Sunday 26 October 2014

Loaded: Awards time again

Gossip and news from rock critic John Meagher

Published 18/01/2008 | 00:00

CLASSIC POP: Kylie’s Can’t Get You Out Of My Head is analysed by Paul Morley on BBC4
No filler: Adrian Crowley's latest album is a minor masterpiece

Right from the off, the Meteor Awards have come across as a bog standard attempt to replicate the Brits (the awards, not the race). Judging by some record industry types, attending this annual knees-up has all the appeal of root-canal surgery.

The event seems to be created to honour people like Westlife and Andrea Corr although I'm told that certain RTE personalities take the DJ award rather seriously.

This year, with The Point closed for refurbishment, the hideous old RDS Simmonscourt will host the Meteors on Friday, February 15. Hilariously, Galway pub band The Sawdoctors are to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award. Can anybody name any of their songs other than N17 and I Usta Love Her? No, thought not.

Meanwhile, across the Irish Sea, the Brits Lifetime Achievement Award is to go to Sir Paul McCartney on February 20.

The Beatles and The Sawdoctors. Hmm, that should really put the ridiculous Meteors in their place.

Of course, the Brit Awards can be just as naval-gazing and fond of back slapping as the Meteors. It's simply on a far bigger scale. And The Sawdoctors don't get a look in.

Loaded was tickled to note just how corporate the Brits have got -- just about anything that can be sponsored has been. Pricy Swiss watchmaker Raymond Weil is set to be the hooley's Official Watch for the Brit Awards 2008. One wonders if Kleenex have been invited to be the Official Toilet Roll Supplier for the night.

And while we're on the subject of awards, eight of Loaded's top 10 Irish albums of the year (December 14 issue) made it to the shortlist for the Choice Music Prize -- the domestic equivalent of the Mercurys.

My favourite Irish album of 2007, Adrian Crowley's Long Distance Swimmer, and an excellent debut, The Flaw's Achieving Vagueness, are among the more fancied nominees.

Paddy Power were initially offering odds of 16/1 for the Crowley album -- although that quickly dropped to 10/1 as savvy punters put their money where their mouth is.

Calling a winner is difficult -- particularly as nobody expected The Divine Comedy to bag the prize last year -- but I reckon Cathy Davey might just be victorious in Dublin's Vicar Street on February 27.

Mark Everett, frontman of American alt.rock band Eels, has written an enthralling -- and unsurprisingly quirky -- biography that looks back over his 44 years on earth.

Things The Grandchildren Should Know looks at his strained relationship with his father, the noted physicist Hugh Everett III (the man behind the parallel universe theory), the suicide of his sister and his failed marriage, as well as his formative years in music and subsequent status as one of the most eccentric songwriters of his day.

It's set to be quite a busy time for the man simply known to his fans as E. Two compilation albums -- Meet The Eels: Essential Eels Vol. 1 1996-2006 and Useless Trinkets: B-Sides, Soundtracks, Rarities And Unreleased 1996-2006 -- will be released at the end of the month.

The BBC are also planning on repeating the outstanding documentary about E and his father -- Parallel Worlds, Parallel Lives -- over the next few months.

Sometimes it doesn't do a very good job of promoting itself, but BBC Four is the place to watch thought-provoking music documentaries. Two fine programmes that aired last week, and are also set to be repeated over the next month or so, were journalist Paul Morley's personal take on what makes a pop song great and composer Charles Hazelwood's forensic examination on why certain classic three-minute pop songs work so brilliantly.

Morley's Pop! What Is It Good For? focused on a handful of his favourite songs (Kylie's Can't Get You Out Of My Head, The Smith's This Charming Man and Sugababe's Freak Like Me), his passion for the material and for the people who wrote them. His unusual approach to the work made for compulsive viewing.

It also made you want to listen to said songs like you'd never listened to them before. n

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