Get the tinsel off the top of the stationary cupboard, drag the tree out of the men's toilets and dust down the fairy, it's the Girls Aloud Christmas office party!
Sunday, 30 November 2008
Saturday, 29 November 2008
These popsters, what are they like? Always busy, busy; never standing still (unless you're called Kate Bush). Let's have a looksee at the worrapolava favourites. What have they been up to these past few weeks and what delights are they promising to flog us in the near future...
John and Roxy are in the UK! Electronically Yours staged a double-edged album launch last night at Industry in East London. Parralox's Electricity (read my review here) and the eponymous electro compilation Electronially Yours were launched to an enthusiastic crowd. Despite the sound problems, like someone had put the PA underwater, Parralox delivered a blasting set. Roxy's voice is CD-perfect: what you hear on the recorded version is the same live. And John's songwriting really comes to the fore. These are great pop songs worthy of rubbing shoulders with top tenners.
Next up is the single release of album track Sharper Than a Knife: click here for a sound clip. And a few weeks ago a remix competition of said track produced 28 of 'em. Go to their home page here to listen. Number 21 is particularly special. But I only wished I had thought up a better moniker! By the way, the remix there is only a third finished. The completed version has been submitted and will hopefully be up soon when they get back to Oz. A special version of the track is on a new German compilation, Electropop, which you can buy here.
Rob at Electronically Yours deserves a special mention here. His one-man quest to provide an outlet for great electro music is admirable. From the site to the album and gigs his passion is self-evident and this was shown in the happy army of supporters who were at Industry last night. And he's such a lovely man to boot!
All things Parralox here.
New single and album alert!!! The Swedish electro minx, Emmon, has been vare busy recently. Closet Wanderings (a reference to Narnia or Tom Cruise?) is the title of her new collection of moosic due for release in February 2009. The first single Secrets and Lies, released just yesterday (28th Novemeber) is fucking AMAZING. Starting off as a gorgeous synth pop number, it kicks in at 1.55 with a blast of nosebleed trance. Watch the vid below or go here for a streaming version.
Emmon's first album The Art and the Evill was well-received if undersold outside Sweden. Hopefully the new stuff will be her breakout onto a world-wide stage. She's friends with Kleerup, The Knife and Robyn, so some of the unit-shifting dust should rub off for her!
All things Emmon here.
Well, it's good news, bad news in Camp Jessie I'm afraid. Bad news first: Gut Records, who signed her last year, went into liquidation in September meaning the planned single release of Sexy Silk (see the Nivea ad below) and album went down the pan along with any hope of Jessie competing in any 'Big in 2009' lists. But this girl ain't out for the count yet, as she wisely acknowledges in an update blog: "What doesn't kill you can only make you stronger, especially in the music industry".
But the good news is that she's been touring with some big names - Girls Aloud, Jools Holland and Cyndi Lauper (!) - and has created a huge buzz for herself again. Comments on her MySpace include corkers like this: "I wish I'd got your autograph after the show, because I don't think your moment is that far away at all!" And this: "You are a class act, an individual with style and a great sense of fun". She remains unsigned but much respected which is half the battle. Jessie still has, in her words, a great management team behind her so we shall see what we shall see.
Jessie - Sexy Silk
All things Jessie here.
New album alert!!!
Marsheaux are currently working on their third album scheduled for release in February/March next year. After a steady building of global support with 2007's Peek-A-Boo album, this one will go stellar. Trust me. (Famous last words!!) Just last Saturday, they finished the sixth track of the, as yet, untitled album. If you can help with any suggestions they'll be eternally grateful. And it all bodes well if the one-off single from April this year, Ghost, is anything to go by. Go buy! Here!
Other news in Marianthi and Sophie's world is that their cover package for Peek-A-Boo was nominated in the European Design Awards and featured in the coffe-table book to go with it. I wear my bag over my head with pride. Congrats all 'round!
After their recent support slot at Roisin Murphy's Greek gigs, there's no love lost between the girls and the Irish pop star's sound engineers although they do have much repeck for the "diva" herself who "surely has the knack". (??!)
For a FREE worrapolava remix of Marsheaux's Regret track, go here.
Other notable worrapolava favourites in brief:
M83 - currently supporting Kings of Leon in a sell-out arena tour. See the lovely Kim & Jessie video here. And all things M83 here.
No news is good news for Cobra Dukes. But I urge you to listen to Airtight again, still a contender for one of my top five tracks this year.
Posted by Phil at 15:11
Thursday, 20 November 2008
And so they've landed. Ozzie band Sneaky Sound System's UK follow-up to Pictures, the gloriously odd UFO is getting radio airplay and may just be their biggest hit so far. Like Blondie's Rapture, this extraterrestrial subject matter is kookie and suits the bombastic pop sound these dance producers have found. Below is the UK video. Check out the dancing planets at 2.00. Hil-ar-ious.
Sneaky Sound System TheirSpace
Posted by Phil at 15:22
Tuesday, 18 November 2008
Top of the Pops is back! Back!! BACK!!! And... No it's not. Well, kind of. The BBC are toying with reviving the weekly chart show according to one source whilst others in MusicWeek have crushingly ruled out any return for TOTP. The hullabaloo when the show was first axed was slightly embarrassing considering no one was actually watching it. Admittedly, the sight of Jeremy Clarkson presenting acts with the kind disdainful snort only your dad could better was reason enough not to watch, but years of running the show into the ground had driven away any potential new viewers. The generational hand over just didn't happen.
It's easy to cite the industry's fragmentation and the explosion in music sources for the lack of interest from today's yoot. But that isn't the case. The blame lies squarely in hands of the TV producers themselves. If the multi-headed Radio 1, just as old as TOTP, can keep up with the times, then surely a weekly music show built on a diet of new music can do the same. Forget all that Noel Gallagher crap about blaming society's demise into knife culture on its cancellation. And don't take any notice of the smug Caitlin Moran who desperately aligns herself with da yoot in a patronising sideswipe at anyone old enough to have grown up with the show.
Whatevs. Personally, I don't really care if the show comes back. What I do care about is that pop music is now a contradiction in terms. With the cancellation Stateside of TRL and no mainstream platform on TV here, the charts are niche: there may be a mixture of styles and artists but where can you hear them all together? Isn't it odd that the biggest-selling singles have no TV airtime other than promo clips, crappy This Morning/Good Morning America slots and crappy soundbite channels. Clever music shows like Switch, which would have featured leftfield artists years ago, now showcase chart acts like Kelly Rowland because there's nowhere else for her to go.
A weekly chart-based TV show on a mainstream channel isn't difficult, or at least it shouldn't be. The rights to populist music are now co-owned by Simons Cowell and Fuller. That's fine. X Factor and Idol have their place. Just don't let them get their hands on popular music.
*UPDATE: just like Take That, it's back for good!
Posted by Phil at 00:56
Monday, 17 November 2008
It's only the middle of November and already Mariah Scarey's perennial favourite All I Want For Christmas is at number 59 in the UK singles chart. Who's buying it? Stop it! It's bad enough that the biggest retailers think Christmas is already here. Let's all just pipe down and wait until the 25th of November when the festive frolics officially begin here chez Monsieur FizzyPop. Oh, hang on. My mistake. Christmas IS already here. The Coke ads have begun.
Burt Bacharach & Adele - Baby It's You
This was one of the highlights of Burt Bacharach's recent concert in London at The Roundhouse. Adele's voice seems to wrap around Burt's song and arrangement like it was the original and the best. Baby It's You is such a sweet song and deserving of the orchestral treatment whereas other fab Burt standards were reduced to medley status. Don't you just hate getting a burst of your favourite only to have it cruelly snatched away just as you're getting into it. I know the back catalogue is HUGE, but it is better to have the full wax rather than just the crack!
Adele's in no hurry to work with Burt again though. Quite rightly she surmises that it would be a predictable get-together. Looky here at the ITN interview where she talks about cracking the USA. She suggested a more left of centre collaboration; someone no one would expect. Adele and Same Difference? Oui? Non?
25 years ago (that's 1983 for those of you what can't add up), the likes of Kajagoogoo, Howard Jones, Heaven 17, Nik Kershaw, Paul Young, Nick Heyward, Tony Hadley were all young hairdos around town in their twenties. Now bewigged and tucked in blokes in their late forties, they're all getting together for a retro fest on ITV 1 this Friday. Now That's What I Call 1983 - great title - will be typical ITV fare: slight whiff of gorgonzola, an audience on poppers and Denise Van Outen being all laddish. Clicky here for all the programme info. The ever-entertaining John (on the right) of Phagz on 45 quite rightly pronounced 1983 as THE most important year in pop. Or at least in his world. But I agree wholeheartedly. Just look at this list of tracks Chelsea Kelsey put together for his own CD compilation of that year. Now that's what I call 1983...
Posted by Phil at 12:19
Saturday, 8 November 2008
Posts mysteriously going missing overnight. Yes, the Blogger Stazi have been on a midnight raid and taken down yet another post. So no, Adem, you didn't dream it. There was a post about the stonking Girls Aloud track The Untouchables this week.
In the meantime, Crazy P (aka Crazy Penis) are back! Back!! BACK!!! with a brand new album Stop Space Return. Still as deliciously funky as the previous album, the tour de force, A Night On Earth, they've gone back to their musical roots with vocalist Dannielle Moore taking centre stage on this more song-orientated material. The lead-off single, Love on the Line, is an infectious slab of deep disco and is here in YouTubage...
What is it with bands from the north of England? Dance music comes so naturally. It's a gene handed down from generation to generation: disco, funk, house, whatever. It's there in spades on Crazy P's music. Formed in 1995 by Chris Todd and Jim Baron, they were augmented later by bassist Tim Davies, percussionist Mav (who has since left), and singer Dannielle Moore. Criminally overlooked by the mainstream but held in god-like status by the rest, they oh-so-nearly broke through when Pete Tong picked up on A Night on Earth, touting the super-majestic Can't Get Down as one of his favourites from the 2005 release.
Stop Space Return is available everywhere and those lucky Ozzies have had it since April where Tinted Records released it first as Love on the Line. You can clicky here for a very entertaining short doc about the band recording it - although whizz forward 2 minutes for the actual talking! My favourite quote is Dan Moore: "Never Gonna Reach Me is based on people thinking that when you're having a good laugh with them, it's an automatic inroad into your knickers!"
Instead of uploading mp3s for your listening pleasure and suffering the Blogger ramraid again, go to 7digital here, or the Beatport player below, where you can listen to and purchase said album including the MAMMOTH title track, Stop Space Return.
Crazy P TheirSpace
Posted by Phil at 11:52