In the new issue of NME we’re saying ‘bollocks’ to the recession by listing 49 things to make you happy this summer. And at 49: the weather. It’s going to be really, really hot. After the last two soggy summers, The Met Office has forecast a 2009 heatwave. Whoop!
48. The summer’s going to be a Blur. The announcement that Britpop’s crowned princes were getting back together for a one-off gig in Hyde Park lacked the earthy smell of opportunism; the fact that all four, including Graham Coxon who embarked for solo territory at – coincidentally – the exact same moment the band went shit, meant that this means more than a half-arsed retread of ‘Country House’.
47. Indie radio just got better. Broadcasting straight out of The Newest and Trendiest Place in the World – that’ll be Dalston – Diesel U Music Radio is destined to become the playlist-free staple listen for every indie aficionado. Described as “a station with DIY ethics and BBC production values”, its opening week boasts contributions from Gruff Rhys and Emmy The Great. Pic: Andrew Kendall
46. Gigs have gone free. The sudden proliferation of gigs for gratis is probably one of the few plus sides to the country’s current economic. Venues across the country have started booking top artists in the hope that we’ll leave the house for a free gig. Wicked nights out for nowt: everyone wins. Pic: Richard Johnson
45. C86 is um… C09. C86 was the birth of ‘indie’ as a genre and the secret inspiration behind every guitar ever set to ‘jangle’. And now it’s back! Indie pop has come full circle, bringing with it a wide-eyed generation of soppy alt.romantics ramming clubs like Twee As Fuck and How Does It Feel To Be Loved?
44. Little Boots is leading the battle against boredom. In a world of dead-end drudgery, we all need a little magic. So when we heard Little Boots is planning to wear a dress made of crystals for one of her shows our otherworldly fantasies were realised. Forget working for the cash machine, this summer we’re all going to live in a sparklier world.
43. The Bronx go Mariachi! As if The Bronx weren’t fucked up enough, the hardcore punks have changed their name and crafted a new Mariachi influenced sound. Commercial suicide? Maybe – but Sombreros off to the Cali punks for trying something new. Pic: Richard Johnson
42. There’s a new Patrick Wolf record – thanks to you! After splitting up with Universal Records, Patrick Wolf headed off to Bandstocks – the place where anyone and everyone can invest in artists who’ve shrugged off the majors to do it their way. Fans invested a whopping £100,000 in his forthcoming album, ‘The Bachelor’, as well as the follow-up, ‘The Conqueror’, which is due out next year.
41. Cinema is going heavy metal. As the original Terminator inches ever closer to the Presidency, rejoice as Christian Bale takes on the role of John Connor, fighting in a post-Apocalyptic robot war where the robots have the jawlines of evil metal supermodels and massive great fuck-off laser rifles. Bring it awn.
40. Good music – even better ice cream. Fans of beardy weirdy gourmet ice cream can indulge in all their frozen dessert fantasies by stuffing themselves with free Phish Food at Ben and Jerry’s Sundae On The Common in London on July 25 and 26. The Futureheads and Camera Obscura will be there to soundtrack your belly ache.
39. You wont have to see ugly bands’ faces anymore. We suspect it might have been sparked by the Eurovision success of Lordi, but suddenly there’s a new influx of bands in masks skulking mysteriously out of rock’s fancy dress box. The Knife, Marmaduke Duke… is it enigmatic or maybe just slightly creepy?
38. The Nutty Boys are back. If their recent Camden Crawl performance has proven anything it’s that everybody loves Madness. To celebrate 30 years of drunken wedding dancing they’re putting on another festival with the name worthy of the countries grooviest uncles, Madstock. Pic: PA Photos
37. Festival food is going to be really good for a change. Bestival’s kid sister festival, Camp Bestival, has got a lot going for it – but what’s really won us over is the fact that TV chef Hugh Fearnley-Wittingstall will be cooking up some home grown treats and dishing out nettle beer. Rather! Pic: PA Photos
36. The Garage is reopening. Since the fire at Nambucca earlier this year, north London’s Holloway Road has been bereft of a cultural Mecca – until now. Legendary Highbury Corner venue The Garage re-opens in June after several years of refurbishment, transforming it into a state-of-the-art uber-club fit for the 27th century.
35. ‘Where The Wild Things Are’ is finally coming out. Spike Jonze’s adaptation of the cult children’s book is set to be one of the fuzziest, loveliest and downright oddest films of 2009. And more to the point, one Karen O has been enlisted to deal with what goes into your ears.
34. Diablo Cody is back. After bagging an Oscar for penning indie smash ‘Juno’, Cody is set to return with ‘Jennifer’s Body’, named after a track on Hole’s 1994 album, ‘Live Through This’. Released on September 18th, the film stars Megan Fox as a man eating cheerleader possessed by a demon. Expect a bangin’ soundtrack. Pic: PA Photos
33. Radio Soulwax goes on air. The Dewaele brothers are putting together 24 new mixes, which they’ll stream via their website. Their ambitions also extend to an eye-immolating live VJ set to accompany this summer’s 2ManyDJs tour. “It may kill us,” David admits.
32. There’s a Faith No More video game (sort of). Concerning a half-man, half-robot super-soldier battling through a dystopian future, ‘Bionic Commando’ is the next-gen instalment of Capcom’s franchise. But what’s really exciting is that the eponymous lead is voiced by Mike Patton.
31. There’s a new Arctic Monkey’s album! Alex Turner: “It’s been loads of fun doing this one. We’ve been thinking about things like harmonies a bit more, Josh Homme sings some backing vocals, there’s this song we did in the desert called ‘Jewellers’ Hands’, which is kind of a Dr Dre inspired slow jam…” Pic: Tom Oxley
30. Punk gets fictional. ‘Punk Fiction’ is a collection of short stories by artists and writers as varied as Dev Hynes, Billy Bragg, and Kele Okereke, inspired by their favourite punk songs. £1 from every copy sold goes to the Teenage Cancer Trust, so you’ve really no excuse not to buy it. Pic: Dean Chalkley
29. There’s a world music revival. There’s some amazing stuff happening in the genre right now, like The Very Best – a collaboration between Malawian musician Esau Mwamwaya and Radioclit that drew some richly-deserved raves last year – and ace Malian husband-and-wife duo Amadou and Mariam. Pic: PA Photos
28. It’s OK to be an ugly, shy girl. Literature and pop run into each other on Saturday July 11 at London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall with a shindig to celebrate the release of Brit scribe and Kate Nash Kate bezzie Laura Dockrill’s “very dark” novella, ‘Ugly Shy Girl’. Nash will doing songs and stories, supported by tour buddies Peggy Sue.
27. There’s going to be a cassingle revival. The humble cassette is making a comeback – Sky Larkin have already given new single ‘Antibodies’ a limited edition cassette release and Dirty Projectors are set to do the same with new album ‘Bitte Orca’. Time to dust down that bulky old Walkman.
26. No Doubt are coming back – no, wait! This is a good thing! Of all this year’s embarrassing reunions, we never thought we’d give a shit about these bubblegum oi punks coming back. But the prospect of Gwen Stefani getting shot of Akon, stepping down from her shinny pop plinth and getting her dirty back on is just the breath of fresh air we didn’t know we needed. Pic: PA Photos
25. ‘Brutal Legend’ is coming! ‘Rocktober’ sees the arrival of ‘Brutal Legend’, an adventure game starring Jack Black as super-roadie Eddie Riggs. Armed with a double-handed battleaxe and devastating guitar solo powers, Eddie must traverse a bizarre landscape of heavy-metal artwork in his cutsom hotrod, The Deuce. Devil horns at the ready.
24. The ‘difficult second album’ concept is dying. Who would have bet on The Horrors re-emerging with a genuine contender for album of the year? Or The Maccabees making ‘Wall Of Arms’, one the most atmospheric pop records in aeons? And just wait till you hear Jack Penate’s new effort ‘Everything Is New’…Pic: Ed Miles
23. Indie labels are sticking it to the majors! We live in an age where we’re listening to more music than ever before, yet paying for hardly any of it. Such an environment should have killed off the indie years ago, but the likes of Domino, Moshi Moshi and Bella Union continue to thrive, precisely because they’re more interested in music than economics. Pic: Tom Oxley
22. Gwar are playing. Gwar! Sauron’s own SAS squad Gwar are the latest act to confirm to play the none-less-Latitude Bloodstock in Derbyshire this August. A reason to be cheerful for all fans of noisy bloodletting, then. Pic: PA Photos
21. The iPhone gets funky. With Take That’s support act Gary Go planning to use his iPhone as a backing band at Wembley Stadium, now it looks like all secret rave mash-ups could be done on the Apple gadget. What next? Interplanetory exploration?
20. 3D Movies get really good. In December, director James Cameron releases his long awaited sci-fi 3D epic ‘Avatar’, which uses a revolutionary 3D Fusion Camera System so advanced that the film has been delayed while cinemas update their screening equipment so they can show it. Pic: PA Photos
19. Dubstep is only going to get more exciting. Borne of bass culture, dubstep belongs to a truly underground scene, chronicled by pirate radios and kept fresh by constant experimentation. Dubstep is more punk than you. Fact.
18. Micahu’s free mixtapes! If you only download one 50-minute wonk-pop, psych-grime, household-appliance-electro mixtape masterpiece this year, then you’d best make it ‘Kwesaschu’. Available free from June 5, It’ll be one of the weirdest and most rewarding journeys you ever take. Pic: Andy Whitton
17. The best comic in years is reaching its conclusion. Usually stuff finishing isn’t a reason to smile, but the masterfully addictive ‘100 Bullets’ isn’t your average graphic novel. In July, the 13th and final collection ‘Wilt’ will be published and finally tie up all the loose ends from one of the most imaginative modern series in memory.
16. There’ll be yet more ‘Twilight’. As you read this, the second iteration of the ‘Twilight’ movie saga is being polished off. Set for release only a few short months after the first one hit our screens. Even better, the third one’s also in production. So basically, we’re set to be drowning in beautiful nether-creatures come Autumn.
15. Classic rock is back. For everyone who keeps the ’70s alive through a heady combination of double denim and fingerless gloves, there’s only one day that matters this summer: the Sunday of Download. Def Leppard! Whitesnake! Journey! Donnington will be transformed into the most fist-pumpingest place on Earth. Pic: PA Photos
14. Muse are going ‘orchestral’. When even Matt Bellamy expresses concerns that the new Muse album might be a touch too theatrical, you know things are set to get a bit Zappa. Now they’ve finished ‘The Resistance’, it’s time for something biblical indeed. Pic: Dean Chalkley
13. The Rumble Stips are going all Springsteen! The Rumble Strips’ ace new single ‘Not The Only Person’ will have you beating your sleeveless-shirted chest black and blue with its propulsive E-Street gallop and a chorus that’ll have you beating your sleeveless-shirted chest black and blue. Pic: PA Photos
12. Opera is going indie. Rufus Wainwright is one of the most talented songwriters of his generation. So you can bet his first foray into the world of librettos and glass-shattering vocal ranges will be fascinating. ‘Prima Donna’ gets its world premiere at the Manchester International festival on July 10th. Pic: PA Photos
11. There’s a new Doctor Who! How to cope with the departure of The Nation’s Favourite, David Tennant? The Christmas present of the two-hour mother of all finales that’s going to mark the 10th Doctor’s regeneration into Matt Smith. Little is known, other than it involves The Master and is likely to be several kinds of awesome.
10. ‘Ghostbusters 3’ is coming! The writers of the US version of ‘The Office’ are crafting the script. Bill Murray’s agreed to go back. Seth Rogen and Steve Carrell will in all probability play the new generation of paranormal firemen. It’s difficult to see how ‘Ghostbusters 3’ can fail. And in the meantime, there’s the video game to be going on with. Pic: PA Photo
9. Ladies and gentlemen, we really are floating in space. Normally when bands do the whole “we’re playing our album in its entirety” gigs it’s because they’ve ran out of ideas. Not so with Spiritualized, who, ff the back of their excellent last album ‘Songs In A&E’, have decided to play their 1997 masterpiece ‘Ladies And Gentlemen We’re Floating In Space’ in full this October.
8. Faith No More are back! With the announcement of one single headliner, all memories of last year’s abominable Download Festival were banished. Faith No More are back, and they’re coming for your sanity. Many had forgotten that Mike Patton was, in his day, the most brilliantly demented frontmen on the planet.
7. Thorpe Park gets really good. Once the reserve of screaming, sugar-high kids, Thorpe Park has sorted its shit out recently, and added that new shit-the-bed Saw ride they keep showing scary adverts for. And if that clown-faced puppet thing doesn’t scare you maybe a ‘more than vertical’ 100-foot freefall drop will.
6. Spotify’s going mobile. The future arrived on a Thursday. It had been rumoured months, but Spotify finally gave the world a first glimpse of the mobile app they’re working on. All free music on your phone, now and always. And because it has cache memory you can use it on the underground. Nice one.
5. It’ll be the summer of steampunk. First popularised in the ’80s, the subculture – described as “an alternative fantasy view of the present that relies on pistons and brass instead of silicon and the internet – is enjoying a renaissance. The UK scene hosts its first ever convention this September in Lincoln.
4. Introducing cocaine – the drink: New spirit Agwa De Bolivia is set to make its debut at Glasto this year, and we’re intrigued. Made from the same substance as a certain white powder, apparently it mixes quite well with Red Bull, so you’ll find us at the all night Silent Disco…
3. There’s a new iPhone. This summer reportedly sees the release of a third generation iPhone. No official details have yet been announced , but there are plenty of well-informed rumors flying about. Doubling the memory, increasing the battery life by half and new video recording and editing features are all expected.
2. It’s the summer of Kasabian! There was one reason why last year’s festivals were A Bit Shit Really: the marked lack of Kasabian. There is simply no more enjoyable way to spend a July twilight than making BFFs with scaffolders from Newport, jumping up and down like a loon to ‘Club Foot’. Pic: Richard Johnson
1. Lily Allen’s doing a treasure hunt. If you follow Lady Allen’s Twitter feeds you will be aware of her recent ticket hiding exploits. The basic premise is, she’ll hide a bunch of tickets for her gig that night, then tweet a vague clue on their whereabouts. When asked if she’s going to do the same in the U.K she replied, “I’ll think about it… but probably yes.” Pic: Tom Oxley
For many more reasons to be cheerful, pick up the new issue of NME, featuring exclusive news on Arctic Monkeys’ new album (including the tracklisting), news of Radiohead’s new disco direction, and a highly personal interview with Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong.