Thursday, December 30, 2010

Rolling In The Deep

A few weeks ago I heard a song on the radio that I just thought wow! I knew the singer but couldn't place her name. It was Adele and the song was her new single Rolling In the Deep. It has to be one of the biggest songs of the new year. I know it's been featured on a million blogs but these days I'm regarding my own blog as a kind of diary where I can look back on a month or a year and see what music or specific songs I liked at the time.
It has taken me a long time to warm to Adele as a singer and star. I thought she was painful when she was on the Brits at the start of her career but of course she was so young and the pressure of being 'the next great singer' in the UK must have been something that few stars do well.
I think Adele owes a lot to Gamu singing Make you feel My Love on X Factor last Autumn and giving her a hit all over again without trying. I wonder if singers auditioning on next year's show will be told to sing certain songs to bring them to the public's attention. Nothing would surprise me if that were to happen at the audition stage. I hope Adele's forthcoming album, 21, is just as good as the lead single. Here's Rolling In The Deep which is released on the 16th of January on download and the next day on CD single.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

L.O.V.E.

I look forward to posting the new mash ups and videos from Robin Skouteris in 2011. I sent him a message recently on youtube to say how much I enjoy his work and he sent back a lovely reply. Robin's latest mash up features the new Michael Jackson and Akon song Hold My Hand and ten other artists including Kelly Clarkson, Beyonce, Muse and Jason Derulo. It is a really flawless mix, as if all the artists had been in the studio together. When I heard the Backstreet Boys and Kelly Clarkson on the mix I knew I would dedicate this one to my sister Emma. Here's the very joyful L.O.V.E. as created and produced by my favourite remixer Robin Skouteris.

Have yourself a Davenport Christmas

This one is for David in Brighton. I swear to God that David works on blogging telepathy. Around two weeks ago I was going to post a clip of Divine as Dawn Davenport in the John Waters film Female Trouble and didn't get round to it and then David refers to the same clip in a post on his blog last week. I first watched Female Trouble while on holidays in Baltimore. Myself and my fab friend Rosie stayed in her friend Jane's appartment and we watched the movie late one night on a video tape version. I loved every minute of it and it was even more wonderful to have seen it in the city it was filmed in. Forget The Wire, Baltimore is and always will be John Waters. I love David's attitude to Christmas. He hates it. For you David, here's Dawn on Christmas morning not getting those cha cha heels.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Here I Go, Once Again...

The first albums that I owned as a child in the 1970's were the soundtrack to Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and The Muppet Show album. The best thing about The Muppet Show was the characters themselves. The second best thing was the guest stars. As the show became more popular the guest stars became more famous. Over the next two weeks I'm going to post some of those guest appearances. The first is by the gorgeous Crystal Gayle and her perfect country song River Road.

The Wisdom of Linus

What do we associate our memories of Christmas with? For me television plays a big part of remembering moments of Christmas past. I remember seeing the Star Wars Christmas special as it played in the background of a relation's house, various Top of the Pops Christmas specials and cartoons such as Garfield and Charlie Brown. Of course back then I thought Charlie Brown was all about Snoopy and the human characters were all secondary characters. I watched A Charlie Brown Christmas again a few years ago and realised that it was aimed at a wide audience of both adults and children, something that Pixar tries to do with their films in cinema. It is pure philosophy such as the clip below featuring Charlie and Linus. I love the character of Linus, how he sucks his thumb when he's probably too old to do so but dosen't care. That was me! The colour in the animation makes you a child again and at Christmas I think that's what everyone needs to be.

Strawberry Letter # 23

More snow here in Dublin. The city is covered in snow again and it was like being in Moscow this evening. I visited my brother this evening at the place where he draws his art and met some of his very sound friends. One of the guys was playing some good music and here's one of those songs. From 1977 this is Brothers Johnson and Strawberry Letter # 23.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Team Minogue

I think my own sisters Emma and Jane Minogue should do their own version of the song below.

The Right Man

Here's one of my favourite album tracks of the past few years. It's The Right Man from Christina Aguilera. I think the album it came from, Back To Basics, should never have been a double album but it would have made a great 10 or 12 track album. Listening to the lyrics of The Right Man I couldn't help but think of the fact that since the song was recorded her marriage has broken up. I wonder what artists think when they look back on songs that may have come from a particular relationship or time in their life. I know Burlesque has gotten bad reviews too but I still want to see it when it's released here in Ireland. Here's Christina and The Right Man. I think her vocals are powerful on this song.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

True Blue

I think bubblegum pop is what the world needs again. The best of that kind of simple innocent pop, for me, was Madonna's True Blue. It was Madonna tribute and homage to Motown or the Girl Group pop of the 50s. I can still remember seeing the video on TV for the first time. There was a couple of songs that featured her laugh and True Blue was one of them. Here's the Color remix that was released at the time back in 1986.

Kiss Kiss

Here's one of those pop songs that was a huge hit on release and one that you never hear now. It's Kiss Kiss by Holly Valance. It went to number one in the UK in 2002 back when female Aussie soap stars had hits and weren't just a Minogue. Holly starred in Neighbours at the time and I'm sure the video, which was a little bit controversial, helped sell a few CD singles too. Kiss Kiss was Holly's version of the Stella Soliel song which itself was a cover of a Turkish song called Simarik first recorded by Tarkan. Kiss Kiss was a real Saturday morning CD:UK song and it's CD single had a couple of memorable remixes and here's two of them. The first is the Agent Sumo 2 mix. And the second was by Jah Wobble who later went on to work with Sinead O'Connor and many more.

Monsters

Here's the latest mash up from Robin Skouteris. It features two of his most sampled artists, Michael Jackson and Lady Gaga. The songs are Monster from Michael Jackson featuring 50 Cent which is featured on his 'new' posthumous album Michael and Lady Gaga and Monster which should have been a single. I first posted this without realising Monster was from the new Michael Jackson album and I thought it was one of those old bonus tracks from an album session. I think Monster would have been a better first single instead of Hold My Hand. I also think that it still feels weird to hear 'new' songs by him. Regarding the mash up itself I'm not completely crazy on the drawn out vocal of Gaga in the chorus but overall Robin is top of his game again. I still think that he should be a big star. Maybe he in his native Greece!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Bee Gees Christmas

Here's a real treat for 70's music fans. I have no idea when it was made but it's Cilla Black on her TV show talking to the Bee Gees with their families. They sing Silent Night as well. Cilla has such a fab personality.

 

Come Back To The Five and Dime, Britney Spears, Britney Spears

Britney Spears is 29 years old today. It's twelve years since ...Baby One More Time was released. Of all of the pop stars of recent years I think she has been the best case of what happens when someone too young becomes famous very quickly. I wish some of the parents who allow their children to take part on shows like X Factor would look at Britney as an example of what happens when instant fame is given to someone still growing up. I do think what the public loved about Britney is that she has always had a great likeability factor but her image was sexualised from the very beginning of her pop career and that was then intensified as the years went by. The result of what began with Britney and Christina is now seen in the images of female stars such as Rihanna and Kesha. I never thought that Britney's 'adult' image really suited her and deep down I would imagine that she was never completely comfortable with it herself. I remember just feeling so sad for her when her very public breakdown was in the news every day. I do think that Britney has some of the best pop songs of the past decade and more. I think she will always be someone who has never been allowed to grow up properly and lots of the media from Rolling Stone magazine to the tabloid press in the US and Europe has added to that. She's been out of the spotlight over the past few months and I hope it has been a happier time for her. One of my favourite Britney songs never appeared on an offical album. It's called Baby Boy and was supposed to have been on the Blackout album. A friend gave me a bootleg copy of the album when it came out and Baby Boy was one of the songs on it and is the one that stood out the most for me.

Merry Madonna

Madonna at Christmas!

The Marvellous Miss Minogue

Here's Kylie and one of the reasons why she is still one of the greatest pop stars ever.