Sunday, June 29, 2008

Funny How Times Flies....

"Il me plait d'etre là avec tu je ne sais pas ou... ou le temps s'est enfui. Oh je t'aime mon chéri." So begins Janet Jackson's "Funny How Time Flies...(When You're Having Fun)". This translates as "I like to be with you. I don't know where... where the time has flown. Oh, I love you baby." The song is one of Janet's best songs of the 1980's but was never a hit single commercially. It was the 7th single from her multi million selling third album "Control" and was only released in the UK. It only charted at number 59. It was never released in the US where "The Pleasure Principle" would be her 6th and final single which by the time of it's release in the mid 1980's had made her into a Pop Icon of her own right. The video for "The Pleasure Principle" was the beginning of a tougher, leaner Janet. "Funny How Time Flies...(When You're Having Fun)" continued the theme of making her lover wait, a theme that was far more sweet and bubblegum in "Let's Wait Awhile" the most well known ballad from the album. "Funny How Time Flies...(When You're Having Fun)" was, I feel, the beginning of the determined path that Janet has been travelling over the past 21 years as her image and music became more sexual and direct while maintaining it's dance pop foundation. Her 1989 album "Rhythm Nation 1814" was the most perfect follow up to "Control". In a way similar to her brother's Michael's "Thriller" after the pop brilliance of "Off The Wall". "The Pleasure Principle" is the song on "Control" most similar to the dance songs on "Rhythm Nation 1814" while "Funny How Time Flies....(When You're Having Fun)" was the gorgeous predecessor to songs like "Come Back To Me" and "Lonely" from the same album. There was never a video made for "Funny How Time Flies...(When You're Having Fun)" so the clip below is audio only. This post originally appeared on my other blog All The Way To New York.

The Other Ms Amy

David Sedaris has a new book out called, When You are Engulfed in Flames. This is his first book since 2004's Dress Your Family In Corduroy And Denim. On Thursday 11th September David will be reading from his new non-fiction collection in the Westin Hotel, College Green, here in Dublin. That event is brought to his many Irish fans by a certain bookstore. More details here. "Me Talk Pretty One Day is still David's most well known book and I think that I am the only gay man who didn't love that book to death. But maybe I'll give it another go before reading his newest collection. A Sedaris who I really love is his sister Amy. She isn't as well known as her brother in Europe but America loves her and so it should. Amy has appeared in the greatest Christmas film of all time; Elf, one of the biggest films of all time; Shrek The Third, one of the most underrated Romance and Cigarettes and one or two of her own; Strangers With Candy. She is a regular guest on David Letterman show and also on the Martha Stewart show which turned out to be one of her funniest TV guest spots. Here that clip!

The New Pretenders

Here in Ireland this week the nation has been informed that we are now in a recession. One of the more amusing articles I read during the week of media gloom and doom was where a female journalist was asked by her teenage son; "mammy, what's a recession?". Yes indeed, in 2008, there are thousands, well at least 100's of pampered teens who haven't worked a day in their life and worse don't even know how to do it. We may finally see what years of "Heat" magazine, Big Brother instant fame, Colleen and her endless wedding party and MTV filmed 16th birthday parties will result in. There is one Irish Patron Saint that many girls, and some boys, have held a steadfast devotion to. That is Saint Nadine of the Little Lie that got to where I am today. Nadine is of course, Nadine Coyle, of the greatest female group of the last decade, Girls Aloud. The ones who best continued the Spices good work. When poor Nadine lied about her age on Irish television's answer to Pop Idol, it was the start of her brilliant career. For the past few weeks The Saturdays have been touring with Girls Aloud and their fab new single, "If This Is Love", is released on the 28th July. The video is featured on Perez Hilton's site today. Like all good popstars of today they were featured on Popjustice months ago. Once again we have a girl band who have gone for the 80's Top Shop/trashy call girl look and, on their single, the good old 1980's sample. However, even though all the gays born before 1980 will know the sample of the song used, very few of the gays and future girl fans, and some boys, born after 1980 will know it. Too clever. Here's the video! I love it. However! The lovely sample has already been used months ago on a mash-up of my favourite song of 2006. Here it is! It was a criticism of the music of Stock, Aitken and Waterman in the 1980's that their music never reflected the times that they were released in. When I was growing up in the 198o's there was widespread unemployment, every teenager I knew had, or couldn't get, a weekend job, very few people had millionaire lifestyles. But that's why I loved pop music then, there were loads of bands, like The Smiths and most Indie bands, whose music will always be a product of their time but the need for pop for the sake of pop should always be part of popular culture. Maybe that's why there was so much of it in the 1990's. The decade of so many girl and boy bands, it went into overdrive. I am so glad, now, that I was a teenager of the 1980's. I know I'm getting older when I can't listen to a lot of the music in the charts, even though the top ten is still the most poppiest as this week's chart shows again.When I like a pop artist or song these days it reminds me of songs I knew and bought back 20 years ago. If things are going to change economically then it's also a perfect time for a pop act like The Saturdays to come along. On the introduction page on their website there is a great line; "It's not gone unnoticed that music's needed a bloody good kick up the arse for some time now", The Saturdays being the solution. Pop that dosen't take itself too serious. The best kind.