January 29, 2007

Caught Up In A Whirlwind

Tomorrow night I'll be at the hottest show in NYC - at Irving Plaza for Paul Weller's special evening of Style Council music (read about it here). I don't have time for a proper Style Council post, but if you think of Paul only as the Modfather or a Dadrocker, know that he did some great pop in the 80's...

The Style Council My Ever Changing Moods live video
An essential song of the 80's, this is the acoustic version from their first full-length. You may know the jauniter 12" version. This was the point at which the former modster woke up and said, "Hey, I sound black! I should do something more soulful!"

The Style Council Speak Like A Child video
Exhilirating! One night in 1998 I was happily walking alone in Edinburgh and a bar was blasting this track. It was one of those moments where you know you are truly happy.

The Style Council Changing Of The Guard video
From their last real album Confessions Of A Pop Group, a white-blond Paul goes regally orchestral. That's PW's ex wife, Dee C Lee, on the duet.

Frankie say No War.

My friend Jason went to the antiwar march (while I was, err, in my house being a lazy fuck) and he took the picture above. Meanwhile my friend Jim sent me some quotes from a Norman Mailer interview at Critical Mass:

Well, the huge shock I felt when that war started was the willful blindness of people who were intelligent enough to know what they were getting into. And the idiocy of the people who didn*t know what they were getting into --like our God-fearing president. You have a country that for 30 years --leave out its tribal history, its 1300 years of religious divisions between Sunnis and Shia -- has been living under a monster. A minor monster. But what does it mean to live in a fascist dictatorship? It means that if you are interested in protecting your family, you may have to betray a friend.In other words, it's almost impossible to live in a fascist dictatorship without being filled with shame in one way or other. And if you're a person of any strength that shame is transmuted into anger. And so we are going to come in, with our blithe view, our young view, that you take democracy and inject it into a country? You liberate a country and inject it with democracy and all will be well. Whereas what they are looking for is not democracy but revenge. They are looking on life with fury. They are looking to rid themselves of shame, which they can't get by dipping their finger in a bottle of ink..

To compare Saddam Hussein to Hitler is the kind of thinking you would do in an eighth grade civics class. You can absolutely quote me on this: I really think the level of intellectuality in George Bush's mind is comparable to the mind of some mediocre teacher who instructs eighth grade pupils in civics. He's a civics teacher at a middling level, at a dreary middling level.

January 27, 2007

Unseen Dancing Queen

From the Confessions DVD/CD out on Tuesday the 30th...

Madonna Paradise

Paradise is one of Madonna's more sophisticated songs. Not for the masses. The staging looked beautiful live, with all the cherry blossoms. She herself hasn't looked so good in years... it's not all airburshing. [Hi Varant!]

Madonna Lucky Star

Imagine Stuart Price producing early Madonna and that is what this is. Also a mashup with Hung Up. Madonna told Jo Whiley on Wednesday that her next album will be "more dancing." No complaints from me, though I doubt it will be out in 2007.

Madonna Drowned World

Lowkey version. Note that this clip may be slow to load. Just pause it and let it load, then press play again. [Pay attention Jim Collins, here is your song!]

Madonna Sorry Interlude

I have a concert rip of this that I work out to all the time. I love it when it really starts to slam around 2:00. Non-namedropping trivia: Included in the projections was a man who once (1994) asked XO how he felt about libraries disappearing! He was wrong about that and more importantly, Iraq. I don't think he is visible in this version.

2007: Reasons to live

Which of these records will be in my Top Ten Albums for 2007? This year is looking very good for new music...

Sophie Ellis Bextor Trip The Light Fantastic MAY

Patrick Wolf The Magic Position FEB

Lorraine Pop Noir may actually come out!

Lucky Soul The Great Unwanted MAR read about it here

Tracey Thorn Out Of The Woods MAR a masterpiece!

Rufus Wainwright Release The Stars MAY

Just Jack Overtones JAN 29 solid album

The Hours Narcissus Road FEB 7 for fans of The Upper Room

Mika Life In Cartoon Motion FEB 7

Mark Ronson The Version FEB?

Siobhan Donaghey Ghosts MAY

Courtney Love How Dirty Girls Get Clean still recording

Crowded House Time On Earth yes, official title!

Maxwell Black Summer's Night (pt. 1)

Eddi Reader Peacetime FEB 7 sorta folky

Sarah Nixey Sing, Memory FEB 7 superb!

Air Pocket Symphony MAR 5 mixed response to this one

Aqualung Memory Man pop rock with flourishes

Trademark Raise The Stakes

Brett Anderson (ex Suede) Brett Anderson MAR 19

Manic Street Preachers Send Away The Tigers great title!

Marc Almond Stardom Road covers CD

Dionne Faris Signs Of Life myspace

GoodBooks TBA

The B52's TBA yes, you are seeing that

Tori Amos TBA

Melody Club Scream

Mutya Buena TBA

Travis The Boy with No Name

Here are some artists likely to release records in late 2007, I hope...

The Ark, Bjork, Annie, Dangerous Muse, Hard Fi, Kylie Minogue, Whitney Houston, Annie Lennox, Matinee Club (aka The Modern), Coldplay (Eno-produced!), Athlete, Stephen Duffy/Lilac Time, Goldfrapp (recording now!), Seal, Duran Duran, Simply Red, Toni Childs, Martha Davis (ex Motels), Chilli (ex TLC), Leslie Feist, Alicia Keys, The Postal Service, Radiohead, Roxy Music, Sugababes

Now what did I forget?

January 25, 2007

XOvision v.2

Brett Anderson Love Is Dead

Not the actual video, but an acoustic preview of the ex-Suede man's solo debut. It's pretty, has a melody and - 15 years on! - he can still sing. I dig the Plastic peeepoooohh! bit. Dig this: Suede's Coming Up is one of the most glorious, glam records of the 90's, so if you don't know it, buy it!

Siobhan Donaghy Don't Give It Up

Siobhan is an ex-Sugababe who's not a cookie cutter pop chick. Clearly she likes old Kate Bush tunes because there is a heavy dose of Trio Bulgarka-iness to this new song. Pretty song, pretty video, pretty girl. PopJustice says the sampler is fantastique. I just noticed that everyone is putting this up - that's okay. It's cool!

Client Zerox Machine

Mmmmh, I know it is spelled wrong, but you have to love of a song that has the word copyright repeated numerous times. My Dubstar girl proves - like Brett - that 90's Britpop stars don't have to suck (a la Our Kid Liam G!), they just evolve. This is an Adam Ant cover, glammed up and stomping.

Skanky backdoor cunts and other pop media news!

That kid above reminds me of a young Paul Weller. I'll explain soon why I am pondering The Cappucino Kid (PW) these days.

Update: I keep forgetting to say I love Talia Kraines at Londonist. We share a desire for intelligent pop music and she's super cute. She's currently featuring Client. Go Talia! She also has a blog here.

Update: Anyone can comment now. You don't have to have a google login. I'll change it back if people are bitchy! ;)

Madonnatribe has the booklet for the new Madge CD/DVD package.

My Lorraine rant, which I took all the way to PopJustice, seemed to have worked. Lorraine have posted non-news on their website that they have big things planned. Snooze. Details please.

See Lost In The 80's bit on the gayness of Billy Squire. His Ed Grimley reference is RIGHT ON. Didn't people thnk he was a sexy cockrocker at the time? Fucking hilarious!

I luv'D'luv's post on his pussies, complete with thigh shot.

Aria of Pop, it seems to me you lived your life like a candle in the wind. What happened? Your blog was so good and then.. gone! This is why I take my time linking blogs. Update! He's back with Synth Me Spaghetti.

PopJustice is so very right about the new group Trademark. Lorraine fans can focus on this while that band twiddles in the shop. Hear all the album samples here - sounds quite good.

Tremble Clef is back, post audience with XOLondon, to muse on Mika's hard lollipop.

"Patrique" Wolf. The mysteriously vacant promotion of his album is sort of like a sex act where the orgasm is screwed up by one false move. I'll never understand why it takes labels so long to work an album. They need to speed it up.

Message to Peter Robinson: I have joined the Sarah Nixey Army that would like to see Mark Lodge's Strangelove mix on your next compilation, if there is one. No pressure!

Katherine McPhee looks shiteous on her album cover. What is she wearing?

I don't think Paolo Nutella will ever have to sleep alone. Album out in the US next week btw.

And I am telling you Tricky got this close to Bouncey Knowles in Londoninium.

I love love love that Rachael Ray comment that Angelina Jolie is "a skanky, backdoor cunt." What a fucking riot.

Keane go mad and PopJustice has its funniest post in ages.

photo from Hedi Slimane's blog.

Hurry up Tori, I am getting squirmy

Tori Amos and drummer Matt Chamberlain in the studio in June 2006.
We think Tori will do her hair prior to release.

January 24, 2007


They cling to your iPod earbuds.

Why? Because we need them.

Combien? $3.95 per set from futuronomie.

January 23, 2007

Off topic: A rant of my own

Okay, is it just me or has American pop media finally broken loose into sickening exploitation?

I mean, it had already. You've got Lindsay Lohan emailing the press from rehab with updates (er, isn't that part of her problem?). Her mother should be jailed for neglect and abuse. Sorry, that is how I feel....We've got that manic dude from Grey's Anatomy screaming faggot on TV [now running in a loop on news shows!] while the victim of the nasty speech looks on mortified. Where I work, he would have been fired on the spot.... We've got Nicole Richie, emaciated and driving down the wrong side of the road, promoting her general nothingness.... There's American Idol devolving into sick cruelty, putting crazy (and actual autistic) people on TV and laughing at them. Thank you, Just Jack, for Starz In Their Eyes... And let me save the best for last: the sickening exploitation of fatherless little Bindi Irwin on Access Hollywood and every other news show. Maybe her mother thinks she is helping Bindi deal with her loss, but I'd say that whole family is living on the edge.

Sorry to be so negative/harsh. We seem to be in a holding pattern with music this week. It will change! We're waiting on Sarah Nixey, Tracey Thorn, Tori and Sophie E-B (not to mention Courtney, ironically) to release their gems and save us from this pathetic world we live in. Maybe I am just getting old!

Side note: Electroqueer is becoming famous for "pop" rants'n'raves, so you should check one out! Or maybe you should just watch this tiny kitten roll around.

January 21, 2007


Take That Promo on the making of Shine

Brilliant single with Mark Owen - errr - shining! He's looking more and more Hobbit-like as he ages.

Sarah Nixey When I'm Here With You

From her forthcoming album (1 month away!), this one features her remixer Mark Lodge as the MBD (mysterious bald dude).

Lucky Soul My Brittle Heart

Filmed in Brighton. Awww, I had a cold, grey time in Brighton (I mean that in a good way. It was atmospheric!).

Patrick Wolf Bluebells

Brilliant single - love the fireworks noises and the booming drums. Video? Obtuse... meandering...looks like an episode of Location Location Location hijacked by a listless teen. At least you can see him this time.

Have Lorraine broken up?

It would not matter if they hadn't. They've abandoned both of their websites and their fans. Talented band / great songs, no doubt, but they didn't know fuckall about selling their music - they gave it away. To be fair, they were likely screwed around by many a suit. So, no Pop Noir. Bye bye Lorraine. It ends in tears everytime!

Update: On January 24, Lorrraine put this message on their site...

Helloa 2007 - Happy new year everybody! We want to thank you all for all the fantastic times we had in 2006! We really appreciate you guys being there for us! At the moment we are in a rehearsing studio, trying to make the show even better. We're also trying to put together and record some new stuff and ideas we came up with during this x-mas. We've got a busy year ahead of us, and can't wait to see you all again! Until then... keep the faith! Ole, Anders and Pål.

January 19, 2007


I've got my tickets! Feb 16 in DC. Do you have yours? We just know Lily's biggest fan, Chartrigger ,will be holding court at Lily's LA show!

UNtil the mini-tour watch some of Lily's new MTV spots...

Lily on fashion:

Lily on body image and food:

Lily's boob:

XO's pole - I mean poll!

The results of my age poll. Two men at Price Waterhouse will fer surrre run an analysis:

- 14: 0% (o votes)

14 -17: 8% (12 votes)

18- 22: 20% (29 votes)

23 - 30: 34% (51 votes)

31- 40: 32% (48 votes)

40+: 5% (8 votes)

End result for me? It's exactly what I expected!

First look: Tracey Thorn

Tracey Thorn has a release date of March 6 in the UK and maybe March 20 in the US. Note that her myspace is hosting remixes of It's All True, the first single. I favor the Escort Extended Mix! The original track is co-written with Sasse and Darshan Jesrani (Metro Area)

Out Of The Woods tracklist:

Here It Comes Again
It's All True
Get Around To It
Hands Up To The Ceiling
Falling Off A Log
Nowhere Near
Grand Canyon
By Piccadilly Station I Sat Down And Wept
Raise The Roof

Read the first review at Press Pound

PS: King's Cross has been shunted to a b-side as I understand it. Pooh.

January 18, 2007

Fast and slow on the big chair

Travis are back with a new album called The Boy With No Name, produced by Nigel Godrich. The teaser track is a lowkey lovely called Big Chair and it's soon to appear everywhere. It debuted on BBC Radio 1 when Chris Martin and his glorious protege Simon Pegg hosted the Zane Lowe show. You might be able to hear it if you go here or here. Sing sing sing, Franny.

more on Travis very soon

January 17, 2007

timeless wavelength

Today I received three pieces of mail. One from a very old lady in England, a family member, reacting with pleasure to a Christmas letter I wrote her. Another was a package from Russia that I had to wait a half hour in the Post Office to get, amidst a group of septuagenarians, including the employees! God it was slow. Anyway, the envelope contained copy of West End Girls Goes Petshopping sent to me by a man in Moscow. Then I got to work, late of course, to find a DVD was sitting my desk: A Life In Pop, the Pet Shop Boys documentary. Tonight I’ve been watching it and thinking how much I love this band and how much their music has been a part of my life.

My relationship to PSB has not been linear - I didn’t even like West End Girls when it came out, though I would sing along with it. It's a favorite now, but it took awhile. I do remember, however, sitting in my freshman dorm room listening to a cassingle of What Have I Done To Deserve This and thinking it was the greatest pop song ever written. Well, I always think this with a new song, and honestly that one has never worn out for me. The final minute, with its layers of sound and Dusty’s “we don’t to fall apart, we don’t have to fight” used to give me chills and still does.

I have never taken a recreational drug in my life, literally. For awhile it was out of some pointless stance and now because the occasion never arises. I have never smoked one joint and in college I was never drunk. “Drunk” to me now is just an extra glass of wine and a certain giddiness. Get me tipsy and I’ll give you too much information about a sexual experience [edit! censored!]. That’s as altered as it gets. There's never been any real desire to lose touch with reality via substances.

Music, however, is my drug. I use it every day of my life as a way to manipulate my own emotions. Sometimes my mood dictates a song that will lift me up, other times I want to push the moroseness further. I want to feel soft, hard, whatever. The melancholy of a song about failed love, for instance, played on the Walkman or now the iPod. I could have a “relationship” with someone I was watching on the Metro, from start to finish, station to station. By the time I get off the train, the song has ended and we have broken up, this stranger and I.

I’m not alone in this, am I? That’s a statement more than a question. I relate to people who share this way of life. Sometimes I find that I can go a bit numb in serious emotional situations. Shock maybe, so I pick a song that will pull my emotions up and out. I’m really lucky to have that and I believe many people who read this blog know what I mean. It’s very personal at one moment and can become very communal in others. Music could be a capsule, an inhalation, liquid sloshing against ice in a glass, but it never hurts me.

I kept trying to add another sentence so the one just above would not seem so overwrought, but nothing fit. So be it! Carry on!

PS: I love the part of the video above at 2:17 where Chris Lowe is between the curtains and he takes a few spinning leaps.

January 16, 2007

Cover Story

I see he's going for groovy, it's just not my thing. Where is the bus from Little Sunshine... shouldn't that be on here? And what about Janis from the Muppets?

Much better! Love it, but then I loved the Supergrass cover too.

Oy. Aside from the awful concept of BC warbling French tunes, the album cover
kind of fails at its attempt at stylistic kitsch.

January 14, 2007

As Luck would have it

Lucky Soul: dangerously pretty, aren't they?

Could this be the year for Lucky Soul? Their new song Ain't Never Been Cool is quite catchy in a post-Pipettes world where I've warmed to tunes referencing sixties pop.

What I know: They're a sextet from Greenwich - the lead singer is a blond minx named Ali Howard who looks the sort to be involved in an MP scandal circa 1965. The rest of the band, with their natty suits, are dressed for a jewel heist. All that's missing is a blessing from Michael Caine. We do know they're loved by Grace Jones, they have a track smartly titled Baby I'm Broke and they're prone to phrases like "shimmy and shake."

Lucky Soul have been releasing tunes independently in 2006 and, for the moment, you can only buy their new song here on vinyl. I'll wait for the CD! The video is not yet released.

Hear Ain't Never Been Cool via their myspace (do it!).

Lucky Soul Lips Are Unhappy video

Lucky Soul My Brittle Heart video filmed in wintry Brighton

Enterprising mods will know to seek them out via the Machine.

There is something about this new wave of pop bands that takes me back to when I was very young in the early 80's and Britain was just starting to reference the Phil Spector-dominated 60's era. Punk was dead and in 1982/83 pop music was about joy. Hey young London, it just makes me happy.

The single Ain't Never Been Cool - sleeve above - is out Monday (Jan 15) followed by the album The Great Unwanted, out in the UK on April 9.

January 13, 2007

Sophie Ellis-Bextor has never been an album artist - I cannot listen to one of her CDs all the way through. In 2007, though, she seems poised (literally) to unleash a dreamy pop classic. We already know that Catch You is an asskicking slice of Blondie dance-rock and the first brilliant pop single of the 2007.

I am wondering if If You Go is one of the Dan Gillespie Sells tracks? It certainly has a rhythmic quality that sounds like The Feeling and the reverberating vocals are so... aqualine. It's the definition of shimmering, a word I use far too often. Edit: It's a Xenomania track according to Mr. PJ.

Me And My Imagination is the most classically Sophiesque of the new songs with its disco strings and rubbery bassline. This song sounds like a hit single, though for me it also sounds like the one that could overstay its welcome a wee bit. Yadadadadadee...

New York City Lights has been compared to recent Madonna and not just for the title or the namecheck. The track has a repeating chant delivered with a vocoder and a guitar crunch much like Madonna's own NY song. What elevates this one is the truly epic middle eight ("Run awayyyyyy with me") that starts at minute 2 and lasts for almost a minute.

XOvision: La Bex The Video

I LOVE this video. Sophie's performance is really...skittish and manic. Part of that may be a subtle use of editing frames out so she moves in a jerky way. Whatever, it works. Great use of color, location, choreography and even some slick Madonna references. It's also interesting to see her aging. She looks like a total glamazon maneater in the haute middle eight. Brilliant pop song, brilliant video, all created by women. Bring on the album, La Bex.

Video references: Death In Venice, Don't Look Now, and of course Like A Virgin.

January 10, 2007

Lil' bits in the new year

With much reluctance, I took down my Christmas tree only yesterday Another year gone by. But yes, that is Cassie My Dog Sister celebrating Christmas above (or is she a pagan?)! She has in her mouth the stocking I gave her with a special iced dog cookie in it. She would not let that stocking out of her mouth. Fortunately, she did not break into the chocolate (dangerous) and eat a foil-covered Santa like last year.

Among the music gifts I received this year were an iTunes card and the U2 book. There was one more special pop music gift which I will photograph and post about very soon. A hint: tick tock.

Just before Christmas I received a cool sliver of a gift from London: the Sarah Nixey album, which lives up to its promise - I will report on it soon. Patrick Wolf is all over the Interweb - click his name to see what I mean. The new CD is brilliant - I'll review that too. Mika leaked (ewwww!) and the results are mixed, but catchy and fun. Samuel reviewed him at Hostuff Files. What sucks? Katharine McPhee truly licks hole. Blech.

George W. Bush has lost his mind. He's running scared / clueless and it shows. This is not only embarrassing on the world stage, it make the US seem vulnerable. I don't know any American who thinks this surge idea is a good one. Meanwhile, I have decided that Cheney is a war criminal and shoud be tried in international court. Listen here to find out why I think this.

Location Location Location remains my favo(u)rite TV show! I DVR it every week. I love Kirstie and Phil. I'd hop a plane soon if it weren't for the exchange rate of $2.07 per British Pound at Amex.

Volver, the new Almodovar movie, is very good. Penelope Cruz is amazing in it. Expect a review soon.

New or recently discovered blogs worth your time: Aria Of Pop and Electroqueer. BTW if you write me about to me "blogrolling", don't feel bad if I don't do anything. I like to read a blog for a long time before I put it on the list at right. And yes,The Zapping has its best look yet.

Marc Almond is soon to release I Close My Eyes And Count To Ten, the Dusty Springfield song as a duet with Sarah Cracknell of Saint Etienne. His new album is called Stardom Road.

Finally, it was 71 degrees here recently. This is not good at all. This should be prime blizzard time, with mass panic as everyone runs to empty the grovery store shelves. It's too warm. Dead polar bears are rolling up on the banks of the Potomac, though there are no banks of the Potomac anymore, as DC is a now a floating city like Venice, which already sunk of course. Thank you George Bush for not believing in global warming. XO is on Team Gore! Dubya? He is going under fast.

One more Cassie pic. Like the sweater? She manages to take it off every night, but we've never actually seen her doing it. Time for CCTV.

House v. House

It's fun getting old because then you can pick up on things like

Field Music A House is Not A Home

Madness Our House

It shocks me to think that there is 25 years between these
two videos.

Bitchin' Rapunzel's new video

I am still chuckling over Madonna's diss of Bitchin' Gwen in the new Elle:

It’s weird that we have all these similarities. Madonna’s
had us over to dinner and stuff. She’s always been very nice to me…I remember telling Madonna I was going to do an 80s dance record and she rolled her eyes, because I think when you’ve lived through it like she did, she’s like ‘Whatever.’ But a lot of my influence came from her early work, like directly, like a Xerox.

Whatevah, Gwen has just released her new video for Sweet Escape...

1. It is very gold. So gold there are scenes where you can't tell what you're looking at.

2. She returns to her Just A Girl hair in the prison cell scenes, which is kind of lame (the prison part, not the hair, though....yes, that is tired too).

3. More inspired is the trophy wife bit with the Harajuku girls climbing up a wall (via her hair) to bust her loose from her penthouse. So it's like Michelle Pfeiffer in Scarface channeling Rapunzel?

4. Can Gwen do anything that is not geared toward children or teens... dude?

5. I am surprised they removed the Akon rap. Ou est l'Akon?

6. I like to think this part is about Gavin: "Baby I can see that your angry / By the way that you treat me / Hopefully you don't leave me."

7. I'm not angry, but I'm bored Gwendoleeeen. How about taking a sedative and releasing a nice ballad like Early Winter for a change? I am, like, so worn out by your uncontrolled ADHD. It is so not rad.

I just noticed that PopJustice did a very similar post to this, but I swear I did not see it before I wrote my own!

January 8, 2007

Bowie, boys, is a sweet thing

I'm glad that you're older than me
It makes me feel important and free
Does that make you smile?
Isn't that...me?


At various points in my life I have been obsessed with David Bowie. I even had a roommate who looked like Bowie (by coincidence, generally and sometimes by choice). Today is DB's 60th birthday and I wish I could find a truly comprehensive photo site so I could pick out my favorite eras/looks - he really is, visually, Madonna's male precursor. The above image was taken in 2004, when he was 58.

The music: He's been so prolific and been so many different artists over the years. I want to honor that by telling you about some of my favorite Bowie songs. Tell me some of yours in the comments.

My Top Ten (Plus One) favorite David Bowie songs, in no order:

Strangers When We Meet
This romantic - if lyrically obtuse - song is the one most likely to appeal to "my readers" - a secret pop gem with a gorgeous piano rolling throughout and a classic (stolen!) bass line/guitar riff. Technically from 1993's Buddha Of Suburbia soundtrack, but also on '95's meh Outside. The final minute of this song I just cannot live without.

"I'm in clover / For we're strangers when we meet / Heel head over / But we're strangers when we meet..."

Cat People Serious Moonlight live video bad hair!
I prefer the 1982 film version, which is more menacing, tribal and sax-free (!) than the Let's Dance redux. Gorgeous synthy guitars at the end. This was his last song before he had his startling pop renaissance in 1983. "I've been putting out fire [pause] / With gasoline"

Sweet Thing / The Candidate live video - 70's check out the look
From 1974's Diamond Dogs. I'm obsessed with everything about these Siamese twins. The vocals are from his most powerful era (70s), the lyrics are wicked and the way he wraps his lips around those words is Oscar worthy. The line at the top of this post comes from Sweet Thing and I love this bit early in The Candidate: "My set is amazing / It even smells like a street."

Soul Love
So fucking fresh - at least parts of it are. From 1972's The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust.

"All I have is my love of love - and love is not loving."

Changes amazing live rehearsal video, 1976
The first Bowie song I never knew, it's a manifesto that everyone from 16 - 22 years should hear. This was the line I picked up on in my teens: "And these children that you spit on / As they try to change their worlds / Are immune to your consultations / They're quite aware of what they're going through." From 1971's Hunky Dory

Also from Hunky Dory, this is David's love song for his baby son, it's a great pop lullaby. Favorite line: "If the homework brings you down / Then we'll throw it on the fire / And take the car downtown."

This Is Not America
Every blogger with any taste needs to kneel at the alter of this collaboration with Pat Metheny. Intelligent and smooth like a bullet, this song never ages. And yes, the title line is something I say to myself a great deal these days. America will one day be loved again, I hope. You can find it on Best Of Bowie.

A 1977 classic (from the album of the same name) that became more classic years after its release when he performed it at Live Aid. Does anyone know of a cover of this that really does it justice? "And you, you can be mean / And I, I'll drink all the time / 'Cos we're lovers, and that is a fact . Yes we're lovers, and that is that."

Stay video from Dinah Shore he is hot in this!
- is from my favorite Bowie record, 1976's Station To Station, a good record for pop fans because it's radically cool yet very accessible. This track has a Nile Rodgers disco feel to it - it's slinky. "'Cos you can never really tell when somebody / Wants so much to stay... 'Cos you can never really tell when somebody / Wants something you want too."

Wild Is The Wind live video, Nov 2006
Also from Station To Station. 6 minutes of passion, especially the spine-tingling buildup from about 4:50 to the intense wailing payoff - you'll know it when you hear it. Has there really ever been a better male singer than David Bowie? He took this Nina Simone classic (a ballsy move for an emaciated white boy) and owned it. "You'll spring to me/ All things to me / Don't you know you're life itself?"

I had my big stereo on for the first time in like a year tonight and this lush song sounded amazing on big speakers. Most people won't know this song, from 1975's Young Americans, with Luther Vandross on backing vocals. It's like an elegant city anthem, if New York had waves of diamonds lapping at its shores. Listen closely and you'll hear what I mean about waves. "I feel you driving and rolling the wheel / Slow down, let someone love you"

A few more that I didn't include but love: Absolute Beginners, Lady Grinning Soul, Sound And Vision, Word On A Wing, Under Pressure, Modern Love, Shining Star, Hallo Spaceboy (with PSB), and A Small Plot Of Land.

See Kofi's Hat for her take on Bowie at 60.

2004 photo courtesy of Live From the Pit

January 7, 2007

Watching you watching me

I decided to post a bit on who reads this blog, given that I'm coming up on my 3rd blog birthday...

Readership: the USA is 40% and "Everyone Else" is at 60%. Not surprising, given the pop content, yet the UK is only 15% and closely tailed by Australia at 11% - that is a surprise. The most unexpected countries represented are Colombia and Indonesia (I'm sure I'm huge in Sumatra, God bless them!). Wouldn't you expect the Scandinavian countries to be represented more? Brazil is at 2%, so if the smokin' hot Brazilians want to meet me in person, please do! wink.

The best recent referrals are Italian boobs, Liz Hurley (wtf?) and Bree Walker, the newscaster with unusual hands. I should note that Just Jack is increasing on Google searches, so I need to beef up that post!

I'm really curious about how old you are, particularly in relation to some of the musical references I write about, which go back to when I was "shiny and new" in the early 80's. I know for a fact that some of the primary readers of this blog are over 32 yo. What about the rest of you? Please vote and don't lie!

How old are you?
shiny & new
14 -17
18- 22
23 - 30
31- 40
40 plus
pollcode.com free polls
Finally, did you know that if you type "nasty dick lovin" breakdown, I am the only result you'll get in Google? For this alone, I am proud.

January 6, 2007

So far so far

6 days into the new year, here are my top ten pop songs:

10 Sally Shapiro I Know MP3
Mysterious blond Swede (!) Sally, brought to me by great new blog Aria Of Pop.
9 A Kiss Could Be Deadly Midnight Romance stream
The Modern waited too long. Now we have the LA version, like a new Berlin.
8 Damian Leith Night Of My Life video
Aussie Idol winner who's more Will and Kelly than Clay.
7 Mika My Interpretation
Where was this song a year ago? It speaks perfectly on a problem I had that may finally be over.

6 Mirah La Familia (Guy Sigsworth Mix) MP3
If we sleep together would it make it any better? recommended!
5 Just Jack Starz In Their Eyes video
Cool pop diatribe on Idol culture and the victims of reality TV, with their trashy daydreams.
4 Sarah Nixey Endless Circles
Elegant, yet the most accesssible pop Sarah has ever done. Love it.
3 Patrick Wolf The Magic Position MP3
One of Patty's most perfect tunes, you can't help but feel better listening to it.
2 Sophie Ellis Bextor Catch You
Classic SEB vocals set against a Blondie-inspired guitar pop tune.
1 Tracey Thorn It's All True stream
New York, 1982, Reggie Lucas, Alphabet City, St Mark's Place, Keith Haring, all filtered through TT in 07.

Artwork by Beatriz Milhazes

January 5, 2007

SEB, in the coffee spoon

Sophie Ellis Bextor is previewing her new video for Catch You on her updated website. The video was directed by Sophie Muller and the song was written by Sophie Den- I mean Cathy Dennis.

Love the song - I called the Blondie reference before it was posted on her site! (XO. toots. horn.) The video looks like an homage to Madonna's Like A Virgin, Vogue Italia and Death In Venice, etc etc.

The new album is indeed called Trip The Light Fantastic, a very old school phrase that is apparently a Milton reference. Although it refers to dancing, I think it's the type of thing 1970's swingers in gold chains used as a pickup line on women they wanted to fuck:

Hey baby, you wanna trip the light fantastic?

Anyway! Other songs on the album include Me And My Imagination, New York City Lights, If You Go and Today's The Sun On Us.

Note that you can grab the song at Into The Groove.
you might like this one!

old piccie above, but I love it and wanted to see it on my blog...

January 2, 2007

The major key

Patrick's new album leaked today.

The best tracks are among his finest - he adds at least 5 brilliant songs to the "canon." The only disappointment is that there are too many interlude-y songs. Title track will be in my top ten of 2007, no doubt. Review coming soon.

Order the new album now... you must buy PW so he can continue to make records! Expect Lycanthropy and Homo Eclectic to report on it.

January 1, 2007

Ring in the new, celebrate the old

Sophie Ellis-Bextor Catch You

Her performance last night on UK TV. Apparently there was a big mic fuck-up in the first minute, so she had no monitor, hence some flat moments. Maybe. The dress is a bit questionable, but the song and that beautiful face are not. Paulie Z has the MP3.

Sophie Ellis-Bextor I Won't Change You

One of my fave Sophie videos/songs - ahh, the accent! - and the last of her collaborations with Gregg Alexander, who really gave her the La Bex sound. Nice blue dress Sophie, but baby your speed-date may be a (whispers) homosexual! Anyway, Mrs. Jone's real husband and I are this close since we met in Borders. Maybe.

THE List

The final list of songs I liked in 2006. I keep this list throughout the year in a Word file because I am a spazzy music geek

Aberfeldy Uptight Alexis Strum Stay Until Summer All Saints Headlock All Saints In It To Win It All Saints Fundamental Amy Winehouse Back To Black Amy Winehouse Rehab Amy Winehouse Tears Dry On Their Own Arctic Monkeys Love Machine Badly Drawn Boy Promises Badly Drawn Boy The Time Of The Times Barbra Streisand Shut The Fuck Up Bertine Zetlitz 500 Bertine Zetlitz Midnight Bertine Zetlitz Get What You Deserve Beyonce Irreplaceable Bic Runga Say After Me Bodies Without Organs Obsession Bodies Without Organs Will My Arms Be Strong Enough Brand New Heavies Music Camera Obscura Come Back Margaret Camera Obscura Let’s Get Out Of This Country Captain Broke Captain Glorious Captain Spring Park Hotel Cassie Me & U Charlotte Gainsbourg The Operation Charlotte Gainsbourg The Songs That We Sing Clear Static Make-up Sex Corinne Bailey Rae Like A Star Dangerous Muse The Rejection Dannii Minogue Good Times Dannii Minogue He’s The Greatest Dancer Dannii Minogue So Under Pressure Delays You And Me (aka Cavalry) Delays Hideaway Delays Valentine Delays Waste Of Space Dixie Chicks Easy Silence Dixie Chicks The Long Way Around Dixie Chicks Lullaby DJ Shadow feat. Chris James You Made It Eberg Inside Your Head Ed Harcourt Revolution In The Heart Elton John The Captain And The Kid Embrace The End Is Hear Embrace Nature’s Law Emma Bunton Life In Mono Emma Bunton All I Need To Know Erasure Rock Me Gently Fields Song For The Fields Frank Never Left A Girl Frank Silence Freemasons with Siedah Garret Rain Down Love George Michael An Easier Affair George Michael with Mutya This Is Not Real Love Girls Aloud Singapore Goldfrapp Boys Will Be Boys Gomez See The World GoodBooks Leni Gwen Stefani Early Winter Gwen Stefani 4 In The Morning Gwen Stefani Sweet Escape Gwen Stefani U Started It Hard Fi Hard To Beat Hard Fi Living For The City Hard Fi Move On Now Hard Fi Stars Of CCTv Hem Great Houses Of New York Hem He Came To Meet Me Imogen Heap Glittering Cloud Imogen Heap Speeding Cars Jamelia Get Up Get Out Jamelia Hustle Jamelia No More Jamelia Beware Of The Dog James Morrison The Pieces Don’t Fit Anymore James Morrison It's Too Late Janet Jackson Enjoy Janet Jackson Take Care Jarvis Cocker Big Julie Javine Don’t Let The Morning Come Jay Jay Johanson Another Nite Another Love Jay Jay Johanson The Last Of The Boys To Know Jenny Lewis Rise Up With Fists! Jessica Simpson A Public Affair Jody Watley Borderline John Legend PDA Josh Groban Now Or Never Josh Rouse It Looks Like Love Justin Timberlake LoveStoned Kate Havnevik Kaleidoscope Kate Havnevik Sleepless Kate Havnevik Unlike Me Kate Ryan All For You Kate Ryan Tapping The Table Keane Crystal Ball Keane Leaving So Soon Keane The Frog Prince Keisha White Don’t Mistake Me Keisha White Out Of My Hands Kelis Lil Star” Kelis Living Proof Laura Michelle Kelly Butterflies Laura Michelle Kelly Somewhere Only We Know Laura Mchelle Kelly The Storm Inside Laura Michelle Kelly There Was A Time Lil Chris: Gettin’ Enough Lily Allen Friend Of Mine Lily Allen Knock Em Out Lily Allen Smile Linda Sundblad Back In Time Lloyd Cole Rolodex Incident Lloyd Cole Slip Away Lorraine I Feel It (Cicada Mix) Lorraine Touch Me Lorraine Transatlantic Flight Lorraine Heaven Lucas Miré Swallowed Whole Lucas Miré Radio Luke Haines Off My Rocker At The Art School Bop Madison Park In The Stars Madonna Liquid Love Madonna Erotica / You Thrill Me Margaret Berger Samantha Mary J. Blige Be Without You Mary J. Blige MJB Da MVP Mary J. Blige Reflections Mary J Blige with U2 One Massive Attack w/ Terry Callier Live With Me Matt Willis Don’t Let It Go To Waste Michael Stipe and Chris Martin In The Sun Midlake Roscoe Mika Relax, Take It Easy Mish Mash Speechless Monkey Swallows The Universe Sheffield Shanty Morningwood Nth Degree Morrissey The Youngest Was The Most Loved Morrissey You Have Killed Me Morrissey Dear God, Please Help Me My Architects Under The Pines Neko Case Fox Confessor Brings The Flood Neko Case Hold On, Hold On Neko Case Star Witness Nelly Furtado Undercover Nelly Furtado Afraid Nerina Pallot Geek Love Nerina Pallot Idaho Nerina Pallot Sophia Nightmare Of You I Want To Be Buried In Your Backyard Paolo Nutini These Streets Paolo Nutini White Lies Paulo Nutini Million Faces Paris Hilton The Stars Are Blind (Tracey Mixhow) Pascal Obispo 1980 Patrick Wolf Accident And Emergency Pet Shop Boys Fugitive Pet Shop Boys Integral Pet Shop Boys Minimal Pet Shop Boys The Sodom And Gomorrah Show Pet Shop Boys Numb Peter, Bjorn And John Young Folks Pink Long Way To Happy Pink Who Knew Prince The Word Ray LaMontagne Be Here Now Memphis I’ll Do Whatever You Want Razorlight America Razorlight In The Morning Richard Ashcroft Break The Night With Colour Richard Ashcroft Keys To The World Richard Ashcroft Words Get In The Way Richard Butler Maybe Someday Robbie Williams Lovelight Robbie Williams The Actor Robbie Williams Kiss Me Robyn With Every Heartbeat Roddy Woomble Every Line Of A Long Moment Roddy Woomble If Could Name Any Name Russian Futurists 2 Dots On A Map Sarah Nixey Strangelove (Lodge Remix) Scissor Sisters Might Tell You Tonight Scissor Sisters Paul McCartney Shawn Colvin Fill Me Up Simon Webbe Sunshine (Love Like That) Skye Edwards Love Show Skye Edwards Stop Complaining Skye Edwards Tell Me About Your Day Snow Patrol Set The Fire To The Third Bar Sophie Solomon with KT Tunstall Lazarus Stellar* Whiplash Sugababes Easy Sugababes I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor Take That Beautiful World Take That Patience Take That Shine Terri Walker I Don’t Care The Ark Let Me Down Gently The Ark One Of Us Is Gonna Die Young The Changes On A String The Changes Water of The Gods The Divine Comedy Snowball In Negative The Divine Comedy The Light Of Day The Divine Comedy To Die A Virgin The Feeling Never Be Lonely The Feeling Strange The Feeling Sewn The Killers Bones The Killers When You Were Young The Kooks Naive The Kooks She Moves In Her Own Way The Modern Industry The Pipettes A Winter’s Sky The Pipettes Judy (Blue States Mix) The Pipettes Magician Man The Pipettes Pull Shapes The Pipettes Sex The Pipettes Your Kisses Are Wasted On Me The Upper Room Black And White The Upper Room Her Alibi The Upper Room Kill Kill Kill The Weepies The World Spins Madly On Tim Finn Astounding Moon West End Girls Suburbia Will Young My Needs William Orbit / Sugababes Spiral Zero 7 Futures Zero 7 Today