Friday, July 31, 2009

Whitney Houston is Crazy (Possibly!)

What with her new album and her "I'm clean, I SWEAR" act I'm guessing crazy shit like this from Whitney Houston will never happen again, an interview with Miss Houston and Wendy Williams, the notoriously hard assed (Mariah namechecked her in "Touch My Body" last year) and probing radio (and now TV) personality. The interview is demented, Whitney veers from queen diva to nutbag in the space of a put down. Hilarious:

So, like I said, Whitney is on the straight and narrow. Expect less put downs in interviews and more postivity. Expect no slurred words, just platitudes.

Or just expect this:

Whitney wobbling away, not being able to name Alicia Keyes songs, doing the "I'm not drunk, I SWEAR" face. This is a bit upsetting but (I'm going to hell for this. Don't care) entertaining.
The new album "I Look To You" is picking up a good buzz and has even had its released pushed forward (to a few weeks away!) so who knows, perhaps musically Whitney is back. I just hope she does another interview as entertaining as her one with Wendy.
And by the by, why can't more popstar interviews be this hilarious/confrontational/terrifying. I mean really.

New Madonna Track: It's a Celebration

Madonna has her "Celebration" greatest hits coming up in September which is fronted by the Paul Oakenfold produced title track which leaked to the internet this week to the excitement of many. The single is available to stream now on

Before we do anything lets just take in the cover art for the single which I think is fantastic:

Madonna looks like she is on the piss, out to have indiscriminate casual sex with a stranger and smoke large cigars (perhaps in a suggestive manner). In other words, Madonna is on a night out. I love how this gets across her love of dance and her rhythm and also like someone who is slightly out of it. Brilliant.

The song itself is bouncy, joyous and a tad generic. But the good parts : thumping bass, catchy chorus, tongue in cheek lyrics make it stand out as a fantastic piece of club pop and one of the most enjoyable things Madonna has done in ages.

The lyrics are as underdeveloped as ever and her delivery is at times stupidly fast. I smell a lyrical top 5 coming on

5: "Lets get this started, no more hesitation" :

Madonna uses the word hesitation for the billionth time in a song. She obviously hopes that the word hesitate will become her new conical bra style trademark.

4: "If it makes you feel good, then I say do it" :

Is this what Madonna says everytime she does a 3 hour workout?

3: "Are you drunk or are you sober? Think about it, doesn't matter":

This is the philosophical dilemma faced by every person in a club who decides to suck face with someone completely drunk, feels bad about it and then decides that they don't care because they haven't kissed anyone in ages and if there were really going to start questioning their motives they probably wouldn't have had that last double vodka and redbull, wouldn't have hurled abuse at the girl at the cloakroom, wouldn't have told their friend that their pencil skirt does make them look bloated and probably wouldn't have spent their last five euro on said vodka/redbull. Isn't amazing how one lyric can so much? Beautiful.

2: "Haven't I seen you somewhere before? You look familiar"

Parts in pop songs where popstar speak instead of sing are usually entertaining and/or amazing. The spoken word part in "Celebration" is fantastic and is the sexiest Madonna has sounded in years. This lyrics is great for how it makes it sound like Madonna is prowling the club for that cute guy from last week but also the idea that she sees a photo of herself from 1983 and asks that same question.

1: "I guess I didn't recognise you without your clothes on"

Yet another amazing speaking part, I'd imagine this is aimed at Madonna's on/off boy toy Jesus "I'm quite frequently pictured in my underwear" Luz. I can picture M saying this to Jesus everytime he turns up to her house for a visit and is wearing more than just a smile. "Why aren't you naked?" Madonna barks "Because its cold out and I could get arrested?" retorts Jesus. "Fair enough" replies Madonna "I might just reference this moment in an upcoming song of mine, thanks for the inspiration".

Celebration may not be a "Like A Prayer" style classic but it is incredibly good fun and you will find yourself throwing shapes to this on the dancefloor within the next few months.

2 New Videos of Note: Sugas Get Sexy, Shakira Gets Her Wolf On

You just know the Sugababes were a bit miffed when they "dropped" their new video for Get Sexy this week and then the new Shakira one in all its leotard wearing, raunchy cage dancing glory made its way to the internet. Still its always nice to have two new pop videos in the space of a day!

The Sugababes manage to pack alot into their video but all looks awful cheap. Although I love Heidi's verse and that all the girls have their own unique set up and get to party on down in a white room covered in their own lyrics at the end. Its like the girls are on a journey (perhaps a sexy journey) and at the end of the journey they find each other. Like a girlband light at the end of a sexy tunnel.

The Shakira video is brilliantly executed, all hip thrusts and effortless sexuality. Shame it all comes apart in the last scene with Shakria suddenly trapped in a bad 80s dance movie hoping to She Wolf her way into a Flashdance remake. Still it is directed by Jake Nava (my favourite video director of all time) and the good scenes are brilliant, mixing that Shakira knack for being sexy and eccentric all at once. And if there was a battle of the pop leotard going on between Madonna, Beyonce, Lady Gaga and Shakira I think Shaki would win hands down!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Music Video Roundup

Anyone who knows me knows that I love music videos very much. Just the mere thought of a 4 minutes of overly edited glossy looking shots of people grinding in a club to the tune of the new Madonna track is enough to get me excited. Music videos are bizaare utterly unique art form where no logic or plot just visuals galore can work. Or you can tell a whole little story like a great short film all set to music. So as such I still find new videos a joy to watch be it from new aritst or established stars and for a variety of tracks. With that in mind lets have a look at some new and recently released videos I've enjoyed (or maybe not enjoyed!)

Little Boots - Remedy

This is a solid gold pop stomper from a girl who has gone from overhyped to unfairly maligned in the space of a second. Many have moaned that Boots is too commerical and lacking in edge etc. Well as stupid as these comments are they might enjoy the new video from the lady herself. A slick and glossy looking video with simple but effective visuals it brings home the technology friendly and quirky side of Little Boots that has endeared her to so many. This video probably should have been a big obvious "up in the club" type affair but this space age effort actually works brilliantly. This video is sleek and edgy and stands out a mile from everything else at the moment. It does both the song and Little Boots justice.

Dolly Rockers - Gold Digger

These girls are hard to dislike. A girl group with a strong Spice Girls meets Lily Allen feel, these three English lasses gleefully tear strips out of blonde bimbo wags. The song is a wierd but strangely brilliant mixing of cheeky lyrics, very little singing and a silly dance beat. It shouldn't work but it does. And much could be said about the video which is basically cleverly edited and staged set ups that show off the gumption of the Gold Diggers. It is basically Wannabe 2009 in its off the cuff charm and cheekiness. It fits in well with other Dolly Rocker videos they've already done on YouTube which are all worth a look. Not only do these girls brim with personality they've knocked out a great little debut single and a video that sums them up quite efficiently.

BoA - Energetic

Korean pop star with eyes on the US market BoA released her cracking English language debut stateside earlier this year and recently released the video for the 3rd single .Given that the album is a straight up dancefloor stormer all the videos have had a similar. I was delighted to hear Energetic was a single given that is a fantastic slice of aggressive synth hip hop pop. Not so delighted by the dull, unimaginative video and poor sound and crappy remix. Still this is catchy and BoA's moves are a joy to behold. Like Britney but better!

Fun Fact: Both Little Boots and Dolly Rockers filmed other videos for their respective tracks but went back to the drawing board and filmed second videos instead. And they record labels don't like to spend money

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Revenge of the Girl Crush: Kim Kardashian

Talking about Girl Crushes is both lazy and bad blogging but sometimes you see a lady so beautiful and so girl crush tastic you just have to give yourself up to the gods of ridiculous and blog it out.

Kim Kardashian

Having just watched Kim Kardashian and co (ie. "wacky family" and sportstar boyfriend) on her E! reality series "Keeping Up With Kardashians" (every bit as classy as it sounds) reminded me of how impossibly beautiful and unusually classy she is.

(all photos from

Phwoar etc. Kim is beloved of the FHM/Playboy mags of this world for her obvious lads mag appeal. And she is undeniably sexy in that curvy lady, big boobed way. But she is also impossibly beautiful too, a bombshell in the old Hollywood tradition that makes her ten times more interesting and likeable then identikit Hollywood It Girls and ten a penny FHM ladies. She stands out immediately in her numerous celeb mag photoshoots and her striking and unique face is part of what stops people hating her in the way other "famous for being famous" types like Paris Hilton are hated for.

And if talking about girl crushes is a hoary old cliche then saying someone is a style icon is even more hoar-y. But Kim has a great, edgy meets accessible dress sense that looks great on camera. She can pull of high end looks but in a way that feels like you could see it on other young women. And with people calling Beth Ditto (who to my eyes is not healthy weight wise) a style icon for "curvy" women someone like Kim with hips and boobs and an ass who still looks healthy and active is a joy to see. And even a cursory glance (ahem) at her reality series shows her as polite, demure and sweet in direct comparison to her less famous but much more crazy sisters. Kim is an interesting figure. Sexy but accessible, fashionable but not offputtingly so and just plain gorgeous she is one of those sort of pointless celebrities you not only tolerate but can't stop looking at.

The strange hypnotic power of La Kardashian is best described in this Details magazine piece from last year :

In the meantime I will just continue to gawk at this photo and wonder over the strange power of the girl crush, enjoy!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Total Xposure: Progress Report

Right so Total Xposure is chugging along week by week and for all the griping that people make about this show and other Irish productions its an entertaining and at times cringe-y piece of reality fun. The contestants are really starting to either excel or not excel and it is fascinating to see who is rising to the challenge and who isn't.

Its far from a perfect piece of TV but it is utterly watchable.
The recent red carpet challenge was a great leveller and it was quite hiliarious to see Anne Doyle take one contestant to town for calling her a veteran and consoling another who was too nervous. Only in Ireland.

The judges are great. Emma Ledden is genuinely likeable and gives concise, sharp advice. Gerry Lundberg too does a nice line in constructive criticism. Michael O'Doherty veers from dead on critique to panto villain but there is always one panto type on a reality judging panel is there not?

At this stage I'm think Daniella or Sean would be my favourites to win but these things are so hard to call particularly the public vote aspect. I'm not a huge fan of this spinning the vote into other parts thing, it makes the show feel messy and uncontained. A "Top Model" format of just the whole hour being the show would probably work a lot better. But hey, what do I know?

This is one of the most entertaining things on the box right now. I'm really looking forward to how it all pans out.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Mariah Carey "Obsessed" Round 2: Lyrical Craziness

Well I blogged on the new Mariah Carey track "Obsessed" not so long ago. My thoughts are still the same, upbeat, fun, summer-ish but I've now got to add since revisiting it the last few days that I am now kind of all over it. I'm not sure why but it has just clicked me for the piece of kooky, catchy superstar pop that it truly is.

Firstly the "oh oh oh oh oh" hook is stupidly simply but the kind of "Umbrella" style earworm that I'm going to find myself waking up at 3 in the morning singing (honestly) and the fact that the chorus contains the line "Lying that your sexing me" is quite obviously genius.

In fact the whole song is an exercise in Mariah dropping disses and weird lyrics while (I always visualise) flipping her hair and twittering about being in love with Nick Cannon.

How about a top 5?

"You a mom and pop, I’m a corporation
I’m the press conference, you a conversation"

Genius because obviously Mariah understands both modern economics and the world of high profile press events.

"You graspin’ for air, I’m ventilation"

Mariah also sees herself as giver of air to people. which given her vast wealth, doesn't seem like alot to give.

"Last man on the earth- still couldn’t get this"

This, readers, is what those in the hip hop bidness call a "diss". Fascinating

"Got you all fired up with your Napoleon complex

See right through you like you’re bathin’ in windex"

Not only does Mariah grasp French history she also likes to wash windows. If that isn't a sign of a down to earth star I don't know what is.

"And I was like, why are you so obsessed with me?"

A spoken word intro referencing Mean Girls? There are introductions and then there are ... AMAZING introductions. This is clearly in the second category.

Lyrical wonders aside there is now the video which to be honest is a tad dull BUT does offer the sight of Mariah Carey... DRAG KING. Which might be a nice second career for her given that (surprisingly) this track is currently stalling on the US chart and has barely registered a blip on this side of the pond. Odd.

That video in full, with embed disabled of course >:(

Just Stumbled On This Old-ish Madonna Track...

I've been reading Rupert Evertt's autobiography recently. It is an interesting if slightly tedious read. Everett has a beautiful turn of phrase and an interesting if overwrought personal journey that takes in a ridiculous number of international locations. I'm still not hitting the parts where he divulges all on his relationship with Madonna but my peeking ahead (look theres only so much guff about Russia a boy can take) seems to indicate plenty to come (thank god). Anyway the book made me have a quick dig around on YouTube on anything from the movie the pair did together the illfated flop "The Next Best Thing" (which given that I sat through "Swept Away" is probably worth a watch). Anyway we all remember and would really like to forget the single released from the soundtrack "American Pie" (repress that involuntary shudder please!) but I didn't realise that there was another track she did for the OST, "Time Stood Still". Its a typical piece of Madonna/William Orbit pop but that doesn't make it any less dreamy or pleasant. Worth a listen:

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Girl Crush X 2

In one way I want to roll my eyes when people talk about girl crushes in magazines. It just seems a bit of a magazine cliche but lately I've realised the girl crush is a great way to sing the praises of someone you might not fancy but might not properly be attracted to. Bearing that in mind I wanted to share two of my own girl crushes.

Leighton Meester

(all images from

Leighton stars Blair Waldorf in teen soap amaze fest "Gossip Girl" (as if you didn't know). As Blair she brings a haughty vulnerabiltiy and a gleeful sense of comic timing to the uber-bitch role that elevates beyond the usual cardboard cutout mean girl. Meester acts her ass off in every scene she gets even when the show is at its most illogical (which is quite frequently). Much is made in the press about how her co-star Blake Lively is the new "It Girl" which to me makes no sense. Yeah sure she dresses like Sienna Miller and is blonde but Leighton is the one to watch. She nails Blair in all her poised insecurity and in real life has an effortless tomboy meets glam image that is impossible to dislike:

Meester has embarked on a singing career which has her lending her pipes to the new Cobra Starship single "Good Girls Go Bad" which is a superstar pop smash waiting to happen. Whether she enjoys success in this arena is still open to debate but Meester will continue to bring the brilliant Blair to life and earn my admiration for awhile yet.

Nicole Richie

I've alway thought she was utterly hilarious on The Simple Life and unfairly maligned as a celebrity who is famous for no reason. Sure Nicole is as famous for being famous as the rest of them but she always had a sense of humour about her and more importantly a realism about what she had been through and where she was going. For all the bad press she got during her uber skinny phase (which was admittedly painful to watch) she was open about wanting to change her figure and get better when many magazines just wanted her to keep skinny and keep selling photos. Since dating Joel Madden and having kids Nicole has developed a funky and effortless style that has made her a fixture of fashion pages and the perfect girl crush for any boho chic wannabes out there

(all Nicole pictures from

Richie has grown up gracefully the last few years and now busies herself with her jewellery line, being a mother and being one of the funniest celeb twitterers I can think of. There was talk of both an album and a TV series for Richie but neither to materialise although her 2006 book The Truth About Diamonds (a fantastically enjoyable piece of fluff) is being developed for television. Nicole earns a place on my girl crush list for her great style, her comedy timing (see video below though watch it with the volume up!) and more importantly for being a Virgo. Really whats not to love?

VV Brown "Travelling Like The Light"

VV Brown was on just as many next big thing lists and magazine hype charts a few months back as current success stories as La Roux and Lady Gaga but doesn't seem to have had the same good fortunes as other pop ladies of late (in fact I dread to think what those sniping over Little Boots "failure" would say about VV). A self styled "doo wop indie" artist (yeah, I don't know how to take that term either) she has set out to establish as a kooky individual artist, one happy to dress up in endlessy hip vintage outfits and take the Duffy retro pop mould and give it a bit of sass. And for the most part she has succeeded.

Two "buzz singles" (yeah, right.) "Leave!" and "Crying Blood" despite fizzing with energy and menace and meaty hooks failed to make any real headaway earlier on in the year and sadly her current release "Shark In The Water" has yet to really catch on despite being an effortless piece of summer pop with a brilliant chorus and a suitably glossy video:

But what about the album itself? Well admittedly it took me a few listens but it stands up as a well rounded and enjoyable debut. Ultimately the album is at its best when VV is handing out stacks of attitude on the aforementioned singles and tracks like "Quick Fix" and "Game Over" but she handles other moods too on tracks such as the sultry "Bottles" and "I Love You" which show off her impressive voice. Brown has charm, character and personality in spades and an obvious ear for a decent tune (she was involved in the writing of much of the album and has previous writing credits for both the Pussycat Dolls and Sugababes) and the album stands strong as a sharp collection of songs (though does tail off slightly near the end).

Her lack of success so far seems to be because of no connection made with the general public or radio. She has in fact recieved a large amount of press, TV coverage and has been seen in all the right places. Between this and the strong material it is impossible to see why she hasn't become a huge star. But if its one thing the current pop climate has taught us its that newbie success is by no means an exact science.

Still all these fears aside, this album offers a great introduction to an artist with plenty of potential and is well worth your time. Brown might not be scaling the heights of La Roux, Little Boots or Lady Gaga but she has offered a thoroughly enjoyable album. And besides anyone who can produce a single that sounds a bit like "The Monster Mash" is worth your time.

Bruno Stirs Up A Fuss.

Unsurprisingly Sacha Baron Cohen's latest docu-comedy-offend-a-fest "Bruno" has created a huge amount of press in both photo opportunities at premeries to press reviews of the movie itself which have been decidely mixed. The box office would indicate a similar feeling too with this weeks US takings down significantly (over 70% according to E!Online) for the second week (though given the summer movie season and the huge takings of Harry Potter it might not be so surprising) and much of the press following the movies first weekend in cinemas centred on how this movie "goes too far" and isn't funny in some quarters to others claiming its a laugh a minute.

Stateside, US TV legend Barbara Walters and the ladies of The View (the US TV smash in the vein of Loose Women which I WISH somebody would screen over here) debated how "appropriate" the sex in the movie was. The discussion is worth a watch for how it sums up many of the various arguments on the movie and also showing how uncomfortable the very "gay" nature of this film makes people.

What I found odd during the week as people spoke about this movie was how vile they thought it was. Am I the only one who thought that for the most part it was no more tasteless than Borat? I do agree that there is more graphic sex and nudity but surely a generation of cinema goers weaned on various teen sex comedies, the uber violent torture porn horror movies of the last few years and the foul mouthed and overly laddish Judd Apatow/Seth Rogen era would be a little less easily shocked by now? I can understand comments about how this movie re-hashs similar ideas and jokes but is in effect a Borat sequel and there is always going to be similarities and shortcomings with movies in that vein.

For my money this film provides lots of laugh out loud moments AND makes you think (could you say that about "The Hangover"? Doubt it). It makes you about celebrity culture, the inherent homophobia layered all over our society (not just in the easy target US south places either) and how uncomfortable people who are gay make us. Yes Bruno is obviously a way over the top stereotype but so what? It brings out some of the best humour of the film and shows the extremes of people's reactions to gay people. As much as I'd love a tasteful gay to bring up all these thought provoking points it would be a bit dull and more importantly far less funny.

I know that opinions are always split on movies, especially a movie that relies on shock tactics but I can't help but feel a little uncomfortable at the level of some people's criticism. The Navan cinema clip, (now a viral sensation, see it here) where a local cinema phone operator advises against seeing the film because of how offensive the movie is can be seen as the pinnacle. Many have pointed out how hilarious it is in a Father Ted manner but to me its pretty homophobic. Why isn't he compelled to make these comments on other films? And if people are complaining after seeing a film, so what? Certificates and indication of the content of a film are widely available these days. Its your responiblity to gauge what a film will be like, not the cinema. What gives this man right to go a tirade about this film? I doubt he would have done it about Borat. I'm not saying that if you don't like Bruno you are a homophobe but the level of uncomfortableness ( is that world?) people have for the film to me says more about how not used to gay ideas/sexuality then anything to do with good taste.

And REALLY any film that can have Paula Abdul talk about human rights while using a mexican labourer as a chair has to be a winner.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Tunes of the Moment.

I am weighed down with new music thanks to lots of great new songs being leaked online and great albums being leaked. and as I've been asked to write the music column for GCN magazine (so thrilled) I've had a number of new albums thrown my way as well (as well as picking up some recent releases. PERK.)

But anyway, I digress, in no particular order here is a list of songs rocking my world at the moment (or over the last few weeks). With thanks to MuuMuse, Mossip Blog and Spherical Notions for the tips.

Shakira - "She Wolf" : superstar disco/electro of the highest order. will be huge.

Sugababes - "Get Sexy" : unapologetically brash stomper set to re-establish the 'Babes

Jordin Sparks - "SOS (Let The Music Play)" : generic but totally fun dance pop

Madonna - "Celebrate (Oakenfold 12" Dub)" : i smell a monster hit.

Pitbull - "I Know You Want Me" : bit late on this but what a great bootyshaker.

Britney - "Radar (Bloodshy and Avant Mix)" : breathes jittery life into this Brit classic.
(see also "Radar (Circus Tour European Studio Version)

Booty Luv - "Say It" : can this just hurry up and become a huge hit please?

Dizzee Rascal - "Holiday feat. Chrome/Calvin Harris" : perfect summer follow up to "Bonkers"

Brooke Hogan - "Ruff Me Up feat. Flo Rida" : crap & amazing, "Womanizer" on a budget

Stonebridge - "Put 'Em High" : its always nice to rediscover a classic. TUNE.

Martin Solveig/Dragonette - "Boys and Girls" : charming pop number. Dragonette do it again.

Rudenko - "Everybody" : not new but still sounds fabulous.

Kesha - "P.Diddy": Lady Gaga meets Uffie meets Katy Perry meets the dancefloor.

Leighton Meester - "Body Control" : more fun but throwaway dance pop.

Ashley Tisdale - "Crank It Up" : Britney-esque Blackout style number. Brill.

Dan Black - "Symphonies" : Epic and moody pop.

VV Brown - "Shark In The Water : fast becoming the song of summer that never was.