Friday, June 29, 2007

Kanye West and Daft Punk - Stronger


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  • Prince plans to give away his new album for free on the cover of the Mail On Sunday (an odd choice, but what the heck). This has thrown the record shops into a frenzy of hatred. "It would be an insult to all those record stores who have supported Prince throughout his career," said the co-chairman of the Entertainment Retailer's Association.

    I'm slightly baffled that Prince should feel any obligation to these people, whose principle role in his career has been to fleece £5 off the price of his albums to line their own pockets. Am I missing something?

  • Here are some photos of Lindsay Lohan not looking pissed or stoned. Bryan Adams clearly has great timing.

  • Listen to Tom Baker having a strop and doing a swear while he records the voice-over for an ad:

  • Janet Jackson is recording her new album with the Neptunes. Is it too much to ask that it isn't a steaming pile of dog-shit like the last one? Probably, yes.

  • Favourite headline of the week? Stab victim 'continued masturbating'

  • TMZ got hold of Paris Hilton's prison canteen request form. If I am ever sent to jail - and there are many, many reasons why I should be - I want to go to one where a servant goes to the canteen to get you emery boards. Wonder what the vaseline was for?

  • On a related note, here is Hilton's non-disclosure agreement.

  • Charlie Booker on losing his Glastonbury virginity: "At 3am a group of post-pubescent upper-middle-class music-industry gitsacks pitched their tent beside mine, and no power on Earth could make them stop braying witless bullshit at the top of their idiot lungs. One of them had a bassoon."

  • Hooray! Amy Winehouse is releasing my second-favourite song from her Back To Black album... Here's the video:

    Amy Winehouse - Tears Dry On Their Own

    Right, I'm buggering off to France for a week. See you when I get back!

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  • Noooooooooooooo!


    Hi, I'm Gordon but my friends call me G

    ...Much to my disappointment, the Spice Girls reunion didn't quite manage to trump Gordon Brown's cabinet reshuffle on the BBC's news website yesterday (Gordon got 1.8m readers, the Spices came a distant second with 820,000).

    But I was impressed with how Newsround explained the new PM to "da kids". If Gordon had a social networking profile, they said, it would look like this (click to enlarge):

    Shame they couldn't do it for real.

    Thursday, June 28, 2007

    Spice Girls!!!!!!! etc

    OMG!!!1 I was at the Spice Girls press conference today. Some initial observations:

  • Mel C still seems reluctant about the whole reunion, no matter what she says.
  • Geri is pleasantly mental. "I've got a gun," she 'joked' at one point. Try saying that at airport security, Halliwell.
  • Victoria Beckham is going to have to get used to being the strong, silent one all over again.
  • But she has fabulous trousers this time round.
  • Emma said she phoned the other girls and said "I want to be a Spice Girl again". What she didn't tell us is that she was wearing her pink Baby Spice dress and sobbing quietly into a cheesecake at the time.
  • With the exception of Mel C, everyone's boobs are massive, man.
  • I was abnormally excited by the whole affair, and slightly disappointed when Geri failed to chat me up.

    (PS you can read my official report on the whole shebang here)

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  • Wednesday, June 27, 2007

    Ode to Jonathan Glazer

    Jonathan Glazer,
    You directed the video for
    Virtual Insanity
    But most of your work is
    Virtual Inanity
    Do you see what I did there?

    Music videos are not short films
    For people who read the Guardian
    So why do you insist on ruining
    perfectly good songs
    By interrupting them with talky bits

    Dramatic pauses?
    (like that one)

    Harold Pinter you are not
    And Sexy Beast is over-rated claptrap
    ...Just because you made Ghandi say fuck
    Doesn't make it a good film
    You muppet

    Your video for Unkle's new single
    Burn My Shadow
    Is a case in point
    But Goran Visjinc takes off his shirt in it
    So mrsdiscopop will be quite happy
    About that

    Thank you

    NB: I have no proof that Jonathan Glazer directed this video, but he bears responsibility for it anyway, okay?

    Tuesday, June 26, 2007

    A glorious summer mix CD for you!

    Have you noticed that it's summer? Workers are neglecting their desks and eating lunch in the park, ice cream is melting slowly down children's fingers, and we're all wearing skinny T-shirts.

    Except, of course, they aren't, it isn't and, no, we're not. Summer has officially gone missing, and the only thing to remind me it's here is an email from the funjunkies website, telling me to put my Summer Burn CD in the post.

    That Summer Burn CD, if you remember my earlier post, is a compilation of songs that are actually guaranteed to make the sun shine. Through the magnificent benevolence of the funkjunie chaps, I send a copy to two people who send me their own compilation in return. It's like Noel Edmond's Multi-Coloured Swap Shop, but without the chunky knitwear. Or Keith Chegwin.

    And, as a special treat for you, I've put an MP3 of it over here. Download it, listen to it, smell it, love it, cuddle it. All I ask in return is a white chocolate Magnum*.

    1) Camille Yarbrough - Take Yo Praise
    2) Jackie Wilson - The Sweetest Feeling
    3) Jamie Lidell - Multply
    4) Lindy Stevens - Pennygold
    5) Solomon Burke - Home In Your Heart
    6) James Brown - I Got You (I Feel Good)
    7) The JBs - The Grunt (Parts I &II)
    8) Foster Sylvers - Misdemeanour
    9) Jorge Ben - Take It Easy My Brother Charles
    10) Al Green - Simply Beautiful
    11) Aretha Franklin - Baby, I Love You
    12) Jean Knight - Mr Big Stuff
    13) Amerie - Gotta Work
    14) Teddy Pendergrass - Love TKO
    15) Freda Payne - Unhooked
    16) The Jackson Sisters - I Believe In Miracles
    17) Diana Ross - Tenderness
    18) Richie Havens - Going Back To My Roots
    19) Prince - Let's Work (Extended Dance Mix)

    Front cover
    Back Cover

    *That's the ice cream, not the firearm.**
    **Actually, either would be fine.

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    Monday, June 25, 2007

    It's the brilliant new Spice Girls single!

    ...except it's seven years old and it's not that brilliant. Oh dear.

    For those of you who don't know, this is what's happening: On Friday, 19 Management announced the Spice Girls would be making an, erm, announcement this week. That's not due 'til Friday, but already a single and Greatest Hits album have appeared on the release schedules for later this year. For better or worse, it seems, they are reforming.

    The single, W.O.M.A.N, was recorded for the Spice's third album but left off because it was "too pop" and the band wanted to go for a more mature, R&B sound that would send them headfirst into the dumper.

    While it will probably make it to number one on nostalgia alone, the song sounds terribly dated now. Particularly the lyrics, which really put the utter naffness of Girl Power into perspective:
    And now we're industry players.
    Wearing G-stings, taking meetings, putting music to beats.

    Because, you see, the key question on the 'Would you like to be head of Sony BMG' application pack is "How many G Strings do you possess, and are you willing to wear them to address the shareholders?"

    Actually, this autumn could be an interesting time. Kylie, the Spices, Britney and Girls Aloud are all on the comeback trail and, while they're assured a gush of press coverage, I get the feeling they've all spent too long ashore and the HSS Pop has sailed off without them. Amy Winehouse, Rihanna and Mika are currently captain, first mate and - I don't want to lower myself to this sort of cheap innuendo but what the heck - Seaman Stains. I reckon that, with stormy seas ahead for the music industry, we may see the old guard of pop aristocracy being made to walk the plank (that's quite enough of this dreadful seafaring metaphor - ed.)

    On another topic completely, did anyone see CSS at Glastonbury? Amazing!

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    Friday, June 22, 2007

    Shield your sensitive eyes

    What's My Blog Rated?

    And why? Apparently, this site contains three instances of drugs, two of piss and one of shit.

    It's hardly A Clockwork Orange, is it?

    [via Back of the Cereal Box]


    Wednesday, June 20, 2007

    Beyoncé - New Freemasons remix

    Beyoncé is a canny operator. She will no doubt have noticed that the dancey Freemasons version of Beautiful Liar got more radio play than the sultry R&B version. So, for her next single, Green Light, she has asked the British dance act to work their magic again. It is going to be popular with the gays.

    Cop a listen to this here MP3:

    Beyoncé - Green Light (Freemasons radio mix)

    PS: Don't tell anyone, but the Freemasons are basically Phats and Small under a different name. Eurgh.

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    Here is Rihanna's new video

    It's hardly original, but Rihanna's new single uses the motor vehicle as a metaphor for sex. This is because, like a car, Rihanna has got "the horn" and will give you a "good ride" with "plenty of space in the boot".

    She neglects to mention that she will also need an oil change every 10,000 miles and makes an odd rattling noise when she goes above 20 mph.

    Anyway, there's a video for this whole escapade which is eerily reminiscent of the Greased Lightning bit from Grease, only with skirts.

    Rihanna - Shut Up And Drive

    Oi, baby, you can polish my motor any time you like, etc, etc.

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    Tuesday, June 19, 2007

    Ain't no thing like a noisy ting ting

    After complaining about a lack of new music last week, I've just discovered a rather fruity new band called The Ting Tings. At least, I thought I'd discovered them, and then I did a google and found they've been on Popjustice and Perez Hilton and are due to play the Radio One stage at Glastobury this weekend (where everyone is going to get soaked - mwah ha ha haaa!)

    Anyway, they're new to me, and all of these endorsements from bloggers-with-their-fingers-considerably-more-on-the-pulse-than-me can only mean I'm right. Right?

    Hailing from Manchester, The Ting Tings bring to mind Voice Of The Beehive being snogged by David Byrne and Beth Ditto (I mean that in a positive way). And if you like shouty lady vocals and party atosphere, CSS-stylee, then The Ting Tings will be right up your street. As long as your street isn't in Argentina, as they probably can't afford the bus fair right now.

    Their single, That's Not My Name, is only out on vinyl at the moment [buy it here], but I have a teeny tiny sneak preview for you, because I am good like that. Enjoy it, you loons!

    The Ting Tings That's Not My Name

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    Monday, June 18, 2007

    Gig review: O2 Wirless Festival

    James Murphy, lead singer of LCD Soundsystem, is annoyed. It's 20 minutes into his set at the 02 Wireless Festival in London and he's still not happy with the way he sounds. He's constanrtly gesticulating to an off-stage sound man, trying to tweak something - his monitors, his microphone, a portuguese prostitute's nipple… we're not sure, but it's clearly irrirtating him.

    By the end of the set, one of his band's keyboards has failed and Murphy storms off the stage in a huff. Someone rushes after him to see what's happening (clearly, the instruments that are working can just play themselves) before returning to the stage and telling the band to wind things up, shrugging her shoulders by way of explanation.

    It was a pathetic showbiz strop. LCD Soundsystem actually sounded fine, and Murphy committed the cardinal sin of being so wrapped up in his own muso world that he forgot about the audience.

    He would have done well to watch New Young Pony Club earlier in the day. They, too, had a few sound issues (lead singer Ty Bulmer drifted in and out of key seemingly at random) but the London five-piece threw themselves into the show with what can only be called gay abandon. They'd even dressed up for the occasion - keyboardist Lou Hayter had on her best blue party frock - and the crowd responded to their energy by bouncing up and down like over-inflated space hoppers. "When you react like that, it's almost like you've heard of us," remarked Bulmer.

    Plan B was up next, rapping like a child who has just discovered the word "fuck". I went off to the beer tent.

    For CSS, however, I was right up at the front and they were an absolute riot - of noise, of colour, of fun, of gleeful lunacy. Lovefoxxx appeared in a sequinned catsuit, which she later stripped off to reveal… erm, another jumpsuit (thus achieving levels of genius hitherto uncomprehendable by womankind). Bounding around the stage like a multicoloured bunny rabbit, she paused only to show off her patting-your-head-while-rubbing-your-tummy skills, and to sing a song while inhaling helium from a balloon. My new favourite band.

    Rounding off the night were Daft Punk. I really don't get Daft Punk. They came out dressed in robot suits and stood in a "pyramid" for an hour-and-a-half while a ropey display from B&Q's lighting department blinked on and off around them.

    The crowd went wild, but it could have been anyone in those suits. There weren't even any instruments on display, so who's to say it wasn't two out-of-work plumbers bopping around to a mix CD? All told, a massive and particularly crap practical joke.

    CSS performing Let's Make Love at One Big Weekend

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    Friday, June 15, 2007

    Britney's new album title

    Fantastically, the following message has appeared on Britney Spears' official website.

    Now, I like her suggestions, but I have a couple of my own:

  • I used to be sexy, but now it's gone a bit tragic
  • So I'm wearing a wig. What of it, bitches?
  • Jazz classics in digital stereo
  • I love crack LOL :-)
  • It was all going so well until I gave up my flower
  • Alan

    Any more for any more? Use the comments box...

    [PS: I readily admit that the format for this post was totally ripped off from the almighty popjustice but I never claimed to have any originality or, indeed, dignity]

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  • Thursday, June 14, 2007

    The Kelly Rowland experience

    A couple of weeks back, I had the pleasure of interviewing former Destiny's Child songorator Kelly Rowland for my proper job.

    Afterwards, I was quite disparaging about the whole experience. Kelly managed to talk for an entire half an hour without one interesting snippet of information falling out of her mouth hole, I told my colleagues.

    Yes, she was friendly, polite, engaged; but she was also duller than a broken torch in a black hole on national battery shortage day. With your eyes closed.

    So I was quite surprised to listen back to the interview earlier this week and find I was completely wrong. Ms Rowland was singing, joking, and surprisingly frank about one of her new songs, "Still In Love With My Ex". I, on the other hand, was all over the place - constantly letting the conversation falter while I tried to think up my next question. It was like amateur hour at journalism summer camp.

    By the grace of God, the interview was salvagable and it'll go up on the Beeb's website in a couple of weeks. In the meantime, here are a couple of 'DVD extras' that didn't make the final cut.

    Q: Do you still live in Houston?
    No, I live in Miami now. The water is beautiful – but it’s the only thing that keeps me in Miami. I really miss being at home.

    Q: Is there anywhere else you'd like to live?
    The first time I came over to London I said I wanted to buy a place over here – but my best friend would kill me and my phone bill would be astronomical. While I’m here I have crazy bills from my cell phone. It’s insane.

    Q: You've acted in a couple of films like Freddy vs Jason, have you put that on hold for music now?
    No, it's something I’d like to pursue. Romantic comedies really interest me. TV work does too. I love ugly Betty and I love Gray’s Anatomy... but I'm a bit behind on it. There’s something about that show and I have to know what that is.

    Q: You've worked with a lot of the old Destiny's Child producers on your album. Is it easier to be in the studio with people you know?
    For me, it’s comfortable. I've gone into the studio with producers I don’t know and I don’t know what their vibe is so I will leave. I feel like it messes up the creative environment.

    Q: What's one of your best memories of Destiny's Child?
    The last DC show was in Dublin and we kept chanting "ole, ole, ole". Beyonce would not stop singing it – she wouldn’t get off the stage! I was shouting "B!" and she was still out there giving it "ole, ole, ole". And finally she got us all back on stage, holding hands and shaking in circles – we had a good time. It was great.

    Here is Kelly's new video, Like This, which - having listened to it seventeen times in a row - is now filed under the category "alright, I s'pose".

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    Wednesday, June 13, 2007

    Miss Cleo, Miss Cleo

    There is nothing, absolutely nothing, I can say to put this in context:

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    Just Jack's good tracks

    Just Jack, as far as I can remember, was the name of Jack McFarland's stage show in Will & Grace.

    I don't know whether he's a fan of the "aren't the gays hilarious" sitcom, but London producer / rapper Jack Allsopp has given the same name to his band. They broke out earlier this year with a cheeky little rap ditty called "Starz In Their Eyes" - a vaguely acceptable Streets-lite attack on Pop Idol.

    I wasn't a big fan, but their subsequent singles have all been an improvement. The new one, Writer's Block, is particularly groovesome - with a chilled out, four-in-the-morning feel to it. The change in pace also highlights Allsopp's skills in the rap department, with lines like:

    I'm living in the past / My clock's an hour fast
    Should really go and make a coffee / but I can't be arsed

    The video's got a quirky sense of humour, too...

    But don't you think it would have been better with just a splash of this?

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    Tuesday, June 12, 2007

    June gloom

    It's summer, so traditionally there isn't much new music around (although I've just got hold of a high quality MP3 of MIA's Boyz, which has led to the outbreak of a minor Brazilian carnival in my living room, feathered bra and all).

    To keep me in new music, I've been scouting around for some Nina Simone and Isley Brothers albums, but I don't know where to begin. Which are the boring ballady ones and which are the funky war protest ones? Anyone who can help with this minor quandry will be rewarded with a banana and a slurpy kiss.

    While I search for ways to waste my cash, here's a really terrible parody of Rihanna's Umbrella - which was broadcast on the Chris Moyles show last week. Any of our international readers who need a bit of context, click here.

    Chris Moyles - Umbrella parody

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    Monday, June 11, 2007

    Irony alert

    The Arctic Monkeys have done a video for their new single Fluorescent Adolescent. It features a bunch of clowns and isn't as funny or clever as it thinks it is.

    Insert your own joke here.

    Arctic Monkeys: Fluorescent Adolescent
    (warning: contains violence and a really terrible song)

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    They should have called it Vibeology

    Thanks to reality TV, Paula Abdul is opening up her tiny head and inviting us inside to see what makes that rattling noise (hint: not drugs, definitely not drugs). The new show, which has the not entirely gay title "Hey, Paula!!!", is currently being promoted in the US with teaser trailers like this:

    If that tiny clip leaves you wanting more, top notch gossip site Defamer has a slightly longer promo, in which we are fed the following "I'm not mad, me" tidbits:

  • Paula is carried up the stairs like a princess / woman who has had a little too much cheap sex on the beach, or whatever it is they're calling cocktails these days
  • Paula runs towards the camera like the loveable buffoon / manic coke*-fiend she really is
  • Apropos of nothing, Paula says "I love you" to a side street
  • Paula has ten tiny dogs, just like you or I might have if we were incredibly rich and spoilt
  • We see Paula's bff - her stylist, Daniel. With friends like these, etc, etc...
  • Paula says very clearly that she is "exhausted" - which presumably serves as an explanation of this disastrous TV appearance:

    Inevitably, this will be must-see, car wreck TV. It'll be on Bravo in the US in August, so we'll probably get to see it in 2012, when all the television ever produced fits onto a little tiny white pill. No, Paula, don't eat it... Nooooooooo!

    Paula in happier times (1989)

    * That's the high sugar caffeine drink, not the Class A narcotic, obviously

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  • Friday, June 8, 2007

    Not an interview with Mutya Buena

    Q: Hi, Mutya, how are you?
    A: I'm great. No complaints.

    Q: Tell us a little bit about the album. What was the concept?
    A: Basically, I wanted to take everything I'd achieved with the Sugababes and piss it up the wall.

    Q: You've gone for a very mellow, laid-back sound. What was the inspiration?
    A: People know me from songs like Freak Like Me and Red Dress and I'm not that kind of girl - flirty and outspoken and all that stuff, you know? I wanted the music to show the real me and the real me is basically very, very boring.

    Q: There's a big R&B influence, isn't there?
    A: Oh yes. I love R&B. But not that stuff you hear in the charts - you know, with the tunes. I was going for something really bland and insipid with no character or melody - like a Simply Red album. I'm really proud of it, actually.

    Q: Is Mick Hucknall a big influence, then?
    A: Absolutely, yes! I love all those acts - Simply Red, UB40, Dido... You can put on one of their albums and get on with the housework and when its over you've barely noticed the CD has stopped. That's my sort of music, right there.

    Q: What was it like working with Amy Winehouse?
    A: We're like kindered spirits. I wanted to hook up with her from the minute I saw her first. Like me, she's completely disfigured an otherwise attractive face with a grotesque piercing on her lip. I love her like my own mother - who's a complete bitch, by the way.

    Q: And George Michael?
    A: He's hilarious! Always getting up to pranks and japes. This one time, he downed a whole bottle of prescription drugs and took me out for a drive. We ended up fast asleep near Hyde Park and George dreamt he had this totally surreal conversation with a horse dressed up like a policeman. Best night ever!

    Q: Finally, what's your favourite colour?
    A: Black. But on a really, really happy day, it's brown.

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    Wednesday, June 6, 2007

    La Vida Logo

    If you live in the UK, you can't have failed to notice the almighty kerfuffle over our logo for the 2012 Olympics, which was unveiled on Monday.

    As someone pointed out to me yesterday, it looks like Lisa Simpson giving a blow job. Which is appropriate, given that the design totally sucks balls.

    The "big reveal" of the £400,000 design has sent Daily Mail readers into a furious tizz of outrage, and made everyone else go "oh". The BBC decided to have a little fun and ran a competition for people to design an alternative. It which produced some surprisingly good results...

    ...And one which was based on a notorious piece of internet filth.

    But the last word goes to cool-as-a-lollipop design website b3ta, who had the following take on the whole sorry affair:

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    Tuesday, June 5, 2007

    Annual post about the Summer Burn

    Here is a great way to get some free music and feel good about yourself into the bargain.

    It's called the Summer Burn and here's what you have to do in 10 easy steps:

    1) Register your name and address at the fabulous funjunkies website
    2) Carefully select your bestest music and burn it onto a compact disc
    3) Make another copy of the CD and put it in a safe place
    4) Wait a bit. Perhaps you could have a nice biscuit or a do some running
    5) On the first day of summer, funjunkies will email you the address of two strangers from off of the internet
    6) Do not go to the stranger's houses, they could be mad and drink their own piss. Instead, send each of them a copy of your musical masterpiece
    7) They will also send you a copy of their own funkalicious mixtape
    8) Think to yourself: "My CD was much better than this load of old toss"
    9) Be filled with a warm glow at having educated people about "proper" music and not that tuneless rubbish they listen to nowadays
    10) Watch as the recording industry collapses in a terrible mess of cover-mounted CDs and hapless lawsuits

    Do it! Do it now!


    Monday, June 4, 2007

    The return of the arrow of truth

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    Friday, June 1, 2007

    While we're social networking

    Regular readers will know I've been poking around a video sharing site called "Vimeo" for the last couple of weeks. It's like Youtube, except the clips are interesting, as opposed to narcississtic nonsense. The ability to link to people you know / like / are afraid of and the inbuilt comments system are much better developed, too. Here are a couple of the excellent videos I've stumbled upon:

    ROAR. MEAO. MEEP MEEP. from amandalynferri

    I'm Autistic! from BikiniArtist

    This last one is my favourite. In it, a small boy called Tom - who went deaf last year after contracting meningitis and now hears through cochlear implants - receieves a rather special present:

    Tom's New Bed from Jason B


    In your face

    Oh dear, it has happened. I got myself a facebook account.

    The shame.

    If you want to be my friend click here or whatever it is you do. I'll really treasure your friendship and, if you're having trouble at home, you can sleep on our floor until it's all sorted out.

    My only question is: was it wrong to put "I worship at the altar of cock" under religion in my profile?


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