Remember Lumidee? She had that incredibly annoying 'Uh ooooooh' song (yes it's brilliant now) during the summer of r&b hell that was 2003. I stayed at Warwick that summer making SRA awards, kissing an MA student and djing events for children who were inexplicably involved in events on campus. And all they wanted to hear was bloody r&b (this was in a particular era where I was turning my nose up at anything non-pop). It was Sean Paul this, Blu Cantrell that, Eminem, Black Eyed Peas etc etc
Anyway, Lumidee is back and I can almost hear your sighs of relief across the webwaves. In fact, thank god she has returned to us in these 'Beyonce having become a bizarre mash of Tina Turner and Diana Ross' days. And she is back with something rather odd - She's Like The Wind. Yes, everyone's favourite weep-a-thon Swayze classic from the ditzy Dirty Dancing has been reworked into a soulful grinder- with Lumidee joined by Tony Sunshine - ripe for overplaying on Radio 1.
It's "doing damage on the airwaves" in America and I've got no doubt that it's going to be absolutely pounded in the UK too despite it being a tiny bit shonky. I have no idea when it's coming out over here but I bet it'll be blaring out of every car cruising down Blackpool promenade on a Saturday night come Summer. New lyrics include: Listen baby I’ve been around // I know that you like how I wear my crown // And I know that im something that is so profound // So far what im hearing look I like the sound . What??
Listen to it here.
p.s. Can someone explain to me how Cascada keeps getting top 10 hits? Have we travelled back to 2001? Are the charts accidentally only counting sales in the North West?
Can everyone STOP with the Doctor Who spoilers please? Every surprise, every twist, EVERYTHING, is being ruined. The worst offender is the bloody radio times who spoilt the last two episodes of season 2 with their damn front page.
Today it's reported that the lovely, on my eligable celebrity boyfriends list, John Simm, will star in the series soon. I will not go any further because I do not want to spoil for anyone who manages to avoid the damn things. This is good because he is ace but bad because I totally had him down for the eleventh doctor. BOO HOO.
I've been a little bit quiet here because I've just got a new job. Hooray! It's somewhere I've wanted to work for ages and combines both my radio and web skills. Ace. Now I just need to get back into coping on little sleep after djing. A call to arms Londoners - where is good for lunch around Brick Lane/Shoreditch High Street area?
Mika was astounding at Popstarz. Various people have accused him of miming but I can confirm he was live. In any case I can't really pay much attention to Mika when his drummer is on stage with him. Last time I saw our #1 at Ronnie Scotts, I stared and stared at his drummer for ages wondering why I knew her. Then I got home and thought 'huh maybe she's the drummer for The Faders', and then dismissed it thinking I was only thinking that because she was a a girl, black and a drummer.
But no, I was right! Mika's drummer is Cherisse Osei, formerly of short lived girl band The Faders. They were to the UK what The Like are to America in terms of having famous parents. Hooray for fact based (rather than race based) deduction! Anyway Cherisse totally rules when on stage with Mika - she was born to be a star. Even if that birth was an offensive 1986 one.
Here are some other facts about Cherisse
These are probably enough facts for someone you've probably not heard of. However I hope to be doing a mini interview with her for F*@K Magazine if she says yes. What form this will take I do not yet know but hopefully she wouldn't google my name and find this slightly stalkerish post. F*@K is a new gay magazine set up by the gods behind ghetto and popstarz by the way. It's totally ace and I've so far contributed a Fischerspooner interview (in issue 2) and have a Charlotte Hatherley and Maximo Park piece in forthcoming issue 3. Ace. Cherisse for #4!
Just a quick note to say it is really really cold in London, particularly in my bedroom where my stupid sash style windows appear to be letting in all air possible. GRRRH.
Does anyone have an opinion on music festivals to try in Europe? I've already done Exit (woo!) and Benicassim (boo!) and am thinking something Scandavian as I'd quite like to see a lot of Scandavian pop acts.
My Maximo Park interview went well. Paul even sang a bit of Billie down the phone to me. My life couldn't be more complete.
So remember how I love Annie? She's a Norwegian DJ and pop singer whose debut album Anniemal was released on 679 [who may I point out have signed Dead Disco!], had a pretty big push from the label and was dug by lots of bloggers and critics but no-one who would actually use a shop to buy it.
Well today, Universal Records signed her for a UK deal. She'll be working with Xenomania to make an album which'll be out at the end of 2006. Yippee. I wrote more on the subject over here.
As John Legend would say Holler holler holler!
I have just been given short notice that I'm interviewing Paul Smith from Maximo Park in the morning.
Now I will obviously do my own research but the fact that I'm going out to see Client at Nag tonight leaves me with little time to prepare.
So if you happen to know anything wildly fascinating about Paul or MP that I might not know please tell me. Alternatively if you have any questions that I'd be stupid not to ask please hand them over.
In return I'll tell a good pop fact.
I love Rockstarz. I know I go on about it all the time but it's ace. Here are some songs I played this week.
Mark Ronson - Stop Me / Connan & The Mockasins - Sneaky Sneaky Dogfiend / Mr Hudson & The Library - Too Late, Too Late / Jarvis - Don't Let Him Waste Your Time / Air Traffic - Never Even Told Me Her Names / Kasabian - Me plus One (sadly not a cover of Annie) / Vines - Don't Listen to the Radio / Modest Mouse - Dashboard / L7 - Pretend That We're Dead / Charlotte Hatherley - Behave / Metric - Handshakes / The Violets - Forey / Soulwax - Conversation Intercom / The Whip - Trash / Teddybears - Punkrocker / Bloc Party - 2 More Years [MSTRKRFT remix] / Lilllix - Little Things / Shiny Toy Guns - Le Disko / The Killers - Bones / LCD Soundsystem - North American Scum / Kaiser Chiefs - Ruby / Just Jack - Starz in your eyes / Gossip - Jealous Girls / CSS - Let's Make Love / Klaxons - Golden Skans / Cazels - Poor Innocent Boy / Jarvis - Fat Children / Switches - Lay Down The Law / Young Knives - Hot Summer / Young Love - Discotech / Metric - Dead Disco
Come. Mondays at Ghetto, there's always a band playing too and it's only about £3 to get in. I'm back on Feb 5th with the Schla la las.
In what is perhaps the booking of the decade, Mika, currently set for this week's #1 slot on downloads alone is playing Popstarz next Friday (26th January). Woo hoo. And while the battle for #1 between Mika and Just Jack, never mind the entire exciting chart of last week (seriously klaxons downloads only at 15? WHAT?) should be spoken about, I'm far more excited about the re-entry into the charts of our glorious leader of pop - Billie Piper.
I've not heard it myself, but Chris Moyles has been running a campaign to get Billie's 4th single Honey to the Bee back into the charts to demonstrate the flexibility (exploitability?) of the new charts. Why he's picked this song I have no idea, after all it's totally her 4th best single falling way short of Day and Night, Something Deep Inside and She Wants You, but who am I to argue? The public seem to have picked this campaign up and run with it with a current iTunes chart position of 15. Whether this translates into a real top 40 placing is yet to be seen but wouldn't it be fabulous if it did? After all we're never going to get any new Billie pop material. Buy, buy, buy.
I listen to a lot of music. Some of it is pants, some of it is good. Sometimes it's really good and I blog about it, tell other people about it, play it at clubnights and generally think 'huh, that's good'. Othertimes it's so good that as I listen to it I get a feeling that builds and builds until I think my head is going to EXPLODE with it's goodness. Tell me it's not only me, because writing that down I sound a bit berserk.
Anyway this is one of those times. Thanks to a link on Stereogum, I've been listening to the Jan 5th edition of Mark Ronson's Authentic Shit radio show, originally broadcast on a New York station. This particular radio show is AWFUL. I'm sure it's not normally but this particular edition is presented by Mark's sister Samantha covering for him. Wikip tells me that Samantha is a big-ass DJ in New York but this show does nothing to give that impression: links are all over the place, wrong tracks are played and everything sounds really shonky. The music, of course, is brilliant.
ANYWAY we all know Mark Ronson is really cool don't we? In November 2003 he made his first impact to the masses with the astounding Oooh Wee which sampled Boney M's Sunny (before the Boogie Pimps) and featured Ghostface Killah and Nate Dogg amongst others. The track was taken from his debut album 'Here Comes The Fuzz' which I've not actually hear. I assume it is great though and must try to listen soon. In 2006, Mark Ronson really reappeared on my radar producing large parts of three of my favourite albums of the year Back to Black, Alright Still and Rudebox and putting in an amazing performance at Bestival. We also got a single release from him in the form of an ace cover of Radiohead's Just. This was a teaser for his 2nd album Version which'll be released on April 16th and features reworkings of famous tracks in that horn-ridden, groovy way of his. I've heard a few tracks from Version and particularly love Lily Allen's version of Kaiser Chiefs' Oh My God but today, in this radio show, I heard a spectactular version of one of my favourite Smiths' songs: Stop Me If You've Heard This Before.
The thing with Mark Ronson produced tracks is that they're generally brilliant but they occasionally fall into the COMEDY HORNS label (as Just does a little). I'm No Good uses the horns to a slightly less comedic effect and Stop Me does the same. Vocals are provided by Australian Daniel Merriweather and it even blends the Supremes You Keep Me Hangin' On in at the end.
Of course, every other pop blogger under the sun has already written about it, but as ever XO London in the most concise, brilliant manner. And I agree with him entirely, it makes me want to run round my room screaming too - oh the breakbeat bassline, the silky smooth vocals and the unbearably, oh so yearning strings building and building and building. XO alerts me to the fact that you can hear it in full at Mark's Columbia page. So go, go go go this instant and listen to what is perhaps 2007's Crazy. I've been sitting there on repeat for at least the last 4 hours.
Finally after gaypop's tempting way back in November the new Sophie Ellis-Bextor video is finally with us. Looking like a crazed Shirley Henderson, Sophie, complete with two red dresses and two hairstyles, seeks out a man in what is probably Venice. The song is awesome, hence it will probably chart at about 34.
Hairy Dan alerted me to the fact that the quite exceptional Metric (who in this photo seem to think they are in Spooks) are playing a headline date in London (and Brighton and Oxford) as well as their sold out Bloc Party support gigs. If you're in any of those locations I really can't urge you enough to go. The band are from Toronto and they are very, very hip but still remain fun. The critics and bloggers love them and the hype really is deserved. In America they've been used on Grey's Anatomy (who have a LOT to answer for in this bloody Snow Patrol debacle) and in the UK I nearly leapt out of my warm bed when Monster Hospital opened Hollyoaks last week. I saw them in Hammersmith last year, and they were ace, complete with bullet nipples.
If you're looking for tracks to get you started I'd recommend the aforementioned Monster Hospital as well as Dead Disco and Combat Baby. The main thing here though is that you should come and see them at Dingwalls on 30th January. Ticketweb will get you tickets for £9.65!
It's no secret that I'm quite a big chart geek. Like everyone else I used to tape the chart off the radio every so often trying really hard to capture the songs and cut it off before Mark Goodier started talking, but I've also had a rare pleasure of working on the Official Chart Show (with Wes as presenter) for 6 months back in 2004. This is when the real chart geekiness started and now I seem to pride myself on being the personfication of everyhit.co.uk whenever possible.
So, with the chart rule changes that came into force on 1 Jan, yesterday was the very first day of the new style chart. This is incredibly exciting, anything could happen and a re-entry for Snow Patrol in the top 10 means it all starts kicking off. Of course, I'm too late to write anything intelligent about it, the awesome Mr Discopop has already done it.
Josh, Zack and James are disgustingly young, and together they make up a band called Go:Audio. They used to be called The Vacancy (I have no idea why they aren't now) but are signed to Sony and make top class emop. Emop is a word I have just made up which unsurprisingly means Emo Pop. The always hilarious Urban Dictionary instead claims emop means: basically an emo, but more dramatic. They are female and tend to have black hair, purple lipstick and navy eyeliner. They love Green Day and make harming use of razors. Emops love their Mommy's. Ace.
Go:Audio have been mentioned on a couple of blogs which until tonight I've blissfully ignored. Now I've finally paid attention to I'm Always Right who mentioned the band in their Great Hopes for 07 post. It's bouncy, it's fun and given the current teenage music temprement of the UK I think they could do very well indeed. The very ace Made Up Stories totally channels the vibe of big scorers such as Panic! At The Disco and Fall Out Boy and I'm pretty sure will at the very least get Seldo bouncing around his bedroom, if not the whole of Popstarz. Plus going by the over analytical karinski ruling that if your a boy and you don't put a status on myspace, you are at least a bit gay if not completely, the band themselves might be dancing around Popstarz. Hopefully I'll have an interview with them soon, but until then, unless emo makes you want to vomit, check their myspace .
Futon are playing at Rockstarz tonight. Monday nights at Ghetto are brilliant, I DJ every other week (although am doing 3 consecutives: last week with the surprisingly ace Diskoboy and next with Fleeing From Finales) with the very lovely Laurence. It's an ace night because the people are really open minded, they've come to see a band they probably don't know and they'll dance to anything. This is dreamy, so fantasy free me! Seriously, DANCE TO ANYTHING. I love being able to play stuff like Scissors for Lefty or Metric that would normally clear dancefloors at other nights. Swoon.
Anyway I don't know a lot about Futon, but one of their members is Simon Gilbert, formerly the drummer with Suede . They are based in Bangkok, have had two #1 singles in Thailand and were recently named Thailand's most stylish band. They're over in the UK at for 4 shows promoting their single Strap It On which is taken from their 4th album. They've played at Ghetto before, at Nag Nag Nag, in 2004, but I'm quite excited about tomorrow as I quite like the sound of them on myspace. Suede have always had a strong connection to Popstarz being a core band for the club when it was originally set up in 1996. I think they may have done a PA there at some point (although I'm not sure) and Brett djed at our celebration of Simon Popstarz in 2005, so it's cool to have a spin-off band keeping us in their clubs to visit list.
I often ponder about the purpose of this blog. I could quite happily write about all types of music all day long, write several posts a day and have a real drive behind it. But for some reason I don't really think that's what Karinski is for. Back in the early days of blogging, and before everyone else discovered it (yeah, yeah), Popjustice, was the bible. Recently it's changed a little bit and with all the other brilliant music blogs out there it's not my core text (that's not to say I don't read it every day). Anyway this post is mainly to highlight the brilliant Hot Stuff Files that fulfills the same place Popjustice did back in, what I consider to be it's hayday. It points out fun, interesting stuff that I would probably cover if Karinski actually meant anything. Go visit.
Tonight, like nearly every Thursday, Friday and Monday night (yes I never sleep), I was djing. And I played some ace music.
Thursday is Miss-Shapes where nearly anything goes but is mainly indie and pop. Our first set was brill, it went something like this (there are whopping gaps as I forgot to photo it and can't remember):
Brad Walsh - Two of Hearts
Lo-Fn-Fnk - City
Linda Sundblad - Lose You
Annie - Anniemal
Bertine Zetlitz - Midnight
Jarvis - Don't Let Him Waste Your Time
Air Traffic - Never Even Told Me Her Name
Just Jack - Starz in your eyes
Beck - Cellphone's Dead
Mika - Love Today
Elton Montello - Jet Boy, Jet Girl
The Rakes - Work Work Work (Pub, Club, Sleep)
White Rose Movement - Love is A Number
The Gossip - Jealous Girls
Lady Sovereign - Pretty Vacant
Ashlee Simpson - Boyfriend
Amy Winehouse - You Know I'm No Good
Peaches - Boys Wanna Be Her
Le Tigre - TKO
The Pipettes - Your Kisses Are Wasted On Me
In the late set we played Sophie Ellis Bextor - Catch You and it went down a storm. HOORAY.
This little blog has been going under various names since January 2001 I think after Relly started writing a blog and lots of us followed like sheep. I've used blogger, MT, and now typepad, but for 2007 I think it's time for Wordpress. I don't really know why I'm paying for typepad when WP seems to do the same things for free. But now the mission is that I need to find a banner. I'm looking through license free photos on flickr but not having much inspiration. Any ideas?
So Happy New Year one and all. We celebrated it with the busiest Popstarz in it's 11 year history. I was a little bummed about having to work NYE as we did Popstarz last year, and this time round all our friends were going to the fantastic Unskinny Bop and we wanted to be there too. However, Popstarz absolutely surpassed itself and was amazing good fun, thanks in no small part to a special area Tommy had created for staff and friends filled with gallons of alcohol. Hooray! I also sang Jolene on the special karaoke in the glass bar with Sheila which was pretty ace, despite not really being able to hear the backing track. Kamikaze karaoke starts at Trash Palace on Sundays very soon, maybe even this week.
Anyway today I got the news that my shiny (although now a little dirty) iBook has gone KAPUTT with that old 'oh your logic board has failed trick'. I came home the other night and instead of being asleep it was off and trying to boot it up resulted in beeps. This seems to mean a ram failure and the genius bar at Apple seemed a bit confused that I hadn't added any extra ram. They did not seem confused when they told me that fixing it would cost £640. :(
So now the dilemma is what to do? I use a PC as my main computer in my room, and my laptop if travelling (so not regularly) and when not in my bedroom. It serves as a great little device for writing/web browsing while watching the TV in the lounge, and I really like being able to do other stuff while sitting in the lounge. I don't particularly want to spend £700-odd on a new MacBook though. The options seem to be: exist without a laptop, look for a bargain on the refurbished store, just buy one, or go for a dirt cheap PC one that would be perfectly fine but not as pretty and lovely and everything apple-y. Plus if I was spending a lot of money with Apple I'd really want to get an iMac, but that wouldn't at all help my portability issues. I don't really understand why my iBook has broken though - should they really just break for no apparant reason after about 2 1/2 years? I am eyeing my housemates suspiciously.
To cheer me up I bought Pokemon rescue for my DS and tomorrow I think I'm going to buy a new digital camera as I handily threw my new very heavy phone at it and smashed my lcd while at Gaz's flat over Xmas. BOOO HISS.
2006 was a pretty fun year. I got to meet some fun pop stars, I got to warmup for the Scissor Sisters for the 2nd time, I got to write about music and showbiz for people, and I got to play lots of music to people and expect them to dance.
Every year I claim I'm going to keep a text document with my favourite music in it, so when I come to the end of the year, it's not HELL ON EARTH trying to figure out my end of year list. Of course I haven't done this, but 2007 will be the year.
The Top 3
Amy Winehouse - Back To Black - an instant classic. I never liked/paid any attention to La Winehouse and her current image didn't make me warm to her either. But the moment I heard Back to Black (the song) I was hooked. She was great live at Koko in November and also takes home the Karinski award for television moment of the year.
Must-hear tracks: I'm No Good, Back To Black, Me & Mr Jones, Love is A Losing Game
Metric - Live it Out - Jesus Christ this band are AMAZING. There seems to be some dispute as to whether it came out in 2005 or 2006, but it's the 2nd album from the Canadian indie kids who also form part of Broken Social Scene and stars. Brilliant live in Hammersmith in October, they'll be supporting Bloc Party at The Astoria on 31 Jan and I'll be doing everything I can to get a ticket.
Must-hear tracks: Monster Hospital (ignore the hipsters and their MSTRKRAFT remix, just do the original), Poster of A Girl and Handshakes. Then find their first album and wet your pants at Dead Disco and Combat Baby.
The Knife - Silent Shout:
The Knife are Scandavian sibling weirdos. They make bleepy, glitchy
dance music that both disturbs and makes me want to go dancing mental
all at the same time. Kat made me go and see them live at The Scala back in March and the show was spectacular. I took James and Rik to see them a couple of months ago at The Forum and two new fans were born.
Must-hear tracks: Marble House, Silent Shout, Like A Pen
Best of the rest (in no particular order)
Jarvis - Jarvis - He came back and he conquered on record and live. Fat Children should be on your must-hear list for life.
Robbie Williams - Rudebox - Critics and long time fans might have wrinkled their noses up at it, but Rudebox gave us the first really interesting Robbie album sing I've Been Expecting You. Ignore the slightly hit and miss title track and move straight to Lovelight, possibly the most underrated single of the year. Giggle at Lily Allen on Bongo Bong, robodance to Never Touch That Switch, and squee continually at She's Madonna and We're The Pet Shop Boys.
CSS - Cansei De Ser Sexy: Music is my bitch-house. Yes it is. If you've not heard of this band then you need to know that they are frightningly hip, but in a spectacularly accessible way. They were on Subpop but have just been signed to Warners who are making them a major priority for 2007. It's poppy, glitchy, disco-indie fun (oh how many words can I use!). They'll be playing at Popstarz on Feb 2nd. How excited am I?
Boy Kill Boy - Civilian - I went through a phase of having a major crush on the lead singer of this band after going to see The Organ with Kim and him. Now I am over that, but I feel like I must have some loyalty to this album (even though I've not really listened to it very much). As far as massive indie hooks BKB are professionals. They've not done as well as I expected they might though despite Suzie and Civil Sin making me race to the dancefloor whenever I hear them.
Nelly Furtado - Loose : Er, hello? Where did the floaty, boring hippie go? Whatever Timberland put in her drinks made the lovely Nelly the pop artist of the year. Yes, Maneater was insanely brilliant at the time, but it's All Good Things that makes me float into a state of bliss every time.
Lily Allen - Alright Still : Slag her off all you want. What? Now she's successful she's no longer cool? Bite me. Lily rocked 2006. Alright Still is the perfect album to sing along to word-perfect in practically any occasion. Plus she was rather ace at Notting Hill and Bestival.
Long Blondes - Somebody to Drive You Home : I wouldn't have heard of the Long Blondes as early as I did if Shazam didn't exist. In November 2005 we had Le Tigre's JD Samson playing at Miss-Shapes and she played the fabulous Giddy Stratospheres. I in turn played it to lots of people from a record label who told me they thought it was shit. Losers. Anyway taking forever to get signed, finally Sheffield's current best band released their debut album on Rough Trade. It's bitchy and very sing-a-longy. See them at Popstarz on 9 Feb.
Gallant runners up would be The Pipettes - We Are The Pipettes (which would probably be right up there if I hadn't heard all the songs about a million times before the album came out) Pet Shop Boys - Fundamental, Morningwood - Morningwood (although god knows if that actually came out in 2006), Shiny Toy Guns - We Are Pilots (again 2006?), Teddybears - Cobrastyle, Frank - Devil's Got Your Gold, Linda Sundblad - Oh My God and Beyonce - B'Day.
And I'm not saying that my list is better than albums from The Gossip, The Fratellis, Dangerous Muse, The Presets, Broken Social Scene, Bat For Lashes, Peter Bjorn and John, and The Young Knives, as they are all CDs I'd like to hear but haven't got round to yet. There is so much music to consume that I haven't that just thinking about it makes me upset. Boo hoo.
I really liked Love Angel Music Baby as soon as I heard it. What U Waitin' For was a spectacular debut single, and the brilliant Bubble Pop Electric made me bounce round my room for weeks.
So, now, here comes The Sweet Escape, and I'm immediately put off it by her hair. Once again we see here the importance of proper popstar hair. I'm curious as to see how No Doubt fans will accept Gwen back. Hasn't she just about lost all credibility?
The dreary 'Orange County Girl' send us reaching for the skip button as a whiny Gwen sings "I'm just an Orange County girl, living in an extraordinary world." Give us 'Jenny from The Block' anyday.
Read my review in full at Entertainment Wise .
I hated Gareth Gates when he was on Pop Idol. Like properly full out hated him. But this snivelling, stupid haired child from Bradford had captured the ££ signs in Simon Cowell's eyes and swiftly became the nation's sweetheart. Of course Gareth lost, but a record deal was merrily handed out. Boring covers followed, but his 2nd single Anyone of Us, although now sounding quite outdated, has to be one of the most perfectly constructed pop songs of the last 5 years.
Gareth went away for a couple of weeks and came back with some new songs and most importantly a really good new hairstyle. The importance of his hairstyle should not be underestimated. It was a proper popstar mop. It was hair that made popstar king of hair Dougie's hair look like the hair of a dustman. But the album... well the album was interesting. For starters, who ever told Gareth that his 2nd album should be a double CD with one cd for 'day' and one for 'night'. A double CD is pushing it even if you're an established artist (see Back to Basics, Suit/Sweat), but when you're a disposable pop artist - never attempt it.
Go Your Own Way's first release used the trademarked Charity will get me a No.1 single approach, with a cover of Spirit In The Sky being released as the Official 2003 Comic Release song. Then came the rather wonderful Sunshine, cruelly dismissed by tabloids as a failure because it only reached no. 3. Originally planned to be Lemar's first single, it made Gareth sound like he'd grown up and even a little George Michael-y. While the 'Day' album can unceremoniously be tossed into the bin and set alight, 'Night' is full of grinding dancefloor could-be singles. I can't seem to find my copy so am basing this on memories alone, but Absolutely was the highlight.
Then came the fall from grace. Jordan revealed Gareth had slept with her when she was 6 months pregnant. Gareth denied but later admitted the relationship. But it was too late, Jordan had already started using phrases like 'poked the baby's head' and his label and fans had fallen out of love with him.
Finding out that Gareth Gates did a intimate gig in late November has got me worried. I knew nothing about this until tonight having spent far too long over the past couple of weeks solely trying to figure out which Alesha single goes in my Top 10 of 06. Anyway, yes, he had a secret gig and there were screams all round in Paradise when an advert for a documentary called "Whatever Happened To Gareth Gates" aired after X Factor last week. This show will air on ITV1 this Saturday night at 7.30. The press release uses phrases such as sparked near riots ... speaking fluently .. cautionary and brave. Brilliant.
[n.b. this post is a bit over the top. He wasn't that good, just Absolutely was amazing and anything that means I can write 'poked the baby' head' y'know]
This is Young Love - the brainchild of Dan Keyes and Island/Def Jam's hot tip for 2007. They make disco indie, and have been touring America supporting Lady Sov. Dan, originally a member of post-punkers Recover (who?), is the frontman and there doesn't appear to be a lot of information about the other bandmembers, so I assume they are very much a "we play the instruments but we're not allowed to talk" collective.
Discotech is the first (and so far only) track I've heard by the band. It's immediate, and it makes me want to dance wildly round my room. It oozes New York, or at least what I expect fashionista indie New York sounds like when it's oozing. It starts with a fast bassline and drums before another guitar layers in and the vocal hits. An amazing bridge and euphoric chorus gets me spinning round the room and it's an example of potentially the best use of a vocoder since Victoria Beckham.
The Lindbergh Palace Remix (they did an ace remix of Mr Brightside that you might have heard me play) makes Discotech sound like something directly off Confessions on a Dancefloor. You can download that here and a pretty loyal cover of Standing In The Way Of Control here guilt free. The label have put them out there. Hooray.
Make sure you visit the bands myspace page to hear the superior original. The above video is the 2nd in a series of 3 spots advertising the album. I think it's a great campaign, you can watch the first here .
I'm not sure where Emma Bunton comes in my list of favourite Spice Girls. Obviously the almighty Geri takes the top spot, but Emma, well, maybe third after Victoria. Anyway, dear mekonhead almost caused my ears to explode last week when I had to listen to her terrible new album. Emma darling, when will you realise you're not living in an Austin Powers movie?
Pumping the BBC for all it's worth with almost daily appearances on either Strictly Come Dancing or It Takes Two, you might have thought that the seemingly rush release of third album Life In Mono would be surrounded by masses of publicity. However, that probably wasn't taking into account that on public votes Emma's been the least favourite contentest for the last two weeks. As it is her lazy album charted at about 64. Well done.
"While she may be continuing "Free Me"s Sixties vibe , there's nothing that even flirts with the beehive razzamatazz of "Maybe". Tuneless opener "All I Need to Know" manages to make 4 minutes feel like they last an hour, while the saccharine "He Loves Me Not" is enough to make us vomit up the seven donuts we ate for lunch."
Read the rest of me being mean at BBC Music and avoid the album with care.
Another site I write for is the ace London blog - Londonist. It's a professional blog which is part of a worldwide chain covering cities such as Paris, Philadephia, and LA with the New York Branch being pretty massive over there.
Before I started writing for them, I read the site regularly and always heard about thing I'd never have known anything about otherwise. This still remains the same today prompting me into going to bizarre things I'd never heard of. My colleague Hazel writes about culture, events, arts and food - topics far more high brow that my music or entertainment nonsense.
A couple of weeks ago she wrote about the Shunt Lounge at London Bridge. I don't really want to say too much about this, I just want you to trust me and go. It's a bar in a very secret place and I guess it's only through word of mouth that people are going as you couldn't just find it. Going there makes you feel like you've discovered a secret bit of London and I love Hazel for telling me about it. My old housemate Seldo saw a production held in the same place a couple of years ago and urged us to trust him and just go. We weren't too keen not knowing what the hell it was and sadly didn't. How we regret this now.
The bar is open Wed, Thurs and Friday nights from 6pm until late and located on Joiner Street within London Bridge station. It's free at the moment although membership from Jan - March for £25 for you and a friend is purchasable, otherwise expect to pay £5. What you need to do is come out of the tube station through the ticket hall and that puts you in Joiner Street (which is still part of the whole station complex - it's got a pie shop on it.) Almost directly opposite the ticket hall is a door. Confidentally walk through that door and just keep going. Don't let anything stop you.
I can't find the damn Londonist post on it, but here is Hazel's personal one. Resist reading it if you can - just go there. At the very least don't tell whoever you take with you where you're going, just let it be a surprise. James nearly wet himself at the excitement of it all. Perfect for anything, but particularly to show someone a cool bit of London or to create a very memorable date (you'll at the very least almost certainly be forced to hold hands).
As you might know, I write music articles for various websites. One of my favourite sites to write for has a regularly used comments page on album reviews. Every so often I come across a really crap album and fans get mega cross and leave sometimes hilarious comments. I dread to think what the slagging I've given the Emma Bunton album will result in, but I like to look at them sometimes. Here are my latest favourites:
On Sugababes - Taller In More Ways: an album I called disappointing, annoying and dull (ahem)
"i fink sugababes r wiked n if u fink dey r rubbish den ur rubish urself n u shudnt b aloud to rite on eya u shud shut up n listen to it aleast dey can sing i bet u dnt like em cuz ur jelous haha!! love yall.x.x.x.x."
"they are so cool but Kelly clarkon is better if u agree im me or els"
"that is the worst reveiw ever and the guy should be fired! the babes rock and they are 100000000 times better then the catty girls 2loud! sugababes are pop queens and thats that."
"this album is brilliant! i think tht the person who reviewed this don't understand music!"
"i like sheep n does any bod no hw 2 get da words 2 sugarbabes ugly ??? bi da way avent read this couldnt b bovered :)bi the bi if u read this u r gay lol do u lov me ???? bibi XXX" What does that last one even mean??
On Pink - I'm Not Dead,
"Who is this person writing the review is she deaf? P!NK FOR LYF"
"I think P!NK is so great i've got her name tattooed on my body how about that for a fan"
"ur just jealous that u dont have pinks success and brains"
LOVE IT! Bring it on Buntonites.
Remember when Ally McBeal gets herself a theme tune? Whenever she goes, when she needs a boost, she hears her song in her head and off she goes.
Well now, I've found mine. A couple of weeks ago the ace #1 Hits From Another Planet posted The Netherlands winning entry from the 1975 Eurovision Song Contest - Teach In with Ding A Dong. Still remaining as the last time Netherlands won the contest, it beat the UK entry (The Shadows - Let Me Be The One) into our very favourite 2nd place by 14 points. What's more, Teach In were the first act to perform on the night, the first winners under the 12, 10, 8 - 1 point system and only the 2nd band to win the contest. They also hold a special place, holding the title in the year between ABBA and the UK's Brotherhood of Man wins.
Teach In were Gettie Kaspers, Chris de Wolde, Ard Weenink, Koos Versteeg, John Gassbeek and Ruud Nijhui. Imagine having to announce that! Ding A Dong was their only UK hit, reaching no. 13 in April 1975 and they split shortly after in 1978. Ding A Dong is also known as Dinge Dong in it's native land. It's almost unbearably upbeat but pulls through particularly with it's fabulous breakdown which sounds a bit like it's gone into the Grandstand Theme Tune (thanks Jack). This is the type of thing Emma Bunton wishes she could come up with. Plus if you can't love a song which goes "Ding-a-dong every hour, when you pick a flower Even when your lover is gone, gone, gone" then you've got no soul.
Download Teach In - Ding A Dong (English Studio Version)
Watch the performance at The Netherlands selection show in it's native language
Watch the final moments of Eurovision 1975 and marvel at how slow it is, fast forward a bit and watch them reprise their winning song.
Watch Edywn Collins covering the song on Eurotrash
I never really used to like Amy Winehouse, but some how she's managed to produce what is perhaps* my favourite album of 2006. When she first came out I probably didn't actually even listen to her, I just foolishly dismissed her as akin to Melua and the like, but now, oh my god, she's amazing.
Nazza and I went down to the ever-pleasant Koko in Camden a couple of weeks to check her out live. We'd both seen her before in first album days - she played at my amazing graduation ball alongside The Scissor Sisters, Spooks, and Ash - but I don't think I paid any attention. This time, I was a bit worried she might show up too drunk to sing, but I was wrong, and she totally delivered.
"With lead single Rehab blasting its way into the charts, Mark Ronson's production has added a glamorous hip-hop beat to most of her Motown-inspired numbers and never is this more obvious than on the glorious second single, You Know I'm No Good, sounding here more Brooklyn than Camden.
Title track, the dark Back to Black is undoubtedly the jewel in the album's crown with its melancholy, staccato piano transporting you to a smoky, dingy soul club in the 60s, the kind that none of us are old enough to actually remember."
I cheekily think my original copy is slightly better than the slightly edited version but still, go read the rest of it at the lovely BBC London.
If you've not heard the album yet, and you like the sound of sixties soul-y girl groups, motown and brass all with a minor hip-hop twist then I totally urge you to check out Back To Black. Rehab even gets played at Miss-Shapes and the amazing Unskinny Bop, and I've no doubt You Know I'm No Good will be going the same way. In fact, everyone's favourite Pop Idol was at Miss-Shapes this week and stood drinking by the bar all night - only when we played Rehab did he dance, complete with a run-to- the-dancefloor -when-he-heard-it-start move. If you want to check out some songs that aren't the singles, then try the title track, Me & Mr Jones (Fuckery) and Tears Dry On Their Own first
I might start hanging out more in Camden, I want Amy to be my Chanukah drinking buddy.
A lot of people have slagged off Robbie's Rudebox album, but I'll happily say it's one of my favourite albums of the year. It's hard to go wrong really when you've got both the Pet Shop Boys and Mark Ronson working on it.
This is a very cute video which is the first in a series of short-films promoting the album. If you hate Robbie, don't worry, he's not in it. It's just very funny and well worth a watch:Props to Arjan