Tuesday, March 30, 2010


So bad about blogging this month, but so excellently crafty in other respects (post coming up)

In the meantime, here is another excellent meme I'm stealing from Boz ~ a wordle pic of what I've been wittering on about here recently:

Cripes I'm obsessed with trivia! *hides in shame*

Monday, March 15, 2010

Hitting the Road: Gorillaz and Lady Gaga pay homage to Thelma and Louise

Ridley Scott is by any measure one of the great filmmakers of our time. I suppose one yardstick of a great film is its enduring impact on popular culture. It is therefore very notable that two great video pop stars should both launch videos almost simultaneously that reference the iconic ending of Ridley Scott’s Thelma and Louise, which was released almost 20 years ago in 1991.

Here’s a clip of Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis as the heroines in that climactic scene (SPOILERS):


Stylo, the new single from Gorillaz, references the Thelma and Louise ending while mashing it up with Mad Max and possibly even a little James Bond in there too . . .

You can watch the video on YouTube - embedding disabled on request, boringly.

Mr Bruce Willis, I salute you! Bruce does a great car chase.

Lady Gaga camps it up to the max - the Thelma and Louise references in her new video for Telephone (featuring Beyoncé) are very specific (even down to the clasped hands). Her choice of mash is the pussy wagon from Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill:

I am a major fan of the Gaga’s outrageous creativity and lush video work but have a few qualms about this one. She’s corrupting Beyoncé! ~ and what to make of mass murder played cartoon style? Not to mention the grossly blatant product placement. However, one cannot deny the video is compellingly watchable and the single is another great pop tune; another worthy stepping stone in her quest to out-Madonna Madonna.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

the competition shapes up

Greece and Sweden also chose their Eurovision Song Contest entries this weekend. Interestingly, both countries seem to be deviating from their usual ESC parameters.

Greece usually sends in an über-sexy glamour hunk, all white teeth and pecs, pumping away to a hi-energy beat. Surprisingly they have gone folksy-modern this year with George Alkeos & Friends (OPA)

This is a brave choice and it works for me. It’s kind-of an updated Zorba’s dance for the 2010s, and it just might have the crossover appeal of the original. Nicely played Greece.

Sweden has also been wedded to a high-energy disco beat in recent years (the delectable Malena Ernman’s opera-meets-trance La Voix probably represented the end of the road for this line of attack ). This year they’ve gone all geeky girl ballad with the lovely Anna Bergendahl singing This is my Life, complete with now-you-see-it-now-you-don’t geeky guitar.

Many commentators have noted the preponderance of ballads in ESC this year, and I wonder if this is the influence of the UK’s entry last year? Were we tragically one year too early with our ballad? Anna’s song is actually almost a paraphrase of Jade’s This is My Time.

But Anna has a beautiful and distinctive voice, and will appeal to both genders (that geek girl vibe cleverly taking the edge off the potentially intimidating Swedish physical perfection).

Anna gives the song her all - a performance incandescent with authentic emotion, taking the ballad into a whole new dimension. This is what Josh desperately needs to do with the UK entry.

Even at this early stage Sweden has captured my heart and I think Anna is the one to beat.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Your country needs you

Never in the field of human tweeting has there been such unanimity. Eurovision fans in the UK hate our entry to the Eurovision Song Contest this year, as a quick perusal of the #ycny hash tag on twitter reveals.

David Schneider’s tweet said it all:

@davidschneider: Just tuned in to Your Country Needs You To Stop Singing Now. Oh dear. #ycny

In the last couple of years, the BBC has pursued a policy of getting major stars to write the song, and letting the public vote on who the performer is. It’s actually quite patronising, as it implies the public can’t recognise a good song when they hear it - our overlords at the BBC have to choose the ‘great’ song for us, and us plebs get to choose the pretty face who sings it.

Last year’s entry by Andrew Lloyd Webber sung by Jade Ewan seemed to justify this approach, with the UK getting its highest placing for years in Moscow.

But last night showed the downside - Pete Waterman was huge in his day but that day is not today (and frankly, does he really have the name recognition of Lloyd Webber in Euroland anyway?) Unfortunately both the song and its musical arrangement sound like they were B-side rejects for some Stock Aiken and Waterman act back in the late 80s. I truly feel sorry for Josh Dubovie, the talented 19-year old who has to perform it in Oslo.

It would be great if the BBC could recognise its mistake and drop the song, but that isn’t going to happen. What they need to do to mitigate damage is the following:

1) Let some hip musical maestro loose on the arrangement to make it more credible (calling you, Mark Ronson).

2) Work on Josh’s delivery - he’s a good singer and a truly innovative attack on the vocalisation of this tune might make a difference.

3) Teach Josh to dance - or failing that, even move gracefully. It’s his weak spot.

4) Josh is an appealing chap with a great smile. They have to get that microphone out of his face.

They have to capitalise on Josh as far as they are able and blatantly pander to the teenybopper Euro girl demographic because he’s the best thing about the UK entry, and might possibly save us from total annihilation.

But total annihilation is what I predict.