Monday, June 30, 2008

"Blinded by inconsolable rage"

Quick, watch the new Bond trailer before it disappears:

Quantum of Solace - teaser trailer

Once it's inevitably pulled off Youtube, the trailer is being shown on AOL (in the US) and MSN (everywhere else). It'll also be screened ahead of Will Smith's anti-superhero movie Hancock in proper cinemas.

The film itself is out in the UK on 31st October. Can't wait.

PS: Someone has also put the raw Youtube file on I have no idea how you might watch it once it's downloaded, though.

Labels: , ,

New video: Ting Tings

Depending on how you calculate it, this is either the third or the fifth single from The Ting Tings. It's that one from the iTunes ad and, presumbaly because of the massive bundle of Apple cash now stuffed under their matresses, the band have spent more than £3.50 on the video.

The Ting Tings - Shut up and Let Me Go

Question: If you were the director, how tempted would you have been to do that triangle thing over Katie's mimsy?

Labels: , ,

New video: Estelle

Rating 3/5 on the good-o-meter, here is Estelle's new single No Substitute Love. I like how she acknowledges that the verse is completely stolen from George Michael's Faith (no, really) by completely stealing the video for George Michael's Faith, too.

Did I say creatively bankrupt?

No, I did not.

Estelle - No Subsitute Love

Question: Can you spot the product placement in this video?

Labels: , ,

Friday, June 27, 2008

The Ladybird Book of Police Work

Funny, it's not how I remember it from school:

Read the whole book here

Labels: ,

Oooh, oooh, oooh!!

Two of the best television moments of the last ten years:

1) Joss Whedon's musical episode of Buffy The Vampire Slayer
[here is a terrible clip on Youtube (youtube)]

2) Nathan Fillion's fantastically grumpy performance as Captain Malcolm Reynolds in Joss Whedon's cruelly cancelled sci-fi western, Firefly
[here is an equally terrible clip on Youtube (youtube)]

So, what if Joss Whedon wrote a three-part musical about a low-rent super-villain, the hero who keeps beating him up, and the cute girl from the laundromat he’s too shy to talk to. And cast Nathan Fillion in it. Alongside the guy that used to play Doogie Howser.

It would be fucking amazing, that's what.

(Oh, and here's the trailer)


Some photos from Wimbledon

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Liveblogging the Wimbledon queue II

10:30 The grounds are officially open. Out here in Wimbledon Park, meanwhile, we've been given a 40-page guide to queueing. "You are in the queue if you join it at the end and remain in it until you have acquired a ticket," it advises. It is good to have that cleared up, as I was beginning to get confused and disorientated.
Current music: Hot Chip - Ready For The Floor

1055 Our section of the queue has been ushered forward from the holding area to the ticket line. Maybe 30 mins to go!
Current music: Flight of the Conchords - Ladies of the World

11:50 and I'm in! Only £20 to get access to all the outlying courts - and I have the option of (another) queue for returns to Centre Court and Court No. 1. Not that I'll need one, Boris Becker's due on Court 17 when play commences at noon, and that's where I've stationed myself for now.

I have to say the whole queueing process was a peculiarly British delight - amiable, polite and well ordered. So much so that people gladly accepted stickers proudly proclaiming they'd been in line for one of the 25,000 tickets.

You wouldn't get that at Heathrow.
Current music: please God, anything but an 'impromptu' performance from Cliff Richard.

12:10 Oh, so it's Benjamin Becker. Just goes to show how much I know about tennis! In any case, I have to turn the iPhone off during the day's play, so you'll be spared my hopeless sports commentary (queues are more my thing). So that, dear readers, is that. Byeeee!

Labels: ,

Liveblogging the Wimbledon queue

09:15 Hello! I thought I'd try something a little different today, and update the blog as I queue to get into day 4 of the 2008 Lawn Tennis Championships at Wimbledon. I've arrived at the specially designated waiting area (a big field opposite the hallowed grass courts) and been handed a "queue card" by the boater-wearing, none-more-English stewards. Clearly, however, I didn't arrive early enough - my ticket number is 6002 :(
Current music: The Ting Tings - Shut Up And Let Me Go

09:45 There's a pitched battle going on between the two rival gangs of newspaper vendors prowling the queue. Currently trailing in second place is The Guardian (left wing, sneery attitude, free sun cream) which is selling roughly one copy for every three shifted by the Daily Mail (racist, homophobic, free binoculars). There is also one forlorn Daily Telegraph seller (free DVD???) but I think this may just be a practical joke.
Current music: Timbaland: Give It To Me

10:05 I'm passing the time by reading US music magazine Blender, in which Coldplay's new effort is dispatched with concise brilliance. "Coldplay making a record about not pleasing everyone," writes Jon Dolan, "is like James Brown making a record about not being so damn funky all the time."
Current music: Neil Young: Only Love Can Break Your Heart

Labels: ,

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Gig Review: Radiohead in a park

For a man whose lyrical preoccupation is alienation ("We don't have any real friends"), it is hardly surprising that Thom Yorke doesn't spend a great deal of time in communion with his fellow human beings. During two hours on stage with Radiohead in East London's Victoria Park he barely registers his longtime bandmates, while banter with the 40,000-strong audience is kept to the bare minimum.

But maybe this solitude is not a bad thing. Rather than mess around developing showmanship and 'patter', Yorke puts his head down and concentrates on the music.

And there is no doubt that Radiohead are one of the most accomplished rock bands on planet telex. Like a heavyweight musical wrestling team, they can grapple anything - be it the angular power chords of Airbag or the syncopated jerk-rock of 15 Step. Even when they teeter on the brink of scribbly electronic nonsense, the whole enterprise is rescued by Colin Greenwood's much under-rated bass riffs - some of which veer towards (dare I say it?) funk.

Nonetheless, it is the simpler, melodic tracks of In Rainbows that work the best in this set. Faust Arp is the transcendental lynchpin of the set, its falling acoustic arpeggio recalling the delicacy of the Beatles' Dear Prudence. Recalling their dawn performance on TV special Scotch Mist earlier this year, Yorke and Greenwood stand face to face to perform the track to an enraptured audience.

But without making eye contact, obviously.

Elsewhere, National Anthem has lost none of its grinding power, and Pyramid Song ushers in the dusk with menacing discord. Bizarrely, a Chinook helicopter flies over the stage just as the drums kick in. A mere coincidence? We may never know...

The night's setlist is largely drawn from the arty post-OK Computer era - including all but one of the tracks from last year's In Rainbows album - at the expense of crowd pleasers like Karma Police, The Bends or Paranoid Android. But when the group do venture deeper into their back catalogue, things go somewhat awry. Either through boredom or repetition, Just (to name one example) has acquired some unnecessary flourishes and vocal tics which rob the song of its elemental power.

But the audience - maybe the whitest gathering ever seen in Hackney - don't seem to mind. Dressed in a uniform of looks-second-hand-but-is-really-very-expensive-designer-corduroy and carefully messed-up facial hair (yes, even the girls), they bob their heads up and down in unified appreciation of the arty noodling.

At times, it looks like a convention of nodding dogs.

When the crowd finally remember they're at a rock concert and sing along to Planet Telex, Yorke (who is known for forgetting the words to this particular song) is suddenly moved to say something.

"Tonight I was fucking terrified," he admits, "so thank you for the good vibes".

You see? Even introverted, reluctant rock stars need a little of the human touch now and again.

Aw, diddums.

15 Step
All I Need
National Anthem
Pyramid Song
Weird Fishes / Arpeggi
The Gloaming
Dollars and Cents
Faust Arp
There There
Climbing Up The Walls
Everything In Its Right Place
How To Disappear Completely
Jigsaw Falling Into Place
Bangers and Mash
Planet Telex
The Tourist
Cymbal Rush [Thom Yorke Solo at Piano]
You And Whose Army
Packt Like Sardines In A Crushd Tin Box

Labels: , ,

Monday, June 23, 2008

Welcome back, Edd The Duck

Yes, you read that right. We are about to experience a monumental cultural resurgence for the "popular puppet mallard duck with green hair" (thanks for that, Wikipedia).

And who is responsible? Why, it's everyone's favourite mid-90s miserablist indie rocksters, The Verve. They have kindly fetched Edd out of the sock puppet retirement home and let him do backing vocals on their new song Love Is Noise. It is is streaming off of their myspace page right now.

This is all very well, but what about Andy Crane? Answer me that, Richard so-called "Ashcroft". What about Andy Crane?

Labels: ,

We'll run away...

Hello! I'm back from my uncharacteristically sunny UK holiday now, but with another week off to bum around London watching Radiohead and Wimbledon. It's a hard life.

Our week away was spent with 30 friends in a cottage hidden away amidst Devon's deepest wilderness. We had huge, open skies; rolling fields of wheat and barley; deer, sheep, badgers and donkeys; streaming, weeping eyes from the pollen; and a blissed-out summer soundtrack courtesy of Goldfrapp's Seventh Tree - an album that keeps getting better the sunnier it gets.

And, lo and behold, I return to the real world to find the video for their third single, Caravan Girl, winking at me coquettishly. It would be churlish of me not to put it right here in this space:

Goldfrapp - Caravan Girl

Labels: , ,

Friday, June 13, 2008

A milestone is reached

Crivvens! This is officially the 1,000th post on Discopop Directory. The majority of the content has, if I'm honest, mostly been flim, flam and piffle. But that's what the internet was invented for, surely?

To celebrate our first millennium, here is a Muxtape with the top 12 tracks from the first three-and-a-half years of the blog's lifespan (click on the picture or go to to load it up).

And for those of you who don't "do" the whole Muxtape thing, here's the whole lot in MP3 format. Don't tell the record labels, though. They'll cut me up and spread me on their toast.

1) Nelly Furtado - Maneater
2) Gnarls Barkley - Crazy
3) Girls Aloud - Biology
4) Dragonette - Competition
5) CSS - Let's Make Love and Listen To Death From Above
6) Amerie - Gotta Work
7) Goldfrapp - Number 1
8) Annie - Heartbeat
9) Robyn - With Every Heartbeat (acoustic)
10) The Cardigans - I Need Some Fine Wine And You, You Need To Be Nicer
11) Regina Spektor - Samson
12) Radiohead - Nude

And, with that, I'm off on holiday for a week. See you again on 23rd June!

Labels: , , , ,

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Duran Duran invented pop, you know

Duran Duran's John Taylor has hit out at Madonna, accusing her of copying their colllaboration with Justin Timberlake and Timbaland.

"It wouldn't be the first time Madonna's copied us," the bassist added. "She's been doing it for years."

Imagine what it must be like being inside John Taylor's mind, twisting and turning every pop happening to reinforce the fact that Duran Duran are the most important and groundbreaking act of all time.

Remember that video where Madonna had highlights in her hair and mimed to a song? WELL DURAN DURAN DID IT FIRST.

And what about her song about dancing on an Spanish island? WELL DURAN DURAN DID A SONG ABOUT RIO WHICH WAS NEARLY EXACTLY THE SAME.

And that one time when she was the biggest female pop star on the planet and earned more than $150m from concert tickets in a single year? WELL DURAN DURAN... Erm... Oh, fuck.

John, if you're reading, here are a list of people who collaborated with Timbaland before you came up with the idea for the first time ever in history and then Madonna stole it:

Jodeci, Sista, Aaliyah, Ginuwine, Missy Elliott, Magoo, Playa, Nicole, Jay-Z, Total, Nas, The LOX, Da Brat, K-Ci and JoJo, Snoop Dogg, Outsiderz 4 Life, Torrey Carter, Mocha, Jadakiss, Fabolous, Bubba Sparxxx, Petey Pablo, Ludacris, Limp Bizkit, No Doubt, Destiny's Child, Tweet, Truth Hurts, Mack 10, Shade Sheist, Pastor Troy, Ms. Jade, TLC, Baby aka #1 Stunna, Solange, Lil Kim, Mýa, Obie Trice, Alicia Keys, Kiley Dean, Zane, Nate Dogg, Brandy , Cee-Lo Green, Knoc-Turn'al, Lloyd Banks, Beenie Man, LL Cool J, Shawnna, Utada, Jackie O, Xzibit, The Game, Jennifer Lopez, The Black Eyed Peas, Fat Joe, The Pussycat Dolls, Ray-J, Jamie Foxx, Nelly Furtado, Busta Rhymes, Danity Kane, Chingy, Lloyd Banks, Diddy, Omarion , Young Jeezy, Beyoncé , Redman, Björk, Bobby Valentino, Tank , Rihanna, M.I.A., Kanye West

That is all, Thank you.

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Alicia wants us to tap her Keys

When you think of Alicia Keys what three words come into your head? For me it's probably piano, slightly, and dull.

But not the people who run the soul star's website, oh no. They have squeezed their brain cells very, very hard and come up with the words: tetris, Tetris, TETRIS!

Yes, you can play the famed 1980s rotating blocks puzzle game on Alicia's website while being brainwashed seduced by her mum-friendly music (although surely they've missed a trick by using No-one instead of Falling?)

Why they've decided to offer this "feature" is a complete mystery. Unless they're trying to subtly reinforce the link between listening to Alicia Keys and boring, reptitive tasks.

PS: Here is Alicia's new video, for the literally quite-good-if-you-like-that-sort-of-thing Teenage Love Affair. The storyline combines the perfectly-matched topics of a college campus relationship and African Aids orphans. Tasteful!

Alicia Keys New - Teenage Love Affair

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Mrsdiscopop speaks!

"I like this song!"

Infadels - Free Things for Poor People

Mrdiscopop interjects: Stick with it, even though it sounds a little Big Country to begin with. The chorus will find a permanent home in your brain (in the good way). Also, nice tribute to Oh Brother Where Art Thou? in the video.

Labels: ,

Gig review: Sara Bareilles

Riding high on the euphoria of a top 10 hit, Sara Bareilles was like an excited teenager at the Bush Hall in West London last night. She bounded onto the stage, eyes wide with puppyish enthusiasm, and started chatting away to the crowd about London, the temperature, the fact that she had come "dressed as Dorothy from Wizard of Oz".

Sartorial disasters aside, her set started out energetically with US single Bottle It Up. Sara's "thing" is to hide stinging, bitter lyrics inside radio-friendly melodies and this one is about the music industry putting pressure on new artists to ape the chart-bothering antics of established acts.

It's not something her record company needed to worry about, mind you, as Sara already sounds exactly like a whole host of other big-name FM radio songsters: Sheryl Crow, Fiona Apple and (especially) Maroon 5 come immediately to mind.

Like them, several of her songs meander dangerously close to the territory marked "innoffensive but unmemorable" (catchy name for a territory, huh?). Similarly, when her songs shine they do so with a sparkle that mesmerises the tiny audience into reverent silence. Love Song, the hit, is one of them - but special mention should be made of Vegas and Come Round Soon, too.

However, the gig really comes to life when the singer abandons her piano for a low-down bluesy rendition of the Beatles Oh Darling accompanied solely by her guitarist Javier Dunn... Here's a similarly powerful version from a gig in Dallas a couple of months back:

Sara Bareilles - Oh Darling

On this evidence, Sara desperately needs to shun the polished, session-musician sheen of her current album in favour of this raw and gutsy sound.

It would be the making of her.

Labels: , ,

Monday, June 9, 2008

Here is Ladyhawke with her record

Ladyhawke is a new artist with a single she would like you to listen to.

While you fire up the video, here are some facts to ingest and regurgitate during a future conversation about Ladyhawke.

1) Her real name is Pip Brown.
2) She splits her time between New Zealand, Australia and the UK.
3) In her official biography, Ladyhawke uses the word "rad" without irony.
4) The Liverpool Echo (an esteemed journal of note) likened her to "a relic from the past".
5) That's a bit harsh, given that her only crime is to make slightly retro 1980s pop music. And who can't say they're making slightly retro 1980s pop these days?
6) Except The Kooks, of course. And Sting.
7) Some blogger said she sounded like Stevie Nicks "though Ladyhawke sounds much more like the lead singer of the Motels". Que?
8) Meanwhile, Popjustice said her video was "a post-millennial update on The Verve's Bittersweet Symphony, except it has got a good soundtrack".
9) Post-millenial means "made after the year 2000", fact fans.
10) Courtney Love thinks Ladyhawke is great, but don't let that put you off.

Ladyhawke - Paris Is Burning

Labels: , ,

Friday, June 6, 2008

Poor old Janet :(

Being Janet Jackson must be a bit rubbish these days.

Having wriggled out of her contract at Virgin, where they'd all but given up on her, she went off to Island. There, Dallas Austin hooked her up with a whole host of hot producers, who helped her craft an album that had a decent chance of being labelled her "comeback".

Except, it looks like Island have bailed on her, too. Here's what she told

"The label and myself haven’t quite seen eye to eye since the Feedback single so they've kind of basically stopped all promotion. I'm trying to figure out a way to say this, but just to say it and to be quite honest, they just stopped all promotion whatsoever on the album so I don’t think you’re going to hear another single off this album."


But Janet's still planning to go out on tour this "fall" - there's even a dedicated website here - so maybe she can earn enough cold hard cash to start releasing her new stuff online, like that Radiohead.

But this whole debacle does make you wonder. If Janet has fallen out with two successive record labels in a row, is it them or her?

Labels: ,

CSS album sampler

Over on MySpace, CSS have put up an sampler for their forthcoming album, Donkey (out 21st July). It sounds pretty amazing, in a not-very-much-development-from-the-last-album kind of way.

"We didn't come into the world to walk around, we came here to take you out," declares Lovefoxxxxxxxx in that glorious shouty-singy voice she has. Other songs feature the same Pixies-esque guitars as lead single Rat Is Dead, and (kitsch alert!) a wonky 80s synth.

There's nothing with the sing-a-long quirkiness of Alcohol or Off The Hook, but its shaping up to be a great summer album.

Listen to / Download the sampler on the CSS Myspace page

Labels: , ,

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Gig review: Duffy in a Bush

Disclaimer: This review is based on having seen four whole songs, as I also had to see Avril Lavigne at the O2 (and the less said about that fiasco, the better). Accordingly, here are my impressions in bullet point form:

  • Duffy's hair is entirely independent of Duffy herself
  • Duffy was wearing ruby slippers like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz.
  • Consquently, it looked like Judy Garland had been eaten by an Afghan Hound.
  • Which led to the following image in my Guinness-fuelled nightmare last night:

  • Nonetheless, the singing Afghan was very good (she didn't bark once)
  • Set closer Distant Dreamer was the stuff of legend. Proper tingles went up my spine.
  • It should be the next single, not Stepping Stone or Serious, despite what her record label thinks
  • I have never seen a crowd leave a venue so quickly in my life. I suspect they had to get home to pay the babysitter before 11.
  • The end.

    Labels: , ,

  • Tuesday, June 3, 2008

    Madonna: Give It To Me video

    In which (and, please, try to contain your astonishment) Madonna dances around in her pants.

    Madonna - Give It 2 Me

    Oh for God's sake, woman, give it a rest.

    Labels: , ,

    Miaowrrr! It's the new Goldfrapp single

    Pre-order here.

    That is all.

    Labels: ,

    Dance yourself Dizzee

    Hark at this! Dizzee Rascal has done a Taio Cruz and gone all dance in a bid for chart superstardom and getting "adds" on "Radio One".

    Unlike Taio's effort, though, Dizzee's song is remotely tolerable.

    For the moment, at least.

    Dizzee Rascal ft Calvin Harris and Chrome - Dance Wiv Me

    Labels: , , ,

    Is Luigi Masi the worst pop act ever?

    I've been meaning to write about this feckless no-hoper since the Girls Aloud concert a couple of weeks ago.

    Luigi (catchy name for a pop star, dontchathink?) was one of the support acts and, simultaenously, one of the absolute worst performers of all time.

    Why? It was mostly the eyes. The wild, staring eyes. This gave him two potential expressions - startled squirrel or crazed squirrel. Add this to his complete lack of co-ordination, grace or stage presence and it was like watching Napoleon Dynamite, only without the dance moves.

    Look at this video from his official Youtube (youtube) pages if you don't believe me:

    Luigi Masi doing some song or other

    Isn't it brilliant that this guy's own team couldn't even be bothered to sync up the sound with the pictures? They clearly have a great deal of belief in their star turn.

    In fact, if you look at his Myspace blog, you begin to get the impression his management might not be the most supportive team working in the music industry today.

    "No soundcheck today again," he wrote on 19th May. "I'm used to it by now."

    Meanwhile, his transport options suggest a distinct lack of planning, care or indeed cash. "I took the train up from London today to get here for the show in Nottingham," he wrote on 20th May. "Arrived at the venue at 7pm just in time to get ready to go on for 7.45!" The day before, he confesses, "We parked in the wrong place so had to walk a mile to get backstage."

    Perhaps, Luigi, someone is trying to tell you something?


    Monday, June 2, 2008

    Leaving on a midnight train - Woo Woo!

    One of the problems of being in the UK is that American Idol is on a piddling little digital TV channel, and it's very easy to forget its on. In fact, I was surprised to find they only chose the winner a week ago. Didn't they start the auditions back in - what was it now - 2003?

    Anyway, there is now a new Idol, who will have little to no impact on the UK charts as far as I can see. But the final had a moment of comedy gold when Jack Black, Ben Stiller and Robert Downey Jr (stars of forthcoming film Thunder Road) were digitally manipulated into a 1973 performance of Gladys Knight and the Pips' Midnight Train To Georgia.

    Here it is on youtube (youtube):

    Gladys Knight & the New Pips - Midnight Train To Georgia

    For reference, here's the original performance:

    Gladys Knight & The Pips - Midnight Train To Georgia

    Labels: , ,

    Sunday, June 1, 2008

    Gig review: Bruce Springsteen in a stadium

    Last night, we ventured out to the Emirates Stadium (apparently it's got something to do with football) to witness Bruce Springsteen do his rock "thang". There was plank spanking, there were extended "axe" solos, there were pensioners in jeans.

    It was ace.

    I was brought up with The Boss as a constant soundtrack in my dad's Vauxhall Cavalier, with the consequence that I never really got into his music until I left home and was allowed to discover it for myself. I still wouldn't admit to being an out-and-out fan, mind you. Too many of Springsteen's songs plough the same over-earnest furrow and his melodies can be aggravatingly similar before he throws down one of those trademark anthemic choruses.

    And, for a relative novice like me, it was the widescreen, crowd-pleasing refrains that won the night. Opener Out In The Street has a big, dumb "woah-oh-oh" bit that got everyone on their feet and Bruce milked it for all he was worth.

    The 58-year-old scampered around like a man with a weasel up his bottom, striding up and down the front row, shaking hands, taking dedications, and throwing demigod poses before collapsing in fits of laughter. I see where Bono gets it from now.

    Springsteen's long-term backing group, the "heart-stopping, pants-dropping, hard-rocking, booty-shaking, earth-quaking, nerve-breaking, history-making, legendary E Street Band!" were in fine form, too. A working example of the less is more school of rock, they only came centre stage when the music demanded - despite the fact that many of them are as recognisable as the frontman himself.

    But Emirates is in a built-up residential area, so the finer points of the band's music were lost to the breeze as the sound limits placed on the PA system left them struggling to fill the stadium. For first-timers, like mrsdiscopop, the lyrics - an essential part of Springsteen's music - were barely audible.

    It didn't help that it was a rather fan-orientated set, either. The only big-hitters were I'm On Fire, Born To Run, Because The Night and 4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy). Which was a shame, because the previous night's audience had heard the likes of Dancing In The Dark, Glory Days and Thunder Road. The rotters.

    But I'd unreservedly recommend a night out with Brucie. I've seen musicians half his age who have half of his energy, commitment and enthusiasm. A more intimate setting would be high on my list of priorities, though.

    Out In The Street
    No Surrender
    Darkness On The Edge Of Town
    Gypsy Biker
    Radio Nowhere
    4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)
    Growin' Up
    Downbound Train
    I'm On Fire
    Because The Night
    She's The One
    Livin' In The Future
    Mary's Place
    The Promised Land
    The Rising
    Last To Die
    Long Walk Home

    --- Encore ---
    Born To Run
    Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out
    American Land

    Labels: , ,

    Newer Posts ::: Older Posts

    © 2014 Discopop Directory | Contact | Go to the homepage