String covers

6 September 2010

One of my twitter followers this week directed me to the Vitamin String Quartet. Ever wondered what Queen sounds like covered by four string players? Well, listen here. AWESOME.

Or perhaps Wonderwall? Or even Lady Gaga…..


(slightly odd Eastern European feel to this one!)

Or Michael Jackson


One Night Only

25 August 2010

On Sunday night, after a family weekend, I returned from a family weekend to my latest arrival from Lovefilm. Dreamgrils, a movie from the musical of the same name is a fantastic musical portrait of an era in American social history defined by race, music and culture. “Dreamgirls is a roman à clef of the histories of the Motown record label and one of its acts, The Supremes“. A car salesman who signs a trio of 8-year-olds, the Dreamettes, gets them a job backing an R&B performer, James “Thunder” Early, love triangles and internal politics.

But it’s the music, incredibly all original, that makes this film. One I should definitely own (even Eddie “party all the timeMurphy is a surprise!). My favourite track has to be One Night Only, performed in turn by the downtrodden Jennifer Hudson (whose awesome voice tugged my heartstrings) and in a more upbeat style by Beyoncé:


Goldfrapp Cerrone Houdini

17 August 2010

I saw the words ‎”Cologne Cerrone Houdini” on facebook today. Of course my first thought was “what the heck is that all about?”. (Well, wouldn’t you?)…

Turns out it’s Goldfrapp lyrics (I should perhaps have guessed). But, still, what on earth is that all about? My friend who posted it pointed me to a website which answers all your song lyric questions.

It’s interesting to note that this track marks yet another reference to French disco legend Cerrone (Supernature is also the name of a classic Cerrone album), but Goldfrapp’s explanation of the title is more of a random coincidence than another tribute. “We were jamming, and the word ‘Cerrone’ just came out of my mouth,” she says. “Subconsciously, maybe I was thinking of Cerrone, but it wasn’t something in the front and center of my mind. The ‘Houdini’ part came because I was reading a book about him and the whole idea of escapism. I used this as a metaphoric idea about an ex-boyfriend who tried to escape from as many situations as possible.”

And when you see the video for Cerrone’s Supernature you can perhaps see the influence he’s had on Goldfrapp… Compare it

to perhaps Number 1, A&E or Alive (videos below), and perhaps even a little Rocket. I think I’ve found a brilliant new French musician to enjoy!

Or perhaps as was pointed out to me after I posted this perhaps Cerrone’s animal head and shaky camera fetish had more of an influence on Goldfrapp’s video for Train:


Scissor Sisters at Brixton Academy

18 July 2010

Three weeks ago I went to see the Scissor Sisters live at Brixton Academy. Their smaller gigs are so much more impressive than arena tours. And of course I got down to the front, or as close as I could. Here’s some photos:

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That sounds good to me!

29 May 2010

Tonight is Eurovision 2010 – in Oslo. Last year’s fiddler won resoundingly and took the contest to Norway this year. Having seen the semi-finals (including the shock ejection of Sweden!) I’m looking forward to a night of musical camp and frivolity.

For Pete’s Sake! This year’s UK Eurovision entry may have come in for criticism – and to be honest I don’t know a single friend of mine that thinks it’s much good – but That Sounds Good To Me (below) has certainly grown on me. The title refrain has not only been going round in my head all day, but coming out of my mouth too!

Azerbaijan are known to be favourites this year. Their ballad-ic eurostyle song (Swedish written, of course) is one that – in song terms perhaps – should do very well. In a quirk of eurovision Cyprus this year is represented by a Welsh boy. Not so sure they’re favourites though, sadly.

But I have a couple of other personal favourites. Romania’s catchy little number (musically less melodic than Azerbaijan, but more catchy than Pete Waterman’s ditty) is one of those tracks that sticks in your head and you remember in the midst of the other short numbers that merge into one as you watch them all.

The Ukranian track is another memorable one, less camp, more quirk but with a mild svensk-schlager slant. Interestingly this song was selected in a re-run of the country’s own contest this year after a new president of the state controlled television network was appointed by the government. Finally, however, Bulgaria have realised that it’s not only about the song – it’s the performance – in Bulgaria’s case a dance track accompanied by babyoil coated dancers (for which you may have to watch tonight!)…

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UPDATE: well I’ve just been reminded you won’t be able to look out for babyoil boys – their dance number failed – like Sweden – to make it through the semis. Shocking, i know!


BWO

30 September 2009

I’ve been a fan of all things Swedish for some time now, ever since I spent six months there in 2003 (that makes me feel old). So I have been surprised not to have attended the Scandinavian pop night Scandipop before last night. I went with a friend (who was late) but also met a couple of friends there for some live music from BWO, a.k.a. Bodies Without Organs, a Swedish “laptop pop” trio in the style of Army of Lovers with a quirky humourful poppyness and recent hits including Chariots of Fire, and Sunshine in the Rain.

I just thought I’d share a few pictures of BWO from last night.

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Eurovision

17 May 2009

Well last night’s Eurovision party was great fun. Noway, represented by Alexander Rybak (born in Minsk, don’t you know) were a well deserved winner (pic below). Any guy that can Fiddle with himself on stage should get full makrs in my opinion. Also worthy of a mention was the UK, Sweden (whose operatic act was accompatied by six dancing Karen Walkers), Armenia and those Balkan Girls (who came an undeservedly low 19th).

norway2

norway

who came a disturbingly low 19th)http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sweden_in_the_Eurovision_Song_Contest_2009

Mushaboom!

14 February 2009

RULES:
1. Put your MP3 player, iTunes, Windows Media Player, etc. on shuffle.
2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.
3. YOU MUST WRITE THAT SONG NAME DOWN NO MATTER HOW SILLY IT SOUNDS.
4. Tag at least 10 friends (make me #11 so I can see your results).
5. Everyone tagged has to do the same thing.
6. Have Fun!

IF SOMEONE SAYS ‘ARE YOU OKAY’ YOU SAY?
Don’t Give Up The Fight (The Magic Numbers)

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOURSELF?
Evil, and a Heathen (Franz Ferdinand)

WHAT DO YOU LIKE IN A GUY/GIRL?
The Answer (Bran Van 3000)

HOW DO YOU FEEL TODAY?
Knockin on Heaven’s Door (Aretha Franklin)

WHAT IS YOUR LIFE’S PURPOSE?
Two Months Off (Underworld)

WHAT’S YOUR MOTTO?
This Boy (Franz Ferdinand)

WHAT DO YOUR FRIENDS THINK OF YOU?
B*tch (David McCullen)

WHAT DO YOUR PARENTS THINK OF YOU?
Diggin’ a Watery Grave (Morcheeba)

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT VERY OFTEN?
Slavonic Dances (Dvorak)

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR BEST FRIEND?
Substitute for Love (Madonna)

WHAT IS YOUR LIFE STORY?
Too Long (Daft Punk)

WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GROW UP?
Better? (Propellerheads)

WHAT DO YOU THINK WHEN YOU SEE THE PERSON YOU LIKE?
Amazing (George Michael)

WHAT WILL YOU DANCE TO AT YOUR WEDDING?
Tits on the Radio (Scissor Sisters)

WHAT WILL THEY PLAY AT YOUR FUNERAL?
A Sorta Fairytale (Tori Amos)

WHAT IS YOUR HOBBY/INTEREST?
*** (Regina Spektor)

WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST FEAR?
Voodoo Magic (Bodies Without Organs)

WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST SECRET?
Laura (Scissor Sisters)

WHAT DO YOU WANT RIGHT NOW?
Rubber Boots (Alphabeat)

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR FRIENDS?
The Closest Thing to Crazy (Katie Melua

WHAT WILL YOU POST THIS AS?
Mushaboom (Feist)


Sam Sparro, Bloomsbury Ballroom

30 June 2008

So, last Wednesday we went to see Sam Sparro at the Bloomsbury Ballroom in central London. Despite keeping us waiting for two hours in the cold (probably a combination of late-running and a mixture of ticket timings) the gig was excellent.

I’ve been quite addicted to the Sparro since hearing Black and Gold for the first time at the beginning of the year. The rest of his self-titled album is excellent too. I’ve since decided he’s obviously the lovechild of Jake Shears and Elton John though got Shears’s looks more than Elton’s obviously!

With the aid of three rather large black diva backing singers, Sparro energetically flung himself into every single one of his songs with an outfit of crazy see through trousers and trademark glasses. Far more than a one-hit wonder every song he sang was impressive, particularly Sick which blew me away and which I have listened to pretty much constantly since.

The costume change half way through gave a chance for the backing singers to dance chat between themselves before showing off their incredible gospel cum disco voices. Returning with a second outfit and playing both his keytar and a keyboard sweaty sam took to fanning both himself and his singers with towels (which caused a riot after throwing them into the audience in the end). Cottonmouth and Hot Mess are not only great songs themselves but delivered with a hell of a lot of passion. After finishing with Black and Gold including some audience-touching (mmm) Black Box’s Ride on Time was a great encore! Excellent live and well worth seeing – the 200/300 people in the rather intimate audience made the gig particularly and never-to-be-repeated special and I cannot praise his talents, all of them, highly enough! Pictures below:


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