Talent in a Previous Life

Because It's Never Just About the Music

Friday, September 30, 2005

Brut Force 

And so we come to the end of our somewhat disappointing effort at covering a few of the great singles which have been released this week, but we've still got one last chance to pull it back with our final choice for the week, ladies and gentlemen, we give you Art Brut's Good Weekend.

Now, some of you may wish to argue that Art Brut aren't exactly what you'd call pop, but you're wrong because:Good Weekend is Eddie's paean to, well, having a good weekend. He meets a lady, sees her naked - twice - and generally has a bit of a rip-roaring time. But if you don't even have any chance of seeing the person of your dreams in vaguely skimpy attire, let alone naked, or are simply wondering how you too can have a pretty decent time this weekend, why not consult our handy list of Do's and Don't's to help you have a vaguely OK weekend. If you're lucky.Hmm, we have been a bit rubbish this week, haven't we? Oh well, we'll try and get it together by Monday.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Rocket From The Crypt 

We've been plagued by computer problems all day today, but we've just got enough time to add to our list of great singles that are out this week and tell you firstly that Basement Jaxx's Do Your Thing is really ace, mainly by virtue of sounding like all the best bits of their previous singles all mixed together, and secondly that The Go! Team's Bottle Rocket is even acer, mainly because it sounds like Basement Jaxx would sound if they were actually good all the time, instead of just every now and again.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

10 Things We State About... 

Push The Button is the title of the new Sugababes single, out today, and it's the best thing we've heard since, oooh, this morning when Bingo by Catch was randomly played by our mp3 player. To celebrate this sassy slice of shiny pop, we proudly present ten entirely true and in no way made up facts about the three ever so slightly moody misses:-
  1. Keisha and Mutya were really upset when Siobhan left the band, but overjoyed when ex-Atomic Kitten Heidi came to take her place.
  2. Whenever Victoria Newton has a spare paragraph of her column to fill, she knocks up a "Sugababes to split?" story and takes the rest of the day off.
  3. The current incarnation of the Sugababes have only ever exchanged one cross word with each other. That word was "fiddlesticks".
  4. Never expect the Sugababes to help you out with any travel dilemmas at your local railway platform. If a train comes, they won't know it's destination. Having said that though, Heidi is a very enthusiastic trainspotter and often takes advantage of interviews and gigs to encourage their fans to become a "Geek like me".
  5. In 2004, a photographer made front page news when he claimed he'd taken a photograph of Mutya smiling. Closer inspection, however, revealed it to be a sophisticated fake achieved by cutting out the mouth area and turning it upside down.
  6. Sampling Sting really was a good idea.
  7. Buttons you should not push, no matter how much the 'Babes encourage you to: Nuclear Launch Buttons, Ones marked "Open Airlock" should you be sitting in said airlock, Ones stating "Do Not Press: This Means You", Chocolate ones, The one in Cinderella, big red ones generally.
  8. Keisha and Mutya's secret way of speaking - which essentially consists of adding the word 'ski' at the end of every word, just like Sean Connery in The Hunt for Red October - is a code unbreakable by even the top cryptographers.
  9. Heidi was really chuffed one day when she managed to fit her entire body into a kneading machine, as it meant she'd got her whole in the bread.
  10. Siobhan Donaghy's album was vastly underrated.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

It's All tATu Much 

Given the fact that for the last few weeks the single release schedules have been about as inspiring as a conference speech given by Tony Blair (satire) it's come as quite a surprise to discover that this week the What's New racks hold as much brilliance as a mirrored box containing the sun. As having more than one good single released in a fortnight is generally cause for celebration these days, we're not going to let this momentous event pass us by and will be highlighting one example of aceness every day this week.

Unless we're too busy/lazy that is.

Anyway, first up - excluding Jo O'Meara's What Hurt The Most, that is, as while that might be confusing a few birds, it's not quite hitting the same heights and causing the disruption to airplane flight plans that other releases are - is tATu with All About Us.

The last time tATu vaguely entered the British consciousness, was in 2003 when they represented Russia in Eurovision and failed, despite the fears of some of the more illiberal countries involved, to do anything controversial whatsoever, although some would say that the phoned-in nature of their performance was controversial in itself, but it still secured them the honour of the third place position. Since then things have changed a lot in the world of the schoolgirl lesbians, most notably the fact that not only are they no longer schoolgirl lesbians, but they also deny having ever even pretended to be schoolgirl lesbians, despite the fact that their most famous video showed them being, if not schoolgirl lesbians, then certainly on slightly more friendly terms than characters from the Mallory Towers series of novels would have been familiar with.

But who cares? Frankly, unless you're a person of somewhat dubious character, Richard Madely, or both, the sapphic teen undertones weren't the most interesting thing about the girls, instead it was the fact that with disarming ease they managed to single handedly reinvigorate the somewhat stagnant pop music scene and remind the public at large that music from outside the UK and US shouldn't just immediately be dismissed as irrelevant or laughable. Something worth bearing in mind when we're a country that'll happily have the Crazy Frog at number one while simultaneously having the audacity to claim that we do actually have a clue about music.

All About Us is the big comeback single and it's about a million times better than McFly's similarly titled Comic Relief single, though given that even June Sarpong's voice sounds a million times better than the McFly track this isn't much of a compliment. But this is no attempt at damning with faint praise, this track is an all guns blazing, widescreen attack on the charts, and it plans on taking no prisoners in its charge towards the number one slot, Pussycat Dolls be damned. It's not as good as All The Things She Said, but then, few things are - indeed, the only ones that spring immediately to mind are Nicola Roberts and Cherry Bakewells - and taken on it's own terms it's a behemoth of staggering proportions, much like a drunken elephant and nearly as likely to damage your car should it come stumbling down your street.

Oh, and Julia is still very pretty, even if her role does now seem to be played by whoever played the role of Kelly Osbourne on the front of the One Word cover.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Jo O'Meara Competition! 

Jo Ex Club has a new single out. Hooray! And to promote it she turned up in our local HMV this afternoon for a promotional appearance. Unfortunately for her, HMV seemed far keener to promote their Sale than to let the world know that a member of pop aristocracy was in the store, and so breathing space was not exactly hard to come by. Still, despite what would politely be called an intimate audience, Jo, resplendent in a pink jacket and jeans, gave it her all, smiling and singing her way through What Hurts the Most and Relentless from her new album, though not, alas, anything from the old days. Both the new tracks are, to be honest, well sung but a bit rubbish in a number-one-if-S-Club-released-them-for-children-in-need kinda way, but who cares? It was Jo O'Meara! Jo!

Of course, it wasn't just about the singing, as she was also quite keen to boost sales of her debut single meet her public, and so a signing session duly took place. Naturally our journalistic instincts kicked in here, so we took the chance to catch her unawares with a couple of killer questions:-

US: Hi! Great performance! Good to see you back on the scene.
JO: Thanks.
US: Uh, could you sign this?

Groundbreaking stuff we're sure you'll agree. It is, however, slightly better than the time we met Jill Sobule - no, you probably haven't, but you should - where she complimented us on the badges we had pinned to our jacket. Our brain switched off at this moment and all we could muster in response was "Yeah, I like badges", much in the manner of someone out on day release who should really be under the supervision of a trained carer.

Anyway, the upshot of this, is that not only did we get a copy signed for ourselves, but we also asked her to sign a second copy so that we could give it away to one lucky reader of this website! That's right, look impressed! We're giving away a prize worth upwards of £1.99! Woo! yeah! Etc! And how can you get your hands on this goldplated - not actually goldplated - giveaway? Easy:

Just tell us what position you reckon the single will enter the top 40 at on Sunday.

Some rules:Good luck!

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

10 Things We State About... 

We're off out tonight to see King Biscuit Time play, something which we realise is ever so slightly Indie - and if you think that's bad, be glad we're not mentioning the fact we're seeing JJ72 on Friday - so to distract attention away, here's ten entirely true and in no way made up facts about, ummm, biscuits:-
  1. Ice-T, best known for being a bit of an angry rapper type and playing a sodding kangaroo in Tank Girl, first hit the head lines when a legal battle with McVitties forced him to change his stage name from Rich T.
  2. Lo-fi geniuses Bis once released a set of lego-esque toys which could be built into a model of your favourite band member. This was known as a Bis Kit.
  3. After munching into his favourite snack, inspiration struck Bill Haley, of Bill Haley and his Comets fame, and he came up with a new, exciting form of music that made the legs of every American teenager go all a quiver, and thus began the genre of Rock 'n' Fig Roll.
  4. Half Man Half Biscuit are a ray of optimistic sunshine in a world of deep gloom and cynicism.
  5. Disco biscuits are a type of digestive specially designed to remain uncrushed in your pocket, no matter how much dancing you may be doing, fail to absorb any sweat which may be produced by your exertions and give a sparkly loved up experience, similar to that of the blood boiling rave drug ecstacy. Only with more crumbs.
  6. Geri left The Spice Girls after a heated debate over whether a Jaffa Cake actually was a cake, or whether it was classed as a biscuit.
  7. In an attempt to promote their new, stronger, less likely to crumble in the tea cup brand of cookies, Maryland approached Duncan from Blue to ask if he'd mind changing his name to Dunking for a suitable amount of money.
  8. Scottish girl band Lemonescent received all their wages in the form of Shortbread. They currently in debt to their management to the tune of 3,723 packets.
  9. Chris Martin, from out of Coldplay swears by Jammy Dodgers. Sorry, at. He swears at Jammy Dodgers. "Fucking Jammy Dodgers", he says.
  10. We miss Cookie.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Back of the Q 

The nominees for this year's Q Awards have been announced! And Oasis have received 5 nods, including Best Album, Best Live Act, Best Act in the World Today, Best Track and Bezzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...

Wha? What? Oh, sorry, just dropped off for a second there. Anyway, joining them on the shortlist for Best act in the World today are Coldplay, Green Day, U2 and Muzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...


*Braghgerroutofit* Hmm? What? No, not sleeping, just resting our eyes. Uh, where were we? Oh yes. Fighting it out for the coveted best album prize are Coldplay, Oasis and James Bluzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...

*slightly unpleasant drooling and smacking of lips*

Gerroff! Just five more minutes... Hmm? Oh, umm, sorry. We must be suffering from narcolepsy or something like that, dunno what could be causing this. So, umm, yeah. The nominations for Best Track includes one of the few occasions in a very testosterone heavy line-up where a girl gets a shot at glory, with KT Tunzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...


Oh, we give up. We can't even pretend to feign interest in what is easily the dullest awards in the calendar. Even GQ at least saw fit to give Charlotte Church a prize. Looking down the list, we see that Gwen Stefani has a shot at best video, that's vaguely interesting, isn't it? No? Please yourselves then.

The Q Awards will be hosted by Jonathan Ross on the 10th October and are co-sponsored by both Horlicks and the Pipe and Slippers Advisory Council.

Thoughts of the Pops 

It's, umm, Tuesday! And we have absolutely nothing whatsoever to say in this intro piece, despite the fact that it's only a paragraph long and it really shouldn't be that hard to think of something to fill up the space. Oh well, let's just cut to the chase and see whether we're similarly uninspired when it comes to finding out what we learnt from this week's Top of the Pops (Clue: Yes):-

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Don't You Know That She's Dropped It? 

In what is undoubtedly the most momentous news story since "Posh Boy Celebrates Birthday", Britney Spears has gone into hospital, been sliced where it's least likely to show when wearing a pair of hipsters, and popped out a baby. It's one of the boy persuasion, which is handy given that she's already got one of those, namely Kevin. Of course, nature abhors a vacuum - which is why the career of Jenny Frost seems unlikely to go anywhere fast - so once the speculation of when she was going to give birth disappeared, it was immediately replaced by a discussion of what the kid's going to be called. We're not quite sure what his surname is going to be - we'd prefer it to be Spears, but on the other hand, he could be taking his daddy's name: maybe he's born with it, maybe it's Federline - but even with that handicap, we still figured we'd throw our oar in and help her out with a few suggestions of our own:-

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

10 Things We State About... 

Despite many people's fears, the fuel protests which were supposed to be taking place across the country today have failed to make much of an impact. Well, unless you're the editor of our local newspaper, who has decided that the headline that most sums up a state of affairs which most people would describe as "Business as usual" is "FUEL PUMPS RUNNING DRY". Of course, this complete indifference to their actions is a good thing as everyone involved in this protest is a selfish cunt. Indeed, the only way that any protester could be even more cuntier would be if said protester was Jamie Cullum. Anyway, perhaps they might have had a bit more success if they had a protest song behind them so, to crowbar tie in with this news story, here's ten entirely true and in no way made up facts about Protest Songs:-
  1. Actually, Catatonia did do a song in support of the original protests. It was called Fuel and, much like the event which inspired it, it was irritating, mistargeted, self-indulgent and served no useful purpose whatsoever.
  2. The first known protest song has been dated back to the early 1800's. It was about a horse.
  3. The life story of revered protest singer Woody Guthrie was told in the 1995 movie, Toy Story.
  4. While protest songs may differ in the political message they're trying to get across, one thing they all tend to have in common is that they're absolutely godawful.
  5. By saying "That Bush, he's a bit rubbish, innee?", Green Day are now considered to be the most political band in the world, ever.
  6. The only causes that are considered suitable for immortalisation in a protest song are those that have a good rhyme.
  7. The most recent protest song to hit the number one spot is James Blunt's You're Beautiful. Every time it was played people would phone up the station to protest at having to hear the insipid warbling for the umpteenth time that hour.
  8. The lightness of touch which characterises the lyrics of most protest songs is comparable to a clawhammer bearing down upon a quail's egg.
  9. Buying a protest song won't change the world, but it will help assuage your guilt, so it's all good.
  10. Billy Bragg is a star.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Tear Off Your Own Head, It's A Doll Revolution 

How fantastic! Though we're not quite sure why Nicola is covering for Al in Quantum Leap, why Cheryl is trapped under a wine glass and why The Others appear to have tucked into a hearty breakfast of Ready Brek, but still, are these not pretty fab? Albeit 'pretty fab' in it's somewhat underused 'slightly ropey' connotation.

We have no idea if these are actually going into production or not, but if they are we can only hope there's no repeat of the rumour that was going around when the idea was originally mooted: that the allocation of Nicola dolls doesn't quite reach the same levels as the other girls.

For more info click here or here. But we should warn you that the first link is not suitable for public viewing. It's the Barbie website.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Thoughts of the Pops 

It's Monday! And given that this week's new release schedule includes tracks from both Status Quo and Bon Jovi, it's safe to assume that it's a Monday from the past. Oh well. Keeping with this backwards looking trend, here's what we learnt from last night's Top of the Pops:-

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dusty 

Apparently England are playing Australia for some sort of cricketing based prize this weekend. We're Scottish, so quite frankly fail to see why everyone's getting so excited about a bunch of public schoolboys arseing around in a field for five sodding days, but we do recognise lazy article inspiration when we see it, so with that in mind we proudly present England versus Australia: The Pop Ashes.



Represented by Girls Aloud, with the very much Irish blooded Nadine being left on the sidelines. Which, let's face it, is how we'd all rather see the group.Represented by The Ozzie Dream Team: Consisting of Kylie and Dannii Minogue, Peter Andre and, ummm, Stefan Dennis


Very strong. Not one of the girls is jockeying for position and setting out the ground to leave the squad and strike out on her own. No. Definitely not. The bulk of the batting order is still under discussion, but it has been confirmed that Nicola will be batting last. If at all.Poor. Kylie has, of course, just recovered from a bout of cancer and still isn't quite fighting fit, while Dannii, not to be outdone, got a papercut while reading the horoscope for cancer in her local newspaper. Peter Andre is AWOL today, what with him getting married to Jordan, which just goes to show that he has an innate understanding of how to stretch a joke well beyond his natural lifespan. Stefan is 100% fit, albeit not in the Smash Hits sense of the word.


Not their strongest suit, what with each one of them being, well, a girl and, as such, throwing like one.Again, Kylie and Dannii let the side down thanks to their feminine throwing handicap, though Kylie can occasionally be adept at getting the ball spinning around. Peter isn't much better; when he concentrates he can do well, but he generally loses focus upon catching sight of his reflection in the shiny, shiny surface of the cricket ball and starts crying in frustration at being unable to understand how come he's trapped inside. Fortunately the stakes are raised by Stefan Dennis who, in his role as Paul Robinson in Neighbours, has thrown plenty of curve balls on his way to success in the cut throat world of hotel management.


Cheryl has already demonstrated to the world, or at least that part of the world consisting largely of toilet attendants, the power of her strike, so just imagine what she can do with a lump of wood in her hands. The others are less impressive, with Kimberly considering it to be a success if she simply manages to avoid being hit by the ball.Stefan lacks confidence in this area, but Kylie does believe in him, so he just needs to get over his lack of self-belief and he'll be fine. Peter's lucky if he manages to avoid knocking over the stumps due to his own clumsiness, so perhaps it's as well that he's off cementing his relationship with the one true love of his life, OK Magazine. Also, due to some unpleasant business regarding a jealous attack on the offices of her sister's management company, Dannii is legally prevented from brandishing anything which may be used as a weapon so will be forced to sit this one out as well.


Sarah will shine here as, according to popular toilet wisdom, she's particularly adept at handling balls. This more than makes up for the other girls who, despite their coach's best effort, still insist that best tactic for success is to run away squealing should the ball even vaguely head in their direction.Toilet wisdom is also on Dannii's side here, as, if the graffiti is to be believed, she's caught all manner of things in the past. Stefan is also one to watch here, as he'll be downing a strange concoction of his own creation - which in no way contains any banned substance. The crowd may have their doubts about this voodoo inspired drink, but once they see him in action, they'll all have to agree that don't it make him field good.


Due to cost cutting in the catering department and the, with hindsight, poor decision to bulk buy some slightly whiffy eggs, both teams will be scoring highly in the runs department. Which, looking on the brightside, will give them ample opportunity to keep informed of any new toilet wisdom which may be shared.


In a bid to inspire them, earlier today the Queen presented them with a special collection of gift wrapped cricket bats, but despite this the girls will be more worried about breaking a nail than breaking any records, so will probably put in a performance that could, at best, be described as lack-lustre. They'll no doubt play solidly, however, having already proven a predilection for hitting number twos.While for most the thought of winning a cup containing some ashes is about as desirable as coming home to discover that your house has been taken over by a militant group of squirrels, for Dannii, Peter and Stefan, the value of what would normally be considered waste equates to more than their combined earnings over the last five years, so they'll be more than keen to get their hands on it. They're also far more likely to score a six than a number one, which is in their favour, though to be fair, even a six is quite unlikely for them and, cruelly, the board of cricketing standards refuses to admit scores of the 75 and beyond variety.
Well it's all exciting stuff, isn't it! Why not join us next week when the victors will be going head to head with Kelis to discover just who will be the first to get caught out there.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Prize Surprise 

Once again we proved ourselves to have all the predictive abilities of a box of cornflakes when we suggested that Verbalicious and MIA would take the Popjustice and Mercury prizes respectively. Fortunately we didn't have either the confidence or the basic understanding of how gambling works to actually put our money were our mouth was, but we can still be somewhat proud of the fact that for the third year running we've scored zero for zero in our pre-emptive guessing. Oh well.

Of course, we really should have called Girls Aloud for the PJ Prize. After all, the odds of them not getting it were only slightly more likely than God appearing in the city of New Orleans to apologise for what he would describe as "A bit of a balls up". We, however, must take issue with decision, not because it's not a good song - it's clearly as fantastic as a whole armful of helium balloons; not because we wanted Verbalicious to win - though we did; and not because of sheer bloody-minded contrariness - though that is a factor - but because we feel that, good though it is, Wake Me Up isn't quite as exciting and ground-breaking as previous GA singles, and to award them the prize for this is almost like giving them the green light to carry on coasting along, releasing tracks like Long Hot Summer and not being the red hot pop machine we expect them to be. It's not to besmirch those tracks - they're still better than 99% of what's out there, Fierce Girl's What Makes A Girl Fierce notwithstanding - but we know they can do better and we'd like to see them push themselves a bit harder, and hit that extra mile for what will inevitably both their third and final album.

Still, nice motorbikes.

With Antony and the Johnsons Mercury victory, the debate is less about whether he deserved to win, but whether he should have even been on the shortlist in the first place, what with him being ever so slightly American. Also causing consternation is his appearance, with the BBC describing him thus: "Standing 6ft 4in tall and with a shock of black hair, the 34-year-old has a voice as unconventional as his looks.", by which they mean he's a bit chubby. But ultimately, who cares? He could come from the moon and have had extensive plastic surgery to look like Donald Duck and it still wouldn't matter as long as he keeps releasing music as breathtakingly beautiful as I Am A Bird Now.

Oh, and the GQ Awards happened as well, but really, who, other than Dylan Jones and Little Britain, gave a toss about that?

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

10 Things We State About... 

Somewhat surprisingly the Mercury Music Prize went to Antony and the Johnsons last night, while slightly less surprisingly it was Girls Aloud who took the Popjustice Music Prize. We're off to the pub tonight, so a 'full' look at these events will have to wait until tomorrow, but until then, here's ten entirely true and in no way made up facts about the Mercury:-
  1. Each year the Mercury Music Prize judges gather together under the guise of choosing the year's best album based on a various criteria, the main one being "Which artist could really do with a sales boost at this notoriously sluggish time of year?"
  2. Thanks to the band's recurring threats to "break their fucking legs", the organisers guarantee Radiohead a nomination every other year.
  3. As part of a tie in with that year's Comic Relief appeal, the 1994 prize went to M People.
  4. According to main organiser bloke Simon Firth, the judging panel were "roaringly drunk" the year they decided that Gomez made the best album, and is still apologising for this decision to this day.
  5. The Spice Girls were robbed in 1997.
  6. Badly Drawn Boy, who won in 2000, cashed in his cheque and promptly used the money to order a brand new tea cosy wrought from the finest gold thread to wear upon his unwashed head.
  7. Every year people waste their hard earned cash betting hopefully on the folk/classical/jazz entrants.
  8. Coldplay really did deserve both of their nominations.
  9. Despite the meal looking quite fancy on the telly, each table is actually only given a £5.99 KFC Party Bucket to share between them. Vegetarians in attendance have been known to come to blows over who gets to have the coleslaw.
  10. If you buy every album to have ever been nominated and proudly display them as your record collection, people will come to the swift conclusion that your taste in music is generally pretty lacking.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Thoughts of the Pops 

It's Monday! And what an exciting week in pop this is shaping up to be. Not only is the Mercury Music Prize victor announced tomorrow night, but slightly more importantly and interestingly, the winner of the Popjustice Music Prize is also being unveiled. Unfortunately the release schedule has failed to keep up with this flurry of activity, with absolutely no new releases of any note whatsoever, aside from the not too shabby at all Goldie Lookin' Chain single. Oh well, never mind. Let's see what we learnt from this week's Top of the Pops:-


From: h.davey
To: talentinapreviouslife@gmail.com

U need a fuckin slap you mean little sket if I ever track u down I will bloody batter yah!! Danny is gourge and Mcfly are doin an ace job making money for peeps in Africa more than what u is doin...Slaggin people off behind there backs I've seen yah I'll get u at skl!!

Laterz Biatch...

My crew are comin 2 get yah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Be scared you son of a b****!!!!!!!!!!!

We'd probably be more scared if we actually understood it. Can anyone translate the above into english for us? Cheers.