Friday, July 30, 2010

Dannii Minogue Does Reality TV : Very Exciting

Ever since the amazing electro pop that was 2003's Neon Nights album I've had a soft spot for Dannii Minogue. She served up a pile of top dance pop singles from the hit I Begin To Wonder to the floptastic but still fun Touch Me Like That which was basically Dannii singing about her ladybits over Slyvester's You Make Me Feel. Which is No. Bad. Thing.

Anyway, while music may not have gone Dannii's way (despite reports over the last year or two that she has been working with Freemasons on new material and more recently Ruth Lorenzo who she mentored on X Factor) her time on the X Factor has slowly but surely given Dannii a spot as a sweetheart of sorts for the X Factor audience.

Maybe it's been her clothes, maybe it's her spot on mix of camp-y relish and spot on critique but Minogue is always the best bit about the X Factor for me. After a brief break from filming after having a baby (with her fella, who quite frankly did not get hit with the ugly stick!) Dannii is now back beavering on the forthcoming X Factor series (while Cheryl generally just has to lie around in hospital and wonder why she couldn't plump the few extra quid for a pre-holiday malaria jab).

Before that though is the small matter of her new reality series for ITV2, Dannii Minogue: Style Queen. The focus seems to mainly be on her new fashion line Project D but the previews knocking around on the web suggest plenty of other stuff to enjoy too not least a cameo from another quite recognisable Minogue sister.

This preview however is my fave, it's short but sweet as Dannii vamps it up with 2 of her best gayzzz before the amazing line at the end "you know Joan Collins came into my dressing room at X Factor?" and BAM clip cuts out. Talk about leaving us wanting more.

Dannii Minogue: Style Queen is probably going to be one of those classy, slightly dull reality affairs. But to be honest I'm not really into the idea of seeing Dannii tramping around cursing and acting a twat so that's acceptable. I just want to see her look glam, hold hands with her LASH of a fella and generally be amazing. If anyone who spotted her Piers Morgan interview last year they'll know Dannii has certainly struggled through C-list celebrity long enough to have earned what is fast becoming the golden age of her career.

More power to you Miss Minogue, now if you could knock out another track as great as this we'd be laughing:

Dannii Minogue: Style Queen hits ITV2 this Wednesday at 9pm.

Talking MIA & Step Up 3D on Spin This Weekend

I've been lucky enough to be asked to do fairly regular album reviews for Plan B, the Saturday magazine show on Spin 1038. It's always fun to do, whether it's dancing to Enrique in studio or cracking jokes about Sex and the City 2. This weekend I'll be chatting to Michelle from 1pm about MIA's new album MAYA (as I've taken to calling it, funny spelling bedamned!) and the soundtrack to Step Up 3D. Both are quite amazing in their own unique way so it should be fun to do.

The MIA album has grown on me no end. It's gotten mixed reports, especially as many seemed to think it was the dawning of a new pop orientated version of the star following the worldwide success of Paper Planes post Slumdog Millionaire. In reality it's what we've come to expect from her albums. Big ideas, crazy sounds and a mix of harsh, cloudy moments with some soaring pop melodies. There is definitely a harsher, industrial sound to some of the tracks but when MIA focuses on the chorus you catch a glimpse of some of her finest moments yet. Case in point the excellent XXXO which Spin have had in high rotation on their playlist. Another gem on the album for me is the lilting Tell Me Why, that oozes a melancholy missing on the rest of the release:

The Step Up 3D soundtrack is loads of fun. The previous film had a really strong mix of commerical R&B and Hip Hop and this one does much the same thing. You've probably heard that huge Flo Rida tune Club Can't Handle Me (number 4 on the Irish singles chart this week) but there's plenty of other bangers to be found from the pop sheen of Sophia Fresh's This Instant to well known cuts from Chromeo, N.A.S.A. and Estelle.

I've also somehow been invited to the premiere of the film on Tuesday which quite frankly is the most exciting thing that has EVER happened to me. I'll try and throw up a review once I've gotten to see it. Here's hoping it's suitably amazing!

Until then don't miss tomorrow on Spin at one. Not only is it online to stream, they now have the Spin TV cameras allowing you to watch what's going on in studio. I'm sure I'll bust a few Step Up inspired moves at some point. Hurrah.

Oxegen Goodies: Gabriella Cilmi, Newton Faulkner and Wild Beasts stop by for a chat

It might seem like forever ago since I tramped around the mucky fields at Oxegen but thankfully the IMTV video content we made is trickling through to make me feel like it all happened just yesterday.

The Oxegen Angelus I mentioned earlier in the week is still picking up loads of views (it's over 3,000 now!) while plenty of our antics from the weekend are cropping up too.

But it wasn't all high fives in the media area and trying not to fall over in the blue campsite too. Oh no, there were interviews to be had. Check out my chat with Wild Beasts from the 3 minute mark in this video, which will remind you how most bands literally spend a few hours at Oxegen before being whisked off to another glamourous tour location:

I also had a chat with Aussie popstrel Gabriella Cilmi whose album "Ten" has been a favourite of mine over the last few months. If you haven't checked out the criminally underrated Hearts Don't Lie then do so immediately! My quick natter with Gabriella is below before I spotted her playing a bit of a crazy golf in the VIP area in a totally different outfit. And they say popstars aren't glamourous these days!

Rounding out this batch of Oxegen sit downs is my natter with Newton Faulkner. The folk favourite has become something of a festival staple and is quite the lovely guy too. One of the most laidback stars I spoke to all weekend, he cuts a charming figure and it's easy to see why his one man show goes down such a treat with the festival masses:

Big thanks to all the record label people that sorted these interviews for us, it's much appreciated! Keep your eyes peeled for more Oxegen interviews on IMTV across the next few weeks!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Good God I Love Rachel Zoe

You may have caught me raving about The Rachel Zoe Project last year. One of my favourite reality shows in AGES both seasons delivered plenty of fun and frolics not least when Rachel "ohmygodithinki'mgonnadielookingathisversacedress" Zoe hit up Paris Fashion Week and schmoozed with designers aplenty.

The new series returns to US TV next week, minus mouthy but amazing assistant Tay but still sure to be a big bag of laughs. And with that news comes this amazing video spoof featuring comedian Amy Philips and her spot on Rachel Zoe impression coming face to face with the real life Rachel Zoe. This video is gas. I love how in on the joke Rachel is:

I hope the forthcoming season is an entertaing as this although as reality spoof go Ms. Kathy Griffin certainly outdid them all with her take on The Hills with Lauren Conrad:

Now somebody needs to put Lauren Conrad and Rachel Zoe together on screen for my life to be complete. It's the little things you know?

Friday Fun for the GAZE film Festival

If you've been knocking around Dublin at all recently you've probably caught the ads for the Gaze film festival. It's another knockout line up and I'm definitely looking forward to catching a few films at the festival. Not least the Stonewall documentary which sounds amazing. Check out the full line up at

Before that there's a rather amazing shindig to be had at the Academy tomorrow night. Curated by Aine Macken (Who let's face it is a bit of a ride aswell as painter of great talent!), she's wangled a line up of great DJs from across town to play. And yours truly!

So expect tunes from DJ's Swish It Up (regulars at Cake, one of the best lesbian club nights in town), myself (tunes smith for The Beauty Spot obviously),  Ian Finnerty of supersuperdisco, Una Mullally of Soundcheck and the School of Let's Give A Conor A Go At DJing, Sure What's The Worst That Can Happen? Peter Fingleton, photographer and promoter of nights such as C U Next Tuesday, Ait Ait and many more , Sean John of new indie gay night R.I.P, Miss Macken herself and not forgetting the brilliant Mimi Rouge of Partie Monster.

The night is movie themed too so expect film tunes alongside a seperate area for performances. I'm not saying anything but I may have had my arm twisted to do a number or two in there while playing lots of Britney tunes. The scrapes I get myself into! Good god.

Find out more here and don't forget that the Gaze festvial runs in the Lighthouse Cinema until Monday! And don't miss Aine and Peter putting their own spin on the night. You won't want to miss Aine Macken's photo selection. Priceless!

Usher's Finest Pop Moment to date? Maybe?

Not content with a return to chart success this year with OMG and the album Raymond Vs. Raymond, Usher is readying a new single alongside a new EP release (and re-issue of the album) later in the year. DJ Got Us Falling In Love Again (bit of a mouthful that title!) features Pitbull and is another piece of Max Martin backed pop goodness. The single sleeve is wierd though. Like a crappy fan photo taken of Usher at a gig. Wierd.

A tad generic it may be, it's also one of the catchiest, uplifting tracks Usher has done in ages and easily one of his poppiest moments to date. Not only that but Team Usher aren't wasting any time in getting this out to the masses. Within days of the songs online premiere it's now on sale on iTunes in the US and here a move which doesn't always happen. It's paying off with the track already sitting comfortably inside the Billboard Hot 100 and and the track making a dent on the lower reaches of the chart on this side the water.

It might not sound like much but after years of following a system of extended airplay before releasing a song it's interesting to see labels put a song out almost immediately. The initial sales may be not be as high but less people are likely to source an illegal download while waiting for the song to come their way.

AND to top it all off I was in a taxi on my way out to "the club"the other night when this came on the radio, OH MY GOD I LOVE THIS SONG I squealed.. and what did the taxi driver do? Turn it up! Amazing.


The track is on iTunes now. A re-release of the album alongside the seperate EP release  is planned for the Autumn. The original album Raymond Vs Raymond which includes the single OMG feat. Will.I.Am is out now.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Spin That Record - Top Tunes of the Moment Circa July 2010

Usher - DJ Got Us Falling In Love Again feat. Pitbul

Major Lazer - Jump Up

Fake Blood  - I Think I Like It [Tommie Sunshine & Figure present EC$TACY EDIT]  

Katy Perry - Teenage Dream

Ciara - Gimme Dat

Dragonette - Our Summer

Afrojack feat. Eva Simons - Plug It In (Take Over Control)

Nicki Minaj  - Your Love

Duck Sauce - Barbara Streisand (O-God Remix)

The Knocks - Make It Better

Maighréad - Irish Electro Pop Alert!

One of the annoying things about not blogging lately has been dropping the ball when artists get in touch with tracks you think are cool and/or worth a mention. Case in point with Limerick electro pop artist (now based in London) Maighréad.

She sent me her video for the track Sea awhile back and it's well worth a look. The video is directed by Mark Video who has worked with Kanye West and Yazoo and there's definitely a hint of that in both the visuals and the sound of the track. Soulful vocals, sparse but sharp production and a neat chorus meld for a track that I've gone back to quite a bit over the last few months.

Check out the video below and check out her myspace for more on Maighread, who I think you might be hearing alot more about.

An Open Letter to This Blog

Hi Blog,

How've you been? There was that day I wrote you a Sex and the City 2 review and you were mildly interested. There was a list of tunes I gave you and I'm sure you gave it a glance. But you've felt neglected haven't you? That 1,000 word plus Christina Aguilera piece just wasn't enough to keep you going was it?

Well I've been busy blog. It's no excuse is it? But I have.

There's the small matter of The Beauty Spot, the weekly club night I've been working with the last few months. It's been a whirlwind of pop up shops, make up top ups, hair experts and DJ sets so it's been eating my time up a tad!

Then there was the madness that was Oxegen 2010. Aside from heading to interview bands for 3 days there was lots of label pleading and scheduling to make it happen. Still the videos are starting to trickle out. Including me doing sped up Benny Hill dancing on a crazy golf course (sigh) and this beaut, my fave so far, the Oxegen Angelus:

I've been doing bits for Spin 1038 and DJ gigs at nights like Matchbox, bars like McGrattans (which is a bit of a hidden gem) and of course trying to maintain a healthy dose of shit telly every 3 days.

To sum up: lots has been going but now I'm going to try and win you back blog! Are you ready? I am, barely. But let's give it a go shall we?