The Big Hurt: Faces refaced

Also Spears speared, Hook hacked
By DAVID THORPE  |  November 24, 2009

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Rumors of a Faces reunion tour have been popping up for more than a year now — at times floated by ROD STEWART himself — but the deal keeps stalling and snagging. And if there are any dad-rock old-timers out there still clinging to hope, they can forget it: Billboard has reported that the non-Rod Faces are sick of waiting for their platinum-blond chanteur to indulge their reunion fantasies and are planning to go ahead with a replacement vocalist: Mick Hucknall.

"It's more adventurous," said keyboardist Ian McLagan. "It won't be the same old shit. I think it's more exciting, actually, with different singers." Adventurous? Exciting? Not shit? You'd have to think they must be talking about, I don't know, a motorcycle stuntman named Mick Hucknall — certainly not the dude from Simply Red. Then again, Rod's hardly the picture of vigor: he's sitting out the Faces reunion to promote his new record, a collection of R&B standards called Soulbook, the cover of which depicts a black-and-white Stewart closing his eyes, pursing his lips, and snapping his fingers — must have taken hours to Photoshop out the cobwebs.

The NME.COM MUSIC HEADLINE OF THE WEEK, presented to you here free of any unnecessary, joy-killing context: "Chipmunk suffering 'exhaustion' after Twitter suicide messages." Hang in there, little fella!

BRITNEY SPEARS's tour promoter, Paul Dainty, is furious over allegations that Aussie fans walked out on a recent stadium show because of flagrant lip-synching. "It's the biggest lie I've ever heard. I'm so angry," a hyperbolic Dainty told the Australian. (That's the newspaper, not THE Australian — I know you were all picturing Dainty saying it to Bryan Brown from Cocktail.) Uh, anyway — you tell 'em, Dainty! Nobody accuses our Britney of lip-synching and gets away with it! . . . Oh, wait, that's not it — he fully admits she was Milli Vanilling: "It's been all over the Internet for nine months. The inference is that we tried to hide this. It's been the opposite." So what he's actually mad about is the reports that people walked out over it. Art!

Obsolete American Idol sensation JORDIN SPARKS has become the celebrity spokeswoman for an Allstate-backed campaign to persuade teens not to text while driving. "Unfortunately, it can be easy to forget the dangers of texting and driving when you get behind the wheel," says Sparks. "I'm glad to take this public pledge with Allstate, because sending a text isn't worth taking a life." On the surface, it would seem that texting while driving is so obviously stupid and dangerous that even the dumbest teenagers shouldn't need a celebrity to tell them not to do it. Then again, I know how stupid and dangerous it is only because I do it about 50 times a week, and every single time I'm like, "Christ, this is incredibly stupid and dangerous."

Last month, I wrote a detailed analysis of the prospects for LIAM GALLAGHER's new band, and I concluded — surprise! — that they'd be terrible. New details of the venture have emerged, and I'm delighted to observe that my previous judgment requires no amendment: Liam's new outfit (still unnamed) is just all the dudes from Oasis except Noel Gallagher. It may be the most boring possible conclusion to the saga, but at least diehard Oasis fans will dig it — after a decade of disappointing albums, dropping the only half-competent songwriter may be just the shot of pure rock-and-roll adrenaline the band need.

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