Talent in a Previous Life

Because It's Never Just About the Music

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

10 Things We State About... 

After spending a frankly ridiculous amount of time on the top spot, Gnarls Barkley have decided to bow out both with dignity and without having their CD's shoved up an awkwardly positioned part of their body if we have to hear Crazy one more sodding time by deleting the single from the stores. To celebrate this here are ten entirely true and in no way made up facts about other similarly impressive feats of Chart Endurance:-
  1. Girls Aloud are currently celebrating their 53rd week at the number one spot. In our head.
  2. Wet Wet Wet's 15 week long reign at the top spot was not, unsurprisingly, down to the tastes of the British public, but was in actual fact part of a government cover up designed to convince the population that love actually was all around. It later transpired that, thanks to an army exercise gone wrong, it was Agent Orange that was all around, hence the strange feelings in peoples fingers and toes.
  3. Any act that spends more than 10 weeks on the chart gets a home visit from Top 40 king Mark Goodier. Whether they want it or not.
  4. The record which spent the shortest time on the charts was Together at Last, a single by Chico, Gary Glitter and Toploader which included their infamous take on songs from the Chitty Chitty Bang band musical. Their chart run lasted for a whole five minutes.
  5. The only person to have a number one from each decade is Cliff Richard. But that's only because most people lose interest in buying singles once they reach their forties.
  6. Bryan Adams lasted 16 weeks at number one with Everything I Do (I Do it For You), and it became the gift of choice from many boyfriends to their girlfriends. The fact that for most girlfriends the one single, solitary thing they didn't want their boyfriend to do for them was buy that godawful single went straight over their heads.
  7. By staying at number one for so long, Gnarls Barkley join an exclusive club. It's called the Jesus Wept, Is it Still There?! Collective
  8. Vanilla once found themselves spending 13 weeks at Number One. Then their landlord put the rent up and they had to move to Number 26 instead, which was cheaper but didn't have a working shower.
  9. The song which has spent the longest on the chart is JK and Joel are Tossers by Radiohead. It has currently spent over two years in the top 40, much to Jk and Joels annoyance, but Bruno Brookes' delight.
  10. Sandi Thom isn't really going to be a hell of a lot better, is she?

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Eurovision: Done with Stylus 

The always entertaining Stylus Magazine have put up part one of their blow by blow account of this year's Eurovision extravaganza. Despite the fact we've contributed to it, it's well worth a read and we urge you to make your way there immediatly. Cheers!

Oh! And our review of the Girls Aloud gig will be appearing later this week, just as soon as we've managed to come down from the experience enough to write something which isn't along the lines of "OHMYGODITWASSOACE!". (And when we're not too busy going to see Isobel Campbell and The Research do gigs. Though we don't expect them to be as good as the Girls. There probably won't be even half as many costume changes)

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

10 Things We State About... 

Available in all good record shops this week, and from dodgy download sites for about a month previous, is the new Pet Shop Boys album, Fundamental. We've not actually heard it yet, but we're convinced it'll be utterly fantastic because a) Everyone else is saying this and b)it's a Pet Shop Boys album, so is utterly fantastic by definition. To celebrate this, here are ten entirely true and in no way made up facts about the two men who should really be revered national heroes by now:-
  1. Neil and Chris once released an album of brass band covers with the title I Wouldn't Normally Do This Kind of Swing.
  2. Dusty Springfield was only roped in to duet on What Have I Done To Deserve This? when first choice Su Pollard was unable to make the recording date. "She's hilarious!", said Neil. "Especially when she falls into a swimming pool", he added. Unnecessarily.
  3. Always on My Mind was written about Chris's baseball cap.
  4. One of Neil's partners was ever so slightly kinky and would only ever have sex when he was dressed up as one of a variety of furry animals. Alas, the relationship eventually stumbled to an end with Neil angrily storming out declaring "You only tell me you love me when you're a skunk".
  5. Neil Tennant is Doctor Who actor David Tennant's uncle
  6. Chris Lowe is the Nicola Roberts of the group: underrated, moody, unlikely to get asked too many questions in interviews, ginger, etc.
  7. English gent Neil is so intelligent that he knows the difference between a metaphor and a simile.
  8. Famously Neil used to edit Smash Hits, but what is slightly less well known is that Chris is the current editor of Buzz!, the Scottish Power in house magazine.
  9. Pet Shop Boys was the title of a single by Go West.
  10. If you don't at least own Pop Art, their greatest hits, then you're a fool to yourself.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

What Did We Learn at School Eurovision Today on Saturday 

So, Saturday then. The whole Eurovision spectacle itself was an event as gloriously enjoyable as eating a twix and a banana at the same time, but Daz's less than impressive placing not only put bit of a dampener on the night, it seriously screwed up the planned drinking game, the gist of which involved downing a shot every time Daz scored some points. Had we stuck to that plan we'd all have ended up staying sober. Well, soberer at any rate.

It shouldn't really have come as much of a surprise. After all, for the last few years Britain hasn't exactly done stunningly well no matter how hard we try, and we've been trying everything. We've tried sending something decent - Daz Sampson - we've tried sending pish - Jemini - and we've tried doing the same thing as every single other act that year - Javine - and yet we still can't seem to pull ourselves up from the bottom end of the league table. So what, aside from bribing every single person in Europe to vote for us, can we do to engender a change in our fortunes? Well...

Monday, May 22, 2006

Thoughts of the Pops 

It's Monday! And we're quite excited - and we just can't hide it - because a) we've just taken delivery of a new set of hair straightners and b) we're off to see Girls Aloud perform for our and, admittedly, a few other people's benefit on Sunday. How excited are we? Roughly this much:

Which, as we're sure you'll agree, is quite excited, indeed. But it's still a week away, so we've got to keep our feet on the ground for the next few days, and so that we come at it fresh, succeed at the slightly harder task of avoiding hearing anything whatsoever about what we fully expect to be the greatest moment of our life to date, and one that will probably remain so until something impossibly fantastic comes along to take it's place, though the only thing that springs immediately to mind is the first night of Nicola's solo tour. To maintain our ignorance we're avoiding any vaguely trendy or up to date music shows for fear of learning things we'd rather find out on the night, so with that in mind we naturally tuned in to Top of the Pops and here's what we learnt:-

Sunday, May 21, 2006

They Don't Care, Do They? 

We'll have more to say about last night's events later on in the week, but for now all we can muster up is "Poor Daz", so:

Poor Daz


Friday, May 19, 2006

Daz: Automatic Article 

The big question on everyone lips right now is, of course, exactly how annoying Pete is going to get over the next 13 weeks - we're backing Imogen by the way. Mainly because she's very pretty and we're very shallow, but we do have deeper reasons than that: She's got a lovely Welsh accent too - but for those of you who aren't entirely focused on Big Brother, you may well be wondering whether Daz Sampson has any chance of winning Eurovision tomorrow. We've torn ourselves away from the live coverage just long enough to ponder this ourselves, and here's what we've come up with:-So, to summarise then, we don't have a clue. But we'll be watching tomorrow night to find out. Go Daz!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

10 Things We State About... 

The Eurovision Song Contest takes place on Saturday and taking on the somewhat poisoned chalice of being the UK's entrant is Daz Sampson, of Rikki and Daz and not-quite-as-good-as-Clock-types Bus Stop 'fame'. Regardless of what you think of his pedigree, the schooldays themed Teenage Life is all kinds of aceness - even if we still can't think for the life of us what the chorus reminds us of - though it still remains to be seen exactly what the rest of Europe make of the Daz Challenge. Arf. To send him on his way to Greece in the sort of manner expected by his collection of uniformed dancing girls, here are ten entirely true and in no way made up facts about School:-
  1. A lot of schoolkids have found themselves having hits, mainly thanks to novelty tracks. Famous examples include Claire and Friends, St Winnifred's School Choir, and Limp Bizkit.
  2. On Pink Floyd's famous - and, indeed, only - number one, Another Brick in the Wall, the school kids sang "We don't need no education", clearly demonstrating why they did.
  3. Don't worry Britney, Angus Young and Girls Aloud. There's absolutely nothing wrong whatsoever with wearing a school uniform. As long as you're of school age, of course.
  4. Foregoing your education to have a career as a popstar is a great decision to make and not one that you'll at all regret when you're 35, working in your local fast food emporium with only a faded Smash Hit award to remind you of your glory days.
  5. But you should at least make sure you stay there long enough to work out the difference between 'net' and 'gross'
  6. Many bands formed when the protagonists were at school together. They often split up shortly after gaining a modicum of success, mainly because nothing makes you realise how much you hate your friends than spending 6 months on the road with them, rattling around a tiny tour bus, with only a selection of unpleasant Armenian porn to distract you from their irritating personal habits.
  7. Despite the prominence of music in the school curriculum, there aren't as many groups spawned out of that environment as you might expect. This is mainly because few people are willing to buy records consisting entirely of glockenspiel, recorder and chime bars.
  8. Marketing types believe that head girls are the taste makers of the nation and sent out copies of Jamie Cuntllum's latest album to them in a bid to boost his profile and announced this act to the media at large. This ploy which apparently met with great success, if only in alerting criminals to the poor taste of head girls and dramatically cutting down thefts of their iPods.
  9. While Busted's What I Go To School For was a massive hit, the similarly themed hit by Rebecca Wand, The Headmaster Touched Me, There was less of a success and served mainly to get the Hurlington School for Girls closed, pending a full investigation.
  10. 'Mon the Daz!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

The 88th Actual Worst Song, Ever 

Proud. In much the same way a small child who's just been successfully potty trained is.

Broadly speaking, the prospect of London and, by extension, the UK having the Olympics in 2012 divided the country into two camps. Some see it as a great opportunity to showcase Britain at its best, a chance to boost tourism and increase investment in business, while giving the nation something to get behind, celebrate and enjoy. On the other hand, if you're not actually a Government minister, you're probably more likely to consider it to be a complete waste of time, energy, and money, and a sorry affair only of interest to anyone who's daft enough to consider "Running quite fast" to be a skill worthy of celebration, rather than something that's only of any real use if you live in a street mainly populated by hungry cheetahs or have an inability to remember bus timetables. Heather Small presumably falls into the former camp, as we're sure that the motivation for her releasing Proud, both the official anthem of the Olympic bid and The 88th Actual Worst Record, Ever, was purely down to her desire to see the bid succeed and nothing to do with desperately trying to find herself once again in a spotlight that had long since vanished in search of someone more talented and worthy of its attention.

If you believe her publicity, you'd no doubt consider Heather to be big of voice, hair, and personality, though frankly substituting the word "annoying" for "big" fits far more snugly. Undeniably she has a unique singing voice, but so do we and, other than occasional late night sing-a-longs, fuelled more by alcohol than talent, we know better than to inflict our own painful warblings on to the public at large. She initially found fame with M People, a band for whom the phrase "Shite of the highest order" was surely invented but, as a quick glance at the album charts will normally confirm, the public seems to have an insatiable desire for shite of the highest order, no matter how unpalatable it may seem to the rest of us. Fortunately the coming of the 21st century seemed to clear that particular cobweb from their heads, as the last time they made any impact on the charts was in 1999 with Dreaming. No, us neither.

And there, of course, it should have ended. While Shovel periodically finds himself dragged out from his box to reminisce on the Hacienda where he used to DJ - we presume any M People tracks were off the setlist until it was clearing out time at the end of the night - we fully expected - and, indeed, hoped - that that would be the last we saw of the Small. Alas, we figured without Ken "Finger on the Pulse of Modern Britain" Livingstone who decided that she would be the perfect figure to front the campaign to make London an Olympic city and, when we think about it, perhaps he had a point, as she's certainly someone who has potential to get the whole country behind her. When she's teetering on the edge of a cliff, perhaps, or looking at the view from the top of a very, very tall building. Despite the clear awfulness of Proud, with it's cod inspirational lyrics and half arsed gospel influences, this approach somehow worked and it, along with a number of not-officially-bribes from the bid committee, managed to persuade the Olympic organisers that, yes, London was crying out for a large scale regeneration project, funded mainly by the taxpayer - Oh, and some sort of sporting event - so fully deserved the poisoned chalice of the Games.

What have we done today to make us feel proud? Well, we didn't write this song. That'll do for starters.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Thoughts of the Pops 

It's Monday! And today Ginger has finally had Baby. As in Geri's given birth to a child, that is, nothing along the lines of inter-spice lesbiotic activities, though we're sure that if Geri thought it would get her a few column inches in Heat she'd be well up for it. It's a baby girl and will, if some old tabloid rumours are to be believed, be called Stella. Stella Halliwell. Oh dear. But that's not all we learnt today, here's what we found out from this week's Top of the Pops:-

Saturday, May 13, 2006

The 89th Actual Worst Song, Ever 

Blue is the colour, shit songs is the game

If you've ever seen Joseph and his Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat you'll have come away from it knowing two salient facts. One is that Ancient Egypt was ruled not by dignified and revered Pharohs as you might have thought, but instead was controlled by a poor quality Elvis impersonator who likes nothing better than forcing members of his court to dress up as cattle and dance for him, the other being that anything multicoloured is good by definition. It's a somewhat questionable hypothesis - yes, that's right, we've used the word hypothesis - given that generally the sight of someone wearing a multicoloured coat doesn't have you thinking "Wow! They are so cool!", but instead is more likely to make you think of them dismissively as an attention seeking hippy, and an attention seeking hippy with poor fashion sense at that. But still, if Andrew Lloyd-Webber - and, to a lesser extent, the Bible - say it then it must be true, so any band that decides to style themselves in a monotone fashion must be pretty dull indeed. Ladies and gentlemen, we give you Blue.

Not only did Lee, Duncan, The One from I'm a Celebrity... and The Other One decide to name themselves after a lone colour but, as if to compound the mistake, they chose a particularly dull colour to name themselves after. Given that the Crayola colour wheel contains such gems as Electric Lime, Hot Magenta, Laser Lemon and the slightly dubiously named Purple Mountain Majesty, they could have gone for something so much more interesting. Even Burnt Sienna has its plus points, but no, they went for Blue, a colour which speaks more of dead bodies being dredged from lakes than exciting, fun pop music. So, come to think of it, perhaps they were right to choose that particular moniker.

While it was, perhaps, inevitable they would turn up in this list, it was a struggle choosing exactly which example of their mediocre art should represent them here. Should it be One Love, with its laughable "One love for the hip hop beats" line? Perhaps All Rise, with it's excruiating courtroom metaphor. Guilty, maybe? Certainly the anguished delivery of the "But I'm Guillllllty" line is just crying out for a 3T-esque petulant throwing of a rucksack down onto the ground, but no, it's none of those. Instead it's Fly By which is Blue's representative here. Why? Uh, have you heard it? It's a desperate attempt to sound all street and sexy, despite the fact that listening to this leaves you with the impression that the nearest they've ever got to bump 'n' grind is having a car accident. Indeed, the main gist of the song is that they want to do the dirty in a car - "after dark", they add hopefully, knowing that few ladies are likely to be impressed by the offer of a quick fumble in Sainsbury's car park while shoppers attempt to load up their boots on either side of them. Later they claim to have "UK style, UK flow. We got you hot like whoa". A statement that left those of us lucky enough to have dual nationality quickly renouncing their British passports.

Despite the obvious fears, the Blue split hasn't led to four god-awful solo careers. Not that they haven't tried, of course, but thankfully they all seem to have vanished into the obscurity they deserve, with the exception of Simon Webbe's Lighthouse Family cast off No Worries, of course, which still seems to be torturing our ears whenever we turn on The Hits. It won't be long now, though, until even his career flies by into the dim and distant past like Concorde in a hurry. Arf.

Friday, May 12, 2006

The 90th Actual Worst Record, Ever 

Oh it's such a perfect day, we don't like this song, nor should you

Like listening to Simply Red albums, watching footage of Chico stripping or going to the clinic with an STD, paying the license fee is a largely unpopular pastime which has failed to endear itself to the nation, who tend to do so in a largely begrudged manner. To this end the BBC regularly produces short commercials to encourage us to do so, happily ignoring the irony that one of the benefits of paying the license fee should be that we aren't subjected to commercials every 30 minutes. These generally have about as much effect as breathing hot air onto an iceberg, as few people who have been happily dodging the £100 or so tax for the last few years are unlikely to be suddenly spurred into action by seeing David Walliams and Matt Lucas arsing around dressed as various popstars. Indeed, many good, honest, license fee payers who saw David Walliams and Matt Lucas arsing around on the last series of Little Britain may well be considering withholding their contribution until the BBC stop wasting it on lazy turn up, do the catchphrase, then bugger off and count your money 'comedy', but we digress. While most of these have stuck in the mind like your average bus journey into work, one of them became so potent and powerful that it was eventually released as a spin-off single in its own right. We are, of course, talking about Perfect Day.

It was 1997 and at the time the BBC was attempting to convince everyone that they were just great at covering music, an argument which was perhaps more convincing back then, with Mark and Lard and John Peel still working at Radio One, while Colin and Edith and their clear hatred for music being nothing more than a glint in Satan's eyes. The best way to do this, reckoned some big high up guy who probably gets paid a lot of money, was to get a selection of top recording artists into the studio to each record a line of a song about heroin. We're not sure if the idea genuinely was to liken the concept of a public service network to that of a highly addictive drug were dealers generally jack up the price to obscene levels just as you begin to realise that the alternatives - read ITV - just can't give you the hit you crave, but it's certainly a good analogy.

Now, had the brief to get "A selection of top recording artists into the studio" been fulfilled, this might have actually been 'quite good'. A quick scan through the list of number ones for 1997 reveals that they should have been looking at getting acts like The Spice Girls, Hanson, Aqua and White Town involved. So did they? What do you think? This is the BBC we're talking about! An organisation that genuinely believed that the grating voices of Zoe Ball and Sara Cox were what the nation wanted to wake up to in the morning. Instead, they decided to get the following artists on board:-So, as you can see, not exactly a roster to strike excitement into the hearts of anyone with a pulse. Despite this it still took the nation by storm, even having it's own dedicated page on Ceefax to tell you when it would next be shown. Inevitably it was released as the single for that year's Children in Need appeal - S Club 7 didn't begin their dominance of the format until 1999 - and the whole sorry affair eventually culminated in a live performance of the track for BBC Music Live 2000, an ill conceived affair in which the Beeb attempted to broadcast live music for 24 full hours on its various channels and stations, failing to realise that it's quality that counts, not quantity, which featured acts up and down the country desperately hoping that the click track coming through was timed properly and they weren't about to make arses of themselves on national TV. Many did, though not for that exact reason.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

10 Things We State About... 

Snow Patrol are at number one in the album charts, proving beyond all reasonable doubt that most people turn into grey shadows of human beings the instant they enter a record shop. To celebrate this triumph of mediocrity, here are ten entirely true and in no way made up facts about the band who have been taken to the nations hearts as the not quite as successful Coldplay:-
  1. Despite being from across the Irish sea, Snow Patrol are often claimed to be a Scottish band, simply by virtue of having been based in Glasgow for a bit. Similarly Bush are often considered to be from America, despite being Brits through and through and Chico, now based in London but originally from Chile, is widely thought of as a cunt.
  2. Lead singer Gary Lightbody's name is a million times more interesting than anything the band have ever done.
  3. The other members of the band are so anonymous that Lord Lucan has been drumming for them for the last two years.
  4. Snow Patrol were originally called Polar Bears. As anyone who watches Lost will know, polar bears seem to be a vitally important plot point - for some reason - due to their frequent appearances on both the island and in flashback, so there may be some sort of link between the band and Driveshaft, Charlie's godawful band who would be lucky to sell more than 5 records if they were a real band and not just a fictional construct. At the very least they'll end up stranded on an island after a plane crash of their very own.
  5. Run definitely wasn't ripped off of Coldplay's Yellow. In much the same was as Fuck me, that's margarine? isn't a rip off I Can't Believe it's Not Butter.
  6. They took their name from a slang term for cleaners at music industry parties.
  7. They once released a single entitled 100 Things You Should Have Done in Bed. Number one was "Kick the blankets up with your legs and pretend you're in a tent", number two was "Jump up and down on it like a trampoline", while number three was "Sleep". They ran out of ideas after that.
  8. During the winter, when there are no longer any second stage, mid-afternoon slots at festivals to keep their coffers tiding over, the band keep the money rolling in with their snow clearance and path gritting service.
  9. They're the second most famous Snow Patrol in the world. The other is the route taken by the former rapper of Informer fame when he goes around checking his neighbourhood for leaky boom boom gutters.
  10. Spitting Games is quite good, mind.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

The 91st Actual Worst Record, Ever 

As substantial as a ghost in the tune department

California is a rather lovely state in America, all sunshine, oranges and girls and boys wandering around dressed in a not exactly complete manner, so it comes as no surprise that various artists have been inspired to pen paeans to this not exactly unpleasant place, and that most of these songs too involve sunshine, oranges and girls and boys wandering around dressed in a not exactly complete manner. When Phantom Planet, on the other hand, decided to write about the state, they felt that full on whininess was a far more suitable style for their state song, and so it is that California is as enjoyable a listening experience as doing the dishes and fully deserves its place as the 91st actual worst record, ever.

Of course, we realise that not every song about California could be by the Beach Boys, no matter how much we might wish that they all could be California Girls, and we should perhaps give thanks that they aren't going on about how fake it is there, man, but even so it takes a certain perverse talent to take all the positivity and hippy happiness that can be found on the west coast and turn it into the musical equivalent of being a bit annoyed because your phone's run out of credit and you really can't be arsed going down to the garage for a top-up. And for managing to make a song about California which is worse than the Red Hot Chilli Peppers' 'effort' they perhaps deserve some sort of credit. Lyrically it's a bit more upbeat, with its chorus of "California! Here we come!" - the exclamation mark appears in the lyric website we're using as a reference, not in the singer blokey's own intonation - but performance wise you get the feeling the lead singer thinks we should consider ourselves honoured that he deigned to drag himself out of bed and get to the studio to record this.

This is probably best known as it's the theme tune to Rich Kids Arse Around Like Cunts, otherwise known as The OC, so we at least have the satisfaction of knowing that they'll have the same sort of long term career as other bands who've provided the themes to other American series of the past. Bands like Remy Zero, The Rembrandts, Nerf Header, etc. Though the less said about Dido and her Roswell theme, the better. And about Roswell too, for that matter.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Thoughts of the Pops 

It's Monday! And our concerted effort to crack on with the 100 Actual Worst Records... Ever last week was a resounding success, was it not? We'll do more this week, promise, if only because the effort required to update the list to take account of all the crap that's been released this year - Hello Chico! - is slightly more than is needed to write up the 90 odd tracks we still need to do. But before we begin that massive task, let's look at what we learnt from this week's Top of the Pops:-

Thursday, May 04, 2006

I See Girls 

FHM Magazine recently announced its annual list of the 100 Sexiest Women and for the third year running they've made a printing error. Two years ago they somehow managed to avoid including Miss Nicola Roberts, Last year they failed to place in her in her rightful position at number one, making it appear that she was languishing in mid table mediocrity, while this year they seem to have printed the entire list upside down, so that Nic appears to be at the bottom of the list, rather than at the top. You think they'd have someone to check these things and make sure they get it right, wouldn't you? The majority of the list is made up of various girls who have little to recommend them other than their seeming inability to afford any clothing from the waist up, but the FHM readership is not averse to trawling the music channels in their desperate search for masterbatory material while they wait optimistically for their chance to actually meet a real lady, so here are FHM's Sexiest Women in Pop, 2006 Edition:-

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

10 Things We State About... 

So, we went to see Charlotte Church play live a couple of weeks ago. It's probably a bit too late now to give it a proper review - though suffice to say she was ace and even included a costume change, although given that it involved her changing from a great looking 'rock chick' outfit of skintight jeans, boots and a sequined rolling stones tee into a kimono and baggy pants combo which served mainly to make her look like she'd got a bit tired and had decided to get ready for bed a bit early - so instead here are ten entirely true and in no way made up facts about the wicked Welsh wonder:-
  1. Charlotte may claim to love it when you say her name, but when we tested this theory by phoning her every five minutes, saying "Charlotte" down the phone before hanging up, she reacted in a very angry manner indeed, which culminated in her telling us to "Fuck off" at 5 in the morning, before threatening to set her boyfriend on us.
  2. Charlotte has met some of the world's most powerful and influential people. From the old Pope, via a couple of presidents, all the way to Paul O'Grady and Cilla Black, she's communed with them all, and always looked disappointed when they turned down her offer of going out for a few jars afterwards.
  3. She won the Rear of the Year award shortly after celebrating her 16th birthday. This meant that the judges had spent most of their time appraising the merits of a 15yo girl's arse. Despite this, not one of them was arrested and put on the sex offenders register. No wonder Gary Glitter's pissed.
  4. Even God Can't Change the Past, she reckons. This presumably means that Marty McFly, who's changed the past on umpteen occasions, is more powerful than God. This seems fair.
  5. A skilled musician can make beautiful music from Charlotte's spleen, kidneys and heart. Of course, not everyone has the patience required to play a Church Organ.
  6. Crazy Chick was written after Charlotte spent some time on an a farm belonging to an ex-member of Blazin' Squad and became quite enamoured with his poultry collection.
  7. Cheeky Vimto is made by mixing port with blue WKD, adding in some nitroglycerine, closing your eyes and hoping for the best.
  8. If you didn't make it to a Charlotte Church concert, don't bother going to a Catholic Church concert and hoping it'll be just as good. It'll likely involve slightly less Gloria Estefan covers and a lot more latin. Both end with the front person, be they priest or Charlotte, enthusiastically storming their way through Crazy Chick
  9. Her back catalogue isn't worth investigating. Not unless you are actually a granny, still annoyed that your grandchildren are now grandadults.
  10. Moodswings really is ace, you know. Really, really ace.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

The 92nd Actual Worst Record, Ever 

If we had 3 wishes, we'd wish for this song to have never been released. 3 times. Just in case.
In music some trends last forever, while others crash and burn like a badly designed space rocket. The tendency for guitar bands to believe that the only band worth ripping off being influenced by are The Beatles, for example, is one that clings to the collective musical consciousness tighter than a limpet armed with a tube of superglue, while the "Featuring Sean Paul" craze burned out after an exhausting, but highly profitable, summer for the toaster in question. Equally brief but equally omniscient was the public's appetite for bootlegs, a hunger which reached its peak in '03. Indeed, for that entire year it seemed impossible to go into a nightclub without hearing the DJ playing two records at the same time, though for those of us who tended towards nightclubs on the skuzzier side of fence this wasn't exactly a new occurrence, even if normally it was less down to the DJ being at the cutting edge and more to do with him not being entirely au fait with how to work his faders.

Of course, the thing about bootlegs was that they were largely crap. Generally there'd be one good moment in the track where the two separate songs came together like a key in a lock, an orange and a juicer, or a piano lid onto Jamie Cullum's fingers, a moment where it all made perfect sense and made you want to frug upon the dance floor like you've never frugged before. At least not in public, anyway. Despite the genius of that moment, however, the rest of the song would genuinely sound pretty much like what you'd expect two songs being played at the same time to sound like: an ungodly mess and painful to listen to. Or The Pussycat Dolls as it's otherwise known. There were a few genuinely brilliant ones out there though; one was tieing Nelly's Country grammar to The Grange Hill Theme, while another was A Stroke of Genius.

A Stroke of Genius teamed up Christina Aguilera's Genie in a Bottle with The Strokes' Hard to Explain. It was ace for a number of reasons, mainly because it involved Christina Aguilera and most things involving Christina Aguilera - rubbish theme songs for movies about sharks excepted - are ace, but also because it used the music from The Strokes' only song which actually lived up to the hype that surrounds them like the stench of vanilla surrounds Shayne Ward. The two songs complimented each other perfectly, it was unexpected, it worked, it made you smile, and you could dance to it, so all in all it was a really great, unique thing. Indeed, part of it's charm was it's uniqueness, so it would take a remarkably uninspired and imagination free band to decide to cover it in a desperate bid to have a hit and make some sort of impact on the music scene.

Step forward then Speedway, a Scottish band who were last seen attempting to convince the world that Bryan Adams wanted them to support him before Jill Jackson made a half hearted attempt at a solo career before realising that even her own mother would be unlikely to make the trip to a record shop and buy one of her records. Jill also managed to make a slight name for herself - the sort of name you might sew into the back of your gym shorts - when she slagged off people from Fame Academy, Pop Idol and the like, presumably for not being as original and creative as a band who cover a bootleg and pass it off as their own work, before promptly going out with Fame Academy graduate Alex Parks, a girl who, despite being entirely unknown before taking part in the show, currently has an even lower profile than that. The lack of imagination in Jill's target for her vague bile was matched in their decision to release their version of the Stroke of Genius cover, which went out under the Genie in a Bottle name as an attempt to convince the public that this was all their own idea and they weren't just acting like a parasitic tapeworm, sucking out the talent of others. The public, fortunately, remained relatively unconvinced, with this just managing to sneak into the top ten, but this was already more, far more, success than they deserved.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Thoughts of the Pops 

It's Monday! And, like P!nk, we're not actually dead, though unlike Pink we're not a bit of a mardy cow who manages to come up with just enough occasional moments of pop genius to allow her to be forgiven for all the dross she's released; we never come up with any moments of genius. We've just been a bit busy with real world stuff - yes, believe it or not, we do have something approaching a life - so haven't had the time to concentrate on the site properly, but things should be back to what counts for normal around these parts. We've also realised we've somewhat neglected our 100 Actual Worst Records... Ever feature, so we'll be doing our best to get on track again with that this week, but before all that, let's see what we learnt from this week's Top of the Pops:-