Friday, February 26, 2010

Calling all gypsies!

Shakira is disrespecting you and your heritage. Are you going to stand for it?

Shakira - Gypsy

PS: If you think I couldn't work out what to say about this song, you are right.

PPS: OMG Rafael Nadal iz buff n they does kissin at the end LOL (etc)

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Thursday, February 25, 2010

This is driving me mad...

We Have Band's new single, Divisive, is excellent - but the melody for the verse ("Is it working for you / 'cos it's working for me / let's count to three / no, it's hard to disguise") is definitely ripped off of some 1980s pop tune. At first, I thought it was the Thompson Twins; then I thought it was Nik Kershaw; then I thought it was Fun Boy Three. Now I'm just confuzled.

Can anyone out there help?

We Have Band - Divisive

A great video for fans of programming drum machines, there.

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Five amazing things about Nina Persson's latest song

1) It'll make you go a bit watery in the eye "department".
2) It sounds a bit like the Human League.
3) The end leaves you wanting more, then the song actually re-appears and gives you 50 seconds more AS IF IT KNEW WHAT YOU WERE THINKING.
4) Trumpet solo.
5) It's a duet, but it's not with the Manic Street Preachers.

Called The Blues, it is a collaboration with Primary 1, aka Joe Flory, a "film graduate and computer kid who writes, performs and sings feelgood synthfunk", according to The Guardian.

You can listen to / download it below. Scrummy.

Primary 1 and Nina Persson - The Blues [Right click and select "Save link as"]

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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Mini review: Marina and the Diaaaah-tishooo!

Dear old Marina is poorly sick. "I'm ill, everyone, i'm ill, pity me, make a fuss, pity me," she writes on Twitter just hours before she took to the stage in London's Bush Hall.

She certainly seems a little under the weather (unless sneezing into microphones and generally looking a bit peaky is all part of her act). But if there is a frog near her throat, he's been given his hopping orders.

From the opening - a larger-than-life Girls, performed in what can only be described as a Pikachu Slanket - Marina is in fine voice, belting out her kooky pop confessionals like a true Welshwoman. With her album out this week, a lot of reviewers have focused on the singer's vocal tics, falling evenly on either side of the genius / irritant divide. But the whoops, animal calls and hollers are all just window dressing. Tonight, the fragility with which she sings "you're vulnerable, so vulnerable" on I Am Not A Robot, proves what an emotive, genuine singer Marina can be.

As the concert draws on, however, the star begins to look precariously wobbly. When she is highlighted with red spotlights during Rootless, it is presumably meant to convey drama and passion, but instead resembles a particularly frightening Vicks vaporub advert.

Then, a medical miracle occurs. The shaggy backing band (dubbed the 'rough diamonds' by one especially unkind acquiantance) kicks into "the one the audience knows", ie Hollywood, and Marina is carried away on a wave of positive energy. The adrenaline boost lasts all the way to the end of the show, when a prowling, predatory Mowgli's Road bursts right through the doors and into the shadowy night.

Properly amazing. Even with the snuffles.

The Outsider
I Am Not A Robot
Oh No!

Mowgli's Road

Photos from Manchester Deaf Institute gig on 21st February, via Astrocreep and Ricky Orr on Flickr.

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Ellie Goulding in the Live Lounge

Ellie Goulding looks set for a top 10 SMASH with her debut-single-that's-not-her-first-single-but-is-her-debut-despite-those-two-words-being-synonyms-and-what-a-perfect-illustration-of-the-mess-the-music-industry-has-gotten-itself-into-that-is, Starry Eyed.

To ease its passage into the charts, Ellie turned up on Radio One this morning with a beautifully breathy version of the song. She also re-interpreted Temper Trap's Sweet Disposition as a drippy acoustic ballad. Best to give that one a miss, though.

Radio One have proudly uploaded some photographs of the session to their website, along with the declaration "audio coming soon". It's been four hours, though. What are they up to? Probably making one of those jingles where someone shouts "Ray-dee-oh ONE" into a dustbin, then they chop it up and play each syllable in a different speaker with a whooshy sound effect and a bit of Hadouken.

In the meantime, here's a 30-second snippet of Starry Eyed.

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3, 2, 1... We have Blaskoff!

Aussie warbler Sarah Blasko launched her bid for UK stardom last night, playing a short, 40-minute set in London's wintry Soho. After last week's Gagavaganza, this was a simple, stripped back affair, with seven musicians elbow-to-elbow on a tiny stage - but it was no less impressive.

Blasko is a big deal back at home. She was recently named Best Female at both the ARIAs and the Rolling Stone awards, and she's been hand-picked by Temper Trap to support their upcoming UK tour. Now, she has moved to East Dulwich as she attempts to get a foothold in Europe.

The 33-year-old singer-songwriter has an intoxicating, husky voice. Quite rightly, she doesn't embelish it with studio trickery on her album, so you're immediately struck by how pure it sounds in concert, as she flits between doe-eyed vulnerability and that trilling, outer-space operatic thing Alison Goldfrapp used to do in the early days.

For a performer with nearly 15 years' experience Blasko seems unnecessarily shy, but she remains fascinating to watch - making intense, angular movements that bring to mind a Raggedy Ann doll impersonating David Byrne (the song Over And Over even lifts a few lines from Road To Nowhere for its coda).

The set is entirely comprised of tracks from her third album, As Day Follows Night, which is released over here in April. Produced by Bjorn Yttling of "Young Folks" fame, it is a crisp collection of folk-pop, full of dainty piano riffs, brushed snares, and understated strings. The arrangements may be easy to replicate on stage, but not with this amount of soul and verve.

Arbitrary verdict: 8/10

Sarah Blasko - No Turning Back (live)

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Monday, February 22, 2010

Vaguley interesting Janet thing

Apparently this isn't a single, or a buzz track, or an official leak, or an unofficial leak, or a leak and potato soup, or a leaky tap, or a tap-dancing leek, or a leaked wiretap, or [that's quite enough of that - ed].

Janet's people say it is "just for fun". In fact, it's barely a song at all.

Janet ft Pitbull - HeartBeatLove

You can download it from producer Rodney Jerkins' website, if you're interested.

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Vampire Weekend + celebrity cameos = blog post

Vampire Weekend have somehow roped in Rza, Jake Gyllenhaal, Joe Jonas and Lil Jon for their new video. It may be a cynical ploy to make the promo go "viral" in the "blogosphere" - but I love a party with a happy blogosphere*.

You can just hear the pitch: "They'll come for Jake Gyllenhaal's tight, tight shorts, but they'll stay for the music". They may or may not have finished this sentence by drawling the word "dude" and taking a long slow drag on a 'special' cigaratte.

Vampire Weekend - Giving Up The Gun

PS: I really, really like the Vampire Weekend album. Does that make me square?

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Friday, February 19, 2010

How I survived the attack of the Fame Monster

I was jammy enough to be sent to Manchester last night for the opening night of Lady Gaga's first headling tour of the UK. It was predictably grandiose and grotesque, but I generally felt like a rubber-necking outsider, rather than an special invitee to The Monster's Ball. That could have been because I had my "professional" hat on (it's a sombrero, in case you're interested) or it could have been down to opening night nerves making the performers concentrate on hitting their marks, rather than reaching out to the audience.

Anyway, enough jibber-jabber. There were 20 (20!) journalists at the MEN Arena in Manchester, and here's what the ones who survived their hangovers enough to bash out a few paragraphs had to say:

"Right up until the wire there was a mad panic" (Digital Spy)

"For the third act she wore her most bonkers costume, resembling a tasselled lampshade." (The Sun)

"Gaga herself is on imperious form, displaying a powerful singing voice not readily apparent on the album" (The Independent)

"Muppet Wonder Woman" (BBC - clearly the most insightful review in this list)

"A dishwasher overheated in an MEN Arena kitchen, and the fire brigade were called." (Manchester Evening News)

"It still leaves every other pop star looking a bit wan by comparison." (The Guardian - who liked this phrase so much they used it twice)

"Her piano burst into flames during her song Speechless - which is exactly how many of us felt." (Mirror)

"Hold on to your hairdo, this is one helluva ride." (The Times)

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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Bjork explains how televisions work

If this video had been released today, it would be part of some bizarre "media strategy" to build up advance word about a new Bjork record.

But it's not. It's from 1994, when the only reason for a pop star to sit down and describe how a television set works was because the video was going to be used on an actual programme on an actual television station - and in those days there were only seven television stations in the enitre world (subs please check).

Bjork TV

Can you imagine one of today's pop stars understanding the inner workings of a television? Does Aston out of JLS know the difference between 1080p and 720i on his HD flat screen? Can Dappy from N'Dubz make the subtitles work when he's watching Holby City or Dispatches? Have John and Edward established to their own satisfaction that televisions are not the same as magic mirrors?

The answer to all of these questions is "no".

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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A rememborable night

You'd think that, with 30 years of practice, the Brits would have finally worked out how to throw a decent awards ceremony. But no, last night's effort was as shambolic and hopeless as ever.

Now, putting on a two-hour live television show is hard work and I accept that a myriad of things can go wrong. Sam Fox's stuttering intro to a video of "rememborable" Brits highlights, which then failed to play, could have been technical gremlins (or a snide tribute to the hopeless 1989 ceremony).

But there were so many more gaffes, mistakes and cringeworthy moments - Jonathan Ross, I'm looking at you - that you have to conclude the whole evening was as competently thought-through as my 1979 attempt to discover how many buttons I could fit inside my nose (Answer: four, before you need to go to A&E).

If they were really celebrating their 30th birthday, why were there no big performances from past winners? Why was the background music for the 30th anniversary award categories Rule Britannia, a classical piece written in 1740? And why did they hire a host whose only "joke" was to mock the music they were supposedly celebrating*?

On a more basic level, when the video inserts begin "here are the nominees for best xxxx", the script leading into those videos shouldn't say "here are the nominees for best xxxx". They teach you that on first day of TV school.

Then there were the terrible pregnant pauses, the inexplicable appearance of Prince Harry, the inexplicable failure to edit out the bit where Prince Harry mugged to the camera, and the ongoing problems with syncing the sound to the picture - which meant that even the acts who were singing live looked like they were miming.

Some people have suggested that, like Ireland entering Dustin The Turkey for the Eurovision, ITV is trying to sabotage its hopes of producing next year's ceremony. Lets' face it, if the BBC stepped in with the team behind the amazing Children In Need Rocks concert, we'd see a marked improvement.

But the real reason for last night's terrible, amateurish production is more mundane. The Brits still think they're organising a big party in London for their showbiz mates. They're not - they're making a TV show, one that is supposed to showcase the sheer brilliance of our artists to the rest of the world. In the future, they have to make that the priority.

Anyway, rant over... The performances saved the show, as ever. Here are the best bits.

Jay-Z and Alicia Keys - Empire State Of Mind

Effortless, energising, excellent. Easily the best performance of the night. As is so often the case, the Americans were there to show us how it's really done.

Florence and Dizzee - You Got The Dirtee Love

Should have been a mess, turned out to be excellent. But why didn't these two award winners get a performance to themselves?

Robbie Williams - Lifetime Achievement Medley

Unbelievably, Robbie managed not to pull silly faces, talk to the crowd, forget his words or act like a twerp. AND he did No Regrets. Masterful.

Cheryl Cole - Fight For This Love / Show Me Love

Channelling the spirit of Janet Jackson, this wasn't as spectacular as her X Factor performance - and the mash-up with Show Me Love was a bit pointless - but Cheryl had the best choreography of the night by far.

Lady GaGa - Telephone / Dance In The Dark

Polarising as ever, GaGa ditched a planned medley of her hits for a heartfelt, idiosyncratic tribute to Alexander McQueen. It was odd, but mesmerising - and she totally drew us into GaGa world. The mark of a true artist.

* Actually, Kay had one other joke, about the ceremony being "20 minutes of entertainment spread out over two hours". He nicked it from Johnny Carson, who used it at the 1979 Oscars.

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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Hello, here is some vandalism

Today's morally reprehensible video comes courtesy of Crookers ft Miike Snow. Naughty boys.

Crookers fr Miike Snow - Remedy

For some reason, it reminds me of the "Mad Painter" sketches they used to show on Sesame Street.

Er... that's all.

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Friday, February 12, 2010

New music: Akala - XXL

London-based rapper Akala is being touted as the new voice of British Hip-Hop. Music magazines have described his last two albums as "smart and addictive" and a "riot on wax". They also note that he is Ms Dynamite's brother (but his record label consistently ignores that enticing factoid on their press releases. I wonder why?)

But who cares what the "meeja" says? Let's ask the REAL fans; the ones who write reviews on Amazon. Here's their considered opinion on Akala, if that is indeed his name:

"This album features great tracks. I would recommend this album to anyone with musical taste." (Ashmore Smooth)

"Be sure of one thing, this guy will get inside you." (XXX)

"He is our Lupe Fiasco only better." (L Hodson)

"It isn't that hard to listen into, his words are easy to digest but yet he does touch upon many matters." (Deano)

So there you have it. Akala is pretty bloody excellent, okay? His new single, XXL, is out on 19th April and it sounds like this.

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Thursday, February 11, 2010

Rihanna does a video, people notice

As everyone on the entire internet has pointed out, Rihanna is riding a zebra in her new video.

I'm a bit miffed that it's a stuffed zebra. Where's the fun and danger in that? Mind you, given that the video is an horrific assault assault on the eyes, it's probably for the best that any real animals were kept away from the set.

Rihanna - Rude Boy

While it's nice to see Rihanna nod to the calypso and soca music of her native Barbados, I can't take the song seriously when the bridge so obviously steals the lyrical conceit of the following song:

Flight Of The Conchords - She's So Hot (Boom)

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Pixie Lott falls to earth

Teenagers spend a lot of time trying on different personas, "personalising" their jotters and growing questionable moustaches (questionable as in "not very good" rather than "Hitler"). It's all part of establishing your identity, and working out your place in the world.

Be honest, you had dreams of going into space, or turning those swimming trophies into a Olympic medals, or marrying Jason Donovan and feeding him baked beans in a jacuzzi. After all, no-one grows up wanting to become a dentist.

But what happens if you're a thrice Brit-nominated pop star before you can learn to drive? What do you do with those growing pains then?

If you're Pixie Lott, the solution is to imitate all your favourite musicians before settling on your own style. Her first single, Mama Do, was an homage to the retro soul sound of Amy Winehouse. For the follow-up Boys & Girls, she was a little bit Billie. Mega-ballad Cry Me Out was a very British attempt at doing Alicia Keys.

Now, on her fourth single Gravity, Pixie is chanelling the spirit of Leona Lewis. With every line, she gradually ratchets up the dramatics until the chorus arrives with a big swooshy noise and the vocals take off like Usain Bolt chasing a handbag thief down Fifth Avenue.

The song's all about some boy Pixie keeps coming back to, even though their relationship is rotten (a classic teenage mistake - for God's sake don't get engaged when he goes to university). Where Pixie excels is in selling that lyric. You can feel the confusion and frustration and passion in her voice, where Leona would just bellow out the tune with all the subtlety and force of an exploding bouncy castle.

All of which suggests that, when Pixie finally decides who she wants to be, she'll earn a darn sight more than three Brits nominations.

(Here’s the video, in which Pixie looks surprisingly leggy for an eight-year-old.)

Pixie Lott - Gravity

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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Musical conundrum 345,028*

I don't know what is happening to my ears, but it is disconcerting and weird.

This morning, I was sent a video by Sabrina Washington. She used to be in Mis-Teeq. She's recorded a bouncy, high-energy pop song. It should be right up my street, standing at the front door, rapping the knocker and shouting "I am your new favourite record" through the letter box. But I can't listen past the first 90 seconds without getting distracted by a crumb, or my fingernail, or a... oooh, Ferrero Rocher.

The problem is threefold:
1) It has the same name as a Basement Jaxx song.
2) It lifts the synth riff from Rhythm Is A Dancer.
3) It makes no substantial improvement on either.

Sabrina Washington - Oh My Gosh

On the other hand, I have watched this Swell Season video three times in a row. It shows the duo sitting on the steps of an anonymous building in Dartmouth, playing a lilting, acoustic version of Low Rising.

Perhaps its the voyeurism of watching two musicians who used to be a couple performing in a way that suggests they'd still quite like to be a couple, but I find the video fascinating. The look of unguarded admiration on Marketa's face is heartwarming (or heartbreaking, depending on your personal ratio of romance:cynicism).

The Swell Season - Low Rising (Dartmouth session)

So there you have it: Pop is out. Folk is in. I have turned into my dad.

* approx

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Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Angry French women attack

The Plastiscines are furious. Why? Because they've come to England, the home of punk and rock and the Beatles and the Libertines and football hooligans, and everybody is just standing there staring at them, politely holding bottles of beer.

"This isn't a jazz club," scolds Marine, the band's toussled, tattooed guitarist. "Make some noise! Shake your fuckin' pussies!"

The Parisian pop-punk quartet continue to be quite cross for the rest of the show, cajoling the audience in between numbers for not providing sufficient applause. Then, abruptly, lead singer Katty Besnard decides she's had enough.

"Stop!" she screams, and her band-mates shudder to a halt. They watch, bemused and intrigued, as Besnard prowls over to the side of the stage, singles out two cowering punters and starts screaming in their faces for not joining in with the show. Strands of her I Dream Of Jeannie beehive work themselves loose as she turns on the rest of the audience. The gig will not continue, she pouts, until everyone is on their feet.

I've never seen the Plastiscines before, so I've no idea whether this sort of teenage tantrum is de rigeur - but, hell, it's exciting. And, to my great astonishment, it works. By the time drummer Anoushka Vandevyver (great name) counts the song back to life, the venue is, in the words of Destiny's Child, Jumpin' Jumpin'.

Leaving the show, I have no idea what the Plastiscines will sound like on record. Live, the best comparison I can make is Elastica covered by the Hives - an exploding supernova of white noise and bratty riffs. But if the evidence on their MySpace and Youtube pages is to be believed, this cacophony has been given a glossy coat of pop varnish in the studio, turning them into a sort of Brigitte Bardot Go-Gos (The Bardot-Gos?)

Here are their first two singles... What do you think?

Plastiscines - Barcelona

Plastiscines - Bitch

Earlier in the night, we were treated to a small dose of Daisy Dares You, who proved similarly spunky, albeit with a bit more British reserve (and a strange tendency to work creaky old Led Zeppelin riffs into her songs).

I'm a bit worried about her fan-base, though. Rather than a horde of screaming teenagers, Daisy's audience consisted mainly of sinister middle-aged men, several of whom looked like they should be on some sort of police register. Creepy.

Daisy Dares You - Number One Enemy

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Monday, February 8, 2010

A man dressed as a parrot

Here's Jonsi, lead singer of Sigur Ros, with the video for his debut solo single, Go Do. Like the "teaser track" he put out two weeks ago, it gets good around the 2'00" mark. Expect twittering flutes, elegaic strings and a man with luxuriant plumage.

Jonsi - Go Do

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Runcible Spoon

Sometimes, it is worth paying attention to ropey US teen dramas just for the soundtrack. The OC was a good example - interspersing its interminable "I have just smoked a cigarette and it has given me issues" plotlines with some truly tasty alt-rock.

Spoon, a Can-inspired quartet from Texas, were one of the bands to get their big break from the show's music supervisor, Alex Patsavas. The ragged piano groove of The Way We Get By soundtracked one of the big Seth / Summer moments, propelling the band's next album, Gimme Fiction, into the charts.

Since then, they've gone from strength to strength in the US, hitting the top 10 twice, most recently with their seventh studio album, Transference. It's a superb record, combining 70s MOR harmonies with shambolic, rickety grooves that constantly teeter on the brink of collapse. It's the sort of thing that comes in handy for awkward white men at indie discos, allowing them to give the appearance of dancing by simply flapping their elbows around like a penguin with an aneurisym.

First single off the record is called Written In Reverse. The video has been rendered in black and white, so that you know Spoon are a serious rock band. They are also playing live, so that you know they can "cut it". And the camera is frequently out of focus, so that you know they got their dad to film it when he got home from the pub quiz last Thursday.

Spoon - Written In Reverse

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Friday, February 5, 2010

Laura Marling sex conundrum

Yesterday evening, I listened to Laura Marling's new single, Devil's Spoke. It is pretty much what you'd expect: Husky, folky, sensitive, haunting, beautiful. Great stuff, but unremarkable... Until the end, that is, when Laura gets a bit frisky and sings: "Eyes to eyes, nose to nose, ripping off each other's clothes in a most peculiar way".

Since then, I have been trying to imagine a couple might achieve the act of distinctive denuding. So far, my ideas include:

:: Lick each other's clothes until they dissolve.
:: Place partner in suit of armor, operate industrial-strength magnet.
:: Use vaccuum cleaner to suck off socks, etc.
:: Attach bungee cord to partner's trousers, push them off bridge.
:: Cover each other in moths, wait for larvae to eat off bra and pants.

None of these are entirely satifactory, and Ms Marling gives no further information about her undressing protocol within the song.

If you have any insight or, for that matter, practical experience of how to rip off clothes in a most peculiar way, please contact me at the usual address. No videos, though. That would be weird.

Laura Marling - Devil's Spoke

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Terrible song, great rap

If you are a collossal hit-making R&B superstar like Mariah Carey, you will sometimes find yourself with a song that needs a bit in the middle. The problem is that middle bits are really hard to write. You have to introduce a new melody, deliver a cunning lyrical twist, or develop an existing musical motif in an unexpected way. And then you have to resolve that modulation by coming crashing back to the chorus for an epic finish.

Such a mammoth task can derail even an accomplished songwriter - the syncopated orchestral phrases that appear out of nowhere in The Beach Boys' God Only Knows are mystifyingly bad, for example.

So what are the Mariahs of this world do? In the "olden days" you could get away with a blistering axe solo, or a massive freak-out on the drums. Those things are considered passé now, so in their place we have the laziest idea of all time: the guest rap.

On occasion, this can be a great thing: Kanye blabbing on about Ribena and "Lan-dan blokes" like he's Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins is a fantastic addition to Estelle's American Boy. At other times, a rapper will fill up the required 16 bars with some old nonsense about his "massive gun" and excuse himself politely, with little or no impact (hello, Busta Rhymes).

But what happens if the rap turns out to be better than the song its part of?

This is, sadly, what has happened to Mariah on her latest single - Up Out Of My Face. It is a complete disaster until we hear from up-and-coming Motown signing Nicki Minaj (that's her above, telling you how many donuts she'd like you fetch from the shops).

She sounds deranged. She looks deranged. Her rhymes are deranged... and clever, and sharp, and funny. She totally upstages the megastar standing next to her.

Well done.

Up Out My Face

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Thursday, February 4, 2010

Up and away!

I'm a huge animation fan, so I was over the moon when Up got an Oscar nomination for best film on Tuesday. Even better, it's also in the running for best animated feature, so the talented geeks of Pixar are practically guaranteed a statuette (unless the dual nomination splits the vote...)

Anyway, this gives me a timely excuse to post some of the film's amazing production art, which was first showcased on animator Lou Romano's blog last year. The images illustrate just how much care and attention is paid to the tiniest of tiny details on Pixar's films. The animators test everything from the the shape of cloud formations, to the exact complexion of their protagonist. Here's a selection:

If you like these, there are tons more on this page, along with some stunning Youtube clips of the animation tests.

Best of all, the DVD is out in 10 days - and it's a steal at £9.99


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Wednesday, February 3, 2010

New Passion Pit video: Sleepyhead

For reasons I don't quite comprehend, Passion Pit are not yet a massive pop sensation. Let's just run down the checklist to see if we've missed anything:

Nope, that all seems to be in order. Maybe they'll just have to be content with the status of underground pop heroes. Which is fine by me, as long as they keep making quirky, characterful videos like this.

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Girls Aloud on American Idol

Whoever thought this would happen? A contestant auditions with Girls Aloud's Something Kinda Ooooh on American Idol. Simon Cowell's response is priceless.

Vicky - American Idol audition

I wonder if any British tabloids will claim this segment is part of Simon's grand plan to put Cheryl Cole on the US version of X Factor, despite the fact the average US citizen has never heard Something Kinda Ooooh before in their lives?

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Lock up your daughters: It's the Jedward video

When Ice Ice Baby came out 20 years ago, thousands of irate Queen fans complained that Vanilla Ice had desecrated the memory of a classic.

Today, music fans across the country are bemoaning John and Edward's debut single, on the grounds that it has spoiled a seminal rap anthem.

And that, readers, is progress.

Jedward - Under Pressure (Ice Ice Baby)

What an insufferable pair of pointy-haired, uncoordinated, dipshit cunts.

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Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Dwight and Germanotta

It might sound like a gardening company, but it's actually the combustive combination of Sir Elton and Lady G, performing together at the Grammys.

Advice: Skip Poker Face and the irritating ringmaster twerp and head straight for the good bit at 3'20".

Is it just me, or at 4'30" does GaGa look directly at Sir Elton and sing "Oh, Fred, you've left me speechless"?

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Monday, February 1, 2010

Lazy Journalism vs New Young Pony Club

When you read interviews with pop stars, one of the most frequently asked questions is: "How would you describe the sound of your new record?"

Why? Because it means the journalist doesn't have to go to the effort of thinking up flowery adjectives and eovcative descriptions of their own. They can just say, "Tom from Kasabian describes his new album as 'very normal'" (note: this actually happened). That way, the musician sounds dense and ineloquent, not the writer. Clever, huh?

Anyway, to get to my point, I recently wrote on Twitter that New Young Pony Club's new material showed not one iota of musical progression from their debut album (not in a derogatory way, for I love their first album). The band's petulant reply is one of my favourite tweets of all time. Here it is in all its technicolour glory.

See if you agree by listening to their new single, Chaos.

New Young Pony Club - Chaos

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Parp! Cheryl Cole has done a new video

Hooray! Cheryl Cole has finally gotten round to releasing the "good" song off her 3 Words album. The other ones are good, too, but this one is especially good. They should have a special word for that. Goodplus, or something.

The video takes its cue from the performance on Cheryl Cole's Night In last December, which itself took its cue from Strictly Come Dancing. In the clip, she is thrown around a dancefloor by a "hunk" and does a particularly impressive lay-out, where the "hunk" holds her by the neck (this is a technical term we learnt off Nigel Lythgoe on So You Think You Can Dance).

There is also a bit where she grabs her boobs.

Cheryl Cole - Parachute

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