Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Let's Go, Eskimo

A few months I posted a fab mash up of Love Machine by Girls Aloud and Walk Away by Kelly Clarkson which can be heard again here. The mix is by Bobby Martini.
Love Machine has also been mixed with Last Train To Clarksville by The Monkees. The audio mix below isn't the best quality but I think it works well. Last Train To Clarksville was the Monkees debut single and was a number one hit 44 years ago.
Arctic Monkeys did a version of Love Machine and here it is.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Alexandra

Alexandra Burke has performed in concerts and PA's several times here in Ireland since winning X Factor in 2008. As well as appearing at this weekend's Milk festival she headlines her own show at Dublin's Grand Canal Theatre on Jan 17th 2011. Of all of the X Factor winners I think Shayne ward is still the best of the winners but Alexandra is also a proper popstar with a great voice and who seems to be one of the hardest working stars in pop music today. This year the auditions for X Factor came to Dublin which now means that the show finally acknowledges the huge audience that it has in Ireland, both north and south. I'm sure that it also means that Irish viewers will be able to vote for their favourite contestant, something we could never do before in the south during the other 6 series. While there is now a major money making opportunity in the additional phone votes for the producers I think it will also result in many Irish viewers voting for the Irish act regardless of how good those contestants are. Of course Scottish, Welsh or English viewers do vote for someone from their own country but it will be interesting to see exactly how the majority of Irish viewers vote. I don't think that Ireland should inflict another Conway Sisters, Jedward or Eoghan Quigg on music. In saying that the possible Irish act (or acts) could be very good. Ireland has very talented singers and there have been many Irish popstars who went on to do well internationally but with a novelty act like Jedward I just felt embarrassed watching the show last year. Even with the huge amount of publicity that All The Small Things got it still only got to number 80 in the UK singles chart and didn't even go top 20 in Ireland. There should always be pop acts suitable for children but the kids deserve better! I really lost a lot of faith in Popjustice when they named that song their song of the day a few weeks ago. I will of course be watching X Factor when it starts again at the end of this month and am looking forward to Paul's Fizzypop's write up's every week, which for me were often better than the actual shows. It will also be interesting to see what direction last year's winner Joe will go in. The last series had a really poptastic moment and it had nothing with Joe. It was Alexandra and JLS with a mash up of their own songs. I know not every reader here likes X Factor but every pop fan has to agree that an artist has to believe in what they do and in the case of Alexandra and JLS they definitely do. The mix of Bad Boys and Everybody in Love is here. Alexandra's new song is Start Without You. I think it's the weakest of her singles so far and she really deserves better. It's time to lose the guest vocalists I think. .

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Misty Blue

Monica's newest single Love All Over Me is the second from her album Still Standing. Her duet with Brandy, The Boy Is Mine, was my most listened to song in 1998. It spent 13 weeks at number one in the Billboard charts.
I've always thought that Monica has one of the best voices in R'n'B. Here is her version of the great Dorothy Moore song, Misty Blue.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Going Down The Indie Road (I Never Wanted To Go)

One of the lovely things about the film course that I am doing in the Winter and spring evenings is that I don't think I will ever be a movie snob. Over the past 2 years of classes I have seen so many wonderful films of various genres but I think I will continue to love commercial cinema and the importance of movie star as stars. I am thinking of doing a separate movie blog sometime soon. I know I so rarely post on this site but the idea is there anyway. Last year I wrote movie reviews for a magazine based in Kilkenny, my home county. I also complied features for the magazine's books pages so each month I had 4 or more full pages to prepare. If you think there's a lot of work doing a blog post it's a breeze compared to working to magazine deadlines. I reviewed on average 3 movies a month. My review of Up In The Air is here, as well as Alice In Wonderland and Avatar. One of the other films I reviewed was New Moon which I enjoyed even though I hadn't read Twilight or New Moon or seen the first movie. This summer I read Twilight and enjoyed it. It is all about being inside Bella's head and I can see why the books are so addictive for people especially teenage girls who make up the majority of the saga's readers. Fact: v few boys read Stephenie Meyer. Maybe it's like Heat or OK magazine where they read their girlfriend's copy at home. In the bookshop where I work vampire themed books are still among our daily best-sellers, though I wish some of them would discover early Stephen King or Anne Rice. This summer I really enjoyed the Eclipse movie for what it set out to do. It felt like a big movie and while much of it is not original it is a movie for today. I think every reviewer has to regard a movie's target audience and try and see it through their eyes. He or she of course should have their own opinion but good film reviewing is sometimes more than the actual film. It's also about considering that film's place in present popular culture. The American reviewers very often regard film as a business product, good or bad art, an event or simply pure escapism. I read very few film reviews in Irish newspapers, I can almost predict how a film will be reviewed before seeing it. Commercial cinema is very often reviewed negatively while some truly awful art house cinema or films produced in Ireland are overrated. One of the few Irish reviewers that I like to read is John Maguire who writes for a national newspaper here in Ireland. His reviews including Eclipse, which he gives a bad review, are here on his blog Confessions of a Film Critic. While watching New Moon last year I wondered why the soundtrack was so dominated by indie music. A large part of the reason, I would imagine, is because it is the music that Stephenie Meyer herself listens to. The acknowledgements in the book New Moon include a thank you to Muse, Travis, Linkin Park, Coldplay and Elbow. They are all bands I have very little interest in but are all similar bands that you can imagine readers of the books liking or at least investigating their music. Stephenie also has a link to Amazon where you can buy albums she recommends. Big business! The soundtrack for Eclipse is therefore also very indie but one song stood out when I heard it and I like it more each time I hear it now.. I didn't even know who sang it when I heard it during Eclipse which shows the level of my interest in that genre of music. That song is called Let's Get Lost. It's by the very well known Mr Beck and Miss Bat For Lashes.

When Britney met Rihanna and Usher too!

Here's another mix from Robin Skouteris. I think Rihanna's Don't Stop The Music is still one of the most glorious pop songs of recent years. The mix features that song as a baseline and there are several of Britney's songs and some Usher in the mix too. Her Royal Highness also makes an appearance.

Esther Ofarim

This evening I was listening to the song Black Is The Colour Of My True Love's Hair by Jimmy Sommerville. I was looking on Youtube to post it here but it's not there as of yet but is on Last FM and is very much worth searching for. Instead I found a version of that song by Esther Ofarim. I had never heard of her before. She has such a beautiful voice.
Here is a clip from the German film 11 Uhr 20 (11 O Clock 20) where she sings the song. And here is her version of the equally beautiful She's Leaving Home.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Back To Last

When I first started blogging I was also listening to a lot of music through Last FM. I loved discovering new and mainly old songs through it. Many of the songs I found would make their way onto my blog. I rarely subscribed to the site but as it's only €3 a month I signed up again. Two years ago you only needed 15 songs to make a playlist, now it's 45 but it's like having your own radio station. Much better than enduring 2FM here in Ireland! I've noticed that lots of songs aren't on Last FM's lists including nearly all of Madonna's. The weird thing is that most of Prince's are. I spent all yesterday evening listening to various songs and I think it's going to get me back blogging. My new profile name on Last FM is Davidjminogue so do check out my page there and my 150+ playlist. Here is one song that I found on Last FM and one that I haven't heard since I was a child. It's Please Mister Please by Olivia Newton John. I know I only recently featured an Olivia song but I love so many of her songs and this is such a sweet one and pure nostalgia. Ke$ha it ain't!