Wednesday, May 31, 2006

And the reason is Camille

camille ran out of notepaperI have a new musical obsession this week, and its name is Camille.

She's a French singer, who you're probably unaware that you're aware of through her work with Nouvelle Vague. That band's easy-listening covers of Guns of Brixton, Teenage Kicks and Too Drunk To Fuck have soundtracked countless adverts, promos and news packages over the last year (okay, with the possible exception of the last one).

Anyway, it turns out Camille is an artist in her own right with an album called Le Fil coming out in the UK next week. But why wait when you can import it now from and be ahead of all your friends by, ooooh, days.

It's a hard album to describe. It's mostly a capella, but it's nothing like G4 or Bobby McFerrin. I'd say she sounds like Bjork, but that might put off anyone who doesn't like listening to musical hiccups.

Perhaps the best thing to do would be to put up a video of her performing live. Recorded from French television, this clip totally shows up all those American Divas who breathily exclaim 'my voice is a precious instrument'. Camille really uses her voice as an instrument - and in doing so she's playful, inventive and (best of all) melodic. It's ace.


Tuesday, May 30, 2006

I love being right

Robert Williams, cabaret actThere's nothing better than being proved right about everything and being able to go Ha ha, told you so to the entire world. So, it is with great pleasure that I bring you the following news:

1) Robbie Williams is crap, after all.
His new single went into the charts at 22 this week. Ouch.

2) Girls Aloud are actually rather splendid.
Both The Times and The Guardian say their tour is fabborific, like what I did at the weekend.

3) Bands have realised that albums are meant to fit on one side of a D90 cassette.
All of this year's best CDs (Gnarls Barkley, Pet Shop Boys and, especially, The Raconteurs) clock in at under 45 minutes. I have been banging on about this for years, although I think the artists in question may have come to this realisation on their own.

4) James Blunt has been banned!
Okay, only by one radio station in South East England. But it's a start, right? (read more about this fabulous story right here)

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Sunday, May 28, 2006

Gig Review: Girls Aloud

We've just got back from Birmingham where, following a series of scheduling mistakes, we ended up seeing Girls Aloud's Chemistry Tour a week earlier than we'd planned.

phot by EmmieIt was completely worth the 250 mile round trip. Not only did we get a fantastic hotel, but the gig was one of the best arena concerts I've seen in a long time. There were magic tricks, there were show tunes, there were fireworks so close to me they're still imprinted onto my retina.

The Girls themeselves were much more comfortable on stage than on last year's theatre tour. The choreography was more complex and energetic, while the vocal performances were bereft of nerves. Mind you, there were more than a few occasions where someone's microphone wasn't faded up at the appropriate time, which suggests a certain amount of miming - although this never affected Nadine, the group's most accomplished vocalist. Blimey, that girl has a pair of lungs on her and no mistake.

The musicians were a marked improvement, too, handling the complex arrangement of Xenomania's hits without breaking a sweat. Out of 20+ songs, the highlights were the full-out thrash of Wake Me Up, an Amerie-enhanced Love Machine and a surprisingly energetic cover of Kaiser Chief's I Predict A Riot -although they chickened out of singing "Girls run around with no clothes on to borrow a pound for a condom", changing it to 'bus home'. For shame.

I also spotted a concert first: The inhaler roadie, on-hand throughout the show for Nicola to have a puff.

There were a few minor quibbles with the evening, however. The concert was very squarely aimed at kids, with a sub-Nickolodeon 'plot' suggesting the Girls were created in a laboratory by a mad professor. This was completely unnecessary, considering that the five rows in front and behind us were predominantly 18-and-over.

photo by EmmieThe costumes, too, were a little peculiar. Apparently someone in the GA camp believes high-waisted shorts should be resurrected from the 1980s; Kimberley seemed to have a perpetual problem with ill-fitting bras (they've got a measurement service at M&S, you know); and poor old Nadine had to dance around in a tutu for half an hour. Not a good look, although the accompanying fishnets were most welcome.

Costume nightmares aside, the girls seemed to be having a great time. They were so relaxed that when it wasn't their turn to sing or dance they'd stand having a natter with each other. (Nadine even managed a crafty snog with one of the dancers at one point).

They do need a bit of work on their stage patter, though. Nicola broke the ice with this classic: "It's great to see all those banners out there... and all the official merchandise".

Anyway, a great night was had by all and Birmingham was a much nicer city than I expected. To the people who bought our tickets for Wembley next Saturday: You are going to have a fantastic evening.

photo by Emmie

No Good Advice
Love Machine (including 1 Thing)
Bohemian Like You interlude
Long Hot Summer
Whole Lotta History
Watch Me Go
I Predict A Riot
See The Day
Sound Of The Underground
Musical Medley:
Flashdance (What A Feeling)
The Show
Intro / Models
Racy Lacey
I'll Stand By You
Biology Reprise

Wild Horses
Wake Me Up

  • Top picture from Robmacca's blog
  • All other photos courtesy of Emmie on the popjustice messageboards. Thank you!

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  • Friday, May 26, 2006

    Punk news

    Here's something rather cool - the BBC have put together a 5-minute round-up of the week's news in video.

    Nothing new or exciting there, you might think. But this doesn't suffer from the usual straight-laced BBC presentation - it has attitude in spades, not to mention a devilish wit and a cheery disregard for the normal conventions of telenews.

    It's not even a slightly embarassing BBC3 attempt to engage with the kids. No, this is getting a big push: going out on News 24, the BBC's News website and the red button interactive services. They also plan to launch it as a vodcast, but I understand there are some problems with the yawn-worthy corporation guidelines on competitive practices.

    But the very best thing of all about this programme is that they let me write the music for it! The fools!

    The 5-minute round-up is called Story Fix (for news junkies - do you see what they did there?) and it starts today. Can't find a link for it on the web yet, but I'll chuck one up here as soon as I spot it.

    In the meantime, here's a sneak preview of what it sounds like without all the bothersome talking and pictures over the top.
    Right-click and select "save as" to download.

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    Thursday, May 25, 2006

    Video of the Week: Ms Jackson

    There's no high-faluting thesis behind this week's choice. Quite simply, it's a hip hop video based on Doctor Doolittle instead of a porn movie.

    Quite why this should be the case is never explained. The song itself is a heartfelt examination of André 3000s break-up from his wife, Erykah Badu. Making clear the guilt and sadness he feels about his divorce, he asks Ms Jackson for forgiveness. In real life, Ms Jackson is Badu's mum, whose real name is Kolleen Wright.

    History does not record whether the song's plea for understanding changed Wright's opinion of her former son-in-law, nor whether she appreciated his message being delivered by a parrot on MTV.

  • Buy Outkast's Greatest Hits on DVD at Amazon

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  • Tuesday, May 23, 2006

    Shock news! Extra Imbruglia!

    Zany, wacky, deranged. Just some of the words I have typed to describe Laura Imbruglia.Did you know that Natalie Imbruglia has siblings? Nor did I until I came across her little sister's myspace page

    Laura, for that is her name, is also a recording artist and she's about to release a new single. It goes I want a magical washing machine that doubles as a jukebox. I kid you not, dear readers.

    It seems Laura is one of those people who is either endearingly quirky or dangerously psychotic depending on your point of view. Take, for example, her latest blog entry:

    Did I sign some dude's chest last night and draw arrows pointing to his nipples and then write 'Nipples!' excitedly? I think I did.
    New rule- Laura doesn't sign skin. It's un-ladylike. And Lord knows I am VERY ladylike normally.

    Really, all this needs to push her over the line into Shahbaz* territory is for her to sign off AND I LOVE CRISPS! HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!

    The song's quite catchy, though.

    * For those of you who aren't following Big Brother 7, Shahbaz is a housemate who is so very deeply unwell he believes he is Joan Crawford, when in fact he is a prancing Scottish queen who is so many sandwhiches short of a picnic he's in danger of being half of a (very theatrical) Cream Cracker. This is no word of a lie.

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    Monday, May 22, 2006

    10 reasons why Muse's new single is the second-best song of the year*

    a black hole, yesterday1) It is called Supermassive Black Hole and it sounds like Radiohead have seduced Goldfrapp in a seedy bar-room somewhere in London's "respectable" Soho after a heavy night on the shandies.

    2) After which, they took each other home and did "it" on a bed of black silk sheets strewn with rose petals (also black).

    3) The resulting love-child has been put up for adoption and ended up in the motherly arms of Britney Spears.

    4) And then done some of that milky sick down her back while being 'burped'.

    5) It is not sung by any ex-members of Blue.

    6) In the video, the band wear head-to-toe bodystockings and then have their faces projected on top. Everyone will be doing this in two weeks time, mark my words.

    7) Muse fans hate it. "It sounds just like a fucking song to dance to when you're drunk," one complained.

    8) It sounds just like a fucking song to dance to when you're drunk.

    9) It has leaked all over the internet like a great big goth tear because, you know, of all the pain and suffering in the world. Why do my parents hate me? Maybe I should just end it all, etc.

    10) And someone has done a mashup that combines it with Britney's Do Something - which is bound to lead to some really filthy fan fiction in about 15 seconds time.

  • Right-click this link and select "Save As..." for a sneaky preview
  • And get supermassive (geddit?!) Britney mashup at Good Weather for Airstrikes
  • Creep yourself out bigtime by watching the video

    * The best single is still Nelly Furtdao's Maneater

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  • Saturday, May 20, 2006

    "Fame" at last

    Oh dear. Being on the radio isn't as glamorous as it's cracked up to be...

    Itchy tits. No, reallyLast night, thorough a combination of weak-will and idiocy, I was roped into appearing on the BBC World Service. They billed me as an 'entertainment reporter and composer', which is technically true even if it does sound a little bit grand compared to "writes about music and plays the piano".

    My mission was to be Simon Cowell for five minutes on the World Have Your Say programme in a feature they called "Your-o-vision".

    Although, clearly, that pun doesn't work on radio.

    So I put on a tight black vest, pulled my trousers up to chest height and set about my task, judging music from podcasts and blogs around the world.

    The majority of the 'entrants' were actually very good - and I ended up exaggerating my minor quibbles with the songs to avoid saying "yeah, I quite like that, actually" after every track.

    It was all over very quickly (or, perhaps, the vest cut off the blood supply to my brain and I blacked out). I gave my douze points to a creole-style song from Colombia, but the other judges overruled and British punk band Itchy Tits won the contest.

    I've put a link to all of the songs featured on the programme below, because I don't feel any of them deserved to be judged in this cruel manner. Certainly not by me, anyway.

    There's also an MP3 of my appearance, which I've provided out of sheer vanity.

    If only I'd asked for a fee...
  • King Elio Boom: Il Fulo is available at WFMU
  • Nathan Asher: Turn Up The Faders is available on myspace
  • Itchy Tits: Videophone is available on Xan Phillips podcast
    (Xan was also on last night's show - so read his blog too!)
  • Hear the whole shameful episode on this short mp3

  • LT UnitedBy the way, if you want my opinion on this year's actual Eurovision contest, I say it's Lithuania all the way. This country either has a fantastic sense of humour or appalling taste in music. Or maybe it's both...

    The song is utterly devoid of any tune or progression, and the band, LT United, would appear to consist of six blokes they found waiting for their wives outside the changing rooms in Lithuania's equivalent of Debenhams.

    But their lyrics are superb: "We're the winners of Euorvision," they repeat, "Vote for us / vote for us". The band's official website even redirects you to!

    If this brazen attempt at mind-control doesn't work on you, then you're not human and I claim my five pounds.

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    Thursday, May 18, 2006

    Video of the week: Oh My Gosh

    Ah, Basement Jaxx. They of the eclectic beats and samples. Darlings of the critics, and keepers of the flame of dance music, except with a tune, and that.

    They're undoubtedly one of the best live acts you could ever hope to see - capturing in flesh the manic, kaleidoscopic, multiculturalism of their music.

    And yet, for a band with such visual flair, their videos are mostly hopeless. Directors trying to match the unfettered invention of the songs are hampered by restrictive budgets and that curse of all dance promos: uncharismatic front-men.

    There are precisely two good Basement Jaxx videos. Romeo is a pastiche of Bollywood dance sequences and Oh My Gosh, featured here, shows a day in the life of a retirement 'village'.

    The action centres around singer Vula Malinga's flirtation with another resident. She has some superb comic timing, which gives the clip real personality, and the real-life pensioners who make up the extras get to handle the backing vocals, which is a wonderful touch.

    It's directed by Matt Kirkby, who has also helmed videos for Keane and Jamiroquai amongst others. Most of his work has a comic twist or inventive motif. Perhaps the most memorable is for Markus Nikolai's "Bushes", in which a fixed camera records the faces of several women having their first bikini wax (you can see it on youtube).

    This one, though, will make you chuckle while tapping your feet. Which is a much nicer feeling, don't you think?

  • Buy Basement Jaxx's greatest hits DVD

    By the way, Keli left a comment a couple of weeks ago asking for 187 Lockdown's "Kung Fu" to be featured as a video of the week. I don't have that one in my collection - but if anyone's got it, drop me a line and I'll try to get it up here!

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  • Wednesday, May 17, 2006

    Disaster strikes!

    Possibly my favourite internet distraction of 2006 so far... Self-portrait disaster movie photos!

    I'm popping out to run for my life right now.

    run for your lives

  • Find them all at

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  • Tuesday, May 16, 2006

    The end of, the Russian download site that's more popular than Napster, has mysteriously gone offline.

    Just a couple of days ago, The Register reported that the service was more popular than any of its rivals, with the exception of iTunes. In April, it accounted for 14% of all downloads in the UK.

    The site has succeeded for two main reasons. One, it allows users to download music in any format they want, for any music playing device they want, without copy protection. (They use poikosoft's rather wonderful Easy CD-DA Extractor, to achieve this).

    Secondly, it's cheap. Unvelievably cheap. Their price for the current UK number one, Crazy by Gnarls Barkley, is a measly eight cents.

    Many people think the site must be illegal. It's not - it exists in a kind of grey area of copyright law. In Russia, transferring files between computers is considered broadcasting, and this doesn't require permission from the copyright holders. As I understand it, allofmp3 can't be charged with piracy because they're not making and selling physical copies of CDs.

    Of course, the music industry isn't in favour of this, and has petitioned the Russian Government for a change in the law. So perhaps it isn't a surprise that around the same time as the firm was being touted as a potential rival to Apple, its website went offline. Over the weekend, a holding page stated the site was down for routine maintenance. Today, it's back online - but downloads are unavailable.

    File-sharing website, spoke to a representative of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), who said:
    "As far as we know the site is genuinely down for repair... Russian authorities had ordered the seizure of some of the site’s servers a couple of weeks ago, but it switched to new servers and the service carried on."

    But while this might just be a small hiccup, Russia is undoubtedly under pressure to change its copyright laws. In his recent state of the nation address, Vladimir Putin said:
    "Reliable protection of intellectual property rights remains an essential condition for developing new technology. We must guarantee the protection of copyright within our country — this is also our duty to our foreign partners."

    Personally, I hope that Russia holds out. I've downloaded a lot of new music using allofmp3 that I would never otherwise have auditioned. Plus, using the site doesn't stop me buying music legally - my itunes bill for the last twelve months is over £70, and my local branch of Fopp recently offered me a stake in the shop (or maybe it was a steak in the shop, I couldn't be sure).

    But, judging by the way things are going, if you've got any credit remaining at allofmp3, it might be a good idea to spend it soon!

  • The Register for download figures and additional background
  • for IFPI quotes
  • for the text of Vladimir Putin's speech
  • Museekster's allofmp3 FAQ
  • Also see Newspeak for alternatives to allofmp3

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  • Gossipy round-up-kerjiggery-thing

    Some little newsbites for your "have you seen this" conversations in the workplace.

    come any closer and I'll scratch your eyes out1) Which celebrity is most likely to punch you in the teeth if you ask for their autograph? According to Autograph Magazine it's Cameron Diaz. Apparently the actress not only turns down requests, but lectures fans on "how dumb" autographs are. They don't mention what happens if the fan says "well, at least show me your tits, then".

    Other people you shouldn't approach if you value your testicles are Teri Hatcher (who really should know better after her wilderness years) and Demi Moore.

    Do people still recognise Demi Moore? I'm not sure I would even if she walked up to me holding an "I'm Demi Moore" placard during a trip to Demi Moore's house on the day I was supposed to interview Demi Moore for the Demi Moore fanclub.

    The nicest celebrity is Johnny Depp, who has been known to sign autographs in airports while carrying his luggage. Awwww.
    [read more at Yahoo News]

    blood! that's funny!2) Pete Doherty, who is apparently still alive at the moment, has squirted a syringe of his own blood over an MTV camera crew. Even his bandmates feel he's gone too far this time. "I think the interview is over my friend. I’m really sorry about that mate, that’s fucked up." Drew McConnell apologised to the cameraman.

    Remember when Richie Manic carved "4 Real" into his arm with a razor in front of an appalled Steve Lamaq? This is like that, except instead of being a cry for help Doherty thinks he's done something to show off about. "That was a wicked shot." he informed the appalled crew.

    Perhaps, though, Pete is trying to give us a message in the form of a metaphor. In this scenario, he is literally throwing his life away for the benefit of the cameras. But, more likely, he was up to his eyeballs in skag.
    [read more at No Rock and Roll Fun]

    3) Sabrina the teenage witch has had a baby! Not as weird as it might seem at first - Melissa Joan Hart is now 56.
    [pictures at Celebrity Smack]

    I love pillow, me4) Christina Aguilera is back, back, BACK!!! Apparently, her new album is based on vintage jazz, soul and blues from the 1920s, 30s and 40s (i.e. it will flop).

    Aguilera will premiere the new single at next month's MTV awards, but in the meantime she's launching the campaign in traditional popstrel fashion, by getting her kit off for a upmarket wank mag new edition of GQ.
    [more info on the album at Live Daily]
    [pictures at Perez Hilton]

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    Friday, May 12, 2006

    Downloads for yo' crooked ass

    What do you fancy putting on your ipod this balmy summer weekend? How about:

    1) Laid-back and lo-fi: Zero 7 feat José Gonzalez - Left Behind

    2) Super-duper sixties pop throwback: The Pipettes - Your Kisses Are Wasted On Me
    [right-click and select "Save target as" on this link]

    3) Spangly glammy disco: Goldfrapp's XFM podcast, replete with live tracks
    [via XFM]

    4) Funny-voiced britpop: Light of Day, a new track by Neil Hannon and Divine Comedy. Remember them?
    [via Home Taping Is Killing Music]

    5) Celebrity curio dance thingy: Paul Oakenfold and Brittany Murphy (uh-huh, her) - Faster Kill Pussycat
    [via fluxblog]

    6) Every song ever recorded... by crazy harajuku j-pop band Puffy AmiYumi! Although, to be honest, I recommend deleting everything except Love So Pure and playing it on repeat until your ears smile.
    [via bittorrent at thepiratebay].
    All of these links are provided for, ahem, evaluation purposes.

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    Thursday, May 11, 2006

    Video of the week: Lullaby

    What's this? It's a dead one of theseGrowing up in Belfast in the 1980s you were allowed two musical choices: goth or metal. Not realising this, I plumped for shameful secret option three: pop - instantly marking me as an outcast, and forcing me to pour scorn on all other forms of music as a sort of social survival mechanism.

    Secretly, though, I liked some of the bands my classmates / sworn enemies were into. Guns'n'Roses weren't that bad, and I had a secret tape of Siouxsie and the Banshees for the days when Kylie didn't really suit my mood (which was more often than not between the ages of 13 and 16).

    But one band you could never confess to liking was The Cure. If you did, you'd instantly be descended upon by three rather alarming ginger goths who would stamp on your head with their Doc Martins until you confessed that you didn't love Robert Smith like them and could never, never, be his wife.

    It was a shame really, because The Cure were superb. Their videos were one of the main reasons to watch the ITV Chart Show - a sort of pre-MTV video channel that only lasted for an hour on Saturday mornings and was inexplicably set on an animated roller coaster.

    Lullaby was always my favourite Cure video. The Times called it an exquisitely
    frightening homage to the film Poltergeist
    . I preferred to think of it as an exquisitely frightening homage to the song itself.

    The basic premise is that Robert Smith is trapped in a living nightmare, where he realises he's about to be eaten by the spiderman. Not the one who slings webs, you understand, but a rather more sinister spider man with "candystripe legs" - an image which for some reason brings to my mind the Cat in the Hat. But it's probably not him either.

    In the video, Smith is gradually encased in a cocoon of spiderwebs before being dragged into what looks like a giant furry vulva and eaten. It wasn't exactly tailored for early morning TV, but it does make a fantastic job of evoking the surreal gloominess of The Cure's music. It was so good, in fact, that it won Best Video at the 1990 Brit Awards.

    As was the case for most Cure singles, this video was the work of prolific British director Tim Pope. He's still in the business today making promo clips for KT Tunstall and The Darkness - both of whom I'd like to see being eaten by spiders for real. Ironic, no?

  • Buy The Cure's Greatest Hits CD/DVD at Amazon

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  • Wednesday, May 10, 2006

    Burning up

    great ball of fireWant to discover some new music? Well, here's a way to get a few free CDs...

    Summer Burn 06 is a kind of internet version of Noel Edmonds Multi-Coloured Swap Shop. Each year, thousands of altruistic net-musos sign up and promise to burn 2 CDs of groovy summer tunes. Then, on the summer solstice (ooooh), everyone gets sent the name of two other people from the list.

    If all goes well, you send your CDs off into the great wide world and, at the same time, some kind strangers are doing the same for you.

    nina gordon, crazy motherfuckerOf course, mother always told me not to accept music from strangers. You don't know where it's been and you could end up with an appreciation for jazz fusion (nb: not likely).

    Last year, I had to sit through some awful American soft-rock. But equally, I was introduced to the amazing Nina Gordon - whose easy-listening cover version of NWA's Straight Outta Compton is still in my ipod's top ten most played list. You can download it free from

    So head over to the funjunkies website and sign up. Who knows what you might find?

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    Tuesday, May 9, 2006

    Lego Skywalker

    oooh, look at the size of your lightsabre, etcThere's going to be a lot of gaming news this week, as the E3 conference kicks off in Los Angeles. Expect major announcements on the PS3, and Nintendo's stupidly-named new console ("What do you want for Christmas, Timmy?" "I want a wii").

    But before the delegates have had their first vol-au-vents, there's one piece of news that has us all a-quiver here in Discopop Towers: LucasArts have announced a sequel to the official most-ruddy-brilliant game of 2006, Lego Star Wars.

    The first game, if you missed it, put you in charge of a slew of Lego characters and let you charge around the three Star Wars prequels with a lightsabre. It was very cartoonish and knockabout, allowing you free reign to be silly and disrespectful where the films were ponderous and self-important. Best of all, you could play the entire thing with another person (it turns out that mrsdiscopop is a very credible jedi knight) and let you chop their heads off for a laugh, without any bad karma comeback.

    The new game deals with the three 'proper' Star Wars movies, and from the trailer (which you can see below) it looks like it's retained all of the charm and humour of it's predecessor. It is also as mad as a box of frogs wearing hats and playing the bongos with a diabetic lemur. Which is quite mad indeed.

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    Monday, May 8, 2006

    Support your local live music scene

    Hey! Are you in West London with very little to do this evening? Then why not pop along to the John Bull pub for some live music?

    I "reviewed" a "gig" there about a "month" ago which you can read about "here" (that's quite enough quotation marks - punctuation ed).

    Their open-mic night is back on tonight, and Discopop Directory friend/idol/pinup Dog Boy is putting in an appearance. And tonight is a special night. 'Coz tonight, my music-loving chums, Dog Boy will only be debuting his...

    lawks-a-lordy, it's an eighties throwback!


    Appropriately, he will be performing a set of Shalamar and Shakatak covers. Plus, if you're really lucky, Jermaine Stewart's We Don't Have To Take Our Clothes Off.



    It's amazing what you can find lying around the back lot of BBC Television Centre:

    that's me in the tardis, losing my religion

    So, yes, that's me in a Tardis. That's me in a phonebox. Losing my religion. Or something.

    I can exclusively report that inside it is no bigger than your avaerage shower cubicle, and the entire structure is made of MDF. Apparently all that other stuff is computery trickery and TV 'magic'.

    As you can understand, I was very disappointed.

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    Friday, May 5, 2006

    Make you want more of her love

    I first wrote about Nelly Furtado's new single Maneater back in January [read it here] and the blasted thing still isn't in the shops!

    The good news is that it's still the best record of 2006, and they've finally got round to making a video for it. It goes like this:

  • Nelly has lost her cute dog, Toby. I think he's a great dane.
  • Nelly goes looking for Toby down a dark and foreboding alleyway. There is spooky music. We are scared for her safety.
  • This goes on for about a minute. Get a cup of tea.
  • Nelly stumbles into an underground club. People are standing around looking menacing. None of them has seen the dog.
  • For no reason in particular, Nelly starts singing her song and dancing a bit. The menacing people join in because the song is so flipping brilliant.
  • Oh no! There's a fire!
  • In order to cope with the extra heat, Nelly takes her top off (!!!!). Thankfully, she has a vest on underneath. This is because she is Canadian and used to living in an intemperate climate.
  • Nelly leaves the club and finds Toby the dog which we think might be a great dane eating out of a bin.
  • The end.

    Watch it below - courtesy of fabulous fan site Burn in the Spotlight, who also have the video for American single Promiscuous (it has Justin Timberlake in it, I'm told).

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  • Thursday, May 4, 2006

    Pop vs Politics: The showdown

    GQ, one of the world's oldest gentleman's magazine, is setting out to solve the greatest unasnwered question of our time: What do men prefer more, the Conservative Party or ladies' boobs?

    Their latest edition comes in a choice of two covers, you see. One is a picture of Conservative leader David Cameron wearing a silky tie. The other is a shot of Girls Aloud wearing silky negligees. Now they get to fight it out to see who's most popular, in what is likely to be the first of many election defeats for Cameron.

    GQ magazine, for wankers of all kinds

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    Wednesday, May 3, 2006

    Speak your brains

    I've just upgraded the comments system on the blog to make it a bit more user-friendly. Hopefully it's all working, but drop me an email at if you're having trouble.

    I'll be restoring all the old comments over the next couple of days, so nobody will lose their witty missives. Anyone who's never left a comment here, try it now. It won't hurt a bit, I promise.


    Things I like nos. 16-20

    GOSH!Today, I am bouncy at the thought of:

    16) Gnarls Barkley's album St Elsewhere.
    Okay, I'm hardly ahead of the curve here but this really is a phantasmagoria of fantastic songs. Nothing quite matches the towering genius of Crazy, but there's not a dud in there.

    Extra kudos to Dangermouse and Cee-Lo for dressing up like characters from their favourite films for the promo shots. That's Napoleon Dynamite at the top of this post. See their myspace site for Wayne's World and A Clockwork Orange.

    Extra, extra kudos for making an album about mental health difficulties and naming it after an 1980s TV hospital drama.

    17) Lily Allen's cockernee rap song LDN.
    After Madonna dissed London on I Love New York, the capital needed a new champion, and Lily is she - even if she's singing about old ladies being mugged. Maybe we don't gots the ghetto, but we do gots happy slapping.

    May I remind viewers that Lily Allen should not be referred to as the 'female Mike Skinner', on account of her being semi-bearable.

    Download the song, plus tons of other Lily Allen gubbins, from [stereogum]

    18) The BBC's ethical dilemma quiz.
    Would you throw a fat man in front of a runaway trolley car to save the lives of the five people it's going to hit?

    Now, consider what you'd do if the fat man was John Prescott and the five people were Westlife. Oh, the mental anguish!
    [Read the article here]

    the irony is that we're more likely to be interested in this photo now19) Scarlett Johansson's home-made paparazzi deterrent
    A piece of A4 paper with the felt-tipped message "I am being harassed by the person taking this picture".

    On the other side it says "I LUV TAKE THAT! SHOW US YOUR BUM, GARY!!!"
    [via The Superficial]

    20) The new trailer for Superman Returns.
    Actually, I hate Superman - surely the most dull of all the superheroes? Yes, he can fly. Yes, he can bend steel. But where's the fun of a character whose only weakness is, basically, a nasty allergy?

    Anyway, the trailer looks suitably blockbustery. A plane falls apart, some glass shatters, etc, etc. But about two minutes into it is a fantastic piece of subversive superhero comedy, courtesy of Kevin Spacey's vampy Lex Luthor.

    Lex Luthor: Come on, let me hear you say it just once.
    Lois Lane: You're insane
    Lex Luthor: No (laughs) - the other thing!
    Lois Lane: Superman will never...
    Lex Luthor: (shouts in her face) WRONG!

    Maybe, just maybe, this film will be worth seeing. Get the trailer on the [Superman Returns website.]

    Ta ta for now.

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    Tuesday, May 2, 2006

    Video of the week: Super Duper Love


    This week's video isn't particularly groundbreaking or eye-opening, but the sun has just come out for the first time this year, and this Joss Stone song always puts me in a summery mood!

    The video perfectly captures the mood of the song - lighthearted, retro and colourful. The director is David LaChapelle, who's perhaps better known for his controversial photos of Britney Spears as Lolita and Kanye West as Jesus... but here he reigns in the shock tactics and produces a sweet little video that showcases Joss Stone's kooky hippy personality. In particular, I love all the quirky cut-out images and the psychedlic, kaleidoscopic backgrounds.

    So, give this a quick play, load up some summer songs on your ipod and go out for a walk in the sunshine. I promise I won't tell.

  • Buy Joss Stone's DVD
  • David La Chapelle website

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  • Monday, May 1, 2006

    Janet's "big surprise"

    get off my landIt seems like just the other day I was telling you about Janet Jackson's new material (that's because it was just the other day, fact fans).

    Well, the countdown on her website has just finished, and Janet's put up a little message. You know, the usual stuff: My album is finished (I have an album coming out), I really enjoyed making it (this one is much better than the last one), I love my fans (please buy it).

    More important than the message is the free song(!) It's called Weekend, and despite a pretty dodgy first verse it eventually becomes rather good indeed. As promised, it makes a few nods to Control and Rhythm Nation, and the hep cats at the Ritz will certainly be cutting a rug when it hits the dancefloor.

    The lyrics aren't particularly insightful. Janet returns to her well-worn theme of getting out of work to go dancing (cf Escapade, Whoops Now, etc). But fans must be breathing a collective sigh of relief that it's not about being really dirty with a man.

    Discopop score: 6/10. Let's hope it's an album track.

    UPDATE: Seems like this is a cover version of a song called "Looking Weekend" by 80's artist Debbie Deb. No, me neither.

  • Janet Jackson official website

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