Friday, March 17, 2006

News, News, News (Sport, Weather, And Finally)

Unlike most of the music blog network, our lack of updates this week is to do with laziness rather than wandering around that street in Austin where the whole of South By Southwest takes place. Someone's really let the cat out of the bag this year with the British reportage contingent increasing in size, and with the Arctic Monkeys in town that can only mean one thing - lopsided reporting. The BBC website reckons they were given a "lukewarm reception", which seems to translate as four reviews only one of which actually thought the gig wasn't up to scratch. So they didn't believe they're the greatest band in the world? Oh, string them all up immediately. Even Victoria Newton's pretending to be there reporting back for the Sun's Bizarre column, rating everyone she's seen out of ten, although evidently she hasn't quite got it yet, not just for giving Towers Of London 7/10 or the reference to Editors' "lead singer TOM SMITH who dates EDITH BOWMAN" - yeah, cheers, for that, we were wondering who he was again but now it's crystal clear - but for just going to see all the British bands, which we could do for ourselves, and saying of a couple of presumably local bands "can't understand why either of them even bothered to come". It doesn't take that much to work out why, by the way. You may also like to know she "couldn't stop laughing" at "overweight accountants" the Young Knives, as if they were Goldie Lookin' Chain or something, and slammed Tapes 'N Tapes thus: "Everyone was talking them up as the big new thing. But they were just another a bunch of middle class college graduates who looked good and sounded terrible." A job on a hipster-wannabe blog is hers for the taking. (The more discerning, by the way, can pick up live tracks recorded for KEXP radio at San Diego Serenade.) Like fuck she thinks Get Cape Wear Cape Fly's going to be huge! She can't even get the name right!

However, just this evening on BBC1 an even more bizarre cross-cultural exchange that left all sides looking awkward took place. It came in the Six O'Clock News' nightly midway Special Report, usually four minutes about African famine or wonder drug development but tonight following the herd to SXSW on the hook that James Blunt's been number one there so why can't every other British band. And who did they pick out as being at the vanguard of the new Brit boom?

The Rakes. On the 6 O'Clock News.

Not much of them, obviously - them entering the stage, five seconds of All Too Human, five seconds of Work Work Work, brief chat with Matthew, brief chat with Jamie. The odd thing was, though, that it didn't even seem to register who they were or in what context they deserved to be playing at such a major event, which just made them look like chancers to go with their status as the most stereotypically Proper British Indie band in existance...

...rather than a band picking up small but sure amounts of US blog hype, which is what they are, and they looked to be playing to a full and not tiny venue too. What was it supposed to tell us about British bands' chances in America? Without a fuller look, very little, but at least it got a film crew out of the house.

Anyway, don't listen to us, listen to people who are there, like Minnesota Public Radio's live streams, and Drowned In Sound's blog (when they update it).

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