Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Fan video vs band video

Nebraskan purveyors of off-kilter pop Tilly And The Wall have been given Song of the Day status over at the almighty Popjustice for their current single Beat Control.

But there are two videos doing the rounds - the official one, complete with special effects and a man wearing a watermelon necklace; and one made by a bunch of grade four children at an international school in Taiwan (seemingly led by Justin from Ugly Betty).

So which is best? Watch both and cast your vote below.

Beat Control - the official one

Beat Control - Made in a primary school

Labels: , , ,

Monday, September 29, 2008

Girls Aloud album title revealed...

It's (provisionally) called Out Of Control !

All the info - and a hi-res version of The Promise video - can be found on the BBC. And here's the "amazing moment" when Kimberley revealed the news.

Labels: , ,

Notes on Britney's Womanizer

It's strange to think that when Britney was at her lowest ebb last year, she managed to turn out the most consistent run of singles of her entire career - Gimme More, Piece of Me and Break The Ice.

Now that she's seemingly back on the mend, she's got some new material and it's... also rather good. Womanizer (you can hear it on Britney's beta website) may not have the chutzpah to announce "It's Britney, bitch" or the cheeky, self-aware lyrics of Piece Of Me, but it's a damned sexy slice of electronic chart cake.

It is the sort of cake that has two layers of melody, plus a nice filling of creamy harmonies and a strawberry jam synth line. Britney's robotic vocals suggest it might be more of a mass-produced supermarket Victoria Sponge than a home-baked Vanilla Slice, but at least it's not one of those experimental Heston Blumenthal cakes made out of gravy, or iced cats livers or what have you. [that's quite enough of the cake metaphor, thankyouverymuch - ed]

But I have a huge problem with the song, and it is this... When Britney sings the bridge:

I can't help but sing this instead:

Yes, that's right. In my head, I have confused Britney Spears and Lulu.

I think I may need a shower now.

Labels: ,

Friday, September 26, 2008

Amazing x5

Here's a quintuple dose of awesome to kick off your weekend:

1) Alesha Dixon's new single
Through the medium of mambo, Alesha is reaching out to her two, distinct audiences - (a) People who mourn the passing of Mis-Teeq (b) People who only know her because of Strictly Come Dancing.

The Boy Does Nothing is the name of the song, and I can prove to you how amazing it is in just 20 seconds:

There's more on Alesha's MySpace.

2) Ninja Cat is comin' to getcha

3) Ben Folds Five and Regina Spektor
My two favourite people who sit behind a piano and sing at the same time have sat behind two pianos and sung at the same time as each other. Result = Brilliance.

Ben Folds - You Don't Know Me (feat Regina Spektor

4) Barack Obama visits the West Wing
Aaron Sorkin takes time out from writing a movie about Facebook (the mind boggles) to imagine what advice The West Wing's Jed Bartlett would give the current Democratic Presidential Candidate.

:: Jed & Barack [New York Times] Warning: Socks will be blown off.

5) A Girls Aloud video with a budget in excess of £2.50

Girls Aloud - The Promise

Trivia: I interviewed Kimberley yesterday. She was tired, but very polite.

The End.

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Girls Aloud Live Lounge pt 3!

Without make-up and without Nadine (shingles, apparently) Girls Aloud have just made their third trip to Radio 1's Live Lounge, which was temporarily relocated to Jo Whiley's garage for some reason.

As ever, the format is to perform the new single (Promises: Growing on me all the time) and a cover (One Republic's Apologise: Screechy).

The girls did pretty well without their vocal lynchpin, especially as it was their first ever performance of the new song. Have a listen and let me know what you think...

:: Girls Aloud - The Promise (live lounge)
:: Girls Aloud - Apologise (live lounge)

More pictures over at the Radio One website. I covet Jo Whiley's bookcase, by the way.

Labels: , , ,

I'm not disappearing

Discopop Directory will be moving over to a new server on Friday, so it might disappear from the internet for an hour or two. But don't worry, I'll be back as soon as the boffins have pressed all the right switches.

See ya!


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

And the answer is...

So, who was the beatboxing pop star I mentioned yesterday?

Why, it was none other than Sugababe Amelle Barberadicksonererah!


Labels: , ,

Quantum of Solace - the musical

While I was away, a colleague sent me the lyrics to the Jack White / Alicia Keys Bond theme. I took one look and thought "fake".

Turns out I was wrong, and this terrifically incompetent bag of balls is the genuine article.

JW: Another blinger with a slick trigger finger for Her Majesty
AK: Another one with the golden tongue poisoning your fantasy
JW: Another pill from a killer turn a thriller to a tragedy
AK/JW: Yeah, a door never open, a woman walking by, a drop in the water, a look in the eye, a phone on the table, a man on your side, someone that you think that you can trust is just another way to die.


To fade: Just another, just another, bang bang bang bang.

To be fair, the words work a lot better in the context of the down and dirty bombast of the song - which you can buy now on iTunes. But I still prefer the two spoof themes performed by Adam and Joe of… er, Adam and Joe fame. Here's a sample of Adam Buxton's chorus:

I'd like a quantum of solace, but no more than a quantum
I know they do big bags of solace... but I don't want'em
I only want a teeny, tiny slice of solace
Before I shoot you

Much, much better, I'm sure you'll agree.

Adam Buxton - Quantum of Solace

Joe Cornish - Quantum of Solace

Perhaps we could collect together all these themes, and the ditched Amy Winehouse one, and put on a show, Kids of Fame-style, right here, right now.

I'll call Bruno. Can you text LeRoy?

Labels: , , , , ,

Hi, we're the Killers and here is our song

The Killers have made an amazing career out of one (admittedly brilliant) trick - sounding a bit like New Order and Joy Division at exactly the same time!

Many thought their last album, Sam's Town, was a bit on the ponderous side. It aimed for the epic sweep of Bruce Springsteen's middle America anthems, but it was suffocated by its own ambition, wrapped in a woolly blanket of pretension and drowned in a black lagoon of muddy synths.

So for third album, Day and Night, the band sought out the talents of Stuart Price (whose nimble fingers once tweaked Madonna's knobs) and flicked the big red switch marked "pop".

Sadly, it hasn't worked. The record's first single, Human - which premiered on Zane Lowe's show on Monday - is a yawnsome retread of their earlier efforts.

It starts with that same, tired fuzzy synth sound, and a lyric that wants to be profoundly mystical but actually sounds like the daft ramblings of an agoraphobic nutjob ("sometimes I get nervous when I see an open door").

Things pick up when the chorus kicks in - with a thumping drum beat that suggests an awesome club remix is on the cards - but the melody is a bit of a dirge. Perhaps inadvertently, Brandon identifies the band's biggest problem - a desire to be important that outweighs their pop instinct. "Are we human, or are we dancers?" he wails.

Why can't we be both, Mr Flowers? Why can't we be both.

:: The Killers - Human (mp3)

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Important question

Which very successful UK pop star is using her lips and mouth to imitate the sounds of a drum machine in this clip????!

All will be revealed tomorrow...

This actually happened

At Sunday night's Emmys, Josh Groban sang a medley of 26 TV theme tunes in four minutes.

It is the most mesmerisingly shit piece of television in all of the history of everything ever.


I'm back - and so are they

Hello! I am now back from the beautiful French Riveria and ready to start bringing you more top tier writing about music and that.

But, first things first, here's that Girls Aloud single that premiered while I was away (why didn't they check with me first???)

It's called The Promise and, in Nadine's words, it is "mouuure on the sexties kinda feel-good vibe that's happenin' neow wi' muuuuusic, but it's still Girls Aleeouwd."

Translastion: It's a bit like I Can't Speak French but with Mark Ronson horns in it. I kind of like it. Kind of.

The song is undeniably catchy, and it's interesting to hear them lead off a new album with what counts for a ballad in Girls Aloud world. But with weaker vocal performances it could be a Kylie track.

But, given that the band's "comeback" singles always underwhelm (Long Hot Summer, The Show, etc) I've still got my fingers crossed for a storming second single at Christmas (Biology, Love Machine, No Good Advice, Call The Shots).

Lots more to catch up on - including Jack Black and Alicia Key's Bond theme - so keep coming back!

:: Nadine interview (mp3)
:: Girls Aloud - The Promise (mp3)

PS - I must give a huge, gargantuan, planet-sized thank you to Lisa, who sent me an mp3 of the song while I was away from the British airwaves. She is marvellous, and no mistake.

Labels: , ,

Friday, September 12, 2008

Very Important Announcement!

I am going on holiday tomorrow, so...

1) There will be nothing posted on this blog 'til Tuesday, 24th September. Sorry about that.

2) Please don't burgle my house. There is a panther hiding in the bedroom and you will get very badly hurt.

3) Girls Aloud's new single "The Promise" will be premiered on Radio One this Sunday at around 7pm. If you could find it within your heart to send an MP3 to savage-at-discopop-dot-co-dot-uk, I will love you forever*

That is all. You're all amazing.

* Love you forever = Buy you a Kit Kat

Labels: , ,

New Ting Tings video: Be The One

Eeeek! The Tingerators are releasing a single in which Katie doesn't SHOUT EVERY WORD LIKE THAT FRIGHTENING MAN OUTSIDE THE COMMUNITY CENTRE.

Will it see the band's popularity drop off amongst the deaf community? Or will people say "oooh, this sounds a bit like the mildly successful mid-90s jangly indie sounds of The Sundays" and rush out in their droves to buy it from wherever it is that actually stocks singles these days?

Only time will tell.

Ting Tings - Be The One

PS Sorry about the shiteous adverts before the song, but something called Handbag.com has an "exclusive". It'll be on YouTube by midnight, mind you.

Labels: , ,

Gig Review: Madonna plays Wembley

The last time Madonna went on a stadium tour, with 1993's Girlie Show, it was a creative and critical flop. So much so that it would be eight years before the Queen of Pop returned to the stage. When she did, it was in the smaller and more controlled environment of the indoor arena, where she could better realize the intricate, theatrical extravaganzas she's now become famous for.

So it was with some trepidation that I travelled out to Wembley for the Sticky and Sweet show. Would the acrobatic drama of the Reinvention and Confessions tours translate to such a huge venue - or would it be swamped by the scale?

I should never really have doubted the Queen of Pop. She has enough personality to fill three Wembley Stadiums - and the technology behind these massive concerts has progressed light years since 1993. Flanked by two massive "Ms" and about seven video screens, Madonna could project her (Blond) ambition into space if she wanted.

Highlights of the show included Into The Groove's double dutch skip-along, a ballsy hard rock version of Borderline and a gypsified La Isla Bonita. Practically every song had a new visual theme, and the choreography was almost entirely devoid of cliché. My particular favourite was Heartbeat, in which a "crippled" Madonna was posed and manipulated by her dancers like a marionette - a sly dig at the critics who claim she's getting too old for this pop lark.

And, while we didn't get the skateboard ramps or multi-story climbing frames of her recent tours, there was plenty of visual splendour for the audience's hungry eyes. Dancers donned classic Madonna costumes - the conical bra, the Like A Virgin wedding dress - for She's Not Me; while Devil Wouldn't Recognise You saw the Queen Of Pop enveloped by a curtain of lights.

Song-wise, the show was a bit too Hard Candy heavy - opening with the underwhelming Candy Shop and closing with a slightly muddled Give It 2 Me. At the same time, those new songs, which sound a bit anaemic on CD, were given some much-needed muscle by the fantastically accomplished band. Madonna wisely threw in a few hooks from her older hits into the mix to keep the fans happy, too.

In fact, Madonna's willingness to rejig and refresh her music is one of the things I admire most about her. It shows a real creative hunger in comparison to the "wheel out the old hits" mentality of most performers of her stature. One truly splendid example was Like A Prayer, which was transformed into a thumping rave anthem by virtue of a mash-up with Felix's Don't You Want Me.

It was so good, in fact, that the crowd forgave her en masse for singing completely the wrong words - which made the pre-recorded guide vocal somewhat obvious.

There have been a few gripes about the ticket prices for the Sticky and Sweet Tour but I honestly believe the show is worth the price of admission. Compared to similarly-priced events by the Rolling Stones or the Police, your cash investment is clearly being spent on the creative endeavour, rather than Sting's yoga lessons.

However, can I make one heartfelt plea to set designers around the world? If you could raise the stage a mere three feet higher off the ground, then short-arses like me could see the whole thing, rather than paying £75 to watch a giant TV for two hours.


Candy Shop
Beat Goes On
Human Nature
Vogue (with 4 Minutes, Give It To Me, Last Night a DJ Saved My Life)
Die Another Day (video interlude)
Into the Groove (with Jump, Double Dutch Bus, Toop Toop)
She's Not Me
Music (with Put Your Hands Up 4 Detroit)
Rain / Here Comes The Rain Again (video interlude)
Devil Wouldn't Recognize You
Spanish Lesson
Miles Away
La Isla Bonita (contains elements of Lela Pala Tute)
Doli Doli (dance interlude)
You Must Love Me
Get Stupid (video interlude)
4 Minutes
Like a Prayer (with Don't You Want Me, Feels Like Home)
Ray of Light
Hung Up
Give It 2 Me

Labels: , ,

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Janet's amazing tour setlist!

Janet kicked off her North American tour in Vancouver, Canada last night and the set list looks stunning. Thirty-seven (!) tracks, with just about every hit you could hope for - from Pleasure Principle through That's The Way Love Goes to Feedback.

There were a couple of curveballs, too. A three-song medley of songs from the pre-Control era (when she was rubbish) and the inclusion of the godawful Call On Me. What was she thinking?

Here's a fan video of the opening minutes of the concert. I particularly like how they almost drop the camera in fright when the pyrotechnics go off.

That setlist in full:

Pleasure Principle
What Have You Done For Me Lately
You Want This
Miss You Much
Rhythm Nation - Interlude
Never Letchu Go
Come Back To Me
Let's Wait Awhile
So Excited
So Much Betta
All Nite (Don't Stop)
Rock With U
Together Again
Young Love
Say You Do
Don't Stand Another Chance
Doesn't Really Matter
Love Will Never Do (Without You)
When I Think Of You
All For You
Got 'Til It's Gone
Call On Me
That's The Way Love Goes
I Get Lonely
Funny How Time Flies (When You're Having Fun)
Any Time, Any Place
Black Cat
Rhythm Nation
Band/Dancer Introductions

[via Janet Xone]

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Please let this be true

Adele's US career could be in tatters after radio stations banned her Chasing Pavements single, thinking the heavily-accented star was singing about "chasing gay men".

It's not clear who is supposed to have been offended here. Is it the right-wing conservatives, censoring any mention of homosexuality? Or is it the liberal elite, appalled at a woman thinking she could "turn" a gay man straight with her warbling?

Maybe it's both!
Maybe it's neither!
Maybe they just really, really hate the song!

NB: This "story" has come from the Daily Mail, that well-known supporter of homosexualism, so it's almost guaranteed to be true.

Here's the video so you can check out the hilarious misunderstanding with your own earholes.

Adele - Chasing Pavements

Labels: , ,

Teaching kids their DMCs

The recent run of amazing Sesame Street clips has dried up, so here's the next best thing: Rap demigods Run DMC on 1980s teach-kids-about-books TV show, Reading Rainbow.

"Oh yes, indeed I like to read / 'cause reading's fun
Not only me (I'm DMC) / but also Run

Wasn't it great when it wasn't only Kanye West who was brave enough to set a positive example rap fans?

Run DMC on Reading Rainbow

Labels: , , , ,

What I did last night...

Thanks to me (and 30 other drunkards) Cheryl, Nadine, Nicola, Sarah and Kimberley are each £4.00 richer. Literally amazing.

:: Girls Aloud win £20 music prize [BBC News]
:: Twenty Quid Music Prize: Congratulations, once again, to Girls Aloud [Popjustice]

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

I can't move my arm for fear that you will wake

If there's any justice in the world, Elbow will win the Mercury Music Prize later tonight for The Seldom Seen Kid - a towering triumph of classic songwriting.

The band have been telling anyone who'll listen that the reocrd is "our Dark Side of The Moon". Luckily, it's not half as ponderous as that overrated mountain of mystic toss. Instead, it's a collection soaring, heartfelt rock songs written by an endearingly loved-up Guy Garvey.

Coincidentally, with the Mercury awards only 12 hours away, Polydor have released the video for the album's third single, Bones Of You. It is almost like they planned it this way, isn't it?

Elbow - Bones Of You

Update: Well done Elbow! I wish I'd put some money on it now!!

Labels: , , ,

Monday, September 8, 2008

That Sugababes video "in full"

The cynical opportunism of the Sugababes' new single is so audacious that it deserves a kind of grudging respect.

By stealing the hook from Ernie K Doe's Here Come The Girls and adding some nondescript "independent women" verses, the band have guaranteed themselves a lifetime's supply of performance royalties from wedding disco DJs.

But the song has a distinct air of "will-this-do" hanging over it, particularly in Keisha's middle 8 section, which is more piercing than a tin whistle in a wind tunnel.

The video isn't much better, eschewing the high fashion of the band's previous video, Denial, for (yawn) some people dancing in a nightclub. The mild lesbianics from Amelle were presumably orchestrated by the same marketing focus group that "thought up" the idea for single in the first place.

Teacher's report: C+
Could do better. See me after class.

Sugababes - Girls

Labels: , ,

Friday, September 5, 2008


US lady duo Uh Huh Her are named after a PJ Harvey album, but don't let that put you off (because PJ Harvey is awesome).

Unlike PJ, Camila Grey and Leisha Hailey are vendors of cool'n'moody synth pop. Like PJ, they are cooler than a throng of cucumbers wearing ray bans in the Arctic.

The video for their new single, Not A Love Song, came out in the US three weeks ago but I'm not ashamed of my tardiness for three reasons:

1) Unicorns!
2) Animated Unicorns!!!!
3) General hotness!!!!!1eleven

Check it out:

Uh Huh Her - Not A Love Song

Labels: , ,

Linkorama - Read, Watch, Listen

:: Cor blimey, it's only the farking trailer for Guy Ritchie's new film, you slags.

:: The Sugababes' new video is previewed over on Popjustice. Warning: includes strobe lights, bouncing, forty-seven-year-old song.

:: Trailer Addict has the (real, this time) trailer for Kevin Smith's Zack and Miri Make A Porno.

:: What on earth is going on in the new Kaiser Chiefs video?

:: Out magazine names the 100 Gayest Albums of all time. Showtunes, Madonna and The Indigo Girls - who'd have thunk it?

:: Jennifer Aniston tries out the oldest pick-up technique in the book - "You look kinda tense, why don't I give your shoulders a rub?"

:: Epic marriage proposal failure

:: The LA Times has a great preview of Sunday night's VMAs, which mark the 25th anniversary of the MTV award show. Apparently they're going to use Paramount Studios back-lot to create live music videos. It can only be better than the awful "party in Kanye West's hotel room" from last year.

:: Eleventy buckets of brilliant - Diplo vs Santogold have done a mixtape called Top Ranking. Thirty-five top tunes, including three new Santogold songs. Tracklisting over at Get Weird.

:: Janet Jackson reckons she might bring her Rock Witch U tour to Europe. I'll believe it when I see it.

:: After her interview with Billboard, Janet dressed up as a mushroom and presented her brothers with silver-plated KFC buckets [shurely some mistake - Ed]

:: Am I the only one who finds it frightening that, if John McCain gets elected, Sarah Palin - who says global warming is "not man-made" - is only one weak heartbeat away from being President? Gain some more insight into her fully-thought-through political ideas from her "personal blog".

:: We Are Pop Slags has a new discovery - US teen band Vistoso Bosses, who are the Sugababes multiplied by the Wee Papa Girl Rappers. Just signed to Interscope, apparently. One to watch.

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Thursday, September 4, 2008

New Lauryn Hill track. No, really!

Lauryn Hill's follow-up to The Miseducation Of... has suffered delays of Guns N' Roses-esque proportions. But now, thanks to R&B supremo, we have the first new material from the tiny soul diva since that disastrous Fugees comeback in 2005.

The Roots drummer posted a download of an eight-minute opus, World Is A Hustle, on his Twitter feed last night, which I suppose makes it a semi-official leak.

And it's really, really good - a funky Fender Rhodes Blaxpolitation groove about the depressing mediocrity of the modern world and the crippled careerist politicians who run it at the behest of the multinational corporations.

While this sounds dangerously close to the tedious sloganeering of Hill's MTV Unplugged album, World Is A Hustle is rescued by a magnificent melody and a strong, soulful vocal from the reclusive diva.

Apparently, there's more to come - Hill's partner, Rohan Marley, recently said: "She writes music in the bathroom, on toilet paper, on the wall. She writes it in the mirror if the mirror smokes up.

"She writes constantly. This woman does not sleep."

If it's all as good as this, then it'll have been worth the wait.

?uestlove's Twitter feed
Lauryn Hill - World Is A Hustle (MP3)

Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

New video: CSS - Move

Like a rescued street cat, CSS were once wild and shambolic creatures of the night, but are now carefully-groomed, clean-whiskered balls of fluff. With their balls cut off.

Not that I completely dislike the band's new material, mind you. The second album, Donkey, has a few fantastic fizzy pop moments - but too many of the songs are neutered by the whizz-bang production values, robbing them of the off-kilter brilliance of, say, Let's Make Love (And Listen To Death From Above).

Luckily, the band are choosing the right singles to support the record. Rat Is Dead (Rage) is still in my top 10 of the year so far, and new single Move is exactly the sort of plinky-plonky student disco nonsense the band are renowned for.

The video is smashing, too - full of clever trick photography and quirky humour, marking the best attempt yet to capture the band's South American charms on film.

Also, Lovefoxxx's new hairdo is fucking phenomenal.

CSS - Move

Labels: , ,

New video: The Saturdays - Up

In which The Saturdays grab pop by the pony tail and drag it right back to 1997.

The Saturdays - Up

Labels: ,

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Kaiser comeback

The Kaiser Chiefs were, in my opinion, unfairly maligned as a novelty act when they started out. Here was a band that recognised the inherent greatness of the singalong chorus and "the bit that goes wooooo" (technical term). Being accessible shouldn't be scorned.

The criticisms clearly stung, though, and the Chiefs responded with a world-weary album about how everything is average nowadays.

It was, with a dose of irony that Alanis Morisette would appreciate, profundly average.

So, to recapture their mojo for album number three, the Leeds lads enlisted the talents of Mark Ronson, banned him from using trumpets and set about crafting some raucous, shouty nonsense - although they sadly missed the opportunity to enlist Alesha Dixon for a guest spot.

Judging by their new single, Never Miss A Beat, they've remembered exactly what made them great in the first place. Choppy guitar licks? Check! Nonsense lyrics? Double check! (What do you want for tea? I want crisps!). Big wooshing noise to herald the arrival of a final, rousing chorus? Triple check!

The only fly in the ointment is Ricky Wilson's dry delivery, which is laden with more knowing ennui than a minibus full of French philosophers.

If someone could pop round his flat with a case of Red Bull, rub some deep heat into his eyes and poke him in the tits, that would be marvellous.

Kaiser Chiefs - Never Miss A Beat (mp3)

Labels: , ,

Monday, September 1, 2008

Lykke Li breaks it up

Our new favourite Swedish pop star Lykke Li was on NBC's Late Night with Conan O'Brien last week, doing her fractured pop thang. Sadly, it was one of those performances that leaves you wishing for the recorded version - all the subtlety and gentle brilliance of Breaking It Up is smothered by a misjudged barrage of improvised megaphone warbling. Shame.

Lykke Li - Breaking It Up (live)

Labels: , ,

Newer Posts ::: Older Posts

© 2014 Discopop Directory | Contact editor@discopop.co.uk | Go to the homepage