Thursday, August 27, 2009

How To Make Your Pop Single Stand Out: Brought To You By Cassie

Picture the scene.

You are Cassie. You are disgustingly beautiful. But you haven't had a hit in an awfully long time.

You have a number of high profile flop songs here and there and then someone puts you in the studio with Red One (Lady Gaga, Little Boots, Sean Kingston and what feels like every second song on the radio at the moment) and Akon (who isn't going to go away, let's face it) who have both done so many identical hit songs that there is no way in hell you'll get something new out of them.


Its very simple. You work the following lyrical wonder into your straightforward club jam.

"I'm right here, all over the place like bubbles,
My shine is like America's Next Top Model"

THAT is what you do.
I don't care that this song is generic, that is not very good really that lyric makes it worth my time.

thank you. that's all.

Livvi Franc: What A Difference A Handful Of Remixes Make

Its funny what a few remixes will do for your appreciation of a song.

When I first heard Livvi Franc's Now I'm That Bitch (or Chick depending on how sensitive you are) I thought it was fine but utterly forgettable R&B/synth pop that might be a semi hit but wouldn't set the world alight. But thanks to a handful of remixes and a video that clearly references both Ciara and Rachel Stevens (talk about doing your homework) I've slowly come around to the track.

Here is the video which clearly had a fair wad spent on it:

Its the remixes that made me like this one.

The Kaskade Edit is the typical Kaskade remix but it works really well, a great piece of filter house pop that would sound awfully good played loud.

The Sam Sparro Mix (streaming at Livvi's MySpace) is great too, has a chunky, bassy feel and is a step away from the usual sounds most pop remixes have taken lately.

And of course the Jason Nevins Electro Edit is top notch as ever (see MySpace above). Its a nice bit of straightforward remixology with a nice crunchy beat that is a bit "Sexy Bitch" and a bit "Day N' Nite" with a nice errant guitar riff that whiffs of Justice.

Between the three mixes and the repetitive use of the word bitch, I'm sold!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Bits and Pieces AKA Great Journalism.

There are so many blogs. There are so many stories. There are so many.. everything. I always spot things I should write, I should probably be talking about. And to be honest I've an exhaustive schedule of Twittering to excess, eating and watching Chelsea Lately to contend with that gets in the way of my blogging. That and I've yet to develop a proper writing ethic.


Here is a collection of stories etc. I've seen online/around that I wanted to chat up. Its a mixed bag but you know what so is life so get used to it.


Annie is amazing. The best thing to come out of Norway since.... something Norwegian. The much delayed Don't Stop album is finally to get a release in October. Popjustice of course are all over this like a rash so for more on the album click here, check out gorgeous new promo pictures here and get the info on her new single "Songs Remind Of You" which is sublime here.

To be honest you can't go wrong with a sleeve like this:


I am completely obsessed with Lindsay Lohan. I would like to set up a Lindsay Lohan magazine with photos of Lindsay being Lindsay. She does photoshoots at the same speed that most of us have hot showers. And they always look amazing. The recent spread Lindsay did for Elle UK is gorgeous. The feature accompanying it is heartbreaking and insightful but regardless of what the mag may have to say about her the Rankin shot photos are stunning, such as this ultra striking cover shot:

The full piece is in the current issue of Elle which is well worth a look but fret not as this Lindsay fansite have full scans in their extensive gallery section. She is also Blonde and working on the new Robert Rodriguez film. I don't like the first part of that sentence but I do like the second.


Given that I've already blogged about Kim "I have a huge ass, am gorgeous and famous for no reason" Kardashian already it feels only fair to mention her sisters who've only gone and got themselves a spin off to "Keeping Up With The Kardashians" on E! "Kourtney and Khloe Take Miami" screens here in September but it debuted last week to great success Stateside.
Kourtney and Khloe are actually hilarious. Khloe is tall, bonkers and a little bit dragalicious. Kourtney is basically Nicole Richie Ver 2.0. saying rude things and she's only gone and revealed she is pregs this week. I'm not sure if I'm bothered with the show but this interview with Chelsea Handler is hilarious. I wish I could go to Miami, have a radio show and exchange lewd tweets with my equally famous sibling who may look like a drag queen.



I can't even begin to describe this story, just click here


There were lots of photos of Britney with a bad weave and hanging out by the pool this week.
Then she appeared on Letterman for a comedy skit which was admittedly charming but also alarming given that Britney was STILL IN A BIKINI. Its like she walked out of the pool, read some lines and went back again. Well worth a watch by clicking here


This is nearly in cinemas. HOW EXCITING. Trailer here (You better have seen this already. I mean it). In anticipation I watched this CNN doc on Carine Roitfeld which is fascinating and quite entertaining because of ze way zat she has zat totally stereotypical french accent? Great stuff.



Heidi is on the cover of Playboy this month. How... classy. This sums up the photo shoot which is pretty lame (no nudity. Its a Maxim shoot basically). The full interview is on the Playboy website where Spencer interviews Heidi. Groan. You need to read it though. Total seen to be believed stuff, with qoutes such as this:

"Well, when I was shopping for my boobs, I wanted the best, so I sat down and flipped through a bunch of Playboys.

That is only the start of the hilarity. Imagine.

That is all I can muster for now. What a bundle of joy that lot is. Enjoy!

Amanda Blank + A Load Of Balloons = Charming Pop Video

Amanda Blank is a neat mix of Santigold and Peaches and a clear next in line contender for the High Priestess of Hipsters. Her debut album is just out though doesn't seem to be picking up the hype it has been expected too. For more on Blank, this post from Spherical Notions is worth a look.

The reason for this post is the new video for Blanks single "Might Like You Better". Its an unexpected gem, I love the song but was not expecting a video this striking or charming.

The balloons and the performance video parts are neat but effective and I love that half of the video consists of Blank just smiling and having the "I can't believe there are so many balloons in this video" face. We've all been there.

This is a great example of how to do a slick and eye popping video without having to go to town on effects or "plotlines". You just need to go... to the shops on effects and have some balloons.

Rather amazingly you can LEGALLY download FOR FREE this track and other Amanda Blank tracks/remixes here

Backstreet Boys Shoe Drama


I quite like the current Backstreet Boys single. Its catchy, a tad melodramatic and pleasingly retro.

Below is a video of the boys performing the track, Straight Through The Heart, in New York. They sound good, the routine is very slick and they move both like seasoned pros but also manage to look current without being too embarrassing.


christonabike. Try and get through more than 10 seconds of the video without wondering WHAT BRIAN HAS ON HIS FEET and you're a stronger person than me. At one point I was convinced he was wearing novelty slippers as a dare. Madness.

See for yourselves:

Tunes of the Moment Circa Mid August 2009

Lets list some more top tunes shall we?

In no particular order:

Whitney Houston - Million Dollar Bill : shimmer-y, sassy and uplifting disco pop and a great comeback single for Miss Houston.

Eva Simons - Silly Boy: Still sounds like a Rihanna/Lady Gaga demo but really thats no bad thing. The video is bonkers too which helps.

Eve - Me N My (Up In The Club) : a blippy, noisy electro hip hop track that I wasn't expecting from Eve but great nonetheless.

Little Boots - Catch 22 : I don't know why it took me so long to find out how amazing this and also why it wasn't on the album! Forshame Little Boots, forshame. See also Stuck On Repeat (Fake Blood Mix)

Fake Blood - Mars : this is one of those "dimly aware of it ages ago, finally got around to listening to it now" songs and I love it.

MGMT - Kids (80skidz Remix) : adds a lick of a paint and covers ovrt some of the overplayed sheen this had a while ago. Not a new mix as far as I know but I stumbled on it and it makes me happy.

Sean Kingston - Fire Burning : I hate Sean Kingston with a fiery passion but I really love this completely by the numbers Red One number and I'm not sure why!

Might Like You Better - Amanda Blank: I like that the first time I heard this I was dancing like a trooper on a Sunday evening. Always a nice way to be introduced to a song.

Richard Vission & Static Revenger feat. Luciana - I Like That: Brilliant dirty dance pop. Why isn't Luciana huge?

Jade Ewen - My Man : So four years ago but so fun. a great slice of R&B pop. The Cahill Remix is great.

Boys and Girls - Pixie Lott: Chirpy and enjoyable pop. The Moto Blanco and Hot Pink Deleorean mixes are fantastic too.

Backstreet Boys - Straight Through the Heart : Catchy, immediate old school pop.

Miley Cyrus - Party In The USA : You can try and resist. But why bother? This is sunny, carefree and will plaster a smile over your face. You cynic you.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

She Wolf: Still Obsessed

Shakira's disco/electro pop stomper She Wolf is still buried deep deep deep into my brain. The video is addictive and if I spent as much time writing this blog as I have trying to figure out where to source a leotard, a cage fit for dancing and a film crew to help make my own version then this would be a blog with a much higher number of updates. The great thing about She Wolf is this slightly nutty Shakira stamp she puts all over both the lyrics and the video. What that in mind here are TWO top fives. The top five lyrics and top five video moments. Feast your eyes on this lot.


"Darling this is no joke/this is lycanthropy"

Its always a bit risky to put such a hilarious lyric so early on in a pop song. The whole song might peak! The rest might seem dull! She might have to explain what lycanthropy is during the middle eight! Shakira does not let such moral quandrys stop her.

"I'm starting to feel just a little abused/like a coffee machine in an office"

Shakira tackles the hard hitting subjects facing todays society. Like over worked and over wrought coffee machines. What a trooper.

"Nocturnal creatures/ Are not so prudent"

This is a safe sex message. Obviously. People who go out at night are 56.78% less likely to use protection then those who go out during the day. Fact.

"And the fire department hotline/ in case I get in trouble later"

See Shakira is literally so hot that she CAUSES FIRES. See what she did there? Lovely.

"SOS she's in disguise/ there's a she wolf in disguise"

This would be a great jumping off point for a movie about an undercover she wolf spy. Think about it.


0:23-0:28 : Shakira staggers through a cave painted in lady bits pink in leotard with a leg missing.
We've all been there.

1:18-1:21 : Shakira lies on her front and slides her crotch upwards in a Yoga move entitled Upward Raising Of Crotch As If Hoping To Engage In Sex Acts With Someone

2:10 : A ridiculously over the top jump cut of Shakira spreading her legs which is thrown in to alarm the viewer like someone suddenly being mowed down by a lorry in a Final Destination sequel.

2:36 : Shakira wobbles her side bum (like side boob for your bum) against her cage almost as if she is taunting Beyonce. "Thought you could wiggle your bum in leotard B? Pfft".

2:48-2:49 : The ridiculous shot of Miss Shaki doing some Bollywood queen meets feral she wolf dance on her hunkers is one of the most hilarious things I've seen in a music video in an awfully long time. The fact that it becomes a recurring image for the final moments of the video makes it even better.

3:14-3:18 : Running towards the camera and wiggling her bum (you'd never guess but there is an AWFUL LOT of bum wiggling in this video) in the disappointing final rooftop dance sequence (that would be a great name for a band wouldn't it? "Hi we're "Disappointing Final Rooftop Dance Sequence" and our self title debut album is out now!") Shakira has an optimism during even a truly crap moment in her life that is both touching and inspiring. I will wear the same expression of deluded joy the next time I'm forced to do something awful.

There you have it.
What a tune

Of course the embedding of the video has disable by request because heaven forbid people should watch this video with ease.

All time code markings are for this version of the video posted on Shakira's official YouTube chanel:

Monday, August 3, 2009

Spin That Record - Top Tunes of the Moment

Lots of lovely remixes and pop tracks to be getting along with at the moment. Lets have a run down. Thanks to MuuMuse, Remixes Galore and Mossip for the tips!

MPHO - "Box N Locks" : Santigold-esque pop from hotly tipped Brit newcomer. Great stuff.

Hilary Duff - "Any Other Day (Richard Vission Remix)" : BRILLIANT stuff, the Duff isn't really on anybody's pop radar any more but this mix is fantastic and worth every second of your time, particularly if you think she's shite. In fact her last few remixes have been out of this world.

Medina - "You and I" : Slinky and moody dance tune, the Spencer and Hill remix is excellent too.

La Roux - Bulletproof (Zinc Remix) : Stumbled on this again after hearing it awhile back, much prefer it to the original!

Busta Rhymes - World Go Round feat. Estelle : club banger alert! Fantastic piece of aggressive electro fused hip hop. The video is inspired.

David Guetta - Sexy Bitch feat. Akon : A tad offensive maybe but this song is fire. This album is shaping up to be amazing Mr Guetta!

Dolly Rockers - Gold Digger : Staking a claim for most fun girl group around, this tune is tongue in cheek, catchy and very very good.

Freemasons feat. Sophie Ellis Bextor - "Heartbreak (Make Me A Dancer)" : I've just clicked with this rather epic track, Sophie's voice matches the usual Freemasons production really well.

Madonna - "Celebration (Benny Benassi Mix)" : Love the original obv but this gives a nice dirty house make over.

Simian Mobile Disco - "Cruel Intentions" feat. Beth Ditto : Inspired 90s style dance tune with lovely vocals from Ms Ditto.