A Showdown.

by Alex Hern


You and I have had our grievances in the past, I know that. I maintain that Pete Doherty is just a drugged-up parody of his former self, but I accept that he sells issues.

But today is The Cool List 2006. So I’m going to brave your modish pages, and report back on the contents within.

So, open the packaging…

Now, clearly I’m going to start at the back. Who cares about who is number 40?

And number one is… Beth Ditto!

She does have the most brilliantly rock and roll attitude ever, I’ll give her that. In her world, the coolest moment ever was when Roseanne Barr slaughtered the American national anthem. I don’t think it was meant as a political gesture, but hey, what Beth Ditto says, goes. Still, it would probably be prudent to wait for her to sing more than one song. No matter how madly amazing that song is.

Flick back a page…

Number 2

Oh, NME. Really… I thought better of you.

Faris Fucking Badwan (I refuse to call him Faris Rotter. He is a public schoolboy, for fucks sake).

I know what you are gonna say.

“Oh, its the Cool List, it needn’t relate to music. And look at him! He has the most amazing hair!”

At least, that better be what you are going to say. Because if you try to defend his music, I will take you into a dark alley, and I will cut you.

Regardless, NME, if amazing hair makes someone cool, put a hairdresser in the Cool List. Hell, put his hairdresser in the Cool List, I don’t care. Just stop encouraging him!

The Horrors are this years The Others. I promise.

Number 3… Lily Allen.

There we go. Someone who is genuinely cool, has performed a service to music (oh come on, try and tell me she hasn’t improved the pop charts), and, best of all, is self-aware enough to avoid becoming a parody of herself in a few months time, which, lets face it, is the best possible outcome for little lord Badwan.

Number 4… Jarvis

All round musical god. I want his babies.

Number 5… Karen O

Or maybe she should have his babies? They would be the best children in the world.

Number 6… Kieren Webster, The View


OK, I’ve listened to the cover CD, and I take it back.

The View are this years The Others.

Number 7… Kate Jackson, The Long Blondes

There are many reasons to like the Long Blondes. They do retro in all the right ways, from the music to the style, they keep aloof enough to seem like real rock stars, and their debut album isn’t the overhyped, underperforming mess it could have been.

Unfortunately for Kate Jackson, this isn’t an album review. This is the cool list. And if there is one thing that is really uncool, its patronisation. Talking to someone like their mother is lame, idiotic, and really annoying.

You’re only nineteen for God’s sake, you don’t need a boyfriend.

Piss off.

Number 8, Gerard Way, My Chemical Romance

Making the leap from Emo-lite to Queen-lite in one album seems impressive, until you realise that deep down, every Emo band wants to be Queen. Its just Gerard Way has the balls to say it.

I quite like the new album. As pop-rock goes, it has a certain panache, and the concept is sound. Its nothing Green Day haven’t already done, and better, but I can listen to it.

Hes just not cool, though, is he? I mean, if you are thirteen, maybe, but everything he does has been done before and with more flair by someone else.

Hell, even I was over the military dress by this summer.

Number 9… Thom Yorke.

Weird is cool. It has been decreed.

Number 10… Lovefoxxx, CSS

See the points for numbers 4, 5, and 9.

Lovefoxxx is weird, sexy, and a musical genius. She is everything that is good about Beth Ditto, but Brazilian, with a whole raft of singles under her belt. She is the coolest person in music at the moment, and if their album had come out this month, instead of August, NME would have remembered that.

Its a shame, NME, but in a few short months, you forgot the majesty of Lovefoxxx. Go and put on the album, or, even better, watch some of the videos. Then go and have a cold shower, and correct this mistake.