Yes, NME, I am. You totally got me.
In a big way.
I confess: I am obsessed with the New Musical Express. I am so enamored with it again, I can't get enough. I shell out the dough every week ( $5.50--American dollars) and I giddily pour over the latest snarky and passionate ink on the news, notes and pictures of Brit musicians--the bands they are digging that week.
Right now, they are dig-dig-digging (along with the rest of the U.K.) The Arctic Monkeys. In last week's issue there was a double-sided-three-foot-long poster of the lads. It's awesome and I want to put it up on my wall.
*Their first single, "I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor" has been number one on Top Of The Pops longer (26 weeks or something insane) than any single...ever.
That fucking song is totally...TITS. It's sexy, punk, and dripping with the sweat of youth (the lads *are* 19 years old and are gawky with acne, for crying out loud). And it seriously feels like an unintentional musical revolution; a refreshing wake-up call. A year ago, these dudes were tooling around their "mum's basement" plunking out White Stripes' and Vines' covers. Hard to believe such a D.I.Y. tale when you actually hear them. They're polished.
The gem in NME last week was the long-awaited album review (finally released after months of the drooling over demos and EPs). Tim Jonze wrote it, and it is one of the most exciting pieces (both in its style and its subject matter) of music writing I have ever had the pleasure of reading. I present to you the pull-quote, ladies and gents:
"This record couldn't be anymore Saturday night unless it woke up, bleary-eyed next to a 16-stone munter with herpes."
(I am ashamed to admit then when I read that quote I thought two things: "that is so brilliant, I wish I had thought of that" and "oh fuck! that's where Bush--the mediocre British band, not the prez, got the name for their damn album. whoa.")
He inevitably quotes the first lyrics on the album: "Anticipation has a habit of setting you up/For disappointment." (journalists keep rubbing this one in your face, I've found. Rightly so--the hype is ubiquitous and um, hyperbolic, actually. This blog is case in point. I just can't help myself.)
And then, inevitably, the journalist goes on to explain why that is just not true in the case of the Arctic Monkeys. As you have seen me also go right ahead and do.
My fave bit is when he breaks it down, brilliant-like:
"Essentially this is a stripped down punk rock record with every touchstone of Great British Music covered: The Britishness of The Kinks, the melodic nous of the Beatles, the sneer of the Sex Pistols, the wit of The Smiths, the groove of The Stone Roses, the anthems of Oasis, the clatter of The Libertines..."
What was I saying about hyperbole, again?
It's so full of passion and excitement, though! I highly recommend reading the whole thing.*Things that I have to buy at the Electric Fetus because I live in Minnesota:"Whatever People Say IAm, That's What I'm Not" and Richard Ashcroft's latest and most promising solo work! Read this about Liam singing "The Drugs Don't Work" with Richard.
A warning: I have also been into the pastime of creating mixes,analyzing the order of songs and how they affect people. And I might be in the habit of putting "I Bet That You Look Good On The Dancefloor" as the first track on all of them. Watch out...you could be next.