Talent in a Previous Life

Because It's Never Just About the Music

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

10 Things We State About... 

The nominees for the NME Awards were announced yesterday. If you missed them, here's a quick summary: Boyz rool! Girls suck! Guitars forever!

Anyway, to celebrate this attempt to give the magazine something to write about in January valid date in the awards calendar, here are ten entirely true and in no way made up facts about the NME Awards:-
  1. Oasis have won every category of award the magazine gives out, including best band, best album, and most fanciable female, the latter coming about during a time in Liam's life where he was "confused".
  2. The NME Award is a raised middle finger. This is because the NME still believes that swearing on TV is somehow controversial.
  3. Females are eligible for a number of awards, but aren't allowed to attend the ceremony as they have "cooties" and other forms of girl germs.
  4. The NME Awards were originally set up as it was felt the Brit Awards didn't properly reflect the music scene. Said a spokesman at the time "The Brits give prizes to a lot of terrible bands, and we feel there's a whole genre of awful music they're completely ignoring. We want to give our rubbish music a chance to wither in the spotlight as well".
  5. One of the signs of Armageddon and the general end of the world, as foretold in the Book of Revelation in the bible, is Muse not receiving a nomination for Best Live Band.
  6. The awards are normally hosted by a comedian, although their material tends to fall flat when compared to the jokes who actually receive the prizes.
  7. The Philip Hall Radar award is given to a band who the writing staff feel are exciting and innovative and destined for big things. They will never ever be heard of again.
  8. They also award a prize for "Godlike Genius", which is normally given out ironically to acts who have produced little of any actual worth, but who are a bit old and have the night of the ceremony free.
  9. During the Britpop years, an administration error led to most of the prizes being awarded to Chas & Dave.
  10. They should really bring back the Smash Hits Poll Winners Party, shouldn't they?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Today's The Day 

It's Tuesday the 25th of January and celebrating their birthday by booking emergency Botox treatments today is Alicia Keys. Her judgement is already beginning to fail her, despite only just turning 30 as evidenced when she decided that her chorus section of Empire State of Mind, despite being as boring as an enthusiastic woodworm and full of the sort of passion normally reserved for a song about granite, should be expanded into a song in it's own right.

The number one 5 years ago today was Arctic Monkeys with When the Sun Goes Down, a song entirely based around the realisation that some places are a bit more dangerous at night. It's worth remembering that the Arctic Monkeys were hailed as lyrical geniuses, and with insights like that we're not surprised.

10 years ago it was Limp Bizkit with Rollin', and Fred Durst's "14 year old boy who's just been asked to tidy his room" sulky schtick seemed embarrassing and dated even then. In-between making godawful records, Fred paid the bills by playing the role of Kevin the Teenager in Harry Enfield's sketch shows.

And finally, 20 years ago it was Queen's Innuendo that was propping up the top of the charts. If you're not sure what Queen were like, picture a band fronted by Louis Spence. Only with Louis Spence able to sing. And dance. And not be an irritating twat.

Monday, January 24, 2011

2 Become 1 

...and that's the sort of cutting edge headline that can only be in reference to an equally cutting edge music news story. Yes, we're pleased to announce that Emma Bunton and Jade Jones have got engaged. Apparently. The news was announced on the entirely reliable source of Twitter, but as this is now the 21st century, it only becomes official when she changes her Facebook relationship status to "engaged". (And incidentally, we'd like to recommend the new Beyonce plug in for Facebook. It's exactly the same as normal, but instead of having a "Like" button it has "Put a ring on it".)

While Emma currently earns a living as a judge on Dancing On Ice, a job for which she is as qualified for as we are to be a brain surgeon, you will, of course, know her mainly from her time in the Spice Girls, where she "was" Baby Spice, a role which required her to wear her hair in bunches, dress in little girl-esque clothes, talk about loving her teddy and generally act like someone who wasn't a fully grown adult. This was the late nineties where you could get away with such things, nowadays any record company executive who suggested such a thing would have their house burnt down for being a suspected paedophile before he'd even finished the sentence, but they were more innocent times, before the horrific events in 2001 shocked us all and made us a more troubled and fearful people. We are, of course, referring to Geri Halliwell's cover of It's Raining Men.

On the other hand, you might know her husband to be if... you know him. He's probably the least famous Jade in the world, and we are including the one from the Sugababes in our calculations here. He did have minor pop success in the nineties with the band Damage - don't go to YouTube, it's not worth it - although even then his profile was so negligible that his appearances in magazines - normally with his new fiancee - always included a brief description of who he was, to the extent Emma is going to have to take "From Damage" as her married name.

Still, we wish them all the best, and look forward to the reading the inevitable made up stories about which of her former bandmates doesn't get asked to be a bridesmaid. By the way, our money's on Mel C mainly because tracksuits don't really cut it as wedding wear, even if you use lace for the stripes up the side of each leg.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

10 Things We State About... 

Miniature popstar Avril Lavigne has a new single coming out soon. It's called What The Hell, because Avril is young and rebellious and so full of attitude that she might as well be a WH Smith's opposite a gay bar. And because she's not allowed to use the word "fuck". Despite loving Avril in a way that makes Romeo and Juliet seem like a tale of mild infatuation, we're officially "unsure" about it, but we reckon it's probably s grower and at least it's miles better than the song she did for the Alice in Wonderland soundtrack. Although as the sound of a million kittens yowling in agony would have sounded better, that's not really saying much. Still, to celebrate her return, here are 10 entirely true and in no way made up facts about the entirely true and in no way made up concept of hell:-
  1. Sarte once claimed that "Hell is other people". Amazingly, he said this 60 years before the existence of Take Me Out.
  2. Hell is popularly depicted as being a land filled with fire, and there are few horrifying ways of spending the afterlife than being forced to listen to that godawful Kasabian song for all eternity.
  3. Many metal bands are heavily influenced by traditional imagery of hell, although the cover art is rarely as disturbing as either the music within, or the sight of the t-shirt stretched to bursting point over the metal fan's more than ample gut.
  4. Also, the fondness of metal bands to pledge their allegiance to Satan happily disproved the theory that the devil has all the best tunes.
  5. Many people think that the soundtrack to hell is Chris Moyles' Breakfast Show on a constant loop. They're wrong, even the devil isn't that cruel.
  6. If you're of the female persuasion, its unlikely you'll go to hell as, famously, while good girls go to heaven, bad girls go everywhere. Bad boys, on the other hand, is a disappointing action film starring Will Smith and Martin Lawrence.
  7. Hell is where you go if you're bad, though not in the Michael Jackson sense. Mind you, Michael Jackson eould clearly have gone to hell regardless.
  8. Neil Hannon named his band after Dante's Divine Comedy, a satire that described who would be held in each circle of hell and the punishments that would be meted out to them. The lyrics for National Express were taken directly from the appendix.
  9. AC/DC were keen to let the world know they were on the highway to hell. Dressing up as a school boy when you're a fully grown adult does tend to out you in the fast lane to eternal damnation. Especially if you try and enrol in your local secondary.
  10. The tendency of an iPhone to correct "hell" to "he'll" is a right bugger when you're trying to write something like this.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Sale of The Century 

Sony and Universal have come up with with a groundbreaking idea that is guaranteed to shake the world of music to it's very foundations. We recommend that you sit down before we break this earth shattering news to you. Are you ready? Ok. Here we go.

They're going to start selling songs a bit earlier than they used to.

You might want to take a moment to let the enormity of this news sink in. It's hard to imagine what this brave new world is going to be like. We hope there aren't going to be any riots.

Yes, the latest big idea to "save" the music industry - which must be doing alright if they can afford to pay people to come up with such blatantly obvious moves as this - is to let people buy tracks on the sane day as they're released to radio, which is big news for people who want a copy of the song the minute they've heard it, but would prefer one without Chris Moyles babbling incoherently over the end of it which is normally your only option before the official release date. Uh, we'd imagine.. This is being hyped up as a major change, but in reality the only actual difference will be that millions of people will be able to ignore Matt Cardle's follow up single the instant they hear it, rather than having to wait a week to do so. Which by our reckoning will shorten his fifteen minutes of fame down to about eleven, so at least some good will come of it.

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Ex Factor 

Louis Walsh has been claiming that Cheryl Cole and Simon Cowell won't be returning to the X Factor this year as they'll be making more money doing the more lucrative American version whatever unbelievable cover story they've yet to come up with. Of course, this story should be taken with a pinch of salt as even the caterers are more likely to get insider gossip than Louis - he has to rely on Heat's TV guide to tell him when the show goes back on the air - but assuming it is true, who's likely to fill Cheryl's big shoes and Simon's even bigger trousers in the judging hot seats? After all, it's not an easy job to convincingly declare that a half arsed piece of by the numbers is "the performance of the night", and not everyone can pull off that look of worried concern that Cheryl does so well. (Although if you want to give it a shot, just imagine you can smell dog shit, but aren't entirely sure where it's coming from.) Here's a lookout some of the potential contenders:-

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Sunday, January 16, 2011

The PG Factor 

JLS are apparently planning on making a movie. We presume this is entirely for artistic reasons and not an attempt to take what little pocket money their young, uncritical fanbase have left after spending all their cash on JLS dolls, posters and specially branded dildos. This momentous film is unlikely to trouble the Oscar committee - other than in the sense that they may find the fact it actually exists troubling - but even so it will probably sell a ridiculous amount of tickets, even if those tickets are divided amongst the same small group of people who will go and see it again and again, presumably in a desperate search for some sort of subtext. We're never ones to shy away from a blatant money making opportunity here at Talent in a Previous Life, and are going to submit our own half-baked script for the project. Which will still be a lot more baked than the final film will be. As a taster, here's an exclusive look at our very own pitch for JLS: The Club Is Alive:-

Tired of their pop star lifestyles and wanting to do something a bit more productive, JLS have quit and have decided to open up their very own pest control business. Sadly it's not proving to be a success. It's another quiet day at JLS: Exterminations, based in Hove. Unused equipment can be seen scattered around the office, while Marvin, Oritsé and JB stare hopefully at the phones, willing them to ring. "This is ridiculous!", cried Oritsé in an anguished voice. JB stopped twiddling his thumbs for a second and looked angrily over at him. "Shush!", he said crossly, You'll wake little baby Aston if you're not careful!". Little baby Aston, the adopted child of JLS was sleeping in his high chair, unconsciously sucking his thumb, his youthful innocence untroubled by all the commotion.

"Sorry", said Oritsé, glad that little baby Aston hadn't been awoken by his outburst, "But it is ridiculous".

"What is?", asked Marvin, "The fact our extermination business hasn't had a job in weeks? The fact we're so poor we'd be walking around naked if my sister wasn't kind enough to provide us with her old tops for us to wear? Or is it the fact that we insist on dressing in colour coded clothing, despite the fact we're fully grown adults and not actually taking part in a game show?"

"No, it's not that", said Oritsé uncomfortably fingering his low cut top, "It's my name. It's a right bugger to spell".

Marvin was about to respond to this, but fortunately for the film's rating he was interrupted by the phone ringing before he could let loose a volley of cuss words. The three men leapt towards it, while little baby Aston let out a whimper and soiled himself in his sleep. JB was the first to get to it and eagerly picked up the receiver. "You've reached Just Louse Solutions, how can I help you? ... Yes? ... Yes? ... It's not rats is it? Only we don't deal with rats. We only deal with louses. It says so in our name" - At this point Marvin groaned, convinced that one of the main reasons for their lack of success is the pest control business was JB's insistence on only dealing with louse infestations, for no other reason than it was the best acronym he could come up with - "OK, we'll be right there.". He hung up the phone. "Guys, get the van. We're going to Destiny's nightclub. It's an emergency!."

"Why?!", asked Oritsé, "What's the problem?"

Marvin struck a dramatic pose in front of a flattering lighting effect. "The club is alive! With cockroaches!"

There was a pause. "Oh. Fair enough", said Oritsé, and he sauntered out towards the van.

* * * * *

The boys are in the van, heading towards Destiny's. Little Baby Aston is safely strapped in the car seat and is gurgling happily, while JB and Oritsé argue about whether a cockroach actually is a type of louse or not. Marvin is driving and brings up something that's been bothering him since the call. "Um, guys...", he said nervously, "How exactly do you kill a cockroach?".

JB was quick to take charge of the situation. "It's easy! All you do is grab your cockroach stick..." - he gestured towards the back of the van - "...and beat them. And if that doesn't work then you just have to beat again. Just beat again". He demonstrated with a beating motion which, like a certain Wii advert, made it look like he was enthusiastically masturbating. Marvin looked uncomfortable but tried not to think about it as he pulled up outside the club while JB continued doing his own brand of pulling. The boys piled out of the van, with Oritsé carrying little baby Aston - who was clutching a teddy bear - and they looked at the battleground ahead of them. This was going to get messy. Which at least was traditional for Destiny's, being the sort of club where people are refused entry for being too sober and the stench of vomit stinks more than a Justin Bieber album.

The manager greeted the band and explained the situation to them. Pausing only to leave little baby Aston safely in his office, where the manchild amused himself by playing with a cardboard box, JLS walked into the club, nervously clutching their cockroach sticks and jumping at the sound of each insectoid scuttle. "There's one!", cried JB, lashing out wildly with his stick. "Another!", shouted Oritsé, whacking the ground like his life depended on it. Marvin was terrified, it was like a nightmare. All around him were cockroaches. They were everywhere! Oritsé and JB were less concerned and were soon surrounded by piles of cockroach corpses. Oritsé was impressed by JB's enthusiastic whacking style, which hadn't stopped since he started demonstrating it in the van. It certainly appeared to be more effective than Oritsé's own technique, as not only was JB creating a pile of dead cockroaches, they also appeared to be covered in a sticky looking substance that he could only assume was cockroach blood, despite its unusual colour. Marvin couldn't take the fear and the bloodshed any more and ran and hid in a corner of the dancefloor where he held his cockroach stick protectively in front of him and softly sobbed to himself.

Soon, it was all over. Oritsé and JB were tired and sweaty, they'd even taken their tops off in an entirely non gratuitous fashion. There were no cockroaches left. Well, no alive ones anyway. Marvin slowly began to stand and was about to rejoin his bandmates when he suddenly froze in fear. Out of the corner of his eye he could see one last cockroach, and it was coming straight towards him. "Guys!", he screamed. Like a girl. "Guys! It's coming to get me! You have to help me!!!!".

JB and Oritsé heard his shouts and saw the danger, but they were unable to do anything. "I can't help!", shouted JB, "I've just gone blind! And the palms of my hands have gone all hairy!". "For some unknown reason!", he added, unconvincingly. Oritsé had his own problems to deal with. "I can't come over either", he shouted, in what he hoped was a reassuring way, "But if you die I promise I will come to your funeral. Unfortunately I've just noticed a stray chest hair and I've got to wax it off immediately!" and with that he pulled out his emergency tub of veet and got straight to work.

"Oh god!", Marvin gibbered. He was going to have to do this himself. He thought back to the advice from the van and tried to gather together his frayed nerves. "Icantdothis, icantdothis, icantdothis" he muttered to himself as he prepared to die. The cockroach was getting nearer and nearer, its antennae wobbling in a way that may have been aggression or may just have been due to vibrations, it was hard to tell, what with it being a cockroach and, as such, not really capable of expressing any emotions.

Even with his blindness, JB could tell Marvin was in trouble. He did his best to ignore the distracting throb of pain between his legs and tried to focus on the problem. "Think of Little baby Aston!", he shouted, "Just do it! Kill the cockroach! Remember, you only get One Shot!". Marvin heard him, and the realisation cut through him like a knife. Of course he had to do it for little baby Aston! The kid needed a father figure - or as close as it was possible to get to one with the members of JLS - he had to show him what it meant to be a man. While he was thinking this, the cockroach saw its moment and started to run towards him. Or scuttle faster. Whatever it is cockroaches do. We're not experts. Suddenly there was a scream, then silence. "Oh god!", wept JB as he heard it, "The cockroach got Marvin!".

"Uh, no", said a sheepish Oritsé, "That was me. I just pulled the wax off and it kinda stung"

Marvin ignored their exchange. Aggression was building up inside him and he'd never felt this way before. Suddenly it was all too much and it spilled over like an F1 winners champagne bottle, or JB after a particularly enthusiastic session. WHACK! WHACK! WHACK! WHACK! Marvin hit the ground harder than he'd ever hit anything before, with a hardness that was the exact opposite of the soft nature of his band's recorded output. WHACK! WHACK! WHACK! WHACK! He hit and hit and hit until the cockroach was dead. "I did it!" he yelled triumphantly. WHACK! WHACK WHACK! WHACK! Marvin looked confused, as he'd already thrown his stick away in triumph, until he looked across and saw JB, who was unable to resist any longer. WHACK! WHACK! WHACK! went JB. WHACK! WHACK WHACK!

The boys left the club, accompanied by the manager, who was thanking them profusely. "The whole town are going to be grateful for this. Without us they'd have nowhere to fight on a Friday night. And it's not just my business you've saved. Every chemist who provides the morning after pill owes you a debt of gratitude.", and to prove a point, as they stepped out on to the street the entire population of Hove was there to greet them. They cheered and chanted and acted like seeing JLS in the flesh was the best thing to ever happen to them. Which it quite possibly was. And as one, everybody in hove puts their hands up. The boys exchange a smug grin and the screen fades to black. The end.

NOTE: The premise has been written to incorporate JLS hits into the screenplay, but it's so subtle that it won't spoil the narrative thread. If it's felt that the target audience may be turned off by a script which is, admittedly, largely cockroach based, then these can be replaced by puppies, which the audience may find cuter. Although please bear in mind that teenage girls may find the prospect of their pop idols bludgeoning puppies to death even more distressing.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Brits The Best They Can Do 

Of course, one of the downsides about restarting this site is that we feel obliged to cover the celebration of mediocrity that is the Brit Awards. But, after his disastrous attempt at co-hosting it a couple of years ago, at least we won't have to sit through James Corden running through his limited repertoire of comedy stylings - which consist entirely of laughing at his own "jokes", hugging people, and pointing out that he's a bit chubby - so that's something and... what?... seriously?... he's doing it again?!... that's already a better joke than anything he's going to come up with... Anyway! The nominees were announced last night, and they're the usual mix of a) acts who had one big hit at the end of last year so are fresh in the judges minds, b) acts who released their albums at the tail end of 2009 and who the panel, with their fingers on the cutting edge of music, have only just heard of, c) American stars who might actually make the ceremony worth watching and d) Paul Weller. Let's have a look at who are going to be putting on their sparkly frocks and practicing their best "I wanted them to win anyway" face next month:-

British Male Solo Artist

There's a school of thought that suggests that men are becoming increasingly irrelevant to modern society and, that once genetics reaches a point where it's possible to artificially create sperm, they will become an evolutionary curiosity and nothing more. This shortlist does little to disprove this theory.

British Female Solo Artist

Although the above doesn't exactly make the prospect of an all female future seem particularly enticing either. Ellie Goulding is only there because they gave her the Critics Choice award last year and so have to pretend that they were right to do so, while Cheryl Cole is there because she knows people who can arrange for other people to disappear. They're called magicians, mind, but don't spoil it for her. We hope Paloma Faith gets it. Not because she's any good, but because if they give her some sort of prize she might stop re-releasing New York every couple of months in the vain hope that people might not notice it's a crock of irredeemable shit this time around.

British Breakthrough Act

The Brits organisers really need to send their dictionary back to the shop and get a more up to date version of it, as whatever their definition of "Breakthrough" is, it's wrong.

British Group

And don't Take That look incongruous in that list? They will win it, of course, not because they are the best, but because their presence will garner slightly more coverage than the hairy one from Biffy Clyro. Well, the hairier one.

British Single

Florence, of course, did a version of You've Got The Love with Dizzee Rascal at last year's Brit Awards, so this shows how exciting and bleeding edge this list is. We presume it's still based on the best selling singles of the last year so, frankly, you only have yourselves to blame.

British Album of the Year

Albums really are a dying format, aren't they?

International Male Solo Artist

Someone, somewhere is currently trying to explain to a confused Bruce Springsteen what a Brit Award is and exactly why he's considered to be eligible for one.

International Female Solo Artist

The Brits organisers are obliged to include Kylie Minogue in the International Female shortlist every year due to an obscure piece of legislation passed in the dying days of the John Major government as "a bit of a laugh".

International Breakthrough Act

The Glee Cast? Seriously?! Glee is ace and all that, but the only awards they should be up for are either any television related ones or, failing that, services to autotune.

International Group

The only way The Script should be included here would be if it really was nothing more than a list of international groups without any regard to merit. And even then you'd be forgiven for failing to include them.

International Album

So the MTV VMAs aren't the only awards ceremony to unthinkingly give nominations to Eminem, regardless of the quality of hi actual product. Although the Brits are the only awards ceremony to do the same to Kings of Leon.

British Producer

Because even big award ceremonies need to provide a suitable toilet break for the punters.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

6 Chords Under 

As happens every year at this time, a report comes out claiming that "Rock is dead", because some other genre has the whit to realise that there is more to music than just guitars and so appeals to people whose life didn't begin and end in the sixties and sells a lot more because of this. Sadly this isn't true and, like a horror movie monster, rock has a habit of coming back again and again, dumber and more derivative with each passing resurgence. Not that the inaccuracy of the story bothered the BBC, who were quick to open up a Have Your Say topic on the subject, believing that the right wing, socially inadequate nut jobs who populate this forum might have some relevant views on the current music scene. Unsurprisingly, they were very, very wrong.

The views on display didn't exactly demonstrate a great variety of thought. There were those who blame the entire problem on "Teenage girls" liking things they don't, and it's unclear whether most of the vehmence on display was because they were teenage or, worse, girls. There where the borderline racists who bemoaned the prevalance of rap and R&B, happily ignoring the fact that most guitar music was appropriated from black culture in the first place. There were those who felt that going to see the same unknown metal band play the same songs over and over again to the same audience year after year somehow made their tastes better than those who were prepared to try new things. And that was it. The lack of imagination in their views was equivalent to that in their taste in music.

We've said this before, and we'll say it again: Dance while the record spins. But we've also said that the sooner the generation that deifies the Beatles dies out the better things are going to be culturally. They were big 50 years ago. 50! That's the equivalent of people in the 60s still being fans of music from the pre-war years. Things have moved on and things have changed and you're welcome to still stick to the view that everything was better when we didn't have synthesisers and the only purpose of girls in music was to look pretty and dance in the background while the only purpose of black people were to lug the equpiment around, but don't act like your outdated views have any sort of relevance in the 21st century. This refusal to let rock die has already given us one Oasis and one Darkness. Lets not make those mistakes again.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

10 Things We State About... 

Rihanna has, according to the charts people, just achieved some sort of unique and historical feat by having had 5 number ones on consecutive years in months that end in R whilst possessing breasts, or something similarly convoluted. It's the sort of pointlessness that has been publicised only to desperately remind people that the charts still exist and in some way matter and as achievements go, even the biggest Xbox gamer points whore would probably not consider it worth the effort. Still, with nothing better to wrote about it's the hook we're hanging this feature on, so here are ten entirely true and in no way made up facts about the ruby haired reveller:-
  1. Despite her young age, tragically Rihanna suffers from Alzheimer's. She bravely documented her struggle with the disease in her recent hit What's My Name?
  2. Sales of umbrellas rocketed when her song of the same name was a hit. As did the popularity of the name "Ella". And the choice of hay for a horse's dinner.
  3. Rihanna plans to one day create a nightmarish half marsupial, half human crossbreed. Her disturbing desire to create this freak of nature and abomination is chronicled in her hit Roo-boy.
  4. Being the only girl in the world is unlikely to resemble that envisioned by Rihanna, but would be more akin to that of the "gang bang" genre of porn films.
  5. Rihanna is sometimes known as "Ri-Ri", as in "Has she Ri-Ri done that to her hair?"
  6. Before becoming a pop superstar, Rihanna worked as a sleep specialist and it was there that she met Eminem after he sought help for his insomnia. After much investigation, she realised that the problem was his awkward position as he stretched out on the mattress. She offered him a number of tips to correct this and now, while at first she was shocked by it, she loves the way he lies. She has never written a song about this.
  7. She was the star of the 2009 low budget zombie movie, Rihanna-mation.
  8. As made clear in her 2007 album, Rihanna is the archetypal Good Girl Gone Bad. Which is why you should always follow the storage instructions for pop stars carefully, or freeze them on the day of purchase.
  9. Before playing SOS, radio stations have to phone up the local emergency services to advise them that this is not an actual distress call and that they don't need to come to their aid. Failure to adhere to this law results in a stern telling off and being forced to play a Michael Buble record.
  10. When we next check our emails, we will probably seriously regret having the words "gang bang", "porn" and "Rihanna" in the same sentence.

Monday, January 10, 2011

A Hard Day's Night 

There's been another pointless survey - not that there's any other kind - and this has come to the conclusion that the hardest working artist in the UK is Peter Andre. Yes, that one.

Now, while it undoubtedly takes a certain amount of effort to avoid just slitting your wrists there and then as you run through Mysterious Girl for the umpteenth time this year, it's hard to equate this with the sort of grind put in by jobbing musicians every weekend, playing reasonably competent cover versions to pubs half filled with disinterested punters. Indeed, given the bulk of padding that makes up his setlist, the only real difference between their gigs and Andre's is the quality of the light show and the fact Peter's bass player is unlikely to have to pause every ten minutes to let someone squeeze past him to get to the toilets.

Runners up in this entirely scientific and verifiable list were Status Quo, which just goes to show that the provision of pensions in this country really isn't acceptable if they're still forced to go out and work at their age. It's unclear at this time whether their position here is based entirely on gigs, or whether their earnings from their shifts at B&Q have been included to bulk up the figures.

Third were JLS, who now have no excuse for saving money by buying misshapen shirts that lack adequate material in the front, while fourth place went to Westlife, which is fair enough as standing up every time you hear a key change can really take it out of you. Bringing up the rear is Rod Stewart, who still believes that performing Sailing and pretending to be Scottish is an acceptable way to earn a living. This survey was carried out by PRS, who apparently have nothing better to do and are unlikely to be troubling the compilers of this year's list of hardest working businesses.

Friday, January 07, 2011

Dude Looks Like a Lady 

Jessie J has won the BBC's Sound of 2011 poll, in as much as you can "win" any award that has previously gone to Ellie Goulding, Corinne Bailey Rae and The Bravery. And it's good to see the Beeb sticking their necks out and picking the sort of obscure artist who's been all over the radio like a surprisingly enjoyable rash, has already had a top 40 hit and who's been earning a crust writing for such struggling and unknown acts as Miley Cyrus. Still, it's hard to argue with their choice - even if we're having a damned good go at it - as Do It Like A Dude is all kinds of rumbly sass pop aceness, and we're fortunate here at Talent in a Previous Life as Jessie has kindly taken time out if her busy schedule to put together a guide for any lady who wants to know how she can convince people that she is of the male persuasion, so join us as we proudly present Jessie J's Guide to Doing It Like a Dude. Enjoy.

Wotcha, geezer! I'm Jessie J, although you could be forgiven for thinking I was actually James J, so convincing is my crotch grabbing, low hat wearing manly persona. I know a lot of ladies out there would like to do it like a dude too, maybe you're thinking about beginning a lucrative career as a drag king, or perhaps you just want to get paid the same as a male colleague doing the same job, what with it being the 21st century and all that. No matter what your reasons are, whether they're kinky or simply an elaborate, unconvincing cover story to cover up the kinkiness of your ambitions, I'm here to help, so here are a few tips and tricks that will make you as convincing a representation of masculinity as Finn from Glee. Which reminds me...:-

Thursday, January 06, 2011


HMV is struggling. Again. HMV struggles more than a straitjacketed swimmer, but despite the inevitability of it's demise it refuses to just give up and let the business drown, which either demonstrates a stunning commitment to selling music or the sort of business acumen which would have Evan Davis laughing you off the show before you even got a chance to enter the Dragon's Den. HMV are specifically struggling this time around as millions of people eschewed buying their loved ones a DVD for Christmas this year, preferring instead to buy something that actually had some thought put into it, and as a direct result will be closing down 40 branches across the country in a bid to keep it's head above the water just long enough to lurch to whatever the next crisis happens to be. Despite this, it's unlikely these closures will have a major effect on the music industry, as it's business model is now based entirely on selling Take That albums and as long as their are supermarkets to stock those, they'll carry on regardless.

Part of the problem is that people simply don't buy CDs any more, and are reluctant to waste a tenner on a piece of plastic which may, in all likelihood, contain 45 minutes of music by JLS. As this is 42 JLS packed minutes more than anyone could legitimately want, it's unsurprising that people aren't willing to take that risk, preferring instead to download their tunes from various sites with differing attitudes towards legality, judging that the possibility of getting their laptop infected by a virus is preferable to unintentionally paying good money for The Club is Alive.

So what can HMV do to counteract this trend and avoid going to the great High Street in the sky, ending up as anachronistic a concept as coal deliveries and casual racism? Bugger all. Which may not be the most constructive advice, but is at least a lot cheaper than the teams of management consultants who seem to believe that getting the stores to sell some crappy band t-shirts and poor quality own brand electronics is the key to the company's successful future. Sometimes, no matter how much you might love it, it's time to put the sick old dog down. Bye, Nipper. You won't feel a thing...

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

10 Things We State About... 

Yeah, we're bringing this back as well. No-one ever said we were original.

Rumours are abounding that Abba are about to reform. Of course, rumours about Abba reforming abound so often that they are now considered to be a lucrative source of rubber by the Goodyear tyre company, and their appearance have an unusual tendency to coincide with Mamma Mia DVD releases or the umpteenth reissue of Abba Gold, so it's likely that these rumours carry about as much weight as Taylor Swift holding a helium balloon. Still, as long as there are hen nights, there will always be a market for Abba records, so to celebrate here are ten entirely true and in no way made up facts about Sweden's national songsmiths:-
  1. Abba is an acronym of the babd's initials: Attractive, Beardy, Beardy, Ah Well.
  2. Sweden recently replaced it's programme of National Service with one year's forced conscription in an Abba tribute band. Despite this they still struggle to meet the demand.
  3. Cartoon character Fred Flinstone was a massive Abba fan, which was evidenced every week when he'd shout out his well known catchphrase: "I bloody love Abba, me"
  4. Chess, the musical written by Bjorn and Benny, was intended as a sequel to Mousetrap.
  5. Quoting the lyrics of Waterloo in their entirety guarantees you a place studying History at Oxford.
  6. It is always hilarious, upon seeing a plate of canapés, to point at them and start singing "Voul au vent!" to the tune of Voulez Vous.
  7. All of Abba's songs were based on the A-B-B-A chord progression.
  8. They failed to win any Oscars for Abba: The Movie, despite feeling confident of getting a nod for Best Supporting Band.
  9. Mamma Mia is banned in Italy as it's believed to perpetuate racist stereotypes. his decision was made by culture secretary Mario Luigi whilst having a plate of-a spicy meatballs.
  10. And look, we managed to get through this entire piece without lazily mentioning Eurovision. Ah, shit.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Art Bitch 

According to the internet, the below is the best album cover of 2010:-

Which, if nothing else, proves that the internet really does love anything with a picture of a cat plastered upon it.

This survey, which we're sure was entirely legitimate and carried out to an auditable standard, was commisioned by Art Vinyl, a company who specialise in selling frames you can put your records into. Essentially their business model involves selling bog standard square frames for twice the price you can normally buy them for, so it's no surprise that they're resorting to this sort of guff to desperately promote their snakewater store. If you're unsure whether this is the sort of product you should be spending your money on, bear in mind that their website genuinely claims that the pointless act of sticking your favourite record to the wall allows you to "experience more pleasure" from your music.

Of course, album art is an odd thing these days. Regardless of how much time and effort is spent on it, it's more likely to be viewed shrunken down to a handful of pixels in the corner of iTunes. Or, if ours is anything to go by, regularly replaced by a picture of some hairy looking band who's album happens to share one word - normally "the" - with the album we've just uploaded. Indeed, we're now convinced that most artists have eschewed artwork altogether and just use the "Drag Artwork Here" logo to save a bit of money.

Still, we're sure the Klaxons must be very proud. After all, it's not like they're going to get many other prizes for that particular album...

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Predictive Texting 

(If you're reading this, SHHH! We're not officially back, just thinking about it, For the next month or so we're going to try writing some stuff for the site and see whether our enthusiasm for actually relaunching the site wanes with the reality of actually thinking of funny things to say. This way if it's a disaster then only we'll know about it and can happily pretend the whole sorry affair hasn't happened. So, y'know, keep it under your hat. Ta!)

It is, once again, the future. And with the prospects of massive unemployment, hitherto unknown levels of cuts and belt tightening on the sort of scale that is likely to split the skinniest of celebs into two separate entities, a bit like a worm, 2011 is looking about as glittering as Jedward's awards cabinet. But even if things are looking as bright as the combined IQ of anyone who ever has and, indeed, ever will be in Hollyoaks, things are still going to happen and here are just a few of what we reckon those things will be:-