Talent in a Previous Life

Because It's Never Just About the Music

Sunday, April 16, 2006

A Kute Angle 

It's Easter Sunday! And guess what! Jesus isn't really dead after all, he was just pretending! Who'da thunk it? Well, not Thomas, obviously, and Judas must have been a bit pissed when he found out, but still. Personally, we think it was a bit cruel to crucify him only a few months after he was born, and doing the same thing to the Easter Bunny on the exact same day seems a bit unnecessary, but what do we know? Don't answer that. But that's not the only resurrection on the cards, however, as an e-mail from Kute, Girls Aloud's support act, has turned up in our in-box. Reading through it, however, swiftly brought to our attention 3 points of concern, namely:-A quick look at their website, however, and our fears are assuaged. First of all they reveal that they've been to the hairdressers and now have plum streaks in their hair. A minor point perhaps, but a) Never underestimate the power of a good hairstyle and b) Our own 'do' is based around a similar colour scheme so we can only concur with their stylistic direction.

Secondly, their new material isn't half bad at all (And you can hear samples of it here). Some of it does veer into the maudlin ballad territory, notably Me Too and 3 Sides, the latter of which either has a male voice singing on it or one of the girls is having a few hormonal issues, but the rest of the tracks are really rather good indeed. Grounded sounds almost tATu like - perhaps their choice of logo makes sense after all - while Scream and Shout wouldn't sound out of place on the Charlotte Church album, having taken a detour by way of Kelly Clarkson first. Addicted takes a similar rock/pop route but currently lacks a bit of 'oomph'. We couldn't dance to it anyway. Mind you, as anyone who's ever seen us on the dancefloor will confirm, we can't really dance to any song. Never Gonna Change Me is a bit too Sheryl Crow for our tastes and, as the lyrics include the phrase "Eye to eye", we assume that this track is from the days they were labouring under that name. Finally, You're Not Gonna Get Him is particularly ace and, if it isn't a massive hit by the end of the year then we're a monkey's uncle. Of course, given the usual accuracy of our predictions, we're going to start researching what sort of presents are suitable for a chimpanzee nephew immediately, just in case.

So, to summarise then, Kute: Still ace. Phew!

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Stupid People and Their Opinions 

Oh fuck off.

Of course, our annoyance is slightly tempered by the fact that it was voted for by listeners to Kerrang! radio and not anyone who might, you know, actually have a clue.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

10 Things We State About... 

Morrissey found himself topping the album chart on Sunday with his newie Ringleader of the Tormenters. Something which led every single newspaper we saw on Monday to use a variation on "Heaven knows he's happy now" as their headline, and they all no doubt thought they were being really original and witty with it as well. Anyway, to celebrate this, here are ten entirely true and in no way made up facts about Morrissey and The Smiths:-
  1. The Smiths named themselves after Morrissey's favourite branch of newsagents.
  2. As well as waving around gladioli on stage, Moz is also fond of putting on a pair of horn rimmed spectacles, a purple wig and calling himself Dame Edna Everage.
  3. "Everyday is like Sunday", he once mused, which is an interesting viewpoint from a metaphysical sense, but one which led him to be sacked from his job at a calendar manufacturers.
  4. Depending on which source you trust, Morrissey's first name is either Stephen, Mark, Alanis or Van.
  5. Hector was the first of the gang to die, the gang in question being the high school chess club. He died of chronic wheeziness.
  6. After a hard night's gigging, there's nothing Morrissey likes more than going to his dressing room and tucking into a groaning platter piled high with sausages, chops, mince, liver and various other animal based foodstuffs. Unfortunately his gorging can often bring on bouts of indigestion, and it was after a particularly bad night, when even a whole box of Rennie's failed to ease his stomach pains, that he found himself inspired to write Meat is Murder.
  7. There is a Light That Never Goes Out was written about Morrissey's fridge. Oh, hang on, sorry, we've just realised that we're not the first to say something along those lines and that joke isn't funny any more.
  8. Morrissey and Marr are such close buddies that the only reason they split The Smiths was because whenever they went into the studio together they just spent all their time larking about, laughing at each others' jokes and generally slapping each other on the back instead of actually getting any work done.
  9. We've only managed to come up with nine facts this week. We started something we couldn't finish.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Erm, TV 

Normally E4 is only as watchable as your tolerance for Friends repeats allows, but tonight it becomes possibly the greatest TV channel in the world - the mighty Quiz Call when Alex Kramer is presenting excepted, of course - when the first episode of Girls Aloud: Off The Record is aired.

It's a six part fly-on-the-wall documentary following the girls as they travel around the world being both generally brilliant and drunk. In fact, the latter has caused a slight furor as various people with nothing better to do with their time - yeah, like we can talk - have been complaining that both their drunken antics and occasionally foul language might well set a bad example to their younger fans. Which would be a fair point if it wasn't for the fact that a) the program is going out at 10.30PM, a time ever so slightly after the watershed, and b) the last time we checked it wasn't actually the Victorian era and so the concept of females swearing, having fun and drinking is unlikely to bring society down to it's knees.

Our main concern is that, much like their videos, the Nicola won't actually be in it that much. Indeed, we're actually quite worried that to the casual observer she'll seem less like a member of a band and, if truth be told, the very pivot on which their genius rests and more like some hanger on who doesn't have anything to do with the group. We shall see.

And! If that wasn't enough pop related TV for you, you can warm yourself up for the documentary by tuning into E4 half an hour early to watch the so bad it's, well, bad, Boys Will Be Girls, a show in which Nathan Moore attempts to pull off the second audacious hoax of his career - the first being to try and fool people into thinking that Lisa Scott-Lee was a plausible popstar - by taking some male singers, dressing them up unconvincingly as women, before attempting to trick the music industry into believing they're a genuine, albeit somewhat ropey, girl band. Some of you may have seen this show a year or so ago when it was originally broadcast under the title The Atomic Kitten Story.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Thoughts of the Pops 

It's Monday! And we went to see Protocol play on Friday night. "Strokes with synths" is our lazy shorthand journalistic description of them, but they're a lot better than that may sound. Also, we have to admire their, ahem, interesting fashion choices, with not one but two of the band dressing up like gay sailors. Well, gayer sailors anyway. Anyway, here's what we learnt from this week's Top of the Pops:-

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Rung Up 

Madonna fans up and down the country spent yesterday morning on the phone, hoping to get hold of tickets, but mainly discovering that the ticket touts got there before them and their only hope of getting a pair is to pay the astronomical prices on ebay, as opposed, of course, to paying the equally astronomical prices that Madonna herself was charging right from the get go. We're not quite sure if there's any gig we'd pay 160 quid to go and see, as we reckon that no matter how fantastic it might be - and it'd have to be something pretty fantastic in the first place to make us splash out, An Audience with Daphne and Celeste, maybe, or a reformed B*Witched with Girl Thing on support duties - we'd be spending the entire gig thinking about the fact that we'd spent £160 for it and wouldn't really be able to focus on anything else. Anyway, despite announcing roughly two hundred and seventeen extra dates, a number of fans still came away disappointed, which means that they must have £160 burning a hole in their pocket and no real idea of what to do with it, especially as spending it on Madonna tickets seemed like a good idea. Fear not! Because here at Talent in a Previous Life we've prepared a brief guide on what exactly you should do with that money:-

Thursday, April 06, 2006

A Patchy Indian 

Despite being one of the single greatest pop moments released thus far this year, WigWam is not exactly setting the midweeks on fire and may even fail to chart. Clearly this is not a good thing and it's led to us pondering on exactly why the public has failed to take it to their hearts. Clearly it's not the music, which crackles and pulses and does all the sorts of things that good pop should do, which, given that it involves the hairy hand of a Blur member, is quite impressive and may well be the dictionary definition of the phrase 'against all odds', so what could it be? Well, we've studied this long and hard - well, for about five seconds - and we think we've found the answer: The public are confused by the lyrics. Now, given that there's only about a dozen words in the song, and most of those are "Miaow", you'd be forgiven if you think that that is, quite frankly, a ludicrous suggestion, and to be fair, you'd pretty much be right, but bear with us here. The lyric we reckon is causing the public to scratch their heads in consternation is when Betty invites us all to start checking out her WigWam. Given that the pop fan of Native American descent is something of a rarity in the target demographic, it's only natural that people are shying away from this, not knowing what they should be looking for or even where to begin when it comes to the underused skill of wigwam appreciation. To try and rectify this and help it at least vaguely scrape into the top 40, we got Betty - honestly, ahem - to write us a quick 'How To' guide in a bid to educate the public on this lost art.

Betty Boo's Guide to Checking Out a Wigwam

And join us next time as Alex James gives us a full and frank guide on how to check out Melody, the 18 year old Swedish drama student who's moved in across the street and seems unable to understand the purpose of bedroom curtains.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

10 Things We State About... 

Having failed to make the top spot in the singles chart thanks to someone 'losing' a chunk of their download sales - no, we don't understand how that could happen either, unless someone turned the monitor round the long way and all the 1's and 0's fell out the side - Embrace made up for it this week by getting to number one in the album chart. Despite this being their, oooh, umpteenth album at least, some of you may be a bit unsure who they actually are, which is mainly thanks to them having all the stage presence and star quality of a wet towel. Fear not, though, as to help you out here are ten entirely true and in no way made up facts about the nations favourite band to listen to when Coldplay aren't releasing any records:-
  1. If you've ever wondered who the lead singer of Embrace is, his name is Danny McNamara and he's the leader of the band. Although they're small in number they're the finest in the land. They play at wakes and weddings and every country ball, and when they play at funerals, they play the best of all. Apparently.
  2. Whenever Embrace play a gig, the RSPCA report a marked increase in calls related to camel mutilation from concerned members of the public.
  3. During interviews Danny is likely to storm out if asked about his obsession with Star Trek and similar Sci-fi shows. As far as he's concerned his geekness is none of your business.
  4. Their latest album cover, featuring faceless silhouettes of the band, possesses more life and personality than the band themselves.
  5. Without Coldplay gifting the band Gravity at a time when they looked likely to split and leave the music industry entirely, the band wouldn't be having the success they currently enjoy. This is another reason to hate Coldplay.
  6. Come Back To What You Know was the title of an early Embrace single, and it's a philosophy the band have stuck firmly to throughout their career, returning time and time again to the leaden, emotionless, dull, stodgy and vaguely anthemic sound which first found them fame, all those years ago, much like a dog returning to its own vomit.
  7. Embrace were named after Danny pondered for hours on what the least likely outcome from someone who had just received one of his band's CD's as a present would be.
  8. Like Oasis, Embrace were big in the late nineties, contained a pair of argumentative brothers and were northern. Also like Oasis they achieved a remarkable amount for a group with no apparent talent whatsoever.
  9. You're Not Alone was written as an attempt to make Embrace fans feel a bit better about themselves.
  10. Wonder was quite good, mind.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Urban MySpaceman 

We're never ones to shy away from jumping onto a bandwagon, even when the bandwagon has flown past so long ago that it's been put out of commision and been replaced by a big silvery hovering monorail style thing. Which is a slightly longwinded way of saying that we've finally gotten round to getting ourselves a MySpace account. Yes, we know, we are at the cutting edge, aren't we? To be honest we don't really understand what we're doing with it yet, but if you'd like to be our 'friend', and we can think of a few reasons why you might not, then you might want to make your way to http://www.myspace.com/talentinapreviouslife. Thanks!

Monday, April 03, 2006

Thoughts of the Pops 

It's Monday! And we trust you'll all be rushing out at some point this week to buy the rather ace Wigwam by the equally ace, ummm, Wigwam. We may have more to say about this later on in the week but frankly, given our recent form, we wouldn't bank on it. We definitely learnt some stuff from this week's Top of the Pops, however. Stuff like...