A new addition for any self-respecting camp dancefloor:

Tammy Wynette – warbling Country legend. Dave Audé – producer, remixer and man behind Nicole Scherzinger’s leaked smash-that-never-was, ‘Cold’. Not the most obvious of pairings until you take a listen to the latter’s reworking of the former’s signature tune ‘Stand By Your Man’:

Genius.

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Artwork fail (Aiden Grimshaw does it again)

This is the cover art of Misty Eye, Aiden Grimshaw’s debut album released on August 12th. Finding Aiden himself on it is a bit like Where’s Wally?, but without the fun:

Aiden, we get it . You don’t want to be judged superficially, you’re a real artiste etc. But nobody casually picking this up in Tesco can even tell whether you’re black, white, beige, chola descent, Lebanese or orient. Having no identity as your identity results in, erm…no identity.

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The best pornstars-turned-popstars

With pop performers resorting to ever more sexualised imagery to sell their brands, some have questioned where the dividing line between music and pornography lies. These people seriously need to get out more or stay at home and watch some actual porn. When was the last time you heard of someone discovering “self-abuse” courtesy of Rihanna? This did however get me thinking about pornstars who have made the crossover from adult entertainment to music. For some it’s just another way to make money as the cheques for them doing unspeakable things start to dry up, others meanwhile have a genuine passion which they use their infamy as a foot in the door to demonstrate. Here are a few examples, not necessarily the best or most successful, but certainly the most interesting:

1) Traci Lords:

First gaining notoriety after it emerged that she’d kick-started her adult film career while underage, Traci Lords relaunched herself as a serious actress, training at the Lee Strasberg Institute and landing roles in b-movies such as Serial Mom and Shock ‘Em Dead. Not content with this she also branched out into music, releasing a full-length album of techno inspired dance music called 1000 Fires in 1995. Asides from the odd release such as the brilliant ‘Last Drag’ in 2011 she’s yet to produce another album, but here’s hoping she’ll surprise us all.

2)  Colton Ford:

Since quitting the business, Colton Ford has proved he’s not just a beary face. Unusually it’s his first album Tug of War that features entirely original material while his second Under the Covers is an ingenious collection of takes on pop classics by the likes of Robyn and Alicia Keys. Two dance-orientated tracks including ‘Let Me Live Again’, produced by Wawa were released last year and there’s apparently a new album on it’s way – hooray!

3)  Lolo Ferrari:

The strange, tragic life of the woman with the world’s biggest breasts took an unexpected turn when her husband/manager pushed her into a music career.  The result; one of the most ridiculous bits of pop ever recorded. ‘Airbag Generation’ sadly isn’t catchy or original enough to have endured beyond being a camp curiosity but Madonna owes her video to ‘What It Feels Like For A Girl’  to this poorly-mimed gem.

4) Jeff Stryker:

You wouldn’t expect a man whose penis has been cast into one of the best-selling dildos of all time to venture into music, let alone Country music, but Jeff Stryker at one point seemed determined to break the mould (pun intended). As well as novelty track ‘Pop You in the Pooper’ he recorded a whole album of material in 1995 called Wild Buck which appears to have been only had a limited number of copies pressed.

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Gig review: Queen + Adam Lambert, HMV Hammersmith Apollo, 12/07/2012

The act: Queen + Adam Lambert

The venue: HMV Hammersmith Apollo

Why? : Queen were originally due to perform at the Sonisphere festival to mark their last performance with Freddie Mercury  at the festival’s site in Knebworth in 1986, but due to poor ticket sales (partially thanks to the rival Download festival’s brilliant line-up) it was cancelled. Determined to mark the occasion regardless, the reunion was rescheduled in the UK at the Apollo where Queen had performed in the past. As for recruiting Adam Lambert as stand-in vocalist, Brian May said that he believed he would be a “great interpreter” of Queen’s songs – no pressure there…

The music:  For the big anthems such as ‘Another One Bites the Dust’, ‘We Will Rock You’ and ‘We Are the Champions’ Lambert nailed it. There were some outstanding bits of visual – a set of rotating lights about the stage which moved and changed colour accordingly throughout the setlist. At one point May attached a camera to his guitar with the images it caught of the stage and audience shown via a big screen. For all of Adam Lambert’s showmanship and vocal fireworks there was no way he could have recaptured Freddie Mercury’s emotional power on the more subtle Queen songs such as ‘Love of my Life’  which was performed partially by Brian with a recording of Freddie appearing halfway through. Roger Taylor also performed ‘These are the Days of Our Lives’, ‘A Kind of Magic’ and in my opinion should’ve performed ‘Who Wants to Live Forever’  as well which was the only Lambert misfire .

The banter:  A difficult balancing act of poignancy and fun. Adam didn’t perform onstage at the same time as Freddie appearing so there was no sense of awkwardness, his respect never coming across as over-egged. It was ultimately Brian May whose song introductions meant the most, particularly his thanks to the Queen fans old and new who have supported the band over the years.

The crowd: A predictably interesting mixture of aging Queen fans and Glambert devotees, many wearing hoodies for Adam’s Trespassing album that had only been released in the UK earlier during the week.

Any surprises? At one point Adam’s leather trousers split, but rather than leg it backstage to change into a new pair he announced “There are no costume changes in rock ‘n roll!” and bravely soldiered on.

The question you all want to ask: What would Freddie have made of all this?

The answer: You know what? Asides from the man himself I don’t think there was anyone who could’ve done a better job as Queen’s frontman than Adam Lambert. He “gets” the pomp and showmanship of glam-rock better than any other popstar around and vocally he was more than capable of tackling some of most chanted songs in music history.

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New music videos (from the best and worst of blokepop)

Oh Aiden. WHY YOU SO SHY? The trouble with Aiden Grimshaw is that he’s critically ignoring the point of being a pretty popstar – use your aesthetics to flog your music. His last, catchier single ‘Is This Love’ (missing a question mark, edgy) clung on to the Top 40 and although ‘Curtain Call’ is one a hell of a song I can’t see it doing better. The video features a little of the man himself, looking mopey on a train and angsty in Docklands but is predominantly taken up by a boring backstory which nobody cares about. Unless he does something drastic like naked photoshoot, everyone will start to forget what he actually looks like.

Alex Reid’s solo single. Where to begin. It isn’t too awful in a “Basshunter leftover” sort of way, otherwise I wouldn’t have drunkenly bought it off iTunes. In terms of production it’s a fairly decent job, which is worth concentrating on rather than the vocals that not even the man who makes Britney Spears sound like Britney Spears could fix. As for the video…let’s just not.

Have a lovely weekend

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A chat with: Rock the Sexy

Sometimes a classy, polished bit of pop just won’t cut it. A bit like when you’re on your way home from a heavy night out and you’re drawn against your better nature into a kebab shop – Rock the Sexy are that musical equivalent. Filthy, flirty and fun with a debut single that samples Snap!’s classic anthem ‘Rhythm is a Dancer’, they are just what the Doctor ordered…you to stay well away from. It’s time you were introduced to the most unapologetically trashy girlband since Girlicious:

How was the group formed?

RtS: Rock Star Music Sweden held auditions. We were the most bad-ass bitches who came out on top!

What made you choose the name ‘Rock the Sexy’ out of everything?

It’s a bad-ass name!

How would you describe your music to someone who was deaf?

We’d have to brush up on our sign language first…

Image-wise, it seems that the likes of Ke$ha inspire you, right?

Hell no!  We like Dr Dre!

Describe the worst dates you’ve been on.

We don’t do dates, we keep that shit tight!

Who have you worked with on your upcoming album?

We’ve had a scout around for the best producers in Sweden and LA . You can expect da shit!

Have you decided on a title yet?

Hmm, we’re working on it. It’s tricky choosing.

Danny Saucedo, Eric Saade and Martin Rolinski; kiss, have sex or marry. Choose!

Kiss Danny, have sexy time with Eric as he’s sweet and marry Martin.

Between you, who would win in a fight?

We would probably all end up dead!

The single ‘Dirty Disco Freak’ is out now. Keep up to date with all things Rock the Sexy by visiting their Facebook page and following them on The Twitter.

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Kylie Minogue does sombre

Summing up the mood of everyone who bought tickets to the doomed Hit Factory Live concert, ‘Who Were We?’, Kylie’s song from the soundtrack of her upcoming film Holy Motors has hit the interweb:

Mournful and classy – like something straight out of a David Lynch movie it’s a reminder of just how versatile the woman who gave us ‘Your Disco Needs You’ is and bodes well for her planned orchestral album. Eat this Lana Del Rey!

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Another blast from The Past

Probably the act I’m most looking forward to seeing tomorrow at the SAW Hit Factory Live concert isn’t Kylie (or Sinitta) but Bananarama. An opportunity to see the greatest girlband of all time is not something to be passed lightly. And while 99% of me is cheerfully resigned to it just being Sara and Keren, a tiny bit of me is still holding out for Siobhan Fahey to appear/gatecrash halfway through one of their songs. While this is very unlikely to happen, you can watch the video below of their last performance together as a trio, covering Abba’s ‘Waterloo’ for Eurotrash’s A Song for Europe in 1998:

P.S.  The accompanying interview complete with obviously hammered Siobhan is a bit of a hoot.

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Artwork win (and we’re one down) from The Noisettes

So The Noisettes are back, minus a member. For whatever reason we’ve apparently lost Jamie Morrison back in 2010 but that’s hardly slowing them down. They’re steaming ahead with a new album called Contact that’s hitting shelves on August 27th. And much like their first and second albums, their latest offering’s artwork is equally eye-catching:

You can listen to a clip of their upcoming first single ‘Winner’ (out on August 13th) below.

 Here’s the album’s tracklisting:

1. Transmission Will Start

2. I Want You Back

3. Final Call

4. Winner

5. Let The Music Play

6. Travelling Light

7. That Girl

8. Ragtop Car

9. Never Enough

10. Love Power

11. Free

12. Star

13. Contact

14. Nothing Is Lost (Bonus Track)

Their last album flew off the shelves in the post-Winehouse retro-soul revival era that saw everyone from Duffy to Remi Nicole cashing in on the trend. With a bit of luck they’ll have evolved to suit changed tastes as opposed to being a Ting Tings case of “yesterday’s band of the moment trying to do it again today” – the world of music deserves a woman called Shingai Shoniwa.

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New music videos (from the Luna Lovegoods of pop)

Having stumbled across her by chance earlier this year, I am Harlequin has fast become one of my favourite discoveries, mostly because she’s seems to be on the edge of greatness  – she just needs discovering by everyone else first. The video for ‘Wild One’ sums up her passion but also her subtlety as a performer. If you like what you hear she’s literally just released a 5 track EP called Craze which I thoroughly recommend.

It’s about bleeding time that we got a video for ‘Euphoria’, it’s just starting to decline in charts having fared very well, even in the UK despite Radio 1’s vicious snub. You can see what they were trying to achieve here in terms of mysteriousness but for a song as MASSIVE as this, having no sense of its scale is a bit of a shame. All in all it just resembles a poorly lit Herbal Essences advert. However, the 7th Heaven Club Mix has just leaked and it’s predictably life-changing.

Have a lovely weekend

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