Wednesday, November 30, 2011

So how's the Nicola Roberts solo thing going then? Well she's made a new video for 'Yo-Yo' so not as bad as it could be...

Whatever are we to do with poor Nicola.  Poor, poor Nicola. 

She's not poor, of course, as her "makeup for gingers" sells quite well and also she was IN FUCKING GIRLS ALOUD.  But if her solo career was all we were going on, we'd have to say she was quite poorly indeed.

Her first track, 'Beat Of My Drum,' despite being balls-to-the-wall brilliant and essentially being a better version of Madonna's big comeback single only recorded and released several months earlier, landed with a thud at #27 in the UK.  Then, her big followup - the Dragonette (!!) penned 'Lucky Day' - fared even worse down at #40.  Sure the album cracked the top 20, but it's the UK for chrissake.  It's not like it's that difficult.

But none of that unfortunateness will deter our little red minx.  No, Nicola soldiers bravely on in true British fashion, with a brand new video for 'Yo-Yo.'  It's a very good song, but like her other VERY GOOD SONGS, it will probably do absolutely nothing on the charts.  It's quite nice of her to give us a video clip for it, though, don't we think?  (Yes.)

The video features a party, a crushed velvet dress, and also an ACTUAL YO-YO. 

Because of course.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Pierces are 'Kissing You Goodbye' with some hot dude in their new video

"I saw you in those Asos ads!"
Ok so we just found out about The Pierces like 2 days ago from ScopiSubject Derek, and already the duo is chucking out RATHER AMAZING videos featuring RATHER ATTRACTIVE men.  To be fair, the band - which consists of two sisters - has had what most indie acts would call a "banner year," so it's not like they came out of nowhere, but the buzz surrounding them has certainly reached an apparent critical mass.

Born in Alabama in the 70's, the pair of girls (Ed: NO ONE CARES, MOVE ON) The duo do very good pop music and that's all that really matters.  Our extensive Wikipedia-ing told us a great deal about the band, most importantly that what they do is called "psychedelic folk rock" which in our mind is pretty much just Madonna's 'Don't Tell Me' played really slowly after a night of tripping on cough medicine, but we suppose it could actually be a real music genre too. 

In any case, the girls are stylish, the video is appropriately low-budget and grimey (and starts quite brilliantly with the refrain of Irving Berlin's 'Sisters'), and as a bonus there's a hot tattooed male model in it.  Also the video is for a pretty decent tune as well, so that's always a plus.

Here's 'Kissing You Goodbye':

Monday, November 28, 2011

Beyonce's 'Dance For You' video proves she needs to pop that kid out and get back to it

Don't worry, B.  We're bored too.
Ok look, Beyonce.  We know you're pregnant.  We know you have "other things" to think about.  But that really doesn't mean you should start slacking on your day job.  Which, judging from your latest video, is exactly what you've begun to do.  We know some record exec told you that in today's "new model" you have to have new product out every two and a half days, but like you, we're hoping this is a passing fad. 

Because until then, decent pop stars like you will be forced to trot out boring crap like this, which serves only to distract us from the LITERALLY AMAZING things you've taken actual time and care in putting together, like the 'Countdown' video that everyone loved for about ten minutes and then forgot about. 

Also, when the hell did you shoot this?  You're obviously not "showing" in this clip, which means it was filmed quite some time ago.  Did you just film budget videos for every single song on your album and then sit on them like a fabulously sassy bird on a stash of eggs?  Because if so, maybe this is one you should have "accidentally kicked out of the nest" during a particularly active nightmare if you know what we're saying. 

Do you?  Do you know what we're saying, Beyonce? 

Because we're saying it's crap. 

So stop being pregnant or whatever your problem is and get back to making amazing videos because having to write mean things about you makes us sad and WE DO NOT LIKE TO BE SAD.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Let's all talk about the Lady Gaga special then.

There is no escape.
So last night something happened and we all know it happened and we might as well just talk about it.

That something was the Lady Gaga Thanksgiving special and it was nonsense.  Not nonsense in that it was bad, but nonsense in that it even exists in the first place. 

First off, let's get this out of the way:  Gaga is ridiculously talented.  She can sing.  She can dance.  She holds her own singing jazz songs with goddamn Tony Bennett, for chrissake.  But the woman is also batshit insane, and not in the "oh-em-gee my outfits are made of meat, you guys" way.  She is batshit in the "I wholeheartedly believe that all of America gives a crap about all of this" way.

It kicked off well enough, to be fair, with a straightforward performance of 'Lady Is A Tramp' with Tony Bennett.  We say straightforward, but with Gaga that means "Tony sang while Gaga made weird faces and seized," but it was good and fun and got things off to a good start. 

Then, friends, it "TOOK A TURN." 

"a turn."

All of a sudden we were meant to care about whatever neural misfire Miss G was having at the time, and had to listen to a bunch of stories for no reason.  She did some things and said some things that for whatever reason must have seemed interesting at the time, and then she cooked chicken and waffles with a chef on national television while wearing some seriously fierce couture, BECAUSE OF COURSE.

Things looked up again, thankfully, when she sang some more and danced some more, and then she sat down with Katie Couric for a KIND-OF-PAINFUL-TO-WATCH interview and plopped a giant fabric strawberry on her head and tried to pretend like it was completely normal, because in Gaga's world that is just the way things are done so fuck you.  

Now, full disclosure: after the Couric interview we tuned out a bit because by that point we had done some (a lot of) tequila shots, so we can't say a whole lot about the last 20 minutes or so, but from what we remember, taken all together it was an oddly appropriate-feeling special.

It was traditional with a twist and - even though it got its ratings ass handed to it by last night's airing of 'The Big Bang Theory' - probably managed to get a few more grandmas in the midwest on board the Gaga train. Because if there's one thing midwest grandmas like, it's a show in which the star self-servingly does all the things that she knows midwest grandmas will like.

Sure, she looked amazing, sang amazing, and managed to hit on an oddly appropriate tone for the holiday, which really is what Gaga is about - taking our preconceptions of something and twisting them into her own grotesque interpretation of them.  But every time she spoke, the whole thing took this air of entitlement and posturing about it that we just couldn't get past until she started singing again. 

But good for Lady Gaga.  We came in to the special expecting to hate it and left only hating the parts where she was herself.  Our 90 minutes with her confirmed once and for all that she is a brilliant musician, fashion icon, and performer, and also that we never, ever want to hang out with her.  And that was what made the special a success in the end.  It was meant to give us a glimpse into Gaga's softer, real-er side, and it did just that - it's just that Gaga's soft, real side is completely insane and self-involved. 

And we wouldn't expect any less.

Our personal favorite from the show was, oddly, her completely lip-synced, by-the numbers performance of 'Bad Romance' because no matter what happens ever it will still be one of the best songs in the history of literally everything, and not even the fact that last night saw it performed on what we assume is the set of an upcoming rococo-themed Cascada video can take that away.

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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Here is Kylie debuting her new "orchestral sound" on Australian X-Factor

I'm fierce and I'm feeling mighty.
If last night you heard a collective gay gasp of diva worship coming from the southern hemisphere, this is probably why.  Last night, Kylie debuted her new, much talked-about "orchestral sound" on Australian X-Factor, in the form of an acoustic remake of the hit that made her a star - 'I Should Be So Lucky.' 

The whole setup suited K-Mo RATHER WELL, and showcased her voice in spectacular fashion.  She was rocking some sort of grandma nightie (because of course) but totally pulled it off (because OF COURSE) and has rarely looked better.

It's a terrific teaser of what we can expect when her full-on orchestral album drops next year (though, Miss Minogue, please take note that we will insist on a remix package that includes a number of disco whistles and at least one poppers-scented donk).  Indeed, the only downside is that she's done this track in acoustic form a number (read: A VERY LARGE NUMBER) of times.  It's essentially the same arrangement she has been flogging on tour for the last few years, and she's sung the same version almost note for note on a couple tv shows as well.  But, TBF, when something is this mindblowingly brilliant, why not run it into the ground?

We're certainly not complaining.

Monday, November 21, 2011

The "New" Amy Winehouse Video Is Here - watch now!

Ever since Amy Winehouse went to the big rehab in the sky in July, it was inevitable that a number of posthumous releases would emerge, hoping to honor her memory and also cash in on it.  Well the first of those arrived yesterday, in the form of lead single 'Our Day Will Come' off the forthcoming 'Lioness: Hidden Treasures' album.

While it would be easy to see any release of Winehouse material as a blatant cash grab, this one at least has the distinction of being the first official one, and the fact that a portion of proceeds from each sale go to the Amy Winehouse Foundation certainly helps soften any criticism. 

In fact, it's hard to fault this release for much of anything - it's a pretty song sung by a starlet who was taken too soon.  So cash grab or not, thank god there's just a little bit more Amy left out there in the world.

Here is 'Our Day Will Come', featuring a collection of footage from Amy's past videos and shows.  As one commenter on the YouTube page said:  "It's just such a shame we know she'll never sing this live."

Friday, November 18, 2011

Lady Gaga is hospitalized in fabulous fashion - watch the preview of 'Marry The Night' now!

When I wake up my stylist will be slowly and painfully murdered
Lady Gaga is batshit and we all know it.  We've come to accept it and a lot of people have come to love her for it.  But she's one of the few people who can pull off crazy with some considerable style, and with the exception of the utter turd that was the "Edge Of Glory" video, has managed to be pretty consistently amazing visually.

Sure she's gotten all heavy-handed, and yeah she takes herself WAY too seriously these days, but who else could make a virtually silent preview for their music video, in which they are literally rolled around on a gurney for 2 minutes, a watercooler talking point?

And granted, in this preview ABSOLUTELY NOTHING HAPPENS, but to be fair, it's still classier than most anything that's come out in recent memory so quit your bitching and pop a Klonopin.   For once we're taking Gaga's side - the rest of the video might turn out to be an overwrought mess, but this preview teaser thing is wicked cool in a 'London Hospital'/BBC Period Drama kind of way.  WHICH IS MAYBE THE BEST WAY POSSIBLE.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The new Little Boots single is here and it is RATHER TREMENDOUS - listen to 'Shake' now!

A bit ago we went on and on about how great Little Boots is and how her new single is literally epic and then we posted a snippet of it that was quite good.

Luckily for us (and, if you think about it, for everyone who loves VERY GOOD MUSIC) our review of that preview clip was 100% accurate.  'Shake Until Your Heart Breaks' - now retitled to the more marketable, but far less amazing 'Shake' - is what we call A LITTLE BIT FURRCE.

Even Ms. Boots seems taken with it - she said of the track, "It was one of those that just came out... Immediately it felt right. It also shed a new light on a lot of the other songs I’d been working on for the album.”

Which, in a vacuum and with no point of reference, means absolutely nothing, and once we hear the rest of the album it will probably still mean nothing whatsoever, as much of what popstars say tends to be complete and utter crap.  But in the interest of JOURNALISTIC INTEGRITY we will not let that knowledge deter us from speculating wildly as to what exactly it means for the state of the forthcoming Little Boots LP, so here goes:

Perhaps it means that the rest of the tracks are less abstract and more straightforwardly pop, but when heard through the lens of 'Shake' they take on a more weighty, artistic tone.  Or, maybe it means that 'Shake' is the only good track on the album and its amazingness only throws the utter craptasticity of all the other songs into sharper relief.  Also it could mean that everyone got really stoned while recording 'Shake' and all of a sudden everything else just "made sense" and then some pizza was ordered and everyone took a nap for a bit.

But whichever it is, 'Shake' is very good.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Lady Gaga continues her 'Marry The Night' campaign on UK X Factor - watch now

So the other night Lady Gaga visited the UK X Factor in her ongoing blitz to ensure that 'Marry The Night' becomes a hit even though everyone got over it a few months ago.  And while the performance was "interesting" in that way that Gaga's performances are always interesting, it also wasn't anything special. 

Miss G spent the first few minutes of the track sitting in a confessional box underneath a big cross because OF COURSE, and then burst out of it to reveal herself as an oddly-proportioned headless woman who sings.  So, par for the course for team Gaga then.  The thing that really troubles us though is that, practically speaking, the whole thing shouldn't work because HOW CAN A HEAD SING IF IT IS NOT ATTACHED TO LUNGS?

We demand answers and fully intend to "Occupy Gaga" until this is resolved.

Anyway, it was good and well done and Gaga was in fine voice as (almost) always but we can't help feeling like this would have worked a bit better 2 weeks ago around Halloween. 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Wanted's new video for 'Warzone' begs some VERY SERIOUS QUESTIONS - watch the premiere now!

Yeah.  It's that big.
Oh, The Wanted.  They're all set to "break America" (which for them likely means playing a few gay clubs in major cities and getting their tops off, all while talking about how absolutely straight they are) and are still riding quite nicely atop the UK charts.  They're all relatively good looking except for one of them (you know who you are), none have had a public mental breakdown (yet....fingers crossed on that one) and we're sure that when they go home at night they probably smile to themselves and think "I AM THE WANTED" and then poke needles into JLS figurines.  AS MANY OF US DO.

With everything going so swimmingly for the boys, their handlers are quite wisely keen to keep the momentum going.  And they're doing just that by slave-driving the gents to chuck out music videos at near-Rihanna-esque pace.  "Lightning" came out like, a few hours ago or something, and already we have a new one because blah blah youth attention span blah blah on-air/on-sale blah.  This time it's called "Warzone" and it features the boys in some sort of garbage dump or something for some reason and also a lot of fire.  Additionally there is a song that plays while all the "imagery" is happening, but to be honest it might be better if you turn the clip pretty far down because it is NOT THEIR BEST WORK although it's not terrible in a "at least it doesn't feature Nicki Minaj" kind of way.

Furthermore, as deep and meaningful as it is all probably supposed to be, rather than finding answers and emotional validation in the video, we find ourselves instead FILLED WITH BURNING QUESTIONS and, quite frankly, demanding some answers which The Wanted's people are welcome to provide in the comments section of this post.

Questions like:

1.  While we can all agree that the opening 2 seconds is amazing, why was it artistically necessary to feature a LITERAL FIREBOMB erupting from Max's ass?
2.  Why the hell was this filmed in New York City?  There is not one single aspect of this clip that identifies it as having been shot there, or would have required any sort of "on location" filming.  In fact, it could have been easily filmed on some dodgy soundstage in Wales for all we know, except that QUITE A BIG DEAL was made of it being filmed IN NEW YORK CITY.  This certainly begs the question whether illegal downloads are truly "killing the industry" or if the people who plan this sort of thing are doing a very nice job of it on their own because this whole endeavor was clearly a colossal waste of coin.
3.  Who the f is Director X?  Is he (or she) some sort of supervillain?  If so, this could do quite a bit to explain question #1 above.  If not, you have a stupid name, sir or madam, and we would very much like it if you could refrain from plastering it all over your clips in the future.
4.  Why is 'Warzone' a single? :(

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Here is the new Madonna song 'Give Me All Your Love' and it is AMAZING

If you don't say I'm normal looking I will have you killed.
We often find ourselves wishing that Madge-Mantis would return to the fun, happy days of the 80's, way before she started taking her self seriously and speaking with a really bad British accent.  And it looks like she's done just that for her big post-'Hard Candy' comeback.  Sure it's got a little rocky twist (kinda Kelly Clarkson, but with worse singing, obvs) but it's undeniably a return to form for the Queen of Pop.  If these previews are anything to go by, one Miss Gaga better watch her ridiculously dressed ass...

Here are some observations about 'Give Me All Your Love':
1.  Amazing
2.  Amazing
3.  Amazing
4. Amazing

Those were some observations about 'Give Me All Your Love.'

And here is 'Give Me All Your Love':


Rihanna's new track with Drake is pretty great - listen to 'Take Care' now!

He's kind of like Carrie, but his pyrotechnic rage is brought on by ASS
To be completely fair, before today we couldn't have really cared less about Drake.  Like, there was no possible way that we could have had less of an opinion about him either in terms of his musical output or as an actual person.  He had some tracks and was kind of famous, apparently, but most notably (for us, anyway) he featured on Rihanna's 'What's My Name.'  Well now we have to rethink everything, because the Barbadian minx has returned the favor, guesting on Drake's new track called 'Take Care.'  And IT IS KIND OF REALLY GOOD.  

These days it seems every track is vying to be more autotuned and more slick and more "thumpin beats, brah" than the last, and that is doubly true in the world of "urban pop" which is a genre that doesn't really exist officially but is essentially everything that you hear on the radio that isn't Adele.  HOWEVER, Drake has decided - rather wisely - to take things in a completely different direction, and chuck out an organic sounding, almost disco-y, understated affair.

But never fear, those of you who demand a donk and discowhistle (i.e. everyone who reads this website), word has it that some RATHER BANGING club mixes are in the works, and even on first listen it's not hard to imagine how this groovy little number can go from "sultry evening wrapped up in 300-count JC Penney sheets" to "POPPERS O'CLOCK ON TOP OF A BOX SPEAKER IN A DOWNTOWN WAREHOUSE" in pretty short order. 

So, welcome to our radar, Drake.  Also, if you could make a baby with Rihanna that'd be great for us.  Because HOW CUTE?!


Monday, November 7, 2011

Let's all watch Florence (and her Machine) sing her new single on X Factor UK

I am a triangle with a head.
So last night Florence Welch, of Florence And The Machine, had what people generally call a VERY GOOD EVENING.  First came word that her new album 'Ceremonials' had mounted the summit of the UK album charts, like a hooker mounting a (Ed.: STOP IT RIGHT NOW) and then the ginger genius took the stage to perform her single 'Shake It Out' on the biggest show in the British Isles.  

In typically understated fashion (sarcasm!) Flo-Wo begins all demure and quiet, and then the camera pans out and a huge dress train carried by her minions starts flapping about while a church choir sings, because OF COURSE.  

Really the best part of the whole thing is Florence, though, and her undeniable vocal prowess.  None of her songs are particularly easy to sing, but she consistently pulls them off with a flair that most pop strumpets would kill for.  Sure, she doesn't dance around, and she's not going to glitter bomb the audience or nip-slip her way into a tabloid, but as grown-up, down-to-earth female chart acts go, she's certainly one of the best. 

Though, if we're entirely honest, if one of these days Flo wants to strip down and vogue a bit to a discowhistle donkfest, we would not object in the least.  But until then, here's 'Shake It Out':

"Well done."

Friday, November 4, 2011

Jailbait Boyband Ahoy - here's the One Direction album sampler!

Not an American Eagle ad.
So One Direction came in third place in the UK X Factor, but by all accounts have done QUITE WELL since then.  They signed a £2 million record contract with SyCo Music, chucked out a number 1 single, and are gearing up to foist their debut album on the world.

And here's the thing - it's not crap.  Well, it's kind of crap.  But it's good, wholesome, radio-friendly crap, featuring songs written by Ed Sheeran and THE ACTUAL KELLY CLARKSON.  There are some definite jams on the record, as you can hear below, and if you can get past the fact that it's a bunch of kids who can't even get served in a pub jumping around talking about how amazing real love is, then you're a) better at ignoring logical inconsistencies than we are, and b) probably going to enjoy this record very much. 

The label certainly has a lot of faith in the band (KELLY CLARKSON!) and as evidence of that, the band - before they've released a single album - have already announced a headlining tour of the UK and Ireland.  Sure, it'll probably be in the back lot of an Asda, but come on.  How many headlining tours have YOU embarked on?


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Foster The People 'Call It What You Want' in new video - watch the premiere now!

Come with me, away to a place where three hot men stand in a picture and have kind of a rapey vibe
Foster the People are awesome and everyone knows it, which is probably why they have been doing QUITE WELL in "the business" lately.  This is apparent from the band's presence at the top of charts all over the place and their high profile appearances on shows like SNL, but perhaps most obvious from the fact that their new video clip has a VERY BIG BUDGET.

It's all shiny and pretty and well-lit, and is also interesting and playful and fun to watch.  In short, it is a very good music video.

Here are some things about it:

1.  There are four giant golden fists in it which, much to our dismay, were not used for actual fisting at any point during the clip.
2.  The band hangs around a super nice house and destroys parts of it, which probably means that they won't be invited back so don't be holding your breath for a sequel video
3.  The clip features all sorts of nonsensical still-lifes, like a band member sitting on a couch holding an umbrella even though he is inside (whimsical!), and one of the band with his head in a fishbowl while the fish flops around desperately on the ground (MURDER!)
4.  There is some text at the bottom of the screen sometimes but you don't need to concern yourself with that because it doesn't really advance the "plot" of the video very much at all so if you are at work or something and you have to watch the clip in a tiny window and keep minimizing it because you think you hear your boss shuffling down the hallway in that way she does because she insists on not doing up her shoes because she's always trying to prove how "laid back" she is and how she's just "one of you guys, dudes", then don't worry because you won't be missing much.  But it's still a fun read if you have a few minutes
5.  Several (all) of the band are VERY HOT.
6.  Altogether the video is, as we said before, what we call "a very good video" and is just the kind of video a very good band should be making at this stage in their career.  So...well done everyone.

Foster the People

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Little Boots is back - hear 'Shake It Til Your Heart Breaks' now, and get a FREE MIXTAPE DOWNLOAD

Behind these eyes is a tiny amazing song factory filled with a round-the-clock workforce of pop goblins.
Maybe the most shocking thing about Little Boots is that to our knowledge no one in any interview ever has asked her just how big her boots actually are.  That's a troubling fact, to be sure, but is likely because every interviewer has found themselves utterly overcome with her output of VERY GOOD POP MUSIC.

And can we blame them?  After all, this is the woman who gave us 'New In Town,' with its urban-jazz hands video clip, and the post-Gaga RedOne brilliance that was 'Remedy.'  In fact, screw it, this is the woman who gave us the entire 'Hands' album which is literally amazing in parts and a bit crap in others but averages out to a SOLID B+ which is pretty much the best a pop album can get these days unless you're Kylie.

And now Ms. Boots is back with her follow-up LP, or at least the lead buzz single from it.  The track is called 'Shake Until Your Heart Breaks,' is already the frontrunner for "most brilliant song title of the year," and is amazing.  It sees the artist go in a harder, clubbier direction than her past output, with pretty spectacular results.  And thanks to the magic of the interwebs, you can hear it here right now:

Little Boots - Shake Till Your Heart Breaks by mdrezk


Also, Little Boots is embarking on a "DJ tour" which is apparently a thing that DJs do, which will see her spinning in clubs literally all around the world.  Presumably to show just how awesome that is going to be, she's also offered up a mix tape of tracks that everyone can have as a download for ABSOLUTELY NO CHARGE because she knows pop music fans are cheap. 

FREE MIXTAPE DOWNLOAD (feat. 'Shake It Til Your Heart Breaks')

Also amazing.  And free.