Talent in a Previous Life

Because It's Never Just About the Music

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Five. Alive. 

And so, in news that was kept under wraps with the same sort of success as you might expect from an attempt to disguise a Christmas present of a bicycle, Five - or 5ive, or, indeed, Fiveive - are back. Except, of course, it's not actually five of them, as only Abs, Richie, and two others who you may or may not remember, can actually be arsed to get involved. They won't be calling themselves 4our, though, as apparently "Five's a brand, not a number". We can say, with some authority as, believe it or not, we hold an honours degree in mathematics - well, it's clearly not in English or journalism, is it - that five quite definitely is a number. It comes between four and six. We think he's getting confused with St. Ivel, who make butter.

Anyway, we're quite glad to see that they're coming back as, despite the fact they wore their "Bad boys" tag slightly awkwardly - it's rare to see bad boys performing synchronised dance routines outside of the not exactly documentary realistic world of West Side Story - they did offer something far more interesting than the homogenised, white suited balladry of the Boyzone's and the Westlife's they were up against back in their heyday. You may not quite have believed they were on their local police's ASBO hitlist, but you would have accepted that they probably did have such poor manners that they would, in preference to using a knife and fork, eat with their fingers.

They're doing this for entirely unselfish reasons of course, and not because they saw the money roll in for the Take That reunion and thought "Wow, we fancy a piece of that", as they have a new album ready to go and, of course, it's what the fans wanted. We're not convinced that giving Five fans what they want is that good an idea, though. We still remember the venom directed at poor Billie, just because she had the temerity to go out with Richie, when they would probably have been a bit better directing said venom at Richie, who at the time seemed to be under the belief that "Worse make-up than an 11 year old girl experimenting with cosmetics for the first time" really was a good look to be going for.

Still, we wish them all the best, but with all these comebacks going on, it can't be that long before the proto-Busted North and South throw their hats into the ring. Oh please, God, let it be so. And then allSTARS. And then Girl Things. Thanks!

Monday, September 25, 2006

Music Week 

It's Monday! And today social irritant and general annoyance Lily Allen releases her new single LDN, a song which, like the rest of her album, is being hailed as the sound of the summer. Which is probably fair enough if your only experience of summer is that of miserable, grey rain soaked weekends spent avoiding syringes and used condoms on one of our fair country's less palatable beaches, but we digress. Lily has a busy week ahead of her, so let's take a look at what the next seven days have in store for her.

With a busy week of promotion ahead of her, Lily naturally wants to look her best. This not only includes looking out her nicest frock and pulling back her hair in the tightest ponytail imaginable, but also making sure her overly large forehead is scrubbed impressively clean for the occasion. Unfortunately the surface area is so vast that no washcloth could ever hope to cover it without becoming a frayed and ragged mess long before the task is even close to being completed, so Lily will today be traveling to Houston, Texas to visit the Kennedy Space centre, where her forehead will be polished to within an inch of its life using the same equipment that was used to keep the mirror for the Hubble telescope in check. Despite a valiant effort, it will still give up the ghost with only 63% of the job completed.

Much of today will be spent flying back after yesterday's mammoth cleaning operation. TO accommodate her oversized cranium, Lily will be traveling in a specially converted plane which, like the Popemobile, features a specially raised section to allow her to fly in complete comfort, albeit raising the prospect that someone may see the craft coming in to land and panic at the thought of a Mekon invasion. While traveling Lily will take the time to consider some of the advertising opportunities her agent has gathered for her. Top of the pile is the Tefal corporation.

To help promote new single LDN, a song about London, Lily will be performing at an MCR gig this evening. She will spend much of this afternoon on the phone to her booking agent, trying to ascertain whether she's playing in Manchester or supporting My Chemical Romance.

As Lily's fame and success comes entirely from the result of building up a fanbase through the internet and has nothing whatsoever to do with the fact that her dad is Keith Allen and nepotism goes a long way in this business, Lily always makes sure she takes time out of her busy schedule to blog her important thoughts and opinions on her MySpace site, which generally consist of her slagging off those more successful and popular than herself. Clearly anyone who has nothing better to do with their time than churn out paragraph after paragraph of bile, aimed at those who clearly have done a bit better in life than themselves, is a sad individual in need of a life. Ahem.

Being the sort of young gal about town who would probably get an ASBO if it wasn't for the fact she's a bit well off, Friday night is party night as far as Lily's concerned. To this end, she'll be out and about stopping off at all the A-List parties. She has to stop off at them all as she gets refused entry to every single one, and she ends up having to join the queue of some skanky nightclub with the rest of the ordinary punters, the rain flattening her hair and ruining the shape of her dress. This makes us feel bad for a while, but then we smile. Yeah, we smile.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

10 Things We State About... 

This week The Killers continue on apace with their plans for U2 style world domination by releasing, as they're likely to do on a regular basis for the rest of their career, a single which isn't quite as good as Mr Brightside. To celebrate this, here's ten entirely true and in no way made up facts about the band:-
  1. Lead singer Brandon Flowers is a Mormon, just like the sea creature baddie from He-Man and the Masters of the Universe.
  2. The lyrics to Mr Brightside were taken from an early draft of the Mr Happy Mr Men novel which had been rejected for being a 'too racy' for the children's market.
  3. Just like the food created by KFC's fictional leader, colonel Sanders, the band have soul, but aren't actually soldiers.
  4. But they are both made from the same substance as solyent green.
  5. Current single When You Were Young has nothing to do with the wistful ballad jointly penned by Jonathan King and Gary Glitter
  6. The band left the gambling Mecca of Las Vegas to make a lot of money. Curiously most people head to the city with the exact opposite result.
  7. Brandon was killed in 1993 during filming of Goth cash-in movie, The Crow, giving the film a far greater audience than it deserved.
  8. It is fortunate that they did not write All These Things That I've Done on a Sunday, otherwise the song's lyrics would largely have centred around reading the Sunday papers, before watching Songs of Praise and having an early night.
  9. Jenny Was a Friend of Mine was written about showbiz correspondent Jenni Falconer. They parted ways after Brandon felt that Jenni wasn't taking advantage of her high profile GMTV role to give his band the publicity he so desperately craved, preferring instead to talk awkwardly about how she met a D List film star in the unlikely circumstances of a pre-arranged interview.
  10. We still stand defiantly behind our belief that Somebody Told Me is the single that Phixx should have released after Hold on Me.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Make a Dateless 

We've fallen in love with a new band.

Of course, given the fact that we fall head over heels in love with a new pop band pretty much on a daily basis, you'd be forgiven for thinking that the above statement carries about as much weight as "We woke up this morning and had a shower", but you'd be wrong. This is for real. It's not a passing fancy and our head won't be turned by the next pretty girl singing along to a danceable beat this time. Promise.

Anyway, their name is Dateless and they're absolutely fab. A sorta low budget, electro Pipettes, if you will - though in all honesty they reminded us more of The Corsettes, a reference we'd have led with had it not been for the fact that we expect that only a handful of people will ever actually have heard of them - they were giving Aberfeldy the benefit of being their opening band and took to the stage surrounded by a glittery mist of pop genius - or 'stage smoke', as it's otherwise known - and happily blew the main support band off the stage, though given she was the sort of acoustic guitar strumming girl who sees KT Tunstall as someone to aspire to, rather than throw rocks at, this isn't necessarily an impressive feat.

Their set-up consists of one bloke standing at the back, playing keyboards while shrouded in mystery - Or 'stage smoke', as it's otherwise known - and two girls who sing like they'd rather be somewhere else, dance like they're possessed by the spirit of Johnny 5 from Short Circuit and dress like they're sexy F1 mechanics, wearing dresses which would be largely unsuitable for the role, should that actually turn out to be their day job.

As the above proves, on a purely superficial level they tick all the right boxes, but musically they're equally satisfying, dishing out dark electropop from behind their ever present shades like a generous, yet slightly disturbing, ice-cream van driver. We'd like to point you to somewhere were you might be able to sample their wares for yourselves, but unfortunately their MySpace page is largely useless, consisting of nothing more than some pics which appear to be of a different band and a general "Can't be arsed" vibe hanging over the whole affair. We like lazy, bored vocals, but we hope that attitude doesn't pervade the rest of their approach to the band as we really do think they're ace and want to see them do well. Which, admittedly, on past evidence of bands we've tipped is pretty much the kiss of death for any hopes of success they might have had. Sorry.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Somethin' Kinda Wow 

Some thoughts on the new Girls Aloud single.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

10 Things We State About... 

So, yes. Old habits die hard and we once again return to our lazy approach to updating. But it's not our fault. After all, we could hardly have written anything on Monday, what with the historical 'events' of that day. It's hard to believe that now, five years on from those heinous acts, nothing seems to have been down about the problem. No matter how many tough words are spoken by our leaders, no matter how many action plans are laid out, the issue remains a sad blot on the state of our world. Five years on and STILL ELEPHANTS ARE DYING! Did no one listen to Lee Ryan? We did, so mainly spent Monday thinking about elephants.

And Tuesday as well, for that matter. They're big animals.

But no matter! Our mind is once again focused on the world of the present, and we learn with great joy and satisfaction that the Scissor Sisters have reached the top spot with the ever ace Don't Feel Like Dancing. To celebrate, here are ten entirely true and in no way made up facts about the nation's favourite disco dancing New Yorkers - former Mayor Giuliani excepted, of course:-
  1. Take Your Mama Out was not just a hit single for the band, it also helped to publicise their little known matricide business.
  2. Both Jake Shears and Del Marquis keep a close eye on the yellow pages in the hope that some unscrupulous businessman starts up either Jake's Shears, a hedge trimming service, or Del's Marquees, a tent hire emporium so that they can sell their asses. Both Paddy and Ana are said to be unphased by the prospect of a fireworks or robotic shop being set up in their name. Babydaddy is currently involved in suing every fertility clinic in the world.
  3. Scissor Sisters is a slang term for lesbians, which came as something to a shock to the members of a RoSPA campaign aimed at cutting down the number of schoolkids whose eyes were gouged out by sharp objects, the Safety Scissor Sisters
  4. Jake runs the band as a dictatorship and every decision they make has to be approved by him. He recently vetoed plans for a trip to visit the Polish city of Gdansk, known by another name during its occupation by Germany,as he "didn't feel like Danszig".
  5. Jake can move Ana Matronic's eyes by flicking a switch in the back of her head. She's like Action Man in that respect. And one other.
  6. Paddy Boom is quite interesting for a drummer. But he is still a drummer.
  7. The Scissor Sisters come from New York. Other things to come from New York include giant pretzels, steam from manhole covers and murder.
  8. Once you've learnt the guitar tabs to their songs, you'll find at least one which you can comfortably strum.
  9. Babydaddy is currently under investigation by the CSA. Not because they reckon he owes any child maintenance, just cause they're really into the Bear scene.
  10. Apparently one of them is gay.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Fashion, Don't You Know 

The Scissor Sisters have a new single, I Don't Feel Like Dancing out this week, which we not only love more than we love our cat, we love it more than something we actually love and don't just consider to be a furry noise making machine. Now, perhaps you feel that you're not getting quite enough abuse and catcalls from the teenage hoodies in your area as you walk down the street. If that's the case then you've no doubt been considering going out and about your daily business while dressed in a similar fashion to that oh so sartorially unique band, but haven't quite known how to go about it. Well fear not, dear reader! Here's Ana Matronic, with more than a little help from Laura, our Fashion Correspondent, to tell you exactly how to pull off their look:-

Ana Matronic's guide to Getting It Completely Wrong


HELLO ALL! It's me, Ana Matronic, your favourite Scissor Sister here today to tell you all how to create that just-escaped-from-the-circus look with just a couple of sacks, some buttons and a big vat of neon paint!

Now, I know I've had a fair bit of criticism in the past about my role in the band and what it is that I actually, y'know, do. I don't sing, and if you've caught any of our promotional appearances on TV recently, you'll notice that I haven't quite got the hang of the whole banging the tambourine thing in time either. Well. This is because I am, in fact, the band's fashion guru. Yes, that's right, in between frizzing my hair up more than anyone thought was possible and talking in my overly ridiculous voice, I'm locked in the back room with a sewing machine, some gaudy rags and a whole host of glittery accessories, stolen from a child's dressing up box! Some people might say that Jake only locks me in there because he doesn't want me to actually take part when they record their new songs, but I think he's just jealous really of my wonderful ability to talk over a record at random times about nothing in particular.

Anyway, when we started promoting this single, we decided to try and contrast the mood that the song sets or something. Irony I think it's called. As the song's about not wanting to dance, and as we are a band of HOMOSEXUALS, the title is already ironic already because as, every good Daily Mail reader knows, The Gays' favourite hobbies are dancing, having good fashion sense, and passing around Aids. Which is a laugh a minute in itself, but the single says NO NO NO to all of these things. Which meant that it was time to create a fashion masterpiece.

For myself, I simply got seven large sacks and tie-dyed them. Simple, yet effective! I had some left over, so I simply threw that in Babydaddy's direction, and told him to hover behind me because I didn't have quite enough material to make a whole outfit. Jake was easy; as he is practically female, I decided to drop round Jessica Simpson's house one night as she has a very similar build to Jake (as well as the SAME INITIALS) and nicked a couple of items of clothing. If you watch Newlyweds carefully, you'll see Jake's outfit in a couple of scenes. Kids, don't listen to adults when they tell you stealing is wrong, it's totally hot this season.

Del Marquis was easy to do. I came across an old jumpsuit from a recent Madonna themed party we had, and I just cut the arms and neck off. Add a couple of buttons, and voila! You have the unsexiest pair of trousers since Tom Jones' leather ones. I can't let my sex appeal be overpowered by Marquis you realise.

As for the other one, I just threw a few pots of paint at him, and let him wear a dinner jacket. Easy!

Obviously, though, the effect isn't complete until the picture has been passed through Photoshop and had its saturation levels increased by about 93 billion levels - and the airbrush has fixed a few bits - then, my friends, you have a piece of art.

Peace out.
Ana xoxo

Thursday, September 07, 2006

The Actual Worst Records... Ever 

Given that the odds on us ever actually completing the thing are roughly akin to those of Tony Blair still being Prime Minister by the end of the year, we've decided to drop the countdown element to our list of the actual worst records ever made and instead simply focus on venting our spleen over some of the more distressing forms of aural torture we've ever had to endure spurting unwanted out of our radio. First up in our new, structure free look at the detritus of the music charts is Kelly and Ozzy Osbourne with Changes.

It must be hard being Kelly Osbourne - though less so if you're her boyfriend. Arf! Not only do you have to contend with the fact that your mother is the most irritating woman in the world with all the likeability of a dead puppy, but you also have all the talent of a used up teabag and a face that appears to be the result of being hit by a frying pan in a Tom and Jerry cartoon. Nevertheless, despite the fact you possess the sort of handicaps that make homeless leprosy sufferers look upon you and thank their lucky stars, you still reckon that you're in some way entitled to have a crack at this pop lark, mainly because you were in some crappy reality show whose selling point was that it allowed people to have a laugh at someone whose years of drug abuse has rendered them incapable of dealing with modern life in any sort of functional way. Unfortunately for you, despite receiving the benefit of the doubt with your first single, a vaguely passable cover of Madonna's Papa Don't Preach, the public quickly came to their senses and your second single, Shut Up, a pathetic slice of whiny teen nonsense which would have had even Good Charlotte turning their noses up at it for being a bit childish, couldn't even make it into the top ten. After such humiliation, there was only one thing for Kelly to do. Except for some reason "Run back to the obscurity from whence she came" didn't seem to figure in her plans, so instead she decided to run off and do a career salvaging duet with her dad instead.

Of course, the best laid plans of mice, men, and untalented daughters of rock icons don't always work out as the planners might have hoped and Kelly and Ozzy's single was notable for one thing. It was awful. Not just awful in a "Blimey, that record's a bit rubbish, isn't it", but awful in a "Dear God! Make the pain stop before I pour superglue into my ears in an attempt to numb the sound". An embarrassingly saccharine slice of schmaltz that would be more suited for a Smurf Christmas album, the record was clearly set to stall awkwardly outside the top forty were it not for a perverse bit of good luck: Ozzy decided to turn his unique talents in the field of co-ordination to the slightly complicated skill of quad bike driving. It doesn't take a genius to work out what's between us to realise that, much like releasing the single, this wasn't one of the best ideas the world has ever seen, and so Ozzy promptly ended up in hospital with massive head injuries and a very real possibility that he might die.

Things were looking bad for Ozzy, but for Kelly things couldn't be rosier! As a tidal wave of sympathy swept across the nation, aimed firmly at her daddy with a definite "Why couldn't it have been one of his annoying brood" subtext attached to it, Changes suddenly started getting quite popular. So popular, in fact, that it hit the number one spot, causing shares in superglue manufacturers across the country to go through the roof. AS the record hit the number one spot, Kelly could be seen on Top of the Pops crying as a result of what the news meant to her. We knew how she felt, we were weeping too when we found out.

One Word was really ace, mind.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

10 Things We State About... 

With all the invevitablity of some of the X Factor auditionees being 'a bit ropey',Justin Timberlake has shot straight to the number one spot with the really rather good, Sexyback. We particularly like the bit where he goes "Take it to the chorus", despite there not really being any discernible chorus to speak of. Anyway, to celebrate this fact, here are ten entirely true and in no way made up facts about the nation's favourite fedora wearing popstar:-
  1. Sexyback was written mainly to remind Justin to take his copy of Sexy by Joyce Carol Oates back to his local library. He's already racked up $21.73 worth of late fines.
  2. Before finding success as a solo star, Justin sang in the famous nineties band, Elastica.
  3. Famously Cry Me a River was written about Justin's relationship with Britney Spears. Alas the proposed follow up tracks Oh, Wah-Wah, Boo-Fucking-Hoo and Look! I'm Playing The World's Smallest Violin remain sadly unreleased.
  4. Despite his musical success, to many Justin is still best known for his role as Screech in TV's hilarious Saved by the Bell, Saved by the Bell: The College Years, Saved by the Bell: Wedding in Las Vegas, Saved by the Bell: Hawaiian Style and Saved by the Bell: The New Class.
  5. Although known colloquially as Justin Trousersnake over here, he doesn't get called that in his home country of America. That's because over there they call 'trousers' 'pants'!
  6. They still reckon he has a massive penis, though.
  7. Senorita is Spanish for 'Lady'.
  8. Dancing like Justin requires either many years of practice and strenuous exercise or wearing shoes with no grip on a freshly polished, slippery floor.
  9. His shaven head is entirely a fashion choice and is no way related to the curse of male pattern baldness. Definitely.
  10. Justin is very good looking, talented and successful. The bastard.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Music Week 

It's Monday! And, having spent pretty much every night of the last month out and about, spending money that, to be perfectly honest, we don't actually have, we're going to be spending the next week doing bugger all and wondering exactly which of our possessions we can either pawn or exchange for food. Dull though our plans might be, Pop stars are likely to be having a bit more of an exciting time of it, what with their days being filled with glitter, gorgeous people and Gouda cheese. And possibly gonorrhea. To prove this each week we're going to take a look at what various pop types have lined up for the week. First up, Robbie Williams, whose 'interesting' new single Rudebox is out today.

The new record is out today so Rob will be naturally want to commemorate and celebrate this occasion. After all, he only releases half a dozen records to minimal interest as a loss leading advertisement for his overpriced tours each year so it's a very special occasion. Being thoroughly straight in every conceivable way Robbie will be celebrating by going down to the not at all sad, sleazy and pathetic nightclub Stringfellows, where he will spend a good few hours definitely not being gay, before going home by himself, feeling strangely morose and unfulfilled.

Still feeling a bit depressed, Robbie decides to cheer himself up by re-watching the inspiration for his latest single, the movie Ali G In Da House, in which the one dimensional character somehow manages to find himself as an elected politician. After bemoaning the fact that Ali possesses far more depth than he himself ever will, Robbie turns to the further reaches of his DVD collection in a bid to find inspiration for another single. By the time evening comes, a concept album about a creature who is part finger, part mouse, and who can play any instrument at the drop of a hat, as long as he has a slightly odd looking fellow jamming their finger up his arse. As he falls asleep his busy mind is already planning some plausible, yet cheeky, denials for when he gets asked if the album is in anyway autobiographical.

After last night's creative highpoint, Robbie will wake up on a high, feeling full of positivity about what the world may have to offer him. Then his manager phones him up with the midweeks and depression sinks in once again. He retires to bed for the afternoon, though not before phoning up the 3AM girls and making sure they have the full story of his self loathing and misery and how it's just so hard being him as an exclusive in tomorrow's Mirror. And then he phones up Victoria Newton at the Sun so that she has the exclusive as well. And then the Liverpool Echo, just in case it's a slow news day there too.

Robbie rushes out of bed to find out what's been written about him in the papers, then swiftly gets on the phone to the gossip columnists at the Star to complain that he can't say anything without it being quoted in the newspapers. He then turns his attention to the Sudoku, which lasts him for a good hour, 27 minutes of which is spent in blissful ignorance of the fact he has two 9's in the same row.

Evening time and things improve for Rob, as he has his maths evening class. Robbie has really been getting into the world of figures and equations recently, and finds trigonometry to be a favoured pastime these days, in preference to some of the things he used to be into. He's loving angles instead.

Showtime! Robbie's on stage tonight in Leeds and this truly is his chance to shine. There's nothing he loves better than standing on stage, watching as some burly men slot things firmly into place and help erect his showpiece, in preparation for him getting all hot and sweaty when he later performs with gay abandon. The audience, out for their one gig a year, are loved by Robbie just as much as they love him. He probably loves them more, in fact, as they're a bit more fickle and don't need to rely, as he does, on the object of their affection's continued cloth-earedness in order to pay their wages.

Showtime! Again! And it's another performance in Leeds for our Rob. Not that by watching the affair you'd be able to tell the difference as, being the spontaneous, exciting, entertaining showman that he is, aside from a "Hello... Insert name of venue here" at the start of the performance, every single night of the show is identical. This is entirely because Robbie wants to give the very best show he can and so has proven, with the help of top entertainment scientists, that the show he puts out every night is the best that can be offered to the public and to deviate from it in any way, shape or form would be tantamount to cutting off the heads of bunny rabbits live on stage and expecting the audience to enjoy themselves. After leaving the stage Robbie goes for a quick massage to relax. His masseur is from the Nordic lands and, not only is he an expert at relieving tension, he's also a hugely talented chef, and Robbie often enjoys munching down on his Swedish sausage after a gig.

And the main event today for Robbie is not just seeing if there's an entirely believable and in no way made up kiss and tell story about him in the low rent end of the Sunday tabloids, but finding out exactly what position Rudebox got to in the charts. Fortunately for him this should be done and dusted roughly 5 minutes into the chart rundown, leaving with a full evening and a large chunk of the afternoon to weep softly to himself and work out exactly what he's going to do next, before eventually deciding to make hinself feel better by going swimming in his big pool of money, just like Scrooge McDuck.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Back Once Again... 

Anyone there?

Yes, the Fringe is now over - very good, thanks for asking, we saw 66 shows, including Mark Watson's infamous and genius 36 hour show, Simon Amstell and The Krankies, and are now living in fear of the arrival of our next credit card bill - which means that things will be getting back to normal around here, i.e. still not really getting around to updating the site, but without having a valid excuse for our laziness. Oh well!

We'll kick things off properly on Monday with more 10 Things..., more Fashion, more Actual Worst Records, plus some top quality - actual quality of pieces may vary - new features including Music Week, The Hits Half Hour and that S Club 7 thing we promised at the start of the year but never actually got around to writing. Also, once X Factor goes 'live', we'll once again, like a dog returning to its own vomit, be bringing back our X Spot series, but until then - and, indeed, after then as well - you should really be looking at The Bitch Factor for the very best in commentary on the series.

We'll post something funnier and actually worth reading on Monday. Promise.