Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Cosmetic surgery

Instead of writing something useful today --- perhaps about the Q Awards (Oasis and Corinne Bailey Rae won, so it was clearly a load of old shite) or the mucky photos of Marcia Cross out of Desperate Housewives (Why, God? Why?) --- I've instead been tinkering around with the playlist tools at Last FM. As a result, if you look to your left and scroll down a bit, you can see the ten most recently played tracks here at Discopop Towers. And there you will discover that today I have been mostly listening to the Radio One Live Lounge album. So there.

Isn't the internet a marvellous waste of time?

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Monday, October 30, 2006

Polite notice about the future of pop

AleshaAlesha Anjanette Dixon from out of Mis-Teeq has a new single out today. It is very good.

The song is called Knockdown and it is written by Girls Aloud's hitmaking production gurus Xenomania. "They" are very good, too.

The video, which you can see here, features a wonderful selection of hats. Les Chapeaux, as they are called in Romania or whatever, are so in right now, fashion fans.

Observant viewers may recall that I have slagged this song off before, but it turns out I was wrong. It's a proper little grower and no mistake. You'll be singing it in your bath or alternative body-cleansing appliance before the week is out.

The problem is, people aren't buying pop music at the moment. Why? Because they are fools. Yes, your Razorlights and your Corrine Bailey Raes are all very lovely and mellow - but kids are going to need something to dance to at hilarious retro discos in the year 2018, and You're fucking Beautiful simply will not do.

In addition, Alesha is super ace and the saviour of pop music. But her last single only went to number 14 and, with record companies being what they are (global corporations with responsibilities to shareholders who'd rather see a man spanked by seven midgets in a banana boat than go to a pop concert), if this song doesn't go top 10, she's out of a job. Which is shit, obviously.

So it is up to you, the seven readers of Discopop Directory, to purchase this pop gem forthwith. It is in shops of the traditional high-street variety and the spooky electric ones too.

To help persuade you, Alesha has recorded a little video message for the world's best pop website, and I have nicked it wholesale reproduced it here in full.

International viewers may need to look at the following video for context.

Also, international viewers may need to move to the UK to buy the single. But it's worth it. Honest.

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Friday, October 27, 2006

Confessions on a dancefloor

get down and prayIn between offending the church and the continent of Africa, Madonna is apparently interested in the artform of popular music.

To that end, she and producer Stuart Price (aka Jaques Lu Cont, aka Les Rhythmes Digitales, aka The Thin White Streak Of Piss Duke) have been telling InStyle magazine their top 10 party tracks. Here's the list.

1. Pet Shop Boys - West End Girls
2. Cerrone - Supernature (mp3)
3. ESG - Dance
4. Gwen McRae - All This Love That I'm Giving
5. Yarborough & Peoples - Don't Stop the Music
6. George Benson - Give Me the Night (mp3)
7. Destination - Move On Up
8. Tyrone Brunson - The Smurf
9. T-Connection - Do What You Wanna Do
10. Giorgio Moroder - Evolution (mp3)

Classics one and all (except, perhaps, The Smurf which I've never heard in my life).

Meanwhile, if you want to support Madge's bid to kidnap small children from third world nations, you can now buy her personalised Christmas Tree ornament, which allows you to celebrate the birth of Jesus and one of the world's formeost blasphemers all in one! Nice work.

madge's ornament
[via Madonnalicious]

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A quincentennial retrospective

kablooie!Cripes! This is the 500th post on Discopop Directory! It's taken just under two years to collect together this barrage of nonsense, which means I've just about stuck to my original target of writing at least one post every weekday. Hooray for me! The second, secret, reason for writing the blog - to help me get a job writing about music for a living - has also paid off. So, hooray me twice!

It all started off with this post about roller coasters which was, to use the correct journalistic terminology, shit. But, bit by bit, things improved and eventually some people started reading this bolognese of mind-spaghetti and pop meatballs that I keep cooking up. Some of you have even stuck with me despite tortured metaphors like that one.

So what have been the highlights? Well, my favourite posts have been these:

10 The one where I succumb to Big Brother (Aug 2006)
9 Cat Buckaroo! (Apr 2005)
8 A very scholarly and erudite examination of the Nintendo Wii (Sept 2005)
7 Food that has its name printed on it so you don't forget what it is you're eating (Dec 2004)
6 Vaguely pornographic animated graphic of Nadine from Girls Aloud that I made while mrsdiscopop was having a bath (Feb 2005)
5 The one where my ipod gets depressed (Aug 2005)
4 First mention of Nelly Furtado's Maneater, roughly twenty years before it came out (Jan 2006)
3 I interview one of my musical heroes - Jimmy Jam (May 2005)
2 Totally unbiased top 10 singles of 2005 (Dec 2005)
1 Are the Pet Shop Boys secret Nintendo fans? (July 2006)

I'm ace, me.

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Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Film previews: Borat and Sixty-Six

boratSacha Baron-Cohen is either the most brave or the most stupid person on the planet. While "interacting" with the American public in Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit the Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan, he is variously threatened with physical assault, arrest, lynching and a floppy plastic fist. It's a credit to him (and his producers) that he never once chickens out or breaks character.

The film is little more than an extended TV sketch (and some of the scenes are straightforward remakes of Borat's appearances on Da Ali G Show) but it holds together surprisingly well. There is just enough story to give the film some structure and, unlike the majority of comedy films, it keeps up the laugh quotient right to the bitter end.

Some of the scenes are a little close to the bone - don't take your gran - and Baron-Cohen seems a little old to be so fixated on his anus as a source of humour (poor little Isla Fisher). But you will laugh as often as you bite your knuckles in discomfort. We like!

sixty sixSixty Six, on the other hand, is a film you can take your gran to. Set in 1966, it's all about Eddie Reuben, a young Jewish kid who is looking forward to his Bar Mitzvah. In fact, he's looking forward to it just a little too much - booking caterers, drawing up seating plans and otherwise indulging in behaviour that would see him branded a "big girl's blouse" if he was at school in my day (Nowadays he'd probably be called the only gay in the village, or something equally "hilarious").

But Eddie's hopes are dashed as his family succumbs to financial crisis and his big day is continually downscaled. Worse still, he discovers that the Bar Mitzvah is planned for the same day as the World Cup Final. All the guests say they'll turn up if England don't qualify - but we all know how that story ends...

Bizarrely, this is based on the true experiences of director Paul Weiland. He was persuaded to turn his miserable childhood into a film after making an after-dinner speech about his "disastrous" Bar Mitzvah at his 50th birthday party. That's probably because his guests included people like Richard Curtis, Stephen Fry, Helena Bonham-Carter and half of the UK's film industry. (Luckily, the party didn't clash with any majot football fixtures.)

The film itself is a jolly little British working class comedy, with plenty of laughs amidst the angst. Newcomer Gregg Sulkin is note-perfect as Eddie, and the supporting cast includes such phenomenal talent as Helena Bonham-Carter, Catherine Tate and Eddie Marsan.

It's made by the people behind Bridget Jones and About A Boy, and it shares their superb sense of pace and comic timing. Unfortunately, it also mimics their descent into saccharine sentimentality at the conclusion. So, if you do take your gran, make sure she doesn't bring along any Murray Mints, in case she ends up in a diabetic coma.

Both films are out on 3 November. So now you know.

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Tuesday, October 24, 2006

What are the celebs up to today?

Cripes! It's only a collection of juicy gossip and "interesting" links to help you while away your Tuesday afternoon...

Moby - he hates my guts:: Moby hates my guts! Well, sorta. He's launched an attack on all journalists, because some of them had the audacity to suggest his album, 18, sounded just like his other album, Play (it did). "These are the same journalists who love Oasis - and every record they make sounds the same," he whines. But I hated 18 and I hate every Oasis record ever made. So suck on that, tiny bald rave vegan! [musicroom.net]

:: To be honest, though, I actually quite like Moby. The video for his new single, New York New York, is hilarious, he did a fantastic end-of-Glastonbury set in 2004, and his Greatest Hits album looks like a great set of songs. Do you see how magnanimously I rise above criticism? There's a lesson in that somewhere.

:: Watch the Space Shuttle launch, from space. [link]

:: Celebrity fit club. Looking foxy today are Rachel Bilson in a wedding dress, Hugh Jackman in an expensive flasher's coat, and Scarlett Johansson in a fantastic pair of tube socks. Click on each picture for more.

[sources: Perez Hilton, Just Jared, Jedroot]

:: Girls Aloud's Something Kinda Oooh went into the charts at number five on downloads sales this week, ending a run of poor placings for the band (all their singles have been top 10, mind you). The CD single, out this week, contains a Megamix of their hits, which is only going to strengthen the arguments of people who say their songs all sound the same. Those people are wrong, of course.
[Download an MP3 of the megamix]

:: Tyra Banks has been exhibiting the kind of crazed behaviour we normally associate with Tom Cruise on her TV show. I think, by the end of the clip, she may have actually wet her pants. [via youtube]

:: Someone out there is more obsessed with Nintendo's Wii than I am. He's gone to the trouble of creating a hand-drawn animated commercial for the darned thing - and it's actually very, very good. Considering how lackluster the publicity for the console has been, perhaps the marketing team should give this guy a call.


Monday, October 23, 2006

Oh dear

This just in from the "what were they thinking" desk.

:: Gwen Stefani's new track, Wind It Up, samples The Lonely Goatherd from the Sound of Music. I kid you not (pun not entirely intended).

:: George Michael and former Sugababe Mutya Buena duet on This Is Not Real Love, which, frankly, is not a real song. Unless you're out of your box on naughty cigarettes. Oh, hang on...


Friday, October 20, 2006

Big Dipper Disaster

One of mrsdiscopop's favourite games is Roller Coaster Tycoon 3 on the PC. But she doesn't play it like this.

Oh, the humanity!
[via kotaku]

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Thursday, October 19, 2006

Ever seen a pop star naked?

I've just been reading a great post on The Letter D called The Night I Saw Prince's Penis and it got me thinking about the few occasions I've encountered some quivering naked celebrity flesh (now, there's a phrase that's bound to get me a few extra hits off of google before the week's out).

Strangely enough, my first such exposure came at a Prince concert, too, except in my case it was the support act who were flashing their "goods".

Unfortunately, this wasn't as fantastic as it sounds, as the act in question was Ugly Kid Joe, who looked like this:

ugly kid joe.
I don't recall which one of these people Joe was, but it seems a bit unfair to have singled him out, don't you think?

Anyway, the band were coming to the end of their set - a collection of songs which had entirely underwhelmed the audience. For their grand finale, they launched into their one hit single, Everything About You, which they clearly expected to turn into a happily enthusiastic singalong. When it didn't, the lead singer took umbrage and decided to take his stubby, pink penis out for a little fresh air.

To a number, every single person in Dublin's 65,000-capacity Lansdowne Road stadium turned their back on this terrible, terrible sight. Apart from one girl, who memorably shouted out "Oh my god, is that a cocktail sausage?"

The real shame of this story is that Ugly Kid Joe were a last-minute replacement for Carmen Electra (the road crew told us Prince had knocked her up). In a straw poll, all of the straws said they would rather have seen her naked than witness this travesty.

I've only one other naked celebrity story - which revolves around spice girl Mel B's boob popping out (and it really did make a 'pop', much like a cork coming out of a bottle of champagne) but that one isn't fit to be printed here.

So, has anyone else been up close and personal with a pop star's naughty bits - and I don't mean on the internet, you mucky pups. Send an email or leave a comment. Jpegs gladly accepted :)

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Poor old fab macca wacky thumbs aloft

The British papers are full of "revelations" about Sir Paul McCartney's acrimonious divorce from Heather Mills. These reports are causing me two problems.

1) I can't help reading about it, despite the fact it makes me feel dirty and wrong.

The stories revolve around a 13-page court document filed on behalf of Mills, which has been leaked to the press.

The accusations range from funny - McCartney told Mills to stop breastfeeding their baby daughter because "those are my breasts"; to the horrific - McCartney stabbing Mills with a broken wine glass.

Do you see? It's like Sunset Beach, only better.

2) The leaked document doesn't make any sense.
For a start, Mills' complaints constantly contradict each other. In one instance, she says she was "forced to crawl on her hands and knees up aeroplane steps" when Macca refused to lift her. Never mind that she has one good leg, a coterie of assistants, and that Sir Paul is so old he could have put his back out by trying to carry a fully grown woman -- she then claims that, around the same time, he passed out in the bath requiring her to get him out, dry him, and drag him upstairs to bed. Oh, come on!

Furthermore, Macca doesn't seem the type. I'm no psychologist, but shouldn't there be some evidence of a tendency towards in his previous relationships for this to ring true? He never even hit John Lennon, the most infuriating twat ever to have walked the planet.

Lawyers are now saying Mills could lose £70m in her divorce settlement because the claims have leaked into the public domain (and my 'sources' reckon it was her legal team that leaked the document) - so what does anyone stand to gain from all of this?

It's weird, grubby and wrong.

And I can't wait to find out what happens next.

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Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Girls Aloud get their hits out

In my effort to cover every single twist and turn in the pop career of Girls Aloud, I now proudly present the cover art for their Greatest Hits collection (out on 30th October, fact fans!).

But there's a dramatic twist! Can you guess which of these three covers is genuine, which one was mocked up by a fan, and which one I made in the space of about two minutes in photoshop?

option 3
option 2
(Hint: the real one isn't number three or number one)

The album is called The Sounds of Girls Aloud and the tracklisting is as follows.
Disc One:
1. Sound Of The Underground
2. Love Machine
3. Biology
4. No Good Advice
5. I'll Stand By You
6. Jump (For My Love)
7. The Show
8. See The Day
9. Wake Me Up
10. Life Got Cold
11. Something Kinda Ooooh - new!
12. Whole Lotta History
13. Long Hot Summer
14. Money - new!
15. What A Feeling - new! (please don't let it be a cover)

Disc Two:
1. No Good Advice (explicit)
2. Wake Me Up (alternative lyrics)
3. I Predict A Riot (live at wembley)
4. Sound Of The Underground (extended)
6. Hanging On The Telephone (demo)
7. Loving Is Easy (wake me up b-side)
8. Singapore (previously unreleased)
9. Sacred Trust (previously unreleased version of shitty one true voice song)

I'd just buy the single-disc version if I were you...

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Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Here's what you missed

madonna with childSo, apart from the website falling apart because all the videos have become unavailable, what has happened during the last two weeks of discopop inactivity?

:: Madonna has adopted / kidnapped an African baby and made a new pop video.

:: While attending some Scottish golf tournament, our favourite comedy actor Bill Murray was approached by a blonde Scandinavian who invited him back to her house. He obliged, only to discover that she was a student, there was a party going on at her flat, and he was expected to do the dishes.

:: Sheryl Crow stripped down to her grundies in front of a paying audience. My eyes! My eyes!

:: The electricity bill wasn't paid, so the Sugababes had to make their new video in the dark. Good song, though - particularly the line "I want sex on the beach and I don't mean on the rocks". Because that could do your back in.

:: The internet is 'ablaze' with rumours that Virgin records mishandled the promotion of Janet Jackson's new album. One executive was allegedly overheard saying "I don't need her to sell big numbers, I just need her to debut at number one" (it entered the Billboard charts at #2). Further rumours suggest the diva is leaving Virgin after this album.

:: Futuresexy lovegod Justin Timberlake got slapped in the face with some meat and also made a new pop video

:: About the only celebrity story we noticed in the US - because it was on permanent replay - was Mel Gibson's confessional interview with Diane Sawyer. What transpired is that he is truly sorry, that he can murder a toaster and that the Jews aren't, strictly speaking, responsible for all the wars, but they sure do seem to get involved in a lot of them. Oh dear.

:: Mr T has a new reality show in the States, which we unfortunately missed. But you can have hours of fun with the milk-drinking, fool-pitying, blinged-out, gun-toting psychopath by playing with the online Mr T Dressing Up Playset. It is truly a thing of wonder and beauty.

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Monday, October 16, 2006

Videos all gone

Hello! I'm back from a fantastic holiday - only to discover that my Youtube account has been permanently suspended. I'm not alone, either. Other bloggers have been seeing their content taken down, too (see here, here, and here).

To be fair, the majority of my Youtube videos were infringing copyright and the company is only doing its job by taking them down. But the pace seems to have picked up over the last seven days after Youtube was bought by Google for £1.6bn (you might have heard about it).

In my defence, my videos were always used to promote the music they contained... The reviews on this blog always included a link to an online store, such as Amazon, so people could buy the music if they liked it.

And, when Warner Brothers starts putting its artists' film clips on Youtube early next year, I'll be able to replace the majority of this blog's content but all legal and that.

In the meantime most of the videos on Discopop Directory just ain't working (sniff) for which I apologise.

But... (duh-duh-duhhhhrrrr) while you wait for me to find a way to replace them, here's Beyoncé's new video - courtesy of something called Veoh. How interesting.

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