perhaps. I have most certainly never, ever said that anyone or anything anywhere should have anything to do with 'Popstars', 'Missy Elliot' or 'the Miami Dance Conference'. I have a feeling that all of them are probably atrocious.

the pinefox, Sunday, 15 April 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

No real opinion on the first or third, but you are indescribably wrong with your suspicions about Missy Elliot.

Robin Carmody, Sunday, 15 April 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

pinefox makes a point. if by 'we' you mean 'this forum', it's pretty much not what 'we' think the NME should be, because all 'we' ever talk about is obscure 80s UK indie bands, much like the NME does. bleh.

ethan, Sunday, 15 April 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

"We" as a whole talk about far more than obscure 80s UK indie bands. It's only the Pinefox who doesn't :).

Robin Carmody, Sunday, 15 April 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

RC is right, in that the many people on ILM talk about all kinds of things all the time, across great swathes of musical history and geography in large part unfamiliar to me. But whatever they're discussing, they don't *agree* about most of it most of the time; and to say 'we think x' / 'we have been saying y' seems to imply a consensus which I don't think exists on ILM, though it may, for all I know, exist among some other, perhaps smaller group of people somewhere or other.

the pinefox, Monday, 16 April 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

Tom was using the Royal We, as well he might. (Or is that 'they' might?)

mark s, Monday, 16 April 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

Disregarding the absolute pre-eminence of I Love Music, I think it's clear that the NYLPM/Freaky Trigger axis has long advocated a less hidebound indie-focused sense of diversity among the inklies, along the lines of what they *apparently* used to be like in the late eighties and early nineties (I really wouldn't know). So in that sense "we" equals more than just Tom but less than ILM... and anyway check the first couple of ILM entries.

Tim, Monday, 16 April 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

What Tim said (ILM is an affiliate of the FT empire though it surely has its own life and topic consensus, which - Ethan's grumblings aside - shifts around. Last week it was Post-Modernism. Currently we seem to be on 70s singer-songwriters, god help us. People wanting more discussion of other things should START THREADS AND SAY INTERESTING THINGS ABOUT THEM.)

Plus! I was responding to previous threads about the NME which broadly seemed to be concluding - well the NME is crap because all it covers is indie music, where are the hip-hop and dance and indeed pop features? Or that was the - biased - impression I was left with. Clearly there are dissenters, prominently DJ Martian who is no doubt as unhappy with Missy Elliott coverage as he is with more Terris, and the Pinefox, whose vision for the NME, if he has one, eludes me.

Plus plus! It was rhetorical - I could have said "some of you" but it would have got less people involved in the thread I judged.

Tom, Tuesday, 17 April 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

I could write my parody of the Pinefox's vision of the NME. But I think I've been too hard on him already. I might share it privately with Tom, though.

Robin Carmody, Tuesday, 17 April 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

A minor point, Tom, but are we actually "on" 70s singer / songwriters? Robert Wyatt, maybe, but you like him. Simon and Garfunkel are 60s. The Joni Mitchell thread, yes, but that style from that era is hardly dominating ILM.

Robin Carmody, Tuesday, 17 April 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

Back to the original question. These days I only read the reviews at nme.com and I must say they can still be very good (Daft Punk, Avalanches getting good marks, Tim Finn getting a 2 out of 10 and getting called a cunt). Probably the old "we put shite indie bands on the cover but in the review section we tell where are our hearts really lie." (The reason you had to buy MM regardless of who was on the cover).

Omar, Wednesday, 18 April 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

The Pinefox's Vision Of The NME

Editor: Steady 'Steady' Mike Chief Feature Writer: Stevie 'Edna' T Think Pieces: Tom 'It's Elusive' Ewing Roving Reporter: Tim 'Reality' Hopkins Letters Editor: David 'Incredible' Moore

Once every five years, Steady M takes pity on me and commissions a major retrospective on Harriet Wheeler. I dig out the last retrospective and add 200 words based on HW's activities, as known to me, over the previous five years. I struggle to reach 200. No-one notices that I am repeating previous retrospective.

the pinefox, Wednesday, 18 April 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

Do you think, somewhere in the OMNIVERSE, there is a parallel world where people complain bitterly about Mixmag being crap because it doesn't cover enough Teenage Fanclub?

MJ Hibbett, Thursday, 19 April 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

Not sure if you were being serious or not, but actually I've been involved in that discussion. My take on it is that Mixmag don't pretend to be anything other than a dance magazine (although seeing as the dance mags tend to cover hip hop and post-rock as well they're probably about as diverse as the NME - doesn't mean they're doing what they do particularly well though). NME on the other hand has pretensions of universality that it just does not on the whole live up to.

Tim, Thursday, 19 April 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

Great - so now I know all about NYC - it's changed my life.

tha ill presidente, Friday, 20 April 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

NYC - it was rather pointless exercise - like some free holiday advertising for New York City /State overseas marketing department. An advertorial.

Next week its Destiny's Child - another useless front cover.

DJ Martian, Friday, 20 April 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

Look, DJ M, the NME are not going to put Ulver on the front cover. EVER. And what is more that is the RIGHT DECISION. A feature, maybe, but not the cover.

Destiny's Child - and the NYC issue for that matter - pretty much confirm my original qn, i.e. the NME is on the right track currently. Themed issues = good. Putting the people making exciting pop records on the cover = good. The records Destiny's Child are making at the moment are terrific - there shouldn't even be a question about them being on the NME front cover.

Tom, Friday, 20 April 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

As regards ABC-figures, as Marcello mentioned, the best-selling NME of the 80s (by about 300%) had CILLA BLACK on the cover.

We didn't know where to put ourselves.

mark s, Friday, 20 April 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

Actually I don't have any plans for Ulver - to be front cover status on my weekly weblog feature. I have mapped out in my head the next 4 weeks in advance.

However the NME should at least have a 1 page feature of Ulver.

and a significant album review - in the old MM circa late 80s- a band released a significant and exceptional album then they would be rewarded with a large review (column inches) regardless of size profile.

I will be surprised if the NME review the Ulver album - as the NME are ignorant bastards when it comes to non US/British bands.

For the curious Ulver - Perdition City

Ulver - Perdition City - is released April 23th on Jester Records through Shellshock/Pinnancle in the UK.

There are also a number of important points on the NME current music coverage - that I want to expand on. Later.

DJ Martian, Friday, 20 April 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

No, it still hasn't got good.

the pinefox, Thursday, 26 April 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

last night, on the bus home, someone was reading thee latest NME. When he got off, he left it on the seat. Despite there being another 1/2 hour to go before I got home, I didn't bother picking it up. I suppose that's my answer right there.

x0x0

norman fay, Thursday, 26 April 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

one month passes...
Kids! Read the NME this week! There's this cool city called New York! It's happening like London isn't! We say you should be there! Cool bands with guitars! That's the future! The Strokes! The apex of popular culture! The most important group ever to emerge from music! We're not at all desperate! We've started slagging off Missy Elliott already! What? Still listening to hip-hop? That was two months ago! Keep up!

Marcello Carlin, Friday, 8 June 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

Death to the NME! The future of thinking and writing about pop should be left to us, we've totally-by-accident formed our little Leninist core of revolutionaries, now we just need to storm King's Reach Tower and dispose of all the counter-revolutionary journos, preferably by drowning them in a big vat of Marmite.

DG, Friday, 8 June 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

But they have this really exciting feature where they ask people what was the last text message they sent! How could I give up such insight into the human mind?

Nicole, Friday, 8 June 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

Shit, forgot about that. Such value for £1.20! I've said it before and I'll say it again, the future of music writing will probably be online and fan-based.

DG, Saturday, 9 June 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

I do believe we are standing waist-deep in the future as we speak/type.

David Raposa, Saturday, 9 June 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

The NME? wasn't that something to do with the 90s?

gareth, Saturday, 9 June 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

That's a great piece on Swells there, Mark.

The woeful Luke Haines was making derisory comments about Swells and pretty much everyone else at NME on Twitter yesterday, and was evidently searching Twitter carefully enough to catch my subtweet of him and try and set the millions of Auteurs on me.

papa don't take no meth (stevie), Thursday, 8 March 2018 11:27 (seven months ago) Permalink

when everyone else was either tittering at Sean Ryder's big + clever *authentic* homophobia. Wells took the fucker down a peg or two with that Working Class Zeroes piece iirc.

calzino, Thursday, 8 March 2018 11:27 (seven months ago) Permalink

or editing it out of interviews, I meant to add.

calzino, Thursday, 8 March 2018 11:30 (seven months ago) Permalink

start a twitter war abt swellsy w/luke haines to promote my book y/n

mark s, Thursday, 8 March 2018 11:32 (seven months ago) Permalink

if there was an a-hole that needed murking up, it's that fool.

calzino, Thursday, 8 March 2018 11:34 (seven months ago) Permalink

y

calzino, Thursday, 8 March 2018 11:34 (seven months ago) Permalink

he has 8,000+ followers, but most of those followers have +/- 90 followers and seem to be suffering frontal lobe damage so i'd say n

papa don't take no meth (stevie), Thursday, 8 March 2018 11:34 (seven months ago) Permalink

that's several thousand more than i'd've guessed and i enjoy much of his work

Finnegans woke (Noodle Vague), Thursday, 8 March 2018 11:35 (seven months ago) Permalink

his professional baddie shtick is so lame tho

Finnegans woke (Noodle Vague), Thursday, 8 March 2018 11:35 (seven months ago) Permalink

its hilarious that he's so anti-music-press when he is the archetypal only-the-music-press-cares-about-him artist.

papa don't take no meth (stevie), Thursday, 8 March 2018 11:38 (seven months ago) Permalink

I'll take him on with my 14 followers (4 of them porn bots).

calzino, Thursday, 8 March 2018 11:40 (seven months ago) Permalink

4 Non Bots

Finnegans woke (Noodle Vague), Thursday, 8 March 2018 11:41 (seven months ago) Permalink

Shenanigans

https://www.mirror.co.uk/3am/celebrity-news/former-nme-editor-reveals-shenanigans-12145655?x


assumed this would be McDickless but c'mon, you could have used a trigger warning

just noticed tears shaped like florida. (sic), Thursday, 8 March 2018 15:39 (seven months ago) Permalink

lover Swells so much I attempted to special-order his novel from bookshops in Australia for years

just noticed tears shaped like florida. (sic), Thursday, 8 March 2018 15:45 (seven months ago) Permalink

thanks autocorrect

just noticed tears shaped like florida. (sic), Thursday, 8 March 2018 15:45 (seven months ago) Permalink

I must have stopped reading NME before Swells got good, because he wasn't when I was reading it.

Buff Jeckley (Tom D.), Thursday, 8 March 2018 15:58 (seven months ago) Permalink

I can't stand Luke Haines anymore. His bitter bullshit was clouding my Twitter feed for far too long. I'm not even sure he's serious, but I think he is based on how badly he reacts to any criticism he receives. I once saw him cry his eyes out to some website's editor because a writer panned his third or fourth greatest hits collection; they actually took down the review, too.

afriendlypioneer, Thursday, 8 March 2018 16:08 (seven months ago) Permalink

more like luke heinous amirite

i'm surprised to see your screwface at the door (NickB), Thursday, 8 March 2018 16:23 (seven months ago) Permalink

Think I've said this twice before on here and I wasn't going to again, but fuck it - Swells (and Johnny Cigarettes) put me off all music journalism for a long time, I just found many things he wrote to be unnecessarily nasty, not usually in a constructive way, it just seemed vindictive without providing any greater insight. I appreciate that he sometimes stood up for good causes (like with Shaun Ryder and homophobia above) but feel like his canonisation is at least partly based upon the old 'hip young gunslinger' fantasy which is of interest to nobody except music journalists (by this I mean the idea that quality is judged on how angry and passionate you are rather than whether you actually have anything to say) (I may be wrong about this - if so please show me something genuinely good he wrote about music)
In any case, I felt the NME of the mid to late 90s had an overwhelming air of contempt for both musicians and their listeners and rang hollow for anything it was supposedly championing - it wasn't anywhere near as bad as the Conor McNicholas days, but as vapid as his NME was, it was Swells who stopped me buying the paper, not him.

mfktz (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Thursday, 8 March 2018 16:44 (seven months ago) Permalink

Had stopped reading NME by then tbh. Only familiar with early social realist Swells

Buff Jeckley (Tom D.), Thursday, 8 March 2018 16:49 (seven months ago) Permalink

The actual final cover:

.@stefflondon is Britain's hottest new rapper – meet her in this week's free NME magazine

Out Friday. Get your copy 👉 https://t.co/VfiZ6vWj1K pic.twitter.com/YKJoxGsnd8

— NME (@NME) March 8, 2018

mike t-diva, Thursday, 8 March 2018 16:49 (seven months ago) Permalink

lol, ok, good for them, not the worst way to go out: final cover star a birmingham-hackney girl who speaks fluent dutch

mark s, Thursday, 8 March 2018 17:01 (seven months ago) Permalink

is that Geri's dress?

Algerian Goalkeeper (Odysseus), Thursday, 8 March 2018 17:13 (seven months ago) Permalink

Swells wrote an article about punk in that appeared in an early 90s issue of UK comicbook Crisis, unfortunately doesn't seem to be online but I remember finding it incredibly exhilarating, maybe even "formative" when I read it as a teenager (in the late 90s after buying the comic second-hand) though tbf as far as I recall most of the article wasn't about music per se, more about the idea that anyone could create art regardless of technical skill or background (I remember that when I read Mark Fisher's K Punk blog a few years later I thought they seemed to be coming from a similar place in some ways)

soref, Thursday, 8 March 2018 17:35 (seven months ago) Permalink

I only commented to Haines that if he ever got bored with his sour Toby Young in a indie-hat persona he might find something better to do with his time to slag off ppl who are no longer able to defend themselves. And he called me a halfwit and blocked me!

calzino, Thursday, 8 March 2018 18:12 (seven months ago) Permalink

I found the cult of Swells irritating too - for the same sense of unearnedness mentioned above. Perhaps I came to him to late but it was rage and bile as motor as far as I could make out, in place of insight.

The shard-borne beetle with his drowsy hums (Chinaski), Thursday, 8 March 2018 18:15 (seven months ago) Permalink

I only commented to Haines that if he ever got bored with his sour Toby Young in a indie-hat persona he might find something better to do with his time to slag off ppl who are no longer able to defend themselves. And he called me a halfwit and blocked me!

his skin appears to be thinner than his hair

papa don't take no meth (stevie), Thursday, 8 March 2018 18:15 (seven months ago) Permalink

Haines is just a Poundland MES isn't he? Without the wit, or tunes. And imagine MES searching for himself on Twitter.

The shard-borne beetle with his drowsy hums (Chinaski), Thursday, 8 March 2018 18:16 (seven months ago) Permalink

he was called smith

mark s, Thursday, 8 March 2018 18:19 (seven months ago) Permalink

The Auteurs were great. They had lots of tunes. He's a sad, bitter dude past his prime, though. His Twitter is a broken record of negativity.

afriendlypioneer, Thursday, 8 March 2018 18:46 (seven months ago) Permalink

Yeah he was one of the people along with Graham Linehan who i followed was quickly horrified by then unfollowed. Twitter is such a bad look for some semi-celebs.

piscesx, Thursday, 8 March 2018 19:52 (seven months ago) Permalink

He's responsible for my favourite tweet of all time

Rag n Bone man sounds like Jimmy Nail.

— luke haines❌ (@LukeHaines_News) June 25, 2017

PaulTMA, Thursday, 8 March 2018 19:55 (seven months ago) Permalink

i agree with matt johnson re his band.

mark e, Thursday, 8 March 2018 20:08 (seven months ago) Permalink

Swells rarely had much insight about music, but he was very funny. Turning in an entire feature about a band you freely say are bad but had a great time with is an excellent use of the music press. With 900 pieces a week across the inkies, it's fine to show kids that you can just write an entertaining piece, not attempt to tell them what they should buy. Here's a joke, here's some invective, here's some human interest, go freelance a career.

just noticed tears shaped like florida. (sic), Thursday, 8 March 2018 20:35 (seven months ago) Permalink

didn't he once use the immortal phrase "the fetid stench of human cock-meat" in a Green Day review or something. I'd stopped reading him at that point tbh, but laughed when I read it quoted somewhere years later. G search doesn't doesn't yield anything so I might be just making this up.

calzino, Thursday, 8 March 2018 21:08 (seven months ago) Permalink

He rarely had much insight about music but he had a lot about the people who wrote about music and about the music industry itself. As (very funny) meta-commentary he was great.

Matt DC, Thursday, 8 March 2018 22:18 (seven months ago) Permalink

I loved these Swells remembrances bitd

http://thequietus.com/articles/02000-steven-wells-a-tribute

piscesx, Thursday, 8 March 2018 23:20 (seven months ago) Permalink

sad that his final piece -- "in extremis: steven wells says goodbye" for the philadelphia weekly -- doesn't seem to be on the internet any more

mark s, Thursday, 8 March 2018 23:24 (seven months ago) Permalink

https://www.theguardian.com/music/2018/mar/09/he-tried-to-get-out-of-the-car-at-80mph-the-stories-behind-nmes-greatest-covers

Don't think I knew that Penny Reel was AKA Paul Simon before!

Ward Fowler, Friday, 9 March 2018 12:33 (seven months ago) Permalink

he's not, he's pete simons :)

this is either forgetfulness on viv's part or the long-stewed beef of some ancient feud

mark s, Friday, 9 March 2018 12:39 (seven months ago) Permalink

Grauniad?

Buff Jeckley (Tom D.), Friday, 9 March 2018 12:43 (seven months ago) Permalink

i blame Alba

mark s, Friday, 9 March 2018 12:46 (seven months ago) Permalink

for some reason the swells phrase which sticks with me comes from a mid-90s interview where he takes issue with some feeble waif of a frontman (possibly rick witter) and asks if he'd not prefer to be stalking the stage 'encased in 250lbs of rock-hard raw beef'

War, Famine, Pestilence, Death, Umami (bizarro gazzara), Friday, 9 March 2018 13:25 (seven months ago) Permalink

just realised that i have academic access to rock's back pages and thus i can confirm that swells did indeed use that exact phrase in conversation with rick witter in an article published on 9 may 1998, meaning it's been rattling around my brain for almost exactly 20 years :(

War, Famine, Pestilence, Death, Umami (bizarro gazzara), Friday, 9 March 2018 13:37 (seven months ago) Permalink

"When I am dead and opened, you shall find Calais engraved on my heart" — Queen Mary

^^it's like this but world-historical

mark s, Friday, 9 March 2018 13:42 (seven months ago) Permalink

also we have to open your head

mark s, Friday, 9 March 2018 13:42 (seven months ago) Permalink

i can't remember this morning's commute but i can remember something an nme hack yelled at the singer from shed seven three decades ago

War, Famine, Pestilence, Death, Umami (bizarro gazzara), Friday, 9 March 2018 13:47 (seven months ago) Permalink

i feel like my head is already open tbh

War, Famine, Pestilence, Death, Umami (bizarro gazzara), Friday, 9 March 2018 13:48 (seven months ago) Permalink

irl lolled at rock's back pages revelation

just noticed tears shaped like florida. (sic), Friday, 9 March 2018 16:37 (seven months ago) Permalink

three months pass...

A classic from the the Steve Sutherland era

Oof. Here's the original NME review of Baduizm. Yikes. pic.twitter.com/RXCXw6LSwY

— Caspar Salmon (@CasparSalmon) July 5, 2018

Alba, Friday, 6 July 2018 07:01 (three months ago) Permalink


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